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Modern proof of evolution.

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posted on Nov, 29 2016 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: cooperton

I never claimed elephants were spontaneously changing into a different species. I merely presented evidence that environmental pressures were eliminating a well known physical trait. This is a tipping point, and we're right here mid-transition to witness it! If this trend continues the tusk-less elephants will continue to dominate the population to the point that in a few hundred years no elephant alive (if there's any alive at that point) will have a gene for tusks. That's evolution, a genetic change across a population of a certain species. The driving force of evolution is adaptation. If you witness an adaptation, you are witnessing a step of evolution. Other- not as easily observable- changes happen with every generation. If *enough* adaptation happens, you end up with a new species that's unable to breed with the original species. But that takes hundreds or even thousands of years.

At what point does red become orange? Or yellow become green? Genetics is a continuous spectrum, sometimes scientists just have to draw the line somewhere and say "Ok, THIS animal and THIS animal are the same species, but this other- very similar animal- is a separate species." I never said science was perfect. We're just doing the best we can with what we've got. Trying to identify and describe infinite possibilities.

I guess a more correct title would have been "A modern example of how environment forces adaptation; adaptation being one stepping stone in the process of evolution" Catchy n'est-ce pas?




posted on Nov, 29 2016 @ 03:16 PM
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originally posted by: ladyvalkyrie
a reply to: cooperton

I never claimed elephants were spontaneously changing into a different species. I merely presented evidence that environmental pressures were eliminating a well known physical trait. This is a tipping point, and we're right here mid-transition to witness it! If this trend continues the tusk-less elephants will continue to dominate the population to the point that in a few hundred years no elephant alive (if there's any alive at that point) will have a gene for tusks. That's evolution


This supports the notion of adaptation, but not the theory of evolution as it is claimed to be responsible for the diversity of species from our theoretical unicellular great grandparent. You found a wonderful example of allele drift, but allele drift works off pre-existing genes and this mechanism could not result in creating new useful genes.


The driving force of evolution is adaptation.


Theoretically yes. But this does not mean that if adaptation is true, then the theory of evolution must be true. Just because organisms and populations can adapt does not mean they can "evolve" beyond their essential nature. I forget if it was Plato Socrates or Aristotle who said entities have a particular range of deviation that they can reach before they can no loner change further beyond that extreme - therefore, they always maintain their essence.

[quote
If you witness an adaptation, you are witnessing a step of evolution.

Statements like this can be proven false if you demonstrate that a particular adaptation certainly does not mean evolution. For example, when I go up to high altitudes, my blood acclimates through epigenetic alterations to allow me to persevere through the deviating oxygen levels - I have now adapted to higher altitudes, yet I have certainly not evolved. So how can you say that witnessing adaptation is witnessing evolution?



Other- not as easily observable- changes happen with every generation. If *enough* adaptation happens, you end up with a new species that's unable to breed with the original species. But that takes hundreds or even thousands of years.

At what point does red become orange? Or yellow become green? Genetics is a continuous spectrum, sometimes scientists just have to draw the line somewhere and say "Ok, THIS animal and THIS animal are the same species, but this other- very similar animal- is a separate species." I never said science was perfect. We're just doing the best we can with what we've got. Trying to identify and describe infinite possibilities.


Semantics is the most difficult part about communicating these ideas. When is a species a different species? When has a species "evolved"? Nature is dynamic - but whether it was made to behave as such from intelligent agency, or it self-assembled through a sea of chaos has yet to be determined by science.



I guess a more correct title would have been "A modern example of how environment forces adaptation; adaptation being one stepping stone in the process of evolution" Catchy n'est-ce pas?


