Saturday, July 23, 2005

Dinosaurs had respiratory system like birds 2/2

[Continued from part 1/2]

Birds' unique respiratory system is a preadaptation

These results indicate that birds' unique respiratory system[1], which enables them to meet the metabolic demands of high altitude flight[2], developed well before birds themselves arose. This Majungatholus atopus fossil is dated at 67 million years ago, but the first undisputed fossil bird, Archaeopteryx, is dated at 145 million years ago.

That is, the unique avian respiratory system is a preadaptation, a structure adapted to an earlier environment that was later found to be advantageous in a very different environment[3]. In this case a respiratory system in a line of terrestrial dinosaurs was found to be advantageous, indeed essential, for the high altitude flight that only birds are capable of[4]. However, evolutionists these days don't like the term "preadaptation" because it has "overtones of 'foresight'"[5] and has "teleological implications"[6], so in the past 20 years have they increasingly used the term exaptation, meaning "useful as a consequence of."[7].

The avian `flying kit: a `construction project' design argument

However, when one considers all the preadaptations (using the original term) that `just happened' to have occurred in the non-flying dinosaur ancestors of birds, amounting to an avian "flying kit," including feathers, furcula (wishbone), keeled sternum (breastbone), hand of three fused fingers, pygostyle (fused tail vertebrae), shoulder joint allowing up, forward and down strokes, folding forelimb, highly efficient respiratory system[8], hollow bones[9], hallux (reversed rear claw) and nesting[10], together they have the hallmarks of a `construction project' carried out by an Intelligent Designer (who I assume to be the Christian God), towards a long-term goal.

This avian `flying kit' is only one of a number of such `construction projects' (for example, the amniotic egg; the mammalian ear; and the `human package') which together will form part of my "`Construction Project' Argument from Design" in my future book, "The Design Argument."

References

1. Denton, M.J., 1998, "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe," The Free Press: New York NY, p.361.

2. Kardong, K.V., 2002, "Vertebrates: Comparative Anatomy, Function, Evolution," [1995], McGraw Hill: Boston MA, Third Edition, p.434

3. Ayala, F.J., 1978, "The Mechanisms of Evolution", Scientific American, Vol. 239, No. 3, September, p.51.

4. Schmidt-Nielsen, K., 1997, "Animal Physiology: Adaptation and Environment," [1975], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Fifth edition, reprint, 1998, pp.41,46.

5. Thain, M. & Hickman, M., 2000, "The Penguin Dictionary of Biology," [1951], Penguin Books: London, Tenth Edition, p.520.

6. Allaby, M., ed., 1999, "Oxford Dictionary of Zoology," [1991], Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Second Edition, p.429.

7. Gould, S.J., 2002, "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory," Belknap: Cambridge MA, Fifth printing, p.1320.

8. Shipman, P., 1997, "Birds do it ... did dinosaurs?" New Scientist, Vol. 153, 1 February, pp.26-31.

9. Futuyma, D.J., 1986, "Evolutionary Biology," [1979], Sinauer Associates: Sunderland MA, Second Edition, p.424.

10. Shipman, P., 1998, "Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.130-138, 98-99.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol)
"Problems of Evolution"

7 comments:

John A. Davison said...

Having abandoned both Lamarckian and Darwinian mythologies, I have decided that EVERYTHING in evolution WAS a preadaptation which is the substance of the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis. Rivista di Biologia 98(1: 155-166, 2005.

I really can't see any other explanation for the greatest mystery in all of science. It seems to remain compatible with everything we REALLY know about the origin or origins and subsequent appearance of new life forms, a phenomenon, in my opinion, of the past.

Incidentally I just discovered your forum and find it more interesting than most.

Stephen E. Jones said...

John

JD>John A. Davison said...

Thanks for your comments. I assume you are "John A. Davison, Department of Biology, University of Vermont [http://www.uvm.edu/~jdavison/]

JD>Having abandoned both Lamarckian and Darwinian mythologies, I have decided that EVERYTHING in evolution WAS a preadaptation which is the substance of the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis. Rivista di Biologia 98(1: 155-166, 2005.

I commend you for your courage as a biology professor in a secular university, coming out and opposing Darwinism. I will be interested to hear why you consider Darwinism to be false (or true but only within a limited sphere) as we go along.

