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Michael Behe - The Edge of Evolution (Nov-9-07)
Posted: 06 February 2008 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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Mr. Tweedy - 06 February 2008 01:50 PM

I hate to be nit-picky, but that is not an example of evolution.  Bigger or smaller beaks are not novel features and they aren’t the result of mutation.  A bird with a large or small beak is not a mutant anymore than person with big or small feet is a mutant.  There are such variations within every population of organisms and the dominance of given variant will fluctuate with the changing of seasons.  If big seeds become more available, then average beak size will increase to match.  If small seeds become more available in a later year, then beak sizes will shrink back to their previous size or even shrink to a smaller size.  Etc.

Um, yes, this is an example of evolution. It’s not a novel feature, but (assuming that the final beak-size isn’t among the normal variation of the finches before the change) is a result of mutation. At any rate, “evolution” happens even if the feature is not novel.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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dougsmith - 06 February 2008 02:02 PM

At any rate, “evolution” happens even if the feature is not novel.

Well, that is a salient point of divergence in our understandings of biology.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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Evolution is simply change by virtue of natural selection. E.g. HERE:

In biology, evolution is a change in the inherited traits of a population from one generation to the next.

You are probably thinking of speciation, which is a limiting case of evolution. To see more about speciation, you can look HERE for example, or HERE (they give examples of some observed speciation events), or HERE for an introduction to the species concept from UC Berkeley.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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No, I’m not talking about speciation.  It’s a divergence.

I find that it is a dishonest equivocation by Darwinists to use the term “evolution” to describe both variations in the prominence of existing features in a group organisms (such as the case of the finch beaks you cited) and the generation of novel features in a group of organisms.  I can’t think of the Latin off hand, but it’s the logical fallacy where two distinct ideas are yolked together and then the truth of one is claimed as proof of the other.

No matter how large or small a finch beak becomes it remains a beak, with the function, structure and genetic blueprint of a beak.  It will not, by changing in size, become something other than a beak.  Variation in the prominence of a trait and the generation of a new trait are not the same thing and the two phenomena should be called by different terms, for the sake of technical accuracy if not for the sake of honesty.

[ Edited: 06 February 2008 03:42 PM by Mr. Tweedy ]
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Posted: 06 February 2008 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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So Mr. Tweedy, are you ignoring the fossil records which show transitional forms? See Transitional Whales. There are many, many more.

Don’t forget this has happened over the course of several billion years.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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Mr. Tweedy - 06 February 2008 03:30 PM

No matter how large or small a finch beak becomes it remains a beak, with the function, structure and genetic blueprint of a beak.

Does it? Do the new beaks of the finches have the same function? Not entirely. They don’t function to crack large nuts, for instance. The function has changed slightly. Do they have the same structure? Evidently not: they are smaller; indeed, they are too small to do certain tasks that the old beaks could do. Do they have the same genetic blueprint? Obviously not. There must have been some genetic difference to account for the morphological difference.

Do the feathers of a kiwi bird have the same function as those of its ancestors? No. They don’t aid flight. Do they have the same structure? Yes and no; in certain ways they are similar enough to be considered feathers, but they are not competent to enable flight. Do they have the same genetic blueprint? No.

The “technical inaccuracy” you are accusing the biologists of is simply ignorance.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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fotobits - 06 February 2008 03:58 PM

So Mr. Tweedy, are you ignoring the fossil records which show transitional forms? See Transitional Whales. There are many, many more.

Don’t forget this has happened over the course of several billion years.

I don’t recall having commented on fossils.

 

Doug, as for ignorance: I don’t think so, but I can’t offer you any proof that you will not discount.

Reading “The Origin or Species” inspired me to my current view, that species are amazingly plastic.  Darwin’s pigeons, for instance: He noted exhaustively how breeding the common gray rock pigeon can produce a vast variety of phenotypes, yet all of the varieties are able to interbreed and will, in fact, revert to their to their original boring gray condition if they are interbred freely.  A wide latitude of variation is inherent in each species.  When we see species change, we are not seeing evolution, we are rather seeing the potentials latent in the genome of that species being expressed.  From a wolf we get 1000 kinds of dog, yet all are still canis familiaris.  A species is molded from clay, not stone.

But that’s just more ignorance, of course.  I haven’t read the right books yet.  Fear not, I will get to them in time!

