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This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Will birds be reclassified as reptiles?


Scientists say that Barney T. Rex and the San Diego Chicken are close relatives.

(I couldn't find a picture of the San Diego Chicken beating up that stupid dinosaur Mr. Rex)

==========================================================

An AOL news article said,

WASHINGTON (April 24) - Scientists are fleshing out the proof that today's chicken is descended from the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur.

Fossil studies have long suggested modern birds were descended from T. rex, based in similarities in their skeletons.

Sheeesh, how could the similarity of the skeletons be maintained over such a drastic shrinkage in size?

The article said,
.
Now, bits of protein obtained from connective tissues in a T. rex fossil shows a relationship to birds including chickens and ostriches, according to a report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

"These results match predictions made from skeletal anatomy, providing the first molecular evidence for the evolutionary relationships of a non-avian dinosaur," Chris Organ, a postdoctoral researcher in biology at Harvard University said in a statement.

Co-author John M. Asara of Harvard University reported last year that his team had been able to extract collagen from a T. rex and that it most closely resembled the collagen of chickens . . .

. . . While the researchers were able to obtain just a few proteins from T. rex, they have now been able to show the relationships with birds.

With more data, Organ said, they would probably be able to place T. rex on the evolutionary tree between alligators and chickens and ostriches.

"We also show that it groups better with birds than modern reptiles, such as alligators and green anole lizards," Asara added. (emphasis added)

Well, that's just great. In cladistic taxonomy, which is based on evolutionary relationships, birds may now need to be reclassified as reptiles. Those stupid biologists have really painted themselves into a corner with that "evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology" crap.
.

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21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought of asking (in connection with your 2nd Anniversary gala) whether you had learned anything in two years?

The answer, obviously, is "Don't be ridiculous!"

Monday, April 28, 2008 9:13:00 AM  
Anonymous "Wolf" said...

Although I am a "wolf" of sorts, I am not nearly as closely related as this wolf. LOL!

Monday, April 28, 2008 9:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Birds will not be "reclassified" as reptiles.

2. Too late -- the link between birds and therapods is well established.

3. The AOL "science writer" is a sensationalizing ignoramus.

Monday, April 28, 2008 9:28:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...
>>>>> 1. Birds will not be "reclassified" as reptiles. <<<<<<

Well, evolution is supposed to be the fundamental concept underlying all of biology, and the article said, " 'We also show that it [T. Rex] groups better with birds than modern reptiles, such as alligators and green anole lizards,' Asara added. " Or maybe the T.Rex should be reclassified as a bird -- after all, I think a lot of scientists now believe that the dinosaurs were warm-blooded. However, there may be a future problem with reclassifying T. Rex as a bird -- the article also says, "With more data, Organ said, they would probably be able to place T. rex on the evolutionary tree between alligators and chickens and ostriches."

>>>>> 2. Too late -- the link between birds and therapods is well established. <<<<<<

I believe that link was largely based on Archaeopteryx, and I think that even a lot of Darwinists now believe that Archaeopteryx is not a transitional fossil. Anyway, in any case, the article presents further evidence of such a link.

>>>>>> 3. The AOL "science writer" is a sensationalizing ignoramus. <<<<<<

How so? The article only quotes the scientists.

Monday, April 28, 2008 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article only quotes the scientists.

Not so. AFAICT, this remark is spun from the fertile imagination of AOL's writer: "... today's chicken is descended from the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur." There is no indication that the scientists said that; they only said that there appeared to be some kinship. T Rex could easily be well off the main branch, but that is not sensational enough (attack of the killer chickens?). (For that matter, T Rex is likely descended from a chicken-like creature.)

"We also show that it groups better with birds than modern reptiles, such as alligators and green anole lizards," Asara added. -- Quoted by AOL's Science Genius

Well, duh! What did you expect, turkey? That one suggests that the "scientists" themselves are kind of flaky. I was going to suggest the AOL guy might be excused, but he lets this pass without comment?

Monday, April 28, 2008 1:03:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Whether or not birds descended from small dinosaurs has nothing to do with intelligent design theory, which doesn't reject descent of new species from old.

I personally believe in descent, as do Michael Behe, Denyse O'Leary, and many others who are favorable to intelligent design theory.

One odd thing about birds is that they have a "circulatory" lung, which is radically different than the "bellows" lung of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

If a bellows lung changed into a ciculatory lung over time, it's hard to see how that might have happened: especially by random genetic variations and natural selection.

