lundi 3 septembre 2012

I Like "Miacis Cognitus"

            The Series:A Man not at all prejudiced against God is criticising Creationism (not me, we'll get back to who it is)
Further to the Geoscience Major at Texas University
Lost In Translation
AronRa linked to someone actually trying to prove evolution.
AronRa, did I mention you are worthless on history?
My Motivation for Arguing Against FFoCr Series
Verifiable Does Not Equal Material and Natural
I Like "Miacis Cognita."
A Letter Arrived from AronRa
Here beginneth our essay:

Miacis cognitus [link to wiki where this quote is from] is the only species of the diverse genus Miacis that is regarded as belonging to the crown-group Carnivora, within the Caniformia[1]. The type specimen or holotype was discovered in Reeve's bonebed, western Texas, in the Chambers Tuff Formation in 1986.[2] The University of Texas holds this specimen. It is the only confirmed fossil of this species. The holotype is missing the mandible, upper canines, and zygomatic arch. The remainder of the skull is damaged, but relatively intact.


Here is by the way from Feliformia:

In the Middle Eocene (about 42 mya) the miacids started to branch into two distinct groups of the order Carnivora: the Feliforms and Caniforms. The miacid precursors to the extant Feliforms remained forest-dwelling, arboreal or semi-arboreal ambush hunters, while the Caniform precursors were more mobile, opportunistic hunters. While it is clear the first Feliforms appeared at this time, there is no clear common ancestor of the Feliform families in the fossil records. As forest dwellers, the early Feliforms were subject to more rapid decomposition in the absence of sedimentary materials, resulting in large gaps in the fossil records.The miacoids are divided into two groups: the miacids, with a full complement of molars, and the viverravines with a reduced number of molars and more specialized carnassials. These dental differences resemble the difference between Caniforms (with more teeth) and Feliforms (with fewer teeth) but this may not mean evolutionary lineages. It was thought that Viverravidae was basal to the Feliforms. However, recent studies suggest this is not the case (Wesley-Hunt and John J. Flynn 2005).[5]


So, now we go to Miacoidea:

Miacoidea is a paraphyletic superfamily that had been traditionally divided into two families of carnivores: Miacidae (the miacids) and Viverravidae.


And to Miacidae:

Some species of the genus Miacis are closely related to the order Carnivora, but only the species Miacis cognitus is a true carnivoran, as it is classified in the Caniformia.


But is this a good classification? Look at what is left of only fossil:



No nether part of skull left. How do you decide if caniform or feliform?

Now, problem for Creationism is this would be a transitional fossile if Miacis Cognita was caniform but other miacids developing from it were feliform. You see, the African Palm Civet counts as feliform and also counts as closest lookalike to Miacis Cognita:

In skull morphology alone, the African palm civet, Nandinia binotata takes the prize of looking most like its distant relative.


But with five teeth showing and no nether cranium, can we take the classification as a caniform very seriously? Miacis Cognita means Miacis the Known. It is almost as good a binomial as Homo Sapiens which mean Man the Wise. Man is not always very wise and Miacis is not very known. Least of all as a clear transitional fossile between Caniforms and Feliforms. We have not even any clear transition between civets and weasels, and I seriously doubt if anything counts as clear transition between cats and civets or between weasels and dogs or bears.

To my amateur scientist and creationist mind, this is an epic fail.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Biblio/BiJ de Limay
3. sept 2012
Martyrs de la Révolution
(si je ne me trompe pas)

11 commentaires:

  1. of course to you as a creationist this an "epic fail". not only do you have no further understanding of the group than wikipedia, which in all its adequateness for the layman is not a detailed research paper by any means on any given topic, but you fail to understand how we classify such animals into groups.

    A group is not an order given to life from an omniscient mind, it is our own construction of the world, to better our understanding of it. The best example I can think of is how we dictate "eras" or "generations" such as the lost, X, Y, millennial, etc. You don't wake up one morning and say "jeeze, it seems that every child born from this point on belongs to generation whatever", we, looking back on our history, group major kinds of people into groups not intentionally designed.

    Nature does not define feliformes and caniformes: we do because it is more convenient for us in trying to understand our world. Those classifications work well for modern species, but begin to fall apart when you follow their roots. This falling apart in itself does NOT classify the modern scheme as stupid, it only means that the more advanced the system (such as in a large, diverse group such as modern carnivorans), the easier it is to pick out variation and organize kinds. the farther back you go, the more similar they begin to look because THEY EVOLVED FROM THE SAME THING.

    today, we may have sky scrapers, cottages, office buildings, tepees, shacks, and one-bathroom houses as all different kinds of shelter, and because there are so many differnt types today, we can easily group them. Follow back their history and those classifications begin to fall apart because they all descended from the same sort of mud hut and the farther back you go, they more they all resemble each other because they diversified as time when on into what we know today.

    additionally, the reason you can't give an educated opinion on the natural classification of M. cognitus is that 1) you're not educated on the topic as you admit 2) the fossil you're looking at is only a drawing lacking severely in the needed detail information to make such an assessment (I should know because I drew it) and 3)you do not have any idea of what a feliform or caniform is, again, other than what you've cut and pasted from wikipedia.

    i think you fail to understand what you criticize. i think this is the greatest qualm I have with creationism. you may have an opinion, and that's great, but it is frankly not worth the opinion of a PhD biology researcher who has spent his/her career on studying carnivorans because you're not educated enough to argue this argument. If you're going to argue this, at least read some Behe and be somewhat knowledgeable about it (or at least as knowledgeable as you can be and still be incorrect).

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  2. oh, and also

    -there are not just 5 teeth remaining in the fossil, there are 17 with 6 visible from this perspective

    -the cranium IS present (again, a better image would have done you the satisfaction of seeing that, which you can get here: http://digimorph.org/specimens/Miacis_cognitus/)

    -the possibly inappropriate name for the species has nothing to do with its validity as a fossil

    -and this is what you get from this fossil when reconstructed with knowledge of the species: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Miacissequencereconstruction.png.

    tell me, is this a cat? a dog? would a civet work? a little bear? being a transitional fossil, it is none of the above. but since you don't believe in transitional fossils, how do you classify this animal?

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  3. The précise point is - excuse me for not checking comments for some time - that what you point to as neither precisely a dog nor precisely a cat perhaps something like a civet is not the fossile but a reconstruction from the fossile.

    Sorry for delay.

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  4. And sorry for "précise", I was just switching from French.

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  5. On your parallel from architecture:

    Follow back their history and those classifications begin to fall apart

    Not according to my understanding of the History of Architecture. And I am pretty well informed on the subject.

    because they all descended from the same sort of mud hut and the farther back you go, they more they all resemble each other because they diversified as time when on into what we know today.

    New types have been invented.

    Since mud huts do not last very long you can hardly find hard evidence that mud huts were first, but you must assume "first mud huts" as lost.

    Just like Darwinism must do with intermediates between Miacis and cat, between Miacis and dog.

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  6. As to mud huts, that means huts with walls of clay on wicker, and clay on wicker was not the first material by any means to build in according to remains that have been found. Nor were oldest finds restricted to one form.

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