Morton’s Demon - The Cartoon Version

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Courtesy of the ever-insightful (and inciteful!) “Non Sequitur” strip by Wiley Miller, we now have an excellent cartoon version of Morton’s Demon.
(Warning: this image will only be online for ~ 3 weeks.)
June 3rd ‘toon
Non Sequiter” online

Discuss.

60 Comments

That whole sequence of cartoons seems to be a pretty good description of ID, really.

To the IDiots, I’m asking, explain the constraints of life, namely, why did Archaeopteryx fly like a modified feathered dinosaur, rather than like a modern bird?

The most I’ve gotten back was yammering about how complex it is, and the usual non sequitur that comes after “it’s far more complex than anything humans can make”, that non sequitur being, “so it was designed.” I have never quite gotten the use of their analogy when they typically admit that life is actually quite unlike our own designs.

IOW, la la la la, I can’t hear you.

Glen Davidson

http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

Glen Davidson said:

To the IDiots, I’m asking, explain the constraints of life, namely, why did Archaeopteryx fly like a modified feathered dinosaur, rather than like a modern bird?

The most I’ve gotten back was yammering about how complex it is, and the usual non sequitur that comes after “it’s far more complex than anything humans can make”, that non sequitur being, “so it was designed.” I have never quite gotten the use of their analogy when they typically admit that life is actually quite unlike our own designs.

IOW, la la la la, I can’t hear you.

Glen Davidson

http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

Isn’t the current thinking that all birds are modified feathered dinosaurs (at least for a somewhat arbitrary definition of dinosaur)? Are you sure that the problem isn’t that the ID lot simply can’t answer the question because they’ve been reading too much Fred Hoyle and think that the whole thing is a hoax?

I love Wiley. I have his 7-7-99 one taped to my office door.

Right side of scene: caveman drawing horse-drawn cart on cave wall.

Left side of scene: cavewoman complaining “when are you going to stop wasting your time with that science fiction nonsense and start dealing with reality?”

Isn’t the current thinking that all birds are modified feathered dinosaurs (at least for a somewhat arbitrary definition of dinosaur)?

Here’s what the tolweb (tree of life website) has on that:

Coelurosauria Birds, tyrannosaurs, velociraptors, etc. http://tolweb.org/Coelurosauria/15769

Henry

The Preconceptual Scientist seems to have started with the 6/1/09 cartoon with one or more sets in between.

Interestingly, a the previous set of cartoons dealing with Mars touchs on the urban myth of Mars approaching the earch so close that it will look as big as the moon this coming August, which it will absolutely not do.

I never gave much thought to Non Sequitur, might have to pay more attention.

I might have to pay more attention to my spelling as well.

The method is especially easy when the “theory” you want to “prove” is “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Trouble is, creationists use this very argument against science. They claim that dismissing their scriptures with “It’s not science” is ‘materialism’ and exactly the same as saying “La, la, la”. (If you’ve ever debated a creationist informally, you’ll be very familiar with this response.) They’re very fond of the “Science has just as many presuppositions as religion, therefore it is a religion too” argument. (Is this what I think I remember hearing described as the ‘Judo’ argument?)

JMk2 said:

Trouble is, creationists use this very argument against science. They claim that dismissing their scriptures with “It’s not science” is ‘materialism’ and exactly the same as saying “La, la, la”. (If you’ve ever debated a creationist informally, you’ll be very familiar with this response.) They’re very fond of the “Science has just as many presuppositions as religion, therefore it is a religion too” argument. (Is this what I think I remember hearing described as the ‘Judo’ argument?)

Good point, but I should caution that IDers (and many classic creationists who have learned their tactics) will not say “scriptures,” but rather their “science” (or “theory,” etc.). Generally they first try to get away with “they’re both scientific,” but will retreat to “they’re both religious” when the first approach fails, or is not expected to work with the particular audience. Then they’ll find another audience and start over. The big name activists, if not their trained parrots, know that it’s all a game to mislead nonscientists, but they also know that, by taking a few liberties with definitions, they can usually pull it off.

One easy way to avoid our own “la la la” is to not just dismiss their “scripture-and/or-science,” but rather to ask them to spell it out in detail. Demand that they state what the Creator-and/or-designer did, when, and how. Ask them how they will test their claims independent of any weaknesses they perceive in “Darwinism.” Skilled anti-evolution activists have well-rehearsed evasion tactics of course, but that at least alerts the non-hopeless segment of the misled audience that these scam artists are indeed playing games. Plus the not-so-skilled ones can get caught exposing how hopelessly deadlocked they are in their own irreconcilable differences regarding “what happened, when, and how.”

Gary Hurd said:

I also liked the June 5 strip.

Perfect! Did anyone else immediately think of Dembski’s “I’m not going to take the bait”?

I don’t get it, who is the cartoon making fun of? ;-)

Frank J said:

Gary Hurd said:

I also liked the June 5 strip.

