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A challenge for evolution deniers: Explain why changes do not continue to add up over time

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posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:01 AM
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originally posted by: vasaga
Even when framed like this, the question is loaded with assumptions. Among others;

- If you don't believe evolutionary theory, you must be a creationist. This is already insulting and dishonest, since it's pretty much an attempt to ridicule anyone that does not share the same view.

Not quite. The question isn't making an assumption, it is aimed at a specific demographic of incredulous creationist posters.


- What is classified under 'major changes'? How is anyone answering this supposed to know? Family, species and genus is still too vague, because it cunningly bypassed detailed problems.
- If we don't know what these major changes exactly are, how do we know he has evidence for them or that they have been proven right, for anyone to try and disprove it?

Ok, so the query was too broad for you, would it not have been simple to just ask for clarification and approach it from that angle?


He's says he's referring strictly to the theory of modern evolutionary synthesis, that's also known as neo-darwinism.


Not really. A lot of people refer to it as such but there really is a huge distinction. Neo Darwinism was thought up in 1895 by George Romanes to bridge the gap between Darwin's Natural Selection and Mendellian Genetics while ruling out Lamarckian explanations.


As part of the disagreement about whether natural selection alone was sufficient to explain speciation, George Romanes coined the term neo-Darwinism to refer to the version of evolution advocated by Alfred Russel Wallace and August Weismann with its heavy dependence on natural selection. Weismann and Wallace rejected the Lamarckian idea of inheritance of acquired characteristics, something that Darwin had not ruled out.The term was first used in 1895 to explain that evolution occurs solely through natural selection, in other words, without any mechanism involving the inheritance of acquired characteristics resulting from use or disuse


whereas Modern Evolutionary Synthesis didn't come about until somewhere between 1936 and 1947 and reflects the consensus about how evolution proceeds. They are two different concepts and somehow deemed interchangeable by some people. Usually people less bright than Lynn Margulis but then again as brilliant as some of her work is she is still bat s# crazy and an AIDS/HIV denier so her track record really isn't perfect. Don't get me wrong, I agree with some of her statements such as questioning everything but if you think that isn't done on an everyday basis in evolutionary biology, anthropology etc... you're just kidding yourself.

Some quotes by Lynn Margulis through this interview in Discover Magazine.




Most scientists would say there is no controversy over evolution. Why do you disagree?

All scientists agree that evolution has occurred—that all life comes from a common ancestry, that there has been extinction, and that new taxa, new biological groups, have arisen. The question is, is natural selection enough to explain evolution? Is it the driver of evolution?


it's interesting which portion you chose to put in bold as I found the first sentence far more apt than the one you chose.



And you don’t believe that natural selection is the answer?

This is the issue I have with neo-Darwinists: They teach that what is generating novelty is the accumulation of random mutations in DNA, in a direction set by natural selection. If you want bigger eggs, you keep selecting the hens that are laying the biggest eggs, and you get bigger and bigger eggs. But you also get hens with defective feathers and wobbly legs. Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn't create....


she disagrees with natural selection and then uses an example that isn't "natural" selection. Her example isn't quite how things work in the natural world.


Neo-Darwinists say that new species emerge when mutations occur and modify and organism. I was taught over and over again that the accumulation of random mutations led to evolutionary change-led to new species. I believed it until I looked for evidence.



This is all well and good but the crux of her issue isn't really that she looked and didn't find an answer, it is that she was pushing her own symbiosis theory. Personally I think she may have been on to something but not as a replacement for MES but as an addition to it. I still think that natural selection plays a far larger roll than her symbiotic theory tries to make things out.



What kind of evidence turned you against neo-Darwinism?

What you'd like to see is a good case for gradual change from one species to another in the field, in the laboratory, or in the fossil record--and preferably in all three. Darwin's big mystery was why there was no record at all before a specific point [dated to 542 million years ago by modern researchers], and then all of the sudden in the fossil record you get nearly all the major types of animals. The paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould studied lakes in East Africa and on Caribbean islands looking for Darwin's gradual change from one species of trilobite or snail to another. What they found was lots of back-and-forth variation in the population and then--whoop--a whole new species. There is no gradualism in the fossil record.


but that's complete BS. There is tons of gradualism in the fossil record. She completely misrepresents things, again, to push her own theories. I don't fault her for that but there needs to be context...the kind you intended to give to avoid the charge of quote mining. It's kind if lacking.



Gould used the term “punctuated equilibrium” to describe what he interpreted as actual leaps in evolutionary change. Most biologists disagreed, suggesting a wealth of missing fossil evidence yet to be found. Where do you stand in the debate?


