Denial of evolution III

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

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  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Well, when you see it happening in a lab, that's a bit more than a suggestion.

    What evidence would that be?
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    About this still remaining true. There is no excuse for such stupidity.
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  5. Saquist Banned Banned

    so we've found INUMMERABLE transitional fossils?
    Far from blended together....that's by mostly imagination and what is there is the appropriate expectation of adaptions.
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Depends on how high you are willing to count! Certainly thousands, many of which are fragments. Hundreds of complete ones covering dozens of so-called "missing links." For just one order alone (whales) we have nine:

  8. Saquist Banned Banned

    Fragments represent more than 70 % of the 2 million fossils we've found so..the innumerable designation can't work here. And most of our studies of fossil evidence is still extremely presumptuous as to what's related to what with out DNA proof. Some is justified but not all. I respect the fossil record as much as anyone but we can and do over estimate it's contribution. Now that is understandable in terms of evolutionary theory but just as straight fact this is part of the major assumptions (an incomplete fossil record) that supports evolution. Which is why it is large circumstantial evidence that supports evolution. A large amount of it but circumstantial indeed. (again not all just most)
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  9. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    You don't respect knowledge, that much is obvious. The fossil record not only supports evolution, but the so-called transitional species (a bit of a misconception) are found where we expect them to be. But one case study is really all it takes to support evolution, since there is no other explanation.

    Ignorance is not an argument, Saquist.
  10. Saquist Banned Banned

    I'm not concerned with what you presume of me.
    It's spiteful and irrelevant at best and fiction at worse. innumerable transitional fossils just them ones where you expect them to be?
    Isn't that what I said?
  11. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    The exact quote was, "innumerable transitional links", not "innumerable fossils". Fossils are by definition rare, but if you find one, that one represents many more that either never fossilized or did and were not found yet, or did and eroded away (which they do every season).
  12. Saquist Banned Banned

    I know I quoted it.

    I don't understand...elaborate on "One represent many more than either never fossilied did and were not found yet." I don't understand this sentence arrangement.
  13. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    Let's try and get this back onto measurable topics.

    Once variation has occurred in a germ cell - namely a mutation in the genetic code which renders it measurably different than all other germ cells in that individual/population, most of the time, no effect occurs in the offspring. The same protein will be coded for, no good or bad change is evident (this is known as a genotype change w/o an associated phenotype change). Of the remaining possible mutations, ~70% will be negative. Things like frame-shift mutations which alter the entire protein translation pattern will almost certainly be fatal.

    Of the other 30% of mutations, the change in amino acids that are created by the mutation will either have an immeasurably small effect, or change the individual in a helpful manner in the environment they are about to be born into. For the sake of argument, let's give the chance of benefit a really small percentage; say that only 1% of non-harmful mutations have any sort of beneficial effect, and that effect is *really small* - like the animal's eyes can focus .001% better due to a slightly thicker lens.

    In that 1% of 30%, having only a .001% positive effect, what mechanism will prevent this variation from being passed on to the animal's offspring? If being able to see 0.0001% better *happens* to result in catching 1 more mouse, or being a quarter second faster in spotting a predator, this 0.0001% improvement will have a 0.0001% improved chance of this individual animal producing offspring when compared to his brothers and sisters w/o the mutation in question. Once that variation is passed on, the addition of any other 1% of 30% with a .0001% effect will then create accumulation, correct?

    In this situation, the vast majority of cases will result in no accumulation, as most mutations will not be passed on to a subsequent generation, agreed?

    Short answer - a mutation which originates in the body of a full grown parent will not be passed on. Lets try it this way. Each cell in your body contains DNA. During any given day, your body cell's DNA may be involved in the creation of proteins or in the creation of a new body cell via cell division. A mutation in a single body cell may result in the cell becoming non-functional, at which point it will likely lyse (kill itself), or it will have a minor effect on the body being only one of millions of cells producing the same proteins - its mutation is only effecting at most a millionth of a fraction of that total protein amount in the body. If the cell divides, any current mutations in that cell, or any mutation introduced to the new cell via errors during the process will at most result in 2 body cells with a mutation - still not a big deal when the body is made up of millions of cells. *If* a mutation effects the division rate of the cell, that cell may start dividing non-stop, and not dying in a normal fashion, and you end up with cancer. For body cells, this is basically the worst-case scenario for mutations - nothing effecting offspring, and not directly effecting evolution at all.

    If a mutation occurs in a germ cell, and that germ cell ends up being the one used in forming offspring, then *all the cells in the offspring will reflect that germ cell mutation.* In the 1% of 30% of cases where that's helpful to the offspring, it results in an individual with 0.001% better sight.

