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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2009 at 3:46pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

I thought "science" had peer review, and postings in scientific publications to "prove" their stance...


Science isn't about proving. Haven't we been over this already?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2009 at 5:14pm
Hahaha, I don't see how people that disagree with evolution can ask for proof. Can you prove what you believe? No.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2009 at 6:19pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

I thought "science" had peer review, and postings in scientific publications to "prove" their stance...
 
I guess 25 years wasn't long enough they had to release their propaganda right now...
 
 
interesting read...



There's no argument anywhere in your link.  Unless you're talking about the whole waiting 20 years bit, but that's because the fossil was in a private collection all these years and no one knew about it.

And that is not a scientific finding, that is a press release.

This is the journal article being discussed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote .Ryan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2009 at 7:56pm
Crap, I missed an 18 page debate on evolution.....

Anyway, my 0.02:

People who don't "agree" with evolution either don't understand it or aren't being intellectually honest. As far as I'm concerned, that's that. Evolution has been backed up by the scientific method for about a century now and is all but undoubtedly proven. The only reason there is even a debate(there isn't in the scientific community) is that religious zealots find it threatening to their beliefs....The fact that there is such a strong "debate" in the United States reflects very poorly on our education system and our dedication to the principle of separation of church and state.....not much else...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2009 at 8:46pm
Originally posted by Frozen Balls Frozen Balls wrote:



Also, creeped out that I am related to those singing lemurs in Madagascar.
 
Well, I know that I like to move it, move it.
 
/case settled.
 


Edited by Peter Parker - 20 May 2009 at 8:47pm

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2009 at 8:53pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

I thought "science" had peer review, and postings in scientific publications to "prove" their stance...
 
I guess 25 years wasn't long enough they had to release their propaganda right now...
 
 
interesting read...
 
Interesting read indeed.  From your link:
 
Originally posted by FE's Link FE's Link wrote:

The only question I have is, if this find is so amazing, why did it take them 20 years to bring it to the public’s attention.  The fossil was found in 1983.  It sounds more to me like scientists looking for more grant money and publicity, but I could be wrong.
 
He could be wrong indeed.  Moreover, this is a classic example of intentional ignorance.  He wonders why it took 20 years to bring it out.  Fair thing to wonder about.  Does he do some research, call some scientists, check Google, read some more detailed news stories, or even read the actual article in question?  Why no - he jumps directly to speculation.
 
Just like FE.
 
And, BTW, the rest of the "article" has nothing to do with Ida, but is a general anti-evolution rant.  Here's basically how the "argument" in FE's link goes (and regurgitated by FE): 
 
1.  Some scientists found something they claim further proves evolutionary theory.
2.  I betcha they are hiding something.
3.  Evolution is fake.
 
Brilliant!  It took the scientists in question years to do the research, and he dismisses it in three sentences.  I wish I were that smart.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2009 at 7:44am
Ok, I admit it, I was holding out on you because I knew your take would be what you posted above... So I saved this one until you posted the stuff above...
 
 
Here is the article (copy pasted.)
 

Late last week I received a rather curious e-mail. It read;

WORLD RENOWNED SCIENTISTS REVEAL A REVOLUTIONARY SCIENTIFIC FIND THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING

Ground-Breaking Global Announcement

What: An international press conference to unveil a major historic scientific find. After two years of research a team of world-renowned scientists will announce their findings, which address a long-standing scientific puzzle.

The find is lauded as the most significant scientific discovery of recent times. History brings this momentous find to America and will follow with the premiere of a major television special on Monday, May 25 at 9 pm ET/PT chronicling the discovery and investigation.

Who: Mayor Michael Bloomberg; International team of scientists who researched the find; Abbe Raven, President and CEO, A&E Television Networks; Nancy Dubuc, Executive Vice President and General Manager, History; Ellen Futter, President, American Museum of Natural History

"The most significant scientific discovery of recent times", eh? What could it be? Life on Mars? Time-travel? Teleportation? The Higgs Boson? A diet cola that doesn't taste absolutely awful? Well, no. It's all about a little primate from Germany.

Last week periodicals like the Wall Street Journal and the Mail Online heralded the discovery of a 47-million-year old adapid primate from the famous Messel deposits in Germany. These deposits are well-known for containing exceptionally well-preserved mammals, and this particular lemur-like primate fossil contains soft tissue impressions and gut contents.

