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Author Topic:   Evolution Logic
Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 85 of 302 (318672)
06-07-2006 9:25 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Rob
06-07-2006 2:33 AM


Rob writes:
1. DNA is a language for life, as an operating system is a language for a computer.
Nwr objected to this, I think because the familiar analogy one sees for DNA is to computer instruction sets, not to computer operating systems. But if you're thinking of line oriented operating systems such as Linux or the Windows command interface (called cmd on Windows/XP) then I think the analogy is apt. You're saying that the instructions in DNA correspond to the commands in a line-oriented operating system where you can say "copy this" and "delete that" and "find all lines in this file containing the string 'abc' and delete them".
2. What I should have said, is that it is the most complex arrangement of instructions (contained in the information within the DNA molecule) in the known universe.
Maybe. Depends how you measure it. We certainly don't fully understand the information encoding or interpretation.
3. As such it communicates to us in a different manner as oppossed to the meaning I gave in illustration in #1. Because we know that information is a massless quantity, that is, it is not reducible to matter or energy but in fact manipulates it, tells us that information originates from an intelligent agent (i.e. Mark twain, or egyption scribes). it gives one the sense that info is 'spiritual' in origin.
Depends how you define information. Electrons all have a negative charge, so they repel one another. When two electrons approach each other, the deflection is caused by the exchange of a photon. The photon emitted from one electron is what informs the other electron of it's presence. Is this exchange of information spirtual?
The question is rhetorical. Your point 3 is just a declaration that information comes from an intelligent agent because it does not reduce to matter or energy but rather manipulates it. You provide no explanation for how one follows from the other, and my electron example contradicts your argument. The photon *does* possess energy and it *does* communicate information, and its source from an electron doesn't hint at anything spiritual or at an intelligent agent.
If SETI reasearchers could find even a simple pattern of information coming from outer space they would jump for joy. But show them God's calling card (DNA) and as Francis Crick the nobel lauriate and geneticist said, "I can only conclude that it came in missile form from somewhere else (paraphrased)."
The flaw in this argument is that SETI researchers are seeking patterns in radio signals for which there is no known natural cause, while the patterns in DNA have known natural causes. We've observed these patterns arising in the form of allele rearrangements and mutations.
SETI knows how to recognize the difference between many natural patterns and an artificial pattern, but every so often they encounter a new pattern with no known natural cause. So far, though, investigation has always revealed a previously unknown natural cause.
ID faces a problem similar to SETI. You have to make sure that the patterns observed in DNA have no known natural cause. Unfortunately for ID, all the patterns in DNA have known natural causes. And when we find new patterns, we've always been able to identify known natural causes.
Even discovery of a pattern for which we could uncover no natural cause would not be conclusive for science. Science is in the business of uncovering the way the natural universe works. There is no persuasive evidence we know of for supernatural processes operating in the natural universe.
In that case I ask, if the laws of nature and physics on earth cannot explain DNA's origin...
This is the fundamental claim of both mainstream creationism and of ID. But mainstream science does not see anything in the puzzle of DNA's origin that goes outside natural physical laws.
The origin of life is a scientific puzzle in the same way that the structure of the atom was a scientific puzzle. At one time we didn't know the atomic structure, and now we do. There was no scientific speculation that perhaps atomic structure was a mystical entity of divine origin. We still don't know very much about life's origin, but for the same reasons as for the atomic structure, scientists are not considering divine origins.
Science just is not in the business of ascribing supernatural causes to scientific mysteries. The entire history of science is one of finding natural explanations for things we previously didn't know.
So much wasted time to intellectually avoid the moral dillemma.
This is a common mistake that creationists make. They think that the scientific viewpoint was contrived in order to deny Christian faith. Suffice to say that the Christian faith does not occupy as much attention in scientific circles as you might think - in fact it occupies none. Were it not for creationist efforts to undermine science education, creationism would receive no attention from scientists at all.
Many God-believing Christians in countries all around the world accept evolution, as do Islamics, Buddhists, Hindus and Jews. And let's not forget atheists. There is no common philosophical base that unites them, certainly no anti-Christian one since many are Christians.
But getting the thousands of sub microscopic components together at the same time and place you need to create the simplest of life forms, is not at all a good bet given all eternity.
If your God requires belief in a supernatural origin for life in order to achieve salvation then that is an article of faith for you, and you are entitled to it. But for most people God's love is not conditional upon how one thinks life started or people got here. That is an article of faith for them, and they are entitled to their faith as much as you are to yours. And none of this, especially our fate in eternity, has anything to do with scientific views on life's origins or evolution.
And if that's not enough, DNA could not have evolved either, because in order to have a self replicating cycle, you need the DNA that stores the template for all of the highspeed processes that take place durring cell division (unimaginable sophistication). So as Steven Meyer of the Discovery institute has said, 'you can't use natural selection to explain the origin of DNA without assuming the existence of the very thing your trying to explain.'
Steven Meyer evidently doesn't understand that natural selection does not just operate on life. It can operate anytime and anywhere, both organically and inorganically. Even just a simple kitchen colander is a selection mechanism, selecting whatever you put in it over the liquid it was contained in. A flowing river selects heavy sediment over light sediment, depositing the heavy sediment on the bottom while carrying the light sediment out to sea.
In the origin of life, pre-organic and simple-organic molecules were selected by the environment. Those most favored by the environment became numerous at the expense of those less favored, an early form of competition. Any kind of primitive replication capability, most likely only very partial and highly dependent upon other chemicals freely available in the environment, would have proven especially advantageous.
A final note. This forum, the [forum=-5] forum, is one of the science forums. Creationism and ID claim to be science, and they want to be represented in science classrooms. Yet in your message you tended to bolster your arguments with references to religious issues like "spiritual origins", "moral dilemmas" and "betting on all eternity", hardly the kind of arguments you could offer in a science class. Are you sure you're doing science?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Rob, posted 06-07-2006 2:33 AM Rob has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by nwr, posted 06-07-2006 10:00 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 97 by Rob, posted 06-08-2006 1:43 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 88 of 302 (318685)
06-07-2006 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by Rob
06-07-2006 9:18 AM


