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But I'd look stylish with a tail...


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if you insist on this silly line of vistigial organs,which is well outdated and only suggested to strengthen the theories of evolution as it was getting a foothold.

 

Say what? Vestigial organs are perfectly valid in evolutionary theory. Or perhaps you'd care to explain why my snakes have hip bones?

 

You leave us all open to the creationist nutters here who jump all over it.

 

I hate to break it to you, but evolution needs no defense from creationism. Your suggestion ammounts to "You can't dispute a minor technical detail of planet formation, of the flat-earth people will gain a foothold!"

 

Creationism is of no concern. No individual worth the meat they're made of believes it.

 

Natural selection would not give pigs two toes that dont touch the ground for no reason

 

They're called vestiges, idiot.

 

Evolution is an ongoing process, and has it's limits. Has it occured to you that those toes *are* useless, and only exist because a mutant allele that removes them simply hasn't occured yet?

 

nor make a rabbits digestive system so poorly that it eats its own faeces

 

See above. Evolution is not without limits. Secondly, how is it poorly made? Fully digesting plant material requires a long digestive tract. Long digestive tract means larger body. Larger body means slowers running speed to escape predators. I suggest you view the coprophagy of rabbits not as a failure, but a unique solution that appeases two conflicting selective pressures at once.

 

We too have a cecum you may have ancestors that ate their own shit,i didnt.

 

Cecum does not indicate coprophagy. Iguanas have a cecum, they aren't coprophagus. Birds have a cecum, they aren't coprophagus. Cows have a huge cecum, they aren't coprophagus. On the other end, lions have almost no cecum, and they aren't coprophagous either.

 

Clearly coprophagy only evolves under a very specific set of circumstances, not simply in every animal with a cecum.

 

you would get along fine without your penis and scrotum,are they vestigial

 

Do you even read my posts? Evidently not. I explicitly said that being able to lose something does not make it vesitigial, but *does* negate the claim that it's vital.

 

Second, loss of genetalia prevents reproduction, so, in terms of evolution, you might as well be dead. Next poorly-chosen example, please.

 

take a kidney you dont need two,

 

Yep, poorly chosen. It's called a developmental constraint. Our embryogenesis genes code in such a way that certain organs wind up paired. Only in very rare cases can this developmental problem be overcome (such as henophidian snakes, who have only one lung).

 

Secondly, loss of one kidney places excessive strain on the other, and thus increases your likelyhood of kidney failure.

 

As an embryo you could give the appearance of resembling a king prawn doesnt mean we once were

 

When did I ever state that? "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" has been disproven for a century. However, that does not mean the embryology is of no use in understanding homologies.

 

Let's say I want to understand whether the wings of a bat are something new, or evolved from the hands of mammal. I can look at bat embryos as they grow, and see that the limb which develops into a forelimb for mammals develops into a wing for bats. Had the wing of the bat been *non* homologous, I would have seen the arm never develop at all or be re-apsorbed and the wing develop from some other tissue or part of the embryo.

 

-----------------

 

As entertaining as this foray into the depths your ignorance has been, I have other, more important things to do with my time than attempt to break through your resistance to the blindingly obvious. I am not getting paid to deal with you, and you have worn out both my patience and the entertainment of refuting your poorly-reasoned points.

 

Everything that needs to be said about this subject has been said, and all you need to know to understand is in my posts (and the links). If you need it explained, I suggest you ask you Special Ed. teacher.

 

Mokele

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Each of your posts are laughable.You contradict yourself with each post.You do infer in your posts "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny".Your so up yourself that you continue to insist on vestigial organs when they are none.You call me an idiot when you refer to the pigs toes as 'useless vestiges' when they have a very important function for the pig.Try walking in a deep sloppy muddy field barefoot you may understand.In fact i will leave it to other posters!!!

Horses run fast and are large bodied so stop please making a case for devolution instead of evolution.Your a creationists dream nutter

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No because we cannot both debate for evolution,if he wants to use a 1970's approach to argue about vestigial organs,which scientific advancement realise serve their intended purpose and are far from the redundant appendages he claims.Whats the point,he already shows his self importance.Im certainly not going to represent the creationist side,though it would i admit be entertaining.'besides i dislike his attitude'.How can one appreciate another when after i post a sincere apology to every SFN user for my aggresive posts and try to conduct myself in a more pleasent manner(which inc a pm to mokele) he immediately starts flaming me,swearing and calling me an idiot.

