Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 180393 comments on the www.scientificblogging.com story from Feb 24, 2008, titled Should evolution be taught in high school?. In it, www.scientificblogging.com reports that:

Microbiologist Carl Woese is well known as an iconoclast. At 79 years of age, Woese is still shaking things up. Most recently, he stated in an interview with Wired that...

"My feeling is that evolution shouldn't be taught at the lower grades. You don't teach quantum mechanics in the grade schools. One has to be quite educated to work with these concepts; what they pass on as evolution in high schools is nothing but repetitious tripe that teachers don't understand."

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.scientificblogging.com.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#104704 Oct 14, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
The only change you get from mutations is disease and death. It is only in rare circumstances does a mutation produce a benefit for survival but it is always at a cost to the overall fitness and represents a loss of genetic information. This has been observed and demonstrated in large, long term studies in bacteria and flies. This means there is no mechanism for macroevolution to ever occur.
Nope, we have shown that is not true by countless laboratory experiments.

Let's see which is more believable, actual experiments in the laboratory that show viruses and bacteria evolving new abilities that increase survival or the ranting of an uneducated religious zealot.

Sorry Urb, I am going with the scientists.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#104705 Oct 14, 2012
Johny wrote:
<quoted text>
This notion that one mutation will really increase function is a pipe dream. Without any added function you will not get the selection! Without the selection the trait will not be highly probable in the larger population. When your system requires many very specific mutations to coalesce in one genome, you need a high probability of the mutations being within a large percentage of the population. Otherwise, this process will reach the universal probability bound where all the time since the beginning of time is not enough to allow it.
All I can say is "Prove it". The opposite has been proved in the laboratory. And in the field. In the field Nylonaise evolved to consume nylon. It did not exist before nylon was developed by man. In the laboratory they have run countless experiments that showed evolution in action. There is the well known evolution of E. Coli to digest citrate. There are others, do you need to see them?

Our side is willing to prove our case by citing research that backs it up. I have noticed a lack on your side to do that. They do occasionally find a doctor or some such that will right a paper, but it is usually fatally flawed and it is still cited for years after it has been debunked.
Tyler in the Exosphere

Southfield, MI

#104706 Oct 14, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins
http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creati...
I KNOW! Isn't this the saddest thing you've ever seen? It's like come on get with the program America! I mean geeze. Another poll conducted across twenty countries placed the US second to last in acceptance of evolution--literally, the only country with a lower rate of acceptance was Turkey. Frikkin /Turkey/, aka the single least scientifically inclined nation in Europe (right now, at least. Once upon a time Turkey was really rockin' the science, but then, uh, various things happened. I don't want to sound antitheist or anything but it actually did have a lot to do with an influx of Christianity in that area). This is not a proud day for the US. Not a proud day at all.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#104707 Oct 14, 2012
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
All I can say is "Prove it". The opposite has been proved in the laboratory. And in the field. In the field Nylonaise evolved to consume nylon. It did not exist before nylon was developed by man. In the laboratory they have run countless experiments that showed evolution in action. There is the well known evolution of E. Coli to digest citrate. There are others, do you need to see them?
Our side is willing to prove our case by citing research that backs it up. I have noticed a lack on your side to do that. They do occasionally find a doctor or some such that will right a paper, but it is usually fatally flawed and it is still cited for years after it has been debunked.
Theists are liara. They know that their god isn't real, that's why they lie about science and atheism. It's pathetic when you think about it really.
Tyler in the Exosphere

Southfield, MI

#104708 Oct 14, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
It's been my experience that it's really the evolutionists who fail to understand the details of the theory. Evolution is mostly a blind faith situation. People who discover the truth about it then tend to reject it.
Man you've seen people coming in here all the time arguing about things like abiogenesis and the second law of thermodynamics like they has any bearing at all on this. Seriously I'd probably look into Creationism more seriously if they had some credible people backing it (I'm no expert, after all, and am not looking to become one in the future--gotta know who to trust on the issues, it'd be pretty dumb of me to expect to know more than someone actually educated in the subject, right?) So yeah I pretty much have go with the Steves on evolution.
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

