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Science on evolution

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Science on evolution

Postby canalon » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:43 pm

http://sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/310/5756/1878

An interesting reviews on all the data gathered this year about evolution published byScience. For all those who are interested, and also those who still deny the effectivenes of Darwinian Ideas.

In fact, if you disagree, tell us why, that can make an interesting debate.
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Postby Springer » Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:46 pm

Evolution has failed provide anything of benefit to humanity. It has done nothing to advance our understanding of biology, cannot make accurate predictions of future discoveries, and only serves to degrade man. All conclusions set forth in the referenced article are only interpretations within the narrow minded evolutionary paradigm.
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Postby mith » Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:38 pm

Thank you for your opinion, any facts?
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Postby canalon » Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:39 pm

Springer wrote:Evolution has failed provide anything of benefit to humanity. It has done nothing to advance our understanding of biology, cannot make accurate predictions of future discoveries, and only serves to degrade man. All conclusions set forth in the referenced article are only interpretations within the narrow minded evolutionary paradigm.


That's evolution which underly tthe prediction of enzyme structure and functions based on their sequences, it also allow to define strategies to control antibacterial/antiviral resistance, artificila evolution is used to create new drugs...

As for degrading man, well I don't know what you mean by that.
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Postby Springer » Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:08 pm

Canalon wrote:
That's evolution which underly tthe prediction of enzyme structure and functions based on their sequences,...


Everything we know about enzymes and proteins is by direct observation and experimentation. Evolution has done nothing to "predict" enzyme structure or function. You are confusing the fact that some researchers explain observations within the evolutionary paradigm.

... it also allow to define strategies to control antibacterial/antiviral resistance, artificila evolution is used to create new drugs...


Antimicrobial resistance has noting to do with goo-to-you evolution. No one disputes the exitence of microevolution. That cannot be extrapolated to macroevolution and to do so is illogical.

As for degrading man, well I don't know what you mean by that.

If man is a product of evolution, then moral values also evolved. Thus, any sense of "right or wrong" is relative. If there is no life after death, then life has no purpose. HItler and Stalin embraced Darwinism and justified their practices on "survival of the fittest."
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Postby mith » Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:51 pm

You could use predeterminism to justify those acts too.
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Postby canalon » Sat Dec 24, 2005 4:16 am

Springer wrote:Antimicrobial resistance has noting to do with goo-to-you evolution. No one disputes the exitence of microevolution. That cannot be extrapolated to macroevolution and to do so is illogical.


The distinction between micro and micro evolution is a case study in:
- ad hoc argumentation. It has been attached to creationnist theory (a big family comprising Intellignet design) when it was obvious that denying the data would make no sense.

- Double standard: You accuse the evolutionnist which are reshaping the functionning of the evolution theory to include the last scientific data, which is just healthy scientific practice. Improving your model/theory to fit the data. But the basic assumption of evolution through competition for ressources and mates still stand firm and unshaken. But adding the micro vs macro evolution in your model is kind of a big exception

-Dubious definition: where do you put the limit between micro and macro? Between 2 alleles of the same genes? analogous genes in different species? Between the hand/wing of a bat and yours? Between the arm/wing of a bird and yours?

If man is a product of evolution, then moral values also evolved. Thus, any sense of "right or wrong" is relative. If there is no life after death, then life has no purpose. HItler and Stalin embraced Darwinism and justified their practices on "survival of the fittest."


This subject does nit really belong to biology, but any how I will answer. If necessary I will transfer this to the Off-topic subject to respect our rules.
The logical flaw is that there is no link between ethics and how we came to the world. Ethics does not need to be based on christianity nor need to be relative as it has been suggested in Nuremberg. And whatever Hitler and Stalin did with evolution has no impact on the value of the idea itself. Torquemada killed in the nam of the christian God does it make christianity a killing religion?
And I am sad for you if you do not see any reward in life itself and need an afterlife to justify your existence on this earth.
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Tricky Debate

Postby alextemplet » Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:56 am

The concept of evolution is always a tricky debate topic because it is so often misunderstood. It's often very difficult to clarify that misunderstanding sometimes, because people who don't want to accept it complain about their beliefs not being adequately respected. Some people are just too afraid that evolution will offend someone. For example, I am a devout Catholic, but it is not difficult for me to accept both my religion and the science of evolution. On the religious side, Pope John Paul II once admitted that evolution is correct, but despite Catholicism's belief in papal infallibitilty, the Pope's statement was not loudly trumpeted from every pulpit because so many priests were afraid of offending someone.

I have had numerous encounters with Christian creationists, and from my experience they almost always miss the point in one way or another. Their most common tactic is to misinterpret information until it no longer works. The micro and macro argument is a fine example. Dealing with that, evolution itself means adaptation, so wether those changes or micro or macro is irrelevant because the fact is that those changes occur. Furthermore, it's simple common sense that many small changes over time add up to large changes. For example, if you change the wavelength of a light ray by one nanometer every minute, then at first you won't notice a change at all because the change is so small, but eventually you'll see a completely different color light. So ironically, while creationists attack evolution for being illogical, it is they themselves who suffer from a lack of logic.

As for Hitler and Stalin and ethics, that's not the realm of biology, but it has obviously been forced into a topic of debate anyway. The main point has already been stated: How someone interprets or misuses a fact doesn't make that fact any less factual. It has also already been stated that, if you want to justify immorality, you can do it without using survival of the fittest. For example, the KKK believes that God has chosen the arian race to rule the world; their views have nothing to do with evolution, and the fact that they claim to be Christian doesn't make Christianity as a whole a bad religion.

