Author Topic: Evolution proven right yet again  (Read 13632 times)

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2008, 03:50:36 pm »
I don't know exactly what happened, or why, but once upon a time very recently I was absolutely convinced that life on earth was the result of extraterrestrial interference.

Maybe that was just one of my weird dreams, though.

Please to be reading "Venus on the Half Shell" it will answer all of your questions. :)
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2008, 05:22:48 pm »
Since this was bumped, I have found a couple of very cool videos regarding life's origins.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhWds7djuWo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6QYDdgP9eg

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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2008, 05:58:32 pm »
I don't know exactly what happened, or why, but once upon a time very recently I was absolutely convinced that life on earth was the result of extraterrestrial interference.

Maybe that was just one of my weird dreams, though.

You might still be right.  Nobody knows for sure.

personally I would see the likelihood of that would be very, very, very low (though just for obvious practicality reasons - and there is no evidence of it and how would actually study that at this time) It's just not a practicle hypothesis at this time, and a little far fetched (though I would admit not 100 percent impossible)

now the idea that microbes could have first evolved on Mars then broke off to earth, now that makes a lot of sense.. since Mars was open to habitation earlier then the earth
and its more then possible that life is just easier to produce then we think.. just the right conditions and a small jolt
the problem lies that the right conditions, though they may not be very rare in the universe, the distances makes the opportunity to study it is quite difficult... though some answers may come from more core samples from Mars or if something really exiting happens with a probe their planing to send to Europa, though that is suppose to get off the ground in 2011 i heard they still having trouble with contamination concerns, and NASA made a lot of noise about it a few years ago then kind of stoped as of lately, which tells me at least there's something stalling the project

The thing about the "extraterrestrial seeds" problem is that it doesn't actually answer the question of "Why Did Life"; it just moves it to another starting point. It's not any easier to explain why life evolved on Planet Whatserface than it is to explain why it evolved on Earth, and in the end we'd probably come up with the same reasons anyway.  :monkeydance:

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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2008, 06:05:14 pm »
I don't know exactly what happened, or why, but once upon a time very recently I was absolutely convinced that life on earth was the result of extraterrestrial interference.

Maybe that was just one of my weird dreams, though.

You might still be right.  Nobody knows for sure.

personally I would see the likelihood of that would be very, very, very low (though just for obvious practicality reasons - and there is no evidence of it and how would actually study that at this time) It's just not a practicle hypothesis at this time, and a little far fetched (though I would admit not 100 percent impossible)

now the idea that microbes could have first evolved on Mars then broke off to earth, now that makes a lot of sense.. since Mars was open to habitation earlier then the earth
and its more then possible that life is just easier to produce then we think.. just the right conditions and a small jolt
the problem lies that the right conditions, though they may not be very rare in the universe, the distances makes the opportunity to study it is quite difficult... though some answers may come from more core samples from Mars or if something really exiting happens with a probe their planing to send to Europa, though that is suppose to get off the ground in 2011 i heard they still having trouble with contamination concerns, and NASA made a lot of noise about it a few years ago then kind of stoped as of lately, which tells me at least there's something stalling the project

The thing about the "extraterrestrial seeds" problem is that it doesn't actually answer the question of "Why Did Life"; it just moves it to another starting point. It's not any easier to explain why life evolved on Planet Whatserface than it is to explain why it evolved on Earth, and in the end we'd probably come up with the same reasons anyway.  :monkeydance:

--Calendula,
really needs to start reading about biology again!

Venus On The Half Shell, it explains it quite clearly in the end.
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Calendula!

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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2008, 06:21:50 pm »
Venus On The Half Shell, it explains it quite clearly in the end.

Thanks for the rec, then-- will keep an eye out for it. : )
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2008, 09:19:20 pm »
The experiment mentioned in the OP is indeed a very interesting one with amazing results, E. coli mutating the ability to metabolize citrate. To see evolution in bacteria is incredibly easy compaired to other organisms due to their high reproductivity, short generation time, horizontal gene transfer and fission reproduction (which is more or less cloning). Whereas these could evolve such a mechanism in short time, vertebrates may take millions of years.

Other items mentioned here (the peppered moth experiment, "missing links") are common strawmen for YECs and IDCs. A reminder that evolutionary biology is a separate study than biogenesis, which is the direction this thread seems to be going. Confusing the two is also a YEC/IDC tactic.

