Open Debate: Evolution.

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Muslim, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Yes Blue_UK. At the time of the move to dry land, the land was a much less hostile environment than the sea. There were a virtually unlimited number of niches to occupy.
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  3. Teetotaler Registered Senior Member

    Chrisitianity is not about proof, while evolution is.

    It is a fact that human kind will continue to speculate until it ceases to exist; continuing in his attempts to explain events that happened way before his time.

    You call Christians crazy for choosing to have "faith" and simply exist when scientists strive for what can not be acheived? Don't take this as anti-science, take this as anti-life explanation.

    We are fish in a fish bowl. Just because the thinker fish can see outside of its fish bowl and make reasonable theories as to its existence, it can never be 100% accurate. They can never know all the variables of the outside world.

    So you athiest and scientist continue on your endless expedition, while we belivers choose to sumbit to something larger than ourselves. At least, we creationist aren't striving for the impossible.
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  5. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    You seem to be quite angry and close-minded on this subject. A firmer understandig of how science works and what you can expect from it might be helpful. There are many websites that can help.
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  7. Teetotaler Registered Senior Member

    First of all, I am not angry or close minded. Second, damn, you are disillusioned. You have so much faith in your science. Yes science is a reality, but it is not an end within itself. Why can you not understand this?

    Our science is limited. You can't even tell me why a scorpion glows under ultra-violet light.

    With the help of science, you've discovered a little about yourself. Now you think you're the shit?
  8. Teetotaler Registered Senior Member

    It is difficult enough finding these creatures during the day, but at night it is a different story. When looking for scorpions scientists use an ultraviolet light. At night, under normal torch light (white light) scorpions are impossible to detect. Their cryptic colouration and ability to hide at the mere flicker of a light makes them difficult to locate. Under Ultra Violet (UV) light however, scorpions emit an eerie greenish glow. On dark nights small species can be seen from many meters away. It is not uncommon to see over 200 individuals in good scorpion habitats. We do not understand why they glow, but they do. "Unfortunately, warthog holes, barbed wire fences and large mammals do not glow under UV light making scorpion collecting an exciting pastime in big five country," jokes scorpion expert Jonathan Leeming.

    The bold phrase above is science, as life explanation, in a nutshell.
  9. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Of course it's not an end within itself. It's a constant journey to gain a deeper and deeper understandig of our place in the cosmos, wouldn't you agree?

    Clearly it's limited as are all things. But I can certainly tell you that by bombarding a scorpion with UV you are exciting outer electrons in the atom of the carapace of the scorpion that, upon returning to their ground state, emit that charachteristic glow.

    Why yes. Yes I have.

    No. I am quite humble before the vastness of the cosmos. Aren't you?
  10. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Oh my. I'm certain that some biologist will eventually examine the protiens present in the scorpions outer layers and it will become clear why they happen to glow under UV.
  11. Teetotaler Registered Senior Member

    So, why should I believe what a scientist tells me now about how animals behaved millions of years ago when he can not explain to me now about the proteins present in the exoskeleton of a scorpion?
  12. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    The real question about the scorpions glowing under UV would be rather more pertinent to the thread topic, don't you think?

    The mechanics of it are quite basic and can easily be answered by crushing the exoskeleton, examining its bits, and determining which molecule (or molecules) in the exoskeleton glow under UV light.

    But, the real question is not HOW but rather WHY.
    What benefit does the scorpion gain from having this particular property? Does it gain any? Is it merely a random thing that is neither beneficial nor detrimental? Is it selected for? Is it an adaptive trait or is it exapted?

    I have this hunch that perhaps scorpions can see farther into the ultraviolet than we can and thus this particular adaptation (if adaptation it is) makes fellow scorpions stand out.

    Unfortunately, I'd also think that this makes the scorpions the targets of other creaturs that also share the ability to see farther into the UV spectrum.

    Perhaps the benefits outweigh the detriments? They must for the trait to persist as it has.
    Also, the scorpion is not exactly defenseless so perhaps is not too overly worried about being spotted by most animals?

    The question then becomes what are the predators of scorpions and what frequencies of radiation do they perceive visually? Are they able to perceive the glowing of the scorpion shell?

    I'd think the main predator would be birds.
    And I doubt they do see far into the UV.

    So many possible avenues of exploration.

    But, it is important to seperate the why and the how. How is easy. Why is more abstract.
  13. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    The current lack of an explanation for a scorpion's UV glow falls in the category of the billions of other interesting tidbits of the natural world, namely that no one has bothered to look at it yet. As for belief, there's no need. All you do is accept it as a highly plausable scenario pending further discoveries. You can research the details if you like. There are clues to how animals behaved millions of years ago, but clearly we don't know the thousands of details of animal life in the Jurassic, and no one claims to.
  14. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

  15. Teetotaler Registered Senior Member

    I need to write a book entitled "The Transformation from Myth into Science".
  16. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    If I may ask, what is your background in science?
  17. Teetotaler Registered Senior Member

    You don't need a scientific background to write the book. All you need is to sample random jibber jabber from people like you.
  18. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    I can see that responding to you is pointless. Thanks for convincing me not to waste anymore time in that respect. Enjoy your time at sciforums!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    No one who disputes evolution on this thread has offered an alternative explanation for the state of biology on Earth.

    What is it that you're suggesting? The Divine Watchmaker theory has been around for almost as long as evolution. An advanced being created the universe at some point in our past, including all the evidence that makes it look like it developed naturally. The fossils with the right rate of C-14 decay, the DNA, the light already in transit with images of galaxies twelve billion years old, all of it. This theory can't be proven or refuted. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and anybody who can create a star-filled universe that is several billion light-years across has got some pretty nifty technology.

