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Old 02-09-2004, 02:49 AM
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evolution

What are your thoughts about evolution? Do you think all humans evolved from chimps. I is hard to belive that my great great great... grandfather was a monkey. And do you think we will evolve again? into something smarter, stronger, and faster.

It's hard to belive, but some people have ESP or something like that. Are we going to be able to control everything around us with are mind?

Thimk about it and tell me what you think.
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Old 02-09-2004, 02:54 AM
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I made some errors in that post. I think I was going a little to fast and did not re-read it.
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:53 AM
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Evolution is the best explanation for the ascent of all animals or single cell organisms (all life). It makes scientific sence and can be seen in everyday life. All you have to do is open your eyes and look at the theory objectivly.

Every year the flu vaccine changes. Why! Because the virus is mutating to survive. It is a fact evolving. We have to constantly change our vaccinations, every year, to keep up with this pesky virus.

No, the virus will never mutate into a teenage muttant ninja turtle or anything. Also, man did not "come from apes". Humans were a completly different line off the evolutionary tree than monkeys. Seeing that Christian doctorine is to reply about evolution that "I was not a monkey or hah, hah my grandpa was not an ape" is simply a copout because their doctorine is so weak and thier PHYSICAL AND HISTORICAL INFORMATION DOES NOT EXIST!!!

As far as us evolving into ESP mind readers. Who knows evolution is a very slow process with more complicated biological organisms.
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:51 AM
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um... yes RA there's all that evidence that shows our evolution from single celled organisms...

Natural selection works. We've seen it in action. A creature with favourable traits will survive over others without them, however, there's no evidence of any animal gaining additional genetic data. Flu survives because it has the potential within its DNA to become immune to treatments - and thus, the flu with the appropriately activated genetic code will survive, however, the additional chromasomes required to evolve from a single celled organism to a human (that's around 27 more) shows that to believe that we evolved that far is a leap of faith.
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:32 PM
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You remind me of jerry farwell ! korliss all evidence points to evolution being correct if you are willing to believe that a man lives in the clouds and another lives under the earth and they are not the best of friends then why would it be so hard for you to believe that hummans may have evloved? Also you need SCIENTIFIC evidence to look at this and this evidence has to be replicable and also has to use the scientific method. Using these methods proves the theory of evolution for example take a look at the human brain lower portions of the brain such as the brain stem ( which has the medulla, the recticular formation and the pons moving up you have such things as the cerebellum and so on these lower parts resemble many other animals and are probaly left over from our more primative past but as we evolve you can see things that make us human for example the cerebral cortex which is located in the fron ttop of our brain is used for higher mental processes and is from the latest point of our evolution. How does religion acount for this? Could god not figure out how to make are brians differntly until the last minute? as I said before there is realy danger in confusing dogma with truth.
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:39 PM
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And since I am such a nice guy here is your eveidence of an animal gaining additional genetic data!



http://ejournal.sinica.edu.tw/bbas/c.../bot94-03.html
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Old 02-10-2004, 08:40 AM
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That's having extra genetic data inserted, there's a difference.

Likewise, I have empirical evidence that proves the existance of the supernatural, and amusingly, all texts on magick derive from one source - Sepher Raziel (the book of the angel raziel) which is said to be penned by the angel himself. All witchcraft, and occult religions are derived from the misuse and reanalysis of this and the derived texts.
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Old 02-12-2004, 06:53 PM
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The fact that mitochondria were originally seperate single cells which were seperate to our modern day cells is evidence enough for me.
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Old 02-13-2004, 01:17 AM
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Theres a man named Terence Mckenna who believes that as apes were evolving physically, they began eating hallucinogenic mushrooms and other psychoactive foods and their brain activity eventually evolved to more advanced levels leading into awareness of self....I think thats kind of interesting, maybe a little crazy, but interesting
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Old 02-15-2004, 01:31 PM
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Evolution. That phenomenon which occurs after Creation has occured. Not to be confused as a counter to it.

