Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by garbonzo, Feb 20, 2015.

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

    Nice strawman. You spent the whole post knocking down the strawman you made, what a waste of time. First of all (as has been pointed out to you MANY times) fossils are not the only evidence of evolution. Secondly you do not need a complete fossil record for there to be evidence of evolution. Perhaps you should learn a bit more about paleontology before pontificating about it.
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  3. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Cataloging is also a discontinuous approach to data. Each aspect and then subset of life has it own little cubbyhole, that makes it distinct from what is aside of it. One can't be part of two cubbyholes. This is not continuous cataloging and leads the mind the way of discontinuous. Don't get me wrong. I agree the data is real, and the cataloging gives a sense of order to the multitude of specimens, but both fossils and cataloging lead the mind. I am not denying evolution but addressing, perception bias.

    What happens, are the Creationists are looking for a modern jump, between cubbyholes or into a new cubbyhole, that stands outs, and is line with discontinuous inference, implied by fossil data and cataloging. One is looking for a missing link that has a unique cubbyhole farther up the catalog tree. What they get as proof are subtle changes, in real time, that don't differ too much from a mother having a short and a tall child which move to opposites sides of the country to set up their own way to raise children. This human diversity within the same family, in appearance, personality and behavior, is not called evolution, because the catalog is not set up that way.

    If we cataloged humans, based on various factors in appearance, proclivity and personality, we could call this real time evolution, that can happen two or three times in each family? If you have five children one is taller and one is shorter. One is smarter and the other is more athletic. One is gentle and the other is rough. One is practical and another is creative, this is a lot of real time evolution impacting natural selection. If they all move to various parts of the country and some become successful, we have selective advantage. All we need to do is subjectively change the way the current catalog is set up since it too is subjective. There is an art to discontinuous theory, since they will diverge and not converge.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Not called evolution because it is not. It is variation, which May be selected for If it reflects genetic mutations, but not if due to non genetic factors like better learned manners, better grooming, better nutrition, or stylish new clothes instead of old faded "hand-me-downs." Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population, not even a beneficial genetic mutation in an individual who does not leave any descendants or only children who do not carry that mutation.

    In most cases in a large population, beneficial mutations get lost instead of become common in the gene pool. Fact that there was grass only for 41 individuals* trapped on rocky off-shore island after the ice of the last ice age melted and made it a tiny (football field size and mostly bare rocks) island no longer connected to the main land (and most of each new generation starving, but those with slight advantage, like being the runt of the litter and needing less food, or having eyes more forward looking** etc.) is why an entirely new species, the preĆ£, could evolve in only 10,000 years.

    * Probably only grass for about 20, of the first generation which like others still on the mainland, were twice as big as the prea evolved to be. The prea are highly inbreed. Defects associated with that of course died out quickly. Now genetic testing can not tell one from another!

    ** No need for an eye on each of the two sides of the head, like their ancestors had, to better notice a predator's approach as their were none on the island but good depth perception, with large over lap of the two eyes field of vision, was a big help and strongly selected for. - Why prea eyes are close together on the front of their face.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2015
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  7. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Lagomorpha. Close to rodents, again. Euarchontoglires, anyway.
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Rabbits and hares (leporids) and pikas (ochotonids) comprise the order of lagomorphs. It consists of about 80 species.

    They have two primary differences from rodents. 1. They have four incisors in the upper jaw instead of two, and 2. they are almost 100% herbivorous, while many rodents are omnivores.
  9. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Think I just said that, wot?
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

  11. Enoc Registered Senior Member

    I think I agree with wellwisher in the sense that I think that few people want to think outside of the box these days and especially scientists in academia.

    I mean why isn't it possible that some evil influence created humans and made some people stronger, healthier and more resistant to pain while at the same time created others completely victims to extreme pain and endless suffering?

    The theory that all humans were created by some evil entity (like Satan for example) make more sense to me than evolution by natural selection.
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    We have mountains of evidence for natural selection. There is zero evidence for the supernatural creatures you postulate (demons, angels, gods, etc.), who live in an invisible, illogical universe and have the ability to enter and exit ours at random intervals for the express purpose of fucking up its operation. Therefore it is rational to go with natural selection until you actually provide some evidence.
  13. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

