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Silliness

I think it's absolutely silly that people still debate about whether or not evolution is real, when we've witnessed it happen. Mutations and changes happen all the time. Bacterias have evolved to withstand the drugs used against them.

I also think it's important that people look up what the meaning of "theory" really is. Because evolution is, in reality, a fact.

JonFurniss JonFurniss 18-21, M 48 Responses Apr 2, 2008

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Max, why do you talk to jena about posting privileges? This isn't your story, and jena has as much right as anyone to post here... EP, not you, is the arbiter on what rights she enjoys. Rights, Max, not privileges.
Perhaps you are referring to the ability to respond directly to your postings? Then again, perhaps you would be better not to highlight your behaviour in that regard... blocking anyone who shows up the feebleness in your claims, being completely non-responsive when shown to be in error, and always being careful to start new threads so that you can hide from those you have blocked... these behaviours are craven and dishonourable.

@Fast

When have you presented me with evidence that God does not nor cannot exist? When have you presented evidence discrediting the body of facts and statements I've shared for God's necessary existence?

I expected better of you. Why, instead, choose to join the peanut gallery?

It's not clear what this is in response to, so I can only offer a general one. You continue to misunderstand, fundamentally, what atheism is. God cannot be disproven. I choose to believe things based on the evidence in support of those things. I do not choose to believe things simply because they can not be disproven. The things that CAN be disproven, but AREN'T, are the things that interest me the most.

Every piece of evidence you have advanced offering "proof" of a god relies on a logical fallacy, or presupposes something else as truth that has not been proven. I, and others, have pointed out these cases as they've come up and I'm disinclined to repeat that, or to continue doing so.

It has become clear to me that you are not here for discussion, but proselytism, and I'm not interested in "discussions" that are copy-paste talking points.

@JenaYou left out the part where you made disgusting comments about my son - which prompted the revocation of your posting privileges on my forums - and where I sincerely apologized for any and all slights I may have caused you. That you would play the victim given that everything you've said is a matter of permanent record is truly astounding. Do you really think people are stupid enough to take your mendacious libel at face value? So sad ...

Max wrote:"...it fails to take into account inherent limits on genotypic variety. Such a constraint is what prevents one kind from macroevolving into another as shown with hybridization experiments. Unless you're trying to revive the myth of Lamarckism."

Max, any specific phenotype has a limit on its genotypic variability (not its variety). Too large a leap through genetic space results in what are called ‘hopeful monsters’… these are invariably inviable, because probability is enormously against them. On the other hand, small, localised variation is the norm. Most of these are neutral, and are never expressed (you and I both carry thousands of them). Some are deleterious, and the organism is not viable, so dies very quickly, usually in utero… fully 1/3rd of first pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion, often for this reason. Occasionally, a single non-deleterious mutation confers a slight advantage in the struggle to reproduce, and will therefore spread throughout the gene pool of that species (Darwin: A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die…). Genes do not exist in isolation (they are more like teams), and that mutation may be neutral for tens of thousands of years before being expressed in concert with another mutation that eventually forms, conferring a slight advantage that neither could express alone.
Max, I have long been perplexed by your use of the terms ‘microevolution’ and ‘macroevolution’. Others have pointed out to you that these terms are without meaning… there is just evolution. It now seems to me, from what you wrote, that you think that evolution proposes ‘hopeful monsters’… enormous change in a single generation (a là Lamarck), and that this is what you term ‘macroevolution’. Of course, evolution theory proposes nothing of the sort, and the concept is entirely your own invention (or that of your indoctrinators… which apparently comes to the same thing)

Max writes "The tipping point being the moment when reptiles, for instance, become birds as purported by evolutionary theory."
Really, it's just too funny! Here's this guy arguing against evolution, yet he's without the slightest idea of how evolution works... which is why he makes self-embarrassing statements like this.
"as purported by evolutionary theory"!! Oh, it's just priceless!!

Hi Janine, guess who just called me a rapist and murderer and then blocked me? : )

Sounds like egestra cranium - aka max

P245, it’s sweet of you to suggest to Max that he should unblock me, but in fact i rather look on it as his admission to all who read this thread that he is unable to answer my questions, or even to reply to the points i make in my comments.
It’s a reminder that not all who post here are honourable, and that not all men are manly.

hmmm

Oh jena, that's just horrible! A rapist and a murderer? What sort of a mind-state must he have to justify such behaviour to himself?
On a better note, welcome to the 'silly girls who make Max pee his panties and run away and hide behind the curtains' club!

Thank you . The problem is that Max doesn't actually have a single original thought. He has no, none, zero understanding of evolution or science. Everything in regards to those are simply parroted from JW propaganda sites. The same can be said of his stories. He told me he blocked you because you didn't want honest, open-minded discussion, yet he tells me he doesn't disagree with a single JW position and never will. That's fine, but it is by definition, close-minded. He is a hypocrite's hypocrite and like a coward will always deflect, dodge questions, and use hit-and-run tactics. I am very concerned about allusions he's made regarding his son, hopefully an investigation will see to his son's safety.

Max's goal is not to have an honest, open-minded discussion. He is here to proselytize for Jehovah's Witnesses. When these people knock on your front door, do you expect that if you invite them in you'll have an open and honest discussion? Max is doing the online equivalent of that. He is interested in the conversation so long as he is able to maintain JW talking points. And when he can't, he'll take the conversation on a tangent so he can keep pumping out the talking points.

The frustrating things are (a) his messages are seductive in that they're so clearly obviously wrong that it seems like it would just take a token effort to respond to them and (b) people out there would certainly see his messages and, without thinking much about it, agree with him, that I feel *compelled* to respond just to keep that from happening.

