Forward, No Backward, No Sideways: Snake Evolution

Hind legs reported on snake fossils says, MSNBC. This seems to support the idea in the evolutionary story that snakes descended from lizards, and lost their legs through evolution.  Eupodophis descouensi is said to have .8 inch legs with ankle bones but no feet or toes. The evidence here requires imagination, because clearly they were not used for walking.

This new discovery raising some questions, or rather raises the level of complexity in the story of evolution. If the oldest known fossil snake which is assumed to be 94 to 112 million years and this discovery was dated with the assumption of 90 million years, it’s going in the opposite direction or is it just an illusion? “If something is not useful it can regress without any impact on the (animal’s) survival, or regression can even be positive, as for here if the leg was disturbing a kind of locomotion, like for burrowing snakes or swimming snakes.”

But why would useless structures remain 4 to 22 million years? However, researchers tells us that the puzzle of the evolutionary story will not be solved in 10 years rather it may be solved one day with various teams working on it.

It still remains a mystery on whether or not the leg loss was an increase of genetic information, or in fitness. For example, flightless birds are adapted for their land-based habitats, but it would be a notch higher for birds to evolve from ground to air than the other way around. Perhaps research teams are still working on this part of the story.

Evolutionists are clueless about not only their own theory of common ancestry, but the old-age framework as well. Many reports come out all the time with more puzzles which increases speculation than increasing real knowledge with a singing praise to the evolutionary story.  But it’s not reality. Rather than spending a ton of hard earned money on trying to figure out the myth of snake evolution which has no ending, what about putting that amount of money and energy into things like biomimetics?

There are all kinds of great research going on in this area! Research teams are needed because they haven’t come close to doing what a ATP synthase, or a flagellum, mother-of-pearl, or a ribosome or even a dragonfly wing has been doing now for millennia.

It incorporates engineering concepts that eventually will lead to something that will benefit mankind like human health, and technology which will be useful when they gain knowledge about the engineering of nature designed by God. As far as research in Darwinism: Go forward? No, backwards? No, sideways? Answer: No snake evolution or any Darwinian evolution for that matter!

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6 thoughts on “Forward, No Backward, No Sideways: Snake Evolution

  1. @Michael: “Hind legs reported on snake fossils says, MSNBC. This seems to support the idea in the evolutionary story that snakes descended from lizards, and lost their legs through evolution. “

    It seems that Michael is ignorant not only of biology but of the Bible as well. If he would actually read Genesis 3:14, he might find out how snakes lost their legs..

    In the evolution of snakes, creationists are ahead of science. Evolution has no theory at all as to how snakes lost the ability to speak that they possessed only 6,000 years ago.. No paleontologist has ever found even rudimentary speech capabilities in fossil snakes.

    But, as we say, the fossil record is far from complete….

  2. One of the things that every lawyer knows, and that even high-school debaters understand, is that winning an argument requires that you know your opponent’s position at least as well as he does.[1]

    Creationists, however, seem intent on remaining ignorant of evolution, and blinded to the scientific approach in general.

    == Exhibit A: “[The fossil snake] is said to have .8 inch legs with ankle bones but no feet or toes. The evidence here requires imagination,[2] because clearly they were not used for walking.”

    They’re attached to a pelvis at the point in the backbone where everyone else has legs. Doesn’t take much imagination after all. Some modern whales still have internal legs and a tiny pelvis. Ostriches have feathered appendages attached to a shoulder girdle, and they flap. Doesn’t take much imagination to call them wings. Humans have a protrusion below the pelvis in line with the lumbar vertebrae. Not much imagination is required to call that a tail.

    == Exhibit B: “But why would useless structures remain 4 to 22 million years? “

    Why do an ostrich’s wings hang around, since the ostrich cannot fly? Why do whale pelvises hang around for millions of years, with no useful legs attached to them? Why do humans still have hundreds of olfactory receptors that can’t smell anything anymore?

    Design can be instantaneous; a new feature is designed into a music player, and players without that feature disappear. But evolution takes time. The length of a leg is not laid out in a blueprint, like a designed product. It is built by regulation of some genes over a period of time during fetal development. Different members of an ancient snake population differed as to leg length. When natural selection began to favor locomotion on the ground, those with shorter legs bred more rapidly, and their offspring had still shorter legs. And so forth generation upon generation. Not a fast process,[3] Nor hard to understand, one would think.

