Human evolution Intelligent Design

Still missing: The missing link between apes and us

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It ought to be so simple, right? Planet of the Apes and all that. From Colin Barras at BBC:

It is true that, today, some researchers have a well-thought-through idea of what the LCA looked like and how it behaved. The trouble is that other researchers have equally well-reasoned models that suggest an LCA that looked and behaved in a completely different way. And that puts the research community in a bit of a quandary.

In principle, fossilised remains of the LCA might come to light any time. They might even be discovered this very year. But because there is so little agreement on what the LCA should look like, researchers will interpret the fossils differently.

“It’s a problem that we might encounter,” says Almécija. “Are we going to be able to recognise the LCA when we find it?” More.

The trouble is, in that case, we don’t know what we are looking for and thus cannot be sure if we find it.

See also: Does the evidence point to mankind’s fully natural origin ?

and

The search for our earliest ancestors: signals in the noise

32 Replies to “Still missing: The missing link between apes and us

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    Well, there’s no free lunch.

    In case they finally find it and agree on it, let them know it has to pass the evo-devo test to answer the most important question: where’s the beef?

    Here’s a brief summary of the test:

    Given any case of known macro-evolutionary divergence, it could be described as:
    Dev(d1) = Dev(ca) + Delta(d1)
    Dev(d2) = Dev(ca) + Delta(d2)
    Where
    Dev(x) is the developmental process of any given biological system x
    Delta(x) is the whole set of spatiotemporal procedural differences required to produce Dev(x).
    d1 and d2 are two descendants of their common ancestor (ca).
    Assuming the Dev(x) are well known, what hypothetical Delta(d1) and Delta(d2) could be suggested for their missing link case?

    Just point to the literature that explains this in details.
    The explanation must be comprehensive, logically coherent and it must hold water under any kind of thorough examination.

    This test was suggested @1026 & 1090 in the thread “A third way of evolution?”

  2. 2
    rvb8 says:

    Dio,

    this equation looks positively scientific. Can you tell me where you got it from? I’d like to examine the original author’s thoughts on the various factors, and his/her take on them.

    Please don’t self-referrance to comment 1296.66 on thread BB-GT.

    I want the original creators of this equation please!

    Thanks:)

    The Last Common Ancestor is theorised to be the one where we diverged from chimps, 6 to 7 million years ago.

    How it looked would be something similar to a chimp. How it acted can only be guessed at. But by looking at primate behaviour today, some informed guesses can be made.

    This is all speculation you say, and you are right. Here’s a question; What’s the alternative? Throw up our hands as the ID community and creationists do?

    No thank you.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    Whose is the comment @2?

    🙂

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    Apparently the message was not received clearly… maybe there’s noise in the surrounding environment… 🙂

    Ok, let’s reiterate it:

    Well, there’s no free lunch.

    In case they finally find it and agree on it, let them know it has to pass the evo-devo test to answer the most important question: where’s the beef?

    Here’s a brief summary of the test:

    Given any case of known macro-evolutionary divergence, it could be described as:
    Dev(d1) = Dev(ca) + Delta(d1)
    Dev(d2) = Dev(ca) + Delta(d2)
    Where
    Dev(x) is the developmental process of any given biological system x
    Delta(x) is the whole set of spatiotemporal procedural differences required to produce Dev(x).
    d1 and d2 are two descendants of their common ancestor (ca).
    Assuming the Dev(x) are well known, what hypothetical Delta(d1) and Delta(d2) could be suggested for their missing link case?

    Just point to the literature that explains this in details.
    The explanation must be comprehensive, logically coherent and it must hold water under any kind of thorough examination.

    This test was suggested @1026 & 1090 in the thread “A third way of evolution?”

    Maybe this time the message will get through…

    🙂

  5. 5
    rvb8 says:

    Dionisio,

    the problem in comprehension is not mine.

    Who created this series of psudo-mathemamatical notation; Dev(d1), Dev(ca), Dev(x), Delta(x) etc?

    I want to be able to read the source not your second hand interpretation of this mathematical like, notation;

    The source please, the author, the origins.

  6. 6
    LocalMinimum says:

    rvb8:

    It’s just functional notation. Delta is just a common expression for a difference. Original state + difference from end state = end state. This is really basic, really common stuff.

