PHOTOS: 7 Major “Missing Links” Since Darwin

For the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth (February 12, 2009), National Geographic News asked leading scientists for their picks of the most important fossils that show evolution in action—seven of which are presented here…

Tiktaalik: The “Fishapod”
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Ambulocetus: The Walking Whale
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See the rest at NatGeo

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18 thoughts on “PHOTOS: 7 Major “Missing Links” Since Darwin

  1. NatGeo, Scientific American, Time Magazine, all of these publications, most major Newspapers, Nova, Discovery Channel, 20/20, Dateline, etc…have all have done articles or segments on this. If you don’t “believe” in science, this knowledge will not sway your opinion.

  2. WTF? I was not anon. I thought. My opinion is not swayed as I believe it, just didn’t realize it had been clearly stated somewhere. I need to read more science publications, though.

  3. can someone show me an experiment by which an Ornitholestes dinosaur is turned into an Archaeopteryx and then into a pigeon?

    i’m gonna need a repeatable experiment that can verify these hypotheses and predictions.

    what’s that, you say? there isn’t one?


  4. @natedog: An experiment to prove mutations of cells? You look at an animal older then the recent one and the mutations are obvious. It’s not like it went straight from creature A to creature B. Went from Creature A to B to C to D… along with branches that branch off due to living in a different environment. This simply further proves that those mutations happened. Lay off the crack dude.

  5. @Puulaahi: no, not an experiment to prove that cells mutate. i’m not saying cells don’t mutate.

    i’m saying “Science” involves testing predictions.

    you can’t just say this animal evolved into that animal and call it science.

    my point is that the Nat. Geo article says an Ornitholestes dinosaur evolved into an Archaeopteryx and that in turn morphed into a pigeon. they do this based on the way the animals and fossils look. but this is not science.

    science would demand an repeatable experiment whereby peers can review your shit and see if you’re bullshitting or not.

    if you have no experiment, how can you call it science?

  6. @natedog:
    in this case, someone said, ‘ah, I wonder how we got so many diverse species that share some of the same traits’ and made a theory that they had a common ancestor. Then we looked at the evidence around us and indeed the evidence showed that there was a common ancestor, and that they are all somehow related in the dark past.

    This is pretty much on the same level as astronomy or quantum mechanics. There’s isn’t a whole lot of touching and testtubes going on, just making hypothesis and looking around at the evidence to see if the hypothesis is supported.

    science doesn’t demand that you stick something in a beaker, just that you let your hypothesis fail if the evidence doesn’t support it.

    on the most basic level, darwin was right, but at the detailed level, he got some things wrong. So people made some additions and changes to his theory and took a look at the evidence again. THAT is science.

  7. @tiki god: the detailed level and the basic level? wat?

    anyways, living things are very much like machines. so let us apply this “science” to the machines of the world and show that motorcycles evolved from bicycles. cars chassis evolved from hospital gurneys, which evolved from skateboards. and mechanical pencils evolved from inkpens. and BBQ grills evolved into gas ranges. and mousetraps evolved from tie pins. and steak knives evolved from swords…

    the point is, until i can show HOW (the physical, mechanical steps) a skateboard evolved into a hospital gurney and then into a car chassis, it’s not science, but rather a belief based on false assumptions

  8. @natedog:
    Yeah, Darwin was wrong about some of the minutia of evolution, subsequent people have molded the theory to work better.

    But as for evidence, you’ll want to look into either the exciting realms of fruit fly evolutionary testing, or into the experiements of Gregor Mendel, ‘the father of genetics’.

  9. One of the major problems I have w/ Intelligent Design is the argument that only a designer could have made everything work so well, some even use the term perfect, which is ridiculous. But there is no perfection here. Scratch the surface of any biological specimen and you see how so many things are just barely working. If ID is correct, why do so many of us get so sick as we age? Why make us so vulnerable, so imperfect? Evolution explains because evolution simply doesn’t give a shit about you once you’re no longer of a prime reproducing age. It’s an awkward way to phrase it, since evolution doesn’t think let alone care about anything, but it does make my point. I remember reading somewhere that evolution is short term answers for long term problems.

    @natedog: None of those examples are alive. Swords don’t produce baby swords, let alone knives. Living things reproduce. That is the mechanism of evolution. Reproduction and mutation bring change. If the change works (not necessarily better, just good enough), then it keeps reproducing. If it’s a deadly mutation (or just not quite good enough), it doesn’t live long enough to reproduce.

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