Plentyoffish dating forums are a place to meet singles and get dating advice or share dating experiences etc. Hopefully you will all have fun meeting singles and try out this online dating thing... Remember that we are the largest free online dating service, so you will never have to pay a dime to meet your soulmate.
     
Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  >      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 quietcowboy
Joined: 12/25/2007
Msg: 230
view profile
History
Define the Theory of EvolutionPage 11 of 15    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
Msg: 304

You've pretty well summed up the evidence for evolution - better in fact than more than 12 pages on this topic so far. Thanks


<div class='quote'>Evolution is not chaotic and random
I don't want to split hairs,but the mechanism behind evolution is chaotic errors that occur during reproduction.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 231
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/8/2008 10:35:00 PM
Chaotic errors actually aren't what drives evolution, they're just a mechanism that helps it. Chaotic errors cause changes from one generation to the next, but evolution doesn't care about that. Which ones survive and reproduce aren't random. Those are the factors that create evolution. As long as a species is able to differentiate individuals and those differences can be passed to new members of the species, it will be fine. If two parents were able to pick which traits between them were passed onto their children, it wouldn't be random. But, evolution would still occur.

As far as I know, there aren't species that are able to pick which genes they pass down, but if there were, then they would still evolve under the exact same rules that evolution that we do.
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 232
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/9/2008 10:27:46 AM

It does not explain how the hominid relatives of chimpanzees lost 2 chromosomes some quarter million years ago
This lie brings up the best single piece of evidence for evolution that I've ever heard of.
The ends of chromosomes have telomeres, between those telomeres are centromeres, and your typical chromosome has one telomere at each end and one centromere in (or around) the middle. Human chromosome 2 has telomeres at the ends, and a fusion of two telomeres in the middle, and 2 centromeres. This is because two ancestral ape chromsomes fused into one, and this explains why we have one less pair of chromosomes.

But it gets way better. When we take two chimp chromosomes and line it up against our chromosome 2, we see that fusing the two chimp chromosomes into one long one is a match to our chromosome 2 - the banding patterns match, the telomeres match, and the centromeres match. Just think, if creationism were true then apes could have hundreds more or a fraction of the number of chromosomes as humans do, but if evolution is true we have to find something like exactly what we see in our DNA - essentially, creationism only has to hit the dartboard but evolution has to hit the bullseye - and it does. I can't imagine a god that is deceitful enough to throw in extra telomeres and centromeres and thousands of genes and all in the same order on one of our chromosomes just to trick us into believing the evidence we see instead of ancient dogma.

DNA doesn't guarantee
These three words contain two classic tools that people often use to avoid a truth that they are unwilling to accept. The first is the usage of the word 'guarantee' - nothing in life is absolutely certain and no amount of evidence, now matter how irrefutable, is an absolute guarantee of anything. Those who demand absolute proof about claims they dislike typically welcome completely unsubstantiated claims that they do like. Hypocrisy and dishonesty often go hand in hand.

The other tool is to look at only one piece of evidence, project unwarranted and unyielding skepticism toward it, and delude yourself into thinking that it somehow doesn't count as evidence anymore. Its like looking at someone using pythagorean theorem and getting a right answer, and being skeptical about that one instance of where the theorem works, then being skeptical again after seeing it work a million more times. Sure, the first time might be lucky, but if its consistently accurate a million more times in a row you should know its more than luck - and such is the evidence for evolution. If a thousand pieces of evidence support something, nothing refutes it, and you have to sweep every single piece of evidence behind a wall of unyielding skepticism in order to disbelieve it, you must know deep down that you're lying to yourself. There is a difference between healthy skepticism and unhealthy skepticism.
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 233
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/9/2008 11:28:26 AM

chaotic and random
These terms are favorites of religious fundies everywhere. They portray these words as being ugly, horrible things, and when their undiscerning audience is properly revolted by them, the well-spoken and preaching-to-the-choir fundie is quick to correlate these terms to evolution to make it appear ugly and horrible as well. While a heathen like me is filled with pride at the thought of being distantly related to every wondrous creature in the animal kingdom, the anti-evolution crowd is often too arrogant and special to want to believe that they are 'just animals' or related in any way shape or form to apes or pigs - nor do they yearn for a 'meaningless existence' that they believe necessarily results from a random process (it is worth noting that having hopes and dreams, and loved ones to care for and who care for you, do not give life meaning - but believing in a sky pixie does).