Perfect! Did anyone else immediately think of Dembski’s “I’m not going to take the bait”?

That’s a pretty insightful cartoon; put the “theory” out there and let the rubes take the heat trying to “prove” it by provoking arguments.

I loved this one

The expressions on the critters is priceless.

I sent it to my Mom

Mike Elzinga Wrote:

That’s a pretty insightful cartoon; put the “theory” out there and let the rubes take the heat trying to “prove” it by provoking arguments.

I read it as “fool the rubes into thinking that the onus is on the critics of ID to provide every last detail of their theory while the IDers sit back and play word games.”

From now on, Glen Davidson may want to avoid mentioning bird-dinosaur evolution-beliefs WRT to Morton’s Demon, in light of current scientific developments.

Birds Didn’t Evolve From Dinosaurs

June 9, 2009 — “The findings add to a growing body of evidence in the past two decades that challenge some of the most widely-held beliefs about animal evolution.”

That statement is not being made by creationists, but by science reporters describing work at Oregon State University that cast new doubt on the idea that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs. The main idea: their leg bones and lungs are too different.

Science Daily’s report has a diagram of the skeleton showing how the fixed femur is tied into the avian lung system. Birds use more oxygen than mammals. Their flow-through lungs would collapse if the femur moved like it does in mammals, reptiles and dinosaurs.

“It’s really strange that no one realized this before,” said Devon Quick, professor of zoology at OSU, speaking of the tie-in of the femur to the bird lung.

“The position of the thigh bone and muscles in birds is critical to their lung function, which in turn is what gives them enough lung capacity for flight.” His colleague John Ruben was equally surprised: “It’s really kind of amazing that after centuries of studying birds and flight we still didn’t understand a basic aspect of bird biology.”

The article began, “The conclusions add to other evolving evidence that may finally force many paleontologists to reconsider their long-held belief that modern birds are the direct descendants of ancient, meat-eating dinosaurs.”

Key paragraphs put this in context:

“For one thing, birds are found earlier in the fossil record than the dinosaurs they are supposed to have descended from,” Ruben said. “That’s a pretty serious problem, and there are other inconsistencies with the bird-from-dinosaur theories. “But one of the primary reasons many scientists kept pointing to birds as having descended from dinosaurs was similarities in their lungs,“ Ruben said. “However, theropod dinosaurs had a moving femur and therefore could not have had a lung that worked like that in birds. Their abdominal air sac, if they had one, would have collapsed. That undercuts a critical piece of supporting evidence for the dinosaur-bird link. “A velociraptor did not just sprout feathers at some point and fly off into the sunset,” Ruben said.

For a claim dinosaurs had air sacs, see the 09/29/2008 entry. The OSU professors are not disbelieving in evolution. Birds and dinosaurs may have had a more distant common ancestor, they said: “It just seems pretty clear now that birds were evolving all along on their own and did not descend directly from the theropod dinosaurs, which lived many millions of years later.”

Oregon State has been at the forefront of challenging the dogma: “OSU research on avian biology and physiology was among the first in the nation to begin calling into question the dinosaur-bird link since the 1990s.”

Doubts have also been raised at other institutions. Why has the story persisted? For one, “old theories die hard, Ruben said, especially when it comes to some of the most distinctive and romanticized animal species in world history.”

Another reason is museum politics:

“Frankly, there’s a lot of museum politics involved in this, a lot of careers committed to a particular point of view even if new scientific evidence raises questions,” Ruben said. In some museum displays, he said, the birds-descended-from-dinosaurs evolutionary theory has been portrayed as a largely accepted fact, with an asterisk pointing out in small type that “some scientists disagree.” “Our work at OSU used to be pretty much the only asterisk they were talking about,” Ruben said. “But now there are more asterisks all the time. That’s part of the process of science.” That being the case, we can expect heated comeback arguments from those committed to the dominant view. Nevertheless, they will have to contend with the problem of evolving a fixed femur from dinosaurs who had a moving one – and in a shorter time than the fossil evidence allows.

The new work was published in the Journal of Morphology and was funded by the National Science Foundation, the article said. This story was also reported by PhysOrg and E! Science News. Time will tell if the other major science reporters pick it up.

— Creation-Evolution Headlines http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev200906.htm

And a very interesting (and very true) bottom line, courtesy of Creation-Evolution Headlines:

Sometimes the key to a story is in the asterisks. The OSU professors should be commended for going against a strong current of dogma in their field. Notice how many non-evidential factors producing that dogma were pointed out in the article: careers on the line, museum politics, romanticized notions, and old die-hard theories presented as fact.

Those are the same non-evidential factors running rampant throughout King Charles’ domain. He’s the one that needs to go flying off into the sunset – with velocity.

The OSU profs saved their skin, though, by still pinching their incense to Caesar, claiming that the mythical “common ancestor” is just a little further back in the record, and that birds were “evolving in parallel” along with the dinosaurs.

