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Author Topic:   Human Brain Evolution Was a 'Special Event'
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 65 (352852)
09-28-2006 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Taz
09-28-2006 1:41 PM


Re: It still is 'Special'
PS I just went through and read other people's posts on this point. You haven't responded yet. I'd like to give you an opportunity to define what you meant as "short".

One would assume he means "short" as compared to other evolutionary developments.


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Taz
Member (Idle past 1679 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 17 of 65 (352856)
09-28-2006 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by robinrohan
09-28-2006 1:55 PM


Re: It still is 'Special'
That's what I figured. But he made it out to sound like a few days or a few years via his reference to lab rats.

Edited by gasby, : No reason given.


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skepticfaith
Member (Idle past 4110 days)
Posts: 71
From: NY, USA
Joined: 08-29-2006


Message 18 of 65 (352950)
09-28-2006 7:07 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Taz
09-28-2006 1:41 PM


short
I meant short as in just a few million years..
Even the evolutionists were surprised that such a complex organ could have evolved in that time.
There is a lot of information missing here - what sort of mutations would have been necessary. What were the environmental pressures that acted on this creature to select for big brain size.

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skepticfaith
Member (Idle past 4110 days)
Posts: 71
From: NY, USA
Joined: 08-29-2006


Message 19 of 65 (352954)
09-28-2006 7:10 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Chiroptera
09-27-2006 5:52 PM


Mutations.
quote:
20 million / thousands = 20,000 years for a couple of mutations.

Is this really so unbelievable?


And I am assuming NO ONE knows what these couple of mutations are? They stimulated a part of the brain - increasing its cranial capacity ?


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6856
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 20 of 65 (352958)
09-28-2006 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by skepticfaith
09-28-2006 7:10 PM


Hey, you! Bring that goal post back over here!
Huh? I thought that you were thinking that it was "remarkable" that "thousands" of mutations could occur in such a short time. Am I now correct in assuming that you now realize that it isn't so remarkable? That "thousands" of mutation in a few million years is just one or two mutations in a thousand years or so. Which sounds reasonable to me. I thought that this was the point that you were trying to make. Were you skeptical that "thousands" of mutations could occur in such a "short" time? Do you now see that the time wasn't so short after all? Would you agree that one or two mutations in a thousand years isn't so unreasonable?

As far as your new question is concerned, I don't even know whether they know which genes are involved in brain development. If they don't know which genes are involved to begin with, they certainly couldn't know exactly what the mutations were, could they?


"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." -- George Bernard Shaw

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skepticfaith
Member (Idle past 4110 days)
Posts: 71
From: NY, USA
Joined: 08-29-2006


Message 21 of 65 (352971)
09-28-2006 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Chiroptera
09-28-2006 7:17 PM


Re: Hey, you! Bring that goal post back over here!
It still is remarkable since the history of civilization is over a few thousand years or so, then have any mutations occurred throughout history that we have discovered? Have our brains grown bigger - are we still evolving?
The problem with evolution theory is that it still does not have the smoking gun - the actual mechanism of beneficial mutations charted out. The honest answer is : we really don't know whether these mutations (to trigger brain size increase in subsequent generations or any other major change)can even happen, but we know that mutations happen (most neutral) and very few beneficial and we assume that the beneficial ones accumulated over generations via natural selection can amount to larger changes. None of this is being actually proven though it makes logical sense.
Alternatively, one can propose that a grand Designer designed all the creatures starting from simple to complex allowing each creature to adapt to its habitat and undergo minor changes as it does - which is what has been observed.
An alternative theory can be proposed but obviously this is politically incorrect - and oh yeah -- ridiculing Noah's Ark doesn't really help evolution's cause especially since I never mentioned I was a creationist proposing common descent from Noah's ark etc.

I said originally that this article could fuel the creationist cause not that I was a creationist..


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Replies to this message:
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 Message 23 by Chiroptera, posted 09-28-2006 8:10 PM skepticfaith has responded
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nator
Member (Idle past 558 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 22 of 65 (352974)
09-28-2006 7:46 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by skepticfaith
09-28-2006 7:37 PM


Re: Hey, you! Bring that goal post back over here!
quote:
Alternatively, one can propose that a grand Designer designed all the creatures starting from simple to complex allowing each creature to adapt to its habitat and undergo minor changes as it does - which is what has been observed.

A "Grand Designer" has been observed?

Edited by schrafinator, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6856
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 6.0


Message 23 of 65 (352983)
09-28-2006 8:10 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by skepticfaith
09-28-2006 7:37 PM


Re: Hey, you! Bring that goal post back over here!
quote:
It still is remarkable since the history of civilization is over a few thousand years or so, then have any mutations occurred throughout history that we have discovered?