United States

#104709 Oct 14, 2012
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope, we have shown that is not true by countless laboratory experiments.
Let's see which is more believable, actual experiments in the laboratory that show viruses and bacteria evolving new abilities that increase survival or the ranting of an uneducated religious zealot.
Sorry Urb, I am going with the scientists.
The longest study of its kind, Lenski's long-term E.coli experiments have reached 50,000 generations with no hint of macroevolution of any kind occurring. Adaptation and genetic variation, or microevolution, is all that happened in Lenski's E.coli as happens with all organisms, ever. Lenski's experiments have clearly demonstrated that if you start out with E.coli, after 50,000 generations of struggle, you wind up with E.coli bacteria. There was no genetic mutation that created some new or nascent organ or limb evident. Universal common descent could not have happened because there is no mechanism for macroevolution to occur and this long-term experiment demonstrates that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-ter...
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

United States

#104710 Oct 14, 2012
Tyler in the Exosphere wrote:
<quoted text>
I KNOW! Isn't this the saddest thing you've ever seen? It's like come on get with the program America! I mean geeze. Another poll conducted across twenty countries placed the US second to last in acceptance of evolution--literally, the only country with a lower rate of acceptance was Turkey. Frikkin /Turkey/, aka the single least scientifically inclined nation in Europe (right now, at least. Once upon a time Turkey was really rockin' the science, but then, uh, various things happened. I don't want to sound antitheist or anything but it actually did have a lot to do with an influx of Christianity in that area). This is not a proud day for the US. Not a proud day at all.
I'm sorry you feel that way because I see it as a blessing. America is still the greatest place on the planet and we have the best people. I used to be an evolutionist myself but when I really studied it in detail found it to be totally wrong and lately science is overwhelmingly confirming the truth of the Bible in so many ways. Also remember that pratically all the founding fathers of science were Christians, who througout history have always been at the top of the educated world.
Tyler in the Exosphere

Southfield, MI

#104711 Oct 14, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
The longest study of its kind, Lenski's long-term E.coli experiments have reached 50,000 generations with no hint of macroevolution of any kind occurring. Adaptation and genetic variation, or microevolution, is all that happened in Lenski's E.coli as happens with all organisms, ever. Lenski's experiments have clearly demonstrated that if you start out with E.coli, after 50,000 generations of struggle, you wind up with E.coli bacteria. There was no genetic mutation that created some new or nascent organ or limb evident. Universal common descent could not have happened because there is no mechanism for macroevolution to occur and this long-term experiment demonstrates that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-ter...
What are you talking about? They spontaneously mutated the ability to metabolize citrate, which is a major development. Here have an article:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-b...

And that was in 2008! And it's even given plenty of detail on the Wikipedia page you linked omfg
Tyler in the Exosphere

Southfield, MI

#104712 Oct 14, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm sorry you feel that way because I see it as a blessing. America is still the greatest place on the planet and we have the best people. I used to be an evolutionist myself but when I really studied it in detail found it to be totally wrong and lately science is overwhelmingly confirming the truth of the Bible in so many ways. Also remember that pratically all the founding fathers of science were Christians, who througout history have always been at the top of the educated world.
Oh yes! Christians are plenty educated about the world, it was just that one particular instance where it turned out to be pretty disastrous. Major social changes can result in a lot of things both positive and negative, after all.

And indeed, the founders of the scientific method were indeed Christian--who wasn't in those days amirite?--which makes it all the more spectacularly admirable that they were able to separate their beliefs from their findings for the greater good! The example that leaps to mind is Galileo of course, who was absolutely a Christian even as the church denounced him and his discoveries. Fortunately, the church eventually learned from its mistake, even if it was decades too late, and corrected their theologically driven geocentric model of the universe with the scientifically correct... er, well, closer to correct at least heliocentric model (heliocentrism is technically wrong, as the 'centrism' part refers to the universe--that is to say, heliocentrism would hold that /everything/ revolves around the sun. Nowadays we know that a lot of things revolve around the sun, but the sun revolves around the galactic center, and so on and so forth this is a tangent).

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#104713 Oct 14, 2012
Johny wrote:
If evolution was true, new biological systems would require a very large number of specific mutations for a new system to come about.
That's like claiming that a new language (say, Middle English) couldn't possibly derive from an existing language (say, Old English), because it would take so many changes for it to happen.

And yet it happens.

“What, me worry?”

Since: Mar 09

I'm a racist caricature!

#104714 Oct 14, 2012
Johny wrote:
<quoted text>
Psychology, I appreciate your support but it is important to show respect for people even if you do not agree with them. Even when they misuse the facts respect is important. Our conduct and words must rise above the standard norm we see in society.
Before you get too far, Johny, why don't you do us all a favor and just answer a question for me? Here goes:

Does planetary axial rotation produce that planet's gravity? Yes or no. This is important.

“What, me worry?”

Since: Mar 09

I'm a racist caricature!

