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Misconceptions about Evolution

KittenKoder

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Okay .. Editec wasn't right about the domestic canines, even I knew that, however it does demonstrate a simple fact that many who are against evolution (in other words those who fear science making them more intelligent) is that evolution isn't something where a new species just 'appears'. Minor changes occur in the primary species (many of which are undetectable in fossil or even mummified remains) increasing it's chance of survival. Eventually the minor changes alter it's appearance and soon after it's breeding compatibility. However, as shown in Alligators and Crocodiles, the changes in appearance may even be less noticeable than other changes in their physiology. After the changes occur though whether the species actually leaves behind evidence or not depends on if the first generations survive. Typically for every thousand members of a species we will find the remains of one or two, not every single one of them. This also depends greatly on what causes their death and where the death is. Some ancient species only vary by size, such as the branch of the dragonflies and even cockroaches (which are evolving faster each decade now). However, it is far too complex to just say that 'such' evolved from 'such'.
 
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N4mddissent

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Let's provide some complementary understanding now;

1. Common Ancestry
This idea has been confirmed with beyond any reasonable doubt by genetic studies and DNA comparison.

N4, common dna markers merely indicate that we have genetic similarities; all it means is that we were built with the same fundamental building blocks. I would be surprised if we didn't have shared characteristics.
I've heard this argument but it doesn't explain vestigial dna similarities. For example it doesn't explain retroviral dna insertion markers. These are used as genetic markers as well. Retroviruses reproduce by inserting their dna in host cells, therefore changing them to reproduce new viruses. The process is not perfect. Sometimes, a portion of the viral dna will instead get incorporated into the host dna. If the broken portion of viral dna is useless, then it is also harmless. If this happens in a germ cell, then the portion of viral dna that has become incorporated into the host dna will be passed on in the host's offspring. Now, if two individuals have the exact same segment of viral dna from the exact same virus incorporated into the exact same place in their genome, that is incredibly strong evidence for common ancestry. The only other explanation is that separately an ancestor of each just by chance happened to get infected with the exact same retrovirus, which, coincidentally, happened to have a reproduction error that just by chance happened to cause the incorporation of the exact same broken portion of the virus' dna to be added to the host's dna, amazingly, in the exact same spot. Oh, and it happened to be a germ cell in which this occured. I believe the odds of this occuring are greater than 1 in the number of atoms in the universe. Do humans and chimpanzees have such an insertion in common? No. They have at least 8 of them.

2. You don't see x giving birth to a y.
Evolution involves the accumulation of very small changes over vast periods of time. A good analogy is language.

Back up - language is like comparing it to breeding. it introduces INFORMATION by an intelligent selective process. Your theory of evo. assumes an uncontrolled process. I'm interested to hear what you come up with as a proper comparison, though

Ok, either you didn't read the rest of the analogy or you do not understand analogy. Tell me, what is the intelligent selective process that lead English to change from Anglo-Saxon to Middle English to modern English. Intelligence and selection imply rational purpose. It would be irrational to "select" and impossible to "select" intelligently with no purpose in mind, no goal. So please tell me what the goal was in selecting minute changes that led from

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
5 Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
10 That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);

to the modern American English in which I am currently typing?

3. Evolution is just a theory.
Like the theory of Gravity. There are lots of details that continue to be explored and there are still mysteries about gravity.
What germs and how they cause disease may not be known in every case. Yet, the broad idea that micro-organisms can cause disease in larger organisms is still sound and is a good explanatory basis.
In its most basic form it simply states that inheritance and accumulation of small changes due to mutation over large amounts of time leads to diversification of organisms.

We know that things happen differently on the microscopic scale than they do on a regular scale, so germs may be another poor analogy, fyi. a certain process can happen forward or 'backward' as if it were reversing in time, for example. or take 'perpetual motion' which is supposedly impossible; wouldn't you call electron activity 'perpetual motion?' I see no believable comparison between this world and the macrocosmic world, but if you do, i want to hear it !

Once again, the point has alluded you altogether. How your ideas about defining perpetual motion relates to my explanation of how the word theory is used in science as opposed to it's common misinterpretation by the general public is beyond me. Did you actually read my post? Or did you just scan a few words and fired back stock responses to what you assumed it was about?

Modern biologist are as confident in Evolutionary Theory as physicists are in Atomic Theory. In many ways biology today depends on evolutionary theory as much or more than physics depends on atomic theory. And while not every detail or question within the broad theory of evolution has not been analyzed or answered, it is no different than quantum theory or atomic theory which still have their mysteries as well.

