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Author Topic:   Speciation + Evolution = More Diversity
RAZD
Member (Idle past 525 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 1 of 47 (493264)
01-07-2009 8:26 PM


Evolution after Speciation
The scene: sitting at computers all over the world ...

"Why don't creationists understand evolution -- it is so simple," the evolutionist wails:
  1. Evolution - the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation - is an observed and documented fact, a process that occurs constantly in the natural world around us, and

  2. Speciation - the division of parent populations into reproductively isolated daughter populations - is also an observed and documented fact, a process that occurs frequently in the natural world around us.
These two simple processes are sufficient to explain the diversity of life we know, from the world around us, from history, from prehistory and archeology, from geology and physics and paleontology and the fossil record, and from chemistry and the genetic record.

We can even see how evolution causes speciation with Ring Species:

  • the species forms a band made up of several varieties around some barrier to their survival ability,
  • each of the varieties has slightly different hereditary traits from their neighbors,
  • each reproduces with their neighbors in hybrid zones that show a mixing of the hereditary traits of the two neighbors, except that
  • when they meet on the other side of the barrier, the two ends do not mate.
Evolution results in different hereditary traits developing in each of the areas dominated by the different varieties, differences that do not hinder mating until they reach a certain threshold - the difference between the end varieties.

Remove any one of the intermediate varieties, so that the band is broken, and you have two distinct species.

We now have more species than before, so life is more diverse. It is so simple:

Evolution + Speciation = Diversity

"But," replies the creationist, "this does not tell us anything we do not know. Species always reproduce after their own kind, a dog will always be a dog. You may end up with several species of dogs, but they will still be dogs. This does not tell us how new forms of life are evolved: when does a dog become something else? Evolution says that mammals evolved from marsupials, so when will a kangaroo evolve into a giraffe? This kind of change is not seen in the fossil record, nor has it been observed by man, so how can you say this happens?"


This little scenario depicts, I believe, the state of many debates between creationists - people that predominantly use faith to understand the world - and "evolutionists" - people that predominantly use science to understand the world.

See Evolutionary Theory Explains Diversity, Dogs will be Dogs wil be ??? and What i can't understand about evolution.... threads for examples.

Where does "large" change come from? - the change that makes giraffes so different from kangaroos? Simple:

  1. Speciation - the division of parent populations into reproductively isolated daughter populations - is also an observed and documented fact, a process that occurs frequently in the natural world around us, and

  2. Evolution - the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation - is an observed and documented fact, a process that occurs constantly in the natural world around us.
Speciation + Evolution = More Diversity

After speciation has occurred, the daughter populations no longer share genes through reproduction, and they are free to evolve completely different traits. The likelyhood is high that one of them will become quite different, either to inhabit a new ecology that the other is not as well suited to (could have caused the original split), or to make use of the existing ecology in a different way, and this will lessen competition between the two species rather than drive one to extinction.

Continued evolution of daughter populations along different ecological paths results in increased diversity - difference - between them over time. That is how the small amount of difference we seen below can become the amount of difference we see between other bird species.

http://www.zoology.ubc.ca/~irwin/GreenishWarblers.html

quote:

Click to enlarge

Continued evolution causes more change - in each population, from generation to generation to generation.

That should be enough for starters. There is more to discuss about where change occurs, but this is long enough for now.

This thread is about evolution after speciation.

This thread is NOT about the definitions of evolution, the theory of evolution, or species. If you want to discuss these definitions please go to the appropriate thread:

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : color, subtitle

Edited by RAZD, : added block at end


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
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AdminNosy
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Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 47 (493266)
01-07-2009 8:40 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1226 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 3 of 47 (493269)
01-07-2009 9:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
01-07-2009 8:26 PM


Re: Evolution after Speciation
Good topic.

This thread is about evolution after speciation.

I have asked this question on several sites, and on multiple threads, and have never received a satisfactory answer:

What mechanism prohibits the micro-evolutionary events that everyone admits occur from adding up to a macro-evolutionary event over time?

In other words, what mechanism prevents evolution from going beyond "kinds" (which is not a scientific term, or even a defined term, but may serve here to represent the idea). What mechanism prohibits speciation, followed by speciation and still more speciation?


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

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 525 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 4 of 47 (493271)
01-07-2009 9:34 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
01-07-2009 9:06 PM


Arbitrary vs Distinct Speciation
Hey Coyote,

In other words, what mechanism prevents evolution from going beyond "kinds" (which is not a scientific term, or even a defined term, but may serve here to represent the idea). What mechanism prohibits speciation, followed by speciation and still more speciation?

