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Author Topic:   MACROevolution vs MICROevolution - what is it?
RAZD
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Message 151 of 202 (671559)
08-27-2012 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by Big_Al35
08-23-2012 1:52 PM


Re: So, Big_Al35, what is MACROevolution?
Hi Big_Al35,

Sorry for the delay, but I've been recovering from chemo and it isn't pretty.

Just to clarify can you give me an example of this in the natural world?

First we need to understand what "this" is -- in this case speciation.

What do you think speciation is?

This may seem round about as answers go, but we need to understand each other.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
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Taq
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(2)
Message 152 of 202 (671567)
08-27-2012 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by Big_Al35
08-27-2012 7:28 AM


Re: So, Big_Al35, what is MACROevolution?
Yes....I will say this: The pursuit of a definition for macroevolution is a waste of my time.

We have often found that creationists do not have a definition for macroevolution, so it is not surprising that you do not have one either. This is why creationist protestations are so hollow. When they claim that macroevolution is impossible what they are actually saying is that it is impossible for anyone to present evidence that creationists would accept as macroevolution. That is why creationists can not give a definition for macroevolution because once they do they know that we can present evidence that demonstrates macroevolution.


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NoNukes
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Message 153 of 202 (671568)
08-27-2012 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 152 by Taq
08-27-2012 3:03 PM


Re: So, Big_Al35, what is MACROevolution?
Actually creationists do have a definition of macro-evolution. Macro evolution is evolution that produces an organism that is of a different kind than the created kind of its ancestors.

The problem is that baraminology is a complete joke. The Bible lists only a few kinds, and leaves us to speculate as to the kind of all other life forms. Further, there is no mention in the Bible of any eukaryotic microbes or any reasonable way to make inferences regarding what "kind" a bacteria might be.

It's as if the whole text were written before the germ theory of disease was ever proposed. Oh wait...


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.

“Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own.” George Bernard Shaw


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Theodoric
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Message 154 of 202 (671569)
08-27-2012 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by NoNukes
08-27-2012 3:14 PM


Re: So, Big_Al35, what is MACROevolution?
It's as if the whole text were written before the germ theory of disease was ever proposed.

Well it is just a theory.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


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Taq
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Message 155 of 202 (671589)
08-27-2012 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by NoNukes
08-27-2012 3:14 PM


Re: So, Big_Al35, what is MACROevolution?
Actually creationists do have a definition of macro-evolution. Macro evolution is evolution that produces an organism that is of a different kind than the created kind of its ancestors.

When asked for a working definition for kind we get the same answer: there is none. As soon as they create a working definition of kind then they know that we can present a transitional species that bridges the gap between those kinds.


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NoNukes
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(2)
Message 156 of 202 (671597)
08-27-2012 10:41 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by Taq
08-27-2012 5:56 PM


Re: So, Big_Al35, what is MACROevolution?
As soon as they create a working definition of kind then they know that we can present a transitional species that bridges the gap between those kinds.

I don't believe that Creationists are playing 'hide the football' or 'move the goal posts' with "kinds". There is no football and no "goal posts. Creationists don't have any way of telling whether a whale shark and a dwarf shark are of the same kind or are totally different kind until a scientists proves that those sharks share a common ancestor.

All they've got to go on is a very few verses in Genesis dealing with the kinds God created and the kinds Noah loaded on the ark. And IMO, their reading of those verses borders on numerology.

In short, the creationist definition of macroevolution is any evolution in contradiction to Genesis. It is indeed a waste of time to ask a creationist to do better than that.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.

“Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own.” George Bernard Shaw


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RAZD
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Message 157 of 202 (810192)
05-25-2017 6:27 AM


reviving this thread ...
A lot of time has passed since I started this thread, and I've learned a lot in the process ... from Introduction to Evolution (work in progress)

quote:
An Introduction to Evolution

(1) The process of evolution involves changes in the composition of hereditary traits, and changes to the frequency of their distributions within breeding populations from generation to generation, in response to ecological challenges and opportunities for growth, development, survival and reproductive success in changing or different habitats.

This is sometimes called microevolution, however this is the process through which all species evolve and all evolution occurs at the breeding population level.

Mutations to existing hereditary traits (ie for eyes and ears) can cause changes in the composition of hereditary traits for individuals in a breeding population, but not all mutations are expressed (and many are in non-hereditary areas). In addition there are many different kinds of mutations and they have different effects (from small to large), especially if they affect the developmental process of an organism.

