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New Dinosaur Species Is a Missing Link

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the filling-in-the-blanks dept.

Science 194

An anonymous reader writes "A new dinosaur provides a link between what paleontologists consider 'early' and 'later' dinosaurs. There's a gap in the fossil record between the oldest known dinosaurs, which walked or ran on their hind legs about 230 million years ago in Argentina and Brazil, and other predatory dinosaurs that lived much later. Daemonosaurus chauliodus helps fill in a blank in dinosaur history."

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194 comments

Gay. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814026)

n/t

And now there are TWO gaps! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814100)

And now there are TWO gaps!

Re:And now there are TWO gaps! (1)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814130)

It's the key idea of "The Bisection of the Species", a book written by Darwin's lesser-known great-great-great-grandson who studied computer science. Incidently, they both had similar beards.

Re:And now there are TWO gaps! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814680)

It's the key idea of "The Bisection of the Species", a book written by Darwin's lesser-known great-great-great-grandson who studied computer science.

A classic binary search...

Incidently, they both had similar beards.

Well I don't know about Pappy Darwin, but the Younger Darwin surely knew that he'd never get any respect as a computer scientist if he didn't have a big bushy beard.

At least if he used UNIX...

Kind (-1, Troll)

Masterofpsi (1643965) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814106)

But it's still the same "kind" of animal. Therefore evolution is false.

Re:Kind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35815744)

Fucking idiot

"Daemon"osaurus? (5, Funny)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814116)

Did it run on Linux?

Sorry, but it is /., so I had to ask.

Re:"Daemon"osaurus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814188)

It ran on the ground, but Linux may well have ran on it. Now, Bambiraptor [sciencenewsline.com] , on the other hand, clearly had access to good hacking tools.

Re:"Daemon"osaurus? (3, Funny)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814214)

It ran on the ground, but Linux may well have ran on it.

If you watch closely, you can see it running in the background in Jurassic Park.

Re:"Daemon"osaurus? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814208)

Did it run on Linux?

If it was running Linux, it wouldn't be extinct.

It would still be running, and hold the record for longest uptime.

*BSD is dying (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814364)

Where else would a "daemon" run but on FreeBSD [wikipedia.org] ? But then of course, Netcraft confirms [wikia.com] that FreeBSD is dead.

Re:*BSD is dying (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814686)

But then of course, Netcraft confirms that FreeBSD is dead.

And so are the dinosaurs - I think you're on to something!

Re:*BSD is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35815920)

But then of course, Netcraft confirms that FreeBSD is dead.

And so are the dinosaurs - I think you're on to something!

Dinosaurs are dead? You're obviously not keeping up with current science -- I just saw dinosaurs flying by and not too long ago I even rode on a dinosaur. (Hint, it was an ostrich.)

You're not onto something, I think you're on something!

Re:"Daemon"osaurus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814480)

Did it run on Linux?

Sorry, but it is /., so I had to ask.

Back then Linux ran from it.

Re:"Daemon"osaurus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814608)

Well, couldn't be windows, as noone has found a fossilized blue screen yet. :-)

Species 404? (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814124)

The missing link?

Re:Species 404? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814322)

Thats OK, this is slashdot - nobody is going to click on it to RTFA anyway.

Re:Species 404? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815204)

Dude, it said in the title the link was missing. Where were we supposed to click?

Now there are two gaps .. (5, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814136)

In the ongoing "discussion" with the creationists, it has occasionally been pointed out that whenever a biologist finds a fossil that fills in a gap in the fossil record, one result is to replace the one gap with two gaps. Thus, no such discovery can ever persuade the creationists; it just adds to their list of known gaps in the fossil record To them, evolutionary theory can't be ready for prime time until all the fossil gaps are filled in. They don't acknowledge the patterns that biologists find in the (admittedly very sketchy) fossil record.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1, Interesting)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814156)

What I always wonder is why bother trying to convince them? Who cares? Let them be ignorant.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814164)

Cos they get on our school boards and tell our kids what to think.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (-1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814178)

How many kids do you have, and how many school districts are they attending, exactly? Aside from your entire argument, that was a great argument.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (3, Informative)

Creedo (548980) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814316)

How many kids do you have, and how many school districts are they attending, exactly? Aside from your entire argument, that was a great argument.

As a parent of two kids in public school in Kansas [wikipedia.org] , yes, I am concerned. I could also point you to several other states, Tennessee being the most recent that I know of, who are attempting to pass laws to let Creationism in through the backdoor. The Creationist movement is quite active, and if we don't stand up to these idiots, they will happily eviscerate public school science education.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1, Troll)

pookemon (909195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814552)

So you don't provide any guidance in the education of your children? You let the schools do it all yourself? You can't logically educate your child regarding your own beliefs and let them decide which way they want to go?

I am a creationist, I studied Biology at University and I am still a creationist. My kids will be taught evolution, and I have taught them my beliefs. I won't force either point of view on them - at some point they will make up their own mind. But at least they will be educated regarding both point of views. I don't think, or claim, that Evolutionists are "idiots" - I don't need to resort to name calling to try and discount the other point of view.

Having a child taught something at school is not "through the backdoor" - you're aware of it, you are ultimately responsible for your child - so don't blame their school for your inability to argue your point of view.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814576)

He is probably more opposed to the presentation of both "sides" as if they stand on equal footing. For example no one will complain if a social studies teacher explains the conflict between religious fundamentalism and science.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814732)

Having a child taught something at school is not "through the backdoor" - you're aware of it, you are ultimately responsible for your child - so don't blame their school for your inability to argue your point of view.

So I guess you have no problem with sex edd for kindergartners. Please confer with the creationists on my school board: Their open mindedness only applies to the things they happen to believe.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2, Insightful)

Creedo (548980) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814822)

So you don't provide any guidance in the education of your children? You let the schools do it all yourself? You can't logically educate your child regarding your own beliefs and let them decide which way they want to go?

I do. I also choose not to have my children lied to in school, which makes educating them a lot harder.

I am a creationist, I studied Biology at University and I am still a creationist.

Then you reject the biology you claimed to have studied, and for what? A handful of Bronze age myths that you find more compelling than empirical evidence? I guess congratulations are in order, if you find that to be laudable enough to admit in public.

