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Author Topic:   Why "YEC"/Fundamentalist Creationism is BAD for America
RAZD
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Message 1 of 238 (710800)
11-10-2013 6:46 PM


It teaches false information as fact
In this thread I propose to discuss why "creationism" in general, and "Young Earth Creationism (YEC)" in particular are BAD for the US.

Reason #1: It interferes with the proper education of young people, both in terms of rational thinking and in terms of scientific literacy.

Reason #2: It interferes with the supposedly informed behavior of elected officials, at the local, state and national levels, both in terms of rational thinking and in terms of scientific literacy.

The earth is very old -- over 4.5 billion years old -- according to objective empirical evidence and sound, validated scientific processes. (1)

There was no world wide flood (WWF) -- according to objective empirical evidence from genetics that show no universal "bottleneck" of every single species living or extinct at any singular time in the natural history of life on earth. (2)

Anyone who claims to believe otherwise is, to borrow from Dawkin's, either

  1. stupid -- unable to understand the evidence, or
  2. ignorant -- unaware of the massive amount of evidence for this, or
  3. misinformed -- taught false information (see (3) definition #2 below), usually by a "trusted" source, or
  4. deluded -- developed a false belief on their own (see (3) definition #3 below), for reasons of their own, or
  5. insane -- clinging to a belief that has been falsified by evidence (see (3) definition #4 below), or
  6. malicious -- lying in order to delude others.

Why is this BAD?

It seems rather obvious to me that any teaching in schools that is based on stupid, ignorant, misinformed, deluded, insane or malicious information is bad education, leading to misinformed or deluded students at best. Certainly this is not appropriate for education in a "leading" country.

It also seems rather obvious to me that any governmental decisions, whether at local, state or national levels, based on stupid, ignorant, misinformed, deluded, insane or malicious information is a bad decision.

Symptomatic of this in the US is the degree of Climate Change Denial by members of congress, based on false beliefs that are interfering with rational action regarding this pending massive change to the world as a whole.

Perhaps there should be a scientific literacy test for government representatives ...

Enjoy.

References:

  1. ) See Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1 for some of the evidence that refutes a Young Earth.
  2. ) See No genetic bottleneck proves no global flood for discussion of this evidence.
  3. ) de•lu•sion -noun (Based on the Random House Dictionary, � Random House, Inc. 2013. )
    1. an act or instance of deluding.
    2. the state of being deluded.
    3. a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur.
    4. Psychiatry: a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.

Edited by RAZD, : posted before complete

Edited by RAZD, : .

Edited by RAZD, : ..


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RAZD
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Message 6 of 238 (710829)
11-11-2013 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Diomedes
11-11-2013 10:51 AM


One side bar: with regards to politicians. In my personal opinion, a scientific literacy test is irrelevant mainly due to the fact that the majority of politicians, even those that supposedly adhere to these dogmatic philosophies are doing so strictly because it garners them votes. I have no doubt in my mind that most do not share these beliefs and if the pendulum swung in the opposite direction, they would immediately switch sides if it was politically convenient.

Which speaks to the honesty of the politician, rather than his knowledge. It also speaks to his willingness to be "bought" to get elected rather than standing on principle.

There are a few exceptions: Gohmert from Texas and Bachmann from Minnesota actually do believe this nonsense. However, they are easily placed in the 'Totally Batshit' camp and very few individuals take them seriously except their local constituents, most of which likely have limited to no education.

And all the other wing-nuts that talk about women and reproduction in the bizarre and twisted ways we have seen, and this applies to the whole issue of abortion and women's rights being affected by false beliefs.

Not just Gohmert and Bachmann, but virtually every Tea Party member ...

Enjoy


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RAZD
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(1)
Message 27 of 238 (711210)
11-15-2013 8:10 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Faith
11-14-2013 10:38 PM


creationist propoganda affects text books used and what is (not) taught
It might help if you had some statistics to support your claim that creationism is bad for American education rather than your own opinions about the Flood and other Creationist arguments.

quote:
THE court challenge of an Arkansas law that defines creationism as a science has done more than focus on what most scientists consider a silly issue. It has exposed the vulnerability of the public schools to noneducational, political pressures.

