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95M-Year-Old Octopus Fossils Discovered

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the eight-by-eight dept.

Earth 290

mmmscience writes "A new study published in Paleontology is a truly terrific find. Not only did a group of European scientists find a fossilized octopus, they found five complete fossils that show all eight legs in great detail, including a ghost of the characteristic suckers. The discovery of the 95-million-year-old specimens was made in Lebanon. 'What is truly astonishing to the scientists is how similar these ancient creatures are to their modern-day counterparts. Dirk Fuchs, lead author on the study stated, "These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species."'"

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frist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27230831)

really?????

Re:frist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27230853)

really!

Lebanon is a desert in case you didn't know (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231109)

And the one in the middle east is a rocky wasteland.

Re:Lebanon is a desert in case you didn't know (1, Troll)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232533)

God put these "fossils" in the desert to test the faith of his followers. Ask not. Amen.

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27230869)

FIRST

Re:First Post (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27230985)

The second first post.

Is that like the Fifth Third bank?

Re:First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231023)

the one on 2nd Avenue?

Re:First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231261)

Yes, the one just there, number forty-two

Re:First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231611)

More like sloppy seconds

after a nuclear war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27230883)

...all that would be left are cockroaches, twinkies AND octopusses!!

Re:after a nuclear war (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27230971)

You forgot one: Lotus Notes.

=Smidge=

Dirk Fuchs? (3, Funny)

microbee (682094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27230885)

Dirk Fuchs, lead author on the study stated

How to pronounce his name? Anyone?

Re:Dirk Fuchs? (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#27230981)

Re:Dirk Fuchs? (2, Informative)

Camann (1486759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231105)

Fast forward to the answer: Like "Fox" or "Fooks" (think "books"), and not like the obvious.

Re:Dirk Fuchs? (1, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231633)

Gaylord Focker

Re:Dirk Fuchs? (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27230999)

Well, I really think it is pronounced the way it looks.

Re:Dirk Fuchs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231163)

I think it rhymes with "Kirk pukes"

Re:Dirk Fuchs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231667)

like spooks, only a shorter oo

What, not juvenile enough for you?

Re:Dirk Fuchs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231911)

I'm not touching that question with any size pole you want...

Re:Dirk Fuchs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231997)

I think we all know what sized pole I want. It's the same one u gave me last night.

German spelling and pronunciation . . . (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232267)

is actually really easy and has only two really simple rules:

  • Everything is spelled as it is pronounced.
  • Everything is pronounced as it is spelled.

How can you beat that? If you can hear it, you can spell it, and if you can spell it you can speak it. I am fluent in German, although it is a foreign language for me. I never make a spelling mistake in German, but in English, my native language, I am error prone.

And folks wonder why they can build such great cars.

And you can build great sentences, with the same word six times in a row:

"Wenn hinter Fliegen Fliegen fleigen, Fliegen fliegen Fliegen nach." (When flies fly behind flies, flies fly after flies)

Re:German spelling and pronunciation . . . (5, Funny)

Plunky (929104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232513)

And you can build great sentences, with the same word six times in a row:

"Wenn hinter Fliegen Fliegen fleigen, Fliegen fliegen Fliegen nach." (When flies fly behind flies, flies fly after flies)

Sure, and you can do that in english too:

Wouldn't the sentence "I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and and and and and Chips in my 'Fish and Chips' sign" have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and and, and and and and, and and and and, and and and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?

Re:Dirk Fuchs? (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232367)

Something like "deerk fooks", but with short vocals. And, depending on where in the german-speaking countries you are, you wouldn't use a k in Fuchs, but a ch. The English language doesn't have that, it is a x in IPA. Sounds like in this [wikimedia.org] one, see here [wikipedia.org] .

Evolution (4, Funny)

VisceralLogic (911294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27230891)

Apparently the octopus is the pinnacle of evolution! I for one welcome our new multipodal overlords!

Re:Evolution (5, Funny)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231253)

Oh yea?!
Well if their so great...
Just a second I've a knock at the door, well eight knocks to be precise...
Oh, hello, well no I-

Re:Evolution (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231819)

No not really. It simply means that the octopus has not been "challenged" by its ocean environment or catastrophe, and therefore not forced into extinction or modification.

Turn the earth into a giant snowball, and then we'll see how quickly the octopus dies out. - http://nai.nasa.gov/newsletter/03182005/#9 [nasa.gov]

Re:Evolution (1)

Neil Sausage (633803) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232455)

I'd think the octopus would have a natural advantage in a snowball fight.