I had something else I wanted to say but I forgot for some reason.
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2008, 02:08:34 pm »
Other items mentioned here (the peppered moth experiment, "missing links") are common strawmen for YECs and IDCs. A reminder that evolutionary biology is a separate study than biogenesis, which is the direction this thread seems to be going. Confusing the two is also a YEC/IDC tactic.


 - biogenesis is the creation of life out of an abiotic environment.

 - evolution takes place on abiotic molecules.
[The cornerstone of evolution is selection which also takes place on non living substances, example: ozone is selected against stronger then water. This simple form of selection is solely dependent on the stability of the molecule.
example of more advanced abiotic selection: If a certain molecule is capable of changing other molecules into copies of itself(which some molecules have), then it has an evolutionary advantage.]

conclusion: the theory of evolution is crucial to the study of biogenesis.

Apparantly its supposed to be abiogenesis instead of biogenesis.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogenesis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis


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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2008, 07:30:05 pm »
Other items mentioned here (the peppered moth experiment, "missing links") are common strawmen for YECs and IDCs. A reminder that evolutionary biology is a separate study than biogenesis, which is the direction this thread seems to be going. Confusing the two is also a YEC/IDC tactic.


 - biogenesis is the creation of life out of an abiotic environment.

 - evolution takes place on abiotic molecules.
[The cornerstone of evolution is selection which also takes place on non living substances, example: ozone is selected against stronger then water. This simple form of selection is solely dependent on the stability of the molecule.
example of more advanced abiotic selection: If a certain molecule is capable of changing other molecules into copies of itself(which some molecules have), then it has an evolutionary advantage.]

conclusion: the theory of evolution is crucial to the study of biogenesis.

Apparantly its supposed to be abiogenesis instead of biogenesis.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogenesis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis




Evolutionary biologists and those scientists that work with the subject of abiogenesis (or biogenesis, its the same field of study, and the two terms seem to be interchangable) work on completly different subject matter. Evolutionary theory does not necessitate the knowlege of where and how life began, and the chemistry of abiogenisis and gene transfer among early organisms may not follow evolutionary theory. Abiogenesis may require knowlege of evolutionary theory but evolutionary theory does not require understanding of abiogenesis, where and how life began. This is something that YECs/IDCs like to convolute because they believe that evolutionary theory is based in things like the Miller experiment, which it isn't. That was my point. You are splitting hairs.

Kai,

Has a BS in Biology, getting an MS in Entomology, D/N/T

PS: Besides, biological evolution takes place in populations of organisms, not a soup of nucleic acids. Please to not be confusing biology with organic chemistry. Thank you.

Oh, and also thank you so much for trying to use "selection". That made my day, because now I can bitch about how people do not understand the theory of natural selection and try to pass of their colloquialisms as biological science.

CHEMICAL SELECTION =/= NATURAL SELECTION

and for GODS SAKE, "survival of the fittest" does NOT mean survival of the "strongest" or "most stable". What it means is the ability of an organism to have ofspring that can reproduce. Fit organisms are those that produce offspring which reproduce themselves. It has nothing to do with how strong or stable (whatever you might mean by that in this context is), but how good they are at spewing out children. if you live for 2 days, fuck, have little clones of yourself, and die, you are by definition more evolutionarily fit than someone who lives for over 100 years and never has kids.

By this definition, I would guess that you are not fit. Nature selected against YUO.
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2008, 08:03:13 pm »
The report hints that this new bacteria may actually be a new species, or at least be moving very strongly in that direction.  That seems very significant.

The scientific concept of species has a great deal of grey area.  As I understand it, generally the concept is that members of different but closely related species may be able to produce offspring, but the offspring will be infertile.  Problem is, that doesn't work, even in some "higher" species.  Parrots, for example, freely mate and produce fertile offspring not only outside their own species, but even outside their own genus.

Evolution is fundamental to a number of sciences, certainly including medicine.  I suppose if you don't believe in evolution, you shouldn't take modern-day antibiotics, because those are based on the idea that the old drugs don't work very well because the bacteria have evolved.  I think Gary Trudeau did a Doonesbury strip on that.
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2008, 08:20:55 pm »
I didn't clarify in the above that, when I talked about species reproducing, I was referring to sexual reproduction.  I know many species reproduce asexually but, as likely won't be surprising, I find asexual reproduction boring.  It doesn't fit in my reality tunnel, so therefore I pretend it doesn't exist.
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2008, 08:28:11 pm »
The report hints that this new bacteria may actually be a new species, or at least be moving very strongly in that direction.  That seems very significant.

