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Author Topic:   What i can't understand about evolution....
Integral
Junior Member (Idle past 5674 days)
Posts: 8
Joined: 11-28-2008


Message 16 of 493 (489815)
11-30-2008 6:52 AM


i do love this reaction...
Ok first of all i do have a fairly adequate knowledge of Biology and do understand about variation and how evolution happens. Im not disputing that evolution does happen, phenotypes vary, there is evidence for that. Bird beaks will get larger or smaller as one type of bird becomes more adapted to its environment for example. So please understand that i'm not disputing evolution on the small scale.
The only thing that i cannot quite get my head round is that fact that you are using these very small scale examples and multiply there impact over millions of years to explain the existence of the life on this planet... I do not see how a fish with a single circulatory system evolves into a land mammal with a double circulatory system for example. Its these sort of huge jumps from species to species that i dispute.
And yes you are right my knowledge of the general theory of evolution is basic, but i hope to change that.
And to adress the point that was made that evolution has so much more evidence, i was under the belief that there is really not that much evidence at all. For example i read in the "national Geographic" a magazine that promotes evolution, that evoltuion is
like a film, but with 999 out of every 1000 frames missing.
obviously you have reasons why there are gaps in the fossil record, but you would think there would be a little moe evidence.
thank you for your well thought out arguments...
Edited by Integral, : No reason given.
Edited by Integral, : No reason given.
Edited by Integral, : No reason given.
Edited by Integral, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Huntard, posted 11-30-2008 8:15 AM Integral has not replied
 Message 18 by Percy, posted 11-30-2008 9:13 AM Integral has not replied
 Message 21 by Taz, posted 11-30-2008 11:11 AM Integral has not replied
 Message 23 by onifre, posted 11-30-2008 1:05 PM Integral has not replied
 Message 24 by subbie, posted 11-30-2008 1:47 PM Integral has not replied
 Message 26 by Chiroptera, posted 11-30-2008 2:08 PM Integral has not replied
 Message 28 by Blue Jay, posted 11-30-2008 4:07 PM Integral has not replied

Huntard
Member (Idle past 2375 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 17 of 493 (489818)
11-30-2008 8:15 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Integral
11-30-2008 6:52 AM


Integral writes:
Ok first of all i do have a fairly adequate knowledge of Biology and do understand about variation and how evolution happens. Im not disputing that evolution does happen, phenotypes vary, there is evidence for that. Bird beaks will get larger or smaller as one type of bird becomes more adapted to its environment for example. So please understand that i'm not disputing evolution on the small scale.
The only thing that i cannot quite get my head round is that fact that you are using these very small scale examples and multiply there impact over millions of years to explain the existence of the life on this planet...
How can a series of small changes stacking up over millions of years NOT lead to profound difference between the ancestor species and the descendant species.
I do not see how a fish with a single circulatory system evolves into a land mammal with a double circulatory system for example. Its these sort of huge jumps from species to species that i dispute.
Well, crocodiles are born with a two chambered heart, but it turns into a four chambered heart as they grow larger, now if this tansition can occur in a single species living today, what makes you think it couldn't arise in different species?
And yes you are right my knowledge of the general theory of evolution is basic, but i hope to change that.
Good, we're here to help. As long as you keep an open mind, I'm sure you'll learn a lot here.
And to adress the point that was made that evolution has so much more evidence, i was under the belief that there is really not that much evidence at all.
And you're wrong, there are literally mountains of evidence that support evolutionary theory.
For example i read in the "national Geographic" a magazine that promotes evolution, that evoltuion is
like a film, but with 999 out of every 1000 frames missing.
obviously you have reasons why there are gaps in the fossil record, but you would think there would be a little moe evidence.
And there is. I don't know which issue of National geographic you got that from, nor the article, since it is basically a quote mine. A quote mine is a logical fallacy. It is further an argument from authority, as you place NG up on a pedestal, and saying that because they say it, it must be true. This is also a logical fallacy. If you check for the real evidence, you will find there is an overwhelming amount that supports evolution.

