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truethat

The Missing Link

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IamsSon

lame argument don't you think.

Almost as bad as: "It's a secret.... I could tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya."

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truethat

Almost as bad as: "It's a secret.... I could tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya."

:unsure:

:blink::gun::tsu::nw:

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CaitSith

I just think about it like watching a child grow, I never noticed my son making any dramatic changes, but if I look at the pictures a few years apart he looks totally different. Evolution works in the same way, subtle changes over generations. There are not noticable differences from father to son, or even to great grandpa, but over ten generations or so there are noticable differences. Humans are taller now than they were five hundred years ago, cows are bigger too. Whales and elephants are smaller, with human invasion a smaller size has become a stronger trait for their survival.

People will say that evolution cannot be controlled but people have been doing it for thousands of years, domesticating animals to the extent that they are no longer the species they once were.

I don't know where the big problem is with a missing link, there would not be a missing link but thousands, to reach back to the primitive ape-like creatures we evolved from. There are clearly millions of species, perhaps dozens of classes, of animals we don't know exsisted and probably never will. Invertibrates conquered land millions of years before vertibrates struggled to swim off the bottom of the sea. Its likely that they had there day in the sun before vertibrates invaded the land. But invertibrates don't leave a lot of fossils because they have no real bones.

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truethat

That's true, that's why I do believe in evolution in regard to a "survival of the fittest" type thing. But I doubt their theory of "crossing over" I don't believe animals from different species have common ancestors. I think this is a bunch of nonsense which will eventually be proven wrong.

My main reason for doubting this is that I don't think there is enough time for something this random to occur, especially when it relies so much on mutation which is very rare.

In addition the fact that we have numerous fossils and amber records that show that some creatures and plants look precisely the same as they did a gazillion years ago.

So take the cow whale theory. This animal had to adapt to the water. But in the water we have sharks which are perfected living machines that devour things in the water. I find it hard to believe that a creature taking such tenative steps would have made it if it was merely the offspring of a few mutations. Only if there were a much larger number of these transitional creatures would it make sense that they could have continued to evolve even as they were hunted by natures perfect predator.

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IamsSon

I just think about it like watching a child grow, I never noticed my son making any dramatic changes, but if I look at the pictures a few years apart he looks totally different. Evolution works in the same way, subtle changes over generations. There are not noticable differences from father to son, or even to great grandpa, but over ten generations or so there are noticable differences. Humans are taller now than they were five hundred years ago, cows are bigger too. Whales and elephants are smaller, with human invasion a smaller size has become a stronger trait for their survival.

People will say that evolution cannot be controlled but people have been doing it for thousands of years, domesticating animals to the extent that they are no longer the species they once were.

I don't know where the big problem is with a missing link, there would not be a missing link but thousands, to reach back to the primitive ape-like creatures we evolved from. There are clearly millions of species, perhaps dozens of classes, of animals we don't know exsisted and probably never will. Invertibrates conquered land millions of years before vertibrates struggled to swim off the bottom of the sea. Its likely that they had there day in the sun before vertibrates invaded the land. But invertibrates don't leave a lot of fossils because they have no real bones.

OK, if there were thousands (and I agree there should be thousands to account for all the expected changes) then just give me a couple of hundred fossils of transitional species that aren't just a tooth (especially not if it's a pig's tooth) or a couple of ribs which could be an arthritic human's or a deformed ape's, so actually I think it's only proper, and scientific, to ask for several examples of each of these transitionals, just to make sure they are not simple deformities, but that indicate they are an actual viable, near-human.

Oh, wait, you can't. But man, the excuses for this are in the thousands, "Somehow none of these were fossilised," "well, they may have lived in an area that did not lend itself to fossilization, because the conditions have to be just right," "we may not have found them yet, maybe they're buried under the Louvre or the White House and will never be dug up," ......

Lots of excuses, very little proof.

