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Most Primitive Snake Fossil Discovered

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the old-serpent dept.

77

smooth wombat writes "A newly discovered fossil seems to suggest that snakes evolved on land rather than in the water. The size of the fossil is unknown but it wasn't more than three feet long according to Hussam Zaher of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. It's the first time scientists have found a snake with a sacrum -- a bony feature supporting the pelvis -- he said. That feature was lost as snakes evolved from lizards, and since this is the only known snake that hasn't lost it, it must be the most primitive known, he said."

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77 comments

Snakes?! (5, Funny)

winmine (934311) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162219)

Was a fossilized plane found nearby?

Re:Snakes?! (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162245)

It was a fossilized NAZI PLANE, thus proving that the Third Reich had discovered time travel, but it was too late to change the course of the war. Of course, one S.L. Jackson killed all the nazis and their snakes and made it back to present day.

That's my SOAP 2 script. Feel free to use it royalty free, so long as I get to see the movie.

Hey, Plisken! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15162875)

Long time, no see!

Lawyers and Politicians (3, Funny)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162239)

I know there has to be a joke in here someplace. but politicians need not apply, since snakes are mostly backbone as it is.

Re:Lawyers and Politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15163241)

Most Primitive Snake Fossil Discovered

So they found the grave of Bush's great-grandfather ... who cares ?

Huh? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162244)

Does "most primitive" = oldest?

Cause if they found a snake older than 90 million years and it didn't have a sacrum... that'd just confuse the issue all over again.

Re:Huh? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162479)

Does "most primitive" = oldest?
Want a coelacanth? Primitive but you can get one that was alive quite recently.

Re:Huh? (1)

plunge (27239) | more than 7 years ago | (#15178742)

Coelacanth is a family name, not a species of fish (like "ape" rather than "homo sapien"). There are members of the family coelacanth around today, but they are not "primitive" members of the family: they are the modern members of it.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15162489)

primitive as opposed to specialized. finding a sacrum in a snake is like finding individual digits on a horse instead of a hoove.

Yeah! (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162542)

if they found a snake older than 90 million years and it didn't have a sacrum... that'd just confuse the issue all over again.

How about finding a snake that's evolving a pelvis? If fish can do it, can't snakes?

Re:Yeah! (1)

SenatorOrrinHatch (741838) | more than 7 years ago | (#15167109)

Ironically enough, my pelvis appears to be evolving a snake. It is especially average in the presence of the rare but succulent Asian big breasted female.

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162633)

Yes and no.

This snake, with the sacrum, had to come before modern snakes. But evolution isn't a process of an entire species becoming an entire new species.

A group of these snakes could have been geographically isolated, during which time they evolved further, losing the sacrum. Meanwhile, others of this species were still happily breeding elsewhere.

So it could be possible to find a sacrum-less fossil older (though probably not by much) than this one.

Chant with me: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15162270)

Two new gaps! Two new gaps!

Re:Chant with me: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15162312)

And two more for that plane. And two for our new slithery overlords that can run Linux on their Root-kit, you insensitive clod!

So let me get this straight... (4, Funny)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162290)

Having a feature makes you more primitive than not having a feature?
Wow! The final proof that men are more primitive than women!

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162332)

I can think of a "handful" of features men have that women don't.
Although there are a couple of handfuls of features that women have that men don't.

Re:So let me get this straight... (3, Funny)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162724)

Although there are a couple of handfuls of features that women have that men don't.

Well...sometimes less than a handful, sometimes more. :)

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 7 years ago | (#15165897)

Having a feature makes you more primitive than not having a feature?
Losing features is entirely consistent with genetic science. Gaining new features is apparently accepted in the scientific community, but doesn't make any sense to me.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 7 years ago | (#15165924)

Losing features is entirely consistent with genetic science
Do you know anything about "genetic science" or are you just making stuff up?
Gaining new features is apparently accepted in the scientific community, but doesn't make any sense to me.
Ah, I see. You're just making stuff up.

Lawyers - Slimemold or Snake? (3, Funny)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162339)

All this is very good and important as we fill the evolutionary gaps. While it will never be enough to convince the 'god did it' crowd it does make the rest of us feel better seeing the evidence pile up. But my original thought when reading this story was wondering when scientists will be able to determine whether lawyers are more closely related to snakes or to slime molds. I'm crossing my fingers for slime molds. I like snakes.

Oldest Snake (1, Funny)

SeaDour (704727) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162347)

The snake was also found in the fossilized remains of a lush garden -- specifically, near an apple tree.