Natural Selection and Neutral Drift can cause changes in the frequency distribution of hereditary traits within a breeding population, but they are not the only mechanisms known that does so. Selection processes act on the expressed genes of individual organisms, so bundles of genetic mutations are selected rather than individual genes, and this means that non-lethal mutations can be preserved. The more an individual organism reproduces the more it is likely to pass on bundles of genes and mutations to the next generation, increasing the selection of those genes.

The ecological challenges and opportunities change when the environment changes, when the breeding population evolves, when other organisms within the ecology evolve, when migrations change the mixture of organisms within the ecology, and when a breeding population immigrates into a new ecology. These changes can result in different survival and reproductive challenges and opportunities, affecting selection pressure, perhaps causing speciation, perhaps causing extinction.

This is a two-step feedback response system that is repeated in each generation:

Like walking on first one foot and then the next.

Mutations of hereditary traits have been observed to occur, and thus this aspect of evolution is an observed, known objective fact, rather than an untested hypothesis.

Different mixing of existing hereditary traits (ie Mendelian inheritance patterns) have been observed to occur, and thus this aspect of evolution is an observed, known objective fact, rather than an untested hypothesis.

Natural selection has been observed to occur, along with the observed alteration in the distribution of hereditary traits within breeding populations, and thus this aspect of evolution is an observed, known objective fact, and not an untested hypothesis

Neutral drift has been observed to occur, along with the observed alteration in the distribution of hereditary traits within breeding populations, and thus this aspect of evolution is an observed, known objective fact, and not an untested hypothesis.

Thus many processes of evolution are observed, known objective facts, and not untested hypothesies.

If we look at the continued effects of evolution over many generations, the accumulation of changes from generation to generation may become sufficient for individuals to develop combinations of traits that are observably different from the ancestral parent population.

(2) The process of lineal change within species is sometimes called phyletic speciation, or anagenesis.

This is also sometimes called arbitrary speciation in that the place to draw the line between linearly evolved genealogical populations is subjective, and because the definition of species in general is tentative and sometimes arbitrary.

If anagenesis was all that occurred, then all life would be one species, readily sharing DNA via horizontal transfer (asexual) and interbreeding (sexual) and various combinations. This is not the case, however, because there is a second process that results in multiple species and increases the diversity of life.

(3) The process of divergent speciation, or cladogenesis, involves the division of a parent population into two or more reproductively isolated daughter populations, which then are free to (micro) evolve independently of each other.

The reduction or loss of interbreeding (gene flow, sharing of mutations) between the sub-populations results in different evolutionary responses within the separated sub-populations, each then responds independently to their different ecological challenges and opportunities, and this leads to divergence of hereditary traits between the subpopulations and the frequency of their distributions within the sub-populations.

Over generations phyletic change occurs in these populations, the responses to different ecologies accumulate into differences between the hereditary traits available within each of the daughter populations, and when these differences have reached a critical level, such that interbreeding no longer occurs, then the formation of new species is deemed to have occurred. After this has occurred each daughter population microevolves independently of the other/s. These are often called speciation events because the development of species is not arbitrary in this process.

If we looked at each branch linearly, while ignoring the sister population, they would show anagenesis (accumulation of evolutionary changes over many generations), and this shows that the same basic processes of evolution within breeding populations are involved in each branch.

An additional observable result of speciation events, however, is a branching of the genealogical history for the species involved, where two or more offspring daughter species are each independently descended from the same common pool of the ancestor parent species. At this point a clade has been formed, consisting of the common ancestor species and all of their descendants.

With multiple speciation events, a pattern is formed that looks like a branching bush or tree: the tree of descent from common ancestor populations. Each branching point is a node for a clade of the parent species at the node point and all their descendants, and with multiple speciation events we see a pattern form of clades branching from parent ancestor species and nesting within larger clades branching from older parent ancestor species.

Where A, B, C and G represent speciation events and the common ancestor populations of a clade that includes the common ancestor species and all their descendants: C and below form a clade that is part of the B clade, B and below form a clade that is also part of the A clade; G and below also form a clade that is also part of the A clade, but the G clade is not part of the B clade.

