Denial of Evolution V

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Hercules Rockefeller, Mar 7, 2012.

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  1. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

    As per the previous four Denial of Evolution threads (here, here, here and here), this fifth instalment is also a quarantine area for threads that blindly regurgipost and quote-mine all the usual creationist/evolution denialism stuff, such as (but not limited to):

    -- scientists know that evolution is wrong, but are hiding that fact in order to retain their power;
    -- evolution is just a theory;
    -- Darwin recanted on his deathbed;
    -- no one has seen a bacterium evolve into a fish;
    -- there are no transitional fossils;
    -- speciation has never been seen;
    -- okay, speciation has been seen, but the creation of new Genuses has not;

    ....and everything else which is summarily smacked down by everyone who passed high school biology.

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    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
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  3. leopold Valued Senior Member

    not according to steve gould.
    you DO know who he is, right?
    he, himself, has admitted the fossil record is poor evidence.
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  5. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Please supply a quote so I can explain your misunderstanding.
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  7. Buckaroo Banzai Mentat Registered Senior Member

    I guess he means (or what he refers to, even though he might not really know what he's talking about) is that Gould stressed the fossil record does not present a picture of the so-called "phyletic gradualism", which is basically the notion, supposedly implied by Darwin, and supposedly assumed by almost everyone else besides Gould, Eldredge and a few others, that if "species A" evolved into species "B" and "C" N millions of years later, at N/2 millions of years you'd expect to find the species proto-B and proto-C exactly in the half way between B and C, and no species "A" anymore. Or at least that would be the extreme version of such notion, on the verge of caricature, for a real notion wouldn't be that "hard" on the evenly distribution of evolutionary change, allowing some deviation, but still predicting something that looks like it.

    When apparently the fossil record, at least according with some interpretations, gives more a picture of species that go relatively unchanging ("in evolutionary stasis") for a long time, and change happening rather "quickly", rather than more evenly distributed all along the way.

    But both things are not mutually exclusive, that is, it's perfectly possible for both things to happen, as well as all the gradation in between. The mechanisms of evolutionary change explaining one pattern or another are barely different, it's more of a matter of different variables for the ecological dynamics.

    And more importantly, it's not like this pattern isn't good evidence for evolution -- what Gould also said, but that's almost always ommited by creationists, is that the fossil record is really good at showing "the big picture" of evolution. What it's poor at showing is evolution at a very "zoomed in" level, of speciation of "immediately related" species, which isn't something questioned even by most creationists, only by those who think that are only something like "30 species" in the entire world, a small enough number to be taken care in a year by a floating zoo on a boat smaller than the Titanic. However sometimes they get confused and contradict themselves in the hurry to throw any stone at hand at the theory of evilution.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Stephen Gould: "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists -- whether through design or stupidity, I do not know -- as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. The punctuations occur at the level of species; directional trends (on the staircase model) are rife at the higher level of transitions within major groups."

    From the Wikipedia article "The Fallacy of Quoting Out of Context":

    Scientists and their supporters used the term quote mining as early as the mid-1990s in newsgroup posts to describe quoting practices of certain creationists.[10][11][12] It is used by members of the scientific community to describe a method employed by creationists to support their arguments,[13][14] [15] though it can be and often is used outside of the creation-evolution controversy. Complaints about the practice predate known use of the term: Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote in his famous 1973 essay "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" that

    Their [Creationists'] favorite sport is stringing together quotations, carefully and sometimes expertly taken out of context, to show that nothing is really established or agreed upon among evolutionists. Some of my colleagues and myself have been amused and amazed to read ourselves quoted in a way showing that we are really antievolutionists under the skin.​

    This has been compared to the Christian theological method of prooftexting:

    Pseudoscientists often reveal themselves by their handling of the scientific literature. Their idea of doing scientific research is simply to read scientific periodicals and monographs. They focus on words, not on the underlying facts and reasoning. They take science to be all statements by scientists. Science degenerates into a secular substitute for sacred literature. Any statement by any scientist can be cited against any other statement. Every statement counts and every statement is open to interpretation.
    —Radner and Radner, Science and Unreason, ISBN 0534011535​

    The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) described the use of "[a]n evolutionist's quote mistakenly used out of context" to "negate the entirety of [an] article and creationist claims regarding the lack of transitional forms" as "a smoke screen".[16]

    Both Answers in Genesis (AiG) and Henry M. Morris (founder of ICR) have been accused of producing books of mined quotes. TalkOrigins Archive (TOA) states that "entire books of these quotes have been published" and lists prominent creationist Henry M. Morris' That Their Words May Be Used Against Them and The Revised Quote Book (published by Creation Science Foundation, now AiG, and available from the AiG website)[17] as examples, in addition to a number of online creationist lists of quote-mines.[18] Both AiG and ICR use the following quote from Stephen Jay Gould on intermediate forms.[19]

    The fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change. All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.

