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Posts Tagged ‘transitional fossils’


Titlu original: The Language of God – A Scientist Evidence for Belief
Autor: Francis S. Collins
Traducător: –
Editura: Free Press
Anul apariţiei: 2006
ISBN: 0-7432-8639-1
Preț: 10 $

   

 Recenzie de Valentin Teodorescu

– Primele două părți ale recenziei pot fi citite aici și aici

If in the area of the transitional fossils and the evolutionary mechanism dr. Collins does not seem (to us) very convincing – and some of his critics explain that evaluation by his eventual lack of close familiarity with the critical literature in this direction (due to the fact that this is not his area of specialty) -, what can we say about his arguments coming from his area of expertise, the Human Genome?

Here his arguments seem to be more powerful indeed: for example, he argues that the existence of some repetitive elements – which originated, in his opinion, in some “jumping genes”, and which could be found in the same places in the mouse’ and human’ genome – is a proof of a common ancestor between humans and mice. He affirms that, although some of these kinds of elements might be functional – and not Junk DNA sequences –, this cannot be the case with the aforementioned example, because there are, in the case of the mouse and the humans, some repetitive elements which became one-legged – losing a part of their AND sequence, and, as result, losing any possibility of functioning. In many cases, observes Collins, these one-legged elements are found in parallel positions in human and mouse genome. This seems to be a proof of their common descent, because this process can happen only during the migration of a jumping gene – when the respective process cripples this gene.

Another argument refers to some pseudogene cases (gene with one or more defects which make their original information useless). For example, the caspase-12 gene of the chimpanzee and mouse functions perfectly, but that of the humans does not: why would God insert a non-functional gene right in this place?

And last but not least, the difference between the 23 chromosomes pears of the humans and the 24 chromosomes pears of the chimpanzee seems to be the result of a fusion between two chromosomes of medium size of the chimpanzee, 2A and 2B, which resulted in the chromosome 2 of the human. The fact that those sequences are found exactly where the theory of evolution has predicted seems to confirm the idea of a Common Ancestor.

How could we answer to these real and serious challenges to the Creationist model – which clearly would suggest (at least) the truth of the “Common Ancestor” hypothesis? (mai mult…)

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Titlu original: The Language of God – A Scientist Evidence for Belief
Autor: Francis S. Collins
Traducător: –
Editura: Free Press
Anul apariţiei: 2006
ISBN: 0-7432-8639-1
Preț: 10 $

   

 Recenzie de Valentin Teodorescu

Partea întâi și a treia pot fi citite aici și aici.

For example, although he admits that the Cambrian explosion might be used as an argument for a supernatural intervention, he immediately rejects it as representing an unconvincing appeal to the “God of the gaps” fallacy, and suggests – against Stephen Gould’s skepticism -, that this explosion of life might represent nothing more than a change in Earth’s condition which allowed the fossilization of a great number of species. He neglects here the fact that, for example, Precambrian strata show incredibly preserved microscopic fossils of sponge embryos (which are small and soft-bodied), and that in the Precambrian records the scientists found – beyond the old microbes which appeared more than 580 million years ago -, also the Vendian strata (approx 570 million years ago), which, at best, might contain only a very small fraction of the many new phyla that appear in Cambrian. The idea is that the Precambrian strata (and other fossil strata too) are not poorly sampled (as some evolutionists would like to believe), but rather they are truly representative of the history of life.[1]

How about the other fossil records? Collins considers that – in spite of the many unsolved enigmas -, there are good evidences that we already have the essential transition links between aquatic life and land dwelling amphibians, between reptiles and birds, between reptile and mammals, and between terrestrial mammals and whales.[2] But how convincing are these supposed transitions?

 For a long time it was said that between aquatic life and amphibians there are no true transitional fossils: the land dwelling amphibians appear suddenly in the fossil record. More recently paleontologists have found fossils that seem to show a connection between fish and tetrapods – in particular the structure of the front fins of some bony fish and the forelimbs of an early tetrapod. But even if we might admit this connection as possible, the common ancestry of all tetrapods is not yet evident: since the first amphibian fossils appear at the same time – but yet they are separated by large distances (Greenland, South America, Australia, Russia), and since – moreover -, it seems to exist an incongruence between their molecular data[3]  it would appear that the same transition has taken place simultaneously in multiple locations, a conclusion many scientists would find very improbable.[4]

How about the reptiles and birds transition? The evolutionists say that Archaeopterix is the missing link between reptiles and birds, because it has a toothed jaw like a reptile and true feathers like a modern bird. But the problem is that Archaeopterix was a true bird (and birds with toothed jaw were found also in later strata), and her supposed bird-like Dinosaur ancestors were million generations younger than her.[5] (mai mult…)

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