Eden Reference (1)

SeanDuggan (732224) | more than 7 years ago | (#15204757)

If I had mod points, I'd help reverse the idiot who marked you troll, but if wishes were fishes...
One of things I find interesting is that, 99 people out of 100, they'd say it was an apple and would even remember the Bible saying it was an apple, but it's simply stated as "the fruit" and the word used might not even mean fruit as we know it. The earliest manuscripts actually show a mushroom. ^_^ Eat a mushroom for cosmic knowledge? Sounds plausible enough... It's one of those cases of Biblical fanon [wikipedia.org] like there being three wise men (who were kings!) or Mary riding into Bethlehem on a donkey, things which "everybody knows," but isn't actually in there.

Biblical serpent (3, Insightful)

azmaveth (302274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162374)

Since I don't believe in karma anyway, I don't mind losing it for posting an unpopular view: Perhaps this discovery gives credence to the accuracy of the Bible.

The serpent in the Biblical account of Genesis 3 was apparently a very different creature from modern day snakes. Besides the fact that the serpent spoke aloud (Genesis 3:1 - generally accepted to be Satan speaking through the serpent), it must have had some other means of locomotion besides crawling. The curse upon the serpent is recorded in Genesis 3:14 as such:
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life."

"Eating dust" is generally accepted to mean that the serpent is cursed to have its face on the ground, not that its diet would actually consist of dirt.

Go ahead, mod me down and flame me. :)

-azmaveth

Re:Biblical serpent (1)

azmaveth (302274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162425)

I should qualify "generally accepted" as meaning "generally accepted by Christians that hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible."

Re:Biblical serpent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15162428)

It's a very interesting connection, but since this snake couldn't actually walk, it merely had the vestigial features of being descended from something that could, all it does is support the notion that God works through evolution.

Re:Biblical serpent (1)

azmaveth (302274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162500)

but since this snake couldn't actually walk

Exactly. The serpent could no longer walk after it was cursed.

The researchers understood the Bible connection... (1)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162625)

The creature, named Najash rionegrina, is "a fantastic animal," said Jack Conrad, a researcher at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and co-curator of an upcoming exhibit on lizards and snakes.
...
The creature's name comes from a Hebrew word for snake and the Rio Negro province of Argentina, where the discovery took place.

Oddly enough, we were discussing this article in class this evening (anthropology/hamartiology). Apparently there are rabbinical traditions that say the serpent in Genesis originally walked on two legs and stood upright. The researchers have apparently heard this as well, and were well-read enough to pick a clever name for their discovery :-)

Re: Biblical serpent (4, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162840)

> Perhaps this discovery gives credence to the accuracy of the Bible.

More likely the famous Genesis story incorporates a folk explanation for why some snakes have vestigal traces of walking apparatus.

If you step back and look at it, most of Genesis consists of stories explaining why things are (and ought to be!) the way they are. It's a very common motif in mythologies and legendary histories from all over the world.

The yarn about breeding sheep in front of striped staves to produce striped sheep, and the thrice-repeated "that's not my wife, that's ...uhm... my sister" meme (one guy fell for it twice!) should be all the hints you need that the book isn't a useful guide to biology or history.

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15163812)

Ah, now you believe that something you cannot explain proves the Bible wrong and you right.

Well then, if the Bible is not historically accurate, as some of you educated folks believe, consider the following:

Historian Dr. John Montgomery wrote, and I quote: "Modern archeological research has confirmed again and again the reliability of New Testament geography, chronology, and general history"

Then, in the Old Testament we not only find (*gasp* he isnt...) prophecy that is also Historically accurate!

In Isaiah a king of the Persians, namely Cyrus, is prophesied to allow the Jews to return to their homeland after the Babylonian captivity (you can read the whole Isaiah 44:24 -45:26 if you want to) but I quote the following:

Isa 44:28 He says to Cyrus, "My shepherd-- everything I want, you'll do it." He says to Jerusalem, "Be built," and to the Temple, "Be established."

Now Cyrus and his actions is documented by the Persians, independant of the Bible, and the Bible later confirms that this happened.

So dont be so quick to dismiss the Bible as a combination of fairy tailes.

The discovery of the snake is very interesting though.

First it is belived that snakes evolved in water, then land, then water, then land...

Hmm, maybe we believe what we want to believe from science to easy though eh?

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15164134)

> Historian Dr. John Montgomery wrote, and I quote: "Modern archeological research has confirmed again and again the reliability of New Testament geography, chronology, and general history"

Strangely enough, the geography, chronology, and general history of The Da Vinci Code are also reliable, but only an idiot would take the whole thing seriously. The Iliad has also provided a few surprises about geography, demographics, and political entities in the Bronze Age, but no one concludes from that that the Olympians really existed and did all the things attributed to them.

> Then, in the Old Testament we not only find (*gasp* he isnt...) prophecy that is also Historically accurate!

There is not a single prophecy in the bible that can be convincingly demonstrated to be both written before the event and interpreted unambiguously. Post hoc interpretation is just too easy, and too exempt from validation. Look at the whole New Age industry of writing books about Nostradamus' purported prophecies.

