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Author Topic: How did birds evolve?  (Read 20797 times)

Asyncritus

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How did birds evolve?
« on: 04/11/2008 17:49:31 »
Just came across this article. Oh dear, will they never learn?

"Birds adapted to the diverse environments several distinct times because many birds that now live on water (such as flamingos, tropicbirds and grebes) did not evolve from a different waterbird group, and many birds that now live on land (such as turacos, doves, sandgrouse and cuckoos) did not evolve from a different landbird group.

Similarly, distinctive lifestyles (such as nocturnal, raptorial and pelagic, i.e., living on the ocean or open seas) evolved several times. For example, contrary to conventional thinking, colorful, daytime hummingbirds evolved from drab nocturnal nightjars; falcons are not closely related to hawks and eagles; and tropicbirds (white, swift-flying ocean birds) are not closely related to pelicans and other waterbirds.

Shorebirds are not a basal evolutionary group, which refutes the widely held view that shorebirds gave rise to all modern birds."http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080626141117.htm

Heh heh!

Are you getting the distinct impression that they really haven't a clue? I am.

"The most startling and unexpected finding of the study is that the closest living relative of the elegant flamingo, with its long legs built for wading, is not another long-legged species of wading bird but the squat grebe, with its short legs built for diving. The two species, whose genes surprisingly are more similar to each other's than to those of any other bird, otherwise show no outward resemblance, according to Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Penn State."



 

This really calls into question the validity of genetic similarities for establishing anything, in my opinion. How anybody can look at a flamingo and say its closest living relative is the squat grebe, and do so with a straight face is beyond me. It's no wonder the author of the study said:

"We knew people might have a hard time accepting these results..." He wasn't kidding!

Austin Hughes was right. All this computerised genotypic simulation without reference to phenotypes makes a mockery of biology. Surely to goodness somebody must have looked at that and thought: you cannot be serious! Is common sense quite extinct in the groves of academia?
« Last Edit: 08/11/2008 17:45:49 by chris »

blakestyger

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #1 on: 04/11/2008 19:24:01 »
Will you ever get to grips with the basics of evolution?

Evie

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #2 on: 04/11/2008 21:58:03 »
As I and many others have stated before, common sense CANNOT be relied on in a scientific capacity, only factual, experimental data.

Many scientists have expected for quite a while that genetic mapping would lead to a large-scale shuffling of the current classification of living organisms. This doesn't seem strange to me at all, since the way in which organisms are similar to one another goes beyond outside appearance (a bit of common sense, in my opinion).

Bored chemist

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #3 on: 04/11/2008 22:11:22 »
Interestingly, Darwin's studies of fancy pigeons formed part of the basis of his ideas about evolution. He knew they were all related but they looked and in some instances, behaved very differently.

Asyncritus

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/2008 00:28:51 »

Quote
As I and many others have stated before, common sense CANNOT be relied on in a scientific capacity, only factual, experimental data.

Many scientists have expected for quite a while that genetic mapping would lead to a large-scale shuffling of the current classification of living organisms. This doesn't seem strange to me at all, since the way in which organisms are similar to one another goes beyond outside appearance (a bit of common sense, in my opinion).

It seems that you completely fail to see the point.

Let's make the quite foolish assumption that this latest set of observations is indeed the correct set.

Then it follows that all the previous workers in the field, particularly the taxonomists and bird anatomists, were a pack of morons who would have been better off with their mouths shut.

It also follows that whatever the evolutionists said about the evolution of birds was plain nonsense, since they couldn't really distinguish a sparrow from a golden eagle - and even if they did, they were wrong anyway.

Therefore, any relationships already postulated are completely nonsensical and useless. So the support you may have offered to evolutionary theory on the basis of the information you had about the birds' relationships to one another, was completely misplaced. Wrong, in fact.

Therefore, any observed differences and/or similarities between birds were just plain nonsense.

The taxonomists who placed the grebes and the flamingos in different orders were basically a set of planks looking for a termite nest to let some daylight through their heads.

And if all this is true about the 10,000 or so species of birds, then it is entirely possible that all the relationships and evolutionary trees invented/postulated/hypothesised are all probably wrong too!

So who do you support, and why?

_Stefan_

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #5 on: 05/11/2008 02:20:37 »
Asyncritus, why are you back without having learned evolution properly?

Have you heard of divergence, convergence, genotype vs phenotype, and DNA? If not, look them up!