However, my position is that "evolution" is as defined by the scientific community, "the standard scientific theory that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but *God had no part in this process*:

"In one of the most existentially penetrating statements ever made by a scientist, Richard Dawkins concluded that `the universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.' Facing such a reality, perhaps we should not be surprised at the results of a 2001 Gallup poll confirming that 45 percent of Americans believe `God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so'; 37 percent prefer a blended belief that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process'; and a paltry 12 percent accept the standard scientific theory that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.'" (Shermer M.B., "The Gradual Illumination of the Mind: The advance of science, not the demotion of religion, will best counter the influence of creationism," Scientific American, February 2002. http://makeashorterlink.com/?Q31143275)

'and therefore it is *false*.

And my position is in fact that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had" *a* "part in this process". I call my position Progressive (Mediate) Creation, after that of the great 19th century USA Presbyterian theologian, Charles Hodge":

"But while it has ever been the doctrine of the Church that God created the universe out of nothing by the word of his power, which creation was instantaneous and immediate, i. e., without the intervention of any second causes; yet it has generally been admitted that this is to be understood only of the original call of matter into existence. Theologians have, therefore, distinguished between a first and second, or immediate and mediate creation. The one was instantaneous, the other gradual; the one precludes the idea of any preexisting substance, and of cooperation, the other admits and implies both. There is evident ground for this distinction in the Mosaic account of the creation. ... It thus appears that forming out of preexisting material comes within the Scriptural idea of creating. ... There is, therefore, according to the Scriptures, not only an immediate, instantaneous creation ex nihilo by the simple word of God, but a mediate, progressive creation; the power of God working in union with second causes." (Hodge C., "Systematic Theology," [1892], James Clark & Co: London, Vol. I, 1960, reprint, pp.556-557)

JD>I really can't see any other explanation for the greatest mystery in all of science.

If you reject all forms of supernatural creation out of hand, then there is no "other explanation" but some form of "evolution".

JD>It seems to remain compatible with everything we REALLY know about the origin or origins and subsequent appearance of new life forms, a phenomenon, in my opinion, of the past.

Before one gets to even *consider* the evidence, of "the origin or origins and subsequent appearance of new life forms," one must have a metaphysical space that can follow the evidence *wherever* it leads. As a former both atheist and theistic evolutionist, I would have no problem if the most fully naturalistic `blind watchmaker' Darwinian evolution was 100% true, as I wrote in my online testimony in 1999:

---------------------------------------------
http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/testimny.html#ced
Stephen E. Jones
My testimony of how I became involved in the Creation/Evolution debate […]
"I would have no problem even if Darwinian evolution was proved to be 100% true, because the God of the Bible is fully in control of *all* events, even those that seem random to man (Prov. 16:33; 1Kings 22:34). Jesus said that not even one sparrow will die unless God wills it (Mat. 10:29-30), which means that God is fully in control of natural selection. But if the Biblical God really exists there is no good reason to assume in advance that Darwinian (or any form of) naturalistic evolution *is* true! […]
---------------------------------------------

But if one rules out in advance supernatural intervention by God in life's history, then all one has left is some form of naturalistic evolution. As Wilcox (whose position - see tagline below I share) points out, "One can be a theistic `Darwinian,' but no one can be an atheistic `Creationist'".

JD>Incidentally I just discovered your forum and find it more interesting than most.

Thanks. I look forward to hearing your problems with Darwinism.

Steve

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"I have no metaphysical necessity driving me to propose the miraculous action of the evident finger of God as a scientific hypothesis. In my world view, *all* natural forces and events are fully contingent on the free choice of the sovereign God. Thus, neither an adequate nor an inadequate `neo-Darwinism' (as mechanism) holds any terrors. But that is *not* what the data looks like. And I feel no metaphysical necessity to *exclude* the evident finger of God. I conclude that the easy acceptance of neo-Darwinism as a complete and adequate explanation for all biological reality has indeed been based in the metaphysical needs of a dominant materialistic consensus. One can be a theistic `Darwinian,' but no one can be an atheistic `Creationist'." (Wilcox D.L., "Tamed Tornadoes," in Buell J. & Hearn V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?" Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p.215. Emphasis in original. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/fte/darwinism/chapter13b.html)
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol)
http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/
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John A. Davison said...

