"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Feb 4, 2009

Whale evolution transitional fossil evidence

It has been known for some time that whales evolved from land dwelling animals. The most recent DNA studies had suggested that their distant ancestral relationships are among the ungulates - a hoofed animal group. Their ancestry however appears to lie far back in this group when the ungulates appear to have been at least partly carnivorous or scavenging.

Further evidence about the steps that the Cetaceans ( whales, dolphins and porpoises) took on their long evolutionary journey from land to water has been revealed by a paper in PLosOne. The paper reports the find of a pregnant fossil Protocetid ( the group that was ancestral to the whales).

The Protocetids still had four legs and show evidence of having been semi aquatic. What is exciting is that in the fossilised pregnant female the foetus presents in a way that can only be interpreted as indicating that this species gave birth on land. This adds further evidence to the theorised evolutionary history of the Cetaceans. A male specimen was also found and comparison of the female and male shows evidence of sexual dimorphism ( Significant differences in body shape or form between the sexes).

6 comments:

Tina said...

that is fascinating. im really into stuff like this!

Bunc said...

Hi Tina, me too. I dont get a chance to keep up with all this stuff but I do keep an eye out for some of these "big finds". It's amazing to think that Whales are distantly related to cows! ( Mind you so are we given that we are all mammals).

Marf said...

Did you see that the religious leaders put out a call to their flock that there's ample evidence for evolution?

"We respectfully encourage those who reject evolution to weigh the now overwhelming evidence, hugely strengthened by recent advances in genetics, which testifies to the theory's validity."

Here

Bunc said...

Yes it is encouraging that there are Church Leaders and believers speaking out against the anti-science nonsense that creationists and IDers spout.

The fact that most Atheists don't see a need to reconcile science with some form of religious belief does not mean that most thinking believers haven't been able to find such a reconciliation - and good luck to them.

I dont share their religious beliefs but at least then we don't have to lock horns over something as basic as the known history of the earth.

My only concern is that if the creationsists and IDer's did retreat from their daft positions life on the blogsphere would get very boring. Who would I get to poke a stick at then?

I woudl probably need to resort to pretending to be a creationist so that I could argue with myself.

Marf said...

@ Bunc: No, no... No need to resort to arguing with yourself. Believers have plenty of other ridiculous points to argue about.

Bunc said...

LOL

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