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Microevolution is a fairytale

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Re: Microevolution is a fairytale

Postby supersport » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:41 am

wbla3335 wrote:You're not doing your homework very well, supersport. Try again with searching the literature - the scientific literature (please, no more Googling - where did you get this lateral-transfer business from?). OK, you can Google for PubMed, but then do the rest of your searching there. Also try searching for the term "experimental evolution" (on PubMed). There will probably be some open access articles that you can download and read. Evolution is a slow process. Asking for single, controlled experiments that prove it in animals is a bit naive (hey, give me a non-mathematical example of anything that is proven beyond all doubt). Could you give me an example of a single, controlled experiment that disproves evolution? And you have the edge - disproof is a heck of a lot easier than proof (see above).


sorry, I just don't think it's too much to ask for evolutionists to present evidence that the mechanism propped up by evolutionists is valid. And as far as an example of a controlled experiment that would disprove evolution, what exactly would you take?...ToE is a theory that says only populations evolve...so if I showed you an example of individuals evolving (lamarckism) would that refute your theory? Something tells me it wouldn't. The fact is, nothing can or will refute ToE because ToE is a belief system, not science. I can no more disprove ToE than I can disprove that purple chickens live on the moon. But the thing is, I'm not the one advancing ToE as a scientific fact and putting it in textbooks under the guize of "science"...therefore the onus is not on me to prove or disprove the theory....instead, the onus is on those who claim it to be fact to prove it. And as it is I have seen absolutely no evidence that ToE operates in animal populations. Some on here keep insisting that I look at bacteria, but the fact remains that no one can prove that bacteria mutate randomly or spontaneously in the face of environmental pressures, so without proof it really is pointless to prop it up as evidence.
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Re: Microevolution is a fairytale

Postby wbla3335 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:09 am

Nonscientists are most welcome on this forum. Those of us who are scientists are happy to offer help, if we can, to those with questions or to discuss matters of controversy. Many nonscientists (and some scientists) have a naive view of what science is, what it does and does not do. That's OK. Maybe I can help. What science does is this. Someone makes an observation, either in nature or in an experiment, that current hypotheses, if they exist, cannot explain. Someone then suggests an hypothesis that can explain both the new and the old observations. Others then make new observations or devise experiments that can test the new hypothesis. These new observations or results may either support or refute the hypothesis. Most of us working scientists are suspicious of claims of proof. As I've said before, proof is hard to come by in science, or anywhere else. Sometimes the body of evidence supporting a particular hypothesis is so overwhelming that most people familiar with the evidence believe (note my choice of word) that the hypothesis is probably (note my choice of word) correct. Science can and does contribute to the development of a belief system. The theory of evolution can be part of that belief system and is found in textbooks because it is the best tested and supported theory available for explaining the observations. There will be much refinement and tweeking of it in the years to come, perhaps even a major addition or two. The basic premise, though, appears to be quite sound, having survived 150 years of intensive scrutiny. No one has come up with an alternative theory that is capable of a better explanation of the observations. But it is a theory, always will be. If someone were to propose an alternative that does a better job of explaining the observations, then I'm sure it would initially receive considerable opposition (we scientists are only human and don't like our pet theories being attacked), but if new observations or experimental tests overwhelmingly support the new theory, then most of us will come around in time. We're after possible answers to questions and tend to support good arguments. Is the theory of evolution true? I can't say that I know for sure (nobody does), but having studied it for decades, I suspect that it is probably on the right track. Those who do not want to look at the evidence, or who are unable or unwilling to endanger their own alternative pet theories, are of course free to do so. My standard suggestion for those who want to learn more about evolution is to read "On the Origin of Species". Darwin lived in a time when proposing such ideas was heretical. He knew this, so his book is a masterpiece of tact and is a gentle introduction into the subject. His appraoch was not confrontational. He was just a brilliant scientist offering some good ideas. (A warning, though. The writing style of the time may cause drowsiness. Do not read while operating heavy machinery.)
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Postby mith » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:10 am

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Postby alextemplet » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:00 pm