Some biologists think that they have evidence that dinosaurs had a circulatory lung. But the evidence seems slim, and in any case doesn't solve the problem of how one led to the other.

Monday, April 28, 2008 1:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

< birds ... have a "circulatory" lung, which is radically different from the "bellows" lung

Some biologists think ... dinosaurs had a circulatory lung >

That is unlikely IMO, since the circulatory lung is an adaptation to support high metabolism needed for flight, and the ability to breathe at high altitudes. There would have been no selective advantage for it until birds were pretty far along.

It is, as you point out, an intriguing change that appears to be difficult. It's unlikely to have much fossil evidence showing how it happened, since soft tissues only were involved. A more fruitful line of investigation would likely be via the genes that control lung development.

(BTW, "different than" is ungrammatical. Think, "This differs than that." (Ugh!))

Monday, April 28, 2008 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I wouldn't have any confidence in this conclusion, since it's based on comparisons of proteins. Such comparisons often yield entirely different supposed evolutionary relationships between species, depending upon the class of proteins being studied. And biologists who believe in explicitly Darwinist assumptions, will probably introduce such assumptions into their data-analyis.

Many different theories about which species may have descended from which are possible. For instance, those who believe explicitly in Darwinism often try to call the eminent Italian geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti a creationist, because he denies that humans descended from an ape-like ancestor.

So I read Sermonti's book, and found out that he thinks that humans and apes share a common-ancestor: but an ancestor that was more human-like than ape-like. He holds that the genetic evidence supports his view.

I have no idea whether or not Sermonti may be right. But his theory still has humans descending from earlier species, and hence it's not creationism: however much Darwinists may reject and abhor it.

Monday, April 28, 2008 3:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Thanks for correcting my grammar, Anonymous. It's interesting that you would do so: I certainly have the impression that believers in Darwinism are much more interested in what is "proper," i.e. conventional, than I am. And many grammatical usages seem to have nothing behind them except convention. "Different from" is indeed the more conventional usage.
If "different than" sounds awful to you, it may be simply because it violates a convention which you are used to encountering.

Monday, April 28, 2008 5:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Darwin B. Leaver said...

You claim that I'm lacking in wit,
Since I swallow that "Darwinist shit."
But I need to believe
In something! I leave
The details to PZ. Now, git!

(I can't convince my good friend Leaver that it's O.K. to have no theory at all as to exactly what caused any species to arise. I don't know where he gets this "PZ is my guru" stuff. But I remain his hard-scribbling ghostwriter, Jim Sherwood.)

Monday, April 28, 2008 5:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My high school English teacher insisted we write "different from". I don't recall if she explained that this derives from "differs from" -- she might have. In any case, the logic is beyond just weird "language quirk".

Monday, April 28, 2008 5:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

< ancestor that was more human-like than ape-like >

How can that be, if all of the fossil humanoids had more hair, bigger teeth and jaws, and smaller cranial capacity? In what sense were they not more "ape-like" than we are?

Monday, April 28, 2008 5:48:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said (Monday, April 28, 2008 1:03:00 PM) --
>>>>>AFAICT, this remark is spun from the fertile imagination of AOL's writer: "... today's chicken is descended from the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur." There is no indication that the scientists said that; they only said that there appeared to be some kinship. <<<<<<

You quote-mined the article. The article's complete statement is (the missing words are in bold):
"Scientists are fleshing out the proof that today's chicken is descended from the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur."

That complete statement was suggested by a scientist's statement:

With more data, Organ said, they would probably be able to place T. rex on the evolutionary tree between alligators and chickens and ostriches.

However, they may be counting their chickens before they hatch. LOL

>>>>>> "We also show that it groups better with birds than modern reptiles, such as alligators and green anole lizards," Asara added. -- Quoted by AOL's Science Genius

Well, duh! What did you expect, turkey? That one suggests that the "scientists" themselves are kind of flaky. I was going to suggest the AOL guy might be excused, but he lets this pass without comment? <<<<<<

Well, maybe the article's author is a non-scientist, or even if he is a scientist, he might not be an expert in T.Rex-to-chicken research. So who is he to question the wisdom of the scientists he quoted? And the statements of the two scientists, Organ and Asara, are consistent -- one says that T.Rex groups better with birds than alligators, the other says that with more data the scientists could probably place T.Rex on the evolutionary tree between alligators and chickens & ostriches.

