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What is evolution?

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posted on Jun, 9 2010 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by stereologist
 



I don't see your point here.

Well, if you have a fast-evolving animal that has remained stuck in the same morphology for 200,000,000 years, why haven’t these speedy evolvers evolved?


The tuatara has evolved. It has changed over the time period you specified. It continues to evolve.

Think “virtually unchanged”. Perhaps 20,000,000 generations have done nothing but produce more tuataras. Juxtapose this with the belief that “mammal-like-reptiles” supposedly mutated into every mammal species (including whales) that has ever existed in about the same amount of time. And just think how many beneficial DNA replication errors were lost during at least one mass extinction event that eliminated 75% of the then-living species.

There are lots of animal and plant “living fossils”. In my mind they are glaring evidence against evolutionary theory. But the ToE has a elastic, religious quality. It can be stretched around any kind of data.




posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by txpiper
 





The idea that neutral mutations are saved up for a change in the environment is silly. The very fact that they are neutral means that they don't affect the phenotype.


That is not what neutral mutation means in evolutionary theory. Neutral mutation in evolution affects the phenotype, but does not affect fitness.

There are also neutral mutations that substitute similar amino acid and thus do not affect the phenotype, but this definition is used in genetics/biochemistry, and is not very relevant to theory of evolution. They are neutral according to different criteria.



posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 08:04 AM
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reply to post by txpiper
 


The same gross morphology does not mean no change. That's fairly simple to understand. The tuatara does evolve. The animal alive is not the same as the animal in the Mesozoic. You somehow for unknown reasons are making the demand that all species evolve at the same rate or that dramatic changes occur.

Your opinion that so-called living fossils are evidence against evolution is wrong. You demand that evolution be a large and dramatic change. That's not what the evidence shows. The evidence shows that different species have different rates of change. That's no surprise. It also shows that some species are relatively unchanged over extended periods of time, at least in gross morphology. That's how evolution works. If something is successful in its environment, then it continues to be successful.

In my opinion you are demanding that there be a goal here, a goal of fast change. That is not what happens. This is a glaring example of creationist misrepresentation of evolution, and here I speak of evolution the fact, not theories of evolution.

No matter what you claim evolution should do you have never attempted to explain how once there were no fish, no birds, no mammals, no spiders, no multicellular organisms, no reptiles, no humans, and now they exist. The evidence is clear. Life has changed over time.



posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by txpiper
Well, if you have a fast-evolving animal that has remained stuck in the same morphology for 200,000,000 years, why haven’t these speedy evolvers evolved?

Evolution 101. Their niche has remained unchanged and thus selective pressure has pushed them towards being what they are. Also even thou they might look similar to their ancestors from 200 million years back I can guarantee that a lot of change has occurred outside morphological parameters.

[edit on 10-6-2010 by rhinoceros]



posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 06:03 PM
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I think the big creationist problem is that they think evolution is goal orientated. And they think that because they believe there is a guiding hand. i.e. I am designing an animal to live in water so i must design gills for breathing!

This is not the case.

Every organism evolves to suit its environment and to ensure that while in its current environment it can (to quote myself) feed, breed and speed, (that is..escape predators or catch prey).

If the environment remains stable, and its prey remains stable ( whether its prey is animal or vegetable) then it has already evolved into the most suitable form for its environment.

A mutation in an animal that would be beneficial for the breed,feed or speed model for jungle living, but which occurs in a plains dwelling creature would be neutal, and would have 50/50 chance of being passed on to any offspring as long as that mutation was not negative.

If climate change, migration or isolation caused that creature to move to a more "plainish" type environment then that mutation dwelling within may well suddenly become beneficial, and the descendants of the original mutated creature would have an advantage over those that were deficient.

Descendants of the original mutation would flourish over those not holding the gen and would eventually, out breed, out feed, and out speed the others.

Evolution is quite straight forward really. The mechanism maybe not so, but use a little logic..look at some pictures of distant relatives and ask yourself.." how do we all have the same nose, eyes, jawline?

