Is evolution actually possible?

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience' started by gamelord, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. gamelord Registered Senior Member

    Not a creationist, I've just been thinking and it just seems like it has some glitches and holes. The glitches and holes are either in my thinking, or evolution itself.

    Okay so consider the case of a horn. Evolution theorists will say, "This animal evolved a horn for so and so reason."

    But lets apply that to humans. Lets say, in some alternate timeline, humans have horns nowadays. A professor would explain how humans evolved from horned apes. But here is the glitch.

    How did humans get the horns in the first place? Let's say 200,000 years ago, they found bones of humans with no horns. And over 200,000 years, humans got horns how?

    Horns are not like blonde, or tall or short. It is easy to explain evolution like short or tall people. Horns need a mutation. Babies do not suddenly get born with horns. In fact I do not think there is 1 human baby ever in existence who had a horn. But lets say over 200,000 years, 1 human baby had a horn. I guess he was so sexy to women he impregnated 500 women and then they had horn babies. And the horn tribe destroyed the tribes of all the regular humans. So the only way evolution is possible, is if 1 freak creates a tribe of horny women. And the freak creates a cult religion, and the sons of the women of the cult religion conquer the planet and breeds the tribe everywhere.

    But that is to assume, horn mutations are even possible at all.

    If evolution turns out to be fake, that leaves another weird question, how did life come to existence. But that should be left to another thread.
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    In your thinking, obviously. In the scientific data, very probably.
    In evolution itself, not possible: the glitches died out and no longer exist; whatever lines died out ended and never resumed, so there can't be holes.
    Every living thing that exists today is the product of a continuous line that goes right back to the first RNA.
    No, they don't. That's not how the science works. They find skeletal remains and fossils and from that available evidence, they trace the development of a species as it appears today, and its attributes are used today. Some of the environmental conditions that favoured one adaptation over another are known; some are inferred from corroborative evidence (other kinds of fossil from the same period, for example) and many are mere speculation.
    Only if there were lots of horned ape remains for comparison. If some modern apes had horns, the paleontologists would be looking for the common ancestor of those apes and early horned humans. Only when they had assembled a considerable collection would they begin to speculate as to when, how and why a horned ape had a better chance of reproducing than a hornless ape.
    They didn't; couldn't have, unless their ape ancestors had at least the beginning of head-bumps that indicate horn-formation.
    'The first place' of an appendage or outgrowth looks quite different, and often has a quite different application, from its modern variant.
    I'll assume you mean they found bones that were 200,000 years old, not that the bones were found 200,000 years ago, because we probably wouldn't know that, because they hadn't invented writing yet.
    No way in this world. 200,000 years ago, humans looked very similar to how they look now. They didn't grow any new features. That's a ridiculously short time for long-lived animals to make radical changes in their physiology. Insects could evolve quite a lot in that time; rodents can change considerably. People couldn't; it takes 15 years to produce a single new generation.
    Not only a mutation, but it would have to be a heritable gene and take many generations for whom having a proto-horn was in some way beneficial.
    No. But one might be born with two small projections on the front of his skull. If the young males of his generation found food by rolling away rocks with their foreheads, or proved who was top boy by butting heads, then this kid would have an advantage over boys with no bumps. He'd get more girls and beget more offspring, and if they all had forehead-bumps (all other things being equal), they would also be successful. And the most successful among them would be the one with the biggest bumps. And so on. But if there is no advantage, to having bony projections on one's head, the funny-looking kids would be at a disadvantage, he couldn't get laid, his bumps would die with him and nobody would ever know he, or they, existed.

    Ya, that could work. I guess.
    Mostly, it's just slow, piddling little changes that get a bit more out of the environment than your competitors.

    I believe that has been asked and answered more times than we really need.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Evolution does not require that a new feature such as a horn springs suddenly into being, fully formed. Just read a bit about it.

    What generally happens is that there is a natural variation within the population. Something in the environment gives those individuals at one end of the spectrum of variation a reproductive advantage, so that they breed more than the rest. Their descendants will again exhibit variation and again those at one end of the spectrum will breed more and so eventually the characteristic becomes amplified.

    Plant and animal breeders have known about this and used it for centuries, by artificially selecting which ones they want to breed, as Darwin pointed out. But nature can itself do the same thing, in the right circumstances.