Max says that i don't want to have an honest, open-minded discussion? Wow, jena, that's astonishing... especially given his evasions, his duplicity, and his refusal to respond to what's pointed out to him. i was wondering how he was explaining away his cowardice, but it takes deep-set self-delusion to believe that sort of piffle, and even deeper self-delusion to think that others will believe it.
Yes, it's taken me quite some time to realise that Max has absolutely no understanding of matters scientific, including evolution. He has made statements that indicate such ignorance of the subject matter, such total lack of comprehension, that i automatically assumed it was just the result of poor phrasing and careless writing... but know i know otherwise.

Fastolfe, i understand what you mean about feeling a need (a social obligation, almost) to oppose the duplicity and dishonesty that Max seems able to paper over in his own mind. he particularly sparks up whenever anyone shows any signs of emotional vulnerability... it's particularly disgusting because he isn't concerned for them a person... there's no human-to-human empathy... he simply sees it as an opportunity to proselytise and to gain some sort of advantage or kudos for himself. i've elsewhere used the phrase 'emotional vampire', and i feel that to be an apt description.

It's remarkable that he says YOU don't want an actual open-minded discussion yet freely admits that he will never bend on his position and that he accepts 100%, without question, every official stance and policy of the JW. As we've said, that's fine but then don't pretend you're here for open discussion. I pointed out to him that you were asking reasonable questions in a civil manner, which is more than fair given the fact that he invited the challenge in an atheist group story. When his preplanned, JW-provided, stock answers failed to hold up, he tried shifting the topic, dodging direct questions, making personal and sexist comments thinly disguised (or not at all) with sarcasm, displayed a false sense of superiority by throwing around Latin phrases, and finally blocking people in a similar way to a child holding his ears and screaming "I can't hear you, I can't hear you!"

jena, you've perfectly described Max's behaviour. He also seems to find nothing unethical with wasting other people's time and effort when his sole purpose is to curry favour with his indoctrinators.
He likes to start new threads so that those he has blocked (there must be so many of us by now!) cannot reply directly to his postings... and yet again finds nothing wrong with this cowardice. Others who read this might like to note that the best way to see this in action is to start a new thread when replying to Max... he won't go near it, because he can't control such a thread.

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The Shakhnovich Speed Limit? Max, that's so much less than i was hoping for... very disappointing. The Shakhnovich Speed Limit postulates a limit of 6 mutations (for the human genome) per generation. Per generation, max. Not in total. Six mutations per generation... we get about 4 or 5 generations per century.
i'll rephrase it for you... it's a postulation about the amount of viable mutations per generation... not the amount of viable mutations per genome.
In any event, 6 mutations per generation would be a huge amount, and we have no need for anything like that rate.
Rate, Max, not sum.
Follow?
Now, what were you saying about macaques?

As an aside to fastolfe... it seems to me surprising that the Shakhnovich Speed Limit postulation talks about genomic mutation rates when, in fact, mutation is at the level of the gene, and would be expressed, if at all, at the level of the phenotype, and would only subsequently spread throughout the entire genome if it conferred enough benefit to spread thoughout the reproductive sequence.
Which is, of course, a major criticism of the postulation... they have pitched the idea at the wrong level. Have you seen any reformulations of the idea in order to address this?

max, when you write stuff such as "what makes you so sure what human beings will not eventually transform into after the accumulation of mutations reaches it's supposed tipping point?" you demonstrate to all that your idea of what evolution is, and how it works, is both simplistic and wrong.
Humans will not 'transform' into something.
Humans may well become ancestral to something else... this will be driven by selection pressures and the availability of genetic diversity such that a part of that diversity will confer an advantage, and differential rates of reproduction flowing from that advantage will cause the difference to spread throughout, and dominate, the gene pool.
Follow?
The accumulation of genetic changes is stunningly gradual... don't expect a newspaper headline along the lines of 'woman gives birth to kangaroo'.. such nonsense is strictly a fantasy of uninformed creationists. However, 500 million years from now, the development of other organisms, for whom humans are now ancestral, may be clear and evident... but only in hindsight. Something tells me that i need to emphasise that for you, Max... only in hindsight.
Still following?
Humans are not the 'goal' of evolution... evolution has no goal, no end-point, no 'ideal organism'... our species is simply one more way-station on a journey that has no set destination.
Still managing to follow?

Max (very careful to be the one who starts new threads) asks about differences between parents and child.
Max, give yourself a basic lesson or two in genotype and phenotype... or would you prefer that i do it for you? i'd be happy to do so.

Before i begin, i need to know what level of pre-existing knowledge i can assume. Do you have at least a working knowledge of meiosis, alleles, gene expression, and genetic space? If not, i'll include those, but if you already understand these things, then it'll save time.
Fortuitously, this will also lead smoothly and naturally into a good discussion on genetic constraints (i can toss in genetic melting points and the latest work in epigenetics... my afternoon is unexpectedly free), so both your fishing trips can be addressed in a single response.
So, would you like me to go ahead with all that, Max? At the very least, it'll make your questions more informed and less tentative.

By the way, did you understand my comment about sickle-cell anaemia? i ask because you didn't respond to it.
i therefore assume you accept the point i made (i find that your non-responsiveness forces me to do that a lot).

And now i think that Max is about to make a macaque of himself...

Before you walk yourself into the mess i can see you're unwittingly heading into, Max, shouldn't you first deal with your last mess? Would you like me to go ahead and walk you through genetic differentiation, genotypes and phenotypes, and all that follows? As i said, i'm quite happy to do it for you, but i first i need to know that you'll be following along... i'm only prepared to put this effort into bringing you up to speed if i know that you're making an effort too, Max. i feel that's quite reasonable.