“Punctuated equilibrium” was invented to describe the discontinuity in the appearance of new species, and symbiogenesis supports the idea that these discontinuities are real. An example: Most clams live in deep, fairly dark waters. Among one group of clams is a species whose ancestors ingested algae—a typical food—but failed to digest them and kept the algae under their shells. The shell, with time, became translucent, allowing sunlight in. The clams fed off their captive algae and their habitat expanded into sunlit waters. So there’s a discontinuity between the dark-dwelling, food-gathering ancestor and the descendants that feed themselves photosynthetically. 


I like how the interviewer dumps on Gould because "Most biologists disagreed". A. sure they disagreed in the 70's. That's not the case anymore and B. She's eating it up to push her own theory which is insanely ironic considering one of her best pieces of work was done in the 60's and not accepted for decades...much like Punctuated Equilibrium is now.




edit on 17-2-2015 by peter vlar because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:20 AM
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a reply to: peter vlar



What about the famous “beak of the finch” evolutionary studies of the 1970s? Didn’t they vindicate Darwin?


Peter and Rosemary Grant, two married evolutionary biologists, said, ‘To hell with all this theory; we want to get there and look at speciation happening.’ They measured the eggs, beaks, et cetera, of finches on Daphne Island, a small, hilly former volcano top in Ecuador’s Galápagos, year after year. They found that during floods or other times when there are no big seeds, the birds with big beaks can’t eat. The birds die of starvation and go extinct on that island.




Did the Grants document the emergence of new species?

They saw this big shift: the large-beaked birds going extinct, the small-beaked ones spreading all over the island and being selected for the kinds of seeds they eat. They saw lots of variation within a species, changes over time. But they never found any new species—ever. They would say that if they waited long enough they’d find a new species.



I'm somewhat astounded by her incredulousness and conclusion that natural selection isn't in action because speciation had not moved in the direction she wants to see in the limited timeframe between Darwins voyage on the Beagle until the end of the Grant's study. I get it...she's biased and pushing HER agenda but that doesn't disprove MES in the least.



Some of your criticisms of natural selection sound a lot like those of Michael Behe, one of the most famous proponents of “intelligent design,” and yet you have debated Behe. What is the difference between your views?

The critics, including the creationist critics, are right about their criticism. It’s just that they’ve got nothing to offer but intelligent design or “God did it.” They have no alternatives that are scientific.


This I totally agree with.



This one is very important. She herself is a critic and a scientist. One does not have to be a creationist in order to criticize neo-darwinism. Get that through your thick skulls, and stop calling everyone that disagrees with you a creationist. Chances are they are more scientific than you with your evolutionist cult.
In before "it's just the opinion of one person".



Sure, I'll pound that into my thick skull if you can pound into yours the fact that Neo Darwinism isn't actually the same as MES and that disagreeing with every or any aspect(Because Lynn Margulis doesn't actually disagree that much with the current paradigm) is completely acceptable if you can back it up with facts and an alternative. If you can't do that and just shrug your shoulders and say 'God did it' you're going to be labeled a creationist. Do you actually support Endosymbiosis Theory or are you just looking as hard as you can for anyone in related fields that you think disagrees with MES? And FYI... Dr. Margulis is still in the 'evolutionist cult' as you call it. Once again... disagreement doesn't make one a creationist, the thread was aimed at that particular demographic based on past responses they have given in previous threads discussing evolutionary theory.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 10:06 AM
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There seem to be an awe full lot of people in this thread who can't even grasp the idea of an entirely new species emerging, even though they agree adaptations can happen... So for those people I'd like to present the tale of Tony & the Alpha fish! Or how the species "Tony" came to be.

There once was a school of fish, the Alpha fish or AAFF
They lived happily for many generations: AAFF - AAFF - AAFF - AAFF - AAFF - ...
But at one point in time, a little school of freak fish started emerging, the ATFF's, but they were just a little different, so they joyfully swam along with the Alpha fish, even breeding with them, no effort!
So for many generations to come, we have: AAFF - AAFF - AAFF - ATFF - AAFF - ...
But all this freakish intermingling caused even more mutations and so spawned ATFO and after that even a YTFO! Imagine that!
But they all still got along great, so they went: AAFF - ATFF - ATFF - ATFO - ATFF - ...
and after that they kept going with: AAFF - ATFF - ATFO - YTFO - ATFO - ..
It's at this point in time or little freak Tony makes his first appearance, further adapting/mutating on the YTFO strand, YTON comes into existence, or better known as Tony.

If you followed all this, you'll see that Tony is the first and only "fish" that is a completely different species from our alpha fish. In fact, of all the 6 generations discussed here, you'll find that only Tony and the alpha fish can't breed, while both can still breed with all the variations in between.