Rob writes:
Or better put, know anybody who's seen DNA alive under a microscope?
What a silly question! How do you think the replication process is studied if not by observing live DNA? I just pulled a genetics book off my shelf and found a picture of DNA replicating in a live E. coli.
I think the main point your were trying to make is that DNA does not replicate all by itself, that it requires the machinery and resources of the cell, and of course that's true if what you want is another cell. But if all you want to do is observe DNA replication then all you have to do is divide the DNA double helix into two separate but complementary strands and immerse it in a soup of nucleotides. You'll get two copies of the original strand. This simple replicative behavior of DNA is the fundamental principle behind DNA computers.
Me too! and a long time ago and not so relatively recently. But again, data is information. There is no data available until it is compiled by an intelligent agent.
This is just an unsupported declaraion claim variously made by people like Dembski and Gitt. Information has a formal definition, and that definition includes no semantic portion. In other words, information itself has no meaning. The meaning is an interpretation attached to the information by people. In the words of Shannon in his landmark paper:
Shannon writes:
The fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another point. Frequently the messages have meaning; that is they refer to or are correlated according to some system with certain physical or conceptual entities. These semantic aspects of communication are irrelevant to the engineering problem.
Moving on:
Evolution is a theory that is testable. The testing and evidence just don't support it.
This is far too unspecific and clearly wrong as stated. Evolution is descent with modification filtered by natural selection, so every reproductive event is evolution. If there are specific aspects of evolutionary theory that you feel are untestable then describe them.
Here's a sample of quotes:
I'm also a moderator, and here at EvC Forum we try to discourage quote mining expeditions. They're very distracting and are often discovered to not be apropos or are taken out of contest or both. I presume it is a list of quotes from evolutionists making statements about problems with evolutionary theory or questioning it in some way. Do you really believe that evolutionary scientists don't accept their own theory? If I gave you a list of prominent Christians questioning important aspects of Christian faith, would you conclude, "Oh, I guess I was all wrong about Christianity." Or would you instead conclude, "Something's fishy here." In other words, don't trust the quotes.
If you really want to discuss those quotes, then please propose a thread and I'll promote it as soon as I can, but let's keep this thread on-topic. We usually suggest that members make their arguments in their own words and provide links or references for support. Rules 5 and 6 of the Forum Guidelines are the most applicable here.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Rob, posted 06-07-2006 9:18 AM Rob has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Wounded King, posted 06-07-2006 10:17 AM Percy has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 102 of 302 (319068)
06-08-2006 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by Rob
06-08-2006 1:43 AM