Is it really such a huge leap of faith to realise that that if granddad had a big nose, and big noses were useful for getting food, or fighting of attackers, or attracting a mate, that eventually everybody would have a big nose.

Now imagine yourself from the same stock. living in a forest. A big nose makes it difficult to turn because of the trees, and scents of food don't carry so well so finding food is harder. Is a big nose here an advantage?

No its not.

So all of a sudden those with smaller noses have the advantage. Live to puberty, breed and are able to protect and feed their family.

Add a couple of million years.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Is evolution REALLY so hard to understand?

To reiterate the point...If an organism is suited to it environment, the evolution of that organism can stabilise.
i.e it need change no more.

As an aside. i personally believe that human evolution will now stop. We no longer need adapt to our environment because we adapt our environment to us. Inherent weaknesses are no longer an disadvantage to our survival and barring absolute sterility, pretty much anybody can breed and feed.

Obviously this statement ignores major catastrophes that may well catapult us back to a primitive way of living.

Not a judgement, just an observation, only time (couple of 100,000 years should do it) will tell.



posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by idmonster
 



Evolution is quite straight forward really.

I think this is true only in very general terms. If you starting picking at the specifics about how it is supposed to actually occur, you generally just get over-optimistic evolutionary jargon.


The mechanism maybe not so, but use a little logic..look at some pictures of distant relatives and ask yourself.." how do we all have the same nose, eyes, jawline?

A better question is about how DNA replication errors have produced eyes, noses and jawlines in the first place. Eyes, ears, noses and all other organ systems are incomprehensibly complex, involving thousands of sensitive and precise genes and control mechanisms. It is just not realistic to think that trillions of random failures produced such things.


A mutation in an animal that would be beneficial for the breed…

This is not an accurate appraisal of mutations. A specialized feature like echolocation or bioluminescence cannot happen in one lump. Chance development would involve countless mutations occurring in successive generations, in the same gene regions, and in parallel with all the control mechanisms, and that is just for starters. Staggering is not a strong enough word to describe the odds against something like this happening. That's why you don't hear it discussed amongst evolutionists.



posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 10:18 PM
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It is just not realistic to think that trillions of random failures produced such things.

They are not failures. They are mutations. I don't suggest that they be labeled successes. They are changes.


Staggering is not a strong enough word to describe the odds against something like this happening. That's why you don't hear it discussed amongst evolutionists.

That's simply untrue isn't it? It is discussed by evolutionists. In face the rates of mutation are important issues that are discussed.

Since you seem to be balking at learning about this on your own I will direct you to material discussing these very issues.
Genetic Mutation - Nature
Issues covered in this article include:

  1. The definition of random with respect to mutations
  2. The difference between somatic and inheritable mutations
  3. Why mutations occur despite the efforts of cells to resist them
  4. The types of mutations.
  5. "recent work has repeatedly indicated that the overwhelming majority of mutations have very small effects "



posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by stereologist
 



The animal alive is not the same as the animal in the Mesozoic.

Statements like this can never be anything more than an assumption. You would have to have molecular level evidence to know this. This happens a lot, where imaginary notions that please the theory override empirical data, or the lack thereof.

When they find tuatara fossils, they recognize them because they have not appreciably changed. The idea of an undercurrent of ongoing evolution simply cannot be inferred from the evidence. The morphology says no change.

As for a stable environment contributing to their stasis, that is very unlikely. First, dramatic changes would undoubtedly be seen in 200,000,000 years. Second, the oldest fossils are in Europe, not on the other side of the planet in New Zealand. One of the points Eldredge has tried to make in contending with the stasis problem is that isolation is necessary to maintain stasis:

Our analysis of studies from the past decade, including examples drawn from our own work, suggests that patterns and processes related to geographic structure contribute importantly to the maintenance of stasis….To be preserved in the fossil record with any reasonable likelihood, a novel genotype must originate, become established in a local population, and then spread and increase in numbers across a large geographic area. Failure to complete all three of these stages will result in stasis in the fossil record.
bio.research.ucsc.edu...