    The job of scientist is to think out of the box, that is how science progesses and new discoveries are made!
    It is possible, but extremely unlikely since there is not even any evidence of supernatural entities, let alone that they are screwing with us.
    That makes absolutely no sense to me. I have the rather strong sense that you are having a tough time with life. If that is true, I hope that your fortunes turn more positive. Good luck.
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    The hallmark of a good scientist is the ability to think outside the box. But to think outside the box, you first have to understand what the box is. Saying "I can't be bothered - I am thinking, and I don't want to learn anything about the box, so I must be outside it!" is foolish. In most cases, you will end up firmly inside the box, making the same mistakes that thousands of others have made.
    Sure, it's possible. Let's see the evidence.
    Great, you have a hypothesis. Do you have any support for it?
    I mean, anyone can have a hypothesis. I can have a hypothesis that all humans are made in a factory in India. But without proof, it's pretty unlikely.
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Yes you can, but it must be a fully automated & self repairing factory.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  16. garbonzo Registered Senior Member

    All of your examples were countered. None of them would falsify evolution because they already happened before, and they didn't falsify it. Evolutionists simply 'adapted' the theory to the new evidence or moved the goalpost.

    Yes, the evolutionists would talk about how evolution has far more possibilities than they thought before.

    Please, define the evolutionary theory.

    Humans and Hyenas

    Humans and Macaques

    For the sake of it... Humans and Birds

    Common Ancestry has been completely debunked, but instead of accepting that they were wrong, Evolutionists came up with the epicycle of Convergent Evolution so they don't have to admit it. Evolution cannot ever be falsified. There will always be more epicycles to explain away the counter-evidence that becomes too evident to simply hand-wave it away.

    Again, DNA proves nothing. It fits equally well in a narrative of evolution, creationist or panspermia. In fact, it fits equally well in any possible and thinkable creation myth that was ever thought of.

    Counter-evidence of common ancestry. Explained away by convergent evolution.

    Counter-evidence from the second law of thermodynamics. Explained away by claiming that the sun did it, albeit by unknown mechanisms.

    Counter-evidence from irreducible complexity. Explained away by claiming that such traits had other functions and were later adapted, albeit without ever specifying what functions those were.

    Counter-evidence from pleiotropy. Haven't seen any evolutionist actually grasp the relevance of this, or touch it with a twenty foot pole yet. They simply hand-wave it away.

    Counter-evidence from sexual reproduction. Explained away by claiming without backing evidence that creatures simply evolved into hermaphrodites first, and then split the sexes away later.

    Counter-evidence from long time reproduction experiments. Explained away by claiming not enough time has passed.

    Counter-evidence from information theory. Explained away by claiming it is an necessary emergent property.

    Counter-evidence from lack of intermediate fossils. Explained away by redefining what an 'intermediate fossil' is and then claiming that everything is an intermediate fossil because we are always evolving.

    Counter-evidence from DNA contradicting standard cladistic models. Explained away by an ever shifting cladistic model.

    Counter-evidence from fossil evidence contradiction standard cladistic models. Explained away by an ever shifting cladistic model.

    Counter-evidence from the Cambrian explosion. Explained away by multiple theories.

    Counter-evidence from lack of observed beneficial mutations due to pleiotropy. Explained away by claiming, without evidence, that they happen so infrequently we never observed them, but they nonetheless happen, and often enough to allow Evolution to occur.

    Whenever I present those, the answer is always (yours will be too) that all this have been well-explained by evolution. They can't, however, explain it themselves or show where it is explained, other than linking to Wikipedia or TalkOrigins, and expect me to accept the word of those websites by fiat.

    If your argument is true, then I assume you believe the 'eye', one of the prime examples of convergent evolution, to be a mere superficial similarity?

    Sure. Sexual Reproduction. Wings. Protein Encoding. Eyes. ATP Synthase.

    No, they don't. The cow is closer to the dolphin than to other land species. The elephant shrew is closer to the actual elephant than other shrews. And even if it wasn't so, so what? It proves nothing. DNA fits equally well in any creation narrative, be it evolution, creationist, panspermia or any other.

    Why would they not? Replaceable Parts is a basic engineering principle that allow us to build far faster and more efficiently than doing each instance manually. To share DNA sequence is the smart thing to do. Specially if, assuming either panspermia or creationism, you understand deeply how DNA works and how the basic parts fit together, then DNA is like Lego Bricks to you, and you cobble it together in order to achieve the desire effect. Again, it is a basic engineering principle. It is the smart way to do it.
  17. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    What's an "evolutionist"?
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    That's an insulting word, invented by the "creation science" wackos, to make it seem like evolution is only one hypothesis competing among many, and that the jury is still out on which one is correct.

    My most memorable encounter with a "creation scientist" was in the early 1980s, when religion began to recover from its nadir during the Counterculture movement in the 1960s. It was a debate between a real scientist and the creationist before a large public audience. It was obvious that he was violating virtually every component of the scientific method.
    • He had carefully chosen examples from the fossil record which appeared to support his hypotheses.
    • For peer review, he had carefully pulled undergraduate theses from third-rate Christian universities, such as the now-defunct Ambassador College.
    • He relied on his (admittedly) very good communication skills to make the real scientist seem like an amateur. (As I've noted many times, most scientists are very poor communicators, especially with laymen.)
    What amazed me was that he knew he was lying!

