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#81 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:57 AM

While the exact mechanisms of evolution are under debate, the notion that human life arose from biological precursors is not. That evolution is debunked because it is a 'theory' is about as sound as suggesting that reality might be some illusion because well, maybe it could be. Seriously.


Exactly. We still argue a lot about the how's of evolution but the fact that it exists and happens is pretty much settled.

Personally, I think every person that doesn't believe in evolution because it's a "theory" (which shows how little they understand about the topic because colloquial theory and scientific theory are very different things) should lose their science card permanently. Hand over your cell phone, car, computer, medicine, etc. Don't like evolution? Good for you. Now science wants its **** back.

#82 glunn

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:32 AM

Personally, I think every person that doesn't believe in evolution because it's a "theory" (which shows how little they understand about the topic because colloquial theory and scientific theory are very different things) should lose their science card permanently. Hand over your cell phone, car, computer, medicine, etc. Don't like evolution? Good for you. Now science wants its **** back.


Good one, Brock. It would also be nice if the doubters renounced their televisions and there was no one left to watch Fox News.

#83 TheLeviathan

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:18 AM

Exactly. We still argue a lot about the how's of evolution but the fact that it exists and happens is pretty much settled.


Personally I've always thought the quirky parts of evolution's mechanisms were an intriguing case for intelligent design.

#84 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

Exactly. We still argue a lot about the how's of evolution but the fact that it exists and happens is pretty much settled.


Personally I've always thought the quirky parts of evolution's mechanisms were an intriguing case for intelligent design.


I'm not against the idea of intelligent design, actually. You just have to move the scale back billions of years for it to be feasible... and it has to include an evolutionary component or it's just nonsense. Even Einstein left the door open for belief in an omnipotent creator to exist. You go back far enough into the murkiness of universe creation and nothing's off the table, really.

#85 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:15 PM



Personally, I think every person that doesn't believe in evolution because it's a "theory" (which shows how little they understand about the topic because colloquial theory and scientific theory are very different things) should lose their science card permanently. Hand over your cell phone, car, computer, medicine, etc. Don't like evolution? Good for you. Now science wants its **** back.


Good one, Brock. It would also be nice if the doubters renounced their televisions and there was no one left to watch Fox News.


If you do that, conservatives will just start drowning witches again. Nobody wants that.

Especially the witches.

#86 TheLeviathan

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:17 PM

I'm not against the idea of intelligent design, actually. You just have to move the scale back billions of years for it to be feasible... and it has to include an evolutionary component or it's just nonsense. Even Einstein left the door open for belief in an omnipotent creator to exist. You go back far enough into the murkiness of universe creation and nothing's off the table, really.


Yeah I'm not making an argument for creationism, but it's some of the quirky, oddly coincidental features of some animals that form via evolution that seems statistically improbable. If I wanted to make an argument for intelligent design (I'm not) I have always thought the evolutionary process was a strong place to start.

#87 glunn

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:01 PM

[quote name='Brock Beauchamp'][quote name='glunn'][quote name='Brock Beauchamp']

Personally, I think every person that doesn't believe in evolution because it's a "theory" (which shows how little they understand about the topic because colloquial theory and scientific theory are very different things) should lose their science card permanently. Hand over your cell phone, car, computer, medicine, etc. Don't like evolution? Good for you. Now science wants its **** back.[/QUOTE]

Good one, Brock. It would also be nice if the doubters renounced their televisions and there was no one left to watch Fox News.[/QUOTE]

If you do that, conservatives will just start drowning witches again. Nobody wants that.

Especially the witches.[/QUOTE]

I love being your straight man. You are on fire my friend.

#88 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:34 PM

Exactly. We still argue a lot about the how's of evolution but the fact that it exists and happens is pretty much settled.


Personally I've always thought the quirky parts of evolution's mechanisms were an intriguing case for intelligent design.


This is exactly what I'm trying to say. It isn't hard to poke holes in the theory. The amount of luck that would go into the simplist life form arising from non-life makes winning the powerball every year for the next decade look easy.

#89 TheLeviathan

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

This is exactly what I'm trying to say. It isn't hard to poke holes in the theory. The amount of luck that would go into the simplist life form arising from non-life makes winning the powerball every year for the next decade look easy.


That's not at all what you're saying.