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CaitSith

I don't know why its so hard to believe that certain species just don't fossilize well. If all species that exist now have existed in similar forms at the dawn of time why wouldn't there be dogs, whales, and cows at the same depth as the more primitive mammals, dinosaurs, single celled organisms. It's not that complicated to understand when it comes to fossil records, the deeper older fossils are, the more primitive they become. Different anatomy, lifestyle, and habitat leads certain creatures to be fossilized more than others. Dinosaurs had thick fiberous bones (they needed them to support there bulk.) This made them prime for fossilization. Other animals, such as mammoths and other "megabeast," had similar large bones making them more prone to fossilization. Most mammals including primates don't fossilize well, leaving only teeth or skull fragments, perhaps a few larger bones. Larger bones are also less likely to be scavenged by other animals or bacteria.

Edited by Leviathan113

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IamsSon

I don't know why its so hard to believe that certain species just don't fossilize well. If all species that exist now have existed in similar forms at the dawn of time why wouldn't there be dogs, whales, and cows at the same depth as the more primitive mammals, dinosaurs, single celled organisms. It's not that complicated to understand when it comes to fossil records, the deeper older fossils are, the more primitive they become. Different anatomy, lifestyle, and habitat leads certain creatures to be fossilized more than others. Dinosaurs had thick fiberous bones (they needed them to support there bulk.) This made them prime for fossilization. Other animals, such as mammoths and other "megabeast," had similar large bones making them more prone to fossilization. Most mammals including primates don't fossilize well, leaving only teeth or skull fragments, perhaps a few larger bones. Larger bones are also less likely to be scavenged by other animals or bacteria.

OK, that's all very logical, but if there is NO proof that there were transitional species, then the theory is and will remain just that... a theory, sure the parts that deal with microevolution seem to bear out given what we can observe, but as for macroevolution and origins there is just not the proof, which is fine, but it should then be acceptable to doubt the validity of the theory.

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aquatus1

Why? Isn't what I said true? How is it disingenious?

It is disengenous because the sole purpose of the example is tho show how neo-Darwinism selectivity is the reason why random mutations can be gathered in a species, as opposed to all of them appearing spontaneously, which was the original question ("would it be hard for a 38 -letter word to just randomly appear?"). If you change the question, then of course the explanation is going to change as well.

But, it's something that is predicted based on the belief that this must have happened. It's like the "simple" word evolution which is only simple because you know what word you want.

You are saying that it is predicted based on the belief it happened. That is not correct. It is based on the knowledge that it happened. We know the end result would be evolution because that is the end result we are talking about. In the same way, we know that the fur of the rabbit is white because that is what we started with, and we know the insect is twiggy because that is what we started with. The sole purpose of this example is to show how selectivity results in the many random mutations that gathered together to result in the word evolution, the white rabbit, or the insect. We aren't talking about a real rabbit. We aren't talking about a real insect. We aren't talking about a word somewhere that randomly mutated into the word Evolution. All we are doing is explaining how selectivity works. That's it. No more, no less. Once you understand that aspect of evolution, you can proceed to other aspects, such as what predictability actually refers to in terms of a given evolutionary theory (because, depending on the theory, it means different things).

But isn't that like a lynchpin subject? If multiple genetic expressions are basically statistically impossible, is anything else true?

Multiple genetic expressions appearing spontaneously in a species is statistically improbable. Neo-Darwinism explains how it is not this that is occurring, but rather what you perceive to be a spontaneous appearance of random mutations is actually a selectively chosen set of mutations.

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IamsSon

It is disengenous because the sole purpose of the example is tho show how neo-Darwinism selectivity is the reason why random mutations can be gathered in a species, as opposed to all of them appearing spontaneously, which was the original question ("would it be hard for a 38 -letter word to just randomly appear?"). If you change the question, then of course the explanation is going to change as well.

So, it's disingenious because I questioned the validity of simplifying something so much that it wasn't really a valid analogy of the process it's trying to imitate?

