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

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You have never provided reputable sources for your repeated claim of a standard 80% prereproduction mortality among live born children in pre-agricultural human communities, and you never will. It simply isn't possible. The arithmetic and the biology don't work.
    No, it wasn't.
    possibly, as a statistical artifact of childbirth mortality in older women. The underlying physiology has not changed.
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  3. river

    river said:

    It does though , the volume of the brain and/or skull has increased , hence increased mental power
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I confess that I haven't been able to find any data at all on infant mortality more than about 100 years before the Industrial Revolution.

    I found only one source with a figure of 30% in the 1500s, and I don't see what records he deduced that from.

    My 80% figure is the result of decades of reading without bothering to cite my own sources. If you have better sources, please share.
    That's an interesting argument, but I don't understand it. Paleolithic fossils tell us that people who survived childhood lived, on the average, into their mid-50s. Regardless of any procession of the age of menarche and menopause, that's plenty of time for a woman to bear ten children and watch eight of them die before puberty. (This applies only to Homo sapiens. The Neanderthal lifespan appears to have been ten or fifteen years shorter.)

    Please expand on your reasoning so I can understand how you reached your conclusion.

    BTW, reexamination of Paleolithic skeletons using modern instruments resulted in the sad discovery that more than 50% of humans were killed by other humans. The most likely reason is that droughts occurred about every seven years. In pre-agricultural villages, there was no surplus food set aside for such calamities, so they had to fight their neighbors for survival.

    I have suggested that each tribe would have targeted the other's elders first, since they would have been the slowest and weakest fighters. After they were dead, they would have realized that their populations had decreased to the point that there was no more need to fight for food, and perhaps walked away shouting, "See you at next summer's festival."
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I don't think that's true, we are anatomically identical to ancient humans, except for differences in nutrition and exercise.
  8. river

    Define " ancient Humans "
  9. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Please, try not to be silly.

    Einstein was a physicist, not a biologist, nor a geneticist. The genetic synthesis does not really stand on one experiment alone: even at its narrowest core, it is the synthesis of Mendelian particulate inheritance and Darwinian descent - but in fact its branch reaches as far as Pearson, Gauss and in particular Fisher and Wright, dearest to my clearly evil heart. Evidence counter to evolutionary theory would have to argue against all those things, not to mention the basics of math in allele change over generations, and I'd like to see you try that.

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    The mathematic core of physics, so far as I know, permits few contrary theories. In biology, concepts are legion. Evolution is not a business of universal constants; or rather it is a business of universal constants co-opted by living things. Gravity, distance and constitution are simple predictive elements in physics. They generate consistency. Life does with much more rarity.

    You will require some kind of cogent counter-argument to evolution, simply because experimentation, artificial speciation, DNA relatedness and parsimony, inheritance, quantitative inheritance and selection, and a host of other sub-disciplines are congruent with the theory. You cannot, in face of the masses of above evidence, simply stick your pitchfork in the air and claim that it is as likely a God - for whom, I remind you, no evidence exists - brought it all into being. Where is God? Have you found Him? Let me know when you do, and demand an affidavit for His work.

    I have bolded one of the problems with your above statement, and seemingly with your argument generally: not even Einstein said that the flimsiest evidence could prove him wrong. To take up this point: Creation neo-Science can never really achieve the level of actual science, since there is no scenario in which its adherents could not simply cry "Magic! Magic from God!" This is the material of your immaterium. I grant in fairness that it would be possible for a single experiment to counter evolutionary science: but it would need to be exceedingly powerful, and repeatable. So then why have you not produced them? We in evolution do not generally accept something so enormous and provocative without reproducibility. Come now: simply give me these evidences.

    The problem, of course, is that you have none. No need to be angry at me: this is not my doing, but in your own lexicon, that of God himself. Direct thy ire on high.

    On the contrary, much of the logic is indeed mine: if it was invented earlier, by others, that is nothing to me. I abhor philosophy on general principle, being instead a constructionalist or architecturalist. My interest is how and why. What, IMHO, is at this point rather a given. When forced to call on the what, it seems obvious from my uncomplicated reference. I am glad you have been discussing evolution for the last ten years of your life; I regret that you appear to have learned nothing of it.