Good question. I think one of the problems is that people tend to think of species as static, that the species after many generations is still similar to the original species just after speciation, thus making them think that the common ancestor for humans and chimps, for instance, is half human and half chimp, part bare, part hairy, something in the act of transforming into one or the other.

Thus I want to first discuss two kinds of speciation:

(1) arbitrary speciation -- usually in fossil species, where after many generations of fossils there is noticeable difference between the latest fossil and the first one (the "type" fossil for the species), and to distinguish the differences the latest fossil is given a new species designation. This is an arbitrary designation, and there is room for doubt about the actual amount of change being enough for speciation (if reproduction could be ascertained) to be measured.

(2) distinct speciation -- either in the fossil record or in existing organism, where speciation has occurred, and you now have two species instead of one: there is no doubt that speciation has occurred.

For instance with Pelycodus:

quote:

Click to enlarge

Pelycodus was a tree-dwelling primate that looked much like a modern lemur. The skull shown is probably 7.5 centimeters long.

The numbers down the left hand side indicate the depth (in feet) at which each group of fossils was found. As is usual in geology, the diagram gives the data for the deepest (oldest) fossils at the bottom, and the upper (youngest) fossils at the top. The diagram covers about five million years.

The numbers across the bottom are a measure of body size. Each horizontal line shows the range of sizes that were found at that depth. The dark part of each line shows the average value, and the standard deviation around the average.

The dashed lines show the overall trend. The species at the bottom is Pelycodus ralstoni, but at the top we find two species, Notharctus nunienus and Notharctus venticolus. The two species later became even more distinct, and the descendants of nunienus are now labeled as genus Smilodectes instead of genus Notharctus.

As you look from bottom to top, you will see that each group has some overlap with what came before. There are no major breaks or sudden jumps. And the form of the creatures was changing steadily.


Color for empHAsis: this is the kind of continuing change we are talking about.

Here you have both kinds of speciation shown - a series of arbitrary speciation designations from the bottom up to the divide, and then a distinct speciation event as the population divides into two distinct populations, and these daughter populations continue to diverge after the speciation event.

Now one can argue that Pelycodus ralstoni (at the bottom) and Pelycodus jarrovii (just below the divide, the "parent" population), are different species, as their difference is similar in degree to the difference between Notharctus nunienus and Notharctus venticolus just after the divide, and we can argue whether there is sufficient difference for Pelycodus trigonodus to fit in between.

Thus the distinction I would like to draw between arbitrary speciation and distinct speciation.

It is fairly evident that arbitrary speciation is just evolution - the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation, and it does not include the mechanism of speciation that involves the reproductive isolation of the daughter population from the parent - except by time.

Certainly we can see that the hereditary traits of Pelycodus ralstoni and Notharctus venticolus are not similar, because of the difference in size, if nothing else.

We should also expect that the hereditary traits of Pelycodus ralstoni and Notharctus nunienus are not similar, in spite of the similarity in size, because of the other traits that have changed in the interim.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : color

Edited by RAZD, : fixed glitch in quote

Edited by RAZD, : switched to copied picture


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
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Taz
Member (Idle past 2411 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 5 of 47 (493284)
01-08-2009 2:43 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
01-07-2009 9:06 PM


Re: Evolution after Speciation
Coyote writes:

In other words, what mechanism prevents evolution from going beyond "kinds" (which is not a scientific term, or even a defined term, but may serve here to represent the idea). What mechanism prohibits speciation, followed by speciation and still more speciation?


I believe you're a geologist. Correct me if I'm wrong.

For the longest time, people thought the formation of the various landscapes such as plains, hills, mountains, etc. were caused by catastrophic events. People in general have always had a hard time understanding gradualism. They want to be able to see and observe a mountain form. You try telling them everest is still rising. See if they will believe you. It's only an inch or so a year! This, I think, is the reason why the same people who deny evolution also deny tectonic plate.

Natural processes like tectonic plate and evolution work at a very slow pace over millions and millions of years. That, to a lot of people, is a lot harder to understand and swallow than everything magically created by a magical being in 7 days.

(Caution about topic drift - Remember this is a biological evolution topic, not a geology topic. Let's not shoot off on a geo-tangent. - Adminnemooseus}

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Topic drift alert message.


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Coyote
Member (Idle past 1226 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 6 of 47 (493290)
01-08-2009 5:30 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Taz
01-08-2009 2:43 AM


Re: Evolution after Speciation
I believe you're a geologist. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Archaeologist and physical anthropologist.

