Education and Evolution

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by MaTTo, Aug 17, 1999.

  1. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Interested Party:

    Where do you get your 'facts' from? It's not some radio show, I hope?

    You have made an absolutist claim after claim in your last post, practically every one of which is dead wrong! Are you deliberately trying to confuse people, or are you just confused yourself? (Before you start gushing with more 'facts' at me, browse the old <A HREF="http://www.exosci.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000006.html">Evolution vs. Creation</A> thread.)

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    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited August 27, 1999).]
     
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  3. Interested Party Registered Member

    Messages:
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    Blower and Boris,

    Nice to hear from you. And, no Boris, I prefer to get my facts from the scientific world. You should try it sometime.(OOohh, sorry, I'm starting to sound like you (OOohh, damn, I did it again!))

    O.K. , I'll cut with the crap. . .


    Now, let's start with someone you may never have heard of. Name's George Wald - Nobel Prize winner(phisiology, medicine), formerly of Harvard University - not a lightweight I don't think; on the origin of life . . . .

    "The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position."

    He goes on to say. . .

    "One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is IMPOSSIBLE. Yet here we are - as a result, I believe, of spontaneus generation."[emphasis mine] George Wald, "The Origin of Life," Scientific American, Vol 190, August 1954, p. 46.

    Hhhmmmm, I don't seem to find THIS in any textbooks . . .

    So scientists are believing in the impossible - heavy on belief, light on facts - sounds like a religion.

    Let's look a little deeper at the mechanism of evolution . . .

    "Although mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation, it is a relatively rare event, . . ." Francisco J. Ayala, "The Mechanism of Evolution," Scientific American, September 1978, p. 63.

    "Ultimately, all variation is, of course, due to mutation." Ernst Mayr, Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, proceedings of a symposium held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 and 26, 1966.

    "The process of mutation is the only known source of the raw materials of genetic variability, and hence of evolution . . . The mutants which arise are with rare exceptions, deleterious to their carriers, at least in the environments which the species normally encounters." Theodosius Dobzhansky, "On Methods of Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology," American Scientist, Winter, December 1957, p. 385

    "Each mutation occurring alone would be wiped out before it could be combined with the others. They are all interdependent. The doctrine that their coming together was due to a series of blind coincidences is an affront not only to common sense but to the basic principles of scientific principles." Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine, p. 129.

    "There is no single instance where it can be maintained that any of the mutants studied has a higher vitality than the mother species." N. Heribert Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung, 1953, pp. 1144-1147.

    "IT IS, THEREFORE, ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE TO BUILD A CURRENT EVOLUTION ON MUTATIONS OR ON RECOMBINATIONS."[emphasis in original] Ibid., p. 1186.

    Let's see where we stand:

    Reputable scientists have said that: spontaneous generation is impossible, that mutations are the only possible way for (macro)evolution to occur, that mutations at best leave the carrier only the same as before, but more likely to be dead or hurting(which flies in the face of "survival of the fittest") and that you can't build an evolution on mutations. (let's see 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = . . . . . I get 4) How about you?

    Now we come to two points:
    1) Are you going to throw this out because it doesn't fit your beliefs?

    2) How is it possible that a theory on such shakey ground as this one is being taught as fact in school?

    If this isn't enough, I've got more.

    I applaud the School Board for (perhaps) coming to their senses, however, I doubt they did it for reasons anywhere near as noble as these.
     
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  5. Interested Party Registered Member

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    This is for you Boris:

    You Said:
    Frankly, I do not understand what terrible harm it would cause children to learn that Homo Sapiens descended from some ape-like pre-cursor.

    Me: No more harm than telling them that they sprang from the same turd someone spied on a steak(if I remember the post correctly)

    You:
    It certainly did not inflict any incurable wounds on me, or on any other 'gullible' and 'vulnerable' child out there. Just ask all the hundreds of millions of children that went through public schools and nevertheless chose to cling to whatever their religion was.

    Me: Incurable? No. Wounds none-the-less. The greatest evidence is the endless droning of the evolutionist evangelists that evolution is fact.

    You:
    Actually, I think the gullible children are indoctrinated with religion by their caring parents so persistently and from such a young age, that by the time they grow up and can think independently, their minds are no longer flexible enough to absorb the 'blasphemous' scientific theories.

    Me: Look at my last post and then think real hard about this one and see if it applies to YOU. Any indoctrination there?

