Denial of Evolution VII (2015)

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by davewhite04, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Because no one except you (and a few others) really cares.

    Now, do you have any actual facts to discuss? Or are you entirely ignorant of the actual science of evolution? Let's take this as a test. Can you post on the science, rather than just complain about the people?
     
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  3. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    this ought to be interesting.
    like i said, i got the link from a, i assume, a creationist site.
    yes, i read it ( the article)
    the URL indicated it came from jstor.
    i clicked on the link, and it took me to jstor.
    i have posted the link, which was confirmed by randwolf.
    it quit working shortly after i posted it.
    correct, i don't read that many "science" issues.
    my dishonesty, this ought to be better than the above.
    i said, listen carefully, science received letters lambasting the issue and lewin.
    i DID NOT say science got letters to correct the quote.
    that too (the letters) has been posted, by RAV i believe.
    a million to one it doesn't work anymore.
    wanna bet?
    ditto.
    honestly?
    i have no frikken clue WHAT to think.
    something isn't right here bells, and it's downright nauseating.
    i am responsible for every word that comes from my lips bells.
    too bad i can't send you a PM with . . .
    yes, i have always questioned the entire concept.
    so sue me
    actually it's about ayala and the alleged misquote in science.
    you have to ask the admins why they named it "denial of evolution".
    please post their answer.
    awwww, what dishonesty?

    the rest of your post is probably equally mundane.
     
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  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Then why not open such a thread?

    Because the topic belongs to you, not me.

    What are you talking about? Cite?

    None of the above.
     
  8. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    exactly.
    "spandrels" wouldn't be any kind of "structure" but some type of "new gene formation".
    each generation would undergo its own production of biomolecular spandrels.
    when this process achieves a certain configuration, it catalyzes the previous "changes" into a new genome.
    if the above was true then it would explain the gaps in the record.
    it would also explain why they are typical.
     
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    leopold:

    It wouldn't be the first time there was a minor error in Science that went uncorrected.

    Besides, Ayala himself clarified the point for anybody who was really worried about it. There was no need for Science to publish any kind of correction. The article wasn't even particularly important. It wasn't peer-reviewed research being published, but one person's view of what a conference was about and what was discussed.

    It seems that Ayala himself didn't consider the matter important enough to kick up a fuss about it. In fact, he wasn't aware of the misquote until it was drawn to his attention. Then, he wrote a brief note to dismiss the creationist nonsense that had been written.

    Where can I read these letters? I've asked before, but you haven't posted any links or references.
     
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    My old mate leopold...He once tried to recruit me to his cause.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Seeing as leopold is so fixated on this single 1980 article, and regards it as a disproof of evolution, I thought it might be useful to post some quotes from the article. Quotes from the article are indented, with my commentary not indented. Note: these are extracts, not the full article.

    "Evolutionary Theory under Fire" by Roger Lewin, Science Vol. 210, No. 4472, pp. 883-887 (1980).​

    A wide spectrum of researchers- ranging from geologists and paleontologists, through ecologists and population geneticists, to embryologists and molecular biologists- gathered at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History under the simple conference title: Macroevolution. Their task was to consider the mechanisms that underlie the origin of species and the evolutionary relationships between species.
    They weren't gathering to debate whether evolution occurs, or whether Creationism is correct. They were debating the mechanism of evolution. Nobody at this conference doubted evolution.

    For the past 40 years the study of evolutionary biology has been dominated by the Modern Synthesis, a term coined by Julian Huxley in 1942. This theory explained Darwinism in terms of the rapidly maturing sciences of population biology and genetics. Essentially the theory says the following two things. First, that point mutation within structural genes is the source of variability in organisms and that evolutionary change is the result of a shift in the frequency of genes within a population. The origin of species and the development of trends in groups of species are explained as a consequence of the gradual accumulation of these small genetic differences. The pace of evolutionary change, according to the Modern Synthesis, is slow. Second, the direction of evolutionary change is determined by natural selection working on small variations: the variants that survive are those that are best fitted to their environments. The shape of organisms - their morphology - is therefore viewed in the utilitarian light of adaptationism.

    The changes within a population have been termed microevolution, and they can indeed be accepted as a consequence of shifting gene frequences [sic]. Changes above the species level - involving the origin of new species and the establishment of higher taxonomic patterns - are known as macroevolution.
    This is a reasonable summary of the state of play. The next part is Lewin's opinion of what the conference was about, and what he thought the conclusion was.