Scientists point out that acceptance of the creationist ''theory'' would not just contradict everything the schools know and teach about biology but would scrap many other scientific theories, in geology, astronomy, archeology, anthropology, physics and so on. In the December issue of Science '81, for example, Allen Hammond, a geophysicist and mathematician, and Lynn Margulis, a microbiologist, wrote that most stars in our galaxy and in all other observable galaxies are more than 10,000 light-years away. Therefore, they say, ''Either those objects are more than 10,000 years old, or totally new astronomical hypotheses are needed.'' All the accepted and tested methods of measuring time, they add, give an age for the universe of 10 billion to 20 billion years.

Why, against so much expert testimony, are the schools nevertheless subjected to such strong pressure to give creationism equal time? Creationist pressures are taken seriously for reasons that tell much about schools and society. In a conservative era, theories that appeal to some vocal conservative groups cannot readily be ignored by elected representatives, even if they fly in the face of scientific and pedagogical knowledge. It is worth noting that the Arkansas law was enacted last year and signed by Governor Frank White, who said later that he had not read all of it.


Politics instead of fact. Scientific evidence and theory is not a democratic process that is up to popular vote: science is based on the scientific process.

quote:
(further): Since all but the best teachers lean heavily on textbooks, the effect of the controversy on textbooks regardless of any court rulings, becomes vital and for a long time ahead irreversible. In the last 10 years, according to Henry P. Zuidema, a paleontologist and science writer, many textbooks have already been revised, reducing space given to evolution and presenting the subject in more tentative terms. The index of a 1979 text, ''Biology: Living Systems,'' by Charles Merrill, contains only three lines of page references under ''evolution,'' compared to 17 lines in a 1973 edition.

Two editions of a text published by Allyn & Bacon in 1974 and 1977 included materials on the Genesis account of creation. Two Harcourt Brace Jovanovich texts, ''Biology: Patterns in Environment'' and ''Biology: Patterns in Living Things,'' omit Charles Darwin entirely.


In other words the text books are "dumbed down" to a level acceptable to a vocal fundamentalist level, rather than promoting true education of science.

Taking science out of textbooks means that science is not taught and the students suffer by a loss of that education.

This affects education for years if not decades.

quote:
(further again): Frank Press, president of the National Academy of Sciences, in a letter to the January/February issue of Science '82, writes: ''We simply cannot afford to teach pseudo-science in the guise of science. And creationism, which, arguably, may have a place elsewhere in teaching and comparative religion, is not science. ... I can only hope that in once again confronting this issue, seemingly resolved years ago, we gain by improving both science education and the public's understanding of science.''

Seems to me that it is fairly obvious that when we stop teaching actual science in school that the scientific literacy of the students in particular and society in general suffers.

Can you learn about math in school if you are not taught math in school?

Would not learning math in school affect you for better or for worse in your ability to do math related work after school?

It's that simple.

Enjoy.


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RAZD
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Message 28 of 238 (711211)
11-15-2013 8:21 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by ICANT
11-15-2013 1:01 AM


I agree that what YEC's teach about creation is false and does not even come close to what the Bible teaches about creation.

But if I remember you and just about every poster on EvC believes in creation.

Logical fallacy equivocation

quote:
Definition: The same word is used with two different meanings.

Proof: Identify the word which is used twice, then show that a definition which is appropriate for one use of the word would not be appropriate for the second use.


First you say you "... agree that what YEC's teach about creation is false ... " and then you say everyone believes in creation. What "YEC's teach about creation" is what is defined as creationism, other beliefs -- such as deism and people that "believe in the BBT" -- are not.

I'm glad you agree that creationism -- the YEC teaching regarding fundamental acceptance of biblical genesis without question -- is bad.

Enjoy.


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RAZD
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(1)
Message 34 of 238 (711222)
11-15-2013 10:47 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Coyote
11-15-2013 9:38 PM


Get Texas out of Textbooks
Texas Creationism: Big Shootout Next Week

Yes, but we should also get Texas out of textbooks -- the National Science Foundation should be in charge of evaluating science textbooks. Having ANY political group make decisions about the science in science textbooks is just a ludicrously stupid idea.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : subT


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RAZD
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Message 39 of 238 (711285)
11-16-2013 8:32 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by marc9000
11-16-2013 7:53 PM


another empty argument attempt to push religious views in education
... Shouldn't education be about teaching students how to think, not what to think? ...

