Conventional Evolutionary Timeline
BBC History of the Earth (2014)
The above timeline is the conventional Darwinian version of evolution that most of us have come to take as a proven fact. However, there are, and have been, for a least 200 years, scientific alternatives. Before presenting a brief slither of the alternatives, first we need to clear away a little of the dead wood; to try and see some of the wood from the great big Dawinian tree, or at least one aspect of the reason why the above conventional timeline may not hold. Below is a brief overview of a slither of just some of the issues embedded in our standard model of evolutionary assumptions.
Take for instance, one issue with the Darwinian model which comes down to a simple case of misapplied terminology based upon an assumption. For example, there is still a strong insistence upon using the term mammalian-like reptile. Indeed, as the article excerpt from Berkeley Education (University Museum of Palaeontology) below points out: it is a misleading term and should not be used any longer.
… pre-mammalian groups of synapsids have at times been called “mammal-like reptiles”. This term is now discouraged because although many had characteristics in common with mammals, none of them were actually reptiles.
Ben Waggoner 1997
Or as another article explains:
Introduction to the Pelycosaurs
Synapsids with attitude
…pelycosaurs are not reptiles, since reptiles have two such openings in their skulls. … It is believed that the pelycosaurs, like their living mammal relatives, were endothermic, which means that they maintained a constant internal body temperature. This is another characteristic that sets pelycosaurs apart from the reptiles. If this view is correct, then pelycosaurs are one of the earliest examples of endothermic animals.
…The “pelycosaurs” are members of the Synapsida, a major branch of the Amniota. Pelycosaurs are the earliest, most primitive synapsids, a group characterized by a single dermal opening in the skull permitting muscle attachment to the jaw. …In fact, the only currently living synapsids are the mammals. It is believed that the pelycosaurs, like their living mammal relatives, were endothermic, which means that they maintained a constant internal body temperature. This is another characteristic that sets pelycosaurs apart from the reptiles. If this view is correct, then pelycosaurs are one of the earliest examples of endothermic animals.
In many respects, the pelycosaurs are intermediate between the reptiles and mammals, and so they have commonly been referred to as “mammal-like reptiles”. The pelycosaurs indeed resemble large lizards in their overall appearance, but as we have seen, this is a misnomer since pelycosaurs are not reptiles
… Pelycosaurs first appeared during the upper Carboniferous (Lower Pennsylvanian)
…However, it must be noted that not all pelycosaurs had sails. Still, most pelycosaurs were similar to Dimetrodon in that they also were carnivores with large, powerful jaws, and two types of teeth: sharp canines and shearing teeth…This adaptation allowed pelycosaurs to flourish, and by the beginning of the Permian, pelycosaur genera account for 70 percent of all the known amniotes, outnumbering the reptiles.
…The pelycosaurs exhibit the first substantial progress of crawling to running. This evolution in the extremities required a modification of the metabolism in the muscular system to provide the energy required for more strenuous activity. The resulting change in the axial system brought about endothermy. Supporting this idea is the fact that as later pelycosaurs and later synapsids evolved, the surface area of sail to body mass ratio decreased. This shows the trend of reduced need for outside thermoregulation, which would require an increased use of endothermy, an important characteristic today separating the reptiles and mammals.
Brian R. Speer et al (2000)
The synapsids is the name given to the non-reptilia and oft referred to as the mammal-like reptiles as highlighted above, yet, historically, they never had any link to reptilia, other than assuming that all primitive tetrapods (land-walkers) were classifiable according to what was assumed to come earliest in the record (eg. amphibians first, reptiles next and then mammals).This concept was assumed in the first place (whilst rejecting other equally, if not more plausible scenarios) as it fitted the Darwinian model of descent as the historical record shows (see free ebook of scientific quotes on the topic on this site), as indicated below in a science paper going back to the mid 1970s, in which the very issue of ‘the origin of the concept of mammal-like reptile’ as the title suggests states in the introduction: “Following the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, in 1859, biologists were eager to apply the theory of evolution to the paleontological record.” Aulie (1975, 21). The American Biology Teacher, National Association of Biology Teachers Link
This embedded assumption to fit the theory turns out to be misleading and simply wrong, judging by fairly recent studies, particularly as clearly illustrated in: ‘Comparative Vertebrate Neuroanatomy: Evolution and Adaptation’ by Ann B Butler and William Hodos (2005):
The Early Divergence of Synapsids
An idea that is common among newcomers to the field of vertebrate evolution is that the earliest mammals evolved from reptile ancestors. This idea can lead to summary statements of tetrapod phylogeny a being something along the line of amphibians-reptiles-birds and mammals. Unfortunately, this sequence is not consistent with current data about the times of divergence of various tetrapod lineages.
Reptiles, which are diapsides (having two teporal fenestrae, …), did not appear in the fossil record until 10 million years after the origin of the line leading to modern mammals. As shown in Figure 1, approximately 350 million years ago, the stem tetrapods split into two lines, one leading to modern amphibian and a second line that became the stem anapsids, which were the ancestors of the amniotes. 320 million years ago, the stem synapsids branched from the anapsid line.
Butler and Hodos (2005, 81).
THE ALTERNATIVE EVOLUTIONARY TIMELINE DERIVED FROM HISTORICALLY OBSCURED ALTERNATIVES & UPDATED TO INCORPORATE THE LATEST SCIENTIFIC DATA ON EVOLUTIONARY COMPLEXITY
Chart based upon conventional timeline and updated according to most recent molecular data and fossil record (with applied principles of alternative evolutionary processes)
If we focus in on one example given in the alternative timeline, we can get an idea of the general principles of species being shaped by their environments (epigenetic evolution) and being moulded from a commonly shared ancestral condition (as promposed within a number of historical obscured theories and finding confirmation in more recent studies) rather than the simplistic direct descent model offered by the Darwinian dogma, a distinctly different evolutionary pattern begins to emerge. We will briefly look at the so-called ichthyosaurs (marine reptiles). Again there is no reason to refer to these as ‘saurs’ of any kind, but it is asummed that they are not marine mammalians in a more primitive form (generalists) as they occur too early in the fossil record (see alternative timeline above) to fit the conventional theory.
– ICHTHYOSAURS –
The exceptional level of preservation in German specimens has allowed highly accurate reconstructions of early Jurassic ichthyosaurs. This has revealed a striking morphological similarity to modern dolphins. ..
— University of Bristol (2002-2015) ‘Palaeobiology Research Group’ webpage
Diagram of ‘S’ Sigmoidal univeral growth/evolutionary curve and simplied concept of the developmental hourglass model applied and extrapolated to one possible scenario whereby the ichthyosaurs (simbeing mammal/dolphin-like, air-breathing, warm-blooded, live-birthers as the evidence clearly shows, may never have gone extinct and simply perfected and refined their form (Von-Baer’s principles and epigenetic leaps of evolutionary complexity according to environmental changes – Lamarckian evolution), specialising in the dolphin/whale and other marine mammal forms.
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