Evidence of Evolution

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by king_alvarez, Apr 24, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Emperor_Billy_Bob Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2000
    star 7
  2. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    The 'ole school yard, "he's on our side, so no matter what he does...it's the other guys that's bad."

    It's gone on in every evo thread to date.

  3. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    And, your MO, has always been to typically conflate your degrees to include areas where you have absolutely no scientific expertise, i.e., biology and genetic research.

    To my understanding, your vocation is some iteration of a counselor, is it not?


    Just to put this on record, so everyone knows where I am coming from:

    While completing graduate school, I worked in behavioral health, at times in a counseling capacity. My vocation for the past several years is college professor (teaching undergraduate philosophy (philosophy of science, epistemology, medical ethics) and graduate health science classes (research methodology, evidence-based practice, and current issues in health care) as well as clinical researcher in critical care medicine. I have 5+ years of education in the core sciences (biology, physics, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, and genetics). Most germane to the discussion at hand, I am co-author a chapter on gene polymorphisms in critical illness coming out in the second edition of Critical Care Nephrology from Elsevier Press, which (last I heard) will be published this summer. Aside from this chapter, I am first through third author on chapters on metabolic disturbances (acidoses/alkaloses), renal failure, and several case studies. I have additional chapters on metabolic disturbances in the Oxford University Handbook of Critical Care, also due out this summer from the Oxford University Press.

    In light of this, I will let others choose whether to believe my comments and arguments, and will not continue this line of tit-for-tat sniping. If there are actual discussions of evolutionary mechanisms, I'm happy to contribute.
  4. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9

    [face_talk_hand]



































    :p

    No seriosuly. You know what's really funny is that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. People will try to question your knowledge or education and if you hand out your educational resume they may, and here have tried, to say you are just pointing at your degree to win an argument. I see it here, I see it on many a forum.
  5. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Yeah but Quix has been around the forums for a long time and can be trusted.

    Besides he's an original *basher*! 8-}

  6. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    "No seriosuly. You know what's really funny is that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't."

    I certainly agree, with that, it's like being informed to keep mention of "religion" free from the discussion ( past thread ), doing so and then being accused of being "covert" ( this thread ).


    "People will try to question your knowledge or education and if you hand out your educational resume they may, and here have tried, to say you are just pointing at your degree to win an argument. I see it here, I see it on many a forum."

    The mention of Quix credentials was brought about in response to some of his comments, and to point out aptly, that while having taken these " core courses", the majority of which would likely fall under standard curriculum as requisite courses, 101 and 102 level. But, I didn't ask for Quix "resume", a synopsis of which is given under his screen name,...but was emphasizing per that information that he isn't a biologist, nor is he in fact a "geneticist"...since he mentioned "experience", namely meaning his endeavor's into primary empirical research would appear to be limited and perhaps he might tone down his posts a little.

    The real work being performed that is most relevant to the discussion would be in the realm of research in molecular biology, and so forth.

    TO BE CLEAR: I don't care if the village idiot makes a salient comment or argument, it is the content and not the source,...nor do I care about Quix credentials, which may or may not be relevant,...I was simply pointing out that while he goes on about "experience" he never addressed my actual comments, instead occupying himself with my "methodology". I perceived a bit of irony.

    What is actually observable to the eye in nature is accountable for by basic axioms of animal husbandry and fundamental principles of Mendelian genetics.



    It is "crap" to put words in my mouth, as I didn't suggest any such thing, but pointed to precisely the common mechanisms at work and "observed in every other species on Earth." Relying inherently on fundamental textbook bio 101 level knowledge of dominent and recessive heritable traits and so forth.

    I've yet to find out specifically what Quix was taking issue with, as he quoted me using an irrelevant comment,...known as being beside the point...but still has not indicated what he was taking issue with in the relevant comment. I've made the request twice previously.




  7. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    To be clear, no one...least of all me...is arguing that evolution does not occur.

    That has never been my "argument"...what is being discussed is to what extent it occurs, and what is the actual empirical evidence, and my position has always been to approach it with an eye towards falsification...

    ...which is part and parcel of the scientific process, which of course is the basis of peer review.

    And this brings us back to the lizards and their cecal valves...and what is actually being observed, what has been recorded, and so forth...and what are the ways, if all observational material is spot-on, that these fully developed valve might develop in the species...


    ...all the while inherently acknowledging within my comments, that our knowledge is far, far from complete...
  8. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    What, specifically, do you believe is the proven extent to which evolution occurs?

