Yes Veronica, Darwinism and the Theory of Evolution are Fact:

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by paddoboy, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    My comments in blue to distinguish from the article.
    OK, we seem to have an overwhelming gathering of nonsense, denying that Darwinism and evolution are fact, coming from the religious section, where many unsupported claims and lies and accusations are being continually made.
    I prefer to discuss facts without the inane creationist rhetoric.
    Let's start with the evolution of whales.....
    The evolution of whales:

    The first thing to notice on this evogram is that hippos are the closest living relatives of whales, but they are not the ancestors of whales. In fact, none of the individual animals on the evogram is the direct ancestor of any other, as far as we know. That's why each of them gets its own branch on the family tree.

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    Hippos are large and aquatic, like whales, but the two groups evolved those features separately from each other. We know this because the ancient relatives of hippos called anthracotheres (not shown here) were not large or aquatic. Nor were the ancient relatives of whales that you see pictured on this tree — such as Pakicetus. Hippos likely evolved from a group of anthracotheres about 15 million years ago, the first whales evolved over 50 million years ago, and the ancestor of both these groups was terrestrial.

    These first whales, such as Pakicetus, were typical land animals. They had long skulls and large carnivorous teeth. From the outside, they don't look much like whales at all. However, their skulls — particularly in the ear region, which is surrounded by a bony wall — strongly resemble those of living whales and are unlike those of any other mammal. Often, seemingly minor features provide critical evidence to link animals that are highly specialized for their lifestyles (such as whales) with their less extreme-looking relatives.

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    Compared to other early whales, inke Indohyus and Pakicetus, Ambulocetus looks like it lived a more aquatic lifestyle. Its legs are shorter, and its hands and feet are enlarged like paddles. Its tail is longer and more muscular, too. The hypothesis that Ambulocetus lived an aquatic life is also supported by evidence from stratigraphy — Ambulocetus's fossils were recovered from sediments that probably comprised an ancient estuary — and from the isotopes of oxygen in its bones. Animals are what they eat and drink, and saltwater and freshwater have different ratios of oxygen isotopes. This means that we can learn about what sort of water an animal drank by studying the isotopes that were incorporated into its bones and teeth as it grew. The isotopes show that Ambulocetus likely drank both saltwater and freshwater, which fits perfectly with the idea that these animals lived in estuaries or bays between freshwater and the open ocean.

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    Whales that evolved after Ambulocetus (Kutchicetus, etc.) show even higher levels of saltwater oxygen isotopes, indicating that they lived in nearshore marine habitats and were able to drink saltwater as today's whales can. These animals evolved nostrils positioned further and further back along the snout. This trend has continued into living whales, which have a "blowhole" (nostrils) located on top of the head above the eyes.

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    These more aquatic whales showed other changes that also suggest they are closely related to today's whales. For example, the pelvis had evolved to be much reduced in size and separate from the backbone. This may reflect the increased use of the whole vertebral column, including the back and tail, in locomotion. If you watch films of dolphins and other whales swimming, you'll notice that their tailfins aren't vertical like those of fishes, but horizontal. To swim, they move their tails up and down, rather than back and forth as fishes do. This is because whales evolved from walking land mammals whose backbones did not naturally bend side to side, but up and down. You can easily see this if you watch a dog running. Its vertebral column undulates up and down in waves as it moves forward. Whales do the same thing as they swim, showing their ancient terrestrial heritage.

    As whales began to swim by undulating the whole body, other changes in the skeleton allowed their limbs to be used more for steering than for paddling. Because the sequence of these whales' tail vertebrae matches those of living dolphins and whales, it suggests that early whales, like Dorudon and Basilosaurus, did have tailfins. Such skeletal changes that accommodate an aquatic lifestyle are especially pronounced in basilosaurids, such as Dorudon. These ancient whales evolved over 40 million years ago. Their elbow joints were able to lock, allowing the forelimb to serve as a better control surface and resist the oncoming flow of water as the animal propelled itself forward. The hindlimbs of these animals were almost nonexistent. They were so tiny that many scientists think they served no effective function and may have even been internal to the body wall. Occasionally, we discover a living whale with the vestiges of tiny hindlimbs inside its body wall.