    A classic example is the giraffe's neck. Nobody suggests that one day there was a mutation creating an enormously long neck, as there is no evidence for this in the fossil record and there is no way that a single mutation could allow this to work. What the evidence does show is that necks of some pre-giraffe animals got progressively longer, probably because at time of food shortage those with longer necks could reach leaves to eat when the others couldn't. So, over successive generations, the long neck characteristic became more pronounced, because these members of the population lived and bred more successfully than their shorter necked cousins. See? It's not hard to understand, is it?

    Your imaginary example is a poor one, as humans do not have horns and it is very hard to imagine an environmental advantage for them having them.

    But I have a nasty feeling you only chose this artificial example as a silly way to get to use the phrase "horny women" and indulge your unpleasant (and very tedious) sexual obsessions.

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    I wish you would grow up.
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  7. gamelord Registered Senior Member

    Nope, the phrase just popped in my head naturally. Perhaps it was simply meant to be. Perhaps the word "horny" has some inherent relation to evolution.

    In any case, the crux of your two's argument relies on gene stacking. The idea that a trait, can just stack itself endlessly. I think there are some flaws to this.

    Consider the case of the giraffe, to what significant advantage would a giraffe with a slightly longer neck than average hold? The other giraffes could compete just as well. Consider the equivalent case of 2 humans: One man has 1.5 billion dollars, and the other man has 1.4 billion dollars. The main reproductive factor is thus not the wealth, but whether or not the man is attractive to women, by his pheromones, personality, physical appearance, etc.

    The same would apply to giraffes. The other giraffe might not be able to even gather more apples than the other giraffes, by having a neck 1 inch longer than everyone else. Apple gathering would be primarily determined by who has the most testosterone. A short-necked, high testosterone giraffe would dominate the long-necked, "evolved" giraffe. Those with low testosterone would gather 50 apples, those with high testosterone would gather 150 apples.

    Second, in the animal kingdom mating is not usually determined by how much wealth someone has, but how good someone is at fighting. The best fighter gets the girl in the animal kingdom. Not best warrior. Not best hunter. But best fighter. As in, street fighter, martial arts master, Jackie Chan, etc.
  8. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Easy answer - longer necks allow easier access to higher up food as the dry season makes food scarce, allowing them to reach food that competing animals can't reach.

    Giraffes also use their heads as clubs when fighting over a mate or territory - a longer neck, by virtue of leverage and the laws of physics, allows for greater impact force. Thus, longer neck = hits harder = more likely to win a fight.

    Uh... what? Why would testosterone make a giraffe able to gather more apples (for that matter... why is a giraffe gathering apples? Where the hell are they getting them? They primarily eat the leaves and twigs of acacia trees, as well as other various trees. There... aren't many apple trees in the dry shrubland)

    Many creatures determine who mates via displays of wealth and/or beauty. Birds, for example - the Bowerbird builds crazy structures to entice mates.

    The red capped manakin freaking MOONDANCES to attract a mate!
    sideshowbob likes this.
  9. gamelord Registered Senior Member

    Yes and this sounds like my "instant evolution" bit I said earlier, it sounds like you are comparing 20 foot necks to 2 inch necks. They said instant evolution is impossible.

    So I say, what is the advantage of a giraffe that has a neck 2 inches longer than everyone else? It is the comparison between a billionaire who has 1.4 billion vs. a billionairre who has 1.5 billion. The main factors would not be that the billionairre has a 0.1 extra billion dollars. The main reproductive factors would be, testosterone, how confident he is, if he has the right pheromones, body health, mental health, physical appearance, etc.

    With giraffes, the main reproductive factors would not be, a neck 2 inches longer but, testosterone, pheromones, physical strength, bone density, personality, etc.

    Even gathering apples, or twigs, or whatever...the higher testosterone giraffe with a shorter neck, and more body strength and bone density, would gather more.

    This is a side issue...a tangent. It doesn't matter if it's apples, oranges, apricots, or leaves and twigs, it's the same concept.

    Yes I am aware of birds gathering jewels to attract females. I watched a documentary about it last week.
    But its a further complication and a side issue, a tangent.
  10. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    The advantage for the giraffe is a mater of life and death. A browser like a giraffe needs to eat leaves from trees. During a drought when the lower leaves have been stripped from the trees by hungry giraffes a mere 2 inches means the difference between surviving and dying. The survivors get to reproduce.
  11. gamelord Registered Senior Member

    Ok, a good response. I may need some time to formulate my next counter-argument.
  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Let's do a simple calculation. Take a tree with branches extending 3ft out from the trunk. Let's assume the tree canopy at the height the animal can reach is approx cylindrical and leaves grow only on the outside. Then the extra area of foliage, accessible by only the animal with the extra 2" neck, is π x 6 x 2/12 = 3.14 sq ft. That's quite a bit. And that's for just one tree.
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    If this is all about having sex with a girl, change your therapist and get out more.