For the longest time, people thought the formation of the various landscapes such as plains, hills, mountains, etc. were caused by catastrophic events. People in general have always had a hard time understanding gradualism. They want to be able to see and observe a mountain form. You try telling them everest is still rising. See if they will believe you. It's only an inch or so a year! This, I think, is the reason why the same people who deny evolution also deny tectonic plate.

Natural processes like tectonic plate and evolution work at a very slow pace over millions and millions of years. That, to a lot of people, is a lot harder to understand and swallow than everything magically created by a magical being in 7 days.

Agreed. My point is that this is what happens, on the biological level to 1) cause speciation, and 2) cause further separation to the genus, then family level, and beyond.

Creationists claim that there is some mechanism that ensures that "A dog will always be a dog." I am simply asking, "What is that mechanism?" I have yet to have anyone provide a clear and biologically convincing answer.

Everyone agrees that there is change within a species. What I want to know is that mechanism halts that change at a certain point and prevents the "more diversity" that is the subject of this thread.

And how do it know? How do it know?


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

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 525 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 7 of 47 (493310)
01-08-2009 8:00 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Coyote
01-08-2009 5:30 AM


Arbitrary Speciation = Evidence of Evolution
Hey Coyote, Taz, lets get back to speciation for now to set the benchmarks of this discussion.

As we see from the Pelycodus example, arbitrary speciation is just the acknowledgment of continuing evolution within the Pelycodus form, and that after some arbitrary level of change has occurred it is convenient to talk about a new species.

I bring this point up because many fossil species are divided this way, and it helps to have a clear understanding of what this means.

As each population advances from generation to generation it gains some new hereditary traits and loses some old ones: there is a succession of traits in the populations.

When the older traits are lost from the population they are "extinct" so we can see that in arbitrary speciation the traits that define the "type fossil" for that species gradually are replaced by new traits in the population, until the old traits no longer exist within the population. Every time this occurs then, a step has been taken that differentiates this species from the one that existed at the speciation event that defined this branch of evolution.

At that distinct speciation event the difference was minor - this is what evolution predicts - on the order of the Greenish Warblers in Message 1:


Click to enlarge

Each arbitrary speciation stage add more change to the branch where it occurs, as seen in Pelycodus in Message 4:


Click to enlarge

In Message 1 I said:

quote:
After speciation has occurred, the daughter populations no longer share genes through reproduction, and they are free to evolve completely different traits. The likelyhood is high that one of them will become quite different, either to inhabit a new ecology that the other is not as well suited to (could have caused the original split), or to make use of the existing ecology in a different way, and this will lessen competition between the two species rather than drive one to extinction.

And we can see this in Pelycodus, where one branch continues with increase in size at the same rate of evolution change as before, but the other branch diverges at a faster rate in the other direction. If it can get sufficient distance ecologically from the other then both can survive. If they can't then either they will be reunited or one will go extinct.

This apparently has also happened in the Pelycodus lineage according to this presentation:

quote:

Click to enlarge

Successive fossils in the Pelycodus fossil record show the gradual evolution of increased size, which can be recognized as a series of species. The coexistence of two simultaneous size trends indicates a speciation event.

Where the gray branches show distinct speciation events where one branch went extinct.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : switched to copied pictures


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

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westernjoe
Junior Member (Idle past 4677 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 01-09-2007


Message 8 of 47 (493434)
01-08-2009 7:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
01-07-2009 8:26 PM


Re: Evolution after Speciation
RAZD: Here's the flaw in your reasoning:

"Evolution - the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation - is an observed and documented fact,"

That is not the definition of evolution. The definition of evolution is the change in allele frequencies over time. Not only that, but this change in allele frequencies must be caused via random molecular changes and natural selection. Therefore the flaw in your whole reasoning is this: RMNS never happens. It doesn't happen in micro evolution, and thus, it never happens in macro evolution. Macroevolution is not an extrapolated microevoluiton over time because microevolution, as defined by your theory, doesn't happen. If someone would like to show me an example of microevolution, aka random mutation culled by natural selection validated by controlled experiment on animals, I would dearly like to see it.

In short, the ToE mechanism is flawed.

Edited by westernjoe, : No reason given.


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westernjoe
Junior Member (Idle past 4677 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 01-09-2007


Message 9 of 47 (493439)
01-08-2009 8:14 PM


"Creationists claim that there is some mechanism that ensures that "A dog will always be a dog." I am simply asking, "What is that mechanism?" I have yet to have anyone provide a clear and biologically convincing answer."

