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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  09:53:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude

quote:
They are random wheater patterns, rocks banging togather at random, and preasure built up. They, just like random mutations, destroy rather then create.


The sheer ignorance of your statements is mindboggling.



Pretty much my thoughts.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  10:30:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Bill:
They are random wheater patterns, rocks banging togather at random, and preasure built up. They, just like random mutations, destroy rather then create.

Gee whiz. So maybe we should drop Hawaii as a state since it really isn't there, according to Bill's logic.

Bill, it's early here and Saturday and I have the time to take a stab at the reason thing that amuses you so. You are of course wrong about Tommy's about filthy's intended use of the word reason. And I assure you, you are the only person on this thread who doesn't get what they meant.

Natural selection works. It took scientists (CD) to figure out the reason it works. While it may be a completely random process, the reason it works is because once in a while a random mutation will give a species an edge over its competition for survival. A long thin beak that can get to tree grubs will work better for a birds survival if there are changes in the eco-system and there are now a lot of tree grubs to be had. The poor birds with short beaks will not have access to the new food supply and if the food supply diminishes that they do have the equipment to take advantage of, they will be at a distinct disadvantage in that environment for survival. An accident of mutation gave rise to the long thin beaked birds. But that accident is the reason those birds will have the advantage when tree grubs become the main food supply. That beak will be selected for and that bird will be the fittest in that particular ecosystem for continuing survival. We can now say that the mutation that gave that bird the advantage is the reason why it out survived the competitition at that place at that time. As it turned out, the mutation in the code that created this monster among the birds of that environment was beneficial if a taste for tree grubs was essential to its success as a species. Serendipity. (Edited to add: This is of course a very slow process in a changing environment. The long thin beaks evolved slowly. Even punctuated equilibrium is a slow process in a geological timeframe. It just isn't a steady process.) It is we who see the reason natural selection works. Natural selection does not see anything at all. A mutation is bad for survival, changes nothing or is beneficial to the survival of a species. And that is that.

Now Bill, here is the thing. Given enough time and enough of these small changes in the animals ability to adapt through random mutations and, as luck would have it, eventually you get a new species. The progression to a new species is dependent on the previous species ability to survive long enough to evolve by way of change through random mutation because of the need for equipment to take advantage of a changing environment. That process requires no thought. The only requirement is that from time to time an adaptation by way of luck of the random mutation draw (filthy's good analogy) will continue the process of evolution from one species to another. Survival is key. So survival which often depends on very subtle changes in the physiology of the animal in a changing environment will eventually bring the animal to a cutoff point. We do the classifying. A bird with many dino features may be classified as a bird, but we recognize the baggage it carried over from previous changes. We can see the dino in the bird. Or a dinosaur may have what we have come to recognize as bird like features, but is still on the dino side of classification.

Bill, there is no such classification as transitional. It's a line that is crossed that compells us to classify the animal as one thing or another. And we created the line. All animals are transitional. If that were

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  10:40:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Scott...
quote:
Originally posted by me...

One more time, nobody with any grasp of the process of evolution has ever claimed that mutations were a conscious act or came about for some predetermined reason.
(bill) Ummm, the snake guy did and so did Tommy Huxley.
No they didn't. One more time, the fact that you can't effectively understand what you read does not change reality, other than perhaps that which exists only within your own personal delusion. Go take a remedial reading course at your local high school or community college. It'll do you a world of good. Your reading skills are radically sub-par.

We've established beyond any doubt that you can't accept the truth and reality of the process of evolution and how it influences life on Earth. I'll ask the question again, you know, that nagging little question that seems to bother you so much you've been simply pretending it doesn't exist. If evolution hasn't been the process that brought life to its current form, what would you suggest is the process responsible for bringing about the state of life on Earth as we know it today?
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Bill scott
SFN Addict

USA
2103 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  11:52:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Bill scott a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by dv82matt

quote:
Originally posted by Bill scott

quote:
Originally posted by dv82matt
Since earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanoes (EH&V) are caused but not conscious this means that the statement "It requires cognition, intelligence or consciousness to have a cause." or equivalently "It requires reason to have a reason." which you made, is false.
(bill) wrong!
Then you must believe that the statement, "It requires cognition, intelligence or consciousness to have a cause." is true. Yet you refuse to defend it. I will accept this as an admission from you that you do not have a valid argument.