    Your underlying thoughts on this thread can be so spectacularly creepy.
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  14. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    Why do you need to make a counter argument? You asked a question and I answered it. The answer is not my opinion, it is simply the answer in the context of evolution theory.
  15. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    More gotcha science.
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    If they do that, then they are introducing teleology into biology. In the philosophy of science, that's problematic. Yet biologists do it all the time. (Why do animals have eyes? To see! Why do they have hearts? To pump blood!) There are even those who argue that biology is impossible without teleology. (I'm not sure what my view is on that.)

    Genes regulate fetal development. A altered gene, or a gene duplication, or some change in how the genes are turned on and off or in how their expression controlled, might cause a difference in fetal development such that a horn appears.

    I'll disagree with Exchemist and opine that some evolutionary variants might indeed appear suddenly, depending on what genes are changed and on what those genes were doing. Which might help explain punctuated equilibrium in the fossil record.

    That seems to assume that the horn-mutation only expresses itself in males and that sexual-selection is the only kind of natural selection there is.
  17. gamelord Registered Senior Member

    What is creepy, is that you degrade my science discussion with lame ad hom insults that have no bearing on the topic at hand.

    Let the heavy hitters, like origin, or Yazata, who have something to discuss, contribute.

    I already stated origin defeated one of my arguments and I need time to think. I don't need to be hammered by the likes of which Neitzche, if he were alive today, would describe as his enemies. So politely buzz off, go to a bar and have a beer with a straw, talk about the news and sports, and feminism, what is or isn't appropriate for males, like manspreading, whatever it is you modern socialite people talk about.
  18. gamelord Registered Senior Member

    We are discussing holes in the mechanics, your answer seems pretty solid for the time being but I may look for holes in other areas of the machine.

    It is not that it can only express in males, but that males only have a high chance of forming a large tribe.

    For instance, an ancient woman can give birth to 20 kids, 90% of those kids will probably die off. Meaning 2 kids in a tribe.
    But a male can impregenant 1 woman a day, and after 3 years he has now 1000 kids, that means if 90% of them die off, 100 kids in the tribe.

    Also, the Y chromosome is more consistently carried, the X is more random. If a male has a son the Y chromosome will be carried, for sure.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    You and those you are arguing with seem to be assuming evolutionary gradualism. That evolutionary changes are slow and almost imperceptible, the giraffe neck extended incrementally inch by inch over many reproductive generations. While I'm sure that sometimes happens and may indeed be what the giraffe fossil record shows, I'm not convinced that is the way it always happens or how it has to happen.

    (There's something faintly Lamarckian about gradualism.)

    But if we think of evolution more in evo-devo terms, in terms of genetic changes that express during the course of fetal development, then the initial mutations that led to giraffe necks might have produced much bigger increases in neck length right out of the gate.
  20. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    • Do not make unsupported accusations against other members.
    Maybe you want to kill women, does your therapist approve this?
  21. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    • Please do not insult other members
    Origin and Yazats are retards. You are a threat.
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    We are not just assuming a gradual change. There is fossil evidence for it:
  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    That doesn't seem to be inconsistent with what I wrote up above. I was questioning whether the Giraffe's neck elongation was gradual and microscopically incremental from generation to generation throughout a long period, or whether it happened more rapidly such that individuals suddenly appeared with significantly longer necks.

    "Solounias and Danowitz found the cranial end of the vertebra stretched initially around 7 million years ago in the species known as Samotherium, an extinct relative of today's modern giraffe. That was followed by a second stage of elongation on the back or caudal portion around one million years ago."

    The idea that the elongation happened in distinct bursts addresses the difficulty voiced by Gamelord that an infinitesimal increase of a fraction of a millimeter or something in neck length wouldn't bestow very much selective advantage.

    It's also easier to explain in molecular genetic terms, since the bursts will presumably be associated with changes in whatever genes and gene regulatory systems impact developmental biology of the neck in these kind of mammals,

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