Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another quick question for you

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

My son asked me this question just a few minutes ago and I laughed remembering speculating upon that very subject as a child.

Christians would of course say god created chickens which laid the first egg.

My son shared my daughter's answer with me and I had never thought of it in that light before.

Have you ever speculated upon which came first the chicken or the egg? Did you have a good reason for your answer?

My daughter's answer was




the egg.

Because the ability to lay eggs evolved before the chicken did.



Poodles said...

...But they're both so very tasty!

Fiery said...

Because I'm on dialup it takes awhile for the page to load, I saw that Poodles had posted and was wondering... What will her response be to the question, "Which came first the chicken or the egg?"

I thought,uh oh, she's going to take it to that level and say, 'Eggs can come?'

*sigh* imagine my disappointment that she kept it clean. lol ;-)

Thanks for poppin' in Poodles! Always a delight to see your lovely pansy in my comments section.

Crazyman Bob said...

You have a very smart daughter!!! I'm impressed. :-)


Thump Thump Eyes said...

Very clever daughter :-D

The question is always - which came first the chicken or the egg?...not - the chicken or the chicken egg?....and as your daughter has pointed out the ability to lay eggs evolved before chickens did. In fact the chicken actually evolved from a small predatory dinosaur - that laid eggs!!:)

Fiery said...

:) Yep I was all aglow with the cleverness of my daughter.
YAY HER!!!!!

Poodles said...

Sorry, I was hungry when I posted. :)

Reg Golb said...

So what came first, the dino female or the dino male? Or did they EVOLVE miraculously at the same time? What evolved first the chicken or the feather? Where are all the dino's with feathers or the chickens without feathers?

Did the egg evolve before the cloaca? Did the egg just get sick of passing through the poop shoot and decide to evolve an egg shell?

Incidently, who was the first human to eat an egg? "I am going to eat the next thing that comes out of that chicken's but" Maybe it happened before history, you know that prehistoric time.

Reg Golb said...

The problem with your daughter's theory is that if you indoctrinated her properly, she would have known that mammals (and viviparous birth) evolved after eggs. At least that is what the science books said. Viviparous birth is more advanced and evolved later. If that is the case, the egg didn't evolve at all, it was the only way anything was born. Therefore, chickens had no choice, they didn't get the memo.

Also, abilities are not evolved, traits are either passed on or not. Supposedly, the gene pool has to change and the "good" eggs get passed on. The whole thing is pretty confusing and they still don't have a clear theory of what happened. They even said that a dino gave birth to a baby chicken (punctuated equilibrium), guess that is why there are not intermediate dino/chicks. They'll probably have some new theory some day.

Poodles said...

Huh.. I didn't know that eggs came from a chickens ass.

Good to know women shit children. Learn something knew every day.

*shakes head*

Johnny said...

Fiery what a very clever little chook (hahaha) you have. Methinks it could be a case of like mother like daughter.

Glob, glob, globule what a wilfully ignorant prick you are, worst trait ever!! No animal gives birth out it's arse except maybe your mother!!!

she would have known that mammals (and viviparous birth) evolved after eggs. At least that is what the science books said. Viviparous birth is more advanced and evolved later. If that is the case, the egg didn't evolve at all, it was the only way anything was born.

Mammals are not the only animals to have live births - mako, White, thresher, Crocodile and Sandtiger sharks give birth after aplacental viviparity or ovoviviparity pregnancy where the baby developes in a embryonic sac inside the mother wheras Bull and Hammerhead sharks have a geniune vivaporous birth where the embryo is attatched to the mother via an umbilical chord which suggests "vivaporous" birth has probably evolved convergently more than once also some mammals lay eggs.

It never ceases to amaze me that fuckheads like you can't easily join the obvious dots that connect the real world, after all there is fucking reams of evidence, yet you make the obviously giant leap it takes to have faith in skydaddy and jebus with criminal ease (you actually take pride in the fact).

So if you want to talk "knowledgeably" on something fuck off to a fundy site and dribble your shite there.

Poodles said...

Knew = new. Ok no more commenting for poodles while early AM or on an empty stomach. :D

Fiery said...