I hope this little, mostly uneducated tale helps some here understand why there's no need for a single new species that has no-one to breed with... To recap:

AAFF - AAFF - AAFF - AAFF - AAFF - ...
AAFF - AAFF - AAFF - ATFF - AAFF - ...
AAFF - ATFF - ATFF - ATFO - ATFF - ...
AAFF - ATFF - ATFO - YTFO - ATFO - ...
ATFF - ATFO - YTFO - YTON - YTFO - ...
ATF0 - YTFO - TONY - TONY - TONY - ...



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: Phantom423


Aren't the fundamental genetic mechanics the same?

I don't know, are they?

Besides, if they are, then what's the point of asking the question posed in the OP?


It's the same genome, the same code and regulatory mechanisms that govern the organism's outcome. I'm not a molecular biologist, so terminology may be incorrect - but it seems to me that the "flow chart" of evolution doesn't distinguish between micro and macro.

I'm not either, but the phylogenetic tree shows evolution on the macro scale I would think.
If there is no difference then why this delineation in the first place? Where did this separating of evolutions come from?

What do we mean when we say the same genome? Aren't they all technically different?



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 10:56 AM
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a reply to: peter vlar




She completely misrepresents things, again, to push her own theories.


Yes, I would bet this is quite a common behavior in science.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 11:49 AM
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originally posted by: vasaga
The quoted stuff is very relevant, not off-topic. The part about God is actually indeed irrelevant and the smallest part of all the quotes. There's a reason there are bolded parts in it. I left more text in for people to see the context to rule out quote mining. The red herring is on you, because rather than trying to understand everything that was said, you focus on the last sentence in order to dismiss everything.

How is god relevant at all to this discussion? Please elaborate on what that has to do with mutations adding up over time. You are completely wrong. I addressed virtually everything in your last post and you responded with a one liner. It is YOU GUYS that aren't understanding MY position, because not a single one of you has answered the question. I'm only dismissing things that are off topic. Just because YOU THINK it is on topic, doesn't mean it is. Upgrade your understanding of my argument and maybe we can actually discuss this without the condescending rhetoric about cults and other irrelevant libel.


But yeah. We all already know that the answer you want to hear is; "We don't have anything that can possibly show that the changes do not add up over time to create genus, family or species". So there. In fact, I'll raise it. I'll say that not only 'us', but no person that ever existed nor ever will exist, nor any supercomputer that will be created nor any AI from now till the end of time, will be able to show why the process does not continue for trillions of generations. That's my answer. Are you happy now?


So your argument is that they won't exist forever, therefor mutations won't compound forever? You really need to understand this topic better because that is a nonsensical position and didn't even come close to answering the question. "OMG they can't go forever" isn't an answer. Why are there limitations? Why does it stop past 1000 generations, when there are millions? You are good at using unrealistic propositions and inserting them into whatever you want, regardless of how wrong it is. Now you have resorted to more semantics garbage.


The ones that are aware will see the truth. The ones who are not, well, I leave them in their delusions and give them what they want.
And sign off with a cryptic message about your relative version of truth and how you know more than every one despite not getting the basic fundamentals of evolution and the question posed... Use more logic, reason and evidence in your post. Do you have evidence that mutations would stop after trillions of generations, if the earth was still in existence? Nope, you are guessing because you know the earth can't last forever. I'm talking about 3.8 billion years ago to the present. I'm not talking about hypothetical scenarios where the earth is around for trillions of years. Stop taking everything to the extreme. I mean, accelerating to the speed of light, throwing a ball to the moon, and now earth surviving trillions of generations? I would expect by then that life would be spread out onto numerous planets across the galaxy by the time the earth gets engulfed by the red giant sun, and evolution will continue there. We can speculate about that all day, but it's off topic unless you start posting evidence and reasoning that isn't flat out denial and ridiculous exaggerations of epic proportions.
edit on 17-2-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 12:32 PM
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originally posted by: PhotonEffect
Almost everything has gone extinct.


And? Does that mean the mutations do not add up in the surviving organisms?



Ill take that as a compliment.


In all seriousness, the idea of kicking the bucket was to analogize extinction, not any sort of intelligent interference….

Good, because that's what I said in my response. It could be compared to natural selection, depending how you look at it.


I will get in my truck and run them all over. Mass extinction event.
Either way, I think you may be confounding natural selection with genetic drift/extinction.


You can run over all buckets of water on planet earth? How are you going to pull that one off? Natural selection causes extinction, they are pretty much the same mechanism, but extinction is not relevant in this discussion because we are talking about mutations adding up in creatures that DON'T go extinct. This needs to be explained. Extinction, while a big part of evolution, is not relevant to this topic.


