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How do Darwinists account for flight?

dylancatlow
Posts: 12,241
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2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.
phiLockeraptor
Posts: 233
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2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying
"Philosophy is a great conversation that never ends"

Writing for this website ----> www.dailyfreethinker.com
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,241
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2/20/2015 9:41:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM, phiLockeraptor wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying

I don't understand how that would work. How it is evolutionarily advantageous to sort of glide right, but nevertheless fall to one's death when one attempts to jump off a tree. Flight and gliding are only useful when they work right, and that only happens after they are developed mechanisms. In other words, I don't see how very undeveloped flight/gliding mechanism are "better than nothing", which is ultimately what Darwinists must argue.
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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2/20/2015 10:38:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/20/2015 9:41:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM, phiLockeraptor wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying

I don't understand how that would work. How it is evolutionarily advantageous to sort of glide right, but nevertheless fall to one's death when one attempts to jump off a tree. Flight and gliding are only useful when they work right, and that only happens after they are developed mechanisms. In other words, I don't see how very undeveloped flight/gliding mechanism are "better than nothing", which is ultimately what Darwinists must argue.

Characters do not always serve the same function through all their evolutionary stages. Once you understand this, you get why irreducible complexity is a stupid argument.
Accipiter
Posts: 1,160
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2/21/2015 4:40:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/20/2015 9:41:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM, phiLockeraptor wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying

I don't understand how that would work. How it is evolutionarily advantageous to sort of glide right, but nevertheless fall to one's death when one attempts to jump off a tree. Flight and gliding are only useful when they work right, and that only happens after they are developed mechanisms. In other words, I don't see how very undeveloped flight/gliding mechanism are "better than nothing", which is ultimately what Darwinists must argue.

You do know that squirrels and snakes can also fly?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,241
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2/21/2015 11:27:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/20/2015 10:38:52 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 2/20/2015 9:41:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM, phiLockeraptor wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying

I don't understand how that would work. How it is evolutionarily advantageous to sort of glide right, but nevertheless fall to one's death when one attempts to jump off a tree. Flight and gliding are only useful when they work right, and that only happens after they are developed mechanisms. In other words, I don't see how very undeveloped flight/gliding mechanism are "better than nothing", which is ultimately what Darwinists must argue.

Characters do not always serve the same function through all their evolutionary stages. Once you understand this, you get why irreducible complexity is a stupid argument.

First, just because some parts are beneficial in their own right does not mean that all are. Second, the evolutionary advantage of the whole is not necessarily available even when the parts are present in some form or another. The way in which they work together - their cohesive configuration - is likely to be just as complex as any individual part.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,241
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2/21/2015 11:37:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 4:40:35 AM, Accipiter wrote:
At 2/20/2015 9:41:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM, phiLockeraptor wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying

I don't understand how that would work. How it is evolutionarily advantageous to sort of glide right, but nevertheless fall to one's death when one attempts to jump off a tree. Flight and gliding are only useful when they work right, and that only happens after they are developed mechanisms. In other words, I don't see how very undeveloped flight/gliding mechanism are "better than nothing", which is ultimately what Darwinists must argue.

You do know that squirrels and snakes can also fly?

I'm pretty sure they can only glide. I don't see any gradual ramp of improvement from gliding to flight. The development of flight mechanisms -flapping muscles, wing shape, timing in the brain, etc, would take ages to produce any benefit whatsoever. And in the meantime, the animals in question would require more nutrition to survive.
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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2/21/2015 2:23:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 11:27:19 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:38:52 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 2/20/2015 9:41:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM, phiLockeraptor wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying

I don't understand how that would work. How it is evolutionarily advantageous to sort of glide right, but nevertheless fall to one's death when one attempts to jump off a tree. Flight and gliding are only useful when they work right, and that only happens after they are developed mechanisms. In other words, I don't see how very undeveloped flight/gliding mechanism are "better than nothing", which is ultimately what Darwinists must argue.

Characters do not always serve the same function through all their evolutionary stages. Once you understand this, you get why irreducible complexity is a stupid argument.

First, just because some parts are beneficial in their own right does not mean that all are. Second, the evolutionary advantage of the whole is not necessarily available even when the parts are present in some form or another. The way in which they work together - their cohesive configuration - is likely to be just as complex as any individual part.