If I was revolted at the thought of being related to apes or any other creature, I would still believe it. Why? Because if you believe what you want to believe, you are biasing yourself. I hate the idea of starvation, and I don't want to believe that there are people starving in the world, but that desire is not enough to delude myself into believing that starvation does not exist. So I believe evolution happens for the same reason that I believe there are starving people - because its true, and what I want to be true is just as irrelevant as a completely unsubstantiated claim.

So is evolution 'random and chaotic'? I wouldn't say natural selection is, but I would attribute an element of chance to mutations. In fact, everything in life could be considered to have some trace of chaos or randomness. If that is too difficult for a person to accept, they can feel free to toss their objectivity and honesty to the wind and grasp the first fairy tale that appeals to them. Personally, I feel that 'chaos' and 'random' gives life variety and beauty.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 236
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/14/2008 1:52:47 AM
Hicome, a theory is part of science. It doesn't mean that it's untrue, it's just that a fact and theory describe different things.
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 240
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/14/2008 11:16:34 AM

Does it prove all life is related because it all contains water ? No, it's just the way living things are created, and also have many many other things in common.
But those commonalities tell us a great deal. Species have more in common with those that are more closely related, and less in common with those of a more distant ancestry. But you're right - observable, convincing, predictive evidence doesn't necessarily 'prove' anything, especially to those disinclined to accept an undesirable truth.
Would you expect other animals not to contain DNA, or perhaps not to contain calcium etc.
We would expect other animals to contain some form of DNA, but its not unreasonable to expect it to look different in different species.
Evolutionists will use any arguement possible to prove their point.
Actually we use evidence to prove a point. Deep down I want to believe a God created us and has a special place for us in the afterlife, and I am objective enough to accept the observations of this beautiful world, therefore I am an evolutionist. I don't necessarily want to believe in evolution at all, but what I want is irrelevant, the evidence points unambiguously to evolution and nothing else.
Like scientific theories that are accepted as scientific laws for hundreds of years until new evidence makes changes to those accepted laws.
The greatest thing about science is that it is self-correcting, unlike religious dogma which is notorious for its unwillingness to admit error. You would have to be a pretty depraved fundie to think that having the integrity to admit your mistakes are a weakness.
What I am basically saying re evolution is, if they are only going to feed you with what they want you to know and limit your knowledge on the subject, they are going to get you to think and believe what they want you to. And that's all you will have to work with. Limited and controlled information.
Information on the subject is not limited or controlled. How can you say its controlled when you just admitted that science makes changes in light of new evidence? And why do you call it limited - because non-testable fairy tale beliefs aren't considered science? If you feel that evidence is being kept from the public, feel free to give us examples.

Evolution is the logical conclusion after observing the evidence around us. Many different scientific fields are all tied together with evolution being the knot that explains how they happen.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 241
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/14/2008 7:17:50 PM
I wouldn't exactly believe Strohman. He's also a denier of the link between HIV and AIDS. He also seems to have a pretty poor grasp of evolution based on how he is describing it.

Let's not believe everyone who calls themselves a scientist, because it turns out that there are people on fringes who think they are scientists but are laughed at by the community as a whole.
 Is too hot
Joined: 5/19/2008
Msg: 242
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/15/2008 1:12:06 AM

Neo-Darwinian theory predicts a steady, slow continuous, accumulation of mutations (microevolution) that produces a progressive change in morphology leading to new species, genera, and so on (macroevolution).

