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Author Topic:   Is Earth old enough for DNA to evolve?
Tangle
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Posts: 5056
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 46 of 60 (668198)
07-18-2012 9:14 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by bcoop
07-17-2012 8:44 PM


One of the smallest animals - an amoeba - has 670 bn base pairs.

But the relationship of base pairs and genes is not straightforward either. Humans have 3bn base pairs but only 30,000 genes, whilst a worm has 'only' 97m base pairs but 19,000 genes.

Life is not easy to work out - it doesn't do straight lines.

http://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/..._01/Sizing_genomes.shtml


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
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Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 47 of 60 (668221)
07-18-2012 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by bcoop
07-17-2012 9:09 AM


Re: Not so fast
Hi bcoop and welcome to the fray, it is always refreshing to see someone willing to learn.

To clarify a point made by others:

The point about Deleterious mutations was only that it would add more time to the process to overcome them.

In every generation there are individuals that survive to breed and those that don't.

All individuals with deleterious mutations would fall in the group of "those that don't" while those without it would be in the group of those that survive and thus they continue to reproduce unaffected.

Population growth is not affected by death if the rate of reproduction is greater than the death rate.

Enjoy.

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This message is a reply to:
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bcoop
Junior Member (Idle past 1794 days)
Posts: 27
From: Maine
Joined: 07-14-2012


(4)
Message 48 of 60 (668242)
07-18-2012 9:53 PM


So what have I learned?
Wow - how to start.

  1. It is hard to make a linear statement about anything. For example:

    1. The length of the genome is not necessarily an indicator of the complexity of the creature it represents, nor the time it took for the genome to generate.
    2. It is hard to make statements about time as it relates to genetics. As some stated here, factors can go up and down over the duration of the genome, such as the reproduction rate, or the mutation rate.
    3. this whole concept of the “bush” of life and not a long chain of progression that most of us were taught in school.

  2. The complexity is beyond what I had even imagined. This is part of the problem that the general public like myself have in accepting the science that is presented to us. Most are not in forums like this. What we hear is that the genome has three billion pieces of information and that most if it occurred through random mutations. We think "so it just randomly organized itself three billion times and here we are". It is hard to accept intuitively that the utter complexity of genetics just randomly occurred even with natural selection. The science community has struggled with communicating this – maybe there is a straight forward presentation of genetics and evolution that does a good job of explaining these things and I suspect someone may have a suggestion. Several of the posts here were impressively clear and comprehensive in just a paragraph or two.

  3. I learned that someone has already asked my question in the right way and has an answer to the extent that the study covered it (see post by Taq) I need to get a science dictionary out to understand what it says, and I will be doing that, but I am fascinated that this has been looked at and am looking forward to trying to understand it.

  4. etc etc – I don’t want to bore you with a long list so I won’t continue but this has been very informative and I am grateful that the science community would take the time to do it.

Edited by Admin, : Make more readable by using dBCodes for the lists.


Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Taq, posted 07-19-2012 12:04 AM bcoop has not yet responded
 Message 51 by Dr Adequate, posted 07-19-2012 1:47 AM bcoop has responded
 Message 52 by Tangle, posted 07-19-2012 3:24 AM bcoop has responded

    
Taq
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Posts: 7140
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


(2)
Message 49 of 60 (668247)
07-19-2012 12:04 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by bcoop
07-18-2012 9:53 PM


Re: So what have I learned?
2. The complexity is beyond what I had even imagined. This is part of the problem that the general public like myself have in accepting the science that is presented to us. Most are not in forums like this. What we hear is that the genome has three billion pieces of information and that most if it occurred through random mutations. We think "so it just randomly organized itself three billion times and here we are". It is hard to accept intuitively that the utter complexity of genetics just randomly occurred even with natural selection. The science community has struggled with communicating this – maybe there is a straight forward presentation of genetics and evolution that does a good job of explaining these things and I suspect someone may have a suggestion. Several of the posts here were impressively clear and comprehensive in just a paragraph or two.

