Is Evolution Rational? [Kill Em With Kindness]

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Is Evolution Rational? [Kill Em With Kindness]

Hopefully I'm on the right section of the forum but hey - I reckon this is as good a section as anywhere.

I was just thinking about Evolution, more particularly the more complex development of creatures through natural selection...

This isn't a "God exists cos evolution... etc" thread (or at least my intention is that it won't be) but I just wanted to know whether people think that the long term concept of cells transforming to complex organisms, fish developing legs etc. is a completely rational idea or whether it is merely an interesting theory.

 

Ali


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Quote:This isn't a "God

Quote:

This isn't a "God exists cos evolution... etc" thread (or at least my intention is that it won't be) but I just wanted to know whether people think that the long term concept of cells transforming to complex organisms, fish developing legs etc. is a completely rational idea or whether it is merely an interesting theory.

Cells do not "transform" into complex organisms. Via endless rounds of natural selection, genotypic modification and selection gives rise to incremental phenotypic modifications and divergent lineages. As for evolution, it is an "interesting theory" since a "theory" is a body of scientific explanations for phenomenon supported by testable predictions and evidence. No doubt the word you meant to use was "hypothesis". Evolution, fitting all of our testable predictions in the same manner as any other well-founded theory would, is on no worse epistemological ground than cell theory or atomic theory.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Evolution is far from "an

Evolution is far from "an interesting theory."  It is the foundation of all modern biological science, including a great deal of pharmacology.  It is true with as much certainty as gravity.  You do know that gravity is a theory, right?

In science, the word "theory" doesn't mean the same as when we use it in everyday speech.  A theory is a set of principles which try to explain a phenomenon.  In other words, gravity exists as a fact, and the theory of gravity tries to explain how and why it happens.  In the same way, evolution absolutely exists, with certainty, and the theory of evolution tries to explain how and why evolution happens.

I cannot stress this emphatically enough.  There is no doubt whatsoever within the legitimate biology community that evolution occurs.  There is some debate about elements of our explanations of it, but rest assured, it is the process by which life has become what it is today.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Forgive me for not writing

Forgive me for not writing "group" of cells.

Forgive me for using a synonym for "hypothesis" instead of "hypothesis" itself. If you want to waste time with unneccessary technical definitions of the words I used in my question how will we actually address the point?

Also forgive me for asking if you intentionally threw a pile of words at me that really weren't needed?

 

And evolution isn't in any way as simple as cell theory and atomic theory, nor surely is it as observable due to the relatively vast time window.

 

Ali


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Quote:Forgive me for using a

Quote:

Forgive me for using a synonym for "hypothesis" instead of "hypothesis" itself.

As has just been established, the words hypothesis and theory mean totally different things.

Quote:

And evolution isn't in any way as simple as cell theory and atomic theory, nor surely is it as observable due to the relatively vast time window.

Where did I say evolution was "as simple" as cell or atomic theory? I didn't. I said from an epistemological standpoint it is on no worse ground. This means a completely different thing to simplicity. I shall repeat myself yet again: Evolution fulfills all of our testable predictions and is a well-founded scientific theory.

Quote:

Also forgive me for asking if you intentionally threw a pile of words at me that really weren't needed?

I did not "throw a pile of words" at you. I gave a highly precise and technical description of what evolution actually entails to counter your confused strawman.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Hambydammit wrote:Evolution

Hambydammit wrote:

Evolution is far from "an interesting theory."  It is the foundation of all modern biological science, including a great deal of pharmacology.  It is true with as much certainty as gravity.  You do know that gravity is a theory, right?

In science, the word "theory" doesn't mean the same as when we use it in everyday speech.  A theory is a set of principles which try to explain a phenomenon.  In other words, gravity exists as a fact, and the theory of gravity tries to explain how and why it happens.  In the same way, evolution absolutely exists, with certainty, and the theory of evolution tries to explain how and why evolution happens.

I cannot stress this emphatically enough.  There is no doubt whatsoever within the legitimate biology community that evolution occurs.  There is some debate about elements of our explanations of it, but rest assured, it is the process by which life has become what it is today.

 

 

Hey, thanks for the response.

How is pharmacology based on evolution?

And how is it the foundation of all modern biological science?

I was using "theory" in a more conversational way than the precise scientific definition, I apologise for any confusion I caused.

Ok, its fine you saying that there "isn't any doubt in the legitimate bio.." but let's not let that take away from our own thinking...

 

 

 

Just out of interest do people see any faults in Evolutionary theory?


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Quote:How is pharmacology

Quote:

How is pharmacology based on evolution?

Need to track how bacteria become resistant to drugs and modify accordingly. It was a total disaster when plasmodium falciparum (malarial parasite) became resistant to chloroquine, by evolving a new type of transport pump to remove the drug from its interior, and when cancer cells pump chemo toxins out of their cells by evolving new types of transport pumps.

Quote:

And how is it the foundation of all modern biological science?

Biology is made up of different disciplines. They are listed as such:

Microbiology: The study of microorganisms

Molecular and Cellular Biology (that's mine): The study of cellular mechanisms and biological molecules and their interactions with each other

Developmental Biology: The study of development of organisms in embryonic development and the germination of seeds into plants

Anatomy: The study of the interior of animals and their internal organs and structures

Zoology: The study of animals, their behaivour and interactions

Botany: The study of plants, their internal mechanism

Genetics: The study of genes, how they interact, make up the organism, move through populations and

Ecology: the study of populations, how they interact with their environment, how they grow, decline, the mechanisms of expansion, etc.

Evolutionary Biology: The study of how lineages change over time and how natural selection applies to different populations, and the mechanisms behind variation

This all seems somewhat disjointed, but it is possible to draw a diagram which represents the relationship between the fields in biology. For example, studying developmental biology, one might study the genes responsible for building organisms and controlling embroynic development, and the resulting developmental plans. Hence there would be a link between genetics and developmental biology, and this would be a subdiscipline called "developmental genetics". It is possible to draw relationships between the fields in biology in a similar manner to generate all the subdisciplines. Not all subdisciplines would be meaningful, or exist. For example, there is no such thing as "microbiological anatomy" since anatomy is the study of internal organs. But in the center of all the disciplines is evolutionary biology. Evolution unifies all of the disciplines into a cohenerent picture of biological life. Via evolution, anatomical changes can be studied in terms of genetics. Via evolution, the movement of genes can be studied in terms of ecology, and zoology can be studied in terms of genetics, etc. etc. Evolution links all the disciplines in biology together. Without it, biology would be disjointed nonsense.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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deludedgod

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

Forgive me for using a synonym for "hypothesis" instead of "hypothesis" itself.

Have you even read the post under discussion? As has just been established, the words hypothesis and theory mean totally different things.

Quote:

And evolution isn't in any way as simple as cell theory and atomic theory, nor surely is it as observable due to the relatively vast time window.

Where did I say evolution was "as simple" as cell or atomic theory? I didn't. I said from an epistemological standpoint it is on no worse ground. This means a completely different thing to simplicity. I shall repeat myself yet again: Evolution fulfills all of our testable predictions and is a well-founded scientific theory.

Quote:

Also forgive me for asking if you intentionally threw a pile of words at me that really weren't needed?

I did not "throw a pile of words" at you. I gave a highly precise and technical description of what evolution actually entails to counter your confused strawman.

 

Great... We are already arguing and I've only just started the thread.

Sorry if I am not wording my posts very correctly or friendlily - I'm lying half asleep in bed (2:40am in this nice non-america).

 

I will point out that I didn't say that you said it was simple - it was merely one of the points I mentioned to try and describe my doubt that they are similar in their evidencial strength. Our testible predictions are, once again, surely on a very small time frame in relation to the concept of evolution itself - I know its the best proof that we can provide of it but, compared to eg cell development your ability to truely test the theory is a lot more limited.

 

I know you were just trying to help by giving me the definition but I didn't ask for it (that's why I thought it was unneccessary)... plus you could have put it in much simpler terms for us 'lesser' people to understand.

 

What straw man did I make?


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Quote:How is pharmacology

Quote:
How is pharmacology based on evolution?

DG answered this.

Quote:
And how is it the foundation of all modern biological science?

Read this essay:

What's So Great About Sex?

