Evolution discussion

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Desert
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by Desert » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:37 pm

WildAboutHarry wrote:
Well, I agree that transitional forms are a human construct.  But you can't defend evolution without them.  If a life form gradually evolves from a fish to a land animal, we have to have millions of years of fish with little legs crawling the earth.  Maybe a fish with one leg, later a fish with two legs, etc.  Then a big hairy fish, and then finally Harry Brown.
You forgot the vestigial "e".  :)
LOL

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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by Snoopy » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:08 pm

If all life has indeed evolved from some giant bag of particles, then logically, no rational thought is possible.

Therefore, because one is even able to state the proposition, "God does not exist", he thus proves God's existence.
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by dualstow » Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:27 am

Benko wrote: This is the bottom line:

the issue is that you need to evolve many many complicated things all of which work together (if engineered just so) but which are useless by themselves.

I have no clue what the explanation is, nor do I need to. I only know that  Darwinian evolution, as best I understand, can't really explain things like this which include the hearing mechanism, the visual system (from an anatomic point of view), and many other aspects from e.g. a physiological point of view.  So I'm left saying I don't know what caused this, but planning by whatever (god, aliens, skynet, Hal from 2001) seems more likely.  I'm open to other possibilities, but unless this is addressed, there is a whopping hole in evolution as an answer. 

NB:  I totally understand that evolution could certainly be true for everything and the answer to this solved at some later date and that this does not disprove evolution.  IT is just that for now, one can't say it answers al the questions either.
Benko, I like that last part because the earlier paragraph sounds like "I don't get it, therefore the explanation is not complete." I certainly don't understand every detail of evolution, though not for lack of trying. Science is of course an ongoing explanation, and I think we've only begun to crack the code. Significantly, though, I have seen enough evidence to be convinced.

There is the old argument that begins, "What good is five percent of an eye?" (Answer: better than zero percent!) And with hearing bones and other specialized parts, it is tempting to say they are designed by a sentient being rather than simple physical laws acting on biology (biophysics) over millions of years. Just as you leave it open that evolution could be the answer, I have to concede that there could be an alien designer. But then who designed the designer?

Speaking of simple physical laws, I love the opening to one of Richard Dawkins' books that talks about how the tide can arrange stones on a beach. He suggests that a primitive tribesman might look at the orderliness of it and draw the conclusion that a god made it happen, while we will smile smugly and explain how a completely natural process brought about that order. We may know a lot more than those primitive tribesmen but with hearing bones we might not totally grasp the "tide" that made them. But someone out there might.

Furthermore, the reason I chose hearing bones as a example is because while they may look like they were specifically designed for hearing, we can see that some of them were in fact jaw bones. Nature is not efficient in this way, but it loves redundancy and multipurposeness. That's why we swallow and breath with the same throat, whereas a designer could have circumvented the possibility of choking on tater tots.

Whether we were designed or evolved, it gives me a sense of wonder to think about how we came here from Nothingness.
Last edited by dualstow on Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by Mountaineer » Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:19 am

Could someone give me an reasonable explanation for how two fish mutated at essentially the same time and in the same vast oceanic location to have lungs instead of gills, sprouted legs so they could crawl onto dry land and not drown, and then found each other, mated and produced more little fish-based things with lungs and legs to continue the process? 

And, a related followup question concerning DNA - if the mutated fish were able to reproduce fish-things that had lungs and legs, why don't we see evidence today of mutated humans mating and producing more mutated humans like them (e.g. a man and a woman, each a thalidomide product with deformed arms, do not seem to produce children with deformed arms ... at least I think that is correct.  Please pardon me if this is a poor example, I certainly do not profess expertise in biology.)?
http://www.thalidomide.ca/cause-second- ... h-defects/

... Mountaineer
Last edited by Mountaineer on Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by doodle » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:10 am

Snoopy wrote: If all life has indeed evolved from some giant bag of particles, then logically, no rational thought is possible.

Therefore, because one is even able to state the proposition, "God does not exist", he thus proves God's existence.
Unicorns do not exist.....did I just prove their existence?
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by doodle » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:21 am

Mountaineer wrote: Could someone give me an reasonable explanation for how two fish mutated at essentially the same time and in the same vast oceanic location to have lungs instead of gills, sprouted legs so they could crawl onto dry land and not drown, and then found each other, mated and produced more little fish-based things with lungs and legs to continue the process? 

