Transitional Species (Looking in the Wrong Place)

Transitional Species (Looking in the Wrong Place) July 27, 2016

Transitional Species

It is fascinating how much misunderstanding there is about transitional species, in particular among those who criticize science without knowing what they are talking about. If someone you know doesn’t understand this point, please share the above explanation with them!

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  • Matthew Funke

    And what’s doubly curious is when they plagiarize a tree like this showing (they claim) the descent of the dog “kind” and then claim that evolution can’t be true because “a dog never gave birth to a non-dog”. (I’m looking at you, Ken Ham.)

    It seems to me that where the lay creationist gets confused is a general unwillingness to look at the claims and evidence for evolution thoroughly, coupled with things like that “Ascent of Man” graphic that might be seen to show humans arising from extant ape species and some missing links.

  • arcseconds

    I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a creationist who actually demonstrated an understanding of evolution that is like to be able to expect from a grade 10 science class. Some seem to think it’s a totally unconstrained theory where anything can magically change into anything else. And they don’t seem to have any desire to improve their understanding, so I fear showing them diagrams will achieve little.

  • Brian

    As a biologist the 3 lethal flaws in TOE, acknowledged by the experts, is 1. the massive gulf between nonlife & ‘simple’ life (the more biochemistry we learn the wider the gulf, so chemical evolution has be accepted on faith); 2. our inability to evolve anything in the lab or farm even after 30 000 generations of hot house selection eg E.coli (apart from slitting ‘species’ into subsets); and 3. lack of the zillions of intermediate forms expected, in any part of the tree.
    There’s evidence that can be used to support evolution but much of the hoo-ha in discussions revolves around natural selection which is accepted by everyone. But natural selection isn’t evolution. It kills off what’s not working.
    Fossils show extinction.

    • Given that all three of your main points are false (or in the case of the question of abiogenesis, irrelevant to biological evolution), and I know this even thought I am not a biologist myself, makes me wonder in what sense if any you are a biologist. Can you provide a link to your CV online, perhaps?

      I would encourage you to read some of the many posts on this blog that have addressed these issues, as well as doing further reading elsewhere. This link may help get you started:

      • Brian

        You may be able to find me on Linked in but I don’t care if you believe me. I do keep up-to-date with evolutionary theory so I can fairly represent it to my students.
        Of course abiogenesis (chemical evolution) is very relevant, crucial fail. Evolution fails before it can take even 1 step & a real disaster for the atheist. What we know about the biochemistry is too complex for chance to have a chance. That’s the hard truth.
        My other 2 points still stand. As a biologist I just can’t get around the fact that biological evolution just doesn’t work in the field – 30 000 generations of E coli & still E coli! There’s just not a mechanism or enough time to move the genome far enough. TOE doesn’t have a miracle generator. Sorry. Wishing it to be true doesn’t make it true.

        • Brian

          As a long time lay pastor too I am also well aware that it is very difficult to get evolution into the biblical text. I guess you know that.
          But I understand that not everyone can accept that.

        • I don’t see a link to your LinkedIn profile, although I was thinking of an actual professional webpage connected with your work. Anyone can make a LinkedIn page and claim whatever they wish on it. Is this you?

          You really should inform yourself about the e coli experiments that have been done (you may recall Michael Behe’s claims at the Dover trial and the falsification thereof). And pretending this is about atheism is nonsense. Francis Collins, who directed the human genome project, is not an atheist. Nor am I. And the attempt to distract from evolution and make the conversation about abiogenesis doesn’t work either. Whether God brought a universe into existence that is capable of producing life, or brought life into existence capable of evolving, or created each individual species, is a matter to be settled empirically by scientific investigation, and has nothing whatsoever to do with atheism.

        • Phil Ledgerwood

          It doesn’t sound like you’re particularly current with evolutionary theory at all. I’m not a biologist of any sort, and even I know what you’re saying is ignorant, especially with regards to the Lenski experiments.

          I kind of feel for your students. They deserve an actual science education.