  7. 7
    Dionisio says:

    LocalMinimum,

    Thank you for the assistance.

    You’re very gracious.

    I’ve just expressed the fundamental evo-devo problem in that kind of compact formulation. That’s all.
    The idea is borrowed from the eco-devo literature out there. Definitely not mine.

    Our politely dissenting interlocutors apparently hasn’t read that kind of literature, hence s/he is not aware of the source.

  8. 8
    rvb8 says:

    Local and Dio;

    RM+NS=Evo. This is really basic, common stuff. So much so even the most ardent creationist will recognise and sneer.

    But this, Dev(d1)=Dev(ca)+Delta(d1)
    Dev(d2)=Dev(ca)+Delta(d2)

    I submit is less, ‘really common stuff.’

    Local says; “hence s/he is not aware of the source.”
    ‘He’, actually.

    Is it, ‘really common stuff’? Where exactly can I find these exact same equations please?

    I don’t mind apologising if I’m wrong, I will readily do so. I would like to know the source however, if you would be so kind.

    Thanks:)

  9. 9
    Jon Garvey says:

    Dear me – I’m not a mathematician nor an analytic philosopher, but a little logical examination showed me that Dionisio has simply expressed an obvious problem symbolically. One doesn’t need an “exact source” for that: it’s as valid to make up a symbol sequence as to write a sentence.

    Let me translate into cumbersome prose. A common ancestor produces two different outcomes. The start point in both cases being the same, it must be the process in each case that is different. But it’s trivial and completely non-explanatory to say “Things would be the same if only they weren’t different”, so what are the actual differences that produce the different outcomes, so that one can understand and predict anything?

    A parallel would be a twin study in which one separated identical twin becomes a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, and the other a serial child molester. A theory that probably the first did some luckier things and lived in some different place would at best be considered, shall we say, “provisional”, and at worst a waste of words.

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    Jon Garvey @9:

    Thank you for the assistance.

    You’re very gracious.

    I’ve just expressed the fundamental evo-devo problem in that kind of compact formulation. That’s all.
    The idea is borrowed from the evo-devo literature out there. Definitely not mine.

    Our politely dissenting interlocutors apparently haven’t read that kind of literature, hence they are not aware of the source.

    The thread “A third way of evolution?” has many references to evo-devo papers, but the politely dissenting interlocutors don’t dare to engage in serious discussions right there in that thread. They lack serious scientific arguments.

    Perhaps they don’t know what evo-devo stands for?

  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    LocalMinimum and Jon Garvey,

    Since you demonstrated being seriously interested in the subject and wrote clarifying comments in this discussion, in order to help a confused politely dissenting interlocutor, here’s a relatively recent* paper on evo-devo:

    http://journal.frontiersin.org.....00085/full

    (*) to me it’s kind of old already.

  12. 12
    LocalMinimum says:

    Dionisio @ 11:

    Because you asked so nicely, I have read it. I have to say, it was quite enjoyable. Very nice intro/collection of issues, and I always appreciate the professional evolutionist perspective.

    I’ll have to come back in a day or so to actually comment on the material. I’ve been busyish. I will say straight away that I didn’t expect algae had such an interesting sex life.

    Thank you for the material.

  13. 13
    rvb8 says:

    Jon,

    thanks for the condescension.

    This waffle intrigues: ‘A common ancestor produces two different outcomes.’ Aha.

    Do you mean that random mutation in the genome produces, ‘two different phenotypes’? I agree, we are in agreemnet.

    Then you do the famous ID ‘Gish gallop’, with;

    ‘The start point in both cases being the same, (parents?), it must be the process (process? random mutation) that is different.’ Sorry, the ‘process’ is the same, and can even be seen, we can actually see mutation from parent to offspring, these mutations produce the silly convoluted Dio’s (d1), (d2)

    The ‘process’, must be ‘different’? ‘So what are the actual differences that produce the different outcomes?’

    Well, random muttion produces Dio’s silly (Dev1) and (Dev2), and selection by the environment produces the rest.

    Jon,

    In answer to you Nobel twin versus Nutbag twin; Parents died, they were adopted, one by nutbags, other by, geniuses; different environments is indeed the answer.

    Jon,

    you and ID generally should refrain from patronizing language, because of the state of ID research at the moment; it does not exist.

