Should evolution be taught in high school?

Feb 24, 2008 Read more: www.scientificblogging.com 178,545

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." Read more
LowellGuy

United States

#112984 Dec 29, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
Speaking of penis sizes, doesn't everyone want big ones? Why haven't they evolved? You would think natural selection would favor big penises but here we are with our paltry average-sized penises after all these millions of years. Heck, you'd think jeans would be made with three legs by now.
When most women's lady parts match up better with "larger" penises (greater than 5-7 inches in length), and the average penis size is no longer pleasurable, and thus larger penises would have some real reproductive advantage, we'll likely see that happen. Evolution isn't about what you want, it's about what works in the current environment.
LowellGuy

United States

#112985 Dec 29, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
Why is the DNA code always read from the 5' end to the 3' end? Why is each gene deliniated with a start and stop point? How did those markers get there? Why is the code redunant? What other reason would there be except to prevent replication errors? But how would nature know how to prevent errors through redundancy and error checking?
And, how did the moon get there? How did it get there?

Are you sure you want to use the "tide goes in, tide goes out" argument made hilariously famous by Bill O'Reilly?

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#112986 Dec 29, 2012
LowellGuy wrote:
<quoted text>
And, how did the moon get there? How did it get there?
Are you sure you want to use the "tide goes in, tide goes out" argument made hilariously famous by Bill O'Reilly?
Thank you, I'm having fits of laughter again just recalling that one.

“I Luv Carbon Dioxide”

Level 10

Since: Dec 08

Home, sweet home.

#112987 Dec 29, 2012
Gun safety should be taught in High School.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#112988 Dec 29, 2012
Ooogah Boogah wrote:
<quoted text>
Same to ya, whoever you are.
Back a year or two ago in the atheist vs. believers threads. One of my favorite jokes was claiming to be a worshiper of your lawn gnome. There were several atheist/agnostics who knew a lot more about christian history than most bible scholars. You and X and a few others taught me a lot.

“There is no Truth in Faith”

Level 5

Since: Dec 08

nowhere near a pound of $100's

#112989 Dec 29, 2012
appleboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Back a year or two ago in the atheist vs. believers threads. One of my favorite jokes was claiming to be a worshiper of your lawn gnome. There were several atheist/agnostics who knew a lot more about christian history than most bible scholars. You and X and a few others taught me a lot.
Yes, the almighty lawn gnome is still there. He can be proven to exist AND he answers prayers in exactly the same way as the Christian "God" .... "yes", "no", or "maybe". And as anyone can readily testify, he is everywhere.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#112990 Dec 29, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
I didn't bring it up. I was accused of having no education and a low IQ. So was defending myself.

Fat lot of good that did.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#112991 Dec 29, 2012
Dogen wrote:
<quoted text>
Fat lot of good that did.
He wound up just confirming our suspicions. It's good to be a skeptic.

Level 6

Since: Aug 07

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#112992 Dec 29, 2012
I have obviously found an area where Darwinism clearly departs from secular science because they don’t believe there is a genetic code. Even though it clearly is a code, that every biology text calls it a code, that every biology student is taught that it is a code, or that it is called a code simply because there is no other way to describe it, some very fundamental Darwinist refuse to recognize it as such. This is obvious perceived as a threat that there may indeed be intelligent design behind it all. Regardless of what they believe, it is still a code.

“Experiments have verified that the flow of information from gene to protein is based on a triplet code: The genetic instructions for a polypeptide chain are written in the DNA as series of nonoverlapping, three-nucleotide words.”

The DNA molecule is divided into base pair genes that are sequences of 4 non overlapping letters, A C G T, which start at 5’ and end at 3’(Stop/start signals). One side of the pair is transcripted into mRNA which obtains the template strand of the gene from 5’ to 3’ and is a mirror image of one side the DNA base pair template with the letter U substituted for the letter T. So for example, if one side of the DNA is [5’-TGGTTTGGCTCA-3’ is transcribed into mRNA as [5’-UGGUUUGGCUCA-3’] and then translated into the amino acid sequence (protein) as follows: UGG &#61664; Trp; UUU&#61664; Phe; GGC&#61664;Gly; and UCA&#61664;Ser.

The dictionary of the genetic code contains all the combinations of the 4 letters from the 5’ to the 3’ prime and define each of the possible amino acids. It is simply every 3 letter combination of the 4 letters and the amino acids they define. This genetic code is universal, shared by organisms from the simplest bacteria to the most complex plants and animals. You can even transcribe genes from one species to another! For example, the gene for yellow glow from a firefly was expressed in a tobacco plant so that the plant glowed; the florescent gene from a jellyfish was injected into a pig egg which developed a florescent pig.