The process of forming a nested hierarchy by descent of new species from common ancestor populations, via the combination of anagenesis and cladogenesis, and resulting in an increase in the diversity of life, is sometimes called macroevolution. This is often confusing, because there is no additional mechanism of evolution involved, rather this is just the result of looking at evolution over many generations and different ecologies.

The process of anagenesis, with the accumulation of changes over many generations, is an observed, known objective fact, and not an untested hypothesis.

The process of cladogenesis, with the subsequent formation of a branching nested genealogy of descent from common ancestor populations is an observed, known objective fact, and not an untested hypothesis.

This means that the basic processes of "macroevolution" are observed, known objective facts, and not untested hypothesies, even if major groups of species are not observed forming (which would take many many generations).

(4) The Theory of Evolution (ToE), stated in simple terms, is that the process of anagenesis, and the process of cladogenesis, are sufficient to explain the diversity of life as we know it, from the fossil record, from the genetic record, from the historic record, and from everyday record of the life we observe in the world all around us.

This theory is tested by experiments and field observations carried out as part of the science of evolution.

If a species is observed to change over generations (anagenesis), we can predict that it will be due to (a) changes in the expressed hereditary traits (genes, morphology, development), (b) that the changes were either neutral or improved the survival and reproductive success of individuals in response to their ecological challenges and opportunities and (c) that if they improved the fitness of the carriers that it will spread within the breeding population in following generations.

If a clade is observed to form (cladogenesis), we can predict that it will be due to (a) reproductive isolation between daughter populations and (b) independent evolution (anagenesis) within each daughter population. We can also predict the formation of the clade will fall within a nested hierarchy pattern.

These predictions can be tested against the fossil record, the genetic record, the historical record, and the everyday record of life we observe in the world all around us. Biologists have been testing this theory for 150 plus years, and thus far they have confirmed that the process of evolution, and the process of speciation, are sufficient to explain the diversity of life as we know it.

Enjoy.

General references and further study resources

  1. Berkeley U. and U. of California Museum of Paleontology Teachers Guide
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIntro.shtml
  2. U. of Michigan on-line course material
    http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/...ciation/speciation.html
  3. Talk Origins Introduction to Evolutionary Biology
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html
  4. Overview of cladistics by Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladistics

Edited by RAZD, : .

Edited by RAZD, : .


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

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Taq
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(1)
Message 158 of 202 (810209)
05-25-2017 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 157 by RAZD
05-25-2017 6:27 AM


Re: reviving this thread ...
RAZD writes:

A lot of time has passed since I started this thread, and I've learned a lot in the process ... from Introduction to Evolution (work in progress)

I have often found that human languages offer a good analogy for comparing microevolution and macroevolution. Like all analogies, languages aren't a perfect corollary, but they can make the subject a bit more accessible to the layperson.

Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire, and after the Empire's collapse their native tongue gave birth to many regional languages that we call the Romance languages. In fact, we can trace their lineages:

One could say that they evolved, although not in the biological sense. So how does this process of language evolution work, and how does it relate to micro and macro evolution?

First, you have populations that tend to talk amongst each other, but not as much to their neighbors. This results in regional dialects. These are small changes from one generation to the next. This is analogous to microevoution. Each generation is still able to talk to the generation before and after it, but there are still small changes. Over time those changes add up so that people separate by centuries may not have understood one another even though they were a part of the same language population. I remember trying to read Chaucer's works in the original Middle English, and it was quite difficult to say the least. There was never a time where a single French generation was born that could not communicate with their parents. However, there is no guarantee that a French generation could have communicated easily with someone 10 generations before them.

So we have populations where small changes are continually happening. We also need to remember that we have more than one population which causes DIFFERENT changes to occur in each population. If these populations are separated for a time and then meet again they aren't able to understand one another, even though their common ancestors spoke the same language. This is macroevolution, and it is driven by micro changes in each language that happen over time. Even though French and Italian speakers came from a common ancestral population that spoke a common tongue, now they can't easily understand one another in their native tongue.

Biological evolution works in a similar fashion. Small numbers of mutations occur in each generation which doesn't produce a lot of differences between generations, and still allows fo interfertility between members of the same population. However, over many generations those small changes add up so that individuals separated by millions of years can look quite different from each other in the same way that Middle English and Modern English are quite different. This is macroevolution.

Also, if two populations split off from one another and don't interbreed, then different mutations will accumulate in each population. Over time this will result in two contemporaneous populations that are different from one another even though they share a common ancestral population. That is macroevolution, and it occurs by the accumulation of changes caused by microevolution.