    == Exhibit C: “It still remains a mystery on whether or not the leg loss was an increase of genetic information, or in fitness. For example, flightless birds are adapted for their land-based habitats, but it would be a notch higher for birds to evolve from ground to air than the other way around.”

    here, Michael becomes truly confused. “Genetic information” is a buzzword that Michael learned from Stephen Meyer. Michael has not the slightest idea what it means—probably because Meyer doesn’t either.

    So it’s fitness. If Michael had been paying attention, the MSNBC article explained this. Legs interfere with burrowing and swimming; they slowed the snake ancestor down. To the extent that these proto-snakes could catch more food with the new type of locomotion,[4] they thrived.

    Michael asserts that flightless birds are better adapted to their environment–but they still have wings. What is the mental obstacle—besides creationism, of course—against short-legged snakes being better adapted than longer-legged ones?

    One aspect of evolution that utterly baffles creationists is that everything has a cost. Birds can fly, and thus avoid predators and find more food. But this ability costs them dearly—they must gorge themselves constantly, because flying requires so much energy. Why is the ostrich flightless? Not because it has no wings or enough brains to flap them. The flight muscles have atrophied; they are no longer strong enough for flight. Maintaining flight muscles is what requires all the food. In the absence of predators,[5] ostriches can survive on less food. Making them more fit in their environment. They do not incur the “cost’ of the ability to fly. Legless snakes do not incur the cost of growing and feeding legs.

    .

    “Evolutionists are clueless about not only their own theory of common ancestry, but the old-age framework as well. “

    Sounds more like creationists are clueless about evolution

    They certainly are clueless about their own theory—

    == How did light slow down by a million times in order to make a young universe look so old?
    == Why did certain radioactive decay rates, but not others, change in order to make the universe look old?
    == How did God manage to put 740,000 annual ice rings in a Greenland glacier that is only 6,000 years old?

    The list of things creationists’ don’t know about their own theory is truly endless.

    ============

    [1] They told me in law school that the first thing you want to do for a trial is to set out your opponent’s argument so well that even he will agree that it is an excellent summary.

    [2] Michael is confused here, because the MSNBC article states that “To better examine the snake, the scientists used a new imagining technique called synchrotron-radiation computed laminography (SRCL).” So he thinks they “imagined” the data.

    [3] What happens if they do not respond at all to this selection pressure? They go extinct. This has actually happened.

    [4] Actually, it’s not new. The brain signals required for slithering are the same as fish (but not whales!) employ for swimming, and many reptiles for crawling.

    [5] Strange to relate, we find flightless birds on islands or similar locations where there are no large animals. (But how did they get there originally? They flew!)

  3. Michael: ““[The fossil snake] is said to have .8 inch legs with ankle bones but no feet or toes.”

    Since Michael knows nothing about developmental biology or evolution, he wonders why the legs got shorter, but the feet and toes disappeared completely. That is, he can’t understand why the whole leg/foot assembly didn’t just get smaller.

    The 375 million year old Tiktaalik fossil showed the transition from fishes’ fins to amphibian legs. But the fins didn’t just get bigger. They added a totally new set of bones—wrist and fingers to the previous two sets of “arm” bones. This did not require any totally new genes. During fetal fin development, the appropriate genes undergo two cycles of expression—they turn on for the upper bone, then off for an interval, then on again for the lower two bones, then off again.

    Tiktaalik turned these same genes on again after the second cycle. This new third cycle produced the wrist and hand bones at the end of the lower arm.[1] All vertebrates with limbs today have these three cycles. In fact, the same cycles operate on both legs and arms simultaneously during fetal growth : Cycle #1—humerus in the arm and femur in the leg. Cycle #2—Radius/ulna in the arm and tibia/fibula in the leg. Cycle #3–Carpal/metacarpal/phalanges in the hand, tarsus/talus/…/phalanges in the foot.[2]

    Just as the hand was formed by adding a new cycle, the feet and toes of the proto-snake disappeared by the same process in reverse. Although all of the cycles decreased in intensity, the third cycle fell to zero first. Last to develop, first to disappear. We only have one leggy snake fossil, but modern whales with vestigial legs show the same regression: No toes, lower (internal) leg bones shorter than upper leg bones.

