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What's so hard about evolution?

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posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 07:52 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

What's the difference. You'll only accuse me of waddling, blithering, prattling, babbling, bubbling, or some other such nonsense...




posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 09:38 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect

Try it and see.

Your replies to Barcs show that you don't understand what natural selection is or how it works. You've been arguing against a phenomenon you don't know anything about!

Still, when has that ever stopped a creationist, eh? Thank you for proving what I stated in my very first post on the thread.



posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 10:48 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

They always go for the micro isn't macro debate when they are the same thing lol.



posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 11:49 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax




Still, when has that ever stopped a creationist, eh?


PhotonEffect



"I'm not a creationist"


I know who I am! I'm the dude playin' a dude, disguised as another dude!!



posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 12:00 AM
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a reply to: greavsie1971

Just take a penguin and reverse it. There are a lot of creatures out there in the middle of an evolutionary change that have strange and useless appendages.



posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 12:00 AM
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a reply to: greavsie1971

Just take a penguin and reverse it. There are a lot of creatures out there in the middle of an evolutionary change that have strange and useless appendages.



posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 07:10 PM
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originally posted by: flyingfish
a reply to: Astyanax

I know who I am! I'm the dude playin' a dude, disguised as another dude!!


Great movie



posted on Jun, 6 2014 @ 08:46 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax
Oh hey Asty.
Look, let me level with you. What I don't understand about natural selection is the 'act of selecting' that the very usage of the term relies on. It's well noted that Darwin relied on his studies of artificial selection to come up with natural selection. With the former we can easily determine the causal agent(humans) selecting between variants to deliver certain forms. Artificial selection demonstrates clear, apparent and literal selection in every sense of the terminology.

But with natural selection it's not readily apparent what mechanism should take the place of the conscious selector. Nature doesn't do any selecting like humans do, obviously. Yet NS is always spoken of in the same conscious sense using the very same terminology as used with artificial selection. We all know the two couldn't be more different in their "selective mechanisms", so why doesn't the terminology follow suit? Why did Darwin have to rely on such heavy usage of metaphor to explain his theory... It seems he just changed the meanings of all these terms to suit his concept... interestingly enough the dictionary has added a new meaning for the word selection to accommodate the biological usage...

NS is considered to be the 'driving force' of evolution which is also a misleading use of terms. Mutations, it would seem to me, would make more sense as a literal driving force of evolution. Since it's the mutations that provide the impetus for variety in the first place.

Would you be willing to offer your thoughts on what the selective mechanistic differences are between artificial selection and natural selection? One uses the mind to select. How does the other one do it?

edit on 6-6-2014 by PhotonEffect because: Artificially selected out some comments



posted on Jun, 7 2014 @ 12:29 AM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect





NS is considered to be the 'driving force' of evolution which is also a misleading use of terms. Mutations, it would seem to me, would make more sense as a literal driving force of evolution. Since it's the mutations that provide the impetus for variety in the first place.


No..
Mutations and natural selection are a two-step feedback response system that is repeated in each generation. Genetic variation with mutations plus selection for survival and breeding occur in every generation of every population. If those mutations are not "selected"- meaning those are individuals that do not survive to breed. That is selection.




Would you be willing to offer your thoughts on what the selective mechanistic differences are between artificial selection and natural selection? One uses the mind to select. How does the other one do it?


Humans provide a poor example of the effects of less severe deleterious mutations because of family, social group support and because of modern medicine. You can call this "artificial selection"- but natural selection is still at work in humans. One example is the failure of a large percentage of pregnancies, this is actually due to mutations, it demonstrates the power of selection to weed out those mutations.
The so called "selective mechanistic differences" work the same. I think you are including human medicine in your logic. Sure if a human baby is borne without the ability to produce insulin he can have a normal life with treatment. If an elk somewhere in the wild is borne with the same mutation it will die before it gets to procreate. Hence weeding out that bad mutation from the population. But if the human somehow gets to procreate its children are still going to have a much higher chance of not procreating weeding the mutation out... eventually.

Don't mean to step on your toes Astyanax, I still want to hear your thoughts on this.



posted on Jun, 8 2014 @ 12:01 AM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect


Look, let me level with you. What I don't understand about natural selection is the 'act of selecting' that the very usage of the term relies on.

Yes, this is apparent from your earlier posts. As I said before, natural selection is the part of evolutionary theory creationists find hardest to grasp. You may take offence at my continually referring to you as a creationist, but it is precisely the point I am making on this thread (I hope you went back and read my first post). Fundamentally, 'creationism' isn't about gods or super-intelligent aliens breathing 'life' into 'dead matter'. That's all nonsense, anyway: there is no difference between living and non-living matter, it's all the same stuff. No, creationism is the belief that biogenesis is a goal, that evolution (if believed in) has a goal, and that their operations are infused with some purpose. Purpose implies will. Will implies a being — call it God, call it Life, call it whatever you like — to do the willing.

