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Author Topic:   Wells' Icons of Evolution - Peppered Moths
zephyr
Member (Idle past 2626 days)
Posts: 821
From: FOB Taji, Iraq
Joined: 04-22-2003


Message 16 of 88 (103360)
04-28-2004 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by cromwell
04-28-2004 9:52 AM


Re: The prepared myth
quote:
If you read my first thread,you will see that i don't deny that something has caused the change over of dominant variants.This fact is undeniable.Wells points to it being something yet undiscovered,but due to pollutants.I am saying that it is not happening through the mechanism of natural selection.I am not saying its a fake.but i'm merely saying that the data does not prove that it can be natural selection and that other contributory factors have not been considered.
So, what is your alternative explanation for the correlation between environmental change and allele frequency change? Natural selection is easy to infer, even if the exact factors are uncertain - the environment changed, allele frequency followed. Environment returned to previous state, allele frequency returned as well. I'd like to hear your theory explaining this. I'm sure everyone would.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by cromwell, posted 04-28-2004 9:52 AM cromwell has not yet responded

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 4481
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 17 of 88 (103388)
04-28-2004 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by cromwell
04-28-2004 9:52 AM


Re: The prepared myth
If you read my first thread,you will see that i don't deny that something has caused the change over of dominant variants.This fact is undeniable.Wells points to it being something yet undiscovered,but due to pollutants.I am saying that it is not happening through the mechanism of natural selection.I am not saying its a fake.but i'm merely saying that the data does not prove that it can be natural selection and that other contributory factors have not been considered.

Nothing is ever proved in science.

The best explanation that we have, which fits all the data and does not fail to fit any of the data, is natural selection. We have enough data to be virtually certian (though not absolutely certain) that natural selection is operating. Note that the article to which I pointed you contains data which refutes your claim that there's not enough time for natural selection.

There is the possibility of other contributory factors, and research is ongoing.

When you or Wells come up with a theory that fits the data, does not fail to fit any of the data, and explains the data better than nautural selection, we'll talk. Or, when you or Wells come up with data, not just incredulity, that falsifies natural selection in this case, we'll talk. Unti then, we'll continue to point to the peppered moth changes as natural selection at work.

If you want to discuss this further, let's see your data and your calculations. Personal incredulity just doesn't cut it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by cromwell, posted 04-28-2004 9:52 AM cromwell has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Percy, posted 04-29-2004 11:47 AM JonF has responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 88 (103398)
04-28-2004 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by cromwell
04-28-2004 6:30 AM


Re: The prepared myth
quote:
Taking the figures shown and expanding the amount a little,you can get an idea of the amount of peppered moths within the woodlands.Not many,and then looking at how many very rarely land on the trees and the rarity of being victims due to the camouflage,it is easy to see that there isn’t enough substantial material to formulate conclusions that camouflage is the answer to melanic changes.

Just for exercise, and with the caveat that I haven't seen the actual number of trees observed, lets pretend that the research group looked at 1000 trees over that same time period. Lets then pretend that there are approx 1 million trees that are habitat for the moth and affected by pollution. That would mean that there are 1000 moths open to predation by 74 days (extrapolated from your 1 moth per 74 days on my possible 1000 trees). This would mean approx. 20,000 moths per year, and 1 million moths over 50 years. Also, the mercury light traps did not cover the entire tree. Just for a guess, maybe 10% of the tree. This moves our number up to 10 million moths over 50 years. If the traps only covered 1% of the tree, taking into account smaller twigs and branches, then the number is up to 100 million moths over 50 years. So let's call it between 10 to 100 million so far.

I am making quite a few assumptions in the above calculations, so feel free to criticize my numbers. But 10-100 million sounds pretty good to me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by cromwell, posted 04-28-2004 6:30 AM cromwell has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by cromwell, posted 04-28-2004 6:00 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded
 Message 20 by cromwell, posted 04-28-2004 6:10 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
cromwell
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 88 (103471)
04-28-2004 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Loudmouth
04-28-2004 2:25 PM


Re: The peppered mass
I haven’t got time to reply to all of the questions fired at me (I should be working.)However you have formulated some good ideas,calculations and something substantial to work on.I was though basing my ideas on far lower figures than yours.I was thinking of “pocketed”large amounts of trees around polluted areas affected by the pollution that cut down the lichen cover on the trees,but not trees in the millions.
The trees used in experimentation were near industrial areas,observed for obvious reasons.Outside of these areas trees were generally unaffected,so there was no need to use them in the experiments.Some of the maps on the informative website links indicate this,but there doesn't seem to be any indepth details.