The two primary physical attributes that allow a bird to fly are hollow bones and feathers. Can you think of any advantages those two traits might also confer? As soon as you have those two, the evolution of flight is pretty straight forward.
Accipiter
Posts: 1,160
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2/21/2015 7:59:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 11:37:52 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/21/2015 4:40:35 AM, Accipiter wrote:
At 2/20/2015 9:41:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM, phiLockeraptor wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying

I don't understand how that would work. How it is evolutionarily advantageous to sort of glide right, but nevertheless fall to one's death when one attempts to jump off a tree. Flight and gliding are only useful when they work right, and that only happens after they are developed mechanisms. In other words, I don't see how very undeveloped flight/gliding mechanism are "better than nothing", which is ultimately what Darwinists must argue.

You do know that squirrels and snakes can also fly?

I'm pretty sure they can only glide. I don't see any gradual ramp of improvement from gliding to flight. The development of flight mechanisms -flapping muscles, wing shape, timing in the brain, etc, would take ages to produce any benefit whatsoever. And in the meantime, the animals in question would require more nutrition to survive.

OK what's your explanation then?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,241
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2/21/2015 11:34:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 2:23:43 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 2/21/2015 11:27:19 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:38:52 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 2/20/2015 9:41:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM, phiLockeraptor wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying

I don't understand how that would work. How it is evolutionarily advantageous to sort of glide right, but nevertheless fall to one's death when one attempts to jump off a tree. Flight and gliding are only useful when they work right, and that only happens after they are developed mechanisms. In other words, I don't see how very undeveloped flight/gliding mechanism are "better than nothing", which is ultimately what Darwinists must argue.

Characters do not always serve the same function through all their evolutionary stages. Once you understand this, you get why irreducible complexity is a stupid argument.

First, just because some parts are beneficial in their own right does not mean that all are. Second, the evolutionary advantage of the whole is not necessarily available even when the parts are present in some form or another. The way in which they work together - their cohesive configuration - is likely to be just as complex as any individual part.

The two primary physical attributes that allow a bird to fly are hollow bones and feathers. Can you think of any advantages those two traits might also confer? As soon as you have those two, the evolution of flight is pretty straight forward.

Those traits are necessary but not sufficient (obviously).
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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2/22/2015 2:01:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 11:34:41 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/21/2015 2:23:43 PM, Burzmali wrote:
At 2/21/2015 11:27:19 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:38:52 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 2/20/2015 9:41:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/20/2015 8:16:03 PM, phiLockeraptor wrote:
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

The same way we account for walking

The jump between trees or other areas became farther and farther

Gliding became a thing

Then it lead to flying

I don't understand how that would work. How it is evolutionarily advantageous to sort of glide right, but nevertheless fall to one's death when one attempts to jump off a tree. Flight and gliding are only useful when they work right, and that only happens after they are developed mechanisms. In other words, I don't see how very undeveloped flight/gliding mechanism are "better than nothing", which is ultimately what Darwinists must argue.

Characters do not always serve the same function through all their evolutionary stages. Once you understand this, you get why irreducible complexity is a stupid argument.

First, just because some parts are beneficial in their own right does not mean that all are. Second, the evolutionary advantage of the whole is not necessarily available even when the parts are present in some form or another. The way in which they work together - their cohesive configuration - is likely to be just as complex as any individual part.

The two primary physical attributes that allow a bird to fly are hollow bones and feathers. Can you think of any advantages those two traits might also confer? As soon as you have those two, the evolution of flight is pretty straight forward.

Those traits are necessary but not sufficient (obviously).

Not sufficient, but they're the toughest part of the equation. After that, it's just behavior and placement. Both of those change much more easily than bone density and new types of skin growths. Regardless, all of these things can change incrementally while still conferring an advantage and ultimately leading to flight. So that answers your skepticism about the reducibility of flight.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/22/2015 2:36:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex.

Dylan, consider the wings of a bat, for example. They're just fingers with webbing between extended to the fingertips. Or any of the gliding squirrels or possums -- the 'wings' are just membranes between forefeet and hindfeet.