My problems with both Darwinism and literal Creatonism are of long standing since I have been banned, apparently for life, from ARN, Pharygula, Uncommon Descent, EvC, Fringe Sciences, ISCID's "brainstorms"
Panda's Thumb, The Austringer, A Physicist's Perspective and other forums presumably dedicated to the truth. My condition consitutes a living testimony to the intractable polarization that has infected the way in which man is to regard his position in the universe. Having decided that both armed camps are dead wrong, I have every intention of being the last man stanbding after they have thoroughly butchered each other with their mindlesss ideologies.

I have erected the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis on the foundations laid by some of the finest evolutionary minds of two centuries. I have openly dedicated my contributions to them in an attempt to restore them to the stature they deserve as the real pioneers in the analysis of the greatest mystery in all of science, organic evolution. My papers, like their's are now preserved on the shelves of the world's libraries which, in the last analysis, is all that really matters. Like them I also have not found it necessary to invoke a personal God. Thanks for permitting my heresies.

Stephen E. Jones said...

John

JD>My problems with both Darwinism and literal Creatonism are of long standing since I have been banned, apparently for life, from ARN, Pharygula, Uncommon Descent, EvC, Fringe Sciences, ISCID's "brainstorms"Panda's Thumb, The Austringer, A Physicist's Perspective and other forums presumably dedicated to the truth.

Quite frankly, having been a Moderator of a Yahoo list for 4+ years, if someone complains they have been banned from a number of forums, then I regard that as highly likely to be the fault of the one who has been banned.

But AFAIK, I cannot ban anyone from making comments on a blog, at least not without making all comments `members only', so my policy is going to be as per my "Policy note" at the foot of CED's page: "Nasty or low-quality comments will be deleted or ignored."

My background is that I have been debating on creation/evolution lists mostly on a daily basis, since 1994. A major reason that I terminated my list CED [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creationevolutiondesign/] was because I found debates were increasingly a waste of my time, time which would be more profitably invested in writing a book, Problems of Evolution" [http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/PoE/PoE00ToC.html & http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/pe00cont.html]. So unless comments on this my CED blog are what I regard as high-quality, I am just going to ignore them.

That to me is an advantage of a blog over a list, it being hard to ignore low-quality/nasty posts on a list where (unlike a blog), anyone can initiate posts, and the format of a list gives the false impression that all posts are of equal value (see tagline quote on "What are the Differences Between Message Boards and Weblogs?", which mostly agrees with what I assumed were the differences).