    Dio,

    if you have an idea and want to invent your own ‘scientific’ notation try not to use the simpleton’s x+y=z. Where ‘x’ can be anything the hell I like, ‘y’ can be anything the hell like, and therefore the outcome ‘z’ cofirms that, ‘whatever the hell I like’, is the answer.

    Dear me Jon, next time get the equations confirmed, and don’t pretend they are obvious, because Dios endless posts are almost invariably the ramblings of a wannabe.

    Dio has been caught mid gallop. Dio please admit these silly contortions are your own effort at sciency stuff, and that they exist nowhere else but in your electro/chemical meat package.

  14. 14
    Dionisio says:

    It seems like some politely dissenting interlocutors didn’t get the memo or didn’t read it… 🙂

    Ok, let’s say it again:

    Well, there’s no free lunch.

    In case they finally find it and agree on it, let them know it has to pass the evo-devo test to answer the most important question: where’s the beef?

    Here’s a brief summary of the test:

    Given any case of known macro-evolutionary divergence, it could be described as:
    Dev(d1) = Dev(ca) + Delta(d1)
    Dev(d2) = Dev(ca) + Delta(d2)
    Where
    Dev(x) is the entire developmental process of any given biological system x
    Delta(x) is the whole set of detailed spatiotemporal procedural differences –compared to Dev(ca)– required to produce Dev(x).
    d1 and d2 are two descendants of their common ancestor (ca).
    Assuming the Dev(x) are well known, what hypothetical (theoretical) Delta(d1) and Delta(d2) could be suggested for their missing link case?

    Just point to the literature that explains this in details.
    The explanation must be comprehensive, logically coherent and it must hold water under any kind of thorough examination.

    This test was suggested @1026 & 1090 in the thread “A third way of evolution?”

    Perhaps now they’ll get it right… 🙂

  15. 15
    rvb8 says:

    Dio,

    I have read of a particular definition, of a particular ailement that is charachterised by, ‘saying/doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.’

    The particular ailement’s name escapes me for the moment. Perhaps you could repeat your profound mathematical insight several more times (Heh:), and the illness’s name will spring to mind.
    Heh:)

  16. 16
    ET says:

    rvB8- What is the state of evolutionary research? No one knows how any flagella evolved via natural selection or drift. The same goes for any and all multi-protein machines.

    So what, exactly, does evolutionism have? I ask because if your position actually had something then ID would be a non-starter. Yet ID is stronger than ever thanks to the consilience of clues and evidence.

  17. 17

    rvb8 @ 13: You are the willing sparring partner that every great champion needs. You show up on time, you work hard, and you take your beatings without complaint (most of the time, anyway). Thank you for your service.

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @16:

    Interesting observation. Thanks.

    Also could be compared to this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punching_bag#/media/File:Sacodeboxeoh.jpg

    🙂

  19. 19
    LocalMinimum says:

    Dionisio:

    Well, the paper offers all sorts of massive problems, issues, and various means of framing, approaching, and, perhaps, in some far distant future, applying the nuts and bolts to them.

    All of it rides on the line of thought “how it must have happened”, rather than “how can it even happen”.

    But, as for your simple request; framed in terms that a High School Algebraist should find accessible; for just one plausible, physically detailed evolutionary transformation…well, I haven’t seen it answered yet. I don’t think your politely dissenting interlocutors have, either.

  20. 20
    rvb8 says:

    LocalM @19,

    thank you for the admission, ‘But, as for your simple request; framed in terms a High SchoolAlgebraist should find accessible…’

    So, now we know this equation, (Heh:), is the product of the mind of Dionisio.

    This explains why I can not be directed to it anywhere.

    Next question; when is Dionisio going to unleash this paradigm changing original work? 🙂

  21. 21
    rvb8 says:

    ET @16,

    there is a vast ammount of literature, and original experimentation on the origins of the flagella, blood clottng and the immune system, all you have to do is click.

    What there isn’t is any ID lab, scientist, research avenues, articles, or any other solid evidence pointing to Design, other than the Bible.

    That’s fine. If your faith says God achieved these systems, good. Unfortunately, many of us believe this to be poppycock.