Thus, "CREATION VS EVOLUTION" is a misnomer.
Better, "CREATION; EVOLUTION".

These are two different entities, with nothing in common - apart from the latter always following the former, primal phenomenon.

This primal CREATION phenomenon possesses an Attribute not shared with any other entity or phenomenon. It occurs by virtue of a force which does not exist in Creation - otherwise it would be a self-repeating occurence, which it is clearly not, and very much unlike the phenomenon of Evolution - which IS a self-repeating one.

The Creation occurs by a force unlike anything inside or within Creation - the reason why nothing like it occurs within it. There is no force within Creation which can create 'SOMETHING FROM NOTHING' - a wholly alien (out-of-creation) premise.

What is 'SOMETHING FROM NOTHING"? This is the true and pristine mode of creation; all other modes can be desribed only as 'FORMED' - meaning 'SOMETHING FROM SOMETHING ELSE'. While it is not possible to define 'SOMETHING FROM NOTHING' -
an out-of-creation force; it is possible to describe the phenomenon of 'FORM' - 'SOMETHIMNG FROM SOMETHING ELSE' - without any problem - it is a common phenomenon within creation. The latter is exemplified by a potter 'forming' a vase from clay. This is not CREATION-FROM-NOTHING.

CREATION, unlike EVOLUTION, is an out-of-creation force. It occured once only - unlike EVOLUTION.
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:33 AM
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A Discussion of evolution as I see it.

Evolution is a process of successive alterations of DNA nucleotide sequences and gene groupings. These alterations result from copying errors, replication repeats, deletions, translocations, enzymatic lysis of nucleotide sequences, viral DNA insertions, radiation damage to nucleotide sequences, the effects of transposon genes, and perhaps extra cellular toxic insults. Those alterations lead to phenotypic changes in the animal or plant. These changes more often than not lead to the death or non-survival of the organism. But the rare mutant survives. It survives if the change is either neutral or advantageous to adaptation. The organism may be more successful than its ancestor and even replace or displace that ancestor. Yet quite often the new and old species coexist in slightly different ecosystems.

Evolution appears to proceed in a number of steps. Most changes are very gradual. They are not apparent except over long periods of time (Darwinian Natural Selection.) Other changes occur rather radically in a relatively brief time. By brief I mean thousands or hundreds of thousands of years. That is brief in geological time (Punctuated Equilibrium.) Some of evolutionary selection may be animal generated (sexual selection of certain male or female characteristics.)

Those who study the evidence conclude that Evolution is as much of a fact as gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong subatomic forces, the spherical Earth, and the Heliocentric Solar System. It has as much evidence as a Universe composed of galaxies containing billions of stars, grouped clusters of galaxies, and super clusters of clusters of galaxies. It has more evidence than the light (visible) matter and dark (invisible) matter, or the universe’s estimated age of 13.7 billion years. Yet all of the above are as close to fact as scientific theories can get.

Evolution is not a theory but a fact. One theory explaining evolution is natural selection. A theory is a scientific, evidence based explanation of a natural, observed phenomenon. Why do Christian and Islamic Fundamentalists reject the very fact of evolution? I think it is mainly because they do not comprehend scientific evidence or complexity. Some do not wish to understand the evidence. It contradicts their mythical belief that everything today is as it was when it was created. They need to believe that creation was a magical act of conjuring through words from God.

Scientific Evolution is accepted as fact by scientists, unbelievers, and liberal Christians (Theistic Evolution.) Fundamentalistic believers in Magical Creation by God are fighting evolution in the United States. The obvious reason for fighting Evolution is that it contradicts their two Biblical genesis myths. Debunking the mythology discredits the entire Bible’s literal reliability.

What is the evidence proving Evolution? What is the evidence proving Magical Creation?