Indeed, education in logic and being able to form proper valid conclusions from objective empirical evidence is the foundation for learning to deal with hokus-pokus, misrepresentation, hype and falsehoods.

Learning how to form rational conclusions with an open mind while remaining skeptical of any claims that have no supporting evidence.

... even the controversial ones? ...

Curiously ...

There is NO controversy among the science disciplines that science is based on objective empirical evidence no matter where the conclusions lead.

There is NO real controversy among geologists that the earth is old, very old, over 4.5 billion years old. People who claim there is a controversy are those who are deluded by irrational thought and conclusion not based on evidence.

There is NO real controversy among climatologists and geneticists that there was no world wide flood and that climate change is happening. People who claim there is a controversy are those who are deluded by irrational thought and conclusion not based on evidence.

There is NO real controversy among biologists that evolution explains the diversity of life as we know it, from the fossil record, from the genetic record, from the living world around us. People who claim there is a controversy are those who are deluded by irrational thought and conclusion not based on evidence.

... The creation issue was involved in science education at least somewhat more 50 years ago than it has been in the last couple of decades. ...

And (even if true, which I doubt) it is never too late to stop going down the wrong road. There were many things that were taught that are now known to be false or wicked. They used to teach that slavery, segregation, that women's place was in the home, etc etc etc.

That it was taught does not make it true, it just means that mistakes were made, mistakes that we can correct.

The U.S didn't become what it is today, either by accident, or by a scientific knowledge that was superior to the rest of the world. It became what it is largely because of a whole host of knowledge, (history of human nature, desire of personal liberty, etc.) all of which had little or nothing to do with science. What the U.S. has accomplished up to now, is largely taken for granted, both within and without the U.S

Because a rational logical base was used, one that challenged beliefs and opinions, one that proceeded with an open mind to change, rather than a clinging to the past and old ideas.

Interferes? Liberty and limited government are built around the concept "endowed by their creator".

The declaration of independence is not the constitution.

quote:
... and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, ...

The god referenced in the declaration is "nature's god" -- the deist god. Deists believe that you use education and knowledge to find out what you can, not to limit what you should think or know.

Dawkins isn't from the U.S. Though he does seem to increasingly be the premier spokesman for the three things that this O/P of yours is about; scientific study, militant atheism, and extreme political liberalism.

But it also should be obvious to you that the U.S. was at least partially FOUNDED on what Dawkins goes into childish rants about. I would hope that would make it obvious to many that Dawkins opinions on U.S. politics mean absolutely nothing.

Completely irrelevant to the argument -- attack the argument not the bearer of information that disturbs you.

The US was founded on freedom of ALL beliefs -- as clearly dictated in the constitution -- rather than on any particular set, and any belief otherwise is self-delusion.

There are climate scientists all over the world who disagree with the atheist, liberal view of global warming, and have written articles and books about it. It's not good for the U.S. to shield students from these other points of view. Even if students are indoctrinated with only the correct conclusions on current issues, hearing only one side does nothing to prepare future adults to think for themselves on issues that will be important to U.S. survival that will be prominent later in U.S. existence.

There are pawns of large corporations who are paid to disagree. The predominant consensus of over 90% of climate scientists is that climate change is due to human sources, mostly pollution from large corporations.

This number is growing, as it becomes increasingly obvious that climate change is happening.

Or perhaps a history lesson, not only for government representatives, but for politically militant members of the scientific community.

If it were real history, not make believe tea-party history, you might find that we know more facts than you do. Getting a PhD at a university is not just science education, and it is certainly more than what we get in high school.

Enjoy.


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RAZD
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Message 40 of 238 (711286)
11-16-2013 8:35 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by marc9000
11-16-2013 7:56 PM


Re: Bad YECs, bad!
All the O/P was about was eliminating something.

Eliminating the bonds and false ideas that hold back learning.

Enjoy


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RAZD
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Message 42 of 238 (711288)
11-16-2013 9:14 PM


Neil
Creationist teaching

A sample of bad teaching.

Enjoy


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RAZD
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Posts: 20054
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 54 of 238 (711439)
11-19-2013 12:34 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by marc9000
11-18-2013 8:15 PM


marc9000 writes:

There are climate scientists all over the world who disagree with the atheist, liberal view of global warming, and have written articles and books about it.