There's a lot of information about how evolution works through sexual reproduction to "auto-correct" harmful mutations and combat microbial invaders.  This is one example of how biology is dependent on evolution.  For every topic you can think of that deals with complete organisms, you can get down to a cellular level, and you'll need evolution to explain how most things happen.

Quote:
I was using "theory" in a more conversational way than the precise scientific definition, I apologise for any confusion I caused.

It's a crucial distinction.  No apology necessary.  If you are going to talk about evolution, you're talking about science, and you need to use the scientific meaning, or we'll just talk past each other.

Quote:
Ok, its fine you saying that there "isn't any doubt in the legitimate bio.." but let's not let that take away from our own thinking...

Think all you want, but until you have a post graduate degree in a biological discipline, you're not going to have the necessary understanding to even consider questioning evolution.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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My apologies. I just got

My apologies. I just got somewhat irked by your misunderstanding of what the words "evolution" and "theory" mean. You can't understand how frustrating it is unless you deal on a regular basis with people who make a living confusing other people about evolution.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Ali wrote:Hopefully I'm on

Ali wrote:

Hopefully I'm on the right section of the forum but hey - I reckon this is as good a section as anywhere.

I was just thinking about Evolution, more particularly the more complex development of creatures through natural selection...

This isn't a "God exists cos evolution... etc" thread (or at least my intention is that it won't be) but I just wanted to know whether people think that the long term concept of cells transforming to complex organisms, fish developing legs etc. is a completely rational idea or whether it is merely an interesting theory.

 

Ali

Your last sentence especially is throwing me. You're making it sound as though “theory” is the opposite of “rational”. So I'm wondering who you are defining both words.


It also bears pointing out the difference concerning the theory of evolution versus the fact of evolution. It is a well established fact that, if you look in older fossil bearing rocks, the tendency is to find fossils of less complex life. Whatever the cause might be that life on earth became progressively more complex through the ages (which can only be dismissed by denying an enormous amount of evidence), the fact that it did is empirically established beyond a doubt. So the question then becomes: “why did this happen”. That is the theory portion of things. On this there is some debate as to exactly why and how though natural selection still is a basic concept. A discussion on that point is beyond what I know a great deal about, so I'll leave it to more capable hands, but I see no reason that answers provided entirely on the basis of naturalism cannot suffice to explain it all.


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deludedgod wrote:Quote:How

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

How is pharmacology based on evolution?

Need to track how bacteria become resistant to drugs and modify accordingly. It was a total disaster when plasmodium falciparum (malarial parasite) became resistant to chloroquine, by evolving a new type of transport pump to remove the drug from its interior, and when cancer cells pump chemo toxins out of their cells by evolving new types of transport pumps.

Quote:

And how is it the foundation of all modern biological science?

Biology is made up of different disciplines. They are listed as such:

Microbiology: The study of microorganisms

Molecular and Cellular Biology (that's mine): The study of cellular mechanisms and biological molecules and their interactions with each other

Developmental Biology: The study of development of organisms in embryonic development and the germination of seeds into plants

Anatomy: The study of the interior of animals and their internal organs and structures

Zoology: The study of animals, their behaivour and interactions

Botany: The study of plants, their internal mechanism

Genetics: The study of genes, how they interact, make up the organism, move through populations and

Ecology: the study of populations, how they interact with their environment, how they grow, decline, the mechanisms of expansion, etc.

Evolutionary Biology: The study of how lineages change over time and how natural selection applies to different populations, and the mechanisms behind variation

This all seems somewhat disjointed, but it is possible to draw a diagram which represents the relationship between the fields in biology. For example, studying developmental biology, one might study the genes responsible for building organisms and controlling embroynic development, and the resulting developmental plans. Hence there would be a link between genetics and developmental biology, and this would be a subdiscipline called "developmental genetics". It is possible to draw relationships between the fields in biology in a similar manner to generate all the subdisciplines. Not all subdisciplines would be meaningful, or exist. For example, there is no such thing as "microbiological anatomy" since anatomy is the study of internal organs. But in the center of all the disciplines is evolutionary biology. Evolution unifies all of the disciplines into a cohenerent picture of biological life. Via evolution, anatomical changes can be studied in terms of genetics. Via evolution, the movement of genes can be studied in terms of ecology, and zoology can be studied in terms of genetics, etc. etc. Evolution links all the disciplines in biology together. Without it, biology would be disjointed nonsense.

 

 

When I first read the thing about plasmodium falciparum I thought it was a pretty interesting one, picturing a more physical  tube/valve development but it seems to be more of a chemical setup - more of an inter-cellular drug/metabolite transporter? I know, again with time frames, it may be hard for us to observe anything more physical but are there any examples of physical development?

I see how it could be the most connected of the disciplines but for, just a random example, DNA replication science surely isn't 'based' on evolution theory as such. I understand that it could be connected to it though, but connections such as that surely wouldn't be classed as foundational.


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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:How

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
How is pharmacology based on evolution?

DG answered this.

Quote:
And how is it the foundation of all modern biological science?

Read this essay:

What's So Great About Sex?

There's a lot of information about how evolution works through sexual reproduction to "auto-correct" harmful mutations and combat microbial invaders.  This is one example of how biology is dependent on evolution.  For every topic you can think of that deals with complete organisms, you can get down to a cellular level, and you'll need evolution to explain how most things happen.

Quote:
I was using "theory" in a more conversational way than the precise scientific definition, I apologise for any confusion I caused.

It's a crucial distinction.  No apology necessary.  If you are going to talk about evolution, you're talking about science, and you need to use the scientific meaning, or we'll just talk past each other.

Quote:
Ok, its fine you saying that there "isn't any doubt in the legitimate bio.." but let's not let that take away from our own thinking...

Think all you want, but until you have a post graduate degree in a biological discipline, you're not going to have the necessary understanding to even consider questioning evolution.

 

I probably am mistaken but is that not an example of biology being dependant on sex? I'm sorry I didn't read the essay - call me whatever but I just don't have the time to spend.

Actually, you are incorrect on that one - If you are talking scientifically about evolution, you would need to be precise. If you are talking about a science (in this case evolution) there is no requirement to have that level or precision. Whether you took me as talking scientifically or not is your viewpoint but that will not mean that there is any requirement for me to have conformed to those expectations. As the conversation becomes scientific of course there is more of a requirement to be precise but the fact stands that my usage, is correct.

And my point was that its easy enough for you to dismiss anything by saying there "isn't any doubt" but what are we supposed to do then? Just not talk about it because you said that? If I wanted to just read scientific journals I could but I find it better to discuss things with people, ask my own questions and hear their own ideas and explanations.


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deludedgod wrote:My

deludedgod wrote:

My apologies. I just got somewhat irked by your misunderstanding of what the words "evolution" and "theory" mean. You can't understand how frustrating it is unless you deal on a regular basis with people who make a living confusing other people about evolution.

Thanks, and I can understand that you would get annoyed at it. I'm not going to claim that I'm in any way a biologist (I study engineering so some would even have trouble calling me a scientist) but I reckon it never hurts to ask questions.


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What engines are there for

What engines are there for evolution? 


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Quote:When I first read the

Quote:

When I first read the thing about plasmodium falciparum I thought it was a pretty interesting one, picturing a more physical  tube/valve development but it seems to be more of a chemical setup - more of an inter-cellular drug/metabolite transporter? I know, again with time frames, it may be hard for us to observe anything more physical but are there any examples of physical development?

The case I was referring to was the development of a new ABC-transporter. ABC transporters are part of a superfamily of P-type ATPase pumps. This particular pump allowed the pathogen to become resistant to chloroquine by pumping it out of the cytoplasm. This was an evolutionary change brought on by natural selection of the malarial parasite in response to the employment of chloroquine as a drug to treat malaria. It's evolution was the result of a duplication, an event where a superfluous copy of a gene is created. This allows one or the other copy to be selected for a role different to that of its sister. This is called a paralogy.

