Hello Peaceful Science. I have posted in a topic so far, but this is my first Topic creation. Seems like you kind and friendly folk like instroductions, so let me start there.
I’m Chad, I live in Fort Worth, TX, work as a civil engineer and have a 4- and 6-year old (along with a sweet and lovely wife). I love both theology and science but am expert in neither. Well, science is part of professional life, so I could claim expertise in hydrology and hydraulics, but relating to you guys, was thinking in terms of PHD level expertise. I have a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Civil Engineering. For most of my life the sciences that exerted the greatest pull on my attention were physics and geology (nothing beyond undergrad and hobby level) with my interest in biology rising in recent years with what genetics has introduced to the discussion about evolution.
There’s the intro! Thanks for the warm welcome so far. It’s an honor to interact with y’all.
Now to some science…“science” on my level at least…
I linked to a youtube video by PBS Eons. First of all, if seeding the conversation with something this non-technical is subpar for this venue, please coach me up.
The video describes how difficult it has been to establish an ancient lineage for the big cats. It introduces the concept of ghost lineage. I introduced this as a topic for a couple of reasons.
First, I find it fascinating that we can watch a lineage get sorted out in real time. The ancestors of modern big cats have been difficult to find for lots of reasons, one of which is that we (humans) have (possibly) been looking in the wrong place. Africa seems to be the obvious place to look, but African digs haven’t turned up ancestral big cats. But a site in The Himalayas offered up a piece to the puzzle which appears to be an ancient big cat ancestor. Very cool.
Second, may I offer a comment about the evolution/design conversation (I have some theological and philosophical thoughts about that debate that I may share at some point, but that’s not this)?
Am I correct in thinking that the presence of a ghost lineage may be a gap into which a Design proponent might rush in order to offer a “design” argument?
My thought is just this (here’s where I risk bringing my un-expert thoughts to the experts)…
Science requires patience. The Big Cat family has been without proven ancestry. It might have appeared to some that this was proof that the big cats aren’t a tree branch, but a recently created tree. Instead, it appears, that the big cats are most likely a branch, and we just had to wait a while for the dirt to offer up a good clue.
There you go. That’s my simple introduction and layman level take on a fun science topic. Do with me and my thoughts what you will. You don’t even have to be gentle.