My kids will be taught evolution, and I have taught them my beliefs. I won't force either point of view on them - at some point they will make up their own mind. But at least they will be educated regarding both point of views.

Are you also going to educate them in every other creation myth from every other religion? My kids know about Creationism. We dissect that oddball assertion on a regular basis, as they have a lot of school friends who spout off the popular rhetoric of the churches they attend. But it's mythology, and doesn't belong in a science class. Nor does it rank anywhere near the level of science.

I don't think, or claim, that Evolutionists are "idiots" - I don't need to resort to name calling to try and discount the other point of view.

Should I award you a medal? You apparently don't understand the difference between groundless assertions and methodical research. Here's a hint: when a person chooses to reject the latter in favor of the former, they are an idiot. And it doesn't matter if we are talking about Creationism, conspiracy theories, anti-vaccine beliefs or the coming of Xenu. If you choose bullshit over knowledge, don't expect to be respected by the rest of us.

Having a child taught something at school is not "through the backdoor" - you're aware of it, you are ultimately responsible for your child - so don't blame their school for your inability to argue your point of view.

The backdoor is the attempt to teach Creationism as science. Let me make this totally clear for you: CREATIONISM IS RELIGION, NOT SCIENCE. I don't care one whit if you teach it in comparative religion class. I don't care if your pastor spouts off about it while you sit in a pew. You are free to believe any whacked out crap that you want, but KEEP IT OUT OF THE SCIENCE CLASSROOM!

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

furgle (1825812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815250)

Part of me reads this and thinks: "this is a great way to troll"
  • 1. Take an unpopular position in an argument. Take it deep into your persona, including backstory.
  • 2. Sound reasonable, polite and upset, without actually asserting your position or defending it.
  • 3. ???????
  • 4. Troll profit!

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815260)

I am a creationist, I studied Biology at University and I am still a creationist.

That's quite a testimonial for your school.

My kids will be taught evolution, and I have taught them my beliefs.

Why? If you don't think evolution is right why not teach Pastafarianism or something else you don't believe?

But at least they will be educated regarding both point of views.

Both. ROFL. As if there's only "A god did it" and "A god didn't do it". There are 900 types of baptists, let alone all christian sects, or worse, all religious beliefs. And then there are the "Aliens did it" and other beliefs. Do you teach your children about the Greys AND the Klingons? How do you explain the head-bump/no-head-bump schism in Klingon society?

I don't think, or claim, that Evolutionists are "idiots"

Of course not, someone with beliefs is hardly in the position to be throwing the idiot stone.

I don't need to resort to name calling to try and discount the other point of view.

It wouldn't matter, a valid point is valid even if rude, and a wrong one wrong even if polite.

Having a child taught something at school is not "through the backdoor" - you're aware of it, you are ultimately responsible for your child - so don't blame their school for your inability to argue your point of view.

Ahh yes, and if the government school taught holocaust denial, or that HIV was good for you, you'd still be fine with the taxes and the influence on your kids? Even though it'd take much work (and without money to send them to a better school you'd be doing it all alone) just to address all the lies and unfounded claims, let alone give them an actually useful education as well?

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815484)

Do you consider creationism to be on equal footing as evolution within sciences? That's the big question. I doubt most would object creationism to be in religious education (if there is such a thing in the US).

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815770)

The crucial matter is that creationism is a belief/point of view but is wanting to be taught as a science which it blatantly isn't (e.g. new evidence should produce an adjustment/refinement of the current best theory)

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814898)

And what "bad" will come from creationism? I don't know of any bad that comes from putting God in a school. However, plenty of bad things happen when you take God out. Of course I am sure you'll just quote something irrelevant about the crusades from 1000 years ago or suicide bombers in third world countries..... Moving on...

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35815502)

pedophilia !

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815792)

How about a complete lack of critical thinking?

Teaching kids to just believe anything as "it's a matter of faith"?

Teaching kids to ignore what their own senses/experiences tell them and instead believe some stuff written in a book ages ago that makes no rational sense?

I always thought that schools are about education, not indoctrination. If "God" wants to be in schools, he can damn well give the lessons himself (unless he's too busy planting fossils to test our faith).

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814318)

How many kids do you have, and how many school districts are they attending, exactly? Aside from your entire argument, that was a great argument.

So if you are not a parent then the well-being of children (mentally in this case) who represent the future of the world I live in is not important? Then I suppose, by your logic, you wouldn't mind if a group or class of people that you do not belong to all got together and decided it was okay to spread the meme that people with the online nick name "The End of Days" deserve to die?

Your shortsightedness is so ridiculous that I can only hope it's trolling.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814714)

Cos they get on our school boards and tell our kids what to think.

Of course, if the rest of us weren't so complacent when it's time to vote for the school board, that problem might go away.

The Texas State School Board pulled some of its usual idiocy not too many years ago, and actually motivated people to get out and vote some more sensible people in. But by the next election complacency had set in again, so the kooks got their seats back.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814836)

Of course, if the rest of us weren't so complacent when it's time to vote for the school board, that problem might go away.

Of course, if you motivated all the people who know that Creationism is bunk to vote, then word will get back to Creationists who will then motivate their cronies.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814172)

girl: ...but he's a United States Senator!

man: Then we have a problem.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814176)

Because they vote.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814248)

You honestly think voting matters anymore?

Y r u so stupid? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814370)

Y R U so stupid??

Re:Y r u so stupid? (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814482)

You're like my very own tiny, angry, Slashdot pet.

Aww. Isn't that cute.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814228)

What I always wonder is why bother trying to convince them? Who cares? Let them be ignorant.

Because they are waging their influence on entire school boards in some US states. That is a very large number of people who are going to grow up ignorant.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1, Troll)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814308)

ok, i'm only going to do this once, but i have to ask:
In the grand scheme of your daily life, and continued existence on this planet, how has the knowledge that humans evolved from monkeys, and so on and so forth down to single celled whatnot, been an important factor in your continued success as a person? have you ever gotten a raise for believing this? have you ever gained any windfall from this being what you believe?