There is no "mechanism." your premise is flawed again. The problem materialists have is they attempt to define animals, such as dogs, by the physical....but what ultimately is responsible for the creation of a kind (such as the dog kind) is not anything that can be found in the physical....there is no "dog gene" or "dog genes." therefore...there is nothing for which to mutate to turn a dog into anything else. The mind of a dog is ultimately what must be altered. To change a dog into a non-dog would require the change of a non-phyiscal dog mind into a non-dog mind. And the other thing is, since evolutionists are unable to unearth any common ancestors between, say dogs and cats and bears and horses, then there is no actual evidence that their theory is true...it's certainly not science.


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Coyote
Member (Idle past 1226 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 10 of 47 (493441)
01-08-2009 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by westernjoe
01-08-2009 8:14 PM


Nonsense
coyote writes:

Creationists claim that there is some mechanism that ensures that "A dog will always be a dog." I am simply asking, "What is that mechanism?" I have yet to have anyone provide a clear and biologically convincing answer.

There is no "mechanism." your premise is flawed again. The problem materialists have is they attempt to define animals, such as dogs, by the physical....but what ultimately is responsible for the creation of a kind (such as the dog kind) is not anything that can be found in the physical....there is no "dog gene" or "dog genes." therefore...there is nothing for which to mutate to turn a dog into anything else. The mind of a dog is ultimately what must be altered. To change a dog into a non-dog would require the change of a non-phyiscal dog mind into a non-dog mind. And the other thing is, since evolutionists are unable to unearth any common ancestors between, say dogs and cats and bears and horses, then there is no actual evidence that their theory is true...it's certainly not science.

First, welcome to EvC.

Second, you are starting off by posting nonsense.

But I'll provide you with an opportunity to support what you have posted above with scientific evidence. As this is the Science Forum, that is one of our requirements--claims must be backed up with evidence.

And as your claim goes against the overwhelming evidence accumulated by scientists over centuries, the least you could do would be to post the scientific basis for your claims.

Thanks.


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

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 525 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 11 of 47 (493444)
01-08-2009 9:12 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by westernjoe
01-08-2009 7:52 PM


Ignorance and Opinion
Welcome to the fray, westernjoe,

Let me start with some posting tips:

... as you are new here, some posting tips:

type [qs]quotes are easy[/qs] and it becomes:

quotes are easy

or type [quote]quotes are easy[/quote] and it becomes:

quote:
quotes are easy

For other formating tips see Posting Tips.

That is not the definition of evolution. The definition of evolution is the change in allele frequencies over time.

That is one (incomplete) version of one of the common definitions of evolution: it means the same thing -- you do not get change in hereditary traits without a change in the frequency of alleles. You do not get changing allele frequency with out change in hereditary traits.

You are missing population, and that the relevant time period is from generation to generation. Your definition also cannot be applied to fossils or to observations in the wild where DNA samples are not taken.

I'll also be happy to discuss this further with you, in relation to the definitions offered by two universities teaching evolution, and reference back to Darwin, but that is the subject for another thread.

Perhaps you would like to discuss this at the Definition of Evolution thread? I'll copy your definition there and then comment on it okay? See Message 193

Not only that, but this change in allele frequencies must be caused via random molecular changes and natural selection.

Not really: the change is introduced by mutation, and this is random, but whether it is incorporated into the population is a matter of selection. Selection does not cause mutations, the two processes are independent.

Therefore the flaw in your whole reasoning is this: RMNS never happens.

Now that you have proven that your straw man is false, perhaps we can talk about evolution.

It doesn't happen in micro evolution, ...

Having been observed and documented to occur, even by creationists, your statement is obviously false.

If someone would like to show me an example of microevolution, aka random mutation culled by natural selection validated by controlled experiment on animals, I would dearly like to see it.

Please participate in What i can't understand about evolution...., and once you have disabused yourself of your false opinions perhaps we can take up this topic about how continued evolution after speciation increases the difference between the daughter populations.

re your Message 9:

The problem materialists have is they attempt to define animals, such as dogs, by the physical....but what ultimately is responsible for the creation of a kind (such as the dog kind) is not anything that can be found in the physical....there is no "dog gene" or "dog genes." therefore...there is nothing for which to mutate to turn a dog into anything else. The mind of a dog is ultimately what must be altered. To change a dog into a non-dog would require the change of a non-phyiscal dog mind into a non-dog mind.

