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Author Topic:   How is Natural selection a mechanism?
Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 12 of 191 (525324)
09-22-2009 11:13 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
09-03-2009 10:14 PM


Re: Mutating genes
I need all you smart evolutionists to explain something to me.

Coyote claims that mutations can be harmful or beneficial. I believe evolutionists have been trying for decades to produce beneficial mutations in fruit flies. I was not aware they had ever succeeded in creating a mutation that stuck through more than a few generations. Has a beneficial and permanent mutation ever been observed naturally or in labs by the evolutionary biologists attempting to make it happen?

Assuming that beneficial hereditary mutations do occur, even when evolutionists use that in an argument they say it happens very rarely. What I usually hear that given enough time even rare mutations add up to form new organs and animal species. However, that argument doesn’t make sense. If beneficial mutations are rare millions of gradual mutations would be exponentially less likely. A more likely scenario might be a mutation causing a monkey suddenly giving birth to a human.

According to evolutionists the first mammal appeared only hundreds of millions of years ago. Since then we are supposed to believe that small incremental mutations resulted in the thousands of mammals that exist today. That would require millions of mutations for each new organ and millions of bone structure variations for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of intermediary species (and that these millions of intermediary species somehow disappeared from the fossil record).

So if we figure a mammal breeds on average once a year that only allows 200 - 300 million generations for all those consecutive mutations to occur and propagate. You also have to allow many generations for the mutation to become the dominant trait through natural selection.

If a beneficial mutation occurs say once every million times an animal reproduces (despite evidence to the contrary) then the likelihood of just ten consecutive mutations occurring would be 1 in 10^60, fifty consecutive beneficial mutations would occur 1 in 10^300. Even allowing 300 million generations that is still odds of 3 x 10^6 in 10^300, and that is only 50 beneficial mutations not the millions that would be needed. That’s also not taking into account the hundreds (at least) of generations it would take for natural selection to make the mutation the dominant trait for each new species.

If you argue that the changes occur faster than that then we should have many changes in humans in the last few thousand years or at the very least a new organ or two. Seems to me that a little math and common sense shows how ridiculously impossible evolution is, but I look forward to somebody pointing out my error.


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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 19 of 191 (525511)
09-23-2009 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Perdition
09-23-2009 11:51 AM


Re: Mutating genes
First, I should have mentioned that my problem with evolution is limited to macro evolution. Micro evolution (small changes WITHIN species) is based on observable evidence, so please don’t respond with bacteria adapted to eat this or this virus adapted to be immune to that. I already heard about the bacteria that now eats rubber but that is not adequate evidence to state that all life evolved from a common ancestor, it’s simply proof of small changes within species adapting to changes in their environment.

I also don’t think that observed natural selection is evidence of macro evolution since natural selection eliminates information but does not add new information. So how did macro evolution become anything more than an interesting hypothesis? What evidence (observation)points to an animal developing a new organ or growing a new limb and then passing it on to future generations?

A few of you mentioned that I was incorrect in my assumption that one permanent beneficial mutation in a million pairings was being generous. I simply base this on the fact that we have observed trillions of pairings among animals and humans in the last thousand years and not once has a single beneficial and lasting mutation in a human or animal been observed (person with a tail, or snake with legs, new type of leaves etc).

Considering the trillions of variations that would have been necessary in only 600 million years to create every insect and animal type, bone structure, organ, land plant type, et al, visible hereditary changes should occur every day. And not just small errors in the genetic code that tend to correct themselves.

I know some evolutionists pushed on this issue point to punctuated equilibrium or punctuated evolution as a possible explanation. I understand that this is somewhat controversial even among evolutionists and wonder if there is any evidence for rapid periods of evolution followed by long periods of equilibrium or is this just a nice explanation fabricated to explain away the lack of evidence? I imagine it must be frustrating to time and time again find the same type of dinosaur, fish, bird or plant fossils here and there but not be able to find an equal number of (or even a few) fossils for the billions of intermediary species.

Anyway, if there is some obvious evidence for macro evolution that I’m missing I’d appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction. I took a little college level biology and microbiology so I can usually wrap my head around complex explanations. I am interested in observations that point towards large scale changes. I know evolutionists have a lot of "stories" without any evidence, to explain solutions to various problems with the "theory". I would welcome the reading as I’m taking a break from the theoretical physics forums and debates about “push” versus “pull” gravitational theories.

BTW is anybody else curious why physicists are much more open to the possibility that Einstein made mistakes than evolutionists are about Darwin? Didn’t Darwin believe that cells were mere blobs of protoplasm? Yet his proposed theory maintains an almost religious following with anybody who even questions them being attacked as a biblical creationist zealot.


