Happy Easter guys :) An agnostic sent me this as proof of evolution today. What do you think?

 

Atavisms

The word atavism basically means reverting back to a previous type. A lot of times it’s a verb. A tail might be present as a phenotype for a human when an ‘atavism’ happens.

The word vestigial means an attribution to which most or all of its ancestral function has been lost (not that it doesn’t currently have a function in many cases). A bird with wings that doesn’t fly could be an example. Its ancestors would have been able to fly, but the modern flightless bird might use them for other things now.

It’s no coincidence that whale’s have a pelvis-like bone. It isn’t used for walking even though its ancestors would have had legs attached, but a whale uses the bone for reproduction. They don’t have their would-be previous function.

Some creationists claim that a human developing a tail is no different than a human growing two heads or 4 arms, but this claim is absurd and demonstrates a clear misunderstanding of the pattern. My hunch is that entirely different things would be happening that result in these different mutations. A series of proteins, cells, or some kind of substance would have probably been replicated too many times or even contaminated. One of these events results in the normal number of anatomical developments of that part of an organism, but when that happens twice, we get a double development. This is why some people are born with multiple arms and such.

A tail or a leg being left to develop is a different process, as I will explain shortly.

Vestigial relics used by modern organisms:

Now keep in mind that if evolution is true then humans could have hundreds of vestigial phenotypes that seem ‘human-like’. An example could be our humorous. Our ancestors would have had a humorous that’s not used like ours, but for obvious reasons I’ll try to focus on more clear examples.

To understand patterns and atavism watch this video by DonExodus2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K11knFKqW4s

Another very important thing to understand is that when an atavism happens, all the traits are often not fully expressed. Perhaps not all the genes were switched on that would have contributed to the trait; perhaps some of the genes don’t even exist anymore. This could result in the atavism of a trait that is not fully functional, but the fact that even some of these genes were expressed, which would have contributed to a fully functioning trait only present in our ancestors, is evidence that the complete trait has existed sometime in the organism’s lineage. In other words, a man doesn't need to be able to swing from trees in order for us to understand that he has genes for growing a tail.

Linking atavism and embryology:

These two subjects can be closely linked together to really clarify exactly what is going on.

Often times, atavisms are manifested by a failure of more recently evolved genes which normally break down certain developments and allows them to be expressed.  As it turns out, it’s not necessarily the genes used for making tails or arms etc that evolve. It may be the genes that modify those anatomical structures during development instead. That’s where embryology comes in. Watch this video by DonExodus2 for more information

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eblrphIwoJQ

Humans with tails and embryology:

During our human embryonic development we have tails. These tails are as long as 10-12 vertebrae and are 1/6th of the total length of the fetus. Some may assume that these vertebrae are used for the creation of the spine as the body grows around it, but this is not the case. These vertebrae are a most obvious vestigial structure. By 8th week gestation the 6-12 vertebrae are wasted and destroyed by the immune system and 5th and 6th vertebrae are still being reduced. 1-4 or 1-5 vertebrae remain as our coccyx which our muscles fashion to.

In some cases our vestigial tail bone actually creates more problems than it helps with. It sometimes causes discomfort and chronic pain. As a last resort it can be completely removed and after recovery, patients may find that their quality of life is greatly improved.

Atavism's to tails:

No one expects humans to be born with complete functional tails. According to evolution, our genes for tails would be suppressed and some of them destroyed, but when an atavism happens we would expect some of those genes to be reactivated and a vestigial relic to emerge in abnormal ways.

Pseudo tails:

One aught not get pseudo tails mixed up with true tails. Pseudo tails may be legions of various types that just so happen to be found near where an actual tail would be. They usually don’t have anything to do with vestigial relics. When you read an article like “human tails and fairy tails” it’s probably talking about pseudo tails.

Real Human Tails:

Unlike Pseudo tails, “The true, or persistent, vestigial tail of a human arises from the most distal remnant of the embryonic tail. It contains adipose and connective tissue, central bundles of striated muscle, blood vessels, and nerves and is covered by skin. Bone, cartilage, notochord, and spinal cord are lacking.”

real tails are complete with adipose tissue, connective tissue, “central bundles of striate muscles”, blood vessels, and nerves covered by skin. Bone, cartilage, notochord, and spinal cord are thus far lacking. Usually these tails are pretty small, only a couple inches or less, but a good way to judge whether a tail is pseudo or real is whether the person has some muscular control of the tail. You do any research on this you can actually see a person moving a tail and it’s kind of gross.

Another thing to consider is that tails have been expressed in 2 different ways.  One way is the “real tail” way with the muscular control and the tissue projecting from the body. In other circumstances people are born with extra vertebrae, sometimes several extra vertebrae. As far as I know, these vertebrae do no protrude from the skin like real tails do, but they are evidence that extra vertebrae have existed in the human lineage that have been in actual tails. When we put these two atavism's together and exaggerate them we could potentially get a fully functional tail with vertebrae and muscular control.