Rob writes:
I concede that I have no answer to many of these questions percy. I am confident that I am correct, but concede a great deal of faith. All things are ultimately believed on faith.
And you could be in a discussion with a flat-earther who could say the same thing, that all things are ultimately believed on faith. In fact, the argument could be used for anything: "All things are ultimately believed on faith, so I just don't accept [fill in the blank]."
We do not accept on faith that an amp of electrical current through your body will kill you. I choose this example because there's nothing more dramatic than death. That an amp of current can kill you is something that has been established as a reality. It is not an article of faith like a religious belief. Whether you believe salvation is based upon belief or deeds is a very different proposition from whether you think you can be electrocuted. If you ignore the possibility of electrocution while playing with electricity (for example, by ignoring the step in the instructions that says to shut off your electrical panel before rewiring your house), then you might find yourself in a position to get an answer to the "belief versus deeds" issue much sooner than expected.
The possibility of electrocution is an established part of reality. Articles of faith are not. Science attempts to understand the universe by basing it upon the facts of reality. What science believes it knows may be right or wrong, but established scientific understanding usually has an extremely firm foundation in the facts of reality. Ignore them at your peril, and let's have no more of this silly "all things are ultimately believed on faith" nonsense.
I have a high school education and drive a 05 Peterbuilt.
You mean Peterbilt? So you park one of these in front of the church on Sunday? I wish my car was as new as your truck!
My zeal far outwieghs my education.
Yes, so you must be careful. There are many websites out there offering arguments designed to appeal to those who are both devout and who possess insufficient education to perceive the fallacies, and who also might possess a healthy skepticism about science due to unfamiliarity. What the creationist movement has very successfully done is create an army of the misled, some of whom march into websites like this one and get chewed up.
I have given my opinions, and still hold them.
We're very familiar with this attitude among creationists. This just makes it even more clear that you're not really doing science.
I have met God, so I believe. I see evidence for Him, and it is consistent.
In this thread no one is saying that there is no God. When you met God, did he tell you that "information is a massless quantity" or that information "is not reducible to matter or energy but in fact manipulates it"? I don't think so. You read that at creationist websites. The message from here is not to reject God, because many here, including myself, believe in God, and many here are also Christians. We're telling you to reject the nonsense at the creationist websites, not God. There's nothing holy at creationist websites, unless you count the holes in their arguments.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Grammar again.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Rob, posted 06-08-2006 1:43 AM Rob has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 103 of 302 (319070)
06-08-2006 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 100 by Rob
06-08-2006 11:02 AM


That's a rather large hash, and it doesn't contain a coherent argument. It would probably work best if this thread tried to keep a narrow focus on the topic.
AIG is a creationist website. While it is one of the more reasonable ones, it still contains a great deal of misinformation. If you feel there is information at AIG that bears specifically on the discussion in this thread then I encourage you to describe it in your own words and provide a link to the source.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Rob, posted 06-08-2006 11:02 AM Rob has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 169 of 302 (319449)
06-09-2006 5:53 AM
Reply to: Message 163 by Rob
06-09-2006 1:57 AM