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    This vestigial hindlimb is evidence of basilosaurids' terrestrial heritage. The picture below on the left shows the central ankle bones (called astragali) of three artiodactyls, and you can see they have double pulley joints and hooked processes pointing up toward the leg-bones. Below on the right is a photo of the hind foot of a basilosaurid. You can see that it has a complete ankle and several toe bones, even though it can't walk. The basilosaurid astragalus still has a pulley and a hooked knob pointing up towards the leg bones as in artiodactyls, while other bones in the ankle and foot are fused. From the ear bones to the ankle bones, whales belong with the hippos and other artiodactyls.

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    At bottom, the ankle bones of two middle Eocene protocetid archaeocetes, Rodhocetus balochistanensis (left) and Artiocetus clavis (right) from Pakistan, compared to those of the pronghorn Antilocapra americana (center). At top, the ankle region and foot of Basilosaurus. The pulley part of the astragalus (outlined) connects to the tibia and fibula.

    This is an excellent site for anyone that may have any lingering doubts re Darwinism and the theory of evolution, under many different catagories and headings............


    What are evograms?
    Evogram examples

    The evolution of whales:
    The origin of tetrapods:
    Jaws to ears in the ancestors of mammals:
    The origin of birds:
    The emergence of humans:


    Anyone with further or subsequent evolutionary Darwinism feel free to add....
    Yazata and James R like this.
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  3. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    For those interested in learning, here's another reputable article.....

    Harlan thought the bones were most similar to those of extinct marine reptiles such as the long-necked plesiosaurs and streamlined ichthyosaurs. He tentatively assigned it the name Basilosaurus. He wasn’t certain, though. The jaw contained teeth that differed in size and shape, a characteristic of mammals but not most reptiles. Why did the largest fossil reptile that ever lived have mammal-like teeth?

    another extract:
    In 2001, archaeocetes possessing this bone were finally described, and the results were unmistakable. Archaeocetes had a “double-pulley” astragalus, confirming that cetaceans had evolved from artiodactyls. Mesonychids were not the ancestors of whales, and hippos are now known to be the closest living relatives to whales.

    Recently scientists determined which group of prehistoric artiodactyls gave rise to whales. In 2007, Thewissen and other collaborators announced that Indohyus, a small deer-like mammal belonging to a group of extinct artiodactyls called raoellids, was the closest known relative to whales. While preparing the underside of the skull of Indohyus, a student in Thewissen’s lab broke off the section covering the inner ear. It was thick and highly mineralized, just like the bone in whale ears. Study of the rest of the skeleton also revealed that Indohyus had bones marked by a similar kind of thickening, an adaptation shared by mammals that spend a lot of time in the water. When the fossil data was combined with genetic data by Jonathan Geisler and Jennifer Theodor in 2009, a new whale family tree came to light. Raoellids like Indohyus were the closest relatives to whales, with hippos being the next closest relatives to both groups combined. At last, whales could be firmly rooted in the mammal evolutionary tree.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
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  5. Zeno Registered Senior Member

    Just like a sequence of 0's and 1's that are the instructions for a video game must come from intelligence so also a sequence of A's, C's, G's, and T's that are the instructions for the creation of an animal must also come from intelligence. This has nothing to do with being religious it is merely recognizing a fact. Randomly changing the nucleotide base sequence in the genome of an animal will destroy the instructions for creating that animal and won't result in a new and different animal. Evolution is impossible.
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Total nonsense. Just a reminder, this in the science section and pseudoscience and other crap is not permitted.
    And of course, if you have any evidence of your crazy claims, please write up a scientific paper and submit it for review. You could be in line for the next Nobel if successful.
    Darwinism and the theory of evolution are fact.

    I see you are also a purveyor of other crap like anti SR/GR nonsense. No, as yet not reported, OK?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
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  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    That's adorable.

    When you say "impossible", what you mean is "I have no idea how it works". Two very different things.

    Airplanes are impossible too - to a cow.
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  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Uh - no. Go into any riverbank and look for stones. Any stone that is lighter than average is a 1; any stone that is darker than average is 0. There you have thousands and thousands of 1's and 0's that no intelligence created.
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  10. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Well I must say it is most refreshing to have someone comment and keeping religion out of it because so often you get these uninformed creationists making silly statements driven by the delusion that science is best found in their good book. Rubbish of course and no doubt you will agree.