Supersport, all you would have to do to disprove evolution is show its mechanism (natural selection) was incapable of driving evolutionary change. Ever since Darwin wrote Origin of Species, the scientific community has been testing his theory by trying to do exactly that. You see, scientific experiments are designed to disprove rather than prove hypothesis, since disproof is a heck of a lot easier to achieve than proof. In fact, most scientists agree that in order for a hypothesis to be considered scientifically valid rather than just a wild myth, it has to be falisifialbe; that is, it must be disprovable. For example, it's entirely possible that the entire universe was created thirty seconds ago by a being so powerful that it was even able to produce false memories and design everything around us to trick us into thinking we've been around for much longer. Such an idea, however possible, is not considered to be of any scientific validity because there's no way to test (read disprove) it.

The reason evolution is taught in textbooks is because it has stood the test of time. Countless experiments and observations over the past century and a half have been unable to disprove it, and it explains the dynamics of changing populations much better than any other theory currently availabe. If you can provide a better explanation, please feel free; I would love to hear it!

I am currently an undergrad biology student; I am planning to pursue a graduate degree in ecology and evolution after earning my BS. Even my freshman-level biology textbook contains plenty of evidence for evolution and how it works. Textbooks are prohibitively expensive, so it's not the best place to start, but if you're interested in learning more about evolution, a trip to your local book store or public library should make plenty of good books available at relatively inexpensive prices. I personally like to check local book stores near my town frequently; new publications are always arriving and I'm quite the bookworm.
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Re: Microevolution is a fairytale

Postby canalon » Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:17 am

supersport wrote:Some on here keep insisting that I look at bacteria, but the fact remains that no one can prove that bacteria mutate randomly or spontaneously in the face of environmental pressures, so without proof it really is pointless to prop it up as evidence.


You probably did not look too hard. Tons of work has been done on bacteria, I can only refer you once again to Richard Lenski (look at mith link), but you can also read what Taddei, Radman and Matic have done on spontaneous mutation rates and evolution. You keep complaining that you do not have proof, but were you trying to actually read what other posters have offered, you might have already learned a lot.
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Re: Microevolution is a fairytale

Postby supersport » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:10 pm

as I stated in my OP, peering into genomes and noticing that they restructure themselves in the face of danger in no way proves evolution: it has nothing to do with natural selection, it is not spontaneous, it is not random, and very often multiple mutations are involved, which infers that mutations are an effect of a deeper cause. In order to qualify as the raw material for selection, variation must be truly random and unforeseen -- not as a direct response to an environmental change.
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Postby mith » Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:30 pm

Read Lenski's experiment and explain it correctly if you think it's is wrong.
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Postby alextemplet » Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:53 pm

Supersport, evolution is exactly the process of organisms responding to their environment. It is not random but dependent on the environment. So yes, this does prove evolution.
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Postby canalon » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:55 am

Alex you are wrong. Evoluion is not a response of the organism to the environment. It is the selection by the environment to the diversity of organisms (including inside a species).

But, Supersport, it seems that you do not want to read about lenski's experiments, yet they are a very good answer to your original post. And importantly, peering in genomes and noticing changes is a good way to study evolution. Silent mutations, pseudo genes and other changes that provide little or no selective (dis)advantages are interesting and provides lots of information. And similar results (phenotype) generated through different methods (mutations, horizontal transfer) are also very telling when it comes to the generation of diversity on which evolution can act.
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Postby alextemplet » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:42 am

Sorry, I think I worded myself wrong. I need to not try to answer scientific questions when I have a hangover.

That long-term experiment stuff is cool, though. Makes me jealous this guy gets to do this for a living. Oh wait, that's why I'm going to school!
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Re:

Postby supersport » Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:26 am

mith wrote:Read Lenski's experiment and explain it correctly if you think it's is wrong.



there's not even a mutation identified...much less proof that it arose randomly.
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Postby mith » Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:43 am

They evolved to utilize citrate. It's clearly stated in the website.
Here's a more layman's term article if you don't understand.

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/lif ... e-lab.html
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