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15164663)

There is not a single prophecy in the bible that can be convincingly demonstrated to be both written before the event and interpreted unambiguously.

Come on, you actually believe that?

Look. Have you ever read the Bible? Wait I bet you have. You are educated and smart and look down on anyone who would try and believe the Bible. Let me ask you then to prove that none of the Bible can be convincingly demonstrated to to be written before the event.

Even the Old testament only!

There are many prophecies in the Old Testament regarding Jesus, His coming, His crucifixion etc. Are you willing to concede that the Old Testament was written before the New Testament? If so, then your quoted statement is incorrect!

But please, my challenge stands.

Oh, and if you wonder what prophecies: Here are some:

1: He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)
2: He would live in Nazareth of Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 2:22-23, 4:15)
3: He would occasion the massacre of Bethlehems children (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18)
4: His mission would unexpectedly include the Gentiles (Isiah 42:1-3,6; Matthew 12:18-21), and he would unexpectedly be rejected by the Jews, His own people (Psalm 118:22; 1 Peter 2:7)

But I digress, I could go on forever.

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15168722)

> Wait I bet you have. You are educated and smart and look down on anyone who would try and believe the Bible.

No, I don't have a bone to pick with people who don't know any better. It's people who offer foolish arguments to justify ignoring the facts who I have little patience with.

> Let me ask you then to prove that none of the Bible can be convincingly demonstrated to to be written before the event.

Why is the ball in my court? You're the one asking us to believe that the ordinary operations of nature have been violated.

> There are many prophecies in the Old Testament regarding Jesus, His coming, His crucifixion etc. Are you willing to concede that the Old Testament was written before the New Testament? If so, then your quoted statement is incorrect!

No one doubts that the OT was written before the NT. What's in question is whether the things described in the NT actually happened, and if so, whether the purported prophecies in the OT actually referred to them.

> Oh, and if you wonder what prophecies: Here are some:
1: He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)
2: He would live in Nazareth of Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 2:22-23, 4:15)
3: He would occasion the massacre of Bethlehems children (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18)
4: His mission would unexpectedly include the Gentiles (Isiah 42:1-3,6; Matthew 12:18-21), and he would unexpectedly be rejected by the Jews, His own people (Psalm 118:22; 1 Peter 2:7)


It's well known that Matthew quote-mined the OT and took passages out of context to spin them as prophecies. You should learn to read the OT for what it actually says, rather than reciting it as a mantra for your own religion's propaganda machine.

If you want to believe it, that's fine with me. But don't fool yourself into thinking there is actually any evidence for it.

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

azmaveth (302274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15170390)

It's well known that Matthew quote-mined the OT and took passages out of context to spin them as prophecies.

Is it? News to me. Would you be kind enough to show me evidence of that?

But don't fool yourself into thinking there is actually any evidence for it.

Pot, meet kettle. Show me your evidence instead of saying "It's people who offer foolish arguments to justify ignoring the facts who I have little patience with" and not giving facts to back it up.

Evidence... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#15171502)

Evidence? The OT prophecy was for a lamb, the NT said they nailed up a man. Unless you think humans can be mistaken for a flock of sheep...ummm, never mind.

Flock, lamb, sheperd, father, son, children, "thou shall", "thou shall not", brother, sister, are all words used heavily in the bible, they are used in the context of describing man's relationship with God and each other. Coincidently, they could also be seen as describing and justifying the natural social hierarchy found in many mammals, including the divierse and bizzare societies formed by humans.

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

plunge (27239) | more than 7 years ago | (#15178771)

Ok. Go and read the part about the virgin birth again. First of all, it isn't a virgin: Matthew used the wrong word. Second of all, it refers to a woman that actually has a kid right there in the same book: the prophecy was about something that already happened, not about any later figure (Jesus or otherwise). And, amusingly, the thing that it was supposed to be a sign of doesn't actually happen (some squabble over warring kings). All of the supposed grand prophecy in that part of the Scripture is actually about events and things happening in that time period: it isn't about Jesus at all. And that's just for starters.

And, ever wonder why Jesus rides on two asses in Matthew? Seems bizarre, right? It's because the author of Matthew misunderstood poetisicism in the Jewish Scriptures referring to a single animal: an ass, the foal of an ass (which he seems to have thought was "he rode upon an ass AND the foal of an ass). So he embellishes the story to make it fit what turns out to be his own misunderstanding of the text.

Or how about Emmanuel? Where's the one and only place that Jesus is called Emmanuel? The Gospel narrator, trying to fulfill what they think is the prophecy! No one called Jesus Emmanuel, and he certainly wasn't named Emmanuel!