No one with an elementary education in biology should let him get past this statement. At best, it's a half-truth.

As far as credentials, I know a Ph.D. in Chemistry who deosn't believe in isotopes. No lie. We just make sure he doesn't write anything about mass spectrometry.

All fields have their quacks. Some quacks are only wrong in certain areas. What to do?
 quietcowboy
Joined: 12/25/2007
Msg: 245
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/15/2008 10:48:37 AM
Well if he isn't a "quack" he probably feels like the author of this link:
http://www.fsteiger.com/radioact.html
But itstoohot said the guy doesn't believe in isotopes, so who cares what the guy believes about radioactive dating,when it comes to isotopes he's quack!
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 246
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/15/2008 10:54:19 AM

I don't see Darwinian evolution as an undesirable truth, just a matter of opinion.
That's like seeing the understanding that the earth is round as a matter of opinion. Trying to diminish something that is supported by mountains of evidence with words like 'opinion' doesn't fool anyone, except yourself perhaps.
How reasonably different would you expect DNA to look in other life forms ? And what form of difference should it take?
I would expect different bases maybe. But anyway, if there were no common descent, we shouldn't see more similarity with recent ancestors than distant ones.
Many people are falsely convicted and sent to prison on arguable/debatable evidence.
irrelevant.
It's not that hard to make people believe something that is not true, given enough cicumstantial evidence and good enough arguement. Ask any good lawyer.
We could even ask a bad lawyer, like Lee Strobel (an outspoken creationist well known for making false refutations for scientific concepts he doesn't understand), who, like any lawyer, is well aware that when it comes to law, the truth is irrelevant. Scientists, on the other hand, gains their reputation based on what they can establish from the physical evidence. But if you prefer to pretend all evidence for evolution is circumstantial or that it is believed merely because of our ability to articulate it well, feel free to do so - perhaps your god likes it when you lie to yourselfand perhaps He also likes it when you disrespect Him by telling lies about His creation as well as your making no effort to try to understand the existence that you believe He has created for you.
but whenever evolutionary theory falls into a hole it looks for another unconvincing arguement, never really providing any facts only more presumptions.
And perhaps your god likes it when you pretend the theory has 'fallen into a hole' and you can't back your statement up, and perhaps He likes it when you use a word like 'presumption' to refer to logical deduction based on observable evidence, lies and deceit definately seem welcome in His kingdom.
I don't know what information they may be hiding, but like any good lawyer they wouldn't predjudice their case with information that disproves their story.
And perhaps your god likes it when you suggest that evolutionist scientists are the only ones in this world gathering evidence, as if there aren't millions of creationists out there who would love to dig up ancient human fossils mixed in with dinosaur ones.
Evolution might be the logical conclusion for many given their presumptions and arguements on the available 'evidence'
Finally something we can agree with, and I was greatly amused by your usage of quotes around the word 'evidence' lol.
 Is too hot
Joined: 5/19/2008
Msg: 247
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/15/2008 11:34:49 PM

Thankyou for the proof that evolutionary scientists hide facts !

No proof of that in what I wrote. I wrote about scientists being ignorant of certain things. It's mostly people of your ilk who hide or deny the obvious. Evolution is still being researched by scientists, yes? Why do you think that is?


However did he pass his test ? No, better not answer that one.

What test are you talking about? Do you believe there's a "test" for scientists? How absurd! You claimed to be a man of science in an earlier response but that must be a lie. You don't even know how scientists are accredited!


And by the way, how does he find the business of radioactive dating ?

Never discussed that with him. As he doesn't believe in isotopes, what could I learn from him? Isotopes indubitably exist so there's no reason to go there with this individual.