    The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No. What is not so clear, however, is whether microevolution is totally decoupled from macroevolution. The two can more probably be seen as a continuum with a notable overlap.
    The question that might be asked here is: was Lewin doing violence to the positions of the scientists at the meeting by venturing that the answer to his question was a clear No?

    The issues with which participants wrestled fell into three major areas: the tempo of evolution, the mode of evolutionary change, and the constraints on the physical form of new organisms.
    Again, it is important to note that this was not a creationism vs evolution debate. Nobody was questioning that evolution occurs. They were talking about mechanisms. 30 years ago, the fossil record was not as well known as it is today. The discussion at the time concerned why the record looked like it did.

    .... [T]he problem is that according to most paleontologists the principle feature of individual species within the fossil record is stasis, not change.

    No one questions that, overall, the record reflects a steady increase in the diversity and complexity of species, with the origin of new species and the extinction of established ones punctuating the passage of time. But the crucial issue is that, for the most part, the fossils do not document a smooth transition from old morphologies to new ones. "For millions of years species remain unchanged in the fossil record," said Stephen Jay Gould, of Harvard, "and they then abruptly disappear, to be replaced by something that is substantially different but clearly related."

    The absence of transitional forms between established species has traditionally been explained as a fault of an imperfect record, an argument first advanced by Charles Darwin. .... According to the traditional position, therefore, if sedimentation and fossilization did indeed encapsulate a complete record of prehistory, then it would reveal the postulated transitional organisms. But it isn't and it doesn't.

    ...."Certainly the record is poor," admitted Gould, "but the jerkiness you see is not the result of gaps, it is the consequence of the jerky mode of evolutionary change."
    Notice that Gould is not disputing that evolution occurs. He is questioning whether it happens smoothly or in "jerks". The idea that it happens in jerks was proposed by Gould and Eldredge and is known as "punctuated equilibrium". This is an evolutionary theory. It is not creationism.

     
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  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Thus went the verbal jostling, with the mood swinging perceptibly in favor of recognizing stasis as being a real phenomenon. Gabriel Dover, a geneticist from Cambridge University, England, felt strongly enough to call species stasis "The single most important feature of macroevolution." In a generous admission Francisco Ayala, a major figure in propounding the Modern Synthesis in the United States, said: "We would not have predicted stasis from population genetics, but I am now convinced from what the paleontologists say that small changes do not accumulate."
    This quote from Ayala is one that creationists like to use. They claim that it shows that Ayala was denying the fundamentals of evolution - that species change over time due to changes in the genetics of their populations.

    In fact, Ayala is saying that population genetics predicts continual and gradual change in genomes. But here he appears to be accepting that the fossil record does not show definite trends in species towards speciation. Instead, he accepts that (at the time, 30 years ago), the fossil record tends to show that many species undergo only minor changes over long periods of time.

    Why should this be? Well, that depends on the conditions necessary to spur a species to split into two species.

    It is important that Ayala has explicitly said that he does not believe that "small changes do not accumulate" when it comes to genetics. To believe that would be to deny evolution, something Ayala has never done.

    The emerging picture of evolutionary change, therefore, is one of periods during which individual species remain virtually unchanged, punctuated by abrupt events at which a descendant species arises from the original stock. ....

    The issue of punctuated equilibrium highlighted the particular problems of drawing together such a disparate array of scientific disciplines. The main point of entanglement was one of scale. Ecologists spend much of their lives being impressed by the subtle ways in which populations of organisms can adapt morphologically or physiologically to local conditions. And the population geneticists' view of the world through a Drosophila bottle teaches them how readily fruit flies (and presumably other organisms) can be modified by changes in selection pressure. So how can paleontologists suggest that species remain the same through most of their existence? And who in their right mind would contemplate speciation occurring in an instant? The resolution of this apparent conflict is this. Species do indeed have a capacity to undergo minor modifications in their physical and other characteristics, but this is limited and with a longer perspective it is reflected in an oscillation about a mean: to a paleontologist looking at the fossil record, this shows up as stasis.

    The troubling specter of "instant" speciation is again a product of misunderstandings over scale. What is an instant to a paleontologist is an unimaginable tract of time to either an ecologist or a population geneticist. "I'd be happy to see speciation taking place over, say, 50,000 years," said Gould, "but that is an instant compared with the 5 or 10 million years that most species exist."
    Read the above carefully. It is the resolution of the argument over whether speciation happens rapidly or slowly. In short, "rapid" means something rather different to a paleontologist than it does to a population geneticist or an ecologist. And so does "stasis".

