PvM posted Entry 3064 on April 12, 2007 06:40 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3054

Cool news, strengthening the Dinosaurs-Bird link

Tiny bits of protein extracted from a 68-million-year-old dinosaur bone have given scientists the first genetic proof that the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex is a distant cousin to the modern chicken.

Source: CNN

The study is reported in Science 13 April 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5822, p. 169

Soft tissues have been thought to be rarely if ever preserved in the fossil record, aside from some samples entombed in amber or for a few million years in ice. Recently, a femur of a Tyrannosaurus rex dating to about 67 million years ago was recovered that seemed to preserve internal soft tissues, including blood vessels within its bone. Schweitzer et al. (p. 277) and Asara et al. (p. 280) have further analyzed these tissues, as well as samples from a mastodon, and show that original collagen proteins were preserved. Mass spectrometry was used to recover at least some of the original collagen sequence. Thus, aspects of genetic information can be obtained from select samples of extinct species preserved for tens of millions of years.

The two papers are

Mary Higby Schweitzer, Zhiyong Suo,Recep Avci, John M. Asara, Mark A. Allen, Fernando Teran Arce, John R. Horner Analyses of Soft Tissue from Tyrannosaurus rex Suggest the Presence of Protein Science 13 April 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5822, pp. 277 - 280

J. M. Asara, M. H. Schweitzer, L. M. Freimark, M. Phillips, and L. C. Cantley Protein Sequences from Mastodon and Tyrannosaurus Rex Revealed by Mass Spectrometry. Science 316, 280-285 , (2007)

Now that’s real science for you. And to no-one’s surprise, science shows once again how new data supports evolution.

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Comment #169573

Posted by David B. Benson on April 12, 2007 7:22 PM (e)

Did T. rex eat chicken feed?

:-)

Comment #169574

Posted by Gary Hurd on April 12, 2007 7:24 PM (e)

I can hardly wait for the creationist’s reactions. I am sure that my good ol’ pals at AiG and the little orphans at CreationMinistries won’t let me down.

Comment #169575

Posted by the pro from dover on April 12, 2007 7:35 PM (e)

They should exhume Marc Bolan and see if there’s a match.

Comment #169577

Posted by OsakaGuy on April 12, 2007 7:55 PM (e)

OK, I just asked this at another blog, but here it is again anyway. How can soft tissue survive for 63 million years? It doesn’t seem possible. Could someone explain how that could happen?

Comment #169578

Posted by raven on April 12, 2007 8:03 PM (e)

OK, I just asked this at another blog, but here it is again anyway. How can soft tissue survive for 63 million years? It doesn’t seem possible. Could someone explain how that could happen?

A bit mysterious but don’t forget that the bone it came from was huge and fossilized. They had to use chemical treatments to dissolve it out of its matrix.

What is noteworthy about collagen from dinosaur and other old bones is how rare it is. We’ve been collecting fossils of dinosaurs and whatnot for hundreds of years and who knows how many there are floating around. This is the first known case of proteins from something that old. One hopes that more examples will be identified but haven’t heard of any yet.

Comment #169582

Posted by snaxalotl on April 12, 2007 9:32 PM (e)

“I can hardly wait for the creationist’s reactions. “

you’ll never get them to stop talking about this new proof of a young earth for long enough to discuss the chicken-dinosaur connection

Comment #169593

Posted by Doc Bill on April 12, 2007 11:16 PM (e)

I don’t think the T-Rex bone was like cutting into a KFC drumbstick!

However, the bone, the techniques used, the data are out there for all scientists to examine and attempt to reproduce the results in their own labs.

Unlike the Super Secret (Shhhh, we hunting wabbits!) “intelligent design” labs, this interesting development will be played out in the literature.

Who thought we’d ever use X-rays to visualize embryonic dinosaur bones in fossilized eggs? This is going to be cool to watch.