Quote:

DNA replication science surely isn't 'based' on evolution theory as such

You misunderstand what I mean. It is possible to study specific biological subjects, such as the mechanisms of a replisome, as you mentioned, outside the context of evolution. However, it is not possible to have a meaningful or coherent understanding of biology without evolution, because evolution is the unifying theory of biology. In the same way as it is possible to study both quantum mechanics and relativity in the context of the fact that no unifying principle exists between them, but this produces a disjointed understanding. WIth respect to biology, evolution is the unifying principle. As previously mentioned, it allows all disciplines to be unified and without it, no understanding of biology could be even remotely complete. It is the foundation of biology in the sense that everything in biology refers back to it. 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Quote:What is the engine for

Quote:

What is the engine for evolution

Engine?

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote:Quote:What

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

What is the engine for evolution

Engine?

I think he means things like genetic drift, gene-hopping, selection pressure, population dispersion, and so on -- the mechanisms by which genotypes change and diverge.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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deludedgod wrote:Quote:When

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

When I first read the thing about plasmodium falciparum I thought it was a pretty interesting one, picturing a more physical  tube/valve development but it seems to be more of a chemical setup - more of an inter-cellular drug/metabolite transporter? I know, again with time frames, it may be hard for us to observe anything more physical but are there any examples of physical development?

The case I was referring to was the development of a new ABC-transporter. ABC transporters are part of a superfamily of P-type ATPase pumps. This particular pump allowed the pathogen to become resistant to chloroquine by pumping it out of the cytoplasm. This was an evolutionary change brought on by natural selection of the malarial parasite in response to the employment of chloroquine as a drug to treat malaria. It's evolution was the result of a duplication, an event where a superfluous copy of a gene is created. This allows one or the other copy to be selected for a role different to that of its sister. This is called a paralogy.

Quote:

DNA replication science surely isn't 'based' on evolution theory as such

You misunderstand what I mean. It is possible to study specific biological subjects, such as the mechanisms of a replisome, as you mentioned, outside the context of evolution. However, it is not possible to have a meaningful or coherent understanding of biology without evolution, because evolution is the unifying theory of biology. In the same way as it is possible to study both quantum mechanics and relativity in the context of the fact that no unifying principle exists between them, but this produces a disjointed understanding. WIth respect to biology, evolution is the unifying principle. As previously mentioned, it allows all disciplines to be unified and without it, no understanding of biology could be even remotely complete. It is the foundation of biology in the sense that everything in biology refers back to it. 

 

 

I think I can follow that part ok - but I didn't think that was an example that, without extrapolation, could apply to something along the lines of developing a new organ system. I mean - that IS an example of, I guess you could call it "microevolution". But am I being to typical in questioning whether we can use microevolution as evidence of macro evolution?

I seem to be quite talented at misunderstanding! But sincerely thanks for your patience.

So unifying is the same as foundational? Or is that just a small part of it?

Just to me an ... hypothesis?... that unifies other theories, surely is not neccessarily made any more true through the unification itself. (I think that makes sense..). But where you refering to it as such to demonstrate a different point?


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nigelTheBold wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

What is the engine for evolution

Engine?

I think he means things like genetic drift, gene-hopping, selection pressure, population dispersion, and so on -- the mechanisms by which genotypes change and diverge.

That sounds like what I meant, although I'm not even going to pretend to know what all of them mean/ how they worked.


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Quote:I think I can follow

Quote:

I think I can follow that part ok - but I didn't think that was an example that, without extrapolation, could apply to something along the lines of developing a new organ system. I mean - that IS an example of, I guess you could call it "microevolution". But am I being to typical in questioning whether we can use microevolution as evidence of macro evolution?

It appears that creationists are not the only ones with a talent for abuse of these terms. They were first coined by the geneticist Theodius Dobzhansky. They are used to refer to, in a very broad context, "evolution above the species level" and "within the species level". There is some confusion about this among non-scientists. These do not refer to process difference. Macroevolution can largely be regarded as a branch, or arm of evolutionary biology, one which studies general, or large-scale trends and patterns in evolutionary history that are indicated at the level of taxa. Some topics within this arm include the question "Are there any major trends in the history of life"? or "is there are characteristic rate of evolution, and does it in turn peg a limit on variational distribution?" The central component of evolutionary theory is that natural selection and changes in lineage account for both macroevolution and microevolution. This has been widely accepted since approximately 1930. There is no "chasm" that bridges the two concepts. The development of a new organ system, for example, can be explained in terms of developmental genetics, and the processes of homologous duplication and divergence and the recombination of modular developmental and genetic circuits and the selective pressuress applied to mutations of these modules. Exactly the same understanding can be applied to smaller scale phenotypic changes, those which occur in a shorter time frame within a lineage. To state that there is any process difference between the two is a continuum fallacy.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Scientist can't calculate the age of the earth

OH, for Fuck's Sake!  If you're going to spam the board with pages of HUGE FONTS and linked texts, at least have the decency to pick texts that have PARAGRAPHS instead of long run-on sentences.



Go live under the bridge, troll.



-HD


 

troll copy and paste man


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Quote:I probably am mistaken

Quote:

I probably am mistaken but is that not an example of biology being dependant on sex? I'm sorry I didn't read the essay - call me whatever but I just don't have the time to spend.

Actually, you are incorrect on that one - If you are talking scientifically about evolution, you would need to be precise. If you are talking about a science (in this case evolution) there is no requirement to have that level or precision. Whether you took me as talking scientifically or not is your viewpoint but that will not mean that there is any requirement for me to have conformed to those expectations. As the conversation becomes scientific of course there is more of a requirement to be precise but the fact stands that my usage, is correct.

And my point was that its easy enough for you to dismiss anything by saying there "isn't any doubt" but what are we supposed to do then? Just not talk about it because you said that? If I wanted to just read scientific journals I could but I find it better to discuss things with people, ask my own questions and hear their own ideas and explanations.

Well, there's no real point in me responding to any of this, is there?  You didn't read what I wrote, and so you have no idea what my last rebuttal was.  Do you think I just linked that essay for a good time?  Obviously, I wouldn't have linked it if the answer I gave you was complete without it, right?  So not only do you not know what my last answer was, but you're trying to rebut it.  Good thinking, Sherlock.

Why don't you actually read the essay, and then if you want to talk more, we can because you'll have a clue what I'm talking about.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:I

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I probably am mistaken but is that not an example of biology being dependant on sex? I'm sorry I didn't read the essay - call me whatever but I just don't have the time to spend.

Actually, you are incorrect on that one - If you are talking scientifically about evolution, you would need to be precise. If you are talking about a science (in this case evolution) there is no requirement to have that level or precision. Whether you took me as talking scientifically or not is your viewpoint but that will not mean that there is any requirement for me to have conformed to those expectations. As the conversation becomes scientific of course there is more of a requirement to be precise but the fact stands that my usage, is correct.

And my point was that its easy enough for you to dismiss anything by saying there "isn't any doubt" but what are we supposed to do then? Just not talk about it because you said that? If I wanted to just read scientific journals I could but I find it better to discuss things with people, ask my own questions and hear their own ideas and explanations.

Well, there's no real point in me responding to any of this, is there?  You didn't read what I wrote, and so you have no idea what my last rebuttal was.  Do you think I just linked that essay for a good time?  Obviously, I wouldn't have linked it if the answer I gave you was complete without it, right?  So not only do you not know what my last answer was, but you're trying to rebut it.  Good thinking, Sherlock.

Why don't you actually read the essay, and then if you want to talk more, we can because you'll have a clue what I'm talking about.

 

 

I'm not making any friends here it seems... aren't I great at first impressions? I know it is pretty ignorant me not reading what you linked to, and I am sorry if I sounded dismissive but it is a lot of content and I haven't got a lot of time to be on here so I just don't have time to read it.

Also it did seem that you provided your own summary of what it was saying, which is what I based the  "biology being dependant on sex" statement on. 

It's also not a good practice for me to be telling you you are wrong in the last post but hopefully you will agree that I wasn't as much in the wrong as it was made out.

 

And I'm sure if that essay was inexistant you would find a way pf communicating your points to me so that way I might still "have a clue" what you are talking about.


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deludedgod wrote:Quote:I

deludedgod wrote:

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I think I can follow that part ok - but I didn't think that was an example that, without extrapolation, could apply to something along the lines of developing a new organ system. I mean - that IS an example of, I guess you could call it "microevolution". But am I being to typical in questioning whether we can use microevolution as evidence of macro evolution?