Not talking about mutations “emptying the bucket”. I’m talking about extinction “emptying the bucket”. It’s happened 99.9% of the time. That’s a lot of buckets.

You ignore the survivors that still experience mutations that add up over time.



How does MES ignore epigenetics? It is part of the environmental influence on evolution. The environment affects everything. How is it not part of natural selection?



Has MES been extended to include epigenetic factors? "Environment" is not an answer. DNA methylation? Histone modification? Non-coding RNA? Are these part of the MES now? Let's see what wiki says:
Modern Evolutionary Synthesis


Evidence has only been found recently for epigenetics and honestly there isn't that much. It's still new and the scientists are looking to figure out how it fits in. It seems to be the evolution denier go-to word these days. Do you really expect Wiki to have the entire theory of MES listed on that page? You should ask a biologist about that if you really want details, but it's off topic for this thread. This is about mutations adding up, not what causes them or influences gene expression.


Evolution encompasses changes of vastly different scales — from something as insignificant as an increase in the frequency of the gene for dark wings in beetles from one generation to the next, to something as grand as the evolution and radiation of the dinosaur lineage. These two extremes represent classic examples of micro- and macroevolution.

You haven't posted anything counter this or their definition of micro/macro evolution.



"The gene for dark wings". What a load of malarkey.


So you deny that there is a gene that can cause dark wings to be expressed?


At best this is improper use of terms, at worst it’s genetic determinism.

Genetic determinism is a belief, first of all, not a theory, not a fact. Second it does not mean that genes determine how an organism turns out. Third, it is completely off topic.


And who is to say they can (without some faith)?


Okay I take back the compliment I gave you last post. You are intentionally being difficult now and your main argument is now denial. It's not asking if they CAN. We KNOW THEY CAN because we have studied it in a lab. I thought you understood the question. In the OP I clearly said that you need evidence and reason. You dismissed it as faith. Sorry it doesn't work that way in this thread. Genetic mutations from generation to generation are not faith, and neither is speciation.


As the lovely Ms Vito says in one of my favorite movies "No one can answer that question. It's a bullS##t question."


Then why are you in here trying to answer it?


Are you asking it because you actually think there's an answer that would satisfy you? If there is an answer out there, then what do you think it is?

My feeling is, you are only asking this question to call out those who have, in your eyes, misconstrued the relationship between micro and macro evolution. Should it necessarily follow that if something happens on a small scale, it must happen the same way on a large scale?


More off topic stuff. I explained why I made the thread. If it doesn't apply to you and you can't argue the point, then you are in the wrong place.


So you buy that particular story of the whale then? Hook line and sinker? Are you sure you watched it?

So you deny the story of the whale then? Without a single detail posted about why it's wrong, just "OMG I can't believe that!"

Again, this is off topic. This thread is about mutations adding up. Sorry that you don't like the whale account or the question I posed. Frankly I don't care.


Really? 1,000,000 is way more than 100?
Ok, so we’re back to the question of mutation rates, the types of mutations, their potential affects and so forth. Is it the rule that millions of mutations necessarily must lead to a whole new genus? I don’t think so.

Read the thread, please. I already went into detail explaining the difference between rate of mutation and rate of change. I never suggested that was a rule. The white shark is a prime example of why that isn't the rule. You're doing a good job DENYING the question, but again you refuse to provide an answer.


shows no evolution in 2.3 billion years? That's a whole lotta time. Think there were some mutations? The quick/easy/lazy explanation is that these lucky little guys had no reason to evolve because of lack of pressure to do so. Darwin was right! IOW, stasis due to stable environment. But stable for 2.3 billions years? I have some questions about this given some of the specifics of the paper. What are your thoughts? (you can download it for free from that site)


Do you understand that natural selection plays a bigger role than the mutations, when it comes to evolutionary change?

Sorry but there are multiple known organisms alive that have stayed pretty close to the same for billions of years. I already explained it but I'll do it again. These creatures still experience mutations. Since they are already well adapted to the environment, they won't change much unless the environment does, because new traits and mutations will usually be detrimental to the organism and it will die.


But I don't think you actually believe there's an acceptable answer.