An exceptionally preserved fossil primate is pretty exciting, but that's not why the publicist for tomorrow's AMNH event wrote one of the most overblown press releases I have ever seen. No, the paper, which will be released in PLoS One tomorrow, claims that this particular primate is of vital importance to the origin of anthropoid primates (or monkeys and apes, with our species being included in the latter category). As might be expected during this significant year, it is going to be called Darwinius masillae and you can get a "sneak peek" at it here. According to the authors of the paper Darwinius supports the hypothesis that anthropoid primates evolved from lemur-like animals.

I have yet to see the paper, but I am skeptical of this conclusion. First, one of the main authors of the paper is Philip Gingerich, who has been maintaining the evolution of anthropoid primates from adapids for years despite evidence to the contrary. (See Chris Beard's The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey for a good review.) This is directly related to the second problem, which is that adapids were strepsirrhine (popularly called "wet-nosed") primates more closely related to modern-day lemurs, lorises, and bush babies. Instead anthropoids and the stock from which they arose are haplorrhines ("dry-nosed" primates), with tarsiers and an extinct group of tarsier-like primates called omomyids being much closer to them than the adapids.

According to preliminary reports Gingerich et al. link Darwinius to anthropoids by saying that it lacks a tooth comb and a toilet claw, two characteristics of strepsirrhine primates. As the author of A Primate of Modern Aspect writes, though, the lack of these two features does not automatically make Darwinius a transitional form from adapids to early anthropoids. It could be, and may be more likely to be, a unique part of the adapid family tree, and I will be very interested to see if the new paper contains a cladistic analysis. (I was a bit disappointed that Gingerich's last major descriptive paper on the early whale Maiacetus did not contain a cladogram).

I have the feeling that this fossil, while spectacular, is being oversold. This raises an important question about the way scientific discoveries, particularly fossil finds, are being popularized. Darwinius is just the latest is a string of significant fossils to be hyped in the media before being scientifically described (or at least before that information is released to the public). Other recent examples include "Dakota" the Edmontosaurus, the pliosaur "Predator X", and "Lyuba" the baby mammoth. I am glad that these finds are stirring excitement, but I am a bit put off by the way they are presented.

Companies like National Geographic and the History Channel are taking a larger role in how these discoveries are being presented. Each of the fossils I mentioned above have had books, feature articles, documentaries, or some combination thereof produced about them before any scientific description of them has been published. These promotional materials make grand claims but are vague on details, which are reserved for later academic publications. This can potentially create problems for effective science communication.

Consider, for example, the grand claims made about finds like Darwinius. It is being heavily promoted but scientists have not yet had a chance to see the fossil or read the paper describing it. When they get a call from a journalist or are asked their opinion on it, then, it can be difficult to discuss the find because they do not know the details. This can be harmful as it can not only lead to the spread of overblown assertions but it can also make us look foolish if these finds do not turn out to be all they were cracked up to be. This could especially be the case with Darwinius. Though heralded in documentaries and in the news as one of our direct ancestors, it is probably a very interesting lemur-like primate on a different evolutionary branch. I can only imagine the field day creationists are going to have if this is the case, and I am frustrated by the way mass media outlets manage to bungle genuinely interesting scientific discoveries.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tolgak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2009 at 9:30am
So evolution is wrong because the media overhyped a finding that hasn't been completely studied or peer reviewed by scientists yet.

Your logic is outstanding...


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2009 at 10:35am
Long post follows.  Most of it is me dissecting a blog post for no reason other than that is what I do.  For the part actually relevant to my exchange with FE, just read the last couple of paragraphs. 
 
Everything in between is mostly mental exercise, with my apologies attached.  All bolding in quotes was added by FE, as is not in the original.
 
-------start skipping here-------
 
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

Ok, I admit it, I was holding out on you because I knew your take would be what you posted above... So I saved this one until you posted the stuff above...
 
Nicely done.
 
 
And your big comeback is a link to a blog?  A blog by a student?  A student in the appropriate field at a good school for sure, but still - this is commentary.  Mr. Switek's thoughts will be appreciated and considered, but it is not as if any single blog posting is going to overwhelm observed scientific evidence.
 
I am a little disappointed.  Pleasantly surprised that you didn't just link AiG, but disappointed after your setup that we just get more commentary.  But I digress...
 
Quote
Here is the article (copy pasted.)
 

Late last week I received a rather curious e-mail. It read;

WORLD RENOWNED SCIENTISTS REVEAL A REVOLUTIONARY SCIENTIFIC FIND THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING

Ground-Breaking Global Announcement

What: An international press conference to unveil a major historic scientific find. After two years of research a team of world-renowned scientists will announce their findings, which address a long-standing scientific puzzle.