Hey Poodles-
In order to get women to shit children.... that would be penis in the anus, yes? No wonder glob thinks his wife and kid are depraved. They made him have gay sex. He must have been sooooo conflicted.

I bet his wife has the worst hemroids.

Fiery said...

Johnny said, "So if you want to talk "knowledgeably" on something fuck off to a fundy site and dribble your shite there.

That's probably why fundies like glob and corpsemaggot are here, they want intelligent conversation, we all know they can't get it at a fundy site, but sputum like that is all they bring to the table.

Loved the post my dear, damn you're one smart dude, knowing all that stuff off the top of your head, I'd have had to look it all up and then would have had to copy/paste something.

You're amazing. :D

Poodles said...


Ok, so now that got me wondering... do you think fundies consider fudge packing with a woman "gay"? I mean if it is so evil when two men do it shouldn't it be evil if a man does it to a woman?

I am probably over thinking this.

(I'm betting Reg never saw this conversation coming) *giggle*.

T&A said...

Smart kid! You make an excellent teacher!

Reg Golb said...

"which suggests "vivaporous" birth has probably evolved convergently"

Thanks for clearing that up Johnny. Are you suggesting what happened, probably, or just your current theory.

Poodles, nothing suprises me. Remember I have accepted the depravity of man (and women).

Fiery said...

Rational atheist perspective:
Yay life, yay rationality, yay science.

Glob's perspective and all fundies:
My wife, my daughter and I are all depraved and we deserve to burn in hell for all eternity.

Johnny said...

"which suggests "vivaporous" birth has probably evolved convergently"

Thanks for clearing that up Johnny. Are you suggesting what happened, probably, or just your current theory.


Wake up globule for fucks sake you tool!! Of course probably in fact most likely. Unlike you I am unrestricted when it comes to being able to use my brains.
It's not my theory it's originally Charles Darwin's but seeing as you don't even understand or worse even try to understand what a theory is you can jam it sideways!

Only a stupid fuckstick denies evolution! Especially if said fuckstick claims to understand it DUUH At least that is what the science books said.

Fiery said...

Thank ya kindly T&A, you say the nicest things. *grins*

Johnny, as always, you're ace. :D

Reg Golb said...

Johnny response
Blah blah, you are so stupid, blah stick, blah blah you don't understand blah blah

What Johnny is thinking.
Man, I wish I could have a rational response but since he is right and our theory will undoubtedly change again, and again, and again because that is what a theory is, then my only recourse is to get really ticked off and swear alot. It is a good thing i know so many swear words because they show that my brain is so big. And man I wish they could really see something evolve, but since no one ever has I will invent a new swear word by combining two previously unconnected swear words, that way I will sound so tough and smart. Man I wish I was Johnny from Karate Kid.

Reg Golb said...

"It's not my theory it's originally Charles Darwin's"

All kneel before your god, Chuck Darwin.

By the way, What did Chuch say came first, the chicken or the egg.

OH YEAH, he couldn't explain where life came from, not much has changed there either. Some lightning, some goop, presto chango. All thanks to your mud god.

Fiery said...

go away glob.

Reg Golb said...

There's the ultimate reasonable comeback. Once again Reason prevails.

Just remember to tell your daughter what I said. You know the part that no one dared comment on.

Richard said...

Fiery's daughter is exactly right. Even eggs took quite a while to evolve... the fossil evidence, with the carbon dating etc etc. is all there.

Glob - Darwin used observation and induction from natural facts, rather than 'revelation' by semi-literate monks and liars such as St. Paul.

Good Evolutionary Biologists have continued using induction and reason to observe many many instances of convergent evolution. Whenever similar habitats occur on disconnected continents, similar animals evolve, often from remarkably different ancestors. A fabulous example is the marsupial wolf or Thylacine.

BTW Guppies are ovo-viviparous too... lots of little kids know that. It's fun watching the little babies wiggle their way out of the female's cloaca. A cloaca is not exactly an asshole, it is simply a joint opening, inside of which the respective canals happen to meet. It isn't the nicest solution by our standards. Evolutionarily many animals separated them (increasing survivorship by decreasing infection). However, it remains that the cloaca is a workable system that birds and fish continue to use.

Kudos to Johnny... knows his stuff!

Thump Thump Eyes said...