The scientific concept of species has a great deal of grey area.  As I understand it, generally the concept is that members of different but closely related species may be able to produce offspring, but the offspring will be infertile.  Problem is, that doesn't work, even in some "higher" species.  Parrots, for example, freely mate and produce fertile offspring not only outside their own species, but even outside their own genus.

Evolution is fundamental to a number of sciences, certainly including medicine.  I suppose if you don't believe in evolution, you shouldn't take modern-day antibiotics, because those are based on the idea that the old drugs don't work very well because the bacteria have evolved.  I think Gary Trudeau did a Doonesbury strip on that.

The definition of species is not really grey. It only seems grey if you are working from a "can they mate and produce fertile ofspring" definition. The formal definition includes several factors that can provide for speciation:

1. inability to produce fertile ofspring together

2. Separation due to ecological niche (food, space, time, etc partitioning)

3. Separation by environmental factors (such as a desert, an ocean, or other large scale exclutionary device, or by time)

It is not always as simple as "can they make babies?"

Addenum: classification outside the species level is made by inference. It is often wrong if not backed up by genetic comparisons, and is simply a way to show genetic and evolutionary relationships between species, usually by showing groups are monophyletic, having a "single" common ansestor. Good example from my own field, the Genus Ceratopsyche, family Hydropsychidae was poorly separated from the Genus Hydropsyche in the 20th century. Recently, genetic evidence has shown that these two genera are polyphyletic, meaning they stem from several ansestral trees. Taken as a whole, however, they are monophyletic, and so Ceratopsyche will soon be synonymous with Hydropsyche. Monophylogeny from genetic evidence is the /best/ way for establishing evolutionary relationships and classification. Unfortunatly, there is /so much/ work that needs to be done, and its all very complex stuff. In entomology you get a new systematic development that screws with the higher taxonomy of an order every year or so. Talk about trying to keep up with that! New orders splitting off, families being combined from other families, new subfamilies splitting off, genera becoming synonymous and splitting, species being found to be species groups, which turns into more species to formally describe and name.

Lots and lots of work being done.

Now, please go away.
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2008, 08:31:55 pm »
I didn't clarify in the above that, when I talked about species reproducing, I was referring to sexual reproduction.  I know many species reproduce asexually but, as likely won't be surprising, I find asexual reproduction boring.  It doesn't fit in my reality tunnel, so therefore I pretend it doesn't exist.

When you have asexual reproduction, evolutionary change occurs differently, through either:

1: beneficial mutations

or

2: horizontal gene transfer or some other similar process.

Now, please please go away.
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2008, 08:55:57 pm »
Evolutionary biologists and those scientists that work with the subject of abiogenesis (or biogenesis, its the same field of study, and the two terms seem to be interchangable) work on completly different subject matter. Evolutionary theory does not necessitate the knowlege of where and how life began, and the chemistry of abiogenisis and gene transfer among early organisms may not follow evolutionary theory. Abiogenesis may require knowlege of evolutionary theory but evolutionary theory does not require understanding of abiogenesis, where and how life began. This is something that YECs/IDCs like to convolute because they believe that evolutionary theory is based in things like the Miller experiment, which it isn't. That was my point. You are splitting hairs.

Kai,

Has a BS in Biology, getting an MS in Entomology, D/N/T

PS: Besides, biological evolution takes place in populations of organisms, not a soup of nucleic acids. Please to not be confusing biology with organic chemistry. Thank you.

Oh, and also thank you so much for trying to use "selection". That made my day, because now I can bitch about how people do not understand the theory of natural selection and try to pass of their colloquialisms as biological science.

CHEMICAL SELECTION =/= NATURAL SELECTION

and for GODS SAKE, "survival of the fittest" does NOT mean survival of the "strongest" or "most stable". What it means is the ability of an organism to have ofspring that can reproduce. Fit organisms are those that produce offspring which reproduce themselves. It has nothing to do with how strong or stable (whatever you might mean by that in this context is), but how good they are at spewing out children. if you live for 2 days, fuck, have little clones of yourself, and die, you are by definition more evolutionarily fit than someone who lives for over 100 years and never has kids.