People see what they want to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27230899)

Some people see Jesus on toast, others see octopuses on rocks.

Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27230917)

These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species.

It doesn't evolve for 95 million years? It could have been a government octopus.

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231025)

Which arm of government?

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231379)

Who cares which arm?

They're all full of suckers.

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (5, Funny)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231653)

And they all hide behind a lot of ink.

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (0, Offtopic)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231853)

I'd be more concerned about their ability to change color to match their surroundings. Sounds like a career bureaucrat to me.

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (3, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231073)

It doesn't evolve for 95 million years? It could have been a government octopus.

Naah. Not possible.

It's not over budget.

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (3, Funny)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231301)

Maybe the budget was for six arms?

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (1)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231479)

Actually, it was for legs, but arms were "close enough".

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231135)

Lots of far reaching arms?
Vicious suckers to suck life from it's prey?
Able to change its colors to match the current environment, while still being the same beast?
Spraying ink everywhere when challenged?

Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of government?

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231423)

"It doesn't evolve for 95 million years?"

Easily and obviously explained due to the fact it is not a day past 6000-years old! And do I really need to explain why it was found in a desert?

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232007)

Question... if the earth has been clearly and decisively 6000 years old for about 50 years now... isn't it really 6050 years old?

It always fascinates me that people who are willing to ascertain such a lowball estimate are true can't get closer than the most significant digit. If the Bible is so clear and complete on geologic history, shouldn't we be able to at least get the hundreds place pinned down too?

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (3, Informative)

Darby (84953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232187)

If the Bible is so clear and complete on geologic history, shouldn't we be able to at least get the hundreds place pinned down too?

It was actually pinned down to the exact day:

James Ussher (sometimes spelled Usher) (4 January 1581-21 March 1656) was Anglican Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625-1656. He was a prolific scholar, who most famously published a chronology that purported to time and date creation to the night preceding 27 October 4004 BC, according to the proleptic Julian calendar.

From here. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231457)

Government octopus? Hmm. Well, that would explain the lack of a backbone ...

Re:Retract the pods! Prepare to jump. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27232089)

No, its only 6000 years old, and there is no such thing as evolution.

I mean, this octopus proves that evolution was a lie, and that all species you can find on earth today have been around since they were put here 6000 years ago.

Almost indistinguishable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27230927)

More proof for neo-Darwinism.

Octopus (1)

Psychomax (1430627) | more than 5 years ago | (#27230943)

It looks like... some kind of Octopus. Tearing my shell apart, letting the sea get in, you make my insides outsiiiiide

Re:Octopus (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231943)

Actually, they're just scorch marks from Ancient drones.

Lack of fossils (4, Informative)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27230995)

Normally for animal life, anything that doesn't either have bones or some kind of shell won't leave a fossil. Nothing to calcify.

They can leave mud impressions though, which a lot of plants also leave.

Re:Lack of fossils (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231309)

They were able to determine it was an octopus by the 90 million year old fossilized ramekin of marinara sauce next to it.

Re:Lack of fossils (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231973)

True enough. Of course, there are freak exceptions, such as when the conditions make it difficult or impossible for bacteria to do a whole lot. Trees in coal mines are of this sort.

Another situation, which produces something analogous to a fossil but isn't really, is when you get a soft body forming an impression as a hollow. Again, this might happen if decomposition is extremely slow. If that hollow is then filled in at a subsequent time, you form something that looks like a fossil. (Really, it's casting from a mould, rather than a replacement process.)

They are octopus fossils... (2, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231019)

... and the lead author's name is "Dick Fuchs"??? Am I the only one to see the irony here?

I see... Dirk. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231165)

Never mind. :o)

When the stars are once again right: (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231027)

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh C'thulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

Re:When the stars are once again right: (1)

gijoel (628142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231619)

Ah, you speak Esperanto too!

ok slashdot (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231029)

i want 10 cthulhu jokes moderated +5 funny, now

i'll be back in 3 hours, don't let me down

Re:ok slashdot (3, Funny)

VickiM (920888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231235)

You must not have seen the researcher's name. You'd better make it four hours.

Re:ok slashdot (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231333)

Well, as Old Castro said, (emphasis mine),

They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R'lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready for Them

I knew it! I knew it! Cloning advocates are members of the Cult of Cthulhu! They are perfecting their methods so that they can clone The Great Old Ones from their "stone houses" (fossils) and bring us all to lamentation and ruin!

