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Author Topic:   Has natural selection really been tested and verified?
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1972 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 241 of 302 (537416)
11-28-2009 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 236 by DevilsAdvocate
11-28-2009 11:13 AM


Re: Back to Basics
Belief in a religion means that you believe that a non-materialistic force has an influence in the effects of the world (i.e. there is a connection between your brain, and the higher being). Neo-Darwinism states that all traits and forms of existence are derived through RM so it is impossible for things to arise from RM and have a connection to a higher being.-SO all those who claim to be religious and believe in Darwinism don't understand religion, and they should be required to justify their beliefs in the same way that Evolutionists require those who don't believe in the theory to justify theirs.

To be a theistic-evolutionist must be the most thoughtless mindset that one can hope to achieve. At least atheists have a good reason to believe what they do.


This message is a reply to:
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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 164 days)
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 242 of 302 (537418)
11-28-2009 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 241 by Bolder-dash
11-28-2009 11:37 AM


Re: Back to Basics
You may want to better specify a religion because your generaliztion pretty much applies only to Abrahamic religions, not religion in general.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 241 by Bolder-dash, posted 11-28-2009 11:37 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

Admin
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Posts: 12653
From: EvC Forum
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Message 243 of 302 (537422)
11-28-2009 12:08 PM


Thread Temporarily Closed
Hi everyone!

I've temporarily closed this thread so that everyone can take note of my concern about the recent lack of focus on the topic. When I reopen the thread in a couple hours (probably around 2PM Eastern Time US) I will suspend for 24 hours those making discussion of the topic more difficult.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

Admin
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From: EvC Forum
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Message 244 of 302 (537427)
11-28-2009 2:02 PM


Thread Reopened
Hi Everyone!

This thread has been reopened for discussion of the topic. Please take other topics and issues to the appropriate threads. I'll be issuing 24-hour suspensions if need be.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16107
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Message 245 of 302 (537445)
11-28-2009 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 244 by Admin
11-28-2009 2:02 PM


Re: Thread Reopened
I guess that means that no-one is allowed to answer post #241, right?

Then why is it still there?


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 Message 244 by Admin, posted 11-28-2009 2:02 PM Admin has acknowledged this reply

Modulous
Member (Idle past 446 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(1)
Message 246 of 302 (537446)
11-28-2009 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Bolder-dash
11-21-2009 7:40 AM


Hi Bolder-dash,
I thought I'd add a voice to the collective, maybe you'll be more satisfied with your debate experience with me. Maybe not.

Can people point to tests that have verified that natural selection causes evolutionary change? What tests have they conducted? Do these tests accurately mimic the real world?

There are tests that demonstrates natural selection exists. I get the feeling that accept that natural selection is a process that actually happens.

Does it cause evolutionary change?

Well - natural selection is a force that alters allele frequencies in a population. So yes, it is a cause of evolutionary change.

I feel that this isn't what you were actually asking, though. Maybe you are asking whether natural selection has been shown to have been a mechanism behind the entirety of natural history? I'm not sure - so forgive me for sounding dense and asking for clarification on this point.

I would like to stipulate that talking about bacteria (in any form) does not qualify as any type of test, because ultimately we must be taking sexual reproduction, where choices are being made into account-so bacteria is out.

Again this is confusing - I'm not sure why we ultimately must be talking about sexual reproduction and why choices are important?

I read recently where an editor of Discovery Magazine stated that Darwin provided a testable mechanism for evolutionary change

Are you able to track down that article or interview or whatever it was? I'd like to read it so that I might be better positioned to answer your questions.

The supposition made by the magazine editor (not by me)was that Darwin's idea of natural selection has been tested to be the driving force of evolutionary change (including of course changes in body structures, and living systems, etc).

Again - I can't comment on the opinions of a person when I can't read their words. There is certainly strong evidence indicating that seemingly disparate life forms are related and the best explanation for adaptive change that we have is natural seleciton. There are tests that demonstrate that natural selection plays a vitally important role in adaptive changes to populations, are these what you are looking for? Then evidence for this has been produced in this thread as far as I can tell.

Furthermore, to really provide more evidence that it truly is random mutations, and natural selection of populations dying out that didn't receive this beneficial mutation, I would think you would need to show something like a test in which other individuals within this population happened to have resistance to all kinds of other fatal diseases, which they have never even been exposed to, which they also received through a random mutation-like some might be resistant to bubonic plague, or Kluver-Bucy Syndrome, or the Ebola virus or Lou Gehrig's disease even though they have never seen or heard of these.

Sounds like a test - but it doesn't strike me as the only one. Could we not observe a certain allele that we know confers resistance to a certain disease that exists at a certain frequency throughout a mega-population (such as humans) - and observe how in areas where that certain disease is more common the frequency of the disease resistant allele is higher than normal?

Something like sickle-cell anaemia? Which occurs with a greater frequency in those that have a recent ancestry with people who have been exposed to malaria than those that don't.

The other studies mentioned, such as Galapagos finches and Peppered moths, these are all old stories about evolution, but in what way do they test or show the randomness of the mutations and that caused these shifts in populations?