Comment #169602

Posted by wicker on April 13, 2007 12:41 AM (e)

I bet that the YECs will jump on that and claim that this is the final proof that the earth is not millions of years old.
how could a protein survive 65 million years?
no that must be a relatively young (probably post-flood) T-rex.

Comment #169609

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 13, 2007 4:45 AM (e)

raven wrote:

What is noteworthy about collagen from dinosaur and other old bones is how rare it is.

Someone remarked that since no one expected this it could be more frequent among the fossil record than the single find implies.

OsakaGuy wrote:

How can soft tissue survive for 63 million years?

The BBC report is more informative as usual.

BBC wrote:

The dinosaur remains - which include a skull, both thigh bones and both tibiae (shin bones) - were unearthed from rocks in the Hell Creek Formation of eastern Montana, US.

The fossils were buried under at least 1,000 cubic metres of loose sandstone, interspersed with muds, which are thought to represent ancient stream channel sediments.

BBC wrote:

Dr Jack Horner, a co-author from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, explained that extraordinarily well-preserved fossils such as the ones in question were probably not unique.

“To get specimens like that involves excavating enormous amounts of material, covered with tens of feet of rock,” Dr Horner said.

“The T.rex was under a thousand cubic yards of rock and therefore in a position not to have been invaded by bacteria or groundwater,” he said.

“I think we’re learning an important lesson here - that if we do get specimens like this, we spend a lot of time getting as deep into the sediment as we can in places where there has been very little atmospheric or water contamination.”

( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/654871… )

Comment #169617

Posted by AJ on April 13, 2007 5:56 AM (e)

And here is a beautiful example of where evolution (or at least our understanding of it) could have been falsified. Had the proteins been more closely related to dogs, or spiders, we would have had to completely rethink our views of common descent.

However, and as PvM points out to no-one’s surprise, the new data can be explained within the exisiting hypothesis, as one would expect from as robust a theory as evolution.

Can any one remind me what ID predicted about this relationship?

Comment #169620

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on April 13, 2007 6:35 AM (e)

Why, obviously, ID predicted that… um… oh, uh… um… that there… was a… no… um… there could be… uh… something that… uh… oh! That an Unknown Intelligent Designer did it! Whew! Thought they had no prediction at all for a second there.

Comment #169632

Posted by Frank J on April 13, 2007 8:20 AM (e)

A “distant cousin” as opposed to what?

I guess that the significance of this finding is that of the rare preservation of such old genetic material, but contrary to the desire of the sensationalist media, it has no significant bearing on the centuries-old conclusion that species are biologically related. Conclusions so solid that even anti-evolution activists began admitting it before it became politically incorrect to do so.

Comment #169643

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 13, 2007 9:48 AM (e)

Frank wrote:

A “distant cousin” as opposed to what?

As opposed to mammals as outgroup, I thought. See the mastodon collagen sequencing. (Which in turn compared to elephants and dogs, IIRC.)

Comment #169648

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 13, 2007 9:59 AM (e)

Torbjörn wrote:

Which in turn compared to elephants and dogs, IIRC.)

Uuups, near-memory contamination, I think. Well, I’m not exactly sure what more they compared to but I think they did, and not only chickens.

Comment #169653

Posted by quork on April 13, 2007 10:29 AM (e)

The article on Yahoo News is much more interesting:
Researchers decode T Rex genetic material

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer Fri Apr 13, 5:11 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Researchers have decoded genetic material from a 68 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex, an unprecedented step once thought impossible….

And now, researchers led by John M. Asara of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston have been able to analyze proteins from that bone.

What Asara’s team found was collagen, a type of fibrous connective tissue that is a major component of bone…

It’s about the same research, but now collagen is considered “genetic material”!

Comment #169665

Posted by chunkdz on April 13, 2007 11:48 AM (e)

AJ wrote

And here is a beautiful example of where evolution (or at least our understanding of it) could have been falsified. Had the proteins been more closely related to dogs, or spiders, we would have had to completely rethink our views of common descent.

