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Dr. Feduccia: His new study is enough to bury the 'dino-bird" myth

I could stress the fact that the majority of paleontologists accept the dino to bird evolutionary path and that Dr. Feduccia is in a very small minority.  I could point out that new evidence supports the dino to bird link, like
from here:
"The researchers found that dinosaurs had a respiratory system with the potential to support elevated rates of metabolism.  Although it is not identical to birds, O'Connor said it is nothing like the crocodile system.
What was once formally considered unique to birds was present in some form in the ancestors of birds," he added in a statement."

Or here:
"WASHINGTON - A Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur that died 68 million years ago has provided some of the strongest evidence yet that birds are the closest-living relatives of dinosaurs, scientists said Thursday.
Soft tissue found in the animal's thighbone strongly suggests it was a female, and just about to lay eggs, the researchers report in Friday's issue of Science.
The bone tissue is strongly similar to that made inside the bones of female birds — and no other living type of animal — when they are producing the hard shells of eggs just before they lay them, said Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University in Raleigh."

But I'll concede the point, the minority opinion of scientists like Feduccia might be valid, some as yet undiscovered evidence could support their claim and falsify the dinosaur to bird link.
So what?  It does nothing to falsify the theory of evolution.  The sources you and others have quoted have questioned the dinosaur to bird link, but certainly have not questioned the
reptile to bird link.  Feduccia says:
""We're not really seeing the entire picture," Feduccia says. He agrees with the theory that the common ancestor of both ancient and modern bird orders was a small, ground-dwelling reptile that took to the trees for hiding, sleeping, or nesting. After this "protoavis" started climbing, it began leaping from tree to tree."

And from here:
"But Olson and a group of academic ornithologists have been arguing,often bitterly, for years that birds evolved independently of dinosaurs.  They believe that dinosaurs and birds had a common ancestor that lived in trees and that dinosaurs were, after all, cold blooded."

The point is, all the experts, the paleontologosts and ornithologists, agree, birds evolved from a reptile.  The evidence is conclusive.  Whether birds evolved earlier from
the thecodont or later from a therapod dinosaur is still not conclusive.  That birds evolved from reptiles IS conclusive.  
What I don't understand is why creationists try to use biologists who fully accept evolution,
and a debate that isn't about whether evolution occurred but about the path evolution took, to disprove evolution.  Any insight on this?


Posts: 1664 | Posted: 01:48 AM on September 17, 2005 | IP

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Hi all,
I even cannot believe why the Christians still insist on so many things about their Creationist beliefs even if there are actually enough and plain truths that supports that Earth is with 4.8 billions years of history. It's impossible, unacceptable and even thoroughly ridiculous to believe that Earth is with just 10,000 or less, years of history. I even think that any arguments on Evolution and Creation are not needed as the former is with full of evidence while the latter is just a Bible that talks in God's words but not in real things. Ridiculously, the Christians even like to criticize heavily on the proofs from the fossils. If they just like to say that all of these are not real, then in their minds, they should say Dinosaurs that appeared in Earth for more than 200 millions of years, are all not real (maybe they just think that these animals are just the toys of God).

I just think that one big problem for the Christians are just they cannot imagine the possibility of an extremely long time for the evolution as no one in the world has ever experienced in their life for more than 200 years, but how about 20,000 years, 2 millions years, or even 200 millions of years. During such an extremely long time, evolution could really become possible as the genes are complicatedly changing from time to time.


Posts: 9 | Posted: 09:35 AM on September 19, 2005 | IP

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Could someone elaborate on all of these... mathematical odds that say evolution is impossible because there isn't enough time to go through all the possible mutations to get "the right one"?

I am in debates with computer programmers and mathematicians who are waaaay beyond me claiming that the numbers are so huge it would be impossible for chance to govern the development of new species.

My very basic question is why ALL of the mutation variations need to be "tried" before "evolution" happens? Is there anything in determining the odds of a successful mutation that would account for "happy accidents"? If random particles bounced together... and it would take... a bazillion bazillion years to accidentally create life... what if it happened on the third try instead of number 374,687,893,926,547,876?

As a child I had a combination lock that had 4 numbers... 0-9. I lost the number so I started with 0000.... 0001... etc.

Eventually I got bored and started over at 9999... the combo was 9996...

Isn't there some way to account for this kind of mathematical...  occurrence when determining the "odds" of evolution or the creation of life?

Posts: 2 | Posted: 3:00 PM on September 21, 2005 | IP

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People who call themselves "Mathematicians" always bring that meritless argument up, simply because it's the only aspect of Evolution they ever bother to comprehend.

To make things frank: they don't know what they're talking about.

No, really... They don't. It doesn't matter how life got here--it won't change the fact life evolves. This is understandable, of course, as these "mathematicians" will only research what their favored major is, being math, and understanding the distinct biological definitions is something that doesn't concern them.

There are two fundamental possibilities:

1.) A supernatural deity deliberately defied these statistical laws and actually placed life down on the earth so that it could evolve.

2.) This will take a little more explanation, dealing with the non-theistic approach:

First, you need to know a little something about cosmology--of which mathematicians are generally a little knowledgeable about, albeit ignorant to theories not related to physics.

The very basis of the theory aptly entitled "The Big Bang" is a concept of infinity. The Big Bang was not what started the universe--the universe was always here. (This is, of course, supported by absolutely no concrete evidence, and nor can it be supported by concrete evidence, but through mathematics it actually does work quite nicely.) Instead of a single starting point in the universe's history, what we're talking about is a continuous pattern:

The universe gradually converts from condensed energy to sprawled out matter (this part of the process starts with a spontaneous combustion of the entire universe... or in other words, a very, very loud "BANG!"), until there is no force left to propel the matter any further out into space that the natural properties of Electro Magnetisium and Gravity gradually pull everything back into a compacted sphere not an iota larger than the periods in my sentences. Through this condensation, the matter will convert back into un-used kinetic energy, until even the energy itself is too close together to exist... so it explodes, and repeats the process all over.

In a nut shell, the process looks like this:

BANG, a big mess is made of everything over tens of billions of years, mess gets cleaned up and scrunched in a ball over tens of billions of years, BANG, a big mess is made of everything over tens of billions of years, mess gets cleaned up and scrunched in a ball over tnes of billions of years, BANG...

See where I'm going? Even simpler, it looks like this:

BANG, cruuunch, BANG, cruuuunch.

- - - - - - - - - -

Okay, so, do you get my meaning? The universe does NOT have a beginning. (If it does, a supernatural deity made everything, thus explaining life in the first place. But that explanation is not science, nor mathematical.)

What we have here is literally, an I-N-F-I-N-I-T-E amount of time.

ALL true mathematicians, no matter who in the world they are, should ALL agree, that if actually given an UNLIMITED amount of time, every conceivable chance WILL occur.

This means that even if the odds of first life occuring and then evolution working out properly were 9,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999 to the 9,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999th power (which they aren't, by the way) it would be impossible for the odds not to work out... eventually.

That's a very basic foundation of statistics. If given an infinite amount of time, which, scientifically, life does have, it impossible that life won't occur.

If you have any further questions, just ask.

Perhaps Demon38 would care to provide more insight.

We're official!

Posts: 729 | Posted: 4:21 PM on September 21, 2005 | IP
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