But neither biogenesis nor biological evolution show any evidence of being the products of will, once natural selection is properly understood. Some configurations of matter are simply more likely than others. Life, it seems, is one of these. It is simply an outcome of the cosmos having the history and properties it does.

Unfortunately, creationist belief (as defined above) is a powerful and, for many people, insurmountable obstacle to understanding how this can be. That, evidently, is the place at which you find yourself.


But with natural selection it's not readily apparent what mechanism should take the place of the conscious selector.

Here is an example of natural selection.

A tsunami strikes a tropical shore that is lined with coconut palms. Some palms are more deeply rooted than others. These few trees will survive the deluge, while the remaining palms are uprooted and borne away. Next year, only those trees that remained rooted will produce nuts. They get to pass their genes on. The dead trees, obviously, don't.

That is the whole of natural selection. Nothing more, nothing less.


Nature doesn't do any selecting like humans do, obviously. Yet NS is always spoken of in the same conscious sense using the very same terminology as used with artificial selection... Why did Darwin have to rely on such heavy usage of metaphor to explain his theory...

Because language has its limits. The operations of the environment upon organisms are tantamount to selection. They result, over many generations, in organisms better adapted to their circumstances. Because it is instinctive in us to seek agents for causal processes, and to attibute consciousness and will to them, such assumptions are embedded in the language we speak.

Besides, Darwin, who understandably feared his critics among the cultural establishment of his time, also exploited this ambiguity as a defensive tactic. Here is a quote from the sixth edition of The Origin of Species (from Chapter 3, 'Struggle for Existence'):


It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving, and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being...

This passage does not appear in the first edition of Origin. Like most of the additions Darwin made to the text in later editions, it is intended to make the theory more palatable to the prevailing creationist outlook of his day. At first sight, it may seem that Darwin regards natural selection in the same light as yourself: as a teleological process with a defined object, that of producing the fittest living beings; but this would be to miss the all-important 'it may be said that' with which the sentence begins.

Even without such deliberately induced confusion, it is only too easy to misconceive of natural selection as an agent whose operations are directed toward some purpose. But this is, quite simply, wrong. If it were true, evolution would surely occur much faster than it does; it is so slow because natural selection is blind and imprecise, often destroying the fittest along with the rest in some unsurvivable cataclysm, or temporarily favouring varieties that have no long-term survival value but which may thrive briefly while environmental conditions favour them.


NS is considered to be the 'driving force' of evolution which is also a misleading use of terms. Mutations, it would seem to me, would make more sense as a literal driving force of evolution. Since it's the mutations that provide the impetus for variety in the first place.

Both mutation and selection are essential drivers of evolution. Mutation provides the variations; selection chooses which ones will survive and thrive. That is all there is to it, and all there will ever be.


Would you be willing to offer your thoughts on what the selective mechanistic differences are between artificial selection and natural selection? One uses the mind to select. How does the other one do it?

I sincerely hope that you can now see why this question is meaningless.


edit on 8/6/14 by Astyanax because: I did some artificial selecting.



posted on Jun, 8 2014 @ 10:42 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect

Natural selection is just a term. Natural - from the word nature. That precisely means that the selection is not a conscious process, hence the term NATURAL selection. Selection caused by natural events in the world. You're making the term into more than it is. It's like asking why everyone parks on a driveway and drives on a parkway, and demanding we should have to park on the parkway or change the word because the words individually mean something different. Driveways and parkways still very much do exist and have functions. It doesn't matter that you don't agree with the "selection" portion of the term. Selection is meant as a metaphor for an event in nature that forces change, and nobody refers to it in any other way in science. There are literally millions of different catalysts for change. Creatures that built nests, survived. That's why they continue to do so. There is no conscious selection. The environment changes, organisms react. Things die, but more importantly things survive. I still say it's intelligence over instinct. Building a nest comes naturally because they can figure out how to do it.
edit on 8-6-2014 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: flyingfish

No..
Mutations and natural selection are a two-step feedback response system that is repeated in each generation. Genetic variation with mutations plus selection for survival and breeding occur in every generation of every population. If those mutations are not "selected"- meaning those are individuals that do not survive to breed. That is selection.