    You:
    One last thing. The biological similarities between humans and apes are so astounding, one would have to be very blind, or else very ignorant, not to acknowledge a blood relationship somewhere down the line.

    Me: There is a relationship, only you can't see it.

    I have read the "Creation vs. Evolution" thread and that's why I am commenting here. It seems Boris that it was actually you who were confusing people through your ignorance. It's O.K., you can't help it. While you are busily spouting about the phisiological changes in embryos, I'll be busily quoting scientists who threw that theory out in the 1920's. (Actually, I think THAT was the straw that made me even start posting, so I should thank you.)
     
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  7. FyreStar Faithless since 1980 Registered Senior Member

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    229
    Interested Party -

    Two small things:

    First, and I believe this is greatly appropriate, "Even the devil can quote scripture."

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Second, one major flaw with the conclusion you make based on those quotes is that you don't understand the significance of the term "relatively rare". Some people seem to think that evolution is a tangible event. However, evolution takes far longer to show the slightest difference than our short lifetimes can observe. Rare is rare. But you must keep in mind the scale; Billions of years, and Trillions of lifeforms. Billions. Trillions. Nothing more than abstract concepts to our minds, but simplifiable with the help of math.
    One or several lifeforms in a herd may share a phenotype that was caused by a mutation. If that gives them a distinct advantage over the rest of the herd, eventually their genes will dominate it through the process of natural selection. Several hundred or thousand years later, you have a new species. That is the basis of evolution. "One in one thousand" may be rare, but a thousand is an insignificant number of creatures when looked at over time.

    FyreStar
     
  8. Interested Party Registered Member

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    10
    FyreStar,

    The flaw is in what you choose to look at and what you choose to ignore.

    You took one quote and found one small thing to argue, but you missed something in your own eagerness to defend: He stated that mutations are rare - BENEFICIAL mutations are unheard of. I don't care how many billions of years pass, if the mutations aren't beneficial, nothing evolves.

    You also seem to be saying that evolution is an intangible event. If its intangible, what are we arguing?
    Next, you proceed with the assumption that a gene mutation giving a herd a decided advantage etc., etc. - sorry, genetic mutations are not advantageous. Prove they're advantageous first, then proceed with your argument.
    Here's the score so far:
    Disadvanagous mutations - millions
    Advantagous mutations - Big Fat Zero

    FyreStar, be careful how you choose to interpret what someone says - your own prejudice will shine through. I don't say that to be sniping - you took "rare" mutation to mean "rare beneficial" mutation without blinking an eye, and this is where we get trapped in logic that isn't there.
     
  9. Interested Party Registered Member

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    10
    And FyreStar,

    I disagree with your assessment that "even the devil can quote scripture" is appropriate.

    Since when has the information I quoted ever been a part of the evolutionists scripture?
    If it WAS a part of your scripture I doubt many folks would be as apt to buy evolution (which probably explains why it's left out of the textbooks .)
     
  10. astrogame Registered Member

    Messages:
    4
    This is just some thought's I had a couple of nights ago, before I read any of these posts.
    Evolution and Creationism could live together, two sides of the same coin if you will. Take the scientific point of view, on how everything we see in the universe today evolved. Fast forward to the point in time where we think man evolved from. Now if the evolution of the world was indeed like our science books say, we would now be at a time between apes and the missing link. Now if God looked down at the Earth and decided to create Man by tweaking the ape's genes, and now suddenly there is Man created by God, then there was never a missing link.

    Evolution and the scientific method are our best ways to explain the physical universe we live in.

    God's creation is our own personal belief that our religion and others share.
    If you believe in God, then I think there is room for evolution. It all depends on how you think about it.

    I had thought about this on 8/26, before I read any of these posts. Some of the posts are pretty interesting I think. I also find it weird that I had thought about this subject and then found this message board.
     
  11. Pookums Registered Senior Member

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    48
    IP,

    It's nice that you put some quotes from scientists behind your claims. You accuse of scientists selectively referencing and ignoring data. However, I noticed the MOST RECENT reference you listed was from 1978 and the majority were over 40 years old! We should put into context this time-frame. Specifically, all your references predate any experimental data supporting the hypothesis of that selective pressure can drive intra and inter-species variation. These data now exist.

