Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 180394 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

#124283 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Excellent example. Survival of the fittest is an imaginary force that does not remotely reflect reality. If you just look at humans... the genetically superior are no more likely to successfully mate than the average person. Sanford emphasized this observation in his book.
Your failure to understand evolution is embodied in your claim to know what is a "genetically superior human". I presume you have the usual cliche list of high IQ, emotional stability, strong muscles and bones, immune system, etc.

You want to objectively estimate what constitutes fitness in modern society? Go to the nearest maternity ward and look at the babies. Perhaps, to your horror, fitness today means willingness to bear children who can parasitise the general population most effectively. Why not?

All's fair in love and war.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#124284 Mar 20, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Good argument but it does not really work. Lets score it, while trying to avoid the nauseating meat-market aspect of this whole argument.
Lets say there are 100 points available.
You get 0-50 for the pluses/minuses that can be sensed (seen, smelled, understood by interaction, etc). Thus you can (hopefully) influence this part of the total.
You get 0-50 for the pluses/minuses that are an undetectible and random quantity, and assuming that none of this can be sensed in any way.... so this "score" would be a random distribution from 0-50.
Just add them up.
Whatever proportion you choose to assign to visible vs invisible attributes, your odds on average of a good mate are higher if you choose the best you can on the information you have. A particular individual might get unlucky, having chosen the bombshell who turned out to be a timebomb...but clearly you can see that statistically, ANY information that can improve your odds of a strong partner are going to be valuable.
BTW, evolution would not lose its "main mechanism". Sexual selection is just one aspect of natural selection, and evolution works without it. It may even be that at times sexual selection drives species into evolutionary dead-ends, as traits that are exaggerated initially in a positive way may become burdensome if selected to excess.
You're assuming that good mutations are frequent. You have no proof whatsoever that a given percentage of the 150 or so mutations per generation in humans can ever add up to anything positive. You have no logical argument that they could. All you know is that mutations occur, and their affect for the most part cannot be measured.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#124285 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
It's really very simply.
Evolutionists don't believe in mathematics.
They are so arrogant in their religion that they refuse to yield to anything... even the authoritative laws of mathematics.
Blah blah.

Ever heard of population genetics? Sanford had, and he quote mined them and twisted their work shamelessly.

“There is no Truth in Faith”

Level 5

Since: Dec 08

nowhere near a pound of $100's

#124286 Mar 20, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually that story is mistold a bit.
I would need to do some searching to find the its origin but if I recall correctly the story goes like this:
At a German university a professor of aerodynamics and a biology professor got together to analyse how a bumblebee flies taking into account how much energy it could generate etc.. In their first time around on the problem their math showed that the bumblebee could not fly. They knew that they were wrong since everybody has seen a bumblebee fly. The story got out as an anecdote and the one part that survived was that it was aerodynamically impossible for the bumblebee to fly. The original story was not exciting enough and did not make the professors look bad enough.
All true and it all serves to prove my point exactly. If it happens and the "analysis" says it is impossible, then there must be something wrong with ......... < ... wait for it ....> ....... THE ANALYSIS!!!

Ergo, so much for Creoturd "Analysis".

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#124287 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
The literature is replete with unconvincing examples argued to be transitional. All interpretations are very subjective.
What is missing is the candid acknowledgement of the millions of transitionals that are missing.
If a new drug is tested for the treatment of cancer, selective reporting of one or two cures doesn't prove anything. All cases... successes and failures, need to be evaluated.
The selective filtering of evidence that has become the norm of paleontology is not a minor weakness.
It is scientific fraud.
You mean the candid acknowledgement made by Darwin right from the beginning, and largely explained by him in Origin of the Species, is missing?

Actually we find more intermediates every year. Our cup runneth over with new finds that fill in the linkages. So how is it that every new find fits into the general pattern and "fills the crossword puzzle" but we never find fossils that cannot fit.

The criterion is straightforward:

Evolution says there should not be a derived form prior to any possible antecedents.

And this has held, with millions of fossils found.

Never a mammal before the sequence of mammal-like reptiles that show the development of a three boned middle ear, a hallmark derived feature of mammals. Absolutely NO explanation for this consistent with creationism.

Never a bird or a dinosaur before the archosaurs from which they sprang. Why is there not a single tyrannosaur, mouse, ape, or bird found in the Permian Period? Why only amphibians for 50 million years following tiktaalik? etc etc etc

Its because they hadn't evolved yet. No creationist as ever explained the sequence of the fossil record. Evolution does, easily.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#124288 Mar 20, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Your failure to understand evolution is embodied in your claim to know what is a "genetically superior human". I presume you have the usual cliche list of high IQ, emotional stability, strong muscles and bones, immune system, etc.
You want to objectively estimate what constitutes fitness in modern society? Go to the nearest maternity ward and look at the babies. Perhaps, to your horror, fitness today means willingness to bear children who can parasitise the general population most effectively. Why not?
All's fair in love and war.
Regardless of how you define "superior", infinitely more random disfunctional outcomes are possible than those that could confer any sort of added fitness.

