c is for cat

Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule


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I think I just linked you to an example (HeLa). Also, as the link points out, the entire concept of "kinds" is incoherent. See also CB902 (and the two subsections).

This is a well-studied area. If you haven't seen evidence that evolution *is* the origin of species, then you haven't been looking for evidence -- you've been looking for something that supports your particular religious beliefs.

Just to add to this evidence: we can compare DNA among various species. When we plot out the differences against the times and places in which they happened (based on the fossil record), we can see that the changes are correlated to time and separation. And this is true even between lizards and birds, and I believe further than that. There are no major discontinuities. This is strong evidence that small changes can add up to large changes.

Edited at 2012-02-02 11:28 pm (UTC)

There is plenty of fossil evidence too including in the origin of tetrapods, or in the origin of birds, or in mammals.

One "problem" is really just a matter of a linguistic trick. When we look at fossils we can see some relatives of modern birds that have a mosaic of features, some of which are bird-like other are not.

Rather than acknowledging that there is a continuum, some have attacked this issue first by stating:

"Pick a character so we can say whether it is A or B. Which one is it?"
If a character is chosen, then they can say, "see there is a gap between A and B there is nothing in between."

You might then show them a fossil that shows the character is in an intermediate stage (say between scale and feather) and they will simply respond "is it a scale or is it a feather?" If you choose one or the other then they will simply go back to saying that there is no continuum.

It would be as if I had everyone in a class divide into two groups, "short people" and "tall people" and said they had to choose a particular criterion that would allow us to put someone in one or the other. Sure we might then end up with two groups, but it would simply be arbitrary and in reality there might be a continuum,

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