Creationism:

I fail to understand how creationists would account for our embryological development of tail and the atavisms that sometimes happen with them. It doesn’t make sense to me, why a divine creator would create us with this anomaly.

Random good to know:

There is a hierarchy of development when it comes to evolution. This is both for intermediary forms in the fossil record and for atavisms that happen. You will never find a bird-mammal mix. You will also never find mammal like atavism's in birds, or bird like atavism's in mammals. You will never find an atavism in a amphibian to a mammal like form. Because of the pattern, the same designer same design argument doesn't explain the observations.

Other examples:

I’m working on presenting the case for chickens with teeth, whales with legs, snakes with legs, human gill slits (I could probably do this one right now), horses with toes, and even Endosymbiosis with is similar to this subject, but It’s taking a lot of time to find solid information, so perhaps this will be enough.

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what i know is that human fetus has tail just because limbs didn't develop yet. Please correct me if i am wrong.

http://creationwiki.org/Recapitulation_theory

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/textbook-fraud-embryology-earnst-haeckel...

I love this article for dealing with tails, but will look into the "real human tails" - last I checked, finding any real reference to the same was very hard.   http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cfl/embryonic-development

Another great article, that deals more with structures within 'caudal' appendages. http://creation.com/human-tails-and-fairy-tales

Did you ever find a real tail? I'm having a difficult time doing this..

Brian Guiley said:

Another great article, that deals more with structures within 'caudal' appendages. http://creation.com/human-tails-and-fairy-tales

No.  The second article deals with some that are claimed to be 'real tails' from TalkOrigins - Every time I've looked it's been hard to find 'real tails' (like they don't exist)

 

Also, I do not believe there were ever whales discovered with legs.. 

Brian Guiley said:

No.  The second article deals with some that are claimed to be 'real tails' from TalkOrigins - Every time I've looked it's been hard to find 'real tails' (like they don't exist)

 

Yes, I think the closest they've come is extra flippers that the call legs.  Reminds me of calling archeopteryx a dinosaur so they can say they have a dinosaur with feathers.

Barton Waldon said:

Also, I do not believe there were ever whales discovered with legs.. 

Brian Guiley said:

No.  The second article deals with some that are claimed to be 'real tails' from TalkOrigins - Every time I've looked it's been hard to find 'real tails' (like they don't exist)

 

When he says:

It’s no coincidence that whale’s have a pelvis-like bone. It isn’t used for walking even though its ancestors would have had legs attached, but a whale uses the bone for reproduction. They don’t have their would-be previous function.

It seems like he has basically been saying this:

Even if we find functions for vestigial structures, they are still vestigial because they had a different function in the past.

How can you refute a statement that is designed to protect itself from any criticism?

Well, what' you're seeing is the reason that evidence alone isn't sufficient, you have to move to presuppositions.  I would respond by saying "Or, it could be that it was designed to do what it does do, and it does do it very well, now doesn't it" (old Ken Ham line, but it's so apt).  At that point you identify that you are both looking at the same information/facts/evidence, and he sees evolution, you see design.  (Or, in the case of the tail, he sees vestigial organs, you see mutation/malfunction).

"You do any research on this you can actually see a person moving a tail and it’s kind of gross."

I'm finding mention of "true tails" but no accounts or documentation of it. I would love to know his sources.

 "You will never find a bird-mammal mix. You will also never find mammal like atavism's in birds, or bird like atavism's in mammals. You will never find an atavism in a amphibian to a mammal like form. Because of the pattern, the same designer same design argument doesn't explain the observations."

I'm guessing he's never heard of "kinds" in the Bible. Creatures are made according to their kinds, so we wouldn't expect to see bird traits in mammals or any of the things he said we would never find.

Do I maybe detect some circular reasoning or begging the question? It's like he's saying, "Our ancestors (from which we evolved) had tails, so if a human has a tail, it's proof that we evolved from *insert creature here*." He's presupposing that we evolved from something to prove that we evolved from something. 

P.S. I have an extra pair of ribs. I wonder what ancestor those came from. :)

Great point about the created kinds! :) He is indeed using circular reasoning in a very subtle way. It is seriously irritating when you get tossed junk arguments to refute. Haha

Charles Jones said:

"You do any research on this you can actually see a person moving a tail and it’s kind of gross."

I'm finding mention of "true tails" but no accounts or documentation of it. I would love to know his sources.

 "You will never find a bird-mammal mix. You will also never find mammal like atavism's in birds, or bird like atavism's in mammals. You will never find an atavism in a amphibian to a mammal like form. Because of the pattern, the same designer same design argument doesn't explain the observations."

I'm guessing he's never heard of "kinds" in the Bible. Creatures are made according to their kinds, so we wouldn't expect to see bird traits in mammals or any of the things he said we would never find.

Do I maybe detect some circular reasoning or begging the question? It's like he's saying, "Our ancestors (from which we evolved) had tails, so if a human has a tail, it's proof that we evolved from *insert creature here*." He's presupposing that we evolved from something to prove that we evolved from something. 

P.S. I have an extra pair of ribs. I wonder what ancestor those came from. :)

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