Right, I'm willing to bet, the answer to that is no. Now, sure, a person could argue a lot of philosophical things about believing in God, vs believing in Evolution, but when it all boils down, what you believe about the origins of mankind, the world, and the universe, has little bearing on what kind of life you are going to have. As long as you are taught to not act like a cockbite, and be somewhat civilized, your going to be fine, religion be damned.
Sure, some groups may not accept what you think, but others will, and that pretty much sums up human existence.

Sure, it may be ignorance, but I can be ignorant about a lot of things, and live a perfectly healthy and normal life. I'm ignorant of the precise internal workings of a hybrid electric automobile, as well as how the exact details of how the north-bridge in a computer works. I'm also ignorant of the exact details of the rise and fall of the Byzantine empire, but not knowing these things does not prevent me from having a decent life, and refusing to learn them only precludes me from working in a few very specialized fields of work. This whole blood feud between religion and science is pretty pointless when it comes down to the day to day lives of most of us, and I'm starting to get tired of it.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814406)

"In the grand scheme of your daily life, and continued existence on this planet, how has the knowledge that humans evolved from monkeys, and so on and so forth down to single celled whatnot, been an important factor in your continued success as a person?"

Biological and medical science wouldn't be where they are without knowledge of evolution and DNA, part of the whole picture is our evolutionary pattern.

BTW, not descended from monkeys. We share a common ancestor with monkeys several million years ago.

Sure, it may be ignorance, but I can be ignorant about a lot of things, and live a perfectly healthy and normal life.

Teaching ignorance of life sciences to an entire generation is a recipe for total scientific failure later on, not to mention that teaching blind faith over critical thinking in general is a terrible idea.

What one person believes is irrelevant. What is taught to entire generations of children will have an impact on the future of the country.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815362)

BTW, not descended from monkeys. We share a common ancestor with monkeys several million years ago.

Be careful, knowledge burns them.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814412)

Guess you won't be getting a new flu shot next year! Let me know how that works out for ya...

You may be ignorant about all those many things, but what you aren't is trying to convince everyone else that those many things work through magic rather than how we know they really do, and that the "electricity theory" of hybrid engines and computers is all a lie sent by the Devil to make you sin. It's one thing to think what you want about something, but it's totally another to try to convince everyone that the scientifically accepted explanation is a load of crap to try to insert your own particular brand of mythology in its place. I mean, who wants to major in biology? That's just silly!

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814452)

Let's say .1% of the population if properly educated will help to advance mankind. It may be understanding a disease or how a virus mutates that leads to better treatments. It may be the engineering (math, physics, chemistry) of the next addition to our infrastructure (roads, water, electricity, phone, internet etc.).

Personally, I think teaching millions of children who would rather be ignorant is a fair price to pay for the thousands that advance our civilization. Correlation may not equal causation but a quick look at per capita education spending [oclc.org] does not support the view that a wide swath of knowledge has a negligible affect on your life.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814936)

Why should this .1% of the population shoulder the responsiblity of making sure the rest of society is elevated because of their hard work?

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815024)

Exactly. This is why everyone should be well-educated generally, not just in whatever narrow field they choose.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814528)

Understanding our evolutionary path gives us insight into our behaviors. Our continued success is a trait that was molded upon the past success of our evolutionary path. The windfall you speak of is the consciousness raising understanding of everything that encompasses our evolutionary heritage.

Your bets are wrong. Don't worry though, you're not the only one.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814722)

You can have a decent life because you don't need to know how a hybrid electric automobile works, this is fair comment, so should schools be allowed to teach that small fairies and leprechauns sprinkle each motor with magic dust and that's what makes it work? Allowing children to remain ignorant of the theory of evolution is one thing, actively teaching them that creationism is just as valid as evolution is quite the other.

Your analogies are ridiculous and they fail spectacularly. They fail because we're not only talking about ignorance of subject matter, but also actively teaching an alternative "theory" (it's not a real theory because it can't be tested) which is based on hand-waving, supernatural mumbo-jumbo. Not all children will grow up to specialise in fields that require them to know about the theory of evolution, just as most won't need to know about the workings of the internal combustion engine, but why fuck them up before they begin?

It's not just about some petty squabble between two different ideologies. People are railing against a culture of willful ignorance and an inability to think critically that could have extremely serious implications in the future. If you can look further than the end of your own nose, you should be worried.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35815238)

People are railing against a culture of willful ignorance and an inability to think critically that could have extremely serious implications in the future.

You know who I blame? All the smart people who decide to have only one child instead of breeding like rabbits. Just think what will happen if a high percentage of the intelligent people continue to have as few children as possible in the naïve hope that somehow they will singlehandedly protect the world from overpopulation. In another few generations, we'll be a planet of morons.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815834)

We'll always need people to flip burgers, clean toilets etc.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815358)

You comment is really interesting because it shows how ignorant of the problem you actually are.

You can have a decent life because you don't need to know how a hybrid electric automobile works, this is fair comment, so should schools be allowed to teach that small fairies and leprechauns sprinkle each motor with magic dust and that's what makes it work?

If that was a belief held and circulated for thousands of years and thought to have something to do with your existence after death, then yes, they should be able to teach it or in the least, allow it to stand. However, seeing how that's not the case, your analogy simply fails.

Allowing children to remain ignorant of the theory of evolution is one thing, actively teaching them that creationism is just as valid as evolution is quite the other.

The problem arises with the separation of church and state. Claiming one is true over the other is the same as saying the other is false. And since the government cannot force religious views on you, it simple cannot force the opinion that they are false or one is more right on you either. And that is not even touching the fact that evolution does not disprove creationism whatsoever at all. Nowhere in science does it say that seeing something happen one way means it's the only way possible.

Your analogies are ridiculous and they fail spectacularly. They fail because we're not only talking about ignorance of subject matter, but also actively teaching an alternative "theory" (it's not a real theory because it can't be tested) which is based on hand-waving, supernatural mumbo-jumbo. Not all children will grow up to specialise in fields that require them to know about the theory of evolution, just as most won't need to know about the workings of the internal combustion engine, but why fuck them up before they begin?

Most children are capable of using X with Y and T with S. I do not see a problem with any child knowing of both as long as they know where it belongs. And do not think for a minute that it's too complicated for them as they do it right now when changing controllers to play the same or similar games on different gaming devices or computers. IF the children know of creation or ID or the flying spaghetti monster, it will not fuck them up any more then Pluto not being a planet now has fucked up almost 50 years of students.