Re: on pairs and tells
Rob writes:
I know it's just 1's and 0's, but doesn't the arrangement specify the function? And isn't that information non-periodic? And isn't that information meaningful to it's functions? And isn't it complex?
Information: Complex, Specified, non-periodic, meaningful text. (all definitions of information have these in common)
Examples of information: Telephone book
Bible
Software
Statistics (ask about this one)
Any spoken Language formed from simple characters into complex formulations and meaningful to communication.
Almost every line in the above is wrong. What you're describing is the way Dembski and Gitt define information, but their definition has found no acceptance within the scientific commuity and in fact is worthless and useless. They confuse information with knowledge and meaning. If you doubt this, use their definition to determine how much information is contained in the binary sequence "10". You won't be able to do it, because they provide no means for measuring information.
But the genuine definition of information does provide the means for measuring information. Information as a formal entity (not as we use it in casual conversation) is not knowledge or meaning. It has a formal definition originally proposed by Shannon in his landmark paper back in 1948.
First, to be very, very clear, information is *not*, repeat, *not* "Complex, Specified, non-periodic, meaningful text."
Information is defined in this way. If you have a set of messages that you want to communicate to someone else, information is the measure of the number of bits it takes to communicate one of those messages. It doesn't matter what the messages are, only that you know how many different messages there are.
Let us say that you have 4 messages you wish to be able to communicate to someone else. It doesn't matter what those messages are (in other words, the meaning doesn't matter), but to make the example clear let me define the messages:
  • I'm happy.
  • I'm sad.
  • I'm not home.
  • Please try later
Notice the numbering begins at 0. I did that for a reason. In order to communicate one of these messages to someone else who knows the number for each message, all you have to do is transmit one of those numbers. How many bits would it take to transmit one of those numbers.
The answer is log2 of the number of messages. Since the number of messages is 4, we find that:
log2 4 = 2 bits
So it takes 2 binary bits of information to transmit one of your four messages. So if you transmit the binary sequence "10" to your friend, which is binary for 2, he will know you mean the message numbered 2 in your list and that you're not home (presumably your computer sent this message for you in your absence).
Notice that there is nothing in the number of bits it takes to send a message that says anything about complexity or specification or periodic or meaning. The meaning is an interpretation that you and your friend have overlayed on top of the information. All you're actually transmitting is the bits "10". To you and your friend that means "I'm not home." But two other friends could define "10" to mean "Meet you at 8." The meaning of the message is irrelevant to the information problem.
This formal definition of information provides a way to compare amounts of information. Let us say you decide to increase the number of messages you can send your friend, and so you expand your message list:
  • I'm happy.
  • I'm sad.
  • I'm not home.
  • Please try later.
  • I'm playing a computer game.
  • I'm coming over.
There are now six messages in the list, so the amount of information is:
log2 6 = 2.59 bits
This is the same way that you can measure the amount of information in the genome of a population of organisms. Let's say that there's a population of squirrels on an island who can have one of two eye colors: brown and red. It takes one bit to represent two eye colors, so the amount of information for the eye color gene is one bit.
Now let us say a mutation for yellow eyes takes place somewhere in the population, so now there are three eye colors in the population. It takes 1.59 bits to represent 3 eye colors, as opposed to the 1 bit to represent 2 eye colors, so the amount of information in the population has increased from 1 bit to 1.59 bits.
Notice once again that the nature of the message, the eye color in this case, is irrelevant. It wouldn't matter if the three eye colors were green, black and blue instead of brown, red and yellow. It is only the number of different colors (in other words, the number of different messages) that need to be communicated that governs how much information is involved. The nature of the messages is unimportant. As Shannon said right on page one of his paper:
Shannon writes:
The fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another point. Frequently the messages have meaning; that is they refer to or are correlated according to some system with certain physical or conceptual entities. These semantic aspects of communication are irrelevant to the engineering problem.
The examples you provided of information are actually examples of knowledge and meaning, like telephone books, the Bible and software. Information is much simpler (as a concept, not as a field of study - mathematically it quickly gets extremely complex). Any data that can be encoded into a system of messages is information, and that includes just about anything. The light from stars is information. Tree rings are information. Sound waves are information. DNA sequences are information. ASCII character sequences are information.
But the meaning of that information is not information: the meaning of information is knowledge, which is a completely different animal, and totally separate from the information problem.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by Rob, posted 06-09-2006 1:57 AM Rob has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 188 by Chiroptera, posted 06-09-2006 2:08 PM Percy has replied
 Message 292 by Rob, posted 06-17-2006 10:53 PM Percy has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 180 of 302 (319508)
06-09-2006 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by Rob
06-09-2006 9:27 AM