Oh, Max, i just saw your "the limits placed on variety inherent to a kind's genetic coding. Such a constraint is what prevents one kind from macroevolving into another as show with hybridization experiments"
Please do detail the nature of these 'limits', and also at least point us towards these 'hybridisation experiments' (burden of proof and all that)

i meant to ask you what you mean by genetic coding... do you mean the genome?

When you devolve into religion, no logic will ever work.

And apparently one stops being 'ferocious as a lion'... a shame, really, because timidity is one trait i cannot bear in any male.

Yes but you are debating in a vacuum. He is not arguing a point, he is just trying to get you to wrestle the greased pig. He has no ideas of his own, only 'websites'.

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@Fast

You state, "The way evolution works is for an organism to reproduce in such a way that the child is different than its parent." As I'm sure you'll agree, "different" is a very subjective term. Can you provide me with an objective definition, then?

@max: when we say that the child is different from its parents, biologically, that means that its genotype is not a carbon copy of it's parents' genotype.

This is one of several processes that are able to contribute to evolution.

@P245

Thanks for the clarification!

Now, is this genotypic variety constrained in any way?

Couldn't have said it better.

Yes, there are constraints.

@P245

Such as?

Such as is described by the theory of genetics. There are plenty of freshman bio textbooks that will have nice explanations for you, along with diagrams and end of chapter problems.

@P245

You misapprehend. I wanted to confirm you were aware of the limits placed on variety inherent to a kind's genetic coding. Such a constraint is what prevents one kind from macroevolving into another as show with hybridization experiments.

No, I don't misapprehend. There are constraints to how different the offspring can be from the parents (if sexual reproduction) or parent (if asexual reproduction.)

The microevolution/macroevolution thing is a red herring. It is tantamount to saying that it is impossible to count to a million just for the reason that when we count we only increase by from one number to the next. An accumulation of small changes is a big change.

False analogy. Nothing restricts anyone from counting to a million. Try again.

A better analogy is how an organism will die if If enough mutations push an essential protein towards an unstable, non-functional structure (Otherwise known as "The Shakhnovich Speed Limit").

@Max

No, good analogy, which tells me to totally did not get it. OF COURSE WE CAN COUNT TO A MILLION, THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT I AM SAYING! For crying out loud. Are you hard of reading? The analogy is that someone would be wrong to say we cannot count to a million for the reason that we only count by one. That person (you in this case) would be wrong, because in fact, we can. Jeesh, why do I have to explain everything twice?

To your second point, a very common misconception that evolution must happen because of mutations. This is absolutely false. Evolution can happen without any mutation at all.

By the way, you should unblock Janine, she has intelligent responses to your posts.

Oh, are you in the JW now?

@P245

Horrible analogy for it fails to take into account inherent limits on genotypic variety. Such a constraint is what prevents one kind from macroevolving into another as shown with hybridization experiments. Unless you're trying to revive the myth of Lamarckism.

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Remember, max, that anytime you want to reply to my questions, you need only unblock me and then post your answer. Don't worry... you can immediately block me again.. no need to be anxious

Max, your question "And eventually, as more and more mutations accumulate, these will evolve into something that is completely inhuman, correct?" is truly uninformed.
The gradual accumulation of genetic changes that are beneficial (allow the organism to produce more copies of its genes relative to others of its species) in light of the environment of the organism (and that term 'environment' is not confined to the external world, but also includes the chromosomal environment of the mutation), will lead to the spread of such changes.
Your question seems to be based on the misunderstanding of evolution that leads to questions like "if humans evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys?" (obviously, that's not what evolution says... a revelation that always startles the questioner into confused silence). Your question seems to be making the same mistake.
Perhaps you should try "3 billion years from now will humans be seen to have been ancestral to this other species over here?"?
Is that the question you're trying to ask, Max?

Max, you do understand that one species doesn't 'turn into' another species... don't you?

Incidentally, Max, i was disappointed to see that you posted "You're presupposing Gradualism and Common Descent. Worse still, the scientific community changed it's mind about Gradualism such that it is no longer considered fact but myth".
Now, i know that i've already explained that gradualism is a model, and that the model is based on the fossil evidence. Are you suggesting that the 'scientific community' (what on Earth is that supposed to be, Max?) has now abandoned that model? Did i miss the memo? What leads you to make that claim, Max?
i also know that i ran you through common descent. Surely you remember that... it was over on OrdinaryGuy's story 'Burden of Proof' in the 'I am an atheist' group. Would you like me to go back over it for you? Perhaps the lesson didn't stick the first time round... come to think of it, you were non-responsive at the time. Just let me know... i'd be quite happy to repeat it, or even expand on it, for you

Yes Max, the dog breeds you listed are canines. Present day canines. Why are you asking for whatever has evolved from canines. They're here today, Max. Your question seems confused... what exactly are you asking for?
if you're asking for the recent ancestral line of present-day canines (i say recent because going back a mere 55 million years will be more than enough), there's voluminous information available on that. Would you like me to detail it for you, or will you take the few minutes necessary to find it for yourself?

Max wrote: "Take Sickle-Cell Anemia. Sure it's a fluke that makes those who suffer from it more resistant to Malaria but it also shortens their life-span to about 42 years. So now you have generations of people resistant to Malaria but also have 50% shorter life-spans. Talk about "out of the frying pan and into the fire.'"
Max, would you rather have a 42-year life-span (allowing you to have children), or die in infancy from malaria? (incidentally, 42 years would have been a good lifespan throughout most of human history... current lifespans are thanks to improvements brought about by science... you're welcome)
Please try to put a little thought into these questions

@Fast

I'm not moving goal posts. You just keep missing the field goal :)

To draw an analogy from the canine world, we have Siberian Wolves, Dachsunds, Great Danes, German Shepherds and Siberian Huskys. Thing is, there're still Canines.

