Innovation and Speciation: whale changes (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, June 01, 2017, 11:11 (328 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have trouble finding the right descriptive terms. There was a small spinal change which did not change the species in any major way, but is interpreted as a preparatory alteration for later bipedalism. Better?

dhw: Much better, thank you. What remains open is whether the change may have resulted in a minor improvement, and if it didn’t, why on earth your God would make a totally useless change when according to you he was obviously perfectly capable of dabbling useful changes, as he proved over the next few million years.

DAVID: You miss the point. Planning is involved. The small change is in preparation for larger changes to come. Much of my discussion about Darwin is he expected fossil finds which would fill the gaps. They never appeared, but this spinal change may be evidence that some itty-bity steps were taken, not related to immediate improvement.

I’m afraid I can’t follow your thinking at all. One moment you’re attacking Darwin for proposing itty-bitty steps not shown by the fossil record, and the next moment you’re telling us that the fossil record shows itty-bitty steps. One moment you’re telling us how purposeful God is, and the next moment he dabbles something that has no purpose. If there are no itty-bitty fossils, we have saltations which only your God could design, and if there are fossils with itty-bitty steps, apparently God had to design these as well. No matter what we find, it’s all part of your God’s plan, whether it’s totally useless or useful, itty-bitty or saltatory.

DAVID’s comment: What this further study shows is that our earliest ancestors coming out of trees had advanced bipedal changes before permanently climbing down. Their upper body was apelike and last to change. It seems like evolution follows the pattern of change first and use second, as the big brain, size first use second.

I think this clearly shows a step-by-step process of adaptation to a new environment. Your use of “permanently” reinforces this idea. They didn’t suddenly leap down from the trees as fully formed hominins, but different changes occurred as they became more and more accustomed to life on the ground – just like the pre-whales adapting in different stages to life in the water.

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