    At no point should a mutation in a parent which effects a single body cell either change the entire parent *or* change that parent's offspring with regards to evolution. A point to note here - if we found evidence that it *did*, it would be evidence for the Lamarckian theory of evolution - that traits acquired by a parent during the lifetime of the parent would be passed to a child; the classic examples being that a giraffe stretching to reach a tall tree will have offspring with longer necks or a weightlifter having uncommonly strong children. This sort of evolution was displaced by Darwin's theory, despite his knowing nothing about genetics. The study of genetics, instead of supplanting Darwin's basic ideas like Darwin supplanted Lamarck, have generally supported Darwin's ideas, though they have caused some overall minor changes to his framework.

    I disagree that this is an accurate assessment of the application of statistical averages to a reproducing population. To show why, I'm going to use some population math including multiple generations. The 1st time an individual is born with a given mutation, I'll call it P1 for 'parent' generation. That generation's kids will be F1, and that generation's kids will be F2.

    In a population P1 of 10 individuals, 1 of which has a mutation, the reproduction rate of that population does not effect the survivability of the mutation in a positive or negative direction. His (or her) reproduction rate being the same as the other 9, for each new offspring he or she creates will be counter-balanced by an offspring from the other 9. The mutation exists in 1/10 (10%) in P1, and in 1/10 (10%) in F1 (5 out of 50 offspring).

    The *only* time a difference in reproduction rate could have an effect on a mutation's survivability is if the mutation actually increases the fitness of the reproduction rate of the individual in relation to the other members of the same population.

    I use "fitness" instead of "rate" here for an important reason. If an individual has a mutation which allows it to produce 6 offspring for every 5 of its contemporaries (suggesting a reproductive advantage), but it then turns out that making 6 offspring means that there isn't enough food to go around resulting in the death of three of his offspring before mating age, then two generations down the line, his mutation will only exist in a maximum of 13 individuals (1(P1)+(3)(F1)+(3*3)(F2)) vs the 'normal' genome being represented by 309 individuals (9(P1)+(9*5)(F1)+(9*5*5)(F2)). As a result, this seeming advantage (more offspring in the F1 generation) is actually a disadvantage (fewer offspring in the F2 generation) and actually reduces the ratio of mutated genome to original genome from 1/10 (10%) in the parent generation (P1) to 13/322 (4%) in the second child generation (F2).
    Let's assume this small percentage to be correct. This returns us to the statistical analysis question from before.

    If I were to flip a coin, what are the chances I'll get 1000 heads in a row? What if every time I got heads, the chances of heads coming up the next next time were not even 1% better, but 0.001% better? As in some aspect of flipping the coin caused the tail side to become slightly heavier, changing the nature of the flip? How many flips would it take before even the very small 0.001% shift in the changes of heads/tails before I had a significant increase in the number of heads I can expect to see in continuity?

    Its *very* unlikely that a random event (flipping the coin) will produce a particular outcome (1000 heads in a row). But such a result is inevitable if that initial random event is paired with even a very tiny but decidedly *non-random* shift in the likelihood of success thereafter. In evolution, that tiny but non-random shift in outcome chance is selection; selective breeding when humans choose which individuals breed, and natural selection when the forces of survival in nature play that role.

    This is escapist language for two reasons. We can never have innumerable anything in a lab, and demanding that level of evidence would not be helpful in answering questions. We don't demand innumerable evidence to convict a person of a crime - otherwise no justice could ever occur.

    Science acts on the preponderance of evidence, and the thousands of fossils which Darwin had at his disposal, plus the tens of thousands of fossils he successfully predicted we would find (and in the geological pattern he predicted we would find them in) act as very significant evidence. It would be like having a corpse, a weapon matching the wounds on the body with both the victim's blood and fingerprints on it, *and* having a person w/ matching fingerprints wearing bloody clothes sitting 5 feet from the body. The suspect may not be confessing, and we may not have a video tape of the crime, but the conclusion is inescapable.

    Secondly, this quote is from the context in which Darwin both makes this point about a potential weakness of his theory, and then points out the nature of geology and the fragmented nature of fossilization. Due to geology, we will not expect to find a perfect fossil record; in fact we are lucky to find any fossils at all. As such, while the lack of a 'video tape of the crime' is frustrating, we shouldn't throw out the theory which best fits the fossil evidence we do have, just like we don't release everyone who commits a crime not caught on video tape.
    Part of the problem you are running into in this discussion is that a number of the facts you have provided can be shown through experimentation in the lab and the wild to be false, but previously you have appeared unwilling to take into account such evidence. I don't feel this has been true across the history of our conversations, but it has occurred a few times.