And, a related followup question concerning DNA - if the mutated fish were able to reproduce fish-things that had lungs and legs, why don't we see evidence today of mutated humans mating and producing more mutated humans like them (e.g. a man and a woman, each a thalidomide product with deformed arms, do not seem to produce children with deformed arms ... at least I think that is correct.  Please pardon me if this is a poor example, I certainly do not profess expertise in biology.)?
http://www.thalidomide.ca/cause-second- ... h-defects/

... Mountaineer
And 4000 years ago your question would have been "can someone please explain how thunder and lightning exist?" I can't understand it and there is no perfect scientific evidence so therefore they must be created by the Gods. Just cause you cannot conceive of how something is possible doesn't mean it isn't. To a child, a magicians tricks look like true miracles and an especially amazing trick might even convince an adult that this person had superhuman powers.....however the truth is that they are quite simple once one is explained how it was done.
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by Jan Van » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:39 am

doodle wrote:
Snoopy wrote: If all life has indeed evolved from some giant bag of particles, then logically, no rational thought is possible.

Therefore, because one is even able to state the proposition, "God does not exist", he thus proves God's existence.
Unicorns do not exist.....did I just prove their existence?
God exists, he even has a Twitter account. And today at 2:14am He Tweeted...
@TheTweetOfGod wrote:Can't you all just get along? No. No you can't.
... which proves he has been reading this thread!
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by Desert » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:31 am

What good is 5% of an eye? 

This 5% of an eye would also of course have its downsides, probably additional energy consumption, reduced power to weight ratio, opening for infection, etc.  So somehow this 5% of an eye would have to deliver benefits exceeding its costs.  And also, 5% is the wrong question, because 5% of an eye would never appear in a single mutation.  In fact, 5% of an eye is an extremely complex system that would require (if one has faith in time and mutation) millions of years to form.  So we'd need to figure out how .005% of an eye was beneficial.  What would .005% of an eye look like?  Evolutionists believe that the eye preceded the brain, so let's start with the outer surface of the eye.  Perhaps it started as just an opening.  I think that's reasonable.  There were just a small hole in the outer surface of the creature that light could enter, along with microbes, etc.  What was the benefit of that small opening?  Of course there was none.  It was a negative mutation, just like the vast majority of mutations are, and it ended with the early death of the brainless creature, and the evolution of the eye was put on hold.  But the NEXT one, that one was successful.  And not just for a little while.  These little brainless creatures with small flaws in their outer shell managed to breed with one another and develop a slightly "smarter" little defect.  A few hundred million years later, we had the eye we all enjoy today.  And a brain to go along with it, fortunately. 
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by dualstow » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:13 am

Desert wrote: So somehow this ... would have to deliver benefits exceeding its costs.

But is that how nature works? Or does a mutation just have to confer an advantage over the critter's peers, in say avoiding prey, attracting mates, finding food.
In fact, 5% of an eye is an extremely complex system that would require (if one has faith in time and mutation) millions of years to form.
... Perhaps it started as just an opening.
It's just an arbitrary number. It may have been started by Stephen Jay Gould. Can't remember.

I think most scientists agree that it likely started with a light-sensitive patch of skin or other exterior tissue. Nothing complex.
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by Mountaineer » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:42 am

doodle wrote:
Mountaineer wrote: Could someone give me an reasonable explanation for how two fish mutated at essentially the same time and in the same vast oceanic location to have lungs instead of gills, sprouted legs so they could crawl onto dry land and not drown, and then found each other, mated and produced more little fish-based things with lungs and legs to continue the process? 

And, a related followup question concerning DNA - if the mutated fish were able to reproduce fish-things that had lungs and legs, why don't we see evidence today of mutated humans mating and producing more mutated humans like them (e.g. a man and a woman, each a thalidomide product with deformed arms, do not seem to produce children with deformed arms ... at least I think that is correct.  Please pardon me if this is a poor example, I certainly do not profess expertise in biology.)?
http://www.thalidomide.ca/cause-second- ... h-defects/

... Mountaineer
And 4000 years ago your question would have been "can someone please explain how thunder and lightning exist?" I can't understand it and there is no perfect scientific evidence so therefore they must be created by the Gods. Just cause you cannot conceive of how something is possible doesn't mean it isn't. To a child, a magicians tricks look like true miracles and an especially amazing trick might even convince an adult that this person had superhuman powers.....however the truth is that they are quite simple once one is explained how it was done.
Does this mean you don't know how to answer my questions of Today?  Who knows what my question would have been 4000 years ago - except for the Creator whose truth is always there for us to hear.