Even if that were true, that doesn't make my post a straw man. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I'm trying to understand their position. I am hopeful that someone can answer the question because their beliefs about micro and macro evolution as well as the accumulation of traits do not make much sense.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 12:39 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect

I think it's more a human trait to want to push ones own ideas and work than something endemic to science alone and as far as misrepresenting things to further ones own agenda, it's pretty rare in my experience. It doesn't change the fact that I think she's way wrong on many things and bat sh# crazy on a few more( her hypothesis on AIDS/HIV for example ). She also did some brilliant work during her career as well and I have the utmost respect for her tenacity and intellect. But that doesn't mean that, as you say, science (I love when people refer to it in this way, as if Science is its own person) in and of itself is flawed nor would the scientific method be so. Most people that I worked under were pretty humble and stuck with what they could prove with a high degree of veracity. They weren't pushing things simply for the sake of it or the sake of their reputation or ego.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 12:42 PM
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a reply to: peter vlar

Thanks for breaking that down, Peter. When I read that last night I didn't have the energy to go through all of that, but it was indeed just as I suspected.


edit on 17-2-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 12:53 PM
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originally posted by: PhotonEffect
Besides, if they are, then what's the point of asking the question posed in the OP?

Because a certain amount of folks still believe that micro evolution is solid science while macro is a pure guesswork. These are the folks I'm reaching out to. Yes, the mechanism is identical and folks can't comprehend that.


I'm not either, but the phylogenetic tree shows evolution on the macro scale I would think.
If there is no difference then why this delineation in the first place? Where did this separating of evolutions come from?


It came from the evolution deniers. I have always maintained that there is only evolution. Micro and macro are just time designations, they aren't separate processes, which is why I issued the challenge in the OP. Many folks seem to think that micro evolution is adaptation and macro evolution is when horse suddenly becomes a cow. I'm trying to figure out why they accept genetic changes adding up as long as it doesn't change the species or genus. They are essentially putting up a barrier and limiting which genes can be affected by mutations suggesting that what appears as big change cannot arise from thousands of small changes.


What do we mean when we say the same genome? Aren't they all technically different?


The code arrangement is different, but it is the same molecule, and genetic mutations affect it the same way, and its functions are the same, essentially. It's like saying that 2 identical hard drive types are different pieces of equipment because they contain different software.


Yes, I would bet this is quite a common behavior in humans.


Fixed for you.


edit on 17-2-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: Barcs

I'm always happy to dissect nonsense for what it is. The sad part is that Lynn Margulis was a rather brilliant biologist. Her early work was beyond impressive and the fact that she stuck to her guns throughout the 60's and 70's until her Theory of Symbiogenesis was vindicated as the explanation for the origin of complex cells deserves some kudos for her tenacity. Especially when the paper was rejected by 15 journals when she first tried to publish her data. I'm not sure what happened with her but every single thing she wrote about or researched was based on some sort of symbiosis. From her Gaia Theory to her dismissal of HIV as the cause of AIDS to her lobbying PNAS and promotion of Donald Williamson's Metamorphosis Theory( He made the claim that larvae and the adult form did not share common ancestry, essentially rejecting MES entirely). I've got a lot of respect for her earlier contributions but the last decade or so before she passed away( in 2011) she was promoting some really nutty stuff.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: chr0naut


Natural selection is entirely dependent upon there first being genetic change.

The mutation comes first.

There is nothing to 'select' if there is no genetic change.

This places mutation rate at the lower bound of possible evolutionary change rates.

It is not possible for natural selection to operate faster than the genetic changes it 'selects'.

It is not possible for natural selection to speed up mutation rates.

Mutation rates are not given for individuals. They are given for populations. Once a mutation has occurred, it can spread through the population far more rapidly than the rate at which mutations occur.

Really, this is kindergarten stuff.



Mutation happens in strands of DNA. The DNA resides in cells in the bodies of individuals. Those individuals exist within groups of similar individuals. At the actual time of mutation, only the individual mutant has the mutation. The mutated gene gets into the group via breeding.

Groups do not mutate, DNA does.

Mutation is a rather random affair. If rates were measured in an individual, it would be different for every change and the numbers would be mostly (but not totally) meaningless. Similarly time frames to wait for a spontaneous mutation in an individual may exceed the time frame of experimental observation. The solution is to have a start genome represented in a specially selected group (and often cloned to ensure uniformity). This population is then observed. This smooths out the 'statistical noise' and also provides more instances to observe changes than if a single organism were watched.

So that is why mutation rates are usually measured in populations, it is not the only way to establish mutation rates (shock, horror!).

To imply that groups mutate is unreasonable. Groups merely express the cumulative effects of mutations.

The repetition of the popular mantra does not add a whit to its credibility.

Really, this is kindergarten stuff.


edit on 17/2/2015 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 03:03 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut
Groups do not mutate, DNA does.

So that is why mutation rates are usually measured in populations, it is not the only way to establish mutation rates (shock, horror!).

To imply that groups mutate is unreasonable. Groups merely express the cumulative effects of mutations.


