Another Young-Earth Puzzle–Fossilized Moa Footprints in New Zealand

Everyday a new piece of earth’s history is uncovered. And everyday those discoveries add a new puzzle piece for young-earth creationists to try to fit into their 6000-year picture of earth’s biological and geology history.

Yesterday’s new puzzle piece comes in the form of seven large footprints on a slab of rock. They were found under nearly a meter of water in a “swimming hole” in a river on the south island of New Zealand.  The larger puzzle is determining the origins of the footprints.

The footprints raise a number of questions:  what made these footprints, when were they made, and how did them come to be where they are today?

First, there seems to be little doubt that these footprints were left by a large species of flightless bird called a moa.  These are the only bird species known to New Zealand that were this size (more than 10 feet tall!) and had this shape of foot (11 inches in diameter).

Moa tracks (more than 8 inches in diameter) found in a river bed in New Zealand.  Image from Ian Griffin, Director of Otago Museum, who is overseeing extraction of the footprints for preservation.  Twitter user @iangriffin : https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D6MXeZqUEAEAj4Q.jpg:large

The preservation of these large footprints is spectacular. But what I want you to notice is the rock to the right that sits above the footprints. You can’t see all of it, but in other pictures it is obvious that at least four feet of rock sit directly on top of the rock.   Furthermore, another 15 feet of rock and sediment are found on the slope above the immediate rock sitting upon these footprints.  And yes the footprints go straight into a rock wall and almost certainly continues on the same plane underneath that rock.

Moa tracks (more than 8 inches in diameter) found in a river bed in New Zealand.  These footprints were identified under water. The stream was then diverted to enable a local museum to investigate and extract the footprints by cutting them out of the rock. Image from Twitter user @iangriffin:

Think for a moment about the history that has taken place since a moa was walking along a muddy bank of an ancient stream.  When that moa made these prints we can be confident that none of the 15+ feet of rock that overlook this stream-bed existed.  Rather, the region was quite likely a broad low-lying area.  A very large moa left tracks on some fresh mud.  Those tracks must then have been covered by new sediment. Many new layers of sediments were added over time, probably by annual flooding of the region.  Over a long period of time—the group investigating the tracks are saying a 1 million years or more—those sediments, including the ones the footprints are preserved in, became cemented together to form the sandstone and mudstones found in this region.  Finally a new river in the area eroded the overlying rocks finally reaching the layer in which the footprints were preserved.

The steps in the process of making and preserving these footprints take time. A lot of time in most cases.  Where will young-earth creationists (YEC) find that time?

There are several puzzling pieces of information that the YEC must explain in their model:

  1.  If these are post-flood rocks, which all YECs I think will agree they are, then these footprints must have been made after the Flood less than 4500 years ago.
  2.  The footprints match fossils of moa feet.  The large moa were known from thousands of fossils to lack wings so how did they get from Noah’s ark in the Middle East to New Zealand?
  3.  The footprints are covered by many feet of rock. How did sediments get deposited on top of these moa footprints, become cemented together to form rock and then erode in less than 4500 years?

These questions all pose difficult challenges for the YEC model. Let’s explore these a bit further focusing mostly on #2 – how did moas get to New Zealand – and more generally what are the origin of moas?

By Heinrich Harder (1858-1935) – The Wonderful Paleo Art of Heinrich Harder, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2417140

New Zeeland was once home to some of the largest flightless birds every to have walked–not flown–on the earth.  To date, nine species classified in six genera of these odd creatures have been described.  Despite their having been extinct–probably due to the influence of human settlers in beginning around the 15th century–since the late 18th century they have been well-studied.  Bones found in caves representing these birds have been found in hundreds of locations and DNA studies performed on samples that are estimated to be hundreds to tens of thousands of years old.    What makes the moa most fascinating is the very large size of some species (over 10 feet tall) and the fact that they were utterly devoid of wings unlike other flightless birds.  In other respects they are similar anatomically to other large flightless birds such as the emus from Australia and ostriches from Africa.

Fig.1 from Bunce et al. (2009): Systematicss, dimensions and approximate distributions of moa in the three family, six genera, nine species taxonomy advocated in this study. doi/10.1073/pnas.0906660106
The data from ancient mitochondrial DNA also allowed the team to study the time-frame of moa evolution. Earlier studies have suggested that the moa radiation occurred about 15 mya, but Bunce et al.’s data indicate that the two main groups of moa (the Dinornithidae & Emeidae) happened just 5.27 mya – much more recently. (The 2009 paper discusses the reasons why their figure differs so significantly from the earlier one, which was also based on aDNA, & suggest this is related to how the data were calibrated.)

A puzzle for creationists: large flightless birds on a remote island

YECs assume moas, collectively, are a created “kind” and and thus must have found room and board upon Noah’s ark.  Two representative moa are thought to have then departed that ark less than 4500 years ago.  No moa fossils nor or any other evidence of moas has every been found outside of New Zealand.  Thus, the first puzzle is how did the moas from the ark get to New Zealand and why did they not leave any relatives somewhere along the way?  The first part has two possible answers:  1)  the pair of moas on the ark had wings and they flew to New Zealand and 2) the original moa were wingless and they rafted to New Zealand on large vegetation debris mats left over from the great flood.  I should note here that everyone agrees that New Zealand was never connected to any other land mass by a land bridge even during the Ice Age when the ocean level was much lower.

Young earth creationist’ David Catchpoole wrote an article ““Moa’s Ark” vs. Noah’s Ark”  published on the website of Creation Ministries International (CMI) which takes position#1. He believes the original moa was a flighted bird that flew to New Zealand after departing Noah’s ark and once it made a home there the birds experienced a “mutational disorder” such that it could no longer fly.   Because there were no important predators on New Zealand at this time this “unfit” feature would not have been deadly and so they were able to adapt to this new land.  Conventional biological theory doesn’t disagree with this general scenario but of course has difficulty with the timelines (4-5 million years vs. less than 4000 years ago in the young earth scenario).

A common mantra of all YEC articles like Catchpoole’s is that characteristics like loss of flight are the result of loss of information and thus are a form of downward evolution (devolution) and is to be expected as a result of a fallen world.   But are the lack of wings really a devolved characteristic?  Superficially moas might just look as if they lost wings but losing something like a wing is much more difficult than it might sound and requires thousands of mutations occurring to many different genes.   If it were as simple as a “mutational disorder” as Catchpoole calls it why then do we not see birds in captivity for thousands of years losing their wings? Furthermore, just look at the size of some of the moas.  They were taller and larger than any person is and they have dense heavy bones.  They didn’t simply lose wings they also “evolved” many new features in adapting to their environment.  When the original moa flew to New Zealand it surely was not as large and it would have had hollow bones like other flight capable birds.  The loss of wings would have to have been compensated for by a change in posture, thickening of the bones both in diameter and the filling of their cortical bone, increased size in the beak and changes in the distribution of feather type.

These changes are not trivial. They require rewiring genes for new roles and enormous changes in regulatory genes for development and changed physiology.  Bones simply don’t become dense via a loss of information or by just a simple mutation.  This requires a network of genes working together in development.  If God created the moa with hollow bones to aid in flight then the formation of dense bones would not be a loss of information but would be the gain of a new feature.   Were it so easy to change the structure of a bone, then the many tens of flightless birds from other groups of birds such as some ducks and chicken-like birds that have become flightless in the past couple thousand years would also have dense bones but they do not.

Ultra-fast Evolution of Moas in New Zealand?

If the creationist’ speculation is correct that an original moa-like bird flew to New Zealand and then lost flight through mutations then a number of additional problems are created.  How might they explain the many species of moas on New Zealand?  These new fossil footprints show that one of the biggest moas was already present on New Zealand a long time ago.   It would be extraordinarily difficult to explain the footprints origins within a 4500 year time span but surely any attempt at an explanation would have the footprints being made almost immediately after the first moa arrived in New Zealand. But this footprint suggests the largest of all moas was then the first to arrive?  Dr. Catchpoole and other YECs would surely have imagined the moa’s on the ark as small flighted birds that after losing flight gained their great stature.  These footprints suggest the opposite.

YECs much also consider that all nine described species lack wings including even even a vestigial portion of a wing.  They all have dense bones and lack flight feathers.   In addition, although there were very large species there are also smaller species.   If the original moa flew it must have evolved all these features very rapidly and prior to that population splitting into many sub-populations which then became the separate species and genera of moa.  There are thousands of bones of these birds and because they all share these central features (no wings and dense bones)  it strongly suggests that the moa species all looked like this for a very long time.

To put this into more of a genetic context, the creationist line seems to be that God created some moa-like bird with the genetic ability to morph into these large heavy boned wingless birds however in the 2000 years from the Creation to the Flood they didn’t experience such a change (or at least we have no evidence of that since no moa remains have every been found in Flood deposits).  Then just one pair of moa were preserved on the ark, flew to New Zealand and transformed themselves in to these dramatically different birds in just a few hundred years.  How could they do this starting with such a limited gene pool of only two individuals?  The genetic divergence of moa from one another is very large (we know this because some DNA has been extracted from fossils and sequence) and thus the millions of mutations that they have in their genome all must have happened since a global flood and before their extinction.   The YEC must propose absolutely fantastic rates of mutation and subsequent adaptive selection of those mutations.  No evolutionists would dream such incredible rates of divergence are possible as is proposed by creationists.  Young earth creationists so casually toss out hypotheses about the diversification of hundreds of species from a single founding pair of the “kind” but I have yet to see the genetic models showing that these changes are plausible. The rates of change are absurd and not reflected in any known genetic mechanism.

Rather than putting the pieces together to make a coherent picture of earth’s biological and geological history, it appears that the YEC has many puzzle pieces which don’t have a place in the finished puzzle they have in their mind.

Addendum:  Could footprints only be preserved during a global flood?  