…you have never attempted to explain how once there were no fish, no birds, no mammals, no spiders, no multicellular organisms, no reptiles, no humans, and now they exist. The evidence is clear. Life has changed over time.

Of course it has changed. But you and I see the changes differently. You believe in the impossible dream of mutations and selection spiraling ever upward into more complexity. I think the changes are coming from the opposite direction with original DNA being a molecule that was prepared for adaptation and speciation, but subject to degradation.








[edit on 11-6-2010 by txpiper]



posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 11:07 PM
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reply to post by txpiper
 



Statements like this can never be anything more than an assumption. You would have to have molecular level evidence to know this. This happens a lot, where imaginary notions that please the theory override empirical data, or the lack thereof.

You are quite wrong. The fossils show differences. They have changed over time. Please check out your claims before posting what are obviously false statements.


Of course it has changed. But you and I see the changes differently. You believe in the impossible dream of mutations and selection spiraling ever upward into more complexity. I think the changes are coming from the opposite direction with original DNA being a molecule that was prepared for adaptation and speciation, but subject to degradation.

So you claim that the evolution of things like birds, fish, mammals, dinosaurs, and reptiles is due to degradation? What sort of impossible hallucination is that from?

Clearly you are not reading any of the pertinent material and are making your statements up from a position of ignorance.



posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by stereologist
 



You are quite wrong. The fossils show differences. They have changed over time. Please check out your claims before posting what are obviously false statements.

I did. Here it is from the soaring intellects at Berkeley.

The modern genus Sphenodon shows little difference in size and structure from known Jurassic fossils — there has been little change in the appearance of sphenodontids over the last 150 million years.
www.ucmp.berkeley.edu...


So you claim that the evolution of things like birds, fish, mammals, dinosaurs, and reptiles is due to degradation?

Of course not. I don’t think the classes have anything whatever to do with each other. I accept marvelous adaptation and specialization because that is what the evidence shows. But I think the grandiose fantasy of all life evolving from a single, original, indescribable, self-replicating molecule is asinine.




[edit on 11-6-2010 by txpiper]



posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 12:19 AM
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Since you seem to be balking at learning about this on your own I will direct you to material discussing these very issues.

I appreciate the link, and I read this kind of stuff all the time. Articles like this are written in evolutionary double-talk:

“Mutation rates are usually very low, and biological systems go to extraordinary lengths to keep them as low as possible, mostly because many mutational effects are harmful. Nonetheless, mutation rates never reach zero, even despite both low-level protective mechanisms, like DNA repair or proofreading during DNA replication…”

But some things are really beyond irritating. The following sentence is just short of a bald-faced lie:

“Mutational effects can be beneficial, harmful, or neutral, depending on their context or location.”

The correct order would be precisely backwards with beneficial mutations being ridiculously rare. The evidence is the pitiful entries on a pathetically short list. This is a typical, deliberate distortion. That statement also implies that harmful mutations could be helpful in the right environment, which is complete nonsense. Harmful mutations are about pathological consequences. There is no suitable context for them.



posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 07:07 AM
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reply to post by txpiper
 


I'm not sure what is so hard to understand here. It does not say NO change. It states quite clearly that the morphological changes are small. So please stop trying to misrepresent the information. It is really making you look quite bad.

BTW, your link is broken.

New Zealand's 'Living Dinosaur' -- The Tuatara -- Is Surprisingly The Fastest Evolving Animal

"Of course we would have expected that the tuatara, which does everything slowly -- they grow slowly, reproduce slowly and have a very slow metabolism -- would have evolved slowly. In fact, at the DNA level, they evolve extremely quickly, which supports a hypothesis proposed by the evolutionary biologist Allan Wilson, who suggested that the rate of molecular evolution was uncoupled from the rate of morphological evolution."

