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Author Topic:   The Electric Eel - more evidence against evolution
jar
Member
Posts: 30980
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 31 of 101 (704320)
08-08-2013 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Genomicus
08-08-2013 1:34 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
Improbable is still irrelevant.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Genomicus, posted 08-08-2013 1:34 PM Genomicus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Genomicus, posted 08-08-2013 1:42 PM jar has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15034
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 32 of 101 (704321)
08-08-2013 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Genomicus
08-08-2013 1:33 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
quote:

Correct. I didn't get into the whole population genetics aspect of this.

But they mean that traits will just keep accumulating - although much slower. It also means that there is no simple probability bound that can be applied. It will depend on time, the number of genes, and the number of possible phenotypic variations within range of the genetic change that has occurred.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Genomicus, posted 08-08-2013 1:33 PM Genomicus has responded

Replies to this message:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 33 of 101 (704322)
08-08-2013 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by jar
08-08-2013 1:37 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
Improbable is still irrelevant.

Not really. Why'd you stick to an improbable hypothesis?


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 Message 31 by jar, posted 08-08-2013 1:37 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by jar, posted 08-08-2013 1:54 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 34 of 101 (704323)
08-08-2013 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by PaulK
08-08-2013 1:38 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
But they mean that traits will just keep accumulating - although much slower.

Right -- but if those traits require a large number of specific mutations (each of which are individually neutral; i.e., they only offer a selective advantage when they are all present), then it will be quite a long time before each of those specific mutations are fixed in the population, or are even all present in an organism. There is an extremely large number of possible "mutation combinations" that are never fixed in a population.

It also means that there is no simple probability bound that can be applied. It will depend on time, the number of genes, and the number of possible phenotypic variations within range of the genetic change that has occurred.

I concur.


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 Message 32 by PaulK, posted 08-08-2013 1:38 PM PaulK has responded

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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15034
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 35 of 101 (704325)
08-08-2013 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Genomicus
08-08-2013 1:44 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
quote:

Right -- but if those traits require a large number of specific mutations (each of which are individually neutral; i.e., they only offer a selective advantage when they are all present), then it will be quite a long time before each of those specific mutations are fixed in the population, or are even all present in an organism. There is an extremely large number of possible "mutation combinations" that are never fixed in a population.

Sure and if you can find an example that had to have evolved in a short period of time then maybe you'll have an example. But you have to actually find one.


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jar
Member
Posts: 30980
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 36 of 101 (704326)
08-08-2013 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Genomicus
08-08-2013 1:42 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
Because there is evidence that it is not impossible and can be explained by the conventional theory and there is NO evidence of any designer or guider.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Genomicus, posted 08-08-2013 1:42 PM Genomicus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Genomicus, posted 08-08-2013 2:00 PM jar has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 37 of 101 (704327)
08-08-2013 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by PaulK
08-08-2013 1:52 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
Sure and if you can find an example that had to have evolved in a short period of time then maybe you'll have an example. But you have to actually find one.

Necessarily.


This message is a reply to:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 38 of 101 (704328)
08-08-2013 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by jar
08-08-2013 1:54 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
Because there is evidence that it is not impossible...

"It" being the hypothetical trait B? I'm not sure what "it" means in this context.

and there is NO evidence of any designer or guider...

From your perspective, there probably isn't.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by jar, posted 08-08-2013 1:54 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by jar, posted 08-08-2013 2:10 PM Genomicus has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30980
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.8


(1)
Message 39 of 101 (704329)
08-08-2013 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Genomicus
08-08-2013 2:00 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
Perspective, like improbability, is fortunately irrelevant.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Genomicus, posted 08-08-2013 2:00 PM Genomicus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Genomicus, posted 08-08-2013 3:07 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 40 of 101 (704333)
08-08-2013 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Haldir
08-08-2013 8:06 AM


Now, what steps do we need for a non-electric eel to evolve into an electric one.

Electric eels didn't evolve from non-electric eels. Well, first, they're not really eels; they're fish (knifefish). And the fish they evolved from were already electric.

In fact, producing electric fields has evolved independently in many different fishes, including sharks and rays.

Now, if I have my list right (and I certainly may not), the question then is whether or not these things needed to arise simultaneously, or if they could have been advantageous individually. If they are advantageous individually, might we expect to see some of these changes individually existent in other creatures, or did natural selection just happen to always put all of them together each of the 5+ times it started down this path?

Its the former. Look into the Gymnotiformes.


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 Message 11 by Haldir, posted 08-08-2013 8:06 AM Haldir has responded

Replies to this message:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 41 of 101 (704337)
08-08-2013 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by jar
08-08-2013 2:10 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
Perspective, like improbability, is fortunately irrelevant.

Actually, probability/improbability is perfectly relevant, since it helps us determine how plausible a hypothesis is.