#90 PseudoSABR

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:41 PM

[quote name='diehardtwinsfan'][quote name='TheLeviathan'][quote name='Brock Beauchamp']Exactly. We still argue a lot about the how's of evolution but the fact that it exists and happens is pretty much settled.[/QUOTE]

Personally I've always thought the quirky parts of evolution's mechanisms were an intriguing case for intelligent design.[/QUOTE]

This is exactly what I'm trying to say. It isn't hard to poke holes in the theory. The amount of luck that would go into the simplist life form arising from non-life makes winning the powerball every year for the next decade look easy.[/QUOTE]You misunderstand evolution. While it's lucky that a gene mutates into something useful, it's not luck that makes that gene get passed on (hence the similarity in cellular biology of all life). This is also why we see similar genetic features in disparate populations--because the trial-error of genomes sometimes reach the same useful mutations, and it's the useful ones that survive millions of years out.

What's ironic, diehard, is that your financial philosophy seems akin to social darwinism--it's just the biological process that bothers you, not the social and economic one?

Edited by PseudoSABR, 23 November 2012 - 07:48 PM.


#91 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

Also, evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life, only the continuation of said life.

#92 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:32 PM

You misunderstand evolution. While it's lucky that a gene mutates into something useful, it's not luck that makes that gene get passed on (hence the similarity in cellular biology of all life). This is also why we see similar genetic features in disparate populations--because the trial-error of genomes sometimes reach the same useful mutations, and it's the useful ones that survive millions of years out.

What's ironic, diehard, is that your financial philosophy seems akin to social darwinism--it's just the biological process that bothers you, not the social and economic one?


There's quite a bit wrong with what you said. Yes, my financial philosphy is very much akin to social Darwinism (though I think there's a moral component to letting people keep what they earn and spend it how they'd like). That said, I have no issue with the Biological process of Darwinism. The problem I have is that his does not reasonably explain the theory of evolution. The tenant behind Darwinism is that nature essentially breeds out the bad genes. I have no issue with this, as Darwinism does an excellent job of explaining how nature can form selection from existing genetic material. What Darwinism doesn't adequately expain is how new genetic material gets added to the pool. It also does a lousy job explaining how life can arise from non-life.

Your example contains the same flaw. A gene mutation has to be passed on before it can be selected (where your example assumes the opposite), which is the first major problem with Darwinism/evolution. Reproductive cells are formed at birth, and they contain a separate copy of your genetic profile. If I aquire a mutation later in life, it does absolutly nothing for me as I cannot pass it on. I have to aquire that mutation in my reproductive cells, which is done before that gene can be selected. Likewise, mutations tend to be changes to existing genetic materials, not the addition of new genetic material which is another problem. Your example assumes that I already have the mutation and can pass it on. Like Darwinism, however, it fails to show how exactly I aquired it.

#93 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:01 PM

There's quite a bit wrong with what you said. Yes, my financial philosphy is very much akin to social Darwinism (though I think there's a moral component to letting people keep what they earn and spend it how they'd like). That said, I have no issue with the Biological process of Darwinism. The problem I have is that his does not reasonably explain the theory of evolution. The tenant behind Darwinism is that nature essentially breeds out the bad genes. I have no issue with this, as Darwinism does an excellent job of explaining how nature can form selection from existing genetic material. What Darwinism doesn't adequately expain is how new genetic material gets added to the pool. It also does a lousy job explaining how life can arise from non-life.

Your example contains the same flaw. A gene mutation has to be passed on before it can be selected (where your example assumes the opposite), which is the first major problem with Darwinism/evolution. Reproductive cells are formed at birth, and they contain a separate copy of your genetic profile. If I aquire a mutation later in life, it does absolutly nothing for me as I cannot pass it on. I have to aquire that mutation in my reproductive cells, which is done before that gene can be selected. Likewise, mutations tend to be changes to existing genetic materials, not the addition of new genetic material which is another problem. Your example assumes that I already have the mutation and can pass it on. Like Darwinism, however, it fails to show how exactly I aquired it.


Evolution, like Darwinism, does not attempt to explain how life arises from non-life. That's like blaming tectonic geology for not properly explaining the red shift of the universe. It's illogical.

#94 glunn

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:08 AM

There's quite a bit wrong with what you said. Yes, my financial philosphy is very much akin to social Darwinism (though I think there's a moral component to letting people keep what they earn and spend it how they'd like). That said, I have no issue with the Biological process of Darwinism. The problem I have is that his does not reasonably explain the theory of evolution. The tenant behind Darwinism is that nature essentially breeds out the bad genes. I have no issue with this, as Darwinism does an excellent job of explaining how nature can form selection from existing genetic material. What Darwinism doesn't adequately expain is how new genetic material gets added to the pool. It also does a lousy job explaining how life can arise from non-life.