Scientists are eager to nit-pick every detail of any scientific claim, so we all must be very meticulous to make sure our vernacular is technically true at all times



originally posted by: puzzlesphere
a reply to: cooperton

To clarify this very important point, let’s use an analogy: Think of the hypothetical “evolution” of a brick arch-bridge. First, there’s no need for a bridge, there is just a pathway. But farms on each side of the pathway want to keep their cows in, so they put up fences. A mild earthquake creates a small crack, but people can still jump over it easily enough. But the crack widens over time, so some fence planks that are no longer needed are taken down and laid across the crack. As the crack widens, the planks begins to sag, so scattered bricks that have fallen from passing wheelbarrows are collected and stacked in columns beneath it for support...


This analogy involves ingenuity and intelligent agency to create new functions - do you believe intelligent agency would be necessary for the theory of evolution?


A young entrepreneurial elephant may realise that their trunk can serves almost as good as tusks to dig. So throughout their life, they use their trunk daily for this purpose, that both strengthens and toughens their trunk, which is expressed in epigenetic changes, which are then passed to their offspring.


Epigenetic changes are not passed on to the offspring - What you are describing is Lamarckism and is not applicable to evolution. Epigenetics alter the expression of various genes throughout the life of an organism. If the epigenetic state of the parent was passed on to the offspring, everyone would have the genetic expression of a pregnant mother


edit on 29-11-2016 by cooperton because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 29 2016 @ 03:46 PM
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a reply to: cooperton


originally posted by: cooperton
This analogy involves ingenuity and intelligent agency to create new functions - do you believe intelligent agency would be necessary for the theory of evolution?


No it doesn't, unless you are ascribing intelligence to the brick-arch itself... the brick-arch is the final outcome of environmental factors, and clearly didn't intelligently put itself there. You are mistaking the mechanism for the outcome.

Just as humans killing tusked elephants (a debatable intelligent action), is leading to a population of tuskless elephants, where the elephants didn't make a conscious intelligent decision to not have tusks; so too the brick-arch bridge was never intelligently planned for, it was a result of environmental changes that ended with a complex structure, where the environmental factors just happened to be intelligence influenced environmental changes.

... so no, intelligent agency is not necessary for modern evolutionary theory to be correct.

Next point...

You are arguing for a defunct hypothesis...


Lamarckism is a pre-discovery of DNA hypothesis about the mechanics of inheritance which supposed that the life experiences of the changed the genetic structure of the germ line. The hypothesis has long been discredited by the discovery of DNA and evidence that the germline DNA is isolated from somatic DNA.

Epigenetics is a relatively new field which studies chromatin behavior that alters gene expression, in other words doesn't change the sequence if DNA, but changes how genes in that DNA gets expressed. Epigenetic changes do get made on the germ line and these changes are inheritable.

Epigenetics doesn't revive Lamarkism, it's still wrong, the DNA sequence isn't being changed, it's the structure it's packed into changes. However epigenetics does suggest that some changes resulting from life experience can modify the germ line, in limited ways involving increases or decreases of the amount expression of different genes.


Epigenetics & Inheritance

Keep up with the changes in modern theory before trying to debunk something. Epigenetics is a relatively new and unexplored field... there is much still to learn.
edit on 29-11-2016 by puzzlesphere because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 29 2016 @ 04:39 PM
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Y'all can believe in evolution or not believe in evolution. I couldn't give a rat's ass less.

But you might want to gather up some pictures of African bull elephants with tusks because your grandkids aren't going to have a clue what tusks are.



posted on Nov, 29 2016 @ 09:21 PM
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a reply to: cooperton


False. The theory of evolution in terms of generating the diversity of life as we know it is not measurable nor has it been proven.

That's not what I said.

I said evolution is a fact. I didn't say the Theory of Evolution is a fact. The ToE is the best explanation for the process of evolution because that's where the evidence has led us.



posted on Nov, 30 2016 @ 05:47 AM
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It's funny... Raggedyman always disappears from these threads when someone unequivocally calls him out on his complete and utter BS... which says to me that he knows he's squawking a lost argument, and is just unashamedly a troll...

... for the kicks of it! Kinda' sad... lol



posted on Nov, 30 2016 @ 10:04 AM
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originally posted by: puzzlesphere

No it doesn't, unless you are ascribing intelligence to the brick-arch itself... You are mistaking the mechanism for the outcome.


