I just responded to a private message about evolution, religion and so on and decided to copy two evolution bits into a blog because I thought they were interesting. Hope you enjoy and perhaps find them rec’-worthy:
“The problem that I have with macroevolution is jumping from one species to an entirely different species (i.e. reptile to bird or whatnot).”
First off, birds descended from dinosaurs which descended from reptiles. And second, there are no “entirely different” species. A bird has more or less the same digestive, respiratory, reproductive, nervous etc systems as you do, with not that much variation. And the differences in scale between a human and a bird are what can easily be seen within the same species like so.
Furthermore even the most significant differences diagnostic of differentiating birds from humans and even mammals like having feathers also indicate common ancestry, because the same DNA that makes a bird’s feathers also makes a reptile’s scales and claws, and your hair (and claws), and hair (fur), scales, feathers, claws, calluses etc are all made of the same material, one of two variations of a chemical called keratin. We give live birth and they lay eggs, but we inherited our placenta from reptiles just as birds did. There are far, far more similarities between most animals than there are differences, the idea of an “entirely new” species is a superficial one.[Edit: And I should’ve mentioned also studies have shown that a gene that is vital for songbirds to be able to sing, when altered, causes speech problems in humans – if I were a biologist I’m sure I could go on all day with this stuff. I believe the appropriate internet parlance would be “evolution FTW”.]
“With the lack of transitionary fossils showing such changes I find it very unlikely.”
There are assloads of transitional fossils. We can track whales back to when they walked on land (and some still retain hip bones):
we can track horses back to when they had multiple toes
“(and when birds had digits on their “wings” and even feathers but no wings).”
“We can trace bats to when they had no sonar, we can trace snakes back to lizards (some snakes still retain vestigial legs to this day), we can get fossilized single-celled organisms out of rocks and see how they evolved over billions of years:
We can trace turtles back to when they couldn’t retract into their shells and had armored tails and teeth:
and before they even had full shells, just armor on their bellies and partial upper shells:
Or when monsters like this roamed the ocean:
We have transitional fossils between every major group, amphibians to reptiles, reptiles to mammals, reptiles to dinosaurs and dinosaurs to birds etc. Honestly, what kind of transitional form are you in the market for?