Steve

---------------------------------------------
"Worlds are colliding, people. Your friendly neighborhood message board is not alone in the online community world any longer. This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the message board. Since that time, interfaces have improved, email has been integrated, but comparatively little has changed regarding the basic structure and intent of the message board. However, in the last few years, we’ve seen the arrival of a new set of tools and processes that offer additional opportunities for message board-based online communities. The appearance of weblogs have left many observers, including me, wondering about the differences between the two technologies and how they will be used inside online communities. Are weblogs really that different from message boards? How? Note: Below I make assumptions and generalizations about message board and weblog design. My goal is to discuss what I think are standard practices across the technologies. I realize that the assumptions below may or may not match with your experiences and I present them as suggestions. .... First, I believe that weblogs and message boards *are* different .... Perhaps the most compelling difference in weblogs and message boards is the locus of control. Weblogs are individual or small group resources- the control of content and value is driven by a single person or small group. Message Boards are group resources- the control of content and value is shared equally across all users. ... The locus of control matters most in defining who can post new topics, which drive the content of the resource. In weblogs, this role is centralized, with new topics being presented by a defined and focused person or small group. This centralization facilitates focus and direction on behalf of the webloggers. I n many message boards, all members usually have the ability to create new topics. This decentralization allows for more emergent and unpredictable directions that may reflect the group's desires as a whole. ... The centralized vs. decentralized nature of the technologies fit nicely into two distinct intentions. With weblog authorship being centralized inside a community, they can easily become news sources, where trusted individuals provide accounts of events and information. The decentralized nature of message boards works well to accumulate group input and facilitate collaboration and group decision making. ... Weblogs and Message Boards both allow for responses from the community- new topics can be responded-to by others. Weblog topics have comments and message board topics have replies. This subtle difference in syntax reveals a difference in the roles. The word comment for weblogs implies that the author does not need further participation to reach a goal- comment if you want. Reply, on the other hand, implies that participation is explicitly requested by the poster. A discussion is not a discussion without a reply. ... The order and presentation of topics across message boards and weblogs relate another difference. Weblogs are consistently arranged with the most recently posted topics at the top of the page, regardless of new comments. With a message board, the posting of replies can govern the presentation of the originating topic- topics with new replies are often presented at the top (but not always, of course). This illustrates the relative importance of replies in message board discussions. Replies can keep a discussion alive and at the top of the page for months or even years in some cases. ... Since a weblog depends on a single person or select group, the likelihood of off-topic or inappropriate topics (or responses) is greatly reduced. Further, as discussed previously, weblogs do not depend on responses to provide value. So, in situations where spam or flame wars are a problem, weblogs can turn-off comments and depend on new topics from the webloggers for value. Being group resources, message boards do not have the luxury to turn off replies, but do prevent problems with moderation of each new topic or response. ... How topics are archived and organized provides another look at the differences. Often, each new topic in a weblog is assigned to a category that is used to organize the topics for future reference. A single weblog may have many categories that archive and organize posts that were originally presented on the weblogs’ front page. Message boards are often presented with multiple starting points for creating a new discussion. The member chooses the appropriate location to post a new topic, depending on subject matter. In this way, message boards create multiple "front pages", spreading the presentation of new topics across locations/content buckets in the community." (LeFever, L., "What are the Differences Between Message Boards and Weblogs?," Common Craft weblog, August 24, 2004. http://www.commoncraft.com/archives/000768.html. Emphasis in original)
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol) http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/
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John A. Davison said...

Stephen

Of course it was my fault that I was banned. I was banned from those particular forums because I had vigorously rejected both of the standard camps in favor of a new hypothesis. It is as simple as that. The mistake that the Darwinians made and still make is that there was ever an exogenous cause for evolution. No such cause can be demonstrated. The mistake the the Fundamentalists still make is that a personal God is responsible for everything we see. That also cannot be demonstrated. What remains is the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis.

It's hard to believe isn't it?
That does not mean it is wrong.

Stephen E. Jones said...

John

JD>John A. Davison said...
>
>Stephen
>
>Of course it was my fault that I was banned. I was banned from those particular forums because I had vigorously rejected both of the standard camps in favor of a new hypothesis. It is as simple as that.

That is not what I saw. Both "camps" evolution and creation/ID, banned you because of the nastiness of your posts, e.g.:
http://darwin.bc.asu.edu/blog/?p=245

JD>The mistake that the Darwinians made and still make is that there was ever an exogenous cause for evolution. No such cause can be demonstrated. The mistake the the Fundamentalists still make is that a personal God is responsible for everything we see. That also cannot be demonstrated.

Neither can the opposite, "that a personal God is" *not* "responsible for everything we see."

And since Daniel's prophecy of the 70 `weeks' [http://makeashorterlink.com/?J1D916F8B] *has* demonstrated that Naturalism is false and Christianity is true, you are *wrong* if you are still working on the assumption that Naturalism is true and Christianity is false.

In that case, in my experience of ~11 years of debating evolutionists, we won't get anywhere with each other in our debates, so it is just a waste of each of our time to try, since our fundamental metaphysical starting points are diametrically opposed (in Kuhnian terms, "incommensurable"-see tagline), and we will just pass by each other like ships in the night.

As I said, a main reason I terminated my list, is I realized it was a largely waste of time debating evolutionists who just assume that Naturalism is true (and so rule out in advance that Christianity, creation and design, are true).

JD>What remains is the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis.

Sorry John, but quite frankly I am not interested in your "Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis" or *any* non-mainstream "Evolutionary Hypothesis". I had an evolutionist on my list CED, who had his own private "Evolutionary Hypothesis" that he used to ride like a hobby horse. He used to criticize creationists like me for attacking Neo-Darwinism, expecting us all to focus on *his* personal "Evolutionary Hypothesis"!

