Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 180369 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 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#117778 Feb 18, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
There are numerous examples of repeated sequences in nature and in the arts and music. For example, most music has a beat and tempo that is repeated throughout the composition. Without that beat, the music wouldn't make any sense. Perhaps it is the same with genetics. Maybe the long repeats act as a counter for timing of development stages. The pattern has been for scientists to discover new function where they previously did not believe any to exist. The latest research suggests that the genome is 99% functional. Very little for protein coding and the rest for all sorts of controls.
Sorry Urb, but there is absolutely no evidence that the genome is 99% functional. This is the usual hyperbolic extrapolation of reality your side is famous for.

The ENCODE scientists have identified useful function for 8-9% of the genome and estimate useful function for up to 20%, possibly up to 50% At the same time, they see up to 80% of the genome doing "something" (not 99%!), but in most cases that "something" is useless transcription of RNA sequences that are immediately broken down with no further effect. Often generated by useless elements such as pseudogenes and ERVs.

As an evolutionist, actually my question is why more of that useless activity has not been weeded out by natural selection. But as a Designer, your problem is far more difficult, as you have to explain why God was such a bungler.
LowellGuy

United States

#117779 Feb 18, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
There are numerous examples of repeated sequences in nature and in the arts and music. For example, most music has a beat and tempo that is repeated throughout the composition. Without that beat, the music wouldn't make any sense. Perhaps it is the same with genetics. Maybe the long repeats act as a counter for timing of development stages. The pattern has been for scientists to discover new function where they previously did not believe any to exist. The latest research suggests that the genome is 99% functional. Very little for protein coding and the rest for all sorts of controls.
Music isn't a naturally occurring thing, nor is it an organism. At best, a metaphorical connection. Chemistry is to music as architecture is to candy making.

Define "functional." Then, define "99% of the genome." You know by now that you're using loaded language. If you don't unpack your terminology, why should we think you're being honest? Especially when you make up your own special version of science...
One way or another

United States

#117780 Feb 18, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
...and why would we expect a new sequence of random mutations along with natural selection of those mutations to produce the SAME phenotypic result again? Is this your flawed understanding of "repeatable"?
How about this: Its a repeatable experiment that a fair coin tossed 1000 times will produce approximately 500 heads and 500 tails. However, you could do the experiment 100 times and its exceedingly unlikely that you would ever have the SAME sequence (e.g. HHTHHTTTTH etc) repeated twice.
WHAT is repeatable? Recovery.
WHAT is unique? The particular random sequence of mutations available for selection, that drive each recovery event.
...and any significant degree of recovery AT ONCE falsifies Sanford's hypothesis that genetic entropy is a one-way street that natural selection cannot reverse.
<quoted text>
They would not HAVE to ALWAYS recover fitness to falsify Sanford. That they should do so EVER, is enough to falsify Sanford's genetic entropy hypothesis as laid out in his book.
<quoted text>
And the problem is?
<quoted text>
The very first sentence there completely falsifies Sanford. The rest is exactly what you would expect in a process where the source of new variation is random and of course the previous "historical loss of fitness", the starting point, is unique too.
<quoted text>
Actually, EXACTLY as I like. Because IF the process yielded exactly the same results every time, it would be evidence AGAINST non-directed, randomly sourced evolutionary change. In fact if the response was the same every time, we would then suspect that the driving force was a pre-programmed adaptive response, NOT evolutionary adaptation.
So thanks, you have merely offered further confirmation that both
1. Sanford was falsified and
2. Evolution is a process driven by random genetic change, not pre-programmed adaptation.
And I am even bothering to argue with a YEC nutcase because? Until you get over that bit of Santa Clausery, I cannot even see the point of arguing any other SCIENCE with you.
Humans are 1000 times more complex than worms, but then you and science seem not to know it.