That sure was a risky prediction, AJ, but which is it? Would it have been falsified, or merely “rethought”?

However, and as PvM points out to no-one’s surprise, the new data can be explained within the exisiting hypothesis, as one would expect from as robust a theory as evolution.

How robust can it be if it merely “rethinks” itself everytime the data doesn’t match it’s non-risky predictions? (ie: mammalian diversification)

Can any one remind me what ID predicted about this relationship?

Does ID refute common descent?

BTW, didn’t the “robust theory of evolution” originally and non-riskily predict that dinosaurs were more similar to lizards than chickens? (Or did you mean to say “rotund” rather than “robust”?)

Comment #169668

Posted by Raging Bee on April 13, 2007 12:12 PM (e)

Does ID refute common descent?

You tell us – does it?

Comment #169669

Posted by Gary Hurd on April 13, 2007 12:12 PM (e)

The articles indicated that (they think) burial in an open matrix of sand alowed the gross soft tissues (skin etc …) to drain away. Iron rich bacteria invaded the bone but then died before digesting all the dinosaur proteins leaving an enriched mineral (iron) environment. Residual dinosaur proteins (largely collagen) densely crosslinked under the mineral influence forming a sort of protein plastic (not their phrase).

Comment #169670

Posted by Gary Hurd on April 13, 2007 12:17 PM (e)

BTW, didn’t the “robust theory of evolution” originally and non-riskily predict that dinosaurs were more similar to lizards than chickens?

No. Their pelvic anatomy is all wrong. Owen called them “dinosaurs” A) well before Darwin’s publications on evolution, and B) based on limited fossil material. However under naming conventions, prior art always gets the name.

Comment #169673

Posted by Peter Henderson on April 13, 2007 12:26 PM (e)

I can hardly wait for the creationist’s reactions. I am sure that my good ol’ pals at AiG and the little orphans at CreationMinistries won’t let me down.

You Haven’t had long to wait Gary:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/04…

For the moment, let’s not ignore the importance of what has been found (and as will be declared in the soon-to-open Creation Museum): finding T. rex soft tissue is compelling evidence that it was not 65 million years ago that dinosaurs died out, as given on the evolutionary timeline. Furthermore, if dinosaurs have been roaming the earth in relatively recent times, there would have been virtually no time, for example, for the supposed evolution of reptilian scales into intricate feathers.

Indeed, this T. rex fossil provides wonderful circumstantial evidence to support the biblical chronology of a young earth. Additionally, creationists already know that birds were created before dinosaurs: on days 5 and 6 respectively of creation week.

Comment #169679

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 13, 2007 12:35 PM (e)

chunkdz wrote:

Would it have been falsified, or merely “rethought”?

That is an interesting, but contingent question. While it is correct that the theory would have been falsified, it is always a question if it would be accepted.

A single data set is often not enough to overturn a theory, since it could be wrong. Sometime the theory can be replaced with a similar one (not “rethought”, as I’m sure Popper’s Ghost will tell you) incorporating the new results.

In this case, similar protein results (which now seems likely to turn up), i.e. verified and better data, would likely eventually be an irreconcilable problem.

chunkdz wrote:

mammalian diversification

I’m not aware of any general predictions except perhaps that mammals did diverge, since we know of extant and extinct mammals.

Perhaps you are referring to work to elucidate the details of the diversification, since you claim “non-risky predictions”. Well, sometimes such work can turn up specific predictions, such as when Tiktaalik was predicted as character, age and rock formation (from likely habitat).

chunkdz wrote:

Does ID refute common descent?

That is a non-sequitur. (And any sufficiently weak idea doesn’t refute anything at all.) The question was, does ID make predictions?

chunkdz wrote:

dinosaurs were more similar to lizards than chickens?

