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The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Postby Tomn » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:55 pm

Im not asking you if dark wing moths were or were not consumed before or after the production of industrial fog. I understand that the black ones used to be consumed because they stood out amongst the light air, and that they arent being consumed because they now blend in with the smoggy air. I understand that the white abd black switched placed.

You said that "the moths bearing a mutated black pigment allele were quickly eaten by birds". What Im asking you is this:
How do you know that the black pigment is a mutation? Has this been assumed, conjectured, or simply labeled as a mutation just to prove evolution? Or, has it been observed or proven to be a mutated allele?
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Re:

Postby biohazard » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:08 am

Tomn wrote:How do you know that the black pigment is a mutation? Has this been assumed, conjectured, or simply labeled as a mutation just to prove evolution? Or, has it been observed or proven to be a mutated allele?


Unfortunately people of the 19th century did not have knowledge or tools to identify and isolate mutations, so of course we cannot tell the exact time of "birth" of that mutation. Similar mutation has been observed to happen in modern times as well, and the moths have been extensively studied and the location and type of mutation has been identified. See for example Van't Hof et al. (2011) in the journal Science.

However, since a mutation happens inside a cell at an unknown time point and scientists cannot be "there" to see it. You can only see the "normal" allele, and then suddenly you have an individual that has the same gene with a mutated allele.

You could always argue "God made it so", which is something that science can never counter, since science only relies on observations and hypotheses based on them. Just as well you could say that in addition to mutations, God makes gravity happen - because no scientist in the world can tell you exactly how and why gravity works. Still I do not see many Christians doubting the prevailing theories regarding gravity.

This being said, I have given you examples of mutations and their (beneficial) effects from the HIV and bacteria to insects and finally even to us humans. If you choose to ignore all this, there is clearly nothing I can do to change your opinion. Closing your eyes in front of overwhelming evidence is called denial, and I am afraid that that is exactly what you are doing right now.

Oh and by the way, every gene is a result of mutation, so you and me, we are both living proof of heaps of beneficial mutations accumulated over a vast course of time.
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Postby Tomn » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:41 am

1)You said "If a normal gut bacterium undergoes a mutation that affects the composition of its cell wall, the resulting cell wall can be a bit more costly to synthesize than it is for its non-mutant counterparts living in the same gut. The bacterium having the mutation does poorly in competition because it spends too much effort in building the mutated cell wall and that strain dies away soon.

However, if the person in whose gut the bacteria live has to take an antibiotic treatment for some reason, the bacteria with normal cell walls are in trouble, because the antibiotic makes holes in their cell wall and makes them die in numbers. But if the cell wall mutation mentioned above happens now, the new, more costly cell wall happens to be immune for the antibiotic and the mutant strain flourishes now - not because its cell wall was nice and good and cheap to build like the previous one, but because it keeps the bacterium alive."

This is you bacterium example, yes? Well the problem with this is that the time it takes to build a cell wall for the mutated gene never went away. Just because unmutated bacteria die does not mean that building the cell wall is any easier. Thus, since the difficulty of the cell wall is the same, the bacteria still perishes.

2)You said "This was of course a simplified example, but this happens all the time. The mutated gene can be anything, depending on the target of the antibiotic. The very same mutation can be good and bad, it is all up to the environment of the organism. "

An antibiotic does not trigger mutations. An antibiotic kills bacteria. Period. I would ask what triggers mutations, but then again, its a random occurrence.

3)You said "Furthermore, some higher organisms develop similar resistances, e.g. pest insects targeted by pesticides."

Again, you guys look for an example of resistance which develops, and then you simply, without proof, label it a mutation without proof that this is a mutation. This is extremely recent, and could have easily been tested by evolutionists. Yet, instead of testing this, you just paint it as a mutation.

4)You said "I will give you one more, well-studied example of beneficial mutations in multicellular organisms. The example case is called "industrial melanism", and it is apparent for example in certain species of moths. The "normal" camouflage of the moth is light so that it can rest again trunks of birches and among lichen and remain unnoticed by predators. If there happens to be a mutation that turns the moth's colour darker, it is quickly spotted and eaten by birds."

If the gene is a mutation, then how does it change into looking like a normal gene? If it is a mutation, the gene doesnt change in terms of looks, and should still be identifiable. Again, this is my point: you are labeling it a mutated gene without proof. Also, if it were so that you could not even verify that it is a mutation because it happened in a time where technology for identifying mutated genes was not available, then how can you be sure this is actually a mutation? You just say this because if it is, it would support your theory.
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Postby JackBean » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:14 pm

I hope I will get at least one answer from you - what do you think it is, if not a mutation?
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Re:

Postby biohazard » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:56 pm

Tomn wrote:1)You said "If a normal gut bacterium undergoes a mutation that affects the composition of its cell wall, the resulting cell wall can be a bit more costly to synthesize than it is for its non-mutant counterparts living in the same gut. The bacterium having the mutation does poorly in competition because it spends too much effort in building the mutated cell wall and that strain dies away soon.

However, if the person in whose gut the bacteria live has to take an antibiotic treatment for some reason, the bacteria with normal cell walls are in trouble, because the antibiotic makes holes in their cell wall and makes them die in numbers. But if the cell wall mutation mentioned above happens now, the new, more costly cell wall happens to be immune for the antibiotic and the mutant strain flourishes now - not because its cell wall was nice and good and cheap to build like the previous one, but because it keeps the bacterium alive."

This is you bacterium example, yes? Well the problem with this is that the time it takes to build a cell wall for the mutated gene never went away. Just because unmutated bacteria die does not mean that building the cell wall is any easier. Thus, since the difficulty of the cell wall is the same, the bacteria still perishes.