The most obvious evidence for evolution is that rock solid evidence that one can see, feel, compare, and date. That is fossil evidence. We know for a fact that there are fossils. We further know that the fossils of animals and plants are different at successive periods of geological history. We know that the more primitive fossils are found in the oldest sedimentary layers. We know that some fossils show successive gradual changes from older to successively younger sediments. We know that hundreds of thousands of animals have ceased to live after certain points of time (extinction). We know that new forms of animals and plants keep making appearances at thousands of points of time. We can trace individual animals through long sequences of their evolution. We have many evolutionary lines recorded from more primitive forms (horses, rhinoceroses, whales, and primates) to their modern representatives. Primates are known at many stages from prosimians through proto-apes to humans. At least 5 or more stages of primitive to modern humans have been found.

There is often a challenge to our dating system. They claim it is imprecise. It can vary by thousands of years for carbon, and a million or so with K-Argon. But when we are talking about ages of 70 million or 240 million years (a 5 million year two standard deviation) is rather trivial. Magical Creationists claim that isotope decay is variable. But this is unsupported by any evidence. We can test isotope dating, by other evidential comparisons.

We know for a fact that there are tectonic plates making up the Earth’s Crust. These plates are propelled by up welling and down welling currents in the hot magma of the Earth’s mantle. The result is that the plates drift slowly as the up welling at a rift zone pushes the left and right edges of two plates apart at about 5 cm per year. We know that this rate is constant for two reasons. The continental drift has been measured by satellite laser measurements for about 20 years and has remained consistently at 5 cm per year.

We know that Earths magnetic poles reverse N to S and back to S to N at long and short interval cycles every several hundred thousand years. Long periods of Palaeomagnetic time based on ocean core samples are Brunhes (present to 700,000 years BC), Matuyama (700,000 BC to 2,400,000 BC), Gauss (2,400,000 BC to 3,300,000 BC), and Gilbert (3,300,000 BC to 5,100,000 BC.) Polar magnetic shifts cause Ferro-magnetic minerals to line up in those fields while rock is liquid. It cools and the iron containing crystals remain aligned northward or southward in broad crustal bands. When the field later reverses the newer oceanic plate shows the newly reversed polarity. The older bands of sea floor maintain their polarity even after later reversals. Those reversals only realign newly forming magma at the tectal plate ridges. Deep drilling of the ocean floor has shown these bands of alternating polarity reversals from the mid-oceanic ridge where they form all the way to the continental edges.

Using the two measurements of tectonic plate spreading and laser measured continental drift, we can determine the age of igneous rocks at the continental margins. We use the magnetic polarity field reversals, separation of the plates at the oceanic ridge at 2cm/yr, and satellite measurements of continental drift at 5 cm/yr. Thus we can estimate that Cameroon in Africa started separation from the bulge of Brazil 240 million ago in the late Permian Period. The math is to divide the distance Africa travelled from Brazil by the velocity of 5 cm/year which is 240 million years.

Then we use isotope dating of igneous rock on the Brazil coast and the Cameroon coast and get 240-220 million years. By geological timescales this is better than hitting a bull’s eye with a bullet at 900 metres. Thus the accuracy of isotope measurement of fossil ages is supported by collateral evidence of continental drift velocities, ocean floor polarity shift bands, deep sea probe measurement of plate separation at the tectonic ridge, and a generally approximate date of sedimentary layering rates. Knowing that, we can safely estimate the great ages of fossils. We can group them phenotypically and anatomically. Thereby we write much of the story of Evolution for the past 500 million years with only minor gaps that are surprisingly few considering the length of the total record.

We know that over vast periods of time, millions of animals and plants have appeared and later became extinct. It happened in so many separate periods that a single time origin is easily debunked.

Now with the DNA genome projects for humans and several other animals we now know new ways to measure evolution. More importantly biochemical genetics explains the mechanisms. DNA mutation rates are relatively predictable and constant for various families of animals. We can use these mutational rates to back date the approximate time that humans and Chimps separated from our common ancestor, 6-7 million years ago. The fossil evidence suggested 8 million years and the debate goes on about the slight difference. But to me the closeness is more important than the slight difference. Chimps and humans diverged from a common ancestor about 5 to 8 million years ago. The process of divergence may have taken a million or more years.