It appears that creationists are not the only ones with a talent for abuse of these terms. They were first coined by the geneticist Theodius Dobzhansky. They are used to refer to, in a very broad context, "evolution above the species level" and "within the species level". There is some confusion about this among non-scientists. These do not refer to process difference. Macroevolution can largely be regarded as a branch, or arm of evolutionary biology, one which studies general, or large-scale trends and patterns in evolutionary history that are indicated at the level of taxa. Some topics within this arm include the question "Are there any major trends in the history of life"? or "is there are characteristic rate of evolution, and does it in turn peg a limit on variational distribution?" The central component of evolutionary theory is that natural selection and changes in lineage account for both macroevolution and microevolution. This has been widely accepted since approximately 1930. There is no "chasm" that bridges the two concepts. The development of a new organ system, for example, can be explained in terms of developmental genetics, and the processes of homologous duplication and divergence and the recombination of modular developmental and genetic circuits and the selective pressuress applied to mutations of these modules. Exactly the same understanding can be applied to smaller scale phenotypic changes, those which occur in a shorter time frame within a lineage. To state that there is any process difference between the two is a continuum fallacy.

Yeah I reckoned I was using 'naughty' words there... But I still think there is a more distinct difference between chemical imbalances due to cell mutations and the development of more complex systems such as an eye. Also the processes you mentioned 9€if my attempted understanding of them is correct) surely would throw up a LOT more ineffective/"dead end" organs than effective ones but we don't really see many of these.

Plus, how does the development of an eye (for example) agree with evolution through natural selection? (That is why I was looking for the "engines" (mechanisms) of evolution earlier - to see if there is a mechanism this would agree more with)

 

You ignored the other parts of my post Sad


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Quote: But I still think

But I still think there is a more distinct difference between chemical imbalances due to cell mutations and the development of more complex systems such as an eye

"Chemical imbalance", "cell mutation"? These are meaningless terms. The case I refer to is the generation of a novel P-type ATPase due to selection pressure of the use of the drug chloroquine. Cells do not "mutate". DNA, the central hereditary molecule of biological life (Deoxyribonucleic acid), is what changes on the basis of random mutations to which selection pressures are applied.

The principle upon which a novel P-type ATPase is generated in response to the employment of chloroquine is identical to the processes which generate more complex biological structures such as the eye. In multicellular organisms, because there is a more complex pattern of what is referred to as combinatorial control, there is greater opportunity for innovation. It's funny that you mention the eye since this serves as one such example. I can go through some basics of the evolutionary biology behind the generation of novel structures in multicellular organisms.

One striking result of combinatorial control and AP [anterior-posterior axis] gradients is that a  single GRP [Gene regulatory protein] can initiate the transcription of multiple proteins. Even more striking is the suggestion that it might be able to initiate the formation of an entire organ. One example of this is the protein called Ey, called eyeless, which triggers a battery of genes responsible for eye development. This was strikingly demonstrated when it was transiently activated in a cell line destined to form the leg of the Drosophila. The researchers found a perfectly formed Drosophila eye growing on the leg of the fly.

Obviously in this description some terms must be clarified. An AP gradient refers to the gradient of concentrations of distinct GRP (gene regulatory proteins) within certain sections of an embryonic precursor called a syncytium. It is formed by a large group of nuclei in a common cytoplasm. A cascade of GRP operate on different concetrations depending on their position along the AP, giving rise to distinct transcriptomes [expression patterns] along the cell. This is the precursor to embryonic development. These tend to be arranged in "stripes" which can be switched around by substituting the GRP-motif on one gene for another, which gives effects like this one below:

Ultimately, the point to take away is that the genomes of multicellular Eukaryota are made up of many distinct modules of genes, with their distinct regulatory regions and offerings for combinatorial control. The arrangement, sequence, and position of these modules, along with the intron divisions along a sequence, allows for modular innvoations and reshufflings, creating new and novel combinations of proteins, expression patterns, and biological structures. This principle can be extended from understanding how, for example a new protein might form via homology and recombination, to, for example, how the generation of a novel expression pattern might generate a new biological structure, or refine a previous one.

Plus, how does the development of an eye (for example) agree with evolution through natural selection?

You are obviously very confused. Prior to this point, we have been discussing the molecular mechanisms which describe the manner in which innovatiosn are generated at the molecular level and are responsible for phenotypic changes. Natural selection is the principle which describes how these innovative changes may be propogated throughout a lineage, since it is the process by which changes in gene frequencies are brought on by selection pressure. Any advantegous phenotypic change will cause a change in gene frequencies over time within a population. This is the basis for the development of complex structures in a gradual process via incremental phenotypic changes. Evolution can be understood broadly as the study of two things: The first is mutation, the generation of innovation and the molecular mechanisms which are the basis of phenotypic changes, which generate variations in a population. The second is selection, which describes how the frequencies of these different variable genes (called alleles) may spread throughout a lineage, hence generating the effect which we call "descent with modification", the change in the appeareance of the members of a lineage over generations.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Quote:I'm not making any

Quote:

I'm not making any friends here it seems... aren't I great at first impressions? I know it is pretty ignorant me not reading what you linked to, and I am sorry if I sounded dismissive but it is a lot of content and I haven't got a lot of time to be on here so I just don't have time to read it.

Also it did seem that you provided your own summary of what it was saying, which is what I based the  "biology being dependant on sex" statement on. 

It's also not a good practice for me to be telling you you are wrong in the last post but hopefully you will agree that I wasn't as much in the wrong as it was made out.

 

And I'm sure if that essay was inexistant you would find a way pf communicating your points to me so that way I might still "have a clue" what you are talking about.

You're right.  You're not making a good impression.  You came here asking for knowledge.  It was given to you, and you refused it.  When this was pointed out, you insinuate that I ought to waste my precious time retyping something I've already typed once simply because you'd like it condensed into a one minute summary.

I'm sorry, kiddo, but your questions don't have answers that fit on bumper stickers.  I'm happy to help you understand, but you've got to do your homework.  You are quite mistaken on a number of levels.  For comparison, you should note that I have at this moment no less than seven detailed books on evolutionary biology and sexual reproduction.  That's what I've read only this year.  I'm not trying to tell you how smart I am.  I'm trying to demonstrate to you how ridiculous it is that you would expect to understand such a complicated subject from a couple of posts on a message board.

The essays I linked are a summary.  I summarized at least four books in less than twenty typed pages.  I'm sorry that I can't reduce a science that takes years of study down much further.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:You do

Hambydammit wrote:

You do know that gravity is a theory, right?

 

Gravity is a law though, right? 


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Quote:Gravity is a law

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Gravity is a law though, right?

Both. The law is a generalized universal statement about Gravitational fields:

F=GMmr^-2

The theory is the model postulated to explain the observations.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod

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Quote:

Gravity is a law though, right?

Both. The law is a generalized universal statement about Gravitational fields:

F=GMmr^-2

The theory is the model postulated to explain the observations.

So phenomena such as evolution and plate tectonics can never be laws because they take too long to observe, right? 

Pardon my ignorance, I'm a liberal arts student through and through.  Perhaps I would better understand this in haiku form. 


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Quote:So phenomena such as

Quote:

So phenomena such as evolution and plate tectonics can never be laws because they take too long to observe, right? 

This is ignorance of the scientific method. Science is rarely about direct observation. Evolution fulfills testable predictions, all of them, in fact. Most things investigated by modern science are either too small to see, unable to be directly observed, or descriptions of natural history of events. As such, the bulk of modern science constitutes testing predictions made by theories. From an epistemological standpoint, this means that evolution is on no worse footing than anything else. Modern science is about theories and models fulfilling testable predictions. However, "evolution" is more than just a description of the history of life on Earth. It is a description of a continual and on-going process in real time that can be examined by population geneticists and ecologists. To state that it takes too long to observe is once again a continuum fallacy.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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deludedgod wrote: But I

deludedgod wrote:

But I still think there is a more distinct difference between chemical imbalances due to cell mutations and the development of more complex systems such as an eye

"Chemical imbalance", "cell mutation"? These are meaningless terms. The case I refer to is the generation of a novel P-type ATPase due to selection pressure of the use of the drug chloroquine. Cells do not "mutate". DNA, the central hereditary molecule of biological life (Deoxyribonucleic acid), is what changes on the basis of random mutations to which selection pressures are applied.