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Replies to this message:
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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 22 of 191 (525524)
09-23-2009 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Dr Adequate
09-23-2009 4:24 PM


Re: Mutating genes
Not very helpful. Maybe more of us "heretics" would accept the evolution faith if you took the time to explain the evidence and not simply declare that evolution is the only possible explanation for ....

Because it explains paleontology, morphology, embryology, biogeography, et cetera. Or, in the words of Theodosius Dobshansky: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution".

Historically anytime a theory was accepted because it was the only explanation for x, it was proven wrong. On the other hand theories based on observable and measurable phenomenon tend to last a little longer.

That is not true.

Again, thanks for being so helpful. Tell me, what animal has a mutation in its genetic code that is being passed down and propagated through natural selection?

You'll find a similar thing happens in connection with the theory that the Earth is not flat.

I'm just waiting for the next paradigm shift that gets us past the "random acts lead to extreme complexity" theory that violates the natural relationship we observe between order and chaos.


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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 25 of 191 (525547)
09-23-2009 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Perdition
09-23-2009 4:42 PM


Re: Mutating genes
Thanks for your helpful reply.

It might not be big enough changes for you, but look at all the breeds of dogs that come from a wolf, or all the types of cow we have, which came from one particular ancestor species (I think). A wolf couldn't go down into burrows and fight a badger. Dachshunds can, and this is based on small changes being added to over many many generations.

The diversity that can be achieved through selective breeding is truly amazing. However, it still is not evidence for evolution from one species to another. Breeding is simply a form of natural selection. Humans selected the qualities they wanted and bread only the animals that exhibited those qualities. And if humans ever stopped controlling the breeding, dogs would return to their more primitive forms.

The best evidence for macro evolution occuring is in the fossil record.

Really? How many evolutionary steps did it take for dinosaurs to become birds? Surely there must have been more intermediary steps between them than there are species of dinosaurs. How is it possible to find multiple fossils of the same dinosaur or the same extinct bird without finding the missing links which should outnumber the established species (unless you subscribe to punctuated evolution)?

Maybe I missed it, where do you get this number? As far as I know, life has had at least 3.5 billion years to work with.

According to the evolution timeline simple animals, arthropods, complex animals, fish, proto-amphibians, land plants, insects, seeds amphibians reptiles, mammals, birds and humans have all been around for less than 600 million years. That means that the millions of species that exist today and many billions of intermediary species evolved from a simple multi cellular organism in less than 600 million years. This is an incredibly short period of time considering the only evolution we have witnessed is small changes within simple organisms. Think of the trillions of mutations and the countless generations spent isolating those traits through natural selection. Or can someone explain why evolution appears to have stopped or slowed?

How would you know an intermediary species? Are you expecting to find a species that has a T. rex head and a brontosaurus body? If you foudn that, again, you'd get a Nobel prize for destroying much of evolutionary theory (assuming it was legitimate). What you find, if you actually look, is a gradual progression from one type of animal or plant or dinosaur to manyh different ones that are obviously related.

No, I would expect what evolutionists tell me I should expect. I expect small changes that led from a T. Rex to a bird. Based on how small the changes are that evolutionist cling to today, I would expect billions or trillions of small mutations resulting in thousands of intermediary animals (whose fossils should far outnumber both T.Rex’s fossils and its descendant). According to evolution each fossil we find in separate locations should statistically be slightly different (whether it be one less claw, or two more teeth).

I someone say once that the fossil record fossil record does not point towards an evolutionary “tree” with a common trunk. It is more like an evolutionary lawn, with thousands of blades of grass each with their own leaves branching off. Therefore if the fossil record is your primary evidence of evolution from a common ancestor than I find your theory lacking.

Even Richard Dawkins (evolutions modern day poster boy) talks about the possibility of aliens seeding the planet. If evolutionists concede that an outside force or intelligence seems to be responsible for the origin of life on this planet then would it not be logical to assume that this alien seeded a lawn instead of planting a tree, which is what the fossil record seems to indicate?


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 Message 21 by Perdition, posted 09-23-2009 4:42 PM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 29 of 191 (525557)
09-23-2009 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Coyote
09-23-2009 5:51 PM


Re: Mutating genes
How much time would you consider adequate for the evolution of Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo neanderthalensis, the first three of which are most likely in the human line? Paleontologists would put this on the order of two million years.