Additionally the Human Genome project has shown us that old genes are not discarded entirely. Some are used at transitional stages of our own human embryology. Humans go through a single cell form (like protozoa), a cell clump form (like slime moulds), a blastomere (ball of cells like a living Volvox), a two layered phase (like a coelenterate), a primitive chordate with a notochord, a fish like stage with gill slits, to a transitional stage between fish and amphibians (gill slits, tail, and legs), a reptile like stage, primitive mammal, and advanced mammal stages. This is best observed in the addition of newer evolved brain sections. The old parts such as gill slits are recycled into ear bones, labyrinthine and cochlear parts of the ear, and parts of the vocal apparatus. Often a child is born with a residual gill slit (branchial cleft cyst), residual primitive notochord called a chordoma, or even a tail.

In summary the evidence for animal and plant evolution over 2 billion years is supported by several types of data. There is the vast fossil evidence. The fossils are chronologically dated by radioisotope decay rates. This isotope chronology is cross checked by four other methods. One is tectonic plate movement. The second is magnetic field reversal bands in ocean core samples. The third is laser measured continental drift velocity. The fourth is DNA mutation rate comparison of species occurring at predictable mathematical rates. Human embryology retells the saga of evolution like a slow action video from single cell to Stephen J. Gould and all of us.

An interesting fact is that the DNA codes are about the same small difference between human men and women as they are between humans and chimpanzees. We differ from Chimps by 0.6% of our DNA code. That is a link. It may lend some support to reclassify Chimps from Pan troglodytes to Homo panicis. Neurogeneticists have discovered the gene for speech and language comprehension. It is the FOXP2 gene, the gene underwent an intense mutation after 200,000 BCE. If the gene mutates, a human cannot learn speech. It is the gene that transformed simple ape grunts into linguistic grammar over a span of time. It is likely that other genes play a role but this one is critical.

Amergain
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:37 AM
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Fossil Evidence and references-Article

January 2001
Accuracy of Fossils and Dating Methods
By Michael Benton, Ph.D.

Fossils provide a record of the history of life.

Our understanding of the shape and pattern of the history of life depends on the accuracy of fossils and dating methods. Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better. Other critics, perhaps more familiar with the data, question certain aspects of the quality of the fossil record and of its dating. These sceptics do not provide scientific evidence for their views. Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.

Millions of fossils have been discovered.

Some sceptics believe that all fossils are the same age.

Rejecting fossil data cannot be supported by proof.

The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them:
They cannot deny that hundreds of millions of fossils reside in display cases and drawers around the world. Perhaps some would argue that these specimens - huge skeletons of dinosaurs, blocks from ancient shell beds containing hundreds of specimens, delicately preserved fern fronds -- have been manufactured by scientists to confuse the public. This is clearly ludicrous.

Otherwise, religious fundamentalists are forced to claim that all the fossils are of the same age, somehow buried in the rocks by some extraordinary catastrophe, perhaps Noah's flood. How exactly they believe that all the dinosaurs, mammoths, early humans, heavily-armoured fishes, trilobites, ammonites, and the rest could all live together has never been explained. Nor indeed why the marine creatures were somehow 'drowned' by the flood.

The rejection of dating by religious fundamentalists is easier for them to make, but harder for them to demonstrate. The fossils occur in regular sequences time after time; radioactive decay happens, and repeated cross testing of radiometric dates confirms their validity.

Fossil hunting began by accident in England around 1800.
Stratigraphy, the study of rock layers, led to palaeontology, the study of fossils.