The people building the brick-arch are intelligent beings. Without them the brick-arch is not built.



Lamarckism is a pre-discovery of DNA hypothesis about the mechanics of inheritance which supposed that the life experiences of the changed the genetic structure of the germ line. The hypothesis has long been discredited by the discovery of DNA and evidence that the germline DNA is isolated from somatic DNA.

Epigenetics is a relatively new field which studies chromatin behavior that alters gene expression, in other words doesn't change the sequence if DNA, but changes how genes in that DNA gets expressed. Epigenetic changes do get made on the germ line and these changes are inheritable.


You brought up Lamarckism when you said changes in the life of an organism was passed on to the offspring. A particular epigenetic expression may be exhibited through a germ line, but if you take that germ line into different environmental conditions that will change. That is how epigenetics work.



Keep up with the changes in modern theory before trying to debunk something. Epigenetics is a relatively new and unexplored field... there is much still to learn.



you were the one describing evolution as Lamarckism. I was "debunking" your description of evolution. Epigenetics is the change in expression of the genome during the lifetime of the organism and does not result in evolutionary changes - to think otherwise would be agreeing with Lamarck.


originally posted by: Lucid Lunacy

I said evolution is a fact. I didn't say the Theory of Evolution is a fact. The ToE is the best explanation for the process of evolution because that's where the evidence has led us.


Do you mean to say the theory of evolution is the best explanation for adaptation? There is not one observation in nature that relies on the validity of evolutionary theory.
edit on 30-11-2016 by cooperton because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 30 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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originally posted by: cooperton
The people building the brick-arch are intelligent beings. Without them the brick-arch is not built.

Again, you are mistaking the mechanism for the outcome. The arch-bridge is an analogy, where the human actions represent environmental changes.

I could create the same analogy without any humans being the mechanism, since you seem unable to think creatively about how an analogy works...

Here's the abridged (pun intended) version, since I cant be bothered to write a nice prose around it....

Earthquake
Crack forms in ground
Earthquake causes tree to fall across crack
Animals use tree trunk to cross widening crack
Tree starts sagging as crack widens
Much later event causes landslide above tree-bridge
Buries tree bridge and part of crack under tree...
... Fine sediment filling crack, and heavy sediment (rocks and boulders) sitting on tree (granular convection)
Sediment under tree supports sagging tree
Crack widens further, and becomes a small stream
Boulders on tree settle into a naturally interlocked structure because of widening crack
Water in stream washes away fine sediment, leaving tree covered with rocks
Tree rots over time leaving only a "naturally" created rock bridge
Animals use rock bridge to cross crack
Creationist comes along and says "intelligent beings must have built that lovely rock-arch structure"!

There you go... no "intelligence" involved, just a set of naturally occurring events, though it's sad you couldn't think your way through this analogy yourself, rather than doing mental gymnastics and nit-picking to try to justify your ignorance of evolution.



You brought up Lamarckism when you said changes in the life of an organism was passed on to the offspring. A particular epigenetic expression may be exhibited through a germ line, but if you take that germ line into different environmental conditions that will change. That is how epigenetics work.

you were the one describing evolution as Lamarckism. I was "debunking" your description of evolution. Epigenetics is the change in expression of the genome during the lifetime of the organism and does not result in evolutionary changes - to think otherwise would be agreeing with Lamarck.


No... I brought up epigenetics... lamarckism has been shown to be incorrect. Epigenetics is a relatively new area that the implications are still being researched and discovered.

Previously epigenetics was thought to only be in a single lifetime... it has now been shown that epigenetics can be inheritable... keep successive generations of epigenetic changes in the same environment, and a beneficial trait will become more pronounced (through epigenetic changes)... It is hypothesised (though yet to be proven) that these beneficial traits can lead to an increased chance of a beneficial mutation that is expressed in the DNA... for instance a much more agile trunk for digging.

Modern theory seems to be suggesting that evolution is a collection small changes, with those small changes starting at the epigenetic level.

Evolution is really quite a simple idea, though the magnitude and complexity of all the interactions to create a significant change is a complex collection of many processes and events.


originally posted by: Lucid Lunacy
Do you mean to say the theory of evolution is the best explanation for adaptation? There is not one observation in nature that relies on the validity of evolutionary theory.


Except Darwin’s observation and prediction about the fossil record was proven true.
Except, modern genetics has recently proven Darwin’s observation and prediction of a common ancestry of humans and apes to be true.
Except every observation and experiment made, whether in molecular biology or modern genetics, has predicatively been proven true... proving time and again the validity of evolutionary theory. As of yet Genetics has not once shown evolution to be untrue.
This shows evolution to be an argument with a high degree of predictive success.
Again and again.

Are you suggesting that modern genetics is wrong?... even with all of the advances made in medicine, in genetic engineering, in any genetic related science?

You are talking from a point of creationist/ID ignorance. Clear the ignorance from your eyes, and see the amazing chain of evolutionary development in all species... it's truly an astounding area of research.



posted on Nov, 30 2016 @ 06:29 PM
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originally posted by: puzzlesphere

I could create the same analogy without any humans being the mechanism, since you seem unable to think creatively about how an analogy works...


I didn't need an analogy for how evolution works. I took about 8 years + extracurricular study of the natural sciences.



No... I brought up epigenetics... lamarckism has been shown to be incorrect.


But the way you described evolution through this elephant example was actually a description of lamarckism:

"A young entrepreneurial elephant may realise that their trunk can serves almost as good as tusks to dig. So throughout their life, they use their trunk daily for this purpose, that both strengthens and toughens their trunk, which is expressed in epigenetic changes, which are then passed to their offspring."

The bold part above is a give away that you think Lamarckism was how evolution works. and after googling why this is wrong, you are now lecturing me calling me ignorant simply because I am arguing against your (ambiguous) belief of evolution



Previously epigenetics was thought to only be in a single lifetime... it has now been shown that epigenetics can be inheritable...


That is not epigenetics. Epigenetics definition:

"the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself."

There is no alteration in the gene code in epigenetics, it works with what is already present through various mechanisms such as methylation.




You are talking from a point of creationist/ID ignorance. Clear the ignorance from your eyes, and see the amazing chain of evolutionary development in all species... it's truly an astounding area of research.


You do not know the mechanisms theorized to give rise to evolution, I don't think you are fit to be arguing for evolution. Do not call me ignorant solely because I disagree with your incomplete ideas.



posted on Nov, 30 2016 @ 07:44 PM
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originally posted by: cooperton
I didn't need an analogy for how evolution works. I took about 8 years + extracurricular study of the natural sciences.

Then why did you nit-pick on the original analogy, if you understood it so well?

Multiple times you seemed to misunderstand the message of the analogy, until I replaced the intelligent being with natural processes.



But the way you described evolution through this elephant example was actually a description of lamarckism:

No... it was a descriptive example of gene expression being passed through generations, as opposed to changing the base DNA... possibly not the best example, but trying to show where modern research seems to be heading. ;-)

There is a lot we don't know, but epigenetics, when inherited, seems to affect evolution. It is still a highly controversial area, however certain areas of research are showing both epigenetic and traditional genetic inheritance may contribute to the variation of species in our world.

That was the point I was trying to make.



You do not know the mechanisms theorized to give rise to evolution, I don't think you are fit to be arguing for evolution. Do not call me ignorant solely because I disagree with your incomplete ideas.

At least as fit as you, while not my core expertise, I have also spent a couple of decades with a keen interest in evolutionary theory, and have conducted both self driven, and course-work in natural sciences. These days, I read a lot, and do my best to stay abreast of new developments in the area, among other interests.

So, do you agree that modern evolutionary synthesis, while still incomplete, provides the best description of all the available data?... and if not, what is the alternative?

Always happy to be educated.