The fact is that phenotype does not always represent genetic heritage. As such, DNA evidence is required for a complete picture. This has been recognised by biologists for a very long time. It's sad that you think that this new evidence somehow weakens evolutionary theory when it actually strengthens it.

The whole point of science is to use new and better evidence to gain a more accurate understanding of the world. This is not a weakness. Disproving or modifying previous hypotheses is actually a good thing.

None of the findings of the research you mention disprove evolution. They only disprove previous thoughts on evolutionary relationships of specific species that were based on limited evidence. It replaces them with more accurate information. This is what will eventually be done for every species on the planet, if there are enough resources to do so.

Since you're back, and you clearly have not learnt anything since your last visit, where is your positive case for creationism? When have creationists ever collected any good data to support their claims? Even if evolution was false, which it is not, creationism would still not be a remotely good explanation.

SquarishTriangle

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #6 on: 05/11/2008 07:33:58 »
« Last Edit: 05/11/2008 07:36:37 by SquarishTriangle »

Asyncritus

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #7 on: 05/11/2008 11:53:07 »
We are not discussing evolution at all, Stefan.

The point of the article I quoted is that the taxonomic relationships, which are well founded on observable features of birds in this case, are now claimed to be meaningless.

The taxonomists who created those orders, families, genera, and species were all wrong.

Now a great deal of evolutionary theory is based on perceived relationships, usually morphological ones.
All classification systems till now were based on these - even cladistics.

Since all of these relationships, in the Aves, are now in question, then it follows that all of the evolutionary arguments based on those classifications are also wrong. And to say that A evolved from B is downright risky, not to mention stupid in the extreme.

So somehow, we have the quite comical situation where we have to explain how

1 All the people up till now didn't know a thing, really, and

2 Therefore all their evolutionary theories based on those classifications is now shown to be pure nonsense.

I ask you again, given that that is really (?) the case,

1 which bit of bird evolution do you NOW believe to be true and

2 Why?

3 How do we know that next month won't bring forth another article showing that all the evolutionary theory about reptiles becoming birds, the origin of the primates and so forth, are all rubbish too?

Huh?

« Last Edit: 05/11/2008 15:52:09 by Asyncritus »

Asyncritus

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #8 on: 05/11/2008 11:56:40 »
Yeah those damn biologists!

They EVEN think this

is related to this,

this

related to this,

and this

related to this!


IDIOTS!! They don't look the same at all!!!

(http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS138, http://zims.isis.org/aark/Hi%20res%20YOTF%20images/Bufo%20bufo,%20Common%20Toad,%20Tadpoles,%20Aleksander%20Niwelinski.JPG, http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1212/589789587_db2bf559a0_o.jpg, http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/imag98/star1.jpg, http://busybee.mba.ac.uk/imgs/Species/Echinodermata/o_astrub.jpg)


Hey Spring

I missed your explanation of how that tadpole evolved into a frog, or how the larva evolved into an adult insect.

How about some kind of explanation then?

Don_1

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #9 on: 05/11/2008 12:45:55 »

Are you getting the distinct impression that they really haven't a clue? I am.


I have already got the distinct impression that you will question evolution at every step without even trying to understand it or give a reasonable and workable alternative.

You are a creationist, you will not change regardless of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I see no point in entering into a debate with you.

atrox

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #10 on: 05/11/2008 13:08:23 »
guys.. just donīt feed the troll ... ;)
You know, there is just no will to understand our/ the evolutionists point ... and only that could be the basis of a discussion which is worth it (Not important wether you believe it is wrong or right)... anything else is just a waste of time...

Asyncritus

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #11 on: 05/11/2008 15:50:17 »

Are you getting the distinct impression that they really haven't a clue? I am.


Quote
I have already got the distinct impression that you will question evolution at every step..


Isn't that the proper scientific procedure?

 

Bored chemist

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #12 on: 05/11/2008 18:27:32 »
Asyncritus, you tell us that "We are not discussing evolution at all."
Then why did you mention it in the title of the thread?
Are you by any chance a complete idiot, or just a troll (I accept that the 2 are not mutually exclusive)

Asyncritus

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #13 on: 05/11/2008 19:36:09 »
Hey BC

I meant that I was not attacking evolution as directly as I normally do, by presenting those incontrovertible evidences of behaviour and structure that I have done previously.