I suspect that the use of the word "reason" confuses you, so just to make it crystal clear, evolution is not conscious, but it is caused.




Then you must believe that the statement, "It requires cognition, intelligence or consciousness to have a cause." is true. Yet you refuse to defend it.

(bill) No I don't. The “cause” of a hurricane is by random weather patterns. You can also say the “reason” for a hurricane is random weather currents. Both mean the same thing and the fact remains the hurricane forms under random processes and is guided by random processes and it finally out come is a result of random process. However this was not the context I used to claim that you have to have reason to have a reason. Tommy and Snake Guy both tried to convince that random mutations programmed for a reason. Both gave me ultimate survival as this reason. In order to come to this reason (survival) NS would have to poses the attributes of forethought, logic, reason, predetermination etc... etc… in order to come up with a reason (survival of species) for its programming. It would have to take infinite amounts of data into consideration while programming each creature with its optimal life span in concert with all other life forms as well natural resources available as well as un natural death rate etc… etc…. When SG and Tommy say that NS “programs” (all programs need a programmer) for a “reason” they implied predetermination and all of the attributes I listed to RM. A logical in fallacy on high. Therefore under the context that SG and Tommy put forth my statement “to have a reason requires reason” is perfectly valid statement and stands as is. When Tommy and SG list a reason for the programming of random mutations they have unwisely made the claim that random mutations program with pre-thought and reason. Obviously a grave error.




I will accept this as an admission from you that you do not have a valid argument.
(bill) see above



I suspect that the use of the word "reason" confuses you, so just to make it crystal clear, evolution is not conscious, but it is caused.
(bill) A text out of context becomes a pretext for a proof text. I hope you can follow along.


"Lets get one thing clear, Bill. Science does make some assumptions." -perrodetokio-

"In the end as skeptics we must realize that there is no real knowledge, there is only what is most reasonable to believe." -Coelacanth-

The fact that humans do science is what causes errors in science. -Dave W.-

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Bill scott
SFN Addict

USA
2103 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  11:55:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Bill scott a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy

quote:
Originally posted by Bill scott

quote:
Originally posted by filthy

Wow! I get called out (the life of a wildlife rehabilitater can be interesting sometimes) and this thread takes off like a big-assed bird.

Ok, lets cut it to the quick: if there were no beneficial mutations, there would be no life on earth. Period.



Now is that a bold and brash statement, or what?

Dig it: the enviornment and the habital niches within it have never been constant in the long term, and have never adapted themselves to the needs of any species. The species must adapt to them. Therefore beneficial mutations are required to keep the species healthy. And sometimes those mutations take the species off in new, and indeed often strange directions, as is happening with the marine iguana even as we speak.


For another excellent example, look up the grasshopper mouse. And of course, the aforementioned nylon bug. And let us not forget the theropods; those marvels of the Devonian that were the very distant ancestors of all mammals.

Mutations are random. It's rather like poker -- you've got to play or fold the hand you're dealt. The draw or the flop might give you a winning hand or it might not. But either way, the deck really doesn't care nor does it even know who is holding which cards.

Kent Hovind is a fraud and a charlaton of the finest water, and another piece of evidence that evolution doesn't always get it right.









Ok, lets cut it to the quick: if there were no beneficial mutations, there would be no life on earth. Period.

(bill) Wrong. If left to thier own RM would be the end of life on earth.



Now is that a bold and brash statement, or what?

(bill) A typical macro TOE fallacy.




