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Thread: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows[W:571]

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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayar View Post

    My understanding of Darwins theory is basically this;random genetic mutations lead to more successful reproduction, thus the mutation is passed on, so on and so forth. Natural selection favors those individuals among a given species who have the beneficial mutated gene, so over time they branch off from the species and the group that does not have the mutation eventually becomes extinct. (Darwins "dead end" species) right so far?
    No offense, but that's a rather poor understanding of evolution.

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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Lursa View Post
    But the basis for scientific research and discovery and how to prove theories, scientific method....ALL this is taught starting in grammar school and it's not difficult to understand. People just either cant be bothered or refuse to when it conflicts with their 'beliefs.' It's not even specific to any particular field of science or theory or principle...it's a matter of understanding how we conduct the research and examine the evidence and draw conclusions.
    Many people are stupid... just a fact. Grade school or not, they will not understand.

    Science is based on skepticism.
    Not sure what this actually means...
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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    God caused evolution to happen.
    Why do you think so, might I ask?

    A genuine question.

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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    No offense, but that's a rather poor understanding of evolution.
    Well. Im no scientist. So, which part did I get wrong?Or was it just an incomplete understanding? So, I am an evolutionary simpleton. Please humor me and answer my simplistic questions.

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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayar View Post
    Well. Im no scientist. So, which part did I get wrong?Or was it just an incomplete understanding? So, I am an evolutionary simpleton. Please humor me and answer my simplistic questions.
    Have you considered going to Wiki for it? It won't burden you in overly much science speak, and it's not bad if you want to understand the gist of evolution.

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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    Have you considered going to Wiki for it? It won't burden you in overly much science speak, and it's not bad if you want to understand the gist of evolution.
    Pfft.

    Of course. If you could have, you would have.

    It won't burden me "in overly much science speak" huh? Well, that's a relief.

    I will just have to get by with what I do know.

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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayar View Post
    Pfft.

    Of course. If you could have, you would have.

    It won't burden me "in overly much science speak" huh? Well, that's a relief.

    I will just have to get by with what I do know.
    And if you had the slightest interest in what evolution really was you would have done so by now. But your post tells me what I already knew: you don't want to know. And you know how I know that? Because everybody who walks into these threads and doesn't know what evolution is resists every attempt to learn it. You would have made me type out pages and pages of information just so you could hand wave away every last word while safely maintaining your ignorance. You're not unique. You're a statistic.
    Last edited by Cardinal; 01-04-14 at 02:21 AM.

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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayar View Post
    So now the questions.

    How does random beneficial mutation create a functioning organ? How many mutations would it take to create a venom gland, for example?
    It doesn't. At least, not spontaneously. The eye is brought up often as an example of something that couldn't just form because you need several different parts. But it's not actually true.

    So, picture first a species evolves a type of cell that is sensitive to light. It's just a flat cluster of cells on a patch of skin, or whatever you call the surface of this early critter. By itself, this doesn't do much. All it does is sense a change in ambient light levels. But that's useful, isn't it? A flicker of shadow might warn this creature of an approaching predator - or prey. It's not much yet, but it only has to be slightly beneficial to provide just a little survival benefit to eventually become a dominant feature. Next, one of these critters has a mutation that makes that patch of cells curved a bit. The curved shape starts to give some directional cues. Oh, it's dark over that way. Now this creature "sees" better than before. Although it's still primitive sight, just sensing dark and light. More curvature would lead to better directional cues, eventually you get an almost eye-socket-like shape. Then maybe the light sensing cells start to differentiate a little bit, start to pick up color. Or muscle structure forms around it, able to open and close the opening slightly, acting like a primitive iris. Over time, incremental changes result in incrementally better visual acuity, which has an obvious survival benefit.

    It seems to me that evolution, as described above, would proceed at a fairly regular and steady pace over the many hundreds of millions of years that life has been "evolving". Wouldn't you agree? But if im not mistaken, the rate at which new species or phyla appear has not been steady at all has it? When was the last time a new phyla appeared? How would the 30 million years that preceeded today compare with other periods of earth's history as it regards the appearance of new species or phyla?
    I don't see any reason it should be steady. These are random mutations, after all. That incrementally better adaptation might occur in 10,000 generations one time, and 50,000 generations the next. A change that is substantially beneficial would dominate faster, and a change that is only slightly beneficial would dominate slower. Plus, factors that affect the mutation rate aren't necessarily steady. For example, the amount of cosmic radiation the earth is receiving changes as our solar system travels through the galaxy. Or the sun itself has never been a particularly steady output of radiation. Atmospheric conditions change too.