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Posted: 06 February 2008 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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Mr. Tweedy - 06 February 2008 04:31 PM

Reading “The Origin or Species” inspired me to my current view, that species are amazingly plastic.  Darwin’s pigeons, for instance: He noted exhaustively how breeding the common gray rock pigeon can produce a vast variety of phenotypes, yet all of the varieties are able to interbreed and will, in fact, revert to their to their original boring gray condition if they are interbred freely.  A wide latitude of variation is inherent in each species.  When we see species change, we are not seeing evolution, we are rather seeing the potentials latent in the genome of that species being expressed.  From a wolf we get 1000 kinds of dog, yet all are still canis familiaris.  A species is molded from clay, not stone.

Yeah, that’s why I suggested the material on speciation. The reason that Darwin’s doves and domesticated dogs still can interbreed is that there hasn’t as yet been enough differentiation between the subspecies. But given enough time you will get dogs that are unable to interbreed, and the same with pigeons. As fotobits was saying, on an evolutionary scale we are talking about very large time spans.

All you need to do is to isolate the populations, keep them small, and let genetic drift take its course.

I would also avoid thinking of Darwin’s book as some sort of Bible of evolution. His was the first step, but modern evolutionary theory has come quite a long way since Origin of Species.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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When we see species change, we are not seeing evolution, we are rather seeing the potentials latent in the genome of that species being expressed.  From a wolf we get 1000 kinds of dog, yet all are still canis familiaris. A species is molded from clay, not stone.

From that line of reasoning humans should be able to breed with other primates.

Mr. Tweedy, you’re taking a short-term view of evolution and then dismissing the long-term implications. That’s why I brought up the fossil record. You cannot grasp evolution without examining the fossil record. See Missing Link to Crocodile Found.

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian paleontologists said on Thursday they had found the fossil of a new species of prehistoric predator that represented a “missing link” to modern-day crocodiles.

The well-preserved fossil of Montealtosuchus arrudacamposi, a medium-sized lizard-like predator measuring about 5 1/2 feet (1.7 meters) from head to tail, dates back about 80 million years to the Late Cretaceous period.

“This is scientifically important because the specimen literally is the link between more primitive crocodiles that lived in the era of the dinosaurs 80-85 million years ago and modern species,” said paleontologist Ismar de Souza Carvalho of Rio de Janeiro Federal University.

Dogs have not had enough time to branch into separate species. Give them 80 million years without interbreeding and there’s no telling what they’ll become.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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fotobits -
No, from that line of reasoning humans should be able to diversify into a vast array of phenotypes, all of which could breed with each other, which is indeed the case. [quote author=“dougsmith” date=“1202359966”>I would also avoid thinking of Darwin’s book as some sort of Bible of evolution. His was the first step, but modern evolutionary theory has come quite a long way since Origin of Species.
Oh, of course.  I was just saying what inspired the idea.
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Posted: 07 February 2008 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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Mr. Tweedy - 06 February 2008 09:26 PM

[quote author=“fotobits”]From that line of reasoning humans should be able to breed with other primates.

No, from that line of reasoning humans should be able to diversify into a vast array of phenotypes, all of which could breed with each other, which is indeed the case.

Unless, of course, you “diversify” too far where interbreeding will be either impossible or not so far as not to allow you interbreed but resulting in sterile offspring, like the mule.

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Posted: 07 February 2008 07:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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Excellent example, George.

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Posted: 14 April 2008 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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.

[ Edited: 30 July 2008 06:51 PM by jholt ]
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Posted: 14 April 2008 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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Any news on upcoming cases involving ID vs. Evolution (along the lines of the Dover case)?

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Posted: 23 April 2008 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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I’m a little behind the times, but I just listened to the Behe interview and wondered what comments would have been posted here.

One thing that was interesting to me was his discussion of the “appearance of design.” It seems to me that he equated “appearance of design” with “must have been designed.” He uses the example of Mt. Rushmore that everyone would instantly recognize the work of an “intelligent designer” to make his case. My issue with this, however, is that there have always been and obviosly still are, many natural features that appear to have been “designed” and yet are not. Take the face on Mars for example, or the Old Man of the Mountain in New Hampshire, crystals, lightening hitting what appears to be a very specific spot, the northern lights, or any other natural “wonder.” At some point, human understanding of each of these examples was limited such that most believed the only plausible explanation was an “intelligent desiger” or some other supernatural explanation. History has not been kind to such beliefs and, for me, there’s no reason to expect that it will treat the current line of reasoning coming from the ID camp any different.

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