Not quite true. Many biologists are not as keen on evo. theory as you might like. I can find the names of biologists, chemists, microbiologists, astronomers, etc who have moved from the one position to the other.
Dependent? Isn't that like insinuating that biologists who reject evolution are poor scientists

I would answer by saying that in another thread I posted the statistics which indicated it would not be unreasonable to say the number of American biologists who do not accept evolution as central to modern biology is less than .05 % Which means that >99.95% of American biologists believe it is a well supported idea that is central to modern biology. And having looked at the converging lines of evidence and logical conclusions supported by that evidence (including dna evidence which I find virtually indisputable) I would have to say that any biologist who rejects evolution in the absence of any new information or evidence that refutes the validity of evolution with a high degree of certainty, is in fact a poor scientist. I have heard of no new evidence of the sort needed, so yes, I would say any biologist who rejects evolution based on current data is a poor scientist.
 
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N4mddissent

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I don't think you were paying attention either that or you didn't understand. The focus was "theory" as the word is used in science. One of the problems in these discussions is that someone will come along and tell everyone how a "theory" is just a "theory" and there is no proof. They get confused about the proper use of the word in a scientific context and the discussion spins off into fundie propaganda. I think N4's point was that "theory" in science is an explanation for observed phenomena and not some sort of wanker hypothesis as the fundie propagandists like to paint it.

I was paying attention and I do understand. I see the technique that was used all the time. There is an effort to imply that because there is a "theory" of evolution the idea of evolution is implied with the level of certainty as something like gravitational theory or other things that can be directly demonstrated through reproducible experimentation.

There are different levels of certainty associated with theories. The germ theory of disease is established with a whole lot more certainty than even something like, say, the big bang theory. As I wrote in another thread, I believe the theory of evolution. But it has not even been experimentally demonstrated that a population of single celled organisms can even give rise to primitive multicellular organisms; much less that a population of single celled organisms can eventually give rise to something like a Blue Whale. It has not even been directly observed to occur. Instead, what's been observed is a fossil record that is not inconsistent with the belief that it occurred.

Ok, what causes gravity. Is gravity a particle? A wave? Show me gravity. All I have ever seen in experiments are the effects of gravity. Look all around and you can see the effects of evolution. Look at the changes in dna from generation to generation through mutation. Just like you release a ball and let it fall to the ground. From watching the ball fall, you can extrapolate information that will let you conclude larger effects, such as predicting orbits, even if the scale means that you will never actually see the entire orbit. From watching changes in dna one can extrapolate conclusions that these mutations will accumulate and cause speciation, even if the scale means you will not live long enough to see the whole process.
 

Diuretic

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For non-science minded people (like me) I found a recent BBC World Service radio broadcast on exactly this issue to be really informative.

You can hear a podcast - BBC - Radio - Podcasts - Discovery

The latest episode is the one I'm thinking of. Very informative for us non-science types.
 

Old Rocks

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I don't think you were paying attention either that or you didn't understand. The focus was "theory" as the word is used in science. One of the problems in these discussions is that someone will come along and tell everyone how a "theory" is just a "theory" and there is no proof. They get confused about the proper use of the word in a scientific context and the discussion spins off into fundie propaganda. I think N4's point was that "theory" in science is an explanation for observed phenomena and not some sort of wanker hypothesis as the fundie propagandists like to paint it.

I was paying attention and I do understand. I see the technique that was used all the time. There is an effort to imply that because there is a "theory" of evolution the idea of evolution is implied with the level of certainty as something like gravitational theory or other things that can be directly demonstrated through reproducible experimentation.

There are different levels of certainty associated with theories. The germ theory of disease is established with a whole lot more certainty than even something like, say, the big bang theory. As I wrote in another thread, I believe the theory of evolution. But it has not even been experimentally demonstrated that a population of single celled organisms can even give rise to primitive multicellular organisms; much less that a population of single celled organisms can eventually give rise to something like a Blue Whale. It has not even been directly observed to occur. Instead, what's been observed is a fossil record that is not inconsistent with the belief that it occurred.

John, no one is stating that the Theory of Evoluton is as well backed as the Theory of Gravity. It is far better backed. We do not even understand what is the mechanism of gravity. We know the mathematics of the results, and the mass and distance asscociations, but we know nothing of the mechanism.

For evolution, we have a wonderful record of fossils. Including the wonderful series from South Africa in the Karroo that outlines the evolution of mammals from reptiles. In the John Day Formation of Eastern Oregon we have a 45 million years fossil series of the evolution of the horse.