That’s all they can do – toss in a few more naturalistic, purposeless, chance miracles to keep the Bearded Buddha shrine operating. Now the museum workers are going to have to figure out what to do with all those feathers (01/21/2009, 07/09/2008, 06/13/2007, 02/08/2006). Maybe they can stick them on the wooly mammoths, as caricatured by Tom Weller in Science Made Stupid, a mandatory lesson on how evolutionary stories are propagated.

So now you see the real meal deal. Good luck, Darwinian Minions!

What point are you trying to make by posting quotemined drivel from 5th rate Creationist sites?

Even if these quotations are true, I would tell you that minority views and dissension from consensus aren’t always correct to begin with, but, then again, you are a person who prides in his inability to distinguish between a church and a science classroom.

FL said:

From now on, Glen Davidson may want to avoid mentioning bird-dinosaur evolution-beliefs WRT to Morton’s Demon, in light of current scientific developments.

So now you see the real meal deal. Good luck, Darwinian Minions!

So when are you going to learn some science, FL? Still unable to do so? Have you figured out yet why you are unable to learn anything? Mentally retarded? Terrified by what your dogma says is in store for you if you do?

FL

missed the point entirely

Guess how they came to this iconoclastic conclusion, FL?

They did the work.

They didn’t thump their bibles, or make up some shitty math.

They did the work.

Now we’ll see if the work stands up to peer review.

Maybe we should try that with your theory, FL…

Oh, that’s right, you don’t have one. Oh, well.

He has no point. Scientists disagree about something. They frequently disagree about stuff. It may even be correct. So what?

If new data is found, anyone sane modifies their theory. Except religion which gets it wrong at the start, never changes anything, and ends up killing people for pointing that out.

Not sure I buy this anyway. Ruben is always making noise to get noticed. It is one data point from one lab and there are many, many data points pointing to dinosaurs and birds having a direct descendant anscestor relation. The flow through lung, feathers, and bone morphology among them.

Discovery Raises New Doubts About Dinosaur-bird Links ScienceDaily (June 9, 2009) — Researchers at Oregon State University have made a fundamental new discovery about how birds breathe and have a lung capacity that allows for flight – and the finding means it’s unlikely that birds descended from any known theropod dinosaurs.

The conclusions add to other evolving evidence that may finally force many paleontologists to reconsider their long-held belief that modern birds are the direct descendants of ancient, meat-eating dinosaurs, OSU researchers say.

“It’s really kind of amazing that after centuries of studying birds and flight we still didn’t understand a basic aspect of bird biology,” said John Ruben, an OSU professor of zoology. “This discovery probably means that birds evolved on a parallel path alongside dinosaurs, starting that process before most dinosaur species even existed.”

These studies were just published in The Journal of Morphology, and were funded by the National Science Foundation.

It’s been known for decades that the femur, or thigh bone in birds is largely fixed and makes birds into “knee runners,” unlike virtually all other land animals, the OSU experts say. What was just discovered, however, is that it’s this fixed position of bird bones and musculature that keeps their air-sac lung from collapsing when the bird inhales.

Warm-blooded birds need about 20 times more oxygen than cold-blooded reptiles, and have evolved a unique lung structure that allows for a high rate of gas exchange and high activity level. Their unusual thigh complex is what helps support the lung and prevent its collapse.

“This is fundamental to bird physiology,” said Devon Quick, an OSU instructor of zoology who completed this work as part of her doctoral studies. “It’s really strange that no one realized this before. The position of the thigh bone and muscles in birds is critical to their lung function, which in turn is what gives them enough lung capacity for flight.”

However, every other animal that has walked on land, the scientists said, has a moveable thigh bone that is involved in their motion – including humans, elephants, dogs, lizards and – in the ancient past – dinosaurs.

The implication, the researchers said, is that birds almost certainly did not descend from theropod dinosaurs, such as tyrannosaurus or allosaurus. The findings add to a growing body of evidence in the past two decades that challenge some of the most widely-held beliefs about animal evolution.

“For one thing, birds are found earlier in the fossil record than the dinosaurs they are supposed to have descended from,” Ruben said. “That’s a pretty serious problem, and there are other inconsistencies with the bird-from-dinosaur theories.

“But one of the primary reasons many scientists kept pointing to birds as having descended from dinosaurs was similarities in their lungs,” Ruben said. “However, theropod dinosaurs had a moving femur and therefore could not have had a lung that worked like that in birds. Their abdominal air sac, if they had one, would have collapsed. That undercuts a critical piece of supporting evidence for the dinosaur-bird link.

“A velociraptor did not just sprout feathers at some point and fly off into the sunset,” Ruben said.

The newest findings, the researchers said, are more consistent with birds having evolved separately from dinosaurs and developing their own unique characteristics, including feathers, wings and a unique lung and locomotion system.