In fact he's a good candidate for a lobotomy...or electric shock treatment...see his knocked me back 3 weeks on my rehabilitation.

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You guys should have a formal debate. I'd love to watch that.

 

Why? It'd be a continuation of the same crap as this thread, in which I explain something, and Arty doesn't listen, instead taking me to task for things I never said or he has misinterpreted. This, coupled with his ignorance of the subject matter, makes a debate both pointless and frustrating.

 

You'll note I likened him to a creationist earlier, and frankly, the likeness is disturbingly accurate, at least in style of debate, if not in substance. The perpetual refusal to listen, the tactic of dismissing any evidence out of hand or conveniently forgetting it was brought up, the misrepresentation of my perspective, and the blind, dogged failure to even consider the possibility that I might actually have a point are all familar to me from my debates with creationists, and I see them in this debate as well. And, just as in debates with creationists, it's futile. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

 

I do apologize to the administration for some of my invectives (though I stand by them), but I am sure that the moderators and admins can fully understand the level of frustration at attempting to explain to someone who not only doesn't "get it", but stubbornly refuses to do so.

 

However, I will restate what I have said earlier: everything needed to defend my viewpoint has already been posted, and all of Arty's questions and objections have already been answered. His failure to observe these answers in spite of my attempts to present them as clearly as possibly is not my problem, nor will I waste more of my time repeating myself. I have read his 2 posts after my last one, and found not a single point I have not already addressed. If you want my answer to any of those questions, simply read my prior posts.

 

To continue this debate would be a pointless exercise in repetition. All that needs to be said by me has been said. It is no longer worth my time or effort.

 

Mokele

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It seems to me there is only one stubborn person here.Why are you appealing to an audience as some star witness,is it to seek validation.You accuse me of not listening but you dismiss anyone who doesnt agree with your analogy of vestigial organs.To be fair to you take away the slanderous character assasinations you seem to enjoy and we are left with a few actual on topic points.You have named some appendages and claim they are useless vestiges or co-opted spare parts.In return ive gave you if you will listen there actual function,The function THEY continue to carry out.

 

Tonsillectomy is the most frequently performed piece of surgery. Doctors once thought tonsils were simply useless evolutionary leftovers and took them out thinking that it could do no harm. Today there is considerable evidence that there are more viral infections in the upper respiratory tract after tonsil removal than before, and doctors generally agree that simple enlargement of tonsils is hardly an indication for surgery.

So tell me mokele if they have a use how can they be vestigial.

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What was our last known ancestor with a tail?

 

Well, my aunt Winifred had a tail, but of course she was not my direct ancestor being only my father's older sister.

 

Frenchmen are known to have descended from short-tailed jumping animals which fed by leaping into the air to seize butterflies, and other succulent insects, in their jaws.

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It seems to me there is only one stubborn person here.

Seeing as Mokele made it very clear when the whole argument began that he was describing a vestigial tail, and not a vestigial organ, I guess you must be referring to yourself.

 

I don't see Mokele discussing tonsils being vestigial anywhere either, so demanding that he explain why a probably non-vestigial structure is vestigial is looking like a straw man.

 

I think the best thing you can do with this argument is walk away from it tbh.

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Guest kailing

hi everyone,

 

i'm currently studying human evolution and found this forum while researching. i haven't read this entire thread because it turned into some shit slinging, so sorry if i repeat what some one else said.

 

apes filled most arboreal niches in africa before monkeys were around (around the miocene). the appearance of monkeys (on smaller side) then pushed most lighter apes out of the arboreal quadraped niche (moving on all fours above branches). apes clung onto survival by specializing as heavier suspensory climbers (swinging below branches).