Then there is the matter of the evolution of the eye. This was actually pointed out by Darwin, using eyes of living species, from a primitive photosensative spot, to the very complex eyes of mammals and birds.

And now, within my lifetime, we have seen the very heart of evolution, the genetic code, deciphered. And it has completely confirmed the various relationships among the living flora and fauna on this earth. We are, indeed, all of one creation. And we all started as very simple single celled organisms.
 

hansom

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As for your Darwin quote, you, of course, edited out the last sentence.

Origin of Species (1859). This passage has often been quoted without the final sentence.

You, of course, assume much; I wrote it as I found it. Let's not jump the gun, shall we
And since Darwin wrote it 100s of years ago, the next sentence hardly applies anymore, does it?
 

hansom

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Then there is the matter of the evolution of the eye. This was actually pointed out by Darwin, using eyes of living species, from a primitive photosensative spot, to the very complex eyes of mammals and birds.

And now, within my lifetime, we have seen the very heart of evolution, the genetic code, deciphered. And it has completely confirmed the various relationships among the living flora and fauna on this earth. We are, indeed, all of one creation. And we all started as very simple single celled organisms.

Old Rocks, for your theory to stand, it would require fossil records to exist in the order proposed by evo theory in most, if not all places. The same with the geologic column. How many places do we find this, in the order described, in the known world?

Old Rocks, I'm not clear on simple single cell organisms. can you explain how simple a protein is?
 

roomy

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No need, THEORY says it all. If it were so "proven" it would no longer be a theory at all.

And I will never believe I am descended from apes with out a hell of lot more than this and the so called proof science has provided. With in a species evolution is proven, it is not even close to being proven with animals changing from one species to an entirely different species.

And again plants and one cell life does not count. Nor do any bacteria or any of that.




:lol: the similarities are too numerous to be denied monkey boy :lol:
 

Old Rocks

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3. Evolution is just a theory.

A theory in science refers to scope not validity. Any idea that has broad explanatory power for natural phenomena is a theory. It's a broad unifying prinicple. Like the theory of Gravity. .

There is where you really over reach...by comparing the theory that all life descended from a single organism ( or series of single celled organisms) to the theory of gravity. You're not the only one. I've seen that before. But to suggest that the overall theory of evolution is associated with the kind of certainty associated with gravitational theory is absurd. With gravitational theory, you can do experiments and predict what's going to happen then observe it to happen exactly as you said it would. That is not the case with the theory of evolution. The two things are not comparable.

John, just what the hell is bio-engineering? We are building new species every day now. Even changing the evolutionary inheritance of mammals. So what can you possibly mean that we cannot do experiments in evolution? For we are doing them, and predicting the results on the basis of what evolutionary theory has evolved into today.
 

Old Rocks

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Then there is the matter of the evolution of the eye. This was actually pointed out by Darwin, using eyes of living species, from a primitive photosensative spot, to the very complex eyes of mammals and birds.

And now, within my lifetime, we have seen the very heart of evolution, the genetic code, deciphered. And it has completely confirmed the various relationships among the living flora and fauna on this earth. We are, indeed, all of one creation. And we all started as very simple single celled organisms.

Old Rocks, for your theory to stand, it would require fossil records to exist in the order proposed by evo theory in most, if not all places. The same with the geologic column. How many places do we find this, in the order described, in the known world?

Old Rocks, I'm not clear on simple single cell organisms. can you explain how simple a protein is?

What on earth are you talking about, concerning the fossil record to exist in most places? You expect terrestrial fossil in ocean sediments? You demand marine fossils in ancient desert strata? There are places where we have a few millions to a few tens of millions of continous strata. That is about as good as it gets.

In many of these places we have some very complete fossil record for the evolution of whole groups, such as the evolution of Saurian and mammalian species from reptiles in the Karoo of South Africa. The recent Chinese fossils have filled in major gaps in the evolution of birds from Saurians.

The tone of your post suggests a vast ignorance concerning geological history and mechanisms. In front of you sit the very best tool for home research ever developed. I suggest you spend a couple of months educating yourself on what is known concerning geological history, and preservation of strata.
 

Old Rocks

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As for your Darwin quote, you, of course, edited out the last sentence.

Origin of Species (1859). This passage has often been quoted without the final sentence.

You, of course, assume much; I wrote it as I found it. Let's not jump the gun, shall we
And since Darwin wrote it 100s of years ago, the next sentence hardly applies anymore, does it?

Darwin and Wallace published 'Origin' about 160 years ago.
 

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