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Author Topic:   Darwin- would he have changed his theory?
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 17 of 195 (151214)
10-19-2004 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by SEBASTES
10-19-2004 8:36 PM


Again, most of the people who are oppose creation have not even read the Bible.

Actually, you'll find most of us evolutionists have. For my part, I used to be a creationist; as an English major, it's a formative work for our culture.

It's of significant cultural interest, after all. Why wouldn't we have read it? If only to understand the Biblical "model" our opponents are trying to advance?

Being an outstanding Naturalist, I'm sure he would have changed alot of ideas knowing what we do today!

I think one of the testaments to Darwin's genius is how little he actually would have had to change. Obviously, he would have had to incorporate Mendel's genetic work; that's really about it. Traits in organisms don't work quite the way that Darwin thought they did; but natural selection works exactly as Darwin originally formulated it.


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 Message 30 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-21-2004 8:49 AM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 73 of 195 (151624)
10-21-2004 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by SirPimpsalot
10-21-2004 8:49 AM


From punctuated equilibrium

But punctuated equilibrium doesn't change the theory in the least; punk eek is just a way of looking at the rates of change based on population size and the opening of niches. Since Darwin's theory didn't really dwell on that, it's not really a change to the theory.

Darwin posited that environment places selection pressures that shape organisms; punk eek doesn't change that.

to heredity

Which I mentioned, already. Mendel's work was already done, but unknown to the rest of the world. As it was, though, Mendel's work only changed our thoughts about the nature of traits (as I said), not our knowledge about how they interact with their environment. Darwin was dead-on about that, and still is.

to the Big Bang theory

Huh? Sorry, buddy, that's astronomy, down the hall and to your left. This is the Biology department, where we study evolution.

because scientists HAVE had to change it plenty to keep it viable.

Actually, it hasn't really changed that much. The core of Darwin's theory, that environment selects organisms that have hereditary adaptations, is still very much the same. It's the nature of the adaptations themselves that we've learned more about, and had to revise. Darwin thought all traits were continuous; we've learned since that most traits are discreet.

{Fixed a quote box (a vital service). - AM}

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 10-21-2004 10:57 AM


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 74 of 195 (151628)
10-21-2004 12:00 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by SirPimpsalot
10-21-2004 8:44 AM


before Pasteur (who post-dated Darwin's theory, by a bit), it wasn't even known that there WAS microscopic life, much less how complex it was.

Actually, this is incorrect; the person who discovered microorganisms was, predictably, the guy who invented the first usable microscopes: Anton van Leeuwenkoek, in the 1600's.

What they didn't know (as Pasteur discovered) was that the mold was caused from microscopic bacteria....

This is also not true. Mold is fungus; bacteria are not. Mold comes from spores.

This is not true.

But what you're talking about and what he's talking about is something entirely different. He;s talking about taking myth at face value, without question. You've given examples of how we've learned some myths were originally based in historical truth. But we didn't come to that conclusion by taking myth at face value; we came to it by the analysis of evidence.


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 Message 29 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-21-2004 8:44 AM SirPimpsalot has replied

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 75 of 195 (151629)
10-21-2004 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by SirPimpsalot
10-21-2004 9:49 AM


PaulK, if there's no last common ancestor, then there's no evolution......

You've mistaken conclusion for evidence.

The evidence is the inference of heredity between disparate groups of organisms. The conclusion is common ancestry and a last common ancestor. You don't start with the common ancestor, oddly enough; you end with it, because we're looking backwards in time.

So, no. Even without specific knowledge of the last common ancestor, we conclude it was there, because that's what the evidence says.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 76 of 195 (151632)
10-21-2004 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by SirPimpsalot
10-21-2004 10:00 AM


Dembski puts a ridiculous probability on a single protein molecule forming in the course of a billion years, like 10 to the hundreth power, or something.......

Which is a probability predicated on a number of erroneous assumptions. As it turns out:

quote:
Functional sequences are not so rare and isolated. Experiments show that roughly 1 in 10^11 of all random-sequence proteins have ATP-binding activity [Keefe and Szostak 2001], and theoretical work by Yockey [1992, 326-330] shows that, at this density, all functional sequences are connected by single amino acid changes.