#104715 Oct 14, 2012
Johny wrote:
<quoted text>
Taking a snippet of my post is ... required ....
Yep.

“What, me worry?”

Since: Mar 09

I'm a racist caricature!

#104716 Oct 14, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins
http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creati...
Remind us where the U.S. ranks in education among industrialized nations.

Also, since when does popularity determine the validity of a claim? You do realize that soon there will be more Muslims than Christians, right? That means Islam will be the most popular religion. Does that greater popularity mean that when this switch occurs, Islam will be correct because it is the single most popular religion? Appeals to popularity alone are useless and the crutch of the stupid. The question isn't "how many people believe X," it's "why do so many people believe X?" And, we do have those answers. It's called psychology (NOT YOU JIMBO!). Unless you deny the validity of the entire field of psychology. Not that denying entire fields of science is new to you.

“What, me worry?”

Since: Mar 09

I'm a racist caricature!

#104717 Oct 14, 2012
Johny wrote:
<quoted text>
Goal - the physics of systems requires the "goal"...
No. Mutations occur. They always occur. Every new offspring has mutations. You're telling us that every mutation must have a goal. This is bullshit. Not to mention, mutations that result in new or additional structures occur all the time. There are the lobster people and the ostrich people (look them up). If those mutations resulted in a greater rate of survival or reproduction, those mutations would spread through the population.

But, let's take it even further back. Let's say that a bird is born with a beak that is just a couple millimeters longer than the average bird of its species. Let's say that couple millimeters proves useful for reaching into flowers for nectar that other birds of the species don't have access to because their beaks are too short to reach. Was there a goal in that mutation? Nope, it's just a mutation that resulted in a slightly longer beak, just like there are mutations that result in slightly longer fingers, slightly longer noses, slightly longer toes, and so on. You don't think there's a goal behind your toes being slightly longer than average, do you? Of course not. Just like there isn't a goal behind that beak being just a couple millimeters longer than average.

Now, let's continue with this beak. So, the bird now has a new source of food, because it can eat everything the rest of the species eats PLUS the nectar of flowers that its fellow members of the species can't. Guess what that is? A survival advantage. He's getting more nutrients and more calories and competing less to get them, so he's healthier, which makes him more attractive to potential mates. That means he gets to mate and pass on his genes, including the mutation for the slightly longer beak. His children gain that slightly longer beak, so they have access to those additional food sources, too. Pretty soon, this slightly longer beak is spreading throughout the population, because it's increasing the vigor of those who have it, which means they're more successful at surviving and reproducing.

Now, there's competition among the longer-beaked birds for the nectar, which means that if a member of that longer-beaked population should have another mutation which, say, results in a beak that's just a millimeter or two narrower, it can reach all the nectar the others can PLUS reach nectar in flowers that are narrower than the ones its fellow members can reach. Guess what that would be? Another survival advantage! There was no goal behind it. Just a change that resulted in a slight difference from the norm that ended up being useful.

Meanwhile, another bird might have had a mutation that resulted in slightly more powerful muscles in its feet. It didn't end up giving it any advantage for survival. It was neutral. It spread a little bit but nowhere near as dominantly as the longer beak, nor as much as the narrower beak. Another bird in the population has a mutation that results in faster-twitching muscles in its wings, which gives it more control over its flight. That makes it even easier to get to flowers and get away from them, so feeding time isn't such a vulnerable time. Guess what? Survival advantage! Pretty soon, you end up with hummingbirds.

This is a VERY simplified and VERY accelerated version of how hummingbirds evolved from swifts, but hopefully this demonstrates that there is no goal behind mutations. Evolution is exactly this: random mutations and natural selection.

“What, me worry?”

Since: Mar 09

I'm a racist caricature!

#104718 Oct 14, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm sorry you feel that way because I see it as a blessing. America is still the greatest place on the planet and we have the best people. I used to be an evolutionist myself but when I really studied it in detail found it to be totally wrong and lately science is overwhelmingly confirming the truth of the Bible in so many ways. Also remember that pratically all the founding fathers of science were Christians, who througout history have always been at the top of the educated world.
How is denial of demonstrable reality a blessing? Was it a blessing when Christians denied heliocentrism?

By the way, who gives a shit about if the founding fathers were religious at all? Their ignorance of science is not evidence that their religious beliefs were correct.

Of course, you're also leaving out huge swaths of history during which Muslims were major drivers of education.