I have a theory that you have never considered there is a difference in meaning between the word theory and scientific theory?
Educate yourself golb, before its too late!

You crack me up -
"good to know women shit children"
"do you think fundies consider fudge packing with a woman "gay"?
:-o))) lollololololol

Great posts, and I agree totally with "wilfully ignorant prick" as a description of golb:)

Great post as well, and thanks for clearing up the cloaca for in Oz, there is a 'nice' little saying ..."shove it up your clakka"...which surely must have come from the idea of the cloaca?

Hope you are well and not too freezing in the Artic blast:-D

Reg Golb said...

Richard didn't clear up anything. The cloaca is 1/2 but. Period.

"Good Evolutionary Biologists have continued using induction and reason to observe"
Induction isn't observation, I am not sure what Richard is trying to say. We observe with our senses, not our reason. That is the problem with so called "good" scientists, it is the presuppositions they carry.
And one example of possible convergent evolution. The article says they have "rather congruous". Well, that is all the proof I need, how about you.

sacred slut said...

I vowed to shoot the next person who asked this question. Fortunately I'm much to lazy to track you down. :)

The egg had to come first, because the animal that laid the first chicken egg wasn't a chicken!

How hard is that to figure out?

Reg Golb said...

You have an amazing understanding of evolution. The first animal to lay the first chicken egg was clearly not a chicken. So what was it. Evolution doesn't work like that. evolution is very small changes over thousands and thousands of generations. That is why there are all those dinochicks, woops, they don't have any of those dinochicks. hmmmm. Well lets theorize a new theory.

Fiery said...

Greetings Sacred Slut and welcome to my blog! CA is a long way from MN and really not worth your time to hunt me down. Right? heh heh.
*looks over shoulder*


Richard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnny said...

Good on you Rich, it's a pity that globule will concientiously ignore what you actually said.
Here's what glob's thinking.....

What a lovely world my god has wife's corrupt, my children well they're not beautiful they're corrupt hell I'm corrupt
Better gen on my knees and pray for forgiveness for being so corrupt


Tell us where, exactly, the theory of evolution has changed since it's inception? Never, stupid never! It is the same now as when Darwin first proposed it you ugly christian. You are so utterly corrupt in your thinking globule that it is quite disgusting. So is your insistence that man is corrupt, what a fucked up crap cunt of a god to make a faulty corruptable thing like us. Glob I don't want rationality from you, I don't want anything from you except for you to FUCK OFF

There is nothing more rational than telling a stupid fuckwit he's being a stupid fuckwit. Glob you're being a stupid fuckwit. Now why don't you fuck off! This isn't a debating site, it's a personal blog, we owe you nothing and quite frankly all you do is drag everybody down with your willful stupidity. I cannot see why you even post here. You are an unoriginal, baleful troll.

Thump Thump Eyes said...

Such eloquence from Richard and Johnny, bloody marvellous!!!!

However, I suspect glob has a very teensie tiny closed mind which is restricted severely by his religiousity, therefore your words are wasted on him, but for the rest of us..I repeat...BLOODY MARVELLOUS...thanks guys!!!!

Richard said...

[I had to fix this up a bit, couldn't leave it as it was!]

Induction, Glob, cannot be done without observation. But, I was writing too hastily.

Induction in essence, goes like this "I have seen a thousand crows in dozens of different places and circumstances and they were all black, I will conclude that all crows are black".

That is the first step of (scientific) reasoning, always and only from the evidence of the senses. The senses can be enhanced through microscopes, telescopes and various forms of experimentation, all of which serve to extend the senses. There is no other source of valid human knowledge.

Valid knowledge is not automatic, it requires a specific means or procedure consistently applied according to context. Knowledge is not 'revealed' by astrology, tea leaves, or 'scriptures', prepared or interpreted by and for deluded minds.

On convergent evolution: there are not one or two examples, there are hundreds, if not thousands, that have been well documented, both among species alive today and those among the fossil record.

Evolution was a brilliant achievement of inference from observation, induction and then integration. The observable facts that Darwin integrated include the following Inductive truths:

* Observation 1: All organisms are capable of producing more offspring than the environment can support.
* Observation 2: Natural resources are limited.
* Observation 3: Individuals within a species vary in size, color, behavior, and other traits, and
* Observation 4: this variation is heritable. (Later Mendel showed the genetic basis for this, and then mutation came to be understood.)