It's much easier for smaller animals to fly than larger animals, due to the ratio of surface area to mass. There are flying lizards, for example, that can glide for this reason. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

But once that ability is secured, adaptations for strength, bone density, surface area, muscle distribution and surface material can provide bigger wing-span, greater lift and eventually support greater mass.

Alternatively, some adaptations for swimming work reasonably well in air. Consider the flying fish for example (http://en.wikipedia.org....)

So there are some quite reasonable ways to go from tree- or cliff-climbing to flying, or swimming to flying.

I hope that may help.
Iredia
Posts: 1,608
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2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,193
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2/22/2015 4:47:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM, Iredia wrote:
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.

And yet it's creationists who have a book full of fancy stories.
Iredia
Posts: 1,608
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2/22/2015 5:12:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 4:47:01 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM, Iredia wrote:
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.

And yet it's creationists who have a book full of fancy stories.

Trust me, the millions of scientific papers chock full of evolutionary story telling with more still being made make the Bible far less fancy by comparison.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,193
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2/22/2015 5:17:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 5:12:55 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:47:01 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM, Iredia wrote:
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.

And yet it's creationists who have a book full of fancy stories.

Trust me, the millions of scientific papers chock full of evolutionary story telling with more still being made make the Bible far less fancy by comparison.

Ha! Talking animals, turning sticks into snakes and a super being who's obsessed with where a man sticks his dick is by far more ludicrous than slow gradual change over time. We have evidence of speciation, none for a world flood.
Iredia
Posts: 1,608
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2/22/2015 5:27:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 5:17:37 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:12:55 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:47:01 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM, Iredia wrote:
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.

And yet it's creationists who have a book full of fancy stories.

Trust me, the millions of scientific papers chock full of evolutionary story telling with more still being made make the Bible far less fancy by comparison.

Ha! Talking animals, turning sticks into snakes and a super being who's obsessed with where a man sticks his dick is by far more ludicrous than slow gradual change over time. We have evidence of speciation, none for a world flood.

Theropods to birds, ape to man, half a wing is better than none crap and a supposedly blind process explained using teleology is pretty stupid. The only speciation observed involves variation within a species, and certainly not the fish to reptile type.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,193
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2/22/2015 5:43:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 5:27:50 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:17:37 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:12:55 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:47:01 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM, Iredia wrote:
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.

And yet it's creationists who have a book full of fancy stories.

Trust me, the millions of scientific papers chock full of evolutionary story telling with more still being made make the Bible far less fancy by comparison.

Ha! Talking animals, turning sticks into snakes and a super being who's obsessed with where a man sticks his dick is by far more ludicrous than slow gradual change over time. We have evidence of speciation, none for a world flood.

Theropods to birds, ape to man, half a wing is better than none crap and a supposedly blind process explained using teleology is pretty stupid. The only speciation observed involves variation within a species, and certainly not the fish to reptile type.

Before you reject the idea you should learn what it actually says.
Iredia
Posts: 1,608
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2/22/2015 5:51:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 5:43:20 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:27:50 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:17:37 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:12:55 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:47:01 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM, Iredia wrote:
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.

And yet it's creationists who have a book full of fancy stories.

Trust me, the millions of scientific papers chock full of evolutionary story telling with more still being made make the Bible far less fancy by comparison.

Ha! Talking animals, turning sticks into snakes and a super being who's obsessed with where a man sticks his dick is by far more ludicrous than slow gradual change over time. We have evidence of speciation, none for a world flood.

Theropods to birds, ape to man, half a wing is better than none crap and a supposedly blind process explained using teleology is pretty stupid. The only speciation observed involves variation within a species, and certainly not the fish to reptile type.

Before you reject the idea you should learn what it actually says.

I dedicated considerable time to doing just that and I think its a bogus idea.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,193
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2/22/2015 5:58:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 5:51:50 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:43:20 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:27:50 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:17:37 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:12:55 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:47:01 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM, Iredia wrote:
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.

And yet it's creationists who have a book full of fancy stories.

Trust me, the millions of scientific papers chock full of evolutionary story telling with more still being made make the Bible far less fancy by comparison.

Ha! Talking animals, turning sticks into snakes and a super being who's obsessed with where a man sticks his dick is by far more ludicrous than slow gradual change over time. We have evidence of speciation, none for a world flood.