    Often times Creationists try to cite some specific difference between micro and macro-evolution. Is this where you draw the limit as well? If so, what type of evidence would you accept as proof of macro-evolution? Is there any type of proof that you would accept?
  9. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    An aside about Galileo,
    Galileo was persecuted because his views regarding the solar system contradicted the church approved Ptolemic model. At the time, whatever the church said was the right answer (as evidenced by Church documents of persecution toward those that taught Copernicsm), and in fact, the other scientists weren't the problem at all.

    Source: Catholic.com
    Galileo could have safely proposed heliocentricity as a theory or a method to more simply account for the planets? motions. His problem arose when he stopped proposing it as a scientific theory and began proclaiming it as truth, though there was no conclusive proof of it at the time. Even so, Galileo would not have been in so much trouble if he had chosen to stay within the realm of science and out of the realm of theology. But, despite his friends? warnings, he insisted on moving the debate onto theological grounds.

    In 1614, Galileo felt compelled to answer the charge that this "new science" was contrary to certain Scripture passages. His opponents pointed to Bible passages with statements like, "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed . . ." (Josh. 10:13). This is not an isolated occurrence. Psalms 93 and 104 and Ecclesiastes 1:5 also speak of celestial motion and terrestrial stability. A literalistic reading of these passages would have to be abandoned if the heliocentric theory were adopted. Yet this should not have posed a problem.
    ...
    Theologians were not prepared to entertain the heliocentric theory based on a layman?s interpretation. Yet Galileo insisted on moving the debate into a theological realm. There is little question that if Galileo had kept the discussion within the accepted boundaries of astronomy (i.e., predicting planetary motions) and had not claimed physical truth for the heliocentric theory, the issue would not have escalated to the point it did.


    See, the problem wasn't with Galileo disagreeing with the scientists, it was because his science conflicted with theology.


  10. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    Going back to the intial topic discussing general evidence for different types of evolution, something that I've always found to be very informative is genetic evidence of evolution regarding human ancestry.

    One specific example is in regards to the 24 pairs of chromosomes in apes, and 23 in humans.
    Source:
    "The biggest single chromosomal rearrangement among the four species is the unique number of chromosomes (23 pairs) found in humans as opposed to the apes (24 pairs). Examining this difference will allow us to see some of the differences expected between common ancestry as opposed to a common designer and address the second creationist objection listed above.

    There are two potential naturalistic explanations for the difference in chromosome numbers - either a fusion of two separate chromosomes occurred in the human line, or a fission of a chromosome occurred among the apes....The common ancestry scenario presents two predictions. Since the chromosomes were apparently joined end to end, and the ends of chromosomes (called the telomere ) have a distinctive structure from the rest of the chromosome, there may be evidence of this structure in the middle of human chromosome 2 where the fusion apparently occurred. Also, since both of the chromosomes that hypothetically were fused had a centromere (the distinctive central part of the chromosome), we should see some evidence of two centromeres.
    ...
    The first prediction (evidence of a telomere at the fusion point) is shown to be true in reference 3 . Telomeres in humans have been shown to consist of head to tail repeats of the bases 5'TTAGGG running toward the end of the chromosome. Furthermore, there is a characteristic pattern of the base pairs in what is called the pre-telomeric region, the region just before the telomere. When the vicinity of chromosome 2 where the fusion is expected to occur (based on comparison to chimp chromosomes 2p and 2q) is examined, we see first sequences that are characteristic of the pre-telomeric region, then a section of telomeric sequences, and then another section of pre-telomeric sequences. Furthermore, in the telomeric section, it is observed that there is a point where instead of being arranged head to tail, the telomeric repeats suddenly reverse direction - becoming (CCCTAA)3' instead of 5'(TTAGGG), and the second pre-telomeric section is also the reverse of the first telomeric section. This pattern is precisely as predicted by a telomere to telomere fusion of the chimpanzee (ancestor) 2p and 2q chromosomes, and in precisely the expected location. Note that the CCCTAA sequence is the reversed complement of TTAGGG (C pairs with G, and T pairs with A).

    The second prediction - remnants of the 2p and 2q centromeres is documented in reference 4. The normal centromere found on human chromosome 2 lines up with the 2p chimp chromosome, and the remnants of the 2q chromosome is found at the expected location based upon the banding pattern.

    Now, the question has to be asked - if the similarities of the chromosomes are due only to common design rather than common ancestry, why are the remnants of a telomere and centromere (that should never have existed) found at exactly the positions predicted by a naturalistic fusion of the chimp ancestor chromosomes 2p and 2q?"


