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Matthew_28_28

Evolution: Reasons why I believe

22 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Introduction:

I was graciously invited to participate in these forums by VenomShocker, who happens to attend the same Pentecostal Church that I do. VenomShocker and I met at the University of Alberta, where he sat in on a Creationism class I took.

The professor I studied under for both of my Creationism classes is Dr. Denis Lamoureux, who not only has his divinity degree but two doctorates. One is in biology and one is in dentistry. His experience and insight has only added to a part-time advocation ive had on this topic; he has formally debated Michael Behe and Philip Johnson and has personal friendships with many of the Young Earth Creationists. This introduction to his experiences with these pioneers has been very valuable. You really get a sense of what the forefront of the movement is, and where it will proceed in the future.

My background is one steeped not only in the physical but also the historical sciences. Add a passion for religious studies and philosophy, and this seems to be the topic that draws me in. Enough preamble though, let's dig in.

SPECIATION:

I've done a quick review of the evolution conversations here. Speciation (and or the lack of it) seems to be one of the foundations of Jonathan's skepticism with evolution.

Speciation deals with reproductive isolation. Jonathan (or do you prefer VenomShocker, just let me know) is not completely sold on the idea of habitat, behavioural, or temporal isolation being speciation. He asked me on the phone personally for examples of Mechanical and Gametic Isolation or Postzygotic barriers.

For the less technically inclined, these are examples of speciation where:

a) Can't reproduce due to anatomic differences

B) Can't reproduce due to gamete incompatibility

c) The hybrid zygote doesnt produce a fertile adult (and that this is a result of observed, and not assumed, speciation)

What does this rule out?

Horses and donkeys creating mules. This speciation was not observed, and is only assumed. This inference only holds weight if you have examples of postzygotic barriers developing empirically.

Postzygotic Barrier Example:

Lab Rat Worm: Nereis acuminata. 6 pairs of worms are taken from Long Beach, where they go to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. 20 years later, they go back to the beach, and find two species of worms there. They cross the Woods Hole worms with the two species found there. The goal was to determine which species the Woods Hole worms were. To their surprise, the worm, which upon all inspection was the same to P2 and only slightly different than P1, was unable to produce offspring that survived until adulthood. Isolated cause was a small difference in karyotype. P1 and P2 crosses survived measurably decently (75%+).

**Weinberg, J. R., et al., Evolution 46: 1214-1220.**

Mechanical Isolation Example:

Erebia rossii and Erebia disa. These are Alpine butterflies that are genetically very similar, sharing 99.8% coding DNA. However, they have genital organs that are different enough that breeding cannot occur. Examples of attempted matings have been observed, yet no successful copulations have been. THE MOLECULAR STUDY OF BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION, Chapter 3, pp. 46-59 (F. Ayala, Ed.), Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, Massachusetts; EVOLUTION WITHIN POPULATIONS, Ann. Mo. Bot. Garden 63: 248-261

Gamete Isolation Example: (Polyploidy provides 50-60 similar examples, this is probably the best imo)

Tragopogon mirus and Tragopogon miscellus. These are tetraploid hybrids of tragopogon pratensis and Tragopogon porrifolius. Differences in the plant stigma (From chromosomal differences) prevent pollinization. References are innumerable.

But as we speak, this argument is really becoming moot. The largest Creationist organization in the world, Answers in Genesis (Answersingenesis.com) has implicitly folded any argument against speciation. In fact, they now incorporate it into their Young Earth theory to defend the wide variety of species seen on Earth. Source: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/...aq/dont_use.asp

Hope this clears up any confusion on speciation of these kinds not occurring.

Edited by Matthew_28_28

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Welcome to the boards grin2.gifgrin2.gif

I saw you reference to Young Earth Creationists.......frankly I'm sick and tired of people trying to justify their religious beliefs by distorting another field of inquiry's findings into suiting themselves. It's tantamount to charlatanism. I also get sick and tired of arguing with them when I happen to.......frankly it's the same as belting your head up against a brick wall. No matter what you say, it makes no difference to them. Personally, if they want to believe in their own little delusions, that's fine by me. But when they try and push those delusions onto others as being scientifically and educationally viable, then that's an entirely different matter.

