Evolution … Its for real

Comments

  1. #1 Lance
    November 29, 2007

    Apologies for being a language lawyer, but I believe you need “It’s” not “Its” in your title. Excellent video though.

  2. #2 JP
    November 29, 2007

    I’m not a biologist, just a law student who enjoys reading blogs. I enjoyed the presentation, but it seems to apply more to micro than macro-evolution. Could you do one that addresses speciation? Speciation has always conflicted with the very simplistic form of evolution that was taught to be (during a lifetime of liberal arts education). Wouldn’t speciation limit an organisms pool of potential mates and therefore be counter to the goal of successful propogation? Does there need to be a more complex stressor than a non-random predator to achieve speciation? Thanks for satisfying my curiosity science guy!

  3. #3 Siamang
    November 29, 2007

    “Wouldn’t speciation limit an organisms pool of potential mates and therefore be counter to the goal of successful propogation?”

    In the past, physical separation was thought to be a main driving force behind speciation. The commonly-taught model is a population of land animals in an environment that becomes bisected by a waterway. The animals west of this new waterway are separated long enough to speciate.

    This is what’s commonly taught, and you may have gotten that in your liberal-arts education, as it’s illustrative. And to be sure this physical separation happens and causes these types of speciation events.

    But here’s the real deal: physical separation is not necessary. All that IS necessary is that a population of organisms does not recognize other members as suitable mates.

    Imagine a bird of paradise type of bird where the male has an elaborate mating display. Their markings are key to sexual selection. Now remember, things like feather displays and markings come in geneplexes, complexes of genes that can be activated by a switch gene somewhere in the genome.

    Let us assume that 99% of the time, our male birds are black with bright blue markings. One percent of the time, in a freak mutation, the black and bright blue genes don’t get switched on, and we have a bird that is bright green instead.

    Let’s say that the allele of the gene that we’ll call “greenbird” is a recessive trait, and it only gets expressed in 1% of the birds. And these numbers stay consistant for 500 generations of birds.

    Now let’s say that there is a new mutation. A new “selfish gene” that if it can be said to “desire” anything, only “desires” propogation of itself. But this mutation causes the female bird to “like” green, perhaps just a little bit more than it likes blue. It’ll take blue if there’s no green around.. but it really really likes green. So we’ll call this new allele “likegreen”.

    Okay, NOW we have two different but symbiotic genes in the genome. Now you can see what will happen. The genes we call greenbird and likegreen are cohorts, looking to propogate themselves, and to do that they work in tandem.

    At this point, there’s many more green birds in the genepool. Let’s say 25% of them are green now. But to protect itself, the opposite alleles, which I’ll call “bluebird” and “likeblue” have got to compete, or all birds will be green, and the blue versions will die out.

    So a stronger version of “likeblue” starts to come up in the population. We’ll call this “likeblueHATEgreen”. At this point, we’ve got a speciation event. Blue birds will not recognize green birds as suitable mates. But at this point they are biologically cross-fertile, and indeed likegreen females will still mate with blue birds. At a certain point, that window will probably shut as well, and we’ll have two distinct species.

    Further genetic change will ensure that these now two distinct hereditary lines will diverge to the point that even with artificial help they are no longer cross-fertile.

    JP, you asked specifically:

    “Wouldn’t speciation limit an organisms pool of potential mates and therefore be counter to the goal of successful propogation? ”

    We can see here by my example, that the point to realize isn’t that a gene is trying to survive in the genome by being distributed as widely as possible.

    The point to realize is that an ALLELE is competing against its rival alleles at that locus. “Greenbird” is competing against “bluebird”. In order for greenbird to “win” a space for itself in the genepool, it must defeat or battle to a draw against bluebird.

    Sure, it could be said that greenbird “wants” to defeat bluebird entirely. But speciation occurs when a schism allows both to flourish separately.

    And I’m not a biologist. So actual scientists can come in here and correct me.

  4. #4 greg laden
    November 29, 2007

    JP

    You ask a good question, but it is a question that addresses a level that is not really part of the picture on the ground. Evolution often involves changes that turn out to be counterproductive at the group or species level, because evolutoin is pretty much blind to most operations at those levels. Males that kill other males in sexual competition are also reducing the gene pool’s diversity, but there is no mechanism to address this.