Dig it: the enviornment and the habital niches within it have never been constant in the long term, and have never adapted themselves to the needs of any species. The species must adapt to them. Therefore beneficial mutations are required to keep the species healthy. And sometimes those mutations take the species off in new, and indeed often strange directions, as is happening with the marine iguana even as we speak.

(bill) It's a lizzard (slang). It always was a lizard, it's is still a lizard and it will always be a lizard.


For another excellent example, look up the grasshopper mouse. And of course, the aforementioned nylon bug. And let us not forget the theropods; those marvels of the Devonian that were the very distant ancestors of all mammals.

(bill) yawn.




Mutations are random. It's rather like poker -- you've got to play or fold the hand you're dealt.

(bill) Wrong! It is a human using reason and logic to deside it he shall throw them or hold them! Know when to walk away and know when to run. BTW never count your $ when your sittin at the table... NOT BLIND CHANCE. Poker is combo of skill/reason/tactic mixed with sheer luck of the draw, mutations are not. They are not at all alike. There is no logic using, reasoning agent involved in NS RM, there is in poker.


The draw or the flop might give you a winning hand or it might not.
(bill) The draw will not give you a hill of beans unless a intelagent agent put the hand togather to begin with.



But either way, the deck really doesn't care nor does it even know who is holding which cards.

(bill) The deck no. The other rational thinking beings across the table from you using reason and logic to try and defeat you, yes it matters to them very much so.

Kent Hovind is a fraud and a charlaton of the finest water, and another piece of evidence that evolution doesn't always get it right.


(bill) OK your KH or DD fetish is border line physo/serial.

regards Bill

You have done nothing but make statements with exactly no supporting evidence. This is because you have none and don't know where to look for it. I will not bother to demand reference because I know that such does not exist.

It is not only Hovind; there are a large number of other serial, religious liars that have attracted my vitriolic attentions. If you had opened the link I provided for the mendatious scumbag, which I am sure that you did not, you would understand the reasons.

So, another question, if I may: do you support Intelligent Design Conjecture, and if so, why?

Oh, and here's another: do you believe that the London Hammer is evidence for a young earth?

And yet again: Logical Fallicies. A study of these sites might assist you in making an coherent argument.

Never the less, the deck controls the game and species fit into their niches as best they can. Not a bad metaphor, that.





Never the less, the deck controls the game and species fit into their niches as best they can. Not a bad metaphor, that.

(bill) without the logic and reason from the poker players there would not even be a game to begin with.




"Lets get one thing clear, Bill. Science does make some assumptions." -perrodetokio-

"In the end as skeptics we must realize that there is no real knowledge, there is only what is most reasonable to believe." -Coelacanth-

The fact that humans do science is what causes errors in science. -Dave W.-

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  12:15:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Bill:
NS would have to poses the attributes of forethought, logic, reason, predetermination etc... etc… in order to come up with a reason (survival of species) for its programming.

Nonsense. It just happens that the survival of a species is one of the results of some random mutations. And that just happens to drive evolution. It is just the way it is. No plan is required. It just happens. If we were not here, and no other life forms were here, nature wouldn't care. And no one here has even remotely suggested otherwise…

Why can't you get this?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  13:48:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
(bill) without the logic and reason from the poker players there would not even be a game to begin with.


Logic and reason happen amongst the players as a result of the deal, but they are not required. With the deal, the deck controls the game and any honest deck is random. I can't believe that it is possible to fail to grasp so simple a concept.

Now, do you support Intelligent Design Conjecture and if so, why?

If evolution is false and Darwin is full of shit, how do you explain the origin of species -- remembering that almost all speciation occured long after the formation of the earth?

And whilst we're about it, riddle me this: if the oldest known fossils in the world, 3.8 byo, are stromatolites, and as according to you evolution never happened and all species are complete as formed, why are there no fossils found in conjunction with the oldest stromatolites?





quote:
Ancient Fossil Bacteria : Pictured above are two kinds cyanobacteria from the Bitter Springs chert of central Australia, a site dating to the Late Proterozoic, about 850 million years old. On the left is a colonial chroococcalean form, and on the right is the filamentous Palaeolyngbya.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 12/24/2005 14:34:51
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1884 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  14:48:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kil

quote:
Bill:
NS would have to poses the attributes of forethought, logic, reason, predetermination etc... etc? in order to come up with a reason (survival of species) for its programming.