All I can deduce from your reply is that one scientist disagreeing with others is valid evidence that the topic of discussion is not theory. How sad!
 clarence clutterbuck
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 250
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/16/2008 5:37:23 AM
3 Many people are falsely convicted and sent to prison on arguable/debatable evidence. Much stronger evidence than the evolution evidence. It's not that hard to make people believe something that is not true, given enough cicumstantial evidence and good enough arguement. Ask any good lawyer.

Miscarriages of justice do not invalidate the whole justice system; and in my country at least, convictions are sometimes re-examined and quashed in the light of new evidence. In the field of evolution, a comparable miscarriage might be something like accrediting a fossil as being directly ancestral to a modern species when it later turns out to be a more distantly related cousin. Thankfully no one has served time in prison when some paleontologist finds another piece of the puzzle that puts earlier finds in perspective, and anyway the whole picture can never be completed even if all the pieces existed. The worlds museums wouldn't be big enough to contain all the fossils, even if we could get hold of 'em.

Yes science is self correcting, but whenever evolutionary theory falls into a hole it looks for another unconvincing arguement, never really providing any facts only more presumptions.
5 It is limited because it is all based on presumption given the evidence available. There are no definite concrete facts, it is all a oneway argument based on presumption.

I think fossil facts are very concrete, and in the main their interpretation is sound. The Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and life is constantly remoulding itself into new forms through the process of evolution. Why else would we find in the Jurassic era for example, a whole range of forms that no longer exist; reptiles so different to modern creatures that they could have come from another planet. The stories that fossils tell are amazing to my eyes, and your suggestion that evolutionary theory is some kind of grubby conspiracy to misinterpret evidence do not ring true; not even a little tinkle. I might begin to believe you if we didn't have modern medicine, robots landing on Mars, satellite TV and a host of other modern marvels; in other words, if science in general gave every appearance of being a sham in which no genuine results were ever delivered; but observation of everything around me says that this is not the case.

I'm thinking about that one a bit. Could my whole experience of this reality be the result of unreliable circumstantial evidence and could this life be a dream of some other entity in another dimension where paranoid delusions are reality?
 clarence clutterbuck
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 251
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/16/2008 11:44:27 AM

Archaeopteryx is now widely admitted to be a bird, plain and simple, complete with feathers and a wing.

You forgot to mention the teeth...
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 252
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/16/2008 3:22:15 PM

You cannot conclude from one simple observation a fact
Just curious - do you believe what you see? Also, billions of observations support evolution, not one. Do you believe that the number 1, and the number 1,000,000,000 is the same number?
There is no transition from reptilian dinosaurs to primitive birds in fossil records. Examples of animals once held up as intermediates have systematically been thrown out, either they were dinosaur or bird. You may ask, "What about such examples as Archaeopteryx, the flying animal with some reptilian features?" Archaeopteryx is now widely admitted to be a bird, plain and simple, complete with feathers and a wing.
It has 'a wing'? A pity it didn't have two of them, that would have been far more useful LOL!

The earth is widely admitted to be flat, and evidence to the contrary has been thrown out, by certain people as well. Relying on the claims of liars or morons to support your argument does not give your argument merit.

If this Feduccia guy has a different view than 99% of other scientists in his field, that's great for him but do you have a point to make? Its not the first time a scientist has sold his integrity to support a religious agenda.

