mindspawn has stated a concern that:
"... recent DNA sequencing is not providing enough support for the hypothesis of evolution. (ie increased DNA complexity of new and uniquely functional active coding genes within an organism is not observed to add fitness)."
"I have been looking ... for some evidence that a gene can duplicate, and then produce a novel function in the duplicated coding gene that adds fitness. Haven't seen it yet, this basic process of evolution remains unproven. Without it we would just have bacteria on earth, mutating and evolving into alternative forms but never gaining in complexity."
My response is that this misrepresents or misunderstands how evolution works.
These two positions will be the focus of this debate,
mindspawn has agreed to a Great Debate on this topic (for the background see Message 3
Beginning the Debate:
So here we are.
Let's start with these statements of yours:
- I find the scientific community is unfortunately biased through accepting the theory of evolution too early when
- recent DNA sequencing is not providing enough support for the hypothesis of evolution.
- I have been looking around the internet for over a year, hoping for some evidence that a gene can duplicate, and
- then produce a novel function in the duplicated coding gene
- that adds fitness.
- this basic process of evolution remains unproven.
- Without it we would just have bacteria on earth, mutating and evolving into alternative forms but never gaining in complexity.
First off, I basically agree with #7, although I would word is a little differently: without speciation we would only have one species on earth.
Second, we have a number of terms here that we should define and agree on so that we are talking about the same thing:
- evolution (process)
- theory (scientific)
- hypothesis (scientific)
- the theory of evolution
- novel feature\function
For me, basic evolution is a process, the theory of evolution is a theory involving the process, and the science of evolution is the study of the process and testing of the theory. These are three different things\aspects that the word "evolution" is used for in biology (so we are not even considering non-biological use of the term).
For this thread I would propose using this definition for the process of evolution:
The process of evolution involves changes in the composition of hereditary traits, and changes to the frequency of their distributions within breeding populations from generation to generation, in response to ecological challenges and opportunities.
This is my wording, however references for this definition can be found at
- Berkeley U. and U. of California Museum of Paleontology Teachers Guide
An introduction to evolution - Understanding Evolution
- U. of Michigan on-line course material
The Process of Speciation
When you say "evidence that a gene can duplicate, and then produce a novel function" you are talking about the process of evolution, yes?
A scientific hypothesis proposes an explanation for observations and objective evidence, and it proposes tests that distinguish it from fantasy or other hypothesis. Once an hypothesis has be adequately tested it becomes a (scientific) theory.
Thus a scientific theory is a tested scientific hypothesis. Theories are never proven, just validated or invalidated (by testing). Invalidated hypothesis are discarded or modified, while validated ones continue to be tested.
Forgive me if this seems a little pedantic and covers stuff you know, but I find ensuring a common basis for understanding and terminology benefits the debate by reducing confusion.
Your turn: I'd like to see your definition for the theory of evolution:
The Theory of Evolution (T0E) is ....
Edited by RAZD, : splg
Edited by RAZD, : per admin comments
Edited by RAZD, : title tweak
Edited by RAZD, : hypother mix