    What is the rate of mutation for dna molecules?
    Probably a far broader question than you realize.


    It seems to me there may be plenty of good reasons to be skeptical about evolution as an answer to the question of our existence. Please understand, I know that animals evolve. I know evolution is real, for what that is worth. I can see fossil evidence that horses were small and now they are big, for example. Hehe. But that is far from turning a single cell organism into Sophia Vergara in a mere 4.6 billion years.
    I would suggest that 4.6 billion years is a ****load of time. You're the first person I've ever heard of describing 4.6 billion years as "mere." It's not "mere," it's an amount of time that stretches the limits of human understanding.

    by the way. How many of those "dead end species" have we found fossil evidence of so far?
    I guess you could say every single species we've found that isn't still around. Over a long enough time frame, you either go extinct or you continue.

    edit: Although the dinosaurs' inability to adapt to GIANT ****ING METEOR is understandable.
    Last edited by Deuce; 01-04-14 at 02:39 AM.
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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    I don't see any reason it should be steady. These are random mutations, after all. That incrementally better adaptation might occur in 10,000 generations one time, and 50,000 generations the next. A change that is substantially beneficial would dominate faster, and a change that is only slightly beneficial would dominate slower. Plus, factors that affect the mutation rate aren't necessarily steady. For example, the amount of cosmic radiation the earth is receiving changes as our solar system travels through the galaxy. Or the sun itself has never been a particularly steady output of radiation. Atmospheric conditions change too.
    Some species have been so well suited to their environments that, for all intents and purposes, they've stopped evolving altogether. The jellyfish is half a billion years old, while the sea sponge clocks in at 760 million years.

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    Re: One-third of Americans reject evolution, poll shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayar View Post
    Well, I am not a republican or a christian. I am a libertarian

    and an atheist. That said, I am a bit skeptical of evolution as an explanation for how we all came to exist here on planet earth.

    Darwin's theory of evolution has benefitted greatly in this grand debate by the simple fact that it's primary(only, really) competitor is something as absurd as the biblical creation story. Of course evolution looks like a slam dunk winner next to that. Anyone who dares question evolution, let alone reject it, risks being labeled a crackpot bible thumper regardless of the fact they may never have indicated support for the creation story.
    ...so there is that. It has gone largely unchallenged in the broad secular world. Is there any other competing scientific theory? Not that i know of. Perhaps the debate was so polarizing that the instict to defend evolution has stifled healthy skepticism.

    My understanding of Darwins theory is basically this;random genetic mutations lead to more successful reproduction, thus the mutation is passed on, so on and so forth. Natural selection favors those individuals among a given species who have the beneficial mutated gene, so over time they branch off from the species and the group that does not have the mutation eventually becomes extinct. (Darwins "dead end" species) right so far?

    So now the questions.

    How does random beneficial mutation create a functioning organ? How many mutations would it take to create a venom gland, for example?

    It seems to me that evolution, as described above, would proceed at a fairly regular and steady pace over the many hundreds of millions of years that life has been "evolving". Wouldn't you agree? But if im not mistaken, the rate at which new species or phyla appear has not been steady at all has it? When was the last time a new phyla appeared? How would the 30 million years that preceeded today compare with other periods of earth's history as it regards the appearance of new species or phyla?

    What is the rate of mutation for dna molecules?


    It seems to me there may be plenty of good reasons to be skeptical about evolution as an answer to the question of our existence. Please understand, I know that animals evolve. I know evolution is real, for what that is worth. I can see fossil evidence that horses were small and now they are big, for example. Hehe. But that is far from turning a single cell organism into Sophia Vergara in a mere 4.6 billion years.

    by the way. How many of those "dead end species" have we found fossil evidence of so far?

    Jayar
    Well, it highlights a big misconception about evolution...that it's driven by genetic mutation but A for effort. Here's some clarifications I made earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lursa View Post
    The biggest misconception in understanding evolution is the belief it's based on genetic mutation.

    It is not. That is a minor factor and more often has negative rather than positive consequences

    Evolution is simply a population's genetic complement *changing* in response to environmental influences.

    If there are no significant environmental changes or stresses, then the population...or even species...will remain unchanged. See: horseshoe crab.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lursa View Post
    I'd say their [mutations] influence on evolution is mostly neutral. A negative mutation wont hurt a natural population.....it wont succeed. However we do promote negative mutations and traits (not the same things but we exploit mutations to create 'traits') in our domestic animal & plant population and support their propagation thru our influence.

    And here, by negative I mean mutations that would not enhance a population's adaptation and survival.
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