    How can you use references on evolution that predate the work of the Grants and their finches and say that it is correct? If you don't know who the Grants are, I would recommend you do some more literature searches (Peter Grant et al.).

    In modern science. 5 year old references are often outdated, not only in methods, but also hypotheses. Indeed, 1978 also predates the techniques that allowed evolution studies to enter the molecular level (PCR, gene-mapping, etc.).

    You do a great diservice to the debate when you pull stunts like that.



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    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
    -Mark Twain
     
  12. ISDAMan Thank You Jesus! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    378
    Are we talking science or software here? Why should the truth be outdated within 5 years?

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    Feel free to contact me privately at isda@gte.net . I'm a Christian Web Developer. I run Apostle Creed Online.
     
  13. Plato Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    366
    IP,

    You dissapoint me, for a while you had me thinking that you were actually going to wage to pro's and contra's of evolution in the scientific community against each other but what do I see ? You only quote those people who support your cause and even take only those quotes that fit you the best. You don't say anything about where those people stand in the debate nor do you state how they look upon these issues now since, let's face it your quote are on the average 30 years old. That is not a true scientific way of debating, it's more like a medieval way of saying that this and that church father said this so evolution is crap and god created the earth and everything in it.
    I'm sorry but we are not living in those times any more.

    ISDAman,

    You use the term truth ! Do you know how much this term has been abused all through history ? We are dealing here with something more tangible then steel, truth can be what ever you make of it, therefore it is of utmost importance to explain what you say and put it in a broader context. Quoting the pro's and the con's.
    Besides in the scientific community truth is something that is constantly searched for, never really reached. Each 'good' theory tries to be just a better model then the last one. Therefor theories can be even faster outdated then software, if research goes well that is.

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    we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,
    Plato
     
  14. FyreStar Faithless since 1980 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    229
    Interested Party -

    I apologize for not being clearer on this point. Firstly, beneficial mutations do occur. They may be rare mutations, but they do occur nonetheless. However, "beneficial" mutations are not the driving force of evolution. Rather, it is the mutations that aren't immediately useful, perhaps even hindering until something changes that causes it to become a means to stay healthier. Hence the usage of adaptation.

    FyreStar
     
  15. Interested Party Registered Member

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    10
    FyreStar,

    Let me address you first:

    You:
    I apologize for not being clearer on this point. Firstly, beneficial mutations do occur.

    Me: Let's see. The scientific community says they don't, but FyreStar says they do...hmmm .... yep, I'm going to throw out what those silly little scientists say and listen to FYRESTAR. I know I'm being glib, but I hope you can see my point.
    I don't want your opinion any more than you want mine. I want scientific evidence. Give me evidence. So far the evidence I've seen says that there are no beneficial mutations, and I'm not about to throw it out just because YOU say otherwise.

    You:
    They may be rare mutations, but they do occur nonetheless. However, "beneficial" mutations are not the driving force of evolution.

    Me: Again, the scientific community says otherwise. Evolutionists have concluded that mutations are the ONLY mechanism of evolution. I'm not going to repeat the references. I will not throw it out because YOU say so - give me evidence.

    You:
    Rather, it is the mutations that aren't immediately useful, perhaps even hindering until something changes that causes it to become a means to stay healthier. Hence the usage of adaptation.

    Me: Wrong again. Natural selection demands that useless and hindering mutations are selected OUT of the herd.

    "even if we didn't have a great deal of data on this point{and they do!}, we could still be quite sure on theoretical grounds that mutants would usually be detrimental. For a mutation is a random change of a highly organized, reasonably smoothly functioning living body. A random chnge in the highly integrated system of chemical processes which constitute life is almost certain to impair it - just as a random interchange of connections in a television set is not likely to improve the picture." James F. Crow (Professor of Genetics, University of Wisconsin) "Genetic Effects of Radiation," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 14, 1958, pp. 19-20.
     
  16. Interested Party Registered Member

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    10
    Pookums,

    You're next:

    You:
    It's nice that you put some quotes from scientists behind your claims.

    Me: It would be nice if you could do the same that contradict those claims.

    You:
    You accuse of scientists selectively referencing and ignoring data. However, I noticed the MOST RECENT reference you listed was from 1978 and the majority were over 40 years old! We should put into context this time-frame.

    Me: Why, so we can selectively ignore them?
    You are being guilty of the very thing I have accused you of.