It is undeniable that the intelligence of man is superior to that of apes. That being said, according to NDT, that intelligence had to evolve onward and upward, requiring one specific purposeful mutation after another.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#124289 Mar 20, 2013
The Dude wrote:
<quoted text>
Evolution isn't assumed, it is tested.
Dunno what you're on about with all this whining about atheism because I couldn't care less about it.(shrug)
Unless of course you're just admitting once again that your alternative is nothing more than Goddidit with magic, but that would only undermine all of your posts.
You wouldn't be dumb enough to do something like that would you?
Evolution has been tested, and it has failed...
1. Lamarckism: failed
2. Junk DNA: failed
3. Homology: failed
4. Genetic determinism: failed.
5. Fossil record: failed.
6. Progressive improvement of genome: failed

The only thing evolution has succeeded in is convincing man that he has a purposeless existence.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#124290 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>You're assuming that good mutations are frequent. You have no proof whatsoever that a given percentage of the 150 or so mutations per generation in humans can ever add up to anything positive. You have no logical argument that they could. All you know is that mutations occur, and their affect for the most part cannot be measured.
You are merely trying out your little argument on ChristineM with a hopeful "one size fits all" attempt. Perhaps you should read what UC wrote, and I responded to, properly, before making a fool of yourself.

My post in response to UC has made NO assumptions about mutations at all and would still make sense even if there were NO positive mutations.

Speaking of ChristineM's argument, BTW, the whole thing rests on nothing more than her forgetting to state "beneficial mutations that get fixed in the population" rather than really asserting that they were a majority of the actual mutations that occur.

I fully accept that most mutations will be neutral or harmful rather than beneficial.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#124291 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>Regardless of how you define "superior", infinitely more random disfunctional outcomes are possible than those that could confer any sort of added fitness.
It is undeniable that the intelligence of man is superior to that of apes. That being said, according to NDT, that intelligence had to evolve onward and upward, requiring one specific purposeful mutation after another.
Not at all. Again you betray that you do not know how evolution works, so you automatically argue against mere strawmen of your imagination.

Intelligence would in all cases evolve to an optimum and this requires no purposeful mutation. Why an optimum and not a maximum? Because brains like everything else use metabolic resources and have to earn their keep in the strict economy of life. There will always be an optimum between intelligence and the cost of that intelligence in other ways. Its also obvious that talents in on area can be at the expense of talents in another. Classical intelligence is just one potentially positive attribute in the mix.

You might note too that generally recognised and rewarded form of intelligence are rather a narrow slice of the whole range of human capabilities.

It is undeniable today that the most (classically) intelligent among humans do not have the highest birthrate. That should alter your estimation of what "fitness" means. However, you have already decided what you think is fit, and judge fitness by that criterion.

That is flawed thinking, alng with any notion that evolution of humans should be like some X-men comic book leading to "higher forms". That AIN'T evolution, that's a comic book level parody of it.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#124292 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Evolution has been tested, and it has failed...
1. Lamarckism: failed
2. Junk DNA: failed
3. Homology: failed
4. Genetic determinism: failed.
5. Fossil record: failed.
6. Progressive improvement of genome: failed
The only thing evolution has succeeded in is convincing man that he has a purposeless existence.
We have words for idiots who keep spamming their little lists even after every point on the list has been thoroughly debunked several times.

You are merely making a fool of yourself.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#124293 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Excellent example. Survival of the fittest is an imaginary force that does not remotely reflect reality. If you just look at humans... the genetically superior are no more likely to successfully mate than the average person. Sanford emphasized this observation in his book.
So dishonest, why must you be dishonest? You are describing it as a "force" so that you can make your lies appear believable, how sad, sort of Kent Hovindesque.

So you are saying that an organism born with legs would not have a better chance of surviving on land than one born with nothing but fins.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#124294 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Evolution has been tested, and it has failed...
1. Lamarckism: failed
2. Junk DNA: failed
3. Homology: failed
4. Genetic determinism: failed.
5. Fossil record: failed.
6. Progressive improvement of genome: failed
The only thing evolution has succeeded in is convincing man that he has a purposeless existence.
You live in some strange make believe world where gills are just as well suited to life on land as lungs.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#124295 Mar 20, 2013
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>
So dishonest, why must you be dishonest? You are describing it as a "force" so that you can make your lies appear believable, how sad, sort of Kent Hovindesque.
So you are saying that an organism born with legs would not have a better chance of surviving on land than one born with nothing but fins.
Are you suggesting that the first amphibian was born with functional legs?
And by the way, who did it mate with?

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#124296 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>Regardless of how you define "superior"
In evolutionary terms "I" do not define it at all.

The sole valid criterion of superiority in evolution is "what survives and reproduces".