I hunt for the truth

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Integral, posted 11-30-2008 6:52 AM Integral has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 11-30-2008 9:33 AM Huntard has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22607
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 18 of 493 (489826)
11-30-2008 9:13 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Integral
11-30-2008 6:52 AM


Integral writes:
For example i read in the "national Geographic" a magazine that promotes evolution, that evoltuion is
like a film, but with 999 out of every 1000 frames missing.
So you actually read this in National Geographic and, since you're using a quote box, are actually quoting from it? Hmmm...
While this is in essence what National Geographic said, your quote is more than sufficiently inaccurate to reveal that you are quoting from some other source and more than likely never read this issue of National Geographic (November, 2004).
You know, I read in the Bible that "Thou shalt not lie." Whoops, that isn't in the Bible? Oh, well, something for confession, eh?
The correct full sentence:
The November, 2004, National Geographic writes:
Illuminating but spotty, the fossil record is like a film of evolution from which 999 of every 1,000 frames have been lost on the cutting-room floor.
So where did your quote really come from?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Integral, posted 11-30-2008 6:52 AM Integral has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22607
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 19 of 493 (489828)
11-30-2008 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Huntard
11-30-2008 8:15 AM


Huntard writes:
A quote mine is a logical fallacy.
Quoting from Wikipedia, "Quote mining is the practice of purposely compiling frequently misleading quotes from large volumes of literature or speech."
Integral's lone misquote is analogous to picking up the odd rock here and there, rather than being analogous to mining. The original quote is from the November, 2004, Was Darwin Wrong? article in National Geographic, and it accurately reflects the meaning if not the actual phrasing.
I suppose it could be considered an appeal to authority, but that would be sort of beside the point since few paleontologists would contend that this paints a false picture of the fossil record.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Huntard, posted 11-30-2008 8:15 AM Huntard has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Huntard, posted 11-30-2008 10:45 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 22 by Taz, posted 11-30-2008 11:15 AM Percy has not replied

Huntard
Member (Idle past 2375 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 20 of 493 (489834)
11-30-2008 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
11-30-2008 9:33 AM


Hmm, yes, need to work up on this sort of thing.
However, the quote as given to me (as I did not know the original text) is a misrepresentation of the evidnece for evolution. While I agree that the fossil record is missing a great deal, evolution as a whole does not depend on just the fossil record for evidence. That is why i said what I did.

I hunt for the truth

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 11-30-2008 9:33 AM Percy has not replied

Taz
Member (Idle past 3371 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 21 of 493 (489836)
11-30-2008 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Integral
11-30-2008 6:52 AM


Integral writes:
The only thing that i cannot quite get my head round is that fact that you are using these very small scale examples and multiply there impact over millions of years to explain the existence of the life on this planet.
My background is in physics, programming, and running simulations. I think it's what has helped me understand the nature of evolution. In the past, I've literally left my computer running a computation for a simulation for days at a time. Each result adds a minute (very very very small) change to the system. After several days, I looked at the simulation and it looked nothing like what I started out with.
It helps to think of it like walking. A step doesn't get you very far. 2 steps doesn't get you very far. But given enough time and enough steps, you could potentially end up a thousand miles away. That's what evolution is. Evolution is just a change in allele frequency of a population over time. Given enough time and changes through mutation and natural selection, the changes could add up to quite a bit.
Now, remember that we are talking about a population here. The most common mistake individuals make is trying to visualize an individual organism evolving. That's not how it works. In fact, I've heard a few ministers and preachers try to pass this off. It's nothing more than a lie. The smallest unit that can evolve is a population.
And yes you are right my knowledge of the general theory of evolution is basic, but i hope to change that.
I must also point out that if it were as simple as you getting more than the very basic knowledge of biological evolution through reading these boards, we wouldn't have a need for schools. These are subjects that take a life time to study. I remember how stressful it was when I took the biology classes in college, and I wasn't even a biology major.
Nothing bothers me more than to have a person ask me "ok, explain to me what Kepler's laws of planetary motion are and how they work." I brought up Kepler's laws because they are, frankly, quite simple and yet I don't think anyone can adequately explain them in a few sentences. Now, imagine someone asking me to explain relativity or quantum mechanics.
The point is don't expect people to be giving you a college education on biological evolution in a few posts and don't expect yourself to learn anything but the very basics from here.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Integral, posted 11-30-2008 6:52 AM Integral has not replied

Taz
Member (Idle past 3371 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 22 of 493 (489838)
11-30-2008 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
11-30-2008 9:33 AM