  22. 22
    Marfin says:

    RVB8-How is it possible that Ernst Boris Chain saved tens of millions lives and won the Nobel prize for his work on antibiotics, all while believing that Darwinian evolution was a fairy tale, based on no evidence and could hardly even be called a theory.Surely if he followed a path of believing things were designed and not the result of random chance his research should have failed.

  23. 23
    ET says:

    rvB8- You are mistaken as there isn’t any literature and original experimentation on the origin of any flagellum, blood clotting or the immune system via natural selection and drift. Any and everything there is just gives lip service to “evolution” but nothing that supports the posited mechanisms.

    And one more thing- ID does not require God.

    Solid evidence for ID? Living organisms and all of their systems and subsystems. They meet the criteria of ID and no one has any clue how nature could have produced them. Start with the genetic code, which is a real code, meaning it is arbitrary- ie not determined by physics and chemistry. There is up to a 10.1 million dollar award for anyone who can demonstrate nature can produce codes. So far it remains unclaimed.

  24. 24
    ET says:

     “Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.”– Dr Behe

    So when we see that and no one can figure out how to test the claim that natural selection and drift could have done it, we safely infer ID. And to refute that claim all one has to do is step forward and demonstrate natural selection, drift or any other blind and mindless process could produce it. Do that and Occam’s razor slices off the need for a designer.

    Have we observed what Dr Behe describes? Yes, many times over. Has anyone ever demonstrated that natural selection, drift or any other blind and mindless process can produce them? Nope, not even close.

  25. 25
    Seversky says:

    Marfin @ 22

    RVB8-How is it possible that Ernst Boris Chain saved tens of millions lives and won the Nobel prize for his work on antibiotics, all while believing that Darwinian evolution was a fairy tale, based on no evidence and could hardly even be called a theory.Surely if he followed a path of believing things were designed and not the result of random chance his research should have failed.

    IIRC, Chain and Florey were investigating how penicillin, which had been discovered by Fleming a few years earlier, killed bacteria. The origin of either, whether by design or by nature, was simply irrelevant to that research.

    Whatever their beliefs, their work was not based on the assumption that disease was inflicted on mankind by divine will as punishment for the Fall, or some such nonsense. They assumed they were working with a natural, material compound – penicillin – which was effective against natural, material microorganisms which made people sick or killed them, nothing more.

    Where a better understanding of evolution would have helped is in preventing of the over-prescription of antibiotics which contributed to the emergence of resistant strains of bacteria. Even today there are doctors who proudly flaunt their rejection of evolution in spite of the evidence right in front of them.

  26. 26
    Dionisio says:

    Seversky @25:

    The antibiotic resistant bacteria are still bacteria.

    Embedded variability framework/ built in adaptability framework in action.

    That’s all.

    No macroevolution at all.

    Try again.

  27. 27
    ET says:

    Seversky:

    Whatever their beliefs, their work was not based on the assumption that disease was inflicted on mankind by divine will as punishment for the Fall, or some such nonsense.

    Whatever their beliefs, their work was not based on the assumption that life’s diversity arose via blind and mindless processes such as natural selection and drift, or some such nonsense.

  28. 28
    Dionisio says:

    ET,

    Well said.

    Thanks.

  29. 29
    Seversky says:

    Dionisio @ 26

    The antibiotic resistant bacteria are still bacteria.

    Did anyone claim they weren’t?

    Embedded variability framework/ built in adaptability framework in action

    There’d be no evolution without it.

    No macroevolution at all.

    Nobody says it was.

    Try again.

    Think again.

  30. 30
    Seversky says:

    ET @ 27

    Whatever their beliefs, their work was not based on the assumption that life’s diversity arose via blind and mindless processes such as natural selection and drift, or some such nonsense.

    I thought I already agreed that theories of origins were irrelevant to their work.

  31. 31
    ET says:

    Seversky:

    I thought I already agreed that theories of origins were irrelevant to their work.

    I don’t understand. I didn’t say anything about the origin of life. Read it again paying attention to the bolded part:

    Whatever their beliefs, their work was not based on the assumption that life’s diversity arose via blind and mindless processes such as natural selection and drift, or some such nonsense.

    That refers to Darwin’s “endless forms most beautiful”

  32. 32
    Dionisio says:

    Seversky @29:

    Nobody says it was.

    Ok, in that case, where’s the beef?

    🙂

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