    There is not an overarching goal.

  5. #5 Siamang
    November 29, 2007

    “Males that kill other males in sexual competition are also reducing the gene pool’s diversity, but there is no mechanism to address this.”

    I would emphasize here that while it does reduce the gene pool’s diversity, the diversity of the genepool is explicitly not a “goal” of the “selfish genes”. The selfish genes don’t “want” genepool diversity. They “want” the opposite. They “want” to win. They “want” to dominate their alternate alleles.

    (I’m using the words “goal” and “want” here as simile. Strictly speaking, these things obviously have no awareness or desires. But we speak of them having “wants” in a mechanistic sense, like a ball “wants” to roll downhill.)

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    November 29, 2007

    Lesser Ape: Exactly.

  7. #7 Jonathan Bonds
    November 5, 2010

    Evolution evidence and why it is wrong

    The modern theory of evolution was developed by Charles Darwin, an amateur English naturalist, in the 19th century. He proposed that all of the millions of species of organisms present today, including humans, evolved slowly over billions of years, from a common ancestor by way of natural selection. This idea said that the individuals best adapted to their habitat passed on their traits to their offspring. Over time these advantageous qualities accumulated and transformed the individual into a species entirely different from its ancestors (e.g. birds from reptiles, whales from bears, humans from apes, etc).
    The Evolutionist Perspective on the History of Earth
    According to the theory of evolution, earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago. Its atmosphere probably contained little free oxygen, but a lot of water vapor and other gases, such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and was extremely hot. By 3.9 billion years ago, earth cooled enough for water vapor to condense, allowing millions of years of rain that formed earth’s oceans.
    The Origin of Life

    In the 1930s, a Russian scientist, Alexander Oparin, hypothesized that life began in the oceans on early earth between 3.9 to 3.5 billion years ago. He suggested that first, simple organic molecules containing carbon formed. Energy from the sun, lightning, and earth’s heat triggered chemical reactions to produce small organic molecules from substances present in the atmosphere. These molecules were organized by chance into complex organic molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids that are essential to life.
    The Formation of Amino Acids – Miller’s Experiment
    Attempting to prove Oparin’s hypothesis, two American scientists, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, carried out an experiment in which they attempted to simulate early earth conditions according to evolutionists. They mixed water vapor with ammonia, methane, and hydrogen gases. They then sent an electric current that simulated lightning through the mixture. Then they cooled the mixture of gases, producing a liquid that simulated rain. After a week, they collected the liquid in a flask and analyzed the chemicals therein. They found that three amino acids (amino acids constitute the basic elements of proteins, which are the building blocks of living cells) were synthesized.
    This experiment aroused great excitement among evolutionists at that time and was claimed as proof for Oparin’s hypothesis. However, there were serious problems with Miller’s experiment.
    Most of the products of the experiment were right-handed amino acids. Amino acids are right-handed or left-handed. (The difference between them is the mirror-symmetry between their three-dimensional structures, which is similar to that of a person’s right or left hands.) Only left-handed amino acids are suitable for life. Proteins with right-handed amino acids are useless.
    In addition, Miller’s experiment did not reflect the primordial conditions on earth. Miller used a mechanism called a “cold trap” by which he isolated the amino acids from the environment as soon as they were formed. Had he not done so, the amino acids would have been destroyed by the conditions of their environment. Later, Miller could not even form one amino acid without using the cold trap mechanism.
    The gases that Miller used also were not realistic. Instead of using nitrogen and carbon dioxide, which scientists believe were present in the early atmosphere, he used methane and ammonia. Without ammonia it was impossible to synthesize the amino acids.
    .
    Kevin Mc Kean tells about this in an article published in Discover magazine: “Miller and Urey imitated the ancient atmosphere of earth with a mixture of methane and ammonia. According to them, the earth was a true homogeneous mixture of metal, rock and ice. However in the latest studies, it is understood that the earth was very hot at those times and that it was composed of melted nickel and iron. Therefore, the chemical atmosphere of that time should have been formed mostly of nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O). However these are not as appropriate as methane and ammonia for the production of organic molecules.”
    Miller also left out oxygen, because the presence of oxygen would make formation of amino acids impossible. However, research has shown that the early atmosphere did contain oxygen as proved by traces of oxidized iron and uranium in rocks estimated to be 3.5 billion years old. Note that, on the other hand, if oxygen was not present, life still could not have formed because of intense ultraviolet radiation that would have killed any molecules that happened to form by chance.
    The Formation of Proteins – Sydney Fox’s Experiment
    Though Miller’s experiment in no way proved how amino acids formed on early earth, evolutionists still refer to it as an answer as to how amino acids formed on earth. Evolutionists faced an even greater problem in explaining the next stage in the beginning of life: the combining of hundreds of amino acids in the correct order to form proteins.
    Proteins cannot form in the oceans because the reaction in which two amino acids bond together releases a water molecule. According to the Le Châtelier Principle, it is not possible for a reaction that releases water to take place in a hydrate environment. Because of this problem, an American scientist, Sydney Fox, suggested that the first amino acids might have been dragged to some cliffs near a volcano right after their formation. Then the amino acids would have been dried when the temperature rose over the boiling point, after which they could have joined to form proteins (though research has shown that amino acids cannot endure such high temperatures).
    Sydney Fox tried to prove his hypothesis by carrying out an experiment in which he combined purified amino acids in the laboratory by heating them in a dry environment. Though the amino acids combined, no proteins were obtained and the protocells formed were nothing but useless and disordered loops of amino acids combined together.
    In the article “Chemical Origin of Cells” (June 22, 1970) in the magazine Chemical Engineering News Sydney Fox’s experiment was mentioned as follows:
    Sydney Fox and the other researchers managed to unite the amino acids in the shape of ‘proteinoids’ by using very special heating techniques under conditions which in fact did not exist at all in the primordial stages of the earth. Also, they are not at all similar to the very regular proteins present in living things. They are nothing but useless, irregular stains. It was expressed that even if such molecules had formed in the early ages, they would definitely be destroyed.
    These experiments showed that not only proteins could not have formed under the primordial conditions, but also amino acids could not have formed.