Or do you think that god did it?
edit on 30-11-2016 by puzzlesphere because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 30 2016 @ 08:36 PM
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originally posted by: puzzlesphere

Then why did you nit-pick on the original analogy, if you understood it so well?


I only asked if you purposefully put an intelligent agent (people) into the analogy. Some people believe that evolution was orchestrated by intelligent forces due to the immense complexity of organisms. I didn't mean for you to reiterate the analogy.



No... it was a descriptive example of gene expression being passed through generations, as opposed to changing the base DNA... possibly not the best example, but trying to show where modern research seems to be heading. ;-)


Epigenetics was actually one of the main concepts that made me start disbelieving in evolutionary theory. It is a very interesting field and I think it will ultimately be a decisive factor regarding the validity or invalidity of the theory of evolution. To articulate why I feel this way would take a couple paragraphs and I'd rather not tangent too far off topic.



There is a lot we don't know, but epigenetics, when inherited, seems to affect evolution. It is still a highly controversial area, however certain areas of research are showing both epigenetic and traditional genetic inheritance may contribute to the variation of species in our world.


Epigenetics by definition works with the genome as its template, it changes the expression of genes which changes the quantity of particular proteins being manufactured by said gene. For example, blood-clotting factors are epigenetically regulated. Fibrinogen, a blood-clotting factor, is a tightly regulated protein that alters its expression via epigenetic factors - when blood clotting becomes necessary, the epigenome increases expression of this particular gene to assimilating a clot to halt bleeding in a wounded area. These tightly nit mechanisms are necessary, and if they are not working properly the organism is in trouble (i.e. blood clots where they shouldn't be, or too thin blood resulting in excessive bleeding). It is unfathomable how such a tightly knit feedback loop could have been created through random mutation - for EVERY gene! It is so unimaginably complex... to me, it seems beyond the capabilities of random chance through the theorized evolutionary mechanisms.

I promise not everyone who disbelieves in the theory of evolution is uneducated




At least as fit as you, while not my core expertise, I have also spent a couple of decades with a keen interest in evolutionary theory, and have conducted both self driven, and course-work in natural sciences. These days, I read a lot, and do my best to stay abreast of new developments in the area, among other interests.


Keep digging into epigenetics! Critically think how such mechanisms could have evolved in a piece-by-piece manner. Stay away from science blogs, they're mass-producing cookie-cutter swill to gain revenue from ad-space (not all, but most)



So, do you agree that modern evolutionary synthesis, while still incomplete, provides the best description of all the available data?... and if not, what is the alternative?


From reading the conclusions of quantum physicists, it seems as though the material world is subject to consciousness. They have shown that matter itself is naught without a conscious observer - if this is the case, how could matter have manifested the conscious observer (humans) through evolutionary mechanisms if matter doesn't exist without human observation?! I'll stop there because I'm not sure how serious you were with that question.



posted on Nov, 30 2016 @ 09:37 PM
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originally posted by: puzzlesphere
Epigenetics is a relatively new and unexplored field... there is much still to learn.

I hear this all the time, but I'm not sure where folks get this idea.
Epigenetics has been around for 50+years.
cshperspectives.cshlp.org...



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:43 AM
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a reply to: cooperton

Epigenetics for me had the opposite effect, rather than make me question the validity of evolution, I saw it as a missing vital piece of the overall equation. It seems to have the possibility of filling in gaps that straight evolutionary theory never quite managed to explain very well. It's why I like where some researchers are going trying to synthesise traditional evolutionary theory with epigenetics theory.

I was absolutely serious with my question.

Your response fits vaguely with my own beliefs, though likely a few differences.

I agree that I think there is a fundamental link between reality and consciousness, though I don't think matter is naught without an observer but more in a state of flux, kind of like a probability cloud. My definition of "an observer" is also very broad, and doesn't necessarily have to be human, or even fully sentient, and could be just recursive in nature (a non-conscious thing happening twice is a form of observation, that can led to greater complexity). I think consciousness is going through it's own type of "evolution" on a universal scale... but of course this is all very metaphysical, and for this thread, I am making some solid assumptions about the state of the universe as we are perceiving it within our sphere of influence.

