If Evolution Is True…

One type of trilobite-style eye

Question from Josh:
If evolution is true,why did an EVOLUTIONIST admit that Archaeopteryx was/is a PERCHING BIRD!?

Also,what about the sabretoothed herbivore,or the fact that Trilobites have such perfect vision that there was no distortion (at ALL!)?

Answer by SmartLX:
Archaeopteryx is indeed currently classified as a bird rather than a dinosaur. It’s still descended from dinosaurs or other reptiles, which is obvious because despite its birdlike characteristics putting it over the line it’s still replete with reptilian characteristics. Its common ancestor with dinosaurs was just a bit further back. This has no bearing on whether evolution is true, except that it makes sense in light of it.

Tiarajudens was indeed a herbivore with a pair of “sabreteeth”. We know it ate plants because the teeth around it are well suited for the purpose of grinding plant matter. The big fangs would either have been a holdover from a carnivorous ancestor or a useful defence and deterrent against its contemporary predators. This has no bearing on whether evolution is true, except that it makes sense in light of it.

Trilobites had highly advanced eyes, developed at great speed as a primary tool for hunting food and avoiding predators (and therefore a major “selection pressure”).

One type of trilobite-style eye
One type of trilobite-style eye, courtesy of Wikipedia

The trilobite-style eye evolved quite separately from the eye we see in mammals and reptiles today; since it was adapted for use in water, it wouldn’t be much use to us anyway. Some of its components, for instance the signalling system, had already existed for millions of years in lifeforms as diverse as protozoa, plants and yeast. Some trilobites effectively lost their eyes over time because they were living so deep underwater there was no light to speak of. This has no bearing on whether evolution is true, except that it makes sense in light of it.

2 thoughts on “If Evolution Is True…”

  1. “Trilobites have such perfect vision that there was no distortion (at ALL!)?”

    This statement is complete nonsense. Apart from the fact that there are three different types of trilobite eye found across about 20,000 species the fact is that all trilobite eyes had fixed lenses – they were unable to focus by altering aperture (the amount of light entering the eye) or eye shape (the ability to have light rays converge) or by moving the eye. Trilobites would have had to wait until any target came into focus, or else move toward or away from it or shift their body position. Until then any image they perceived would have been distorted.

    Another important point is that eyes do not ‘see’. Brains ‘see’, or more correctly, ‘perceive’. The eye is merely sensitive to particular patterns of photons that are able to be interpreted by the brain. Neurons responsible for vision are highly specialised to cater for specific perceptual needs that have evolved within particular ecological niches. This is why eyes, visual neurons and specific visual abilities vary so much across species. Some human visual capabilities are vastly inferior compared to those of other species. For example, most species of birds of prey have far superior resolution and far more sensitive motion perception than humans.

    So I doubt very much that the trilobite brain had evolved all the visual neuronal mechanisms necessary to see with no distortion at all. They would certainly be the only organisms to be able to do so.

  2. Josh writes: “If evolution is true,why did an EVOLUTIONIST admit that Archaeopteryx was/is a PERCHING BIRD!?”

    Because they realized it was more of a bird than originally thought. In other words, they updated their understanding of it based on new information and placed it in the proper category.

    Whenever new information comes along about a topic, science adds it to the knowledge base already accrued for that topic and re-evaluates the conclusions that were made. Sometimes that new information leads to a change in the conclusions, sometimes it doesn’t. For Archaeopteryx it was more a case of understanding where that creature fell on the evolutionary tree based on the discovery of other creatures. The data hadn’t changed, but the understanding of what the data meant DID change.

    In my experience believers think a situation like this points to a failure in the scientific method. The way you use “admit” certainly makes me think that is your tone. It’s like you think they were reluctant to issue this update, like they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar. What believer almost universally fail to understand is that situations like this point out one of the great strengths of science. Science is not some rigid dogma that won’t accept change to what it says. Science openly welcomes any and all criticism, and adds any new information and understanding that comes along. All science wants to do is to GET IT RIGHT. When Archaeopteryx was moved closer to the bird end of the spectrum, that was science trying to get it right.

    The question is, why do believers think that is such a bad thing? It’s ironic in my mind that believers, who are constantly taught how they are not perfect and make mistakes and err all the live long day, think that any correction that is made in a scientific field is grounds for complete dismissal of the ENTIRE scientific field. If your religious beliefs were like that there wouldn’t be anyone left to go to your church. When a scientific field updates the conclusions on a topic, such as Archaeopteryx, they are simply fixing an error. In the end the knowledge is more accurate, not less. It is closer to right, not completely wrong.

    Of course you didn’t bother to explain how the correction of one particular animal’s placement on it’s branch of the evolutionary tree means we should get rid of the whole tree. You said “If evolution is true”…

    So let me ask you a question Josh. How does the updating of the conclusions reached about Archaeopteryx invalidate all of the other discoveries made about evolution over the years? How does it invalidate the findings that the theory of evolution is true by multiple independent fields of study from morphology to geology to biology to genetics to paleontology to anthropology? How does it invalidate the live studies of many succeeding generations of creatures such as guppies, E Coli, and fruit flies where evolutionary change was witnessed? How does it invalidate the tens of thousands of other fossil finds that have shown how life has progressed on this planet?

    I hope you get a chance to give us your reason why evolution should be dismissed because one creature had the conclusions about it updated, and how that reason can sufficiently cast doubt on the mountain of evidence that supports the theory of evolution…

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