Evolution in action
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“I'm going apeshit...”

Since: Mar 08

Fentress

#1 Nov 15, 2008
Evolution in action: Lizards losing limbs

Study: Some Australian skinks have gone legless in just 3.6 million years

By Robin Lloyd
updated 1:23 p.m. CT, Wed., Nov. 12, 2008

Some slender Australian lizards called skinks have gone from being five-fingered to legless (like most snakes) in just 3.6 million years, a new study finds. That's a blink of an eye in geologic time.

For comparison, if a 1,000-sheet roll of toilet paper represented all of Earth's geologic history, it is only on the last square of paper that bipedal ancestors of Homo sapiens showed up — about 4.5 million years ago, said Penn State geologist Robert Giegengack, who was not involved in the study.

There are 75 species of these fast-evolving skinks called Lerista. These skinks have been crawling and slithering around Earth for about 13.4 million years, and even today, some have five fingers, some have four and some have none, or tiny stubs for legs. So researchers from the University of Adelaide used genetic sequences to arrive at a new family tree for the skinks that showed when and how fast they had lost their fingers or entire legs throughout their evolution.

"At the highest rate, complete loss of limbs from a pentadactyl [five-fingered] condition is estimated to have occurred within 3.6 million years," said researcher Adam Skinner of the University of Adelaide, adding that compared to similarly dramatic evolutionary changes in other animals, this is blisteringly fast.

The analysis, detailed in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology and funded by the Hermon Slade Foundation, suggests that the skinks’ way of life might have driven the dramatic and rapid changes in their body shapes.

"It is believed that skinks are losing their limbs because they spend most of their lives swimming through sand or soil; limbs are not only unnecessary for this, but may actually be a hindrance," said Skinner, who headed up the study.

Skinner and his colleagues found that the evolution of a snake-like body form in Lerista skinks has occurred not only repeatedly but without any evidence of reversals (that is, fingers or limbs being added back).

Limb reduction via evolution has occurred many times during the history of life on Earth, in mammals, birds, amphibians, snakes and lizards. Lizards and snakes are the model cases for study of this biological phenomenon. About 53 lineages of lizards and snakes are known to have lost one or more bones of their limbs throughout their evolution, Skinner said.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#2 Nov 15, 2008
Apeshit wrote:
Evolution in action: Lizards losing limbs
Study: Some Australian skinks have gone legless in just 3.6 million years
By Robin Lloyd
updated 1:23 p.m. CT, Wed., Nov. 12, 2008
Some slender Australian lizards called skinks have gone from being five-fingered to legless (like most snakes) in just 3.6 million years, a new study finds. That's a blink of an eye in geologic time.
For comparison, if a 1,000-sheet roll of toilet paper represented all of Earth's geologic history, it is only on the last square of paper that bipedal ancestors of Homo sapiens showed up — about 4.5 million years ago, said Penn State geologist Robert Giegengack, who was not involved in the study.
There are 75 species of these fast-evolving skinks called Lerista. These skinks have been crawling and slithering around Earth for about 13.4 million years, and even today, some have five fingers, some have four and some have none, or tiny stubs for legs. So researchers from the University of Adelaide used genetic sequences to arrive at a new family tree for the skinks that showed when and how fast they had lost their fingers or entire legs throughout their evolution.
"At the highest rate, complete loss of limbs from a pentadactyl [five-fingered] condition is estimated to have occurred within 3.6 million years," said researcher Adam Skinner of the University of Adelaide, adding that compared to similarly dramatic evolutionary changes in other animals, this is blisteringly fast.
The analysis, detailed in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology and funded by the Hermon Slade Foundation, suggests that the skinks’ way of life might have driven the dramatic and rapid changes in their body shapes.
"It is believed that skinks are losing their limbs because they spend most of their lives swimming through sand or soil; limbs are not only unnecessary for this, but may actually be a hindrance," said Skinner, who headed up the study.
Skinner and his colleagues found that the evolution of a snake-like body form in Lerista skinks has occurred not only repeatedly but without any evidence of reversals (that is, fingers or limbs being added back).
Limb reduction via evolution has occurred many times during the history of life on Earth, in mammals, birds, amphibians, snakes and lizards. Lizards and snakes are the model cases for study of this biological phenomenon. About 53 lineages of lizards and snakes are known to have lost one or more bones of their limbs throughout their evolution, Skinner said.
Sorry,great story,but I only believe in creationism.
serrint

Saluda, SC

#3 Nov 15, 2008
the Ben Stein movie Expelled is great. It takes time to show where following the logic of evolution takes a nation. Saaayyyyy Nazi.