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15171202)

Why is the ball in my court?,

Well, the burden of proof always lies with one who alleges error.

What's in question is whether the things described in the NT actually happened

Read my reply to the post by Gr8apes elsewhere on this thread, no wait, this is too much fun, lemme get it for ya.

I bet you are referring to at least some of the following:

1 Supposed irregularities between the Gospels. One leppar here, two over there etc...

2 Then, did Jesus really exist?

3 The supposed gospel of Judas Iskariot.

4 Was many of the characters mentioned in the Gospels really there, for instance Herod, John the baptist, Jesus, Annanias, and James the brother of Jesus.

5 The eclipse of the sun at the Crucifiction.

Now, this could turn into a lenghty post dont you think? So let me just shortly show you some things:

1 Irregularities in the Gospels: There are no irregularities in the Gospels that have been proven. Many accounts from different viewpoints etc, but nothing in one Gospel that makes something in another Gospel impossible.

2 Jesus actually did exist. There are several writings outside the Gospels that mentioned him, often by name!

3 Ah, the Gospel of Judas. It has been proven to be written about ad 180(? it will check that date if you want.) but has been credited to a religious sect that tried to discredit Jesus teachings and glorify Bible villains. The Cainites methinks.

4 Many writers of that time mentioned many New Testament Biblical characters,
    for instance:

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?, a Jewish historian) mentions John the Baptist and Herod - Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 5, par. 2

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Jesus - Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions James, the brother of Jesus - Antiquities, Book 20, ch. 19.

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Ananias the High Priest who was mentioned in Acts 23:2

Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions "christus" who is Jesus - Annals

(I got that from www.carm.org if you where wondering, theres no way I am as educated as you guys to remember stuff like that off the top of my head.)

5 The eclipse, yep a biggie lol: Thallus Circa AD 52, eclipse of the sun. Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. His writings are only found as citations by others. Julius Africanus who wrote about AD 221 mentioned Thallus' account of an eclipse of the sun


Have fun!

Regards

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

nystire (871449) | more than 7 years ago | (#15170872)

This will probably blacklist me, but from what I remember on Isiah 7:14, the hebrew word used there doesn't mean virgin. It simply means a young woman.

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15171151)

This will probably blacklist me

BURN IN HELL HETHEN SCU... eep. sorry, us relegious freaks are extremely sensitive. Lol, no seriously I am only joking...

no, really.

from what I remember on Isiah 7:14, the hebrew word used there doesn't mean virgin. It simply means a young woman.

I looked that up, quite interesting, I could give you a long version, (three pages) or a short version, Ill give you a short version for now. If you want the long one lemme know, I'll post it gladly if you want to do the reading...

Heres the verse with strongs numbers for you to look up:

Isa 7:14 Therefore3651 the Lord136 himself1931 shall give5414 you a sign;226 Behold,2009 a virgin5959 shall conceive,2029 and bear3205 a son,1121 and shall call7121 his name8034 Immanuel.6005

And the verse without: (easier to read methinks)

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

And the strongs reference to "virgin":

H5959

almah
al-maw'
Feminine of H5958; a lass (as veiled or private): - damsel, maid, virgin.

Hope this helps!

Regards

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 7 years ago | (#15172187)

There are many questionable translations... even among the ten commandments, the edict against killing, for instance. The word used in the origional text much better translates as "murder" - there were separate words for killing as a general action, and even for killing in battle, which obviously old testimate God did not mind.

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#15164169)

What makes you think that the bible predates the actions of Cyrus? Seriously.

There's much documentation of errors and outright changes in bible stories. There's also, if you really care to dig, indications that at least some bible stories are actually adaptations of older (and pagan!) stories. Evidently they were popular and were incorporated into the old testament.

As for "believing" the bible as "the truth": do you stone your neighbor for growing two crops side by side? If not, why not? (Since we are discussing the old testament here, there's more, but that one just cracks me up.)

As for the new testament... do you even want to try?

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15165282)

Lol, stoning my neighbour, not necesary, I saw them offering a cow at the tent of atonement sometime last week...

But seriously now, believing the Bible as literaly true means I belive Jesus died for my sins and that I am no longer under the law given by God through Moses.

I believe the Bible is historically true, correct and ESPECIALLY the new testament! So lets start...

I bet you are referring to at least some of the following:

1 Supposed irregularities between the Gospels. One leppar here, two over there etc...

2 Then, did Jesus really exist?

3 The supposed gospel of Judas Iskariot.

4 Was many of the characters mentioned in the Gospels really there, for instance Herod, John the baptist, Jesus, Annanias, and James the brother of Jesus.

5 The eclipse of the sun at the Crucifiction.

Now, this could turn into a lenghty post dont you think? So let me just shortly show you some things:

1 Irregularities in the Gospels: There are no irregularities in the Gospels that have been proven. Many accounts from different viewpoints etc, but nothing in one Gospel that makes something in another that makes that event impossible.

