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Author Topic:   How do you define the word Evolution?
bkelly
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 936 (261639)
11-20-2005 7:24 PM


Recast the OP
One of the primary goals of this thread was to hear the defintion of evolution from those that take the path of Intelligent Design. Will some of the IDers please take the time to respond? My intent is not to argue, just to hear what you have to say.
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CRR
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From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 47 of 936 (802327)
03-15-2017 2:33 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by bkelly
11-20-2005 7:24 PM


Very Late Reply
As I've seen from the previous posts there are different definitions of evolution.

I think Kerkut made a good attempt at a definition in "Implications of Evolution", 1960 where he distinguished between the special theory and the general theory.

There is a theory which states that many living animals can be observed over the course of time to undergo changes so that new species are formed. This can be called the Special Theory of Evolution and can be demonstrated in certain cases by experiments. On the other hand there is the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form. This theory can be called the General Theory of Evolution and the evidence that supports it is not sufficiently strong to allow us to consider it as anything more than a working hypothesis.

Coyne gave a definition in "Why Evolution is True", 2009, which is very similar to Kerkut's definition of the General Theory of Evolution.

Life on earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive speciesperhaps a self-replicating moleculethat lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection.

John Endler in "Natural Selection in the Wild" 1986 says,

Population geneticists use a different definition of evolution: a change in allele frequencies among generations. This meaning is quite different to the original [and] is roughly equivalent to microevolution. Unfortunately [this] often results in an overemphasis on changes in allele frequencies and an underemphasis (or no consideration of) the origin of the different alleles.

The terms micro- and macroevolution were coined by evolutionist Russian Entomologist Yuri Filipchenko in 1927 in his German language work, "Variabilitt und Variation".

Kirk Dunstan discussed micro- and macro- and proposes definitions;

- Microevolution: genetic variation that requires no statistically significant increase in functional information.
- Macroevolution: genetic change that requires a statistically significant increase in functional information.
He says "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, ..."
[edit] http://p2c.com/...roevolution-vs-macroevolution-two-mistakes

According to this definition there is a qualitative difference between the two and so macroevolution does not simply arise from microevolution continued over a long time.

So if we are talking about Darwin's Theory of Evolution or its modern derivatives I think Coyne's definition is satisfactory and equivalent to Kerkut's General Theory of Evolution.

The definition "a change in allele frequency in a population over time" refers to the specific subset of evolutionary theory used in population genetics, a form of microevolution, and should not be used for "the Theory of Evolution", or "[neo-]Darwinian Evolution".

Edited by CRR, : reference added


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
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Message 48 of 936 (802329)
03-15-2017 3:49 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by CRR
03-15-2017 2:33 AM


Re: Very Late Reply
Let us note first that Dunstan's definition is very different from the others and thus statements relating to the other distinctions simply do not apply.

Second, let us note that this quote does not tell us what measures of functional information is statistical significance Dunstan is using - nor how they relate.

Third since a sequence of changes to small to be considered statistically significant could add up to a statistically significant change the assertion of a qualitative distinction is obviously false. It is almost certainly true that repeated "microevolution" can add up to "macroevolution". The only way to avoid that is to insist that Dunstan is talking only about single mutations, in which case it would be far better to use the terms micro- and macro- mutation to indicate this rather than misleadingly talking about evolution.


This message is a reply to:
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CRR
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From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 49 of 936 (802330)
03-15-2017 5:49 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by PaulK
03-15-2017 3:49 AM


Re: Very Late Reply
Dunstan's definition is very different because it is referring specifically to micro-vs macroevolution, i.e. it is not intended as a definition of evolution in general.
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PaulK
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Message 50 of 936 (802331)
03-15-2017 5:54 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by CRR
03-15-2017 5:49 AM


Re: Very Late Reply
How does it compare to Filichenko's definition - which you don't bother to quote ?

And how do you divorce the question of micro-evolution versus macro-evolution from the definition of evolution ?


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Pressie
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Posts: 1771
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 51 of 936 (802332)
03-15-2017 7:25 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by CRR
03-15-2017 2:33 AM


Re: Very Late Reply
So, not even one of the definitions of evolution addresses the formation of the Universe, the formation of stars; the formation of earth, the age of the earth; or anything like that.

Just biology.

I think that creationists lie about what evolution entails...

