Evolutionary Biology fails as a "theory"?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by shawnofdenver, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Sorbonne Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12
    It is not just experimentation but also prediction that is important.

    For example the theory of gravity would lead to the prediction that if a lead weight and a feather are dropped in a vacuum both would fall at the same rate.

    The theory of evolution might for example predict that the a white bear would have survival advantage in a ice climate.

    Those sorts of prediction are common in evolution. Again if birds evolved from earlier dinosaurs we would expect to find fossils of a species of dinosaur with feathers.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,876
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,948
    Polar bears have no natural predators. However, it might be an advantage to blend in with the snow when hunting seals, for example. That way, the seal is less likely to see you coming from a distance.

    If you did this experiment starting with 1000 bears of each colour, say, and let it run, I think you'd find the polar bears would dominate in the long term (assuming the initial population did not become prey to other bears).

    There are probably other advantages to being white in a polar environment that I haven't mentioned, too.

    Yes. Maybe random variation might lead to thumbs becoming less useful by being "too opposed" (whatever that might mean). In that case, in a population of otherwise identical animals, the ones with thumbs that are "too opposed" will tend to be less successful at reproducing over time, and the "just right" opposed thumb animals will become dominant.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,890
    Dinosaur feathers preserved in Amber:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Source

    Fossilized S. millenii feathers:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Source

    Fossilized A. huxleyi feathers:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Source

    Note that A. huxleyi is also a transitional fossil.
     
  8. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,274
    And here I thought that all fossils were technically transitional fossils, sort of like all extant species are transitional forms.
     
  9. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,890
    LOL - true enough.

    I just meant in terms of it being in the transition from Dinosaur like body plans to Bird like body plans.
     
  10. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,274
    Either way it's compelling evidence for evolution.
     
  11. Sorbonne Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12
    It is extraordinary that in the 150 years since Darwin conceived natural selection , every single fossil has confirmed his theory. Not one fossil has been out of place. For example, a modern mammal, say a rabbit, found amongst the dinosaurs, would raise serious issues. It has never happened.
     
  12. Buckaroo Banzai Mentat Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    333
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimental_evolution

    It is possible to have lab experiments and even to do some accurate predictions about real natural environments, but indeed the vast amount of variables makes impossible to make predictions of the sort of, walking around in nature, pointing at organisms and saying, "this animal will be extinct in 253 generations... that species over there will be 4 time biggers in 500 years.... that other one will have a shorter snout and thicker teeth...."

    All those "documentaries" on dicovery channel and the like showing "species of the future" are essentially science fiction, albeit with a good grasp of science rather than being pure fantasy and coming up with unrealistic possibilities, "x-men" type of things.
     
  13. Buckaroo Banzai Mentat Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    333
    But the core of the matter is that the "theory evolution" does not state that we could predict that a white bear/bear color would end out replacing the other species or colors in a snowy environment. However reasonable this assumption/prediction may be from the observation that animals in snowy environments tend to be white.

    An evolutionary approach to the issue wouldn't be just to make such guess, sit and wait, but to count populations of bears of each color, measure other phenotypical aspects besides color, track their reproductive success, the rates of success of their hunting attempts at different environments, and so on. With a bunch of data, you then would do various calculations to sort out which factors are in fact giving them reproductive advantages, if some phenotype is indeed more successful than the other. It could turn out that being white is the main advantage in such environment, as it's common, but after doing all the observations, measurement and math, one could verify that it's not the case in such hypothetical three-bears scenario. At least not under the circumstances studied at the time.


    Peter and Rosemary Grant did something "similar" with the Darwin's finches. They've lived in a island for a few twenty years, taking a few measures of every finch individual for three finch species (or eco-species), tracking their reproductive success, and seeing which traits were actually being selected.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beak_of_the_Finch
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  14. Buckaroo Banzai Mentat Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    333
    Or "chimaeras", such as monkeys with bat wings, or even birds with bat wings. No such species are ever found, their traits are all "organized" according with an evolutionary tree pattern, rather than just "according with function", "randomly" in regard with the expectations of an evolutionary tree, as if adaptations were like "lego pieces" assembled by some creator (or by whatever alternative non-phylogenetic hypothesis) rather than something running in lineages.

    The latter scenario dwarfs the evolutionary predictions in the number of possible "assemblings" of species, that makes the fortuitous coincidence with the evolutionary expectations absurdly implausible, to say the least.
     
  15. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

    Messages:
    2,815
  16. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    As simple as it gets, no evolution no adaptation, no adaptation certain death-a proven fact.
     

Share This Page