Please present some of these.

quote:
We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

http://notrickszone.com/...urning-nasa-into-a-laughing-stock

Only 50 of the thousands of scientists and engineers employed at NASA

http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/s1493/section2.htm#topic%203D

Engineers are not climate scientists, medical scientists are not climate scientists, astro-physical scientists are not climate scientists ...

Those that are listed as scientist do not have their field of study identified.

But even if that were 50 out of only 1000 scientists that is only 5% so we KNOW that the number of climate scientists in this group is actually smaller than that. Much smaller.

Typical creationist ploy -- but with fewer signers than the "Scientific Dissent from Darwinism" list:

http://www.creationmoments.com/...ts-do-not-accept-evolution

And you have only listed NASA, not scientists from around the world ... so your list is both small and incomplete.

quote:
It takes a lot of courage. Scientists who report findings that contradict man-made global warming find their sources of funding cut, their jobs terminated, their careers stunted, and their reports blocked from important journals, and they are victimized by personal attacks. This is a consensus one associates with a Stalinist system, not science in the free world.

Because science has become political. There's way more power and money in shouting down religion than there is in actually doing science.

Ah yes, the old suppression conspiracy again. People that do bad science somehow do not get recognized for doing good science ... I wonder why that is.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : ..


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RAZD
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Message 56 of 238 (711447)
11-19-2013 7:53 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by marc9000
11-18-2013 8:30 PM


Re: another empty argument attempt to push religious views in education
Evidence includes written history. The scientific community obviously chooses to sometimes ignore or replace written history when it clashes with a proclamation of the past that science wishes to make ...

History is evidence of what someone wrote, and does not necessarily represent truth. It is anecdotal evidence rather than objective empirical evidence. When it is contradicted by objective empirical evidence it is discarded.

Troy was uncovered due to clues in Greek myths -- does that mean that Achilles, also in the same myths, was an actual person with supernatural invincibility from being dipped in the river Styx as a child, leaving only his heal unprotected?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_War

... There's not always objective empirical evidence for every question about reality. The time has come to realize that science has been taken over by political special interests. It's no longer a "disinterested pursuit of knowledge", and needs to be policed for what it has become.

Says you who desperately wants to run science according to religious beliefs (see On The Limits of Human Talent) and force it to comply with your opinion/beliefs.

I don’t think anyone seriously believes that the U.S. is getting more and more religious, it’s actually getting more and more secular, Every statistic shows it. Statistics also show that some new, BAD things are happening, in a perfect correlation with religiousity going down, such as increased drug use, legalized gambling, less productivity etc.. Co-incidence, according the scientific community probably, but some are thankful that they’re not completely in charge of political decisions.

More unsupported bs. The US is definitely getting dumber due to the removal of science from textbooks due to pressure from religious interests (see creationist propaganda affects text books used and what is (not) taught). This of course is in comparison with other countries that are not so hide bound by fundamentalist ideologists.

Here is link showing the results of a survey taken to find out how scientifically literate tea party members can be. At least he was honest enough to report his (surprising to him) findings.

How was this tested, what were the questions. And yes these are important to the validity of the study. Was evolution a critical part of the study or just general science? How does this compare to a non-tea party group with the same education background?

Enjoy


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RAZD
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Posts: 20054
From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 75 of 238 (711654)
11-21-2013 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by marc9000
11-20-2013 3:31 PM


No, the first step would be to make sure they know that science isn't the only source of knowledge, that when the U.S. was founded, and it was being determined what would be good or bad for it, that science had very little to do with it. ...

For the simple reason that this is before scientific investigation became formalized and different branches of investigation began, ... certainly it was before Darwin was born.

And for the simple reason that this was the "age of reason" and a lot of people were questioning authority, the rational basis for government and even the rational of church based religions.

The separation of church and state being part of that.

... Teaching them how to think, not what to think, as one example, ...

Would be a good idea indeed, especially when it comes to unfounded beliefs and irrational biases, or when it comes to cherry-picking history while ignoring the whole picture.

... would be to make sure they understand what Federalist Paper #10 was about, ...

Oh there you go cherry-picking and telling people what to think not how to think.

... including the definition of what a 'faction' is.