    Heavens! One shudders. What can it mean? Does the sky fall, Chicken Little? I shall fetch me my umbrella.

    I would be indeed honoured to, if only you had presented some. Which features, garbonzo? You have called none. You make vague allusions to something you just don't like about descent and commonality, but give no examples. Which features? Start with one, and we'll talk about it. Did you mean the group aspects of hyaena and human behaviour? Surely you're not going to hang your hat on that?

    Birds share a variety of features with reptiles - uric acid production, egg laying, beta-keratin-derived dermal structures. Primitive birds had teeth, much as ancient and modern reptiles, and presumed related reptiles (the Coelurosauria) also had feathers. Heterochronic features of bird and early reptile (Euparkeria) skulls follow characterisable trajectories. (https://qilong.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/oviraptorids-and-cranial-morphometrics-2-reloaded/) Developmental trajectory can be tracked with increasing time in a parsimonious manner:

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    Your counter, I believe, consists of "God made them like that." In addition to being a just-so story, it also doesn't explain this parsimony of development in conjunction with increasing geological time.

    Other progressively increasing differences in skull morphology with increasing phylogenetic distance can be seen below.

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    So birds appear to be descended from reptiles. Who knew?
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Now, as for mammals,the similarities in skull morphology are also hugely evident:

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    A surprising amount of common origin there, with differences only in the functionality. Worse still, increasing differences in these structures correspond to distance in evolutionary time. So mammals appear to come from reptiles also.

    Here's a better diagram still of morphological change in the jaw with increasing evolutionary time.

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    Let me know when you've reviewed them. Why did God make two kinds of jaws, one with a large dentary and one in which the length of the jaw is split between the dentary and the angular? And why does the relative proportion of each bone in the jaw keep changing with geological time? Maybe God realised His initial design was no good, and modified it over time? But I'd thought He created each organism independently! How can this be? One might as well just cry "Magic!"

    Because you have no evidence of God, or any other creator. Hence the process, while remarkable, is the outcome of process that seem incredible but are actually mundane - as in, of the world.

    You disagree? Very well:

    God. You insist on Him, so I must believe in good faith that you have a reason for doing so. Share that reason with us. If you prefer aliens, so be it. Just demonstrate that they were here a billion years ago, and then every day since to help modify evolution along the path you think was engineered.

    You have answered nothing, again: you have not explained why the DNA of a bat resembles other Mammals rather than birds. Both fly. Why are bats so different? Were they made by other alien species, or just by the Devil? How is a heterogenous mix of organisms that fly smart?

    Good for you! I was hoping you might indeed not fail to notice that. Let's see what you have to say about it:

    Of course! Absolutely! All life is made smart! The smart way! With recycled materials, and nothing left over or unused that might conceivably impact - sometimes literally - the health of the carrier organism, or represent some ancient purpose that obviously could never be.

    Like wisdom teeth, appendixes, vestigial limbs in snakes and whales, eyes in subterranean or cave-dwelling creatures, and atavisms that recapitulate an evolutionary past that clearly never was. And, last of all: extinction. All of the Earth's organisms were created so perfectly - smart-way, I think you said - that none have ever gone extinct, because in doing so they would - conceivably - illustrate some kind of flaw in the relative smartness of the plan. And that cannot be. So huzzah!

    Though I tend to think that tending mammoth herds would be a chore. One can only distantly imagine the kind of shoveling job they might require, although I think you tangentially embrace the concept in your metaphorical travels on this thread.

    Of course, Dorothy. What - are the flying monkeys on their way?

    Good: then you will spare me yours also? You are attempting, garbonzo, to promote a supernatural explanation for life. If you wish to do so, you must demonstrate its supernatural impact. You have not done so. Nor has anyone. You cannot play hop-scotch across the naturalistic line, first claiming that DNA fits into an creationist narrative in order to justify your selective incredulity, and then claiming in the next paragraph that one is not fit to judge the maker of that process, because it would be beyond contempt to do so. Whatever you wish to believe in the privacy of your own head is your own business, but this is the natural world.