So, actually, the odds are pretty good that you'll hit something functional as you crawl, randomly, through the protein space. Furthermore:

quote:
Denton [1998, 276] wrote, "One of the most surprising discoveries which has arisen from DNA sequencing has been the remarkable finding that the genomes of all organisms are clustered very close together in a tiny region of DNA sequence space forming a tree of related sequences that can all be interconverted via a series of tiny incremental natural steps." Meyer cites an older work of Denton [1986] without alerting readers to Denton's changed view. Denton now criticizes intelligent design advocates for ignoring the overwhelming evidence [Denton 1999].

The fact that all organisms have proteins so close to each other, so clustered in the protein space, is a pretty good indication that they're all decendants of one common ancestor.

(from http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB150.html)


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 Message 62 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-21-2004 10:00 AM SirPimpsalot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-22-2004 7:20 AM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 106 of 195 (151978)
10-22-2004 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by SirPimpsalot
10-22-2004 8:45 AM


We know that for about 3 billion years, life didn't evolve past the single-celled.

Life hasn't ever, really. The vast, vast majority of life on Earth, by individual or by mass, is single-celled. There's no evolutionary trend towards complexity - only a few, isolated, rare examples of life more complex than single-cells.

What's happened in billions of years has not been any kind of trend towards complexity, but rather, an expansion of variety.

The next 500 million years only produced jelly fish and sponges and the like.........then, KAPOW, suddenly, all at once, there was more evolutionary variation occuring all at once than had occured over the last 3.5 billion years.....

Mm, not really. There's considerably more variation represented within single-celled organisms than within anything else. What's happening is a kind of selection bias in your mind - because you're one of the rare complex organisms, the only organisms of significance to you are the complex ones.

doesn't make sense

You're right, it doesn't make sense, because it's all in your head, in your biases. There's been no evolutionary trend towards complexity.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 107 of 195 (151983)
10-22-2004 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by SirPimpsalot
10-22-2004 8:30 AM


He didn't say taking myth at face value......he said that there was not benefit to applying myth to science at all, if I recall correctly. And he's wrong, as I demonstrated.

But you got it backwards. You didn't supply examples of applying myth to science; you supplied examples of applying science to mythology.

Big, big difference. In no case has myth been used to substantiate scientific endeavor; rather, scientific evidence has been used to substantiate the origin of mythology.

The ancient, venerated documents have NEVER been proven to be conclusively incorrect in any fashion

What, like the Bible? Wrong about the flood? To the contrary, ancient documents aren't any more accurate, generally, than modern documents. Which makes sense - people sometimes get things wrong, now and then; ancient peoples weren't idiots, they were just ancient. Poorly informed, if you will.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 108 of 195 (151986)
10-22-2004 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by SirPimpsalot
10-22-2004 7:20 AM


I don't have any idea what this means, to be honest........please put this into laymen's terms.

Well, that was layman's terms, but ok...

It means that you can go from one functional protein to another, changing only one amino acid each time, and have functional proteins at every step.

But one thing that does jump out at me is that 10 to the power of 11, while not as bad as 10 to the hundreth power, isn't exactly good odds either......

No, it's the chance of a randomly-generated sequence of amino acids having a certain functionality - in this case, binding ATP, the energy storage molecule in cells.

And one in 10^11 is great odds. At that rate, we would expect one or two new functional proteins in every single generation of a moderate population of vertebrates - one or two proteins every ten years, or so.

More than fast enough.

I agree.........but I think this fact hurts spontaneous generation theorists, as it shows that there weren't a plethora of of microbes spontaneously generating on early Earth.

It doesn't really show that. A plethora of living things probably did arise, spontaneously and individually - but only one group of them survived. Competition, you see. The fact that only one sprinter wins the race is not evidence that he was the only one who ran.

I'm surprised you couldn't think of that yourself. You seem fairly insightful.

This message has been edited by crashfrog, 10-22-2004 11:40 AM


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 125 of 195 (152320)
10-23-2004 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 3:39 PM


if we know the exact process by which chemicals supposedly became life

We don't know the exact process. Who said we did? The problem here is that the chemical precursors of life don't exactly leave fossils.