Religion and creationism should stay right where it is......in theology classes at universities or Sunday schools for the general populace, not being taught as viable alternatives to scientific inquiry in schools. Because they're not......you have one method of study based on hard evidence and theory. The other is nothing more than blind faith (when it's believed as literal truth) in stories, which for most of their history, were handed down orally by illiterate semi-barbaric tribal peoples. These stories after countless years were written down (and not in their original forms, mind you) by people, who whilst they were literate (and only a shade more civilised), had very little true understanding of the nature of the world they lived in.

That some well credentialed and respected scientists would want to actively support this type of nonsense escapes me. It's as bad as the academic and personal hubris which, unfortunately, infects many scientists. They act like priests and high arbiters of knowledge whom you must pay deference to, when in fact it's nothing more than ego driven personal ideology/dogma which is talking. Neither is science. But neither is creationism a science, and it shouldn't be taught as such.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble there........your post was very good and I hope clears up a few things for those that are still a little confused about evolution and speciation grin2.gif

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Hey yea, at the University of alberta, where me and Matthew both attended, creationsim and things related to it are taught in theology classes. But it is good to be well grounded in science, before taking a course like that. Cuz yea, talking to young earth creationists can sometimes be like talking to a brick wall. And then it does become a matter of theology and not science. And thats why its a good reason to keep creationism in theology classes.

The link Mattew put up is an excellent link by one of the leading creationist organizations, that makes a long list of all the problems associated with young earth creationism. I especially like the preamble at the top of the webpage. original.gif

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Now, for my quibits. Hahaha, im gonna need a real thorough understanding of evolution before I can ever believe in it. Please let me remind you I have never stated evolution is impossible, its just that I dont see any real good scientific evidence backing it up. I am skeptical, and I wish to understand this a little more fully rather than sucumb to blind faith and believe the theory of evolution cuz a scientist said so. I need the proof laid out before me.

With the Postzygotic Barrier Example relating to Lab Rat Worms, I dont see how a new species has evolved. "was unable to produce offspring that survived until adulthood" The worms are still producing offspring, and technically what does it matter if they reach adulthood or not.Genetic diversity in species, often leads to some living longer than others.There is no ground there for speciation. I dont see any real evidence of a new species. And if "P1 and P2 crosses survived measurably decently (75%+)." then P1 and P2 wouldnt be 2 seperate species now would they?

With the Mechanical Isolation Example regarding Alpine butterflies gneital organ differences really dosent cut it for me. PsychicPenguin had posted some stuff on this before, and certain breeds of dog can actually mate, but the womb is to small to hold the cross-breed, and a sucessful birth seems impossible. A crude example comes to mind, and that is, take 2 1000lb people, and they may not be able to reproduce, do to ah some blatant difficulties. The point is, there is anatomical variety within species to great degrees, in some more than others, and I dont believe thats a good enough reason, to use that as a measure to decide one species form the next. Using invitro-fertilization, it would most likely still be possible to get offspring. original.gif

And Matthew, you told me, that the AnswerinGenesis organization, is really supporting the ideas of speciation and therefore EvolutionaryCreationism, could you please, show me what literature their using to back up those claims???

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Creationists annoy me......they take what they've been told at literal, face value, without actually thinking things through. It's like what one theologian I know of said...."Once they have you by the "short and curlies", you've left your brain in the parking lot". Instead of using that brain and the (supposed) intelligence they were given, they sit there and take everything in as if they were being spoon-fed like babies. And when they do use their noggins, they still don't think things through. I seriously doubt very many, if any, of them know of the nature of God or existence other than what they've been spoon-fed by the religion they belong to.

I have nothing against a belief (or to be more correct, experiential knowledge and not revelation) in God (or higher intelligence, call it what you will). But I find it galling to see people profess a belief in something they know little or nothing about because they either won't or can't look and think for themselves. They want someone to do all the thinking and work for them.....it's nothing more than laziness of spirit.

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Using invitro-fertilization, it would most likely still be possible to get offspring.

I just had this crazy vision of two Alpine Butterflies in a lab doing their genetic manipulations and such in a test tube. Both of them in white labcoats, of course, and with the obligatory pocket protectors tongue.gifgrin2.gifgrin2.gif

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w00t.gif hahahaha grin2.gifgrin2.gif

That is pretty funny. thumbsup.gif

I can just imagine it.......

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I am skeptical, and I wish to understand this a little more fully rather than sucumb to blind faith and believe the theory of evolution cuz a scientist said so. I need the proof laid out before me.

That is the essence of good science, and the smart way to think about things. However, to provide you a full and comprehensive proof of evolution here would be asking too much of the boards, as it would take up a lot of board space!! grin2.gif

The best way to come to a conclusion for yourself would be to read the relevant literature and texts on evolution.