It's not just about some petty squabble between two different ideologies. People are railing against a culture of willful ignorance and an inability to think critically that could have extremely serious implications in the future. If you can look further than the end of your own nose, you should be worried.

Nonsense. Anyone who is going to be in the position to impact the future will have went to college and the topic is covered there quite well. Your grasping for straws here. No one graduating high school will ever invent the newest drug or cure any disease that a high school level of biology or science will give them. They will have taken college or they will find someone who was in college to further anything they might come close to finding. Furthermore, the kids who would want to go into a field where this knowledge might remotely be deemed important, are the same kids who already know the knowledge. Knowing about creation, religion, or anything contrary to science does not stop kids from critically thinking.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

paul.hatchman (958948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815820)

The problem arises with the separation of church and state. Claiming one is true over the other is the same as saying the other is false. And since the government cannot force religious views on you, it simple cannot force the opinion that they are false or one is more right on you either. And that is not even touching the fact that evolution does not disprove creationism whatsoever at all. Nowhere in science does it say that seeing something happen one way means it's the only way possible.

What bollocks.

Following your argument through to its logical conclusion means that if any claim by any religious sect contradicts the school curriculum we could no longer teach that topic. It is not just creationism, by the time you add in the beliefs of the raelians, scientologists and every other cult out there, you'd not be able to teach anything at all. Should we not teach Native American history because the mormons tell us they are a lost tribe of Israel and therefore teaching their real history is now prohibited by seperation of church and state? What a ludicrous concept.

Evolution is the best scientific description we have of the diversity of life we see on the planet and that is why we teach it in science class. Whatever your other views on creationism, it is a wholly religious idea and has no place in the science classroom.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815840)

A quick question:

Is there any feasible way, any possible evidence that could ever "disprove" creationism?

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Creedo (548980) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814756)

Yes, it matters. It matters in medicine. It matters in education. It matters in public policy. It matters in understanding the fundamental underpinnings of the human race. It matters in knowing who the fuck you are and where you came from.

If you want to bury your head in the sand and shrug your shoulders at systemic ignorance, by all means, fuck off and have a nice day. You can take your mealy mouthed acceptance of the fundamental rejection of human knowledge and take a flying leap. The rest of us will stand up for the truth even if you won't.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814782)

Sure, it may be ignorance, but I can be ignorant about a lot of things, and live a perfectly healthy and normal life. I'm ignorant of the precise internal workings of a hybrid electric automobile, as well as how the exact details of how the north-bridge in a computer works. I'm also ignorant of the exact details of the rise and fall of the Byzantine empire, but not knowing these things does not prevent me from having a decent life, and refusing to learn them only precludes me from working in a few very specialized fields of work. This whole blood feud between religion and science is pretty pointless when it comes down to the day to day lives of most of us, and I'm starting to get tired of it.

Your argument applies to everything taught in school, and most things people learn from each other. Would you argue that all learning is unimportant, and there is no point to any form of education?

While it is true that most things people learn are useless to them, the practice of thinking is a valuable skill. I have not used anything I remember from a science class in the last decade, but I use the scientific method to solve problems in real life all the time. I don't do many geometric proofs, but geometry taught me to think logically. Creationists won't stop at evolution. All of the physical sciences test the will of god. Most of the literature that raises any sort of moral question isn't going to be allowed. Take critical thinking out of the curriculum for a generation, and there will be a real price to pay.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815344)

ok, i'm only going to do this once, but i have to ask:
In the grand scheme of your daily life, and continued existence on this planet, how has the knowledge that humans evolved from monkeys, and so on and so forth down to single celled whatnot, been an important factor in your continued success as a person? have you ever gotten a raise for believing this?

I don't believe it. But it's much more in line with all the physical evidence than "Spaceghost made us cuz he was lonely".

have you ever gained any windfall from this being what you believe?

Once again, not a belief. But yes, a tremendous windfall - being able to independently evaluate thing has helped in all facets of life. From avoiding a bad mortgage to avoiding beliefs.

Right, I'm willing to bet, the answer to that is no. Now, sure, a person could argue a lot of philosophical things about believing in God, vs believing in Evolution, but when it all boils down, what you believe about the origins of mankind, the world, and the universe, has little bearing on what kind of life you are going to have.

Being religious strongly correlates with believing what people tell you. Many people believed GW Bush's lies about Iraq because they trusted a fellow religious believer, and over a million people were wrongly killed, and now they've got that blood on their hands.

In other news that same stupidity caused many people to buy a mortgage they knew they couldn't pay back without questioning the system that allowed this. How's it feel when your whole country's wealth is stolen in a Ponzi scheme?

As long as you are taught to not act like a cockbite, and be somewhat civilized, your going to be fine, religion be damned.

Unless it convinces you to avoid medical treatment. Or any of the other problems associated with being gullible.

Sure, it may be ignorance, but I can be ignorant about a lot of things, and live a perfectly healthy and normal life.

Or, you can't but you just don't know it yet.

I'm ignorant of the precise internal workings of a hybrid electric automobile, as well as how the exact details of how the north-bridge in a computer works. I'm also ignorant of the exact details of the rise and fall of the Byzantine empire, but not knowing these things does not prevent me from having a decent life,

But surely you know that there are right answers to these things and just making them up isn't going to work. If you needed to fix your hybrid would you pray or read the book?

This whole blood feud between religion and science is pretty pointless when it comes down to the day to day lives of most of us, and I'm starting to get tired of it.

Oh no! We assumed y'all were having fun. We'll stop pointing out that belief in magic is retarded then. After all, your feelings, and the burden of protecting them, weighs so heavily on us all.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815520)

ok, i'm only going to do this once, but i have to ask: In the grand scheme of your daily life, and continued existence on this planet, how has the knowledge that humans evolved from monkeys, and so on and so forth down to single celled whatnot, been an important factor in your continued success as a person? have you ever gotten a raise for believing this? have you ever gained any windfall from this being what you believe?

Tthe understanding of the concepts of evolution have indeed been very helpful in my life, it allowed me to better understand the scientific method, my origins and i can apply principles of evolution to other fields. Oh, and i do not believe evolution, i accept it as scientific fact. I would love if someone could disprove it as that would further my understanding and knowledge, but so far, that hasn't happened.