    You:
    Specifically, all your references predate any experimental data supporting the hypothesis of that selective pressure can drive intra and inter-species variation. These data now exist.

    Me: Where? And does it contradict the assertions already made? I don't have a problem with variation, it exists - there is OVERWHELMING data that variation exists.
    It is typical of evolutionists "when grinding the evolutionary axe" to use examples of micro-evolution(genetic variation) to explain or defend macro-evolution(the mechanism for crossing family, class or order lines)

    You:
    How can you use references on evolution that predate the work of the Grants and their finches and say that it is correct? If you don't know who the Grants are, I would recommend you do some more literature searches (Peter Grant et al.).

    Me: I admit that I don't have specific references to the Grants(like you) and I will gladly research. But I do recall hearing of his research and the outcome was the same - inter-species variation not a mechanism for macro-evolution. If their work proves otherwise, CITE IT!

    You:
    In modern science. 5 year old references are often outdated, not only in methods, but also hypotheses. Indeed, 1978 also predates the techniques that allowed evolution studies to enter the molecular level (PCR, gene-mapping, etc.).

    Me: And evolution studies at the molecular level have not turned up any evidence of a mechanism for macro evolution. Period. If anything, the evidence gives more rigorous support of the claims already made.

    You:
    You do a great diservice to the debate when you pull stunts like that.

    Me: Who is really doing the disservice.
    You claim that methods and hypothesis over 5 years old are outdated(by which you imply they are also useless) But that logic we can throw out Darwins Hypotheses(they're over a hundred years old), Neo-Darwinists( they're over fifty years old) and much of the work ever done in genetics, mathematics, biology, palentology and just about every other scientific discipline. Should we throw out the Pythagorian Theorem because it's 2000 years old? Or Euclidean Geometry because Non-Euclidean Geometry was invented?

    Get a grip. This is a foundational argument. Hypotheses are founded on some kind of assumption, then that hypothesis is tested, results are measured and the hypothesis is modified to account for the new inormation, etc., etc. ad nauseum.

    I could have a hypothesis that typing hummingbirds can type and fart at the same time. I can test that hypothesis and find out that typing hummingbirds CAN'T type and fart at the same time. I can then form another hypothesis that typing hummingbirds can type and sing at the same time . . . . etc., etc. The problem is, I'm not questioning the very foundation(assumption) of my hypothesis, and that is that hummingbirds can type!

    Now, if that assumption is wrong, whether the assumption was made yesterday or 100 years ago, it's still wrong. And whether the evidence that the assumption is wrong was found yesterday or 100 years ago, doesn't mean "the evidence is useless, and therefore the assumption is right."

    Somebody show me the EVIDENCE!! of a mechanism for macro-evolution to occur!
    And quit talking around it.
     
  17. Interested Party Registered Member

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    10
    Plato,

    Yours is the last to respond to and, as well, the most disappointing:

    You:
    You dissapoint me, for a while you had me thinking that you were actually going to wage to pro's and contra's of evolution in the scientific community against each other but what do I see ?

    Me: Well, Plato, if you don't know what the pros are for the evolutionist argument, I suggest you read some of the other threads. (Particularly Boris' Evolution vs. Creation) I certainly am not willing to take up precious time and messageboard space reiterating what has already been said a dozen or more times over.
    The pros of evolutionism are resounding through the halls of every institution on the face of the earth, if you don't know them you are way behind.

    You:
    You only quote those people who support your cause

    Me: I don't have a "cause" in the way you infer it. I don't have some religious agenda to fulfill. My only "cause" is truth. But the fact of the matter is, evolutionists abhor the truth. If an assumption is proven to be wrong, then by God we'll just come up with another assumption(based, of course on the preceeding one tha was proven wrong), and another, and another, and another - and if real scientists are discovering the assumptions to be wrong - THEN BY GOD WE"LL COME UP WITH ANOTHER ONE BASED ON IT!!!

    You:
    and even take only those quotes that fit you the best.

    Me: The quotes don't fit me, they fit the argument.
    By your reasoning, if I'm going to argue the case for kangaroos I need to make sure I refer to bat stool samples in Rangoon. Brilliant.

    You:
    You don't say anything about where those people stand in the debate

    Me:
    Plato, this is the most telling of YOUR agenda. Let's find out where they stand, so we can condemn THAT. Let's find out what their childhood was like, so we can condemn THAT. Let's find out about their lifestyle so we can condemn THAT.