    However, even the most ardent punctuationists do not dismiss gradual change as a force in evolution.
    "We are not saying that population genetics is irrelevant," said Eldredge, countering accusations of monotheism; "The question is over what process is most important in bringing about the major changes we see in evolution. And the answer is punctuated equilibrium." Gould also sees gradual change as an important influence in evolutionary history: "The point is one of the relative frequency of one process as against the other," he explained with deliberate emphasis, betraying some frustration at having been repeatedly misunderstood on this particular issue.
    Above are statements from the two "radicals" at the conference. Notice that they are supporting the fundamentals of evolution. They accept that evolution occurs. They accept that "small changes accumulate" and are a force in evolution. But they say that rapid speciation can and does occur when the environment changes rapidly. That is what punctuated equilibrium is about.

    If it is true that most evolutionary change follows the model of punctuated equilibrium, then there is the immediate problem of how to explain morphological trends that are frequently seen in the fossil record. A classic example of such a trend is the evolution of the modern horse, whose distant ancestor Hydracotherium was a three-toed creature no bigger than a dog. The fossil record shows an apparently steady "progress" through time, with gradual changes in body size and form leading eventually to the familiar Equus. Classical gradualism would explain such a trend in terms of a progressive expression of the forces of natural selection within a single lineage: a continuous evolutionary ladder would connect the ancestor Hydracotherium with the modern animal, Equus.

    By contrast, punctuated equilibrium would explain the morphological trends in horse evolution (and other such trends) as the result of a differentially pruned bush rather than a directed ladder. Think of the evolutionary history of the horse sketched out as a multiply speciating lineage, with some new species projecting in the direction of bigger bodies and fewer toes and others displaying smaller bodies and more toes. Now, if the species with the bigger bodies and fewer toes (the more "advanced" features) thrived more successfully than those with "primitive" features, then this would produce an asymmetric bush. The center of gravity of morphological change through time would lean steadily toward the bigger species equipped with the single toe. The same principle would apply to any characteristics in a group of related species in which natural selection favors one form against another. Known as species selection, the theory was first proposed by Eldredge and Gould and later elaborated by Steven Stanley.
    The thing to notice about these two apparently-competing explanation is that both of them still involve evolution by natural selection, just at slightly different levels.

    If theories on the tempo of evolution are contentious, then the question of mode is certainly no less so. ....

    It is now clear that many possibilities of genetic change exist, ranging from simple point mutations, through jumping genes and transposable elements, to major chromosomal rearrangements. It is also clear, mainly from experimental work, that all permutations of genetically determined morphological shifts are possible: small genetic changes can give rise to either minor or major morphological modifications; and the same holds for large genetic changes. The issue, as Maynard Smith stated, is which of these possibilities is most important in speciation events in nature. The data are not yet available to provide an answer to this question.
    There has been a lot of progress on this matter in the past 30 years.

    Notice that there is no denial of genetic change here.

    The basis of speciation theory is that a new species should arise from parental stock, probably delimited as a small isolated population. The notion of small populations is important in the gradualist model too, where speciation is allowed for through the steady accumulation of genetic change within a limited number of organisms that are geographically separated from the stabilizing gene flow of the main population. Eventually the isolated group might attain sufficient genetic distance from the parental stock as to be reproductively isolated: hence the establishment of a new species.
    The above is a description of what is known as allopatric speciation. This is an evolutionary theory. There is no creationism-evolution debate here. The article goes on to discuss other possibilities, but all are evolutionary theories.

    The article goes on to talk about constraints imposed by evolutionary history:

    The scientific argument over the third major area of discussion - that of constraints on evolutionary expression - was edged with tinges of sociological conflict too. At their most extreme, the two opposing technical positions are these. According to the Modern Synthesis, species look the way they do as a consequence of utilitarian adaptation to their environments. This theory also implies that organisms of all sizes, shapes, and forms are possible, and it explains the fact that life is actually restricted to a few very limited basic patterns by saying that there exists only a limited variety of ecological opportunities. Why does there not exist a species of cow with a head at either end of its body? Because, according to this line of argument, no adaptational niche is available for such a creature.

    The opposing view is that adaptation, though important, is a secondary factor in shaping species morphology. There are, it argues, fundamental constraints in morphological possibilities imposed by mechanical properties of the building materials, basic forms embodied in the building blueprint that underlie many related species, and conservative rules that govern embryological development. In other words, organisms of all sizes, shapes, and forms are not possible.