Re: on pairs and tells
Rob writes:
Well, I know that what I was asking was whether anyone had a reference for an increase in genetic info during mutations or cell division.
First, be sure you've read and understood my Message 169. You have to read this first because it provides the correct definition of information and explains how to measure it.
Now I'll explain how you get an increase in the amount of genetic information in a population. My previous Message 169 provided a simple example of a squirrel population, and I'm going to build upon that example.
This squirrel population originally had two eye colors, brown and red (for lurkers who understand this already, I'm going to purposefully ignore the dominant/recessive issues to keep things simple). Let's imagine that these colors are encoded in the genome by these nucleotide sequences:
  • CATGTC: brown
  • AGCTAA: red
This means that every squirrel in the population has either the CATGTC sequence for brown, or the AGCTAA sequence for red.
Let's say that one young squirrel is born with a mutation in this gene. Its parents were both brown-eyed and possessed the CATGTC sequence for brown, but a small reproductive error caused this baby squirrel to have the sequence TATGTC. So now there are three different colors that can be represented by this new sequence. Let's say that the baby squirrel has yellow eyes, so now the sequences and their colors are:
  • CATGTC: brown
  • AGCTAA: red
  • TATGTC: yellow
Where before there were just two eye colors in the population's genome there are now three. Where before the amount of information required to specify two eye colors was:
log2 2 = 1 bit
The amount of information required to specify three eye colors is:
log2 3 = 1.59 bits
So the amount of information for the eye color gene has increased from 1 bit to 1.59 bits, an increase of 0.59 bits.
And that's how mutations can increase genetic information in a population!
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Rob, posted 06-09-2006 9:27 AM Rob has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 201 by Rob, posted 06-10-2006 10:59 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 184 of 302 (319520)
06-09-2006 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 177 by Rob
06-09-2006 10:32 AM


Re: on pairs and tells
Hi Rob,
Before reading further, please see my Message 169 defining information, and my Message 180 providing a simple example of how mutation increases genomic information in a population.
Rob writes:
That's great! That's just wonderful.... I think all of us knew that duplication is possible. I want to see additional info in the genome.
The messages I referenced answered your request about adding information to the genome, but you also mention duplication.
Duplication is an extremely common mechanism by which information is added. Let's say a population has a gene for producing protein X, and that protein X is essential for life. It is so essential that any mutations in the gene cause the fetus to spontaneously abort.
Now a mutation occurs that duplicates the gene, so now the population has two genes for producing protein X. But it is only the presence of protein X that is essential for life. Extra protein X neither helps nor hurts the individuals in the population. Individual organisms in the population with this mutation appear no differently than others.
Now let's say a mutation occurs in one of the genes for protein X. The fetus does not spontaneously abort, because there is still one gene producing protein X. And now the duplicate gene is producing protein Y. The new protein may or may not have an effect, but we'll keep the focus on the question of information. We now have one gene sending the message "Protein X" and another gene sending the message "Protein Y". That's two messages instead of one. The information in the population's gene pool has just increased.
Not slight variation within kind, where we see the same amount of information rearanged into a unique individual organism.
Mutations (and allele recombinations), no matter how slight, eventually accumulate into significant change. It's like the steps you take while walking, which even if they're baby steps will eventually carry you long distances.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by Rob, posted 06-09-2006 10:32 AM Rob has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 186 of 302 (319554)
06-09-2006 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 185 by rgb
06-09-2006 12:37 PM


Re: on pairs and tells
rgb writes:
Wounded King writes
quote:
Your question simply can't be answered without knowing what you would consider an increase in genetic information.
An increase in genetic information in an organism is an increase in either the functionality of already existing parts in the organism or the number of parts that serve the same purposes, less purposes, or more purposes than already preexisting parts.
The question was about an increase in genetic information, but your answer instead addresses the expression of that information in the morphology of the organism, which is something different. There is no requirement that increases or decreases in genomic information be expressed.
rgb writes:
In other words, "information" is both an abstract and a subjective idea.
This is true of the Dembski/Gitt creationist definition of information, which is actually much closer to knowledge.
But this is not true of the scientific definition of information. It is objective, concrete and deterministic. See my Message 169 and Message 180.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 185 by rgb, posted 06-09-2006 12:37 PM rgb has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 190 by rgb, posted 06-09-2006 4:15 PM Percy has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 189 of 302 (319578)
06-09-2006 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 188 by Chiroptera
06-09-2006 2:08 PM