 

the suspensory climbing mode of travel led to the evolution of a more mobile shoulder joint and upright posture (so apes could swing better and see where they were going). we see these modifications in ourselves. a long tail would have been cumbersome and not very useful to a suspensory climber because it would have gotten caught or have had to become extremely long and vulnerable if it were to help with swinging a larger animal. therefore, the tail was shortened, shortened, and finally lost. as the forests in africa shrunk and the savannah grew, bipedalism became advantageous to our ancestors to navigate the less plentiful grasslands. the tail has never been needed back.

 

the economic reasons why the tail was lost was clearly explained by mokele in the first response.

 

hope this was some help,

 

caroline

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Hi I just read this thread and I'm not quite sure how you said that certain structures were vestigial. If our ancestors had tails, then logically we lost those tails for some reason and what remains is vestigial, even if it is being used for another function.

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If our ancestors had tails, then logically we lost those tails for some reason .

 

It is quite likely that there are at least two 'engines' driving evolution. The engine that Darwin tried to explain was that of 'function'. I believe there is another driving force behind evolution that can be called 'form' or 'aesthetics'.

 

All that would have been necessary was for the females of the species in question to take a liking to bare, flat, tailless behinds.

 

aguy2

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Well' date=' my aunt Winifred had a tail, but of course she was not my direct ancestor being only my father's older sister.

 

Frenchmen are known to have descended from short-tailed jumping animals which fed by leaping into the air to seize butterflies, and other succulent insects, in their jaws.[/quote']

 

Excusé- moi, I'm offended. You treat ze french like pigs. Dis is unaceptable. Parbleu

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It's more likely that failure to use the tail, due to changes in habitat and habits, meant that those with smaller tails were more successful biomass routes (i.e. less resource-intensive), and natural selection did the rest.
In my opinion this argument or hypothesis as always failed to sell evolution..one knows evolution is fact,its the false understanding and the constant regurgitating of dogma regarding its mechanisms that i find disagreeable.Our brain is the most resource intensive organ in the body,to be successfull they is no logical necessity for it to be developed to its present state,to prolificate as a species.

So many people hold that evolution is the evolving into a superior organism,or organ and if it isnt successfull its rejected or replaced,however evolution is more subtle.

If the driving force were natural selection(survival of the fittest),then it holds that the present speciation of our planet is by definition the most successfull.As in over millenia mutation and modification diversity of life has filled every niche.

Now for evolution to be successfull a mechanism it holds that the environment or mean temperature must not diverse to extremes of high-lows.As this would effectively nullify the mechanism and wipe out huge amounts of life.

When we consider this and look at our planets history from when life emerged,we find that it has maintained a stable and mean temperature etc.(discounting snowball earth theories,which effectively reduce evolution to starting again from scratch single celled life)

Therefore over millenia the diversity of life should now be a few species honed to perfection,adaptable to any slight change in environment.As this is not the case our perception of evolutionary mechanism must be wrong.

To finish will you consider the fact im right we never had a flipping tail!!

and that if we consider your views on its mechanism as correct would it not be wrong to suggest as we never had a tail,far back in the history of hominids,a branch of ape like hominids climbed too many trees and end up staying there.The coccix being present grew elongated and was co-opt into a tail.

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In my opinion this argument or hypothesis as always failed to sell evolution.

It's not intended to "sell" anything.

 

one knows evolution is fact,its the false understanding and the constant regurgitating of dogma regarding its mechanisms that i find disagreeable.Our brain is the most resource intensive organ in the body,to be successfull they is no logical necessity for it to be developed to its present state,to prolificate as a species.

If you're saying that the advantages of having a highly developed brain do not outweigh the resource costs, then I must ask you to speak for yourself.

 

 

So many people hold that evolution is the evolving into a superior organism,or organ and if it isnt successfull its rejected or replaced,however evolution is more subtle.

Quite so. However this doesn't mean that no change is explainable at a high level.

 

 

If the driving force were natural selection(survival of the fittest),then it holds that the present speciation of our planet is by definition the most successfull.As in over millenia mutation and modification diversity of life has filled every niche.

No it does not, because the habitats and the biome itself have changed over time, so the niches have been altered. You're also ignoring that changes in one species will effect changes in another (it's a bit of a bland description, but this is sometimes referred to as "the arms race"), and that the niche is not actually the be-all and end-all of determining success. Let's not throw sympatry and mutualisms out of the window just yet.