Right, I'm willing to bet, the answer to that is no.

You just lost.

Now, sure, a person could argue a lot of philosophical things about believing in God, vs believing in Evolution, but when it all boils down, what you believe about the origins of mankind, the world, and the universe, has little bearing on what kind of life you are going to have. As long as you are taught to not act like a cockbite, and be somewhat civilized, your going to be fine, religion be damned.

Your problem is that you think people believe in evolution. They do not. They acknowledge it as scientific fact. That is a very important difference. Believe requires no evidence.

Sure, it may be ignorance, but I can be ignorant about a lot of things, and live a perfectly healthy and normal life. I'm ignorant of the precise internal workings of a hybrid electric automobile, as well as how the exact details of how the north-bridge in a computer works. I'm also ignorant of the exact details of the rise and fall of the Byzantine empire, but not knowing these things does not prevent me from having a decent life, and refusing to learn them only precludes me from working in a few very specialized fields of work. This whole blood feud between religion and science is pretty pointless when it comes down to the day to day lives of most of us, and I'm starting to get tired of it.

Unfortunately, religion does interfere with daily life, it's time we put that myth behind us.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35816090)

The problem isn't ignorance, the problem is teaching people to reject reason in favor of faith. Faith is all well and good but it does not build bridges or cure diseases (apocryphal stories to the contrary notwithstanding). Teaching children that rejecting reason is okay is always a recipe for disaster

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814244)

Because they can vote. This effects at least two things. A) Education, and 2) Funding for Research. Now if you plan on making a career of doing origin of life research, you care a lot about being able to get funding.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814424)

It also makes a difference which particular brand of mythology your politicians subscribe to when they decide to start making public policies because they believe the End Times are coming in their lifetime, so fuck long-term thinking.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

PmanAce (1679902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814542)

What I always wonder is why bother trying to convince them? Who cares? Let them be ignorant.

Uhhh...have you seen the increasing numbers in the Tea Party recently?

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814654)

And you're not going to convince imbeciles like that. Write them off, minimize them. Try to counteract their idiocy where possible. Don't waste energy trying to convince morons. You'll only frustrate yourself and make sentient beings like pigs jealous.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814306)

In the ongoing "discussion" with the creationists, it has occasionally been pointed out that whenever a biologist finds a fossil that fills in a gap in the fossil record, one result is to replace the one gap with two gaps. Thus, no such discovery can ever persuade the creationists; it just adds to their list of known gaps in the fossil record To them, evolutionary theory can't be ready for prime time until all the fossil gaps are filled in. They don't acknowledge the patterns that biologists find in the (admittedly very sketchy) fossil record.

Actually, they just want a fossil that we can point to and say, "This species evolved into that species." For example we keep finding primate fossils that are very close relatives to man. Unfortunately, we have never found a fossil that is a direct ancestor of man. All we can say is that man and whatever fossil shared a common ancestor. Well, no kidding! All animals share a common ancestor, even if was microscopic and swam in some muddy pool. For that matter, we have not found a fossil or even a species that is a direct ancestor to any other species.

That is my problem with evolution. That's not to say I don't believe evolution. I just get really offended when someone tells me I can bring up questions about it. I also get offended when people say that I don't believe evolution because of religion. Yes, I'm a Christian, but my faith is in no way threatened by evolution.

And there is the ol' 404 error, but that's a link for another /. story.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814456)

All we can say is that man and whatever fossil shared a common ancestor. Well, no kidding! All animals share a common ancestor, even if was microscopic and swam in some muddy pool. For that matter, we have not found a fossil or even a species that is a direct ancestor to any other species.

What exactly do you mean by this?
Do you mean that because it's not possible to trace a direct lineage from a given fossil bone to yourself, that you have doubts that any of it happened?

That's not to say I don't believe evolution. I just get really offended when someone tells me I can bring up questions about it.

CAN'T
CAN'T
CAN'T

Sorry, pet hate. Also, nobody's telling you that you can't question it. What you actually can't do is make shit up that seems to be a hole (when it isn't), tell your followers that this proves evolution is all lies, exclaim that as a result it is now 100% certain that god did it, and then (and this is the bit that gets people like me really upset) demand to use my tax money to spread your dumbass beliefs to everyone else's children.

Hell, if you have legitimate concerns about specific areas of evolutionary theory then I'm sure people would be glad to hear 'em. At this stage it's highly unlikely that they would derail the whole thing, because it matches reality so well. But it would be really cool if there was a Einsteinian relativity -> Quantum physics style leap at some point that allowed us to understand the whole thing in a new way. (The Newton->Einstein jump, IMHO, was the discovery of DNA and how it works, though of course this knowledge is still incomplete).

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814660)

Sorry, pet hate. Also, nobody's telling you that you can't question it. What you actually can't do is make shit up that seems to be a hole (when it isn't), tell your followers that this proves evolution is all lies, exclaim that as a result it is now 100% certain that god did it, and then (and this is the bit that gets people like me really upset) demand to use my tax money to spread your dumbass beliefs to everyone else's children.

DING-DING-DING-DING!!! We have a winner! This is EXACTLY what I was talking about when I said "I just get really offended when someone tells me I can't bring up questions about it." See, if I question it, some kind of ignorant, Bible thumpin' bumpkin that is using ignorance to prove the existence of God.

You are no different that the person you are trying to pain me as. Except, rather than "make shit up that seems to be a hole (when it isn't)," you make shit up that seems to be my argument, when it isn't.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814776)

"You are no different that the person you are trying to pain me as. Except, rather than "make shit up that seems to be a hole (when it isn't)," you make shit up that seems to be my argument, when it isn't."

Where did I do that?

I asked a couple of questions of you, but I didn't make up a straw man and knock it down, as far as I can tell. Who's making shit up now?

I wasn't accusing you of pushing your agenda into schools, by the way, I have no reason to think you (specifically) are doing that.

However, 99% of the "questioning" of evolutionary theory in this day and age is exactly of that character. Sorry if that means you have to make it extra clear that's not what your about, but the signal to noise ration is pretty extreme right now.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (4, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814570)

For example we keep finding primate fossils that are very close relatives to man. Unfortunately, we have never found a fossil that is a direct ancestor of man. All we can say is that man and whatever fossil shared a common ancestor.

