Is the neo-Darwinian view of evolution dead and outdated?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by M. Helsdon, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Let me give an example. Antibiotics have resulted in more resistant bacteria. This effect is due to the changes within the environment caused by the antibiotics. The antibiotics will kill off the good bacteria, with the resistant bacteria persisting. These resistant bacteria, already had the DNA tools, from day one, or else they would have died off in day one like the rest. All we did was create a Yellowstone scenario, or a micro-scale forest fire, with the resistant migrating. This is not Galapagos. It did not takes thousands of years but happened in decades with a wide swing in terms of the average bacterial DNA. But the explanation will remain Galapagos biased and will tend to fixate on genetic changes not migration of bacteria that already had the DNA for survival.
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  3. SkyNetTX Registered Member

    Thank you, Aqueous!

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    I don't know if the OP has deleted anything from the original post, but he doesn't seem to be talking about neither creationism, nor religion! He is, indeed, questioning Neo-darwinism, but if ND has become such a dogma that people who question it are being insulted, we're making science religion-like and going back to blasphemy and heresy eras (luckily, the outcome is different - no burning at the stake).
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  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

    There is no law or rule in science that requites we calibrate the mind, even if this is the most important tool of science.

    If you look at the political divide between creation and evolution, evolution is more likely supported by liberals and progressives who believe if big centralized government that controls everything including thought. The Conservatives, believe in smaller government and more self reliance, tend to leave the option open to further discussion. These options may include Creationism, Intelligent design, or like myself the logic of aqueous-organic interdependent evolution with water setting milestones as the dominate phase.

    The dogmatic of a done deal evolution theory would be expected to appeal more to liberals. Centralized control is not about open discussions but the overlords telling you what to think. The open discussion will come from those who think in terms of individual rights and self reliance. They will continue to add independent thinking.
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  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Normally I like to engage people with polite dialogue, but I have no qualms calling the trolls to the carpet and shoving their 7th grade educations down their throats. On the other hand, anyone with a 7th grade education who comes here with a interest in learning will benefit from the contributions of the many students, academics and professionals who are equipped to answer their questions.

    The problem with this thread is that it was designed to attack science in order to promote the agendas of the religious propaganda artists who have been at war with Science since the Scopes Monkey Trial nearly 100 years ago.

    Neo-Darwinism is not a dogma. It's simply the state of science which assimilates newer information than Darwin had access to at the time he propounded his theory. It expands on what Darwin discovered, combining it with facts from newer discoveries.

    The real question which the religious people are attacking is this: what should be in the curriculum plan for the average high school science class, as far as the unit on evolution is concerned? Should students be told the Earth is 6000 years old? Should they be told that humans walked the Earth with dinosaurs? Or should they be told that Darwin found 22 species of birds on Galapagos, who had a common ancestor, and then from there go on to explain how evolution works? The textbooks do cover this, and they cover the later advances. They also cover other topics, including some of those the OP lied about.

    There is nothing more dogmatic about teaching evolution than teaching chemistry, or math, or electronics. These are just specialized topics from the larger body of human knowledge about how things work. Life evolves, that's a fact. New-Darwinism is just a slightly larger explanation of how that happens. It's simply not controversial. The only controversy is whether or not children should be lied to.
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    What's "Neo-Darwinism" or the "Neo-Darwinian view"?

    It almost seems to me that any term preceeded by the prefix "neo-" or "post-" becomes kind of meaningless, unless it's precisely defined.

    There's the implication that "neo-" and "post-" ideas are ideas subsequent to whatever bears the prefix. Or to some particular aspect of those ideas. Or something. And there's an additional, and a bit more covert and tendentious suggestion that whatever came before is outmoded, disproved and has been rendered obsolete.

    I'm not a biologist, but I'll say that I've always understood the term "Neo-Darwinism" to refer to the synthesis of Darwin's thinking with modern genetics. When Darwin wrote in the middle 1800's, genetics was still rather mysterious. Subsequently, the gene theory appeared, and since the middle of the 1900's, a flood of new information about molecular genetics and genomics. So evolutionary biology has itself been evolving, so to speak.

    Using "Neo-Darwinism" in that sense, it's kind of ridiculous to suggest that it has been disproven or rendered obsolete. I'd say instead that it's in its golden age.

    But if we want to interpret "Neo-Darwinism" to mean something else, perhaps a temporal snapshot of what biology textbooks were writing about evolution in 1950, then sure, a lot of that would probably seem simplistic and perhaps even misleading in some of its details today. That's inevitable, since the molecular genetic details were missing and there wasn't a whole lot of knowlege of how evolutionary and developmental biology dovetail.

    Something to be mindful of is how the pervasive sub-culture of academia works. Ambitious university professors don't make names for themselves by agreeing with those that came before them. They make names for themselves by proposing new and revolutionary ideas. That means that professors are prone to hyperbole, simply by their nature. They can be quite dismissive of older ideas, even when there isn't much justification for it.

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