You mean related by ancestry, of course. Well, the question is what was predicted to be the ancestors to birds, and what was the predicted to be the ancestors to lizards. I don’t know much about history of biology (or biology :-), but I suspect both lineages were early thought to be related to dinosaur ancestors.

Define “more” related. Do you mean number of branches in a cladist analysis, for example? Since there are many methods to construct these trees ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladism ) I’m sure the results are slightly different and contingent on chosen data. So what does your question mean really?

Comment #169682

Posted by Moses on April 13, 2007 12:42 PM (e)

Comment #169602

Posted by wicker on April 13, 2007 12:41 AM (e)

I bet that the YECs will jump on that and claim that this is the final proof that the earth is not millions of years old.
how could a protein survive 65 million years?
no that must be a relatively young (probably post-flood) T-rex.

That’s my thinking, too.

Comment #169683

Posted by Moses on April 13, 2007 12:44 PM (e)

Comment #169617

Posted by AJ on April 13, 2007 5:56 AM (e)

Can any one remind me what ID predicted about this relationship?

Er… “Poof!” :)

Comment #169684

Posted by PvM on April 13, 2007 12:44 PM (e)

That is a non-sequitur. (And any sufficiently weak idea doesn’t refute anything at all.) The question was, does ID make predictions?

Nope. ID does not make positive predictions. At best it can claim that X cannot be explained by Y.

Comment #169686

Posted by raven on April 13, 2007 12:45 PM (e)

chunkydz:

That sure was a risky prediction, AJ, but which is it? Would it have been falsified, or merely “rethought”?

Speaking of rethought, what happened to all the dinosaurs on the Ark? The modern Noah story has him taking pairs of every animal on earth. This includes the dinosaurs as well as the 99% of animals now extinct but known from the not-really-fossil record.

There is an oopsy in there somewhere. Poor animal caretaking or what?

C’mon creo guy make yourself useful. I’m sure the YECs have an ad hoc explanation to add to the mountain of ad hocs. We know they got on the boat and presumably they got off the boat. But they aren’t here anymore. Sad situation, we really miss our dinosaurs.

Comment #169694

Posted by chunkdz on April 13, 2007 1:24 PM (e)

Gary Hurd wrote:
No. Their pelvic anatomy is all wrong. Owen called them “dinosaurs” A) well before Darwin’s publications on evolution, and B) based on limited fossil material. However under naming conventions, prior art always gets the name.

I was referring to the prevailing prediction that at least within my lifetime said that dinosaurs were generally slow moving ectotherms.

Comment #169697

Posted by chunkdz on April 13, 2007 1:37 PM (e)

Torbjorn wrote:
A single data set is often not enough to overturn a theory, since it could be wrong. Sometime the theory can be replaced with a similar one (not “rethought”, as I’m sure Popper’s Ghost will tell you) incorporating the new results.

Tor, “rethink” was AJ’s word, not mine.

I’m not aware of any general predictions except perhaps that mammals did diverge, since we know of extant and extinct mammals.

I was referring to the prediction that the K-T event was the trigger for mammalian diversification.

Well, sometimes such work can turn up specific predictions, such as when Tiktaalik was predicted as character, age and rock formation (from likely habitat).

Actually, Darwinism predicted that there would be a long, smooth, gradual flow of morphological change in the fossil record.

That is a non-sequitur. (And any sufficiently weak idea doesn’t refute anything at all.) The question was, does ID make predictions?

Actually, that was NOT the question.

Socrates was fond of answering sarcastic questions with a pointed question. I’m just continuing the tradition.

Comment #169700

Posted by raven on April 13, 2007 1:48 PM (e)

I was referring to the prevailing prediction that at least within my lifetime said that dinosaurs were generally slow moving ectotherms.

Science modifies its understanding as new facts are collecting. And is ceaselessly collecting new facts with new instruments and theories. And some theories end up being falsified. That is what science is. If it was done, we would all be out of jobs.

Cult religion just shoehorns new facts in any way they can to support the prevailing myths by distorting, ignoring, and lying.