    ANYTHING but face the issue!!

    You:
    nor do you state how they look upon these issues now since, let's face it your quote are on the average 30 years old.

    Me: Nor do I care. Where they stand has nothing to do with it. Science has shown that there is NO mechanism for evolution to happen. I don't care if they wax their parakeets and eat dung for breakfast. The evidence is the same.

    You:
    That is not a true scientific way of debating, it's more like a medieval way of saying that this and that church father said this so evolution is crap and god created the earth and everything in it.
    I'm sorry but we are not living in those times any more.

    Me: Apparantly we are because you're hip deep in it. Again your trying to drag what I asserted (actually, scientists have asserted it) into some kind of religious debate. It's really pretty sickening.

    You:
    ISDAman,

    You use the term truth ! Do you know how much this term has been abused all through history?

    Me: Particularly by scientists (and yourself)who refuse to look at it.

    You:
    We are dealing here with something more tangible then steel,

    Me: O.K., looks good so far . . .

    You:
    truth can be what ever you make of it,

    Me: WHAAAAAT!!!!! First you say its tangible, then you say its whatever you make of it, which implies intangibility

    This is just the kind of barking insanity typical of your ilk.

    You:
    we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,

    Me: Remember, these giants to which he was referring were the great men of thought who came before. You know, the same ones you and the rest of the evolutionists want to throw out because their thoughts are more than 5 years old.
    Hypocrite.
     
  18. ISDAMan Thank You Jesus! Registered Senior Member

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    Well, I was going to reply. IP already did it all though. Good thing this is only print. IP has got to have one dangerously sharp tongue.

    You Go IP!!!!!!

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    Feel free to contact me privately at isda@gte.net . I'm a Christian Web Developer. I run Apostle Creed Online.
     
  19. FyreStar Faithless since 1980 Registered Senior Member

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    Interested Party -

    The scientific community does NOT say that beneficial mutations don't occur. You are making a rather broad and erroneous generalization based on a quote from one or two scientists. Looking back at the quotes you posted, several of them are opinions. (Such as the ones from George Wald and Arthur Koestler). Nilsson's quote is obviously in reference to a particular example, but without further information on that example, it is useless as a source. Dobzhansky's quote leads in to what I said in my last post about how mutation facilitates adaptation to new environments.
    In your second paragraph, you demonstrated that you completely missed my point. Mutations *are* the driving cause of evolution, however, beneficial mutations are not. Note the adjective. In case this is still unclear, I will give an example.
    A species of bird lives in a forest with a plentiful supply of berries, which they utilize for sustenance. For a period of a few years, disease or some other such catastrophe wipes out the berry population. However, a variety of shelled seeds and nuts are still available. Most of the birds must struggle to crack the shells, and some starve because their beaks are not strong enough. However, one bird that had a strong beak due to mutation (remember, this was not beneficial when there were berries around) is able to crack the shells and survive still with ease. This bird now has an advantage over the others and will be able to produce young who share the mutation, and the advantage over the rest of the flock. Over a long period of time (or at least as long as there are no berries around), the mutants will begin to dominate the gene pool, and eventually you will have a new species. End example.
    In most cases, the mutation taking place is either harmful or neutral - however, when circumstances change, it may be infinitely useful.
    In reference to your first paragraph saying that beneficial mutations do not occur I will say two things; First, it is a blatant disregard to the laws of probability to say that beneficial mutations do not occur. Or is it that you simply do not understand DNA? Most harmful mutations do not even come into play; a denatured protein or replaced amino acid will cause fetal death much more quickly than a change in body shape. Second, an common example; A lizard, or insect, or other creature that is often prey to another is born with a different skin/feather/fur color than others of its species. This coloring allows it to hide from predators with greater ease.
    And as long as we're talking about the scientific community, here is a quote from one of the most highly respected 1st year Biology textbooks in print:
    "A mutation that alters a protein enough to affect its function is more often harmful than beneficial....On rare occasions, however, a mutant allele may actually fit its bearer to the environment better and enhance the reproductive success of the individual." (Biology, 4th Ed., Dr. Neil A. Campbell, p. 427)
    One more thing - natural selection is the survival of the fittest, not the suppression of the differences. Or, more accurately, "Differential success in the reproduction of different phenotypes resulting from the interaction of organisms with their environment." (Same source, glossary)
    Oops.. one more.. just to point out a couple keywords in your final quote: "usually" - line 2, "almost" - line 5. Also, the quote was in reference to radiation which is far from the only or most prevalent source or mutations.