2 Jesus actually did exist. There are several writings outside the Gospels that mentioned him, often by name!

3 Ah, the Gospel of Judas. It has been proven to be written about ad 180(? it will check that date if you want.) but has been credited to a religious sect that tried to discredit Jesus teachings and glorify Bible villains. The Cainites methinks.

4 Many writers of that time mentioned many New Testament Biblical characters,
  for instance:

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?, a Jewish historian) mentions John the Baptist and Herod - Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 5, par. 2

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Jesus - Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions James, the brother of Jesus - Antiquities, Book 20, ch. 19.

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Ananias the High Priest who was mentioned in Acts 23:2

Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions "christus" who is Jesus - Annals

(I got that from www.carm.org if you where wondering, theres no way I am as educated as you guys to remember stuff like that off the top of my head.)

5 The eclipse, yep a biggie lol: Thallus Circa AD 52, eclipse of the sun. Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. His writings are only found as citations by others. Julius Africanus who wrote about AD 221 mentioned Thallus' account of an eclipse of the sun

I know you can probably mention many more supposed irregularities in the Bible, and ignore the things I have, but the Bible has a verse just for you okes:

2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

You can read the rest if you please.

Have fun!

If I have angered you, so sorry though, I enjoy debate like this too much sumtimes.

regards!

Re: Biblical serpent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15165594)

Can I ask just one question that has always bothered me about a biblical issue? Who did Caine marry?

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

azmaveth (302274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15170496)

The children of Adam and Eve intermarried. This includes Cain and Seth, and perhaps Abel before he was murdered. The Bible doesn't specifically mention it, but we can extrapolate it because there were no other humans on the earth at the time besides their parents. I see no problem with this.

I have a question for the evolutionists though. How on earth did sexual reproduction ever evolve? Besides the jokes about recreation versus procreation (grow up), can anyone explain it to me?

A life form that reproduces asexually (as is believed about the simplest, earliest life forms) would have to produce a life form that is capable of reproducing both sexually and asexually. This intermediate step is necessary unless you believe both male and female life forms evolved simultaneously.

So this organism can now reproduce sexually, but it has no mate. So it reproduces asexually again.

Wait a sec, time out.

The only argument that I have heard for the evolution of sexual reproduction says that sexual reproduction came about so that different combinations of genes would made. The genes of the stronger of the resulting organisms would be the genes that survive, while the weaker ones would pass into extinction.

Back to the question.

This organism has only one set of genes because it has nobody with which to reproduce sexually. So it replicates asexually. The sexual organs are useless, so why would they survive for the millions of years necessary for evolution to take the next step and produce a similar organism that has a different set of genes and that can also reproduce sexually?

Please enlighten me, seriously. I'm not just trying to fuel a flame war.

Sexuality (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#15172581)


I have a question for the evolutionists though. How on earth did sexual reproduction ever evolve? Besides the jokes about recreation versus procreation (grow up), can anyone explain it to me?

A life form that reproduces asexually (as is believed about the simplest, earliest life forms) would have to produce a life form that is capable of reproducing both sexually and asexually. This intermediate step is necessary unless you believe both male and female life forms evolved simultaneously.

So this organism can now reproduce sexually, but it has no mate. So it reproduces asexually again.


Check out the "modern" hermaphroditic slug. Also check out fish and frogs.

Hopefully this will answer your question.

If you need it spelled out - Slugs can reproduce sexually or asexually. Fish and frogs can't copulate, as they have extremely primitive sex organs. Some fish and frogs also have the ability to change sex. Some do as a regular part of their life cycle.

Lastly, to address your implied question about evolution, all of these are branched near the bottom of the tree of evolution.

Re:Sexuality (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15176413)

True.

The most interesting one for me is the clown fish, where the dominant one in a group will become female, and all the rest are male.

Listen Grapes, I will reply to your rather lengthy rebuttal of my argument elsewhere on this thread, I just need some time to gather arguments in my quiver.

And since you enjoy this kind of debate so much, why not check out godgab.org, methinks our debate is better suited to that forum than this one.

Regards.

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15171282)

That is an interesting question. There are some refrences to the people in the land of Nod who will kill him for killing Abel. Maybe Cain married one of them?

That then raises the question of did God make more people than Adam and Eve?

But here is an interesting point: Why would he fear people for taking revenge on someone who killed a person who they potentially had no knowledge of, and had no relation to?

Well then for him to fear their revenge, they must have had some relation to Abel.

And, Cain got a wife from among one of his sisters. Genesis later says that Adam had sons and daughters before he died.

Wait lemme quote:

  Genesis 5:4 "Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters."

Josephus says the number of children, according to the old tradition, was thirty three sons and twenty three daughters.