There are some similarities between birds and dinosaurs, and it is possible, they said, that birds and dinosaurs may have shared a common ancestor, such as the small, reptilian “thecodonts,” which may then have evolved on separate evolutionary paths into birds, crocodiles and dinosaurs. The lung structure and physiology of crocodiles, in fact, is much more similar to dinosaurs than it is to birds.

“We aren’t suggesting that dinosaurs and birds may not have had a common ancestor somewhere in the distant past,” Quick said. “That’s quite possible and is routinely found in evolution. It just seems pretty clear now that birds were evolving all along on their own and did not descend directly from the theropod dinosaurs, which lived many millions of years later.”

OSU research on avian biology and physiology was among the first in the nation to begin calling into question the dinosaur-bird link since the 1990s. Other findings have been made since then, at OSU and other institutions, which also raise doubts. But old theories die hard, Ruben said, especially when it comes to some of the most distinctive and romanticized animal species in world history.

“Frankly, there’s a lot of museum politics involved in this, a lot of careers committed to a particular point of view even if new scientific evidence raises questions,” Ruben said. In some museum displays, he said, the birds-descended-from-dinosaurs evolutionary theory has been portrayed as a largely accepted fact, with an asterisk pointing out in small type that “some scientists disagree.”

“Our work at OSU used to be pretty much the only asterisk they were talking about,” Ruben said. “But now there are more asterisks all the time. That’s part of the process of science.”

These Non Sequitur cartoons are repeats from June 6, 8 and 10 of 2005. Maybe older. I laughed again.

2005/06/06 2005/06/08 2005/06/10

FL said:

So now you see the real meal deal. Good luck, Darwinian Minions!

I haven’t looked into the matter yet, but I’m sure that was a highly reputable source, FL. Therefore you should have no trouble reading the Dinosaur-Bird article in the transitional fossils issue of E:EO discussed in yesterday’s thread:

http://www.springerlink.com/content[…]fulltext.pdf

and after examining all of that HARD EVIDENCE, being able to explain EXACTLY what type of finding it would take to overturn each and every piece of it. Then you can explain to us the details of the OSU study and how it has managed to do just that.

He’s baaa-aaack.

Hiya, FL. Had another brainstorm about the theology, yet? But as to the paleontology…

Here we have unimpeachable evidence for a whole related group of small bipedal running raptors that had feathers and developed forelimbs, in what is now Central Asia, going back to the mid-Jurassic. The feathers argue warm-bloodedness; the increased forelimbs and feathers together argue airbrakes to help the animal change direction at the run, certainly an advantage in a running predator - or in prey, for that matter.

Here we also have evidence for afforestation in the region, several periods of it. Many of the adaptions observed in these raptors - grasping claws, for example, and strong hindlimbs - are also useful in the trees. So are the air-grabbing forelimbs, which can be used to flatten a fall into a glide. The more, the better, seamlessly. Hence, quarter-wings, half-wings, and wings.

Smallish feathered animals with warm blood and gliding surfaces - wings, eventually. Hmm. Sounds like birds to me. And any small step that makes them more efficient as gliders from tree to tree, fits them better for that environment. Lighter weight, for example.

Ah, but it is not known when and how one feature of their anatomy evolved: their lung function and related structures. What does this mean?

Does it mean that we throw everything we do know away? Do we say, no, no, birds didn’t evolve after all? Of course not. Not only doesn’t that conclusion follow, but it is a surrender to ignorance; worse, it is to allow the false and fraudulent, but (alas) familiar argument from ignorance.

It is also to assume that the ignorance is permanent. But to say “it is not known” is to say “it is not known yet”, nothing more. Paleontologists in the field will go on working, looking for the evidence. They’ll probably find it, only to have creationists point out, in their characteristic discontented whine, that there are still gaps, so therefore Goddidit.

Thus, here’s FL, popping up to use the argument from ignorance yet again. As he would say himself, with his slightly jarring reproduction of cliches that he thinks demonstrates how current he is, “rinse and repeat”.

The “real meal deal”, as FL puts it, is that he prefers ignorance. Then again, why shouldn’t he? It is, after all, his only real ally.

Paleontologists in the field will go on working, looking for the evidence. They’ll probably find it.

Ahhhh, if only Christians possessed the same level of faith WRT God’s Word that you possess WRT evolution and evolutionists, Dave. We’d be ready for the Second Coming by dinnertime!

Oh, I went ahead and mopped up what was left of your (and one or two others’) objections on the theology thread. It was pretty easy. I still owe you an unpacking of your last two squibs, but I can always stick those on the Bathroom Wall if the theology thread drops off before I can get to it.

****

But lets be honest here on the bird-dinosaur gig. You guys just took a peer-review-published punch in the gut on that one this week. Not from creationists. From your own evolutionists at Oregon State.

And they even spoke of “Museum Politics” and such things, suggesting that you guys have got your OWN hands full of Morton’s Demon. (Bad thread topic timing, boys?)