At an Answers in Genesis conference I attended a few years ago, the young-earth creationist’ speaker mocked the idea that footprints of dinosaurs could be preserved by any process that occurs today, pointing out that it would be silly to think that footprints on a beach or even a muddy lake edge would last long enough to harden into rock and be preserved.  I understand these are over-generalizations made as a rhetorical tool to point the audience to a “better” solution to a falsely created “footprint problem,” but even the top YEC geologists, Dr. Snelling, at Answers in Genesis has made similar statements in print.  Here he addresses dinosaur footprints:

Biblical geologists, on the other hand, say it is the conventional geologists who, in fact, face a dilemma. If geologic change takes place slowly, surely footprints made in mud would be obliterated by wind and rain long before the prints were covered by new sediments and hardened into rock….  How can today’s slow-and-gradual geologic processes over millions of years explain the preservation of delicate impressions in mud before they are washed away? Does the Flood provide a better explanation?” 

Dr. Snelling’s answer to the last question is yes but only because he has intentionally created a false dichotomy for his audience. In addition to painting a false picture of what geologists believe about the principle of uniformitarianism, he portrays the conventional geological understanding as unable to explain the occurrence of footprints and thus if he can provide an explanation for any footprints at all it must be better.

The moa fossil footprints are a clear example of the error of Dr. Snelling’s reasoning.  As we pointed out above, these footprints aren’t even found in rocks that Dr. Snelling believes were formed during a global flood. Hence, Dr. Snelling should be well aware that is is possible for footprints made in mud to be preserved apart from a global catastrophe.

Cover image credit:  Moa footprint images are from the Twitter account of Ian Griffin @iangriffin  who is the director of the Otago Museum in New Zealand. It is this museum that is overseeing the extraction of the footprints to preserve them from further erosion.

Comments

  1. Theodore Lawry says:
  2. Theodore Lawry says:

    Sorry, I should have also said: great post! The footprints walking into the rock wall are really striking. I very much enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank for the link. I had seen the headlines but hadn’t yet clicked through to see what it was about. I am usually fairly skeptical of these headlines finding that the claims are overblown but this was a pretty interesting discovery.

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    • Thanks for the encouragement. Yeah, that is what struck me as well. Its such an clear set of prints and they just go right into a rock wall. In fact they are so distinct that it crossed my mind that maybe they were faked. I didn’t want to have to retract a story but I’ve been following the folks at the museum that have extracted the prints and there is no hint that they are worried they aren’t real. The fact they were found under water and the last print goes right up to that rock wall would make it very difficult for anyone to have created them. I’ve seen some closeups of the prints and they certainly seem authentic.

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  3. Nice job, as always, although as always I fear that the people you need to convince are impervious to demonstrations of the internal contradictions of their position.

    Regarding evolution of flightless birds, and of giantism within the group, I expect you’ve seen http://science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6435/74 Convergent regulatory evolution and loss of flight in paleognathous birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sallyhawksworth says:

    I get regular notifications sent to my email address, sahxwf@ntlworld.com, of your fascinating blogs. After this latest I wrote a long comment, which WordPress declined to accept until I had logged in to it. I had no recollection of what password, if any, I had previously used when I successfully commented on earlier blogs of yours, so I clicked on, Forgotten Password and devised a new one, and successfully logged in. However, now although WordPress was still showing me my comment post on the login page, it would not show it once I was logged in.When I then put in my email address (rather than User Name) with the new password, it declined to post my comment, still showing in italics on the page, on the grounds that it was a duplicate of an earlier post!!!!!!!!! I am tired and exasperated. Is my comment lost for ever, waiting to be moderated, or still around in cyberspace waiting for some time when I can magically and accidentally find a way of satisfying WordPress that I am not some sinister imposter but a simple person interested in evolution, and quite a long time follower of yours, trying to take part in a conversation about moas, evolution and geological time?😩

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  5. These are some of the best Moa tracks I’ve ever seen, and your analysis is spot on. I know I’ve expressed the following before, but for any new visitors, the points you make are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the massive problems YECs have in explaining the trace fossil record. These include millions of Mesozoic dinosaur tracks at thousands of sites throughout the world, as well as millions of pre- and post-dinosaur tracks (of other vertebrates) through much of the Paleozoic and Cenozoic–all of which correspond to body fossils in correlated strata–supporting evolution and making no sense in a YEC model. Aside from the clear pattern of succession, there are so many tracks and other trace fossils (including vast dinosaur nesting sites) requiring significant periods of slow deposition or non-deposition that YECs simply have no place to put the Flood in the geologic column. For more on this see: http://paleo.cc/ce/tracefos.htm
    By the way, although YECs have often differed with each other or been vague on where the flood ended in terms of the geologic column, with some proposing the K-T (now called K-pg) boundary, ICR’s May 2019 issue of Acts and Facts has an article entitled “Rocks Reveal the End of the Flood” which argues strongly for the end of the Flood corresponding with the Tertiary/Quaternary boundary (=Neogene/Quaternary boundary), dated by mainstream workers at approx. 2.6 million years. Of course, as Joel notes, virtually all YECs would regard the newly discovered Moa tracks (and all other Moa tracks) as post-Flood.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks. BTW, that ICR article about the Flood boundary was stunning. The Tert/Quat boundary? This is going to put ICR as huge odds with AiG. AiG wants to all canines were represented by a pair on the ark but if ICR is right about the Flood boundary then more than 1/2 of all canines species are found in the Flood sediments but also exist in post-Flood times so apparently they each are kinds and had to be on the ark. That is a huge departure. Do they realize this? I suspect they have really not thought about it. The new ICR creation museum should tell us where they thinking is when it opens soon.

      Liked by 2 people

      • rjdownard says:

        The short answer to your question “Do they realize this?” is probably yes, but they’ll keep shuffling the dogmatic presentation to fit & downplaying the problems. The Ark Encounter has surreptitious incorporated aspects of Todd Wood’s super-fast speciation by the critters they’v included in the displays, such as Deinohyppus as the exemplar of the Horse Kind.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joel, I agree, and I’m not sure what ICR gains by becoming adamant about the end of the Flood being at the Tert/Quat. boundary. Moreover, the Acts & Facts article implies that this boundary is global, which implies they recognize the reality of at least one conventional geologic boundary (something they have questioned in the past) even while disputing mainstream dating.
        On the issue of canine species (and similar problems exist with many other groups). I hate to give them ideas, but I suppose they could argue that the canine “kinds” on the ark quickly radiated into many of the same species that existed before the Flood because they someone preserved a lot of the same latent variation and ability to quickly evolve, despite the severe genetic bottleneck at the Flood which contradicts the former, and the lack of any coherent mechanisms for hyperspeciation.
        One could also ask: why should canine kinds on the ark radiate into so many of the same species as before the Flood, especially at breakneck speed, in environments very different than those that existed before the Flood? Moreover, why should canines and many other mammal groups not appear until the Tertiary or later, if as they claim the Flood was violently destroying and churning ecosystems all over the globe during the Flood, when massive Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments were supposedly being deposited.
        Any “hydrologic sorting” which YECs sometimes invoke hurts more than it helps, since, for example, many large mammals would often sort with similar sized dinos (or at least be found at the same horizons), while whales and dolphins would sort with mososaurs & ichthyosaurs. Neither is ever found. Their suggestions about differential escape abilities and eco zonation are just as lame. They’d have to believe that preflood habitats of modern mammals and dinosaurs never overlapped or became mixed during the Flood, and even more absurdly, that even the slowest mammals like sloths or burrowing mammals were able to escape the Flood waters better than the fastest dinosaurs, and even pterosaurs (flying reptiles).
        Meanwhile, apparently countless dinosaurs and hundreds of around the world not only survived for weeks or months during the midst of the Flood, but somehow even found the means to congregate, mate, build nests, incubate and hatch the eggs, and often multiple times on the same site!. On top of all this and many other serious problems, ICR’s RATE project report authors have admitted that the amount of radioactivity recorded in the geologic record is incompatible with a YEC time frame, without invoking ad-hoc miracles (even with such miracles, their model contradicts the observed data). Despite all this, they continue to boldly claim they have the superior model of earth history.

        Liked by 1 person

        • rjdownard says:

          The common perception of kinds has always been at the family level, which is how most baramins are attributed in baraminology. But there’s a subcategory in the newer creationist analyses for “cognitum”–the vox populi perception of things as separate kinds. Cats, dogs, “birds” and such familiar forms ought to be kinds in the public eye, and there’s a selection pressure in their apologetics to cater to their seat of the pants perceptions. Todd Wood and company were willing to slip the hyenas in the felid baramin, but have balked at including civets or binturongs. All this delicious squabbling will be explored in detail in the new “Rocks Were There” book I’m coauthoring.

          I encourage everybody who is curious about what creationists actually think to dive into that baraminology literature, its their cutting edge. Unfortunately, they’re the ones getting cut by it, as you see how much of the data field gets flushed away to arrive at their tidy baraminology tags, or monobaramins too (Kurt Wise cribbed a lot of standard systematic terms in contriving baraminology back in the 1990s). Always keep at eye out for that “monobaramin” use, as that refers not to a created kind per se, but to naturally evolved lineages within a larger hypothetical baramin. That’s how they have come (sort of) to accept the horse sequence, which is why Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter used a Deinohyppus as the Horse Kind critter in their display. Not all baraminologists are ok with letting the earliest hyracotherium bunch into the fold as Wood did, though, maybe realizing how that opens the flood gates (pun intended) for connecting way too many fossil dots within a kind (how can you keep homogalax and the later tapirs out of the horse kind, homogalax being less disparate from hyracotherium than hyracotherium is with equus).

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yes, many YECs today seem to be settling on kinds being roughly equivalent to taxonomic families, but in the past some indicated that it was more equivalent to a genus. In the Genesis Flood, Henry Morris only suggested that a kind was probably larger than a species, but never said how much broader (one gets the impression he meant no higher than genus). Indeed, when he did his calculations of Ark capacity in the same book, he used the estimated number of modern vertebrates species (oddly ignoring all extinct species, which of course would far outnumber extant ones).
            As I’m sure you know, even different AIG authors have been foggy or inconsistent on the approximate taxonomic level the “kind” equates to. In a 2004 AIG article entitled “The Elephant Kind” Michael Oard wrote: “Sometimes, the kind may be at the species level, as in modern humans, or at the genus level or sometimes at the family level.” giving the impression (at least as I read it) that a kind was more commonly a genus than a family. Elsewhere, and especially lately, AIG authors often imply that “kinds” are generally at the family level or higher. For example, in chapter 4 of their “New Answers Book 3” entitled “What are the “Kinds” of Genesis?” Bodie Hodge and Georgia Purdom state: “Baramin is commonly believed to be at the level of family and possibly order for some plants/animals.. On rare occasions, a kind may be equivalent to the genus or species levels.”