So, I hope that answers you question on Cains wife.

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#15172559)

BTW, I've taken your duplicated points and addressed them in single cohesive blocks.

But seriously now, believing the Bible as literaly true means I belive Jesus died for my sins and that I am no longer under the law given by God through Moses.

That alone seems disingenuous. So a single line in the new testament invalidates the rest of both books? Cool rationalization, but one that more than one has pointed out to the church of your choice as the reason for that church to not exist. BTW, note that that particular line can also be used to disprove hell, or at least that there's no hell for anyone. Jesus didn't say you must believe in me, he said I die for your sins.

I believe the Bible is historically true, correct and ESPECIALLY the new testament! So lets start...
I bet you are referring to at least some of the following:
1 Supposed irregularities between the Gospels. One leppar here, two over there etc...

Actually, the more serious ones. Such as the discrepancy in old texts about Jesus being the son of god, or becoming the son of god when John baptizes him. That one has minor implications.

2 Then, did Jesus really exist?

I'm sure at least one someone named Jesus exist(ed). Heck, go to any Latin area of town in the US. You'll find several. Joking aside, there most likely was a person named Jesus in the time of interest that was causing, from the Roman POV, issues/discontent/whatever you want to call it.

3 The supposed gospel of Judas Iskariot....Ah, the Gospel of Judas. It has been proven to be written about ad 180(? it will check that date if you want.) but has been credited to a religious sect that tried to discredit Jesus teachings and glorify Bible villains. The Cainites methinks.

You're denying there is one? You do realize that men decided to remove that "gospel". There are several others as well that were removed from the collection. All by men. All written by men. Actually, there are many gospels, at least 50 acknowledged and possibly at least as many as 100. There likely were many more, as the church went on a mission to destroy all non-accepted (heretical) gospels in the 3rd-5th centuries. I'll ask you how someone decided which where "pure" and which were "heretical"?

What's funny is that one of the four recognized gospels, John, apparently did not even exist until AD 180 (the first mention of that gospel) Of the other 3, there's only one that dates possibly as early as 125AD. The rest have a "first draft" dating from 200-400 AD.

BTW, the gospel of "John" is now generally considered written by "smart" theologians several generations after the first three. Of course, the gospel of Matthew is considered the oldest, which brings into question just when the other two were written, and there's even suggestions that none of these were exactly written, but were more documenting the oral history of the time.


4 Was many of the characters mentioned in the Gospels really there, for instance Herod, John the baptist, Jesus, Annanias, and James the brother of Jesus.

I'm sure many of the characters existed, and that many others are symbols, aggregations, or purely fictional. James is an interesting person, if he existed, he was older, and thus Mary was not a virgin. There's a can of worms in self-contradiction.

5 The eclipse of the sun at the Crucifiction. ... The eclipse, yep a biggie lol: Thallus Circa AD 52, eclipse of the sun. Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. His writings are only found as citations by others. Julius Africanus who wrote about AD 221 mentioned Thallus' account of an eclipse of the sun

A document written after the fact...years after the fact. By a human. It couldn't possibly have occurred to that writer to embellish his written story just a little bit, could it? Of course not....

Besides that, the mention of the eclipse matters how? No one can prove when Jesus was crucified, or if he was crucified. It's a moot point. There are no eye-witnesses, and no authoritative proof. Let's say for argument's sake he was. There's still no proof of the timeline.

1 Irregularities in the Gospels: There are no irregularities in the Gospels that have been proven. Many accounts from different viewpoints etc, but nothing in one Gospel that makes something in another that makes that event impossible.

Interesting: "There are no irregularities...nothing in one Gospel that makes something in another ... impossible". You've contradicted yourself and admitted that there are irregularities.

What matters to many is whether the irregularities cause the interpretation to wholly change. Over time, there have been massive inconsistencies in the works known as the various versions of the bible, and the content of those works have been massaged, changed, misunderstood in translation, or incorrectly interpreted from version to version. These changes affect the meaning of the contained work, sometimes to great extent, from what is believed as "the truth" today.

Those changes basically invalidate today's works as the truth, even if the various flavors weren't enough to convince you.

4 Many writers of that time mentioned many New Testament Biblical characters,
    for instance:

Nice list, but not really pertinent. You'd expect nothing less than historical figures to be included in oral traditions. It lends them more credence. There are no definitive documents out there. (BTW, note that I never argued a man named Jesus did or did not exist. That argument is a straw man, as you'll see below)

I know you can probably mention many more supposed irregularities in the Bible, and ignore the things I have, but the Bible has a verse just for you okes:

2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

That is known as a cop-out. Very similar to Mohammed's statement that he'll be the last prophet, or the Mormon's Joseph Smith's "finding" a "book" only he could read. All are very convenient, leaving no one the ability to critically examine the claim.