Nonsense. It just happens that the survival of a species is one of the results of some random mutations. And that just happens to drive evolution. It is just the way it is. No plan is required. It just happens. If we were not here, and no other life forms were here, nature wouldn?t care. And no one here has even remotely suggested otherwise?

Why can?t you get this?

Since Bill hasn't offered his version of reality, even though asked for it many times, I thought that I would take a stab at what I believe it to be. I suspect that Bill, due to his religious programming, believes that human existence was inevitable. His proof, well here we are, evolution and its blind/random mutations couldn't have done it. It takes the reasoned devine intervention of a creator to have done so.

I also believe that Bill is a dishonest debater. He has consistently ignored post that challenge the few issues that he has raised, and he has likely never opened a single link due to their propagandist perspectives. Bill simply has no intention of honestly considering points, no matter how well supported, that are contrary to his version of reality. His handful of issues are still be repeated. Being given the absolute "Truth" eliminates all reason and the need to honestly consider ideas that are perceived to differ from his "Truth".

Finally, after 45 posts it would seem reasonable, to me anyway, that he could have figured out the quote tag.

And dv82matt excellent posts.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2005 :  14:51:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Scott...

Tommy and Snake Guy both tried to convince that random mutations programmed for a reason. Both gave me ultimate survival as this reason.
You're wrong again. You've been told several times that you misunderstood what was said. It's been pointed out to you a few times that you are the only one here who doesn't get the concepts of "program" and "reason" as they apply to evolution. You are the only one here who thinks those people said anything about random mutations being "programmed for a reason".

When my nephew was eight years old he understood most things after being told no more than twice. When my niece was eight years old, if she didn't understand something the first time she read it she usually had a pretty good handle on it after reading it a second time. If we give you the benefit of the doubt and assume these children are exceptional, you display an intellectual ability and reading comprehension skills somewhere below those of an exceptional eight year old child.

You're adamant about your refusal to accept evolution as the process by which life has achieved its current form. Obviously life exists. Obviously life came to its current form by some method. I've asked this before, and for some reason you don't seem to be able to assemble or articulate an answer, but just because I'm a good Joe sympathetic to your learning disability I'll ask again. What would you suggest is the process responsible for bringing about the state of life on Earth as we know it today?
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2005 :  02:54:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
Transitional Species in Insect Evolution
quote:
Although the origin of insects, the largest group of animals on earth, is still unclear (current evidence suggests they evolved directly from crustaceans) they have left a good fossil record during their subsequent evolution.
...
Yet there is now compelling evidence that one of these "kinds"--termites--has evolved directly from the other--cockroaches. This conclusion is both surprising and unsurprising: unsurprising in that termites have always been acknowledged on the basis of internal and external morphology to have some relationship to cockroaches and other orthopteroid orders. What is surprising, beyond the obvious differences between termites and cockroaches, is that termites have evolved from a group within the order Blattaria, and in fact are more closely related to one particular living genus of cockroaches than that genus is to all other cockroaches. In other words, termites ARE cockroaches, albeit highly modified due to their specialized lifestyle that differs from that of their ancestors.


"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
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dv82matt
SFN Regular

760 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2005 :  04:24:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dv82matt a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by moakley

And dv82matt excellent posts.
Hey thanks.

quote:
Originally posted by Bill scott

quote:
Originally posted by dv82matt
Then you must believe that the statement, "It requires cognition, intelligence or consciousness to have a cause." is true. Yet you refuse to defend it.
(bill) No I don't. <snip> ...this was not the context I used to claim that you have to have reason to have a reason.
Well there's your problem. You see Bill, you don't get to decide the context. You must dispute evolution, and statements about evolution, in the context of evolution, not in the context of your caricature of evolution. Until you do so, you are only debunking your own delusions.