You are really moving pretty far from the points in your original post. First, you claim that there is a paper that exclaims that "thousands of mutations in 20-25 million years is remarkable". Then you decide to change this to the 5 million years or so since Australopithecus. Now you want to narrow this down to the few thousand years since civilization began. I'm not sure what the relevance any of this has to your original post.

-

quote:
Have our brains grown bigger

You mean over the last 10,00o years or so of known civilization? Not that I am aware of.

-

quote:
are we still evolving?

Probably. People die; some die before producing offspring. This is what is required for natural selection to operate.

-

quote:
The problem with evolution theory is that it still does not have the smoking gun - the actual mechanism of beneficial mutations charted out.

I don't see this as a problem. I suppose that it would be nice to know, but we already have a lot of evidence that evolution has occurred. It is pretty much a fact that evolution has occurred. That is what the overwhelming evidence shows. Whether or not we have a list of the exact mutations doesn't make all the other evidence go away.

-

quote:
Alternatively, one can propose that a grand Designer designed all the creatures starting from simple to complex allowing each creature to adapt to its habitat and undergo minor changes as it does

One can propose such a thing, but producing scientific evidence in support of this proposal is another.


"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." -- George Bernard Shaw

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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skepticfaith
Member (Idle past 4110 days)
Posts: 71
From: NY, USA
Joined: 08-29-2006


Message 24 of 65 (353008)
09-28-2006 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Chiroptera
09-28-2006 8:10 PM


Mutations.
quote:
You are really moving pretty far from the points in your original post. First, you claim that there is a paper that exclaims that "thousands of mutations in 20-25 million years is remarkable
Then you decide to change this to the 5 million years or so since Australopithecus. Now you want to narrow this down to the few thousand years since civilization began. I'm not sure what the relevance any of this has to your original post.


That is not what I said. The scientists said in the paper ,"thousands of mutations in 20-25 million years is remarkable" . Obviously when you think about it - these changes must have happned from Australopithecus to erectus not before because this creature has a brain the size of a chimpanzee.
Then YOU claimed that this is not a problem and it only requires a few mutations in a thousand years.
So I countered that we could have observed any such similar mutations since you are assuming that such mutations are commonplace.

Clearly such mutations have not being observed and this entire mechanism is all theory.

Regardless of how valid you think evolution theory is, you have to admit that there is a very little that we know about the evolution of the brain.. Similarly we know very little of how complex organs have actually developed - there are numerous theories but no actual evidence. This is the major major stumbling block of evolution theory ...


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Replies to this message:
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skepticfaith
Member (Idle past 4110 days)
Posts: 71
From: NY, USA
Joined: 08-29-2006


Message 25 of 65 (353009)
09-28-2006 11:30 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by nator
09-28-2006 7:46 PM


Re: Hey, you! Bring that goal post back over here!
quote:
A "Grand Designer" has been observed?

Ha Ha Ha.

Creatures adapting to habitat and undergoing (very) minor changes has been observed.

Most people claim to know a 'Grand Designer' He is normally called GOD


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Replies to this message:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1679 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 26 of 65 (353012)
09-28-2006 11:36 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by skepticfaith
09-28-2006 7:07 PM


Re: short
Then why referenced the lab rats? Moving the goal post now are we?

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Taz
Member (Idle past 1679 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 27 of 65 (353014)
09-28-2006 11:43 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by skepticfaith
09-28-2006 7:37 PM


Re: Hey, you! Bring that goal post back over here!
skepticfaith writes:

It still is remarkable since the history of civilization is over a few thousand years or so, then have any mutations occurred throughout history that we have discovered?


For starter, hemophilia and the other various genetic disorders out there. Hint: Look at the British royal family.

Have our brains grown bigger

You know, if you want to move the goal post at least try to do it without being so obvious. Most of us here can smell BS pretty well.

- are we still evolving?

At this point, I would like to ask an admin's permission to lose my temper. Not only is this guy shamelessly changing his position from post to post, he has demonstrated a total lack of understanding of what "evolve" meant.

Isn't there a forum guideline somewhere that discourages people from blowing out hot air?


This message is a reply to:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1679 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 28 of 65 (353015)
09-28-2006 11:47 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by skepticfaith
09-28-2006 11:27 PM


Re: Mutations.
skepticfaith writes:

Clearly such mutations have not being observed and this entire mechanism is all theory.


Answer me this question and you might actually answer your own question. How long have the hand full of people around the world who are known as biologists kept an eye out for a mutation that involves the human brain?

Regardless of how valid you think evolution theory is, you have to admit that there is a very little that we know about the evolution of the brain.. Similarly we know very little of how complex organs have actually developed - there are numerous theories but no actual evidence. This is the major major stumbling block of evolution theory ...