I'm presenting the article, written by evos, concerning work done by evos, which raise some very serious questions in my mind.

I'm sorry if you haven't got the brain power to see that subtle point. But try re-reading the first post about 10 times. It should start to percolate through the density barriers which prevent you from seeing what I'm talking about - or rather, what THEY are talking about.

Now can we get off the personalities and get on with the discussion of their findings?

It is a clear demonstration of the shabbiness and threadbare nature of the theory if the slightest twitch of opposition raises hackles instead of provoking thought.

Such knee-jerk defensiveness is a demonstration of positional weakness, not strength.

BenV

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #14 on: 05/11/2008 21:47:41 »
Such knee-jerk defensiveness is a demonstration of positional weakness, not strength.
I think it may be a reaction to you personally, as it's a case of 'here we go again...'

I'll say again, Religion and science are viewing the world from different paradigms, there is no sensible debate.  This is a science forum, so we don't accept your alternative, non-science explanation.

However, you may have a point in that pure-genotype number-crunching may not be as illuminating as it could be.  It is, though, a more useful technique that merely looking at external features.  The more we understand about epigenetics, the more we can refine this technique.

Asyncritus

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #15 on: 06/11/2008 08:26:48 »
Here's Austin Hughes NAS:

"The comparison between these results and those inferred by commonly-used parsimony and Bayesian methods demonstrates that statistical tests of positive selection can be misleading without experimental support and that the molecular basis of spectral tuning in rhodopsins should be elucidated by mutagenesis analyses using ancestral pigments.

Don_1

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #16 on: 06/11/2008 09:31:49 »
Such knee-jerk defensiveness is a demonstration of positional weakness, not strength.
I think it may be a reaction to you personally, as it's a case of 'here we go again...'


Yes, 'here we go again'.

I have said my piece,


I have already got the distinct impression that you will question evolution at every step without even trying to understand it or give a reasonable and workable alternative.

You are a creationist, you will not change regardless of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I see no point in entering into a debate with you.

I will say no more, I do want to 'go again' and again and again..............

Asyncritus

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #17 on: 06/11/2008 12:37:49 »
Have I missed this 'overwhelming evidence' somewhere?

Here is Hughes saying that all these fancy genetic models are pretty useless without experimental verification, and by gum, there are plenty of those!

There are the bird guys saying that the whole 'evolutionary tree' is wrong and has to be re-thought, and then producing the most stupid example imaginable of a flamingo being the closest relative of the squat grebe.

Is that what you describe as 'overwhelming evidence'? Well, I AM overwhelmed - and totally under-impressed by this rubbish.

Why not say something constructive about what THEY said, instead of flinging your hands up in despair? Though in my humble opinion, despair is probably right, listening to what they said.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2008 12:42:01 by Asyncritus »

blakestyger

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #18 on: 06/11/2008 13:35:19 »
Asyncritus.

There are one or two things that you should know that might help you with your dilemma over bird taxonomy.
When it first began in the late eighteenth-century there were few tools available to the pioneers of this branch of science - in fact only the creature's appearance and life cycle/style were used. Over time, methods improved; for example, when I worked for the Wildfowl Trust in the 1960s, a favoured method for sorting out the Anatidae (ducks, geese and swans) was comparative tracheal anatomy. This resulted in the taxonomy undergoing some small changes and refinements.
This is how science progresses - theories are constantly being tested and adjustments made when found to be false.
Now we have DNA techniques that can tell us far more about a bird's evolutionary history than observation and comparative anatomy alone. This technique has resulted in a lot of adjustments, particularly among the Aves, and a good site to visit is:

http://jboyd.net/Taxo1/taxo1.html

This only confirms that scientific method is working - the fact that errors from the past have been uncovered doesn't mean that it's all been rubbish. The opposite is the case - we now know more and better than before. It's also likely that as DNA methods improve even more adjustments will need to be made; it's unlikely that this is the last word.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2008 13:37:53 by blakestyger »

_Stefan_

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #19 on: 06/11/2008 13:42:07 »
You don't accept that DNA is THE strongest measure of how closely related organisms are?

I repeat: genotype does not equal phenotype. Get this through your skull.

The information is readily available to you. Leave your ideologies behind and go and learn something!

Bored chemist

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #20 on: 06/11/2008 19:51:56 »
"I was not attacking evolution as directly as I normally do, by presenting those incontrovertible evidences of behaviour and structure that I have done previously."
The evidence was not incontravertible, why pretend it was?