Then, who's Kirk Dunstan? Does he know anything about biology?

Also, how do you quantify genetic information?

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.


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jar
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Member Rating: 3.2


Message 52 of 936 (802333)
03-15-2017 7:33 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Pressie
03-15-2017 7:25 AM


Re: Very Late Reply
Pressie writes:

Then, who's Kirk Dunstan? Does he know anything about biology?

Most likely Kirk Durston, the Power To Change Ministries marketeer. He is a Creationist PhD Candidate in computational biophysics.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios My Website: My Website

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Pressie
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Posts: 1771
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 53 of 936 (802334)
03-15-2017 7:48 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by jar
03-15-2017 7:33 AM


Re: Very Late Reply
Ah, thanks. Bat sh*t crazy. No wonder CRR makes up his/her own definitions of words and change names and then claim that his/her definitions are "scientific"!

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.


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CRR
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Message 54 of 936 (802354)
03-15-2017 5:32 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Pressie
03-15-2017 7:25 AM


Re: Very Late Reply
Kirk Durstan

Ph.D. Biophysics, 2010, University of Guelph
M.A. Philosophy, 1997, University of Manitoba
B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, 1979, University of Manitoba
B.Sc. Physics, 1976, University of Manitoba
Has also completed eleven graduate-level courses toward a Masters degree in Theology.

Academic Publications

Science

Durston, K.K., Chiu, D.K.Y., Wong, A.K.C., Li, G.C.L. (2012), Statistical discovery of site inter-dependencies in sub-molecular hierarchical protein structuring, EURASIP Journal on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology 2012, 2012:8
Durston, K.K.; Chiu, D.K.Y. (2011), Chapter 5. Functional Sequence Complexity in Biopolymers. In The First Gene: The Birth of Programming, Messaging and Formal Control, Abel, D. L., Ed. LongView PressAcademic, Biol. Res. Div.: New York, N.Y., pp 117-133.
Durston, K.K., Chiu, D.K.Y., Abel, D.L., Trevors, J.T. (2007), Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins, Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, 4:47, 1-14.
Durston, K.K., Chiu, D.K.Y. (2005), A functional entropy model for biological sequences, Dynamics of Continuous, Discrete and Impulsive Systems: Series B Supplement, University of Waterloo.

Edited by CRR, : Publications added (science only)

Edited by CRR, : No reason given.


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CRR
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Posts: 578
From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 55 of 936 (802356)
03-15-2017 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Pressie
03-15-2017 7:25 AM


Re: Very Late Reply
So, not even one of the definitions of evolution addresses the formation of the Universe, the formation of stars; the formation of earth, the age of the earth; or anything like that.

Of course not. This is after all in the Biological Evolution forum. It also doesn't address the evolution of the motor car. But if you really want to extend it to all those things then Evolution=change over time, and then even a melting ice cube is evolving!

p.s. Sarcasm. In case you missed it.


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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15950
Joined: 07-20-2006
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Message 56 of 936 (802361)
03-15-2017 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Pressie
03-15-2017 7:25 AM


Re: Very Late Reply
Also, how do you quantify genetic information?

He doesn't. It's a subjective quality like beauty.


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dwise1
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Joined: 05-02-2006
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(2)
Message 57 of 936 (802384)
03-15-2017 11:20 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by bkelly
11-14-2005 4:10 PM


Every Sailor Knows the Meaning of "Evolution"
An evolution is when multiple sailors turn out to perform a planned task. Without evolutions, the US Navy would be unable to function. Of course, since the reserves' main mission is to train for mobilization, almost all the evolutions I was involved in were training evolutions and there were a lot of those.


My objective there was to illustrate that that word has multiple meanings, a fact that many creationists try to take advantage of. One creationist ploy I've encountered many times is to try to confuse their victim by asking "which evolution?" at which point they try to conflate together everything that includes the word "evolution" even though they have nothing to do with each other. Yes, it's stupid, but it usually serves to create confusion which is what the creationist was seeking in the first place.

In some earlier research, I found that the earliest English use of "evolution" was around 1610, more than two centuries before Darwin published. From the roots, "ex" for "out" and "volv" for "turn", its meaning is "turning out" or "unfolding". Like the unfolding of a flower, "evolution" was used to describe how things grow, change, and develop over time. For talking about the development of any particular type of system or object, you need to add verbiage to do so. That is why we say "paper towel" or "paper napkin" or "tomato ketshup", because the words alone refer to something else (eg, towels and napkins are normally made of cloth, ketshup was originally a Malaysian spicy fish sauce lacking that New World ingredient which is tomatoes).