BTW, you seem to have a dislike for science and scientists. Whatever. It got us out of the dark ages. But there are still some places stuck in the past. They have no running water, electricity, computers, TVs, and the life span runs around 47 years. They are very religious, poor, often hungry, and frequently kill each other over ethnic and sectarian differences. If that is what you want, you can always move there.

Comment #169704

Posted by raven on April 13, 2007 1:56 PM (e)

chunkdz enlighten us. The dinosaurs got on the Big Boat. Presumably they got off the Big Boat.

What happened to those dinosaurs?

Also missing 99% of all known animals who suffered the same fate.

Got to be an explanation to add to Mount ad hoc.

Comment #169707

Posted by chunkdz on April 13, 2007 2:04 PM (e)

Raven wrote:
BTW, you seem to have a dislike for science and scientists.

Is that a scientifically sound inference?

Comment #169709

Posted by raven on April 13, 2007 2:15 PM (e)

Is that a scientifically sound inference?

Yes. You are also a clogging troll who adds nothing.

I give up. The creos can’t even answer obvious questions about their own mythology. Poor dinosaurs, a victim of Noah’s lack of knowledge about how to keep and maintain very large reptiles. Or something.

Comment #169711

Posted by chunkdz on April 13, 2007 2:29 PM (e)

Raven wrote:
You are also a clogging troll who adds nothing.

No, I’m more like a hyena - picking off the occasional weakling or straggler from the herd.

Comment #169712

Posted by George Cauldron on April 13, 2007 2:33 PM (e)

Is that a scientifically sound inference?

Let’s be gentle to our little creationist. His exposure to actual scientific literature is negligible, so his confusion on this point is to be expected.

Hey, chunkdz, since YOU are the creationist, why don’t YOU tell us whether ID refutes common descent?

Comment #169714

Posted by raven on April 13, 2007 2:49 PM (e)

Hey, chunkdz, since YOU are the creationist, why don’t YOU tell us whether ID refutes common descent?

No fair. I asked first and even explained the paradox. Now about those dinosaurs :>).

Is there a creo in the house? Anyone, it’s an open forum.

Comment #169716

Posted by George Cauldron on April 13, 2007 2:59 PM (e)

Okay, fair enough. Raven gets her turn first.

Two questions, Chunksdz. Any creationist worth his salt should have no problem with them.

In this order:

a) what happened to Noah’s dinosaurs?

b) does ID refute common descent?

Comment #169726

Posted by chunkdz on April 13, 2007 3:43 PM (e)

George Cauldron wrote
“Hey, chunkdz, since YOU are the creationist…”

I’m not. Very unscientific and fallacious of you to make that assertion though! I’m guessing you are both a straggler and a weakling. Both are delicious!

Comment #169727

Posted by George Cauldron on April 13, 2007 3:48 PM (e)

Don’t flatter yourself, you’re not a hyena. A troll beating off in the corner is much closer. Or rather, in his mother’s basement.

Anyway, answer Raven’s questions first. What happened to Noah’s dinosaurs?

Then after that, you tell us if ID refutes common descent.

Comment #169737

Posted by harold on April 13, 2007 4:22 PM (e)

Chunkydz -

You’re a hyena? I thought you were a giant mouse. No, wait, that’s Chuck-E-Cheese. Any relation?

Please answer the two questions that have been put to you.

Meanwhile, I’d like to review your initial argument. After, and only after, you answer the two questions, please let me know if this is fair -

1) Mainstream biologists believe the birds are related to dinosaurs. That was what they already believe, collagen or no collagen. Of course, it took many years of study to reach this conclusion, it’s based on multiple independent pieces of evidence

2) It seems that someone has made a legitimate discovery of dinosaur collagen.

3) Good test for the theory of evolution. Not a make or break thing, but if the collagen sequence is most related to modern bird collagen, it’s one more piece of evidence that mainstream evolutionary biology is on the right track - right?