    For example, the concept of 'accumulation' not being possible; there are two aspects of your argument which unsurprisingly aggravates others: 1) this is a topic which people have spent their entire lives studying, and in order to discuss new discoveries and supplant old ideas, common terminology has been agreed to. Using the agreed terminology speeds up discussion immensely, and a lack of use of that terminology isn't an affront to a superiority complex, but a suggestion that the person using their own words haven't yet spent the time learning on their own, understanding the topic's main points before asking questions. 'Accumulation' of traits in not the standard terminology, and so it suggests that rather than investigate the existing arguments for the mechanisms of mutation, you've jumped the gun in criticizing the whole of the theory before you are up to speed on what the theory actually states.

    Were you to say "Please explain evolution to me" instead of "Evolution cannot be correct, here are the facts as to why, please explain evolution to me", I venture you'd have much greater success.

    2) If accumulation of traits was not possible, how is it that corn or dessert bananas exist? Dog, pigeon, cow, pig, or horse varieties? These human-created types of creature relied on the possibility of trait accumulation, and we have a pretty solid understanding of how they were created through selection and the accumulation of variations/traits.
  14. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    If you find one fossil, that means that animal or plant existed in numerous quantities. Since fossilization is rare, a rare thing would not be likely to be found as a fossil today.
  15. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    Evidence of past events is often rare. Such as it is with fossils. We know with a good amount of accuracy the percentage of bodies which leave a lasting impression in stone, and it is very small.

    Those cases where a body does leave a fossil, it is evidence of not only its own existence, but of the existence of the parents which birthed it, hints at siblings also birthed by those parents, and an entire population of its kind. A single fossil doesn't tell us how many of its kind existed, or how varied the individuals were in the population, but since we don't have any evidence to suggest that a creature completely detached in shape from its parents or siblings ever happens (i.e., a cow birthing a hen), a fossil of a cow suggests that there existed more than 1 cow at that time and place in history.
  16. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    Corpses hardly ever fossilize, so that doesn't really say anything about the gaps being meaningful for Intelligent Design.

    Also, an organism is an already stable platform when a mutation occurs, so it's not that a million chances needed to happen all in a row, just like a hurricane blowing though Boeing's warehouse couldn't ever produce a 757, for natural selection is the scientific alternative to intelligent design, not chance, as may be often mistakenly thought.
  17. Saquist Banned Banned

    Yes, I've heard his name before but the subject matter escapes me. Perhaps this subject is why I remember his name. So my question does the environment effect germ cells? As always provide evidence.

    I read this a couple of times. Population rate...
    I'm not sure you understand my initial premise. I'd like you to reflect to me exactly what you think I mean because I'm getting the feeling I didn't articulate myself properly. Perhaps population wasn't the right word.

    I kind of meant in two different ways...availability of mates and the actual number of offspring from one individual passing on the 50% chance of the mutation.

    That's definitely true.
    Darwin was evidently using this term metaphorically for a Lot. and still we don't have a lot of a wide array of species individually. We have a lot of certain species. It's not across the board and I acknowledge the reasons as did you. It is logical.

    Language is versatile. Yesterday my cousin had a mathematical question as to drafting Pipes and he made certain assumptions. When I told him the answer he asked me if I was sure. I didn't use drafting terminology. I didn't talk about orthos,section planes, flow diagrams and eccentric reducers. I gave him a simple layman's explanation for his problem to help him understand how simple it really was. That's how teachers work and anytime one steps into the role of making explanation they automatically become a teacher by default. So it's just NOT a good excuse. Whether it's the bible, drafting or working with Auto CAD or Solid works I know the accepted terms ALWAYS get in the way of making a proper explanation. I can't stubbornly insist on my terminology until they've been brought up to speed, otherwise I might as well remain silent and let someone more capable explain. This is a simple public speaking methods. Speed is not the objective. Comprehension is.

    I never said evolution cannot be correct.
    I've always said it's "unlikely"; improbable. I'm objective about this. I've personally rejected evolution but I haven't objectively rejected it and you really should no that by now. I have my personal beliefs but I don't let them run rampant over the facts to quash what little probability there is to zero. I play with numbers all the time, I understand great distances and even though I'm not a probability specialist I do understand how variables stack up.

    When did I say that accumulation wasn't possible?
    I distinctly remember saying "It's not INEVITABLE."

    You have to remember something River-wind. These people around you are prejudice and not in a good way. (withe all due respect of course) They've already judged me by the content of my conclusions and not by the content of my argument or my personal character. They believe because they have something at stake that I TOO have an agenda to maintain my belief in God. They take this all personally. It's illogical, this is rational for them and they support and back each other up with no moral obligation to honor or truth. That's a repugnant behavior to me. And it's not the vicious personal attacks that get to me...(Sci Forums is the home of personal attacks) it's the horde of fallacies that irritate and the inability to competently read a sentence for what it says instead of concocting fictional phantom argument. It likely stems from the dislike of repeating myself as it feels like I'm standing still as opposed to making progress.