...Mountaineer
I marvel at the creation - its beauty, its endurance, its complexity. I marvel that man can make complex things but is incapable of making even the simplest living organism - a blade of grass, a tree, an ant, an amoeba.
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by Pet Hog » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:09 pm

Mountaineer wrote: Could someone give me an reasonable explanation for how two fish mutated at essentially the same time and in the same vast oceanic location to have lungs instead of gills, sprouted legs so they could crawl onto dry land and not drown, and then found each other, mated and produced more little fish-based things with lungs and legs to continue the process?
The reason why no one can explain your idea of evolution is that it is not how evolution works.  Nobody is claiming that evolution occurs through two fish suddenly mutating during their adult lives and then they meet and have mutant fish sex.  Instead, mutant fish are born with the mutation in their DNA.  A pregnant fish can give birth to thousands of eggs.  It is possible that a single fish birthed two mutants at the same time (twins?).  They had a sexual advantage over their siblings and peers and then mated to produce thousands of offspring that featured the advantageous mutation.  Over a few generations, the mutant fish consumed all the resources and the non-mutants died out, being unable to compete with their superior brethren.  Maybe the sexual advantage was that they could use their fins as legs and so they could crawl one inch up a riverbed and eat some food unavailable to their peers.  Maybe after thousands of generations a lucky supermutant fish could crawl two inches up the riverbed and, consequently, use that advantage to wipe out the genes from all his ancestors and father a new strain of fish that only lived on and near riverbanks.
Mountaineer wrote:And, a related followup question concerning DNA - if the mutated fish were able to reproduce fish-things that had lungs and legs, why don't we see evidence today of mutated humans mating and producing more mutated humans like them (e.g. a man and a woman, each a thalidomide product with deformed arms, do not seem to produce children with deformed arms ... at least I think that is correct.  Please pardon me if this is a poor example, I certainly do not profess expertise in biology.)?
http://www.thalidomide.ca/cause-second- ... h-defects/
Thalidomide was a drug taken by mothers to overcome morning sickness.  That means that the gestating fetus had normal, non-mutated DNA before it was exposed to the drug.  The deformation arose from the interaction of thalidomide with a protein in the fetus's body that is responsible for limb growth.  Any mutation of the limbs did not result from a mutation of the DNA.  Therefore, any child of a thalidomide victim would have normal DNA.

By the way, mutated humans do mate and produce mutated offspring all the time.  That's exactly the mechanism of evolution!
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Re: Evolution discussion

Post by Mountaineer » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:38 pm

Pet Hog wrote:
Mountaineer wrote: Could someone give me an reasonable explanation for how two fish mutated at essentially the same time and in the same vast oceanic location to have lungs instead of gills, sprouted legs so they could crawl onto dry land and not drown, and then found each other, mated and produced more little fish-based things with lungs and legs to continue the process?
The reason why no one can explain your idea of evolution is that it is not how evolution works.  Nobody is claiming that evolution occurs through two fish suddenly mutating during their adult lives and then they meet and have mutant fish sex.  Instead, mutant fish are born with the mutation in their DNA.  A pregnant fish can give birth to thousands of eggs.  It is possible that a single fish birthed two mutants at the same time (twins?).  They had a sexual advantage over their siblings and peers and then mated to produce thousands of offspring that featured the advantageous mutation.  Over a few generations, the mutant fish consumed all the resources and the non-mutants died out, being unable to compete with their superior brethren.  Maybe the sexual advantage was that they could use their fins as legs and so they could crawl one inch up a riverbed and eat some food unavailable to their peers.  Maybe after thousands of generations a lucky supermutant fish could crawl two inches up the riverbed and, consequently, use that advantage to wipe out the genes from all his ancestors and father a new strain of fish that only lived on and near riverbanks.
Mountaineer wrote:And, a related followup question concerning DNA - if the mutated fish were able to reproduce fish-things that had lungs and legs, why don't we see evidence today of mutated humans mating and producing more mutated humans like them (e.g. a man and a woman, each a thalidomide product with deformed arms, do not seem to produce children with deformed arms ... at least I think that is correct.  Please pardon me if this is a poor example, I certainly do not profess expertise in biology.)?
http://www.thalidomide.ca/cause-second- ... h-defects/
Thalidomide was a drug taken by mothers to overcome morning sickness.  That means that the gestating fetus had normal, non-mutated DNA before it was exposed to the drug.  The deformation arose from the interaction of thalidomide with a protein in the fetus's body that is responsible for limb growth.  Any mutation of the limbs did not result from a mutation of the DNA.  Therefore, any child of a thalidomide victim would have normal DNA.

By the way, mutated humans do mate and produce mutated offspring all the time.  That's exactly the mechanism of evolution!
Pet Hog,

Thank you for the reply.  It is very interesting, a very interesting hypothesis.  The second subject dealing with thalidomide makes sense.  I can buy that one as I expect it is reproduceable in a controlled experiment (Yuck to ponder the ethics of that one!).  The first, as I said, very interesting hypothesis.  But to me, it does not seem nearly as likely as God's story to us on how it happened (the fishes taken in the context of the whole universe and everything in it and how that universe operates on a razor's edge).  Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

... Mountaineer
Last edited by Mountaineer on Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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