I don't think he suggested that individuals in a group all mutate together as a group.

Mutation rates are measured in a number of individuals and then these figures are averaged to determine the estimated mutation rate for the species. The sample size per population is still pretty low, but the picture gets clearer as more genomes are mapped and compared.

Just imagine the knowledge we will have 30 years from now in the field of genetics. I reckon that cloning, reverse engineering of DNA, and altering it to engineer new species could very well be common place. This is why I love science. Pondering how much it will "evolve" literally gives me the shivers imagining the possibilities. Fighting science is a lost cause. Don't fight it, become a scientist and help correct it if you feel there are aspects you don't agree with. Help the scientists of today pave the road to the future. After all, they are the ones who are out there in the field and in the lab on a daily basis trying to learn things that can benefit us all.


edit on 17-2-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 04:49 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: chr0naut


I did not provide all the answers to your questions because they were mostly strawman arguments and irrelevant to the discussion.

The questions were extremely relevant, and simple. I will answer them for you.

This post:
  1. Why?
    They don't.

  2. And who will the mutant mate with in order to propagate the new species?
    Its conspecifics, because it is still a member of the parent species.

  3. What would define such a species?
    All species are link species.

This post:
  1. What determines whether they are expressed or not?
    The environment, which in this case includes the rest of the genome.

  2. What determines whether the expression is beneficial or detrimental to the organism?
    Ditto.

The man of straw is your insistence that speciation cannot occur because it is something that happens overnight.


OK, let's clear up a little history for those not following the thread of many posts:

I stated "Definitely, changes to any single one of those genes confer bio-incompatibility of some type with organisms with the unaltered genes"; referring to the 100 or so biocompatibility genes located within Chromosome 6.

You asked "Why"?

I answered, "Major Histocompatibility Complex and all sorts of biocompatibility genes there. Just are".

This obviously was either misunderstood or an insufficient answer for you. If it was not a sufficient answer please explain why.

I next stated "This means that the speciating step can be down to a single mutation".

You asked "And who will the mutant mate with in order to propagate the new species"?

As this was the point I was initially making, namely that it would be unlikey that there existed another individual that had the same speciating mutation/s and could mate with the individual who was now a different species than the gene pool from which it arose, I did not think that question warranted a repetiton of that point.

I stated "To have your accumulative speciation changes requires a 'tween' or link species that can breed with both the old and new species".

You asked "Why? And what would define such a species"?

The 'why' is, as I previously explained, that the step conferring inability to breed would be an extiction of the mutated line. The only way around this is if the speciation process itself required a number of subsequent changes. This could give rise to in-between steps in speciating change. These 'tweens' would be able to mate with the parent organisms and with the final speciated organism. As the 'tweens' wolud be able to mate with the other two gene types, and members of its own gene type, it would have selection advantages above the other two gene types.

As, for definition, the 'tween', better described as a sub-species, would be defined primarily by its ability to mate with all three gene types.

I did actually provide answers that I felt were pertinent, I ignored the rest. End of history lesson.

As for single speciating steps, which you have suggested are "fantasy", consider this analogy:

A primate develops a genetic mutation causing it to have different strong typed blood than its antecedents (Similar to RH factor typing). Lets say that the primates' immune response and its new blood type are coded by a single gene and therfore match.

This is a speciating change - in a single step.

Let me explain why: Offspring of the mating of the new species and its antecedents will either be totally inviable or will have haemolytic disease of some type. Definitely not a selection advantage. For the sake of our analogy, there are no other options that could arise from such a mating.

End of Hypothetical.

Rapid changes such as this are called Saltation. I have linked to the Wikipedia article on Saltation before, so it would be redundant to do so again. The article has references to observed single step speciation. Your argument against it is not valid.

In the case of the European Peppered Moth which I mentioned previously, there were no 'barriers' dividing genotypes, the change did not happen gradually & the changes occurred faster than mutation rate. Despite it being, literally, a 'textbook example of evolution', it clearly lacks several of the steps that are fairly mandatory in the evolutionary process.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 07:02 PM
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originally posted by: peter vlar
Not really. A lot of people refer to it as such but there really is a huge distinction. Neo Darwinism was thought up in 1895 by George Romanes to bridge the gap between Darwin's Natural Selection and Mendellian Genetics while ruling out Lamarckian explanations.