    Formation of Cells

    According to evolutionists, the organic compounds evolved into the first true cells, which evolved into more complex cells, (some of which began photosynthesis and produced the oxygen and ozone present in the atmosphere).
    Modern technology has allowed humans to discover some aspects of the cell. What was thought to be a murky lump during the time of Darwin has been discovered to be an unimaginably complex system. In the cell, there are power stations, complex factories, a huge data bank (with data enough to fill a 900-volume encyclopedia), storage systems, advanced refineries, and complex transportation systems.
    As W. H. Thorpe commented, “The most elementary type of cell constitutes a ‘mechanism’ unimaginably more complex than any machine yet thought up, let alone constructed, by man.”
    The Process of Evolution
    According to evolutionists, the early cells evolved into the millions of species of organisms that have ever lived.
    In the process of evolution, a change, called a mutation, in the genetic code of an organism occurs because of radiation, chemicals, or a chance event. This change is then either kept or removed by natural selection. If the organism survives, it passes its traits on to its offspring. Over time, these changes accumulate in the population and another species evolves, which is totally different from its ancestors.
    However, scientists have questioned this explanation for the variety of organisms on earth. Professor E. W. Bride wrote in “Nature”:
    ‘Natural Selection’ affords no explanation…of any…form of evolution. It means nothing more than ‘the survivors survive.’ Why do certain individuals survive? Because they are the fittest. How do we know they are the fittest? Because they survive.
    Neither natural selection nor mutations introduce any new genetic data into the organism’s DNA. Natural selection only selects out the disfigured, weak, or unfit individuals of a population. It cannot produce new species, new genetic information, or new organs and thus cannot make anything evolve.
    Mutations have never been observed to have any useful effect despite thousands of experiments. Just as earthquakes bring destruction to a city, so do mutations bring harm to an organism.
    The evolutionist scientist Warren Weaver wrote in Genetic Effects of Atomic Radiation:

    Many will be puzzled about the statement that practically all known mutant genes are harmful. For mutations are a necessary part of the process of evolution. How can a good effect – evolution to higher forms of life – result from mutations practically all of which are harmful?
    In addition, mutations add no new data to the organism’s DNA. They only cause data to be torn from their places and destroyed or moved to new places. They cannot make an organism acquire a new organ.
    Even if a mutation occurs in an organism, it has to occur in the reproductive cells of the organism. For example, a human eye altered by the effects of radiation or other causes will not be passed onto subsequent generations.
    The Fossil Record

    The lack of evidence for evolution in the fossil record is a challenge for the evolution theory. According to the theory of evolution, every living species has sprung from a predecessor. Small, gradual changes over millions of years have transformed previously existing species into new ones.
    If this is the case, then numerous intermediary species must have lived and left behind fossils. In fact, the number of fossils of intermediary species should be greater than that of remains of present species of animals. For instance, many half-fish/half-reptile or half-ape/half-human fossils should have been found. Yet, more than 140 years of searching has not even revealed one transitional species. In contrast to evolutionists’ claims, life has always appeared suddenly and fully formed in the fossil record.
    A famous British paleontologist, Derek V. Ager, writes in “The Nature of the Fossil Record” even though he is an evolutionist:
    The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find-over and over again-not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.
    Another evolutionist paleontologist Mark Czarnecki comments in his book “The Revival of the Creationist Crusade” as follows:
    A major problem in proving the theory has been the fossil record; the imprints of vanished species preserved in the earth’s geological formations. This record has never revealed traces of Darwin’s hypothetical intermediate variants – instead species appear and disappear abruptly…
    Evidences for Evolution
    Bacteria’s Immunity to Antibiotics

    One commonly cited evidence for evolution is the development of resistance in bacteria against antibiotics. Fifty years ago, penicillin killed many types of disease-causing bacteria. However, it is not that effective today. The development of resistance against antibiotics is supposedly direct evidence for evolution.
    However, this is not the case. Before the development of penicillin, some bacteria species were already resistant. Many were not. After penicillin was used against the bacteria, the non-resistant bacteria were killed. The resistant bacteria survived and reproduced to produce more resistant bacteria. The population increase of resistant bacteria is not evolution. A new species of bacteria did not evolve. The bacteria are still the same species as they were before. What happened was only a weeding out of non-resistant bacteria.
    The magazine Scientific American has to say the following in its March 1998 issue: “Many bacteria possessed resistance genes even before commercial antibiotics came into use.”
    Homologous Structures

    Another “evidence” for evolution is homologous structures. Homologous structures are structures that are similar in arrangement or function. Evolutionary biologists view homologous structures as evidence that organisms with similar structures evolved from a common ancestor.
    However, this idea is only based on apparent physical resemblance. Homologous structures are found in creatures of completely different species among which evolutionists have not been able to establish any evolutionary relationship. In addition to birds, we find wings on bats (which are mammals) and insects. These organisms have no evolutionary relationship among each other. Similarly, the octopus and man have similar eyes, though they have no evolutionary relationship.
    Though homologous structures should be coded with similar DNA codes, we find that in most cases the genetic coding is quite different. Furthermore, similar genetic codes in the DNAs of different creatures are often associated with completely different organs. Michael Denton, an Australian professor of biochemistry, describes in his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis the genetic impasse of the evolutionist interpretation of homology: “Homologous structures are often specified by non-homologous genetic systems.”
    Also, the development of homologous structures in the egg or mother’s womb should parallel one another. However, embryological development of homologous structures is completely different in every living species.
    Vestigial Structures

    Vestigial structures, as defined by evolutionists, are body structures that have no function in a present-day organism but were probably useful to an ancestor. Evolutionists say that these structures are evidence for evolution as they show structural change over time.
    However, S.R. Scadding, an evolutionist himself, wrote in his article titled “Can vestigial organs constitute evidence for evolution?” published in the magazine Evolutionary Theory
    Since it is not possible to unambiguously identify useless structures, and since the structure of the argument used is not scientifically valid, I conclude that ‘vestigial organs’ provide no special evidence for the theory of evolution.
    In 1895, the German Anatomist R. Wiedersheim, made a list of vestigial structures in humans that included approximately 100 organs. As science progressed, it was discovered that each of the organs in the list had important functions in the body.
    For instance, it was discovered that the appendix is in fact a lymphoid organ that fought against infections in he body. It was discovered, among others, that tonsils have a significant role in protecting the throat against infections, particularly until adolescence; that the thymus sparks the immune system by activating T cells; that the thyroid gland is effective in providing steady growth in babies and children; and that the pituitary gland controlled the correct functioning of many hormone glands.
    There is another problem with vestigial structures. Though they are supposed to have been inherited from their ancestors, some of these structures are not even found in the living species claimed to be the ancestors of human beings! The appendix, for instance, does not exist in some ape species that are said to be the ancestors of man.
    Embryology

    Another argument of evolutionists is that the embryos (the earliest stage of growth and development of both plants and animals) of fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals are very similar and thus are evidence that they evolved from a distant, common, ancestor. They claim that all have gill slits and tails in their embryos.
    However, the similarities are just based on appearance. Research has shown that the “gills” in the humans are in fact the initial phases of the middle-ear canal, parathyroid, and thymus. The “tail” is in fact the backbone, which resembles a tail only because it takes shape before the legs do.
    Conclusion
    As more discoveries are made, scientists learn more about the complexity of all living systems. Each new discovery refutes the theory of evolution ever more and shows the great design of the Creator Who has created everything from nothing.

    Evolutionists have failed in every endeavor to prove that evolution or evolutionary processes could have taken place. Neither could they produce a single useful amino acid or protein, nor could they prove – despite thousands of experiments – that mutations can have beneficial effects and cause evolution. In fact they have proved that God’s design is perfect and that mutations only have negative effects.
    The lack of evidence for the theory in the fossil record or anywhere else other than superficial “similarities” in organisms shows that the theory has no solid scientific basis.
    This theory functions more like an ideology, as Sir Arthur Keith admits in the forward to the 100th anniversary edition of Darwin’s book, Origin of Species in 1959: “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation which is unthinkable.”
    A great deal of time and energy has been wasted on attempting to prove this fallacious theory and denying the existence of God. Science must be liberated from this unprovable fairy tale for grownups.

  8. #8 Macturk
    November 5, 2010

    Jonathan Bonds, the first two paragraphs of your overlong non-contribution merely prove that you do not know what you are talking about. Evolution has nothing to say about the formation of the Earth nor about the origin of life. These topics are dealt with under cosmology and biogenesis.

    There is NO “Evolutionist Perspective on the History of Earth”, ther is simply the geological record.

    Could we please have the full quote; Professor E. W. Bride wrote in “Nature”: ‘Natural Selection’ affords no explanation…of any…form of evolution”. What sort of silly quote mining is this?.

    I cannot be bothered trying to do a line by line analysis of your trite rubbish, but a few examples will suffice.

    “The lack of evidence for evolution in the fossil record is a challenge for the evolution theory”. What lack of evidence? Of course there are gaps. Have you any idea how unlikely it is that ANY organism would become a fossil? Have you bothered studying this area either? The fossils found over the entire planet, in broad outline, are utterly compatible with evolution. Could I ask you to study the fossil history of the horse? Or humans?

    “Each new discovery refutes the theory of evolution ever more and shows the great design of the Creator Who has created everything from nothing”. Kindly give one – just ONE – example of any recent discovery which refutes the idea of evolution. Grand sweeping generalisations will not do, it, science requires evidence. You have provided none.

    Conclusion:

    Jonathan Bonds must be liberated from this unprovable fairy tale for grownups.

  9. #9 Stephanie Z
    November 5, 2010

    Perhaps Mr. Bonds is unaware that the Arthur Keith quote he’s so fond of is completely made up. Think he’ll stop using it now?

    Also, he’s referring to E. W. MacBride (ah, watching the evolution of mined quotes is great, ironic fun) in his elided quote. The full quote is, to the best of my knowledge after a quick web search, “Of one thing, however, I am certain, and that is that ‘natural selection’ affords no explanation of mimicry or of any other form of evolution. It means nothing more than ‘the survivors survive.’ Why do certain individuals survive? Because they are the fittest. How do we know they are the fittest? Because they survive.”

    This was in 1929. DNA wouldn’t be confirmed as a mechanism of heritability until 1952, so it’s not surprising MacBride had some trouble understanding the process. However, even then, his (Lamarckian) understanding of inheritance was on its way out. He was also a eugencist racist, which might not (or might; I don’t know) be the kind of person Mr. Bonds wants to rely on for support.

Current ye@r *