Should evolution be taught in high school?

Feb 24, 2008 Full story: www.scientificblogging.com 176,162

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." Full Story

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#116001 Feb 3, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
Sore arse
Yes, with all of the humping that you have gotten tonight I can see why your ass is sore.
Russell

Elizabeth, Australia

#116002 Feb 3, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
You are conflating unsupported bullshit by creatards with debunking.
And once again, the laboratory test of E. coli that evolved the ability to digest citrate was not adaptation. The inability of E. coli to digest citrate is well known. In fact during the test they took these precaution to make sure that it was NOT adaptation:
<quoted text>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-ter...
Now you can make all of the unsupported creatard "adaptation" claims that you want. In this case we know that you are wrong.
Are you for real, Bud?
Have you totally lost it?
Ever heard of the Krebs cycle?
Know what else it is known as?
Please do not embarrass your self

The bigger they are the harder they fall

E coli have a whole suite ---an operon---to confer citrate fermenting ability. They already possess the ability to "digest" citrate, but only under certain circumstances.

We have been through this before....
Short attention span?
Too close to bedtime?

Lenski himself stated, " A more likely possibility, in our view, is that an existing transporter has been co-opted for citrate transport under high oxic conditions"

Also see, in regards to the transporter:

Pos, K M, Dimroth, P and Bott, M, "The Escherichia coli Citrate Carrier CitT: a member of a novel eubacterial transporter family related to the 2-oxoglutarate/Malate translocator from Spinach chloroplasts, J Bacteriol 180(16):4160-4165, 1998. www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi...

This transporter is only activated under oxygen free conditions with good reason.

But you will never know the reason.....

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#116003 Feb 4, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
All natural selection...
Nothing to do with evolution.
You must be a new kid on the block
You're regurgitating already thoroughly debunked arguments
Not at all. I have heard your insistence on "debunked arguments" frequently in the last day or two but in four years on these sites and others, have never heard an actual debunking. I have seen many attempts.

Natural Selection is easily observed and one of the main two complementary processes of evolution, the other being mutation.

Unless you can come up with a convincing reason why the process of mutation and natural selection should not continue indefinitely, producing essentially open-ended variation, you have no argument.

And please do not be tempted to employ the following:

1. The earth is too young. Total anti-science across multiple disciplines,

2. Genetic Entropy. Debunked by experiment. Fitness recovers.

3. Irreducible complexity. Debunked in multiple examples but a failure even in principles as (a) you cannot identify and eliminate all potential pathways to a complex structure and (b) IC advocates tend to assume that the function represented today is the same function that the components were "driving towards" in the past, which is patently false.

4. No new information. Gene duplications and insertions are observed and add new information by any objective measure.

5. No transitionals. Patently false in the spirit offered. We speak of intermediates now, because we cannot be sure if species X or a related species actually gave rise to descendant species. However the fossil record follows the predicted pattern of divergence with modern forms and, simultaneously, convergence with contemporary forms as you track back through the strata.

6. Arguments by probability. Completely bogus as natural selection removes the constraint of pure independently calculated probability. Evolution drives the development of complexity, and natural selection is not a random process.

7. No macroevolution. We have a series of transitions showing the highly derived development of the 3-boned middle ear throughout the development of the synapsids and therapsids, mammal-like reptiles of the period around 230 million years ago. We will never have the complete record for all such transition in the history of life, but the principle is demonstrated.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#116004 Feb 4, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
E coli have a whole suite ---an operon---to confer citrate fermenting ability. They already possess the ability to "digest" citrate, but only under certain circumstances.
We have been through this before....
Short attention span?
Too close to bedtime?
Lenski himself stated, " A more likely possibility, in our view, is that an existing transporter has been co-opted for citrate transport under high oxic conditions"
Also see, in regards to the transporter:
Pos, K M, Dimroth, P and Bott, M, "The Escherichia coli Citrate Carrier CitT: a member of a novel eubacterial transporter family related to the 2-oxoglutarate/Malate translocator from Spinach chloroplasts, J Bacteriol 180(16):4160-4165, 1998. www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi...
This transporter is only activated under oxygen free conditions with good reason.
But you will never know the reason.....
Co-opting and elaboration of existing systems is evolution.