So the extremely small (in context) changes from Homo ergaster took 2 million years. They have same basic bone structure and no new organs. Evolution from a multicellular life form to homo ergaster (an exponentially more complex change) took only 300 times as long?

What slowed evolution down?


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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 31 of 191 (525559)
09-23-2009 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Dr Adequate
09-23-2009 5:56 PM


Re: Mutating genes
If you wish to base your argument on numbers, then at some point you're going to have to do some actual math.

To do the math I would need to know how many mutations (or at least have an idea of how many different species) occured between multicelled organism and man. That is impossible because the common ancestors on your evolution tree is where the line is blurred between art and science. If you had any real evidence for this "trunk" on your "tree" then we could possibly calculate it. However, we have no way of even beginning this calculation because there are no fossils for these common ancestors or for any intermediary species with partially developed organs or bones.

Primates date back about 85 million years so that leaves ~500 million years from simple organism to primate. Again it only took 5-6 times as long for the evolution from primate to man as from multi celled organism to primate? As an evolutionist I'm sure you know of the miniscule difference in DNA between monkeys and man.


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Replies to this message:
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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 37 of 191 (529792)
10-10-2009 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Dr Adequate
09-23-2009 7:39 PM


Re: Mutating genes
I know that there are ten times more base pairs different between even chimps and humans than there are base pairs in total in a typical prokaryote. Also, because I have done the math, I know that this difference is accounted for perfectly by measured mutation rates.

Show me to that math or point me to it. I know you can't actually have done the math because the there has never been a mutation observed (in nature, or in a lab) that has not corrected itself. So for all intensive purposes the "measured mutation rates" should be zero. So it doesn't matter how big your number is if you multiply by zero.

Also nobody has answered my question about why evolution has slowed down in the last few thousand years. According to the evolutionary tree evolutionary changes should be increasing exponentially as more species appear (and thus provide a increasingly larger base for evolutionary changes). However, according to your timeline it would seem that evolution happened quickly 500 hundred million years ago then slowed to a crawl. How do you explain that?

To the dude that asked what my education level in biology is: I took a couple university level courses in biology and microbiology though my strengh is chemistry and physics. Actually I went in to univeristy accepting evolution as scientifically sound but in class when studying dna and cellular reproduction it seemed that exceptions to the rules are inserted constantly to explain evolution.

In fact the complexity of cells and the lack of a good explanation for the evolution of complex cellular structures and the origin of living cells is what finally convinced me that evolution at the very least has some pretty big gaps and is not worthy of being considered a theory. And the explanations given for how these celluar structures "may" have originated are never based on observation and cannot be duplicated in a laboratory, so how can it even be considered science.

In the Middle Ages, when the Earth-centric theory of the world began to show disagreement with the growing observational data in astronomy, adherents of the paradigm busily invented a seemingly endless series of cycles and epicycles (circles within circles) to account for the movement of heavenly objects around the Earth, tweaks that allowed them to continue to justify the old paradigm. The same thing happened and continues to happen in biology. The Darwinists' response to any possible observational discrepancy is to propose a suitable modification of Darwinian ideas - shades of cycles and epicycles. Darwinism is so general that it can be reinterpreted to incorporate any data that contradicts it. It is not falsifiable.


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Replies to this message:
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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 38 of 191 (529795)
10-10-2009 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Perdition
09-24-2009 9:21 AM


Re: Mutating genes
If this is what you're looking for, you'll never find it. If you did, you'd win a Nobel Prize for completely changing how we view evolution. If an animal were born with a partially developed organ or bone, they would more than likely not survive. The only way we would get a "sort of" partially developed organ is if the ancestors of that species had an organ that was no longer very useful. (i.e. appendix in humans) Otherwise, ever organ and bone will be fully developed to do a task, it will just be slightly modified from a previous organ or bone.

Again there is no way to argue with evolutionists "evidence" for the development of complex organs because that "evidence" is not based on observation or on experimentation but its simply a made up scenario to explain a hole in your theory.

People who question evolution point to "irreducibly complex" organs that could not funtion without all of the parts present. I could name a few but I'm sure you know what a few of them are. Evolutionist counter with a made up scenario of how that could possibly have developed (such as the system possibly might have functioned in a different way, possibly this, maybe that). The scenario is not based on observation or lab experiments so there is no way for skeptics to counter (just like evolutionists can't disprove the existence of god).


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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 40 of 191 (529835)
10-10-2009 6:41 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Coyote
10-10-2009 3:09 PM


Re: Mutating genes
Please provide a source for this. (And don't bother citing creationist websites; they lie.)