“The evolutionary significance of the codes near universality is clear. A language shared by all living things must have been operating very early in the history of life-early enough to be present in the common ancestor of all present-day organisms. A shared genetic vocabulary is a reminder of the kinship that bonds all life on Earth.”

Or is it a reminder that there was one intelligent engineer that developed the code in the first place?

What makes more sense (And being objective and unbiased!):

An evolutionary view that eukaryotic life started some billion years ago with this same code and remain unchanged for a billion years while millions of diverse species of plants and animals evolved over these same billion years? Or that the code was developed and consistently re-used in the design of all the diverse species of plants and animals? The former is contradictory and the latter is analogous to all other intelligently designed things.

-Selected quoted text from Biology, Campbell 8th Ed.

Level 6

Since: Aug 07

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#112993 Dec 29, 2012
Correction:

So for example, one side of the DNA is [5’-TGGTTTGGCTCA-3’] that is transcribed into mRNA as [5’-UGGUUUGGCUCA-3’] and then translated into the amino acid sequence (protein) as follows: UGG -> Trp; UUU -> Phe; GGC - > Gly; and UCA -> Ser.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#112994 Dec 30, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
I have obviously found an area where Darwinism clearly departs from secular science because they don’t believe there is a genetic code. Even though it clearly is a code, that every biology text calls it a code, that every biology student is taught that it is a code, or that it is called a code simply because there is no other way to describe it, some very fundamental Darwinist refuse to recognize it as such. This is obvious perceived as a threat that there may indeed be intelligent design behind it all. Regardless of what they believe, it is still a code.
“Experiments have verified that the flow of information from gene to protein is based on a triplet code: The genetic instructions for a polypeptide chain are written in the DNA as series of nonoverlapping, three-nucleotide words.”
The DNA molecule is divided into base pair genes that are sequences of 4 non overlapping letters, A C G T, which start at 5’ and end at 3’(Stop/start signals). One side of the pair is transcripted into mRNA which obtains the template strand of the gene from 5’ to 3’ and is a mirror image of one side the DNA base pair template with the letter U substituted for the letter T. So for example, if one side of the DNA is [5’-TGGTTTGGCTCA-3’ is transcribed into mRNA as [5’-UGGUUUGGCUCA-3’] and then translated into the amino acid sequence (protein) as follows: UGG &#61664; Trp; UUU&#61664; Phe; GGC&#61664;Gly; and UCA&#61664;Ser.
The dictionary of the genetic code contains all the combinations of the 4 letters from the 5’ to the 3’ prime and define each of the possible amino acids. It is simply every 3 letter combination of the 4 letters and the amino acids they define. This genetic code is universal, shared by organisms from the simplest bacteria to the most complex plants and animals. You can even transcribe genes from one species to another! For example, the gene for yellow glow from a firefly was expressed in a tobacco plant so that the plant glowed; the florescent gene from a jellyfish was injected into a pig egg which developed a florescent pig.
“The evolutionary significance of the codes near universality is clear. A language shared by all living things must have been operating very early in the history of life-early enough to be present in the common ancestor of all present-day organisms. A shared genetic vocabulary is a reminder of the kinship that bonds all life on Earth.”
Or is it a reminder that there was one intelligent engineer that developed the code in the first place?
What makes more sense (And being objective and unbiased!):
An evolutionary view that eukaryotic life started some billion years ago with this same code and remain unchanged for a billion years while millions of diverse species of plants and animals evolved over these same billion years? Or that the code was developed and consistently re-used in the design of all the diverse species of plants and animals? The former is contradictory and the latter is analogous to all other intelligently designed things.
-Selected quoted text from Biology, Campbell 8th Ed.
So you are saying that the alphabet could be a living thing?

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#112995 Dec 30, 2012
One way or another wrote:
Each planets orbits will likely be influenced not only by its higher or lower orbit, but also by mass and circumference, so testing would not be so easy.
There's an app for that.

Level 6

Since: Aug 07

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#112996 Dec 30, 2012
appleboy wrote:
<quoted text>
So you are saying that the alphabet could be a living thing?
What I am saying is given the theory of NDE, how could it be that all the OTHER parts of plants and animals be subject to macroevolution through mutation/selection but the genetic code (among some other mechanisms such as ATP synthase, etc.) is not and remains the same in all species of plants and animals unchanged for a billion years? That does not make logical sense!