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I wish I could draw better, I'd make a cartoon of it. But it's more the sort of cartoon that Gary Larson would come up with grin2.gif

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The key to being a new species is being viable. Now when i say that none are surviving until adulthood, I am not saying that they are living full lives (as far as worms go). They are literally malformed, growth stunted, destined to die larvae. They are not genetically compatible enough to produce offspring that live. This is reproductive isolation, because reproduction is more than just having kids. Its having kids which can have kids. Otherwise the species would die out in one generation.

As for P1 and P2, they possess sexual isolation. Meaning, they wont mate willingly with each other. For the purposes of the cross, they forced them to. This is speciation (it does the same thing as other forms of isolation) it just does it in a different way. On the phone you had asked for other types of speciation, or as I remember: "That they cannot physically reproduce with each other."

Which is why your 2nd issue, that is, with the alpines, confuses me. You asked for an example where they could not physically mate with each other. This is as clear of an example of that as I can offer. If you want them to have no offspring at all, then that brings up my example of Gamete isolation.

Gamete Isolation in animals is quite rare and takes a long time. Its more a method of plant speciation. As we can see quite clearly in the animal kingdom, it can take quite a bit of genetic separation for animals to achieve gamete isolation. It instead usually follows this order:

1. Sterile offspring (Fruitflies, Mules, Ligers, etc.)

2. Malformed offspring (Our worm example)

3. Gamete isolation (which by this time, isnt an issue because other forms of genetic isolation have taken place)

By the time #3 is arrived at, so many other forms of isolation exist that people dont bother artifically inseminating them. The reason why? No one is interested in the results and its considered cruel and unethical.

As for the speciation link from answersingenesis, i gave the link at the bottom of my post previously. Here it is again, and find Speciation.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/...aq/dont_use.asp

There is a link that lists their reasons for accepting Speciation. They are Young Earth Creationists though, and they dont believe in evolution. They believe in Kinds at a higher level of the taxonomic key and only believe in speciation within kinds.

I need to sleep, more Catalyst work tomorrow. Bleh.

Cheers,

Matthew

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They are not genetically compatible enough to produce offspring that live.

This sounds similar to, the crossbreeding of a horse and a donkey with the production of infertile mules. Now are the horse and donkey considered to be 2 different species???

And also, if you could either show me in that book, or get me direct refrence links, to the study done on the Woods Hole worms, that would be greatly appreciated. Now here Im going to be real skeptical, 6 pairs of worms, over a 20 year period, I wonder how many offspring they used and got sucessfull copulations with both P1 and P2. Im a lil confused on this matter, because were the results the same with P1 as P2??? Because it would seem to me the Wood hole worms were sucessful producing offspring with P2 but not with P1, yet P2 easliy breeds with P1 (75%). That dosent really seem like speciation, more a case of genetic diversity.

Ah, no on the phone, I never asked, for the inibility of physical reproduction. Genetic yes, but not physical. Sorry there musta been a misunderstanding somehwere there.

people dont bother artifically inseminating them. The reason why? No one is interested in the results and its considered cruel and unethical.

Ah, their just flys, I dont see any ethical problems using invitro-fertilization to test whether there is still a genetic compatibility there or not. Its not like the little flys care.....or do they??? blink.gif

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Oz, u know what p***es me off the most? I bet it p***es you off too! The watch<->watch creator argument. I've never seen a more flawed up argument than that... and it amazes me that some people are fooled by it! I can apply the same argument to God.

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Yes, horses and donkeys are two different species. original.gif

My reference to the lab worms is in the original post at the bottom.

Wood Hole worms had 0% viable offspring with either P1 or P2.

The inability to reproduce due to genetics (that is, your genotype) explains all types of isolation. I thought you wanted more than that, so thats why i provided those specific examples.

Ahh, thats true. With flies and worms and such they generally dont care. Problem is, no one cares enough to anti-up the costs to check. And in the cases where they would care (faeroe island mice for example) it is considered unethical (due to the lack of a medically applicable reason for checking). The standards are that stringent for animal testing when you are dealing with artificial insemination and live young (and no one, again, is interested enough to anti-up the cash)

Matthew

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Posted (edited)

6 pairs of worms are taken from Long Beach, where they go to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. 20 years later, they go back to the beach, and find two species of worms there.