As for degrading man, people said the same thing when Copernicus and Gallileo said that we're not the center of the universe, but no preacher today is willing to claim that Gallileo was wrong simply because the Bible said so. One day, the same will be true about Darwin.

As for my own personal views, if I may be permitted to express them, it may sound odd to hear a Catholic say that I have major problems with Biblical literalism, and creationism is just another expression of Biblical literalism. The Bible wasn't meant to be taken literally, and if you interpret it that way then it contradicts itself. Also, Genesis states that God created life first in the oceans, then on land, and at the end He created man. In my opinion, that's very compatible with evolution; life began in the oceans, then some species evolved to live on land, and humans are very recent arrivals on this planet.

Christianity, in its true form, presents no threat to evolution, nor should evolution present a threat to Christianity. It is indeed a tricky debate, but I don't think there should be a debate at all. Evolutionary science should be as widely accepted as Copernican science, but it should not affect our religious beliefs and how we live our lives. We should go on living as we always have, except living a little longer because evolutionary science has given us more effective medicine to fight disease. :D
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Re: Tricky Debate

Postby Springer » Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:04 am

alextemplet wrote:
The micro and macro argument is a fine example. Dealing with that, evolution itself means adaptation, so wether those changes or micro or macro is irrelevant because the fact is that those changes occur. Furthermore, it's simple common sense that many small changes over time add up to large changes. For example, if you change the wavelength of a light ray by one nanometer every minute, then at first you won't notice a change at all because the change is so small, but eventually you'll see a completely different color light.


It is illogical to extrapolate microevolution to macroevolution. Can you assume that because man can build a jet that can flight to an altitude of 80,000 feet, that building a much bigger more powerful jet will allow you to fly to Saturn? Can I assume that since my son ran the mile in 5:07 last year, and 4:32 this year, that by the time he's 30 he'll be running under 1 minute? You assume that macroevolution has no limits. That's a grgantuan assumption, considering that macroevolution has never been observed and never proven to be biologically possible.
Macroevolution requires an increase in information. All examples of microevolution involve either loss of information (e.g., antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics), or "lateral" changes, i.e., no loss or gain of information. To go from molecules to man, huge increases in information would be required... and this has never been demonstrated to be possible. It is a ridiculous assumption to conclude that because natural selection can favor peppered moths, that, given enough time, a turnip can evolve into a rhinocerous. This is not science...it's wreckless speculation.

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Postby mith » Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:03 am

Those are both very poor analogies,
Plane-changes conditions, obviously saturn is space travel not air travel

Runner-There's is a limit because your son can't run faster than in 0 mins. Where as evolution doesn't really have a defined limit. Radiation vs convergence. (limit approaching 0 vs limit approaching infinity).

Macroevolution, well here are some examples of speciation http://biomed.brown.edu/Courses/BIO48/23.Cases.HTML

As for the turnip -> rhinocerous, that's the same type of statement as monkey -> human. Exceedingly fallacious.
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Postby Springer » Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:15 pm

mithrilhack wrote:
Those are both very poor analogies,
Plane-changes conditions, obviously saturn is space travel not air travel

Runner-There's is a limit because your son can't run faster than in 0 mins. Where as evolution doesn't really have a defined limit. Radiation vs convergence. (limit approaching 0 vs limit approaching infinity).


The analogies are accurate because you assume that there are no limits to change. Can you prove that? Can you prove macroevolution is possible? No, you merely state that it happened. The proposed mechanisms of macroevolution are different than microevolution, so the extrapolation is baseless, just as it is absurd to assume that a plane can fly to Saturn.

As for the turnip -> rhinocerous, that's the same type of statement as monkey -> human. Exceedingly fallacious.

DNA is DNA... and to deny that a turnip could evolve into a rhinocerous is to deny the foundamental tenets of Darwinism. Of course, in the evolutionary tree of life, no actual transitional species can be identified, because if such were available for rigorous analysis it would be debunked.
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Postby MrMistery » Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:35 pm

The analogies are accurate because you assume that there are no limits to change. Can you prove that? Can you prove macroevolution is possible? No, you merely state that it happened.

So what better choise do we have? We do admit that the theory of evolution does indeed have holes in it, that scientists are trying very hard to figure out, but can you come up with a better model and prove that it works? Between my model with few evidence, and your model with no evidence, i'll take mine anyday. Also see Dave's site. I remember a very interesting example about a buterfly that lives near a city. It used to be white, but as the city grew and became more polluted, the buterfly changed it's appearance, becoming black, to better fit in the environment. This happened along a very short period of time, because the buterfly is an r organism.

DNA is DNA... and to deny that a turnip could evolve into a rhinocerous is to deny the foundamental tenets of Darwinism.

Oh come on, that is just absurd. The turnip is a plant. It can not evolve into a rhinocerous because they are both highly specialised organisms, very well adapted to their own environment. Evolution says that a new species can be born through mutations, that take time. Whereas now on earth every organism lives with it's own fundamental and applied niche. If something goes wrong and one species dies, it's applied niche is taken over by a similar organism. The turnip could never turn into a rhinocerous because it simply "chose a different way" during the passing of time. What you are saying not only is not evolution, it is also against good old common sense
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