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 Message 39 by jar, posted 08-08-2013 2:10 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-08-2013 3:17 PM Genomicus has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3501
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 42 of 101 (704339)
08-08-2013 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Haldir
08-08-2013 8:06 AM


Immediate or Gradual?
Hi Haldir, welcome to EvC! It's fun here, feel free to look around 'n stuff.

The Source writes:

We do not know the crucial features that evolved to alter the “adequate” stimulus from a mechanical event to an electrical one, but the change in sensitivity was many orders of magnitude and, in each class of electroreceptor, was tuned to a best frequency that could be many octaves apart.

Can you explain what the source is talking about here?
The sensitivity of what?
Is the source claiming that a regular eel went to an awesomely electrical electric eel in one step?
Or are they claiming that they simply don't know what happened to take a regular eel to an awesomely electrical electric eel over a very long time?

Haldir writes:

1. A change in sensitivity of many orders of magnitude.

If this is claimed to be quick, then I agree a problem exists.
If this is claimed to be slow... I don't see a problem. Things specialize all the time. Why wouldn't an advantage specialize itself over time?

2. A change in the organization of the muscles so that the voltage increases by lining them up

Again, this seems to be a specialization thing after electrocution begins.
What if the electrocution was very small at first, and only used for something like communication even?
Then maybe it later evolved to get stronger and stronger and eventually became a potent weapon. If so, optimizing muscle organization would be a simple degree of slow movements towards advantage.

3. Tuning the electroreceptors to a "best frequency"

Again, seems to be something that could happen quite easily over time.

4. The ability of all the muscles to fire at the same time

Again, not difficult to envision as evolution over time adds up.

5. (Possibly) The loss of the muscles' ability to contract (Articles mention this as happening, and the electric function replacing them, but I'm not sure yet if this function would have to be lost for the electric function to work, or if it could have just happened later to no disadvantage)

Everything you've listed so far seems like it could "happen later to no disadvantage."

6. (Possibly) An increase in fat around the head / vital organs to protect it from shocking itself (This seems to depend on whether or not this is what actually keeps it from shocking itself. Alternately, #6 could be whatever the actual method is of preventing shock, unless it is really something that was present all along.)

If the strength of the shock increased slowly over time, it wouldn't be difficult for the "actual method of preventing (self-)shock" slowly evolved with it.

Is anyone claiming that a non-electric eel turned into an awesomely powerful electric eel very quickly?

That's the only way I can see your questions making a lot of sense. But... I don't see this claim anywhere. Maybe you do know about it and can point it out?


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 Message 11 by Haldir, posted 08-08-2013 8:06 AM Haldir has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 43 of 101 (704340)
08-08-2013 3:17 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Genomicus
08-08-2013 3:07 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
Actually, probability/improbability is perfectly relevant, since it helps us determine how plausible a hypothesis is.

The probability of this calcium atom in my arm bone ending up there after being formed on the inside of a star and being blasted across outerspace, landing on the planet, going through the soil and the into the piece of broccoli I ate, and then being incorporating into that particular part of my body is so ridiculously low that I agree that it looks unrealistically implausible. But there it is and that's how it got there (more or less).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Genomicus, posted 08-08-2013 3:07 PM Genomicus has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Genomicus, posted 08-08-2013 3:24 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 101 (704343)
08-08-2013 3:21 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Stile
08-08-2013 3:13 PM


Re: Immediate or Gradual?
Can you explain what the source is talking about here?
The sensitivity of what?
Is the source claiming that a regular eel went to an awesomely electrical electric eel in one step?
Or are they claiming that they simply don't know what happened to take a regular eel to an awesomely electrical electric eel over a very long time?

Its not even talking about eels. Its talking generally about the evolution of the electric organs that many different types of fish have.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Stile, posted 08-08-2013 3:13 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Stile, posted 08-08-2013 3:32 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 105 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 45 of 101 (704344)
08-08-2013 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by New Cat's Eye
08-08-2013 3:17 PM


Re: another rather typical misconception
The probability of this calcium atom in my arm bone ending up there after being formed on the inside of a star and being blasted across outerspace, landing on the planet, going through the soil and the into the piece of broccoli I ate, and then being incorporating into that particular part of my body is so ridiculously low that I agree that it looks unrealistically implausible. But there it is and that's how it got there (more or less).

Yea, unfortunately that's not how molecular evolution specialists look at probability. The literature contains numerous papers on the limits of evolution when it comes to complex adaptations (traits that require multiple mutations to evolve, each mutation not conferring a selective advantage), the kinds of complex adaptations that can plausibly evolve, etc. All of this would be rendered useless by your elementary argument, because basically any trait could evolve if we accepted that your argument applied to molecular evolution.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


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 Message 43 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-08-2013 3:17 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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