The meanest? The smartest? The best cooperator? The best at eliciting sympathy? The boldest? The best risk estimator? The biggest risk taker? The manipulator? The honest Joe? The best liar? The best lie detector? The fastest? The best thrower? The best hider? The most charming? The cleanest? The dirtiest? The best optimiser of all the qualities above?

What works best is contextual, for starters.

Claiming its intelligence merely suggests that you think you are pretty intelligent so therefore that SHOULD be the most important criterion. Even claiming that as the defining characteristic of humans above all else, intelligence should therefore continue to be the hallmark of human evolution, is still making the same mistake. Liek any other attribute, there may be a ceiling which means more intelligence could work against survival.

You just don't know.

For all we know, the main dimension of fitness today could simply be the ability to tolerate huge quantities of ever more degraded junk food.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#124297 Mar 20, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Not at all. Again you betray that you do not know how evolution works, so you automatically argue against mere strawmen of your imagination.
Intelligence would in all cases evolve to an optimum and this requires no purposeful mutation. Why an optimum and not a maximum? Because brains like everything else use metabolic resources and have to earn their keep in the strict economy of life. There will always be an optimum between intelligence and the cost of that intelligence in other ways. Its also obvious that talents in on area can be at the expense of talents in another. Classical intelligence is just one potentially positive attribute in the mix.
You might note too that generally recognised and rewarded form of intelligence are rather a narrow slice of the whole range of human capabilities.
It is undeniable today that the most (classically) intelligent among humans do not have the highest birthrate. That should alter your estimation of what "fitness" means. However, you have already decided what you think is fit, and judge fitness by that criterion.
That is flawed thinking, alng with any notion that evolution of humans should be like some X-men comic book leading to "higher forms". That AIN'T evolution, that's a comic book level parody of it.
You're the one guilty of simplistic thinking.
How did man's higher intellectual faculties evolve?
Do you think man's ancestors were performing integral calculus, composing symphonies, and pondering the secrets of the universe while they were hunters/gatherers?

If not, then how did those abilities appear through evolution?
HTS

Englewood, CO

#124298 Mar 20, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
Mathematics is not something you "believe in". It is a tool. If it is incorrectly used you will get wrong answers. Creatards always use math incorrectly and get mad when we point out there error that throws their whole argument out.
If you make a fatal error in describing evolution it does not matter what answer you get. It has already been shown to be wrong without doing any math at all.
You will never think logically because you don't believe in math.
If math doesn't conform to your religion, you simply reject it.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#124299 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>Are you suggesting that the first amphibian was born with functional legs?
And by the way, who did it mate with?
No, that's your suggestion. When you make assertions for people your dishonesty becomes clear as day.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#124300 Mar 20, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
You are merely trying out your little argument on ChristineM with a hopeful "one size fits all" attempt. Perhaps you should read what UC wrote, and I responded to, properly, before making a fool of yourself.
My post in response to UC has made NO assumptions about mutations at all and would still make sense even if there were NO positive mutations.
Speaking of ChristineM's argument, BTW, the whole thing rests on nothing more than her forgetting to state "beneficial mutations that get fixed in the population" rather than really asserting that they were a majority of the actual mutations that occur.
I fully accept that most mutations will be neutral or harmful rather than beneficial.
You haven't described a genetic mechanism to increase genetic information. You merely imagine that if enough mutations occur, eventually natural selection will sort them all out and the organism will end up with something positive. That is not the way natural selection works.
What makes you conclude that natural selection can preserve favorable mutations when, by your own admission, most mutations are "neutral"? You can't have it both ways.

“I Am No One Else”

Level 7

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#124301 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>You're the one guilty of simplistic thinking.
How did man's higher intellectual faculties evolve?
Do you think man's ancestors were performing integral calculus, composing symphonies, and pondering the secrets of the universe while they were hunters/gatherers?
If not, then how did those abilities appear through evolution?
You know that your have been given valid scientifically sound and supported answers to these already, shy do you repeat the same questions?

“What, me worry?”

Since: Mar 09

I'm a racist caricature!

#124302 Mar 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>What do you mean "no known limit"?
4.5 billion years is a limit.
The primordial soup is not infinite.
Yes,, you have big numbers to work with.
But you improbabilities are infinitely greater.
Why do you think life could never arise naturally in 4.5 billion years? Why not in twice that time? I mean, there's evidence that it occurred in under 1 billion years, so clearly it can happen faster than that. But, please, work with me here. You say it's impossible. I just want to know why it's impossible. You have only tried to show how it's IMPROBABLE. How improbable is it to win PowerBall? Does anybody ever actually win, despite how unlikely it is to win? What if they increased the number of balls to 200? Would it be impossible to win then? What if they increased the number of balls to 1,000? Would it be impossible to win then? Please, tell us when things go from "improbable" to "impossible." You haven't shown us the line, but if you want to assert impossibility, you have to demonstrate it somehow, which you thus far have refused to do.

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