            Liked by 2 people

            • “Kind” is used for many different levels in Leviticus 11, which specirfies clean and unclean birds and beasts, including very detailed naming of kinds of bird and insect. Thus the attempts of baraminologhists to give a coherent definition of “kind” are unscriptural (NH; you might find Leviticus 11 worth a look for this)

              More generally, any attempt to impose coarse-grained categories on the fine-grained reality of successor species is foredoomed to failure. Thus baraminologists cannot agree on how to classify birds vs dinosaurs, or australopithecines vs humans, because they need to draw a sharp line where there is none to be drawn

              Liked by 2 people

              • Paul, yes that chapter would be worth a deeper dive. I have a file with some research on kinds that includes a reference I found to a paper that I think might delve into that chapter some but I need to go out and retrieve it. The internet is awesome but there are still some journals, especially older one that have yet been put on-line or are not accessible to me. But I have some sources that can probably get me access.

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            • Great details as usual. The way I put it a few years ago is that YEC are making kinds more inclusive as time marches on. That is why I threw out that some are even putting walkign whales on the Ark. I tried to put the history together here but this needs some updating. https://thenaturalhistorian.com/2016/09/01/ark-encounter-common-ancestors-the-increasing-inclusiveness-of-biblical-kinds/

              Liked by 2 people

            • rjdownard says:

              Fully agreement here. The creationists have been forced to evolve on their views because (a) there’s too many fossil and living taxa to account for by a restrictive consistent baraminology where all species get the same treatment humans do, and (b) they have to trim the field to have no more kinds than the Ark can store. That’s a circle they’re never going to square. A whole section of the new Rocks book baraminology chapter will cover that Hodge/Purdom chapter, section entitled “A Baramin By Any Other Name Would Not a Clade Make”

              Liked by 1 person

  6. rjdownard says:

    A most apropros posting to include in references re Flood Geology in the new Rocks Were There book. Along with noting Paul’s noting of the new Sackton paper. Biogeography and geology and such are not YECs friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sally Hawksworth says:

    Thanks for the sympathy over my lost post. I’m keeping it short now till I’ve proved that WP is recognising me as legitimate today. I went on a group walk this morning and told a friend, who will be running a short general course on science in the autumn, about the moa footprints and the article which Paul linked to about the repeated evolution of flightlessness by water rails. He was really interested.

    Like

    • I’ve searched the comments to make sure there weren’t any of yours that are pending and need my approval to publish but I didn’t see any. What I do whenever I am going to post a long comment anywhere (FB, WP etc..) I compose my reply in MSWord and then copy/paste it. I’ve lost so many things through a bad internet connection or hitting cancel accidentally etc.. That might not be a problem her but at least I have what I wrote and I can post it again if needed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sallyhawksworth says:

        Thanks, Joel. You are quite right. I should do this. I have several times lost long posts in other forums owing to the vagaries of the Net, or some stupid slip up of my own, and been furious that I hadn’t any way of recovering them. And sometimes it would have been useful to have kept a copy to reuse in whole or part form somewhere else anyway.

        But this site does seem particularly given to making life difficult for the poster. When trying to write this reply I found the comment space was still full of my already safely posted long comment below, which I had to delete painstakingly line by line to get rid of. 😟

        Like

  8. sallyhawksworth says:

    Well, it seems WP IS recognising me now, though I still had to input a password. However, It appears that it doesn’t acknowledge my “likes” of any of the comments, other than by the star briefly changing colour.
    and sorry. It was Theodore, not Paul, that posted the link on water rails I referred to.
    Yesterday I went searching on Wikipedia for more info on flightless birds in New Zealand, their closest relationships to other birds, and the time periods at which they are thought to have arrived there and evolved flightlessness. I was intrigued to learn that while it is currently thought that the kiwi’s ancestors flew there and later evolved flightlessness, it seems that the moa ancestors were already flightless by the time Zealandia, the land mass most of which later sank below the ocean leaving New Zealand and some other islands, broke away from Australia. Maybe even when Australia was still part of Gondwanaland. So perhapssome YECs would like to argue that the moas were created as a flightless kind, and all they had to do after the Flood was to walk to the appropriate piece of land, which like the other continents would then conveniently split off andraft with super speed to-approximately their present locations, as part of the strange disturbances to the earth caused by the aftermath of the Flood! (You know, those disturbances that Genesis utterly fails to mention.)😉

    I was also intrigued to learn from Wikipedia that scientists have been able to extract quite good quality DNA from moa bones. (After all, they only went extinct, as a a result of human predation, a few centuries ago.) And from analysing this it appears that the closest living relatives of moas are the tinamous, which can fly. In fact, the tinamous are nested ( no pun intended) within the moa clade, more closely related to these birds, flightless for many million years, than to any other flying birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The placing of tinamous as a sister group to moas, but further from the other flightless birds, implies either that tinamous rediscovered flight (very unlikely) or that flight was lost more than once. IIRC, wikipedia is good on this and so is the link I posted earlier. It seems clear that both flightlessness and giantism evolved several times

      Liked by 2 people

      • sallyhawksworth says:

        Indeed. I think one might say many times. Rather than being a sign of degradation of the genome, a consequence of the Fall, as a number of Creationists or Intelligent Design advocates allege, it seems that mutations which induce flightlessness are strongly favoured by natural selection in certain island situations, where there are no land predators that the birds need to escape from, and vacant niches that can be exploited which on larger land masses are filled by mammals. Unfortunately for them, this can then prove disastrous for the flightless bird lineage subsequently, if the island is invaded by humans or predators or competitors introduced by them. or if, as with the water rails in the article Theodore linked to, the whole island sinks under the sea, and they have no means of escape.

        And yes, once flightlessness has evolved, it is not easy to reverse the process, at least not in the cases where the wing has completely vanished, as with the moas (and the kiwi?). I would guess that it would be easier in cases where the wing was still present, and the muscles still attached to the keel, and the wing used perhaps for display purposes, or protecting the young, or whatever, but not powerful enough to lift a heavy body. Though even then, if faced with a new threat in their environment which made flight more advantageous than size, and unable to move elsewhere, the lineage would still be likely to go extinct before it had time for chance mutations to arise and be selected.

        It occurs to me that there’s a somewhat analogous situation with the evolution of limblessness in lineages that were once quadruped. Reptiles have evolved limblessness independently several times. I think I remember reading that certain snake lineages did it separately. Slow worms have done it. Some skinks seem to be well on the way to doing it currently. But no lineages appear to have regained limbs once they have lost them. And the same is true of the cetaceans.Which is easy to explain from what we are learning about evo devo. If the limblessness was induced by the switching off of some limbforming genetic instructions, it could be reversed by the instructions being switched back on. But once those instructions are either deleted from the genome, or otherwise mutated or even adapted to some new useful function (not being at that point preserved unchanged by natural selection because they were inactive) then the lineage has lost them for good. Vertebrate lineages that have evolved flight – pterosaurs, birds, bats – have done so by adapting the limbs they already possessed, not by evolving extra limbs from scratch. The moas, having dispensed with those limbs, would have been unable to re-evolve them, even if they had had unlimited time to do so.

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    • sallyhawksworth says:

      Update – it gets better and better. I can now successfully “like” other people’s comments. Whoopee! Though for some reason I’ve just received notification of a supposedly new comment on your blog about erratic boulders, which was actually posted by Glen back in February, and had numerous posts after it at that time, including several from me. If there are any really new comments after that blog, I can’t find them. Not to worry. Better that the system should give a few false positives than that it shouldn’t perform the tasks it’s meant to.

      Like

  9. christine janis says:

    HI Sally

    I suspect it would be difficult to re-evolve flight, even if a partial wing was retained. The problem would be that the wing would have to increase in size and musculature from the reduced condition in increments, before it would be useful for flying again, and the intermediate stages would not be advantageous. (This is different from evolving a wing in the first place, as those forelimbs were already large and functional for other activities.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • rjdownard says:

      Exactly so. The earliest dino flappers (and we now know there were a bunch of lines other than just the one that led to modern birds, including the temporarily dominant enantiornithurids) were merely getting lift from their already feathered limbs (and don’t forget the batlike scansoriopterygids, which went a different membrane route, even though they had apparently display plumage) that were only moving in the way they already did as active grasping appendages. Flightless birds would need to reactivate a lot of components, arguably a tougher slog developmentally then letting natural selection act on fully functional features.

      Liked by 2 people

    • sallyhawksworth says:

      You may well both be right, and I suggested that any flightless bird species, even one that still possessed wings, faced with a new predatory threat from which it could not escape on the ground would be likely to be wiped out long before it had time to re-evolve the ability to fly. However, I feel that to describe, say, the wings of an ostrich as “partial wings” and imply that they have no function, simply because they no longer enable the bird to fly, is inaccurate. (I am reminded of the old argument that the eye of a vertebrate could not possibly have evolved gradually, because “What use is half an eye?”)

      The ostrich, even though it still has wings, has grown far too big and heavy, and unaerodynamic, and changed its way of life far too much, for reversing the course of evolution back to flying to be an option. But if we are considering whether it would be possible, under any circumstances, for a bird lineage that had given up flying to ever recover the ability again, we surely wouldn’t imagine it happening to some giant of the plains. As far as I am aware, no bird HAS reversed the process, but the sort of environment where I could imagine it being a possibility, given the right chain of circumstance, would be woodland, with a bird of a very much smaller size, that had much more recently ceased to fly, because it found its food on the ground, and there were no ground predators to threaten it. Something similar to the kea, a flightless parrot – only a species that had not been brought to the brink of extinction by the introduction of new predators and the destruction of its habitat. Suppose instead a slight change of climate which made ground food scarcer, or the introduction of some new fruit bearing tree which was relatively easy for a heavy parrot to climb with the aid of its beak and fluttering its wings, thereby not having to wait for fruit to drop from the tree, with the risk that it would first be consumed, while still on the tree, by other flighted bird species, monkeys, squirrels, bats etc. Individuals with somewhat larger, stronger wings or lighter, smaller bodies, would be able to climb better, and jump/glide from branch to branch more easily, and even more profitably, from tree to tree, to find more fruit without the considerable effort of returning to the ground and climbing up again. As with so many other evolutionary developments, including the development of flight by their distant ancestors first time round, it’s not all or nothing. Intermediate stages are useful in their own right.