I never thought I'd side with the fundies, but it's become quite clear to me that the Clonist Cult of Cthulhu must be stopped. Cloning is an abomination that will drive us all to madness, when the stars and Earth are ready... and the pevalence of cloning research tells us that the time is nigh!

Re:ok slashdot (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232279)

So this cthulhu walks into a bar, right, and...

Hey, anyone remember how this one goes? Damn, this over-22 thing is a drag...

selection pressures (5, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231087)

It's funny how some creatures are under such pressures they rapidly develop and others have settled into their niche so well there's been little change, thus the living fossils. It's amazing to think that the ancestors of today's megafauna were little shrew-like nothings back then and were able to progress from that to elephants and rhinos and, hell, human beings while octopi and sharks are just tooling around looking pretty much the same.

I know that there's no intelligent motive behind evolution, it is an impersonal process of optimization for a set of conditions and there's no selection bias for complexity, as we humans would view such things. It seems like the living fossils are stuck in a rut but as far as evolution is concerned, it's not concerned. There's no personified mind involved, nature is not a guiding intelligence, it's just genes playing along according to rules, rules. Still, I can't help feeling octopi's wife is nagging him "For crimminy's sake, just look at you! 95 million years and you're still mucking about on the ocean floor! There's an entire world out there of land dwellers! Those little shrews went and developed opposable thumbs and they're running the place! And just what have you accomplished, Mr. Eight Arms and no Endo-Skeleton? You just float around and let them turn you into seafood. I'm leaving you for squid! He's got backbone for an invertebrate! At least he's capable of taking out some air-breathers every now and then!"

Re:selection pressures (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231371)

I know that there's no intelligent motive behind evolution

What a remarkably obtuse thing to say. How can anyone know -- short of subjective observations, which are inherently non-scientific, i.e. revelation from such an "evolution-motivating" intelligence -- whether or not there is an intelligent motive behind any such process?

Look, if you want to ridicule the "creationists" and "intelligent design" proponents, just have the balls to come out and say it; don't pussyfoot around, trying to be clever. Or, better yet, just keep your bigotry to yourself.

Re:selection pressures (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231781)

Look, if you want to ridicule the "creationists" and "intelligent design" proponents, just have the balls to come out and say it; don't pussyfoot around, trying to be clever. Or, better yet, just keep your bigotry to yourself.

I know! It's the same thing with those poor, downtrodden flat earthers. Damn scientists and their bigoted "facts" and "scientific method" things. How dare they come out and criticise magical thinking posing as science simply because magic has no, uhh... you know, that stuff... err... evidence! Yeah, that stuff.

Re:selection pressures (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231843)

How can anyone know -- short of subjective observations, which are inherently non-scientific, i.e. revelation from such an "evolution-motivating" intelligence -- whether or not there is an intelligent motive behind any such process?

How can we know if pink elephants are molding magic clay behind the scenes and waving their magic snouts over them to give them life? That exactly -- EXACTLY -- as probable as whatever 'intelligent design' you're advocating, whether it be the Egyption Ra controlling the universe, Zeus, or the Abrahamic God.

In other words, no one can be sure what's "really" going on. But what we do know is that evolution can actually be observed, has been observed, and will be observed again (including new species creation). The Christian God or Pink Elephants both have the same amount of observed evidence.

Re:selection pressures (2, Insightful)

inviolet (797804) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231933)

I know that there's no intelligent motive behind evolution

What a remarkably obtuse thing to say. How can anyone know -- short of subjective observations, which are inherently non-scientific, i.e. revelation from such an "evolution-motivating" intelligence -- whether or not there is an intelligent motive behind any such process?

-5, Burden of Proof

Look, if you want to ridicule the "creationists" and "intelligent design" proponents, just have the balls to come out and say it; don't pussyfoot around, trying to be clever. Or, better yet, just keep your bigotry to yourself.

-5, Argument From Intimidation

Which means that I get to do the same to you. Ready? Here goes...

Just look at your post -- "just have the balls"?! If you want to ridicule the "scientists" and "rational thought" proponents, just have the salt to come out and say it; don't pussyfoot around, trying to be clever. Or, better yet, just keep your sexism to yourself.

Wow, you're right. That was tons easier than composing a rational rebuttal. I think I'll run for public office.