    — Stephen Jay Gould[19][20]​

    Context shows that Gould rejected the gradualists' explanation for the lack of support for gradual change in favor of his own interpretation. He continues:

    ... Gradualists usually extract themselves from this dilemma by invoking the extreme imperfection of the fossil record. Although I reject this argument (for reasons discussed in ["The Episodic Nature of Evolutionary Change"]), let us grant the traditional escape and ask a different question.[20]
    Knowing that creationists are quoting him as if he were saying there were no transitional forms, Gould responded:

    Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists -- whether through design or stupidity, I do not know -- as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. The punctuations occur at the level of species; directional trends (on the staircase model) are rife at the higher level of transitions within major groups.
  9. leopold Valued Senior Member

    i couldn't have made it any plainer if i tried.
    and what, exactly, is goulds interpretation . . . from a peer reviewed source?
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Stephen J Gould never stated that the fossil record is "poor evidence for evolution".

    Don't tell lies, leopold.
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

    he did not use those exact words.
    he said the record is poor.
    the record he was referring to was the fossil record.
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Please provide the exact quote you are referring to, leopold, with reference and sufficient context.
  13. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

    Mod note:

    No, leopold. YOU are the one who has brought up Gould in your usual quote-mining disingenuous out-of-context intellectually dishonest fashion. Therefore, it is YOU who will explain Gould’s interpretation and why Gould thinks the “....fossil record is poor evidence....”.

    You will explain why Gould thinks the fossil record does not support the theory of evolution in your next post. If you do not you will be banned for 7 days for trolling as per Sciforum’s policy.

    Your days of intellectual dishonesty (with regard to evolution and abiogenesis) at Sciforums are over.
  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

    i have no idea what gould was thinking.
    i DO know what was stated was taken from peer reviewed source.
  15. leopold Valued Senior Member

    you know which one, the one from "science".
  16. leopold Valued Senior Member

    i bet billvon is relieved, eh?
  17. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator


    Mod note: Then, in that case, you shouldn’t quote-mine people when you don’t understand their position in the first place. That’s trolling, and that’s a 7 day ban.

    leopold has been banned for 1 week.
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I have no idea what you're talking about. Science publishes hundreds of articles every year. Which one are you referring to?

    You made a specific reference to a specific quote from Gould. I have asked you to produce the quote and the reference. So do it! Or retract your claim.

    Failing that, it looks like you're heading for another ban.

    You cannot expect people to read your mind or guess at what you might be referring to.

    Edit: oops. It looks like you already got yourself banned again.
  19. wellwisher Banned Banned

    My position on evolution has always been; I believe in the process of change from simpler to more complex life. However, I am not convinced the existing explanation for this process of change is entirely correct. My opinion is not creationism but based on observation and inference.

    For example, proteins within cells fold into very specific shapes with probability=1.0. On the other hand, statistical mechanics predicted that proteins should form average shapes based on random collisions.

    How does existing evolutionary theory, based on random events without any sense of logical direction, explain this very specific order, with probability=1.0, which contradicts statistical mechanics?
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Your opinion is based on errors of observation and reasoning. The "example" you assert, for example, is two consecutive falsehoods: proteins do not fold with "probability 1.0", and statistical mechanics predicts no such thing as you assert (the computer programs that model and predict actual protein folding are solidly based in statistical mechanics).
  21. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Nope. Proteins are no different than any other molecule built by cells insofar as the way random collisions are involved in their formation. The random collisions occur at the ribosome, which programs for specific amino acids. Eventually the matching amino acid arrives and is joined to the amino acid chain that is being built. The formation of the bond causes the ribosome to advance to the next amino acid to be selected. And this is done by reading the code from the messenger RNA which contains the exact anticodon formula of the protein.

    In a word, DNA is anything but random. The Brownian motion of the particles within the cytoplasm is what is random (and that is imparted by the "lost energy" - some of the entropy you couldn't account for in other threads - of metabolism). Random motion is the forcing function and the programming (of codons in the gene that stores the protein's formula) is the filter. Random, but filtered. It's still random, just not the way you want it to be. Sorry, nature just won't comply with your requirements.