And the best you can do is issue yet another Darwinian promissory note (some call ‘em “Unpaid Bills”) and promise that someday somehow the evo’s and paleo’s will get it right and get this one paid off too.

FL :)

Having read John Ruben’s paper, it doesn’t really have anything to say (nor does it say anything about) birds evolving from dinosaurs. What it does argue is that the bird lung system depends on a femur that is always held near the abdomen to act as an anchor to allow the abdominal air sacs to fill. He mentions in his paper that the fossil record indicates that this system was not present (or highly reduced) in Archaeopteryx and has developed in successive bird species. He simultaneously argues that this likely means that therapods did not share the current bird respiratory arrangements and were more likely like crocodiles in their lung structure. None of this indicates that birds didn’t (or couldn’t) descend from therapods, only that the lung system was a birds-only adaptation.

I do rather think that his use of Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus skeletons in his analysis may have thrown the data a touch, since they are a fairly distant therapod group compared to the Deinonychosaurs.

Now, as far as I’m aware, there are therapod fossils predating Archaeopteryx, so why birds are supposed to have existed before the dinosaurs they’re supposed to have evolved from (unless he means specific feathered species like Velociraptor), as he mentions in the Science Daily article I’m not sure.

I suspect the Science Daily article is either mangling what Ruben was saying, or he’s using this evidence to support other lines of evidence for a hypothesis that birds diverged from dinosaur ancestors much earlier than is currently accepted and that Science Daily isn’t mentioning those bits.

Oh, and for the interested, the DOI for the paper: 10.1002/jmor.10752

These days I just don’t have much patience to read either creationist drivel or the mostly bait-taking replies to it, so I apologize in advance if I missed it. But in all the above discussion was there any mention of evidence that birds and dinosaurs were products of 2 separate origin-of-life events? Particularly ones that occurred only thousands of years ago? Evidence that does not rely on the same old incredulity of evolution?

So, what exactly were you trying to say? That Rubens had a change of faith and thinks that the Bible is the alpha and omega of science and that evolution is now magically untrue?

Who knows. FL is just the guy that throws shit at the fan and laughs.

Robert Smith:

I suspect the Science Daily article is either mangling what Ruben was saying, or he’s using this evidence to support other lines of evidence for a hypothesis that birds diverged from dinosaur ancestors much earlier than is currently accepted and that Science Daily isn’t mentioning those bits.

Probably both are correct. Scientists are getting a little creative with headlines these days. The Eocene lemur monkey is humans missing link, birds evolved from something before dinosaurs and so on.

Ruben is also basing his idea on Longisquamous (sp?), an enigmatic and very old reptile that has structures that resemble feathers. This fossil has been known for years and experts have pored over it and come to various conclusions. They are feathers or just things that look superficially like feathers.

Ruben is basing his hypothesis on some slim reads. The latest paper is on knee runner birds and how the lung air sack system is anchored. Which he admits is a later evolutionary development. And Longisquamous which has been known for decades. This is classic, Extraordinary claims requires extraordinaroy proof. He doesn’t have the latter.

Whenever one sees long running and heated disputes in science, it says one thing. Need more data. Data is the one thing that settles these. More small theropod and bird fossils from the Jurassic and Triassic would be very imformative. These are also about as hard to find as it gets.

fnxtr said:

Who knows. FL is just the guy that throws shit at the fan and laughs.

Well, he clearly has never made any effort to understand any science or religion.

However he certainly appears to be working hard on finding ways to piss people off. Apparently this is the essence of his religion.

FL said:

From now on, Glen Davidson may want to avoid mentioning bird-dinosaur evolution-beliefs WRT to Morton’s Demon, in light of current scientific developments.

.…

So now you see the real meal deal. Good luck, Darwinian Minions!

Tardboy, even if birds didn’t evolve from dinosaurs, as they almost certainly did (embryology and fossils support the idea), my argument wouldn’t be substantially changed.

The “poor design” of Archaeopteryx is due to constraints upon the adaptation of a terrestrial animal for flight regardless, and design has absolutely no answer for why anyone or anything would design that way.

You’re like the person accused of killing nine men and a dog, who shows up at the court triumphantly holding the dog. You’re objections are as irrelevant as you are.

Glen Davidson

http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

I might also add that FL, like many of his kind, uses many words to say nothing of substance or as an attempt to hide the fact that he knows nothing. In fact (and I don’t believe I have seen any exceptions yet), the more words he uses, the more inane his screeds are.

I think that has something to do with how he has been trained in his “religion”.

Mike Elzinga said:

I might also add that FL, like many of his kind, uses many words to say nothing of substance or as an attempt to hide the fact that he knows nothing. In fact (and I don’t believe I have seen any exceptions yet), the more words he uses, the more inane his screeds are.

I think that has something to do with how he has been trained in his “religion”.

Indeed!