Hey...while we're on the subject, what was it that destroyed education in Islamic countries? Oh, right...fundamentalist Islam. What is it that's destroying education in America? Oh, right...fundamentalist Christianity. Fundamentalist religion NEVER results in better education. But, you think you're the exception. You're different. You're special. You're not. You're another jacktard with a holy book and a head full of rocks, and you won't be satisfied until everybody is as stupid as you are. Thanks, but no thanks. Fuck up your own kids, don't fuck up everyone else's. And, while you're at it, how about you DON'T fuck up your own kids while you're at it? Thanks.
Tyler in the Exosphere

Southfield, MI

#104719 Oct 14, 2012
LowellGuy wrote:
<quoted text>
Remind us where the U.S. ranks in education among industrialized nations.
Also, since when does popularity determine the validity of a claim? You do realize that soon there will be more Muslims than Christians, right? That means Islam will be the most popular religion. Does that greater popularity mean that when this switch occurs, Islam will be correct because it is the single most popular religion? Appeals to popularity alone are useless and the crutch of the stupid. The question isn't "how many people believe X," it's "why do so many people believe X?" And, we do have those answers. It's called psychology (NOT YOU JIMBO!). Unless you deny the validity of the entire field of psychology. Not that denying entire fields of science is new to you.
Incidentally, if the popularity of any one particular theory /is/ a point that would sway someone, I would like to point out Project Steve, which is a list of scientists (practicing scientists, with their credentials plainly listed) named Steve or some variant that agree that evolution is scientific consensus. They currently have 1,230 Steves. Comparable creationist lists rarely reach 1000 signatories, very few of which actually possess the credentials to be making such statements, and that's working /without/ the restriction of Steves only. Apparently they were originally going to stop at 100 Steves, but they just kept coming.

http://ncse.com/taking-action/project-steve

I know the appeal to authority argument is not necessarily good debate practice but I think in this case it is justified.
Psychology

United States

#104720 Oct 14, 2012
Johny wrote:
<quoted text>
Our solar system is not closed but the universe is - at least we have not seen anything to counter this.
Show evidence that the universe is closed.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#104721 Oct 14, 2012
Psychology wrote:
<quoted text>
Show evidence that the universe is closed.
Jimbo, didn't you read johny's post? He said as far as we can see the universe is closed. For the universe not to be closed we would have to see additional energy coming from somewhere that is not part of the universe. That is not observed. You of course have the question backwards and inside out, which is normal for you. If someone claimed the universe was open then you could ask for evidence of that, since that would be evidence of a positive claim. You cannot have evidence for a negative claim, like "as far as we can see the universe is closed", except for the lack of evidence support this claim.
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

United States

#104722 Oct 14, 2012
LowellGuy wrote:
<quoted text>
How is denial of demonstrable reality a blessing? Was it a blessing when Christians denied heliocentrism?
By the way, who gives a shit about if the founding fathers were religious at all? Their ignorance of science is not evidence that their religious beliefs were correct.
Of course, you're also leaving out huge swaths of history during which Muslims were major drivers of education.
Hey...while we're on the subject, what was it that destroyed education in Islamic countries? Oh, right...fundamentalist Islam. What is it that's destroying education in America? Oh, right...fundamentalist Christianity. Fundamentalist religion NEVER results in better education. But, you think you're the exception. You're different. You're special. You're not. You're another jacktard with a holy book and a head full of rocks, and you won't be satisfied until everybody is as stupid as you are. Thanks, but no thanks. Fuck up your own kids, don't fuck up everyone else's. And, while you're at it, how about you DON'T fuck up your own kids while you're at it? Thanks.
You jackwagon. Christians have always been at the top of the education world. Hell, they invented the school and university. Did you get that? And Jews before that. And that stands true today more than ever.

Where are kids most likely to have the highest IQs and get the highest SAT scores, in a secular public school or a Catholic or Christian school? Overwhelmingly from the private school. And better yet, who does the best overall? Christian home schoolers.

So how is that "fucking up" the kids? The kids are performing much better than their secular public system counterparts where no God is allowed.

The truth is, LG you are just a religious bigot. And comparing Islam with Christianity is just stupid. YOUR bone-headed intolerant beliefs are much closer to fundamentalist Islam than Christianity ever was.
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

United States

#104723 Oct 14, 2012
Tyler in the Exosphere wrote:
<quoted text>
What are you talking about? They spontaneously mutated the ability to metabolize citrate, which is a major development. Here have an article:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-b...
And that was in 2008! And it's even given plenty of detail on the Wikipedia page you linked omfg
Yes, but that is just simple adaptation via genetic variation. There is no evidence of any new or nascent organ or limb; thus no macroevolution. You really should learn the difference.

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