    This technique works on the poorly-educated Christians in places like Kentucky (site of the Creation Science Museum), but not on the highly educated urbanites who filled the auditorium, which happened to be about one mile from UCLA!

    The term "evolutionist" has no denotation, only connotation. Anyone who uses it has helpfully identified himself as either a yokel from the backwoods with a poor education, a person with a very low IQ who can't understand science, an easily-influenced youngster from a family of fundamentalist Christians, or an agent of the fraudulent "creation science" cabal.
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Thanks. I knew that one gene can control more than one development or trait, but did not know this has a name. And yes, as TOE is based on accidental or random genetic changes, it is possible that two or more modified characteristic, all controlled by one gene, can all be a disadvantage.

    This accidental result is quite like a minor car accident - it can break my car's head lights, dent the fender, making it rub against the tire, etc. In fact it is to be expected by the TOE that most genetic change will be destructive or at least disadvantage for the individual they happen to. In some well known pleiotropy cases (see quote at end) like PKU it does seem that this accidental or random change is only a disadvantage and selected against so never spreads thru out the gene pool.
    In of the cases, the new characteristic does have some benefits in some enviroments, like sickle-cell anemia does (Significantly increases the resistance to or effects of Malaria.)

    When there is both benefit and cost to the individual with a pleiotropic gene, its frequency in the gene pool will reach some equilibrium penetration. (population's net cost = net loss) I. e. is selected both for and against. For example, left handed people as a small percent of the populate have certain advantage as well as difficulties using tools that were designed for the right handed people.

    For example: Most castles that have circular stairs in their towers, have stairs that, seen from above turn clockwise. That gives a right handed defender on higher stair an advantage in a sword fight with a right handed attacker on a lower stair. (His body can be pressed against the central column but the attacker, can at best have only his back turned against the central column but then his arm will not bend around the column well.) A left-handed attacker has the same protective position, belly against the central column, so in the middle ages it was more often than statically expected that the attacker working his way up the tower was left handed. Also interesting is that designers of castle's circular stairs knew this. There are very few, if any, that turn the other way, giving the advantage to a right handed attacker! Even the Washington Monument's square stairs turn the "correct way" as I recall - even though there is nothing at the top that needs to be protected.

    In modern times, a left handed base ball pitcher has an advantage against the typically right handed batter.

    Thus pleiotropy with only disadvantages will remain with low accidental penetration into the gene pool, but pleiotropy with some advantages too will find its equilibrium level - spread some in the gene pool to that level, as has sickle-cell anemia, reaching greater than 50% in areas where Malaria is common.

    SUMMARY: The Theory of Evolution, ToE, is very much supported by these facts about prevalence of pleiotropy.
    I don't comment on your other items as that would make post too long- but they are equally false suggestions that they refute the ToE.
    I just took one from your list that is a little bit harder than the others to smash to shreds.
    You must have also considered it to be hardest to smash - you listed it twice!

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2015
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    I'm assuming this response was meant for me. I'll respond to part, I don't have forever to talk about each element.

    How were they countered? I'm not sure what you're referring to here. If you can give specific details, we can talk about it.

    You demand a great change to theory. Great changes require great evidence. I can personally sympathise with your view, but it doesn't change the fact that substantial support is going to be required, and that such support will require vetting.

    Yes, humans and hyaenas are both social organisms, probably working in small-to-moderate pack groups in the evolutionary past and in some cases even today in the case of humans. So... ? Why is this controversial for you? Social arrangement is a pretty uniform sort of plane: every species on earth has some kind of social structure from near-solo to eusocial. It's not too surprising that early humans and hyaenas had similar social organisation. I assumed by features that you meant morphological features: I can see nothing controversial in this. Did you think the author was concluding some kind of common ancestry? That's certainly not what the article says. Did you mean this as a refutation of common ancestry? How would this be so? Do you suppose that all organisms that share any feature must have a closer relationship than those that do not?

    This article concerns the selective signatures in a cluster of beta-defensins having copy-number variations. What is it about this article that makes you consider it as refuting evolutionary theory?

    And? Species that produce the basics of sound are probably going to employ related molecular and morphological machinery to do it. Evolution doesn't recreate (and this should be a key term for reference here) the complete genotype-phenotype correlation array every time a speciation event occurs. It works with the machinery it has. Humans and birds certainly shared a reptilian answer long ago, and there would be little reason to think it wouldn't use the same physical machinery, which is coded by similar molecular elements. There are numerous examples of molecular elements that are conserved across species: ubiquitins, acetylation functions, the MHC, astrocytes, etc etc ad nauseam. It would be more surprising if they did not use related systems - but even a single example of a non-co-opted system wouldn't exactly be enough to refute evolution.

