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Macroevolution-Do people come from apes?

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Postby keldo » Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:39 pm

I'm a freshman in highschool and I am in biology. We are having a debate on evoluion and I am looking for new information that is for evolution or against it. It does not matter. Thats why I asked those questions. Anything will help.
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Postby mith » Mon Feb 14, 2005 8:14 pm

How I wish I was at your school! You'd be lucky to hear the teacher mention debate and evolution in the same sentence at my school.
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Postby thank.darwin » Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:17 pm

Yah, same here - my teacher didn't even go there... I didn't want her to
No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
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Postby RobJim » Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:09 am

keldo wrote:I'm a freshman in highschool and I am in biology. We are having a debate on evoluion and I am looking for new information that is for evolution or against it. It does not matter. Thats why I asked those questions. Anything will help.


Tell you what. Do some Google searches on the subject. For example, search for irreduceable complexity. Read up on what they have to say, get some specific examples, and then come back here and present that point of view. I'll do my best to refute it. At this point my answer is very simple, and probably unsatisfying. Here it is:

Any example of so-called "irreduceable compexity" is consistent with the TOE. If you think otherwise, give me examples.
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Postby keldo » Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:16 am

Lets see if I'm right. Irreducible complexity is basically the fact of how human cells are very interdependent. So basically certain things need to coexist to make the cell work. So irreducible complexity would be a strong question for the creationism side. You could ask how did such a simple cell form into cells that have elements that have to coexist? How would a evolutionist counter that? Got any ideas.
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Postby keldo » Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:20 am

I'm also researching the second law of thermadynamics. But I can't seem to understand it. Would someone explain it to me better it's likely to be a topic against evolution.
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Postby mith » Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:09 am

Irreducible complexity means everything is created perfect as it is and any attempt to simplify it would result in disaster, hinting that's it's too perfect not to be designed by God/god/creator.

TOE -- Things fall apart and do not tend to become more complex over time in a closed system.
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Postby RobJim » Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:44 am

Keldo -

Lets see if I'm right. Irreducible complexity is basically the fact of how human cells are very interdependent. So basically certain things need to coexist to make the cell work. So irreducible complexity would be a strong question for the creationism side. You could ask how did such a simple cell form into cells that have elements that have to coexist? How would a evolutionist counter that? Got any ideas.

Please be more specific. What "certain things" are you talking about?

I'm also researching the second law of thermadynamics. But I can't seem to understand it. Would someone explain it to me better it's likely to be a topic against evolution.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a statistical analysis of the universe. There is a concept called entropy which is basically the number of exact arrangements of matter and energy in a system which will give the same macroscopic values. This sounds confusing, I know. A similar idea involves dice rolls.

Imagine you have two six sided dice, a red one and a blue one. The macroscopic state of a system would be like the sum of the numbers on the dice, while the entropy of that macroscopic state would be how many ways you could roll the dice to get that sum. For example, the sum 2 has very low entropy; to get a sum of 2, you need to roll a 1 on the red die and a 1 on the blue die. This is the only possible arrangement, so we'll say it has an entropy of 1.

However the sum 7 has much higher entropy. There are six possibilities which will sum 7: 1-6 on the red die and 6-1 on the blue die. Thus the entropy is 6.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the total entropy of the universe will always tend to increase. Why? Well imagine if you put the two dice on 1 and 3 in a shoebox; this is a state with sum 4 and entropy 3 (1-3, 2-2, 3-1). Now shake the box; the chance of getting a state of entropy 1 is 1/36 (sum=2), while the chance of getting a state of entropy 6 is 6/36 (sum=7). The higher the entropy, the more likely you are to get that value on a random roll of the dice. The more you shake the box around, the more likely you are to get a high entropy state.

In science, a macroscopic state might be the volume and pressure of a gas in a sealed chamber, while the microscopic state is the exact position and energy of each molecule of gas. The chance that the gas will all stay in the center of the chamber leaving a vacuum near the walls is extremely low; this is a low entropy state. More likely the gas will fill the biggest volume it can and exert the most pressure it can spread evenly around the walls of the chamber. This is because the greatest number of microscopic states will give this macroscopic result.