The ability to digest citrate required a modification of existing systems and occurred through two separate mutations occurring thousands of generations apart, the first being apparently neutral until the second occurred.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#116005 Feb 4, 2013
Russell wrote:
This transporter is only activated under oxygen free conditions with good reason.
"Good reasons" that are obviously absent in the environmental conditions of the Lenski experiment. Hence the adaptation.

Now, once again, please present your argument as to why adaptation should not be a continual and open ended process? The distinction between adaptation and evolution raised by creationists is an artificial one. Evolution is simply adaptation occurring over long periods of time.

Don't tell me...you're a YEC.
Mugwump

London, UK

#116006 Feb 4, 2013
The Dude wrote:
<quoted text>
And for reference, here is that thread. Where Russ starts out lying from the very first post:
http://www.topix.com/forum/news/evolution/TMH...
Despite his many mistakes he's not conceded a single one.
Cheers dude - for some reason that thread only showed up on my phone, not on the tablet - hence could go back and fact check the details of the nonsense.

Strange that creationists never fess up to lying - thought there should be a commandment about it personally.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#116007 Feb 4, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
You are conflating unsupported bullshit by creatards with debunking.
And once again, the laboratory test of E. coli that evolved the ability to digest citrate was not adaptation. The inability of E. coli to digest citrate is well known. In fact during the test they took these precaution to make sure that it was NOT adaptation:
<quoted text>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-ter...
Now you can make all of the unsupported creatard "adaptation" claims that you want. In this case we know that you are wrong.
Wait a sec, lets get our terms straight.

Developing the ability to digest citrate was an adaptation. All evolution is adaptation (with the exception of drift). Evolution is just a load of adaptation, iteration after iteration, with new variation entering via mutations and selected for, or against, by survival and reproductive fitness.

What I want to hear is Russell's explanation of how he thinks this process somehow stops at some point, because if it dos not, that IS evolution!
Russell

Elizabeth, Australia

#116008 Feb 4, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Wait a sec, lets get our terms straight.
Developing the ability to digest citrate was an adaptation. All evolution is adaptation (with the exception of drift). Evolution is just a load of adaptation, iteration after iteration, with new variation entering via mutations and selected for, or against, by survival and reproductive fitness.
What I want to hear is Russell's explanation of how he thinks this process somehow stops at some point, because if it dos not, that IS evolution!
Monod and Jacob must be turning in their graves....

Anyhoo...
This is all covered ground...

Just ask the Dude while he sits in a corner, cradling SETMAR, gentle rocking back and forth, saying, "I like you SETMAR. You're not all useless for evolutionary causes...I still like you...."

No mate.

Adaptation is not evolution.
Lenski started with an organism with a complete genome. Reasonable to suggest that the transporter gene suffered a mutation. May have been neutral. A second mutation may have...who knows, converted the tartrate transporter to start transporting citrate even with oxygen present?
Who knows really....
However, evolution it ain't.

Citrate transportation is energy hungry. Therefore reserved only for special occasions where anaerobic respiration, less efficient, is needed. It benefits the organism to have this switched off in times of oxygen replete-ness

A mutation ruining this status quo, eg no citrate uptake unless absolutely needed...is not beneficial.

By the way, the generations needed to achieve just two mutations was 20,000. This is with huge numbers with short generation times...the mutations were barely achievable....

What does this say for human or mammalian evolution?

This has all been covered before...

I get the feeling that you view, as SubDud does, life as a huge overturned bowl of Jelly, with DNA amd RNA darting around ferociously mutating wildly and producing....well, er....design...

No Bud, that just does not work.