“Wake the F*ck up!”

Since: Jan 08

Earth

#4 Nov 15, 2008
Green Hornet 007 wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry,great story,but I only believe in creationism.
Sorry for you. A closed mind is blind.

Since: Mar 08

Jamestown

#5 Nov 15, 2008
I believe in creationism also but I also believe in evolution to a degree. I don't believe that we evolved from apes but I believe that some things change over time to adapt to the environment. Bacteria is a perfect example. It has evolved to become resistant to antibiotics.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#6 Nov 15, 2008
Jabber Jaws wrote:
I believe in creationism also but I also believe in evolution to a degree. I don't believe that we evolved from apes but I believe that some things change over time to adapt to the environment. Bacteria is a perfect example. It has evolved to become resistant to antibiotics.
I do believe in micro-evolution, like the bacteria,but I do not believe in macro-evolution.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#7 Nov 15, 2008
PferdSamen wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry for you. A closed mind is blind.
Not closed minded.There is plenty of evidence for creationism.

“I'm going apeshit...”

Since: Mar 08

Fentress

#8 Nov 15, 2008
This is an educated discussion. No one should be condemning someone else for their beliefs. GH is right there is evidence for creationism.

GH please post them. I would appreciate it.

“Wake the F*ck up!”

Since: Jan 08

Earth

#9 Nov 15, 2008
Green Hornet 007 wrote:
<quoted text>
Not closed minded.There is plenty of evidence for creationism.
True. But you said you only believe in creationism. ALL of the evidence is just theoretical anyway. I could never understand since childhood how anything could be created if there's no explanation who/what creates the creator.
I believe wholeheartedly that I know "nothing" for sure. That makes me smarter than anyone that believes in "anything" for sure. That, I'm sure of.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#10 Nov 15, 2008
PferdSamen wrote:
<quoted text>
True. But you said you only believe in creationism. ALL of the evidence is just theoretical anyway. I could never understand since childhood how anything could be created if there's no explanation who/what creates the creator.
I believe wholeheartedly that I know "nothing" for sure. That makes me smarter than anyone that believes in "anything" for sure. That, I'm sure of.
I in the same breath can't believe that everything came from nothing and then BOOM.I also know I did not come from a monkey.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#11 Nov 15, 2008
Here is just a small part of why I believe in creation.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/...

“www.tntaxrevolt. org”

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#12 Nov 16, 2008
A lizard "losing a limb" isn't a sign of true "evolution".
Franklin

Alcoa, TN

#13 Nov 16, 2008
The human genome shows recent evolution by natural selection. Researchers at the University of Chicago have identified hundreds of regions in human DNA where strong selection has occurred.

Studies show that humans in different regions have continued to adapt in numerous ways to both environmental changes and cultural innovations.

Some of the genes most strongly affected by selection were those associated with skin color, bone structure, and the metabolism of different foods.

Using newly available data, scientists conducted a genome-wide scan for genetic variants showing evidence of recent selection in European, Asian, and African populations. Most of the selected genes varied strongly among the three groups, showing that humans adapt to conditions that are specific to different parts of the world.
Franklin

Alcoa, TN

#14 Nov 16, 2008
I believe in evolution AND creationism. They are not exclusive.

And I know it's not a valid scientific concept, because evolution is not directional (going forward or backward in time), but regarding social/emotional development, I believe in devolution.