How do the researches, know, if the newly discovered two species of worms hadnt moved in during that 20 year period, and the previous worm species that lived there, hadnt died out?? Was there someone watching the beach the entire time during that 20year period?

Also, i pulled this off a report i found online.

For over 20 years the Woods Hole (WH) population was used in toxicology experiments, and was thus exposed to different environmental conditions than the population at Long Beach.

Im really curious about the nature of these toxicolocy experiments.....scared.gif That sounds a lil freakin crazy. I wonder what they did to those poor lil worms. blink.gif

Also

From 1986-1991 the Long Beach area was searched for populations of the worm, and two such populations, designated P1 and P2, were found.

Ah, they searched the beach for worms and found some, that looked similar, but they dont really know if they are direct ancestors? disgust.gif They just decided to call them P1 and P2? Like i said before how do they not know P1 and P2 didnt just move in , in the mean time??Ah this experiment, dosent sound like its very controlled, and Im quite skeptical of it.

This book, where your refrencing this from do you, own a copy by any chance? I really would like to read the whole report. And also find out if it can indpedently be verified.

Horses and donkeys creating mules. This speciation was not observed, and is only assumed. This inference only holds weight if you have examples of postzygotic barriers developing empirically.

Horses and donkeys, creating mules, Im curious, how is that not speciation? Is it because the mules are infertile, what about the supposed ones that are?

Edited by Venomshocker

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Posted (edited)

Toxicology experiments are probably what led to their speciation. Animals adapt to new environments, its the driving force of speciation and evolution. No doubt that this forced environment change was the guiding force. (We could wait 20,000 years for climate changes for it to happen naturally, but humans like to expedite).

i dont own a copy of "Evolution". Its a periodical...I can probably access it once fall semester starts, as you should be able to as well.

The experiment was not meant to be controlled for speciation. Frankly, no one has the time nor the energy to invest funds in speciation events...its not something that is doubted within the community given so many exampled speciation events. (No university will spend money to re-invent the wheel, so to speak).

Given that worms are:

a) picky

B) that P2 and WH worms tried to mate

c) that they are almost completely genetically identical

Its very unlikely that WH didnt come from one of them. You'd need:

a) a worm extinction (and miraculously the only surviving example is in the WH lab)

B) another worm species thats almost exactly the same to move in beside it.

But the real big kicker is that they probably referenced (I'm guessing here but my argument is strong enough that the onus should be on you) old ecological literature for worm species within that area. Thus there isnt a 20 year window. The literature probably existed before they grabbed the worms. This means that your only explanation left is that they grabbed the only worms of a new species and that no one else knew about it. That and its almost completely identical to P2 and tries to reproduce with it. The reasoning is simple: they wouldnt have had the money put up to discover native worm species just for this reason alone. Again, people dont pay to discover speciation. Its just not an issue in the academy :)

Matthew

Edited by Matthew_28_28

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For an example of exolutionary responces to changes in enviroment you have to look no further than modern hospitals. Antiseptics and anti-biotics have been in common use for quite some time, An individual bacteria or virus can have some natural resistance to such things....

Using anti-biotics wiped out 99% of them leaving only those who had enough resistance, of course they reproduced and passed on their resistance. Each time a stronger antiseptic or antibiotic was used, again this effect happened. We now have what they are calling 'the superbug', a type of bacteria that is mostly resistant to all known forms of anti-biotics.

Now bacteria have a short lifespan and extreamly fast reproduction, hence this has occured in a matter of decades, but the same thing applies to large, slower reproducing creatures only over a much longer span of time.

Eventualy with enough changes, it can be classed as a totaly seperate species.

Just look at the stages a human featus goes through, there is a marked simerlarity between the early stages of a human featus and the early stages of a fish featus. How would you explain that if not as an indicater of a common ancestor and therefore an indication of the truth of evolution?

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Posted (edited)

Feris:

How would you explain that if not as an indicater of a common ancestor and therefore an indication of the truth of evolution?

I would argue that all living things share similarities, and with good reason. Its because the similarities the alot od creatues share, are just simply some of the best features, taht allow them to live. I would hardly use that as grounds to support evolution. Also just by observing similarites, thic can be quite misleading. Check out my response here, in regards to neandrathals and humans. Its 3rd from the bottom:

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum...pic=15429&st=45

Now Matthew in regards to the toxicology experminets performed on those poor lil worms.

was unable to produce offspring that survived until adulthood.