Same as this E. Coli variant. It's still E. Coli.

What I'm looking for, to continue the analogy, is a kind that descended from Canines but evolved into something that's not a Canine. This is, and always has been, the evidence I've sought for macroevolution.

Do you have this particular type of evidence?

"Same as this E. Coli variant. It's still E. Coli."

You realize you are essentially arguing about the definition of a species, right? If the definition allows the discoverer to delineate between E. Coli and this new bacteria, on the basis of its traits, then all he has to do is give the new "variant" a name and your assertion is disproven.

In a way, you're both right and wrong here, and once you figure out why and reconcile the fact that this new organism is "just" a descendent of E. Coli, but with some additional traits that set it apart, AND it's a new species, you will learn why macroevolution is just an extension of microevolution and essentially inevitable.

When I say you're moving goal posts, I'm pointing out that you reject this degree of change between the two populations, despite the fact that it qualifies as speciation, but you aren't looking forward another 40k generations to think about what happens when there are two or three new distinctive traits setting it apart. At some point this "variant" is going to be so different from the original E. Coli that you can't plausibly call it similar.

Question: For how many years have scientists been studying bacteria?

Why does it matter? Are you trying to argue that bacteria needs 10M years in order to show evidence of "macroevolution"? Evolution does not work that way. It's the rate that a population accumulates mutations that matters, which is a function of the number of generations, not years. Bacteria go through generations much faster than elephants.

Do you accept that speciation is what's needed for macroevolution, or are you saying that you need something "more"? Double speciation?

It's germane because if it's been studied for decades then there certainly has to be evidence that the 40Kth generation of E. Coli isn't E. Coli as you speculate.

If it's still E. Coli, though ...

Round and around we go...

Let's try something new. I've decided to stop answering subjective questions from you, because you and I will interpret the words differently (since I don't speak JW English), and my answer will always be unsatisfying to you, causing us to go round and around like this talking past each other. (In case it's not clear, I feel this question was already asked and answered to satisfaction.)

So, if you'd like to rephrase your question in a way that does not require interpretation, I will be happy to try answering it.

I don't follow. What is it that you think I'm asking?

I don't know what you're asking because "isn't E. Coli" is subjective. I'm spending way too much time dealing with issues of language and interpretation with you so from now on I'm just going to insist that you be more specific and less subjective with your questions because I only want to give answers once.

Let's take a step back then so that I can refine my Dictionary of Fastolifean English, he eheeh :)

Are Macaques human beings?

If you are asking whether the present-day population of Macaques intersects with the present-day population of humans, I believe the answer is 'no'.

Actually, I'm simply asking if Macaques are human beings. Are they?

If my previous response did not answer this question, this is one of those "JW English" situations and I need you to rephrase your question so that it's more specific. Things you could focus on:

- Definition of Macaques
- Definition of human beings
- Definition of "are"

I know this seems like I'm being pedantic, but I think this is preferable than going round and around 10 times repeatedly believing we're understanding each other, and disappointed when you ask a follow-up question that clearly indicates we're not. So I think we're better off figuring out what words we disagree on before we waste our time arguing about something that depends on how we define that word.

Possibly, we could just skip to the chase here and you can define what specifically you're looking for as evidence of macroevolution. Previously I thought it was speciation but now that we've established that that happens with bacteria, that's still not enough. So what is enough? And for simplicity let's continue to focus on bacteria?

I. This is a Macaque: http://bit.ly/16xZLfO

This is a human being: bit.ly/12soXGQ

Are they the identical?

II. I want direct observable evidence of fish evolving into amphibians, these evolving into reptiles who evolved into birds who evolved into mammals. That would seal the deal for me.

I. The obvious answer to your question is "no", but you could also say that two sibling Macaques and two sibling humans are also not "identical". What is it about these two species that you want to compare? Phenotypes? Genotypes? I suspect you're asking this question because you want to set up the foundation for a follow-up question, and I think it's important to be specific about what you're looking for in this comparison before we take it to the next step. You need to provide a concrete, objective metric for us to use in comparing the two groups that allows your question to be answered true for the two populations as a group, but false for different members of each respective population. No more hand-wavey from-the-gut "this is true because it feels true". Be specific. My suspicion is that once you achieve the level of specificity needed to truly ask the question you're attempting to ask, you will find your answer to be self-evident. But we'll take it slow.

II. First of all, we can't just set a "goal" like this and expect evolution to do tricks for us. Possibly we could, over millions of years, apply some kind of selective pressure to coax a population of fish to develop traits that result in it becoming what we'd call an amphibian. It is unlikely that you would still be alive to witness the fruits of that work, however.

It is interesting that you went back to animals instead of sticking with the simpler kingdom of bacteria. Don't you think bacteria are a little simpler to discuss?

I. Please list all the ways in which you cognize the heterogeneousness of Macaques with human beings.

II. What, if anything, is analogous to fish supposedly evolving into amphibians, these evolving into reptiles who evolved into birds who evolved into mammals in bacteria?

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@Fast

I. Ok but why 10M as opposed to 100K or even 1B? What evidence is this based on? I still need context.

II. It appears you missed the thrust of my rejoinder. Take Sickle-Cell Anemia. Sure it's a fluke that makes those who suffer from it more resistant to Malaria but it also shortens their life-span to about 42 years. So now you have generations of people resistant to Malaria but also have 50% shorter life-spans. Talk about "out of the frying pan and into the fire."

I. You're asking for evidence for a number that I offered as an arbitrary value in discussion of a meaningless distinction? If you're asking how long it takes for an organ to evolve to a "goal", my point is precisely that this is not how evolution works. I don't understand how you're asking for evidence for something that I'm trying to tell you doesn't happen. If you have some specific question about the evolution of the eye, or the ear, I'm sure there is research going on to try and figure that out.

