Denial of evolution III

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Hercules Rockefeller, Mar 9, 2009.

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  1. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Fair point - but what I mean is that he sort of understands how the theories work. I don't think he's so far gone as to be a literal creationist, or at least I hope not.

    ...damnit! Caught again.

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    MacGillivray and Geoff sitting on the couch

    Know what's even more evil? I hotlinked that image. Oh yeah! It's true! Nasty boy!
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  3. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I doubt you knew anything of the preá before my first post, which was taken from my local Brazilian newspaper. - That was "breaking news" in Brazil and only picked up some months later in English (perhaps because of my repeating the breaking news in an English post here at Sciforums?). (I searched at the time in Google as I wanted to give some English language link about the preá but none existed that Google could find.) Do you read Portuguese? But be that as it may be, the point about the preá is that this IS a clear demonstration of accumulation of traits to make a new species:

    8000 years ago the gene pool of the Santa Catarina's Guinea Pigs was, as it is today, with the typical variation between one individual and another that sexual reproduction always produces in a large populations. The now evolved preá do not show that typical variation as the result of 8000 years of inbreeding in a very small population. The Catholic University in Santa Catharina studying the preá has used the standard testing used in Brazil to settle paternity disputes and can find no genetic differences between individual preá.

    The usual effects of inbreeding are to decrease the chance of a “less fit" individual surviving* and that no doubt happened in the first 1000 years or so of the preá living in a small (40 or less individuals) isolated group, but now with their genetic homogeneity, inbreeding no longer produces any "less fit" individual. The selection pressures of some members of each generation starving to death quickly eliminated the less fit. The current gene pool may not be optimum for their environment (or may be?) but is quite uniform and nearly stable. (Sort as if the next generation was reproduced by cloning.) For thousands of years, the gene pool evolved with any improvement for their very different environment quickly spreading throughout the entire gene pool of 40 or less inbreeding individuals.

    Point is that the preá gene pool is now very different from the gene pool of the Santa Catarina's Guinea Pigs they evolved from to become an new species. Either this happened by the accumulation of small, rapidly selected for beneficial adaptations OR by some miracle a "hopeful monster" was born with hundreds of beneficial genetic differences. I think both you and I reject as too improbably the "hopeful monster" alternative. Thus, the accumulation of small beneficial genetic changes is indeed demonstrated as you requested:
    actual demonstration of genetic accumulation of traits"

    * There are many more ways that a random genetic change can result in a "less fit" individual than in an "improved individual" In large populations, genetic changes do not all die out as most have little effect on survival prospects. So typically in large populations you find many individuals who are in some sense "less fit" still surviving. Only extreme selection pressure in each generation rapidly removes the "less fit" adaptations. Some individuals necessarily starving to death each generation is as extreme as such selection pressure gets.
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Illiteral, then. But anyone who fails to follow the prea story, for example, and who posts this in that context:
    is either

    1) without comprehension of the logical structure of evolutionary theory - they don't know what the basic theory is or says, how it works in the first place - or

    2) seriously and fundamentally dishonest, actually setting out to mislead the vulnerable.

    Which is a form of the age old question, with fundies and other self-proud "conservatives" in modern American discussion.
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  7. Mr MacGillivray Banned Banned

    But surely, the central dogma of Christianity is that the human species is the center of the universe, while the central dogma of evolution is that the human species is not.

    Two opposing philosophies reconciled by...? GeoffP? Satan? Gross modification of either philosophies?
  8. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    Variation *is* inevitable once reproduction with inheritance exists and mutations occur. Accumulation of phenotype traits is not inevitable, if the environment does not favor the accumulation of those traits. Useless traits provide a small negative evolutionary pressure, and harmful traits provide a large negative evolutionary pressure.

    Your argument ~two pages ago was that common decent from a single ancestor seemed unlikely. My counter was that "unlikely" is not a solid enough argument; namely because it usually fails to account for the amount of trials involved, and tends to assume a given outcome as a pre-set goal and work backwards.