Trust me when I say this. The disconnect between the general populace and the scientific community has been a major issue for decades, if not centuries. Sometimes it feels like the "Who's on first" act. I wish there was an easy fix, but I really don't think there is. As you are finding out, learning about what science has discovered requires a lot of effort on the part of the general populace. If you really want to understand what scientists are talking about you need a lot of background knowledge in the given field. Even more, you need a great deal of knowledge to know when someone is full of bullshit (pardon the language, but this is the nicest term I could come up with).

I have just erased 5 paragraphs dealing with extremely varied topics that wandered all over the place, so trust me when I say that I am quite passionate about what you have posted. Science communication is a very, very interesting topic, especially for someone who sits on the science side of the fence. How to make it work, why it isn't working, and why it probably won't work are all questions that I find extremely interesting. I think you are starting to get a glimpse of what I am talking about. My advice? Take a firm grasp of that increasing sense of curiosity bubbling in your gut and don't let go. Enjoy the ride!!


This message is a reply to:
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Taq
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Posts: 7140
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 50 of 60 (668248)
07-19-2012 12:07 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Minnemooseus
07-18-2012 4:08 AM


Re: About the age and life diversity diagram
The diagram is still pretty confusing.

I would suggest using a Google maps approach. Start with the big picture and allow users to zoom in on the areas they are interested in. For that purpose, I would strongly suggest www.tolweb.org.

Start here.


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Dr Adequate
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Joined: 07-20-2006
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Message 51 of 60 (668252)
07-19-2012 1:47 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by bcoop
07-18-2012 9:53 PM


Re: So what have I learned?
The science community has struggled with communicating this – maybe there is a straight forward presentation of genetics and evolution that does a good job of explaining these things and I suspect someone may have a suggestion.

I'm not sure exactly what more the science community should be doing. The information is out there, there are books, there are websites --- should they also be going round knocking on doors asking: "Have you heard the good news about genetics?"


This message is a reply to:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 5056
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 52 of 60 (668258)
07-19-2012 3:24 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by bcoop
07-18-2012 9:53 PM


Re: So what have I learned?
It's great that you're showing an interest but why now and why genetics? I'm assuming you're here on this particular forum because it's related to a religious question?

Genetics and the sciences and technologies that support its study are very, very new - we're only just beginning to know anything about it really. But already it's absurdly complicated; unless you're exteremely bright and very determined, you're extremely unlikely to get to a position where you can argue cogently about it with someone who actually KNOWS.

For me it's like big physics or advanced mathematic, there comes a point very early on when you simply have to accept what you are being told by those that have spent their lives working in the field and read about it in the popularising literature.

What astounds me is that people with absolutely no knowledge of the subject come here and tell us it's wrong. They need to aquire a little humility. (I'm not referring to you here - there's nothing wrong with asking questions.)

If you're looking for a good, readable, book on evolution generally, I'd recommend Steve Jone's Almost like a whale. it's a re-write of Darwin's Origin of Species using up to date examples - including genetics, which Darwin had no idea about.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15950
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 53 of 60 (668261)
07-19-2012 6:56 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Tangle
07-19-2012 3:24 AM


Re: So what have I learned?
For me it's like big physics or advanced mathematic, there comes a point very early on when you simply have to accept what you are being told by those that have spent their lives working in the field and read about it in the popularising literature.

I don't think it's remotely like that. It's not like that because the nuts and bolts of the subject aren't in fact abstruse mathematical concepts, but something much more graspable by intuition; the underlying bits and pieces are just normal objects only smaller, and the abstraction in the subject actually makes it simpler, since it involves saying things like: "OK, ignore the biochemistry of how a ribosome works, and let's think about what it does." Instead of abstracting to an four-dimensional integral of a tensor expression or whatever, it's more like abstracting the way a car works by saying: "Without going into details, let's just say the engine produces rotary motion and leave it at that for the moment."