Chiroptera writes:
And aren't they intelligent and educated enough to realize this? Especially after it has been pointed out to them?
Gish was also famous for displaying this kind of behavior.
Getting into this might draw the thread off topic. Is there a thread for discussing why creationism's leading lights not only don't learn, but don't even try to engage with scientists, either.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 188 by Chiroptera, posted 06-09-2006 2:08 PM Chiroptera has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 206 of 302 (320023)
06-10-2006 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 201 by Rob
06-10-2006 10:59 AM


Re: on pairs and tells
Rob writes:
Technical mumbo jumbo, dumbo...
I confess that particularly relating to one's definition of information, and further more, how one then chooses to interpret that information plays a large role in attempting to decide for oneself what science is, and what it means.
A couple points.
First, you can't pick and choose your definition of information. Information has a definition accepted by science. The initial definition is contained in Shannon's landmark paper. If Dembski and Gitt would like to challenge that definition then they are free to do so, but so far all they're done is presented their material to conservative Christians as evidence against evolution.
Second, you seem to have forgotten your original question, which was, "Well, I know that what I was asking was whether anyone had a reference for an increase in genetic info during mutations or cell division."
And so I provided a link to Shannon's paper and provided a very simple example of how genetic information can increase through mutation. It might look like "technical mumbo, jumbo, dumbo" to you, but it is actually quite easy to understand when taken step by step, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Fix grammar.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 201 by Rob, posted 06-10-2006 10:59 AM Rob has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 261 of 302 (320477)
06-11-2006 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by Someone who cares
06-08-2006 9:02 PM


Re: bump for SWC
Someone who cares writes:
I would say macroevolution would have to be the evolution of big changes between family taxons or higher taxons.
I see that RAZD tore into this, so I thought I'd try a brief clarification.
To me many of RAZD's objections to your definition look like quibbles, but he does have an important point. Micro and macro evolution are not separate and independent concepts. Just as a long trip can be thought of as the sum of many very short trips, macro evolution is nothing more than the sum of much micro evolution. To deny that macro evolution is possible is similar to arguing that while you can drive from home to the convenience store, and from the convenience store to the mall, and from the mall to the gas station, and from the gas station to work, you can't drive directly from home to work.
Ring species are often used as examples of macroevolution spread across geography instead of time, and the most famous example is the herring gull. The herring gulls in Great Britain can breed with the herring gulls of the eastern US. Whether anyone wants to argue they're the same species or not, there is no doubt that these gulls are closely related.
The herring gull in the eastern US can breed with those of Alaska, but the Alaska herring gull is smaller with some black markings. The eastern American herring gull is clearly closely related to both the herring gull of Great Britain and the Alaskan herring gull, but the Great Britain gull and the Alaskan gull are obviously more distantly related to each other
Moving further west around the world, the Alaskan herring gull can breed with the Siberian herring gull, but it is smaller yet and has increased black markings. And continuing the circuit of the world and returning to Great Britain, the closest relative to the Siberian herring gull is the lesser black-backed gull, a completely different species from the herring gull. It doesn't breed with the herring gull at all.
The accumulation of differences in this sequence of related gull species as we travel west round the world is an example of small changes gradually accumulating into larger changes to the point of crossing species boundaries. This is the same thing that happens sequentially through time, and it is clearly evidenced in the fossil record.
So I think you should concentrate on RAZD's main point, which isn't so much that your definition is wrong, but that you interpret the macro evolutionary process as something distinctly different from micro evolution.
In other words, macro evolution is not a different animal than micro evolution. They are just expressions of the exact same thing. Micro evolution is the amount of change you get in a short period of time like a thousand years, just like a mile is the distance you can drive in a short period of time like a minute or two. Macro evolution is the amount of change you get in a long period of time like a million years, just like a few hundred miles is the distance you can drive in a long period of time like a day.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Someone who cares, posted 06-08-2006 9:02 PM Someone who cares has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 267 by RAZD, posted 06-11-2006 1:05 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 264 of 302 (320481)
06-11-2006 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 114 by Someone who cares
06-08-2006 9:05 PM


