Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Chicken and Egg

Which came first, the Chicken, or the egg? When i a little kid, and was asked that question, i answered fairly quickly - the egg. My reasoning then was that chickens are likely a relatively modern species, and that there were likely older species that you wouldn't call chickens that laid eggs.

Of late, a new Archaeopterix fossil, with a well preserved foot, strongly suggests that birds are descendant from dinosaurs, with much less possibility that they predate dinosaurs - perhaps being completely missed in the fossil record. The foot isn't a modern bird style perching foot with a hind toe that points backwards. It looks more like a dinosaur foot, which leaves something for birds to evolve on their own. In any case, if dinosaurs came first, then since they laid eggs, the egg came before all birds, not just chickens. That's what i suspected when i was a little kid. Now i've seen evidence that my hypothesis was correct.

Note - i prefer to say that the evidence suggests rather than i believe, if for no other reason than that if better evidence becomes available, i can say that i wasn't wrong given the evidence available, its just that the new evidence is better, and, no, i haven't changed my mind, i've always tried to use the best evidence. Also, i'd like to think that i'm trying to learn science, rather than just religion. Science isn't a matter of faith. In my opinion, scientists don't believe in Evolution, the evidence suggests (demands) that this theory is correct. While there could be a theory that fits the evidence better, none has been suggested. The nay sayers might say, Evolution is just a theory, however, in science, a theory has lines of reasoning, but also a body of evidence that supports it. A hypothesis is the thing that just has the lines of reasoning. So, the nay sayers are suggesting that Evolution is just a hypothesis, which is silly. Evolution is more like gravity. It doesn't speak, but commands attention.

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