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


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CRR
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Posts: 450
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Message 159 of 202 (810223)
05-25-2017 6:35 PM


Definitions (or not)
Please define "macro"evolution - so we can be sure we are (a) talking about evolution and (b) we are talking about the same thing.

Also define "micro"evolution just to be sure we are talking about something different.

It should be easy eh?.


It should be, but it's not.

"Russian entomologist Yuri Filipchenko first coined the terms "macroevolution" and "microevolution" in 1927 in his German language work, "Variabilität und Variation". Since the inception of the two terms, their meanings have been revised several times." [wikipedia] Not only revised several times but there are several definitions for each. One result is that there are people on both sides of the debate who prefer not to use the terms at all.

Generally the demarcation seems to be speciation. Is this micro or macro.

Understanding Evolution http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01 avoids the problem by separating the three terms

Microevolution - How does evolution work on a small scale?
Speciation - What are species anyway, and how do new ones evolve?
Macroevolution - How does evolution work on a grand scale?

When I did a course on Anthropology this demarcation was discussed in the course forum and using the definitions we had been given, concluded that speciation was microevolution. Others of course will stoutly defend speciation as being macroevolution.

In https://p2c.com/...oevolution-vs-macroevolution-two-mistakes, Kirk Durston suggests

...let me propose the following definitions, which I will continue to use:

Microevolution: genetic variation that requires no statistically significant increase in functional information.

Macroevolution: genetic change that requires a statistically significant increase in functional information.

Both statistical significance and functional information are already defined in the literature. We also have a method to measure evolutionary change in terms of functional information, so we are ready to move on, avoiding the two mistakes discussed above.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_significance
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17494745
http://www.tbiomed.com/content/4/1/47


Somehow I doubt his proposal will be universally accepted any time soon.

Perhaps one thing we can do is avoid misnaming "microevolution" as "evolution". I am referring to using the Population Genetics definition of evolution as "a change in allele frequency in a population over time" as a term for evolution in general and for the theory of evolution. Let's keep this definition within PG. Outside of PG this definitely falls into the scope of microevolution. Within their discussion of microevolution Evolution 101 says "Biologists who study evolution at this level define evolution as a change in gene frequency within a population."

So where does speciation fall? My opinion, and many will say that's not worth much, is that it could be either micro or macroevolution depending on what caused it. Was it, as Durston says, a statistically significant increase in functional information? Can a statistically significant amount be accumulated over a number of insignificant changes? Add to this the problems of actually defining species and speciation. Among what are traditionally recognised as separate species we can get hybrids including some cross genera hybrids.

OK I think I've provided enough there to generate multiple responses so I await your comments.

[edit] Actually I don't know what Yuri Filipchenko's original definitions were because I don't have the book and I can't read German. At this stage it probably doesn't matter too much.

Edited by CRR, : No reason given.

Edited by CRR, : as marked

Edited by CRR, : Links added to Durston quote.


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Taq
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Posts: 6825
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 160 of 202 (810224)
05-25-2017 6:36 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by CRR
05-25-2017 6:35 PM


Re: Definitions (or not)
CRR writes:

It should be, but it's not.

It is easy, and has been done several times now.

It seems that you are playing dumb so you can act like you don't understand the science. I have seriously never seen anyone put more effort into not understanding the most basic concepts.


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Tangle
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Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 161 of 202 (810225)
05-25-2017 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by CRR
05-25-2017 6:35 PM


Re: Definitions (or not)
Aaargh! I did a degree in Zoology without ever hearing the terms - it's irrelevant hair-spitting. Just a smoke screen for creationist to avoid discussing how organisms got to be the way they are. Our definitions are just catch-alls that life itself ignores and laughs at by chucking up huge numbers of discrepancies that defy categorisation.

Get beyond the semantics and study the life behind them.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

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

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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CRR
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Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016
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Message 162 of 202 (810226)
05-25-2017 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 160 by Taq
05-25-2017 6:36 PM


Re: Definitions (or not)
It is easy, and has been done several times now.

Ok, I'll choose Durston's definitions and I'll expect you to follow those in any future discussion. You're right, it's EASY.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 160 by Taq, posted 05-25-2017 6:36 PM Taq has responded

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CRR
Member
Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 163 of 202 (810227)
05-25-2017 8:00 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by Taq
05-25-2017 11:32 AM


Re: reviving this thread ...
I have often found that human languages offer a good analogy for comparing microevolution and macroevolution.