Such as the different factions within religions that don't agree with one another, to say nothing about the disagreement between religions ... and the rational reason that separation of church and state is critical to preserving the freedom of all people to pursue their personal beliefs?

Enjoy


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RAZD
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(4)
Message 76 of 238 (711658)
11-21-2013 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by jar
11-20-2013 3:42 PM


Re: More dishonesty from marc9000
But I do think it should be taught in schools, in science, in social studies, in history as the example of what happens when people check their brains at the door and stop using the gifts GOD gave them.

nothing is completely useless -- it can always be used as a bad example

Enjoy


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RAZD
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(1)
Message 77 of 238 (711663)
11-21-2013 9:25 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by marc9000
11-20-2013 3:49 PM


Re: another empty argument attempt to push religious views in education
You use the word "empirical" as if it's a foolproof, scientific only term. Let's see what dictionary.com has to say about the word;

1)derived from or guided by experience or experiment.

2)depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, especially as in medicine.

3)provable or verifiable by experience or experiment.

Particularly regarding #2, the tyrants of the religions of 250 years ago could correctly say the evidence of their religion was empirical.

But curiously that would be subjective not objective empirical evidence, which would be (1) and (3) which are the scientific usages.

Objective means that anyone can access it, empirical means the access can be repeated, evidence means what is being accessed.

Says you who desperately wants to run U.S. politics according to atheist/liberal beliefs, ...

Such as critical thinking, making decisions based on objective empirical evidence, and using scientific consensus of scientific matters, rather than corporate money interests?

and not one other scientific poster on these forums has questioned you on that so far. ...

Why should any rational person question that YEC is BAD for America -- objective empirical evidence shows this to be the case. Just as it shows that people who watch FAUX NOISE are worse educated on world news than people who watch NO news.

... You're not going to answer my question about where you're from?

I have lived in 7 different states and visited all but 4, I've lived in two provinces in Canada as well and have visited 7 other countries. I was born in New England, where people are proud descendants of the Founding Fathers and the populations of the colonies, and I have ancestors that came on the Mayflower.

This information, of course, has nothing to do with the rational for good education not beings influenced by false beliefs and personal biases, which are exemplified by YEC beliefs in a world wide flood and a young earth.

Genetics alone invalidates the world wide flood belief.

Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1 invalidates a young earth belief.

Continuing to believe falsified beliefs is delusion, and education should not be based on delusion.

Enjoy.


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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This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by marc9000, posted 11-20-2013 3:49 PM marc9000 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Jaf, posted 02-06-2014 11:46 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20054
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


(2)
Message 82 of 238 (712532)
12-04-2013 7:39 PM


Damage done is not always minor
Peanut Gallery for Great debate: radiocarbon dating, Mindspawn and Coyote/RAZD Message 231

At school (in our country that normally goes till you're 18, Grade 12) one of my classmates was raised as an True Christian (PTY LTD) . Known in the US as True Christian (TM). SDA. Not even allowed to drink Coca Cola at home.

After school he went to Uni, got brilliant grades, but the cognitive dissonance got too much for him. He killed himself after 3 years. Gassed himself in his car. Reality contradicted his beliefs. With tragic results for him and his family.

Sad indeed. I do not wish this result for anyone.

Edited by RAZD, : .


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) • • •

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20054
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 92 of 238 (718512)
02-07-2014 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by Jaf
02-06-2014 7:42 PM


You need to learn what you are attacking so you don't look so foolish
Hey guess what I have spend a fortune in private education to ensure my son isn't brainwashed into thinking he's nothing but a monkey. I guess New Zealand must be quite "evolved" it's funny how you are seeking a political solution why? Is creation forced in schools in America, if so I find that exceedingly unusual in our secular world.

And you likely wasted that money.

Thank you for demonstrating why creationist teaching is damaging to the intellectual development of people.

Looking at your "gravity" proposed topic I am astounded by the laughable ignorance and silly foolishness, coupled with the arrogant pride to display your ignorance and foolishness as valid arguments ... in public ... among people who know better.

It will be interesting to see you well you hold up if that ever gets promoted.

You don't even know what the difference between science and evolution is and are terribly confused.

Perhaps if you had let your son be educated in public schools there, then he might be able to teach you a thing or two.