"Selection" in the biological sense refers to the survivability of an organism, which can be due to any number of variables, not just favorable or unfavorable traits. Survivability should put the onus directly on the organism or group of organisms, not some metaphorical selector. Selection in the literal sense is the result of being selected, consciously. It also implies a preference. In the biological context, however, the literal meaning of selection has [apparently] been stripped, but not replaced. It's still used in the same literal sense in conjunction with terms like "favors" and "better fit" or "more advantageous". All of which imply progress, but it's not progress, right?. It's just one big word salad is what it is. The deeper you dig for the crouton the more the salad seems to get in the way.


Humans provide a poor example of the effects of less severe deleterious mutations because of family, social group support and because of modern medicine. You can call this "artificial selection"- but natural selection is still at work in humans.

I think you've misunderstood what was meant by "artificial selection". I'm referring to selective breeding, which is what Darwin piggy backed his theory off of.


The so called "selective mechanistic differences" work the same. I think you are including human medicine in your logic. Sure if a human baby is borne without the ability to produce insulin he can have a normal life with treatment. If an elk somewhere in the wild is borne with the same mutation it will die before it gets to procreate. Hence weeding out that bad mutation from the population. But if the human somehow gets to procreate its children are still going to have a much higher chance of not procreating weeding the mutation out... eventually.

Again, you seem to be referring to something else entirely. Selective breeding, which in the literal sense is directed evolution, relies on a human mind to guide it. Natural selection as the step child of artificial selection doesn't use a mind, right? But the terms are used in the same exact context as if we were talking about humans breeding dogs. In essence NS ascribes these same selective powers to mother nature...

edit on 15-6-2014 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 10:07 AM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect

It's not a tough concept to grasp. Words can have different meanings in different contexts. Quit trying to play the dictionary abuse game.

"But how can Moles be a valid measurement in chemistry? I don't see any moles digging around!"

*facepalm*
edit on 15-6-2014 by GetHyped because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 10:07 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax


As I said before, natural selection is the part of evolutionary theory creationists find hardest to grasp. You may take offence at my continually referring to you as a creationist, but it is precisely the point I am making on this thread (I hope you went back and read my first post).

There was nothing from your post that was worth noting. You can stop referring me to it now.


... there is no difference between living and non-living matter, it's all the same stuff

Hmm. Is there really no difference between you and a pile of bricks? I bet you'd have something to say about that.


No, creationism is the belief that biogenesis is a goal, that evolution (if believed in) has a goal, and that their operations are infused with some purpose. Purpose implies will. Will implies a being — call it God, call it Life, call it whatever you like — to do the willing.

Natural selection by definition requires competition. What is competition for resources if it's not driven by a will to survive? Don't you will yourself to survive, Asty? Is there not a purpose to eating and staying alive? To keep reproducing? All of these are driven by a will to do so.

And if by "same stuff" you mean to say that it's all 'matter', then fine. But if it's all just the "same stuff" then there wouldn't be the need to separate the study of it between geology, biology, chemistry, physics or whatever else. Do you know what 'stuff' dark matter is made of? Is it living or non-living? Maybe you're standing next to some of it right now.


Life, it seems, is one of these.

England's theory is very interesting, but not all that novel. For decades physicists have been mulling around the idea that life is some type of mechanism for energy dissipation. It seems quite reasonable to think that we're all bound in some way to the laws of entropy. But if you like his theory then you will have to accept that natural selection doesn't explain everything and that there is, afterall, an underlying [entropic] force and purpose driving life in a certain direction, even it is towards equilibrium.

I thought interesting:

... according to England’s theory, the underlying principle driving the whole process is dissipation-driven organization (adaptation) of matter.



Unfortunately, creationist belief (as defined above) is a powerful and, for many people, insurmountable obstacle to understanding how this can be. That, evidently, is the place at which you find yourself.

Total nonsense.


Here is an example of natural selection.

A tsunami strikes a tropical shore that is lined with coconut palms. Some palms are more deeply rooted than others. These few trees will survive the deluge, while the remaining palms are uprooted and borne away. Next year, only those trees that remained rooted will produce nuts. They get to pass their genes on. The dead trees, obviously, don't.
That is the whole of natural selection. Nothing more, nothing less.

Your example is flawed.
You presume the palms that remained standing were 'selected for' because they were more deeply rooted than the others, and thus, passed this advantageous trait down to their offspring. THAT is a blind guess. There's no way for anyone to be sure that THAT was the reason those trees survived. How would one go about verifying this anyway? Would you have to dig up those last few trees to see just how deeply rooted they were, compared to the ones that washed away? No, of course not. You merely looked at the surviving trees and decided it must be because they have deeper roots than the others. Thank you for demonstrating some of the "science" behind NS.