    You seem like someone who understands DNA and recognises it's value in biology... Reading your post however I think I may be able to help you with your incorrect assumptions because as as far as I know it is by studying DNA that scientists find that the Theory of Evolution is a fact.

    Yes you are right that's what creationists say but you are not saying that are you? You are only quoting those rat bag creationists right?

    Anyways no matter I get your joke... They say it's impossible but here we are just a bunch of we are not from our common ancestor with monkeys etc was probably not as smart as a monkey..wouldn't that get a creationist going...I bet they would not like being told that we have a fish as an ancestor..and go right back an ancestor like a worm...grandfather worm..I like it.

  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps it might be helpful if Paddoboy would explain what he thinks a 'fact' is. How do facts differ from 'beliefs', 'conjectures', 'hypotheses' and 'theories'?

    I'd deny that there is a 'theory of evolution' in any strict literal sense. 'Evolution' means change over time. Many things change over time for many different reasons. In astrophysics there's stellar evolution on and off the 'main sequence'. Much of the mathematics of physics exists to describe the evolution of the states of physical systems over time.

    'Darwinism' seems to refer to biological evolution by natural selection. That's often what 'the theory of evolution' is taken to mean in everyday speech.

    Natural selection seems to me to be a hypothesis about the mechanism of taxonomic change over time. (Perhaps we can call hypotheses about underlying mechanisms 'theories'.)

    Then there are hypothetical reconstructions of ancestral and taxonomic relationships. That's what Paddoboy seems to be offering up with his history of whales. If we just list all the organisms found in the fossil record that may or may not be relatives of whales, we can construct many different hypothetical trees that may or may not show the organisms' true relationships. These relationships aren't something that is directly observed and they don't just pop out of 'Darwin' or 'natural selection' by any kind of turn-the-crank method. The taxonomic trees are constructed by biologists using a variety of different methods chosen for a variety of often a-priori theoretical reasons, and natural selection is subsequently introduced to explain the hypothesized changes as one traverses the tree from root to branch. Lecture.html

    What Paddoboy's source (a very reputable source I'll agree) calls "evograms" are more typically called "cladograms". These incorporate a whole host of methodological assumptions already baked into the cake....(I'm not 100% bought into cladistics, but it's currently the most widely used methodology in evolutionary taxonomy, perhaps because it's relatively easy to turn into a computer algorithm.)

    Introductory level treatment here. (Berkeley is an international hotbed of Hennigian cladistics.)

    Postgraduate/professional level treatment here

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    You have just defined the difference. Many things evolve over time. The Theory of Evolution refers specifically to the mechanism whereby the characteristics of a species change over several generations, based on mutation and natural selection.
    Right. Thus the difference between evolution and the Theory of Evolution.
    Not really. Research into the Theory of Evolution was going on before Darwin and continued after him. It would be like referring to any internal combustion engine as a Stokes engine, or an Otto engine, or a Mead engine, or a Stevens engine. All those people greatly contributed to today's internal combustion engine - but their contributions do not define internal combustion engines.
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Biological evolution is fact. Species do have variation and this variation is passed on to its kin. This is demonstrated in any fish or dog breeding farm.

    Evolution by natural selection is theory. It's a darned good theory, but like most things in science, it's not really ... factualizable. (You'd have to demonstrate that the reason this animal survived to breed is because of property X, a property it passed onto its children).
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  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Well, no, it's really not. We have seen natural pressures shape organisms over time. We can demonstrate that by showing that the less fit (white moths for example in 1900's London) died more frequently than the better-adapted members of their cohort.
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    We can't demonstrate that they survived because of their colouring. We can only theorize.

    This is born out by the fact that this famous example of evolution-in-action has been called into question. There are some questions about the methods and findings and that it might not be nearly as straightforward as it was portrayed.

    "The staging was an issue, critics argued, because it over-simplified the peppered moth story and made it seem that the camouflage of the moths was a self-evident advantage. However, it wasn't clear that moths rested on tree trunks during the day, as the pictures implied. Some evidence suggested they preferred to remain higher in the tree canopy and beneath branches where their coloration would have been less of an advantage. Also, it wasn't clear that birds were the main predator of moths. Bats also ate moths, and since bats use echolocation to navigate, the coloration of the moths would not have made a difference. Critics also questioned the methodology of Kettlewell's experiments."