    Could you restate this? I don't understand.

    Your premise is that any creature which "accumulates" mutations will inherently die?

    What percentage of genetic mutations are harmful, in your understanding?
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    There are still no Google hits on preá. If you type in "prea guinea pig" you get the Wikipedia article on the Brazilian guinea pig, which tells us nothing except that it has been crossbred with the domestic guinea pig, but that fertile hybrid bloodlines have not yet been established.
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Although I don't think Saquist has explicited stated this it is clear that he correctly thinks that the evolution of humans (as an example of a pre-set goal) from a single cell creature is "highly improbable." That probably is so low that it is hard to think of an equally low probability event. Perhaps two, not too distant stars, having a mutual scattering so that one of them is then on a direct collision course with the sun is of the same low probability within a factor of a million. Or to make an crude estimate of the probability that humans of the present form could evolve from a single cell one could guess that probability is 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000...(continue on for five pages more of zeros)...003.

    about the same probability as for "near humans" with six fingers on each hand, which would be a better version of the most capable creature on earth as then the base of their number system would be 12, not 10. (10 only has the two factors, 2 & 5 but 12 has, twice a many 2,3,4,6. thus there would twice as many numbers one could easily divide in your head. E.g. I can split 110 into groups of 2s, 5s, 10s, & 22s with ease but with more factors and a base 12 system, twice as many subdivisions in your head would be possible on average for randomly chosen numbers.)

    However with time and the mechanism of evolution some "most capable of domination" creature would evolve - perhaps dinosaur like with a set of arms and dexterous fingers at their end (or suckers for holding tools, etc.)

    No pre-set form is likely; all are highly improbable with much lower probability than me winning the Noble Prize four times with some great ideas, but me having some ideas is a certainty. The evolution of complex life forms with much more capability than the single cell had is also a certainty. On this planet, humans just happen to be that complex life form.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2011
  11. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    By no one. Man may be at the spiritual center of the universe - or not.
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I did a search in Brazil’s Google with "sandro bonatto & preá" as the search words. It turned up 19,400 hits as she is (I think) a well established professor with many students for years in various aspects of genetics

    Here, I think, is the original article I read in my newspaper when the story broke to the public:
    Google will translate it for you and it has photo below, clearly showing the flat tiny, almost human like, face of the preá, their longer, more rabbit like hind legs, the extensive facial hair (whiskers?) surrounding their tiny face, and the absence of any tail, I describe in my first post at:

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    Here are two other links that search gave:

    All are from the same month and focus, with amazement, that such a small population could survive for 8000 years (that was believed to be impossible). They don’t focus much on the fact that a new species evolved in only 8000 years. These are university biology /genetics researcher and all accept evolution as a fact.

    PS this photo is more detailed than my memory of the newspaper reproduction. In it I note what appears to be depressions on each side of the head about where a guinea pig’s eyes would be. Could it be possible that this is some vestal trace of where their eyes once were? If the preá have four eyes, surely that would have been mentioned in the newspaper article. Eyes do migrate with ease even in an individual in some cases. The flounder, when young has an eye on each side of head that migrates so both are on the same side. Also the number of eyes is not always two in humans. - One Chinese war lord had three, all functional, and the cyclops had only one.

    I also note that forward looking eyes the preá have, instead of the side looking eyes of a guinea pig are very much to be expected in this evolution as they facilitate depth perception and with no predators to eat them, there is no advantage to side mounted eyes as most prey animals have - only the "cost" of poor depth perception so side mounted eyes were selected against during the 8000 years.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2011
  13. Mr MacGillivray Banned Banned

    What does Tom Cruise got to do with this?
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Oh, so you do know what I mean.
  15. Saquist Banned Banned

    That's okay just because you're incredulous doesn't mean you know everything I know, sir.
    Bingo. I may not always post but I am always reading.
    And I read everything you wrote in your previous post and studied it with all the accuracy I'm capable of.