Fossils occur in sequences

Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution. Early geologists, in the 1700s and 1800s, noticed how fossils seemed to occur in sequences: certain assemblages of fossils were always found below other assemblages. The first work was done in England and France.
Around 1800, William Smith in England, who was a canal surveyor, noticed that he could map out great tracts of rocks on the basis of their contained fossils. The sequences he saw in one part of the country could be correlated (matched) precisely with the sequences in another. He, and others at the time, had discovered the first principles of Stratigraphy -- that older rocks lay below younger rocks and that fossils occur in a particular, predictable order.

Then, geologists began to build up the stratigraphic column, the familiar listing of divisions of geological time -- Jurassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary, and so on. Each time unit was characterized by particular fossils. The scheme worked all round the world, without fail.

From the 1830s onwards, geologists noted how fossils became more complex through time. The oldest rocks contained no fossils, then came simple sea creatures, then more complex ones like fishes, then came life on land, then reptiles, then mammals, and finally humans. Clearly, there was some kind of 'progress' going on.

All became clear, of course, in 1859 when Charles Darwin published his "On the origin of species". The 'progress' shown by the fossils was a documentation of the grand pattern of evolution through long spans of time.

Fossils prove that humans did not exist alongside dinosaurs.

Accuracy of the fossils

Since 1859, palaeontologists, or fossil experts, have searched the world for fossils. In the past 150 years they have not found any fossils that Darwin would not have expected. New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great 'tree of life'. Darwin and his contemporaries could never have imagined the improvements in resolution of Stratigraphy that have come since 1859, nor guessed what fossils were to be found in the southern continents, nor predicted the huge increase in the number of amateur and professional palaeontologists worldwide. All these labours have not led to a single unexpected finding such as a human fossil from the time of the dinosaurs, or a Jurassic dinosaur in the same rocks as Silurian trilobites.

Scientists now use phylogeny, mathematics, and other computations to date fossils. [Plate Tectonic science of sea floor spreading rates and continental drift rates.]

Species are placed on the tree of life based on their physical form as well as genetic composition.

Palaeontologists now apply sophisticated mathematical techniques to assess the relative quality of particular fossil successions, as well as the entire fossil record. These demonstrate that, of course, we do not know everything (and clearly never will), but we know enough. Today, innovative techniques provide further confirmation and understanding of the history of life. Biologists actually have at their disposal several independent ways of looking at the history of life - not only from the order of fossils in the rocks, but also through phylogenetic trees.

Phylogenetic trees are the family trees of particular groups of plants or animals, showing how all the species relate to each other.

Phylogenetic trees are drawn up mathematically, using lists of morphological (external form) or molecular (gene sequence) characters.

Modern phylogenetic trees have no input from Stratigraphy, so they can be used in a broad way to make comparisons between tree shape and Stratigraphy,
The majority of test cases show good agreement, so the fossil record tells the same story as the molecules enclosed in living organisms.

Fossils may be dated by calculating the rate of decay of certain elements.

Accuracy of dating

Dating in geology may be relative or absolute. Relative dating is done by observing fossils, as described above, and recording which fossil is younger, which is older. The discovery of means for absolute dating in the early 1900s was a huge advance. The methods are all based on radioactive decay:

Certain naturally occurring elements are radioactive, and they decay, or break down, at predictable rates.

Chemists measure the half-life of such elements, i.e., the time it takes for half of the radioactive parent element to break down to the stable daughter element. Sometimes, one isotope, or naturally occurring form, of an element decays into another, more stable form of the same element.

By comparing the proportions of parent to daughter element in a rock sample, and knowing the half-life, the age can be calculated.

Older fossils cannot be dated by carbon-14 methods and require radiometric dating. Scientists can use different chemicals for absolute dating:

The best-known absolute dating technique is carbon-14 dating, which archaeologists prefer to use. However, the half-life of carbon-14 is only 5730 years, so the method cannot be used for materials older than about 70,000 years.

Radiometric dating involves the use of isotope series, such as rubidium/strontium, thorium/lead, potassium/argon, argon/argon, or uranium/lead, all of which have very long half-lives, ranging from 0.7 to 48.6 billion years. Subtle differences in the relative proportions of the two isotopes can give good dates for rocks of any age.