Hey Percy, would quoting Darwin from The Origin of Species something like "I was wrong..." be considered quote mining? I've seen quite a few attempts to that affect.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 11-30-2008 9:33 AM Percy has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by dwise1, posted 11-30-2008 3:35 PM Taz has not replied

onifre
Member (Idle past 3031 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 23 of 493 (489855)
11-30-2008 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Integral
11-30-2008 6:52 AM


Bird beaks will get larger or smaller as one type of bird becomes more adapted to its environment for example. So please understand that i'm not disputing evolution on the small scale.
So, what happened to their beaks when there were no birds in existance...?
I think what you mean to say is that you understand evolution by todays visible standards. In other words, you can see the variance in the species of today. What you seem to have trouble with is understanding that many of todays species weren't around 20Mya, 100Mya, 1Bya. So something occured right...?
So what seems more plausable, small changes add up over time, or every so often a magic wand is waved and species just pop up?
The only thing that i cannot quite get my head round is that fact that you are using these very small scale examples and multiply there impact over millions of years to explain the existence of the life on this planet...
No one is "using" anything. And no one has given any reason for the existance of life, what evolution explains is the diversity found in the already existing organisms. You are the one confusing the issue.
I do not see how a fish with a single circulatory system evolves into a land mammal with a double circulatory system for example.
Yes but scientist do see it, and have documented it.
Is your question, How did we get from fish to land mammals, or are you saying that no matter what evidence we present for the very, very long transition from fish to land mammal, you will not see it as good enough evidence...?
It's important to establish your motive here...that way we can either help, or ignore, you.
Its these sort of huge jumps from species to species that i dispute.
If someone told me that a fish gave birth to a land mammal I would dispute it too. In fact, so would science. The theory of evolution does not claim such a degree of variance in one single generation, and it's a complete lack of understaning of the theory if this is what you beleive is said.
And to adress the point that was made that evolution has so much more evidence, i was under the belief that there is really not that much evidence at all.
Yes but you admited that your knowledge of evolution is basic, so whatever "belief" you are under, is most likely wrong.

"All great truths begin as blasphemies"
"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks
"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky

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subbie
Member (Idle past 1335 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 24 of 493 (489863)
11-30-2008 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Integral
11-30-2008 6:52 AM


quote:
i was under the belief that there is really not that much evidence at all.
The vast majority, probably in excess of 90%, of scientists agree that evolution is scientifically valid and supported by virtually all of the scientific evidence. If your belief is accurate, one of the following must be true:
1. Most scientists are incompetent and don't know what they're talking about.
2. Most scientists are lying about how much evidence there is supporting evolution.
3. Some agency is deceiving most scientists about how much evidence there is supporting evolution.
Which of these three possibilities do you think is accurate? Or, instead, could you consider the possibility that most scientists know more about it than you do, and you are wrong?

Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Integral, posted 11-30-2008 6:52 AM Integral has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Coyote, posted 11-30-2008 2:00 PM subbie has not replied

Coyote
Member (Idle past 2186 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 25 of 493 (489864)
11-30-2008 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by subbie
11-30-2008 1:47 PM


There is deception, all right!
3. Some agency is deceiving most scientists about how much evidence there is supporting evolution.
The deceiving is going on but its on the creationists' side. The number of misrepresentations, factual omissions, distortions, and outright lies you find on creationist websites is staggering.
In order to support their position they have to mangle science and overturn the scientific method, and teach their followers--and school children--that scientists are deluded or deliberately covering up the evidence supporting their position.
There's your deception.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 493 (489865)
11-30-2008 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Integral
11-30-2008 6:52 AM


obviously you have reasons why there are gaps in the fossil record, but you would think there would be a little moe evidence.
First of all, most of the really, really good evidence for evolution has nothing to do with fossils. For example, my favorite piece of evidence for evolution is the nested hierarchical classification of the species. Not only does common descent predict the nested hierarchy, it would be refuted if there were no nested hierarchical pattern to the species. Meanwhile, there is no other mechanism, natural or artificial, that would produce such a pattern.
Now coming back to the fossils: the fossils themselves are good evidence for evolution. Not only are there some pretty good complete sequences showing the evolution of one taxon from another (like nonhuman ape to human), but there are examples like Tiktaalik which was predicted to exist by scientists based on the theory of evolution. Such a creature need not have existed, yet, based on evolutionary theory, scientists were able to predict that it did exist and predicted where they should look for the fossils -- and sure enough, it turned out that they did exist exactly where the scientists thought it would.
Theory -> prediction -> confirmation -- this is what "evidence" means in the context of science.