Someone who cares writes:
Really? You have evidence of evolution, macroevolution? Let me at it. The evidence does NOT show evolution to occur, it shows the opposite.
There are three lines of evidence for macroevolution. One is the record of living species on this planet. Even before Darwin the hierarchical relatedness of species was obvious, something which is a key identifier of an evolutionary process at work.
Another line of evidence is the fossil record, a record of change over long periods of time. That it also represents hierarchical relatedness and is congruent with modern classification is more confirming evidence.
The third line of evidence is genetic. The same hierarchical pattern we see in living animals and in the fossil record is reflected in genetic patterns.
Thus we have three converging lines of evidence confirming evolutionary change on a macro scale above the species level.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Someone who cares, posted 06-08-2006 9:05 PM Someone who cares has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 268 of 302 (320573)
06-11-2006 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by RAZD
06-11-2006 1:05 PM


Re: bump for SWC
I don't disagree with a thing you're saying. I just think it makes sense to approach each discussion at a level of detail that the other side has a prayer of understanding. The history of creationists comprehending the finer distinctions of evolution is not a good one. There was a similar example in another recent thread concerning PE. Making the most pertinent points may not have as much value as making points the other side can understand.
The sophistication with which creationists approach debate can differ appreciably from our own. Even what constitutes "scoring a point" in debate is often viewed differently by creationists. Many creationists seem to believe that mountains of evidence are effectively overcome by simple expressing incredulity. We've all heard effective evidence-based arguments dismissed with a (for example) "I just can't believe that something as complex as life could arise naturally". It's a real puzzle how creationists think they're scoring debate points with such arguments.
It's almost like playing a sport where your opponent misunderstands the rules and thinks he winning. Imagine the ease with which you would defeat an opponent in golf who thought the object was to score the most strokes. But you'd suffer the frustration of your opponent thinking he was blowing you away. He'd be bragging to all his friends, who misunderstand the rules in the same way, how he bested you 153-75. Clear victories like Dover (in other words, victories where both sides understand who won and who lost) are rare.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 267 by RAZD, posted 06-11-2006 1:05 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 269 by arachnophilia, posted 06-11-2006 4:25 PM Percy has replied
 Message 278 by RAZD, posted 06-12-2006 10:11 PM Percy has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 272 of 302 (320585)
06-11-2006 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 269 by arachnophilia
06-11-2006 4:25 PM


Re: bump for SWC
Not to change this into a discussion of Dover, but "what the di has to say about dover" is just the necessary spin they had to create in order to but the best face on an obvious defeat. Independent of the degree to which individual creationists buy into the spin, the Discovery Institute understands only too well how serious a defeat it was. And the fact that EvC Forum was inundated with a spate YEC arguments within a month after Dover after a couple years of increasing focus on ID is indicative of the breadth and scale of the defeat.
If you're expecting representatives of Discovery Institute to get up in public and state, "We accept that we were shown to be wrong in a fair legal fight," then just realize it ain't never going to happen. This is politics, and you never admit defeat in politics.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Fix spelling.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 269 by arachnophilia, posted 06-11-2006 4:25 PM arachnophilia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 273 by RAZD, posted 06-11-2006 6:53 PM Percy has not replied
 Message 274 by arachnophilia, posted 06-11-2006 7:00 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22699
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 275 of 302 (320620)
06-11-2006 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 274 by arachnophilia
06-11-2006 7:00 PM


Re: bump for SWC
arachnophilia writes:
yes, but people are obviously buying the spin. and we canot say for certain that the people who wrote that do not buy it themselves.
I think the significant increase we've seen in YECism here since Dover says that the general creationist community has largely abandoned ID. In reality they weren't even on board, because beyond the "God did it" part they just didn't understand most of it. Traditional creationists will always have a significant distrust of ID because it accepts many scientific positions that they find anathema, such as an old earth and a non-trivial role for evolution in life's history.
But ID held out the possibility for gaining a foothold in the educational war over evolution, and so they sat on the sidelines while the drama played out. Once the Dover decision was in, traditional creationists said to themselves, "Well, that didn't work, back to good old YECism!"
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 274 by arachnophilia, posted 06-11-2006 7:00 PM arachnophilia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 276 by arachnophilia, posted 06-11-2006 7:41 PM Percy has not replied

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