    FyreStar
     
  20. Plato Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    366
    IP,

    My, my you do LIKE to quote a lot don't you ? You even managed to quote nearly every line I've written in my previous post.
    I think in your eagerness you've only proven that you don't know the difference between quotations and proof.
    I could quote for example Pythagoras saying that the square of the hypothenusa of a right angled triangle equals the sum of the squares of the other sides, and subsequally say that it must be so because Pythagoras was a brilliant mathematician so he must have known what he was talking about.
    I hope you concur that this is no proof in a scientific way.

    Furthermore you say you don't have a religious agenda, I could believe the religious part but you certainly do have an agenda because you talk to much onesided talk. You even use CAPITALS (so I assum you are annoyed) to debunk evolutionism.

    You see, that is why I'm disappointed in you. You claim to be the neutral party who is interested in our pitiful debate and who is going to set some standards to our childish bickering. You make some high claims about only looking at the evidence and always referring to your sources and even wait a little to enter the debate to create a sort of climax. I'm afraid it's an anti-climax in a very sad kind of way.
    Tell me, did you get those quotes out of those magasines of the Jehovan Witnesses ? Or did you actually read those articles ?
    If you did, good for you but did you also read the articles about evolution and it's mechanisms ? You see if you want to debate a subject it is best to know both sides their story.

    Further more you didn't say way your precious sources were so outdated ? Is it because you lost interest in science after '78 or because your magasines simply didn't state any others ?

    But what saddens me the most is that you seem to claim that there is irrefutable evidence against evolution theorie which proves there is no such thing. That is as stupid as saying that scientists have actually grown a living cell starting from basic carbonchains in some lab. I hope you realise that.

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    we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,
    Plato



    [This message has been edited by Plato (edited August 29, 1999).]
     
  21. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    I.P.

    I was going to address your posts one by one, but you manage to spew things out faster than I could possibly react. So forget that strategy; I'll just provide 'evidence' against your main points and let everyone else connect the dots.

    1)
    Levy is "professor of molecular biology and microbiology, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance at the Tufts University School of Medicine", and "president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and president-elect of the American Society for Microbiology"

    2)
    3)
    4)
    5)
    My comments: Note the highlighted word 'selected'. It is indeed the view of evolutionists that gene pools diversify spontaneously, that mutations which are not seriously harmful are retained, and that natural pressures (such as 'changing environment', disease, evolving predators, geographical migration, emergence of new species, natural disasters, etc, etc, etc.) then SELECT particular traits from the smorgasbord of GENETIC DIVERSITY ACCUMULATED VIA MUTATION.

    6) And in case you object to the immediately preceding comment,
    Try and argue with <u>this</u> self-evident analysis. Evolution is not about mutations in individuals; it is instead all about shifting compositions of GENE POOLS. Individual mutations do not vanish; they are added to the gene pool and often spread to many individuals in active or dormant forms. Contrary to your claims, "useless mutations" are NOT "selected out of the herd". If they are not harmful, but merely useless, they are in fact propagated throughout the herd. That is because selective pressures do not exist for non-harmful mutations.

    But in case you claim that there is no such thing as a non-harmful mutation, I would like to ask you where genetic variability comes from in the first place. If there are no non-harmful mutations, then genetic variability is doomed to steadily decrease until it completely vanishes in every single species. But that is not what we observe. And in case you wish to dispute my words because I am not authoritative enough for you,
    7)
    A few more examples of the type of recent developments which you seem to have completely missed:
    <A HREF="http://www.sciam.com/0997issue/0997infocus.html"> EVOLUTION EVOLVING</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.sciam.com/explorations/072196explorations.html"> Score One for Punk Eek</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.sciam.com/1998/1198issue/1198nesse.html"> Evolution and the Origins of Disease</A>
    Note I didn't have to go very far or work very hard to obtain these; they all come from the same web site. In fact, we are swimming in information that nothing short of supports evolution; I am amazed how you have been managing to miss it all.