Homo Heidelbergensis [wikipedia.org]
Homo Antecessor [wikipedia.org]
Homo Erectus [wikipedia.org]
Australopithecus Afarensis [wikipedia.org]
Ardipithecus [wikipedia.org]

How far back do you want to go?

It's rather irrelevant, anyway. Let me rephrase your complaint:

"You've shown me two of your cousins, five of your brothers, three of your sisters, two uncles, and a niece. But you can't show me your mother or father, so clearly you were miracled into existence."

Yep. Makes perfect sense.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814742)

How far back do you want to go?

It's rather irrelevant, anyway. Let me rephrase your complaint:

"You've shown me two of your cousins, five of your brothers, three of your sisters, two uncles, and a niece. But you can't show me your mother or father, so clearly you were miracled into existence."

Yep. Makes perfect sense.

Congratulations! You have effectively argued against my example. Now, how about you take a whack at my point.

Let me keep you from having to scroll up:

Actually, they just want a fossil that we can point to and say, "This species evolved into that species." For example we keep finding primate fossils that are very close relatives to man. Unfortunately, we have never found a fossil that is a direct ancestor of man. All we can say is that man and whatever fossil shared a common ancestor. Well, no kidding! All animals share a common ancestor, even if was microscopic and swam in some muddy pool. For that matter, we have not found a fossil or even a species that is a direct ancestor to any other species.

Seriously, we've evolved from field rats to every mammal on the planet in a very short 65 million years. We have discovered millions of species through fossils, and yet, you can not point to a single animal, living or extinct, and say that it evolved into this other different species over here, living of extinct. Man has only roamed the planet for roughly 200,000 years. This article is about a fossil that is 230,000,000 years old. So we can find the fossils of a dinosaurs that lived 230 million years old, but we can not find a single fossil from just 200,000 years ago?

And forget man. You're thinking small. How about we broaden the search? Surely, of all the species that have ever existed, and all the species that are STILL EVOLVING TODAY, you would think that we could find one species somewhere that is a direct ancestor of another.

And again, since you're reading comprehension is obviously weak, I never said that the the lack of this evidence is proof that evolution is false. I said that this is a pretty big fucking piece of evidence that we have not found YET and if I even bring it up, I'm instantly ridiculed. It's almost as if I walked into a %place-of-worship% and started saying that %Deity% doesn't exist.

Do you see what I did there? You take it upon faith that an ancestral species exists for all species and if anyone brings it up, you act as if someone is questioning your faith.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814818)

160,000 years ago [berkeley.edu]

I mean its not very hard to find which is surprising considering how hard fossils are to make.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814828)

Why do you keep making this false claim about not finding species that are direct ancestors of other species? The poster you were responding to you linked to hominid species that are (very likely) direct ancestors of the modern human.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

MaXintosh (159753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814874)

Your objection is laughable. Without even going back a million years, I can give you fossil series from old world savanna Alces gallicus, and from Alces latifrons to Alces alces. I know equus (horses) can boast a similarly robust fossil series. So can a number of other taxa. But you know what? Even if we never found a single fossil, ever, the evidence for evolution would be robust - There's biogeography, there's genetics, there's morphometics, there's observed natural selection in the modern world, and so on. One need but google "Evidence for evolution" to be bombarded with so much rigorous scientific evidence as to simply overwhelm any braying to the contrary.

But it'll never be enough. We could find every fossil, sequence every genome, and compile so much evidence it would collapse a library, and people are still going to reject evolution. It's rarely a rational thing, and more often than not it's predicated on misinformation and other beliefs. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, just for a moment, that your objection isn't born out of religious fervor, but that would mean that you're instead woefully misinformed.

Evolution is a theory, and a fact. [talkorigins.org] Faith, to be blunt, doesn't enter into it.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2)

Creedo (548980) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814884)

you would think that we could find one species somewhere that is a direct ancestor of another.

We can and do, where we can prove a complete relationship. Primarily bacteria, in this case.

But we are primarily talking about fossils here. We have to have definitive proof that species X was the direct ancestor of species Y to make that claim. We can use a variety of methods(DNA, and morphology, for example) to determine that species are in a familial lineage, but that's not proof of direct ancestry. So, this being science and not applied mythology, we can only state that these two species are part of an ancestral line.

Finally, you apparently don't understand that species evolve as groups, and that there is no clean break between any two species as they diverge. It's not like species X will suddenly start giving birth to species Y. And by the time reproductive isolation has brought about complete speciation, there may have been dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands of subspecies which developed in this lineage. Coming millions of years later, which one will you arbitrarily pick as the definitive ancestor? The fact that you don't see the problem with your question betrays a deep misunderstanding of how the process of evolution works.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35815018)

It's not like species X will suddenly start giving birth to species Y.

Now I got a mental image of a Monkey bursting out a rat, fully formed with a Hawaiian shirt.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (4, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815028)

Exactly. The process of evolution is gradual. Speciation doesn't occur in a single generation, or even in a single lifetime.

Consider equines. Horses and donkeys clearly share an evolutionary ancestor. In fact, they haven't even completely diverged from that ancestor; despite "obviously" being different species, they are inter-fertile. The offspring (mules) are infertile, so it is reasonable to call horses and donkeys different species; they can produce live offspring, but those offspring are a genetic dead end.

OK, how does that relate to my point? Well, sometime many millennia ago, there were a group of equines that, although not exactly like today's donkeys, were close enough that you would call them donkeys. There was a similar group of "horses". Here's the weird thing: they were the same species (interfertile and producing viable offspring). Somewhere over the millennia since then, the two groups, breeding primarily within their own group and not between groups, reinforced certain traits to the point where cross-group offspring were no longer fertile.

The question for you: how the heck do you define where speciation occurred? Was it when the (still interfertile) groups started moving apart? Was it the first member of each group that could not produce fertile offspring with more than half the potential mates in the other group? Was it when there was one member of each group which were mutually incapable of producing fertile offspring with any descendents of the other? For that matter, how do you define thr groups themselves? There were probably some fertile proto-mules for a while, which didn't fit cleanly into either group. They either died out without reproducing or were merged back into one of the groups, the line would nonetheless have been somewhat blurry.