II. It all boils down to this: if the mutation is spread, the mutation spreads. That is, if those with the mutation survive to have children at a rate higher than those without the mutation, the mutation spreads. If more people survive to child-bearing years as a result of not getting Malaria, and they're able to have more children as a group despite the fact that they don't live as long, we say the mutation confers a net benefit and it will, slowly and probabilistically, make its way to the rest of the gene pool. If the benefit is confined to the region, the mutation will tend to persist only in populations endemic to that region.

And eventually, as more and more mutations accumulate, these will evolve into something that is completely inhuman, correct?

You need to define "inhuman" before I will touch that question. Nice try.

@Fast

You sure are a sllippery one, lol :)

Inhuman: An organism that is not a human being. For example, Polar Bears, Caterpillars and Kangaroos are not human beings. Follow?

It is highly improbable that humans will evolve into Polar Bears, Caterpillars or Kangaroos. But humans are still accumulating mutations like every other population on earth. As mutations spread through a population, the population changes. After enough generations, the mutations will accumulate to the point where the descendent begins to show clear differences from its distant ancestor. Eventually the differences reduce the probability that a member of the ancestor population can breed with a member of the descendent population and you satisfy some definition of speciation.

i. So you understood my query as asked and I can, therefore, take your reply as a "Yes" response, yes?

ii. Just out of curiosity, what makes you so sure what human beings will not eventually transform into after the accumulation of mutations reaches it's supposed tipping point?

I. I object to your use of the term "completely inhuman" because it implies no resemblance. So, no. If you'd like to restate your question in a way that has fewer subjective (open to interpretation) elements, I will try answering.

II. I said improbable, not sure. It is unclear what evolutionary pressures would result in mutations taking us from where we are today to those other forms. Do you think that taking on traits of a caterpillar, and losing traits of unique to humans, are likely to confer a survival benefit to us? I really don't foresee significant *reductions* in our intelligence, for instance, but I also can't predict the future.

Also, what "tipping point"? Do you mean the point where the population meets our dictionary definition of a distinct species? There is no point where "suddenly", subsequent to a clap of thunder from above, a Proclamation is made that the first member of a new species is born.

Or are you still under the belief that evolution has a "goal", and this tipping point is the point where the goal is reached?

The tipping point being the moment when reptiles, for instance, become birds as purported by evolutionary theory.

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Max, in one of the threads below, you're talking about speciation events.
Seeing the nature of the questions you're asking, i assume you don't actually understand how speciation works (given the other stuff on which i've had to school you). In the next day or two i'll run out a primer for you, after which you'll see that you questions on this thread are not meaningful. OK?

Max, are you really still citing Loren Eiseley as an 'evolutionist'? What exactly do you mean by that term? Eiseley was an anthropologist and a writer of lyrical prose and musings on science... and that more than half a century ago!

No answer to this comment, Max? i'll take that as acknowledgement that your Eiseley comment is meaningless

Oh, i just remembered that you can't reply, because you blocked me a while ago. Well, no matter... what you can do is unblock me, post your reply, and then quickly block me again. OK, i know it sounds like a cowardly thing to do... but then again, i'm sure you'll have no problem with that

Evolutionist Loren Eiseley acknowledged: “After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past.”—The Immense Journey - http://bit.ly/17PMEwz

Well if somebody said it, that must mean it's proof that it doesn't happen. Appeal to authority much?

@Fast

False charge at fallacy. Try again :)

Here's another thought, change observed today doesn't prove that evolution happened in the past. Otherwise the Iraq War would prove that the War of 1812 actually occurred.

Actually observing mutations occurring today is evidence that mutations occurred in the past, in the same way that soldiers being shot in the Iraq War being injured or killed by the bullet is evidence that soldiers shot in the War of 1812 would have been injured or killed by it.

Then that serves as proof of mutations not macroevolution. Unless, of course, you're proposing a new theory of evolution. Are you?

Well when I talk about evolution I talk about the change in the distribution of inherited traits in a population between generations. Which can be brought on by both mutation and selective processes that lead to specific genes being passed on preferentially.

That's fine but where's all the evidence for Macroevolution?

Sorry, what do you think "macroevolution" is? There really isn't a difference between "macro" and "micro" evolution, except that one happens on a larger time scale.

1. A population separates into two sub-populations
2. Both sub-populations accumulate mutations over a significant period of time
3. After enough "micro" evolution, the differences between the two populations now meet someone's definition of "macro" evolution (speciation I suppose).

All of this is part of the same evolutionary theory, and explains all of the facts. It's also kind of inevitable if you accept "micro" evolution. Can you propose a model of reality where you'd expect micro-evolution but not macro-evolution?

@max

You say: "Here's another thought, change observed today doesn't prove that evolution happened in the past. Otherwise the Iraq War would prove that the War of 1812 actually occurred."

Well, in that same vein, maybe the fact that we cannot get anything from nothing now, or so you claim, does not prove that in the past the universe could not have come from nothing. Otherwise the 2012 Superbowl would prove the 2011 Superbowl.

Seriously, did you take a minute to think?

i. This is macroevolution: http://bit.ly/1ckBoW9 (1:05 - 1:27)

ii. Creation. Although all animal and plant kinds possess extraordinary variety, there is a very clear boundary between all animal and all plant kinds. This is why only those of the same kind can cross-fertilize or be artificially cross-fertilized. (Genesis 1:25)

I. You provide very little information in this response, so I'm left to conclude that you do indeed agree that macroevolution is essentially microevolution but on a much larger time scale (with the video depicting millions of years in seconds).

