Question for theists: accessory bones

blackmath
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Question for theists: accessory bones

Some people are born with 'accessory bones', extra bones typically found in their hands, feet or legs. It's easy to see how, as bones can become smaller or larger over the generations (people come in all shapes and sizes), and by sometimes adding bones, the evolutionary process can form all kinds of different skeletons. Generations born with particular skeletons which work better in some way over time will tend to be more successful and pass their skeletons on and that is how we inherited our skeletons, which are still changing a little as we see with accessory bones. Adult human skeletons typically have between 200 and 210 bones and babies have over 300 (many bones fuse together as they grow), some people even have an extra vertebra.

Why would a God make people with slightly different skeletons ? What are the alternative 'designs' for ?


jread
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The question you ask could

The question you ask could also be looked at from a larger perspective. Why are there birth defects? Why are there children born with no arms and no legs? Etc. Etc.

My naive completely unschooled in higher anatomy/physiology mind, would venture to guess that under the presumption that there is a God, perhaps the birth deformities would be attributed to the parents genes/drug use/heredity/etc.

Although, I suppose this would make it seem like God doesn't create the life of the baby. It would seem that the parents had more of a hand in the baby's creation than God if the parents shortcomings can influence the child-to-be.

There could be a way out, by saying that God still created the life, but the parents created the body. Sounds weird, and I'm sure could be discredited as an explanation, but it's just my humble opinion.

 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


blackmath
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Ah but to a believer, birth

Ah but to a believer, birth defects are easy: they are due to The Fall, that mysterious influence behind all the nasty things in the world Smiling

Accessory bones aren't deformities though, they are more like alternatives, other ways to make a skeleton, stemming from the ancient gene-regulation networks we've inherited. 


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I didn't bring up the fall

I didn't bring up the fall in my answer to your question, so I don't see how it applies to my reply.

The presence of brith "defects" may also be construed as "alernatives." For example, being autistic isn't all bad, who knows, it may be an evolutionary process for the improvement of our species. Similarly, the accessory bones which you see as an alernative skeleton, may just as likely be a deformity. The excess of bones may cause arthritis in parts of the body that don't normally develop arthritis.

Lastly, I find it funny, that you title your post "Question for theists: accessory bone" and then when you get a reply, you say that you already knew the answer, "Ah but to a believer, birth defects are easy: they are due to The Fall, that mysterious influence behind all the nasty things in the world Smiling" Therefore, if you already knew the answer, then why did you ask the question? 

 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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Have you all ever heard

Have you all ever heard that African Americans have an Extra Calf Muscle or Lingament in their legs? I've always heard this and it does sound like a logical explination for our speed and jumping abilities, but it's been hard for me to find a definate answer. A lot of poeple I read on keep saying that we don't have an extra calf muscle, but we do have an extra legament.

I also found out that African Americans have a higher bone and/or muscle density, which claims that we sink faster in water.

Quote:
"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


Yellow_Number_Five
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Slimm wrote: Have you all

Slimm wrote:

Have you all ever heard that African Americans have an Extra Calf Muscle or Lingament in their legs? I've always heard this and it does sound like a logical explination for our speed and jumping abilities, but it's been hard for me to find a definate answer. A lot of poeple I read on keep saying that we don't have an extra calf muscle, but we do have an extra legament.

I also found out that African Americans have a higher bone and/or muscle density, which claims that we sink faster in water.

 

Never heard the claim of Africans having extra musscles or tendons, and evolutionarily speaking, I find such claims highly suspect - though I cannot confirm one way or the other.

 

Genetically speaking, people of African descent are resistant to malaria and similar infections. The adaptation is readily apparent in sickle cell genographry. Culturally and genetically speaking, African tribes which rely heavily on cattle milk and blood for their sustenance exhibit markedly higher tolerances to lactose than other groups. You can find similar trends in other cultures who rely or have heavily relied on cattle and their milk in the past.

 

It really simply makes sense. People evolve to exploit the foods available to them. You'll find similar trends in the ability of Inuet people to convert a high fat diet (think whale and seal blubber and meat and no green veggies) into simple sugars - a diet that would kill most people within a few months due to "rabbit starvation".

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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blackmath
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jread - I agree that the

jread - I agree that the distinction between 'defect' and 'alternative' is a blurry one, but my question was not about birth defects.