The thing is with consciousness and ideas, is that there's almost infinite conflict, so we are left with our physical senses and reality as it seems to be when defined by processes and observation.

I think that modern evolutionary synthesis is the best construct we have currently and it actually describes the data that we have and are still finding very well. In terms of any greater consciousness, it is actually irrelevant to this discussion, because as of right now, there has never been a single piece of evidence for anything metaphysical or supernatural.. the system works exactly how the system works, and there can be no external influences otherwise the system would be invalidated.

What that basically means is that things are set within probability, and we just have to work them out.



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 12:47 AM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect

Actually the term epigenetics was coined more than a century ago, though it has only been with the advent of genome mapping a couple of decades ago that many of the ideas have been testable.

So "relatively new" means that the theory has only recently been brought back into the light as we are now able to create experiments that test the related hypotheses, and the area is very unexplored, though expanding rapidly.



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 07:40 AM
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originally posted by: puzzlesphere
a reply to: cooperton

Epigenetics for me had the opposite effect, rather than make me question the validity of evolution, I saw it as a missing vital piece of the overall equation.


Just realize that the discovery of epigenetics puts an extra burden on evolutionary theory. Now not only do you have to explain effective genes culminating through random mutation, but you also have to have explain modulatory effectors (epigenetics) that are tightly controlling each gene to ensure it remains in the goldi-locks zone of expression, not too high not too low. So if evolution is a piece-by-piece additive mechanism, how can the modulation evolve simultaneously with the gene itself? Because surely one without the other is erroneous at best, and lethal at worst. Not to mention every gene has this modulation - and every organism has this modulation, even the most rudimentary prokaryotes.




I agree that I think there is a fundamental link between reality and consciousness, though I don't think matter is naught without an observer but more in a state of flux, kind of like a probability cloud.


Check out this quotes form Max Planck, Nobel Prize winning Quantum Physicist:

“All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.”

(The Nature of Matter - speech in 1944 Italy)

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

(The Observer - 25 January 1931)

"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve."

(Where is Science Going? (1932)



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 09:17 AM
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a reply to: puzzlesphere

Fair enough, but I think "new" is relative. Even 20 years of research is a lot. And google scholar pulls up over 180,000 hits with the term epigenetics, for whatever that's worth.

But yes, there is much to learn in this field, and there is quite a bit we already do know. That can be said about all of biology at the molecular level.



posted on Dec, 1 2016 @ 09:26 AM
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originally posted by: puzzlesphere
I think that modern evolutionary synthesis is the best construct we have currently and it actually describes the data that we have and are still finding very well.

Not sure if the MES describes what's actually happening at the molecular level very well, but perhaps you know it better than me.

There have been loud calls by many scientists to extend the synthesis, and I've now just discovered what's been dubbed the 'functional synthesis'

Mechanistic approaches to the study of evolution: the functional synthesis
Antony M. Dean & Joseph W. Thornton

Abstract
An emerging synthesis of evolutionary biology and experimental molecular biology is providing much stronger and deeper inferences about the dynamics and mechanisms of evolution than were possible in the past. The new approach combines statistical analyses of gene sequences with manipulative molecular experiments to reveal how ancient mutations altered biochemical processes and produced novel phenotypes. This functional synthesis has set the stage for major advances in our understanding of fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. Here we describe this emerging approach, highlight important new insights that it has made possible, and suggest future directions for the field.
www.nature.com...

Point being, I think the MES, as I've said and been blasted for over and over, is outdated and may not be well equipped to explain a lot of the phenomena that is now being realized thanks to the full sequencing of genomes. Gone are the days of assuming one evolutionary force over another just because it seems right. The proof is in the molecular pudding I think.

It will be interesting to see what the future in [molecular] biology holds
edit on 1-12-2016 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)




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