The principle upon which a novel P-type ATPase is generated in response to the employment of chloroquine is identical to the processes which generate more complex biological structures such as the eye. In multicellular organisms, because there is a more complex pattern of what is referred to as combinatorial control, there is greater opportunity for innovation. It's funny that you mention the eye since this serves as one such example. I can go through some basics of the evolutionary biology behind the generation of novel structures in multicellular organisms.

One striking result of combinatorial control and AP [anterior-posterior axis] gradients is that a  single GRP [Gene regulatory protein] can initiate the transcription of multiple proteins. Even more striking is the suggestion that it might be able to initiate the formation of an entire organ. One example of this is the protein called Ey, called eyeless, which triggers a battery of genes responsible for eye development. This was strikingly demonstrated when it was transiently activated in a cell line destined to form the leg of the Drosophila. The researchers found a perfectly formed Drosophila eye growing on the leg of the fly.

Obviously in this description some terms must be clarified. An AP gradient refers to the gradient of concentrations of distinct GRP (gene regulatory proteins) within certain sections of an embryonic precursor called a syncytium. It is formed by a large group of nuclei in a common cytoplasm. A cascade of GRP operate on different concetrations depending on their position along the AP, giving rise to distinct transcriptomes [expression patterns] along the cell. This is the precursor to embryonic development. These tend to be arranged in "stripes" which can be switched around by substituting the GRP-motif on one gene for another, which gives effects like this one below:

Ultimately, the point to take away is that the genomes of multicellular Eukaryota are made up of many distinct modules of genes, with their distinct regulatory regions and offerings for combinatorial control. The arrangement, sequence, and position of these modules, along with the intron divisions along a sequence, allows for modular innvoations and reshufflings, creating new and novel combinations of proteins, expression patterns, and biological structures. This principle can be extended from understanding how, for example a new protein might form via homology and recombination, to, for example, how the generation of a novel expression pattern might generate a new biological structure, or refine a previous one.

Plus, how does the development of an eye (for example) agree with evolution through natural selection?

You are obviously very confused. Prior to this point, we have been discussing the molecular mechanisms which describe the manner in which innovatiosn are generated at the molecular level and are responsible for phenotypic changes. Natural selection is the principle which describes how these innovative changes may be propogated throughout a lineage, since it is the process by which changes in gene frequencies are brought on by selection pressure. Any advantegous phenotypic change will cause a change in gene frequencies over time within a population. This is the basis for the development of complex structures in a gradual process via incremental phenotypic changes. Evolution can be understood broadly as the study of two things: The first is mutation, the generation of innovation and the molecular mechanisms which are the basis of phenotypic changes, which generate variations in a population. The second is selection, which describes how the frequencies of these different variable genes (called alleles) may spread throughout a lineage, hence generating the effect which we call "descent with modification", the change in the appeareance of the members of a lineage over generations.

 

Ok - I don't think I'm going to get the wording right but yes, the "chemical imbalance" meant the protein imbalance/changes and the "cell mutation" meant the DNA alteration that effectively caused it. (It should be pointed out that both terms are still meaningful - though I would say chemical imbalance wasn't quite right in this context- and cell mutation IS a used" phrase, even if it isn't neccessarily 100% accurate).

I know I'm changing my question but I have for most of this thread been trying to angle more at the larger alterations.

 

 

 

Surely an eye, before it works, is no more than a source of infection and weakness and thus will be more detrimental to any creature developing it. As a result, in my ignorant way, it looks like this would conflict with the principle of evolution due to natural selection.

 


And you (again!!!!) ignored my other points! They probably are stupid like the rest of the posts but you might as well tell me where I'm going wrong.

So (from waaay above) you think unifying is the same as foundational? Or is that just a small part of it?

Also the processes you mentioned (if my attempted understanding of them is correct) surely would throw up a LOT more ineffective/"dead end" organs than effective ones but we don't really see many of these... Do you know why that is?

 


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deludedgod wrote:Quote:So

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

So phenomena such as evolution and plate tectonics can never be laws because they take too long to observe, right? 

This is ignorance of the scientific method. Science is rarely about direct observation. Evolution fulfills testable predictions, all of them, in fact. Most things investigated by modern science are either too small to see, unable to be directly observed, or descriptions of natural history of events. As such, the bulk of modern science constitutes testing predictions made by theories. From an epistemological standpoint, this means that evolution is on no worse footing than anything else. Modern science is about theories and models fulfilling testable predictions. However, "evolution" is more than just a description of the history of life on Earth. It is a description of a continual and on-going process in real time that can be examined by population geneticists and ecologists. To state that it takes too long to observe is once again a continuum fallacy.

Well... its probably different to compare not being able to fully observe evolution over a long time frame and not being able to observe atomic interaction due to the physical scale...

And if my limited knowledge is correct it still is surely bad scientific practice to extrapolate.

 

Is the strength of the theory of evolution partially to do with a lack of other explanation?


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Quote:Surely an eye, before


Surely an eye, before it works, is no more than a source of infection and weakness and thus will be more detrimental to any creature developing it.

This is a fallacious argument. As a fallacious argument, it is often referred to as "irreducible complexity". The argument largely rests on ignorance of the processes by which biological structures are generated under natural selection. We have established, firstly, that the proteins are homologous and hence arose by means of duplication and divergence. The argument you make states that biological structures only have advantages as finished products and are deleterious prior to that. This is fallacious because the manner in which biological structures are formed under mutations and descent with modification does not work like "part adding". Evolution is not an assembly line being directed towards a finished product. For example, When homologous duplication takes place, a not so uncommon phenomenon is called double-deleterious incapacitation, that is if the homologous copy does not form a psuedogene, then often, since neither is being heavily conserved by virtue of the fact that a copy can assume the function in question, if a homologous gene had multiple functions such as if it is a gene command locus, then if both copies suffer a deleterious mutation that forces certain functions of the locus into incapacitation, then suddenly both copies are conserved, and so the homologous gene is propogated and cannot become a psuedogene. A molecular biologist who was naive might conclude that the system was "irreducible" by virtue of the fact that both parts are required, but homologous duplication contributes the bulk of evolutionary novelty, and such irreducibility is an illusion because the system was never working towards the current system in the first place.We should understand this in the context of duplicative divergence in the context in

The recombination of genetic material can extend far above the level of single proteins or domains. Indeed, enormous chunks of genetic material may be recombined. Hence, when examining homologies, we can examine relationships that go up to the quaternary level, caused by large order duplications or recombination. Indeed, we are often tempted to think of evolutionary increment as “adding parts” or something of that like. This is a very primitive design-style worldview of looking at evolution. Indeed, the process can add parts and delete parts via these mechanisms, but this is a rare occurrence (begging the question of what a single “part” is anyway). Many complex biomolecular structures can generated by the recombination of pre-existing structures into a new role, which is a rapid-order mutation, instead of incrementation to generate the whole structure in question, incrementing generates some of the underlying mechanisms of the structure in question, and then these underlying protein structures may recombine to rapidly form the product structure. If only two or three pre-existing major components are required to generate the new and supposedly “irreducible” function, then it can be generated by what is called exaptation which is, as described, a process by which major structures (which may have no relevance per se to the function which they recombine to form) recombine and create something, which, when broken down into its fundamental constituents, appears irreducible. Thus, in your example, you are totally incorrent in stating that the precursor entities towards what we recognize as the eye are deleterious, because organic structures result from the preexisting structures (exaptive mutations). These structures have useful functions under selection in turn, independant of the functioning of an eye. Your argument is based on eschatology. Evolution is not eschatological. There is no "working towards" the eye. There is selection pressure all the way, even if that selection pressure does not pertain to vision.