This is huge. These worms were still able to effectively reproduce!!! Now we need to ask ourselves why these offspring couldnt make it to adulthood. This is the so called crux of the experiment. It is assumed these worms couldnt make it to adulthood, because their parents were too genetically removed from each other, that the new worms genes didnt allow it to live very long, hence, creating the argument, that the parent worms must be two seperate species. I see one fatal flaw in this reasoning. The thing is the researches dont know forsure it was genetics that made it so the offspring couldnt live, that was a huge Assumption!!!

What we know from biology and Immunology is that, when creatures are put under prolonged periods of stress, such as in the toxicology experiments ,those creatures adapt to the stresses over time. We also know, that toxins put an enormous load/stress on the immune system, making the selected creature, much more vulnerable to infectious agents like,pathogens,viruses and bacterias. Now we also, know, that toxins(such as mercury), and pathogens(such as HIV, tuberculosis) can be passed down from one generation to another. One parent of a child, can carry multiple pathogens/toxins, whos body has adapted to these, while the othe parent, may have hardly any, and therefore not had the need to adapt, to these pathogens/toxins. The point is when the child is born, it inherits part of the less adapted immune system of the one parent, and the pathogens/toxins from the other. These two factors combined, lead to potential early childhood death, in all living creatures.

The thing is we have one adult that, can copulate well with like adults that have adapted to the toxins/pathogens and pruduce children that grow to old age. While if the same adult copulates with others less adapted adults, the child inherits a less developed immune system from one parent and also inherits the harmful substances from the other; young death often results. The thing is the young are dying not because of genetics, but because of inherited pathogens/toxins and the mal-adapted immune system to go with those stresses. Elliminate those substances from the parent or in some case early after childhood birth(if those pathogens/toxins havent already damaged the fetus/egg), the child is born fine, and lives to old age.

In the case, of the worms, brought to the wood hole institue, they were exposed to numerous toxins and pathogens, they adapted to these, but alot of these substances can continue to remain in the organism even through generations. Now if the wood hole worms are made to copulate with P1 and P2 no wonder their offspring are dying at younger ages, cuz they are inheriting toxins/pathogens, and part of an immune system that hasnt adapted to deal with these.

Again I would say, this is a case of adaptation, not speciation, and if we were to eliminate all harmful pathogens/toxins from the wood hole worms, via something like bioresonance treatment, there is an extremely good chance that the offspring would again be able to live to a ripe old age, and have lots of sex, and reproduce lots of young. clap.gif

Edited by Venomshocker

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I would argue that all living things share similarities, and with good reason. Its because the similarities the alot od creatues share, are just simply some of the best features, taht allow them to live. I would hardly use that as grounds to support evolution.

Thats a rather spurious answer, in what way does having the characteristics of a fish help the developing featus to live and it soon leaves that behind as it continues its development, so why would it not need that any longer?

If it isn't just a legacy left over from our evolutionary roots, what is it?

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Posted (edited)

Definition of a fetus: The unborn young of a viviparous vertebrate having a basic structural resemblance to the adult animal.

In virtually all animals, that dont lay eggs, fetuses form in the same general way. At one point in time the fetuses all look the same i.e. virtually all living creatures were at one point an embryo, and shortly after that just a conglomerate of cells. Its similar to arguing that all species evolved from each other just because all species are made up of similar/like cells, that look the same. The thing is, that kind of argument dosent really prove anything, what else, would they be made up of besides cells? How else, would babies in mammals form, other than through a fetus?

Edited by Venomshocker

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Turn that around.... if they didn't develop the same way, by having a common ancestor then how come the early stage development is almost IDENTICAL!

And we aren't talking about 'just a few cells!

user posted image

user posted image

A human and a pig.... but which is which.... those are more than "Just a few cells" and that sort of simularity is HIGHLY unlikely to develop independently!

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Ah,ok Fenris.

This is more of a matter of opinion than anything else.

These arguments dont prove evolution and they dont disprove it either.

If that convinces you of evolution, than well thats great for you.

Personally I need proof of the mechanism behind evolution ie. speciation before Im willing to accept it. original.gif

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And what doesn't natural selection already cover..... I'm not going to go any further as creationists simply make my brain hurt with trying to figure out how anyone with a passing familiarity with logic can possibly disbelieve in evolution.

The superbug I mentioned in a post today is but one example. Selective breeding can bring about new species of flower within the space of a human lifetime.... Just multiply that effect by a few million years and you get all the mechanism you could ever need!

And with that..... he was gone..... whoosh

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