"I'm presenting the article, written by evos, concerning work done by evos, which raise some very serious questions in my mind"
It doesn't cause me any trouble; I know that science makes discoveries, learns, and moves on, better than it was before.

Asyncritus

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #21 on: 07/11/2008 09:08:59 »
Look, everybody knows how this is how science progresses - by questioning assumptions in the light of new data.

In this particular case, the claim is being made that the whole evolutionary tree has got to be redrawn.

That means, very clearly, that the PREVIOUS trees were worthless.

Given that, then all the books and articles supporting the theory of evolution of the birds have at one stroke, become meaningless, and wrong. Mistaken, if you like.

So all supporters of bird evolution are up a gum tree, and are now looking frantically for a way down.

That is a major claim, and I don't quite see how your theorists are going to recover from that blow.

The obvious question that even you must be asking, and remember that I didn't write the article, is, just how much of all evolutionary theory is true?

That would be a very fair question, because the birds are not an insignificant group of creatures (there are about 10,000 species, and billions of individuals).

So the assumption that the new data questions is not just taxonomical, but the far bigger question of whether or not evolution itself is dubious.

So far, they haven't rattled that particular cage, but as students (if that's what you all are) then you are in a unique position to do so in your own work. Your tenure and jobs don't depend on toe-ing any particular line.

Now's the time to stand up and think for yourselves.
« Last Edit: 07/11/2008 09:11:39 by Asyncritus »

_Stefan_

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #22 on: 07/11/2008 09:20:30 »
Evolutionary theory does not depend on the evolutionary relationships of specific species. In taxonomy the question is not whether the species has evolved, but how and from where, specifically. The new evidence only supports evolution.

Please actually know something about what you are criticising. If you understood evolution, biology, and the scientific method, you would not be saying such stupid things. The problem is not that you are saying stupid things, though. The problem is that you think you are right and are unwilling to learn.

blakestyger

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #23 on: 07/11/2008 09:23:49 »
Asyncritus

I asked you once before what it was about evolution that made you feel so insecure - and you avoided answering the question.

Do you feel able to talk about it now?

Asyncritus

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Re: How did birds evolve?
« Reply #24 on: 07/11/2008 09:36:40 »
You don't accept that DNA is THE strongest measure of how closely related organisms are?

With these results in front of us, I would say that this is extremely strong reason to doubt it.

I think that this whole business of detecting relationships on the basis of genetic similarity  is quite wrong. We have excellent reason to suppose that it does work WITHIN  a species (as paternity tests etc prove conclusively).

It does not appear to me that extra-specific relationships are quite so correctly established.

As you know, much of evolutionary theory absolutely depends on one species, genus, family becoming another. "The ancestor of X was another species A B or C". That says that species barriers were crossed very frequently and in great number.

That, however, is impossible. All the practical evidence we have before us says that different species cannot interbreed in the wild and produce fertile offspring. It happens, but rarely.

So how are we going to determine whether the similarity of genetic material between species A and different species B means common descent or not?

It seems stupid to think so - and certainly the evidence to hand shows that it is impossible. GG Simpson said that it was a waste of time to look for intermediates above the family level - but here are people happily talking about evolution at phylum level!!! They know nothing about taxonomy if they can possibly think so.

Quote
I repeat: genotype does not equal phenotype. Get this through your skull.

The information is readily available to you. Leave your ideologies behind and go and learn something!

Phenotype is entirely dependent on genotype - and the nature vs nurture arguments have a part to play here. But by and large, genotype is the major determinant of visible characters.

In my opinion, it is asinine to say that a grebe is the nearest relative to a flamingo. Just try to reconstruct what happened.

Common ancestor of both experienced a mutation or a zillion mutations. One set produced pink feathers, long legs, bent beak etc and the other produced exactly the opposite.

It's ridiculous. Flamingos eat algae, small insects, and small crustaceans like shrimp. Larger grebes eat mostly fish. The digestive systems, and food acquisition systems must be totally different, and their origins hopelessly impossible to explain by mutations.

Yet, here are these people saying that they are very closely related! Do morphology, behaviour, and physiology count for nothing when determining relationships?

As a reasonable human being, I submit that you must be wondering about all this and how it could possibly have evolved.
« Last Edit: 07/11/2008 09:40:09 by Asyncritus »

 

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