Rapid molecular evolution in a living fossil

The tuatara of New Zealand is a unique reptile that coexisted with dinosaurs and has changed little morphologically from its Cretaceous relatives. Tuatara have very slow metabolic and growth rates, long generation times and slow rates of reproduction. This suggests that the species is likely to exhibit a very slow rate of molecular evolution. Our analysis of ancient and modern tuatara DNA shows that, surprisingly, tuatara have the highest rate of molecular change recorded in vertebrates. Our work also suggests that rates of neutral molecular and phenotypic evolution are decoupled.



But I think the grandiose fantasy of all life evolving from a single, original, indescribable, self-replicating molecule is asinine.

Thanks for making it clear that your failed opinion is what this is all about. The evidence from fossils to molecular biology shows that your incalcitrant opinion is wrong.



posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 07:13 AM
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reply to post by txpiper
 



The correct order would be precisely backwards with beneficial mutations being ridiculously rare. The evidence is the pitiful entries on a pathetically short list. This is a typical, deliberate distortion.

And you know this how? Where is the evidence? You make these snide remarks and never seem to have any evidence. You effectively do the "roll the eyes" act and never produce any evidence. This is likely because you can't.

I also find your claim of double-talk to be what I characterize every liar I've ever heard give a creationist lecture. They get up there and lie, and lie, and do it in the stupidest ways possible - they are easily shown to be lies. Is this where you get your ideas?

Complaining about the order is really pathetic. What a pitiful complaint.



posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 06:19 PM
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And I quote Jeff Goldbloom from Jurassic Park, "Life finds a way". So in other words evolution IS life itself finding a way to exist by progressing with and adapting to its surrounding. Life is a single entity divided up into an infintely diverse number of individual living things. Some live on and some die off BUT life itself in whatever form will still find a way to exist.



posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by stereologist
 



And you know this how?

How do I know that beneficial mutations are rare? Gosh, there is hardly any candid assessment of mutations that doesn’t (have to) acknowledge that. It is a statistical reality. If you want an example of such an admission, this one is pretty straight-forward:

“Experimental studies of the underlying distribution of fitness effects of beneficial mutations...have lagged behind the theory [ahem], both because beneficial mutations are exceedingly rare and because beneficial mutations of small effect are less likely to reach appreciable frequencies in populations because of the combined effects of drift and competition between independent mutations.”
link

How's that?


Where is the evidence?

Well, I don’t think mutations are capable of producing sophisticated features and systems. But you do (actually you have to). So I’m thinking that the burden of proof would belong to you, just like it would if you were claiming that horses can grow wings and fly to Saturn.

If astronomical numbers of beneficial mutations occurred, surely you can list some really impressive ones. Honestly, the ones usually used as examples are sortof sappy. How about something that is obviously developmental? Not just some disease resistance or fish fins changing color, or another boring E coli variation, but something that is an undeniable structural advance, like a wing developing.


Complaining about the order is really pathetic. What a pitiful complaint.

Well, maybe I was a little presumptuous. But it seems like every time I turn around, I meet someone who believes that horse is making those trips to Saturn. So I’m sensitive about inaccurate representations of beneficial DNA replication errors.





[edit on 11-6-2010 by txpiper]



posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by txpiper
 


Your link is broken. You might want to fix it using the url tag.

Here is what you wrote using your typical poor wording.

The correct order would be precisely backwards with beneficial mutations being ridiculously rare. The evidence is the pitiful entries on a pathetically short list. This is a typical, deliberate distortion.


The article says "rare" and this is in stark contrast to your vituperation of "ridiculously rare".

The article goes on to state that:

However, when the fitness of the wildtype is low, the data may no longer fit an exponential distribution because many beneficial mutations have large effects on fitness.

So if one of these rare mutations does occur it has a large effect on fitness.

In conclusion the article states that

The variability in the distribution of fitness effects of beneficial mutations in this study is consistent with population genetic theory. When the fitness of the wild-type is high, beneficial mutations can be viewed from a statistical perspective as representing draws from the extreme tail of the distribution of fitness effects of mutations, hence the fitness effects of beneficial mutations will be exponentially distributed.