As part of the disagreement about whether natural selection alone was sufficient to explain speciation, George Romanes coined the term neo-Darwinism to refer to the version of evolution advocated by Alfred Russel Wallace and August Weismann with its heavy dependence on natural selection. Weismann and Wallace rejected the Lamarckian idea of inheritance of acquired characteristics, something that Darwin had not ruled out.The term was first used in 1895 to explain that evolution occurs solely through natural selection, in other words, without any mechanism involving the inheritance of acquired characteristics resulting from use or disuse


whereas Modern Evolutionary Synthesis didn't come about until somewhere between 1936 and 1947 and reflects the consensus about how evolution proceeds. They are two different concepts and somehow deemed interchangeable by some people.
From Wikipedia:


Following the development, from about 1937 to 1950, of the modern evolutionary synthesis, now generally referred to as the synthetic view of evolution or the modern synthesis, the term neo-Darwinian is often used to refer to contemporary evolutionary theory.[7] However, such usage has been described by some as incorrect;[1][4][8] with Ernst Mayr writing in 1984 that "the term neo-Darwinism for the synthetic theory is wrong, because the term neo-Darwinism was coined by Romanes in 1895 as a designation of Weismann's theory."[9]

Despite such objections, publications such as Encyclopædia Britannica[10][11] use this term to refer to current evolutionary theory. This term is also used in the scientific literature, with the academic publisher Blackwell Publishing referring to "neo-Darwinism as practised today",[12] and some figures in the study of evolution like Richard Dawkins[13] and Stephen Jay Gould[14] using the term in their writings and lectures.


As for your reply to the quotes. Well, suit yourself. All I can tell you is that political agendas are a lot more powerful en masse than solo. Take that for what you will.
edit on 17-2-2015 by vasaga because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 07:04 PM
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originally posted by: vasaga
The part about God is actually indeed irrelevant and the smallest part of all the quotes.



originally posted by: Barcs
How is god relevant at all to this discussion?

Reading comprehension problem detected. Abort discussion immediately.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 02:04 AM
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a reply to: vasaga

So you have no response to the 95% of my last few posts addressed to you, that weren't about you bringing up atheism and god?

I must have misread your post, I thought it said relevant, which is why I had no idea where you were going with that point and why I responded as I did. I apologize. It's odd, however, how that's the only part of the post you care about. Nothing with the science, genes, mutations, or evolution, the things that just happen to be part of the topic of the thread. All I get from you is metaphors about throwing balls to moon and driving a car to the speed of light. Can you really abort a discussion that never took place?
edit on 18-2-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 03:23 AM
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originally posted by: Barcs

originally posted by: chr0naut
Groups do not mutate, DNA does.

So that is why mutation rates are usually measured in populations, it is not the only way to establish mutation rates (shock, horror!).

To imply that groups mutate is unreasonable. Groups merely express the cumulative effects of mutations.


I don't think he suggested that individuals in a group all mutate together as a group.

Mutation rates are measured in a number of individuals and then these figures are averaged to determine the estimated mutation rate for the species. The sample size per population is still pretty low, but the picture gets clearer as more genomes are mapped and compared.

Just imagine the knowledge we will have 30 years from now in the field of genetics. I reckon that cloning, reverse engineering of DNA, and altering it to engineer new species could very well be common place. This is why I love science. Pondering how much it will "evolve" literally gives me the shivers imagining the possibilities. Fighting science is a lost cause. Don't fight it, become a scientist and help correct it if you feel there are aspects you don't agree with. Help the scientists of today pave the road to the future. After all, they are the ones who are out there in the field and in the lab on a daily basis trying to learn things that can benefit us all.



Well, from my point of view there is science and there is Science.

Take for instance, Watson & Crick - both Biologists. Their "gee whiz" science led to a million stick and ball models of DNA in classrooms across the world. Compare that to George Gamow - Physicist (who figured out the three base pair codon and the proceeded to figure out the genetic code) his science led to Genetic Engineering. Of these, who gets the biggest accolades from the general public?

Or, just so you don't think I'm picking on Biologists (because there are many brilliant Biological Scientists), consider Nikola Tesla - Inventor. Who never submitted a single scientific paper or discovered a single mathematical/electrical formula compared with James Clark Maxwell - Physicist & Mathematician, who practically discovered most of the mathematical equations of electricity. Two years before Tesla was born, Maxwell published equations that totally described everything that Tesla ever "invented". Of these, who gets the biggest accolades from the general public?

You get my drift, science and Science.

If it were up to me, Science textbooks would make greater mention of Gamow & Maxwell & perhaps far less of Watson, Crick & Tesla.

And lets talk of Scientific fraud. Have you ever heard of a fraud in Physics, Geology, Mathematics or Chemistry? Well, they do happen, just not frequently. What sciences seem to have the most frauds?