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#112997 Dec 30, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
I have obviously found an area where Darwinism clearly departs from secular science because they don’t believe there is a genetic code. Even though it clearly is a code, that every biology text calls it a code, that every biology student is taught that it is a code, or that it is called a code simply because there is no other way to describe it, some very fundamental Darwinist refuse to recognize it as such. This is obvious perceived as a threat that there may indeed be intelligent design behind it all. Regardless of what they believe, it is still a code.
etc
You are getting silly and I will tell you why. Having spent the last two days attempting to brag about your intelligence, it seems you cannot seem to grasp the point.

Call it a code, call it what you like. The SALIENT point here is that unlike the abstract, arbitrary representative codes that you are trying to compare it to (such as language), the DNA template is not soft coded. Its a purely physical template, dictated by chemical affinities. It requires no intervention of intelligence or cognition to be understood and "interpreted".

You can pretend not to understand the difference and lie, or you can truly not understand the difference and make a mockery of your own claims to be intelligent. Or of course, you can accept that the analogy with language falls down at exactly the point where any cognitive element is required for the "code" to have meaning, unlike human language.

Do you see this?

“Evil Atheist :-)”

Since: Mar 07

Location hidden

#112998 Dec 30, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
What I am saying is given the theory of NDE, how could it be that all the OTHER parts of plants and animals be subject to macroevolution through mutation/selection but the genetic code (among some other mechanisms such as ATP synthase, etc.) is not and remains the same in all species of plants and animals unchanged for a billion years? That does not make logical sense!
Life can only evolve to the limits of the physicals and chemistry. Unless you know of a better system then that limit was reached for dna billions of years ago. It hasn't changed because no more beneficial changes are possible (at least not by the small steps evolution demands).

Dna and Atp work fine so there's no reason for any alternative system to evolve. Natural selection prevents them from deteriorating.
LowellGuy

Salem, MA

#112999 Dec 30, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
What I am saying is given the theory of NDE, how could it be that all the OTHER parts of plants and animals be subject to macroevolution through mutation/selection but the genetic code (among some other mechanisms such as ATP synthase, etc.) is not and remains the same in all species of plants and animals unchanged for a billion years? That does not make logical sense!
Because of chemistry. Why, over billions of years, hasn't H2O come to be anything other than water?

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#113000 Dec 30, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
What I am saying is given the theory of NDE, how could it be that all the OTHER parts of plants and animals be subject to macroevolution through mutation/selection but the genetic code (among some other mechanisms such as ATP synthase, etc.) is not and remains the same in all species of plants and animals unchanged for a billion years? That does not make logical sense!
Its not "other parts", its radiation of complexity from a base, a foundation. You are talking about the innermost basic parts of living anatomy, down to the metabolic cycle, the amino acids that happen to be "coded" and employed, the composition of cell walls, etc. Having reached a local optimum, there may have been no alternative that provided a better solution proceeding from existing forms.

Increasing complexity would then proceed, if advantageous, at higher level effects. But these would depend on a base, a foundation, that is stabilised. Plasticity at the lower level DECREASES as complexity at the higher level INCREASES.

As complexity increases at the top end, there is less opportunity for change at the bottom end that would not be wholly destructive.

As a simple analogy, in the earliest days of cars, the world could have agreed on a standard side of the road. Electric plugs and voltages could have been standardised too, without a lot of pain. But now it would be a gargantuan task and no modern economy wants to be the one that changes for the sake of the others...its too disadvantageous.

Evolution proceeds in small steps. In a simple proto-cell, the addition of a novel amino acid or changes to the metabolic cycle might cause a small difference in functioning. But as cellular and then organism complexity increased, the cascade effects of any change in the core processes would be too severe.

We might say, evolution has to proceed at the edges, and plasticity diminishes in the core systems over time. Most of the evolution of the last 400 million years has been little more than tinkering with already successful body plans.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#113001 Dec 30, 2012
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>
He wound up just confirming our suspicions. It's good to be a skeptic.
Now, just to throw a dog among the kittens.

What assumptions does science make about the world in order to interpret it? Are you sufficiently skeptical of these assumptions?

For example, how would you go about justifying induction as a route to knowledge?

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#113002 Dec 30, 2012
LowellGuy wrote:
<quoted text>
Because of chemistry. Why, over billions of years, hasn't H2O come to be anything other than water?
Because its completely lacking in imagination.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#113003 Dec 30, 2012
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
What I am saying is given the theory of NDE, how could it be that all the OTHER parts of plants and animals be subject to macroevolution through mutation/selection but the genetic code (among some other mechanisms such as ATP synthase, etc.) is not and remains the same in all species of plants and animals unchanged for a billion years? That does not make logical sense!
Because ..... wait for it .... wait for it ... you don't know what you're talking about and therefore you are wrong.

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