    Pay attention to the concepts, for a change. Convergent evolution is not counter-evidence to common ancestry. If you disagree, present your evidence, please. Further, DNA certainly does not fit into a fairy-tale of creation where each organism is created without reference to any other, instead of increasing sequence distance being correlated with increasing morphological and geological distance between taxonomic groups. That latter fact would suggest descent from some common ancestor. That fits well so far as I am concerned, but I trust that its working out well for me is not what you meant by 'fitting equally well in any creation narrative'.

    Oh, if only that were so, you would have attributed the statement to Fraggle, who made it, and not in your response to me. This is an annoying practice. Please desist. Nonetheless, I will take a moment to fisk it.

    Care to explain how the above makes sense? First, you give lip service to the Second Law, then forget the fact of its continuous, ongoing input into the system, as if you had made some kind of comparison in relative entropy between lifeless and life-filled areas of this planet. What has this even to do with evolution? Nonsense.
  11. garbonzo Registered Senior Member

    Thank you for the reply guys, I want to make sure I got everything from before page 6 before I respond in full. This is a reply to billvon:

    No, they weren't. But you can go ahead and specify it, if you believe they were.

    The fact that hermaphrodites exist is evidence that they exist, not that our ancestors were hermaphrodites. There is no evidence of the latter.

    No, we haven't. None of them qualify as macro-evolution as none of them ceased to be the animal or plant they were before.

    What we have learned from long time reproduction experiments is that when mutations accumulate, the subjects die instead of becoming another thing.
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No, it isn't. Not on average.

    For starters, you need on average 2.5 or so - not two - to handle infertility, congenital disorder, etc. Then you need another fraction to handle the necessity of repopulating after disaster, and the extra boy for combat. Remember that a large fraction of the dying children will first survive weaning, so that's two years added to the nine (actually, closer to ten) months, plus another couple to actually get pregnant again - three years for most live births.

    So at 80% loss a women hitting puberty will need maybe twelve live births to reproduce herself and her mate, of which maybe eight will take three years and four less - say one and a half. That's thirty years. Starting at 16, the generally accepted Paleolithic age of menarche, she's 46 with a just weaned baby before she has - barely - reproduced.

    And that's without considering childbirth mortality itself, which normally kills the infant as well, or any other cause of adult mortality, or any cause of serious delay in successful impregnation such as food shortage and miscarriage - this woman is in a tribe that never has bad years. The only slack in the system, to cover those factors, would be the pregnancies after age 46 on average. For every woman who dies in her first pregnancy, or second, the tribe would need ten live births in women over 46. For every miscarriage another one. For every famine year, yet another for each impregnable woman living through it.

    That is not realistic. Any human population walking that tightrope will vanish within a few generations.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    OK I will specify it.

    Creationists claimed there was no way for the flagellum to evolve; it was a complete, irreducible unit. Then biologists demonstrated that it was composed of several quite reducible units, all of which had evolved for other functions. Let me know if you would like more details.

    Creationists claimed that the eye could not have evolved because it was too complex; it was a complete, irreducible unit. Then biologists demonstrated that other organisms had eyes that were merely light sensitive cells; eyes that were pinhole cameras, and eyes that had primitive lenses. In every case, an example of a reducible design was found. Again let me know if you would like more details.

    Creationists claimed that the blood clotting cascade was too complex to have evolved naturally; all the proteins in the cascade all had to be there at the same time for blood clotting to happen, therefore it could not have evolved naturally. Then biologists discovered that 1) you really didn't need all the proteins that creationists claimed you needed and 2) those proteins also served a function as digestive enzymes, thus giving a basis for their evolutionary development.

    Every time the argument "that was too complex to have occurred on its own" has been used, it has been proven to be false. All it would take is one example of a complex structure that is irreducibly complex to disprove evolution. Despite decades of their best efforts, creationist advocates have failed to produce a single one.