II. How does your theory explain the fossil record? Where in your theory do you explain the apparent "switching on" of evolution at the point where we start getting curious about it? Can you provide any predictions made by both theories that we can test to disprove either? Do you have any comments on the essential inevitability of macroevolution when you apply microevolution to separate sub-populations?

@Fast

i. Did you watch the video?

ii. You're presupposing Gradualism and Common Descent. Worse still, the scientific community changed it's mind about Gradualism such that it is no longer considered fact but myth.

iii. The fossil record disproves evolution. For instance, all body plans present fully formed, completely functional features. There is no evidence, of incomplete features.

iv. You presuppose such inevitability.

I. I watched the part that you said to watch. Did you?

II. I'm presupposing that the fossil record shows sets of organisms that are very similar to each other at short time scales, and gradually less similar at larger time scales. Are you saying *this* is wrong? This is one of those "direct observation" sort of things (the epitome of objectivism) that you can just go and see for yourself. The facts of evolution have never changed. Theories are not facts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_fact_and_theory

III. I think I figured out the problem. You are under the belief that evolution is goal-oriented. So if you end up with a new 'feature', you think that evolution gives the organism an incomplete, useless precursor to that feature, and over millions of years it gradually finishes forming. This isn't how evolution works. Every generation is a fully-formed, completely functional iterative improvement on its ancestors. The "incomplete" features that you're looking for could be trivial initially (the expression of a simple protein that happens to be photo-sensitive), but you would not look at the organism and think, "that spot on its skin is a partially-formed new organ! I can't wait to see what it looks like in 10M years when it's done." This is not how evolution works.

IV. It logical follows. What do you think happens to the ability of two sub-populations to breed when they've been isolated for millions of years, each accumulating mutations independently of the other? Genes move around, chromosomes move around.

i. Where do you get such timescales as 10M years from?

ii. That's like saying reordering the Latin Alphabet can produce the Punjabi Alphabet. Does that really make sense?

I. An arbitrary number for a meaningless distinction between "start of forming a new organ" to "finished forming a new organ". All of that, and this is the part you respond to?

II. I'm at a loss for words here. Your response suggests that you have no idea what DNA is or how it works.

Mutations do not change the "alphabet" of DNA. It's the same letters, essentially across all life on earth. It's the ordering of the letters that changes. A single mutation can make a small change to that ordering (adding a letter, deleting one, transposing, relocating, etc.), but it can also make a large change to the genome (copy errors can delete huge sequences, translocate huge sequences, duplicate huge sequences).

We observe these types of mutations all the time (i.e. we're still talking about microevolution).

What about the rest of the substance of my post? Do you have answers to my questions?

i. I'm trying to establish context. Instead of saying 10 years you used 10M years. Why?

ii. You're presupposing mutations are an overall benefit to an organism: http://bit.ly/14xe3NU

I. Because, for complex organisms that have long life spans, 10 years isn't much time to have many generations accumulating mutations. The way evolution works is for an organism to reproduce in such a way that the child is different than its parent. If the child has its own children, the change is passed on. If the change conferred a survival benefit, that happens with a greater probability than if the change were detrimental. If it has no effect, it may or may not spread. You need many generations before the mutations accumulate to the point where the traits of the distant child are significantly different than the traits of the original ancestor.

II. No, I'm just ignoring the traits that are detrimental, because they don't last long. If you have a child with a mutation that causes it to quickly die, that child isn't going to have its own children and so that mutation doesn't get passed on. Generally mutations only persist in a population because they have a survival/reproductive benefit.

You're still not answering any of my questions?

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When have you witnessed bacteria evolving into something that wasn't bacteria?

If you're talking about speciation, bacteria isn't a species, it's an entire kingdom. What you're asking for is as likely as a plant evolving into an animal (or something just as different). If you're really curious about observing bacterial speciation, you might find this an interesting read:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

@Fast

So the E. Coli bacteria transformed into something that wasn't E. Coli anymore? What did it transform into?

Something descended from E. Coli.

Ok but did the E. Coli bacteria transform into something that wasn't E. Coli anymore? What did it transform into?

Sorry, what exactly are you looking for? Do you want to know what the scientist named it? I have no idea.

Wait, so this new E. Coli strain is still E. Coli?

In the same manner that it's still bacteria. Remember that "species" is a completely arbitrary, subjective term, especially when it comes to bacteria. A new species is a new species when a scientist names it and explains how its traits uniquely identify it.

So if it's still E. Coli where's the macroevolution?

Moving goal posts. When it comes to bacteria, what are you now saying must happen to qualify for macroevolution? Previously it sounded like speciation was sufficient but now it's not?

Ah, possibly I was confusing when I compared organism X to E. Coli as E. Coli compares to Bacteria. What I meant was more that organism X compares to E. Coli as E. Coli compares to whatever E. Coli's parent was (certainly some other species of bacteria).

It's simply lineage. You start with species of bacteria A. A population within A accumulates a bunch of mutations and now has enough different traits to be described as B. A population within B accumulates more mutations and now is distinguished enough from B that it can be called C. Meanwhile a different sub-population within A accumulates its own set of mutations and is now different enough that it can be called D. Possibly there are no more populations of A around anymore (all of its descendants can be better described as B (or C) or D), so we call that species extinct.

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sorry jon but i have done research on macro evolution and micro evolution, the things you point to that pertains to evolution. refers to kinds changing into kinds. not one species changing into another species. secondly please show me any beneficial "mutations" please make sure of the word mutate before you provide an answer. i would appreciate openness and honesty without referring to my lack of understanding. all i ask is proof of evolution. please if you have any share it with me. note theory is not proof please look up the meaning of theory before you provide it as proof. thank you appreciate you trouble can't wait to hear from you

Phashion, what supernatural events have you witnessed?<br />
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Can you demonstrate a logical relation between these unexplainable events and drug-resistant bacteria?