Hence, we may conclude, that instead of this backward examination (what is the effect on X if we remove a part?), which presupposes an eschatological nature of evolution whereby the system works "towards" this goal by means of "adding parts", we view evolution, not being escathological, as using exaptation to recombine pre-existing functions to create the new mechanism. When we subdivide this not by its functional homologous relationship to other mechanisms, but rather by an arbitrary definition of a "part" is where the fallacy occurs, and the illusion of Irreducibility is generated. With respect to the eye, for example, the original precursors of vision had nothing to do with sight. They originate from light sensitive cells in prokaryota with different functions. The light sensitive proteins that are responsible for the signal transduction that occurs in the optic nerve is a descendant of a protein/cofactor set that was originally responsible for photosynthesis.



"chemical imbalance" meant the protein imbalance/changes

I presume you mean homologous duplication. Use correct terms or you will be babbling.


So (from waaay above) you think unifying is the same as foundational? Or is that just a small part of it?


Evolution is foundational to biology not because one needs to refer to it when studying, say, replisomes or transcriptomics, although one can link the two, it is foundational because evoloution explains everything in biology, everything refers back to it, and everything can be linked, under it. It is the grand unifying theory of biology, in the same manner as atomic theory is the unifying theory of chemistry.


surely would throw up a LOT more ineffective/"dead end" organs than effective ones but we don't really see many of these... Do you know why that is?


You are incorrect. The reason for it is because of gene conservation. Deleterious mutations are eliminated by natural selection, and neutral mutations do not change frequency under selective pressure. A biological structure like an organ can only be generated in the context of selective pressure acting on certain genes, over a long lineage. Evolution is not a random process. The generation of biological structures requires the pressure of selection over a population to alter gene frequences. Indeed, when selection is relaxed, these structures will tend to fall into disarray over time, because anything which is not under selective pressure will rapidly accumulate deleterious mutations and be destroyed. Evolution does not "throw up" deleterious biological structures. Large scale biological structures can only be generated by selective pressure. Thus, you are shooting yourself in the foot, and are obviously very confused.

The principle of conservation is that which is behind the molecular clock. The clock is a controversial idea, and it doesn't run for every gene and hence for every characteristic. But we do know that the clock runs for highly conserved genes, and I shall tell you why. This is why we use highly conserved genes as the basis of genetical studies of phylogenetic trees. For some genes, the clock does not run at a constant rate because the conservation of their sequences can change depending on what is being naturally selected for. This is a big problem. But a highly conserved gene such as H2 or 16S will never have this problem because they are so central to biological life, and so finely tuned, that most mutations will destroy them and hence the organism that holds them, and as such, the clock runs very slowly and it runs very constantly. This is why they are used as a "master clock" to ascertain the change in base pairs between organisms, which, together with our inferred understanding of the relationship between taxa from the fossil record, will tell us how distantly related two organisms are on the basis of the number of base pair substitutions which have resulted.

The other sort of gene for which we will want to use in phylogeny is that which has no conservation whatsoever, which mutates solely on the basis of random frequency. The problem with this is that such genes will mutate out of existence very quickly. There were several proponents of the intelligent design movement who claimed that traits like the Kreb cycle set were put in place as "dormant" before they were needed, shaped by the creator of the mechanism in question. They were forced to retract that claim after they were cornerned by mainstream science and it was pointed out that a gene which serves no function will mutate out of existence very quick. Notice I say "gene", not "DNA sequence". The two are not the same so don't confuse them. A special sequence of unconserved but also undiscarded sequences called fibrinopeptides, which are discarded during fibrinolysis, form the basis of a "master clock" which, together with highly conserved genes, will tell us the relationship between organisms based on the rate of change of sequence. These sequences have no conservation, but they also serve a function. They are unique in that this function does not depend on their amino acid sequence, and as such, they are tremendously important for phylogenetics.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Ali wrote:Well... its

Ali wrote:

Well... its probably different to compare not being able to fully observe evolution over a long time frame and not being able to observe atomic interaction due to the physical scale...

And if my limited knowledge is correct it still is surely bad scientific practice to extrapolate.

 

Is the strength of the theory of evolution partially to do with a lack of other explanation?

The same could be said for the theory of gravity, or the theory of thermodynamics. All theories are essentially the "last theory standing." All other competing hypothesis have fallen by the wayside, usually because they are contradicted by observed reality.

The strength of evolution is that it has made many predictions that were later supported by observation. The predictions have been in fields as far-ranging as ecology and microbiology and palaeontology and sociology and psychology. Although the long-term effects of evolution are only dramatic in the long run (hundreds or thousands of years), we can observe many of the results of those effects directly.

Also, the model of evolution through natural selection has produced a robust study within the field of information science. It turns out there is a mathematical underpinning for the process of evolution, not just as applied to biology, but applied to any mutable, selectable information system. From cellular automata to genetic algorithms, the model of evolution in an information science context has produced some phenomenal results.

No, it's not just that there is no alternative. It's that the so-far proposed alternatives to evolution through natural selection have been "disproven;" and it is also that the theory of evolution through natural selection has made many predictions about the real world, predictions which have been confirmed by observation. It has resulted in much greater knowledge and understanding of the world around us.

As with every theory in our scientific grab-bag of knowledge, it has survived because it is the best explanation we have so far. And honestly, it's one of the best, most-tested theories around.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Ali wrote:deludedgod

Ali wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

So phenomena such as evolution and plate tectonics can never be laws because they take too long to observe, right? 

This is ignorance of the scientific method. Science is rarely about direct observation. Evolution fulfills testable predictions, all of them, in fact. Most things investigated by modern science are either too small to see, unable to be directly observed, or descriptions of natural history of events. As such, the bulk of modern science constitutes testing predictions made by theories. From an epistemological standpoint, this means that evolution is on no worse footing than anything else. Modern science is about theories and models fulfilling testable predictions. However, "evolution" is more than just a description of the history of life on Earth. It is a description of a continual and on-going process in real time that can be examined by population geneticists and ecologists. To state that it takes too long to observe is once again a continuum fallacy.

Well... its probably different to compare not being able to fully observe evolution over a long time frame and not being able to observe atomic interaction due to the physical scale...

And if my limited knowledge is correct it still is surely bad scientific practice to extrapolate.

 

Is the strength of the theory of evolution partially to do with a lack of other explanation?

Your ignorance is astounding, but at least you admit to it... part of it.  Evolution can and has been observed.  It does not require a vast amount of time.  It is fallacious to believe that evolution requires a long time frame to be aparent.  Check out this thread, the appended article and then go and find the other articles that have existed where evolution is shown to have occurred, where it can be observed to occur and on rather small time scales.  Look to any virus or bacteria extant to see evolution virtually right before your eyes.  Just stop saying that evolution happens over a long time scale, too long of one to be observed; it just isn't true.

And the strength of the theory is not because there is no alternative explanation.  The strength of the theory is because it is capable of making 100% accurate predictions within its realm of explanation.  This is why gravity maintains as a theory.  It is not merely taken so seriously because there is no other theory that explains gravity, it is because the theory best explains gravity and makes perfect predictions based on the observable phenomena.  The Theory of Evolution is the compendium of evidence and laws that inform the foundation, and indeed constitute, the whole of biology as a science and is the main explanatory force behind the phenomena observed.  It has proved to be accurate when tested where other theories have failed the rigours of the scientific method.  This is how it is with all theories.  This is science.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:Ali

Thomathy wrote:

Ali wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

So phenomena such as evolution and plate tectonics can never be laws because they take too long to observe, right? 

This is ignorance of the scientific method. Science is rarely about direct observation. Evolution fulfills testable predictions, all of them, in fact. Most things investigated by modern science are either too small to see, unable to be directly observed, or descriptions of natural history of events. As such, the bulk of modern science constitutes testing predictions made by theories. From an epistemological standpoint, this means that evolution is on no worse footing than anything else. Modern science is about theories and models fulfilling testable predictions. However, "evolution" is more than just a description of the history of life on Earth. It is a description of a continual and on-going process in real time that can be examined by population geneticists and ecologists. To state that it takes too long to observe is once again a continuum fallacy.

Well... its probably different to compare not being able to fully observe evolution over a long time frame and not being able to observe atomic interaction due to the physical scale...

And if my limited knowledge is correct it still is surely bad scientific practice to extrapolate.

 

Is the strength of the theory of evolution partially to do with a lack of other explanation?