His definition of what a bird is evidently includes the following: a jaw with reptillian teeth, absent beak, a long bony tail, a neck that attaches to skull from rear (like dinosaurs) instead of from below (like birds), a flat breastbone, stomach ribs, reptilian vertebrae, unfused wristbones (birds have fused ones), unfused ankle bones (ditto), sacrum occupies only 6 vertebrae (half the minimum for birds), and (my personal favorite) three bony claws jutting out from the middle of each wing. These are reptillian characteristics, not bird ones. Have you ever seen a bird with a jaw and teeth instead of a beak? As anyone can plainly see it has both bird and dinosaur traits.
Evolutionists are mistaken when they suggest that these teeth are a reptilian feature simply because teeth are not an exclusively reptilian characteristic.
Oh no! This 'bird' has teeth - quick someone come up with something to distract the audience - oh wait I know, lets pretend that evolutionists claim that reptiles are the only animals that have teeth - they don't say that of course but lets pretend they did - we can chalk it up to the other lies we use to maintain our belief system - whatever you do, do NOT accept the evidence because if you do you will go to hell, and if you keep lying you go to heaven. If something has traits of two species, pick one or the other, flip a coin if you have to, and claim that it is 100% that 'kind' of animal. Because God wants His followers to lie about His creation. For some reason. Because we say so. Amen.
a) The gap between microscopic, single-celled organisms and the complex, multicellular invertebrates,
Fossilization is rare, and fossilization of older, minuscule, soft bodied organisms is rarer still. Given how unusual it is that those tiny, soft bodies are preserved, we look for trace fossils, microfossils, and chemofossil residue instead. The limited number of such fossils are what we expected to find.
b) The vast gap between these invertebrates and fish.
Again, vertebrates fossilize much better. Even so, here's a bunch for ya http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Intermediate_Forms_Between_Classes#Invertebrate-fish_intermediates
Professor Richard Strohman, believes that HIV may be completely unrelated to AIDS, but that we have no way of knowing this because scientists will not even entertain the 'possibility that their HIV theory is incorrect.
And here we have another crybaby making excuses for why his flawed reasoning did not pass peer-review. Scientists love to be proven incorrect - being proven wrong is as exciting (usually more exciting) than being proven right. If there was any merit to his claims, funding would be gotten easily.
 Is too hot
Joined: 5/19/2008
Msg: 255
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/16/2008 10:41:44 PM

You stated he was kept from writing about a certain subject/s. Isn't that a some form of censorship, or denial of rights ?

You have a very simple view of life. When someone with a talent can't understand something, you ask them to concentrate on the talent, not the weakness. For you, that would be ignoring facts, not writing rants against people who don't.


Maybe his highschool exam or colledge exam ? Exam or test in that context has the same meaning here in Australia. What test did you think I meant, his scientist test ? Or maybe a test for his left frontal lobe funtion.

How would I know what you meant? I told you about a PhD chemist who does not believe in isotopes and you asked if he had passed his test. Kind of a non-sequitur unless you believe that we have scientist tests that anyonw who wants to be a scientist has to pass. What would it matter anyway? You don't seem to be able to think in a straight line.


As for your final deduction, you have me stumped there by your reasoning.

A great many things seem to stump you. Not my fault.
 Is too hot
Joined: 5/19/2008
Msg: 256
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/16/2008 10:55:52 PM

The theories of evolution, the mechanisms used and how these mechanisms operate are no more fact than creation theories.

Not so. The ToE is bolstered by every known relevant fact. Millions of them. The mechanisms are logical, demonstrable and have integrity. OTOH, creationism merely offers that a god did it all.

How very objective of you.

I just love the creationist's mode of attacking the ToE citing only farcical and misleading expertice on the fossil record and completely disregarding the chemical and biochemical testing that contradicts their misinterpretations. How will they ever explain away all the genetic information being amassed today that shows a clear progression of speciation just as the taxonomists have established? How will they explain away the amazing coincidences of shared evolutionary biochemistry?

They have the gall to state that the mere fact that all living things share DNA does not prove ascendancy. If not, what would? The same DNA that works the same way and uses the same bases to transmit codes that work the same way. DNA, a completely mutable molecule that begs for differentiation from one generation to the next. I thought these Luddites would creep back into the woodwork once DNA and RNA were discovered but they won't as long as there are young minds they can twist.


Professor Richard Strohman, believes that HIV may be completely unrelated to AIDS, but that we have no way of knowing this because scientists will not even entertain the 'possibility that their HIV theory is incorrect.