By this definition, I would guess that you are not fit. Nature selected against YUO.

:D yes i was splitting hairs, i'm sorry if it seemed an attack, it was only meant as clarification.

My point was that the forces that drive evolution are no different from those that drive changes in abiotic systems,
can you please explain to me how selection on chemicals is different from selection on organisms(as carriers of genes)? Its both just probabilities right? the one with the highest probability to continue existing is the fittest and that is true for alleles, molecules, memes and brands of beer.

by chemically most stable i mean most likely to stay in its current form, He(g) is more stable that H2(g) in an oxygenated environment because H2(g) has an tendency to react with oxygen to create water and helium can't even react with oxygen (being a noble gas) thereby the fraction hydrogen-gas wil decrease in oxygenated enviroments. This is no different from the reduction in allele frequency you find in a population of moths.

what do you think of my 'probabilty of continued existence' view on natural selection?

PS. the term natural selection pisses me off, as if unnatural selection can't influence evolution.
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2008, 09:55:49 pm »
Evolutionary biologists and those scientists that work with the subject of abiogenesis (or biogenesis, its the same field of study, and the two terms seem to be interchangable) work on completly different subject matter. Evolutionary theory does not necessitate the knowlege of where and how life began, and the chemistry of abiogenisis and gene transfer among early organisms may not follow evolutionary theory. Abiogenesis may require knowlege of evolutionary theory but evolutionary theory does not require understanding of abiogenesis, where and how life began. This is something that YECs/IDCs like to convolute because they believe that evolutionary theory is based in things like the Miller experiment, which it isn't. That was my point. You are splitting hairs.

Kai,

Has a BS in Biology, getting an MS in Entomology, D/N/T

PS: Besides, biological evolution takes place in populations of organisms, not a soup of nucleic acids. Please to not be confusing biology with organic chemistry. Thank you.

Oh, and also thank you so much for trying to use "selection". That made my day, because now I can bitch about how people do not understand the theory of natural selection and try to pass of their colloquialisms as biological science.

CHEMICAL SELECTION =/= NATURAL SELECTION

and for GODS SAKE, "survival of the fittest" does NOT mean survival of the "strongest" or "most stable". What it means is the ability of an organism to have ofspring that can reproduce. Fit organisms are those that produce offspring which reproduce themselves. It has nothing to do with how strong or stable (whatever you might mean by that in this context is), but how good they are at spewing out children. if you live for 2 days, fuck, have little clones of yourself, and die, you are by definition more evolutionarily fit than someone who lives for over 100 years and never has kids.

By this definition, I would guess that you are not fit. Nature selected against YUO.

:D yes i was splitting hairs, i'm sorry if it seemed an attack, it was only meant as clarification.

My point was that the forces that drive evolution are no different from those that drive changes in abiotic systems,
can you please explain to me how selection on chemicals is different from selection on organisms(as carriers of genes)? Its both just probabilities right? the one with the highest probability to continue existing is the fittest and that is true for alleles, molecules, memes and brands of beer.

by chemically most stable i mean most likely to stay in its current form, He(g) is more stable that H2(g) in an oxygenated environment because H2(g) has an tendency to react with oxygen to create water and helium can't even react with oxygen (being a noble gas) thereby the fraction hydrogen-gas wil decrease in oxygenated enviroments. This is no different from the reduction in allele frequency you find in a population of moths.

what do you think of my 'probabilty of continued existence' view on natural selection?

PS. the term natural selection pisses me off, as if unnatural selection can't influence evolution.


Holy shit, YES, we have a live one here and they can take my snark!  :D

Okay, to your first point, yes, they are different. Why? Because in sexual selection (a subset of natural selection), mate selection is not random. Natural Selection is not a random process. Genetic Drift, however, IS a random process. The greatest controversy in evolutionary biology is which of those two are more important? Most biologists agree that both natural selection and genetic drift occur in some amount, but very few agree as to what proportion each occur. Are there situations where one is irrelevant?

Natural selection, at least when we speak of it including sexual selection, does not deal with probabilities, as I said. Darwins thesis was that individuals with favorable traits are more likely to reproduce because they are A. more fit with the environment (environmental selection) and b. more attractive to a mate (sexual selection), and that these traits are passed on to the offspring and become a larger precentage of the population. This is counting, however, only for traits that are visible and would be considered detrimental or favorable. The other traits, hidden or neutral, will change according to probability. This change is called genetic drift. Like I said above, biologists argue alot about which one is more important in evolutionary change.