Your example contains the same flaw. A gene mutation has to be passed on before it can be selected (where your example assumes the opposite), which is the first major problem with Darwinism/evolution. Reproductive cells are formed at birth, and they contain a separate copy of your genetic profile. If I aquire a mutation later in life, it does absolutly nothing for me as I cannot pass it on. I have to aquire that mutation in my reproductive cells, which is done before that gene can be selected. Likewise, mutations tend to be changes to existing genetic materials, not the addition of new genetic material which is another problem. Your example assumes that I already have the mutation and can pass it on. Like Darwinism, however, it fails to show how exactly I aquired it.


Evolution, like Darwinism, does not attempt to explain how life arises from non-life. That's like blaming tectonic geology for not properly explaining the red shift of the universe. It's illogical.


You make a good point, Brock. But I can't tell whether you believe that it is logical to accept religious explanations instead of waiting for science to come up with explanations that are supported by science. Is that your point?

In response to diehardtwinsfan, are you suggesting that scientists cannot explain how mutations happen?

#95 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

You make a good point, Brock. But I can't tell whether you believe that it is logical to accept religious explanations instead of waiting for science to come up with explanations that are supported by science. Is that your point?


Oh, I'm not arrogant enough to make that call. I don't believe in a personal god but I certainly won't look down on those who choose to accept religion as an answer for the universe's origins. There are just too many question marks surrounding the entire situation to definitively call it one way or the other, in my opinion.

But evolution? Nah, that one is pretty much in the bag. We have mountains of evidence to support it and to a rational mind, there's really no questioning that evolution exists. The nitty-gritty details are certainly up for debate but the existence of evolution itself has largely been settled by the scientific community.

#96 drjim

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:23 AM

I have a question on Evolution and I hope I can write it well enough that it makes sense. I have studied it a little and have no doubt that it is a process that is clearly happening in our world today. Much more obvious on the micro level, but the diversity of fauna in various locales would seem to speak to me on a macro level as well.

My question is how accurate and useful is the theory of evolution in extrapolating back to the origin of specific species? That is, we observe several species now, we have observed several fossils that would suggest a progression, but how confidently can we make that link scientifically? In short, can evolution truly back up the claim that life started in a primordial soup and evolved into humans? I know that is premise scientists would use, but can that actually be backed up with fact?

I understand how, depending on geography and available resources, that life will evolve in different situations and that over millions of generations there will be lots of diversity within fauna, but it still seems like a far jump to then move that from a few inorganic compounds that life sprung up.

My discomfort with evolution is not about what processes it explains going forward (those appear obvious) but the confidence it has with going backwards and the conclusions that are reached.
Papers...business papers.

#97 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:54 AM

I have a question on Evolution and I hope I can write it well enough that it makes sense. I have studied it a little and have no doubt that it is a process that is clearly happening in our world today. Much more obvious on the micro level, but the diversity of fauna in various locales would seem to speak to me on a macro level as well.

My question is how accurate and useful is the theory of evolution in extrapolating back to the origin of specific species? That is, we observe several species now, we have observed several fossils that would suggest a progression, but how confidently can we make that link scientifically? In short, can evolution truly back up the claim that life started in a primordial soup and evolved into humans? I know that is premise scientists would use, but can that actually be backed up with fact?

I understand how, depending on geography and available resources, that life will evolve in different situations and that over millions of generations there will be lots of diversity within fauna, but it still seems like a far jump to then move that from a few inorganic compounds that life sprung up.

My discomfort with evolution is not about what processes it explains going forward (those appear obvious) but the confidence it has with going backwards and the conclusions that are reached.


Honestly, there isn't a lot of data. The problem with hard data and evolution is two-fold:

1. Evolution happens quickly in the grand scheme of things. Large periods of inactivity bookending short periods of rapid change.
2. The fossil record is woefully incomplete and will always be that way.

But that doesn't mean that evolution isn't correct. The data we do have all points at the evidence of macro evolution, we just can't draw a linear line through most species because we simply don't have a physical record to track each genetic change along a billion year line. And we never will, if only because of the rarity of natural fossil preservation the enormous amount of time and species we're talking about here.

#98 PseudoSABR

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

You misunderstand evolution. While it's lucky that a gene mutates into something useful, it's not luck that makes that gene get passed on (hence the similarity in cellular biology of all life). This is also why we see similar genetic features in disparate populations--because the trial-error of genomes sometimes reach the same useful mutations, and it's the useful ones that survive millions of years out.

What's ironic, diehard, is that your financial philosophy seems akin to social darwinism--it's just the biological process that bothers you, not the social and economic one?