Your ignorance is astounding, but at least you admit to it... part of it.  Evolution can and has been observed.  It does not require a vast amount of time.  It is fallacious to believe that evolution requires a long time frame to be aparent.  Check out this thread, the appended article and then go and find the other articles that have existed where evolution is shown to have occurred, where it can be observed to occur and on rather small time scales.  Look to any virus or bacteria extant to see evolution virtually right before your eyes.  Just stop saying that evolution happens over a long time scale, too long of one to be observed; it just isn't true.

And the strength of the theory is not because there is no alternative explanation.  The strength of the theory is because it is capable of making 100% accurate predictions within its realm of explanation.  This is why gravity maintains as a theory.  It is not merely taken so seriously because there is no other theory that explains gravity, it is because the theory best explains gravity and makes perfect predictions based on the observable phenomena.  The Theory of Evolution is the compendium of evidence and laws that inform the foundation, and indeed constitute, the whole of biology as a science and is the main explanatory force behind the phenomena observed.  It has proved to be accurate when tested where other theories have failed the rigours of the scientific method.  This is how it is with all theories.  This is science.

 

Ok - now for me to make another friend (I'm tired)...

My ignorance is astounding? Tell me on what degree it astounds you that a 19yearold doen't understand the concepts behind evolution? To "astound" you this would have to be an unlikely event so do you think that the majority of people my age understand evolution?

I don't make any real claims of knowledge about evolution, or even the majority of scientific method- in fact, I claim the opposite, which I'm sure is more than most would do. So what "part" am I not claiming ignorance of?

Also - if someone has the piece of mind to ask questions about something they don't know (even if they come off a little rude, not reading the material some people give them *cough*) what is the problem with that?

 

 

I know I'm not very clear on my points - I'm still getting used to the terms - I know I say evolution is over a long timescale but that is because I mean any evolution that makes a substantial difference (substantial again not being a great scientific word - I'm thinking changes that would be enough to define a discernably "new" species (?) ).

Yes, we can clearly see the short term evolution of simple organisms, but its the longer term, more complex concepts that I still haven't quite grasped (not that I have "grasped" the short term stuff to any degree either I guess).

 

 

It is science, I agree.


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If I have to repeat myself

If I have to repeat myself one more time, I will put a bullet through my head. There is no process difference between marked changes in lineages over long periods of time, and the short term changes that are more easily observed due to timescales. To say so is a continuum fallacy. The same processes that generate genetic innovations under which selection pressure can be generated, recombination, modular shuffling and the rearrangement of genetic circuits under homologous duplication and divergence. These processes are just as responsible for the creation of a new protein as they are for the existence of a beating heart. It is merely that in the latter process is the result of a greater number of mutations and the recombination of different preexisting structures, and hence is the result of a longer application of selective pressure. If you take two populations, and split them under the application of distinct and different selective pressures (thus generating a cladogenestic split), the longer you wait, the more marked genotype and phenotype divergence you will observe. This is the very principle upon which all phylogeny is based. To keep thinking in the fallacious and silly way you are, that is, by means of conjuring a nonexistent chasm between genetic changes and innovations and large scale biological structures, is once again a continuum fallacy. No matter how intricate and complex, everything in biology, from an eye to a flegalla to a finger to a brain, can be explained in terms of genes, genetic circuits, modular sequences of DNA. The innovations within these sequences based on random mutations which are then selected for or against based on fitness of the variation expressed in terms of phenotypes, will therefore determine the propogation of an allele and so a phenotyptic trait. This process can explain any phenotyptic trait based on genetics (hereditary traits).

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Ali wrote:Thomathy wrote:Ali

Ali wrote:

Thomathy wrote:

Ali wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

So phenomena such as evolution and plate tectonics can never be laws because they take too long to observe, right? 

This is ignorance of the scientific method. Science is rarely about direct observation. Evolution fulfills testable predictions, all of them, in fact. Most things investigated by modern science are either too small to see, unable to be directly observed, or descriptions of natural history of events. As such, the bulk of modern science constitutes testing predictions made by theories. From an epistemological standpoint, this means that evolution is on no worse footing than anything else. Modern science is about theories and models fulfilling testable predictions. However, "evolution" is more than just a description of the history of life on Earth. It is a description of a continual and on-going process in real time that can be examined by population geneticists and ecologists. To state that it takes too long to observe is once again a continuum fallacy.

Well... its probably different to compare not being able to fully observe evolution over a long time frame and not being able to observe atomic interaction due to the physical scale...

And if my limited knowledge is correct it still is surely bad scientific practice to extrapolate.

 

Is the strength of the theory of evolution partially to do with a lack of other explanation?

Your ignorance is astounding, but at least you admit to it... part of it.  Evolution can and has been observed.  It does not require a vast amount of time.  It is fallacious to believe that evolution requires a long time frame to be aparent.  Check out this thread, the appended article and then go and find the other articles that have existed where evolution is shown to have occurred, where it can be observed to occur and on rather small time scales.  Look to any virus or bacteria extant to see evolution virtually right before your eyes.  Just stop saying that evolution happens over a long time scale, too long of one to be observed; it just isn't true.

And the strength of the theory is not because there is no alternative explanation.  The strength of the theory is because it is capable of making 100% accurate predictions within its realm of explanation.  This is why gravity maintains as a theory.  It is not merely taken so seriously because there is no other theory that explains gravity, it is because the theory best explains gravity and makes perfect predictions based on the observable phenomena.  The Theory of Evolution is the compendium of evidence and laws that inform the foundation, and indeed constitute, the whole of biology as a science and is the main explanatory force behind the phenomena observed.  It has proved to be accurate when tested where other theories have failed the rigours of the scientific method.  This is how it is with all theories.  This is science.

 

Ok - now for me to make another friend (I'm tired)...

My ignorance is astounding? Tell me on what degree it astounds you that a 19yearold doen't understand the concepts behind evolution? To "astound" you this would have to be an unlikely event so do you think that the majority of people my age understand evolution?

I don't make any real claims of knowledge about evolution, or even the majority of scientific method- in fact, I claim the opposite, which I'm sure is more than most would do. So what "part" am I not claiming ignorance of?

Also - if someone has the piece of mind to ask questions about something they don't know (even if they come off a little rude, not reading the material some people give them *cough*) what is the problem with that?

 

 

I know I'm not very clear on my points - I'm still getting used to the terms - I know I say evolution is over a long timescale but that is because I mean any evolution that makes a substantial difference (substantial again not being a great scientific word - I'm thinking changes that would be enough to define a discernably "new" species (?) ).

Yes, we can clearly see the short term evolution of simple organisms, but its the longer term, more complex concepts that I still haven't quite grasped (not that I have "grasped" the short term stuff to any degree either I guess).

 

 

It is science, I agree.

In fact, I don't expect you to understand evolution and I really doubt that many 19 year olds know much about it.  I'm 23 and I know diddly squat about evolution.  DG could run virtually limitless circles around me with his knowledge and expertise.  I know all about the scientific method.  I know well what constitutes a theory and I am aware of the vast support in favour of the current Theory of Evolution and I can point to it.  I can take grasp of a journal article read it and even understand most of it.  I can even hold a book in my hands and perform the same tasks.  I'm not demeaning you for asking questions, but can you please leave your presumptions at the door?  They make it difficult to even begin to answer the meaningful questions you're asking.  Read what DG wrote above.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Age is no excuse. I first

Age is no excuse. I first read Douglas J Futuyma's Evolutionary Biology (the current edition being the standard textbook in university courses on evolutionary biology) when I was 17.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Ali,Here's a basic

Ali,

Here's a basic walkthrough of evolution (DG, I apologize if my simplified version gives you the willies):

1. Does DNA change during replication? Yes, it does. There are occasionally transcription errors and the "copy" of the DNA is slightly different from the original. Creationists may try to claim that all mutations are harmful/immediately lethal to the organism but this is untrue. Most are neutral and some are actually beneficial to the organism.

2. Are animals that are better suited to their environments survive more easily and reproduce more than their less adapted brethren? Yes, they do. The animals that are better suited to gather food/hunt/dig burrows/whatever are more likely to survive and reproduce, passing on their genes and their genetic traits.

Therefore, animal populations will vary somewhat in characteristics (due to mutation) and those better adapted will spread their genes, causing the populations to change over time.


