Posted by: Mr. C | May 6, 2008

The Giraffe and the Lack of Transitional Forms

I have believed for some time that a lack of transitional forms is a strong argument against Darwinian evolution. I personally believe in micro evolution, but have yet to see compelling evidence for macro evolution and its ability to form new species.

I got up this morning and decided to do a bit more hunting on the net to see if I could more information about transitional species. I found a fascinating article written by German professor Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig. He is a researcher on mutation genetics at the University of Bonn. Also, before proponents of evolution jump to conclusions, he is not affiliated with the Discovery Institute.

Check out these articles, they are an interesting read.

The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis L.): What do we really know? (part 1)

The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis L.): What do we really know? (part 2)

Appendix

Here is a summary from the Appendix to give you an idea about the content of the article:

Introduction: the story which is commonly taught in high schools about the evolution of the longnecked
giraffe by natural selection (feeding-competition-hypothesis) fails to explain, among other things,
the size differences between males and females. Giraffe cows are up to 1.5 meters shorter than the giraffe
bulls, not to mention the offspring. The wide migration range of the giraffe and the low heights of the most
common plants in their diet likewise argue against the dominant selection hypothesis. Now to the main
points: 1) The fossil „links“, which according to the theory should appear successively and replace each
other, usually exist simultaneously for long periods of time. 2) Evolutionary derivations based on similarities
rely on circular reasoning (to refer once more to Kuhn’s statement) 3) The giraffe has eight cervical
vertebrae. Although the 8th vertebra displays almost all the characteristics of a neck vertebra, as an exception to the rule the first rib pair is attached there. 4) The origin of the long-necked giraffe by a macromutation is, due to the many synorganized structures, extremely improbable. 5) Sexual selection also lacks a mutational basis and, what is more, is frequently in conflict with natural selection („head clubbing“ is probably „a consequence of a long neck and not a cause“). 6) In contrast to the thus-far proposed naturalistic hypotheses, the intelligent design theory is basically testable. 7) The long-necked giraffes possibly all belong to the same basic type inasmuch as 8] a gradual evolution from the short-necked to the long-necked giraffe is ruled out by the duplication of a neck vertebra and the loss of a thoracic vertebra. 9) Chance mutations are principally not sufficient to explain the origin of the long-necked giraffe. 10) The intelligent design theory offers an adequate and satisfying solution to the problems and points to numerous „old“ and new research projects. 11) Mitchell and Skinner present a good analysis of the selectionist problem; however, their phylogenetic hypotheses presuppose the correctness of the synthetic evolutionary theory, and their claims of “intermediate forms“ are unproven. –
Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig

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Responses

  1. You seem to be based your conclusions on some odd concepts. Let’s set some things straight, shall we?
    a) Very few things fossilise and it does take pretty specific conditions for it to occur. Most fossils/remains break down and become, oddly enough, fossil fuel material.

    b) Giraffe evolution has actually been covered quite extensively by science. From talkorigins.org:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part2c.html

    “Giraffes: Branched off from the deer just after Eumeryx. The first giraffids were Climacoceras (very earliest Miocene) and then Canthumeryx (also very early Miocene), then Paleomeryx (early Miocene), then Palaeotragus (early Miocene) a short-necked giraffid complete with short skin-covered horns. From here the giraffe lineage goes through Samotherium (late Miocene), another short-necked giraffe, and then split into Okapia (one species is still alive, the okapi, essentially a living Miocene short-necked giraffe), and Giraffa (Pliocene), the modern long-necked giraffe.”

  2. Matt, I see no evidence in your comment that actually took the time to read the article. There should be records of many transitional forms in fossils. Where are they?

    Does it really make sense to you that we would have the fossils of dinosaurs but not of a supposedly much younger species like the giraffe?

    Also, the quote you give really just proves the point of the argument of the article.

  3. You’ve done little actual research into the Theory of Evolution, haven’t you?

    On transitional fossils… It could be argued that every fossil ever found is a transitionary fossil, since it belongs to a species that was once one species and is continuing on to be another species. Examples of found transitionary fossils (apart from human remains) include Haasiophis terrasanctus, Pachyrhachis, Mososaurs, Pezosiren portelli, Runcaria and Halkiera just to name a few. The fossil record of whale evolution is also rather complete, including the movement of the blow-hole and the recession of hind legs.

    You want evidence for so called macro-evolution? Gee, there’s so much of it what more could you possibly want? Just some of it is listed here:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    But of course, your personal opinion does not constitute any sort of evidence.

    Again, most animal remains tend not to become fossils at all instead becoming other substances after near geological amounts of time. Good ol’ fossil fuels.

    That and fossilisation takes time, a process you don’t seem to know much about apparently, otherwise you could answer the questions you yourself pose.

    And no, the quote I put in doesn’t prove the point of the argument at all. The quote is there to briefly show that science already has a pretty good understanding of how the Giraffe evolved following the mechanism of Evolution.

  4. Oh, I almost forgot. Panda’s Thumb has already refuted Lonnig’s work quite nicely. It’s an interesting read, for sure.

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/05/now-thats-a-str.html

    It’s really rather well said when you think about it.

  5. Again, the argument of the article is that there should have been literally thousands of transitional forms leading up to the modern giraffe, each with a slightly longer neck.

    One would think that out of those thousands of forms we would at least have some record, right?

    Evolution demands gradual changes over extreme periods of time. I would assume that the giraffe is no exception.

    Perhaps it is those who espouse evolution who are lacking in evidence in this case.

    • This is exactly where I’m at. I am seeing that all these transitional species have nubs for antlers and I don’t know they’re giraffe ossicones, I think these are just skulls of cattle deer moose etc. and the evolution scientists are so pressured they piece together skeletons and put them on long necks. Some of them are later taken out of the giraffe family. I need to see complete skeletons with my work instead of half a jaw or maybe a skull.

      My wife said. “sawed and sanded,” I said you know what you’re right for saying that.

      I think evolution is bat shit.

      Based on the fact that scientists try oh so hard to create the spark of life in labs.

      And also because bacteria can bring about a new generation in 12 minutes with lots of variations but it never changes into anything except bacteria.

      They say with a loud voice without vocal cords, “Just give it time…”

      And we have fresh t rex tissue, the evolution scientists concur.

      That’s not all. The tons of Dinotopia pottery, The footprints. I want it all Caleb Now!

      visit primatesonly.webs.com

  6. … you didn’t actually read anything I type in, did you?


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