      Like

  10. Robert Byers says:

    Great moa feet WHY is there any problem here for YEC!! Your missing the bigger picture. Birds flew, after the flood, top all the earth and all islands. losing flight was very common. In fact almost all islands of some size had flightless birrs. The Moa, dodo just special cases of them that survived. until they met immigrants.!
    morphological change would be rapid in YEC models.
    First are these moa footprints, could they be theropod dinosaurs, more flightless birds as this YEC sees it, simply got encased in sedment that was quickly turned to stone. All YEC models insist that all fossils/geology comes from quick events of turning sediment into cement.
    No time is needed. just the right recipe.
    The moa is just a flightless ground bird. Just as t-rex was. I see no problem with moa walks on the beach. In fact if they looked harder they might find more.

    Like

    • I’ve been waiting for someone to suggest these are theropod dinosaurs to which the answer is: of course they are:-)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Robert, Joel already explained why these tracks present problems for YECs, including the fact that Moas are not simply flighted birds that lost their wings. They have many other adaptations to ground dwelling, that must have evolved at breakneck speed, aside from the question of how they quickly got to New Zealand. As to why they could not be theropod dinosaurs… they are theropod dinosaurs. Finally you got something right. All modern birds are regarded as members of the theropod dinosaur clade. However, most YECs argue against that, because they’ve long argued that dinosaurs and birds are separate “kinds” (with each including multiple kinds), and they can’t have any kinds evolving into other kinds. So as usual you’re out of step with most YECs as well as mainstream scientists.

      Liked by 3 people

      • rjdownard says:

        Robert’s comments often spur thoughtful discussion, not because he has much of a clue on anything, but because others are thinking about what he doesn’t think about. As it happens, some baraminologists are willing to include archaeopterygids in a dinosaurian kind. I feel sympathy for their plight, since there’s way too much data for them to account for (fossil and genetic), and the field keeps getting bigger all the time. Poor Robert doesn’t even realize that, depending on a very secondary gloss of narrow aspects of the traditional creationist apologists (I don’t recall him ever giving specific sources, even creationist ones).

        Liked by 2 people

        • Robert Byers says:

          Creationists can also be wrong. I think creationists will realize theropod dinos are just flightless ground birds in a spectrum of diversity. Bird diversity, penguins, emus, parrots, is fantastic great.
          Everybody is slowly coming to the better analysis that t rex , wishbone and feathers, was just a toothy bird. Not a lizard .
          everybody lives under the bondage of the old ones classification systems of biology.
          yet genesis does not teach any such groups as dinos, reptiles, mammals, or marsupials, creodonts, etc tc. Just kinds. then a curious case that kinds do look like a bigger bird kind.
          .

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      • Robert Byers says:

        Its new. YEC , I predict, will one day teach theropod dinos are just flightless ground birds and end the dinosaur category. it was just a lack of imagination and competent research that allowed dinos to be invented.
        Anyways.mechanism for biology change has not been discovered. Darwins idea is dead as a dodo.
        flying to Zealand is no problem after the flood.
        the adaptations of moas is just evidence of how much a flightless bird can adapt.
        Therefore one should conclude theropod dinos are just birds! why not/ they are not related to turtles.
        The modern idea that birds are dinos is back to front. These were just birds and had samples on the ark. its a funny old classification error.

        Like

        • rjdownard says:

          Robert has shown a long record of not offering much in the way of detailed argument or sources, but fortunately we don’t need Robert’s example to demonstrate the uselessness of the creationist paradigm. Generations of them have tried and failed to make sense of the fossil record and the genetic data that accompanies living forms. The baraminology efforts are ones of data avoidance, ignoring pertinent fossils or genetics or the biology involved. And that is before the issue of animal distribution comes in. We could ask for Robert’s monograph on these topics, but that is a ROFL notion from the get-go.

          Like

        • A biblical question for Robert: why does Leviticus 11 list so many different kinds of bird, if all birds – let alone all theropods – are one kind?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Robert Byers says:

            The birds are not one kind. on the ark there was a dove and a raven. So it must be many kinds. yet indeed yEC needs to answer why the birds are not one kind. yet the bible is clear they are not. yet otherwise YEC like me do group things of great diversity into single kinds. there is a issue here.

            Like

            • Robert, you say there are many bird kinds, but in the past you seemed to lump many if not all birds and theropods together, except for ravens and doves. So please clear it up the confusion. How many kinds of birds do you think there are, and what are they? What are your criteria for judging? In your view, at what approximate taxonomic level is a Genesis “kind.”

              Liked by 1 person

            • rjdownard says:

              And that’s about all you’ll ever get from Robert on such matters. Though perhaps he could explain how it is that bird beaks are a developmental variation on dinosaur skull structure, or why it was that the transitional feather elements predicted on evolutionary grounds turn out to have actually existed (preserved in Cretaceous amber). And of course there’s that reptile-mammal transition data, which we know no antievolutionist has managed to wrap their head around (including Robert), let alone account for in their cartoon creationism.

              Liked by 1 person

          • Paul, your question to Robert about the birds listed in Leviticus is a good one. A related one, which he has never given a plausible answer to, is why doves and ravens are different kinds (since both were on the Ark). Robert, I know you’ve said they must be different kinds because the Bible implies so. What we’re looking for is any logical reason why they would be different kinds, while say. hummingbirds, ducks, flamingos, and T.rex would all be the same kind. Where is there any logic or consistency in that?

            Liked by 2 people

    • Robert wrote: “morphological change would be rapid in YEC models.” Yes, because they have little time to work with, not because they have any plausible hyper-evolutionary mechanisms. Why are you talking about quickly hardening cement? These moa tracks are not in cement, but as the original article indicated, hard clay. Moreover, countless other tracks throughout the fossil record are in a variety of other matrix types, including limestone, sandstone, shale, etc. Some sites include hundreds of prints with multiple trails and species represented, in most cases of animals walking around normally, not running to escape onrushing floodwaters, or staggering from utter exhaustion after treading water for weeks, or struggling in quickly setting “cement.” Indeed, of the millions of tracks documented at thousands of sites around the world, not one dinosaur has ever been found encased in its tracks. You talk about the “bigger picture”, but you’re actually painting simplistic little pictures, which often contradict what the actual evidence shows, as well as the “YEC models” you refer to. Some YECs today have surprisingly broad ideas about “kinds” (even to the family level)), but that’s still a far cry from your outlandishly broad notions of kinds, which often include even different orders or classes. So again, you’re out of step with virtually everyone on these issues, or said another way, not even on the right track.

      Liked by 3 people

    • sallyhawksworth says:

      So,Robert, remind me, please, at what date it is your contention that this global Flood of yours occurred, at which point the ancestors of all the moa species, and all other birds (and/or theropod dinosaurs such as the t-Rex, or were these according to you Flood xcasualties?) were all capable of flight and preserved on the Ark. And how many years would you estimate it then took the moa ancestors, still all excellent fliers able to cross hundreds if not thousands of miles of ocean without landing, to make their way from Mount Ararat to New Zealand? What do you imagine their wings and body size would look like at that point, to enable them to make this journey? Something like a goose or swan perhaps? They are at the extreme size limit for long distance flight.After which they had HOW many years to undergo evolution into the multiple species of moa, which resembled geese and swans in practically no respect other than the possession of feathers, and which had no wings at all..? Before being wiped out by the Maori, roughly 500 years ago, whose ancestors must have undergone some pretty rapid human evolution themselves to differ so markedly from the various other human races all of which descended supposedly from three siblings on the Ark.

      Like

      • Robert, were you the one (or was it another YEC here?) who once suggested that marsupials were taken to Australia as pets by Neanderthal sailors? Aside from the question of where these Neanderthal’s and their ships came from at the end of the Flood, or where they got all the Eucalyptus needed to feed their Koalas, etc, I supposed you could say they might have taken along some moas or proto-moas too, with a side trip to New Zealand. After all, their eggs would make some great omelette’s! Or, why not just suggest God teleported the native species directly to Australia and New Zealand? How’s it any different than ICR’s RATE author’s inventing ad-hoc miracles in an attempt to explain radiometric dating data?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Robert Byers says:

          not me. i say marsupials are simply a false classification. they are just placentals with pouches. they gained marsupial traits after migrating to the farthest areas from the ark in order to increase reproduction before the waters rose separating continents etc. rush rush.
          i wrote a essay called “POst Flood Marsupial MIgration Explained” by Robert Byers. Just google.

          Like

          • rjdownard says:

            Why stop there, mammals are just therapsids. (Robert seems hell bent on acceptig stuff will-nilly, never mind the biological details. But again, Robert isn’t the reason why creationism fails to account for the data. Creationism is the reason why we can’t accept creationism, all their primary fact claimants (and there are only a few dozen of them) fail at the data explaining game.

            Liked by 1 person

          • christine janis says:

            hey, Robert, weren’t you going to explain to us what the placental version of the kangaroo is?

            Liked by 1 person

            • rjdownard says:

              Robert is long on gonna and short on do, Christine. So breath-holding is not advisable on this one.

              Like

            • Robert Byers says:

              Christine Janis. No! I said before the placental one could be great numbers of other creatures now extinct. However i will give a few options. my source might be out of date on names.
              Oder Notoungulate(S america) Family Hegetotheriidae, “pachyrukhus” this one was very rabbit like and hppoed about.OR family notostylopidae “notostylops” also rabbit like.OR Family argyrolagidae”argyrolagus” also hopped about or order anagalida ‘anagale’ were rabbit like and living in mongolia once.
              these are just examples of creatures that look like rabbits/wallibys(small kangaroos) that are not extinct but once moved about.
              The point is that creatures looking like these was very common on the planet.I’m not even saying they are KINDS. Just varieties within kinds.