The find is lauded as the most significant scientific discovery of recent times. History brings this momentous find to America and will follow with the premiere of a major television special on Monday, May 25 at 9 pm ET/PT chronicling the discovery and investigation.

Who: Mayor Michael Bloomberg; International team of scientists who researched the find; Abbe Raven, President and CEO, A&E Television Networks; Nancy Dubuc, Executive Vice President and General Manager, History; Ellen Futter, President, American Museum of Natural History

"The most significant scientific discovery of recent times", eh? What could it be? Life on Mars? Time-travel? Teleportation? The Higgs Boson? A diet cola that doesn't taste absolutely awful? Well, no. It's all about a little primate from Germany.

 
First stop.  His setup is a FWD:FWD:FWD.  Awesome.  I read a fair amount of science news, and I have heard/read nobody refer to Ida as "the most significant scientific discovery of recent time," or anything else even close.  Heck, I would even say it isn't even the most significant fossil in recent times (I give that one to Archaeopteryx).  Important, yes; significant, yes.  Top of the overall science list?  That's just silly. 
 
And the second part:  "will change everything" - that makes no sense.  This fossil simply further confirms and extends our understanding of the phylogenetic tree.  This fossil is the opposite of change.  It is a confirmation and a gapfiller.
 
This email leadin is a total strawman.
 
But hey, if Mr. Switek has good observations I can forgive strawmen.
 
 
Quote Last week periodicals like the Wall Street Journal and the Mail Online heralded the discovery of a 47-million-year old adapid primate from the famous Messel deposits in Germany. These deposits are well-known for containing exceptionally well-preserved mammals, and this particular lemur-like primate fossil contains soft tissue impressions and gut contents.
 
In the links posted, neither the WSJ nor the Mail refer to Ida as the most significant anything, or anything close to the time.  The WSJ says that "it could prove to be a landmark discovery," and the Mail said the fossil "could resolve the fierce debate about which kind of primates humans are descended from."  
 
So far the only suggestion of BEST SCIENCE EVAR!!!1! is from this blog and a en email forward of unknown origins.
 
But still hoping for something good here.

Quote An exceptionally preserved fossil primate is pretty exciting, but that's not why the publicist for tomorrow's AMNH event wrote one of the most overblown press releases I have ever seen.

I couldn't find this press release.  If somebody could link I would like to read.
 
Quote No, the paper, which will be released in PLoS One tomorrow, ...
 
So he made this blog posting without even reading the article first?
 
Quote ... claims that this particular primate is of vital importance to the origin of anthropoid primates (or monkeys and apes, with our species being included in the latter category).
 
I just searched the actual article.  "Vital" does not appear at all.  Variations o "importance" do appears a few times.  Once referring to the importance of imaging studies, once referring to the importance of the absence of "a toilet claw and a toothcomb", once referring to the permanent molars, once referring to body weight, and once in this sentence:  "Darwinius masillae is important in being exceptionally well preserved and providing a much more complete understanding of the paleobiology of the Eocene primate than was available in the past."
 
Mr. Switek should have read the article before paraphrasing it, and he should refrain from exaggeration.
 
Quote I have yet to see the paper, but I am skeptical of this conclusion. First, one of the main authors of the paper is Philip Gingerich, who has been maintaining the evolution of anthropoid primates from adapids for years despite evidence to the contrary. (See Chris Beard's The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey for a good review.) This is directly related to the second problem, which is that adapids were strepsirrhine (popularly called "wet-nosed") primates more closely related to modern-day lemurs, lorises, and bush babies. Instead anthropoids and the stock from which they arose are haplorrhines ("dry-nosed" primates), with tarsiers and an extinct group of tarsier-like primates called omomyids being much closer to them than the adapids.
 
According to preliminary reports Gingerich et al. link Darwinius to anthropoids by saying that it lacks a tooth comb and a toilet claw, two characteristics of strepsirrhine primates. As the author of A Primate of Modern Aspect writes, though, the lack of these two features does not automatically make Darwinius a transitional form from adapids to early anthropoids. It could be, and may be more likely to be, a unique part of the adapid family tree, and I will be very interested to see if the new paper contains a cladistic analysis. (I was a bit disappointed that Gingerich's last major descriptive paper on the early whale Maiacetus did not contain a cladogram).
 
