Denial of Evolution V

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

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  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    This whole argument is circular. You are arguing that 'biology teachers are reluctant to teach evolution' is somehow evidence that 'evolution is weak'.

    No, biology teachers get their knowledge from the scientific community, and the scientific community supports evolution.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Point of order here: some definitions of terms.

    Evolution is not what is on the table for debate. Evolution is the changing of an organism's gene pool and expression by heritable genes. This is fact, and has been demonstrated countless times in labs and in controlled field experiments. The expression of an organism's traits can indeed be modified by selective breeding, and in this way, organisms do evolve over time.

    The church, even fundamentalists, don't challenge evolution.

    What is being challenged is evolution by natural selection. This is the theory that natural forces such as geography, food sources and what-have-you can be the driver for evolution.

    If anyone is confused about this, they need to do some more reading on the subject.
     
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  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

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  7. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    I am serious. You don't seriously believe that the overwhleming majority of biology teachers don't accept evolution, do you? There is only one reason not to believe evolution is correct and that is religious blinders. Evolution is really as obvious as the fact that the earth is not the center of the solar system.
     
  8. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, I think so.

    from the article you cited.

    Now you need only ask where the teachers would stand if the fundies were not making the classrooms a battleground.
     
  9. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    If we're talking about why teachers are reluctant to teach evolution, then "evolution" now means whatever is in their curriculum plan. I have gotten interested in one of the textbook publishers because they have gone to such great lengths to try to help the teachers grapple with the battleground scenario. From some of the texts I've gone through I've noticed that their chapters on evolution even go into the history of the controversy itself. Teachers are having to explain to the kids that they've been duped. It's entirely different than trying to explain the life cycle of amphibians. It's a digression into the fray.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Because people like you attack them when they do. From the article:

    "Our data show that these teachers understandably want to avoid controversy."

    Sure you can. For years you could tell theists that pi equaled 3, that the sun circled the earth and that the world was 10,000 years old. If the Pope said that 2+2=5, then math teachers would start being reluctant to teach math - because they'd get no end of grief from people like you.

    Quite literally no. It is the hate that makes them reluctant to teach it.
     
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    @billvon
    Ah, there you go, that's what I couldn't quite spit out. Yes, I think that expresses quite well the sentiment of the majority of reasonably informed people.
     
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Evolution has two parts - genetic inheritance and natural selection.

    =====================
    American Heritage Dictionary

    Evolution: Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species.
    ====================

    Claiming that you accept evolution but not natural selection is like claiming you accept aerodynamics but not lift.
     
  13. darryl Banned Banned

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    I would have to agree with the post by DaveC426913, evolution is a fact, that is not up for the debate anymore. The only remaining debate is 1. what mechanism/s cause evolution, and 2. were these mechanism/s any different in the past?

    Regarding number 1. That is an interesting debate and discussion.

    According to Gert Korthof:


    See his website section "Extensions & alternative evolutionary theories"

    http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/index.htm

    Some very interesting mechanisms here, some of which contradict and oppose eachother, so you see there is still debate in evolution, it has occured and does occur but we still do not know 100% how or why.
     
  14. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Because they are bad teachers and deluded by religious indoctrination?
     
  15. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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    If I was a biology teacher and I had to put up with some crazed fundie at the back of the class bleating on and on and on about the same quote by Gould for 4 semesters in succession - I'd probably want to give up bothering to to teach the subject too.
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No, evolution works just fine under artificial selection. Your dictionary definition is out-of-touch with modern understanding.

    It has been shown to happen under controlled conditions and is accepted as fact. Any dog breeder or fish hobbyist will happily show you.

    Natural selection, on the other hand - while there is a preponderance of evidence for it that most all rational people accept as compelling - is much more difficult to demonstrate beyond any shadow of a doubt. It will always be open to fine-tuning, as well as a target for challenge.


    No. As pointed out, it is trivial to demonstrate evolution. It is not as easy to demonstrate that natural influences can do the same thing.

    Challengers have given up on the 'evolution' debate - they got soundly trounced - and are settling for the 'evolution by natural selection' debate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    We're also talking about the U.S. education establishment. Have you talked to any American college graduates lately? Or worse yet, tried to read their writing?
     
  18. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    do you really believe sciencedaily would cloud the issue with semantics?
    remember, we are talking about the newsletter of NAS.
    it's unfortunate that we do not have the raw data the statistics were taken from.

    you do raise a valid point though.
    personally i would like to see "variation within species" called adaptation.
    i don't think anyone in their right mind would challenge "adaptation".
     
  19. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    no, but i've tried to read some of my doctors writing.
    i swear, doctors have thjeir own language called "chickenese".
     
  20. leopold Valued Senior Member

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  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Mutation and artificial selection is called "breeding." We've been doing it for centuries. It's not the same as evolution.

    They will indeed - because they have been breeding them, not just letting them evolve.

    I agree that it will be fine tuned for a long, long time. But as we've seen it happen both in labs and in nature, there isn't much doubt as to the basics of what is happening.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Evolution is what occurs to the species as a group when its individuals are selected preferentially by circumstance - whether it be nature or humankind. I did not say they were "the same" thing.

    When talking specifics, the simplistic term evolution has been passe for some time now.


    The first third of Dawkins' book The Greatest Show on Earth is dedicated to the distinction of these concepts. It's a good read.

    I've corrected your statement.

    Agreed. But it's not nearly as easy to demonstrate as evolution is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  23. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Here you and billvon are discussing the technical aspects of evolution. I understood your earlier remark (the stuff in red) to refer to the political aspects in the culture war between fundies and normal people.

    Another technical aspect of evolution that gets very little discussion from fundies is that of niche filling, and including niche construction. I would think this serves as the main observable element of natural selection since it generally involves some kind of ecosystem which can be seen and studied. It's also an important topic of the classroom material leopold's conflicted teachers are dealing with.

    I guess at this point I would ask any denialist, but especially the fundies: why aren't you people griping about niche filling (and construction)? Where's your pseudeoscience quote-mining, your entropy arguments, your conspiracy arguments, etc.? After all, this is a huge part of what makes evolution tick.
     
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