Hey stupid, in the coin toss, nothing is the same. The fact that the coin only has two sides, dictates that over many flips, the numbers must more or less, even out over time. That in itself is not random.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#117781 Feb 18, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
I didn't slip. I agree with Sanford. We started out perfect and have been slowly deteriorating over time with the accumulating deleterious mutations. Are you confused?
No, you are. There is no evidence of any time when the genome was perfect (story books about mythical men that lived 900 years or planted magic beanstalks do not count)...nor any need for that assumption. Nor even clarity of what that would mean.

There is an equilibrium state under selection that is neither perfect nor crashing. As fitness rises above that level, fewer possible changes can be improvements. As fitness falls, relatively more new changes can be - must be - improvements. Elementary logic.

The fact is, nematodes whose fitness was allowed to fall by eliminating natural selection for many generations, were then tested to see what happened when natural selection was returned to the population. Fitness recovered. Sanford claims it is impossible - cumulative fitness loss is a one way ratchet to oblivion.

Sanford is therefore falsified by experiment. Let it go. Nobody sane is buying your 6000 year malarkey anyway.
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

Miami, FL

#117782 Feb 18, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
While those deleterious mutations you mentioned are STILL THERE, then if fitness recovered, OBVIOUSLY the improvement had to come from NEW beneficial mutations elsewhere!. Or there could be no fitness improvement. New fit state is not identical to old fit state. Some genes are worse than before. Some genes are better...and the net result is a restoration of the NORMAL equilibrium overall fitness level.
No. Introducing the healthy, same genome into the population makes selection of healthy genes more likely. It has nothing to do with "new" genes being formed. There aren't any new genes, only a re-supply of original, clean, fit genes. Pure genetics. The principle of heredity. If the carrying capacity of ecosystem is exceeded or the range restricted causing the species to suffer genetic meltdown, populations of the same species can be added to it so that the frequency of the harmful recessive traits being selected is reduced and fitness is restored but there isn't anything new being created. It's just a reduction in percentage of deleterious mutations in the overall gene pool so they are less likely to surface.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#117783 Feb 18, 2013
One way or another wrote:
<quoted text>
Just because science can't make some genes work, doesn't mean they are broken. As with anything, it just takes the right set of factors to come into play.
You, Jimbo, have a gene for producing vitamin C in your genome. But it does not work, which is why you need to eat vitamin C. Its broken.

This is true for us, apes, and monkeys and other primates. We all still have the gene, but it does not work. Cats and dogs and rabbits and mice and snakes and frogs and tuna can all make their own vitamin C, but not us.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#117784 Feb 18, 2013
One way or another wrote:
<quoted text>
Humans are 1000 times more complex than worms, but then you and science seem not to know it.
Hey stupid, in the coin toss, nothing is the same. The fact that the coin only has two sides, dictates that over many flips, the numbers must more or less, even out over time. That in itself is not random.
Yes we are more complex than worms. But our basic genetic machinery works the same way and Sanford claimed that genetic entropy applies to all living things. If he is wrong about the nematodes, he is wrong about all of it.

As for the coins. Well, Its just like its very hard to predict what you will say next, but its good odds that you will accuse someone of being a liar or a moron or both, while you completely miss the point of the conversation.
One way or another

United States

#117785 Feb 18, 2013
LowellGuy wrote:
<quoted text>
There isn't a single coherent thought in that entire post.
Why do we bother doing tests on other animals before we test things on humans?
One shouldn't expect an idiot such as yourself to contemplate all that the animals can't tell us, but a person with a brain should consider how many lawsuits are associated with those tested trials, because obviously, those medicines in many cases maim and kill humans.

Go back to sleep moron.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#117786 Feb 18, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Please explain according to your logic how evolution can result in convergence. How do similar endpoints ( such as complex image -forming eyes) evolve independently multiple times in divergent species based on your coin toss analogy?
Since evolution isn't a "coin toss" it's actually easy to understand how so many different types of eyes have evolved over time.

Oh wait, you think every eye is the same, don't you? Sorry, but no. There are more types of eyes than there are ears, ironically. You use the visual receptor organs as an example, straight from a creationist source and not even original, debunked a million times over, and expect to be taken at all seriously? Want to know something that's even more complex than the eye? The skin, skin is the most complex organ in all animals, as well as the most varied organ. If you wanted to make an appeal from your own ignorance, at least not understanding how skin evolved would be new.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#117787 Feb 18, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
There are numerous examples of repeated sequences in nature and in the arts and music. For example, most music has a beat and tempo that is repeated throughout the composition. Without that beat, the music wouldn't make any sense. Perhaps it is the same with genetics. Maybe the long repeats act as a counter for timing of development stages. The pattern has been for scientists to discover new function where they previously did not believe any to exist. The latest research suggests that the genome is 99% functional. Very little for protein coding and the rest for all sorts of controls.
Who knows? Scaffolding? A sponge for mutagens that might otherwise threaten more highly specified corners of the genome? Or just plain detritus? Could be. Whatever.

Junk DNA is not a core prediction of evolution, and never was. Aside from, as HTC mentioned, the view that there should be some broken and useless genes littered within the genome. And there are.

Still, you guys can argue all you like, but one or two useful ERV's does not justify the 10s of thousands (8% of the genome) taken up by the rest, and one pseudogene found to have some residual function does not justify the rest, etc.

There is nowhere in the genetic literature where you will find ANY biologist claiming 99% useful function for the genome.
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

Miami, FL

#117788 Feb 18, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry Urb, but there is absolutely no evidence that the genome is 99% functional. This is the usual hyperbolic extrapolation of reality your side is famous for.
The ENCODE scientists have identified useful function for 8-9% of the genome and estimate useful function for up to 20%, possibly up to 50% At the same time, they see up to 80% of the genome doing "something" (not 99%!), but in most cases that "something" is useless transcription of RNA sequences that are immediately broken down with no further effect. Often generated by useless elements such as pseudogenes and ERVs.
As an evolutionist, actually my question is why more of that useless activity has not been weeded out by natural selection. But as a Designer, your problem is far more difficult, as you have to explain why God was such a bungler.
How can you base Man's current estimate of the percent functionality of DNA as a measure of God's abilities if you don't even yet know all of it's basic functions? Perhaps, like many other designs in nature, there is built-in redundancy, optimizations to accommodate development, etc. One thing is clear: the cell and DNA is light years beyond Man's understanding and capabilities so you can't place a higher value on Man's opinion regarding something he can't even comprehend.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#117789 Feb 18, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
No. Introducing the healthy, same genome into the population makes selection of healthy genes more likely. It has nothing to do with "new" genes being formed. There aren't any new genes, only a re-supply of original, clean, fit genes. Pure genetics. The principle of heredity. If the carrying capacity of ecosystem is exceeded or the range restricted causing the species to suffer genetic meltdown, populations of the same species can be added to it so that the frequency of the harmful recessive traits being selected is reduced and fitness is restored but there isn't anything new being created. It's just a reduction in percentage of deleterious mutations in the overall gene pool so they are less likely to surface.
Stop there. These were isolated nematode populations. There was no external supply of "original, clean, fit" genetic material.

The descendents of the SAME ancestral population that lost fitness when natural selection was suspended recovered fitness after it was re-introduced, over 80 generations. All the while, when according to Sanford, they should have been getting even less fit as the continual addition of new deleterious mutations, generation by generation, was supposed to overcome any fitness benefits of natural selection.

Sanford is comprehensively falsified by these results.
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

Miami, FL

#117790 Feb 18, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
Let it go. Nobody sane is buying your 6000 year malarkey anyway.
You are actually calling me insane?
One way or another

United States

#117791 Feb 18, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
You, Jimbo, have a gene for producing vitamin C in your genome. But it does not work, which is why you need to eat vitamin C. Its broken.
This is true for us, apes, and monkeys and other primates. We all still have the gene, but it does not work. Cats and dogs and rabbits and mice and snakes and frogs and tuna can all make their own vitamin C, but not us.
Silly rabbit, that gene may be dormant, because our ancestors started eating many things with vitamin C.

Do you ever use your brain?