Now this looks like the beginnings of proper scientific critique.  A little premature since he hadn't read the article yet, but nevertheless legitimate.  The exact origins of Homo Sapiens is the subject of ongoing discussion, and Mr. Switek is certainly entitled to his opinion.  I am sure this fossil will engender many exchanges such as this, which is a healthy development and an important part of the scientific process.

Quote I have the feeling that this fossil, while spectacular, is being oversold.

So far, the only overselling is the overselling by Mr. Switek of the overselling of this fossil...
 
Quote This raises an important question about the way scientific discoveries, particularly fossil finds, are being popularized. Darwinius is just the latest is a string of significant fossils to be hyped in the media before being scientifically described (or at least before that information is released to the public). Other recent examples include "Dakota" the Edmontosaurus, the pliosaur "Predator X", and "Lyuba" the baby mammoth. I am glad that these finds are stirring excitement, but I am a bit put off by the way they are presented.

Companies like National Geographic and the History Channel are taking a larger role in how these discoveries are being presented. Each of the fossils I mentioned above have had books, feature articles, documentaries, or some combination thereof produced about them before any scientific description of them has been published. These promotional materials make grand claims but are vague on details, which are reserved for later academic publications. This can potentially create problems for effective science communication.

Here I agree completely, and not just about fossils.  News journalism is sensation-driven, and the popular science press is not immune from this.  If anything, it is a bigger problem for dense subject matters like paleobiology.  "Man shoots himself while demonstrating gun safety" is pretty easy to write an headline for (although they even screwed that up), while "new fossil lacks toothclaw" just doesn't have the same ring for Joe Sixpack.  So National Geographic et al simplify and hyperbolize. 
 
Absolutely.  Happens in my field as well - witness the recent thread on MTR permitting, where the press and blogs completely mischaracterized and overhyped a regulatory detail. 
 
Quote Consider, for example, the grand claims made about finds like Darwinius. It is being heavily promoted but scientists have not yet had a chance to see the fossil or read the paper describing it.
 
I do find that rather ironic, given that Mr. Switek appears to feel comfortable criticizing the article's conclusions without read the article...  but fine, whatever.
 
 
--------start reading again here----------- 
 
Quote Though heralded in documentaries and in the news as one of our direct ancestors, it is probably a very interesting lemur-like primate on a different evolutionary branch.
 
AH-HAH!  I finally see why FE copied this blog entry.  I was beginning to wonder.
 
Ok, FE - your grand rejoinder is "some science student with a blog thinks that this fossil is not an ancestor of Homo Sapiens."  Really, FE?  Really?  That's all you got?
 
Allow me to point out an important item to you:  Mr. Switek is not now, nor has he ever (TMK) denied the common origins of species.  His blog spends a fair amount of time knocking down creationist claims and myths.  He fully accepts science, including evolutionary biology.  The scientific point he is making is simply part of many ongoing debates about the exact placement of various species on the phylogenetic tree.  He is participating in the scientific process, but he is in no way, shape, or form denying it.


Edited by Peter Parker - 21 May 2009 at 10:40am

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I wish there was an FE webcam to watch him get slapped in the face with logic.
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In b4 attempted subject change.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2009 at 2:41pm
Just a student, huh...
 
 

Are the claims for Ida's significance overstated?

Yes...

* She is not the missing link but one of many links in the long chain of Man's descent.

* The publicity statements were hyped to make her appear more special than she is.

* She was not on the direct line of descent that led to Homo sapiens but a side branch.

 

But the episode has left the remarkable find mired in controversy, with scientists, rather than the media, criticised for overstating her significance with claims that Ida was "our earliest ancestor".

"This is a wonderful find," said the chief executive officer of the Australian Science Media Centre, Susannah Eliott. "But the excessive spin appears to be more about selling a book and a TV program than communicating good science."

 
 
 
Ida, a fossil that some are calling a “missing link” between apes and humans, may be overhyped, but organizers say the media frenzy is promoting science.
 
 
 

The Times of London reports that some scientists have joined in criticism of the media coverage, arguing it is wrong for a discovery to receive such heavy publicity before other researchers can evaluate it.

"It's obviously a lot of media hype to promote an ideology," Ham told WND. "In the wake of a lot of controversies in creation vs. evolution, evolutionists want to be able to announce they have the ultimate proof. … It's obviously a ploy to promote a book and a television special and to indoctrinate the public in evolution by making a lot of statements that are way beyond what the scientists themselves wrote."

Hurum, however, defended the campaign, telling the New York Times, "Any pop band is doing the same thing, any athlete is doing the same. We have to start thinking the same way in science."