Right, it must have been goddunit!

This message is a reply to:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4260 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 29 of 65 (353088)
09-29-2006 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by skepticfaith
09-28-2006 11:27 PM


Re: Mutations.
Obviously when you think about it - these changes must have happned from Australopithecus to erectus not before because this creature has a brain the size of a chimpanzee.

I think this is where your argument falls flat. The paper is talking about 20-25 million years (about half the time the "Age of Mammals" has run). You are stating that "obviously" the authors actually meant the ~6+/-1 million years since the lineages that led to us and chimps diverged. In fact, the timeframe the authors cite falls square into the middle of the range of where the apes and old world monkeys may have diverged (23.8 - 35 mya, see Kumar S, et al, 2005, Placing confidence limits on the molecular age of the human–chimpanzee divergence, PNAS 102:18842-18847).

You're not allowed to change the research - only argue that their conclusions are incorrect. And IF you are going to so argue, you need to show why. It's unlikely anyone is going just to take your word for it.


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Equinox
Member (Idle past 3530 days)
Posts: 329
From: Michigan
Joined: 08-18-2006


Message 30 of 65 (353090)
09-29-2006 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by skepticfaith
09-28-2006 7:37 PM


Re: Hey, you! Bring that goal post back over here!
skepticfaith writes:
quote:
The problem with evolution theory is that it still does not have the smoking gun - the actual mechanism of beneficial mutations charted out.

OK, if you mean that brain beneficial mutations are somehow different than mutations in general, that's silly. We do have the actual mechanism of mutation charted out - there are many types, such as these:

quote:

You mentioned wondering about the details of mutations. Here are some basic types of mutations and how they work:
Duplication of a stretch of DNA. This is like accidentally copying part of a book twice. Example – when making a copy of a book that has chapters 1, 2, 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12, you end up with a book that has chapters 1, 2, 3,4,5,6,7,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12

Deletion of a base pair. AATCTGTC becomes ATCTGTC

Addition of base pair AATCTGTC becomes ACATCTGTC

Transposition (like a mirror) AATCTGTC becomes CTGTCTAA

All of these can have no effect, an effect which is selected for, or an affect which is selected against.

To add information, first, take a functional gene, and make an extra copy using the duplication mutation. That won’t hurt the organism, since the second copy is simply redundant. Then use any of the other mutation methods so as to make the second copy do something new. The organism still has the original copy doing whatever it is supposed to do, but now has the added ability of whatever the new gene does (such as digesting nylon, as in a species of bacteria).

The process can also add entire chromosomes…


Now, as we've discussed many times, this leads to demonstrated instances of beneficial mutations, as even Faith has agreed. Examples come up all the time, like Apo, conquistador algae, beautiful buttocks, muscles, and on and on. I think so far we have around 20 examples of beneficial mutations. Many were discussed on this thread:

www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=34&t=12&m=166 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=34&t=12&m=166">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=34&t=12&m=166

OK, so now that we have the smoking gun of the mechanism for the formation of beneficial mutations, and the demonstrated instance of this over and over, of course this could happen in the brain just as anywhere else in the body. The brain uses DNA - it's not some alien organ.

Speaking of observed brain evolution in history, yes that has been shown - an article on that came out in the last year. It was about genes that help with language use.

quote:

And I am assuming NO ONE knows what these couple of mutations are? They stimulated a part of the brain - increasing its cranial capacity ?

*sigh*

OK, we have muliple levels of misunderstanding here (or deliberate obfuscation).
First, Chiro was mentioning a rate - 20,000 years for a few mutations. Your response is like if I said my car drives at 30 miles per hour, and you say "yes, but has anyone found that missing hour?".

The rate Chiro mentioned was to show that this number of mutations in the 25 million years mentioned really isn't that fast in everyday terms.

As far as those "two genes" goes - yes, they do know many of them. It says so right in the article. They looked at 214 genes, and found the changes in them (thousands of them) - that's what a mutation is.

quote:

Obviously when you think about it - these changes must have happned from Australopithecus to erectus not before because this creature has a brain the size of a chimpanzee.


again, no. Did you read my post #14 on the last page? Also, don't forget that in nature, things often work geometrically not linearly. For instance, if AA had evolved brain structures that could do good thinking, then doubling or tripling those structures only takes a doubling type mutation - you don't have to start from scratch.

Have a fun day-

Edited by Equinox, : typo

Edited by Equinox, : No reason given.


-Equinox

_ _ _ ___ _ _ _
You know, it's probably already answered at http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/...
(Equinox is a Naturalistic Pagan - www.naturalpagan.org)


This message is a reply to:
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