I'm sure David Koresh and Jim Jones made similar claims. IIRC, both claimed to be prophets, with Koresh going as far as claiming to be Christ reincarnated, or so some of the stories go. The main point of that latter tangent is to show that even in modern times, with the modern media, we cannot be certain exactly what an individual said, did, or thought. I'll also point out that either of these individuals could probably have had entire villages, towns, or countries following them 2000 years ago, and could have been the basis for the new testament. (Now there's a scary thought)

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15186015)

Hi, I been waiting for an answer to my post under sexuality. Maybe you decided not to come to Godgab after all.

In response to your post above for now Ill just ask this:

I have given you my sources to read and critique, could you do the same?

You make some lofty claims in rebuttal to my post, but cite no sources for those assumptions.

If not, I'll assume you dont have and work on hearsay. If you do, I'll commit to going through them, and hopefully meeting you somewhere else on the formu in the future.

My points still stand untill you can prove otherwise.

Kindly

Me

Re: Biblical serpent (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#15189229)

I'll need a little time - things were a little tight this weekend, and will probably continue on this week.

Re:Biblical serpent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15163389)

...or it gives credence to just how wrong the Bible gets things...

From an evolutionary perspective, the serpent was anything but cursed to take it's current form- by definition it has been more successful a species as a result.

What's the Bible trying to say then I wonder? God cursed the serpent, and by modern definitions it has done a whole lot better as a result of that curse. What's that saying about God (or the author(s) of the bible I wonder?

Answer: Don't try to take the thing literally!

Re:Biblical serpent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15166702)

From an evolutionary perspective, the serpent was anything but cursed to take it's current form- by definition it has been more successful a species as a result.

More successful than what?? Snakes with legs?? I don't think so!!

Different epoch, different snakes (2, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#15163454)

Comparing the quoted date for the fossil and the often quoted date for Genesis, the snake in TFA would appear to have died and fossilised millions of years before Genesis, so obviously they are different snakes.

I can only speculate that the Genesis snake is an ancestor of the snake with hips, this makes some sense, a talking snake would take millions of years to evolve, it would also tie in nicely with the slim evidence we have of a two legged Genesis snake.

As an aside, it appears that the talking snake branch of the tree of life ended in extinction, nobody knows exactly when but it was at some time after Kipling made his observations in "Jungle book". Perhaps religious fanatics arriving in India from the British empire killed the last of the talking snakes to stop them spreading "heresies", they could have been very effective given the local abundance of trained snake charmers.

Now before you go objecting that nothing is older than Genesis, let me tell you about karma. You see the knowledge from the knowledge tree, (and the snake's so called "heresy"), has nothing to do with apples or sex. "The fruit of the knowlage tree" is the knowladge that this partciular Universe is not God's first attempt. This is not to say God is ever wrong, (re: Douglas Adams and the babblefish), it just that God's taste changes from time to time and sometimes to redecorate you have to remodle everything to express the "real you".

From what I understand the original Universe goes back some 13-14BYA, since then God has completely remoddeled the Universe a few times, Genesis was only a redecoration of the plenet Earth. God is not a wastefull God, recycling plays a big part when God spruces-up the Universe (thus karma, 90MYA snake fossils, and an annoying but usefull microwave hiss). This current redecoration of Earth was progressing nicely until God decided to reuse teenagers and talking snakes instead of re-evolving them, since then few have seen God and everything has turned to shit.

OTOH: We know the talking snakes have already died out, perhaps God knows something about our survival prospects and assumed importance in "the scheme of things" that we don't?

/sarcasm

Re:Biblical serpent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15165108)

Interesting that "eating dust" is accepted as metaphorical but 7 (really 6) days of creation is not. Never noticed the dicotomy before.

Re:Biblical serpent (1)

azmaveth (302274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15170536)

The difference is that you are comparing history with prophecy. History, as recorded in the Bible, should generally be accepted literally. Prophecy often has both a literal part and a metaphorical part. If you're interested in examples, just ask.

Speaking of the Bible . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15167037)

. . . I was checking out some other Mother Goose stories and found one I'd never heard before. Called Simple Simon, it goes like this:

        Simple Simon met a pieman,
        Going to the fair.
        Said Simple Simon to the pieman,
        "Let me taste your ware."

        Said the pieman unto Simon,
        "Show me first your penny."
        Said Simple Simon to the pieman,
        "Indeed I have not any."

        Simple Simon went a-fishing,
        For to catch a whale;
        But all the water he had got
        Was in his mother's pail.

        Simple Simon went to look,
        If plums grew on a thistle;
        He pricked his fingers very much,
        Which made poor Simon whistle.

        He went for water in a sieve,
        But soon it all fell through;
        And now poor Simple Simon
        Bids you all adieu.