Speaking personally, I find few things more awesome than contemplating this vast and majestic process of evolution, the ebb and flow of successive biotas through geological time. Creationists and others who cannot for ideological or religious reasons accept the fact of evolution miss out a great deal, and are left with a claustrophobic little universe in which nothing happens and nothing changes.
-- M. Alan Kazlev

This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 5969
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 27 of 493 (489876)
11-30-2008 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Taz
11-30-2008 11:15 AM


Hey Percy, would quoting Darwin from The Origin of Species something like "I was wrong..." be considered quote mining? I've seen quite a few attempts to that affect.
Or we could turn to the Bible, which does say (via quote-mining) "There is no God". Hey, if the Bible says that there is no God, then it must be true!

This message is a reply to:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2778 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 28 of 493 (489881)
11-30-2008 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Integral
11-30-2008 6:52 AM


Hi, Integral. Welcome to EvC!
Integral writes:
The only thing that i cannot quite get my head round is that fact that you are using these very small scale examples and multiply there impact over millions of years to explain the existence of the life on this planet...
There are a couple of points to be made here.
First, the explanation provided (evolutionary natural history, or the history of life on the earth as explained by evolution) jives well with the evidence that is seen, namely a succession of different animal and plant communities in different layers of the fossil record that line up in such a way as to suspect that they are the descendants of the communities that came before them. As has been pointed out by others already, the fossil record includes several breathtaking examples of transitional fossils, wherein gradual changes can be seen to occur, one or two at a time, between a series of fossil species.
Second, we have shown that small-scale changes are real, and that organisms that have undergone one small-scale change can later undergo more small-scale changes (that is, the changes accumulate over time). So, we have much evidence that shows that such changes can occur and can accumulate.
Third, we have no evidence whatsoever that suggests that these changes must stop accumulating at some point. If you think about it, accumulating and halting the accumulation are two entirely different phenomena that would be caused by two entirely different mechanisms. So far, we have evidence for a mechanism of accumulation, but no evidence for a mechanism to halt accumulation.
In the absence of a halting mechanism, what would give us any reason to think accumulation stops?
Integral writes:
And to adress the point that was made that evolution has so much more evidence, i was under the belief that there is really not that much evidence at all.
Take some time someday and thoroughly read a biology textbook, preferably an evolutionary biology textbook. Spend a few hours a day reading peer-reviewed literature, too: if you do that, you’ll eventually realize how much effort and revision has gone in to putting these ideas together. It isn’t just an idea that somebody pulled out of a hat in the middle of a groupthink session (despite what certain people would have you believe): it has been tested literally thousands of times over by thousands (maybe even millions) of independent researchers from everywhere around the world, in hundreds of different ecosystems and with thousands of different study organisms.
The point that I’m trying to make is that the pattern is very well documented. Even though there are millions of organisms about which we know next to nothing, there is no indication, as yet, that some mechanism other than descent with modification is required to explain the diversity of life. So we should just stick to what we already know until we find that what we know is no longer sufficient.

-Bluejay
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3128 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 29 of 493 (489907)
11-30-2008 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Integral
11-29-2008 6:36 AM


I have considered the theory evolution, and to me it just does not seem plausible, even practical. If we developed by a series of genetic malformations, this would obviously take rather a long time. But how come some developments, for example fins to legs, the circulatory system, internal organs, wings, surely the development of these would have to be instanaeous and perfect to give them any advantage at all, or to even work?
You have excellent understanding of evolution.
Evolution claims all life is the result of a fundamentally random process tied to genetic malfunction. In other words life is an accident, we got lucky. There is no misunderstanding: this deranged belief is exactly what evolutionary postulates. This is your only choice if Genesis is not an option.
Ray

This message is a reply to:
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Admin
Director
Posts: 13081
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 30 of 493 (489911)
11-30-2008 8:20 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Cold Foreign Object
11-30-2008 7:58 PM


Cold Foreign Object Permanently Suspended
Hi Ray,
I'm permanently suspending you now. Thank you for your contributions over the past few years, and may you fare well in all your endeavors.

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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