That it's complicated is true, but it's the sort of complexity we can cope with, because it's only complicated because there are a lot of processes to be taken into account. In that sense it's complicated, but that doesn't really make it difficult. It's like my "introduction to geology" thread. What makes geology complicated is that there are lots of geological processes. Most of them are fairly easy to understand. Wind transports sand. Glaciers drop rocks when they melt. Coccoliths sink. And so on.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Tangle, posted 07-19-2012 3:24 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
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bcoop
Junior Member (Idle past 1794 days)
Posts: 27
From: Maine
Joined: 07-14-2012


(1)
Message 54 of 60 (668264)
07-19-2012 7:22 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Dr Adequate
07-19-2012 1:47 AM


Re: So what have I learned?
I'm not sure exactly what more the science community should be doing. The information is out there, there are books, there are websites --- should they also be going round knocking on doors asking: "Have you heard the good news about genetics?"

One thing "science" can do is to represent their own beliefs honestly and not represent everything they believe as "science". This is true regardless of your point of view on origins. I hear people on both sides talk about what the position of "science" is, and many times I think that anything they personally believe is presented as science. When they do this they diminish the credibility of the science community as a whole, and the public gets skeptical.
This message is a reply to:
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bcoop
Junior Member (Idle past 1794 days)
Posts: 27
From: Maine
Joined: 07-14-2012


Message 55 of 60 (668266)
07-19-2012 7:37 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Tangle
07-19-2012 3:24 AM


Re: So what have I learned?
It's great that you're showing an interest but why now and why genetics? I'm assuming you're here on this particular forum because it's related to a religious question?

I have a life-long interest in understanding what is going on around me. I am a religious person and my personal belief includes the idea that there is a Creator. I believe the study of science is also a study of the Creator. True Science is a definitive statement by the Creator. There is a verse where God is asked his name and he answers “I AM”. Science also makes the same statement. If I asked science “who are you ?” it might answer “IT IS”. Science that is irrefutable just “IS” and that is what I want to know about. As far as this forum is concerned I was really looking for a forum of science minded people who would answer my questions from a strictly science context. I am not looking for Spiritual answers to scientific questions.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Tangle, posted 07-19-2012 3:24 AM Tangle has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5056
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 56 of 60 (668267)
07-19-2012 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Dr Adequate
07-19-2012 6:56 AM


Re: So what have I learned?
You're correct of course - genetics is not as intellectually impossible as I find big physics; someone (probably a physicist) said that all sciences apart from physics is just stamp collecting. And the general idea of evolution is startlingly simple and totally understandable to those who don't instantly reject it for religious reasons. You can even now prove it to yourself by simply visiting a good museum.

But I get very lost, very quickly in the intricacies of molecular biology which is where this stuff inevitably takes you and where the big new stuff is happening.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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evolutionwanderer
Junior Member (Idle past 1794 days)
Posts: 1
Joined: 07-25-2012


Message 57 of 60 (668933)
07-25-2012 7:18 PM


I have been debating a friend on evolution and he referred me to this video and it has been eating at me... can someone please refute this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-BFEhkIujA

{The video concerns Mike Huckabee's position on creation/evolution. We need to find a better place for this. Perhaps someone could bump an appropriate topic. - Adminnemooseus}

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Off-topic banner etc.


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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3825
Joined: 09-26-2002
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 58 of 60 (668942)
07-25-2012 10:30 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by evolutionwanderer
07-25-2012 7:18 PM


Message moved to a better place
I have copied your message to here.

Adminnemooseus


Or something like that©.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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dwise1
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Posts: 2956
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 59 of 60 (669043)
07-26-2012 2:49 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Adminnemooseus
07-25-2012 10:30 PM


Re: Message moved to a better place, which is now closed
Since that thread has now been closed for good reason, are you going to move evolutionwanderer's misplaced message to somewhere else? Or have him propose a new topic on it?

Edited by dwise1, : subtitle


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Adminnemooseus, posted 07-25-2012 10:30 PM Adminnemooseus has responded

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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3825
Joined: 09-26-2002
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 60 of 60 (669069)
07-26-2012 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by dwise1
07-26-2012 2:49 PM


Re: Message moved to a better place, which is now closed
I think he was a drive-by, and probably won't be back. I also think that the video content was minor old news. I'm going to let the thing die.

No replies to this message in this topic. If one must reply, please use PM or the "Whine List" topic.

Adminnemooseus


Or something like that©.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by dwise1, posted 07-26-2012 2:49 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
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