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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Evolution... or not.
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07/19/2007 12:27:20 AM · #226
Originally posted by Delta_6:

One small point I would like to add, and if it's been said before I apologise.

Evolution relies on mutations to create new species. However, almost all mutations are either detrimental or fatal. So there would have to be one heck of a lot of "trial and error" to get from pond scum to humans. Also, mutations involve a loss of genetic material or information, whereas evolutionary mutations would require a gain of genetic material or information.


There was an awful lot of trial and error so to speak. It took billions of years!
07/19/2007 11:45:12 AM · #227
Originally posted by Sebi:

I gotta disagree with you, he does not say this beetle developed these things one at a time.

He says that in an evolutionary process, things develop one at a time usually, like something starts out small and eventually happens, like the human appendix shriveling up.

He is stating that if the beetle were to have everything come in one at a time, it could have never happened.
he's saying this had to happen all at once.


My point was that he is misrepresenting evolutionary theory in suggesting that it relies solely on gradual, single steps in a single line of development with the ultimate aim of producing the bug we see today.

Evolution is not a strict rule on how things must develop, but an observation that all living things face environmental pressures and those will direct which variants/mutations will best survive. The pool of organisms facing that pressure will gradually exhibit the most favourable variations ie the species will evolve. It may be the case that the same species in different environments evolves slightly differently, and then could recombine where the pools collide (eg familiar crosses such as mules, asses and zebra/horse - Zorse). Another way might be for certain features to develop as part of a different structure in one environment, then parts of the structure to wither away in another environment, and for remaining parts to develop in combination with that remainder.

It is worth remembering that these pressures are still here and evolution continues around us. For example, over the course of the last few decades, mosquitoes have evolved to fit a new life cycle to reflect the peculiar environmental opportunity and pressures represented in the London Underground.

Originally posted by Sebi:

Personally, I believe evolution is just the ability for something to adapt to it's environment. If it's cold out and you put on a jacket, that's evolution right there. just like a monkey learning to use a stick. I believe it's all the same, just physically changing would take a long time. Like it would probably take a few million years for me to grow gills if I took a 20 hour bath everyday.


That is most emphatically nothing to do with evolution. The whole concept of evolution is that it happens over the course of many generations and in is evident by way of shifts within larger population pools

07/19/2007 11:51:27 AM · #228
I didnt read the whole thread...

but for a frightening eye opener, rent JESUSCAMP. Its a scary documentary about the upbringing of kids in the baptist bible belt.
07/19/2007 11:53:13 AM · #229
Originally posted by Delta_6:

Evolution relies on mutations to create new species.

Not just mutations. Also natural variation, cross fertilisation, and other genetic pressures. And many many small changes, not one big change.

Originally posted by Delta_6:

So there would have to be one heck of a lot of "trial and error" to get from pond scum to humans.

4 billion years. 3 billion years of nothing but single celled life ("pond scum"). 1 billion years of more complex life forms of increasing complexity.

Originally posted by Delta_6:

Also, mutations involve a loss of genetic material or information, whereas evolutionary mutations would require a gain of genetic material or information.


Why do you think that mutations only occur where genetic material is missing? It involves a change in genetic material - this could be influenced by a number of natural factors. Natural selection encourages greater sophistication as lifeforms compete for limited resources.

Message edited by author 2007-07-19 11:53:45.
07/19/2007 12:35:05 PM · #230
Matthew, you make an excellent argument & provide great perspective.

I have to admit that I am surprised that I hear so many arguments against evolution from the more 'devout' members of society. Why do people insist on the talking points being mutually exclusive? I'm not particularly religious myself but whose to say that evolution, quantum physics, et al are not the product of a singular creator? I have a hard time grasping the existence of a God, but I also have a hard time grasping the infinite reaches of the universe as well, so who am I to criticize! I'm sure the 'statistical probabilities argument' for both Man and God sound very similar...

Anyway, there's a great radio show here in the US from WNYC whose podcasts I enjoy quite a bit, "Radio Lab". I got myself caught up on a few missed episodes while on a long drive last week and I think the more scientifically inclined participants in this thread would enjoy them as well. For me, they really put some of the Time|Space|Faith|Man arguments into perspective:

Faith
Space
Immortality
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Rat

Enjoy!
07/19/2007 02:14:38 PM · #231
Originally posted by shamer:

so who am I to criticize!


You have the same rights as everyone else to have an opinion. Whethe people listen or not is another question, but it would be a shame not to think about these things for yourself.

Originally posted by shamer:

I'm sure the 'statistical probabilities argument' for both Man and God sound very similar...


Not really. Once life started, given enough time and the conditions that exist on this planet, evolution provides that it is not improbable that advanced life forms like us would develop.

The odds of anything that looks like any traditional god existing are almost infinitely unlikely - and there is no evidence that one does. Indeed, it is hard to believe that something so significant in the history of the universe could be so spectacularly invisible...

Thanks for the links - I'll try and find time to listen.
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