Your Inner Fish – tomorrow on PBS

| 69 Comments

It’s a 3-part series with Neil Shubin, the paleontologist who discovered Tiktaalik. The series begins tomorrow, Wednesday, April 9, at 10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. You can see a preview here.

Rocky Mountain PBS says about the series

Anatomist and paleontologist Neil Shubin sees evidence of our ancient past in our anatomy and in our DNA. Join him as he journeys to meet our ancient animal ancestors, while revealing the impact those animals have had on our bodies

and they have an interactive webpage here.

The second and third episodes are called “Your Inner Reptile” and “Your Inner Monkey.”

Update, April 9: An AP release yesterday afternoon notes that PBS will also premiere a 3-part Nova series tonight. Tonight’s episode: “Inside Animal Minds.” These 2 series, along with Nature, exemplify PBS’s new “Think Wednesday” schedule, which AP characterizes as “a three-hour prime-time block of nature, science and technology programs” anchored by Nature and Nova.

69 Comments

Shubin’s book is a good read, and I recommend it booth for its content and its style. Looking forward to the mini-series.

I can’t wait to see the Ham reaction to this series. I bet he thinks it’s pure evil, just like the Noah movie. Meanwhile, he can’t do anything to stop the entire country from seeing the truth. And as we all know, the truth will set you free.

This is going to be wonderful; Neil Shubin is a great presenter and I loved the book.

In general, these are dark times for creationists:

  • We are in the middle of the “Cosmos” series
  • The “Your Inner Fish” series is starting;
  • Ken Miller, much hated by the ID creationists, has been honored with the Laetare award by Notre Dame.

It’s enough to drive a creationist to drink!

Thank you for posting this. I love the book. I have scheduled the series to record.

Ah dint come from no (HIC!) fish! (HIC!)

The first episode was terrific. I think I am going to show this to all my classes. A wonderful example of the intersection of paleontology, anatomy, development, genetics and evolution. Some of our resident trolls could learn a thing or two from this episode. The rest of the series promises to be just as good.

I agree, it was terrific

I missed Nature, but I thought that Nova was excellent too.

Some of our resident trolls could learn a thing or two from this episode.

Wishful thinking!

I too watched it. This is what science shows should be like. It is at the level of a general audience, explains things carefully, but it is not oversimplified. Also I thought every bit was ACCURATE, which is more than I can say for other science shows like Cosmos (although I am enjoying that too). It looks like Neil Shubin had a hand in the narration, which of course makes sense since he did almost all the talking.

Excellent back to back programs.…I have to rethink using ‘birdbrain’ as a putdown. Those parrots opening the locks was simply amazing.

Sad to say it’s an exclusive region so cannot view it in England. I would have liked to see them.

I agree with all the comments. I thought the program was brilliant.

And although the new Cosmos is still a great experience, it was so much better to watch a program like this without commercials every seven minutes.

With creationism certainly one implicit target of this program, it was good to hear the history of homology briefly explained. Owen noticed a then unexplained phenomenon, which waited for the evolutionary explanation. That the homologies exist throughout vertebrates was a great point, with the example of bird wings developing from the same ancestral bones more or less destroying any “common design” notion. Essentially bird wings end up with quite a different “design,” in fact, but begin with the same resources, Tiktaalik’s “hand,” which is also the lobe-finned fishes’ fin.

Evolution has no choice but to do so. Why any intelligence would do so cannot be explained. Babble “insrutable” all you want, only one explanation actually explains.

Glen Davidson

Yep, I felt it really drives home the point that there are limitations to the “designs” in life that simply wouldn’t be there if each “design” was independently created. If you can essentially start from scratch every time, why make everything look almost identical and operate on the same underlying framework? That leads to a lot of inefficiencies in the final “design.”

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

With creationism certainly one implicit target of this program, it was good to hear the history of homology briefly explained. Owen noticed a then unexplained phenomenon, which waited for the evolutionary explanation. That the homologies exist throughout vertebrates was a great point, with the example of bird wings developing from the same ancestral bones more or less destroying any “common design” notion. Essentially bird wings end up with quite a different “design,” in fact, but begin with the same resources, Tiktaalik’s “hand,” which is also the lobe-finned fishes’ fin.

Evolution has no choice but to do so. Why any intelligence would do so cannot be explained. Babble “insrutable” all you want, only one explanation actually explains.

Glen Davidson

And the commonalities are not restricted to the morphological features either. Shubin demonstrated how the basic molecular mechanisms of development are also conserved across evolutionary time. He also showed how the developmental pathways were tweaked in order to produce the diversity of vertebrate body types we observe today. These concepts were carefully explained so that anyone could understand them. Now what excuse does anyone have to deny this?

ksplawn said:

Yep, I felt it really drives home the point that there are limitations to the “designs” in life that simply wouldn’t be there if each “design” was independently created. If you can essentially start from scratch every time, why make everything look almost identical and operate on the same underlying framework? That leads to a lot of inefficiencies in the final “design.”

