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Roamer
Post  Post subject: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:58 am

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Are there any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?
Specifically, do any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings, with a flightless ancestory, exist?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:09 am
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what do you mean by functional wings ?

e.g. an ostrich has pretty well-developed wings, just not the type that makes it capable of flying

as for your other question, I only know of birds who have lost the capability of flying, I don't know of any where it was reacquired once lost

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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:46 pm
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Roamer wrote:
Are there any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?
Specifically, do any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings, with a flightless ancestory, exist?

My first thought are some of the domesticated chicken and turkey varieties

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Roamer
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:00 pm

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By fully functional, I mean the ability to take full flight.
Partially functional means taking advantage of air resistance to escape predators.

Creationists say that the half-wings of half-winged feathered animals are useless.
Evolutionists say that the half-wings of half-winged feathered animals are useful, as they can take advantage of air resistance to escape predators, despite the inability to fully fly.
That is an empty assertion.

I want to find living examples of this, prefably on the very early stages of wings.
Man made factory chickens breeds don't count.


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DrKrettin
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:05 pm
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paleoichneum wrote:
Roamer wrote:
Are there any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?
Specifically, do any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings, with a flightless ancestory, exist?

My first thought are some of the domesticated chicken and turkey varieties


This could be a kind of No True Scotsman discussion. Wings are only functional if they provide some kind of flight, so flightless birds don't have functional wings. I keep chickens, and have kept turkeys, and both species can fly, at least over a low fence. Does that count as flight?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:15 pm
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Roamer wrote:
Evolutionists say that the half-wings of half-winged feathered animals are useful, as they can take advantage of air resistance to escape predators, despite the inability to fully fly.
That is an empty assertion.


that's not a mere assertion - both ostriches and roadrunners use their wings to take sharp turns whilst running fast - this can be good both in getting prey or escaping from predators

also see Wing-assisted incline running, which has been observed in the real world

besides, if you can escape a predator by jumping off a tree branch and not crashing to your death because your half-wings transform falling into gliding, what's so useless about half-wings ?

to claim that half a wing being useful is an empty assertion can only be maintained by being blissfully unaware of the true state of nature

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Olinguito
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:25 pm
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Penguins use their wings to swim under water. Does this count has having "functional" wings? They are simply using their wings to do something different.

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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:27 pm

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Roamer, are you creationist? You have posted a number of threads like this one but you never seem to acknowledge the answers you are given, you just move on and start another thread. This is a common creationist "seagull tactic" so I would like an answer to my question so I can make a decision as to whether it's worth answering your questions in the future.

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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:01 pm
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Roamer wrote:
Evolutionists say that the half-wings of half-winged feathered animals are useful, as they can take advantage of air resistance to escape predators, despite the inability to fully fly.
That is an empty assertion.

Why dont chickens count?

Why the term "evolutionist" (a derogatory term used by creationists)

Just look at the gliding squirrels, lizards, and snakes for the exact thing you are asking for.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:59 am
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It's hard using logic, reason, and evidence to change the mind of a person who arrived at their position using none of these.

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Lynx_Fox
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:46 pm

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It doesn't really matter if it's useful anyhow.

We see this with many flightless birds that used to live all over the Pacific (hundreds of species are now extinct, http://www.livescience.com/28153-pacifi ... ction.html). Take any flying bird and put them on an island where they no long need flight to avoid being hunted, breeding or finding food, and they'll be no disadvantage to mutations that make them less flight capable, and perhaps even an advantage to smaller wing because it takes less energy to make them. In time they become flightless with smaller "useless" wings.


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Roamer
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:11 pm

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PhDemon wrote:
Roamer, are you creationist? You have posted a number of threads like this one but you never seem to acknowledge the answers you are given, you just move on and start another thread. This is a common creationist "seagull tactic" so I would like an answer to my question so I can make a decision as to whether it's worth answering your questions in the future.


I'm not a creationist. Sorry I've not acknowledge the answers I was given thus far, it's not in my nature, but I will keep that in mind. Thanks very much for the links to read up!


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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:45 pm

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Thanks for your answer. I'll continue trying to help you, it's just I find spending time trying to educate creationists frustrating as they never learn and nothing will change their minds. I'd rather spend my time on something productive...