FL said: Paragraphs and paragraphs of mind-numbing doublespeak…

Translation:

FL said: La-La-La-La-La-La-♫…

FL said:

But lets be honest here on the bird-dinosaur gig. You guys just took a peer-review-published punch in the gut on that one this week. Not from creationists. From your own evolutionists at Oregon State.

Nobody took a punch in the gut and nobody thinks that any sort of reorganization of thinking would suddenly negate the entire theory of evolution – except illogical creationists like yourself. I still haven’t had a chance to look at the paper, but it won’t change the similarities between birds and theropods and it certainly won’t change the fact that birds evolved from reptiles.

Speaking of “unpaid bills,” FL, we’re all still waiting on your insightful evidence showing how the birth of Christ disproves the TOE and resolving the discrepant genealogies.

FL,

Perhaps you could wander over to the transitions thread and down load the paper on the dinosaur/bird transitions. Then perhaps you can explain to us why this new evidence is supposedly a problem. Come now, your chance to finally discuss some real science. Surely you must be interested.

Oh and while you are at it, perhaps you could also explain the developmental and genetic data as well. That would be nice.

DS said:

FL,

Perhaps you could wander over to the transitions thread and down load the paper on the dinosaur/bird transitions. Then perhaps you can explain to us why this new evidence is supposedly a problem. Come now, your chance to finally discuss some real science. Surely you must be interested.

Oh and while you are at it, perhaps you could also explain the developmental and genetic data as well. That would be nice.

Given his level of competence, do you really think FL can follow your directions to the previous thread, then to the original citation, then to the actual paper?

I don’t think so.

So, I’ve made it easy for him: FL, CLICK HERE!

Dave

But lets be honest here on the bird-dinosaur gig. You guys just took a peer-review-published punch in the gut on that one.

Not at all. Ruben is questioning the current bird origin theory, which is how science works. All science is provisional, subject to falsification at any time. That is how it progresses and why it is self correcting. Why we live in a Hi Tech century.

I don’t see that Ruben has much except 2 small reeds (not reads, thanks for not noticing).

1. He is basing part of his view on finding that birds are “knee runners” and the thigh bone is fixed and anchors the distal part of the lung air sack system. This is interesting but irrelevant. We already know that this evolved and is not present in primitive birds. It is a derived characteristic.

2. His smoking gun is supposedly Longisquamous. This is a well known very old reptile discovered decades ago. It has features that some like Ruben claim are feathers and others claim are structures that look superficially like feathers but aren’t.

He and everyone else really needs much more data from the Jurassic and Triassic to establish this. Given the difficulty of finding small animal fossils from this period, might take a while.

Speaking of interesting, the bird dino controversy is a lot more interesting than feeding the trolls. Might make a good PT post.

Mike Elzinga said:

I might also add that FL, like many of his kind, uses many words to say nothing of substance or as an attempt to hide the fact that he knows nothing. In fact (and I don’t believe I have seen any exceptions yet), the more words he uses, the more inane his screeds are.

I have found that FL regularly makes a claim, then presents evidence, and that evidence proves FL’s claim to be false. This does not seem to bother him/her: s/he is apparently one of those who can hold both a statement and its opposite without any cognitive dissidence.

Perhaps without any cognition.

Longisquama’s taxonomy is obscure but some place it as an archosaur i.e. a primitive dinosaur. So even if Ruben is correct, birds still are dinosaurs.

wikipedia:

Longisquama insignis is an extinct lizard-like reptile known only from one poorly preserved and incomplete fossil. It lived during the middle or late Triassic Period, 230-225 million years ago, in what is now Kyrgyzstan. Deleted

Longisquama means “long scales”; the specific name insignis refers to its small size. The Longisquama fossil is notable for a number of long structures that appear to grow from its skin. These structures have been interpreted differently by different researchers, and are at the center of a large and heavily publicized debate related to that of the origin of birds. To some, Longisquama is the gliding, cold-blooded, protobird predicted by Gerhard Heilmann’s hypothetical “Proavis” in 1927, and it proves that birds are not dinosaurs. To others, it is an ambiguous diapsid preserved on a group of fern fronds and has no bearing on the origin of birds.

Perhaps you could wander over to the transitions thread and down load the paper on the dinosaur/bird transitions. Then perhaps you can explain to us why this new evidence is supposedly a problem.

Actually, the problems—(including the museum politics that implicates evolutionists in the Morton’s Demon phenomenon, which is the thread topic)– were clearly pointed out in the science journal article itself. No need to have them re-explained to you, I’m sure.

If what they wrote is NOT a problem for you, if you’ve got solutions in hand already, then you should be submitting your refutation-article to that same science journal, and quickly.

I haven’t published anything about bird-dinosaur evolutionary claims, but the Oregon State researchers have. You need to address THEM, in peer-reviewed print, if you’ve got it all figured out already. I’m confident your refutation would pass the journal peer-review and get published quickly, because you know more about the bird-dinosaur situation than the Oregon State researchers do.

