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Another creationist thread

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Postby Darby » Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:13 pm

This whole argument is an example of extending the specific to the general -

p53 is not a master proofreader - it counters specific oncogene effects, plua a few more, and it doesn't even do that all of the time, or there would be almost no cancers.

Mutations plus selection plus a significant number of generations (and there is no way of pre-selecting how many - it's like being able to say how many technological jumps there are between today and the next "species" of computers; who knows when the jumps are themselves unpredictable?) can lead to something some human would call a new "species" (a concept that is purely labeling affectation anyway). The influence of selection pressures determines, ultimately, the speed at which this happens, and often mutations at play are already present in the genome - the idea that they have to arise with the changes in environment is purely Lamarkian (and does happen in bacteria anyway, weirdly enough).

I've never seen maths that "disprove evolution" that started with anything approximating a real understanding of the processes.
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Postby skynet » Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:59 pm

p53 does not fix every mutations, thats why people have cancer!

About evolution, you have made a good question elevent, but you are forgetting that the genome is far more complex, and is not yet fully understand, p53 is not the only responsable for mutations that cause evolution.
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Postby hb » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:37 am

Let E_1, E_2, ..., E_N be a sequence of N *independent* events. For simplicity, assume the probability for each of the to occur to be epsilon, i.e.

P(E_1) = P(E_2) = ... = P(E_N) = epsilon

Now assume the probability is extremely small, e.g. epsilon = 1/(10^1000) (or pick any small number you want).

Let H_N be the event that each of this N events occur, i.e.

H_N = E_1 & E_2 & ... & E_N

The probability for H_N is then (assuming the E:s are independent):

P(H_N) = P(E_1)*P(E_2)*...*P(E_N) = epsilon^N

With epsilon = 1/10^1000, we get that P(H) = (1/10^1000)^N = 1/(10^1000N). That is, the probability to observe N event E is ridiculously small. No one argues about that. That is pure probability theory.

However, one thing people may argue about is the assumption that *we* made above that the event E:s are independent. If they are *not* independent, the probability for event H_N is *smaller* than the above (that can be proven). However however, even if the events were dependent, with small enough conditional probabilities the probability for H_N could still be ridiculously small.

However, there is a catch in the above. Note that, we all know/agree (Footnote *) that all those N events have happened, that is event H_N is true, because otherwise we would not be able to claim it, talk about etc. In probability theory we say we have observed H_N. It is a well know fact that *given that we observe an event*, then the probability for that event to occur is exactly 1 (one). This is written as:

P(H_N | H_N) = 1

and read, the probability for event H_N given that event H_N has occurred is one. It does not matter how small P(H_N) is, the above probability will *always* be one.

In other words, it does not make sense to discuss the probability to observe an event that has already happened.

The problem with discussing the probability for the extremely unlikely sequence of event to have occurred during universe development *is* that we have indeed observed that it happened and at the same time we cannot repeat the experiment. Being able to repeat an experiment is fundamental when we think about probability.

Footnote: (*) Someone who does not agree with this cannot use the above model to reason about the probability. If so, that person has to ignore all of the above and what follows as well.
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God or No God

Postby Xetheare » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:34 am

elevent wrote:
You could compare a mutation to taking a brief page of instructions, selecting one character and replacing it with another randomly selected character. Chances are that you will introduce a spelling or grammatical error on the very first modification. Though slight, this error has already hurt the meaning of the instructions....


1. What do you mean by hurt?

2. Negative mutations should not accumulate. Beneficial mutations do, however, accumulate. But, you seem to insist that a mutation is either good or bad. Maybe I've read too much Chinese philosophy, but there is no black or white in evolution.

3. The instructions contain instructions on how to reproduce itself (and countless other functions). A beneficial mutation does not necessarily involve an improvement to the instructions. An "error" that causes Sickle Cell Anemia also prevents Malaria.

4. Are you trying to understand something here or are you simply frustrated?

I am new here but like others, I'm sure, I see the patterns in the world around me; natural patterns. Yes, it is all so wonderful and miraculous. I am impressed. But I try not to let my awe interfere with my thirst for understanding.

We continue to evolve
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Postby alextemplet » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:23 pm

What I don't understand is that if evolution is as weak of a concept as some people claim, why has the overwhelming majority of the scientific community stuck with it for so long?
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Postby E8-not42 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:07 pm

alextemplet wrote:What I don't understand is that if evolution is as weak of a concept as some people claim, why has the overwhelming majority of the scientific community stuck with it for so long?


Thats because the people calling it weak are trying to protect their weak concept. ie they have an agenda and it is not about gathering facts.
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Postby alextemplet » Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:11 am

You probably have a point on that one, though I personally believe it has more to do with being afraid of evolution than anything else.
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Postby Jones » Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:36 pm

Of course they're afraid of it though, if someone found evolution was true all religions would be gone, there are wars fought in the name of God, people are mercilessly killed and people blow up stuff because of God, imagine them all finding out suddenly that what they were doing was stupid and that what they had done it for had never existed in the first place... Can you say CHAOS?
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fossilized negative mutations

Postby GeneticsLover » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:06 am

Okay, why on earth do you assume that negative mutations absolutely must be evident in the fossil record to support their existence? Think about this: maybe you were born with a genetic heart defect due to a mutation that caused your death at a young age and you were buried in prime conditions for fossilization. 2000 years later, let's say, somebody digs up your bones. Do you expect it to be completely obvious that you had a heart defect? No. And why? Maybe it's because not everything fossilizes! Otherwise we'd have tons of stone human forms, as well as full sized dinosaurs. We wouldn't have to guess how T-rex walked, or anything like that. It just doesn't happen that way.

I'm no professional, yet, but I believe in evolution. I'm also Catholic. Maybe some of you should also realize that religion and evolution can co-exist.


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Postby alextemplet » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:25 am

I'm Catholic as well, and also an evolutionist. Glad to see I'm not the only one! :wink:

And Jones, eliminating religion would not stop war. Evolution has nothing to do with religion anyway so it's really a moot point. Hate speech like that will accomplish nothing in this debate.
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Well, duh...

Postby wwdd00 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:23 am

It looks like you've pretty much conceded the argument using p53, so it doesn't warrant much of a response. What I would like to respond to, however, is mutation giving rise to species. This happens all the time, especially in plants. It is an event called polyploidy, and put simply its when an organism produces cells that have more than two sets of homologous chromosomes.

I tend to use the biological definition of species, which states that a species is a genetically distinct and reproductively isolated population. When an organism produces polyploid cells, this makes them genetically distinct because it doubles (or more depending...). This also, at the very same time, makes them reproductively isolated in that it can only reproduce successfully with a like cell. Plants are more prone to creating these new polyploid species because they tend to self-fertilize than animals.

Yay science!
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Postby jere » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:29 pm

b) Mutation is evident in organisms but such organisms never birth a new species. Why?


Is this guy trolling or is he really that dense?
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