So would you say that polluted trees are isolated along with the cities and large towns? When you look at aerial photo’s they are like islands amongst the greenery.I ask these questions for your view and not to be argumentative…
If we look at a time period around the turn of the century as a point of time to work on.Would you agree that dark dominant peppered moths were in a sense,restricted within these polluted wooded areas because outside more light dominant moths were prevalent? Do you think that moths limited within an isolated woodland area would hinder the rate of progression to obtain large amounts of peppered moths? Do you think that peppered moths being active during,approx,half a year will affect the figures?
The predation ratio of moths seen and those that actually become prey is a "grey" area and i'm not in total agreement with the average of 1 moth seen resting or trapped every 74 days,(based on mercury vapour light traps) as a reasonable average.I tend to think that nature as seen in the wild without unatural intervention is not indicative of true nature,especially if we are assuming "natural selection" as the mechanism to select naturally.

I think a lot of this comes down to the amount of lichen covered trees affected by pollutants and how many trees had lichen in the first place.I’ll look on the net to see if there was any studies on this matter.Maybe looking at the early part of this century.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Loudmouth, posted 04-28-2004 2:25 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
cromwell
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 88 (103474)
04-28-2004 6:10 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Loudmouth
04-28-2004 2:25 PM


Its been a long day
>>Nature as seen in the wild without unatural intervention.<<.... should read as >> Nature as seen in the wild with unatural intervention.<<
This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Loudmouth, posted 04-28-2004 2:25 PM Loudmouth has not yet responded

  
MarkAustin
Member (Idle past 1891 days)
Posts: 122
From: London., UK
Joined: 05-23-2003


Message 21 of 88 (103718)
04-29-2004 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by cromwell
04-28-2004 9:52 AM


Re: The prepared myth
quote:
quote:
Cromwell,I am unsure exactly what point you are making.You seem to be saying that there is not enough time for the changes to occur.

Not enough time for the changes to occur by the definition of natural selection because of cryptic camouflage predation.Peppered moths resting on trees and becoming the victims of predation are extremely rare,given the observations by Majerus.Changes in a period of 50 years can not be made to fit within such a time period,as the predation in the wild is almost non existant.Not enough "material" and causes to give rise to natural selection taking place.


Nonsense. Evolutionary changes have been observed over much smaller timescales. Look at the work on Darwin's Finches by Peter and Rosemary Grant. They clearly demonstrated quite rapid changes over quite short times in response to environmental changes. However, normally, the environment changes around a norm, so, averaged over the long-term, no change is observed.

quote:
If you read my first thread,you will see that i don't deny that something has caused the change over of dominant variants.This fact is undeniable.Wells points to it being something yet undiscovered,but due to pollutants.I am saying that it is not happening through the mechanism of natural selection.I am not saying its a fake.but i'm merely saying that the data does not prove that it can be natural selection and that other contributory factors have not been considered.

What you have quoted above illustrates the problem.Its not concrete.How birds see the prey is also something else to take into consideration.What are your views on these matters?


But, I repeat if natural selection regardless of cause is not happening, what is? Increasingly. this looks like an argument from personal incredulity. Predation is so central to evoilutionary pressure that, at first sight, it would be the obvious cause of selection. Even with the doubts expressed recently (which, let it be noted, does not include the infamous photographs, which have always been know to be illustrative of the camoflage effect of the two type of colouration, although, admittedly, some secondary sources have omitted this information), predator pressure is still considered the most likely cause, but more work needs to be done to eastablish this.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by cromwell, posted 04-28-2004 9:52 AM cromwell has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18309
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 22 of 88 (103732)
04-29-2004 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by JonF
04-28-2004 2:05 PM


Re: The prepared myth
JonF writes:

The best explanation that we have, which fits all the data and does not fail to fit any of the data, is natural selection. We have enough data to be virtually certian (though not absolutely certain) that natural selection is operating.

I'm curious about the degree to which we've really established natural selection as the causative factor. For example, has the possibility that something in the pollutants is interacting with moth metabolism been eliminated? Or have the affected alleles been identified? If the anwers to such possibilities is no, then I don't think we can say with any certainty that natural selection was responsible.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by JonF, posted 04-28-2004 2:05 PM JonF has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Dan Carroll, posted 04-29-2004 12:17 PM Percy has not yet responded
 Message 33 by JonF, posted 04-29-2004 4:33 PM Percy has responded

    
John Paul
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 88 (103735)
04-29-2004 12:00 PM


a moth is a moth
The pepper moth issue is NOT where they rest on trees and not if it is an example of natural selection. What is needed is data showing that random mutations culled by NS led to the variations. Also the bottom line is that peppered or not it is still a moth.
Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Percy, posted 04-29-2004 12:12 PM John Paul has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18309
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 24 of 88 (103738)
04-29-2004 12:12 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by John Paul
04-29-2004 12:00 PM


Re: a moth is a moth
John Paul writes:

What is needed is data showing that random mutations culled by NS led to the variations.