You are saying that it is predicted based on the belief it happened. That is not correct. It is based on the knowledge that it happened. We know the end result would be evolution because that is the end result we are talking about. In the same way, we know that the fur of the rabbit is white because that is what we started with, and we know the insect is twiggy because that is what we started with. The sole purpose of this example is to show how selectivity results in the many random mutations that gathered together to result in the word evolution, the white rabbit, or the insect. We aren't talking about a real rabbit. We aren't talking about a real insect. We aren't talking about a word somewhere that randomly mutated into the word Evolution. All we are doing is explaining how selectivity works. That's it. No more, no less. Once you understand that aspect of evolution, you can proceed to other aspects, such as what predictability actually refers to in terms of a given evolutionary theory (because, depending on the theory, it means different things).

Except the explanation is very biased, and is not really a very good explanation since it diminishes the actual difficulty that an actual process would require.

Multiple genetic expressions appearing spontaneously in a species is statistically improbable. Neo-Darwinism explains how it is not this that is occurring, but rather what you perceive to be a spontaneous appearance of random mutations is actually a selectively chosen set of mutations.

"selectively"? How is the selection made?

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truethat

The selection is made through life.

Its very simple really.

Take a moth whose coloring looks like the face of an owl.

<********"http://www.blog.speculist.com/archives/000317.html" target="_blank">http://www.blog.speculist.com/archives/000317.html

Because of this pattern it was not eaten by birds because the bird thought it was a predator.

So say you start out with 10 regular moths and one moth that looks like an owl. So nine of the ten get eaten but the owl moth does not. It breeds. Now there are offspring of two different styles. Then again the owl moth is not eaten.

You see how it can happen? This is called natural selection. In addition survival of the fittest doesn't necessarily mean "strongest" but the one most fit to the environment. This is what evolution is getting at with the argument about the unchanging shark and cockroach.

These are verifiable and its a typical ploy to mix in the validated parts of evolution with the guesses and pretend it all has evidence to back it up. It doesn't.

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carini

So, it's disingenious because I questioned the validity of simplifying something so much that it wasn't really a valid analogy of the process it's trying to imitate?

Except the explanation is very biased, and is not really a very good explanation since it diminishes the actual difficulty that an actual process would require.

"selectively"? How is the selection made?

The selection is made by the organism/environment. Some people are sterile thereby stopping their gene flow to the population. Survival of the fittest is based on passing your genes along to the next generation.

Other members of the species, the environment, will not select for a sterile or reproductively challenged individual.

Now in humans this is no longer the case. Take the dumbest 2 people on the face of the planet and as long as they are not reproductively challenged they can and will reproduce thanks to the rest of us.

The selection is made by the environment, and how well an animal survives and reproduces in that envrionment.

Take a retarded person or someone with downs syndrome. They will not reproduce. Thereby stopping them from spreading their poor genetic makeup . The world selects them to die and not spread their genes.

Edited by carini

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truethat

The selection is made by the organism/environment. Some people are sterile thereby stopping their gene flow to the population. Survival of the fittest is based on passing your genes along to the next generation.

Other members of the species, the environment, will not select for a sterile or reproductively challenged individual.

Now in humans this is no longer the case. Take the dumbest 2 people on the face of the planet and as long as they are not reproductively challenged they can and will reproduce thanks to the rest of us.

The selection is made by the environment, and how well an animal survives and reproduces in that envrionment.

Take a retarded person or someone with downs syndrome. They will not reproduce. Thereby stopping them from spreading their poor genetic makeup . The world selects them to die and not spread their genes.

That's not quite true. I hate to say this but Downs Syndrome being stopped is the result of .......oh Satan help me I am going to say it...........

Intelligent Design is it not? I mean people have been having babies with Downs Syndrome forever and its a glitch is it not?

What's actually lowering the number of DS pregnancies is prenatal testing. Which could be construed as Intelligent Design no?

Shudder.

Anyway that's not a good example but the basic premise is right.

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carini

That's not quite true. I hate to say this but Downs Syndrome being stopped is the result of .......oh Satan help me I am going to say it...........