              Like

              • Well, Robert, I’m happy to see you finally took a stab at answering what placental animal(s) kangaroos came from. I’ll let others take first crack at explaining why your candidates don’t work. :^)
                While on the topic, let me ask…what placentals do you believe koalas came from?

                Liked by 1 person

              • christine janis says:

                “No! I said before the placental one could be great numbers of other creatures now extinct. ”

                Could have been placental kangaroos, eh? So, how about these “rabbit-like” hegetotheres, notostylopids, argyrolagids, etc.: how do you know they were placentals? Reproductive systems don’t fossilize, so according to your own criteria you can’t label them as placentals and claim them as the missing placental kangaroos.

                But what’s funny, is that you propose all of these “rabbit-like” forms as the missing placental kangaroos, but you don’t advance the notion that actual rabbits are the candidates. I think we all know why that is, Robert: kangaroos just don’t look like rabbits to you. Ergo, not the same kind.

                Liked by 2 people

                • Robert Byers says:

                  These creatures would be said by the researchers to be placentals. I understand they do make conclusions about extinct creatures being marsupials as there is a long list especially the famous marsupial lion.
                  Rabbits are probably just a special case of a very common case of many creatures hopping about.
                  So kangaroos etc are just a spectrum of diversity in a desert world like australia.
                  Its not just the existing species today but everybody must agree there was a spectrum of creatures of which the ones still here is just a fortunate example.

                  Like

                  • christine janis says:

                    ‘These creatures would be said by the researchers to be placentals.’

                    But how could they possibly know that, Robert? You’ve told us many times that the marsupial versions are identical in every respect to their placental counterparts except for having a pouch.

                    ‘ I understand they do make conclusions about extinct creatures being marsupials as there is a long list especially the famous marsupial lion.’

                    Ah, that marsupial ‘lion’. The one that has no canines, but does have an opposable thumb with a killer claw on the tip. Perhaps if scientists had looked at a picture in a book rather than at its physical remains they would have classified it as a southern version of Panthera leo.

                    ‘Rabbits are probably just a special case of a very common case of many creatures hopping about.’

                    A few kinds of rodents hop on their back legs. But rabbits do not.

                    ‘So kangaroos etc are just a spectrum of diversity in a desert world like australia.’

                    ‘Desert world’, eh? How do you explain tree kangaroos? Not a lot of trees in a desert. Perhaps more to the point, how do you explain the large diversity of marsupials living today in the ‘tropical forest world’ of South America? And how do you explain the native Australian rodents, which do not possess pouches?

                    Liked by 2 people

              • rjdownard says:

                When was that “once” Robert? You’re rather vague on matters of chronology. Was it before or after the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid? Before or after the Mediterranean Sea dried up? Afraid to trot that truncated sequence out for us? And what resources did you rely on for the hopping characteristics of these critters, such as the Pachyrukhinae?

                Liked by 1 person

                • Robert Byers says:

                  This is in my from books from the past. They would give them long ages such as miocene times etc. I see it as just a great diversity explosion after the flood and ending a few centuries later.

                  Like

                  • rjdownard says:

                    Thank you for your reply, Robert, which conforms again why there’s never been anything of substance in your views. No creationist can ever progress to a rigorously detailed description of the full data field (as evolution so spectacularly does) because the creationist model doesn’t really exist. Your level of mantra repetition and vagueness is literally the most that you can offer, and you cannot simply crib creationist arguments because they fail at it too. So don’t be surprised that others outside your narrow theological box are not impressed by your nothing.

                    Like

          • Robert, I read your essay, and it strikes me as just a longer version of all the simplistic and baseless claims you’ve made here, which you’ve been corrected on many times, to no avail. On top of that you repeatedly stonewall questions that challenge your claims, such as what the placental version of a kangaroo is. Ironically, you write in your article, “A careful examination of fossil and living creatures does provide a persuasive and exciting answer all Christians and creationists can boldly and simply assert.” Yet your supposed “answer” (that marsupials quickly evolved from placentals after the Flood) is rejected by both mainstream scientists as well as most YECs, besides conflicting with extensive evidence. Indeed, you talk about the fossil record, but clearly have little understanding of it. You seem unwilling to rectify that or to do more than superficial reading on any of these issues, so where do you come up with your ideas — just hunches, instincts, and casual observations? Do you think those are reliable methods for understanding complex or scientific issues, or how careful researchers and truth seekers act? Do you think it sets a good example for the creationist cause? Those are mostly rhetorical questions for you to think about, since if you won’t even answer basic questions about kangaroos, I doubt you’ll answering those.

            Liked by 2 people

            • rjdownard says:

              You’ll likely have noticed how Robert’s old 2005 piece had no technical resources, only a few general fossil books referenced. Robert would be typical of grassroots antievolutionists in this regard, flipping through survey treatments but skipping the detailed systematics work (that he could hardly be aware of drawing on books that were substantially older to begin with).

              Like

          • sallyhawksworth says:

            Robert, could you actually provide a link to your essay on marsupial migration. It would make life easier for us, and I should like to read it.

            Like

            • rjdownard says:

              I’ll oblige on that one http://nwcreation.net/articles/marsupial_migration.html (I already had his old post in my data field (and will be including some remarks on Byers biogeographical rhapsodies in the “Rocks Were There” book on the mythologies of creationism).

              Liked by 1 person

              • sallyhawksworth says:

                Thanks for the link, rjdownard.I look forward to settling down to reading it, as soon as I’ve got some necessary RL chores and business out of the way, though I’m not expecting that Robert will have been able to put forward a coherent, let alone plausible, hypothesis to be discussed, when he seemingly can’t write any short post without perpetrating some logical or scientific howler.

                Liked by 1 person

          • sallyhawksworth says:

            Where do you get the idea, Robert, that marsupials reproduce any faster than placental mammals of comparable size and habits? There was indeed a mammal that, introduced into Australia, spread like wildfire, as we know because it was European settlers that introduced it. This was the rabbit, a placental mammal, which is proverbial for its powers of reproduction. Your idea that marsupial pouches developed as a means of fast reproduction is doomed to crash and burn, unless you can demonstrate, bycomparing like with like, that marsupials do outbreed their placental analogues. I await your evidence.

            Like

            • Robert Byers says:

              After the flood speed was essential to fill the earth in a limited timeframe. i understand a big kangaroo can ahave a joey in the pouch, one forming in uteral, and one in storage. three at a time. I speculate it was for faster production. Creatures show, even within species, diversity in reproductive styles. the body can change this from some mechanism. However not from mutations.thats very unlikely.

              Like

              • christine janis says:

                “i understand a big kangaroo can ahave a joey in the pouch, one forming in uteral, and one in storage. three at a time. I speculate it was for faster production.”

                But actual studies of marsupials show that they produce young at a slower rate than placentals. It takes much longer to rear a young from conception to the end of lactation if 90% of that period of dependency is ex-utero, as it’s less efficient to transmit nutrients via the milk than across the placenta.

                The ability of some marsupials to have embryonic diapause (that is, the “storage” of a fertilized ovum in the uterus, not sure where else you think it’s stored) is also seen in some placentals: it allows for spacing of the time of development in a seasonal climate. A kangaroo having one young hopping in and out of the pouch (but still nursing), and one contained in the pouch, is no different from a woman who is nursing one baby while pregnant with another.

                Liked by 2 people

                • sallyhawksworth says:

                  So there you have it, Robert. Christine has provided you with the concrete data that disproves your speculative hypothesis that placental mammal species, having somehow reached Australia shortly after the end of the Flood, suddenly, by some unknown means, and contrary to all we understand of the comparative anatomy of these two major branches of mammals, turned into marsupial species BECAUSE THIS WOULD.ENABLE THEM TO REPRODUCE FASTER AND MORE QUICKLY REPOPULATE THAT LAND MASS.

                  NO it wouldn’t. Kangaroos and other marsupials do not breed any faster than their nearest placental analogues, the species that you suggest they might have developed from. Your suggestion was based on a misunderstanding of what little you knew about kangaroo reproduction, as a few minutes’ research with the aid of google could have shown you before you went to the trouble of elaborating and publishing a hypothesis that was a nonstarter.

                  So, leaving aside for the moment the lack of evidence of any marsupial ever having developed from placental forebears (and indeed of evidence for any part of the Biblical Flood narrative, or YEC invented speculations embroidering on this, having actually happened in real life) would you now be ready to admit that this speculative explanation of yours does not work, and to either renounce altogether the idea of marsupial species developing from placentals with some superficial similarities in appearance or habits or at least provide us with an alternative suggestion as to why it would have been advantageous for them to have done so?

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • rjdownard says:

                    You’ve hit on the fatal flaw in creationist apologetics, Sally: their failure to play by the rules of rigorous science, in which you form careful hypotheses & submit them to the judgement of the facts, & if the facts contradict it, so much for the hypothesis. Robert’s creationism is a train wreck of generalized and ad hoc rationalizations, a dervish spin of tropes and jargon and giddy expectations, in defense of a non-negotiable set of dogmas which (as we’ve seen) simply don’t match up with the data field. This is why creationists have played no notable role in paleontology over the last century, and why there is no reason to suspect that they ever will. Science builds on things actually being true, and pays no attention to the dogmatic desires of believers who avoid even looking for the facts at every turn.

                    Like

                  • Robert Byers says:

                    Sally. No! I already know about the claim that marsupials don’t breed faster. i have been over these things for years.
                    it could of been faster originally or it could be for a constant rate of production without interruption.
                    My case of three with mother is evidence of rush, rush, in fact marsupialism is clearly just to speed up production. its not more complicated then that.
                    Anyways this is still just speculation for this part of it. The damning knock out evidence is that marsupials have the same bodyplans for many types and so much THAT evolutionists must invoke the impossible claims of convergent evolution. then do it constantly for other orders of creatures.
                    Its just plain poor science.

                    Like

                    • christine janis says:

                      “My case of three with mother is evidence of rush, rush, in fact marsupialism is clearly just to speed up production. its not more complicated then that.”

                      Just a tiny problem here, Robert. This “three with mother” thing is seen in kangaroos, for sure, but not in other marsupials apart from the honey possum. It’s not a general marsupial feature.