I have wrote a story, a true story titled" How can evolution win over religion?" If you wouldnt mind Jon would you read the story and give me your opinion about how evolution wins over religion? I am a witness that biblical events do happen in this world. How does evolution explain supernatural? In the bible there was the parting of the Red Sea, it also speaks of demons, I dont want to push you maybe thats whats is wrong is you are rebelling, I just want you to know that I have a testimony. I think you should keep seeking the truth.

No offense, but the Bible is manmade and there is no evidence that the supernatural events described actually happened. Check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg

The problem is, these things are interpreted. Further, the 'bible' was written to offer a supernatural explanation of unexplainable events. If an idiot, say max, observes something he cannot understand or explain (probably happens daily) and writes about it, he would offer a moronic supposition that his deity caused it to happen or some other idiotic assumption. Someone else then takes his writing and claims it is now true because he wrote it. It does not prove anything (other than max is a moron).

I believe we are animals who evolved to see patterns in the apparent randomness of the universe. It was and is a survival mechanism; The rustling in the grass could be a tiger about to attack. The fire in the sky is an omnipotent being who bestows life on the creatures below. Religious belief systems probably all come from this. The scientific method is the very beginning of our acceptance of the idea that we simply do not know what the hell is going on but we still have an innate drive to find out.<br />
Here's something to think about when considering the debate over creationism and evolution:<br />
Science starts with the questions<br />
Religion starts with the answers.

Seeing as how you’re such a fan of the sciences, perhaps you might consider a more intellectual and less perfunctory study of nature, science and the universe?

"A little knowledge of science makes man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God." - Francis Bacon

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

“In the history of science, ever since the famous trial of Galileo, it has repeatedly been claimed that scientific truth cannot be reconciled with the religious interpretation of the world. Although I am now convinced that scientific truth is unassailable in its own field, I have never found it possible to dismiss the content of religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind, a part we shall have to give up from now on. Thus in the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of thought, for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point.”

–Werner Heisenberg, who was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics (which is absolutely crucial to modern science).

“Those who say that the study of science makes a man an atheist must be rather silly.”

–Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Born, who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics.

“I believe that the more thoroughly science is studied, the further does it take us from anything comparable to atheism.”

“If you study science deep enough and long enough, it will force you to believe in God.”

–Lord William Kelvin, who was noted for his theoretical work on thermodynamics, the concept of absolute zero and the Kelvin temperature scale based upon it.

“Science is incompetent to reason upon the creation of matter itself out of nothing. We have reached the utmost limit of our thinking faculties when we have admitted that because matter cannot be eternal and self-existent it must have been created.”

–Physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell, who is credited with formulating classical electromagnetic theory and whose contributions to science are considered to be of the same magnitude to those of Einstein and Newton.

Oh and, btw, did you know that, according to a recent Pew survey, 51% of scientists abjure the philosophy of Atheism? (http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Scientists-and-Belief.aspx) Go figure! :)

Oh gosh, still spreading this stuff around, Max. How sad... a few quotes from a few centuries ago (centuries!), and quotes from a couple of phyicists (i love how quantum mechanics is 'absolutely crucial to modern science' lol! According to whom, Max?)
the Pew Survey stuff has been dealt with elsewhere by Ovy118, and with his permission i will place it before you yet again (how many times is this now, Max?) in the hope that you will stop spamming other people's stories with this pap.
Several times, Max, you have claimed: "according to a recent Pew survey, 51% of scientists abjure the philosophy of Atheism"
Ovy118 replied:
"Actually it doesn't say that. It says, "A survey of scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People &amp; the Press in May and June 2009, finds that members of this group are, on the whole, much less religious than the general public.1 Indeed, the survey shows that scientists are roughly half as likely as the general public to believe in God or a higher power. According to the poll, just over half of scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity or higher power; specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power. By contrast, 95% of Americans believe in some form of deity or higher power, according to a survey of the general public conducted by the Pew Research Center in July 2006. Specifically, more than eight-in-ten Americans (83%) say they believe in God and 12% believe in a universal spirit or higher power. Finally, the poll of scientists finds that four-in-ten scientists (41%) say they do not believe in God or a higher power, while the poll of the public finds that only 4% of Americans share this view." 
I performed a word search. The word "abjure" does not appear, and I doubt that the scientists would swear an oath on the subject. Also note that the poll was conducted within a select group of scientists, is several years old, and the Pew Charitable Trust is anything but neutral of the subject of religion"
... and yet here it is again... the same old falsehood

Max, how of those scientists you quote were Jehovah's witness? Because, according to what you said else where, what they say is false, as false as monopoly money is.

@P245

Strawman. Try again.

No, not straw man. Your own (faulty) logic

max (egestra cranium) is as false in this thread as in any other.

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Jon, I'm with you. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many of these people still believe the earth is flat.

Personal attacks do not prove anything other than the fact that the attacker uses childish tactics to attempt to discredit a person. Your comment is laughable.....sorry.

@DMV

Why apologize? You're absolutely dead on! Ad homs have never won anyone a single debate.

I did not attack anyone. I just humorously agree with a fellow poster. And I stand by my comment.