So, have at it! And let me know when your acceptance letter arrives so I can keep an eager eye out for your article!

FL

Dave Thomas said:

So, I’ve made it easy for him: FL, CLICK HERE!

Dave

Yeah, I gave him the link yesterday. We’re waiting FL. How exactly is this a problem? It sounds to me like the OSU authors’ position might be a little overstated in the media reports (like that’s never happened before) and there are all of those other data to set the context for this. I would bet that the J. Morph article is worded much more cautiously than the creationist blog you cite claims. And I don’t have to bet that you all certainly have no “alternative” explanations of bird origins. And no, FL, the canard concerning whether they were “poofed” into existence on “Creation Day 5” (Gen. 1) or “Creation Day 6” (Gen. 2) will not suddenly increase in scientific merit just because new questions have been raised by new findings in the real, scientific world.

FL said: I haven’t published anything about bird-dinosaur evolutionary claims, but the Oregon State researchers have.

I’ll say one thing for you FL. You capture the essential difference between “Creationist” and “Scientist” quite well.

FL, Do the OSU researchers you’re harping on agree with you that birds were specially created ~6k years ago?

No, they would think you’re a pitifully ignorant man who confuses ancient creation myths with science. The argument about bird orgins is about details. None of the scientists involved doubts that birds arose via descent with modification from some ancestor they shared with therapsids. The only question is how far back that common ancestor lived. The question will be resolved not by carefully rereading Genesis but rather by gathering and analyzing more paleontological, morphological, and genetical data.

But notice, “genetic” and “Genesis” both start with “GENE”!!!111!!!!one!!

Incredible how FL can (repeatedly) quote an article wherein all the scientists completely disagree with him while crowing and strutting as if they’ve confirmed his claims.

FL - those scientists all accept, and contribute to, the current mainstream theory of evolution in all its details (i.e., their views are 180 degrees opposite to yours).

The depth of self-delusion is comparable to that of a soccer player who goes running up the field to score an own goal and then jumps up and down grinning and hollering “In your FACE!” at the opposing players.

Abstract of Quick/Ruben paper

Although crocodilian lung and cardiovascular organs are markedly less specialized than the avian heart and lung air-sac system, all living archosaurs possess four-chambered hearts and heterogeneously vascularized, faveolar lungs. In birds, normal lung function requires extensive, dorsally situated nonvascularized abdominal air-sacs ventilated by an expansive sternum and specially hinged costal ribs. The thin walled and voluminous abdominal air-sacs are supported laterally and caudally to prevent inward (paradoxical) collapse during generation of negative (inhalatory) pressure: the synsacrum, posteriorly directed, laterally open pubes and specialized femoral-thigh complex provide requisite support and largely prevent inhalatory collapse. In comparison, theropod dinosaurs probably lacked similarly enlarged abdominal air-sacs, and skeleto-muscular modifications consistent with their ventilation. In the absence of enlarged, functional abdominal air-sacs, theropods were unlikely to have possessed a specialized bird-like, air-sac lung. The likely absence of bird-like pulmonary function in theropods is inconsistent with suggestions of cardiovascular anatomy more sophisticated than that of modern crocodilians. J. Morphol. 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

I’m in over my head here, but this abstract doesn’t seem to convey the triumphant “we’ve demolished the dinosaur-bird link” attitude the Science Daily article did.

That link didn’t seem to work. I’ll try again

Abstract

It’s at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/[…]783/abstract

I think that said that the line leading to birds developed functions that isn’t present in crocodilians, and probably wasn’t present in most therapods.

Henry

Robert Smith said:

Having read John Ruben’s paper, it doesn’t really have anything to say (nor does it say anything about) birds evolving from dinosaurs. What it does argue is that the bird lung system depends on a femur that is always held near the abdomen to act as an anchor to allow the abdominal air sacs to fill. He mentions in his paper that the fossil record indicates that this system was not present (or highly reduced) in Archaeopteryx and has developed in successive bird species. He simultaneously argues that this likely means that theropods did not share the current bird respiratory arrangements and were more likely like crocodiles in their lung structure. None of this indicates that birds didn’t (or couldn’t) descend from theropods, only that the lung system was a birds-only adaptation.

Once again, I jumped in with my two cents without doing my homework. Thanks, Robert, for sharing your take on the paper itself.

FL said:

Perhaps you could wander over to the transitions thread and down load the paper on the dinosaur/bird transitions. Then perhaps you can explain to us why this new evidence is supposedly a problem.

Actually, the problems—(including the museum politics that implicates evolutionists in the Morton’s Demon phenomenon, which is the thread topic)– were clearly pointed out in the science journal article itself. No need to have them re-explained to you, I’m sure.

If what they wrote is NOT a problem for you, if you’ve got solutions in hand already, then you should be submitting your refutation-article to that same science journal, and quickly.