Therefore, (Darwin deduced)

* Deduction 1: Individuals must compete for resources, and only the successful will survive.
* Deduction 2: Individuals with variations more suited to the environment will be more likely to survive and reproduce.
* Deduction 3: Over many generations and long periods of time, these variations accumulate in the population, resulting in evolution, or change over time. That change is speciation.

-Speciation also occurs when two or more populations of a species become reproductively isolated. This might be spatial, in that they live in different habitats and gradually change in different directions, or it might be behavioral in that some find ways to survive that prevents them from mating with members of the original population.

E.g., some may succeed by operating later and later at night, until they no longer interact with the daytime members of the same species, then nocturnal adaptations become more beneficial and a new species develops.

Of course there are many more details, but Darwin put all this together. He observed dozens of different species in different environments, saw their similarities and differences, and induced a pattern in those similarities and differences (which was particularly evident in the Galapagos). He integrated his grasp of that pattern with the other factors listed above... factors that were well documented by other natural philosophers, as they were called at the time.

For the thousands, yes thousands, of species that have been studied, the above natural laws have never been contradicted.

If you've seen a thousand black crows, and no other kind, what are the chances that there will be green, or purple or multi-colored crows? [Albinos do occur, but we know they are a genetic aberration that does not refute the practicality of the fundamental inductive principle that "All crows are black."]

It is equally certain that Evolution was occurring when the *only* things that could be called "living" were a very primitive bacteria (precursors of the Archeobacteria) ... there was nothing else living on Earth at that time -3.5 billion years ago! Nonetheless they diversified, by speciation, into newer more recent types, and so the pattern continued until today.

Another useful point is that the more types of organisms there are, the more new mutations or new genetic combinations are possible. These speed up the global rate of speciation, so it is easily possible for millions of new and positive adaptations to appear.

Unlike burning bushes that are not consumed, or a man standing in a den with a bunch of hungry lions and not being eaten, Evolution is repeatedly observable and is as absolutely certain as the noses on the faces of Men.

Richard said...

Glob wrote, "The first animal to lay the first chicken egg was clearly not a chicken. So what was it. Evolution doesn't work like that. evolution is very small changes over thousands and thousands of generations. That is why there are all those dinochicks, woops, they don't have any of those dinochicks."

The more obvious error here is that he is viewing species as absolutely discrete organisms, as we see them at any one narrow slice of time (such as one human lifetime). Part of the genius of men like James Hutton (who realized that the Earth absolutely HAD to be millions if not billions of years old) or Darwin (who's father, Erasmus, knew Hutton), is that they were able to think beyond that 'narrow-slice' view.

If one were to put any generation of a species beside the next generation we would see no significant difference. Depending on the rate of change (it varies according to environmental stress and mutation rates) there may be no detectable, to us, differences over hundreds of generations.

However, with enough generations we might notice some funny excess flaps of skin in the armpits of a tree climbing dinosaur. The loose skin allows for slightly freer movement of the forelimbs than is typical of the usual scaly, stiff dinosaurs. They are thereby able to get more food, and perhaps better escape predators when they rush up a tree.

A thousand generations later some might vary by having unusually larger flaps, so that when they accidentally drop out of a tree their fall is slowed and they survive, when others of their kind would have died.

Another thousand generations and the flap of skin extends from finger tips to hips and they can glide long distances.... then the one's that can flap that skin extend their glide to knew food resources without ever touching ground. Pretty soon, in geological time, you have a pteradactyl ("winged-fingers").

The same process occurs with chickens. The ancestral chicken was not a chicken, but its scales likely produced increasing body coverage for warmth (feather-like structures). A similar process to skin flap development took place that was wing feather development. At the same time the ability to produce body heat developed, providing a metabolic rate that could sustain the high activity of flight. But those things, initially, conferred the advantage of warmth, not flight.

[N.B., As I recall, and Johnny might correct me, pterodactyls were not the progenitors of birds.]

The dinochick that wasn't a chicken was still laying eggs but now it is more of a chicken than a dino. The egg came before the chicken.