What else you got?
Russell

Elizabeth, Australia

#116009 Feb 4, 2013
Mugwump wrote:
<quoted text>
Cheers dude - for some reason that thread only showed up on my phone, not on the tablet - hence could go back and fact check the details of the nonsense.
Strange that creationists never fess up to lying - thought there should be a commandment about it personally.
C'mon Mugwump
Stop being such a baby

What else you got?
You're stuck on 1000's base pairs and nothing can budge you!

Pretty stubborn creature?
By the way, have you met Prof Andy McIntosh? Much beloved by creationists and despised by the Dude?

I think the Dude is just jealous since HE has no thermodynamic credentials....

Nothing to be jealous of, the Dude....
You too could be a Christian and Creationist one day, just like good ol' Prof
Russell

Elizabeth, Australia

#116010 Feb 4, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
"Good reasons" that are obviously absent in the environmental conditions of the Lenski experiment. Hence the adaptation.
Now, once again, please present your argument as to why adaptation should not be a continual and open ended process? The distinction between adaptation and evolution raised by creationists is an artificial one. Evolution is simply adaptation occurring over long periods of time.
Don't tell me...you're a YEC.
Here's my original post from a sister thread:

http://www.topix.com/forum/news/evolution/TMH...
Number 609

"PART 4
All this sounds great to an evolutionist. Until, enter Stage Left, operons. Thus the changes were not independent at all, but due to a change in just one control gene. A regulatory gene called spoT. The cost of the changes were that the energetically costly genes that make the bacterial flagellum were switched off.
So, as is quite obvious, this experiment showed nothing but information reducing change. Deterioration. Proof of this was that none of the tribes could utilize ribose anymore and some lost their DNA repair ability. These poor pampered bugs could not compete with the wild types outside the environment of the lab.

"A very clever man said this,“Chemicals obey the second Law of Thermodynamics and do not arrange themselves into self sustaining metabolic pathways.

"Living cells have molecular machinery, whose assembly is directed by programmed instructions, to channel the chemistry in the right direction and amounts.”

This brings me to Lenski’s citrate-using E coli.
Rather than labour this point, suffice to say, utilising citrate is not Climbing Mount Improbable for bacteria. The Kreb’s cycle , aka Citric acid cycle, can occur in anaerobic conditions. The reason that this mutation to enable one tribe to utilise citrate, similar to chloroquine resistance, did not occur in the other tribes, was perhaps due to the requirement for more than one mutation. Difficult to achieve.

Even this experiment neatly illustrates the difficulty with obtaining two mutations, even with thousands of generations and a massive population, a new function requiring two mutations was barely obtainable. Three would have been unreachable.
E coli have a whole suite of genes, an operon, able to ferment citrate, including a citrate transporter gene that codes for a transporter protein that embeds in the cell wall.

This operon is activated under low oxic conditions, as anaerobic respiration is less efficient than aerobic, so there is good reason for this to be switched off unless O2 is lacking. But, the Lenski citrate E coli demonstrated a lack of regulation, so it’s a downhill change. Lost specificity. So citrate-transporter-regulation damaged by mutation remains permanently switched on regardless of the oxygen state. A fault in this system. Also a tartrate transporter may have lost specificity and started to take up citrate."

End of my old quote.

You don't have to agree with everything....
You are allowed to have your views

Just appreciate that we have all previously covered a lot of ground.

So don't be astonished if I don't fall over backwards in amazement by what you have to say.

Although I am ever hopeful...
Mugwump

London, UK

#116011 Feb 4, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
C'mon Mugwump
Stop being such a baby
What else you got?
You're stuck on 1000's base pairs and nothing can budge you!
Pretty stubborn creature?
By the way, have you met Prof Andy McIntosh? Much beloved by creationists and despised by the Dude?
I think the Dude is just jealous since HE has no thermodynamic credentials....
Nothing to be jealous of, the Dude....
You too could be a Christian and Creationist one day, just like good ol' Prof
As mentioned, I recalled what you said incorrectly - but the point still stands - you presented a straw-man of Abiogenesis - namely that life started with a cell that coded for 1000s of proteins.