    That's why you have to observe nature, not your personal imagined view of what nature is doing. When you finally get around to that, you will notice that natural selection explains it perfectly.

    Ah, so you're calling DNA a probability of 1.0. That's pretty convoluted. Just call it a gene or a code or something and you'll be on the right track.

    "Existing evolutionary theory" doesn't concern itself too much with the specific twist you impose on protein synthesis, since that's not how it actually works.

    Darwin anticipated DNA mutations more than 100 years before Watson and Crick discovered DNA. DNA mutates randomly within populations (as seen in certain human diseases that have genetic causes). When the mutation provides for a protein (or enzyme) that has a useful purpose in improving the cell's survival, that cell will survive and reproduce, so the DNA that codes for the protein, enzyme, lipid, whatever, will be passed down. When the new trait is significant to change a basic characteristic of the species, then we call this evolution.

    Once you understand how a ribosome works, you will quickly realize that it is the predecessor accomplishment of some primordial evolutionary stage. The ribosome is specifically organized to accept any mRNA code. Thus, the mutation need only occur in the genome, and the synthesis takes care of the rest. The mutant protein gets fabricated automatically. It either helps for survival, has no effect, or hurts. Natural selection takes care of the rest.

    The mere existence of a ribosome reinforces evolutionary theory. It's just one of a million examples of the way the best solution is what gets inherited. Like DNA itself, the ribosome enables evolution to occur generically and to affect higher levels of organization, in this case, it provides for the variation of tissues within an organism, such as in the variations that were needed to give mud-walking fish the ability to climb out of the muck and to become amphibians.
  22. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Existing evolutionary theory does not take into the account equilibrium affects create by the cellular water. Water contains potentials that are ignored or averaged into fudge factors.

    Hydrogen bonding in water, is not just a type of polar bonding between the opposite charges of hydrogen and oxygen, but hydrogen bonds also contain covalent character. There is a differential between these two stable hydrogen bonding states, which impact the cell via the activity in water.

    When we freeze water, for example, it expands. If hydrogen bonding was only ionic, the expansion of the water would mean freezing should absorb energy, since the distances between charges are increasing and therefore potential is building. But the expansion of opposite charges gives off energy. This is because the expansion is not polar in origin.

    If we take two charges (+ and -) and pull them apart it takes energy. Yet with water, we pull opposite charges apart (freezing=10% expansion) and energy is given off. The reason is connected to the covalent form of hydrogen bonding. The charge separation will is endothermic, but it positions the atomic orbitals of hydrogen and oxygen, so a partial covalent bond can form. This is stable and results in net energy given off. It is not polar but covalent.

    By shifting the water between polar hydrogen bonding and covalent hydrogen bonding we can create volume, entropy, pressure and enthalpy changes which supply energy to life, through pressure, tension and osmotic affects.

    For example, potassium is chaotropic, while sodium is a kosmotropic. The cell supplies energy to separate and segregate these cations. This results in the water inside and the water outside the cell induced differently, via the impact of each cation. The sodium induces the expanded or covalent form of hydrogen bonding, while the potassium induces the more collapse water structure based on polar hydrogen bonding. This impacts biomaterial equilibrium inside and outside the cell, differently.

    If we took a cell and removed its membrane, potassium ions will still partition inside the cell, even without the means for cationic pumping. The potassium will favor the inside of the cell and sodium on the outside. After millions of years, the internal organics have formed an equilibrium with the potassium induction, until there is reciprocity.

    If I draw a line between the activity in the water due to the potassium and the path of the organics leading to reciprocity, there is a sense of direction. If we ignore the activity of water, it looks random and aimless.
  23. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

    True it is ignored because it has nothing to do with evolution. Evolution also ignores dark matter; is this also a problem?

    What is your evidence of this? What does this have to do with evolution?

    First of all hydrogen bonds are not ionic. Secondly, what is your evidence that hydrogen bonds won't allow for the solid phase to less dense than the liquid phase. Thirdly, what does this have to do with evolution?

    The hydrogen bonds are not pulled apart. It is a structure issue not a bond length issue - if you dissagree, where is the evidence that the density difference is from bond length? What does this have to do with evolution?

    Where is the evidence of this? What does this have to do with evolution?

    How about some evidence. Off topic, it has nothing to do with evolution.

    The balance of K+ and Na+ in cells has been true for billions of years, it has nothing to do with evolution and it has nothing to do with hydrogen bonding - the polar nature of water makes it a good solvent for ionic materials but all the other stuff is just rambling AFAIK. Some evidence besides your say so would help!
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
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