Since: May 07

Indianapolis

#15 Nov 16, 2008
Green Hornet 007 wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry,great story,but I only believe in creationism.
Creationist or Intelligent Design adherents seem to be satisfied with the final answer they have arrived at. I have never heard of one of these "scientist" looking into their pet theory further. Example: "Intelligent Design" assumes an Intelligence. What he hell is this Intelligence up to. IMO they should call their theory "Mad Scientist Design". Can they tell us what this "Intelligence" has in store for us? No. They are like the religious devotees who talk to God every day but he never tells them where he is going to stage his next earthquake.
UTStudent

Nashville, TN

#16 Nov 16, 2008
Franklin wrote:
I believe in evolution AND creationism. They are not exclusive.
And I know it's not a valid scientific concept, because evolution is not directional (going forward or backward in time), but regarding social/emotional development, I believe in devolution.
I agree. I feel that the only way to look at this issue is through the eyes of relativity and einsteinian physics. The concept of space-time and the idea that God or a Creator is outside space time and that is that it does not affect Him. Evolution and the theories regarding do show that evolution is not directional, but it does seem to naturally move toward progress. Sometimes that progress is futile, but it is very apparent that evolution exist just by looking at the human immune system and the viruses that affect humans. They are constantly competing and developing along with one another. As to the origins of life, it is still very vague as to which theory is more correct or if any are correct. There is a little evidence for almost all theories including creationism.
Grinch

Columbia, SC

#17 Nov 16, 2008
Little Crab Bound wrote:
A lizard "losing a limb" isn't a sign of true "evolution".
More all-knowing wisdom from the great Little Crab. My God, he knows everything!!
Franklin

Alcoa, TN

#18 Nov 16, 2008
I've see the argument that such changes demonstrate "adaptation" rather than "evoluntions."
To me, that's merely an exercise in semantics. How do you see it?

“I'm going apeshit...”

Since: Mar 08

Fentress

#19 Nov 16, 2008
Grinch wrote:
<quoted text>
More all-knowing wisdom from the great Little Crab. My God, he knows everything!!
I mean no offense to you Grinch but please don't turn this into a one-on-one argument with LCB. I'd rather have this approached from a non-hostile standpoint.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#20 Nov 16, 2008
Here is an interesting article I read today.Just throwing this out for thought...the often-asked question "Do you believe in evolution?" expects the answer "Of course!" Don't only ignorant yokels have any doubt? But polls consistently reveal that a great majority of Americans do not believe in the evolution of all life forms from a common ancestor. Why isn't evolution something you can know for sure, not just something in which you can believe?

As always, it helps to define terms. First, evolution is the "descent from a common ancestor" model, the idea that all of life came from more primitive forms. Humankind came from an ape-like ancestor that came up through the mammals from an original rodent-like creature. All mammals came from early reptiles and amphibians, which all came from fish. And the fish came from some marine invertebrate like a snail or starfish, which had still earlier evolved from single-celled life.

Thus, a more revealing question might be "Do you believe your ancestors were fish, as evolution teaches?" Or, "Are you a mutated rodent-like creature?" Fewer people would be inclined to answer, "Yes!" Despite several generations now of aggressive evolution-only teaching in the public school classroom, most people just know that they didn't come from a fish or a rodent or a starfish. They can choose to believe they have an animal ancestry, but few do. It just isn't believable. Thankfully, it isn't the only alternative explanation for origins, and the other is not only more believable, it's more appealing.

Dr. Michael Ruse, perhaps the most eloquent spokesman for evolution today, has admitted:

Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion--a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint…the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.1

Christianity has its God and its revealed truth. It tells us our origins, who we are, where we came from, the meaning of life, and where we're going after we die. It tells us how to live and how to make life decisions along the way. Created in the image of God, we have great worth in His eyes, and great standing before Him as we appropriate His gift of redemption, a great destiny to perform on earth, and life with our loving and righteous Creator/Savior after death.

Evolution answers these same questions differently. We are and come from the universe's chemicals that have self-organized into unlikely forms over eons of time. Single-celled life transformed itself into higher forms until finally the human animal came along. As higher animals, we have incorporated animal behavior into societal norms and even "religious" beliefs. The only true meaning to life is survival and reproduction, and life's highest goal is to pass on one's genes more efficiently than others. After life, we simply cease to exist.

As Dr. Ruse explains, "Evolution is a religion," and not a science at all. It might be best understood as a worldview, a way of thinking and making sense of the world around us. Some, such as Eugenie Scott, have called this worldview "philosophical materialism," a religious claim of naturalism that holds that nature is all there is. There is no supernatural Being who has ever interfered with the natural order of things. Surely this is a religious claim regarding all of reality.

And surely it's not the only or the best such claim. As constitutional attorney Wendell Bird has pointed out: "Evolution is at least as religious as creation, and creation is at least as scientific as evolution." Creation is also more believable.

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