Perhaps it's because the vector has been indubitably established? No one with AIDS lacks the HIV virus. What pathogen has Strohman proposed? The game is over.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 257
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/16/2008 11:58:32 PM
When I brought up the Strohman AIDS thing, I assumed that I was mentioning a position he holds so patently ludicrous that it would be impossible to take him seriously. Apparently I had too much faith in humanity, my bad. Strohman is no more a scientist than the homeless guy wearing a sandwich board proclaiming the end of the world. They came to their conclusions despite facts to the contrary, don't have training in the field they are referring to, are dismissed by experts, and are only known because they disagree. And as a sciency type, I would far rather follow the group of scientists who we could find out 500 years from now are wrong than the sandwich board guy who is coincidentally right.

Anyway, my actual point was that the problem here is that the english language is unable to deal with jargon well. We don't have some rule that we have to underline theory when we talk about it as it refers to the scientific community. Merely stating that "its not the same" doesn't do enough to combat the misconception. In fact, from 3rd grade on when we do our first science projects we learn that a theory is basically a guess based on what we know. So when we tell people that we mean the "science" version of theory, they think to that third grade word that means guess. So really, we need to come up with a new word for "possible explanation that is thoroughly validated by a plethora of research on point and currently has no irreconcilable flaws found within it." It has to be a word that doesn't sound like one they've heard before so that when we say evolution is a _____, they won't confuse it with the third grade science project word or the "thing less certain than a fact" definition.

Also, I propose the word be shorter than PEtiTVbaPoRoPaChnIFFwi. Because as fun as acronyms are, that just looks hard to pronounce...
 aguilayserpiente_1
Joined: 5/11/2008
Msg: 259
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/17/2008 11:31:08 AM
One simple definition of evolution is gradual change over time. That period of time can span hundreds of thousands of years or more.

Revolution is rapid change.

The prior post by "Last not Least" was very poigniant.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 261
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/17/2008 8:13:13 PM
look, it's wrong for anybody to attack anybody else. But facts are facts. Evolution is a fact and by definition, not believing in it is not scientific. We're at the stage where you can either question exact details of evolution, question larger implications of evolution, or try and fundamentally redefine the world.

The exact details of gravity aren't exactly known. We discover new implications of the exact effects of gravity sorta regularly (the 2006 nobel prize in physics was related to gravity, if memory serves), I don't know of anyone trying to claim gravity doesn't exist.

The other thing is, when major scientific revolutions occur, it isn't by people who set out to disprove something. Newton, Einstein, Pavlov, and other revolutionary scientists only have an agenda to advance science. Their goal isn't to revolutionize the scientific world. They are just trying to understand the world better.
 clarence clutterbuck
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 263
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/18/2008 7:39:38 AM
I agree things evolve. But I disagree that all life evolved from the 'primordial soup'.

I'm not bright enough to understand how life emerged from its non-living chemical constituents, but it seems logical to infer that it did, given that life must have started up somehow. The fossil record does attest to the fact that life took an incredibly long time to advance from simpler to more complex multicellular forms, which kind of argues against the involvement of any wand waving magician in the process.

If there was one trace of one species evolving into another, different story. But there isn't.

There is overwhelming evidence in the form of transitional fossils that organisms change and evolve into new species . Archaeopteryx has already been mentioned but there are other, well documented examples of animals that can be shown to have evolved from earlier species. How about the Horse, a classic example whose descent has been traced back, along with Rhinos and Tapirs to a common ancestor in the late Paleocine of Asia?

We see in the horse family, the way in which species can split into geographically separated populations that diversify along different lines, with modern variants like zebras, horses and donkeys to prove it. The fact that you can breed horses and donkeys to produce mules is a good demonstration of the kinship of these related species, whilst the sterility of mules shows us how evolution eventually produces separate species. Given more time, horses and donkeys may be unable to produce any hybrid offspring, sterile or otherwise.

One has to ask the questions; why is there not still evolving larger organisms ?Why is it that evolution has seemingly stopped , even at organisms the size of plankton. This question must be asked if in the name of science.?

