Evolution with AIN
In this epic thread, AtheismIsNonsense will, using numerous irrefutable deductive arguments, overwhelming empirical evidence, and his support from the creator of the universe, indisputably prove that the unifying theory of biology, accepted by virtually every respectable scientist and science institution in the world:
- is impossible.
- is unsupported and unsubstantiated.
- will lead to the second coming and the destruction of everything good and moral, including, but not limited to, families, cultures, governments, civilization in general, Black people, Jewish people, preschool, Carrie Underwood, and Taco Bell.
The first thing I want to discuss is whether evolution happens. Arguments like Social Darwinism, etc., while interesting, do not affect the validity of evolution itself; regardless of its implications, either organisms evolve or they don't. Also, while I think I have an accurate fundamental grasp of what evolution is and what it isn't, I haven't been trained in or really studied evolution, genetics, paleontology, etc. , so I'll probably make some mistakes.
To start, evolution is simply change in genetic material. While the differences between one generation and its parent generation are usually virtually undetectable, variations can accumulate throughout successive generations to produce significant change. The theory of evolution can be defined as the overarching explanation of this process.
Mutation: In biology, a mutation is simply a copying error that occurred during genetic replication.
According to http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/M/Mutations.html, mutations "occur at the rate of about 1 in 50 million," "but with 6 x 109 base pairs in a human cell, that mean that each new cell contains some 120 new mutations."
There are multiple types of mutations, but the bottom line is that they all lead to variation.
Genetic drift: This is the change in frequency of the presence of a specific gene in the population independent of natural selection.
It was somewhat harder for me to wrap my brain around this process. Wikipedia has a very helpful analogy.
The process of genetic drift can be illustrated using 20 marbles in a jar to represent 20 organisms in a population. Half of them are red and half blue, and both colors correspond to two different gene alleles in the population. The offspring they reproduce for the next generation are represented in another jar. In each new generation the organisms reproduce at random. To represent this reproduction, randomly select any marble from the original jar and deposit a new marble with the same color as its "parent" in the second jar. Repeat the process until there are 20 new marbles in the second jar. The second jar will then contain a second generation of "offspring", 20 marbles of various colors. Unless the second jar contains exactly 10 red and 10 blue marbles, there will have been a purely random shift in the allele frequencies.
Repeat this process a number of times, randomly reproducing each generation of marbles to form the next. The numbers of red and blue marbles picked each generation will fluctuate: sometimes more red, sometimes more blue. This fluctuation is genetic drift – a change in the population's allele frequency resulting from a random variation in the distribution of alleles from one generation to the next.
It is even possible that in any one generation no marbles of a particular color will be chosen, meaning they have no offspring. In this example, if no red marbles are selected the jar representing the new generation will contain only blue offspring. If this happens, the red allele has been lost permanently in the population, while the remaining blue allele has become fixed: all future generations will be entirely blue. In small populations, fixation to a single surviving allele can occur in just a few generations. Given enough time, this outcome is nearly inevitable for populations of any size."
Natural selection: In the general public, this is the best known mechanism of evolution. Since organisms possess variation in characteristics and some traits are more beneficial in certain environments, natural selection postulates that some organisms will have a better chance of surviving long enough to produce offspring, thus, passing their genes to the next generation. Hence, in every specific environment, certain traits will be favored and organisms possessing these traits will thrive.
Speciation: Speciation is when two groups of organisms that were previously able to reproduce with each other are no longer able to interbreed. This is arguably the most significant development in evolution, since the two groups are now free to acculumate differences in traits and, also, branch into more varieties of organisms. One of the most obvious ways this could occur is if a single species somehow becomes separated into two or more groups due to a geographical landmark, like a range of mountains or a river.
Evidence for evolution:
- Creationism asserts that God created all organisms at the same time, in their present forms. If this were true, then fossils of all kinds of organisms should distributed everywhere in the geological column. Upon radiometric dating, they should also be dated to all periods in natural history. However, this is not the case.
Instead, the fossil record shows a clear progression to more complicated life forms. We also observe that all organisms existed exclusively within a certain time period. So, we never find an elephant older than a Triceratops or a penguin in the pre-cambrian.
- Virtually all Creationists claim that there are no "transitional fossils," but by its very definition, all organisms are transitional forms, so every fossil ever found is a transitional fossil. The confusion lies in the fact that Creationists have an extremely undeveleped (and that's putting it nicely) idea of evolution. If scientists accept that organism A evolved into organism B, Creationists would strawman this by asking for the existence of some half A half B abomination or the exact moment act which this change occurred. This request is impossible to fulfill because this is not how evolution works. Organism A will never give produce an organism that is not organism A nor will anything other than an organism B will produce an organism B.
Some videos on Youtube explain this problem by comparing it to aging. I think this is a good analogy. When Creationists ask for the exact moment at which A becomes B, it's like asking for the exact moment at which a baby becomes an adult. There is none, nor is there a specific moment at which a baby stops being a baby or a person becomes an adult. If you look at pictures of yourself from many years ago and recall your memories of your childhood, you can easily conclude that you changed, but did you notice any day to day changes? Of course not, the changes are too small, just like the generational changes in organisms are too small to produce a different species. So, using the same analogy, we can see that every day you are alive is a day between when you are older and when you were younger.
Transitional Fossils This scientist is from my university.
(This is definitely not a complete list)
Okay, that's all I'll write for now.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare