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UK bans teaching of creationism in any school that receives public funding

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posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 05:45 PM
a reply to: PhotonEffect

for all of your critique concerning MES, i dont see anything from you proving creationism to be a worthy alternative. do you have any content you would like to share in that respect?

posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 10:31 PM
a reply to: TzarChasm

No I don't.

I only concern myself with evolution.

posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 10:14 AM

originally posted by: PhotonEffect
I only asked you to provide a source to back up your claim that the MES has been updated to include epigenetic mechanisms, as you've repeatedly (and erroneously) claimed is the case (in this and other threads). What you came up with is an article that I've actually already read (along with several others just like it) which supports what I've been saying all along to you – that the MES needs to be updated!

The article said that they were working on integrating it and I still have seen zero evidence to suggest they are not integrating or that MES hasn't been updated since the 60s. If my claim is erroneous then prove it. You and I have gone back and forth many times debating semantics. Where is the evidence that these mechanisms are ignored? Why is it so difficult to back up this claim if it's as obvious as you are insinuating?

You didn't read them obviously. And so the heck what that it was a plant biologist. Really Barcs, you're grasping big time here.

Um, you completely misread my point there. I wasn't saying that them being plant biologists made them wrong. I was saying that they didn't mention anywhere that it hasn't been updated since the 60s, and giving me a list of evolutionary evidence doesn't change that. Funny how that part was ignored and you choose to focus on semantics... YET AGAIN.

Every organism ever observed experiences genetic mutations, whether epigentics plays a role or not. Genetic mutations is still the primary factor in genetic changes. Epigenetics is still being researched.

Of course you do, because you are misguided by your blind assumptions. I have no idea where you're getting this idea that the MES has been updated, expanded, extended, or whatever. The literature on the synthesis has not changed.

What literature???? You keep saying this but won't give a link to the official theory. Where is the official literature? Does it even exist? You say I'm grasping for straws but your complaints about MES are ludicrous. Sorry bud, the assumptions are all coming from your end and the fact that you can't back up what you are saying speaks volumes. You can't just repeat something over and over and hope it to be true or quote some article from 2004 summarizing the major evidence of MES. Prove that the theory has not been updated since the 60s. That's all I'm asking. Maybe I'm wrong, but an article listing the major piece of evidence for MES is not that.

Recall : The MES paints a picture of evolution (which you have repeated over and over in these threads) that proceeds very slowly via accumulation of genetic mutations sorted by natural selection.

It does not always proceed very slowly though. This is something that people claim of evolution but it's unfounded. You mentioned Gould above but nothing about punctuated equilibrium. Gradualism isn't always the case and punctuated equilibrium IS part of MES now and that was integrated into MES not too long after it was proposed in 1972 by Gould. That is direct evidence that MES has been updated since the 60s. Or do you not consider that part of MES despite being mentioned in tons of evolution research papers and the main wiki page?

Essentially, that all phenotypic variation is derived from the gene and mutations. That's it.

How does HGT and PE conflict with that notion? Remember the main tenant is descent with modification. Whether organisms used HGT to combine genes or not doesn't conflict with genetic mutations and I don't remember reading anywhere that that is the one and only way organisms can change. I've only heard that from you. I'm sorry but strict fundamentalism doesn't work in science as it's changing all the time.

It gives some recognition to GD, and GF, but NS is the stand out "force". Well okay, but what about what the neutral theory says? There is a world of scientists who feel that GD plays a more prominent role. Guess what, the MES does not agree. This is only one small contradiction. There are many others.

I'm sorry, maybe it's just early in the morning. What are GD and GF? I had no luck looking it up.

Yes obviously natural selection is what determines which mutations and traits survive and which ones don't, so it is the standout force. It influences epigenetics too. MES is basically the change in the frequency of alleles. I don't see epigenetics conflicting with that in the least.

Wow, just wow. This couldn't be more off base if you said that the moon is made of cheese. Your lack of understanding is shining through I'm afraid. Try reading the papers I've sourced so far.

So instead of correcting what is wrong you chose to insult. How is epigenetics NOT about gene expression being influenced by environmental factors? Or are you playing more semantic games? I never claimed to be an epigenetics expert.

epigenetics is the study, in the field of genetics, of cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that are caused by external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off and affect how cells read genes instead of being caused by changes in the DNA sequence.[1] Hence, epigenetic research seeks to describe dynamic alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell. These alterations may or may not be heritable, although the use of the term "epigenetic" to describe processes that are not heritable is controversial.

Please explain how that isn't a more complicated way to say what I just said. It's about gene expression. Without genetic mutation in the first place, those genes wouldn't even be there to switch on and off from environmental stimuli. I understand that some organisms have shown epigenetic inheritance but it's incredibly rare at this point as far as the evidence goes. I'm sure it will expand as more research is done.

Chr0naut was nice enough to mention the same wiki page just a few posts up. Did you think I haven't been on that page? Please quote from that article anything that says epigenetics, and for that matter HGT (which is not an epigenetic mechanism) has become part of the synthesis.

I never said HGT was an epigenetic mechanism. How about YOU quote for me where it says that they are NOT part of modern synthesis or are not being integrated. HGT is part of the official wiki, so at this point claiming it's not part of the theory or that it hasn't been updated since the 60s is flat out wrong. And don't forget scientists don't just put things out there as official theory until they have been substantially verified. Epigenetics is still being worked on. The article I posted said exactly that. You are making a mountain out of a molehill here. Anyways, if you can prove it hasn't been updated since the 60s that would be great, because I still haven't seen any justification for that view in the least.

Science gets most things right, it just takes time and lots of patience. Theories aren't built over night. Criticizing a theory for not including something that isn't fully understand yet, is silly. Give it time. Epigenetics will be become part of it eventually if it is really what it seems to be. Give the scientists time to figure it all out.

However, claiming MES hasn't been updated in 50 years is still unfounded.
edit on 24-7-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 24 2015 @ 10:14 AM
sorry double post
edit on 24-7-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 01:03 PM
a reply to: Barcs

The article said that they were working on integrating it and I still have seen zero evidence to suggest they are not integrating or that MES hasn't been updated since the 60s.

0 evidence? When scientists are calling for an extension/revision to the synthesis, do you think this may mean that it needs updating? This is not a semantics debate. You haven't provided a definition of the MES that shows a full integration of new information. You've misread or misunderstood the wiki page. This part says what the MES is. Everything below that has come after, but has not been added. Read carefully before making your judgements.

Here are just a few scientists who have written about extending, i.e UPDATING, the synthesis. Why would these people go through so much effort?

Auletta, G. A Paradigm Shift in Biology? Information 2010, 1, 28-59; Carroll, Sean B. Evo-Devo and an Expanding Evolutionary Synthesis. Cell. 134/1, 2008; Depew, David and Bruce Weber. The Fate of Darwinism: Evolution after the Modern Synthesis. Biological Theory. 6/1, 2012; Edelmann, Jonathon and Michael Denton. The Uniqueness of Biological Self-Organization. Biology and Philosophy. 22/4, 2007; Etxeberria, Arantza. Autopoiesis and Natural Drift: Genetic Information, Reproduction, and Evolution Revisited. Artifical Life. 10/3, 2004; Gilbert, Scott and Sahorta Sarkar. Embracing Complexity: Organicism for the 21st Century. Developmental Dynamics. 219/1, 2000; Gilbert, Scott, et al. Resynthesizing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology. Developmental Biology. 173/357, 1996; Gilbert SF. Developmental Biology. 6th edition; Hoffmeyer, Jesper. Origin of Species by Natural Translation. Petrilli, Susan, ed. Translation Translation. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003; Jablonka, Eva. Extending Darwinism. Seed. October, 2008; Jablonka, Eva and Marion Lamb. Evolution in Four Dimensions.; Karsenti, Eric. Self-Organization in Cell Biology. Nature Reviews: Molecular Cell Biology. 9/3, 2008; Mattick, John. A New Paradigm for Developmental Biology. Journal of Experimental Biology. 210/9, 2007; Maze, Jack, et al. The Virtual Mode: a Different Look at Species. Taxon. 54/1, 2005; Muller, Gerd. Where EvoDevo Goes Beyond the Modern Synthesis; Muller, Gerd and Stuart Newman, eds. Origination of Organismal Form. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003; Pennisi, Elizabeth. Modernizing the Modern Synthesis. Science. 321/196, 2008; Pigliucci, Massimo. An Extended Synthesis for Evolutionary Biology; Pigliucci, Massimo. Do We Need an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis? Evolution. 61/12, 2007; Pigliucci, Massimo and Gerd Muller, eds. Evolution – the Extended Synthesis. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010; Ramalho-Santos, Miguel. Stem Cells as Probabilistic Self-producing Entities. BioEssays. 26/9, 2004; Waddington, C. H. 1953a. Genetic assimilation of an acquired character. - Evolution, 7: 118-126; Whitfield, John. Postmodern Evolution? Science. 455/281, 2008; Woese, Carl. A New Biology for a New Century. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. 68/2, 2004; Kauffman, Stuart A., 1993, Origins of Order: Self Organization and Selection in Evolution, Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford; Gould, Stephen Jay, 1982, Darwinism and the Expansion of Evolutionary Theory, Science, 216:380-387; Eldredge, Niles, 1985, Unfinished Synthesis: Biological Hierarchies and Modern Evolutionary Theory, Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford; Carroll, R. L. 2000 Towards a new evolutionary synthesis. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15, 27-32; Gregory, T. R. 2005 Macroevolution and the genome. In The Evolution of the Genome (ed. T. R. Gregory), pp. 679-729. San Diego: Elsevier; Johnson, N. A. & Porter, A. H. 2001 Toward a new synthesis: population genetics and evolutionary developmental biology. Genetica 112, 45-58; Odling-Smee FJ, Laland KN and Feldman MW (2003) Comments on Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution. Princeton, Princeton University Press; Salthe, S. N. 1985. Evolving Hierarchical Systems: Their Structure and Representation. New York: Columbia University Press.

These folks are pushing for a whole new synthesis:
Rose MR, Oakley TH (2007) The new biology: Beyond the Modern Synthesis. Biol Direct 2:30; Eugene Koonin, The Origin at 150: Is a new evolutionary synthesis in sight?" Trends in Genetics, 25(11), November 2009; Goodwin, Brian. Beyond the Darwinian Paradigm. Ruse, Michael and Joseph Travis, eds. Evolution: the First Four Billion Years. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009; Goodwin, Brian. How the Leopard Changed Its Spots. New York: Scribner’s, 1994; Fodor, Jerry and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini. What Darwin Got Wrong. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010; Kull K. 1999. Outlines for a post-Darwinian biology. - Folia Baeriana 7, 129-142; Reid, Robert G. B. Biological Emergences. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007; Shapiro, James. A 21st Century View of Evolution: Genome System Architecture, Repetitive DNA, and Natural Genetic Engineering. Gene. 345/1, 2005; Shapiro, James. Evolution: A View from the 21st Century. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press Science, 2011; Webster, Gerald and Brian Goodwin. Form and Transformation. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996; Wasserman, Gerhard D., 1981, On the Nature of the Theory of Evolution, Philosophy of Science, 48:416-437; Ho, Mae-Wan and Saunders, Peter T. (eds.), 1984, Beyond Neo-Darwinism: An Introduction to the New Evolutionary Paradigm, Academic Press, London; Pollard, Jeffrey W. (ed.), 1984, Evolutionary Theory: Paths into the Future, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester and New York; Weiss, Kenneth and Anne Buchanan. The Mermaid’s Tale: Four Billion Years of Cooperation in the Making of Living Things. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009; Margulis, L.& Sagan, D. (2002). Acquiring Genomes, A Theory of the Origin of Species. New York: Basic Books.

What you don't seem to get is that the textbook version of evolutionary theory is the MES framework. That framework is inadequate at explaining how evolution works (see above for those who would agree). In its lack of explanatory punch, people are left searching for other ways that evolution happens. Unfortunately this leads to view points like creationism and ID.

Without a more comprehensive and more sensible theory of evolution, there is little hope that it can ever be effectively taught or accepted in society. Many people don’t buy the old model. (I am one of them.) This is not because they are stupid, religious or dogmatic. It’s because the Modern Synthesis has a lot of holes, makes little sense, or requires blind faith to accept. It's inadequacies as a comprehensive theory is fueling the emergence of pseudo-scientific ideas.

You have been one of those folks here who regularly refers to the 20th century framework when debating evolution with other members here, including myself. Time and time again you've asserted this idea that evolution proceeds by mutation and natural selection, and that these small changes will add up over time and lead to larger changes, like a new species. I'm not sure how anyone could logically consider this adequate in light of what we are now learning.
Written by one of the greatest scientists you never heard of.
edit on 27-7-2015 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 01:11 PM
a reply to: PhotonEffect

I find it interesting that you appeal to this copy-pasted laundry list of experts without explaining what they want added or why. It's almost as though you just slapped the wikipedia bibliography down without a detailed knowledge of what is wrong with the data. Perhaps you could be more specific, provide examples of needed modifications, etc. Glossing over your specific critiques isn't helping.

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 01:27 PM
a reply to: TzarChasm

I find it interesting that you appeal to this copy-pasted laundry list of experts without explaining what they want added or why.

Are you having a hard time following along? Feel free to read any of those books or links I cited in previous posts.

Perhaps you could be more specific, provide examples of needed modifications, etc. Glossing over your specific critiques isn't helping.

So my "specific critiques" aren't specific enough? Or maybe you can help the discussion along by stating what, from your knowledge, the Modern Synthesis (considered the current model, framework, textbook version of evolution) says about how evolution works.

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 01:31 PM

originally posted by: Chrisfishenstein
a reply to: Prezbo369

Yeah follow suit....

“every young person is entitled to a high quality, broad and balanced education. This includes in biology, where evolution is a central topic and is vital to understanding how human life came to be

High quality? haha....Yeah high quality teaching kids the THEORY of evolution is more "scientific" than creationism....If you are basing it on "science", then don't teach anything about any form of how we all came to be, because there is none!

Science holds no weight to where or how we came to be.....I feel bad for the kids that really want the truth and are now going to be forced into hearing a "theory" that isn't real.....God is real, but if the school system doesn't want kids to learn about God, then they should abandon it all and let them form their own opinion on how we came to be instead of being force-fed a joke theory that is wrong...

Blast away! I believe in God....

Here is the deal...We humans will teach evolution and we will allow GOD to teach creationism.
edit on 27-7-2015 by toktaylor because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 01:33 PM
a reply to: PhotonEffect

All good things take time, my friend. You are expecting instant results. If there is that big a movement to extend the synthesis it will eventually happen, and from what I've read they are beginning to figure it out. You are just complaining because it hasn't happened yet. Things take time in science because in modern times they hold extreme scrutiny to new findings. This is why each individual new fossil finding often takes a decade before the information is released to the public. They want to be absolutely sure. Hoaxes have happened in the past as a result of deceptive people and others jumping to conclusions. My guess is that you'd be the first in line to criticize those folks for not doing a thorough research job, but here you are acting upset because they haven't fully integrated every single potential mechanism and things that scientists don't fully understand yet into the theory.

I still don't see any evidence that it hasn't been updated since the 60s. I understand what you are saying with epigentic factors and other things, but not updated AT ALL? And you are basing this on what again? To me, it seems like you are taking the summary on a wiki page and holding it as absolute unwavering truth and only truth, while selectively omitting the details below it. If they were not part of MES, why would they be included on the page? Again, where is the official theory and where is the evidence that it hasn't been updated since the 60s. Are you trying to say that punctuated equilibrium is not part of MES?

And again, you are referencing something that has very little evidence to back it (in comparison with genetic mutations and natural selection evidence). Just because some epigenetic factors have been observed does not mean me it is a major influence in the history of evolution You also did not answer my point about genetic mutations directly leading to those factors in the first place. The framework is indeed adequate to explain the large majority of evolutionary changes, but yes there are other factors as well, they just aren't common. If genetic mutations and natural selection essentially create these epigenetic factors, then the framework still explains it. They just need to understand what exactly causes these types of changes, because so far it doesn't seem like they have an answer. When they do, they may include it in the extended synthesis.

IMO, it's a work in progress. This thread is about teaching it in school, however. We all know that approved curriculum text books are behind the real world. That is not a problem with science, it's a problem with the education system if anything.

edit on 27-7-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 02:06 PM
a reply to: Barcs

Barcs, you are a reasonable person. What comes off as complaining is my frustration with the oft repeated gospel that evolution is mutation and natural selection. Things take time, sure sure. Everything changed at the turn of the century with the genome sequencing results of HGP and ENCODE. Then with the rapid growth in molecular biology our fundamental understanding has changed even more. We now know that very very rarely does one gene influence a trait, and that most of the genome functions as a network in an epistatic manner. The current thinking states that the gene is the unit of selection. How do you think this works when several genes can influence multiple traits at one time? Have you ever seen one of those genetic diagrams? Yikes

You also did not answer my point about genetic mutations directly leading to those factors in the first place.

Epigenetics has nothing to do with mutations or changes to the sequence. The assumption is that all variation comes from mutation. Epigenetics shows this notion to be less than true. Not to mention the number of mutations that occur in non-coding regions. The idea of phenotypic plasticity shows that the environment, and not genetic mutations, causes phenotypic variation. We also know that there is a missing heritability issue. Read about it, it's very interesting. Basically it shows that gene variants fail to account for a majority of heritability for various phenotypes. So where does it come from? Stuff like this isnt addressed by the gene centered framework of the modern synthesis. Sure we know full well about HGT. But that is not part of the synthesis. In fact much to do with the evolution of prokaryotes is not included. For instance the known effects of the microbiome on variation/evolution/sexual selection. Think about what neutral theory says - it puts equal if not more emphasis on GD (genetic drift) where the MES relegates it to a minor role behind NS. There are plenty of contradictions. It's not just epigenetics, which you said was included but now I see you had to back off that claim.

Is PE included? You keep saying this too but I haven't found it. Not saying you're wrong but cant find anything definitive. And yeah I hate referring to Wiki but it's one of the only sites with some sort of a status on the MES. Thats why I supplied all of the literature on the extension of the synthesis from various fields in biology. If all was fine with the current framework there would be no need for scientists to discuss it.
edit on 27-7-2015 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 02:22 PM
a reply to: toktaylor

If there were some kind of scientific framework for God then that could be helpful. Without it though, I'm afraid that any notions of God being involved must be kept out of scientific discussions.

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 03:59 PM
a reply to: PhotonEffect

Are you having a hard time following along? Feel free to read any of those books or links I cited in previous posts.

im sorry, i believe i asked YOU. that means YOU answer. or did these books spoonfeed you the finishing touches to evolutionary theory?

So my "specific critiques" aren't specific enough? Or maybe you can help the discussion along by stating what, from your knowledge, the Modern Synthesis (considered the current model, framework, textbook version of evolution) says about how evolution works.

im pleased to inform you that we dont have to rely on my knowledge. or yours, for that matter.

Some Condensed Reading

The synthesis, produced between 1936 and 1947, reflects the consensus about how evolution proceeds. The previous development of nineteenth century evolutionary ideas by Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel and others and the population genetics, between 1918 and 1932, was a stimulus, as it showed that Mendelian genetics was consistent with natural selection and gradual evolution. The synthesis is still, to a large extent, the current paradigm in evolutionary biology.

1. All evolutionary phenomena can be explained in a way consistent with known genetic mechanisms and the observational evidence of naturalists.

2. Evolution is gradual: small genetic changes regulated by natural selection accumulate over long periods. Discontinuities amongst species (or other taxa) are explained as originating gradually through geographical separation and extinction. This theory contrasts with the saltation theory of William Bateson (1894).

Natural selection is by far the main mechanism of change; even slight advantages are important when continued. The object of selection is the phenotype in its surrounding environment.

3. The role of genetic drift is equivocal. Though strongly supported initially by Dobzhansky, it was downgraded later as results from ecological genetics were obtained.

4. Thinking in terms of populations, rather than individuals, is primary: the genetic diversity existing in natural populations is a key factor in evolution. The strength of natural selection in the wild is greater than previously expected; the effect of ecological factors such as niche occupation and the significance of barriers to gene flow are all important.

5. In palaeontology, the ability to explain historical observations by extrapolation from microevolution to macroevolution is proposed. Historical contingency means explanations at different levels may exist. Gradualism does not mean constant rate of change.

however, im not challenging MES. you are.

edit on 27-7-2015 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 04:45 PM
a reply to: PhotonEffect

Yes that is the sad truth. Religious persons are always the one championing god's needs/wants. If they really believe in GOD then they would leave GOD to defend himself. Sadly the only proof of God's intervention is always those done/provided by "so called" believers.

posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 11:24 PM
a reply to: PhotonEffect

I agree, it's not perfect at all. Look, I'm not trying to sound like a stern stickler here. You do make some good points. I see where you are coming from and I think the extended synthesis may eventually be appended to modern synthesis, just not as a primary mechanism, more of a side affect and I'll explain why.

There are some big questions that need to be answered.

1. How common is it? What percentage of species across the globe experience these types of changes?

2. How and when did the ability to switch genes on and off originate?

3. Where does it fit into modern synthesis?

Here's how I see it. Genetic mutations are required in order for the various traits and gene sequences to emerge in the first place. So yes, this does mean that the variation does technically come from genetic mutations prior to the selection, but that's not epigenetics. Epigenetics is about the ability to turn certain genes on or off during an individual's lifetime as a reaction to environmental stimuli. Essentially, It is a reaction that changes which genes are expressed (turned on). This makes me wonder if it should even be part of evolution at all.

- It doesn't lead to the emergence of new traits, only the expression or non expression of existing ones.
- It doesn't affect an entire population.
- It doesn't lead to new species
- It doesn't change the genetic code.
- The changes aren't always passed down, as they can happen later in life, rather than at conception.

One could even argue that selection has nothing to do with it, since it is a reaction to the environment. There is no selecting going on for epigenetic changes.

These factors seems to indicate that it should not technically be part of modern synthesis. It's something that happens after evolution has already caused genetic changes and nature has already selected for certain traits. Epigenetics is almost like a trait or ability that has evolved and we still don't know exactly what controls it. It seems like it is its own process, separate of evolution, and adding it would be like adding abiogenesis to evolution. Sure they may very well be connected, but they aren't the same process.

I could see the possibility of folks seeing it as an alternative to natural selection. But one thing seems to hold true above all else. The environment is the leading factor in all of this. It seems to be pulling all strings and leading to all variation. A good amount of genetic mutations are caused by the environment. The environment selects, life reacts to the environment the best it can. Basically everything follows the environment from top to bottom.

edit on 27-7-2015 by Barcs because: (no reason given)

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