Stellar evolution is about how a star forms, enters the Main Sequence, spends its time there, leaves the Main Sequence, and what eventually becomes of it. Biological evolution is about what happens to a population over many generations. Even though that group of creationists try to create confusion by confusing these two ideas together, they couldn't be more different.

In addition to that, there is the creationists' "Two Model Approach" and its "evolution model", which is a confused compost heap of every possible idea about evolution, plus "most of the world's religions, ancient and modern" as Dr. Henry Morris himself explicitly pointed out to me. IOW, you have their "creation model" which is pure YEC (including a young earth and Noah's Flood) and then every other idea that is not pure YEC gets dumped into their "evolution model". Ironically, while Morris and the ICR repeatedly refer to their "evolution model" as being "atheistic", the vastly greatest portion of it is thoroughly theistic.

So then truly, whenever we talk about evolution we need to be very explicit and very specific about what we mean by that term.


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dwise1
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Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 58 of 936 (802385)
03-15-2017 11:38 PM


A Thought for a General Operational Definition
For a while, I've been kicking around a simple general operational for biological evolution. So I just thought I would toss it out there to see what others thought of it.

quote:
Basically, biological evolution is the total sum of what happens when populations of living organisms do what living organisms naturally do.

Consume resources to survive long enough to reproduce.
Produce the next generation who are very similar to the previous generation, yet slightly different.
Those who survive long enough to reproduce then generate the next generation who are very similar to them yet slightly different.
Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

No magical mechanisms. No violations of thermodynamics (unless life itself violates the Laws of Thermodynamics, in which case why is anything left alive?). Just life doing what life does.

Of course, from that point on, it's a matter of collecting and analyzing all that data to figure out the relative importance of various factors.

Yet it still boils down to the basic fact: wherever life exists, it's evolving.

PS
Even when you have stasis, the population is evolving.

When I've dropped that bombshell before, creationists just went crazy. But it's true.

I can use two analogies.

In power supply technology, we have the voltage regulator whose purpose is to maintain a constant voltage output from the power supply regardless of the load (ie, how much current is being drawn -- it definitely has an effect on the voltage drops across internal resistances of the power supply). You look at the output and it remains the same! Does that mean that the output is not being regulated? Nonsense! The only way it could remain the same is if it is constantly regulated.

A steam engine governor. Basically, a vertical shaft in the steam engine has a contraption with two steel balls atop it and attached to a steam pressure release valve. The faster the steam engine runs, the faster that contraption spins and the farther out centrifugal force drives those steel balls until they are out so far that they open the release valve and reduce the steam pressure, thus reducing the speed the engine is running at. That can be used to regulate the speed of the steam engine. BTW, "balls out!" is the engine running at maximum speed and should be the same as "balls to the walls!"

Years before his horse accident (May 1995), Christopher Reeve hosted a documentary about evolution (not in his filmography). At one point, he described how evolution can speed up or slow down depending on how close to the optimal phenome it is. That made no sense to me at the time. But then those two previous analogies showed me the way. If the population is not close to the optimal phenome then the bell-curve scatter of offspring will lead that portion of that curve closer to the optimal to be more successful in producing offspring. The next generation should center closer to that optimal but with those closer to it being more likely to reproduce, etc. Eventually, the median of that population's bell curve will be roughly centered about that optimal. Early in that process, the population's median will be moving rapidly towards that optimial, but as it came closer to that optimal then its movement would slow down and eventually stop.

Edited by dwise1, : PS


    
Pressie
Member
Posts: 1771
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 59 of 936 (802389)
03-16-2017 6:26 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by CRR
03-15-2017 5:42 PM


Re: Very Late Reply
Actually, that's how all those professional creationists define evolution. According to them, a melting ice cube is part of evolutionary theory. They even pretend that the Big Bang is part of evolution.
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Pressie
Member
Posts: 1771
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 60 of 936 (802391)
03-16-2017 6:31 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by CRR
03-15-2017 5:32 PM


Re: Very Late Reply
So, not Kirk Dunstan?

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.


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