Of course, one can take that same logic back in time until the first 'egg' wasn't really an egg but a cell cleaved from another cell. The fossil record supports it, geology supports it, and observations of modern organisms support it.

A burning bush that is not consumed, as one example among many, contradicts all physics and chemistry. Its only basis is from a 'scripture' reporting the claims of some madman who also says he 'spoke' to an apparition on a mountaintop. No observable instances from other sources. No room for induction, inference or integration. No room for reason. No cause for belief. Nothing by which a Man should guide his thinking or his life.

In contrast, Evolution has enabled an enormous understanding of the relationships between living things, and of how they can be put to fruitful use. It has thereby furthered agriculture and medicine, and shown how reason can enhance human life. It has helped us put the Dark Ages, the primary product of religious faith, further behind us.

Reg Golb said...

Another quick question for you

What evolved first?

Richard said...

I hope my answer to Reg is in sufficiently layman terms that everyone who visits this blog can understand it. I hope Johnny, or anyone else who has an interesting detail to add, or sensible question to ask, will do so. It'd be interesting.

The precursors to life evolved first. They were almost certainly strings of RNA that simply, and accidentally copied themselves by aligning loose RNA that occurred in the nearly freshwater oceans. It is important to grasp that the RNA was self-replicating.

The alignment process by which RNA self-replicates is too much to explain here, but it is well understood and is taught in Grade Eleven Biology classes. It is the same basic process as occurs with DNA.

During the first billion years or so the atmosphere was lashed by lightning, everywhere, every day. Its atmosphere had no oxygen or ozone and was largely nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The chemical bases (the basic polymer units) for RNA were formed from abundant naturally occurring chemicals, some derived from volcanic ash, with considerable input of lightning energy. The ones that matter to the initiation of life became increasingly abundant until the aforementioned self-reproducing strings (polymers) of them formed.

[I am leaving out the technical details by which copying occurred, as well as the molecular structure of the *known* molecules involved.]

With RNA strings copying themselves, natural selection would begin to take effect. Those strings that were least easily broken up, and most readily copied, became most abundant. Natural, inorganic selection!

The ocean bays (remember they are freshwater) would have been swamped with foam and froth many meters deep. You can still see froth in rivers and streams that forms from organic molecules, though of different composition from the foam of 3.5 billion years ago.

The bubbles of that pre-life foam contained a high percentage of fatty substances (think "soapy")resembling what we now call lipids. These bubbles undoubtedly contained some of the RNA polymers, and protected them somewhat. Now the selective advantage goes to RNA in lipid bubbles!

RNA that could also enhance lipid production, much as they copied themselves from RNA bases, obtained a further advantage. [That is another simplification.]

This created a new context for natural selection: primitive non-living 'cells' (not the biological meaning we give the term today). These cells would still break up and reform in the waves and froth of the ocean bays, but now the RNA and cells are interacting. The better the interaction the more lasting and abundant one form of those cells became.

From there, you may be able to see the way to which, over millions of years, remember, those new cells would eventually act in ways that increased self preservation and reproduction. This would include the formation of a relationship between early DNA bases (also produced in the ocean) and the RNA polymers.

DNA's double helix was enormously superior at keeping its structure, and had the means for maintaining a more enduring, systematic code. As other compounds came into play its relationship with RNA shifted, so that RNA was produced by the DNA. The RNA continued producing lipids, then proteins and other compounds.

Over time (always enormous periods) more and more complexity improved the survivorship of these 'cells'. They developed until they had the rudiments of anaerobic metabolism (using energy molecules to accomplish certain tasks that enhanced survival). Anaerobic, because there was still no oxygen. In particular the energy would go to controlling what molecules should pass in or out of the lipid cell walls.

Reproduction that was once accidental damage, became an increasingly controlled process of division. And so on, ...until the 'cells' behaved as extraordinarily primitive bacteria.

These bacteria lived off naturally occurring carbon compounds, and were quite hopeless at seeking out 'food' or altering their own environment. Sulphide chemicals they obtained had high energy bonds that could be used to drive other cellular reactions. The waste product was hydrogen disulphide (H2S). [This is the same Marsh Gas that stinks so much. Marsh gas is produced by anaerobic bacteria that are very similar to the bacteria of 3 billion years ago.]

