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Author Topic:   Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


(3)
Message 560 of 1311 (812957)
06-21-2017 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 467 by CRR
06-09-2017 5:44 AM


Re: maybe we should cholera a new vaccine ...
Cerainly we need new flu vaccine each year because the flu virus changes but the theory of evolution is of no help in predicting the way it will change, so it isn't used there either/

Bit of an old post, but it looks like no one has responded. The theory of evolution is, indeed, used in predicting which flu viruses to include in vaccines. Modern computational techniques for predicting which flu viruses are expected to be most common the next season are based entirely on evolutionary theory.

I wanted to write a nice simple explanation of the techniques, but unfortunately they are not simple and it's a bit beyond my understanding. Here is an article explaining the technique of allele dynamics plots. As far as I can tell it involves taking a bunch of currently circulating viruses and using cladistics to create a family tree. Based on this they reconstruct the most likely ancestral state and intermediate forms, and establish which alleles appear to be under positive selection - these are the ones expected to increase in frequency in the near future and therefore be important targets for next season's flu vaccine.

Hopefully someone better at population genetics than me can offer more details, but this seems a pretty clear case of applied evolutionary theory to me.


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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


(2)
Message 605 of 1311 (813337)
06-26-2017 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 595 by Dredge
06-24-2017 12:32 AM


Re: maybe we should cholera a new vaccine ...
Oh, for sure - microevolutionary theory - which is not in any way, shape or form dependant on the theory that all life shares a common ancestor; an empty theory which is utterly irrelevant to applied science.

No, it's not dependent on life sharing a common ancestor. But, at the risk of sounding tedious repetitive, that's a conclusion of evolutionary theory, not a premise. It's like how the age of the universe is a conclusion of relativity; but using relativistic equations to predict the orbit of Mercury is not dependent on the age of the observable universe.


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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


(1)
Message 833 of 1311 (815001)
07-14-2017 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 725 by Taq
07-11-2017 12:00 PM


Re: Species
That's where statistics comes in. If there is a statistically significant difference in allele distributions between two defined populations then you can objectively define "evolving separately".

While that could be objective in one sense, it would be resting on an entirely arbitrary choice of significance. I'm not sure if an objective but wholly arbitrary definition is better than a wholly subjective one. It's not as if we actually need to be able to count species - what does it really matter whether there are 15, or 25, or 30 species of Titi monkey?


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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


(1)
Message 988 of 1311 (815604)
07-21-2017 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 958 by CRR
07-20-2017 8:47 PM


Re: seven "assumptions"
If you're trying to establish that abiogenesis is a founding assumption of evolution, you're doing it in an odd way.

Following the link on that page to lecture on speciation we find
"Life has evolved from non-life, and complex organisms from simpler forms."
ABIOGENESIS

That does, indeed, mention abiogenesis; but as you yourself point out it's not in the same place as where the author was describing the tenets of Darwin's theory of evolution. It's not even on the same page.

In the page where it is found, it's not part of the actual discussion of the topic (speciation). Rather, it's found in the introduction, where whoever wrote this is discussing the idea that the term 'evolution' is used also to mean 'change over time' in general, not only in the more restricted sense of biological evolution. He offers your quote above ('life has evolved from non-life') as an example of this; along with the evolution of stars and the evolution of religions and political beliefs.

The very same page lists two definitions of biological evolution; neither of which include abiogenesis.

quote:
Definition 1:

Changes in the genetic composition of a population with the passage of each generation

Definition 2:

The gradual change of living things from one form into another over the course of time, the origin of species and lineages by descent of living forms from ancestral forms, and the generation of diversity



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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1800
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008


Message 1022 of 1311 (815717)
07-23-2017 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1015 by Faith
07-23-2017 8:33 AM


Re: Nutrition is a science in the present so it's accessible the way the past isn't
Nope, no deliveries available here. Also there is no such thing as a "shop" here, by which I suppose you mean a shop that specializes in particular items? Butcher, baker, cheese store etc.? Everything is a supermarket and the nearest one is about a mile. Nothing in Nevada is what you could call "densely populated," and my town is fairly small.

You don't necessarily have to repeat an event to test the explanation of that event.

You see evidence A, and you speculate B; because B would leave A behind, wouldn't it?

You can't test this by going back in time, but you can test it by asking what else B would leave behind. Assume B, predict the expected consequences (other than A, which you already know), and then check if they're there as well. If they are, your confidence in B is strengthened.


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