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Oui oui

deludedgod wrote:

Age is no excuse. I first read Douglas J Futuyma's Evolutionary Biology (the current edition being the standard textbook in university courses on evolutionary biology) when I was 17.

 

Yeah, but Biology is your interest... Mine is more engineering related but I like to look into other subjects too - and I warn you that biology (apart from languages and... now i think about it, possibly chemisty) is my weakest subject.

Although I think that age IS an excuse (as it is limiting), my point was more that it shouldn't be surprising that I don't know, as most people, <i>especially</i> at my age, don't.

 

Sorry I have been not very responsive these last few days - I haven't really had a break (nor will I for the next few days) but I'm not running off on you all - honest.

 

And please don't put a bullet through your head  - Who would I be able to ask stupid questions to then?

 

Ali

 

 


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Ali wrote:deludedgod

Ali wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

Age is no excuse. I first read Douglas J Futuyma's Evolutionary Biology (the current edition being the standard textbook in university courses on evolutionary biology) when I was 17.

Yeah, but Biology is your interest... Mine is more engineering related but I like to look into other subjects too - and I warn you that biology (apart from languages and... now i think about it, possibly chemistry) is my weakest subject.

Although I think that age IS an excuse (as it is limiting), my point was more that it shouldn't be surprising that I don't know, as most people, <i>especially</i> at my age, don't.

I think the problem that they are having with you is that this is a relatively simple subject. You don't seem to be able to comprehend the answers you are being given.

I'll try to simplify this for the lay person.

evolution: In any given population children are born. The strong ones who can find food and show worth, breed more than the weak ones. Therefor the strong ones continue to exist and the weak ones die out.

This system functions on many levels in biology, chicks in the nest being pushed out because they are the runt. Plants that are better at shading light under themselves so that nothing else can grow under them taking there nutrients do better than there siblings that have smaller leaves. All of these things are observable in a short time frame. It can be observed in fruit fly easily because many generations happen in just one year.

Understand that these are all oversimplifications dependent on a single situation because that is what you seem to be asking for.

 

I hope this helps

bodhi


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Quote:This system has been

Quote:
This system has been deviated from in humans because we let the weak and stupid live and breed. So understanding how evolution is progressing in the human population is much more complicated.

Careful with this one.  This is a speculation among some scientists, and there is substantial debate over whether or not intentional breeding manipulation can be considered real deviation.  After all, evolution gave us the intelligence to do it.  The exercise of our evolutionary survival advantage has increased the survival rate.  By every definition of evolution I've ever read, this fits.  Placing an arbitrary judgment of survival based on human value judgments is a philosophical error, since genes do not operate under our own philosophical paradigms.

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote:Careful

Hambydammit wrote:

Careful with this one.  This is a speculation among some scientists, and there is substantial debate over whether or not intentional breeding manipulation can be considered real deviation.  After all, evolution gave us the intelligence to do it.  The exercise of our evolutionary survival advantage has increased the survival rate.  By every definition of evolution I've ever read, this fits.  Placing an arbitrary judgment of survival based on human value judgments is a philosophical error, since genes do not operate under our own philosophical paradigms.

 

 

That didn't come out right. I was trying to differentiate between the actual evolutionary equation and the kindergarten version I was utilizing as a kind of disclaimer.

The wording of the last part kept me up last night. I realized that I was setting myself up by trying to make a simplification of an enormously complex topic (evolution in a controlled breeding environment). I wonder how many variables are added or subtracted in such a case. Now there's a complex topic for ya... I suspect the evolution equation would stay the same with the valued traits becoming the variant. Although one could say that the valued traits are always the variable. In which case there is no deviation from the original system.

 Oh well..., I guess I'll go get some ice cream now.

bodhi


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Hambydammit wrote:  

Hambydammit wrote:

 

  Placing an arbitrary judgment of survival based on human value judgments is a philosophical error, since genes do not operate under our own philosophical paradigms.

 

 I was going to respond to this part of it but I'm a little confused. please clarify.

I understand and agree with the deviation part of your statement.

I also understand that because genes are pattern dependent  they have no philosophical processes.

Unless you thought that by using the word "stupid" I was making some kind of judgment, but that would be an assumption on your part. I do think the word "simple" would have been lest open to interpolation in that case.

bodhi


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Hambydammit wrote:Careful

Hambydammit wrote:

Careful with this one.  This is a speculation among some scientists, and there is substantial debate over whether or not intentional breeding manipulation can be considered real deviation.  After all, evolution gave us the intelligence to do it.  The exercise of our evolutionary survival advantage has increased the survival rate.  By every definition of evolution I've ever read, this fits.  Placing an arbitrary judgment of survival based on human value judgments is a philosophical error, since genes do not operate under our own philosophical paradigms.

I'd like to point out that this is just a specific example of a general principle. In the classic "wolf and rabbit" scenario, when the wolf population is down (selection pressure for the rabbits is reduced), the rabbit population is able to support "weaker" (less-suited) members. When the selection pressure increases on the rabbits, the less-suited ones are culled. This cycle of more genetic diversity in a population to less genetic diversity in a population is part of what drives speciation.

Also, I've always wondered if the amount of genetic drift during the easy years doesn't allow for genetic combinations to form that require a less-suited intermediate step, leading to some of these so-called "irreducibly complex" phenotypes.

In any case, what humans are going through right now is not qualitatively different than any population goes through during periods of lessened selection pressure. Considering that many of our genetically-unsuited individuals will not or are unable to breed, it's no real loss to us, other than in resources.

At least, that's my meager understanding.

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Hambydammit wrote:I

Hambydammit wrote:

I summarized at least four books in less than twenty typed pages.  I'm sorry that I can't reduce a science that takes years of study down much further.

 

 

Then try harder, you slacker!

 

 

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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Quote:I'd like to point out

Quote:

I'd like to point out that this is just a specific example of a general principle. In the classic "wolf and rabbit" scenario, when the wolf population is down (selection pressure for the rabbits is reduced), the rabbit population is able to support "weaker" (less-suited) members. When the selection pressure increases on the rabbits, the less-suited ones are culled. This cycle of more genetic diversity in a population to less genetic diversity in a population is part of what drives speciation.

Also, I've always wondered if the amount of genetic drift during the easy years doesn't allow for genetic combinations to form that require a less-suited intermediate step, leading to some of these so-called "irreducibly complex" phenotypes.

In any case, what humans are going through right now is not qualitatively different than any population goes through during periods of lessened selection pressure. Considering that many of our genetically-unsuited individuals will not or are unable to breed, it's no real loss to us, other than in resources.

At least, that's my meager understanding.

Well spoken.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Well, did anybody

Well, did anybody observe the evolution? Can we watch how live is coming from the ocean, evolving first into a fish, then into a reptile and finally into a human being. No, of course we can't see the evolution in front of our houses, we can't see it on TV or through a microscope or a telescope. All we can see are little changes. A butterfly is changing his colors over a few years. But nobody could see a fish evolving to a reptile or a monkey turning into a man. Do you know what that tells me? It tells me that atheists are believers too. They only believe something different than christians do. Sometimes they even believe into an scientological achievement or a proof for evolution that still has to come. But they believe it. Everybody is free to believe what he wants. But nobody should believe that his believe decides what is fact and what not.

 

 


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Alexander Sawadsky

Alexander Sawadsky wrote:

Well, did anybody observe the evolution? Can we watch how live is coming from the ocean, evolving first into a fish, then into a reptile and finally into a human being. No, of course we can't see the evolution in front of our houses, we can't see it on TV or through a microscope or a telescope. All we can see are little changes. A butterfly is changing his colors over a few years. But nobody could see a fish evolving to a reptile or a monkey turning into a man. Do you know what that tells me? It tells me that atheists are believers too. They only believe something different than christians do. Sometimes they even believe into an scientological achievement or a proof for evolution that still has to come. But they believe it. Everybody is free to believe what he wants. But nobody should believe that his believe decides what is fact and what not.

Dear heart, what your post proves is that you dont' have the first clue about what solid, real evidence evolution by natural selection has going for it. No doubt you are not aware of these mountains of evidence because you won't look for yourself, but prefer to slurp up the ichor spewed by the likes of Ken Ham.


 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray