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Evolutionary Importance

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Evolutionary Importance

Postby bearhug » Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:27 pm

Why do you think it is important for people to understand evolution?
There are so many ways to answer this question I just wanted to here some feedback on what you guys think.
Thanks
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:20 pm

In my opinion, the answer is twofold:

1) Understanding evolution can help us understand how bacteria and viruses mutate and evolve to become immune to medication, and can then lead to new cures.

2) Evolution can also help us understand how to care for our already damaged environment. Evolution is, after all, about how life adapts to change, and we need to make sure that our environment does not become so badly damaged that life is impossible. I don't think preserving every single species alive today should be our goal; perhaps it would be enough to guarantee that life simply evolves to deal with an environment changed by humans. Let's just try not to cause another mass extinction.

That's my opinion, for what it's worth.
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Postby cool A-level student » Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:16 pm

mass extinction eh?
i agree we truly screwin this planet up here!
global warming is a real prob!
mayb we shud go to global cooling :) mind you fighting pollution with another kind of pollution sounds abit funny
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Postby alextemplet » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:17 am

I work outside on a construction sight, so everyday I am in a position to know what the weather's like. Every day I realize it's hot. I can remember, ten or fifteen years ago, it was cold in January, but not anymore. And people try to claim that global warming doesn't exist! :shock:
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Postby mith » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:27 am

Think about testing of medicines and products. We routinely use animals to test whether they work or not or may have harmful effects. Why do we use rabbits, mice and pigs but not sea cucumbers, toads or worms? Because they're futher apart on the phylogentic tree i.e. we're distantly related, and the effect on it has a lower probablity of having the same effect on us. Of course this assumes that we are related i.e. evolution and speciation.
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Postby alextemplet » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:32 am

Don't forget, rabbits and mice reproduce quickly as well, so if the drug kills them it's not like there's a dozen more waiting to be tested.

I admit it's a bit cruel but sometimes I wonder if that's part of the reason. After all, apes are even more closely related to us than mice and, as far as I know, their use in medical research is pretty limited.
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Postby ZakaSPFC » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:44 am

It is a way for us to gain understanding of the world around us. By studying natural selection we learn where we came from and where we are going. There have been mass extinctions in the past and we have rebounded, but often they were not gradually occuring like our current state. We need to maintain equilibrium in ecosystems so they do not unravel like a torn up rug. If you eliminate one part of an ecosystem it falls apart. The reason we need to know evolution is because we (although we do not like to admit it) are all parts of the ecosystem. If fauna and flora cease to exist so do we.
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Postby ZakaSPFC » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:58 am

Also mass extinction is part of a healthy ecosystem and earth itself. If dinosaurs did not go extinct there would be no rise of mammals
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Re: Evolutionary Importance

Postby Springer » Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:25 pm

bearhug wrote:Why do you think it is important for people to understand evolution?
There are so many ways to answer this question I just wanted to here some feedback on what you guys think.
Thanks


The study of evolution has provided no benefit whatsoever to man. It has not aided our understanding of any discipline of science and certainly has been a negative influence on humanity in that it has caused many to lose hope of a purpose in life.
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Postby MrMistery » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:35 pm

And how, may i ask, do you think that the study of evolution caused people to lose hope of a purpose in life?
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
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Postby Springer » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:41 pm

MrMistery wrote:And how, may i ask, do you think that the study of evolution caused people to lose hope of a purpose in life?


Evolution presumes that all of the diversity of life, including man's existence, can ultimately be reduced to DNA copying errors. How can anyone think that life has a purpose if we are all the results of numerous accidents? A pillar of evolutionary thinking is lack of purpose or direction.
Last edited by Springer on Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MrMistery » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:45 pm

sure it has. I respect your choise to belief in creationism either than evolution since it your choise to make. However, in this particular matter, evolution also explains a smiliar thing. The basic idea of natural selection is that nature will always follow it's purpose, and that every organism has an "intrinsec purpose", so to speak, to adapt to it's environment and stay alive(no, this not lamarkism!)
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