Now, next question: how do you determine, from the fossil record, where that speciation occurred? Which of a bunch of old horse/donkey-skeleton-like rocks (that's all fossils are) was once an animal that gave rise to modern horses which can't produce fertile offspring with modern donkeys? How do you distinguish, from the fossils, that it was X, and not the parents of X, or the children of X, or possibly the specific children of X by Y? How do you distinguish that it was X and not X's sibling that got a slightly different set of chromosomes and was no longer able to produce fertile offspring with his or her corresponding member of the other group, yet went on to breed successfully and pass those chromosomes onto the other members of the group?

Seriously, demanding to see "direct ancestors" in the fossil record is absolute stupidity. I'm no biologist (as I'm sure any biologist reading my post noted) but I understand enough basic genetics to know that even with genetic evidence it's non-trivial to trace direct ancestry, and without it the task is nearly hopeless. Combine that with the way that most individuals never get fossilized, much less last long enough after fossilization to be found today (never mind the many fossils that we don't have yet; new finds are still occurring). Given all that, it'd be a minor miracle to have gaps of only 1000 generations in a direct chain of ancestry. That's enough generations for some pretty significant changes, when you're looking for incremental differences between a horse and a donkey. 1000 generations ago, your ancestors were recognizably human, but they still looked different enough from you today that you wouldn't have been able to call them a "direct ancestor" or not from fossilized bones - and they were probably still close enough that you'd have been interfertile!

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Jerom (96338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815516)

it's when reading post like the above one that I wish I had modpoints! Well written good sir, I salute you.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815958)

I wish a similarly well written post could be made by a creationist to give us an interesting discussion, but it seems that the critical thinkers all seem to be on the evolution "side". I wonder why that is?

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814834)

Actually, they just want a fossil that we can point to and say, "This species evolved into that species." For example we keep finding primate fossils that are very close relatives to man. Unfortunately, we have never found a fossil that is a direct ancestor of man.

Someone has already responded to that last faux pas. As for the rest, consider how sparse the fossil record must be. If you went looking for the skeletons of your ancestors, what percentage of them could you find from two generations ago? From ten generations ago? A hundred generations? A thousand?

And that's a species that likes to put its dead where they can be found again.

Now consider what are the odds of any individual (dinosaur) that lived at least 65,000,000 years ago would be preserved to start with, remain undestroyed for all those years, and then be found by us. It's no surprise that some species are represented by only a single partial skeleton: Most species probably aren't represented in our collections at all.

Also, there's not necessarily a notable change in morphology when a new species arises. Biologists generally think of species in therms of interbreeding; when a population splits into two new populations due to some barrier to breeding, you may not be able to see any difference by looking at skeletons - sometimes it's purely a matter of behavior. The morphological differentiation is able to set in because of the lack of interbreeding, but it might take many, many generations before it is significant enough to identify a skeleton as belonging to one or the other.

According to Wikipedia, the familiar T. rex ranged over most of western North America for a million and a half years, and we've only got a bit over 30 specimens. "some of which are nearly complete skeletons". And then the article goes on to call this an abundance - most species are not nearly so well represented. But this "abundance" is about one full or partial skeleton from the entire species every 50,000 years - for a species numerous enough to sustain a breeding population across almost half a continent.

So go figure the odds of any species being represented at all, let alone a record that shows a single recognizable evolutionary step.

Looking for examples of "this species evolved into that" is basically a fool's errand, arising from ignorance and/or lack of critical thinking about both biology and taphonomy. Science can only find what's there to find, not any and every arbitrary demand. IMO we're lucky to be able to learn as much about our universe as we have.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35816064)

Thank you, Black Parrot. I was afraid I was going to have to point this out and be late for work.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (2)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815000)

My take on the whole controversy....

Evolution by natural selection poses a problem for Christianity because its very brutal process. If its God's natural order, then this brings into question the goodness of God. It also brings into question the idea of sin, since natural selection is argued to produce behaviors historically regarded as sinful. Furthermore nasty animal traits appear to go back hundreds of millions of years, which is difficult to square with common concepts of a 'fall' from paradise.

Individual Christians may deal with these issues by just leaving them unanswered. I think that for most people that is a reasonably pragmatic approach. However, not everybody is comfortable with that, they want certain things to make a certain kind of sense. So broadly speaking, some try to resolve the conflict by disbelieving in science, and others by disbelieving in religious ideas of right and wrong.

At the heart of most Christian criticism of evolution by natural selection, as I understand it, is the feeling that something of importance has been left out. I think this feeling is correct. On the other side, people react against what appears to be a tendency to make up stuff which stands in contraction of known facts, calling it the truth. I'm sympathetic too that view also.

I think that the apparent contradiction between natural selection and morality can be resolved, and in a way that actually deepens and enhances our grasp of the essential truths that both sides care about. But it seems that very few people are interested in reaching for that. Christians I've talked to who question evolution seem not to realize how strong the scientific case really is, and how weak their own arguments are. And they mostly seem uninterested in educating themselves on the subject so that they can find better arguments. I guess that would take a great deal of time and energy, without any obvious payoff, and along the way they'd have be willing to give up anything they previously believed that turns out not to be true. On the other side, understanding what's of value in the criticisms of evolution would require a humility and desire to do that, which apparently isn't as much fun and personally empowering as making fun of stupid people. So both sides keep going over the same ground over and over, and not much new is learned.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815324)

It also brings into question the idea of sin, since natural selection is argued to produce behaviors historically regarded as sinful.

Ah, but that misses a very key truth about natural selection: goodness is also rewarded by the system. Tribes and herds and hunting packs survive better by working as a team. Similarly, the hunted also survive better by working together for the common defense. Monogamy prevents the spread of diseases and makes it easier to determine parentage. And so on.

For every sinful thing that natural selection selects for, one can also point out a good and holy thing that natural selection selects for, assuming that one takes the time to look. And so, evolution and natural selection can be thought of as a battle of good versus evil, played out on a planetary scale.

Either way, the folks arguing for evolution should take comfort in the realization that it has only been about 500 years since Copernicus posited a heliocentric universe, and to my knowledge there are no longer any mainstream Christian sects that still believe in a Ptolemaic universe.