Micro organisms do continue to evolve. This is the basis of their development of viral and antibiotic resistance. Why we don't see them evolve into something larger and more interesting on a time scale that would satisfy our short attention span culture, I don't know. Maybe if we extinguished all multi cellular forms from the planet leaving only the bacteria, then waited a couple of billion years, your question would be answered.
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 264
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/18/2008 8:58:25 AM
Regarding speciation:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16053250?dopt=Abstract

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

Just sayin', is all.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 265
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/18/2008 9:50:43 AM
Solomon, there are a few bits of information regarding evolutionary theory that you seem to be misinformed about. I do not claim that there is any malevolent intent, just that you have been hearing from one side of an argument and the other side just appears to be trying to poison that view.

Evolution does not contain any primordial goo nonsense. Abiogenesis is not a part of the evolutionary theory. It was for a long time, but eventually people (like Darwin) realized that you don't have to know where the first life came from to explain speciation.

Evolution has been clearly and unequivocally demonstrated in laboratories. I'm aware of one that you can actually try in your own home, if you don't believe me. House flies when bred in two separate groups over as little as 16 generations develop a preference for their own group. That's a pretty short time frame in the grand scheme of things. Beyond that, the idea of "transitonal fossils being absent" is a flawed one. We do see differences between homo habilis, homo erectus, and homo sapiens in the fossil record. However, the idea of a missing link between man and ape is a flawed one. What evolution says is that a long time ago there was a fork in the road where humans went one way and apes went a different way. Evidence of a half ape/half human would actually be a strong mark against evolution.

We can also watch evolution happen in laboratories when looking at germs. The rhino virus (common cold) changes every year. It's still the rhino virus, but it adapts based on how well it did the previous year. Drug companies need about 6 months to make a new drug and over those six months, the rhino virus changes. Drug companies use models based on the theory of evolution to model possible version of what will be around come cold season. Then, when the cold that is in the real world comes around, they ramp up production on the right one.

Now, that just demonstrates changes in an organism. To look for speciation, we have to look at other diseases like Strep, Staph Infections, or AIDS. Over the span of the past 5 0years we have seen new versions of each of these come out. The old one is still around, but there is a new one that isn't the same. The MRSA strain of Staph infections, for example, first showed up in the 1960s. In the past 10 years, it has since exploded and actually kills more annually than AIDS, but it didn't exist at all a hundred years ago. Evolution is where it came from. Normal Staph infections were around, some of them happened (by freak mutations) to be immune to Methicilin, now the two are different conditions. Similarly, new strains of the AIDS virus have emerged in recent years including, among others, the killer strain. The AIDS virus didn't exist at all a hundred years ago, but now there are numerous different types of AIDS virus, all of which deadly, but most of which working differently.

As to why we still have plankton and other "simple" organisms. Evolution explains that more complicated isn't always better. Plankton seem to be thriving as they exist now, they don't have any incentive to change. Evolution is revolutionary because it doesn't imply that there is a heirarchy with man on top and plankton at the bottom. Plankton and man exist as equals in some ways. We both got here from a common ancestor who dealt with problems differently. Just like two people can solve the problem of how to get an apple out of a tree differently (some will climb, some will hit the tree), different animals did that and over time branched apart.

You can even see smaller degrees of it within humans today. I am physically weak and come from many generations of more intellectual work in big cities. The people who live around me now (in farm country) are better at manual labor than I am. As a result, we act differently. When confronted with a difficult task, I am likely to try and figure out the lazy/efficient way to do it. Meanwhile my neighbors will get started knowing that if you work at it hard enough, it'll get done. Repeat this differentiation over a few million generations with city-folk and country-folk you will eventually find that country-folk will get better at working quickly, powerfully, and for a long time and city-folk will get better at finding every way possible to cheat the laws of physics into helping them.
 o76923
Joined: 11/3/2007
Msg: 266
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/21/2008 12:28:10 PM
I'd also like to point out in the macro/micro debate that generally speaking science doesn't care so much about scale. Fundamental properties don't change with regard to scale. Gravity pulls on two objects whether they are a person on earth or if they're the center of the galaxy pulling on the sun. Sure, magnitudes change, and other effects might dwarf them in comparison, but the rules are still the same.