Merry Christmas
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2005 :  08:26:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
Back to "transitional fossils", I submit:

Sinornithosaurus millenii

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinornithosaurus

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2005 :  02:32:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
And I would like to submit Sahelanthropus tchadensis. Hominid or ape? Or something close to both? The jury is still out on this one and probably will be until more fossils are found.




quote:
Discovered by Ahounta Djimdoumalbaye in 2001 in Chad, in the southern Sahara desert (Brunet et al. 2002, Wood 2002). Based on faunal studies, it is estimated to be between 6 and 7 million years old, and more likely in the older part of that range. This is a mostly complete cranium with a small brain (between 320 and 380 cc) comparable in size to that of chimpanzees.

No bones below the skull have been discovered yet, so it is not known whether Toumai was bipedal or not. Brunet et al. say that it would be a not unreasonable inference that it was a habitual biped because it shares characteristics with other hominids known to be bipedal. Other scientists have pointed out the foramen magnum (the hole through which the spinal cord exits the skull) of Toumai is positioned towards the back of the skull as in apes, indicating that the skull was held forward and not balanced on top of an erect body.


And therein lies the beauty of science. The status of this skull may never settled, or strong evidence might be uncovered that defines it beyond any reasonable doubt. Either way, studies will continue because unlike religion and it's ridged dogmas, no question is ever entirely laid to rest.

Speaking of hoaxes -- we did a little while ago, didn't we? -- here, briefly, is the scoop on Piltdown:
quote:






No creationist who discusses the human fossil record avoids mentioning Piltdown Man. Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus dawsoni) was discovered in England by an amateur, Charles Dawson, between 1908 and 1912. It consisted of parts of a surprisingly modern-looking skull associated with a surprisingly apelike lower jaw. Later fragments found in 1913 and 1915 also seemed to have a mixture of ape and human characteristics, and mostly quelled suspicion that the original bones were from two unrelated creatures. In 1953 Piltdown was discovered to be a hoax, consisting of a modern human skull and an orang-utan jaw. Well before then, Piltdown had become a puzzling anomaly when compared to all other hominid fossils, and the scientific community was relieved to be able to forget about it.
The paleontological community was horribly embarrassed by the uncovering of Piltdown, and justifiably so. A number of scientists had made what were in retrospect extremely foolish statements about the skull, elaborating on its "unmistakably apelike characteristics." Piltdown's acceptance was probably helped by the fact that it conformed to contemporary beliefs about what a primitive human skull would look like. In fact a number of scientists did believe that the cranium and jaw were not from the same creature, but no-one had suspected forgery.


Edited to add this, a somewhat more complete summery of a really fascinating event:
quote:
Piltdown hoax
Piltdown was an archaeological site in England where in 1908 and 1912 human, ape and other mammal fossils were found together. In 1913 at a nearby site was found an ape's jaw with a canine tooth worn down like a human's. The general community of British paleoanthropologists came to accept the idea that the fossil remains belonged to a single creature that had had a human cranium and an ape's jaw. In 1953, Piltdown 'man' was exposed as a forgery. The skull was modern and the teeth on the ape's jaw had been filed down.


And
quote:
The main reason Piltdown was not spotted as a fraud much earlier was that scientists weren't allowed to see the evidence, which was kept securely locked in the British Museum. Instead of focusing their attention on examining the "facts" more closely with an eye to discovering the fraud, scientists weren't even allowed to examine the physical evidence at all! They had to deal with plaster molds and be satisfied with a quick look at the originals to justify the claim that the models were accurate.

Another reason some scientists were duped was probably because it was not in their nature to consider someone would be so malicious as to intentionally engage in such deception. In any case, one of the main fallouts of Piltdown has been a virtual industry of detectives trying to identify the hoaxer. The list of suspects includes:



Thus, it was not the creationists that uncovered what has to be one of the best and longest running, April Fools jokes in history. It was an embarrassed science that finally put paid to it. The same holds true for all scientific mistakes and hoaxes.