If natural selection is responsible for the color change, then it is likely due to selection for existing alleles that control coloration, not through production of new alleles by mutation. I don't think anyone on this thread is arguing that random mutations are responsible (according to the results of a search I just did, you're the first to use the term "mutation" in this thread), so it makes no sense to raise this issue.

Also the bottom line is that peppered or not it is still a moth.

The discussion isn't about speciation, but about whether the peppered moth is a legitimate example of natural selection in nature.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by John Paul, posted 04-29-2004 12:00 PM John Paul has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by John Paul, posted 04-29-2004 1:46 PM Percy has responded

    
Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 88 (103739)
04-29-2004 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Percy
04-29-2004 11:47 AM


Re: The prepared myth
quote:
I'm curious about the degree to which we've really established natural selection as the causative factor. For example, has the possibility that something in the pollutants is interacting with moth metabolism been eliminated?

If I'm not mistaken, (and I might be,) wouldn't the only thing you have to do to check that is remove two moths from the environment, and see if they have peppered babies?

I mean... change from pollutants wouldn't pass on to their offspring, would it?


"As the days go by, we face the increasing inevitability that we are alone in a godless, uninhabited, hostile and meaningless universe. Still, you've got to laugh, haven't you?"
-Holly
This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Percy, posted 04-29-2004 11:47 AM Percy has not yet responded

  
John Paul
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 88 (103771)
04-29-2004 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Percy
04-29-2004 12:12 PM


Re: a moth is a moth
Percy, From all of my discussions with evolutionists (not counting this thread) and Creationists, no one disgrees that the moth story is an example of natural selection. But NS alone can't account for any change. And as for NS a Creationist named Ed Blythe wrote about it many years before Darwin did...

All I was trying to do with my post is to clarify the position of Creationists on this moth issue.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Percy, posted 04-29-2004 12:12 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 04-29-2004 2:01 PM John Paul has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18309
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 27 of 88 (103777)
04-29-2004 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by John Paul
04-29-2004 1:46 PM


Re: a moth is a moth
John Paul writes:

Percy, From all of my discussions with evolutionists (not counting this thread) and Creationists, no one disgrees that the moth story is an example of natural selection.

Actually, I believe the Creationists on this thread are arguing precisely that, that the peppered moth has *not* been shown to be an example of natural selection in nature. And until someone presents evidence demonstrating otherwise, I agree with them.

You raise some other interesting issues, such as that NS can't account for change, or that Ed Blythe conceived of NS before Darwin, or that speciation doesn't happen, and those seem like good issues for other threads.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by John Paul, posted 04-29-2004 1:46 PM John Paul has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by jt, posted 04-29-2004 2:18 PM Percy has responded
 Message 31 by John Paul, posted 04-29-2004 2:33 PM Percy has responded

    
jt
Member (Idle past 3673 days)
Posts: 239
From: Upper Portion, Left Coast, United States
Joined: 04-26-2004


Message 28 of 88 (103783)
04-29-2004 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Percy
04-29-2004 2:01 PM


natural selection can't acount for changes
Percy writes:
quote:

You raise some other interesting issues, such as that NS can't account for change


Natural selection can't acount for changes. According to webster's dictionary, NS is
quote:

a natural process that results in the survival and reproductive success of individuals or groups best adjusted to their environment and that leads to the perpetuation of genetic qualities best suited to that particular environment


NS cannot does not change anything, all it does is select that which is best adapted. If beneficial changes happened, NS would probably keep them, but NS wouldn't be responsible for the change.

P.S. I'm not sure if you were saying that NS changes things, but I wanted to make sure it was clear. Apoligies if I set up a pointless strawman


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 04-29-2004 2:01 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Percy, posted 04-29-2004 2:26 PM jt has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18309
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 29 of 88 (103789)
04-29-2004 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by jt
04-29-2004 2:18 PM


Re: natural selection can't acount for changes
You quoted me enumerating JP's assertions. Having been involved in discussions with JP previously, I'm pretty sure I know what he means. I don't think anyone is misconstruing the nature of NS.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by jt, posted 04-29-2004 2:18 PM jt has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by jt, posted 04-29-2004 2:33 PM Percy has not yet responded

    
jt
Member (Idle past 3673 days)
Posts: 239
From: Upper Portion, Left Coast, United States
Joined: 04-26-2004


Message 30 of 88 (103793)
04-29-2004 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Percy
04-29-2004 2:26 PM


gotcha
Ok. Sorry about the strawman
This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Percy, posted 04-29-2004 2:26 PM Percy has not yet responded

  
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