When I was a child, I thought like a child....

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815552)

This goes back to the Christian notion of God, which itself can be split into two parts: the Old Testament God and the New Testament God. The OT God was a complete bastard, being petty and jealous and committing genocide. The NT God is loving and caring but mostly hands-off. Most Christians seem to believe in the NT version which is how Jesus described him.

The problem is that you can't have a god who is both caring and living but also does not get involved in things directly. Imagine you were a student and you went to away to live in student halls of residence. When you got there you found that the heating was broken, the mattress had springs coming through, the taps leaked and there was not hot water, damp was everywhere and the place infested with cockroaches. Then someone tells you that the landlord knows all about these problems and has the power to fix them. He really cares about you and wants you to be happy, it's just that he doesn't actually do things himself. He offers his support and encouragement, so you are told, but you are going to have fix all that stuff yourself. Okay, it might take decades to sort out and you will have moved on before then, but have faith that one day it will be quite habitable. Does that sound reasonable?

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814788)

No... to creationists, evolutionary theory, at least with regards to the notion that man evolved from a lesser species, is simply false... they view it as nothing but a misguided effort by mankind to render the very notion of a supreme being as irrelevant to our existence, and would thus no longer feel that they needed a God. As far as a traditional creationist is concerned, no creatures evolved into any recognizable existence from something lower, they were simply brought into existence, fully formed, brought about by the imagination of God. Gaps in the fossil record are irrelevant.

And creationists typically *do* acknowledge the patterns that biologists find in the fossil record, but the similarities in various species that are typically attributed directly to evolutionary ancestry are instead viewed by them as artistic fingerprints that simply point to the same creator.

Re:Now there are two gaps .. (1, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815280)

I guess the problem is that you do not understand their argument to begin with.

First, let me ask, what exactly are you trying to persuade the creationist into doing?

We have species that look alike presently. We had canines for instance, that if we knew nothing about them other then their fossils, we would probably call different animals. So evolution as in one species becoming another and splitting and become yet another in the fossil record is a little of semantics to begin with. But more importantly, it's largely is not completely an inference from what we can see. Without the complete chain, it's literally someone's imagination building off the available evidence to come to a conclusion.

So if you are asking a creationist to supplant the concept of a god of their imagination that created everything with a concept of your imagination that this became that, and these two separate creatures were the offspring of the same parent species, you are probably going to have to show them without any gaps. Otherwise, you are essentially saying trust me, I got all this evidence which sort of seems like all the different breeds of dogs, cattle, or sheep or whatever, but it's actually not because we don't know much about them other then what we can imagine from their bones.

We can boil it down even further to the least complex scenario. You are essentially asking creationist to trust your imagination over their own because you said so and lots of others agree despite the fact that some other book said so also and a lot of others agree. If you want to persuade them, then offer them more then they already have with their existing beliefs. Right now, it's just different, not more when you look at the core of it.

Much Later? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814142)

It is too bad that they didn't define "much later" in the article. 230 million years ago and 205 million years ago is only about 10% difference in gap from now. If much later is 65 million years ago, then I'm not sure if this really fills a gap.

Re:Much Later? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814734)

It is too bad that they didn't define "much later" in the article. 230 million years ago and 205 million years ago is only about 10% difference in gap from now. If much later is 65 million years ago, then I'm not sure if this really fills a gap.

When people express interest in a "missing link", it's not the chronological gap that interests them. It's the gap in the record of the evolutionary development of features - usually morphology, when talking about dinosaurs.

New* Dinosaur Species (4, Funny)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814240)

*For very old values of New.

Missing Links (1)

Zeike (979943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814326)

Every 'species' (really every individual) is a missing link. This is how evolution works.

Re:Missing Links (1)

scotch (102596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814410)

Lots of dead ends, too.

Re:Missing Links (2)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814432)

To be subjective, was the fossil dated based on its features attributing it to be a transitional fossil between the Eoraptor and Tawa?
Or was it placed in that gap because it was dated such first?

It's an important distinction, as if the three species overlapped in date (two were alive at the same time) or this new find is newer than the species it was supposed to transition to, its status as a "missing link" or even a transitional fossil is false. There's not much information out yet about this but my guess is that it is placed in a gap due more to convenience than any proven time period. This is why these missing link discoveries are so ridiculed by creationists, and until this unscientific procedure of placing fossils in the timeline is improved, it is deservedly so.

Re:Missing Links (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35815050)

Are you trying to say a dog can't have evolved from a wolf, because we still have wolves? That a species branches off doesn't imply the old species must go extinct, they may very well exist in parallel. Even if it turns out a crossbreed isn't the transitional form and newer than that, it's still strong evidence of a common ancestry. That we today have mules is strong evidence of a past common evolution of donkeys and horses sharing ancestors.

In short, you're spouting creationist garbage and while it doesn't sound like you're one of them, you're certainly one of their useful idiots. Science is fallible, we know our knowledge is incomplete and keep improving it. Sometimes we learn that what we thought in the past was wrong, but we learn and improve. Like others have pointed out, filling one gap makes two new so you can't win.

Re:Missing Links (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814476)

Every creature that reproduced, you mean!

Anything that dies before it spawns is a dead end.

Fianlly Proof! (0)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35814342)

Proof of evolution among dinsaurs and fossil evidence to boot?!?

That will finally convince those creationists that don't believe that dinosaurs ever existed that evolution is infact real.

oh. .

Evolution is a continuum (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814492)

The is no such thing as a missing link, because there is no stable state - every new generation is a link to subsequent generations.

However.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35815532)

You are correct, it is a continuum. However, you might not have found all the little intricate steps in the fossil record.

Suppose you suspect one species evolved out of another as they are almost the same except for a large beak on the newer species. If you later find a specimen that has a rudimentary 'beaklet', you might call that the missing link you've been looking for.

new discovery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35814648)

Did they patent it yet?

lazy journalists... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35815058)

It seems complusory that any story in the media about fossils or evolution must include the phrase "missing link" at least once - it's just a lazy journalist's shorthand way of describing something subtle and complex that they couldn't be bothered thinking about. My suggestion- ignore any one using this phrase - they are either ignorant, lazy or trying to tell you lies.

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