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 Message 124 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 3:39 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

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 Message 126 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 3:59 PM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 127 of 195 (152322)
10-23-2004 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 3:59 PM


Shouldn't the exact process be easy to figure out?

Goodness, no. Wouldn't you think, if it was easy to figure out, we'd have done that by now? It's not for want of trying, at this point.

I mean, we have our own genetic make up to let us know which amino acids to use...

Well, "which amino acids to use" is all of them, at least, all of the left-handed ones. But here's the problem - all living things are made of the same amino acids.

.which way to combine them.......etc.

Unfortunately, our genetic code doesn't have that many instructions. The genetic code is not, as is commonly believed, a "blueprint of life", in the sense that a blueprint is an abstraction of the physical shape of something. All our genetic code does is make proteins. It doesn't describe structure, or anything like that. There's not enough genes in the genome to do that.


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 Message 126 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 3:59 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

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 Message 128 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:13 PM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 130 of 195 (152329)
10-23-2004 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 4:13 PM


So, what you're saying is, we haven't decoded the genetic language yet.......right?

What? No, it's been decoded for, I dunno, 50 years or more. Here it is:

It's a simple as can be - three bases code for any given amino acid, or they're a stop codon that tells the process where to end.

That first life assembling itself would be like a book writing itself, because of the inherant amount of information that would have to be present in the little bugger in order for it to be life?

There's not actually all that much information in the genome. Just recently, scientists redacted the estimate of the number of genes in the human genome from the upper 30k down to 20k. That's 20,000 genes. That's not a lot. That's almost as few as a certain mustard plant, I understand.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:32 PM crashfrog has replied
 Message 133 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:35 PM crashfrog has replied
 Message 188 by Dr Jack, posted 10-25-2004 5:55 AM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 131 of 195 (152331)
10-23-2004 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 4:15 PM


Even if an organic compound that's as complex as a cell could assemble itself naturalistically, where does all that info it needs come from?

What information?

Snowflakes self-assemble; crystals self-assemble into very complex structures. Neither one of them requires any "information" to do so. We're just talking about chemical reactions, here - chemicals don't need "information", whatever that is, to react.


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 Message 136 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:41 PM crashfrog has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 134 of 195 (152335)
10-23-2004 4:36 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 4:32 PM


That's obviously a lot of info, as my genetics can build me

Didn't I just tell you that it wasn't your genetics that built you? There's no "genetic blueprint" in your cells that describes the structure of your body.

There's just a complicated molecule that catalyzes protein synthesis. It's just chemistry. Just because chemicals react they way they're supposed to, over and over again, doesn't mean they need "information", whatever that is, to do so.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 135 of 195 (152336)
10-23-2004 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 4:35 PM


Ok, so why can't we build a simple single-celled life form?

We don't know what proteins we need, because we don't know how to predict, yet, what the function of a protein will be from it's genetic representation.

It's called the "folding problem." Proteins do what they do because they take a certain shape. We have a very limited ability to predict how a protein will fold because it's a very, very complicated interaction of literally thouands of atoms.

Has anyone ever tried?

Well, right now we're working to pin down exactly what the "minimal orgamism" would be. There's currently no such thing as a "simple single-celled life form." All the single-celled life on Earth is the result, at this point, of billions of years of evolution.

When we know what the minimal organism has to be, then we can start sythesizing it. At that point it shouldn't take longer than about ten years.


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 Message 133 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:35 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 741 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 137 of 195 (152339)
10-23-2004 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by SirPimpsalot
10-23-2004 4:41 PM


living things do.

No. Chemicals react. That's pretty much it.

That's information.

No, that's behavior. And it's something that could arise by trial and error; in other words, by selection.

Has anyone ever even built a computer program which simulated first life?

That would be hard, since, as I've said, we don't know anything about what the first life was.

But yes, computer programs have been written to simulate simple living things. Most famous is Conway's "Game of Life." I suggest you google for it; you can download it and run it on your computer.

What all these simulations tell us is that, thanks to random mutations and natural selection, all kinds of incredibly complex function can evolve and flourish; very simple rules can give rise to incredible complexity, even irreducable complexity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:41 PM SirPimpsalot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by SirPimpsalot, posted 10-23-2004 4:52 PM crashfrog has replied

  
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