However, the advocates of ID would reply that “design” does not mean “perfect design”. In effect, they would argue that the Designers could things this way, and our not knowing why is not a reason to reject it.

Myself, I prefer to handle the argument this way: Common descent with modification accounts for homologies. But ID does not account for them. Therefore, ID is not an alternative to evolution. Even if ID is true, it is not a (scientific) theory. Something is lacking from ID before it can be counted as a “peer” to evolution: it must attempt to explain at least some of the things that evolution explains.

Evolution has no choice but to do so. Why any intelligence would do so cannot be explained. Babble “insrutable” all you want, only one explanation actually explains.

If God puts so much time and effort into making it appear that evolution is true, shouldn’t creationists just go along with the deception?

TomS said:

ksplawn said:

Yep, I felt it really drives home the point that there are limitations to the “designs” in life that simply wouldn’t be there if each “design” was independently created. If you can essentially start from scratch every time, why make everything look almost identical and operate on the same underlying framework? That leads to a lot of inefficiencies in the final “design.”

However, the advocates of ID would reply that “design” does not mean “perfect design”. In effect, they would argue that the Designers could things this way, and our not knowing why is not a reason to reject it.

Myself, I prefer to handle the argument this way: Common descent with modification accounts for homologies. But ID does not account for them. Therefore, ID is not an alternative to evolution. Even if ID is true, it is not a (scientific) theory. Something is lacking from ID before it can be counted as a “peer” to evolution: it must attempt to explain at least some of the things that evolution explains.

Sure, they could say that. But a wise man once said that unintelligent design doesn’t get you anywhere. Once again, I was right. :)

The point is that this is the pattern we MUST see if descent with modification is true. It is NOT the pattern you would expect with any type of “intelligent” design. This is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer.

DS said:

Now what excuse does anyone have to deny this?

A: It’s all a LIE by atheist scientists!

B: SATAN just makes it look that way!

C: It ain’t what the Bible says!

D: Common Design!

E: Adolph Hitler!

Just Bob said:

DS said:

Now what excuse does anyone have to deny this?

A: It’s all a LIE by atheist scientists!

B: SATAN just makes it look that way!

C: It ain’t what the Bible says!

D: Common Design!

E: Adolph Hitler!

A. Most scientists aren’t atheists, besides this is irrelevant, they all agree on the basics anyway.

B. Satan might have made it look that way, but he obviously did it with god’s permission so you better go along with it.

C. The bible does not state the evolution did not happen. Deal with it already.

D. As demonstrated previously, common design is definitely not the answer her. Do try to pay attention.

E. Grocho Marx! (So there).

Where can a non-American view this?

DS said: The point is that this is the pattern we MUST see if descent with modification is true. It is NOT the pattern you would expect with any type of “intelligent” design. This is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer.

What pattern would one expect with intelligent design?

Paisley? Klein bottle? Penrose triangle?

My point being that with intelligent design, anything is possible. Even the impossible.

If the intelligent designers of life wanted to have things to look like - exactly like - common descent with modification over billions of years, then they could do no better than to choose the pattern of life on Earth.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

The point is not that there are similarities - not only that there are similarities. The point is that there is a particular pattern to the similarities. The “nested hierarchies” of similarities known as the “tree of life”. This is a pattern of a great deal of complicated similarities. If you think that the human eye is complicated, think of more complicated are all the eyes of all the vertebrates. Moreover, we can predict, for many different traits, what we will find when we took at a new trait, or at a new living thing (or a previously unknown fossil). One might call that “specified”.

So, there there is this mass of complex, specified data. It is not satisfying to say that this by pure chance. So to look for a reason for this. The only explanations that anyone has ever thought of are ones involving common descent with modification.

You bring up the concept of common design. That does might account for a certain number of commonalities between living types, but it does not attempt account for the differences - much less for the pattern of similarities and differences.

But let’s just think a while about how well common design accounts for just one of the similarities. The similarity between the human body and that of chimps and other apes. How would common design account for that? Is it because there are some constraints on the common designer(s), something about the material that they were given to work with, something about the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology that they had to obey? Or was it that the designer(s) had similar goals in mind when they designed human, chimps, and other apes?

what else would a creator be expected to do? How should a thinking creator have made his INDEPENDENTLY created biology?

Well, for one thing, a designer could DESIGN human testicles so they are outside the body from the beginning and don’t have to descend; that way you wouldn’t be vulnerable to hernias. Or better yet, design sperm that tolerate heat; the testicles wouldn’t need to descend at all. That would prevent a lot of injuries. The whole point of the show is that evolution from fish best explains quirks in our anatomy. (hiccup!)