But failed to present a reference for where science claims this.

Seems straightforward to me
Russell

Elizabeth, Australia

#116012 Feb 4, 2013
Mugwump wrote:
<quoted text>
As mentioned, I recalled what you said incorrectly - but the point still stands - you presented a straw-man of Abiogenesis - namely that life started with a cell that coded for 1000s of proteins.
But failed to present a reference for where science claims this.
Seems straightforward to me
You really are stuck...

Try this on for size:

http://www.gizmag.com/first-synthetic-organis...
Russell

Elizabeth, Australia

#116013 Feb 4, 2013
Mugwump wrote:
<quoted text>
As mentioned, I recalled what you said incorrectly - but the point still stands - you presented a straw-man of Abiogenesis - namely that life started with a cell that coded for 1000s of proteins.
But failed to present a reference for where science claims this.
Seems straightforward to me
For your reading pleasure:

http://creation.com/chemical-soup-is-not-your...

and

also by Dr Aw Swee-Eng
http://creation.com/origin-of-life-critique

“I started out with nothing”

Level 6

Since: Nov 10

and still got most of it left

#116014 Feb 4, 2013
appleboy wrote:
<quoted text>
I've always thought that there were mudering bastards on both sides. Some folks who grow up in war learn to love it. But at some point, in order to stop the carnage, the leaders must learn to shake hands and go home.
That does not stop the hurt of the people those leaders have caused to be injured or maimed. Or the hurt of those whose loved ones have been murdered on either side.

The difference is that those protecting unionism in what is after all a predominantly “unionist” environment did not deliberately and arbitrarily target innocent children and unarmed civilians

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#116015 Feb 4, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
Monod and Jacob must be turning in their graves....
Anyhoo...
This is all covered ground...
Just ask the Dude while he sits in a corner, cradling SETMAR, gentle rocking back and forth, saying, "I like you SETMAR. You're not all useless for evolutionary causes...I still like you...."
No mate.
Adaptation is not evolution.
Lenski started with an organism with a complete genome. Reasonable to suggest that the transporter gene suffered a mutation. May have been neutral. A second mutation may have...who knows, converted the tartrate transporter to start transporting citrate even with oxygen present?
Who knows really....
However, evolution it ain't.
Citrate transportation is energy hungry. Therefore reserved only for special occasions where anaerobic respiration, less efficient, is needed. It benefits the organism to have this switched off in times of oxygen replete-ness
A mutation ruining this status quo, eg no citrate uptake unless absolutely needed...is not beneficial.
By the way, the generations needed to achieve just two mutations was 20,000. This is with huge numbers with short generation times...the mutations were barely achievable....
What does this say for human or mammalian evolution?
This has all been covered before...
I get the feeling that you view, as SubDud does, life as a huge overturned bowl of Jelly, with DNA amd RNA darting around ferociously mutating wildly and producing....well, er....design...
No Bud, that just does not work.
What else you got?
There were 12 flasks in Lenski's experiment, and all of them adapted to the environment given and showed population increases over time as they adapted. Just as we would expect in the evolution / adaptation paradigm. And while all of them came from a monoclonal starting culture, the specific adaptations and mutations involved in every flask were different. The famous citrate-eater flask was an unexpected bonus.

Adaptation is not evolution? Perhaps, in the same way that driving a mile a mile is not a trip across America, but evolution is nothing but adaptation continued. You now have to explain what effect exists that you think prevents adaptation from continuing indefinitely, especially in environments that are not as stable as provided in the Lenski experiment. What is this magic wall that you IDers are so sure has to exist?
One way or another

United States

#116016 Feb 4, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
You really are stuck...
Try this on for size:
http://www.gizmag.com/first-synthetic-organis...
It must end badly, for what has man made or contrived, that has not been abused? What is released in nature will find its way into man and mutate.