Scientists can check their accuracy by using different isotopes.

The first radiometric dates, generated about 1920, showed that the Earth was hundreds of millions, or billions, of years old. Since then, geologists have made many tens of thousands of radiometric age determinations, and they have refined the earlier estimates. A key point is that it is no longer necessary simply to accept one chemical determination of a rock's age. Age estimates can be cross-tested by using different isotope pairs. Results from different techniques, often measured in rival labs, continually confirm each other.

There is only a 1% chance of error with current dating technology. Every few years, new geologic time scales are published, providing the latest dates for major time lines. Older dates may change by a few million years up and down, but younger dates are stable. For example, it has been known since the 1960s that the famous Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, the line marking the end of the dinosaurs, was 65 million years old. Repeated recalibrations and retests, using ever more sophisticated techniques and equipment, cannot shift that date. It is accurate to within a few thousand years. With modern, extremely precise, methods, error bars are often only1% or so.

Conclusion: The strict rules of the scientific method ensure the accuracy of fossil dating.

Conclusion

The fossil record is fundamental to an understanding of evolution. Fossils document the order of appearance of groups and they tell us about some of the amazing plants and animals that died out long ago. Fossils can also show us how major crises, such as mass extinctions, happened, and how life recovered after them. If the fossils, or the dating of the fossils, could be shown to be inaccurate, all such information would have to be rejected as unsafe. Geologists and palaeontologists are highly self-critical, and they have worried for decades about these issues. Repeated, and tough, regimes of testing have confirmed the broad accuracy of the fossils and their dating, so we can read the history of life from the rocks with confidence.


© 2001, Bioscience Productions, Inc., an organization promoting bioscience literacy. Educators have permission to reprint articles for classroom use; other users, please contact editor for reprint permission. See reprint policy.

About the author: Michael Benton, Ph.D., is a vertebrate palaeontologist with particular interests in dinosaur origins and fossil history. Currently, he is studying certain basal dinosaurs from the Late Triassic and the quality of different segments of the fossil record. He holds the Chair in Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Bristol, UK, in addition to chairing the Masters program in palaeobiology at the university. He has written some 30 books on dinosaurs and palaeobiology, ranging from professional tomes to popular kids' books.
http://www.gly.bris.ac.uk/www/admin/personnel/MJB.html

Accuracy of Fossils and Dating Methods

Fossils and evolution

Michael Benton wrote another article, Evidence of Evolutionary Transitions, for this website which explains how fossils support the stages of evolutionary history.

http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/benton2.html

Stratigraphy and the succession of rocks
» The geologic time scale -- basics and history, and the latest standard time scale.
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/contents.html»

The stratigraphic column: explanation and graphic illustration. The second link provides a graphic explanation of a stratigraphic column of Iowa, USA.

http://www.priweb.org/ed/pgws/geolog...ic_column.html
www.igwa.org/iowacol.asp»

A basic outline of geological time and links.
http://www.geo.ucalgary.ca/~macrae/t...timescale.html
http://www.es-designs.com/geol105/timescale/» Stratigraphy information from the International Union of Geological Sciences (the second link takes you to the Union's calendar of events).
http://www.iugs.org/iugs/drectory/cssubcom.htm
http://www.iugs.org/iugs/calendar/cal.htm

Quality of the fossil record
Data bases and software for studying the quality of the fossil record.
http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/cladestrat/cladestrat.html

Radiometric dating methods and their quality
The basics.
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/radiometric.html
» Good overviews with response to critiques by religious fundamentalists.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dating.html
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaver...diometric.html

Read a book
Michael Benton has written over 30 books on dinosaurs and palaeobiology. Two suggested readings are provided -- the first for adults, the second for children:
» Vertebrate Palaeontology (Stanley Thornes Pub., 2000) traces the history of the vertebrates for amateurs as well as professionals, and explains how research scientists obtain palaeobiological information.