    In more generic terms:
    "Their theory made 3 predictions:

    1) One of our chromosomes would look like two of the chimp chromosomes stuck together.
    2) This same chromosome would have an extra sequence in it that looked like a centromere. Centromeres are the things in the middle that microtubules grab onto to divide a pair of chromosomes during mitosis.
    3) It would also have telomeres (ends) but in the middle - and they would be in reverse order. Sort of like this:

    ENDchromosomestuffDNEENDchromosomestuffDNE

    See the "DNEEND" in the middle? That's what two telomeres would look like if two ch
  11. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    King_Alvarez,

    "See, the problem wasn't with Galileo disagreeing with the scientists, it was because his science conflicted with theology."


    Did you bother to even read the entire article to which you linked?
    Are you under the impression that the Aristotelian or Ptolemaic model was Catholic, or even Christian,...? Your comments suggest that you are aware, and yet you seem to be contesting my comments. So, I'm sort of confused.
    The Church screwed up in backing that model, which was entirely extra-Biblical.

    It was because the theologians attempted to conform scripture to the popularly accepted 'science' of the day.

    THE POINT OF MENTIONING GALILEO GALILEI: You consider this part of Galileo's bio as part of my point, but it was not my reason for mentioning him,...Now, the thrust of my actual point, simply being that majority consensus does not impart infallibility.( So, the history of Galileo, as you've presented is beside the actual point. )
  12. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    King_Alvarez,

    "What, specifically, do you believe is the proven extent to which evolution occurs?"

    The jury is still out on that one...



    "Often times Creationists try to cite some specific difference between micro and macro-evolution. Is this where you draw the limit as well? If so, what type of evidence would you accept as proof of macro-evolution? Is there any type of proof that you would accept?"


    I'm not contributing as a "creationist".

    We were discussing the Lizard's cecal valve...my comments in regard to that...whether one wishes to come at it from an "evolutionary" stance or not...is that, in the sense of one organism shifting into a completely different organism,...the article didn't provide anything conclusive or new, or which would allow for that...or anything which would showcase the possibility of such change. By analogy, Nothing more startling than the fact the liver regenerates from a piece of itself if dissected.

    The analogy of the liver basically represents something being removed, yet some trace amount being left behind,...and then the liver re-appearing/ re-emerging.( Think in terms of a genetic level trace amount. )


  13. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    I know what your point was. I was merely clarifying the history so that someone doesn't draw an incorrect assumption from your "point."
  14. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    King_Alavrez,

    Well, Mr. Editor, what would that "incorrect assumption" be?

    At worst, that scientists make mistakes?
    That the Church shouldn't compromise scripture to make it dove-tail with science?
    That Galileo, a lone voice, who challenged the academic status-quo of his day was eventually vindicated? ( That apparently the majority of the scientists held unquestioning to the reigning dogma being disseminated at their educational institutes of higher learning? )

    < Just being curious...>
  15. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    Ok, let me clarify, do you believe any type of evolution has been proven to occur?

    I didn't say you were. I would, however, like you to contribute as a normal human, not some atheist/agnostic caricature that you may have once had.

    That was neither the premise nor the conclusion of the article.

    While not conclusive, it did in fact reflect a great possibility of change.

    The analogy might be apt if the same trace amount of liver never regenerated in a specific species, but then a species comes along where it was suddenly able to regenerate itself. You would then have to explain what change occurred to allow regeneration.
  16. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    It was not the academics that persecuted Galileo nor were the scientists the ones that held unquestioning to a specific dogma, it was the non-scientist theologians. This is the point that I wanted clarified, even though it doesn't change the point that consensus does not make right (which is why I prefaced my comment with a notation that is was merely an aside).
  17. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    King_Alvarez,

    "I didn't say you were. I would, however, like you to contribute as a normal human, not some atheist/agnostic caricature that you may have once had."

    I am contributing as a "normal...", thinking, critically analyzing..."human". I am not contributing as an "atheist"...as I have already stated in a post preceding this one....

    ...what specifically ( please cite my comment )drew you to the conclusion anything in any of my posts in this thread have reflected a non-belief in Deity on my part? My only comment was in response to something another individual addressed to me?

    I have stated clearly, twice, my comments do not hinge on anything one way or the other.

  18. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    This I agree with. You most certainly are not contributing as an atheist.
  19. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    Okay, I'm done commenting on this until someone brings up something new to add to the discussion.
  20. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    King_Alvarez,

    "It was not the academics that persecuted Galileo nor were the scientists the ones that held unquestioning to a specific dogma, it was the non-scientist theologians. This is the point that I wanted clarified, even though it doesn't change the point that consensus does not make right (which is why I prefaced my comment with a notation that is was merely an aside)."