2)You said "This was of course a simplified example, but this happens all the time. The mutated gene can be anything, depending on the target of the antibiotic. The very same mutation can be good and bad, it is all up to the environment of the organism. "

An antibiotic does not trigger mutations. An antibiotic kills bacteria. Period. I would ask what triggers mutations, but then again, its a random occurrence.

3)You said "Furthermore, some higher organisms develop similar resistances, e.g. pest insects targeted by pesticides."

Again, you guys look for an example of resistance which develops, and then you simply, without proof, label it a mutation without proof that this is a mutation. This is extremely recent, and could have easily been tested by evolutionists. Yet, instead of testing this, you just paint it as a mutation.

4)You said "I will give you one more, well-studied example of beneficial mutations in multicellular organisms. The example case is called "industrial melanism", and it is apparent for example in certain species of moths. The "normal" camouflage of the moth is light so that it can rest again trunks of birches and among lichen and remain unnoticed by predators. If there happens to be a mutation that turns the moth's colour darker, it is quickly spotted and eaten by birds."

If the gene is a mutation, then how does it change into looking like a normal gene? If it is a mutation, the gene doesnt change in terms of looks, and should still be identifiable. Again, this is my point: you are labeling it a mutated gene without proof. Also, if it were so that you could not even verify that it is a mutation because it happened in a time where technology for identifying mutated genes was not available, then how can you be sure this is actually a mutation? You just say this because if it is, it would support your theory.


For the love of Flying Spaghetti Monster!

1) Yes the mutated cell wall is costly, but since there is no more competition from the cheap cell wall bacteria, the new mutant will prevail despite the higher build cost. Because the high build cost means it is the only bacterium that lives and thus has all the nutrients and resources of the gut available.

2) I did not say antibiotics trigger mutations. Stop twisting my words. Antibiotics are the selective pressure. When some target site of the antibiotic in question mutates and becomes immune to the antibiotic, but remains otherwise functional (e.g. altered ribosomal structure), then the mutant survives. The new ribosome might not work quite as well as the previous one, but since it keeps the germ alive, it is the one that gets selected for and it is the one that prevails.

3) Yes, the resistance develops because of mutations that happen in the insects. These mutations have been shown to happen in insects under pressure from pesticides - the normal, "wild type" insects get replaced by ones that have a mutation or several in genes coding for the key targets of pesticides. That is quite a straightforward way to demonstrate that mutations happen and animals live or die according to their fitness when measured against the environment they live in.

4) Did you not understand what I wrote? I gave you an author and one of the most prestigious science journals in the world who make an in-depth analysis on the mutation that make the moths turn black. What else do you need? I come to your place with a white moth and open it up and show you there is a gene that is mutating right now?

Sorry dude, if one of the world's leading science journals cannot convince you, how the hell am I supposed to?

I guess this conversation is as good as over, if all you do is ignore every example and piece of evidence I give you, and deliberately twist every word I write into something else. You seem like an intelligent person who has studied this matter a lot, but it is of no use to you or anyone else, if you refuse to accept anything that is against your personal, pre-set opinion only because it is against your religion's view of the world.

I feel I could as well be talking to a doorknob...
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Re: The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Postby Gavin » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:08 pm

To all scientists on this forum: find a brick wall and bash your heads against it. Blind faith is harder than bricks. Some day we may be able to understand the psychology of it and then be able to do something about it, but until then, our efforts would be better spent on preventing the walls to be built in the first place, i.e. with children. Education before indoctrination is imperative.
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Re: The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Postby biohazard » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:20 am

Gavin wrote:To all scientists on this forum: find a brick wall and bash your heads against it. Blind faith is harder than bricks. Some day we may be able to understand the psychology of it and then be able to do something about it, but until then, our efforts would be better spent on preventing the walls to be built in the first place, i.e. with children. Education before indoctrination is imperative.


Amen!
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Re: The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Postby Crucible » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:55 pm

Well, it's really implausible that human descent is as told in biology books. Now THAT is hilarious. Talk about blind faith !
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Re: The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Postby aptitude » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:34 pm

Crucible wrote:Well, it's really implausible that human descent is as told in biology books. Now THAT is hilarious. Talk about blind faith !


Why is it implausible?
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Re: The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Postby Crucible » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:37 pm

Because the explanations are not even internally consistent. That's a bad stroke.
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Re: The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Postby aptitude » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:04 am

Crucible wrote:Because the explanations are not even internally consistent. That's a bad stroke.


Umm... elaborate? Any evidence?
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Re: The Implausible Engines of Evolution

Postby Crucible » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:36 pm

Yes, there is evidence.

To elaborate; A two-faceted approach

First, for background, please see this article by PZ Meyers.http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006 ... henism.php
Students are usually taught a grossly oversimplified version of genetics. Everyone who has gone through basic biology has heard of Mendel and his pea plants, and the simple traits that assort independently and can be traced back to a single locus by their pattern of inheritance. There is one wrinkled gene, for instance, and it makes peas wrinkled.
True or not true as to PZ's take on how it's grossly oversimplified in school ? Is this particular example fitting as a gross oversimplification being presented to students ?

Unless you are defining things solely on a molecular level, however, there is no such thing as a phenotypic property that is solely the product of a single gene. Traits are polygenic, meaning that multiple genes cooperate to produce a a phenotype.
How about this ?

One pet peeve I (and many other biologists) have is the media shortcut of describing an identified gene as a "gene for X", whether X is breast cancer, schizophrenia, or hematopoiesis. Multiple genes contribute to all of those phenomena, and that's what we mean by polygenic.
And this ?


Second facet: How about definitions for Evolution ? Can you give me one that you accept ?
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