Robert Byers said:

As recommended i watched it. In short it makes the same case as always. that looking alike in anatomy equals common descent ONLY. In stresses how we, all biology, all have such like skeletons. It stresses this skeleton is simply changed for all creatures from a original fish skeleton etc. Why wouldn’t we have the same skeleton? Or rather why wouldn’t a creator give a basic blueprint plan to all biology? what else would a creator be expected to do? How should a thinking creator have made his INDEPENDENTLY created biology? Everything have a different order to itas physical structure? what would you do? I would make everything the same at basic levels just like in the physics of the universe. biology by its likeness inside and out screams somebody had a basic PLAN. Its not surprising to find everything has eyeballs!! Yet once again the even more important point is about scientific evidence. No evidence , at all, was shown for a single fact claimed in the show for common descent. It was all lines of reasoning from the dominating presumption, without allowance for other options, that like biology equals like (common) descent. Same with the fetus stuff. No evidence except the concept of likeness is presented for common descent with fish. Its not true and the reasoning is fishy!!

Sorry, no. You completely missed the point. Unless of course you can explain the expression of sonic hedge hog.? Thought not. You lose.

Marilyn said:

Sad to say it’s an exclusive region so cannot view it in England. I would have liked to see them.

Marilyn and icstuff, you need to hide where you are by using a proxy server or a VPN. Hotspotshield (http://www.hotspotshield.com/) creates a VPN terminating in the US that works okay on their 3-day trial version, even if the bandwidth limits can make it a bit jerky at times. This packages does revert to their standard free version, which may still be good enough. Beware that there are a lot of pop-up invitations to buy the full product though.

Thank you Dave

I see the ID people are now crying for equal time on PBS…

icstuff said:

Thank you Dave

I see the ID people are now crying for equal time on PBS…

Sure, no problem. Just as soon as they make a discovery just as spectacular as Tiktalik or the sonic hedge hog experiments. I’m sure that their “research labs” are just pumping out discoveries every day. I can’t wait to see them! Some film footage of them digging in the ground for fossils would be super, along with some ectopic gene expression studies. Maybe they could show us the blueprints the designer drew up.

harold said: Thus a critical point about ID is that its advocates literally cannot make positive claims. They can only carp about the evidence for evolution.

It is critical to understand and demonstrate this weakness of ID every time it rears its head.

100% agreed.

Let me never lose sight of that.

If we are to reply at the BW, may we ask you to move FL’s posts there?

I usually do so, except for a brief moratorium during the Nye-Ham “debate,” but all too often you or someone else beats me to the punch. Please be patient.

TomS said:

harold said: Thus a critical point about ID is that its advocates literally cannot make positive claims. They can only carp about the evidence for evolution.

It is critical to understand and demonstrate this weakness of ID every time it rears its head.

100% agreed.

Let me never lose sight of that.

I will try not to :).

Matt Young said:

If we are to reply at the BW, may we ask you to move FL’s posts there?

I usually do so, except for a brief moratorium during the Nye-Ham “debate,” but all too often you or someone else beats me to the punch. Please be patient.

I did not know that a reply to a comment would inhibit its removal to the BW.

I did not know that a reply to a comment would inhibit its removal to the BW.

I guess it doesn’t exactly, but then sometimes there are “dangling” comments that appear to have no antecedent.

Episode two was great. Neil described how fossils and development both demonstrate how our inner ear bones were co-opted from jaw bones of reptiles. Creationists have no explanation for any of this evidence. It certainly isn’t intelligent design. It only makes sense in the light of evolution.

Next up, your inner monkey. The creationists will just hate it, but once again, they won’t have any answers.

I don’t see why evangelicals don’t just embrace these things: Acknowledging your inner monkey (or reptile, or fish) could be seen as just another form of confessing that you’re a sinner.

Just Bob said:

I don’t see why evangelicals don’t just embrace these things: Acknowledging your inner monkey (or reptile, or fish) could be seen as just another form of confessing that you’re a sinner.

“Intelligent Design” says that those similarities are due to purposeful decisions on the “Intelligent Designers” responsible. (Either that, or the designers were constrained by the materials they were given to work with and the laws of nature; or that the similarities are just a result of pure chance.)

If there is a purpose to those designs, shouldn’t we honor our designers’ purposes and act like animals (most of all like chimps and other apes)?

Naturalistic evolution says that those similarities are merely due to common ancestry, with no consequences for how we ought to behave. (Just because my great-uncle was a horse thief, that does not influence my choice of making of a living.)

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

It stresses this skeleton is simply changed for all creatures from a original fish skeleton etc. Why wouldn’t we have the same skeleton?

I have to agree and say that this seems to be the first retort of many who believe in “creation science”. For example many will ask that if we descended from apes then how is it possible that there are still apes today. To me this points to a gap in the general understanding of evoltuion. The theory of evolution simply states that organisms evolve from a common ancestor. It would seem that people are very quick to dismiss any opinions that they perceive to be against their religion without even considering the evidence provided.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on April 8, 2014 6:11 PM.

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