Jim Sherwood said (Monday, April 28, 2008 1:38:00 PM) --

>>>>>> Whether or not birds descended from small dinosaurs has nothing to do with intelligent design theory, which doesn't reject descent of new species from old. <<<<<<<

The AOL article suggests that birds descended from big dinosaurs -- very BIG dinosaurs.

Anonymous said,

>>>>> (BTW, "different than" is ungrammatical. Think, "This differs than that." (Ugh!)) <<<<<<

"Different than" sounds OK to me -- "different" does not have to follow the same usage as "differs."

Jim Sherwood said (Monday, April 28, 2008 3:44:00 PM) --

>>>>> So I read Sermonti's book, and found out that he thinks that humans and apes share a common-ancestor: but an ancestor that was more human-like than ape-like. <<<<<<

So maybe this picture showing the evolution of an ape is correct.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 1:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Lawrence said:
< You quote-mined the article. The article's complete statement is (the missing words are in bold):
"Scientists are fleshing out the proof that today's chicken is descended from the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur." >

Not so. I was asserting that this "proof" was the brain-fart of AOL's science genius. So you leap to his defense:

< That complete statement was suggested by a scientist's statement: >

Suggested? Suggested?! Way to go, Sir Lawrence! And you accuse ME of quote mining! You'll be doing "science" yet! (Perhaps you already are.) :-P

Doesn't it suggest something to you that the entire genus to which T Rex belonged became extinct? They have no "descendents" -- just some surviving distant relatives.

< "Different than" sounds OK to me ... >

Lots of bad grammar sounds fine to the uneducated.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 9:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

< So maybe this picture showing the evolution of an ape is correct. >

It is only due to our petty bourgeois conventions and prejudices that we believe "up" is not "down" and the "past" is not the "future".

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 9:17:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said,
>>>>> Not so. I was asserting that this "proof" was the brain-fart of AOL's science genius. <<<<<<

You didn't even include the word "proof" in your quote -- so how can you comment about the significance of the word here?

The AOL author's statement was consistent with the scientist's statement. Both expressed confidence that T.Rex would or could be "proven" to be an ancestor of the chicken.

>>>>> Suggested? Suggested?! Way to go, Sir Lawrence! And you accuse ME of quote mining! <<<<<<

What does my use of the word "suggested" have to do with quote-mining? Have I quoted anything out of context?

>>>>>< "Different than" sounds OK to me ... >

Lots of bad grammar sounds fine to the uneducated. <<<<<<

"Different" is an adjective (sometimes an adverb) and "differ" is a verb, so I think it is OK to use "than" with one and "from" with the other. Also, languages just have idioms that have become acceptable through widespread usage even though they may appear to be ungrammatical or unintelligible if taken literally.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 9:56:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Larry is correctly pointing out a certain incoherence in these systems of classification, I think. And the evidence supposedly connecting T.rex to chickens is so dubious as to be silly.

Biologists who still believe in Darwinism may have laid a big egg with this one.

I wanted to point out that a lot of "proper" grammar is merely arbitrary or conventional. And I think it's true that believers in Darwinism are overly fond of conventional ideas.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 1:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

< And the evidence supposedly connecting T.rex to chickens is so dubious as to be silly. >

Consistency is apparently not an IDiot strong point.

< And I think it's true that believers in Darwinism are overly fond of conventional ideas. >

As opposed to certain bloggers, who are overly fond of kooky ideas.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 2:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Darwin B. Leaver said...

I'm working at crossing an ape
And a human. Then skeptics will gape,
And shout, "Here's a beast
More silly, at least,
Than Dawkins. And ugly in shape."

(Like many other biologists who still believe in Darwinism, Leaver is nutty enough to be fond of this project. I've warned him not to make another pass at that female chimp. She nearly broke his neck last week. -Jim Sherwood.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 3:23:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Larry very cogently argues that chickens and other birds are very unlikely to have descended from T.rex or it's near kin. They could have descended from small dinosaurs, but those related to T.rex are unlikely to have been small enough.

There are other problems, such as how the unique "circulatory" lung of birds originated? It seems to be well-suited for life in flight, and reptiles have an entirely different, "bellows" lung. And single-protein comparisons are inadequate in establishing lines of descent.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said...
>>>>> Larry very cogently argues that chickens and other birds are very unlikely to have descended from T.rex or it's near kin. <<<<<<

Actually, my main argument is that because of that stupid principle that evolution is "the fundamental principle underlying all of biology" (that statement is in the new Florida state science standards), the chicken may have to be reclassified as a reptile or the T.rex may have to be reclassified as a bird.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 6:00:00 PM  

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