Now, compairing that to chemicals is like compairing apples and oranges. The biological process is a combination of random and deterministic elements with billions of variables. The chemical process is relatively simple. You can't compare the two because they are completly dissimilar. The reduction in allele frequency (I'm guessing you are reffering to peppered moth populations) occured because of a thousand different variables coming together at once, habitat selection for the moth, prey selection and availability for the birds, climate and human population effects. Its such a mixture of complex random and deterministic events that comparing it to chemical processes is oversimplfying to the point where it bears no resemblance to the truth. Its too unpredictable.

When you talk about probability of continued existance, I believe you are talking about variables, whereas with evolutionary biology you are talking about alleles within a genepool. Mixed metaphors, different processes, too many variables.

Also, unnatural selection is a bad misspelling, a satyrical meme, and has nothing to do with the scientific theory of natural selection.
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Re: Evolution proven right yet again
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2008, 10:40:14 pm »
Holy shit, YES, we have a live one here and they can take my snark!  :D

Okay, to your first point, yes, they are different. Why? Because in sexual selection (a subset of natural selection), mate selection is not random. Natural Selection is not a random process. Genetic Drift, however, IS a random process. The greatest controversy in evolutionary biology is which of those two are more important? Most biologists agree that both natural selection and genetic drift occur in some amount, but very few agree as to what proportion each occur. Are there situations where one is irrelevant?

Natural selection, at least when we speak of it including sexual selection, does not deal with probabilities, as I said. Darwins thesis was that individuals with favorable traits are more likely to reproduce because they are A. more fit with the environment (environmental selection) and b. more attractive to a mate (sexual selection), and that these traits are passed on to the offspring and become a larger precentage of the population. This is counting, however, only for traits that are visible and would be considered detrimental or favorable. The other traits, hidden or neutral, will change according to probability. This change is called genetic drift. Like I said above, biologists argue alot about which one is more important in evolutionary change.

Now, compairing that to chemicals is like compairing apples and oranges. The biological process is a combination of random and deterministic elements with billions of variables. The chemical process is relatively simple. You can't compare the two because they are completly dissimilar. The reduction in allele frequency (I'm guessing you are reffering to peppered moth populations) occured because of a thousand different variables coming together at once, habitat selection for the moth, prey selection and availability for the birds, climate and human population effects. Its such a mixture of complex random and deterministic events that comparing it to chemical processes is oversimplfying to the point where it bears no resemblance to the truth. Its too unpredictable.

When you talk about probability of continued existance, I believe you are talking about variables, whereas with evolutionary biology you are talking about alleles within a genepool. Mixed metaphors, different processes, too many variables.

Also, unnatural selection is a bad misspelling, a satyrical meme, and has nothing to do with the scientific theory of natural selection.

random? do you think that molecular stability is random? which is easier to degrade starch or ethanol and why? these processes are not even nearly random, it strongly depends on their surroundings just as mate selection. it depends partly on properties of the molecule itself (for example the strength and number of its covalent bonds) and partly on properties of its surroundings/environment (the presence of enzymes, temperature, pH)

Is 'more likely' not equal to increased probability?
as to chemical processes being dissimilar, this is of course true but if you think of the effects of the environment on the subject(organism or otherwise) as a black box then the output of said black box is the probability of continued existence(regardless of the processes inside the black box or what it is acting on). Now when i talk about continued existence i do not mean physical existence but the continued existence of this particular bit of information wether this information is encoded in DNA or in the presence of the actual subject does not matter. it does not matter if your genes survive to 2050 inside your body or inside the bodies of your onyl surviving offspring, as long as they can still interact with the other genes in the genepool.

Don't forget that selection takes places at the genetic level and that genes are molecules.

PS i'm really enjoying this :D

PPS i'm not attacking the theory of natural selection, i just do not understand why it is stil called natural selection when natural implies that it is not influenced by human industry while the theory has the same predicting power when the selection is not natural.
hmmm just had a thought: maybe 'natural' was simply used to set it apart from supernatural i.e. divine, or just used as we use the world 'real' in this day and age.

PPPS my reasoning skills are deteriorating under the influence of beer and exhaustion so i am going to sleep, goodnight Kai.
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