    Why do most land vertebrates have four legs? The seemingly obvious answer is that this arrangement is the optimal design. This response would ignore, however, the fact that the fish that were ancestral to terrestrial animals also had four limbs, or fins.
     
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  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The conclusion here was:

    Evolutionary history is clearly a potent force in determining evolutionary future.

    The detailed regulation of embryological development still remains elusive from scientific investigation, but at one level at least it does appear to involve series of binary "decisions," the outcome of each decision determining the possibilities available in future decisions. Whole sets of possibilities are therefore shut off as each bifurcation is passed.

    Again, I note that while the details of embryology were elusive back in 1980, a lot more is known in 2015. Progress in this area has been rapid and profound.

    Here's how the conference finished up:

    David Raup, of the Field Museum, described the meeting aptly when he said that it had been "easier to identify the issues than to draw conclusions." The atmosphere of questioning, probing, and seeking common ground was perceived by all present. Although the proceedings were at times unruly and even acrimonious, Maynard Smith's postmeeting comment to Science would certainly meet with broad agreement: "I thought the meeting was very positive. This was the first time for more than 25 years that there has been serious discussion between paleontologists, geneticists, and the like. This can't be anything but good."

    Many people suggested that the meeting was a turning point in the history of evolutionary theory. "I know it sounds a little pompous," Hallam told Science, -but I think this conference will eventually be acknowledged as an historic event." Will it prove to be the current equivalent to the 1946 Princeton meeting at which the capstone of the Modern Synthesis was laid? Will a new synthesis emerge, signaling a true paradigm shift in the Kuhnian sense?

    Perhaps. Gould expressed his expectations in more modest terms: "I hope that this meeting will lead to a rapprochement. I hope it will set the basis for a reconstruction of ideas."
    In other words, there was acknowledge that there was still work to be done, and the scientists in the various fields went back to work.

    The important point, for our present purposes, is that evolutionary theory wasn't thrown away at this conference. The Modern Synthesis wasn't found to be wrong. The participating scientists didn't conclude "Evolution is wrong. Creationism is corrrect. God did it is the only viable explanation." There was no doubt by anybody present that evolution occurs.
     
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  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    it's in one of these threads about this subject.
    i also believe it was RAV that posted it, or sythesizer-patel, but not sure.
    i also believe it was shortly after i posted the infamous quotes from science.
    if you find it please post it so i can save the page, if it isn't too late.
     
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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  17. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    isn't that what i have been saying all along?
    remember, this is typical of the record james.
    i was never told this in school.

    in short, i believe science is still guessing when it comes to the mechanisms of evolution.
    it was originally thought that small changes led to huge differences, but that isn't the case.
     
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    For something that is so important to you, I must say that I am surprised that you haven't kept a record of any of the relevant documentation. You haven't kept a copy of the original article. You haven't kept a record of correspondence you say you've seen about the article. You haven't kept track of the debate we have had on sciforums.

    And you have the nerve to make vague accusations that you invaluable posts have been edited or deleted. You have no record of that ever happening, either.

    Oh, and do you have any reaction to the article summary I prepared above, leopold? I don't expect to hear anything from you on that, despite the fact that it's the very article you rely on as disproof of evolution.

    What a dishonest hack you are.
     
  19. leopold Valued Senior Member

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  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    leopold:

    No. You've posted no content on the theory of evolution. All you do is complain about the Ayala misquote and invent conspiracy theories that involve you being persecuted for exposing the lies of evolutionists.

    I'm guessing you didn't receive much of an education in biology or in evolutionary theory at school.

    Personally, I'm not aware of any schools that cover the intricacies of the punctuated equilibrium vs gradualism debate. Are you?

    Does it sound like they were guessing in the article?

    Bear in mind that 30 years have passed since then, too. There's a lot more data from a lot of disparate fields (some of which I helpfully listed for you in a previous post to this thread, but which you characteristically ignored).

    Of course, the "mechanisms of evolution" are still the subject of active reasearch. Biology is complicated.

    There's no debate in science over whether evolution by natural selection occurs. There's no question of "Did God do it?" or "Did evolution do it?"

    Yes it is.
     
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Why?
     
  22. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    yes, it even states such.
    according to lewin, little data was presented, mostly "assertions".
     
  23. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    BTW, the references you requested are all on the board, somewhere.
    i have indeed learned some very valuable lessons concerning certain things.
     

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