Theropods to birds, ape to man, half a wing is better than none crap and a supposedly blind process explained using teleology is pretty stupid. The only speciation observed involves variation within a species, and certainly not the fish to reptile type.

Before you reject the idea you should learn what it actually says.

I dedicated considerable time to doing just that and I think its a bogus idea.

Seeing how you think man came from apes is part of evolutionary theory you must not have been using your time wisely.
Iredia
Posts: 1,608
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2/22/2015 6:05:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 5:58:47 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:51:50 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:43:20 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:27:50 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:17:37 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:12:55 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:47:01 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM, Iredia wrote:
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.

And yet it's creationists who have a book full of fancy stories.

Trust me, the millions of scientific papers chock full of evolutionary story telling with more still being made make the Bible far less fancy by comparison.

Ha! Talking animals, turning sticks into snakes and a super being who's obsessed with where a man sticks his dick is by far more ludicrous than slow gradual change over time. We have evidence of speciation, none for a world flood.

Theropods to birds, ape to man, half a wing is better than none crap and a supposedly blind process explained using teleology is pretty stupid. The only speciation observed involves variation within a species, and certainly not the fish to reptile type.

Before you reject the idea you should learn what it actually says.

I dedicated considerable time to doing just that and I think its a bogus idea.

Seeing how you think man came from apes is part of evolutionary theory you must not have been using your time wisely.

Well for starters writing 'ape-like ancestors' is a bit cubersome. Furthermore, the ancestral species of the ape family of which man is a part would have been classified as an ape hence the term 'ape-like'. To confirm this check out the artist depiction of the said species on Wikipedia, almost like a monkey.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
Bennett91
Posts: 4,193
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2/22/2015 6:39:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 6:05:34 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:58:47 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:51:50 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:43:20 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:27:50 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:17:37 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 5:12:55 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:47:01 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 2/22/2015 4:38:22 PM, Iredia wrote:
Darwinists 'account' for flight through fancy storytelling.

And yet it's creationists who have a book full of fancy stories.

Trust me, the millions of scientific papers chock full of evolutionary story telling with more still being made make the Bible far less fancy by comparison.

Ha! Talking animals, turning sticks into snakes and a super being who's obsessed with where a man sticks his dick is by far more ludicrous than slow gradual change over time. We have evidence of speciation, none for a world flood.

Theropods to birds, ape to man, half a wing is better than none crap and a supposedly blind process explained using teleology is pretty stupid. The only speciation observed involves variation within a species, and certainly not the fish to reptile type.

Before you reject the idea you should learn what it actually says.

I dedicated considerable time to doing just that and I think its a bogus idea.

Seeing how you think man came from apes is part of evolutionary theory you must not have been using your time wisely.

Well for starters writing 'ape-like ancestors' is a bit cubersome. Furthermore, the ancestral species of the ape family of which man is a part would have been classified as an ape hence the term 'ape-like'. To confirm this check out the artist depiction of the said species on Wikipedia, almost like a monkey.

Your point? Wiki also has an article that covers why evolution is greatly supported by evidence.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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2/23/2015 6:22:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/20/2015 10:50:32 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
I sort of see how the eye could be viewed as reducibly complex, but I don't see how the ability to fly is reducibly complex. The ability to fly is obviously evolutionarily advantageous, but anything less would be worse than nothing.

Just look up the fossil record of the evolution of birds and it tells the story for you, the wiki article is pretty good on the issue:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org...

Feathered dinosaurs came first, which was an evolution of the scales. You had a range of sizes of these feathered dinosaurs, some as large as raptors and turkeys, and others were the size of chickens. The turkey-like dinosaurs formed a separate evolutionary branch called the Oviraptorsaura branch of which several extinct species of descendant/cousin species (such as the protarcheoraptrix) are known. This branch went extinct at the K-T boundary. The Troodonitae, and the Paraves branch, which includes the famous archaeoraptrix fossils, as well as seven dozen other species. This is the only branch that survive the K-T boundary.

From the fossils, it's obvious that feathers were originally primarily selected for insulation, and flight did not come for a very long time afterwards, size being a large reason.

Almost certainly gliding/jumping came long before flight did, the flying squirrel and several other gliding species extant today are pretty black and white what gliding is advantageous in certain environments. So, the progression isn't particularly baffling, you just open the fossil record and read the story it tells you.