Message 86: I'm of course terribly sorry for you and your offspring for resembling monkeys so closely, I can see why you hold on so steadfastly to the wild lunacy that you are in fact an ape. Me I look like Johny Depp

Who looks like an ape. and apparently you don't even know that apes and monkeys are different clades within primates. Not that I expect you to know what a clade is.

Message 89: I'm not closely related to any apes, you may wish to believe you are. GeV.

Your parents are apes. Denial is not just a river in egypt.

Message 91: Proud descendants of apes is what I thought you were going to say.

http://www.motherjones.com/...bill-nye-creationism-evolution

quote:
This Picture Has Creationists Terrified
And no wonder: It's the most powerful evidence for evolution that you can imagine.


Side-by-side comparison of the chromosomes of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans (from left to right for each chromosome) From JJ Yunis, O Prakash, "The origin of man: a chromosomal pictorial legacy," Science, March 19 1982. Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

When it comes to DNA, comparing the chromosomes of humans with those of closely related ape species provides particularly stunning evidence of evolution. That brings us to the image above, which was originally published in a landmark paper in the journal Science in 1982. What you are looking at are highly magnified photographs of the chromosomes of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, aligned in that order for each chromosome.

Displayed in this way, the most striking thing about the four genomes is how remarkably similar they are; in the parlance of the Science paper, they show "extensive homology." But they're not perfectly similar. Humans have 23 chromosome pairs in each of their cells (only one member of each pair is shown above). The other three apes, by contrast, have 24 chromosome pairs. So if we're really close cousins, evolution has a puzzle to explain: How did we end up with one fewer chromosome pair than they have?

As it turns out, modern genetic science has answered that question flawlessly. In the image above, notice chromosome 2. You'll see that in chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, there are actually two smaller chromosomes here (the Science paper called them 2p and 2q), but in humans there is just one:


Chromosomes 1-3 in humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. From Yunis & Prakash, Science, 1982. Reprinted with permission from AAAS..

And maybe you can already see where this is going: That's because the ancestral equivalents of chromosomes 2p and 2q fused together over the course of evolution and became human chromosome 2. In other words, this is sort of the genetic version of the missing link.

How do we know that this fusion occurred? The proof is written, indelibly, in the genetic material itself.

Chromosomes have multiple different regions, including two "telomeres," structures at the end of each chromosome that contain repetitive DNA and serve as a protective "cap," and one centromere, a region that binds together chromosome pairs during cell division. So if the ancestral equivalents of chromosomes 2p and 2q fused together, end to end, to become human chromosome 2, then there should be genetic proof of this evolutionary event. More specifically, that chromosome should be a bit odd: It should have telomere DNA in its middle as well as on its ends, and two centromeres (or at least, their genetic remnants), rather than one. Here's a highly simplified visualization of this fusion process, courtesy of Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller:


Illustration of how chromosome fusion formed human chromosome 2 Kenneth Miller

So does human chromosome 2 have the telltale DNA evidence of a fusion event? Yes, it does.

The authors of the 1982 Science paper had no hesitancy in declaring that "the telomeric fusion of chromosomes 2p and 2q accounts for the reduction of the 24 pairs of chromosomes of the great apes to 23 in modern man." But they could not confirm this with the high-powered techniques of modern genetics.

In a 2005 study published in Nature, however, the "precise fusion site" was located on human chromosome 2. The paper noted the presence of "multiple subtelomeric duplications" in this location (i.e., the expected telomere DNA) and also the vestiges of a second centromere on the chromosome that has since been "inactivated" (represented by the orange region above). In a 2012 study, meanwhile, an international team of scientists published a more detailed evolutionary account of how modern-day versions of human, chimpanzee, and gorilla chromosomes attained their current form. (For an easy-to-understand explanation of what they found, see here.)

In other words, the genetic evidence is precisely what you would expect to see if evolution is true. And that speaks volumes about the power of the theory to explain what we actually observe in the natural world.


Now I realize that you may be having trouble with two things here: (1) that this is empirical evidence demonstrating the common ancestry of gorillas, chimps, orangs and humans, and (2) understanding what this is saying -- because of cognitive dissonance.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding this information ... if you are willing to learn ...


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) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Jaf, posted 02-06-2014 7:42 PM Jaf has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by Jaf, posted 02-07-2014 10:22 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
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