Re:selection pressures (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232037)

What a remarkably obtuse thing to say. How can anyone know -- short of subjective observations, which are inherently non-scientific, i.e. revelation from such an "evolution-motivating" intelligence -- whether or not there is an intelligent motive behind any such process?

Look, if you want to ridicule the "creationists" and "intelligent design" proponents, just have the balls to come out and say it; don't pussyfoot around, trying to be clever. Or, better yet, just keep your bigotry to yourself.

Please provide a theory explaining the existence of a creator god or gods and the methods used by them in the creation of the earth and the means to prove such a theory and the scientific community will be forever in your debt.

Barring such evidence, we are left with saying "we see no evidence for an external creator, no evidence of a guiding intelligence in evolution; what we can observe can be explained by evolutionary theory and any gaps currently present in our knowledge are avenues for further research." Science looks for the best theory at hand, not the perfect one that explains every little detail since such a perfect theory is hard to come by. We may not know everything there is to know about electro-magnetism but what we do know of it allows us to make computers work which is somewhat better than the view the ancients had of lightning, i.e. thunderbolts thrown by the Zeus.

Science cannot definitively prove something does not exist but it can at least reduce the question to an irrelevance. Consider Russell's Teapot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot [wikipedia.org]

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

But since you think I'm being clever, here's another one: Don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church.

Re:selection pressures (3, Insightful)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231895)

I know that there's no intelligent motive behind evolution

That's a pretty bold statement. Any proof better then that of those that say there is?

Re:selection pressures (2, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232029)

Any proof better then that of those that say there is?

Yes. Evolution can be observed to follow patterns not requiring intelligent design (e.g., Darwin's Finches [wikipedia.org] and the observed instances of new species creation). All God speculations have exactly the same amount of observable evidence: zero.

Re:selection pressures (1)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232229)

That's a pretty bold statement. Any proof better then that of those that say there is?

We can control it. We can manipulate it. We can make it do things it's really not supposed to.

Creationism rules (4, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231195)

This fossil proves that evolution can never be the way species appear. We have so many animals that haven't evolved at all in millions of years: crocodiles, sharks, turtles, octopusses... I tell you, all these animals have been put on the Earth by the great Spaghetti Monster (hallowed be its name) and have proven worthy of staying. That's why they haven't become extinct.

Re:Creationism rules (2, Funny)

rleibman (622895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231599)

Ramen!

Re:Creationism rules (1)

arekusu_ou (1344373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231713)

I know you're being funny but just because they haven't evolved recently doesn't mean they didn't or still couldn't.

Re:Creationism rules (3, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231811)

According to the Second Holy Doctrine of the FSM, animals that are tasty with pasta were allowed to remain unevolved. Untasty animals are in the process of being intelligently evolved by touches of His Noodly Appendage until they assume a tasty form. Thus we can reconcile the evidence of evolution with the wisdom of the FSM.

Such early examples of perfect tastiness with pasta should be eaten with reverence for the wise benevolence of His Noodliness's early omnipotence. Rejoice in your Polpi e Calamari Fettucine, for it is given by the grace of He of the Tangled Forkful.

Ramen.

Re:Creationism rules (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231855)

Pffft Horseshoe crab been around for 300-450 million years, kicks old octo's ass!

While trying to figure out exactly how long the fossil record is for it I came across this:

http://creationwiki.org/Horseshoe_crab#Horseshoe_Crab_and_Evolution [creationwiki.org]

I am not sure what it says about me, but I can't tell if this is supposed to be serious or just satire...

Also apparently this is not a new conversation as I also ran across this wonderful yahoo forum on the debate...

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090310061347AAXFTt1 [yahoo.com]

Funtimes Friday I tell you!

Darwin was wrong! (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231219)

"These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species."'"

Hah. Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!
Darwin was wrong!

Re:Darwin was wrong! (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232123)

"These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species."'"

Hah. Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong! Darwin was wrong!

Frequently, presumably. But not, so far as we can tell, in this case.

Don't f--- with Octopus's (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231243)

The moral of the story is, until recently, Octopuses were one of the dominant species of the planet. At least until man came around. Now, we eat them.

Haha, our 8 tentacled friends... two hands with opposing thumbs have you beat!

Land vs. Sea evolution (5, Interesting)

Saffaya (702234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231461)

The remark about sharks and octopods not having evolved in millions of years, compared to all the evolutions witnessed on land, make me wonder if it is caused by the oceans being a more stable environment across the eons than land ?