    Creationists are mystified by toes disappearing but legs remaining. Creationists are mystified by birds with wings that cannot fly. Creationists scratch their heads over defective citric-acid genes that are incapable of producing citric acid.[3] Creationists have not a clue why human chromosome 2 has telomeres in the middle, and not just at its ends. These and many more mysteries illustrate why Theodosius Dobzhansky famously said: “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” In the 19th century, Lord Kelvin sneered that there were only two kinds of science, physics and butterfly collecting. Without the organization provided by evolution, biology becomes merely a catalog of unrelated facts—butterfly collecting.[4]

    ============

    [1] But what about all the muscle, tendon, and nerves that go with the new bones? Doesn’t God have to design them in, just as humans would have to design new wiring separately after a room is added to a house? The answer is no, because development works differently from human designs. Everyone has heard about altering hox gene regulation in flies to produce extra leg structures. Once the leg skeleton starts to develop, the genes for nerves, e.g., are “attracted” to it by a form of chemotaxis. It’s basically the same signaling process that microbes use to tell each other about nearby food, or to form a slime mold.

    [2] Foot bones are not grouped together as hand bones are. However, foot bones do correspond to individual hand bones, and develop in similar subcycles. If hands are feet had been independently “designed,” any competent human engineer would have arranged them more specifically to their different functions—fewer toe joints, or no toes at all, for example. But evolution must deal with what already exists, and has not the freedom available to designers.

    [3] So humans have to eat fruit or get scurvy, while chimpanzees, who have functioning genes, do not have to eat fruit to avoid scurvy. (How this is linked to color-blindness in chimps and color vision in humans is another interesting tale.)

    [4] And chemistry amounted to collecting separate facts about individual elements, until the periodic table put them into a theoretical framework.

  4. I’m genuinely fearful for mankind that after all this time and all the evidence to the contrary, some members of the human race still believe in the Kiddie Stories that were (a) dreamed up to explain the unexplainable in times when even the simplest observed fact such as the Sun “rising” each morning required the invoking of some god or other, then (b) passed down the generations – with various versions gaining differential support in different regions of the world – such that nowadays proponents of the variously adapted Kiddie Stories and their inherent baggage have no qualms as to go so far as even kill those with sometimes even a very slightly different adopted version of the Kiddie Stories. I’m not sure if anyone ever made a correlation curve between Intelligence (yes in all its various guises) and propensity to believe in Creation, but it’s sad to think that in 2012 in some of the most powerful countries on Earth and amongst some of the most powerful people therein, we still find these views held up as in any way credible. At least Richard Dawkins et al have decided to finally Call Time on pussyfooting around in order not to upset the sensitivities of these Retards!
    So, why am I fearful? Well, with Biological Evolution now playing little more than a supporting role to Cultural Evolution, these Retards are NOT being weeded out of the gene pool – hence I fear that with the General Public’s love for a good story and scarily bad Track Record when it comes to sorting out the facts from the BS, these Guys may yet win the day – see you over at my cave for fermented fruit juice and roots – we can stay up and watch the Sun Gods with their chariots towing the Sun across the sky……..

  5. Wild Edric,

    You say, “So, why am I fearful? Well, with Biological Evolution now playing little more than a supporting role to Cultural Evolution, these Retards are NOT being weeded out of the gene pool – hence I fear that with the General Public’s love for a good story and scarily bad Track Record when it comes to sorting out the facts…”

    It takes much more faith to believe in evolution than God. Interest article in science daily (Sept 2011) which writes about a survey taken among scientists which I consider are your prophets in your worldview.

    “Throughout history, science and religion have appeared as being in perpetual conflict, but a new study by Rice University suggests that only a minority of scientists at major research universities see religion and science as requiring distinct boundaries.”

    “When it comes to questions about the meaning of life, ways of understanding reality, origins of Earth and how life developed on it, many have seen religion and science as being at odds and even in irreconcilable conflict,” said Rice sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund. But a majority of scientists interviewed by Ecklund and colleagues viewed both religion and science as “valid avenues of knowledge” that can bring broader understanding to important questions, she said.”

    Are all these scientists who believe in evolution as you do, “retards?”

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