 

 

Now for evolution to be successfull a mechanism it holds that the environment or mean temperature must not diverse to extremes of high-lows.As this would effectively nullify the mechanism and wipe out huge amounts of life.

The whole point of evolution is that it describes the means by which species adapt to changes. It's fairly evident that (a) habitats have changed dramatically in the past, and continue to do so, and (b) that this has resulted in a vast number of species being wiped out because their evolutionary mechanisms were outpaced by the changes.

 

This doesn't imply there is something wrong with evolution as a mechanism. Evolution is not a "thing"; it is simply a property of living systems.

 

 

When we consider this and look at our planets history from when life emerged,we find that it has maintained a stable and mean temperature etc.(discounting snowball earth theories,which effectively reduce evolution to starting again from scratch single celled life)

Earth's climatic history is one of relatively violent upheaval.

 

 

Therefore over millenia the diversity of life should now be a few species honed to perfection,adaptable to any slight change in environment.As this is not the case our perception of evolutionary mechanism must be wrong.

No offence intended, but it's quite evident that your perception of evolutionary mechanisms is quite wrong. There is no such thing as a perfect state in a biomic community. Even abiotically-necessitated migration alone would see to that.

 

 

To finish will you consider the fact im right we never had a flipping tail!!

and that if we consider your views on its mechanism as correct would it not be wrong to suggest as we never had a tail,far back in the history of hominids,a branch of ape like hominids climbed too many trees and end up staying there.The coccix being present grew elongated and was co-opt into a tail.

Not being an anthropologist, I'm not really interested in speculating on weird new theories about the origins of man. The post you responded to was simply explaining why non-advantageous features disappear over time; you seem to have interpreted it as being something it is not.

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Certainly, the tail is most highly evolved when it is prehensile - which gives the animal the ability to cling with it or hang by it. Many of the new world monkeys have prehensile tails. I did not know until tonight that there is a South American porcupine which has a prehensile tail.

 

http://www.k12.de.us/warner/prehen.htm

 

Opossums also have prehensile tails which they use to aid in climbing - adults are too heavy to hang by them.

 

http://www.bobpickett.org/order_didelphimorphia.htm

 

On to tails in general - while many animals use them for balance, I think it is more appropriate to say that they are used like a rudder. Certainly, the beaver uses its tail in this way.

 

Ring tailed lemurs have spectacular tails, and they use them for "stink fights" during breeding season:

http://www.szgdocent.org/pp/p-lmring.htm

 

They rub their tails against scent glands on their wrists and chests, then wave them around - the lemur with the stinkiest tail wins.

 

White tailed deer use their tails to warn other deer of danger - when one deer senses danger, it puts its tail up, thus displaying the white underside, and the entire herd takes off.

 

The rat uses its long naked tail for orientation, equilibration and as a thermic regulation organ

http://perso.dixinet.com/animaux-infos/erat.html

 

Here's an interesting page on primate taxonomy:

http://www.primatecenter.org/prim.htm

 

Interesting, the gibbons, Family Hylobatidae, are arboreal, but they don't have tails -

They are remarkably active and agile brachiators, capable of exceeding 3m in a swing. Gibbons leap from branch to branch, sometimes travelling more than 9 m in a single leap. They also sometimes walk on large branches or on ground, assuming a bipedal stance with their arms raised for balance. Gibbons are active during the day.

 

So - it would seem that evolution wise the gibbons are the link between tailed an tailless - they are still arboreal, but developed exceedingly long arms and legs for swinging through the trees rather than jumping - which would require a tail for balance and steering.

 

PS - Thanks for the Kudos, Martin :cool:

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haha excellent post,you know what i find really interesting about Gibbons?

Yes as you state they are totally arboreal(some species never come down at all),they evolved from the catterines(as did pongidae) and date back to the oligocene epoch.Remarkable is the fact that they dont have tails...never have!! It never evolved into something else,nor did it become vestigial...yet whats that coccyx doing there!!

I reiterate to one and all we never had a tail! Let it sink in please we have no vestigial organs!!

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