    It has utterly not been debunked. This element is at a rest.

    Not in the slightest: special creation should be special. Why is God recycling materials? Are things not so special? Why is God letting species interbreed? Doesn't He want to keep each kind to itself? What the hell was the point of putting each animal, two-by-two on the Ark, if later on randy wolves were going to start cross-fertilising with coyotes and domestic dogs? Where did the dinosaurs go? Weren't they animals too? How about humans and Neanderthals? Surely they were different kinds. Why is God using materials that might allow His creations to get busy with each other? Doesn't that kind of run counter to special creation?


    Summary: Pick one or two issues above and we'll discuss them. I don't have time to massively fisk one unmoved by the evidence anyway. What would be the point? Pick your first, single topic.
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    And also in the case of hyenas. On a wildlife TV show many years ago, the scenario was a lion gleaning the last few shreds of meat from his kill. It's customary in these cases for the hyenas to show up at this time, since they are the smaller scavengers who can scrape some of the meat from the bones. Apparently it's not uncommon to see a lion at one end of a dead wildebeest and a hyena at the other end.

    But in this case, the lion wanted more for himself, and he snarled at the hyena. The scavenger felt that this was his lunch, so he didn't back down. Another lion soon arrived and the two of them drove off the hyena without actually trying to kill him.

    Within five minutes, a pack of fifty hyenas materialized out of the landscape and began charging the lions, of which there were now about six. Before long the lions (who, apparently, are better climbers than hyenas) had climbed up into the trees for safety because there was no other escape route.
    Among mammals, there are two kinds of social structure: pack social and herd social. A pack is a group whose members are usually related by blood. They have known, trusted and protected each other since birth. Wolves, horses and elephants fall into this category.

    A herd, on the other hand, is (usually) a much larger group of individuals who have come together for protection, or simply because the food is good in a particular location. They'll usually protect each other's young, but are not as likely to risk their lives to protect an adult, yet sheer numbers can foil an attack by predators. Most herbivore herds have a lead cow whose senses are a little stronger than the others, and therefore can lead them to a place with abundant food and/or water. Still, members may wander off and join another herd with little fanfare. Cattle and most other artiodactyl (even-toed ungulate) species form herds.

    Our four closest relatives, the two species of gorilla and the two species of chimpanzee, are pack-social. As are we. The few paleolithic tribes still in existence at the beginning of the Age of Exploration demonstrated the same type of social behavior as gorillas and chimps. As our technology improved and we began to congregate in larger communities, the dichotomy of our pack-social nature with the herd-social structure of a city (much less a nation or a trans-national hegemony) became a source of conflict which we have never overcome, and which is still arguably humanity's biggest and most dangerous problem.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I'll take a few here:

    There has been plenty of evidence of common ancestry. Nothing we have discovered disproves it.
    There is nothing in the second law of thermodynamics that rules out life, evolution, or indeed processes that produce greater physical order from lesser physical order.
    In every case, the functions have been specified. Ion pumps, digestive enzymes and pinhole camera eyes are all examples.
    Pleiotropy is excellent evidence FOR evolution. Creationists regularly say "but how could a single mutation cause a significant change if it's just one gene out of thousands?" A mutation in a pleiotropic gene is a simple example that demonstrates how that can happen. Explain this to a creationist, though, and they immediately start denying pleiotropy.
    Except there is evidence - organisms that still reproduce both ways.
    This is another example FOR evolution. We have watched "macro-evolution" (speciation) happen as we watched. The following have undergone speciation in the past 200 years or so:

    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)

    Now consider what can happen in 200 _million_ years and you may begin to understand how evolution drives radical changes.

    Who's next up to bat?
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    In fact, the Second Law clearly allows for spatially and/or temporally local reversals of entropy.

    From our point of view, the most important example of this is the Big Bang. For an almost immeasurably small fraction of a moment, order was established in a tiny corner of the space-time continuum. Ever since then, entropy has been steadily increasing... although there are still local reversals, such as an animal growing larger by destroying the life of another organism.
    A perfect example of the fact that creationists are dishonest in their arguments. Their goal is to drag the human race back down into the ignorance and illogical reasoning of the Bronze Age, when the faint traces of science had not yet become organized and it was easy to convince people that the much more entertaining stories of the holy books were literal truth... leading to the non-stop warfare of the Late Iron Age.

    Religion reinforces hatred, and in many cases actually creates it. People who promote religion are promoting war, and they should be treated like the unforgivable assholes that they are.

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