    Finally, forgive me for this low blow, but you have earnestly deserved it. Be kind and browse through the following article; who knows you may yet be capable of seeing your own image in this particular mirror: <A HREF="http://www.sciam.com/1999/0899issue/0899reviews1.html"> Creationism Evolves</A>. <u>I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE EVERYBODY ELSE ON THIS THREAD TO READ THIS ARTICLE AS WELL</u>.

    <hr>

    I suggest that before you run around proclaiming to be privy to all the goings-on within the scientific community, you:
    1) make an effort and educate yourself on the past half-century of discoveries,
    2) try to stay in tune with the current scientific debates,
    3) stop proclaiming absolute 'truths', especially when they are not true, and especially since real scientists would never dare to presume a final understanding,
    4) try to research and comprehend the nuances of evolutionary theory. If you do not understand the foundations and the details, you will never understand how the whole hangs together.

    And before you get in tune with reality, PLEASE SHUT UP. You are wasting everybody else's time and nerves, you are humiliating yourself and all religious people you claim to represent by displaying your ignorance to the entire world, and you are breeding more ignorance and confusion with your authoritative proclamations of utter falsehoods.


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    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited August 29, 1999).]
     
  22. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    I.P.:

    Crossing family, class, or order lines is a rare occurrence, an exception to the rule, and by far not the primary mechanism of 'macroevolution'. In case you haven't noticed, the aforementioned classifications stem from a tree, where branches come out of common points and then proceed to diverge, hardly ever meeting again. For example, speaking of class: I dare you to demonstrate at least one example where a mammal species over time ceased to belong to the class Mammalia. It is true that the converse has occurred: reptilians in a singular event have given rise to mammals. However, it is only true if you are willing to concede macroevolution, which is something you vehemently argue against. So which is it, professor?

    Furthermore I would like to direct your attention, if that can be done, to the fact that kingdoms, phylums, classes, orders, families, genuses and species are only artificial classifications in an effort to tabulate the diversity of life. In no way, shape or form does any one of such categories present in itself some kind of an impenetrable wall that forever guards species defined by it from leaving its boundaries.

    And what do you define as 'variation', anyway? Is the case of the 'wolf boys' whose faces are completely covered with thick fur a case of variation? In which event, allow yourself to imagine what happens if they give rise to in-bred families due to their specific (and to many appalling) appearance. This new sub-population would then most likely form a new 'race' (and incidentally, I direct your attention to the existence of races in the real world.) What happens when a breed is isolated all by itself on a segregated landmass such as an island, and finds no way to connect back to the other members of its species? Well, probably it would proceed to gradually splinter into sub-populations of its own, each one with a distinct and unique gene pool. Alternatively, if the segregated region is not large enough for such differentiation, the breed as a whole will undergo a gradual genetic drift; the smaller the population, the faster it drifts. Now, extrapolate that process over a million years. The minor reshufflings and minor mutations gradually accumulate to make different breeds less and less alike. When enough time passes, they are no longer able to interbreed, and thus have differentiated into distinct species. Given more time, they might even join distinct genuses, distinct families, distinct orders, and with many millions of years they may even give rise to a new class or two. Which part of this sounds forbiddingly unreasonable to you?

    The distinction between 'microevolution' and 'macroevolution' is an artificial one; there is no sharp boundaries between the two. The difference is akin to considering one decade of human history versus one millennium. Obviously, a lot more change occurs over a millennium than over a decade - but one has to keep in mind that the millennium itself is composed of decades. In the same vein, the small variations between individuals of a species viewed as 'microevolution', compound with passage of time to produce ever greater differences and thereby underlie 'macroevolution'. The Darwinian/Wallacian theory of 'evolution by natural selection' is built upon three fundamental observations: 1) individuals of a given species are not identical, 2) some of this variation is heritable, 3) not all offspring survive. The crucial inference: the variations among individuals affect the probabilities that they will survive and reproduce. This is all that is necessary to deduce evolution by sheer reason. If you are going to discount evolution, you better tell us which of the three fundamental axyoms is false, or why the primary inference cited above is unreasonable (by the way, nowadays that inference is part of empirical observations, and is no longer a leap of reason but sheer fact). Otherwise, I would like you to challenge the logic through which evolution is deduced, and see how far you can get. Here goes via reductio ad absurdum:

    Theorem 1: 'Macroevolution' does not exist. I.e. no new species can appear spontaneously.