4) If the collagen sequence is not most related to modern bird collagen, while, that could mean a lot of things. But undeniably it wouldn’t support the dinosaur-bird connection. Whether it would be enough to completely overturn all the other evidence is another question.

5) As it happens, the collagen sequence recovered is similar to modern bird collagen, so it appears to be yet another indepent piece of evidence in favor of it.

6) Now, your complaint, if I can understand it, is that if the sequence had not been as it is, scientists would probably not have dropped the entire theory of evolution, which based on massive amounts of reliable data, just because of that one thing, that one thing being the sequencing of what appears to be a 63 million year old piece of collagen.

Is this a fair representation of your logic in this matter?

Comment #169755

Posted by chunkdz on April 13, 2007 5:29 PM (e)

Harold wrote:
Is this a fair representation of your logic in this matter?

No. By the way you spelled my name wrong before you mocked it. Nice to meet you too.

Comment #169761

Posted by TheBlackCat on April 13, 2007 5:40 PM (e)

chunkdz said:

No.

Then why don’t you explain your logic to us. So far you have been asking a lot of questions, which have been answered. On the other hand you have not answered most of the questions directed at you. Please do so.

Comment #169764

Posted by Science Avenger on April 13, 2007 6:01 PM (e)

Chunkdz said: …didn’t the “robust theory of evolution” originally and non-riskily predict that dinosaurs were more similar to lizards than chickens?

If you thought you were of French descent and then found evidence that your physiology was more similar to Italians, would this cause you to doubt your European ancestry?

Comment #169812

Posted by Gary Hurd on April 14, 2007 12:12 AM (e)

I was referring to the prevailing prediction that at least within my lifetime said that dinosaurs were generally slow moving ectotherms.

And that means lizard? Maybe to you, but not to anyone I know.

Comment #169849

Posted by harold on April 14, 2007 8:19 AM (e)

Chunkdz -

I wrote - “After, and only after, you answer the two questions, please let me know if this is fair”

But you didn’t answer the first two questions which were

1)Does ID deny common descent? and 2) What happened to the dinosaurs on the ark?Is this a fair representation of your logic in this matter?

You skipped to -

“Is this a fair representation of your logic in this matter?”

But you didn’t really give a straight answer. You said “no”, but you didn’t explain why not, and I’m not convinced.

You didn’t even swing at the pitches. Strike three, you’re out.

Comment #169877

Posted by Peter Henderson on April 14, 2007 12:19 PM (e)

Here’s more nonsense from AiG;

http://www.answersingenesis.org/news-to-note/200…

http://www.answersingenesis.org/news-to-note/200…

This will be used over and over again by YEC’s to con people that this is evidence for a young Earth. The folks at The Panda’s Thumb, Talkorigins, and the NCSE need to work on a rebuttal which is worded in layman’s terms. The presentations at AiG won’t mention techniques like mass spectroscopy for example, so making any such article too technical will just go over the heads of most people. Most of the followers that AiG will convince will be told something like “evolutionists know that this indicates a young Earth but they just won’t admit to it” or something to that effect.

By the way, does anyone know what’s going on at Talkorigins ?. I’ve noticed that the site hasn’t updated for months now (since last November)

Comment #169878

Posted by stevaroni on April 14, 2007 12:27 PM (e)

enlighten us. The dinosaurs got on the Big Boat. Presumably they got off the Big Boat.

More importantly, they got off the big boat in turkey, yet their dead bodies are typically found in places like Montana and the Gobi Desert, never in, say, the middle east (at least for the big “classical” dinosaurs).

It seems odd that they migrated all that way so far in advance of prey animals (who were all on the ark, too) or people (who by that time might have noticed 3 story tall lizards roaming around in their midsts and preserved more than the odd allusion to “dragons”).

Comment #169881

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 14, 2007 12:44 PM (e)

chunkdz wrote:

“rethink” was AJ’s word, not mine.