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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:09 am
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Roamer wrote:
Creationists say that the half-wings of half-winged feathered animals are useless.
Evolutionists say that the half-wings of half-winged feathered animals are useful, as they can take advantage of air resistance to escape predators, despite the inability to fully fly.

The problem's where a "half-developed" feature is qualitatively useless. Like, it simply does not work below a given threshold. I think it's a real problem deserving better than evasive answers.

One way to get a feature extended beyond function, is to make it an object of sexual selection. For example the quetzal's ridiculously long tail feathers, are surely the product of sexual selection. Now, back to our problem: suppose that such a tail, if even longer, turned out to have some functional value. But evolution of course does not "know" this and so must stumble blindly upon the jackpot. Well, perhaps the quetzal, just by evolving sexier encumbrances of tail plumage, might someday attain that threshold. Then the tail becomes a kick-ass functional trait... kinda like wings proved really kickass functional - in hindsight. Who'd a thunk it?

The best we know of early feathers now, is they first appeared on the hind legs and crotch, and were more like the downy brooding-feathers birds use for incubating eggs. If true, that would make these early feathers also the likeliest object of sexual selection. Because their practical function was reproductive. One might imagine dinosaurs flaunting their overgrown feathers in mating display. In this way really useless wings may develop (like the quetzal's really useless tail)... and go on developing until they reach a qualitative threshold: the silly wings prove useful.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:12 am
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Pong wrote:
The problem's where a "half-developed" feature is qualitatively useless. Like, it simply does not work below a given threshold. I think it's a real problem deserving better than evasive answers.


I don't remember being evasive + I disagree with your contention that a half-developed feature is useless
it may do no good for flying, but the dromaeosaur wrist, which in its structure closely resembles the bird wrist, was perfectly adapted for grabbing prey

it's something we see so often in the fossil record that it even has a name : exaptation - a feature develops for one purpose and later on gets co-opted for a different purpose

likewise for feathers : apart from flying they have so many other possible functions that they may have been the main purpose for non-avian dinosaurs, e.g. insulation, display, covering eggs during brooding

so to state that a feature is useless when it's not fully developed is disingenuous - after all, you could ask yourself : useless for what ? and it doesn't have to be be the main purpose of the feature as we see it in the here and now

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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:20 am
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Ex-aptation... hey thanks for the word! :)

Well, does "useless" have any meaning? In this context I think it means without practical utility. Plumage is a perfect example. There's even a theory that conspicuous encumbrance may be sexually desirable, because it proves, say, that Mr. Peacock can bear the extra parasite load and yet survive in spite of it. By this theory the quetzal proves his fitness by growing a burden. Well, that burden of show-plumage is "useful" insofar as it is "useless" - even detrimental!

Not to say "useless" can't have an explanation... or a perhaps ironic "use". However in fair play I think the Creationist means "no practical utility", and I do admit that meaning. We may say a feature is more or less practical. So, I don't mind the word "useless". I wouldn't respond with semantics: "everything is equally useful". I rather find how traits may become more or less useful in different ways - how they exapt. :)


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:20 pm
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I've once seen Steve Jones describe selection as an exam in two parts : first you need to survive long enough to reach reproductive capability, and then you need to find a mate to produce offspring with

both halves of the exam pose different requirements on the organism, so it could well be that what is useless or even detrimental in the first part comes in very handy in the second part

however, when it comes to answering the creationist question "what use is half a wing?", then the answer may well be (at least when it comes to flying) "a little bit" (in which case, every little helps) or "not much", but that ignores the potential usefulness for the overall fitness of the organism

so what I'm saying is that in order to answer the question "what use is half a wing" properly, you should not restrict yourself to flying alone

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:53 pm
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come to think of it, combining the title of this thread with Roamer's definition "By fully functional, I mean the ability to take full flight." really translates into :

"Any modern-day flightless birds with wings that are capable of full flight"

which strikes me as a contradiction in terms : by definition a bird capable of full flight is not flightless, hence a flightless bird with fully functional wings is an impossibility

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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: Any modern-day flightless birds with functional wings?  |  Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:16 am
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Yeah, badly stated problem. One might answer the bird Noah kept on his ark couldn't fly until he released it.

But we understand what the Creationists mean. The concept of exaption answers perfectly.


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