                      However, the capacity for embryonic diapause (delayed implantation of a fertilized ovum), which is the “third” source of your “three with mother” is also seen in many placentals, including seals, bears, and roe deer. It’s suppression of implantation during lactation of an existing young, just as in the kangaroos.

                      As usual, the real science is both more complicated and more simple than the fantasies you weave from once-read scientific necdotes.

                      No marsupial has the same ‘body plan’ as a placental. That’s how we know that they are marsupials, from the hundreds of differences in the skeleton, skull, brain, internal organs, etc. There are, however, some marsupials that superficially resemble some placentals. Just like dolphins superficially resemble sharks, or snakes superficially resemble limbless amphibians, or humming birds superficially resemble butterflies.

                      Liked by 2 people

                • Robert Byers says:

                  No its not the same thing. its three at once. the marsupialism might indeed be to allow one in storage wjile making thier migrations but not time enough for endless sexual encounters.
                  SO it might indeed be for a constant reproduction rather then a fast one. There is a option it was faster originally. however the excellent evidence is that reproductions rates is the only reason for the trivial marsupial type..

                  Like

                  • rjdownard says:

                    Robert, if you’re going to repeat your vacuous dithering on the “trivial marsupial type” (and that’s all you’re capable of doing, especially around actual paleontologists like Janis) please take the trouble of proof-reading the spittle first (“wjile making thier migrations” / “is a option” / “reproductions rates is”). Your spleen venting, however palliative to your ignorant ego, is neither informative nor entertaining for those outside your cranium.

                    Like

              • Robert, Sally’s right and if anything may be understating the problem. How is a kangaroo, even reproducing in the manner you describe (which I don’t think is typical) going to reproduce anywhere near as fast as small placental mammals, many of whom have gestation periods as short or shorter than kangaroos, don’t need a pouch stage afterward, and can have several or more offspring in one litter?
                At any rate, can you please answer my question about what mechanism allowed birds to become flightless (presumably with many other traits we see in ground birds today), and why they tho grounded birds that have gone extinct were not able to resume flight just as quickly when the need arose?

                Like

                • Robert Byers says:

                  i answered that mechanisms are unknown for all. Simply non use leads to no use. Why flightless ones can’t gain flight again is just again about mechanism.

                  Like

                  • Robert wrote: “Why flightless ones can’t gain flight again is just again about mechanism.” That’s just another meaningless generality. As you know, I specifically asked what the mechanism is. So please explain, what specific mechanism allows a flightless bird to become flightless (with all associated adaptation) in one generation. If you’re implying it’s divine programming of some sort, or something on that order, why would it only work in one direction?

                    Like

              • rjdownard says:

                Robert has no idea how cartoony his comment here looks to people outside his creationist frame. What was the alleged land arrangement, plant and animal distribution pre-Flood? What evidence is there for migration of the kinds to wherever the Ark was? Then what post-Flood environments are posited, and animal (and plant!) migrations from where (Ararat?) to their presently observed locations? And parasites, and ecological interactions. And what mutations would have had to have occurred in any and all of those regarding differentiation from the alleged baramin precursors? And what genomes would those have needed (palegeonomically determined heterozygosity, for instance)?

                Robert, I honestly think you haven’t the foggiest clue about any of this, because no one in the creationist side can progress to that level of analysis, because the creationist model isn’t true, meaning no amount of rhetorical flummery will ever graduate to a model competitive with the extant evolutionary science. There are decades of antievolutionist writings to demonstrate this, where your apologetics is literally the same level of fluff antievolutionists were offering in 1930, or 1880.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Sally Hawksworth says:

                  Just trying to see if I can post using my Facebook account. I’ve now read Robert’s original marsupial article for the Creationist apologist publication. I was particularly struck by his opening claim that the only way that scientists had to construct their groupings of different species into families, orders etc, and postulate relationships between them was by comparing their anatomy. The development of genome sequencing had clearly escaped his notice then, and I dare say still has. But since the evidence it provides blasts his speculations into smithereens he will doubtless continue to ignore it even when his attention is drawn to it.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Remember also that careful comparison of detailed anatomy, from Linnaeus onwards, gave us detailed family trees in excellent agreement with those now derived from molecular phylogeny. As I understand it (Christine? Joel?) current Cladistics combines both

                    Liked by 1 person

                  • rjdownard says:

                    Indeed. Although many revealing things could be discerned by the physical anatomy of organisms, much was hidden until the actual genetic dynamics of variation and inheritance were uncovered, first with DNA’s discovery in the mid-20th century, and pushed into high gear by the finding of common homeobox patterning genes late in that century, revealing how very disparate forms could arise from variations in a shared (and duplicated) set of genes (it had been assumed that things as different as arthropods and mammals ought to have had equally distinct gene systems, but it turned out they don’t). Add too the precision tool of cladistics, that allowed phylogenetic analysis to be more open and rigorous. All of which can be compared to the fog of nothing going on in antievolutionism, which Byers reflects by proxy, including the often amusing efforts at baraminology (where data suppression and massaging runs rampant, and even then they’re only pirating the character state data sets of the evolutionary cladistic papers). It’s a grim measure of their model that baraminology doesn’t really do the core work, and can’t avoid misrepresenting the effort of those who do (those darned evolutionists).

                    Liked by 1 person

      • Robert Byers says:

        The flood happened about 4500BC. From there bird kinds occupied the eart. they filled the earth and then many lost flight ability. This was very common,. In fact every isle in the Pacific would hae at least one flightless bird. the great land masses had many and there they reached great sizes. extinctions came and only the most obscure areas kept big flightless birds for longer.like the Moa till 1300AD or so.
        Losing flight would happen in a generation. gaining morphological traits likewise would be fast. JUst like humans did.
        Diversity in birds is great. penguins, emus, crows, hawks(of great worth).
        We all need a mechanism for biology changing bodyplans.

        Like

        • rjdownard says:

          4500 years ago … odd the Egyptians didn’t notice all that sloshing going on.

          Like

        • sallyhawksworth says:

          You say, Robert, that we all need a mechanism for biology changing body plans. I rejoice to tell you that your need can be satisfied. The scientists that study evolutionary development, colloquially known as “evo devo”, now have a very good idea how it works. May I recommend to you Stephen Carroll’s book, “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, which is designed for the general reader, like you and me, with an interest in the subject but without scientific qualifications. Carroll demonstrates how DNA translates into body building, and how mutations at the genetic level alter body plans. What causes particular mutations to spread and be preserved in populations, rather than other mutations, we have known for much longer, since Darwin and Wallace proposed it – Natural Selection.

          Like

  11. rjdownard says:

    Exactly so, Paul. In principle everything learned about human history over the last few centuries that conflicts with the YEC paradigm must (and shall, if they have a chance to get their mitts on public education) be fiddled with until it fits, or flush out of existence altogether.

    Like

  12. Robert, you wrote: “Losing flight would happen in a generation.” Please explain by what mechanism this would happen. Are you suggesting that besides loosing wings, all the other adaptations for ground dwelling of Moas, Emus, Kiwis, Elephant birds, etc .occurred in one generation too? Please explain how and why, and be as specific as possible. Thank you.

    Like

    • sallyhawksworth says:

      I guess Robert thinks that God miraculously caused the first generation of eggs to hatch from the matings of the flying moa ancestors to be born right away with no wings, heavy bones, long necks etc, just because He knew that would be useful for them. Why God felt the need to wipe out nearly all the animals in the first place, instead of just striking dead all the wicked humans, and then repopulate the earth with animals from Mount Ararat, only (as YECs have it) to alter them out of all recognition in the blink of an eye, instead of creating them from scratch again in their new forms in the habitats where they now reside, is a mystery I have yet to see any YEC even ATTEMPT to explain. The Flood story made a lot more sense in the Babylonian version, before some Israelite plagiarised it and adapted it to fit his own religion.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Byers says:

      Flightlessness is very common. In the fossil record and living today. its no big deal. How this happens that there is atrophy and other changes is just within the general problem of how bodyplans change. Evolutionists say MUTATIONS! Yet this is impossible and unproven. It must be a innate mechanism that quicks in after thresholds are crossed.

      Like

      • sallyhawksworth says:

        We are all aware that flightlessness, in certain conditions, is very common, Robert. We can understand how and why natural selection should favour its evolution in those circumstances, and how disastrous it has often turned out to be for those bird lineages if the circumstances have later changed and humans or other predatory species have made their way to the islands where the flightless birds had been enjoying a predator free existence. What you mean by it, or any other evolutionary trend, being “no big deal”, I have no idea. I should have thought that for the dodos their flightlessness was a very big deal, when it led to their inability to escape human predation on Mauritius. But there is no puzzle or difficulty for those who understand evolution about flightlessness occurring, or, more generally, about how body plans change. (There’s just the fascinating task of exploring and comparing genomes and actual bodies and fossil remains, and gradually learning in greater and greater detail how the one thing relates to the other.)The problem exists only for YECs who find themselves forced to argue, for theological reasons, in the teeth of all the evidence, that flightless birds with multiple adaptations to ground living must have evolved (or “descended” if they consider the word”evolved” taboo) from freely flying ancestors in a few hundred years at most, or even, absurdly, in a single generation.

        As for your assertion about it being impossible and unproven that mutations can cause changes in body plan, you might try looking up “fruit flies”.

        Like

      • Robert, if flying birds could change into flightless birds in one generation as you claim (presumably through some divinely designed mechanism you have yet to elucidate), then why couldn’t they change back to flighted birds in one or a few generations when then became threatened from human hunders or other predators? Why would it in one direction only if God programmed creatures to adapt quickly?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Robert, talking about atrophy to explain wing loss is nonsense, since Joel explained from the start that becoming a flightless bird involves many other adaptations, As usual, you ignore contrary information and essential stick your head in the sand like a proverbial flightless bird from Africa. Unless I missed it, you also have not directly answered my question about why, if birds can become flightless in one generation, they can’t reverse the process in one generation, or even several generations, to avoid being hunted to extinction.

        Like

      • Robert, it’s not surprising that you say “rush rush” since as a YEC you have precious little time to work with. But suggesting that birds become flightless in one generation makes even the most extreme hyperspeciation claims of AIG look tame by comparison. At any rate, do you also believe placentals became marsupials in one generation? If not, about how many generations do you think it took, and by what mechanism(s)?