Intelligent Design is it not? I mean people have been having babies with Downs Syndrome forever and its a glitch is it not?

What's actually lowering the number of DS pregnancies is prenatal testing. Which could be construed as Intelligent Design no?

Shudder.

Anyway that's not a good example but the basic premise is right.

No thats called abortion.

And it is natural selection at work. At this point though we are killing the babies before they are even born thanks to medical advances.

We can stop wasting precious time and energy on a worthless genetic dead end, even before its born.

Sounds very much like an Intelligent Design doesnt it?

Edited by carini

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aquatus1

So, it's disingenious because I questioned the validity of simplifying something so much that it wasn't really a valid analogy of the process it's trying to imitate?

I made it absolutely clear both that the example was simplistic and that it applied solely to describing selectivity. You are trying to make it sound like I was explaining all of evolution in one go instead of just one little slice of it. Questioning the validity of simplifying something so much that it isn't a valid analogy of a subject it was never meant to be an analogy of is not only disengenous, it's somewhat intellectually dishonest.

The question on the table was: "How could a 38-letter phrase suddenly spontaneously appear if the process is random?" The answer was that it couldn't, it just seemed that way, due to a process known as selectivity, and the example was put forth to explain selectivity (and it was very clear that this was the only purpose of the example). You have since asked other questions, and that is fine, but don't try and pretend that the explanation for one question is going to be same for other questions.

Except the explanation is very biased, and is not really a very good explanation since it diminishes the actual difficulty that an actual process would require.

You have to start somewhere. I don't teach long division until I am confident that you have a solid handle on basic math. Once I feel that you understand the simpler aspects, such as selectivity, I will expand on it. Currently, you can't quite seem to wrap your head around how it is only one small part of the whole, and you are complaining because you aren't being told about the whole. You already think you know about the whole, but since you don't know the basics, your understanding of the whole is flawed.

"selectively"? How is the selection made?

The selection is made by whatever external force serves to limit genetic expression. This can take the form of predators, of climate, of food shortage or surplus, or a variety of environmental aspects.

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Shaftsbury

Its right there. I don't know why its so hard for you guys to look at science from a critical point of view.

You see how the language of science has worked its way in so that you don't even notice a flat out lie when you see it.

That sentence should read Scientists have long THEORIZED that whales etc etc.

They haven't known JACK. Its all theory.

If you can't see why I would be cynical of a community that constantly confused their theories and their facts AND presented it to the public that way, oh well.

Science often presents theories as facts. Thanks for pointing this out.

This presented as a fact amounts to a flat out guess.

This presented as a theory makes it a theory which is what it is.

Scientists HAD long theorized that whales etc etc, but there comes a point where enough physical evidence is found to confirm the theory.

It is NOT all theory, you seem to be ignoring the fact that they have found physical evidence in the form of fossils.

Why is is that as soon as you are confronted by sufficient tangible evidence you suddenly leap into this denial state and insist that everything is "just a theory"?

Ok just to lighten things up a bit and to demonstrate a very simplified method of determining animal ancestory, why don't you try this interactive flash program.

http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/whaleanat.html

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Stellar

So, if it requires a formal education to understand even what science is... how do we know you're not all just blowing smoke?

You dont know that. But you do see that the scientific community agrees on all of this, and you are quite welcome to get that formal education and study/experiment on the subject yourself. Ill leave it up to you to guage whether it is probable that we are telling you as it is, or whether we are all just blowing smoke and there's this enormous conspiracy theory in place...

It's science and we're all competent adults (or most of us are anyway) we can understand what science is. I'll grant you that specializations require a great deal of education, but understanding what science is and what the general terminology is, is not ... rocket science.

Indeed, but understanding all the different applications of that terminology, and understanding how the evidence fits in to the theory has proven in this thread alone to indeed require some sort of an education in the subject.

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Stellar

My main reason for doubting this is that I don't think there is enough time for something this random to occur, especially when it relies so much on mutation which is very rare.