Because language has its limits. The operations of the environment upon organisms are tantamount to selection. They result, over many generations, in organisms better adapted to their circumstances.

"Because language has its limits." Helpful answer.

But NS doesn't always lead to better adapted organisms right? Isn't that what we're told? I know most definitions of NS say that it does, just like you did. This would imply a direction towards better 'fit' organisms. Which would be a contradiction, depending on which way the argument is leaning.

I'll ask again, why did Darwin put all focus on competition and not at all on cooperation? It seems to me cooperation is crucial to an organism's, or group of organisms', survival. It could be said, cooperation yields quite an advantage over competitors, yet this is completely ignored for some reason. Well not by A R Wallace anyway.

Here again is what you said with regards to natural selection, leading to better fit organisms:

[The operations of the environment] result, over many generations, in organisms better adapted to their circumstances.

Then, in your attempt to school me you say:

At first sight, it may seem that Darwin regards natural selection in the same light as yourself: as a teleological process with a defined object, that of producing the fittest living beings; but this would be to miss the all-important 'it may be said that' with which the sentence begins.

You should know by now that I don't regard natural selection as anything, let alone a teleological process. Regardless of that misstatement, you seem conflicted by whether or not natural selection leads to better fit organisms.


it is only too easy to misconceive of natural selection as an agent whose operations are directed toward some purpose. But this is, quite simply, wrong. If it were true, evolution would surely occur much faster than it does; it is so slow because natural selection is blind and imprecise,

Evolution isn't always a slow process, which you know already. In fact an argument can be made that it's actually speeding up thanks to humans. Another argument will be made, by me, that it's also no longer as blind and imprecise as you'd like to think. Also thanks to humans.

Yes- evolutionary biologists will soon find that evolution will have to be re-written and natural selection demoted, in favor of the real tangible driver of evolution - life itself. No metaphors needed.


Both mutation and selection are essential drivers of evolution. Mutation provides the variations; selection chooses which ones will survive and thrive. That is all there is to it, and all there will ever be.

Don't delude yourself. Selection doesn't "choose" which organisms will survive and thrive. You've completely proved my whole argument with that statement while contradicting the point you were trying to make with Darwin's quote.


I sincerely hope that you can now see why this question is meaningless.

It's actually the same question that Darwin asked himself which lead him to come up with natural selection. So yes I can see why it's meaningless.

edit on 15-6-2014 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: GetHyped

Thanks for your help.

ETA: did you mean to say troll? I think you meant troll.
edit on 15-6-2014 by PhotonEffect because: mole. troll. whatever.



posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 10:14 AM
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a reply to: Barcs


Natural selection is just a term. Natural - from the word nature. That precisely means that the selection is not a conscious process, hence the term NATURAL selection. Selection caused by natural events in the world. You're making the term into more than it is.

Sorry that you had to waste your time trying to explain how the word natural is derived from nature...

And yes, I already know that natural selection is not a conscious process. It's really not a process at all, other than another way to say- "that organism survived and reproduced".

But as you can recall, my problem is that natural selection is always spoken of in terms of it being a conscious process. Using the same language as if to say humans were doing the selecting. For example, take Asty's comment from before:

by Astyanax
Mutation provides the variations; selection chooses which ones will survive and thrive.

Do you see what I'm saying? There is no choice being made be selection- whomever that is.


Selection is meant as a metaphor for an event in nature that forces change, and nobody refers to it in any other way in science.

You haven't said anything here that I haven't already said myself.


I still say it's intelligence over instinct. Building a nest comes naturally because they can figure out how to do it.

Nest building is instinctual. I agree about intelligence, but it doesn't explain why each species makes their own types of nests, which are consistent through each generation. The behavior is passed down as an instinct.

Have you seen the nests that magnetic termites build that align north and south? Or the immense structures that cathedral termites build, which can reach heights of 10 meters, complete with climate control, farming, food storage, ventilation, incubation rooms, chambers to bury the dead, etc etc... All of which are crucial to the survival of the population. You think they just figured out how to do this? In the time it would take these tiny blind and deaf creatures to figure all of that out they would've gone extinct. Where does the information (the instinct) to construct these mounds come from? If you want to say it's mutation based, I'm fine with that, but then how do mutations create novel information. On what level might epigenetics play a role?



posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 10:18 AM
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originally posted by: MarsIsRed
Two parents conceive a child. The child is different. It's not a perfect copy of either/or both parents. This sums up evolution.

What part of this is difficult to understand?


Nothing. We created the child and then it evolves. Its as simple as that.



posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 10:42 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax


There was nothing from your post that was worth noting.

Apart from the fact that every post you have made in this thread to date bears it out.