    Ah, the bait-and-switch. You claimed that there was no "backing evidence that creatures simply evolved into hermaphrodites first, and then split the sexes away later." In fact creatures that "evolved into hermaphrodites" and then "split away the sexes" not only existed, but do exist today.

    Now, you can claim that that's not what you really meant, that you meant that even though such creatures exist today, they could not have existed in the past and could not have been our ancestors. If so, knock yourself out. I'm not interested in word games.
    They meet the definition of macro-evolution; they represent new species that no longer share a gene pool. From wikipedia:

    "Macroevolution is evolution on a scale of separated gene pools. Macroevolutionary studies focus on change that occurs at or above the level of species, in contrast with microevolution, which refers to smaller evolutionary changes (typically described as changes in allele frequencies) within a species or population."

    Again, you can try to continually redefine macroevolution so that you can still somehow claim you are correct. But again I am not that interested in those kind of word games. You've essentially admitted defeat at that point.
    I have listed several examples of where mutations accumulated until a new species - perfectly viable - has appeared.
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    This is my favorite (post 83 this thread):
    We also know that this incredibly rapid evolutions was caused by many forcing factors - most important was only the most well fit for survival of each litter, if any, in their new harsh only 4 hectare large environment did not starve to death and there were none eaten by predators, so better genes for that environment spread rapidly through the entire population.

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    note what appears to be depressions / or absence of hair/ on each side of the head about where a guinea pig’s eyes would be. (At first glance, you probably thought the eyes were there, but they are close together, where a guinea pig's mouth is on very tiny face.) Eyes do migrate with ease even in an individual in some cases. The flounder, when young has an eye on each side of head that migrates so both are on the same side. Also the number of eyes is not always two in humans. - One Chinese war lord had three, all functional.
    The great lateral expanse of hair on each side of the tiny face - wide as their body is, probably evolved to aid running thru narrow gap between rocks on moonless or cloudy nights. To live, a prey needed to find any new grass shoot before another did, even at night. A tiny advantage made the difference between life and death.
    Above is from http://www.sciforums.com/threads/denial-of-evolution-vii-2015.144083/page-15#post-3265128 but copied from version II of this evolution thread. Here is more on them: http://www.sciforums.com/threads/denial-of-evolution-ii.91631/page-9#post-2208297
    As ignorant new posters keep appearing, I'll probably need to dig up these post again for version V of this thread when it is created.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2015
  15. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Changed goal posts.

    Categorically wrong: see Part 5 in http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html. Also http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html and http://blogs.scientificamerican.com...ution-watching-speciation-occur-observations/. So this argument of yours has also failed.

    But it begs the question: which is it you believe, then? That species are fixed? Or that species are not fixed, but that God is behind change or design, or designy change? You've alluded to both: and of those two, the notion that species are really fixed is shocking. But what it looks like to me is a series of fallback positions, with the object of protecting the deistic imperative.
  16. brokenbutnotbeat Registered Member

    To me, the fact that we human beings are so much more intelligent than everything else makes me question evolution of human beings, but i have no problems accepting that other animals evolved.
  17. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

  18. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    So where do you think Humans came from?

    Do you think aliens genetically engineered Ape ancestors into Humans, or something?
  19. Kajalamorth The Doctor Registered Senior Member


    So much more intelligent? What does that mean? We have no reasonable testing mechanism for intelligence in humans let alone do we have a comprehensive definition on "intelligence" that is agreed upon. Don't fool yourself the IQ test was created in a time that didn't even recognize intelligence in "animals".

    Anyway this is an example of our species' egocentric tendencies. (Not an insult by the way)
  20. brokenbutnotbeat Registered Member

    I don't believe in aliens, or life outside earth. I believe that maybe only humans were created by a god
  21. brokenbutnotbeat Registered Member

    animals don't worship gods, they don't use telephones, they don't travel to outer space, and stuff. so we are advanced.
  22. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    I'm going to second spidergoat's wut here.

  23. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    Do you have any specific God in mind?

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