Primitive Fish with butt fins reveals...

Primitive Fish with butt fins reveals quirk of evolution?

Posted in the Evolution Debate Forum

Remy

Charlotte, NC

#1 Apr 10, 2013
Read this story: http://news.yahoo.com/primitive-fish-butt-fin...

While the topic does have me worried this could turn into a discussion about butts, I have to say the conclusions from this article seem to have more to do with speculation than they have to do with science. Based on one skeleton of one fish there is claimed evidence of quirks in evolution. The scientists here seem to be doing what proponents of intelligent design are so often accused of. Namely, they are seeing what they want to see. While a quirk in evolution is certainly a possible explanation for these butt fins that sounds like an extremely unlikely explanation.

There are a number of possible explanations. An isolated mutation or deformity, for instance. That is much more likely. In all lab cases where a species has shown some sort of change or deformity like this the result has not been evolution. The result has been all others of the species refusing to mate with it, or if they do mate then things return to normal within a few generations.

Bigger than that, however, is the claim that evolution is somehow experimenting. Exactly how can it be explained that evolution would be capable of doing that? Evolution is supposedly mindless. How could evolution decide to create such a mutation just to see if it would be useful? In order for something to be able to experiment something must exhibit intelligence. A blind watchmaker simply wouldn't be able to conduct such experiments. We, as intelligent creatures, conduct experiments. A natural process simply wouldn't be able to.

My point is that the conclusion that this one skeleton, "suggest that early in primitive vertebrates' history, evolution experimented with a number of wacky body plans, only some of which survived..." is quite a stretch. Just because someone wants evidence for evolution does not mean it is there in this fossil.
LowellGuy

Salem, MA

#2 Apr 10, 2013
Someone who admits to studying evolutionary biology for a whopping two months and thinks that "intelligent design" is science is in no position to say what is and is not scientifically sound interpretation of the evidence.

Settled on this name?
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#3 Apr 11, 2013
Remy wrote:
Bigger than that, however, is the claim that evolution is somehow experimenting. Exactly how can it be explained that evolution would be capable of doing that? Evolution is supposedly mindless. How could evolution decide to create such a mutation just to see if it would be useful? In order for something to be able to experiment something must exhibit intelligence. A blind watchmaker simply wouldn't be able to conduct such experiments. We, as intelligent creatures, conduct experiments. A natural process simply wouldn't be able to.
It's a metaphor. You may have heard of that word. However it is not really hard to understand how evolution could be capable of that if one understands the principle of natural selection. Since mutations can be good, bad or neutral, and we know mutations produce all three.
Remy wrote:
Just because someone wants evidence for evolution does not mean it is there in this fossil.
This fossil is not even needed. We already HAVE tons of evidence for evolution. There is no scientific debate over the validity of evolution. Hasn't been for a minimum of six decades. The debate is over the specifics of how it occurred, which is normal in any scientific theory. So unless this fishy demonstrates a gross violation of nested hierarchies then evolution remains unaffected.

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