Science and science!


edit on 18/2/2015 by chr0naut because: Sorry for the rant but I feel much better now, thank you.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 04:03 AM
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a reply to: vasaga

Just because the phrase has been misused enough to eventually enter the lexicon and nearly become interchangeable with the correct descriptor, it doesn't make it correct. It is still wrong to use Neo Darwinism in that context. As I stated in my previous post, Neo Darwinism is a completely separate issue from MES and was first introduced the term had existed since at least the 1880's and was first used in a specific context to dispute Lamarckism as an active force in evolution and natural selection being the sole driver.



1859–1899 1859–1899[edit]

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was successful in convincing most biologists that evolution had occurred, but was less successful in convincing them that natural selection was its primary mechanism. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, variations of Lamarckism, orthogenesis ('progressive' evolution), and saltationism (evolution by jumps) were discussed as alternatives.[9] Also, Darwin did not offer a precise explanation of how new species arise. As part of the disagreement about whether natural selection alone was sufficient to explain speciation, George Romanes coined the term neo-Darwinism to refer to the version of evolution advocated by Alfred Russel Wallace and August Weismann with its heavy dependence on natural selection.[10] Weismann and Wallace rejected the Lamarckian idea of inheritance of acquired characteristics, something that Darwin had not ruled out.[11]

Weismann's idea was that the relationship between the hereditary material, which he called the germ plasm (German, Keimplasma), and the rest of the body (the soma) was a one-way relationship: the germ-plasm formed the body, but the body did not influence the germ-plasm, except indirectly in its participation in a population subject to natural selection. Weismann was translated into English, and though he was influential, it took many years for the full significance of his work to be appreciated.[12]



As for your reply to the quotes. Well, suit yourself. All I can tell you is that political agendas are a lot more powerful en masse than solo. Take that for what you will.


Suit myself? I guess that means you don't have an actual rebuttal aside from your political agenda strawman. Are you unable to address the issues I have pointed out or are you simply unwilling? What exactly is the political agenda here? Forgive me for being so dense but I just don't see any agendas, except from Dr. Margulis. And while she is quite clearly pushing her own agenda, I don't see anything political about it. I just see a woman who was trying to convince the entire world that nearly every single theorem or hypothesis is actually based on symbiosis. So it isn't really a "take that as I will" scenario as much as it is denying ignorance. As I stated previously, some of her work was brilliant but her later work is just coo coo ka choo IMO



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:03 PM
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Part 1

a reply to: Barcs



And? Does that mean the mutations do not add up in the surviving organisms?

Mutations add up, okay, obviously they do. But we all knew this already. And technically, extinction stops accumulations from happening in a lineage. This then answers your question in the title, whether you accept it or not, even if it is just a technicality.

But I don't care about that. The question to you is: does this adding up necessarily cause speciation as you have suggested? Read the literature on speciation and see if you can find in the list of causes: "Millions of mutations adding up". I haven't found it. Maybe you can start with your Berkeley site.

Hint: it's reproductive isolation that is believed to be the cause of lineage splits, not millions of accumulated mutations. Another Hint: we still don't fully understand how macro speciation events occur. Right now it's guesses.

I think your question needs to be rephrased.


You can run over all buckets of water on planet earth? How are you going to pull that one off? Natural selection causes extinction, they are pretty much the same mechanism, but extinction is not relevant in this discussion because we are talking about mutations adding up in creatures that DON'T go extinct.

:face palm: If you don't mind, I don't want to delve anymore into the world of metaphors. They do more harm then good, and biology is full of these.

You said: "Natural selection causes extinction, they are pretty much the same mechanism".

Very rarely does that happen, so it's odd you would assert that as a definition of natural selection. It's also odd that you would equate extinction with natural selection, since the latter is believed to keep organisms from dying.

Once again, extinction can stop mutations from adding up. So yes, it is relevant. The ones that are alive today just haven't gone extinct yet. Do you think humans will split into something else?


Evidence has only been found recently for epigenetics and honestly there isn't that much. It's still new and the scientists are looking to figure out how it fits in. It seems to be the evolution denier go-to word these days. Do you really expect Wiki to have the entire theory of MES listed on that page? You should ask a biologist about that if you really want details, but it's off topic for this thread. This is about mutations adding up, not what causes them or influences gene expression.

A lot is already known about epigenetic factors and their roles in development. Wiki has the essentials on MES, but trust me I've looked all over to find what changes have been made to it in light of all the recent discoveries in the last decade. Guess what, not much at all, yet it keeps getting to referred to as if there's nothing wrong with it.

You say MES isn't relevant to this thread, but oddly enough you referenced it in your OP, so pardon me for thinking it was fair game. It's very important to your question to understand the role of genes. You seem to believe that if we throw enough time and mutations at a population it will morph into a completely different and physically unrelated one. But maybe I've misunderstood your question.



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