I was more interested in benign (not mal-adaptive) 'parallel anatomies'. I consider having accessory bones as an alternative in the sense that some people have connected earlobes or different eyelid folds, double-jointed limbs or the ability to roll their tongue (none of these features are 'defects&#39Eye-wink. I'm just highlighting an interesting feature of humans which is that there is no single 'design', there are many parallel alternative solutions which work equally well.

My reply to your first post certainly wasn't 'knowing the answer' -- it's an open-ended question, there is no one right answer! I just felt you'd misunderstood the spirit of my question, which is partly my fault for not having posed it clearly enough I suppose Smiling 


blackmath
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Slimm - there are no

Slimm - there are no anatomical differences but I think you're referring to a news reports about fast-twitch muscle fibre which were a bit dodgy. Whenever 'race' comes into a report one's got to be careful because genetically there's no such thing.


Avecrien
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I'd heard the black kid's

I'd heard the black kid's leg thing a lot growing up in the south. Its been around for a while, in some form.

I'd say the bones and different evolutionary ventures are simply the system in practice. Humans aren't exempt from it, nor should they be. The 'different designs' are for various chance happenings that would influence our environment...we hope.

 

Mike Gravel for president!


Yellow_Number_Five
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BTW, I ask this in my

BTW, I ask this in my stickied "Questions for Creationists" in this forum:

 

How do creationists explain coccygeal retroposition (true human tails) and other atavisms and vestigual structures? An atavism is the reemergence of a lost phenotypical trait from a past ancestor and not specific to the organisms parents or very recent ancestors. For example, perhaps you would care to explain well documented coccygeal projections (true tails) that are occasionally found on human newborns? Do you have a better explaination than the tails resulting from the incomplete regression of the most distal end of the normal embryonic tail found in the developing human fetus? You can see about 100 medically recorded instances of this phenomena here: PubMed links And just so there is no misunderstanding, these are true tails, with vertebrae extending from the human tail bone as shown in this x-ray: What about other vestigual structures like molecular vesitges in the form of human viatamin C definciency? Why does the gene for manufacturing viatamin C exist as a psuedogene in humans and also as a broken gene in chimps, orangutans and other primates - as predicted by evolutionary theory? Why can more distant relatives like dogs make their own viatamin C? This is only one of the molecular atavisms found in humans. What is your scientific explanation for this, if not evolution by common descent?

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


Slimm
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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

BTW, I ask this in my stickied "Questions for Creationists" in this forum:

How do creationists explain coccygeal retroposition (true human tails) and other atavisms and vestigual structures? An atavism is the reemergence of a lost phenotypical trait from a past ancestor and not specific to the organisms parents or very recent ancestors. For example, perhaps you would care to explain well documented coccygeal projections (true tails) that are occasionally found on human newborns? Do you have a better explaination than the tails resulting from the incomplete regression of the most distal end of the normal embryonic tail found in the developing human fetus? You can see about 100 medically recorded instances of this phenomena here: PubMed links And just so there is no misunderstanding, these are true tails, with vertebrae extending from the human tail bone as shown in this x-ray: What about other vestigual structures like molecular vesitges in the form of human viatamin C definciency? Why does the gene for manufacturing viatamin C exist as a psuedogene in humans and also as a broken gene in chimps, orangutans and other primates - as predicted by evolutionary theory? Why can more distant relatives like dogs make their own viatamin C? This is only one of the molecular atavisms found in humans. What is your scientific explanation for this, if not evolution by common descent?

Nice post man, this reminds me of a qoute I heard in the movie with Nicolas Cage called The God Of War of something like that. He's plays an Atheist Arms dealer, and there's Tons of good qoutes and events in this movie. I think everyone should see this movie....It goes something something like this...

"At 4 and a half mounths old a Human Fetus has a Reptile's Tail, A remnant of Our EVOLUTION...And maybe that's what I Can't Escape. You can fight a lot of enemies and survive, but if you fight your own Biology you WILL ALWAYS LOSE!!!"

Slimm,

Quote:
"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


blackmath
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Aye Slimm, foetal

Aye Slimm, foetal development sure is revealing. You've got to be be pretty creative to avoid seeing what's really going on when you look at the sequence of forms, but the creationists are very imaginative.

 Consider the axolotl or the tadpoles of frogs and seasquirts. My imagination isn't up to the job, but I bet the creationists have contrived a way to shoe-horn these creatures into their mythical scheme of 'kinds'.