    [Aside: I must intercede with a little factual background (which should be common knowledge). It is observed that certain plant and animal species have existed on Earth less time than others. This means that as other species already existed, new species were appearing. Since new species cannot appear spontaneously according to Theorem 1, we have to assume that new species appear artificially over time (e.g. through strangely incremental divine creation, or alien genetic experiments spanning billions of years, or whatever else touches the fancy). Now, back to the proof…]

    Lemma 1: The set of all genetic variations among all presently living individuals of any species can never acquire new members.
    Proof (reductio ad absurdum):
    Assume new genetic variations can appear within a species. Let a species be separated by chance into two distinct subpopulations unable to contact each other. Now, with the passage of time new genetic variations appear in the two distinct genetic pools. Because this happens independently, the chance that these new genetic variations are identical is very small. With more time, new genetic variations independently appear within the two genetic pools. Eventually, many new genetic variations have accumulated within the two distinct gene pools, and the chance that all of the new mutations between the two pools are identical is vanishingly small. Therefore, the two breeds of our species now contain distinct, and mutually exclusive genetic information. As they continue to exist independently, the genetic chasm between them grows, until one day the difference becomes too large for one breed to be able to carry children from another. Now, we have two distinct species where before was only one. But this contradicts Theorem 1 which we have set out to eventually prove! Therefore, the initial assumption of this sub-proof cannot be correct, which necessitates Lemma 1. Q.E.D.

    Lemma 2: For any particular species, with time all members of the species must exhibit identical genomes.
    Given Lemma 1, no new genetic features can ever appear in a gene pool of a species. However, nothing prevents features from disappearing. Genetically selective diseases, vagaries of uneven breeding and mate selection, natural accidents and, in short, environmental pressures all conspire to disturb the balance of the gene pool. With time, the random perturbations must result in certain genetic traits being restricted only to a few individuals within a population. Once that happens, more mishaps, or a massive disaster, can easily obliterate the few individuals sharing a particular genetic trait. With that, a species loses some of its genetic diversity. Hence, by pure statistical chance a species must loose little bits of its original variability with time. Since no new traits can appear due to Lemma 1, given enough time a species must loose all of its original variability, and with time, all individuals must exhibit identical genomes, identical appearances and identical physical characteristics. Q.E.D.

    Lemma 3: Older species must exhibit less genetic variability.
    This is easy to see given lemma 2.

    Fact: Older species are observed empirically to have more genetic variability than younger species!

    But how are we to reconcile fact with Lemma 3? Simple: Lemmas 3, 2, and 1 are false. As their single fundamental premise is Theorem 1, we must conclude, that in view of the facts, Theorem 1 is also false. Therefore, older species as a rule have more genetic variability, no species has ever exhibited genetically identical individuals, new features indeed appear within gene pools of species, and new species indeed emerge based on genetic variability and natural pressures - which is what we commonly refer to as 'evolution'. Case closed.

    Now, I have shown that evolution is reality. The last point of contention is the source of new genetic features. Is it random mutations or ever-continuing divine tweaking? At this point, it doesn't really matter - because either way the new genetic features are referred to as 'benign mutations' - to which you, I.P., openly deny existence. Perhaps, it's time you reconsidered your stance?


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    I am; therefore I think.
     
  23. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
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    I.P.:

    What is so terrible about ape precursors? Half of your (and mine, and everybody else's) very essense has passed through a urine canal before we became whole, and we emerge from the genitals of women! (Talk about excrement!) Just think of the human ape precursors, and the ever-lower lifeforms all the way down to the first primordial goo as part of the conception process through which eventually you, and I, and everyone else came into existence. In fact, our origins are only as depressing or disgusting, as you are willing to make them. If you go far enough, we are all children of the stars, and ultimately the entire universe, which is giving birth to new life even as we speak, and we have the honor of participating in that process in a very direct way. In fact, the realization that we are not the epitome of sophistication, that we are only a stage in development - leaves room for growth, and improvement, and exciting possibilities for our descendants. According to theories of evolution, we ourselves are only precursors to many other species, which must eventually form from our own. In my opinion, that's not all too bad, and certainly not any more traumatic than the traditional truism about 'where children come from'.

    Finally, it is the religious patriarchs out there who are 'droning'. People who actually do their homework come to accept evolution not because they are told to, but because it is a modern scientific theory grounded in observed fact and deductive reason, and certainly does much better as an explanation of natural diversity than any other explanation out there.


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    I am; therefore I think.
     

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