I have asked so many times for you to provide evidence for your claims that I am not sure what you are referring to. It is up to the claimant to substantiate the claim. The burden is on you.

[edit on 11-6-2010 by stereologist]



posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 02:27 AM
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Originally posted by txpiper
reply to post by idmonster
 



Evolution is quite straight forward really.

I think this is true....


The mechanism maybe not so, but use a little logic..look at some pictures of distant relatives and ask yourself.." how do we all have the same nose, eyes, jawline?

DNA replication errors have produced eyes, noses and jawlines in the first place. Eyes, ears, noses and all other organ systems are incomprehensibly complex, involving thousands of sensitive and precise genes and control mechanisms.


Above is an example of quote mining. It demonstrates that by simply selecting key phrases and by not providing the context, it would appear that txpiper is in agreement with my entire argument.. This is obviously no the case.
Quote mining can also be used to make an argument look weak or uninformed. This is something txpiper attempts with they articles linked to for the discussion of evolution.

Below is an example of being quoted out of context for the reasons stated above. The entire paragraph from my original post attempts to explain how a neutral mutation can lie dormant and spread genetically through a population, becoming "live" when selection pressures change and the neutral mutation is suddenly beneficial. This would precisely allow various mutations to be in the right place at the right time.

Mutations may well be rare but time is not.




A mutation in an animal that would be beneficial for the breed…

This is not an accurate appraisal of mutations. A specialized feature like echolocation or bioluminescence cannot happen in one lump. Chance development would involve countless mutations occurring in successive generations, in the same gene regions, and in parallel with all the control mechanisms, and that is just for starters. Staggering is not a strong enough word to describe the odds against something like this happening. That's why you don't hear it discussed amongst evolutionists.


Please only quote me in whole sentences, and if possible, make your reply is in context with the quoted.

I would also like to offer a general rule, particularly for this thread but might be useful elsewhere. If you are going to demand proof when somebody makes a statement, you may want to state what you would accept as evidence. This would at least give the prover a fighting chance of satisfying your request



posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 10:36 AM
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The trick & elusiveness of 'evolution' is similar to many things.

It is taking rough, aggregate, 'noisy' data & trying to assess the invisible s) that underlie it.

Like sprinkling iron filings on a piece of paper, putting a magnet beneath it & seeing the iron filings seeming, if not quite perfectly, to line up on circuitous arcs from each pole of the magnet to the other.

Can we say the lines of magnetic force are there?
Obviously there are strong indications, but they are invisible to us & can ONLY be extrapolated with instrumentation to collect positional data.
Our minds [visual systems? cognition?] are strongly inclined to 'see' [leap to] lines & other abstractery.

It is like the theory of continuity, you can NEVER prove it to be the case, because there are always an infinite number of points to account for, & between any two of those is also an infinity of points.

The theory of evolution tries to explain why we see what we see in the way of life forms.
Arguably that quite possibly is true of the realm of physics as well.
Some physics might exist, but don't, some physics probably can't exist, but we have the particular physics we have, which we tend to presume is a random particular outcome/selection of more likely possibilities, any of which may exist elsewhere.

We see planets orbiting stars, but we can not see the warp of gravity upon space-time, nor do we see the underlying mechanisms of inertia.

Again going back to the case of iron filings & magnetic lines of force. the filings don't make absolute or perfect lines, they have the characteristic of noise in the data. caused by gravity, friction & other additional forces/principles beyond the presumed magnetic force lines themselves.

so you get noisy, aggregate data. So far it is not too wildly out of sync with the descriptive function of evolution, ie. environmental filtering favoring the most suitable [genetic] individuals for a particular point in time.
But the environment changes, sometimes very slowly, sometimes radically & instantly. So what we see in genetics should be some kind of echo of shared & converged environmental history(s) of our aggregated species.