    You have no idea how refreshing and honest your post was from my perspective. Your absence was sorely missed. There is nothing more uplifting than meaningful discussion and the exchange of information. I'm going to read over your post a couple of more times to make sure I'm comprehending your argument and get myself into the right mind set.

    Of course. That was my fault. For some reason after you explained it you sentence made perfect sense and I agree. I don't know how much Darwin knew or didn't know of the fossilization of how much was yet to be discovered over the next 70 years but I do know he's made a few such similar statements. It's almost as though he's been attempting to lay down falsification. Laudable but the Evolutionary theory has mutated to meet certain expectation or in another sense changed to fit the facts.

    Remember I'm the one that posted the 1982 conference excerpt that discussed the lack of transitional fossils by the Associated Press.. There have been changes.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  18. GiantRob Registered Member

    Definitions of evidence on the Web:

    * attest: provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one's behavior, attitude, or external attributes; "His high fever attested to his illness"; "The buildings in Rome manifest a high level of architectural sophistication"; "This decision demonstrates his sense of fairness"
    * your basis for belief or disbelief; knowledge on which to base belief; "the evidence that smoking causes lung cancer is very compelling"
    * testify: provide evidence for; "The blood test showed that he was the father"; "Her behavior testified to her incompetence"
    * an indication that makes something evident; "his trembling was evidence of his fear"
    * tell: give evidence; "he was telling on all his former colleague"
    * (law) all the means by which any alleged matter of fact whose truth is investigated at judicial trial is established or disproved

    * Evidence in its broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. ...

    * The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e.g., oral or written statements, such as an affidavit) and exhibits (e.g., physical objects) or other documentary material which is admissible (i.e., allowed to be considered by the trier of fact, such as jury) in a judicial or administrative ...


    The "Evidence" I would be speaking of would be housed in every natural history museum in the world. Millions upon millions of collected fossil specimens. The study of countless scientists independently looking for the truth (a subjective word, please don't argue this word!) through what they can infer from the fossils and geological processes they study.
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    So what? The basics are still the same. Of course it will continue to be added to and modified in it's details. It's not a religion where it's all or nothing.

    Way to stay current. That was almost 30 years ago.
  20. superstring01 Moderator

    I find this discussion to be a bit odd. I get having doubts as to the integrity of evolution: it's a dynamic theory that intentionally shifts (however slightly) to fit the evidence. But, taken on the whole, it's an established fact, especially since the only contradicting "theory" is that of intelligent design which has absolutely zero proof.

    Worse still, ID is a concept that is not even slightly scientific. Whereas scientific theory requires rigorous consideration and testing for even the smallest hypothesis, ID is a filter that automatically seeks to undermine divergent ideas and attack them as heresy or unreliable if absolute evidence isn't provide (while, amusingly enough, providing none itself).

    In a nut shell, those who are arguing against evolution (in favor of ID) sit around demanding every last piece of evidence when an evolutionary claim is made (and will only be satisfied with Poloroid snapshots taken at every stage of mutation*), but when even the faintest evidence for ID is requested, arms get thrown into the air, nonsense about "how faith trumps the mind" gets regurgitated, and cries of attacks on their religion get thrown out at every opportunity.


    *One is left with the opinion that even photographic records wouldn't be enough, even if supplied. The next request would be living DNA evidence, HD video records with THX sound to boot.
  21. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Actually there is considerable evidence against ID. For example:
    Consider the retina: In humans, it "built backwards." I.e. the photo detectors are the last layer the light strikes. First light must pass thru the network of transparent nerves, that should be behind, not in front or, the rods and cones that convert the light into neural signals collected by this network of nerves.

    Likewise, the blood vessels are also in front of the rods and cones layer and definitely not transparent to light. One does not notice their shadows as the brain processing fills in these dark lines in the retinal image, just as it also fills in the "blind spot" where the nerves leave (thru the retinal layer) the eye. An intelligent design would have the rods and cones as the front layer, with these support and data collection structures behind the rods and cones.

    An more efficient design, i.e. true "intelligent design" is possible and found in some other creatures, like the octopus. Eyes have evolved independently in dozens of creatures and with many different designs.
  22. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    String: simply put, no level of evidence would be enough. Period.

    I did once suggest that these kinds of debates were not fruitless. I think I have to retract that, really.
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Plenty of fruitcakes here, dude.
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