Dr. Jonathan Wells

Jonathan Wells, author and biologist at the Seattle-based  Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, helped WND take a closer look at the science vs. hype debate.

"I have in front of me the technical paper published about the specimen, a fossil primate that looks a lot like a lemur," Wells told WND. "Some of the people who analyzed this also claim [Ida] is not in the subgroup that includes lemurs, but is in the subgroup from which humans theoretically evolved.

"There are many primatologists who already disagree with that interpretation and see this as a lemur," Wells explained to WND. "That's a controversy within the scientific community that has nothing to do with evolution, simply classification of the specimen."

When WND asked Wells if this creature could have traits of both lemurs and apes, the biologist explained that even a combination of the two groups' anatomy doesn't necessarily mean that evolution used the animal as a "bridge" to cross from one to other. Similarity in animal traits, he explained, even in a theoretical "missing link," doesn't prove evolution.

"In every case, what you've got is a fossil, a dead animal," Wells explained. "The theory of evolution says we have to have come from ancestors, so scientists go out looking, and then they find this particular animal that fits the theory better than other candidates. But there's absolutely no way to know – and many Darwinists acknowledge this – whether in fact any other animals evolved from this one or not, much less humans. So the line of ancestry and descent is completely speculative."



Edited by FreeEnterprise - 21 May 2009 at 2:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2009 at 2:58pm
Ok...  so now I am officially confused about what your point is.
 
If your big issue with this is that the scientific significance has been oversold by the non-scientific media, I frankly don't care enough to continue that debate - it is only a distraction from the actual science of Ida and evolution in general.
 
If your point is something else, more substantive about Ida and evolutionary paleobiology, then you will have to restate, because I can't extract it from your post.
 
Or, more specifically, not restate but simply "state" - so far you are just linking/copying to random other sites.  Could you offer an actual argument?  What are you trying to say here?  What is your point?
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2009 at 3:11pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

I thought "science" had peer review, and postings in scientific publications to "prove" their stance...

 
 
I already stated my point. To which you tried to build strawmen to knock down, verbosley.
 
I especially liked when you tried to discredit the "student"... Good stuff on this forum...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Voltage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2009 at 3:11pm
Originally posted by High Voltage High Voltage wrote:

In b4 another attempted subject change.



Edit: Almost had it.


Edited by High Voltage - 21 May 2009 at 3:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Parker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2009 at 3:34pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

I thought "science" had peer review, and postings in scientific publications to "prove" their stance...

 
 
I already stated my point. To which you tried to build strawmen to knock down, verbosley.
 
That isn't a point, it is a vague sarcastic statement with lots of quotes.  Is your point that this article was not peer-reviewed?  It was.  Is your point that "postings" (i.e. articles) in scientific publications are required to prove their stance?  Not sure what that means exactly, but the article in question did provide plenty of evidence for its conclusions.
 
So, still not sure what your point is.
 
Try it this way:  "My point is that ..."
 
 
Quote I especially liked when you tried to discredit the "student"
 
Did I discredit the student?  No - I identified him as a student, and picked at his poorly constructed blog post.  I actually gave him credit for being a legitimate participant in the debate.
 
But still not sure what this has to do with your point, since I don't know what your point is.
 
Quote ... Good stuff on this forum...
 
 
Ah - finally, AiG.  I know it would show up soon enough.
 
Also enjoyed how you snuck in the Discovery Institute along with your other random links/text in the prior post.  Elegant.
 
 
But back to my question - what is your point?  Please just complete the following sentence:
 
"My point is that ..."
 

"E Pluribus Unum" does not mean "Every man for himself".

Pop Quiz: What do all the Framers of the Constitution have in common?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adrenalinejunky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2009 at 4:22am
Originally posted by Peter Parker Peter Parker wrote:


Ah - finally, AiG.  I know it would show up soon enough.



what good debate would be complete without a source whose bias is the entire reason for thier existense? :)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adrenalinejunky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2009 at 4:27am
Originally posted by Peter Parker Peter Parker wrote:


[quote=FE's Link]The only question I have is, if this find is so amazing, why did it take them 20 years to bring it to the public’s attention.  The fossil was found in 1983.  It sounds more to me like <SPAN =IL_SPAN>scientists</SPAN> looking for more grant money and publicity, but I could be wrong.


who is to say they thought it was so amazing when they first found it.

i'm sure if i found a random fossil i would automagically assume it was -the- missing link that tied everything together without any research at all.

that would make sense right?
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