There's quite a bit wrong with what you said. Yes, my financial philosphy is very much akin to social Darwinism (though I think there's a moral component to letting people keep what they earn and spend it how they'd like). That said, I have no issue with the Biological process of Darwinism. The problem I have is that his does not reasonably explain the theory of evolution. The tenant behind Darwinism is that nature essentially breeds out the bad genes. I have no issue with this, as Darwinism does an excellent job of explaining how nature can form selection from existing genetic material. What Darwinism doesn't adequately expain is how new genetic material gets added to the pool. It also does a lousy job explaining how life can arise from non-life.

Your example contains the same flaw. A gene mutation has to be passed on before it can be selected (where your example assumes the opposite), which is the first major problem with Darwinism/evolution. Reproductive cells are formed at birth, and they contain a separate copy of your genetic profile. If I aquire a mutation later in life, it does absolutly nothing for me as I cannot pass it on. I have to aquire that mutation in my reproductive cells, which is done before that gene can be selected. Likewise, mutations tend to be changes to existing genetic materials, not the addition of new genetic material which is another problem. Your example assumes that I already have the mutation and can pass it on. Like Darwinism, however, it fails to show how exactly I aquired it.

As you point out, to pass on mutations so that they become part of a species, those mutations must happen in gamete cells. The sex cells are a great place for DNA to mess up (or do unintended good). Mutated gamete cells that harm a genome never develop into a zygote (a fertilized cell), or that zygote never develops into an adult, etc.. Meaningful mutations need to happen pre-fertilization, fertilization or during the zygote's differentiation. When the mutations happen to be good, the beast lives!

Evolution is NOT breeding. There is no active invisible hand guiding cells to know what mutations are advantageous.

New genetic material is added in the form of viruses for one (cool ****), but it's also added through the process of mutation. A change of one nucleotide will result in a whole different protein.

In my opinion, a lot of your problems is a misunderstanding of cellular biology. How DNA gets copied, how RNA is transcribed and than made into amino acids, how sex cells differ from other cells.

Edited by PseudoSABR, 09 December 2012 - 03:57 AM.
/nice


#99 PseudoSABR

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:04 PM

I have a question on Evolution and I hope I can write it well enough that it makes sense. I have studied it a little and have no doubt that it is a process that is clearly happening in our world today. Much more obvious on the micro level, but the diversity of fauna in various locales would seem to speak to me on a macro level as well.

My question is how accurate and useful is the theory of evolution in extrapolating back to the origin of specific species? That is, we observe several species now, we have observed several fossils that would suggest a progression, but how confidently can we make that link scientifically? In short, can evolution truly back up the claim that life started in a primordial soup and evolved into humans? I know that is premise scientists would use, but can that actually be backed up with fact?

I understand how, depending on geography and available resources, that life will evolve in different situations and that over millions of generations there will be lots of diversity within fauna, but it still seems like a far jump to then move that from a few inorganic compounds that life sprung up.

My discomfort with evolution is not about what processes it explains going forward (those appear obvious) but the confidence it has with going backwards and the conclusions that are reached.

I had a long response to this, but I lost it somehow ugh.

The short of it:
1) Life really isn't that diverse. We share basic cellular biology with all life on Earth, that makes up a huge part of our genome. That cell process is totally complex and as a result we share a majority of the same genome. I had a good Lego metaphor here, but I'm not going to recreate it. Oh well.
2) I'm not sure that evolution attempts to explain how amino acids surfaced from primordial soup, or how primordial soup arose at all. It hardly matters whether we use evolution, gods snapping fingers, or a dissolving alien as an explanation...
3) How accurate can history be about anything that predates records? Your problem seems more with humans capacity to know the past, than with evolution. In fact your questions are more philosophical than scientific imo.
4) The lack of an equally evidential alternative.

Edited by PseudoSABR, 08 December 2012 - 03:24 PM.


#100 adjacent

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:31 PM

Actually, I think I can put some light into how mutations occur. The enzymes that do the DNA copying and editing are nearly perfect but not exactly perfect. There is a certain degree of miscopying (I don't remember the exact number but it is close to 1/10000000 DNA base pairs copied. Now, if you think that there are billions of base pairs in the DNA of any living organism (of course, there will be a variation in the amount of DNA from organism to organism, but a prototypical one) then you have thousands of spontaneous mutation per generation. Besides that, you have to add the mutations that are produced by environmental impact (UV light from the sun, chemicals, radioactivity, virus), and the amount increases. That happens in the somatic (in the body cells) as well as in germ line cells (in our case, ovules and sperm). Now, many mutations don't do anything or do little, many are harmful (if they are harmful enough that kill the new formed embryo right away and nobody knows that they even happened), and a few give an advantage to the new formed individual.
That is my attempt to summarize evolution at the molecular level. I hope this is helpful, especially to diehard.