A couple of quick points in answer to your latest: Yes my sticking point is that I don't believe that we evolved from from another being and I have never said that I don't believe in evolution. Evidence for the evolving of our specie and others is all around us but I just believe that we will always be human and always were. New findings are being constantly found that force a reevaluation of our perception of prehistoric man to show he was rather more "advanced than we thought".<br />
However, my main thought is that I would prefer "discussing" to replace arguing.<br />
I am writing this while watching a programme on TV about the huge cuts our government is going to make and so am perhaps a little depressed. (lol)<br />
The essential thing is that we should all communicate, you never know perhaps we all might learn something.<br />
I have to admit my shorthand explanation odf Jesus' words is not only a mistake but wrong in context. If you read the sermon on the mount he says he comes to justify the old testament prophets and their prophecies. In a bible concordance I read the word justify had come to mean a conclusion, or an end. In fact the whole story is that he did not come to end all the old law ie the 10 commandments etc. but he does say that the law as he preaches the important thing is love

"As an answer to your last paragraph you are wrong 'cos Jesus said I have come to do away with the old law" Show me the quote please. Since the10 Commandments are in the OT, are they getting overridden by the NT? Christians like picking and choosing from the bible and as far as I know Jesus (which is god at the end, which to me is an absurdity, but let us not change the subject) never said he was overriding the OT. <br />
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" I dont only have to repent of my sins I must accept my punishment and NOT sin again" I thought that you got your sins erased so you would not take "the punishment."<br />
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"Acts 3:19-20 (New International Version)<br />
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19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord" <br />
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I don't see where you have to be punished?<br />
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"Its not that we dont give a cent about others beliefs, I would certainly not denigrate anyones beliefs but when you have something so good you want to tell others about it ." You should know that when it comes to religion everyone thinks they got it right and trying to change/influence anyone into your own means that you don't care what they believe and they should believe what you believe.<br />
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"And just a small correction I follow the teachings of Jesus not the history of the Jewish people other than to see the fortelling of his coming." Are you saying that OT, which is where I got the Israelites stuff, is not the word of god? Are you picking and choosing gods word? who/what gives you the authority to do so? <br />
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"I respectfully disagree with the statement that I must give concrete proof and you shouldnt" All I said is that Evolution is a Scientific Theory not and absolute law. There is evidence for Evolution. I also did not ask for concrete proof of the existence of your deity. I used it as an analogy of how your question is not proper.<br />
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Now, in order to understand why we accept the Theory of Evolution, you must understand what it's definition is:<br />
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"In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."<br />
- Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986<br />
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Let me emphasize: "Biological evolution may be slight or substantial" I think that is clear enough.<br />
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"Europeans armour does show that people were much smaller then but improved diet and living conditions have caused development or "evolution" I dont gainsay this sort of evolution ." European knights were extremely fit and most of them were wealthy or at least well off (meaning they were well fed). I could also argue that the food that these people were consuming was way better than ours.<br />
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"Scientistswere saying when bird flu was detected that it was a development of earlier strains not something completely different" A slight genetic change is considered Evolution.<br />
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Evolution happens. You acknowledged this already. Why are we arguing then? I think your, and other religious people, conflict is with the explanation that humans possibly evolved from another being. You could say that you disagree with this explanation, but saying that Evolution is not true makes you look bad and sets you up for trouble.<br />
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See below link for more evolving bacteria:<br />
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http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2008/06/tracking-adaptation-as-bacteria-evolve.ars

PS you got me with the pride one, mea culpa

As an answer to your last paragraph you are wrong 'cos Jesus said I have come to do away with the old law ( according to the Torah) and give you a new law You must love one another (slightly shortened) but read the bible (NT) if you dont believe me.<br />
penultimate para. I dont only have to repent of my sins I must accept my punishment and NOT sin again.<br />
Its not that we dont give a cent about others beliefs, I would certainly not denigrate anyones beliefs but when you have something so good you want to tell others about it .<br />
I dont find it funny that many Christians dont follow Jesus' words I find it so sad. And just a small correction I follow the teachings of Jesus not the history of the Jewish people other than to see the fortelling of his coming.<br />
I respectfully disagree with the statement that I must give concrete proof and you shouldnt. I freely admit that mine is a faith and having been an atheist and evolutionist myself freely admit it is hard to underswtand but evolutionists believe theirs is a proven science therefore there must be proof.<br />
Europeans armour does show that people were much smaller then but improved diet and living conditions have caused development or "evolution" I dont gainsay this sort of evolution .<br />
The other items you mention are in my opinion similar, Scientistswere saying when bird flu was detected that it was a development of earlier strains not something completely different.<br />
I would like to say (without condescention) that I enjoy our conversations and hope they continue.

"What concrete proof is there that evolution exists as you understand it." Asking for a "concrete proof" is not only a great misunderstanding of a Scientific Theory, but also a shameful and dumb question. It is like me asking you to provide concrete proof that god exists (I know, I know.. you are sure.. but you have no proof, only a belief). <br />
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If you are looking for evidence, you may start with the following: The HIV virus (Modern, quick and simple), fossils, the flu, bacteria, European knight's Armour (how people has changed in just a few hundred years).<br />
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"as our faith demands that we love others as we love ourselves" Really. It is funny for most christians do not practice that, specially those involved in politics. In addition, your religion is ba<x>sed on the bible. Which is full of violence, contradictions, hate crimes, polygamy, ******, woman discrimination, and other atrocities. Stop reading the nice Jesus verses and read it all. You will see what I mean. Start from the OT, please.<br />
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"disagree with us there would be no one left to "convert"." Thanks for proving my point of another thread where I claim that christians love converting people and don't give a cent about other's beliefs. <br />
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"One thing that I do pride myself on (sin?) is that I thirst for knowledge" its ok.. you only need to repent and all your sins (including murder and rape) will be forgiven (that's what children are learning in Sunday school). <br />
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" there is not the slightest chance that Christians will burn people at the stake" If they actually followed what the bible says. They would be stoning and burning people, selling daughters, having slaves, and daughters would be raping their dads or ****** would be taking place, it depends how you interpret the bible (god's word?).