Haha, you ask me to provide a source but then in the same breath dismiss any source as lies. That's like me asking you for evidence in favor of evolution but not from any pro-evolution website because they all lie.

Ok then, since anybody that does not agree with evolution is a liar and can't be quoted, you give me a source for a beneficial permanent mutation that's resulted in new genetic information for any animal or insect (and I'll be more reasonable and allow you to use an evolutionist website).

I know that evolutionists have been trying to accomplish this for decades by experimenting on fruit flies and e. coli. To date they have failed. Don't you think if such evidence existed it would be common knowledge as it would be one of the strongest pieces of evidence for evolution? A beneficial mutation that becomes the dominant trait for a population of animals would be a good example of evolution in action.

And please don't use the anti biotic resistant bacteria. Bacteria did not “mutate” after being exposed to antibiotics; the mutations conferring the resistance were present in the bacterial population even prior to the discovery or use of the antibiotics. Also, while pre-existing mutations may confer antibiotic resistance, such mutations may also decrease an organism’s viability. This is true for antibiotic resistant bacteria that are usually less virulent, and have a reduced metabolism and so grow more slowly. Hardly conducive to propogation through natural selection.

In the end bacteria are still exactly the same bacteria after receiving that trait as they were before receiving it. The “evolution” is not vertical macroevolution but horizontal microevolution (i.e., adaptation) and therefore not evidence for any kind of macroevolution.


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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 43 of 191 (529845)
10-10-2009 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Coyote
10-10-2009 7:06 PM


Re: Mutating genes
20 years of experiments and e. coli changed its diet, wow! And considering the 40,000 generations that would be equivalent to how many millions of years of human evolution. So you get from a banana eating ape to an ape that eats apples and bananas over a million years. Forgive me if I am not as excited about it as you are.

I have never claimed that species can't adapt, but that is hardly proof of macro evolution. THe E coli is still an e coli and not closer to becoming a human immunodeficiency virus or any other virus.

And you said don't bother with repetition but it is relevant so I will repeat. The E coli is capable of utilizing citrate as an energy source under anaerobic conditions, so it already has the suite of genes necessary for its fermentation and the necessary transportation protein. Now normally it is only activated under anaerobic conditions but apparently the e coli adapted to in essence keep the switch on.

Hardly compelling evidence but take it a step further. It took 20 years and 30,000 generations for ecoli for that miniscule change (and no new info). Now show me the math you said you went through to show how based on that evidence you get from simple organisms to humans in 500 million years considering that 30,000 generations in more complex species takes hundreds of thousands if not millions of years and you're working with much smaller populations?? And how many trillions of these changes to create one new organ? Just doesn't compute, not by a long shot.


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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 45 of 191 (529869)
10-10-2009 9:32 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Dr Adequate
10-10-2009 8:57 PM


Re: Mutating genes
You didn't ask for evidence of "macroevolution" You asked, and I quote, for an example of "a beneficial permanent mutation that's resulted in new genetic information".

You have been given one. If you were a different sort of person from the sort of person that you very plainly are, you would have said thank you, instead of whining that it isn't what you didn't ask for.

wow, no need to resort to personal attacks. In the context of the discussion it should have been obvious that I am looking for proof of macro evolution since we have gone over these small adaptations of bacteria before. I even asked beforehand not to post the same old bacteria argument since it is not evidence for macro evolution.

And his example is not proof that new genetic information was added. As i pointed out the mechanisms to metabolize citrate are already there.

Maybe you should read more than the last post before you start attacking someone.

The problem is you people always resort to the same three things every time: this bacteria learnt to eat that, became resistant to that, sickle cell this....

And if you think that macro evolution is a result of small mutations then the example he provided is your proof. Or do you have better proof for how a new organ or limb could be developed? If not then you need to reconcile the mutations observed with the time allowed by your evolutionary timeline.


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Kevin123
Junior Member (Idle past 3814 days)
Posts: 23
From: Texas, USA
Joined: 10-11-2008


Message 48 of 191 (529877)
10-10-2009 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Dr Adequate
10-10-2009 9:33 PM


Re: Mutating genes
That wiki paragraph is you mathematical proof? That is hilarious because if you have read it, it is simply using the dates of the fossil record to calculate how many changes the time frame would allow. If that is proof then you are using a reverse scientific method.

This just shows the funny science you evolutionists use to try to justify your theory as new evidence comes to light. You take your theory and make the data fit it. If anything that same wiki helps me prove my point.

I guess I will resort to your tactics and simply say you are wrong.


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