Mutation happens all the time.

In addition the fact that we have numerous fossils and amber records that show that some creatures and plants look precisely the same as they did a gazillion years ago.

How does this go against evolution?

This animal had to adapt to the water. But in the water we have sharks which are perfected living machines that devour things in the water. I find it hard to believe that a creature taking such tenative steps would have made it if it was merely the offspring of a few mutations. Only if there were a much larger number of these transitional creatures would it make sense that they could have continued to evolve even as they were hunted by natures perfect predator.

Im not quite sure what you're getting at here... but the mere fact that there is predation amplifies evolution greatly, because only those individuals with the adaptations that improve their fitness survive and thus the next generation is populated by the species already with that beneficial adaptation as a template, and further mutations which may or may not be beneficial.

Oh, wait, you can't. But man, the excuses for this are in the thousands, "Somehow none of these were fossilised," "well, they may have lived in an area that did not lend itself to fossilization, because the conditions have to be just right," "we may not have found them yet, maybe they're buried under the Louvre or the White House and will never be dug up," ......

Lots of excuses, very little proof.

Very little proof? What of the fossils that we do have, hmm? You seem to claim we need an almost day-to-day visible transition between the fossils of one species and those of the next... Yet the very fact that, even though you claim we have very little of these transitional fossils, the ones we have show an incredible amount of "transition" ADDS credibility to the theory.

These are verifiable and its a typical ploy to mix in the validated parts of evolution with the guesses and pretend it all has evidence to back it up. It doesn't.

Well, you keep believing that... while I continue verifying my education and my experimentation that allows me to have a more complete view of the whole theory and which evidence does and does not back it up...

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IamsSon
Very little proof? What of the fossils that we do have, hmm? You seem to claim we need an almost day-to-day visible transition between the fossils of one species and those of the next... Yet the very fact that, even though you claim we have very little of these transitional fossils, the ones we have show an incredible amount of "transition" ADDS credibility to the theory.

Well, but if you do not have an unbroken chain from one transition to another then how do you KNOW that transition is really what is happenning? Is it at all possible that what you believe to be transitions are actually stand alone species from the same "branch"? Consider what I am asking: If you were not looking at it through the lense of your conviction in evolution, is it at all possible that these "transitional" species were actually simply "cousins" of the species you think they were transitioning to/from? Would this fit the evidence and explain why there is no unbroken chain of transitions, because there never was a chain?

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CaitSith

OK, that's all very logical, but if there is NO proof that there were transitional species, then the theory is and will remain just that... a theory, sure the parts that deal with microevolution seem to bear out given what we can observe, but as for macroevolution and origins there is just not the proof, which is fine, but it should then be acceptable to doubt the validity of the theory.

This is why you can't conceive the process of evolution, you are looking for something that doesn't exist. A "transitional species" is illogical, the process is slow, and each species is a species with no sudden transition. For example each level of evolution that took place from ape to man would be a species of its own. Cross breeding with other species of similar genetic make up producing offspring with dominate traits of both parents. If thats what you are referring to as transitional species then there are many examples around today, like a wolf and a dog are transitional species for what might be a wolfdog. Everything is a transitional species under the laws of evolution and each species is still changing as generations adapt to new circumstances.

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FrothyDog

if anything, look at the fairly steady evolution of brachiopods. in order for a population to change, a change in the environment must force unfavorability on a portion of a population. with brachiopods, there has been a slow and regular series of transgressions and regressions of the ocean that change their environment. sharks, however, have a nice stable environment. the depth of the ocean does not affect them because they can just swim where they want to go.

if you want to look and see why we believe in evolution, take some biology classes that will show you how changes in environments can change the ratios of gametes with certain traits. It will also show how mutations happen. if it is a good class, you will probably experiment with mutations among populations yourself. take some geology classes to see how the laws of stratigraphy work, and how we can tell what lived at what time. again, if it is a good class you will learn why geologists can say certain species evolved.

a good class will encourage questions, and if you do not understand the answers, do not take it as an attempt to delude you. take is as an opportunity to learn what it means, and ask further questions from there.