Creationists often claim that the idea that life becomes more and more complex and ordered under evolutionary theory violates this Law, because the entropy in the organisms becomes less and less. The problem with this argument is that it doesn't take into account the entropy in feces, urine, exhaled breath, body heat, skin flakes, shed hair, damage to the environment caused by running around and clawing things up, etc. The Second Law only works for the whole universe. Living things create more entropy than they reduce.
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Postby biostudent84 » Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:22 pm

You also fail to mention that while entropy has a natural tendancy to increase, Enthalpy has a tendancy to decrease.

Water at room temperature is a liquid, but according to entropy, would it not make more sense to have it a gas? Entropy would be higher. The answer is that while entropy would go up if it was a gas, enthalpy would also increase.

Entropy, disorder, and Enthalpy, heat energy, both need to be addressed when looking at the world. A balancing point between the two must be found before you can talk about one over the other.
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Postby Keith » Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:39 pm

'Irreducible Complexity' is an attempt to identify some things which are so complex that they could not have been produced by evolution.

The idea is that an irreducible complex assembly, (a whole cell or some sub-assembly of proteins within a cell) will not function at all if one component is removed or defective. Since natural selection only operates on assemblies which have some useful function, a working assembly could not evolve from a series of non-working stages.

For example, car is irreducibly complex in that it will not work if one of the wheels is removed. A car could not have been 'evolved' by making small changes to a car originally designed without any wheels. If one wheel was added by a chance mutation it would still not work. Natural selection could not adopt that change and adding all 4 wheels in succession is even more improbable.

Now a car is definitely not an assembly which developed by biological evolution. However, it certainly did not develop first through the invention of the car body and engine etc and then finally the invention of wheels. The wheel definitely came first. I do not know whether the wheel was first used in a wheelbarrow, but 2-wheel carts and chariots are very ancient. 4-wheel carts were presumably invented to carry heavier loads. The steam engine was invented as a device to pump water from mines, and then adapted to pulling trains and finally the early steam cars. The gasoline engine was one of the final big changes. The actual 'evolutionary' path to todays car is a series of relatively small, useful and moderately obvious steps, rather than one completely unexpected invention.
There has been continued refinements in design of all car components. For example, it used to be necessary to start a car manually by turning a starting handle at the front of the engine. Now, there is a starter motor, a storage battery, an alternator and rectifier to keep the battery charged, and a starter switch to turn on the starter motor. A failure of any one of these components makes the car (temporarily) useless.

Demonstrating that a car is 'irreversibly complex' by showing the large number of components which must be present and functional for it to be useful does not prove that the car was invented in one step. It is necessary to study the actual historic path which led to the modern car.

Similarly, showing that a large number of different molecules are now essential for blood clotting does not prove the impossibility of this arising through evolution. The earliest creatures with blood undoubtedly had much lower blood pressure, and a much simpler, and slower-acting, clotting system would have been an advantage. Once established, further improvement could slowly lead to our present system.

Before the claim of 'irreducible complexity' can be accepted for any biological system, the proponents or their critics have to investigate thether there is an evolutionary path which gets to the present system via a number of small and individually useful steps. I do not know of any system for which ID proponents have been able to establish that such a natural alternative is impossible.

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Postby RobJim » Sat Feb 19, 2005 5:15 am

Keldo -

You should check out the Debates forum at Red Hot Pawn. There are a lot of creationists there. Here's an example of a thread by one of these guys.

http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=19960

The general website's url is

http://www.redhotpawn.com
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Postby Moff231Dawrin » Sat Feb 19, 2005 5:48 pm

I might sound a bit like a hypocrite, but I think we should get on with the subject of macroevolution. If you want facts about evolution, just go to the evolution conversation page.

Species are not created by mutations alone. if the mutation is good and it allows the organism to survive and pass on its traits to its offspring. but mostly species are created by natural selection. actually, by one or two types of selection. there are 3 types, but I can't find my biology notes on that just now :?. I do however, remember the patters. the most common is shaped like a bell-curve, in which the in-between of a species is favored (i.e., average-height humans are favored over tall or short humans) and there is another, in which one of the extremes is more favored (such as tall or short over average or the other extreme). Finally, there is the one I remember, which is called Disruptive Selection. this one is the most uncommon in which both extremes are favored over the average, which may indeed result in a new species if they eventually do evolve differently.

Also, like with Darwin's finches, they were isolated goegraphically, so they would evolve differently.
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