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#117792 Feb 18, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
How can you base Man's current estimate of the percent functionality of DNA as a measure of God's abilities if you don't even yet know all of it's basic functions? Perhaps, like many other designs in nature, there is built-in redundancy, optimizations to accommodate development, etc. One thing is clear: the cell and DNA is light years beyond Man's understanding and capabilities so you can't place a higher value on Man's opinion regarding something he can't even comprehend.
Yes, perhaps. But its not only a question of "we don't know what that bit does, therefore it does nothing". Biologists are not that dumb. Items like pseudogenes and massively repeated ERV's are more than just "unknowns" though, in that they genuinely demonstrate lost functions or parasitical invasion of the genome. One of the large repeat sequences plays a particularly macabre form of "music", resulting in Huntington's disease. The longer it is, the younger its victims get it. I realise you will attempt to ascribe all this to the Fall, but hey, I don't even bother to discuss that piece of 6000 YEC nonsense.

Hey, the first Brachiosaurs are found in deposits that are 100 million years later than the Permian extinction. And the last ones are found nearly a hundred million years before the T-rex.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#117793 Feb 18, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
You are actually calling me insane?
You have demonstrated your complete lack of sanity on here tenfold.
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

Miami, FL

#117794 Feb 18, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Stop there. These were isolated nematode populations. There was no external supply of "original, clean, fit" genetic material.
The descendents of the SAME ancestral population that lost fitness when natural selection was suspended recovered fitness after it was re-introduced, over 80 generations. All the while, when according to Sanford, they should have been getting even less fit as the continual addition of new deleterious mutations, generation by generation, was supposed to overcome any fitness benefits of natural selection.
Sanford is comprehensively falsified by these results.
Same thing. The cougars brought in from the western states were introduced into the Everglades. Same ancestral supply. It just delays the inevitable. The deleterious genetic mutations continue to accumulate. They just got more fit because "natural selection" was re-introduced. How can you not see this?
One way or another

United States

#117795 Feb 18, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes we are more complex than worms. But our basic genetic machinery works the same way and Sanford claimed that genetic entropy applies to all living things. If he is wrong about the nematodes, he is wrong about all of it.
As for the coins. Well, Its just like its very hard to predict what you will say next, but its good odds that you will accuse someone of being a liar or a moron or both, while you completely miss the point of the conversation.


Hardly. Frogs and more find their gene for vitamin C working and ours not. How many other genes are working or not on animals and have science explain how that can affect the tests.

You pretend to be smart, but you can't think for yourself, according to this and so much else.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#117796 Feb 18, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>You haven't read the book or studied its claims... You're only parroting what you read on an atheist website.
I have not read the book, but the sources that debunked it were not atheistic. You are making two errors in even that little bit of a space. The first is an ad hominem argument where you try to imply that the sites are not to be trusted because they are atheistic, they are not. They were science based websites and they are not atheistic any more than they are Lutheran or Baptist. The second is that you are implying that there is something wrong with atheism. And again, there is nothing wrong with atheism. Overall it is a superior belief than that of any belief in pretend spirits that I know of.
HTS

Sidney, MT

#117797 Feb 18, 2013
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>
Since evolution isn't a "coin toss" it's actually easy to understand how so many different types of eyes have evolved over time.
Oh wait, you think every eye is the same, don't you? Sorry, but no. There are more types of eyes than there are ears, ironically. You use the visual receptor organs as an example, straight from a creationist source and not even original, debunked a million times over, and expect to be taken at all seriously? Want to know something that's even more complex than the eye? The skin, skin is the most complex organ in all animals, as well as the most varied organ. If you wanted to make an appeal from your own ignorance, at least not understanding how skin evolved would be new.
Kitten, you are mired in the evolutionary paradigm. After decades of rationalization, Darwinists have convinced themselves that the eye is not all that complex. And you think that because all eyes are not identical that you've proven that evolution is viable? Please explain how you've determined that skin is more complex than and eye. Darwinists are constantly harping on the idea that complexity cannot be defined in any absolute terms.

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