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truethat

Changes in environment is natural selection and adaption.

That's entirely different from promoting crossing over of species.

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Shaftsbury

Would this fit the evidence and explain why there is no unbroken chain of transitions, because there never was a chain?

Not really, because your model would not account for the random appearance of new species throughout the fossil record.

You would have to assume that all animals lived as contemporaries of each other, which is simply not supported by any evidence what so ever.

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truethat

Not really, because your model would not account for the random appearance of new species throughout the fossil record.

You would have to assume that all animals lived as contemporaries of each other, which is simply not supported by any evidence what so ever.

I don't necessarily disagree with what you are saying, however you say this with some sort of authority when in fact there aren't a lot of fossils to go by in the first place.

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Shaftsbury

Let me put it this way, if the model was correct you would expect to find the fossils of say, chickens, cows, horses, elephants, etc, all mixed in with the skeletons of dinosaurs.

It just doesn't happen, and if it did it would be a pretty hard thing to cover up because a good portion of the fossils found today are found by average citizens with no training in the sciences.

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aquatus1

Well, but if you do not have an unbroken chain from one transition to another then how do you KNOW that transition is really what is happenning? Is it at all possible that what you believe to be transitions are actually stand alone species from the same "branch"?

Not from what we know of science. If that were the case, then we would have to come up with some sort of explanation as to how all these almost identical but not quite creatures spontaneously generated in a chronological order moving up higher in complexity as time progresses. We would have to say that our 38-letter phrase could actually randomly appear independantly several thousand times, despite being statistically impossible.

Consider what I am asking: If you were not looking at it through the lense of your conviction in evolution, is it at all possible that these "transitional" species were actually simply "cousins" of the species you think they were transitioning to/from? Would this fit the evidence and explain why there is no unbroken chain of transitions, because there never was a chain?

Before you can do that, you will have to explain why one would be considered a cousin and another a species. If we have one species that is entirely aquatic, then another species that is identical except it has primitive legs and air sacs, and a third which is identical to the second, but has legs, lung cavities, and no gills, you can say that 1 is a cousin to 2, and 2 is a cousin to 3, but at some point you are going to have to admit that the entirely aquatic 1 is a different species than the entirely terrestril 3.

It's essentially going back to the ball and the ramp example I gave earlier. We know that balls roll down ramps. It is a fact, just as knowing that genomes mutate through generations is a fact. By knowing how balls, and genomes, act in a given environment, we are able to predict even if we do not watch it happen how the ball will react on the ramp, and how genomes will react in a given environment. The theory of falling balls and of evolutionary biology tell us that the inevitable result of falling balls or mutating genomes is that they will continue doing so until they hit something. Because of this, even if we were not there at the time, we can predict that the result of falling balls in the ancient past resulted in balls hitting the ground, and that therefore we should find balls on the ground, instead of at the top of ramps were we first observed them. Now, let's say that, in the fossil record, we only find a few hundred fossilized balls on the ground, out of the hundreds of thousands that must have fallen down ramps in the millions of years that have gone by. This is incredibly significant. What this means, essentially, is that even though we only have a very small representative portion of what happened to our falling balls in the past (heaven's this is starting to sound slightly pornographic!), the sample nonetheless displays exactly what we predicted. What are the chances that the only fossils that made it to our time were anomalies? If you have a hundred balls, and 1 of them falls to the ground, and 99 stay on the ramp, what are the chances that the fossilized on just happened to be the one that feel to the ground, like our predictions said? What are the chances of all the fossilized balls being the oddballs (heh) that just happened to be the one-in-a-million shot that got fossilized?

You are juggling several different ideas here, and you are going to get very confused by them. I recommened you get one idea down solidly. Again, the purpose of this example is solely to point out how unlikely it is for the fossil record to be recorded single spontaneous emergences of species. It should not be interpreted as an example of evolution in toto.

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