They don't. They instead show the non-randomness of natural selection acting on populations with variation.

And also, since in cases like the Galapagos finches, the populations oscillate back to their original forms of shorter beaks, under different environmental conditions, we have to show the same processes happening twice-first a random mutation causes longer beaks to sprout and then those get chosen within the population, and then later wouldn't you know it, another "random" mutation comes along and the exact same slow weeding out process of mates choosing the best beak sizes happens again; and fortuitously the need for a certain beak size remains the single most important consideration for mate selection over the vast spaces of time that natural selection requires. Quite amazing.

It's probably more likely that the allele for shorter beaks isn't entirely eradicated during the period that long beaks are advantageous and so doesn't need to be 're-mutated'. There are almost certainly variations in beak sizes for finches: and some of that variation is certainly genetically based. Under some conditions certain sizes have an impact on the chances for successfully reproducing. Where this is the case, we have natural selection.

Or even more amazing still, we have a entire list of traits we are selecting for over many many years of generations, overlapping each other- lung capacity, tail size, genital size, coloration, chirping sound, eyesight, nest building techniques, proper digestive gland sizes, and on and on..and each and every one of these needs is remaining constant long enough after all these random mutations occurred to eventually trickle their way through the selection process. So each time a beak size is being chosen for, all of these other criteria, and about 100,000 = others are also being selected for. It must be a tough choice for a pretty female finch to decide.

Female finches, like female humans, don't directly assess the genetic fitness of a mate before mating. They don't sit there and think 'I want my kids to have a long beak, but I want better eyes too..." The finches just carry on as ever, and those that have kids with the 'wrong' sized beak find their kids not doing as well as those that have kids that have the right sized beak.

But yes - there are lots of traits. Some of them are optimum or sufficiently near a local optimum already and so any variation in them is selected against. There are some that are not optimum for present conditions, any variation which is more optimum which is heritable will increase in frequency over the generations as long as it remains more optimum than average.

I appreciate your participation, but honestly I wasn't coming here to get a 6th grade lecture from you-I come here seeking depth and insight.

I'm going to stop here on this note: You can't have your cake and eat it too. When you talk about female finches having difficult decisions, about mutations fortuitously popping up at just the right time at the right place, you demonstrate that there are some fundamental misapprehensions about the concepts under discussion.

So we end up with a dilemma: On the one hand you come here seeking depth and insight, but you haven't yet grasped the basics. If we try and correct the simple and fundamental misconceptions we risk being accused of patronising or insulting you or of avoiding the points you are raising. If we try and answer your questions with depth - we risk talking past one another and getting confused.

It seems there has been plenty of talking past one another and a fair amount of perceptions of condescension. I'm at a loss as to what to do next? How do you think we should proceed next?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Bolder-dash, posted 11-21-2009 7:40 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 256 by Bolder-dash, posted 11-28-2009 10:31 PM Modulous has responded

CosmicChimp
Member
Posts: 306
From: Muenchen Bayern Deutschland
Joined: 06-15-2007


Message 247 of 302 (537447)
11-28-2009 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 192 by Bolder-dash
11-28-2009 6:08 AM


Re: Back to Basics
balderdash writes:

Evolution is any heritable change to a lineage? That would make any sexual reproduction evolution.

You should go read a biology book. Or go fly a kite. Or do practically anything other than posting here.

This part: "That would make any sexual reproduction evolution."; I think has validity to it. The next logical step back on the scale would be gamete formation.

You may do some useful science yet, BD.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 192 by Bolder-dash, posted 11-28-2009 6:08 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

Peg
Member (Idle past 3271 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 248 of 302 (537448)
11-28-2009 6:16 PM
Reply to: Message 224 by herebedragons
11-28-2009 10:14 AM


Re: Speciation
herebedragons writes:

obviously, just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean it can't. But I do wonder why it hasn't happened and why the criteria for speciation is not consistantly applied.

yes, and especially considering just how many humans there are on earth. In terms of numbers, we outnumber almost all other animals on the planet...except for maybe insects. So there is plenty of opportunity for it to happen, so Why it hasnt happened is a very important question.

herebedragons writes:

There have been several examples of human populations being reproductively isolated.

yes exactly... and if evolutionists really believe that the Australian Aboriginals are 40,000 years old, then they were isolated for all that time and yet they were able to reproduce offspring with europeans only a few hundred years ago.

So if 40,000 years is not enough time for an isolated human population to 'speciate' then perhaps they need to re think what sepciation actually is and how it works.

Perhaps humans and animals are different in this respect?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 224 by herebedragons, posted 11-28-2009 10:14 AM herebedragons has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 251 by AdminModulous, posted 11-28-2009 6:30 PM Peg has not yet responded
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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 1038 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 249 of 302 (537449)
11-28-2009 6:19 PM
Reply to: Message 209 by Peg
11-28-2009 8:25 AM


Re: Back to Basics
Peg writes:

Now while i'll never subscribe to evolution, and they'll never subscribe to creation [...]