The same applies to most other fundamental forces in the universe. But before you go about thinking physics is the only field it works in, the basic precepts of most scientific fields apply broadly. Animals that have blood need it to survive, just like humans (anatomy). A puppy that is separated from its family is sad (psychology). Pack animals tend to follow certain guidelines as to the power structure (sociology). Some types of porpoise are know to discriminate based on dialect, and go so far as to commit what we consider hate crimes (anthropology). Heat speeds up chemical reactions, it also speeds up reactions in cooking and metallurgy (chemistry).

So the idea that evolution could work on a little scale, but not on a big one would mean that evolution would have to behave differently than pretty much everything else in science. Even soft sciences.

On a completely unrelated note, I'd like to point out that evolution is a gradual process. Things don't change overnight. So even though an animal can likely always breed with its parent, that doesn't mean that we aren't drawing a line there for a species. Classification of species is always a fuzzy topic because reality has these magical things called gray areas (religion should investigate them sometime). So while it is easy to say that this animal is one species and it's antecedent 100 million years ago is a different species, there isn't really a way to test through trial and error where the line is between one and the next. So instead, we just pick a point that's somewhere in the middle based on when we guess a feature came about.
 Is too hot
Joined: 5/19/2008
Msg: 267
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/22/2008 1:27:30 AM

So the idea that evolution could work on a little scale, but not on a big one would mean that evolution would have to behave differently than pretty much everything else in science.

Very well put. I'm astounded at this nuance in the thinking of the religious. A process gets so far as to create different subspecies that can't mate (e.g., a Chihuaha and a Great Dane) but the process of speciation stops magically at a point where they don't want to admit that there's a different species in the making. A ring species is not enough for them to admit "macro" evolution occurs. They rely on the fact that recognizable species have lifetimes long enough that no single human can observe even a trend toward speciation.

Sad, very sad and tragic. You would think that religious people would use that one organ that their putative god gave them (the human brain) to its fullest extent. But no, the universe must be as their own definition of their god must preordain. That is, their all-powerful, omniscient god is being limited by what ignorant scribes wrote 1700 years ago. Some god! Couldn't let DNA-based creatures evolve. It must not be so all-powerful after all!
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 268
view profile
History
Define the Theory of Evolution
Posted: 8/22/2008 10:06:31 PM

If you mutate a 4 legged dog into an 8 legged dog you still have a dog, all be it with 8 legs. If you mutated a 4 legged dog into an 8 legged centipede then yes you would have evolution.
Actually, that would be pretty powerful evidence against evolution. Evolution doesn't transform one creature into another creature any more than it transforms a creature into a fruit, a rock, or a tennis shoe.
Similarly, many animals in caves are blind, with shrivelled eyes.
Very true. Such as some varieties of cave fish which have eyes that are completely useless. Ever wonder why God would make them that way?
Notwithstanding this the insect remains an insect and the fish a fish
And if the insect wasn't an insect or the fish wasn't a fish it wouldn't be evolution, it would be magic. Speciation doesn't happen in a single generation. Are you unaware that animals can evolve without becoming new species?
The term mutation may also be used to include losses or rearrangements of segments of chromosomes, the long strands of genes.
I was curious why you included loss of segments of chromosomes but left out additions of segments of chromosomes until you mentioned...
Mutations do not produce an increase in information
Nothing says creationism better than seeing an increase in genetic information and deciding hmmm...since I can observe additional genetic information being made, I'm going to tell everyone that additional genetic information can NOT be made...because I'm a creationist.
Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  >