    Yes, sir, and it was certainly fascinating if all the facts an assumptions are correct. The implications on population sizes is intriguing.

    What accumulated?
    I don't mean repeat a statement of confidence. I'm asking for a quantitative response.
    I'm detecting the presence of certain assumptions or inaccuracy of language.

    I'm not much of believer in survival of the fittest. It's far to vague to be the factor it is proposed to be. There are other variables at play that take they're own pieces of the pie of population and they have little to do with being fitter than everything else yet they are just as significant.

    This is the first statement that you have made that I can say is mostly factual. But there are many reasons why accumulation will not occur not just environment.

    I'm going to take your word for it but that particular iteration doesn't sound familiar.

    If something is improbable it's not likely. Against the odds.

    Not quite that simply.
    Not inherently. I'm stating that there is a low probability of those mutations becoming dominant. With the first mutation you have a 50/50 chance of carrying on the mutation to the next generation. The probability of passing on the mutation drops the larger the population is alongside the reproductive rate. If that rate is high such as in insects and small mammals like rodents then those mutations have a much higher survival rate to becoming dominant.

    According to wiki and other sources 70% harmful to 99% harmful considering the norm of those percentages of plants and animals which include non or weak beneficial mutations.

    Also according to the wiki~ DNA has repair mechanisms to remove mutations.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  16. Spectrum Registered Senior Member

    What evidence is there that evolution exists? Have YOU or the author of the theory actually witnessed this process over billions of years? I think not.
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Enough genetic changes to cause normal development from single cells to produce individuals of a new species.

    You did not give a direct answer to my question: "Do you read Portuguese?" but this claim of yours:
    Can only be true if you do, as for several months there was nothing about the Preá in any language except Portuguese.
    AFAIK, my post was the first mention of them in English.

    PS it is easy for you to prove you were not in error - just give any non-Portuguese link where you read about the Preá prior to my first post
    (I am sure that you could now search, via Brazilian Google, and find some prior links in Portuguese and claim you read them prior to my first post as you are an avid follower of the Brazilian scientific literature, but no one will believe you. - Doing that will just lower your creditability more.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2011
  18. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Direct observation isn't necessary.
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Same kind of evidence that the back of your head exists.
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Direct observation.

    Nope. But we've witnessed it over a few thousand. Chihuahuas used to be gray wolves. We bred them selectively using the same methods evolution uses - we just used artificial selection instead of natural selection. We've seen a dozen species evolve into new species as we've watched. Here's a partial list:

    Evening Primrose (Oenothera gigas)
    Kew Primrose (Primula kewensis)
    Hemp Nettle (Galeopsis tetrahit)
    Madia citrigracilis
    Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum)
    Woodsia Fern (Woodsia abbeae)
    Stephanomeira malheurensis
    Yellow Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus)
    Fruit fly (Drosophila paulistorum)
    Apple Maggot Fly (Rhagoletis pomonella)

    Those are only the species that have evolved while we've been watching. Now imagine what happened over a billion years.
  21. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    please eloborate.
    perhaps part of this current iteration of the discussion is based on a misunderstanding then. That seemed to be your argument, and continues to, given the next bit:
    This is actually why the statistic & probability points were made. If something is improbable it's not likely, or against the odds *within a single instance of the thing being measured*.

    To be even more specific, you have a much lower rate of the mutation being passed on in many cases, as said mutation must be in the successful germ cell which eventually becomes the fertilized zygote in sexually reproductive species.

    Once the mutation does make it to a subsequent offspring, then there is a chartable set of chances that it will continue on into future generations, without considering selective pressures at all; determined via the punnet square.

    This doesn't follow. If a mutation is a single altered gene in a population of 1 million genes, then the rate of reproduction of the population won't effect the survivability of the lone mutation as a percentage of the total gene count. 30 minute generations or 30 year generations, a mutation providing no benefit to it's host individual still has the same chance of being passed on as any other gene.