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Level 8

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#116017 Feb 4, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>I don't have a scientific survey. I know that the majority of physicians I know think goo-to-you evolution is absurd. Any survey that you can site will invariably fail to define "evolution".
So you're full of crap then. Thanks ever so much for clearing that up.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#116018 Feb 4, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
Here's my original post from a sister thread:
http://www.topix.com/forum/news/evolution/TMH...
Number 609
....So, as is quite obvious, this experiment showed nothing but information reducing change. Deterioration. Proof of this was that none of the tribes could utilize ribose anymore and some lost their DNA repair ability. These poor pampered bugs could not compete with the wild types outside the environment of the lab.
"A very clever man said this,“Chemicals obey the second Law of Thermodynamics and do not arrange themselves into self sustaining metabolic pathways.
"Living cells have molecular machinery, whose assembly is directed by programmed instructions, to channel the chemistry in the right direction and amounts.”
This brings me to Lenski’s citrate-using E coli.
Rather than labour this point, suffice to say, utilising citrate is not Climbing Mount Improbable for bacteria....
Even this experiment neatly illustrates the difficulty with obtaining two mutations, even with thousands of generations and a massive population, a new function requiring two mutations was barely obtainable....
End of my old quote.
You don't have to agree with everything....
You are allowed to have your views
Well, I will grant that you argue better than most ID/creationists.

More generally, you are making the argument that adaptation involves a loss of function and adapted organisms are weaker than their wild cousins. Yes, often, but not always.

"Kassen and Bataillon (2006) took a wild-type Pseudomonas flourescens bacterium, and exposed it to an antibiotic. They obtained over 600 antibiotic-resistant strains, with an estimated frequency of 2.4 x 10-9 beneficial mutations per cell division....These antibiotic-resistant strains were much fitter in the new environment than the parent wild-type bacteria, which could not survive at all in the presence of the antibiotic. Interestingly, even in the absence of antibiotic, at least 2.7% of the mutants were superior to the wild-type."

Nature Genetics 38, 484 – 488 (2006)
Rees Kassen and Thomas Bataillon

Abstract: http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v38/n4/abs/n...

Of course, the bacteria are adapting to the environment they are in so one would expect them to become less well adapted to the original wild environment anyway. But the fact that some do better falsifies the assertion that adaptation causes a general loss of fitness.

There are also documented benefits from gene duplication events which show that information can be "created" and provide novel material for further evolutionary development.

And pulease, don't give us the old 2nd Law canard. If that version of the second law held, snowflakes and glaciers would be impossible. In an energy flux, localised spontaneous reduction of entropy is not an issue in physics.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#116019 Feb 4, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
For your reading pleasure:
http://creation.com/chemical-soup-is-not-your...
and
also by Dr Aw Swee-Eng
http://creation.com/origin-of-life-critique
For yours:

[19]:“One example of a beneficial mutation comes from the mosquito Culex pipiens. In this organism, a gene that was involved with breaking down organophosphates – common insecticide ingredients -became duplicated. Progeny of the organism with this mutation quickly swept across the worldwide mosquito population.” Further details on this mutation are available [44]. It involves multiple duplications of two genes that generate carboxylesterases. As with the two examples below, gene duplication gave increased expression of certain enzyme(s), which increased the fitness of the organism. Natural selection would then favor the retention of the additional genes.

http://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/st...
Mugwump

London, UK

#116020 Feb 4, 2013
Russell wrote:
<quoted text>
For your reading pleasure:
http://creation.com/chemical-soup-is-not-your...
and
also by Dr Aw Swee-Eng
http://creation.com/origin-of-life-critique
No what you have linked to is a creationist site that presents the strawman that the first life consisted of a fully formed complex cell that coded for 1000s of proteins.

What you meant to post I am sure is where science states this is the case.

Fancy another try ?

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