    What we--or at least I--have no respect for is the contention that in the middle of a more or less normal, scientifically explainable prehistory proceeding according to the natural laws that we have been able to uncover, some advanced being started meddling and doing things that violate those natural laws. I guess my favorite is the one about how tigers used to be herbivorous because there was no "evil" in the world (and carnivory is apparently "evil" according to this sect of steak-eating Christians) until Eve and the apple. We've got the remains of tigers going back tens of thousands of years and they all have the physiology of carnivores; they could not have survived long enough to mate and breed by eating plants.

    As for gaps in the fossil record, paleontology has been kicked into high gear over the last two or three decades and we've been filling those gaps pretty quickly. They just found one of your precious "missing links" in class Aves (birds) a couple of weeks ago. A bunch of fossils so well preserved you could see the softer tissue. Real feathers, but not enough of them to do anything better than glide, and real claws at the wingtips. How many more of these things do you have to see to start getting it?

    The remains of dead animals are treated very savagely by nature. If there's any miracle going on, it's the fact that we find any of them at all! A dead animal has to fall into just the right place where it will not dissolve, decay, become scavenger food, be mangled into fragments by growing tree roots, or suffer a million other fates. The fact that we have not yet found every single missing link is hardly persuasive evidence that those missing links never existed.

    Besides, we've got DNA analysis now to fill in the gaps in the fossil record. DNA analysis has really straightened out our understanding of the evolution of a lot of lifeforms. Take whales for instance. Turns out they are not related to seals, something we all know now but it was an obvious first hypothesis. And they are not the descendants of bears, who love water and are good at fishing, which was also a good guess. They descended from hippopotamus-like creatures, who already spend most of their time in the river and could have tried swimming further out to sea and liked the food they found there. Some taxonomists have already demoted cetaceans from an order unto themselves and are classifying them as a sub-order of the artiodactyls. (Even-toed hooved mammals.)

    Most of the objections to evolution are from religious fundamentalists who are uncomfortable with the prospect of humans not having some truly unique quality to elevate us above all other lifeforms. Having been planted here directly by the hand of a "god" so as not to be related to the other primates, much less the slugs and amoebae, really makes us special and explains why that "god" would be paying so much attention to us and not caring about the damage we do to the habitats of his other creatures.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it. We've discovered that birds use tools, dolphins have names, dogs behave morally, monkeys make long-range plans, and--drum roll please--at least two other species of apes can learn to "speak" in American Sign Language.

    The thesis that we are unique and the special little pets of some "god" is rapidly falling apart.
  20. Teetotaler Registered Senior Member

    Says the man who has no more defense. Good night.
  21. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    You don't understand what science is, do you?

    What I wrote could well be classified as Myth. Why? Because it was all creative outpouring with little to no basis in empirical study.

    What I did was pour forth some possible avenues of exploration. Different facets which might be turned towards in a scientific investigation of why scorpions glow under UV radiation.

    Science would come later. Science would be a winnowing of the creative outpourings.
    A narrowing of the 'hunch'. A negating or a tentative affirming pending further study.

    So. You could write a book called The Transformation of Myth to Science, but to do so with the information presented to you in this thread alone, you'd simply be writing a mythos. You'd have only half the tale. Perhaps less than half.

    But, you are a christian so you are comfortable with such an enterprise, yes?

    The shaman is alive and well in you and your brethren.
    In a way.
    A sad way.
    The shaman exists as a static portrait handed down and made holy with the weight of tradition.
    A tradition which you fear to examine too closely.
    A tradition which is and will always be.
    The shaman created.
    You simply parrot.

    So. Please. Write the book. The shaman is much better than the parrot.
    If you truly awaken the shaman within yourself, maybe you'll someday come to the realization that such creative outflowings need a leash to be productive.

    That leash is science, young grasshopper.
  22. Teetotaler Registered Senior Member

    You have a good point, but don't get me wrong. I come in here to be argumentative and to have fun; so by nature I structure my arguments in a fashion in which benefits me.

    The same could be said for Mythos-Science, the Transformation of. The scientist begins, not wanting solely to understand a phenomena, but to prove his initial guess to be true. In proving his initial guess to be actual reality, he therefore proves that he was smart enough to have known without empirical evidence.

    So, I guess humankind has given the label "creationist" to the wrong group.
  23. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    This is a large danger to science.
    As a determined individual could simply structure his experiments and research in such a way as to further any particular agenda he has to begin with.

    This is where peer-review enters the process.

    Peer-review is not infallible and is subject to the ever-present paradigm which solidifies present knowledge and seeks to supplant those who go against the mainstream.

    Science is rife with traditionalists.
    I hesitate to say just as many traditionalists as you'd find in religion though...

    But, given time and perseverance, science has achieved wonders.

    Look at where science has brought us in such a short time.

    Your religion based upon the quaint personal totem of Abraham has had thousands of years to better the planet. It's failed. It offers nothing but pablum and purposeful blindness.

    Science has raised us from dirt-eaters to being on the verge of understanding the grail of grails. Consciousness itself.

    I note that you earlier used the old "You think you're the shit" line earlier.

    Science is far more 'the shit' than religion.
    Empirically so.

    Don't get me wrong.
    Religion served a purpose once.
    And perhaps even now could be harnessed towards beneficial ends.
    But, it is stale and dogmatized. It was created for a far different social structure than the one to which it is now applied.

    Religion seeks to drag humanity back to the times which it was created for.

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