Well, he was discussing rethinking our views on the theory and how strong it is.

You run with it and started to discuss it, the theory, and how it should be changed. At least, that is how I read it.

chunkdz wrote:

I was referring to the prediction that the K-T event was the trigger for mammalian diversification. […] Darwinism predicted that there would be a long, smooth, gradual flow of morphological change in the fossil record.

Darwinism contained a limited set of mechanisms and data sets. I’m not sure it made any predictions on rates at all at such an early stage of theory.

The current theory, which is much richer in both respects, seems to allow for a great degree of freedom between stabilized plateaus or niches over slow drift to punctuated equilibriums.

Well, this is all contained in what I called to elucidate the details of the diversification. See my above discussion.

chunkdz wrote:

Actually, that was NOT the question.

That was the question raised that ID should answer.

If you are trying to make a false dichotomy between various theories, I refer you to Talk Origin or Wikipedia for an explanation of elementary logic as applied to multiple choices.

chunkdz wrote:

Socrates

:-) Well, you are no Socrates. Socrates wouldn’t bungle elementary logic to make a meaningless question instead of a pointed one.

And this is not a philosophical discussion anyway, this is about science. Even Socrates couldn’t make a pointed question against factual evidence.

To sum up the discussion so far, you are trying to make evolution out as a not robust theory due to the test made by one single data point. Which test the theory passed. So it is really a question about science as a method. Go ahead, explain to the scientists why physics and chemistry are wrong too.

But also, during a short period of time the science of biology has discovered and elucidated this theory to become the best tested theory of all in science. That is the hallmark of a robust theory.

Unfortunately, you start in the wrong end by trying to nitpick biology instead of making a strong case for new theories that could make us question the old. And you haven’t provided any relevant nitpicks so far. Instead you neglect the responsibility of replying to the arguments and facts in the given answers. It is the story of ID in small scale really.

Comment #169883

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 14, 2007 12:55 PM (e)

Peter Henderson wrote:

By the way, does anyone know what’s going on at Talkorigins ?. I’ve noticed that the site hasn’t updated for months now (since last November)

I wonder too, since I discovered that the ReMine point (Haldane’s dilemma) in the list of Creationist Claims needs update. (Also from the general interest point that the chimp genome is sequenced now, so there are more data.)

I asked by email, but haven’t seen any response.

I can understand if the site doesn’t seem so important and could be considered for freezing. ID has disappeared from media and web, compared to earlier activity. But I would rather see a declaration of freezing up front.

Comment #169888

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 14, 2007 1:15 PM (e)

chunkdz:

TL wrote:

seems to allow for a great degree of freedom between stabilized plateaus or niches over slow drift to punctuated equilibriums

I forgot here to also mention the equivocation you are doing between diversification or speciation and morphological change. The key features that define different groups and splits aren’t tracked by looking at diversification.

This btw is the same confusion as when creationists discuss the vacuous concept of ‘missing links’ while biologists couldn’t care less it seems; they look at transitional forms of characters.

That is probably the explanation why you didn’t get my point of specific predictions such as Tiktaalik. But if you want to discuss biology you must learn what it currently contains, not what creationists think it is.

(Note: Don’t try to learn it from me either, I’m not a biologist.)

Comment #169911

Posted by Frank J on April 14, 2007 7:04 PM (e)

Torbjörn Larsson wrote:

As opposed to mammals as outgroup, I thought.

But that would be no comfort at all to YECs and OECs who want something that shows independent origin of our species. But of course, whether they are just clueless or in on the scam, they’ll salivate over any morsel that could be spun as a problem with “Darwinism.”

chunkdz wrote:

Does ID refute common descent?