    I am sorry, but you are incorrect. The "theologians" were following the "scientists" on this one. That's a fact..."Aristotelian"..."Ptolemaic"...ring any bells? These were common beliefs/ "scientific facts" which the Church embraced as the academic "facts" of the day.

    And, yes, it was the "scientists" of the day who held to those models which were taught prior to the existence of the Church ( Aristotle's model: Aristotle 384 BCE ? 322 BCE )...Development of Ptolemaic System.

    And, yes, the majority of the "scientists" were holding fast to the reigning dogma...which is why the martyrdom of Galileo is in the history books, and not some other unknown individual.


    EDIT: It could be viewed as an alliance between religion and science which persecuted Galileo, and also it is important to keep the historical perspective, in that the Church was basically in a very theocratic/ political position. In some sense it was really Church/ State/ Science, perhaps not terribly unlike and completely dissimilar to the recent trials involving Intelligent Design.
  21. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    King_Alvarez,

    ""Often times Creationists try to cite some specific difference between micro and macro-evolution. Is this where you draw the limit as well? If so, what type of evidence would you accept as proof of macro-evolution? Is there any type of proof that you would accept?"

    I didn't mention "micro" or "macro".
    Let's let the "creationists" speak for themselves, shall we?

    Source:AiG Ministry


    "Ok, let me clarify, do you believe any type of evolution has been proven to occur?"

    It depends on how you are choosing to use the term "evolution". I'm not trying to be evasive.
    I don't think anything has been "proven."
    There's a great deal of plasticity.
    For instance, speaking of "creationism", I've seen an individual fault some "creationists" for not being able to quantitatively define the term "kinds", all the while...the questioner is overlooking the fact the term "species" is itself "specifically" amorphous and disputed.

    I certainly appreciate and realize the vast expressiveness of DNA, in that we've to do nothing more than examine canines or felines to see tremendous diversity and variability. The basis of Mendelian principles is adequate as explanation for what is observed thus far.

    Now, conflating this genetic variability into a relationship with a banana...well, we are certainly a long way from showing such a morphologically sound familial tree.

    It's one thing to state that there are a large number of similarities, the basis of categorization, but quite another to begin saying that all of these arose from a single common progenitor.

    "Correllation does not imply causation." That's a two-edged sword.

    One scientist looks at the data and feels it's compelling enough to determine that all species arose from a single common ancestor. Another scientist views the exact same data as in line with a common designer.





    Me? I'm here in the audience, taking it all in and trying to make an assessment.
    I'm definitely on the Pro-Creator side, but truly I'm not invested in whether it was literally 6 days and a rest or over billions of years. Or, maybe both, in the sense of some space-time differential from the quantum mechanics or astrophysics realm. The "fact" is...it's a mystery.
  22. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    I was clearly not lumping you in with the generic creationist group, as is evidenced in my phrasing.

    This is why I stated on the first page that I'm not really concerned here with different types of theistic evolutionary explanations.

    To be specific, would you agree that many of the principles and predictions of the theory of evolution are consistent with observed data and that it provides a tenable explantion of what may have happened in the past?


  23. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    King_Alvarez,

    "To be specific, would you agree that many of the principles and predictions of the theory of evolution are consistent with observed data and that it provides a tenable explantion of what may have happened in the past?"

    Well, you're going to have to be more specific.
    As stated ( your question ), I would have to say no.

    For instance, in early Darwinian evolution, it was stated that small gradual steps would need to accumulate, and it was assumed that cells were simple. We now know the opposite is true in regard to cells, and we've gone from gradualism to saltational leaps. In other words, "evolution" has gone in the opposite direction of what was predicted, and what the early theory was predicated upon.


  24. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    King_Alvarez,

    Continuing the line of thought from my post second to the last.

    For instance, you presented a link to a page on the chimp DNA.

    Here is a source from AiG Ministry:

    Greater than 98% Chimp/human DNA similarity? Not any more.

    I've seen this debated back and forth.
    The pro-evo side seem to find the pro-evo stance the more compelling.
    The non-pro-evo side seem to find the arguments against more compelling.


    A news source ran this story:Human-chimp DNA difference trebled



    Everything is tentative.
  25. king_alvarez Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2007
    star 3
    This is not in regards to the same topic that was made in the link that I posted.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.