The changes that have occurred in the Indo-European language family, for example, demonstrate that languages follow a ‘downhill’ simplification in inflections, etc. by natural processes. Adam Smith commented on this in one of his books.

Similarly observed evolution seems to follow a downhill path with loss of information so, using Durston's definitions, macroevolution is rare or nonexistent.


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Tangle
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Posts: 4888
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Message 164 of 202 (810230)
05-25-2017 8:49 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by CRR
05-25-2017 8:00 PM


Re: reviving this thread ...
CRR writes:

The changes that have occurred in the Indo-European language family, for example, demonstrate that languages follow a ‘downhill’ simplification in inflections, etc. by natural processes

What nonsense. Languages change, by deletions and additions. The number of words in the English language has had to increase to encompass technololgy, medicine, industrialisation and globalism, whilst defunct words from passed ways of life go exinct. It's just change over time - nothing to do with 'information' loss or gain.

ABE - having a spare hour I found that English language words are added at a rate of around 5,400 per year. By a number of methods, many of which you could call mutation.

quote:
All new words are created by one of 13 mechanisms:

1 Derivation
The commonest method of creating a new word is to add a prefix or suffix to an existing one. Hence realisation (1610s), democratise (1798), detonator (1822), preteen (1926), hyperlink (1987) and monogamish (2011).

2 Back formation
The inverse of the above: the creation of a new root word by the removal of a phantom affix. The noun sleaze, for example, was back-formed from “sleazy” in about 1967. A similar process brought about pea, liaise, enthuse, aggress and donate. Some linguists propose a separate category for lexicalisation, the turning of an affix into a word (ism, ology, teen), but it’s really just a type of back formation.

3 Compounding
The juxtaposition of two existing words. Typically, compound words begin life as separate entities, then get hitched with a hyphen, and eventually become a single unit. It’s mostly nouns that are formed this way (fiddlestick, claptrap, carbon dating, bailout), but words from other classes can be smooshed together too: into (preposition), nobody (pronoun), daydream (verb), awe-inspiring, environmentally friendly (adjectives).

4 Repurposing
Taking a word from one context and applying it to another. Thus the crane, meaning lifting machine, got its name from the long-necked bird, and the computer mouse was named after the long-tailed animal.

5 Conversion
Taking a word from one word class and transplanting it to another. The word giant was for a long time just a noun, meaning a creature of enormous size, until the early 15th century, when people began using it as an adjective. Thanks to social media, a similar fate has recently befallen friend, which can now serve as a verb as well as a noun (“Why didn’t you friend me?”).

6 Eponyms
Words named after a person or place. You may recognise Alzheimer’s, atlas, cheddar, alsatian, diesel, sandwich, mentor, svengali, wellington and boycott as eponyms – but did you know that gun, dunce, bigot, bugger, cretin, currant, hooligan, marmalade, maudlin, maverick, panic, silhouette, syphilis, tawdry, doggerel, doily and sideburns are too? (The issue of whether, and for how long, to retain the capital letters on eponyms is a thorny one.)

7 Abbreviations
An increasingly popular method. There are three main subtypes: clippings, acronyms and initialisms. Some words that you might not have known started out longer are pram (perambulator), taxi/cab (both from taximeter cabriolet), mob (mobile vulgus), goodbye (God be with you), berk (Berkshire Hunt), rifle (rifled pistol), canter (Canterbury gallop), curio (curiosity), van (caravan), sport (disport), wig (periwig), laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation), scuba (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus), and trump (triumph. Although it’s worth noting that there’s another, unrelated sense of trump: to fabricate, as in “trumped-up charge”).

8 Loanwords
Foreign speakers often complain that their language is being overrun with borrowings from English. But the fact is, English itself is a voracious word thief; linguist David Crystal reckons it’s half-inched words from at least 350 languages. Most words are borrowed from French, Latin and Greek; some of the more exotic provenances are Flemish (hunk), Romany (cushty), Portuguese (fetish), Nahuatl (tomato – via Spanish), Tahitian (tattoo), Russian (mammoth), Mayan (shark), Gaelic (slogan), Japanese (tycoon), West Turkic (horde), Walloon (rabbit) and Polynesian (taboo). Calques (flea market, brainwashing, loan word) are translations of borrowings.