        Liked by 1 person

        • sallyhawksworth says:

          Robert doesn’t seem to be responding any more in this bit of the thread, Glen. Maybe no longer anywhere in the comments after this article. But I can repeat or précis for you the things he’s already said here that answer your questions, in as much as he ever answers questions. Incomplete, unscientific and just plain wrong, but the best he’s got.

          Does he believe placentals became marsupials in one generation?

          Answer : ( based on Robert’s posts). They could have done. After all the difference between placental and marsupial anatomy is “trivial” (Robert’s choice of word.) And since (as he has repeatedly said) he does not know what the mechanisms of change are between one form and the different form of its descendants any change could just as well (to his way of thinking) have happened in one giant leap as not. And any animal species, family or order could just as well as not have given rise to any other species, family or order, should it be convenient to him, regardless of what the actual scientific consensus has been on the subject over the last few hundred years.(Not knowing, and refusing to learn, all the sciency stuff like genetics, anatomy, evo devo, geology, plate tectonics, paleontology , ecology and of course evolutionary theory allows him so much more leeway for just making stuff up.) But one kind can’t give rise to another kind. Because kinds are mentioned in the bible. So changing in the blink of an eye from being placental to marsupial, from flying to flightless, from herbivore to carnivore would not affect what kind it was at all. (To be strictly accurate, the herbivore/carnivore business I don’t recall Robert mentioning, but I have had numerous YECs tell me that all the creatures that Adam named in the Garden of Eden were vegetarian, and some then became predatory meat eaters as a result of the Fall, without this affecting their essential kind. If Robert is still around we can ask him if he thinks this too.)

          Like

        • Robert Byers says:

          It happened as fast as it happened for people to change our bodyplans from a original common one.
          Since it would come from a innate mechanism ,especially back in those days, then there is no reason to linger. it could be each generation that importantly changed.
          Not by impossible selection on mutations but something actually powerful within biology.
          Since mechanism is needed then hypothesis on this is as justified as evolutionist hypothesis.
          Its just hypothesis. nobody proves anything ecept in thier own hearts.

          Like

          • Robert, you use the word “hypothesis” but offer no testable hypothesis. You talk about a “hidden mechanism”, but offer no clue as to what it might be, or a shred of evidence that one-generation changes you talk about even happened.
            You also you talk about the innate drive of organisms to reproduce, which prompts me to ask, do you believe as most YECs do that there was no physical death before the Fall, and by implication, that God designed organisms to be immortal? If so, please explain how Eden would not rapidly turn into a Hell on Earth, with unchecked, exponentially exploding populations?

            Liked by 1 person

            • rjdownard says:

              I’d just love to know from Robert how many Alus Adam & Eve had, & if they had none, how did we all come to have so many of them in our genome? In fact, while we’re at it, what was the distribution of the primate bitter taste receptor gene (the one which a mutation has shut down in about half our population, such that those with that mutation can eat broccoli with enthusiasm)? Did either Adam and/or Eve have such alleles (and what was the mix for Noah and the kids on the Ark? Clearly there is a golden opportunity for Robert to strut the creationist stuff here, or is he in a quandary because not even the creationist geneticists Sanford, Jeanson, Carter & company can get their theoretical brains in gear to figure such things out, and hence there is no higher level YEC twaddle for him to repeat secondarily?

              Like

          • rjdownard says:

            “It happened as fast as it happened for people to change our bodyplans from a original common one.” Wow, Bob, does this mean you’re accepting human evolution from hominids (no body plan change there), or therapsids (any real body plan change there?) or tetrapods (still four limbs there, with limb digits getting stuck in pentadactyl mode, those alanine repeats in Hox-13 gene)? Are you actually accepting now the last 400 million years of our vertebrate evolutionary history, or is this another evasion flurry on your part, as you bandy about issues you are woefully inadequate to address?

            Your lack of a concept of what you think happened is really showing now. If you ever do figure out your model, Robert, let us know. Until then, your fielding such waffling as this wastes everyone’s time, including yours.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. sallyhawksworth says:

    What I find interesting, and psychologically revealing, is how Robert talks about how certain events “needed” to happen, and therefore must have happened, without making it clear whose the need was, and why.The placental mammals recolonising Australia needed to repopulate it really fast, according to him, which was why they turned by an unknown mechanism into marsupials, so that they could breed faster (even though modern marsupials tend to reproduce slower than their placental counterparts, and if, as he claims, they could reproduce much faster, by some other unknown mechanism, back then it is difficult to understand why placental mammals couldn’t also reproduce much faster then. Actually, I suspect that he does imagine placental mammal DID breed faster in those days, in order to speedily spread over other continents, which makes the supposed change to Marsupialism totally pointless as a means of speedy repopulation.)

    But whose need would they be satisfying? The animals’ own instinctive drive to survive and reproduce? This would indeed exist. It always exists. Instinct drives each creature to find a mate, and produce as many young as possible, giving them the best possible start in life. Most of the time a large proportion of these offspring won’t make it to adulthood, dying of starvation or by some accident, or predated. If there happens to be a new empty ecological niche available, as when arriving in a previously uninhabited place, with plentiful food and an absence of predators, more will survive and so numbers will rise perfectly naturally. The well fed mothers will probably even have larger litters, more frequently, than if they were undernourished and stressed, which tends to reduce fertility. (Starving women in concentration camps tended to stop ovulating.) So the colonising animals’ need to reproduce would be amply satisfied by simply continuing to mate and nurture their young as they had always done.

    But I don’t think that it is the instinctive needs of the animals themselves that Robert was considering. It is more as if he thought that it was necessary for some other reason for Australia to be full of animals, with great rapidity. To fulfil God’s purposes? But why would God be in such a hurry? If God found the sight of continents remote from Ararat devoid of life distasteful, then it was rather odd of him to wipe out that life in a global Flood in the first place, instead of just annihilating wicked humans overnight, as He did with the Egyptian firstborns.

    No, I think the real need for Australia to be speedily repopulated with animals is Robert’s own. By YEC chronology, he has only got a couple of thousand years or so to play with, in which to fit not only all postFlood human BC history, but the changes from the tiny number of different “kinds” that there would have been room for in the Ark into the myriads of modern species, plus the even more myriads of extinct creatures of which we have fossil evidence.

    It’s a fruitless task, Robert. it just can’t be done.And it’s an unnecessary one. As Joel and countless other Christians round the globe demonstrate, it is perfectly possible to combine a living faith in Jesus with a scientific education, an acceptance of the great age of the earth, and an understanding of evolution. You have nothing to lose but your (mental) chains.

    Like

    • Robert Byers says:

      There was a timeline. one had to populate the earth ahead of the humans. Then i also see that there was to be a rise in the sea levels in order to block any more animal migration. Australia was connected to northern areas by dry land. so it was rush, rush. SO its very persuasive and simple that creatures had to reproduce on the run. whether marsupialism was faster or just more productive but its clear its purpose is the get the fetus out quick. SO another can start growing. indeed reproductive abilities in creatures is always to siut them as needed. anyways the great evidence is about bodyplans that should be persuasive for all CLAIMED orders of creatures that they are not orders but just examples of kinds with a wee bit of difference.
      Yes the creatures obey Gods order to fill and multiply. they today are fantivcal about reproducing.
      likewise thier very own biology is the same I suggest. however hidden, as of now, mechanism is.
      its very unlikely to conclude marsupials are not just adapted placentals. Its just a wrong way to classify creatures and biology.

      Like

      • christine janis says:

        “whether marsupialism was faster or just more productive but its clear its purpose is the get the fetus out quick. SO another can start growing. ”

        Robert: in NO marsupial does another fetus start growing once the former one has been ejected, in the manner in which you imagine. The ‘continual reproduction’ that you speak of only occurs in kangaroos, and even there the fetus that is ‘in storage’ (i.e., embryonic diapause) does not start growing until the former one has left the permanent occupation of the pouch. That time in the pouch is considerably longer than than the time in the uterus of a placental of the same body size. So there is no “faster or more productive’ means of reproduction in marsupials; it’s just different (and, in fact slower) from that in placentals.

        But kangaroos are unusual among marsupials in having only one young at a time (in part because of their relatively large size). Most marsupials have litters, and in those cases there is no hint of any new fetuses growing, or even being held in suspended animation, until the entire litter has been weaned (not even just out of the pouch). Indeed, for many marsupials, there is only a single litter per lifetime, and the males all die shortly after the effort of reproduction (the females all die not too long after that, once their sole litter has weaned).

        Once again, your notions of what ‘marsupialism’ means for benefits for a Young Earth model are contradicted by the scientific facts.

        Of course, I do not write this for you, but for others reading this thread who are interested to learn about the science.

        Liked by 2 people

        • rjdownard says:

          And there are indeed many of us who do desire to learn. Bob however has consistently shown he is not one of them (he’s been dithering like this for years, back on Pandas Thumb, & even on my own TIP website, where he declined to discuss specifics there either–I naturally try to drag him onto that reptile-mammal transition data field, about which I’m familiar with what he could or could not know about it, from the science data through to the limited antievolutionist coverage of it).

          Like

        • Robert Byers says:

          My example was some type of kangoroo which had three at once. The fetus in storage is evidence that marsupialism is there to speed things along. not wait for getting pregnant again. Then , I think, there was a joey in the pouch, and one other. i can’t remember the three divisions actually.
          However marsupialism is clearly about moving things along. Including that, as a option, in the original days they really moved things along faster, steady. While migrating from the ark to the farthest areas.
          Anyways this is hypothesis but the great evidence that marsupials are just placentals is in the bodyplans. thats hypothesis and great evidence.
          Its likely that this type of kangaroo example is what it was originally and then some slow down or something.

          Like

          • christine janis says:

            “My example was some type of kangoroo which had three at once. ”

            Only kangaroos can do this. Other marsupials cannot. And, amusingly, kangaroos are the one kind of marsupial for which you cannot name a placental equivalent.

            “Then , I think, there was a joey in the pouch, and one other. i can’t remember the three divisions actually.”