    Lots of info out there on the web.

    Note that the above may or may not be true - the point is simply that our thinking about the process can change, or even be replaced - and that is what makes it a theory.
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  16. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Fact: [with regards to the subject matter] Evolving, changing over time. Fact: Generally speaking, that which is known to be true or factual...without any reasonable doubt.
    Conjecture: An educated guess.
    Hypothesis: An idea that has not been strictly verified or otherwise by the scientific method.
    Theory: A well tested and established scenario about or with regards to the world around us and the Universe as a established conclusion that is still able to be falsified, with further observational and experimental evidence.Theories also gain in certainty over time and as long as they keep matching new observational and experimental data.
    Is that OK Yazata?
    With regards to the detail of your post, sorry but I am unable to relate properly as I really have not gone into it that far.
    In essence though, the thread title, is still correct, at least in my opinion.
    In summing, we have evolved and are still evolving.
    With regards to your analogy re stars, I see that as rather faulty....What you are alluding to is more an explanation of the stellar lifetime cycle, based on its mass...
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    We do not call hypotheses "theories", in a scientific context.

    Theories explain facts, in science. They are useful organizations of fact.
    That's the Darwinian Theory Of Evolution.
    It seems to be the overwhelmingly dominant and thoroughly explanatory theory of biological evolution, and has proved widely applicable and useful in many non-biological contexts (such as AI).

    There are other theories of evolution.
    Other theories of evolution - such as Lamarckian - have larger roles in things like cultural evolution.
    Darwinian theory does not explain the Main Sequence of stellar evolution. Some other theory of evolution is necessary.
    But not the Darwinian theory that explains it.
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    It seems this has now developed into a debate about meanings of words, conjecture, hypothesis, theory, fact. I thought my definitions were OK, but what the heck.
    "Fact is often used by scientists to refer to experimental or empirical data or objective verifiable observations.[14][15] "Fact" is also used in a wider sense to mean any theory for which there is overwhelming evidence.[16]

    A fact is a hypothesis that is so firmly supported by evidence that we assume it is true, and act as if it were true. —Douglas J. Futuyma[6]
    In the sense that evolution is overwhelmingly validated by the evidence, it is a fact. It is frequently said to be a fact in the same way as the Earth's revolution around the Sun is a fact.[6][17] The following quotation from Hermann Joseph Muller's article, "One Hundred Years Without Darwinism Are Enough," explains the point.

    There is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly. Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact

    The National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) makes a similar point:

    Scientists most often use the word "fact" to describe an observation. But scientists can also use fact to mean something that has been tested or observed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing or looking for examples. The occurrence of evolution in this sense is a fact. Scientists no longer question whether descent with modification occurred because the evidence supporting the idea is so strong.[19]
    Stephen Jay Gould also points out that "Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory - natural selection - to explain the mechanism of evolution."[20] These two aspects are frequently confused. Scientists continue to argue about particular explanations or mechanisms at work in specific instances of evolution – but the fact that evolution has occurred, and is still occurring, is undisputed.

    A common misconception is that evolution cannot be reliably observed because it all happened millions of years ago and the science therefore is not dependent on facts (in the initial sense above). However, both Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-founders of the theory, and all subsequent biologists depend primarily on observations of living organisms; Darwin concentrated largely on the breeding of domesticated animals whereas Wallace started from the biogeographical distribution of species in the Amazon and Malay Archipelago. In the early twentieth century, population genetics had centre stage, and more recently DNA has become the main focus of observation and experimentation.

    Philosophers of science argue that we do not know mind-independent empirical truths with absolute certainty: even direct observations may be "theory laden" and depend on assumptions about our senses and the measuring instruments used. In this sense all facts are provisional.[9][21]
  19. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    You should talk to Jan he would love to read your views and he also likes to reference cake.
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    We have seen organisms get shaped, and have a theory to explain how it happens naturally.

    You did not read the rest of my post apparently. That research has some degree of apocryphy.

    It looks, at first glance, like the moths were picked off because of their colour, but that's a popularized notion, and has been the subject of many a serious question.
    Moths do not normally rest on tree trunks with their wings like that. They were staged that way for effect.
    There are other factors in play. For example, apparently darker moths tend to set down higher in the trees than the lighter variety, and that's where bats like to eat. And bats don't hunt by colour.