Is there really no difference between you and a pile of bricks?

In terms of the matter of which both are constituted, none to speak of.


Natural selection by definition requires competition. What is competition for resources if it's not driven by a will to survive? Don't you will yourself to survive, Asty? Is there not a purpose to eating and staying alive? To keep reproducing? All of these are driven by a will to do so.

I was unaware that bacteria, plants and jellyfish have will, without which they would not be able to compete for resources. Of course, that's been your thesis all along; but you have yet to show an atom of evidence for it.


You presume the palms that remained standing were 'selected for' because they were more deeply rooted than the others, and thus, passed this advantageous trait down to their offspring.

I did nothing of the sort. That is your presumption, not mine.


If it's all just the "same stuff" then there wouldn't be the need to separate the study of it between geology, biology, chemistry, physics or whatever else.

Do physicists study a different kind of matter from the kind chemists study, then? Could you explain the difference?


Yes- evolutionary biologists will soon find that evolution will have to be re-written and natural selection demoted, in favor of the real tangible driver of evolution - life itself. No metaphors needed.

Your faith is touching, but that is all it is: faith.

You have failed at the science.



posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 12:01 PM
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originally posted by: PhotonEffect
And yes, I already know that natural selection is not a conscious process. It's really not a process at all, other than another way to say- "that organism survived and reproduced".

No that's not another way to say that. That is another way to say evolution. Natural selection is another way to say the environment changed. Even when you talk about humans and "artificial selection", it applies because humans are part of their environment are they not? The animal has to adapt, right? Dogs have adapted to humans over the years, hence why they are no longer viscous wolves. Humans selected them. A comet hitting the earth "selects" creatures that are lucky enough to be far away and have the best survivability for those particular circumstances, which would be devastation everywhere and nuclear winter. It doesn't choose, the other creatures just happen to go extinct.


But as you can recall, my problem is that natural selection is always spoken of in terms of it being a conscious process. Using the same language as if to say humans were doing the selecting. For example, take Asty's comment from before:

by Astyanax
Mutation provides the variations; selection chooses which ones will survive and thrive.

Do you see what I'm saying? There is no choice being made be selection- whomever that is.


No kidding, there is no choice being made. That was my point. Your beef is strictly with terminology. How other people refer to it doesn't matter. Many folks refer to evolution in the term of change over time. Car designs "evolve", the earth "evolves". It doesn't mean that genetic mutations sorted by natural selection is wrong or bad way to describe the term. We have many words in the English language that have multiple meanings and interpretations. You are looking at each term individually instead of the entire term "natural selection", which has a very specific meaning in evolution as defined by scientists.


Nest building is instinctual. I agree about intelligence, but it doesn't explain why each species makes their own types of nests, which are consistent through each generation. The behavior is passed down as an instinct.


The evolution of cerebellum structure correlates with nest complexity

This scientific research paper clearly links nest building to intellect in birds.


Increasing complexity of nest structure is a measure of a bird's ability to manipulate nesting material into the required shape. Consistent with our hypothesis, avian cerebellar foliation increases as the complexity of the nest built increases, setting the scene for the exploration of nest building at the neural level.


There are probably dozens of others, and it would be reasonable to think this mechanism is similar in other creatures as well for tons of different kinds of nests or protective shelters. Instinct in itself is part of a creature's intelligence, and that paper shows a direct example of how abilities like that can emerge. It's not like they have a programmed schematic of a nest. They understand how to manipulate their environment better.


If you want to say it's mutation based, I'm fine with that, but then how do mutations create novel information.

The same way they do with everything else. The creatures that are more intelligent than others survive a big environmental change where the nest builders prevailed. It's not that crazy. The nests obviously started simple and got more complex over time and considering insects have been evolving for 400 million years (longer than mammals or dinosaurs). Obviously the nest designs have evolved SUBSTANTIALLY since then. How do you think they survived the end of the Triassic extinction level event? The most complex protective nests survived. They started simple, but ended up complex over 400 million years as the more simple nest builders died out.
edit on 15-6-2014 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2014 @ 10:28 PM
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a reply to: Barcs


Your beef is strictly with terminology.

I disagree. Ultimately, his beef is with the theory of evolution by natural selection. He doesn't like it. It scares him.

But his vitalistic claims have been exploded and his ignorance of the thing he is trying to criticise — natural selection — exposed. Therefore he has no grounds, apart from the legalistic — that is to say, terminological — left to stand on.

'Natural selection as I misunderstand it doesn't exist' — that's what PhotonEffect's argument adds up to. I think we can all agree with him.


edit on 16/6/14 by Astyanax because: of agreement.



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