I mean, look at the coelancanth : living fossil. Do we have anything as ancient on solid ground ?
Or is land intrisincally a much more dynamic/chaotic/subject to wild changes ecosystem ?

Re:Land vs. Sea evolution (1)

Opyros (1153335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231741)

Dragonflies and crocodiles are very similar to their ancestors of many millions of years ago.

Re:Land vs. Sea evolution (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232203)

Both aquatic (the major part of the dragonfly's life is as a nymph).

Re:Land vs. Sea evolution (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232249)

And politicians. Don't forget them.

Re:Land vs. Sea evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231823)

The remark about sharks and octopods not having evolved in millions of years, compared to all the evolutions witnessed on land, make me wonder if it is caused by the oceans being a more stable environment across the eons than land ?

I mean, look at the coelancanth : living fossil. Do we have anything as ancient on solid ground ?
Or is land intrisincally a much more dynamic/chaotic/subject to wild changes ecosystem ?

Birds.

Re:Land vs. Sea evolution (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231829)

there's a shitload more sea for things to find a niche in where competitive pressure lets them get by as opposed to on land

Re:Land vs. Sea evolution (4, Insightful)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231865)

Well, I would imagine that the general environment above water changes much more and much more drastically than the one below. Things such as Ice Ages and volcanic eruptions aren't going to have a profound effect on a lifeform that lives hundreds of feet (or even several miles) below the surface of the water.

Evolution requires environmental pressure in order to allow changes to be selected. If there isn't much of an environmental pressure outside of being faster than what's trying to eat you or smarter than what you're trying to eat, there won't be much evolution except to these ends.

Re:Land vs. Sea evolution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231873)

cockroaches, ants?

Re:Land vs. Sea evolution (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232225)

Bear in mind that the total inhabitable volume of the land is roughly equal to the total inhabitable surface area * 1 (to convert area to volume), and the total area of land (inhabitable or not) is less than a third of the total surface area.

The oceans are staggeringly deep in places, virtually everything can be occupied by something (right down to the deepest of the oceanic trenches), and the range in which an organism can survive is often beyond comprehension (some whales dive to below 10,000 feet). This greatly increases the range an animal can thrive in, and thus reduces pressure from any given competing species.

However, evolution does happen in the oceans. I, for one, am rather glad that one specific beastie [bbc.co.uk] that had an estimated bite of 45 tonnes per square inch is not in circulation at the moment. Although it might make a cool monster in a horror flick! Being able to bite clean through an armoured car in one go has to be worth some decent SFX.

How does evolution detract from God? (3, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231519)

I'm a fairly deep believer in God and it always puzzled me why someone would have a problem with evolution.

I'm not asking you to believe in God if you don't, I honestly don't care. What I am saying is that those who believe in God and doubt the science should look at the story science teaches us for what it is and see the grandeur in it. Our universe is so big and so old, that it is a thing that a God would make, not some puny planet but a tree's age old.

We always ask, believer or no, could God make a stone so large that He cannot move it? Maybe he can and he did, a simple set of equations that shape time and space into our universe that yields practically an infinity of variety, and is why we have free will.

Re:How does evolution detract from God? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231689)

Our universe is so big and so old, that it is a thing that a God would make, not some puny planet but a tree's age old.

Wow. A sensible Christian! Perhaps they're evolving....

Re:How does evolution detract from God? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232377)

Our universe is so big and so old, that it is a thing that a God would make, not some puny planet but a tree's age old.

Wow. A sensible Christian! Perhaps they're evolving....

No, both sorts seem to go back all the way to the emergence of Christianity. I sometimes wonder whether they're different species of Christian.

Re:How does evolution detract from God? (3, Informative)

virtue3 (888450) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231767)

I spent years trying to figure out this whole "fundie" mentality of religion myself. I think it just really stems from who is teaching and who is learning. I learned everything about Christianity and God from my grandmother (Wiccan/Catholic nun) and the jesuits at my private school in highschool. It's... very very different from everything else I've heard of.

I mean, in all seriousness, my Bible study teacher flat out said that the reason there is a creation myth in the Bible is because all the other religions had one as well. However, he did ad, that if you don't take it too literally it can work with our current understanding. None of my teachers ever once even hinted that science and religion could not get along nor go hand in hand.