» Dinosaur and Other Prehistoric Animal Fact finder (Kingfisher Books, 1998) is a resource for youngsters who are serious about dinosaurs, with illustrations that are detailed and colourful and hundreds of different creatures profiled in depth (written with Ralph Orme).

Where to see dinosaurs
University of California at Berkeley provides a listing of natural history museums worldwide.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/subway/nathistmus.html

Dinosaur expeditions

Many natural history museums and universities worldwide offer public participation programs in dinosaur events, such as fossil hunting or fossil cataloguing. No experience needed in most cases! The list is too long to mention here, so a couple of examples are provided to get you going on your search for programs in your area:
» Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada
http://www.cd.gov.ab.ca/enjoying_alb...flashindex.asp
» The Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction
http://www.dinodigs.org/index.htm

Discovering fossils

Explore U.K. fossil collecting locations that are detailed on this site. Also includes info on how fossils are formed, the "cleaning, preparing, & repairing" of fossils, and other useful resources.
http://www.discoveringfossils.co.uk/

General references:

» Benton, M. J., Wills, M. and Hitchin, R. 2000. "Quality of the fossil record through time." Nature 403, 534-538.
» Benton, M.J., David A.J. Harper, and David Benton. 1997. Basic Palaeontology. Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.
» Jackson, Julia ed. 1997. Glossary of Geology, 4th ed. American Geological Institute.
» McClay, Ken. 1991. The Mapping of Geological Structures. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
» O'Brien, M.J. and R.L. Lyman. 1999. Seriation, Stratigraphy, and Index Fossils -* The Backbone of Archaeological Dating. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
» William Smith's biography: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/smith.html

Copyright 2000-2004 American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.


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Old 03-03-2004, 06:50 PM
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WOW....thats a comprehensive tutorial & natural history etc ...posting

i just was going to ask if post #6 : describes Gene/DNA Manipulation? or Natural Selection??
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:19 AM
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Amergaine, it's not that we don't understand evolution, and in fact, we agree with the idea of natural selection, but there is as much evidence of the world being created, as there is of humans evolving from single-celled organisms (more, if you really want to get into it).

You mention fossil records of creatures evolving. Amusingly, there are none of the 'evolutionary path' of humans. I know this will get you pouncing on me about neanderthals and their ilk, but there is no link between those different creatures. In fact, they're just a different form of primate that doesn't seem to exist anymore. There is no link between them and humans, except they kinda look like us. Kinda.

In fact, technically there should be inter-species fossil connections, if the theory of us evolving from single-celled organisms were true. Pity we don't see any octopoid-monkeys in the fossil record... or nautilus-birds... or any other interspecies connections...
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Old 03-04-2004, 07:20 AM
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Dear Creationists

Perhaps I can assist.

First of all it should be called the Law of Evolution. So you don't get your pants (panties) tied in a knot over the word Theory.

Secondly, it acts not upon individuals, but on populations over EONS of time.

No one can conceive of a billion years and have any true comprehension of how long that truly is, it is a mind boggling amount of time for chemical processes to operate and mutations to occur, natural selection to select etc.

What's the most likely next evolutionary step for humans?

Extinction. This is not a guess, or a pessimistic view in the least. It is the likely outcome given our current progress at controlling ourselves.

My father was a technologist before people spoke of technologists (he worked on computers in 1956! and predicted the Y2K problem in 1962 (and was laughed out of the office by IBM VP's!).

His view was that technology is the only thing that could possibly save the human race. Bio, nano, info other tech will be needed to have humans thrive, since we will have destroyed (or have already destroyed!) the natural mechanisms that nurtured our evolution to this point.

I would say I hope that he was right then, but the more I understand human nature, and the reactionary forces that control the means to delay our demise, the less likely I find that humans will win the race against self-destruction.

Oh, I forgot, God will provide. Bull Crap.
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