Feel free to participate in the Dogs will be Dogs wil be ??? thread ... as long as you stay on topic and address the issues.

Better yet, go to this new thread The Spirit Dog hypothesis? to discuss your concept.

And the other thing is, since evolutionists are unable to unearth any common ancestors between, say dogs and cats and bears and horses, then there is no actual evidence that their theory is true...it's certainly not science.

Curiously your opinion does not make the evidence disappear, nor does it affect the natural behavior - the evolution and speciation - that is going on around us. Denial of reality is not an alternative explanation, it is just denial.

Now if you have any comments on this thread that apply to increased difference from generation to generation as daughter population inevitably acquire random mutations, and then select the most effective of the random mutations available at any one time by their adaptation to different ecologies, I suggest you take your opinions to another thread.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : added link to new thread

Edited by RAZD, : added link

Edited by RAZD, : color 1st time


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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RAZD
Member (Idle past 525 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 12 of 47 (493446)
01-08-2009 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Coyote
01-08-2009 9:00 PM


Spirit Dog hypothesis - see new thread
If he cannot keep it to a discussion of the increasing difference between sibling species after speciation then it the discussion does not belong here.

I've started a new thread for his spirit dog hypothesis - is it native american religion based?

The Spirit Dog hypothesis?

Feel free to comment there

Edited by RAZD, : clarty

Edited by RAZD, : new thread link

Edited by RAZD, : subt


we are limited in our ability to understand
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... 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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westernjoe
Junior Member (Idle past 4677 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 01-09-2007


Message 13 of 47 (493456)
01-08-2009 10:43 PM


test

ohhhh

quote:
test

aaahhhh

thanks for the lesson!

Edited by westernjoe, : No reason given.

Edited by westernjoe, : No reason given.


  
westernjoe
Junior Member (Idle past 4677 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 01-09-2007


Message 14 of 47 (493458)
01-08-2009 10:49 PM


Not really: the change is introduced by mutation, and this is random, but whether it is incorporated into the population is a matter of selection. Selection does not cause mutations, the two processes are independent.

ah.....so you are avoiding my point that evolution is caused by a change in allele frequencies over time. So I suppose we need to get that straight -- is evolution indeed caused in this way? And also, is this the result of random mutations and natural selection? (note: I did not claim that selections caused mutations.)

After we get that straight we can get on to the business of what constitutes "micro-evolution" and what doesn't. So let's start there...it will be fun to start from the beginning and take it nice and slow.

"In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next."

Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes,
Biology, 5th ed. 1989 Worth Publishers, p.974

Edited by westernjoe, : No reason given.

Edited by westernjoe, : No reason given.


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RAZD
Member (Idle past 525 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 15 of 47 (493460)
01-08-2009 11:01 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by westernjoe
01-08-2009 10:49 PM


Still OFF-TOPIC -- go to linked threads to continue
Hi westernjoe,

ah.....so you are avoiding my point that evolution is caused by a change in allele frequencies over time. So I suppose we need to get that straight -- is evolution indeed caused in this way? And also, is this the result of random mutations and natural selection? (note: I did not claim that selections caused mutations.)

my reply is here: Message 193


No, I am pointing out that it is off topic on this thread. You can go to Message 193 to discuss this further. Did you notice that when you quoted a source that the definition was much closer to my original formulation than what you first said? I'll copy that to message 193, so we can continue from there.

After we get that straight we can get on to the business of what constitutes "micro-evolution" and what doesn't. So let's start there...it will be fun to start from the beginning and take it nice and slow.

Curiously you do not get to hijack this thread to continue off topic discussions. You can go to the linked thread, and once we have sorted out what evolution really is defined as by evolutionary biologists, then we can proceed to MACROevolution vs MICROevolution - what is it? or "Macro" vs "Micro" genetic "kind" mechanism? to discuss "micro" and "macro" definitions.

If you have any lingering questions about the topic of this thread please reread Message 1 - and yes, I do get to decide what the topic is: I wrote it.

Please note this thread in passing: Definitions, Daffynitions, Delusions, Logic and Critical Thinking.

I will see you on other thread. Continued discussion off-topic can lead to suspensions.

Also I would be interested to see you follow up on the spirit dog issue at The Spirit Dog hypothesis?, thanks.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : added link

Edited by RAZD, : added

Edited by RAZD, : color the second time

Edited by RAZD, : hide

Edited by RAZD, : youme


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by westernjoe, posted 01-08-2009 10:49 PM westernjoe has not yet responded

  
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