    Read the article.

    There is plenty of new information out there on this specific study, and despite being quite popular, it is prioving to be problematic.

    The point is: it is deduced that their colour has selected them, and we have a theory that models that, but - like theories do, they can be modified and even replaced. It is not fact that the different colours of moths were selected for naturally.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    I literally said that in the very next paragraph. (post 10)

    Too quick on the Send button?

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  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    There's a confusion in the thread.
    It starts with the title.
    But yes, I should have noticed the combative tone.
    In combination with inheritable variation.
    Until it was investigated.
    When investigated, it checked out so well the hypothesis was elevated to "theory" status - then to basic or fundamental theory of biology.
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  23. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    The evolution of the ear canal in an ancient crocodile relative:

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    Artist's conception of a metriorhynchid, an extinct crocodile relative that lived from the Middle Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous (168 - 125 million years ago). The shapes represent the evolution of the inner ear (bony labyrinth) from terrestrial (left) through semiaquatic (middle) to pelagic (right). Credit: Bryan Christie

    An international team of researchers has found that an ancient crocodile relative underwent body transitions as it evolved from a land to a sea creature before its ears changed to suit an underwater environment. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their in-depth study of thalattosuchia skulls and what they found.

    Thalattosuchia was an ancient crocodile species that lived in the world's oceans over 150 million years ago. But before that, they were land-dwelling. Prior research has shown that they took to water in a much slower fashion than other creatures like whales, existing as semi-aquatic creatures for many years before becoming full-fledged sea creatures. Study of their fossilized remains has shown their front legs evolving to become fins, and their back legs evolving into a fluked tail. Their bodies grew slimmer and sleeker to so they could glide smoothly through the water. And once they became sea creatures, their internal organs changed to suit the new environment. One such organ was the inner ear. And it was this organ that was the focus of this new work.

    To learn more about the evolution of thalattosuchia's ears, the researchers conducted CAT scans on over a dozen skull fossils. They focused most specifically on the inner ear structures used to maintain balance and equilibrium in land creatures.
    MORE AT LINK......

    the paper:

    Inner ear sensory system changes as extinct crocodylomorphs transitioned from land to water

    During major evolutionary transitions, groups acquire a new body plan that allows them to colonize new habitats and behave in new ways. The evolution of swimming cetaceans from land-living mammals is a prime example. We document changes to the inner ear sensory system, involved in balance and equilibrium, as extinct crocodile relatives called thalattosuchians underwent a similar transition in the Mesozoic (ca. 182–125 mya). We find that open-ocean thalattosuchians developed strikingly compact and thickened bony labyrinth after a long semiaquatic phase and after modifying their skeleton to become better swimmers. This differs from cetaceans, which miniaturized their bony labyrinths soon after entering the water. Therefore, thalattosuchians and cetaceans took different evolutionary paths from land to water.


    Major evolutionary transitions, in which animals develop new body plans and adapt to dramatically new habitats and lifestyles, have punctuated the history of life. The origin of cetaceans from land-living mammals is among the most famous of these events. Much earlier, during the Mesozoic Era, many reptile groups also moved from land to water, but these transitions are more poorly understood. We use computed tomography to study changes in the inner ear vestibular system, involved in sensing balance and equilibrium, as one of these groups, extinct crocodile relatives called thalattosuchians, transitioned from terrestrial ancestors into pelagic (open ocean) swimmers. We find that the morphology of the vestibular system corresponds to habitat, with pelagic thalattosuchians exhibiting a more compact labyrinth with wider semicircular canal diameters and an enlarged vestibule, reminiscent of modified and miniaturized labyrinths of other marine reptiles and cetaceans. Pelagic thalattosuchians with modified inner ears were the culmination of an evolutionary trend with a long semiaquatic phase, and their pelagic vestibular systems appeared after the first changes to the postcranial skeleton that enhanced their ability to swim. This is strikingly different from cetaceans, which miniaturized their labyrinths soon after entering the water, without a prolonged semiaquatic stage. Thus, thalattosuchians and cetaceans became secondarily aquatic in different ways and at different paces, showing that there are different routes for the same type of transition.

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