9 Onomatopeia
The creation of a word by imitation of the sound it is supposed to make. Plop, ow, barf, cuckoo, bunch, bump and midge all originated this way.

10 Reduplication
The repetition, or near-repetition, of a word or sound. To this method we owe the likes of flip-flop, goody-goody, boo-boo, helter-skelter, picnic, claptrap, hanky-panky, hurly-burly, lovey-dovey, higgledy-piggledy, tom-tom, hip hop and cray-cray. (Willy-nilly, though, came to us via a contraction of “Will he, nill he”.)

11 Nonce words
Words pulled out of thin air, bearing little relation to any existing form. Confirmed examples are few and far between, but include quark (Murray Gell-Mann), bling (unknown) and fleek (Vine celebrity Kayla Newman).

12 Error
Misspellings, mishearings, mispronunciations and mistranscriptions rarely produce new words in their own right, but often lead to new forms in conjunction with other mechanisms. Scramble, for example, seems to have originated as a variant of scrabble; but over time, the two forms have taken on different meanings, so one word has now become two. Similarly, the words shit and science, thanks to a long sequence of shifts and errors, are both ultimately derived from the same root. And the now defunct word helpmeet, or helpmate, is the result of a Biblical boo-boo. In the King James version, the Latin adjutorium simile sibi was rendered as “an help meet for him” – that is, “a helper suitable for him”. Later editors, less familiar with the archaic sense of meet, took the phrase to be a word, and began hyphenating help-meet.

13 Portmanteaus
Compounding with a twist. Take one word, remove an arbitrary portion of it, then put in its place either a whole word, or a similarly clipped one. Thus were born sitcom, paratroops, internet, gazunder and sexting. (Note: some linguists call this process blending and reserve the term portmanteau for a particular subtype of blend. But since Lewis Carroll, who devised this sense of portmanteau, specifically defined it as having the broader meaning, I’m going to use the terms willy-nilly.)

Some words came about via a combination of methods: yuppie is the result of initialism ((y)oung and (up)wardly mobile) plus derivation (+ -ie); berk is a clipped eponym (Berkshire hunt); cop, in the sense of police officer, is an abbreviation of a derivation (copper derives from the northern British dialect verb cop, meaning to catch); and snarl-up is a conversion (verb to noun) of a compound (snarl + up).

The popularity of the various methods has waxed and waned through the ages. For long periods (1100-1500 and 1650-1900), borrowings from French were in vogue. In the 19th century, loanwords from Indian languages (bangle, bungalow, cot, juggernaut, jungle, loot, shampoo, thug) were the cat’s pyjamas. There was even a brief onslaught from Dutch and Flemish.

In the 20th century, quite a few newbies were generated by derivation, using the -ie (and -y) suffix: talkies, freebie, foodie, hippy, roomie, rookie, roofie, Munchie, Smartie, Crunchie, Furby, scrunchie. Abbreviations, though, were the preferred MO, perhaps because of the necessity in wartime of delivering your message ASAP. The passion for initialisms seems to be wearing off, perhaps because things have got a little confusing; PC, for example, can now mean politically correct, police constable, per cent, personal computer, parsec, post cibum, peace corps, postcard, professional corporation or printed circuit.


https://www.theguardian.com/.../english-neologisms-new-words

I'm particularly fond of:

and trump (triumph. Although it’s worth noting that there’s another, unrelated sense of trump: to fabricate, as in “trumped-up charge”).

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

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

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by CRR, posted 05-25-2017 8:00 PM CRR has not yet responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 6825
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 165 of 202 (810246)
05-26-2017 12:46 AM
Reply to: Message 163 by CRR
05-25-2017 8:00 PM


Re: reviving this thread ...
CRR writes:

The changes that have occurred in the Indo-European language family, for example, demonstrate that languages follow a ‘downhill’ simplification in inflections, etc. by natural processes. Adam Smith commented on this in one of his books.

That would be the fallacy of analogy. Just because languages simplify over time does not mean that genomes must also.

Similarly observed evolution seems to follow a downhill path with loss of information so, using Durston's definitions, macroevolution is rare or nonexistent.

How does Durston determine that there is a loss in information, and how does Durston determine when macroevolution has occurred?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by CRR, posted 05-25-2017 8:00 PM CRR has not yet responded

  
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