Wasn't this known? (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162399)

"snakes evolved on land rather than in the water"

I thought it was already well-known that snakes originated on land. Their gait leaves little to the imagination...

You Don't Know the Half of It! (1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162522)

I thought it was already well-known that snakes originated on land.

Sure, Genisis has God taking away their legs [findarticles.com]. All that was lacking was the proof. It's no coincidence the proof is the Sacrum now is it? Dummm, deee dummb dumb!

You can also prove the Sun is smaller than a quarter by holding the quarter up in the sky and blocking your view of the Sun entirely! This trick should be good for the quarter of US citizens who think the Sun revolves around the Earth [washingtonmonthly.com]. Ironically, things are worse in Japan, but the Catholic Church is on the case! [asianews.it] The two fifths of US citizens who have no curiosity [slashdot.org] are probably beyond redemption.

The world is weird but consistent. People are more so because they are not but they do not know it and do not care.

so what (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15162478)

Jesus put that there to test ur faith!!!!1

eh, so? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15162497)

I've seen a real primitive one a whole bunch of times. It's only got one eye.

Huh? (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162518)

Who would have though that snakes would have evolved aquatically? Modern snakes have vestigal foot bones still, they evolved from legged animals.

evolution 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15162546)

two types of traits: primitive & derived.

primitive trait: shared with ancestor
derived trait: isn't

for a person, hands and binocular vision = primitive traits (since our shrew-like mammal ancestors had them too). bipedal locomotion and a huge-assed brain = derived traits.

Not clear-cut, sadly. (5, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162549)

There are older sea-living snakes that had legs - by about 9 or so million years, according to TFA. From this, we have several options, including that snakes evolved in the seas, came up on land and then LATER lost their legs. (This is an option NOT suggested by either of the two leading theories, but would seem to fit the facts the best.)


The second option - the current leading theory - is that snakes evolved in the sea, lost their legs there, and that the snake found on land was some kind of genetic throwback, a branch that had nothing to do with the main line of snakes. This theory assumes that this find is NOT more primitive than the older fossils, but that the older fossils are more primitive by virtue of being considerably older.


It does raise a number of problems, though, in that although there were sea-based snakes that did have legs, there is no evidence whatsoever that snakes ever evolved in the seas. The only reason this was seriously considered, in recent times, was that a precursor had to exist with legs, and the only snake fossils with legs that were known were all from aquatic deposits.


The next-best theory is that snakes evolved on land and migrated back into the sea at a time when they still had legs. Migrations back into the ocean have happened - the Manatee had a common land ancestor with a Giraffe, and Cetaceans are believed to have evolved from a land-based fox-like creature. Such "reverse" migrations, then, have occurred before - probably quite a lot.


The problem here is that, as I mentioned, the aquatic fossils are almost ten million years older. That's a LOT of time to account for, as it would require land snakes to have existed equally as long, plus enough extra to have a common ancestor that had evolved far enough to be identifiably a snake, plus as much additional time as needed to have forked off an aquatic branch of the family.


No land-based snake fossils with legs have been found for the timeframe required. This doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot - snakes don't fossilize that well, not many people hunt fossil snakes, the odds of a discoverer realizing what they had AND publishing that fact are low, and since the aquatic theory held supreme, not many people were looking for those fossils in locations that would have been land at the time.


On the other hand, it is extremely poor science to draw conclusions from evidence that is merely assumed to exist of an event that may never have happened at all. It is very easy to prove some pet theory, if you only ever have to assume the evidence might exist to do so.


It is wrong to say that this recent find has helped anyone understand the evolution of snakes. The strongest statement that can be made is that it helps to establish where to look and what to look for.

Re:Not clear-cut, sadly. (1)

slarabee (184347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15162719)

Could you please point me to, or directly quote from the bit in the article which states there are sea snake fossils nine million years older than Najash rionegrina. Multiple readings of the linked article and I just can not find it. Does kind of pull the rug out from under your next seven paragraphs.

Nice article and discussion on this over at Pharyngula [scienceblogs.com].

Been a good couple of weeks for well publicized transitionals.

Really primitive? (1)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 7 years ago | (#15163628)

So I take it, it was so primitive, that it didn't even have arms or legs?

Re:Really primitive? (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 7 years ago | (#15170765)

More like it was so primitive that it had legs. Remember, God punished snakes for what they did in the garden of Eden and told them to crawl on their bellies.

legless lizard (1)

PresidentEnder (849024) | more than 7 years ago | (#15182464)

I seem to remember reading somewhere about a lizard with no legs. NOt technically a snake, because it has too much of the structure needed for legs. Wouldn't said lizard be even more primitive (it has shoulders)? Or are snakes descended from other, non-lizardly folk? Anyone else ever heard of this?
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