    Could you link to the wiki article you're looking at? Because that's vastly incorrect. Most point mutations have no effect at all - when translating codons into amino acids for protein production, there is lots of coding duplication. Because of this, many chages in the coding do nothing.

    For example, if a UUA sequence becomes a UUG or CUA or a few others, you still get Leucine form it, and the resultant protein is unaffected.

    It does, but that only works when there is a template to work against. If the template is wrong, then it has no way of knowing.

    In sexual reproducers, if an error escapes detection during meiosis and that cell is then used to create a new offspring, that offspring has no original template against which to notice that its TTG was supposed to be a TTC. It could notice later on that its transcription of TTG for some reason erroneously resulted in a UUC (the original RNA sequence its parents produced), but since its DNA template says TTG/UUG is correct, it will likely act as if UUC is in fact the wrong sequence.
  22. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Let's approach this from yet another direction: we have numerous examples of directed evolution: horses, dogs, corn, radishes, and so on. Is there any reason to think that naturalistic evolution could not proceed by systems related to those used in artificial selection? Is there any reason at all to think that descent with modification could not proceed by such systems over longer periods of time, without the reinforcement of continued, intelligently-directed pressure?

    Answer: no.
  23. Saquist Banned Banned

    That's variation.

    I did indeed answer your question. This information was posted here before on this forum and that is how I knew about it. Recollection does not confirm if you were the origin of the post.

    [QUOTEDoing that will just lower your creditability more.)[/QUOTE]

    We're actually talking about that right now.

    I had to think about that one for a bit. Germ as in germinating sperm and ovum.

    The question is how does that get transmitted to the sperm and Ovum before that? How does this edit occur? What are the conveyors?

    I don't agree because it's not simply a matter of getting passed on.
    It's a matter of said gene surviving.
    "Mutation can result in several different types of change in DNA sequences; these can either have no effect, alter the product of a gene, or prevent the gene from functioning properly or completely. Studies in the fly Drosophila melanogaster suggest that if a mutation changes a protein produced by a gene, this will probably be harmful, with about 70 percent of these mutations having damaging effects, and the remainder being either neutral or weakly beneficial.[4] Due to the damaging effects that mutations can have on genes, organisms have mechanisms such as DNA repair to remove mutations.[1]"

    "Therefore, the optimal mutation rate for a species is a trade-off between costs of a high mutation rate, such as deleterious mutations, and the metabolic costs of maintaining systems to reduce the mutation rate, such as DNA repair enzymes.[5] Viruses that use RNA as their genetic material have rapid mutation rates,[6] which can be an advantage since these viruses will evolve constantly and rapidly, and thus evade the defensive responses of e.g. the human immune system.[7]"​

    This gentleman makes several interesting statements on mutations I haven't confirmed yet.

    acknowledged I think the confusion is between observed natural mutations and induced mutations.

    What is the template?

    In sexual reproducers, if an error escapes detection during meiosis and that cell is then used to create a new offspring, that offspring has no original template against which to notice that its TTG was supposed to be a TTC. It could notice later on that its transcription of TTG for some reason erroneously resulted in a UUC (the original RNA sequence its parents produced), but since its DNA template says TTG/UUG is correct, it will likely act as if UUC is in fact the wrong sequence.[/QUOTE]

    You miss understand, sir.
    I don't not seek accreditation. I do not desire status in your system. I never will. Your views are your own and you have them for your own reasons. Those agendas are aside from my continuing search for the facts and the truth. If I were to allow my rational mind to descend to popular opinion then there is no use in having my own mind is there? I would have your mind or someone else..I'd be a copy, a clone, subjugating my intelligence by means of the blind faith of credibility. This is a fascinating discussion lets not presume your goals of being viewed favorably reflect my own.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
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