Even though I nominated Peg's post as Post Of The Month, I couldn't let this pass without notice. I'd like to comment, all in good spirit of course, first that saying that she'll never subscribe to evolution is, in my opinion, a dogmatic and foolish thing to say, and second that saying that they - evolutionists - will never subscribe to evolution is to underestimate the evolutionist's appreciation of evidence. I hope you can work out yourself what I mean by that last part.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 209 by Peg, posted 11-28-2009 8:25 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
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Peg
Member (Idle past 3271 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 250 of 302 (537450)
11-28-2009 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 228 by herebedragons
11-28-2009 10:28 AM


Re: Back to Basics
heredragons writes:

Has speciation occurred in Galapogos finches or not?

one very crucial point in the golapogas finch study...one that was not promoted too loudly....was that the different “species” of finches could still breed and produce offspring that survived better than the parents.

That kind of creates more questions with regard to 'speciation' and whether the finchs actually became a 'new' species.

There is no interbreeding amonst different species of animals. Horses dont breed with cows, dogs dont breed with cats...so when they say the finches 'speciated' they obviously did not become a completely new species of finch...otherwise how could they reproduce???


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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AdminModulous
Administrator (Idle past 446 days)
Posts: 897
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 251 of 302 (537451)
11-28-2009 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 248 by Peg
11-28-2009 6:16 PM


yes exactly... and if evolutionists really believe that the Australian Aboriginals are 40,000 years old, then they were isolated for all that time and yet they were able to reproduce offspring with europeans only a few hundred years ago.

So if 40,000 years is not enough time for an isolated human population to 'speciate' then perhaps they need to re think what sepciation actually is and how it works.

Sounds like an interesting thread proposal (as for population size: we're up there with the best of them - but I think some of our domesticated species (esp sheep) probably outnumber us as well as small non insect animals such as plankton and maybe even some rodents outnumber us).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by Peg, posted 11-28-2009 6:16 PM Peg has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Peg
Member (Idle past 3271 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 252 of 302 (537453)
11-28-2009 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 249 by Parasomnium
11-28-2009 6:19 PM


Re: Back to Basics
yes, i guess it was a broad statement to make...the point I was trying to highlight was the on a debate forum, its not likely to happen because neither side is here to learn about the other side. In relality we are here because we have already chosen which side we believe in.

This message is a reply to:
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 Message 253 by Meldinoor, posted 11-28-2009 7:06 PM Peg has not yet responded

Meldinoor
Member (Idle past 3150 days)
Posts: 400
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 02-16-2009


Message 253 of 302 (537460)
11-28-2009 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 252 by Peg
11-28-2009 6:37 PM


Re: Back to Basics
Peg writes:

neither side is here to learn about the other side

That's your opinion. I certainly don't ignore anyone's post simply because they're on the other "side". I think quite a few people on this site are here to learn. I have on several occassions conceded when I've been shown to be wrong.

Peg writes:

In relality we are here because we have already chosen which side we believe in.

That may well be the case with you, apparently you have a hard time believing that any of us could be skeptical of our own beliefs.

Respectfully,

-Meldinoor


This message is a reply to:
 Message 252 by Peg, posted 11-28-2009 6:37 PM Peg has not yet responded

xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1923
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 254 of 302 (537466)
11-28-2009 8:11 PM
Reply to: Message 251 by AdminModulous
11-28-2009 6:30 PM


Side bar, off topic
Modulous notes:
as for population size: we're up there with the best of them - but I think some of our domesticated species (esp sheep) probably outnumber us as well as small non insect animals such as plankton and maybe even some rodents outnumber us

According to
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_sheep_are_in_the_world,
there are approximately 1,202,920,000, well below the human population. BUT!!!!

The chickens! My god, the chickens! How many are killed and eaten each day around the globe? How many per second!!!

In all seriousness, a general rule of thumb is that the smaller lifeform you are, the more numbers of you there are. There are something short of 7 billion humans, call it roughly 10^9th. Just a quick google tells me that there are something like 10^10th-10^12th bacteria in 1 gram of your typical human colon tract alone.

See http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/...gestion/basics/gi_bugs.html

But IIRC bacteria are off topic....

According to http://www.assistamerica.com/press_avianflu.html, in 2006 there were 35 billion chickens, an average of 5+ for every human being.

This, however, is also Off Topic


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 251 by AdminModulous, posted 11-28-2009 6:30 PM AdminModulous has acknowledged this reply

xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1923
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 255 of 302 (537468)
11-28-2009 8:41 PM
Reply to: Message 248 by Peg
11-28-2009 6:16 PM


Re: Speciation
Peg notes:
So if 40,000 years is not enough time for an isolated human population to 'speciate' then perhaps they need to re-think what speciation actually is and how it works.

Perhaps it's just a relative blink of an eye on the time scale involved.

You might also want to consider typical generation lengths. In the human Australian Aborigine it might be an average of 18-20 years? In the Galapagos Finch? 1 year? I dunno, but that would also be a factor for speciation. Even so, this would be at least 2000~ generations as opposed to a mere few in the beak study.

Perhaps the outback ecology was similar enough to the African ecology that Natural Selection wasnt very different, but in the case of the finches, the NS force was significant.

We should also consider pygmy isolations.
Start at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmies.

Again, speciation has not yet occurred.


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
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