The slightly more advanced form of these bacteria are known as Archeobacteria, and are in the fossil record. They are in the earliest sediments that contain any kind of life. Those same sediments contain no other organisms of any kind!!

At a much later point some bacterial cells became photo-reactive. This is absolutely bound to happen, because there was no Ozone Layer protecting water surface cells from UV damage. Cells that could cope with UV survived better. They did so using had molecules that 'handled' light energy. That development paved the way to using the abundant CO2, and water, to produce sugars by a crude photosynthesis. The sugars could be used to store energy that could then be directed to certain cellular processes.

This photosynthesis produced oxygen as a waste gas. Oxygen was toxic to early bacteria and began killing them off.

Oxygen became the first serious atmospheric and aquatic pollutant.

Salts from the erosion of land, eventually became a second pollutant of the oceans. Our physiology, and the physiology of fish, are built around salt concentrations that match that of the oceans at the time the first amphibians evolved.

I think that's enough to show how life on Earth developed, all without magic, using natural facts we understand very well. The earliest steps are somewhat speculative, but are nowhere near as absurd as the biblical Genesis, and other absurd magic of the scriptures.

Note that this description includes many observable facts that *integrate* into a consistent and logical pattern. Even the salt balance of our bodies matches Geological and Evolutionary changes ...on Earth!

OzAtheist said...

WOW, Richard those last 3 posts were awesome! They say you should learn something new each day, I just did.

I wonder if golb will?

Joe said...

Thanks Richard! Great couple of posts. You're a lot smarter than I am.

Reg Golb said...

I found the following excerpt

Circumstantial evidence for the central position of RNA in the origin of life can be found in "relic" pieces of RNA that hold a few of the most important functions in the cell. Perhaps the most convincing observation is that in the synthesis of proteins on the ribosome, the key chemical event -- peptide-bond formation --is catalyzed solely by RNA, suggesting that primacy lies with RNA rather than protein. A major impediment to full acceptance of an ancient "RNA world" is that, although it can easily be imagined that a pure RNA machine (a proto-ribosome) can make proteins, there is no equivalent RNA machine to make RNA (a ribopolymerase). All the RNA we know is made by protein, leading to perhaps the original "chicken-and-egg" problem of which came first.

Sounds pretty interesting.

Richard said...

Yes Reg, that is. However, note that it speaks of today's RNA synthesis in today's environment. Today there is no "out of the organism" environment in which RNA can function. Back then RNA was not making protein, so much as itself, simply by alignment and pairing. This latter is an entirely different procedure.

Protein synthesis by RNA uses several types of RNA. mRNA (Messenger) is made by alignment with a DNA strand that codes for a protein. Once made mRNA attaches to a giant protein called a Ribosome that ratchets along the mRNA controlled by rRNA (Ribosomal).

tRNA (Transfer) is dissolved in the cell cytoplasm. There is a tRNA for each type of amino acid, the base units of protein polymers. Each tRNA picks up its amino acid and 'brings' it to the rRNA and mRNA by simple diffusion and sheer concentration. The mRNA only accepts the proper tRNA base code that matches that mirror code on the mRNA. When a match is made the ribosome acts as an enzyme to join the new amino acid to the growing protein strand -forming "peptide bonds". This is the catalyst function mentioned in the excerpt Reg placed in his comment.

The excerpt is written by someone who thinks early RNA must have been making protein... it did not. It just made unstable mirror copies of itself, and then the mirror copies would make 'it'. Nothing more.

Note that the excerpt says, "All the RNA we know is made by protein". Well, he is talking of today's cell bound RNA, not early World, drifting in the ocean, RNA. As such, his argument is a straw man against the early RNA world... that is, it does not even remotely apply. So refuting it does nothing to refute the early 'RNA world'.

All the above description of protein synthesis is, evolutionarily speaking, very advanced molecular biology. It would not and could not have occurred in the earliest "soapy cells". But, imagine, the ability to make the crudest of crude proteins, and to have them 'stick' to the lipid cell wall. That protein would provide phenomenal protection from ultraviolet light and cell wall breakage. More natural selection!

Johnny said...