What i don't think Darwin knew is there is a good degree of cross species genetic transference. That the idea of discrete species genomes is not absolute in any way. Microbes do a notable amount of cross-species genetic exchange. We also know about viruses that splice themselves into our gene code as a matter of function & a good portion of our DNA is sort of ancient viruses.

Aphids have been found to have a fungi gene in their genome.

Also i will note, especially given the previous facts,
evolution, especially advanced evolution almost certainly is far more a function of different kinds of [whole, partial] gene swapping which already has or had some function it actually did,
than of random, mostly destructive, radiation & other, mutations of DNA.

It is shuffling, replicating & altering the cards you already have or recombining card parts, much more than trying to create an entire card from scratch.
Initially there had to be an original card formation, but once that card could & did replicate itself & nothing to stop it, omg, watch out!

[greys deal from the bottom of the deck!
]

[modular or even fractional modular action is more 'progressive' (articulate?) than pure fluidic chaos? Fluid fabrication over a modularly structured frame?]

In fact the bi-sexual reproductive method is designed to increase the shuffling of DNA between parent organisms. Usually in whole genes i presume, but more shuffling seems probable to make more partial gene errors [mismatchups], which in a low proportion of cases may have beneficial effects.

Continuity is always a theoretic & unprovable idea, that evidence can only indicate or not indicate.

Always the rapidly fading fingerprint & never the ethereal finger.

[edit on 12-6-2010 by slank]



posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by stereologist
 



The article says "rare" and this is in stark contrast to your vituperation of "ridiculously rare".

Okay, I’ll withdraw my vituperation and settle for the author's characterization: “exceedingly rare”.

But it is important to note that this rarity is noticeable in bacteria which reproduce very quickly. That means that in super-complex Eukaryotic forms with exponentially slower reproduction rates, the occurrence of beneficial copy errors will be exponentially more “exceedingly rare”.

If you impose this reality onto accepted scenarios like the supposed transformation from Pakicetus to modern whales, it is simply not plausible. There are too many radical, and necessarily cooperative alterations for this to be realistic in the time frame involved. Typically, evolutionists will try to skirt the problem by invoking “selection pressure”, but selection only removes, it does not cause beneficial mutations to occur. Their rarity is an inescapable constraint.


So if one of these rare mutations does occur it has a large effect on fitness.

Fitness is not the issue. The mutant organism’s parents were already fit. The issue is evo-devo, not survival.


I have asked so many times for you to provide evidence for your claims…

The original grandiose claim is that selection has acted on trillions of beneficial DNA replication errors to evolve prokaryotes into eukaryotes, fish to amphibians, amphibs to reptiles, and reptiles into birds and mammals. For anyone with a materialist mindset, it is a great idea. It is just not, in my view, a rational one.




[edit on 12-6-2010 by txpiper]



posted on Jun, 12 2010 @ 02:39 PM
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reply to post by txpiper
 


Yes, the rate of immediately beneficial mutations is according to the article "exceedinly rare."

The reproduction rate is not exponentially slower.

If an organism reproduces in 20 minutes and another in 20 years, there is a linear ratio between these. The populations of each group grow exponentially regardless of the time t, which is the mean time between reproductions.


Typically, evolutionists will try to skirt the problem by invoking “selection pressure”, but selection only removes, it does not cause beneficial mutations to occur. Their rarity is an inescapable constraint.

You are mixing apples and oranges here. The rate at which beneficial mutations occurs is distinct from the survival or "selective pressure." Selective pressure causes certain forms to become a larger part of the breeding population. You dismiss the notion of time although the 55 million years of time allows for many generations and a great deal of evolution.


Fitness is not the issue. The mutant organism’s parents were already fit. The issue is evo-devo, not survival.

Fitness is the issue. There is no devo, only evo. Devo is a lie constructed by creationists to confuse and de-educate their audience.


It is just not, in my view, a rational one.

Well said. It is clear that you have an opinion based on whatever and it is clear that your opinion is not based on evidence.

I just noticed that your avatar is the composite image of the flagella structure that creationists so often use to misinform their audiences with.




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