Topics like Abortion were always met with a very hard handed "evil", however, well, aside from my Grandmother, who very strongly believes that no one has the right to tell a woman what she can and can't do with her body (and that ultimately it is between her and God and no one else) and I very strongly agree with her.

Re:How does evolution detract from God? (1)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231851)

Our universe is so big and so old, that it is a thing that a God would make, not some puny planet but a tree's age old.

Have you confirmed this with a deity somewhere? How exactly do you know that this is what a God would make or are you assuming that this is what your conception of a God would make?

On second thought, I'm not even sure why I'm wasting my time replying to this. I've read this 5 times and I still don't understand this sentence:

Maybe he can and he did, a simple set of equations that shape time and space into our universe that yields practically an infinity of variety, and is why we have free will.

Why exactly is free will even mentioned? Is this the age old argument that this is the best of all possible universes and that in order to be the best of all possible universes, it required free will. I won't even get into discussing that one -- it's been discredited by far brighter minds numerous times.

Re:How does evolution detract from God? (1)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232057)

The problem that cdesign proponentists have with evolution (and subsequently, abiogenesis) is that it doesn't need a god. Everything in science has and must have a natural explanation. Moreso, science as a whole deals with physical evidence and testable predictions, of which there are none for the existence of a god.

Sure, you can multi-class and be both scientific and still hold faith in a higher power, but that does not change the fact that science will never point to a deity. By its very nature, a supernatural being cannot be tested and no direct physical evidence can be brought forth to validate its existence.

The only reason you can mix your faith with science is because your faith is a premade conclusion... to you there is no question of this being's existence, regardless of the fact that there is absolutely no evidence for it. It is like building a house upside down: you are starting with a conclusion... science ends with one.

further reading (1)

ovu (1410823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232093)

If you like physics, I can recommend a book which offers a ton of insight into the concepts you're mentioning, from a physicist/philosopher perspective.

Lee Smolin's Life of the Cosmos [amazon.com]

He addresses and dispels popular, but outmoded concepts such as cosmic heat death. He also proposes ingenious ideas about why universal constants have the values they do, and why life appears in the universe. While sidestepping religious implications as much as possible, the perspective he offers into these topics seems to refine our insight into the creative powers of the universe, which some term God. It is dense with insight and worth reading.

Re:How does evolution detract from God? (1)

robinesque (977170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232179)

Here here! I am not religious but when I was younger and did go to church with my parents, the church always supported that very view point. Evolution, physics, they're all just God's way of doing things.

Re:How does evolution detract from God? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232233)

What makes you think we have free will? Our bodies are entirely bound by the laws of physics. There's no room for free will.

Re:How does evolution detract from God? (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232515)

I'm a fairly deep believer in God and it always puzzled me why someone would have a problem with evolution.

You have to distinguish between religion as an individual belief in GOD and religion as a socially organized set of beliefs that that is built primarily around SCRIPTURE.

We use the same term, "religious" to describe believers who think that in general terms there is something going on behind the scenes of reality that might reasonably be labelled "God", AND to describe people who think they know in detail what God wants, especially visa vis the sacrificing of virgins, the stoning of infidels, etc.

The former people generally have no problem with evolution. The latter people do, because their belief is primarily focused on scripture, which generally has a creation story that can't be made consistent with evolution (and in the Christian case can't even be made consistent with itself!)

Phenotype!=genotype (4, Informative)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27231685)

Just because their outward appearance hasn't changed in millions of years doesn't mean they have not evolved. Heat shock proteins, enzymes, internal organs, nerve systems, skin coloration, mating habits, immune cells, surface proteins, antibodies, etc. These are all things that may have changed through evolution that you might not notice by analyzing fossils. To say that these creatures have not evolved over millions of years is rather naive or ignorant.

Re:Phenotype!=genotype (1)

robinesque (977170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232215)

IANAB but it seems unlikely that all of these internal things would be changing while the outside stays practically identical. Someone correct me!

YOU FAIL IT.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231751)

Do8't be afraid for the project. also dead, its the goodwill

You guys are idiots (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27231877)

It's identical to a living octopus because that's how it was created!

Darwinism Predicts Nothing Beyond the Trivial (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232115)

Why is this remarkable? This is what Darwinism or even neo-Darwinism predicts: survivors survive.

There, that's it.

It's dead (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27232275)

These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species.

Except, you know, for the fact that one is a rock and the other can only imitate the appearance of a rock.

And still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27232397)

no fricking lasers on its' head.

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