"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 12/26/2005 04:46:11
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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2005 :  10:55:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy...

Thus, it was not the creationists that uncovered what has to be one of the best and longest running, April Fools jokes in history. It was an embarrassed science that finally put paid to it. The same holds true for all scientific mistakes and hoaxes.
Excellent point, filthy. It does make me wonder about all the advances made in understanding the biological sciences over the past couple of centuries. Have any significant contributions been made to this progress by people who hold a steadfast belief that evolution is not a scientific truism?

And Bill Scott, if you ever do make it back around to this thread, I'm still waiting for an answer to my question. Others have asked you, too, and for some reason you've been pretty evasive. Obviously you don't believe evolution is responsible for bringing life to its current state, but I imagine you do believe something is responsible. After all, life has somehow come to be as it is today. We'd probably all be interested in hearing what you do think (if indeed you do think). So for the seventh time I'll ask you, by what process has life on Earth come to be in its present form?
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2005 :  01:20:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Feathered Dinosaurs

quote:
The skeletal similarities between some dinosaurs and modern birds have been noted by researchers since the nineteenth century. The discovery of Archaeopteryx in the 1860s was hailed as the "missing link" between reptiles and birds, giving rise to the theory that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Since then it has been assumed that Archaeopteryx was "the first bird", having evolved from small bird-like dinosaurs. Over a century later new finds of "feathered" dinosaurs are complicating the issue.

Dinosaurs with feathered arms and tails that clearly did not fly may indicate that at least some types of theropod dinosaurs, rather than being the ancestors of birds, could just as likely be descended from birds (or at least flying dinosaurs) themselves.



Archaeopteryx was the first feathered dino to be discovered and set in motion an hypothesis that birds were descended from some of the ancient reptiles. Since then, the numbers of these are growing rapidly with discoveries in China.

quote:
Archaeopteryx was originally classified as a small dinosaur similar to Compsognathus until someone noticed the faint impressions of feathers on the forelimbs and tail. Archaeopteryx is known as "the first bird", although its skeleton is more similar to small theropod dinosaurs than it is to modern bird varieties. It lacked a beak, instead having a bony jaw full of small teeth, and it had a long bony tail, both considerably un-birdlike traits. It also had three fingers on the end of each wing, ending in large recurved claws. Its asymmetrical flight feathers and large sternum (seen in later specimens) indicates that Archaeopteryx was capable of active flight, although its performance was probably not a match for modern birds (for instance, it probably could not have taken off from a standing start, like a pigeon can).

Whether or not it is a direct ancestor of modern birds is still open for debate. Some researchers think that some of the most bird-like dinosaurs that came after Archaeopteryx may actually have been direct descendants (like the Dromaeosaurs), in which case some dinosaur lineages may have evolved from early birds, becoming secondarily flightless.


Links to other feathered species can be found in the article.

I think that one of the most interesting is Gui's Small Thief:




quote:
Microraptor gui. a, Skeleton of Microraptor gui (IVPP V13352). Scale bar, 5 cm. b, A computerized tomography (CT) image of the major part of the IVPP V13352. Scale bar, 13 cm. Scanning was performed using a CT machine (LightSpeed Qx/i) at an energy level of 140 kV and 250 mA. The images were collected at a size of 800 600 pixels. On the basis of comparison of adjacent fracture-face geometries, density of adjacent pieces, and continuity across fractures of bones (see ref. 45), we find a few pieces are unverified or assembled in the wrong position (marked by asterisks). For example, one small piece containing the anterior end of the skull and a medium-sized piece near the right forelimb preserving some arm feathers are dubious. The latter is actually from the counter slab. However, the CT information suggests that most pieces lie together in their natural relationships, including pieces containing the forelimb, hindlimb an

"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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