I haven’t published anything about bird-dinosaur evolutionary claims, but the Oregon State researchers have. You need to address THEM, in peer-reviewed print, if you’ve got it all figured out already. I’m confident your refutation would pass the journal peer-review and get published quickly, because you know more about the bird-dinosaur situation than the Oregon State researchers do.

So, have at it! And let me know when your acceptance letter arrives so I can keep an eager eye out for your article!

FL

This idiot wears his stupidity with such snarky pride that it suggests strongly that there is nothing but pure malicious hatred behind his taunting. Some “Christian” this one; little different from someone who takes it upon himself to go out and gun down innocent people because reality doesn’t match up with his self-contained and air-tight world view.

He understands absolutely nothing about scientific facts, theories or processes. He thinks the processes taking place in the crucible of science are evidence that scientists are in complete disarray.

Put a scientist in the crucible of peer review and what emerges is a better scientist and better science. Expose an ID/creationist to even a hint of that crucible and what emerges is a whining child with a persecution complex.

Expose FL to any inconsistencies in his sectarian dogma, and what emerges from him is self-righteous babble that shows he doesn’t understand religion either. Obviously there are no rigorous learning curves in his “religion” that improve the character of anyone who gets taken in by its dogma. Instead, it appears to be entirely intellectual junk food that produces fat and flatulent followers who can do nothing but seek out opportunities to crap their hatred onto everyone else.

So it is no wonder that FL is incapable of understanding any concept or process that stretches and challenges individuals to become better life-long learners, better communicators of hard-won knowledge and wisdom, and generally all-round better human beings.

Dean Wentworth said:

Robert Smith said:

Having read John Ruben’s paper, it doesn’t really have anything to say (nor does it say anything about) birds evolving from dinosaurs. What it does argue is that the bird lung system depends on a femur that is always held near the abdomen to act as an anchor to allow the abdominal air sacs to fill. He mentions in his paper that the fossil record indicates that this system was not present (or highly reduced) in Archaeopteryx and has developed in successive bird species. He simultaneously argues that this likely means that theropods did not share the current bird respiratory arrangements and were more likely like crocodiles in their lung structure. None of this indicates that birds didn’t (or couldn’t) descend from theropods, only that the lung system was a birds-only adaptation.

Once again, I jumped in with my two cents without doing my homework. Thanks, Robert, for sharing your take on the paper itself.

Wow. That’s not even close to a controversy. And what do you know? FL hasn’t peeped since you guys presented the abstract and Robert’s summary of the paper.

Stanton said:

So, what exactly were you trying to say? That Rubens had a change of faith and thinks that the Bible is the alpha and omega of science and that evolution is now magically untrue?

No, FL is trying to say:

Science + Disagreement = Creationism is Correct

Stuart Weinstein said:

Stanton said:

So, what exactly were you trying to say? That Rubens had a change of faith and thinks that the Bible is the alpha and omega of science and that evolution is now magically untrue?

No, FL is trying to say:

Science + Disagreement = Creationism is Correct

Same thing.

KP said:

Wow. That’s not even close to a controversy. And what do you know? FL hasn’t peeped since you guys presented the abstract and Robert’s summary of the paper.

Well, now that FL has been outed, once again, as the typical Liar and Slanderer for Jesus, he’s now biding his time for a new thread to infest until he’s outed again.

Cognitive Dissonance, Confirmation Bias, Infinite Regress, I can’t explain it! So, it must be GOD, redux.

Just in case anyone’s interested, I was checking up on that Science Daily article and stumbled on this (Science Daily Nov. 7, 2007):

Why Dinosaurs Had “Fowl” Breath

It led to a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Avian-like breathing mechanics in maniraptoran dinosaurs (abstract)

In 1868 Thomas Huxley first proposed that dinosaurs were the direct ancestors of birds and subsequent analyses have identified a suite of ‘avian’ characteristics in theropod dinosaurs. Ossified uncinate processes are found in most species of extant birds and also occur in extinct non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs. Their presence in these dinosaurs represents another morphological character linking them to Aves, and further supports the presence of an avian-like air-sac respiratory system in theropod dinosaurs, prior to the evolution of flight. Here we report a phylogenetic analysis of the presence of uncinate processes in Aves and non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs indicating that these were homologous structures. Furthermore, recent work on Canada geese has demonstrated that uncinate processes are integral to the mechanics of avian ventilation, facilitating both inspiration and expiration. In extant birds, uncinate processes function to increase the mechanical advantage for movements of the ribs and sternum during respiration. Our study presents a mechanism whereby uncinate processes, in conjunction with lateral and ventral movements of the sternum and gastral basket, affected avian-like breathing mechanics in extinct non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs.

It’s also written about here.

Dinosaurs breathed like penguins

Personally, I liked this article better than the Science Daily one.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dave Thomas published on June 8, 2009 11:06 AM.

Transitions, transitions, transitions was the previous entry in this blog.

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