But as I used to say to him, since I regard evolution as false (in the sense of that a counterfeit of the genuine article, *creation*, i.e. progressive mediate creation), I am only interested in debating the "Evolutionary Hypothesis" that is *mainstream* and compulsorily taught in schools and universities, i.e. Neo-Darwinism.

I told this evolutionist that I don't have to debate such private "Evolutionary Hypotheses", since the `ashcan of history' will take care of them for me. So future posts of your "Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis", I will just ignore. The only thing we may have in common is any evidence and arguments you have against Neo-Darwinism.

In any event, this is not a *list* where you can ignore my topics and try to insert your own. It is *my blog*, and it is *only* for "for discussing creation, evolution and design issues *posted by me* (my emphasis):

-----------------------------------------------------
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/
This blog (CED) is for discussing creation, evolution and design issues posted by me. It is the successor to my terminated list of the same name
-----------------------------------------------------

So in future I will ignore, or even delete, comments (from anyone) that are not related to the topic that I have posted.

[…]

Steve

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"Examining the record of past research from the vantage of contemporary historiography, the historian of science may be tempted to exclaim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led by a new paradigm, scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. Even more important, during revolutions scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are seen in a different light and are joined by unfamiliar ones as well. Of course, nothing of quite that sort does occur: there is no geographical transplantation; outside the laboratory everyday affairs usually continue as before. Nevertheless, paradigm changes do cause scientists to see the world of their research-engagement differently. In so far as their only recourse to that world is through what they see and do, we may want to say that after a revolution scientists are responding to a different world. It is as elementary prototypes for these transformations of the scientist's world that the familiar demonstrations of a switch in visual gestalt prove so suggestive. What were ducks in the scientist's world before the revolution are rabbits afterwards. The man who first saw the exterior of the box from above later sees its interior from below. Transformations like these, though usually more gradual and almost always irreversible, are common concomitants of scientific training. Looking at a contour map, the student sees lines on paper, the cartographer a picture of a terrain. Looking at a bubble-chamber photograph, the student sees confused and broken lines, the physicist a record of familiar subnuclear events. Only after a number of such transformations of vision does the student become an inhabitant of the scientist's world, seeing what the scientist sees and responding as the scientist does. The world that the student then enters is not, however, fixed once and for all by the nature of the environment, on the one hand, and of science, on the other. Rather, it is determined jointly by the environment and the particular normal-scientific tradition that the student has been trained to pursue. Therefore, at times of revolution, when the normal-scientific tradition changes, the scientist's perception of his environment must be re-educated-in some familiar situations he must learn to see a new gestalt. After he has done so the world of his research will seem, here and there, incommensurable with the one he had inhabited before." (Kuhn T.S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," [1962], University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Third edition, 1996, pp.111-112)
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol) http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/
---------------------------------------------

John A. Davison said...

Stephen
My prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis is based firmly on the carefully crafted opinions and observations of some very astute scientists from Mivart to Bateson, to Osborn, to Berg, to Broom, to Schindewolf, to Goldschmidt to Grasse, a veritable honor roll of some of the greatest minds of their times, and not a professional evolutionist in the lot. These men were without exception leaders in their fields. Their conclusions concerning evolution were based on their life experiences in such diverse fields as Zoogeography and Comparative Anatomy (Berg), Paleontology (Broom, Schindewolf, Osborn), Experimental and descriptive Genetics (Bateson, Goldschmidt) and General Zoology (Grasse). My Providence, if I may use that term, has been to resurrect them from the oblivion to which the establishment has comitted them. I regard the posture of Gould, Provine, Mayr, Ayala, Dawkins and every other devout Darwinian as nothing short of scandalous. The Christian Fundamentalists have also ignored these same scholars, not one of whom found it necessary to invoke a personal God and neither have I. I have lost respect for both of these entrenched ideologies and made my feeling well known. I greatly appreciate the tolerance of any forum that will allow me to express my convictions openly and without resort to the many tactics which it has been my unfortunate experience to provoke. As near as I can determine, your forum and that of John Rennie and Terry Trainor have at least allowed me full expression even knowing that I disagree with them about certain matters. That is the hallmark of a civilized discourse which is essential for progress concerning the great mystery of organic evolution, a phenomenon, in my opinion, of the past.