            You can’t remember what you actually read about this, but it forms the entire basis for your hypothesis of why marsupials are merely modified placentals. Maybe the other joey had gone to South America to give rise to the marsupials there.

            ‘Anyways this is hypothesis but the great evidence that marsupials are just placentals is in the bodyplans.’

            Marsupials and placentals do indeed share the body plan of therian mammals. That includes things like a reproductive system where the urogenital and alimentary systems are separated and the penis is used for urination as well as for sperm transmission, tribosphenic molars, a mobile scapula with a scapular spine, the loss of the corocoid as a separate bony element and integrated into the scapula as the coronoid process, the supracoracoideus muscle now becoming the supraspinatus muscle, complete loss of the sinus venosus in the heart, and many more.

            However, all marsupials differ from placentals in a variety of ways. Among the ones not previously mentioned: the scrotum is in front of the penis rather than behind it, the astragalus articulates with the other ankle bones in a different fashion, and they lack the corpus callosum nerve bundle uniting the two cerebral hemispheres.

            Knowledge is power. Or, if you believe George Orwell, ignorance is strength.

            Like

            • Scrotum in front of penis. Reproduction causing lethal exhaustion. Chronically misdescribed by Robert Byers. I’m glad I’m not a marsupial!

              Like

            • Robert Byers says:

              If reproductive trauts changed then it would affect many relevant traits. As to other matters they also would be traits picked up upon migration to areas or any reason at all. Biology has shown it can do anything.

              Like

        • Christine, thanks very much for that excellent summary of marsupial reproduction. As you say, it’s unlikely to make much difference to Robert, but it’s very informative for everyone else. And while Robert is at the far fringe even among YECs, it also highlights some basic differences between the way YECs and mainstream scientists typically approach science – with the latter doing careful research and focusing on evidence, in contrast to YECs merely trying to support preconceived ideas and doctrines, often by cherry picking data and ignoring, dismissing, or twisting anything that doesn’t fit.

          Like

  14. sallyhawksworth says:

    Well, Robert, you’ve outdone yourself this time, in both absurdity and incoherence, but sadly I realise I have ceased to find you funny. So I’m just going to borrow a phrase from that excellent series “Game of Thrones” and tell you, “You know nothing, Robert Byers!”. And, unlike Jon Snow, it seems you never will, There’s clearly no hope of re-educating someone who can’t even understand that when a person has effectively no scientific knowledge at all, and sees no need to acquire any, let alone to base his speculations on actual data, he is ill-qualified to pontificate about how all the biologists, geologists, palaeontologists and historians of the last two hundred years plus, who have spent their lives acquiring and extending scientific knowledge and understanding, have got it wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Byers says:

      You watches game of thrones?? Anyways I think my hypothesis is FAR AND AWAY more based on actual evidence, reflection, then old ideas based on classification systems that were just a first blush in small circles. YES you can correct people from hundreds of yeas ago. In fact they never got things right or right enough.
      Seeing marsupials as simply the same cruitters as elsewhere is obvious to me. Speculating on the origin for unique reproductive traits fits within natures obvious evidence that reproductive type fits the creature as needed where they live. Its close to obvious to me marsupialism is just a reaction to speed up production on migrating creatures in a limited timeline.
      In fact maybe the bosses of this blog could start a thread about reproduction and whether its evidence for common descent concepts.
      Don’t get mad. Science is a contact sport.

      Like

      • christine janis says:

        ‘YES you can correct people from hundreds of yeas ago. In fact they never got things right or right enough.’

        Those old scientists may have been wrong about some things (e.g., the notion of the “Pachydermata”), but they have been corrected by younger scientists examining both old and newer evidence. And, most interestingly, the genetic evidence from techniques developed in the late 20th century backs up most of the old ideas, in multiple ways (nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA, protein structure, etc.). Not one piece of genetic evidence supports your hypothesis that marsupials are merely placentals with pouches. All of it shows that marsupial and placental lineages diverged around 150 million years ago. This may not be obvious to you, but it is obvious to the people who look at scientific data, rather than at pictures in popular books.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Robert Byers says:

          Genetics comes after the greater evidence of bodyplans. Then one can say that as bodyplans changed so had too also the genes. So hand in glove. The genes are not a trail but instead a example of how biological mechanisms can happan fast and then change the DNA.
          Genetics does not demonstrate evolutionism in any more way then classification systems from the old ones which started the error of seeing marsupials as not just the same creatures as elsewhere save a few details.

          Like

          • christine janis says:

            ‘Genetics comes after the greater evidence of bodyplans. Then one can say that as bodyplans changed so had too also the genes. ‘

            Interesting that you decry scientists for proposing convergent evolution when it comes to anatomy, and here you are proposing massive convergent evolution in genomics. Every single placental that transforms itself into a marsupial, just by adding a pouch and a “few details”, now has a genome that looks much more like any other marsupial than it does any placental, including the placental that is apparently the “same kind”.

            Have you ever heard of evidence refuting a hypothesis?

            Liked by 1 person

          • sallyhawksworth says:

            “The genes are not a trail but instead a example of how biological mechanisms can happen fast and then change the DNA”

            Your posts are increasingly gibberish, Robert, but I gather from this sentence and other remarks of yours that you are claiming that your unknown, and completely imaginary, biological mechanisms act in some magical and untraceable way to drastically change the body forms of adult individual animals, and subsequently, or concurrently, alter the DNA in each of their own cells to match, and also the DNA in their sperm or eggs, which will form the next generation of these animals! I am beginning to wonder if you have ever had a lesson on reproduction, or any sort of biology, in your life.

            It’s the DNA, the genome, that contains the instructions for building the body of each new individual, and of course we can follow its trail now we are learning more and more how to decode these instructions, and understand precisely which sequences do what. The British legal system clearly acknowledges the reliability of DNA evidence to prove relationship. Yesterday the newspapers were lengthily reporting on how a man had gained the right to live in a vast mansion on a beautiful country estate because DNA evidence proved him to be the (illegitimate ) son of the previous occupant, although his father had never acknowledged him as his son. And in the same way, by comparing sections of genome from different species of animals we can determine which ones are more closely related, form family trees, and even work out at what point in their past lineages they first acquired certain mutations, which have particular effects in their bodies.

            At the Battle of Copenhagen, so the story goes, Lord Nelson was sent a flag signal by his superior Admiral Parker, ordering him to stop fighting. Nelson was convinced, rightly, that he could win the battle and determined to ignore the instruction. He put the telescope to his blind eye and jokingly said, “No, I really cannot see the signal.”

            Your posts remind me increasingly of this tactic. You have deliberately blinded yourself and now keep on telling us that you can see no evidence for mainstream science’s description of the natural world, and the history of life over the last few billion years. But the evidence is all around you, and detailed in libraries of information. However hard you screw up your eyes, to avoid the least chink of light getting in, it won’t disappear just because you assert that it doesn’t exist, or that it is “impossible” that mutations in genes should cause changes in body plans, or impudently assert, with brazen indifference to common honesty, that pioneering scientists such as Linnaeus knew very little. There’s an immense amount of new stuff that humans have learnt, building on the achievements of their forebears, in the two and a half centuries, or whatever it was, since Linnaeus. But it’s abundantly clear that YOUR personal knowledge of the natural world is not only far inferior to Linnaeus’s, but inferior to that of any dedicated student of nature of the last two and a half MILLENNIA. They didn’t know, admittedly, that the earth revolved round the sun, and possibly you know that – or are you a flat-earther? – but in the realm of biology I’m pretty sure that Aristotle and his students knew more than you do.

            Like

      • Robert, I had to chuckle when you said in a recent post that your ideas are based on evidence. Over and over, you make claims without any evidence, or at best offer some sketchy and readily refuted factoids. If you had any real evidence for your notions, you’d be able to point us to some rigorous scientific papers in support of them, whether by yourself, fellow YECs, or mainstream workers. Your essay on marsupial distribution clearly isn’t that or anything close. It’s just a bunch of speculations and imaginative claims with nothing to back them up, and which no serious workers support. Unless you change your approach, you’re not helping YECism, but the opposite: making a shallow caricature of it.

        Like

        • Robert Byers says:

          No. Your not understanding what science os. Its first hypothesis and then evidence to back it that possibly leads to a theory of science.
          i make hypothesis and give the evidence. So its a excellent option in science for the conclusions I make. Yes pappers are done but one could say this is a place of publishing a hypothesis. A paper in its DNA equation.
          I don’t see a effective opposition here as it only picks details they think they have a good point on. They don’t address in a scientific way the hypothesis.
          I don’y expect it here. Yet I always have to repeat, repeat, the basic points because its only side issues that are attacked. Them not very well either.
          Anyways its a origin discussion and I think my idea prevails for open minded people or as a good option.

          Like

          • Robert, your posts keep getting richer. You wrote: “i make hypothesis and give the evidence… Yes pappers are done but one could say this is a place of publishing a hypothesis.”

            On the contrary, as we can all see, you never cite any convincing evidence or papers for your silly and garbled claims. Indeed, you seem to be living in your own world, where just claiming or repeating something makes it true, no matter how outlandish, lacking in evidence, or contrary to evidence. Then you have the audacity to lecture us about science.

            You continue…”I always have to repeat, repeat, the basic points because its only side issues that are attacked.”
            Again, you’re evidently in your own world, since clearly we have addressed your main claims many times in many ways. Moreover, you would not have to repeat them if you’d try to grasp even some of the contrary evidence that you’ve been presented with. You suggest that open minded would people accept your claims, but no one here does, and virtually no YECs do either. Considering all of the above, If any do, their minds must be so open that their brains have fallen out.

            Like

      • rjdownard says:

        Yes, Robert, science is a contact sport … and you presently are on the sidelines, laid out on a stretcher, having been slammed repeatedly by the science participants, and now currently going through delusional rants, imagining you’d won the game you had not even begun to participate in. Your spelling and grammar goofs are symptomatic of your befuddled condition, and you might want to seek medical attention … or at least a long rest, during which you might want to study up on all the science data about which you remain woefully ignorant. Remember, science is a contact sport, Bob.

        Like

        • christine janis says:

          Oh, those epipubic bones (if marsupials have them, then so must placentals!) would have saved him from the worst of the body blows.

          Liked by 1 person

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