[N.B., As I recall, and Johnny might correct me, pterodactyls were not the progenitors of birds.]

Quite right Richard the Pterodactyls or Pterosaurs were not the progenitors of birds and technically speaking not dinosaurs ( which were a certain type of terrestrial reptiles with a unique gait or upright stance), though they share a common ancestor with dinosaurs,ancestors of dinosaurs were the archosauromorph diapsid(two holes in the skull) type reptile.

It is interesting to note that, cladistically speaking, crocodiles and birds are in the same subcategory so as far as taxonomical biologists are concerned birds are a type of dinosaur!

Pterosaurs are thought to be the first vertebrates to evolve the capacity for flight but were not feathered, though possibly hairy (not homologous with mammals) their "wings" were composed of stretched muscle and skin out to a incredibly elongated fourth finger and rather than a true wishbone they had a winged or keeled breastbone they died out in the late cretacious era.

It is the Therapods that appear to be the ancestors of birds especially the dromaesaurs which include Velociraptors (incidently rather poorly portrayed in J park as in reality they were only about the size of a turkey) and Deinonychus very similar but larger than veloceraptor. The earliest known bird species, Archaeopteryx, had very much in common with these icluding three clawed toes, killing claws (a hyperextendable second toe) lightweight air filled bones, a wishbone, feathers and a long bony tail - to wit wishbone, light air filled bones and of course feathers(a characteristic of all modern birds) are common with modern birds. It also had wings as a bird rather than arms of a therapod and a partially reversed fist toe.

To note the feathers dicovered as fossils with Archaeopteryx are well advanced and very very similar to flight feathers in modern birds which suggests they had been evolving for some time and also feathers suggest homiothermy.

In fact anyone questioning evolution and saying that there are not transitional examples or evidence for "links" between species can be pointed to Archaeopteryx as an obvious example among many!

Richard said...

Thanks Johnny; some of that I knew and forgot. Were dinosaurs etc. a side interest of yours, or an area of study at school?

I do remember that velociraptor fossils have been found that have quill stubs!

The nifty thing about the Velociraptors was their big brain and subsequent ability to hunt in packs. I believe Jurassic Park showed that part fairly well.

This may not be the place for asking, but I am extremely skeptical of the comet-crash-theory (and iridium layer) of dinosaur extinction. As I recall dinosaur fossils actually took a million years to fade from the sediment layers. That is a very short period of time geologically, but far too long for the singular extinction event attributed to a catastrophe.

For other readers, the type of speciation I described where reproductive isolation caused two groups of one species to become different species is "cladogenesis", the study of which is "cladistics". I accidentally deleted a description of "anagenesis".

Anagenesis is a form of speciation in which descendants become so changed that they could never breed with their ancestors, and may even look quite different. This form of evolution is likely how today's humans have progressed from our earliest, genuine, ancestral Homo sapiens.

Some people now argue that Human Beings are no longer subject to evolution, because our minds make decisions that supercede the usual selective pressures of the environment. I disagree with this somewhat. We are still subject to untreatable disease interactions and incompatibilities in reproduction... and besides, there are The Darwin Awards ;-)

sacred slut said...

Hey fiery, I have relatives in Minnesota! Hee hee.

My mom is from there and I have a 90 year old auntie up in Dent.

I shouldn't be so mean to dad never met a cliche he didn't like.

Fiery said...

Heya Sacred Slut, Welcome back!

You're not the first to accuse me of being a cliche. The first was the very last day of last year when someone asked me Why does every woman think she's unique, when they are all uniformly mad??? Up until that moment I had always considered myself an original and had never met another woman quite like me. You're not the first to tell me I was wrong.


Tommy said...

Wow, you just can never tell what posts are going to drum up a ton of comments.

Lisa said...

What a kid , you go girl!

Richard said...


Is that, as in "Dent. Arthur Dent"?

To wit:

Come. Come now or you will be late.
Late? What for?
What is your name, human?
Dent. Arthur Dent.
Late as in the late Dentarthurdent. It's a sort of threat, you see. I've never been terribly good at them myself but I'm told they can be terribly effective.

So, what is an "auntieupindent" uppity independent auntie?

Fiery said...

Hi Lisa! Welcome to my blog!