Many IDers like to spin vague arguments that lead their cheerleaders (mostly YECs and OECs) to think that common descent has been refuted, but they know better than to challenge it directly. In fact, the only position that IDers ever endorsed that can even begin to be tested as a potential alternative to evolution concedes common descent, and of course, mainstream science’s timeline of biological history. IDers know that YEC and OEC-without-common-descent have no evidence whatever, hence the increasing reliance on “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Comment #169928

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on April 14, 2007 9:20 PM (e)

Posted by Peter Henderson on April 14, 2007 12:19 PM (e)

By the way, does anyone know what’s going on at Talkorigins ?. I’ve noticed that the site hasn’t updated for months now (since last November)

If you check at the bottom of the entry page, you’ll find this:

Notice: TalkOrigins Archive Under Attack

2006/12/07: Sometime in mid-November, 2006, a cracker started exploiting the TalkOrigins Archive. The cracker managed to get the TOA de-indexed by Google, and when the TOA was re-indexed on 2006/12/05, the cracker stepped up his efforts to direct webspam to the Google-bot. In order to take back our site, we have taken the step of removing all the scripts on our site. We will restore static content as quickly as possible. We will restore other features, such as feedback, once we write secure scripts to handle those features. We apologize for the inconvenience. It may be some time before we can offer the features that have been script-based.

I assume that they haven’t fixed it yet. I wonder what political movement might have attacked the site?

Comment #169929

Posted by GvlGeologist, FCD on April 14, 2007 9:22 PM (e)

In fairness, I should have said, “I wonder what political movement the hacker who attacked the site might belong to?”

Comment #169932

Posted by George Cauldron on April 14, 2007 9:36 PM (e)

In fairness, I should have said, “I wonder what political movement the hacker who attacked the site might belong to?”

quoth Dave Scot:

Date: 2005-04-02 21:30:20
Author: DaveScot
H fckng sshls. plgz t Dvsn NW bfr gt pssd ff nd strt fckng wth . dn’t wnt t mk m md. Trst m n ths. r scrt scks bg tm.

Comment #169940

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 14, 2007 10:28 PM (e)

We will restore static content as quickly as possible. We will restore other features, such as feedback, once we write secure scripts to handle those features.

Well, as long as the information is inherited in somewhat recognizable form, I applaud all evolutionary mechanisms that improve the fitness of the site.

At least now I know what to answer eventual creationist criticism on the static content.

Comment #170054

Posted by Gary Hurd on April 15, 2007 12:02 PM (e)

This round will be a bit more complicated than the earlier “dino blood” articles;

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dinosaur/flesh.h…

Plus, I am waiting for Carl Weiland and Jon Sarfati to add their BS to the pile.

Comment #171629

Posted by M. Phillips on April 24, 2007 12:22 AM (e)

I am an author on this paper if anyone wants details. I worked on the sequencing algorithm, not the ditch digging part.

Comment #171956

Posted by Henry J on April 25, 2007 1:47 PM (e)

Re “Did T-Rex taste just like chicken?”

Only to that really big one with the fin.

Comment #177254

Posted by Gerald McKibben on May 20, 2007 2:01 PM (e)

I wonder how many readers of this piece will bother to get and read a copy of the articles cited in Science? I did and found that Schweitzer and colleagues also reported that they got a 97% match between human and cow DNA. There was also an 81 % match between human and frog DNA. I wonder why most media outlets failed to mention this?

If a 58% “sequence identity” is evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs, then a 97 % identity match is much stronger evidence that humans evolved from cows!

Comment #179110

Posted by Gerald McKibben on May 26, 2007 5:44 PM (e)

This is a correction to my post of May 20. “DNA” should have read “alpha 1 Type 1 collagen”. The point is that the media made a big thing of a 58% sequence identity between T. rex and a chicken, while largely ignoring the much better match of the same collagen in the human and cow. If that’s to be expected (both mammals, after all), then how about the match between humans and the frog - also a much better match than the dino bird match everyone got so excited about.

Have we totally abandoned the principle of encouraging people to think for themselves? I’m sorry for my contrary thinking, which seems to be quickly getting very unpopular!