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

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Level 8

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#130134 May 15, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you have any evidence that individuals without wisdom teeth are more likely to reproduce than those with wisdom teeth? You're telling me that this is evolution in progress. Let's see the numbers.
Numbers? What does that have to do with your silly statements? Let's roll the tape back. You said...
HTS wrote:
Why hasn't natural selection removed all wisdom teeth millions of years ago.
Then you went on to say...
HTS wrote:
20% of the population has congenital absence of one of more wisdom teeth.
So it would appear that wisdom teeth may, indeed, be disappearing. Your pulled-out-of-your-ass number of 'millions of years ago' means absolutely nothing. Evolution is happening today. It will continue to happen tomorrow.

BTW, you also said...
HTS wrote:
They are a detriment to survival.
So if you are correct here (as farfetched as that may seem) then you have already agreed that individuals without wisdom teeth are more likely to reproduce.

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Level 8

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#130135 May 15, 2013
LowellGuy wrote:
<quoted text>
They are not, and never were, a detriment to humans being able to reach reproductive age and procreate. And, dentistry has generally eliminated the survival disadvantage they might have possibly presented.
<quoted text>
And, if there were a survival and reproductive advantage to such absence of wisdom teeth, we'd see it in greater and greater proportions of the population. But, like I said, they don't affect our ability to reach reproductive age and procreate. As such, there is no selective pressure on wisdom teeth.
But, don't let things like reality get in the way of your little story.
Agreed. Don't get me wrong. I was only arguing the merits of his statements as presented. Not the accuracy of them.

“ The Lord of delirious minds.”

Level 8

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#130136 May 15, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Empty excuses. Do the math. It's still basically impossible.
They did the math and that's how the the date the species divergence date was calculated. The Time since the slit between man and chimps was calculated by it.

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/...
LowellGuy

Lowell, MA

#130137 May 15, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope, he didn't seem to make that mistake. Keep trying.
Ah..."one specific?"

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#130138 May 15, 2013
LowellGuy wrote:
<quoted text>
Ah..."one specific?"
Did I say that?

If so it was hopefully obvious that I meant a point that killed his argument.

He was trying to show how impossible evolution was from earlier hominid to man by showing how hard it would be for another group to follow the path that our ancestors and chimp's ancestors did. He didn't realize it, but that is directional evolution he was talking about.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#130139 May 15, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
HST's main error here was that he assumes that evolution has a direction with this analysis. He calculated the odds of the specific changes that occurred rather than just the fact that changes occur.
His odds calculation is correct to show that if you had an identical population the odds of them repeating the hominid to man and chimp evolution would be practically zero. What he keeps forgetting is that the odds of evolution are extremely high.
Nice try HST, but you failed again.
OK, SZ...
How many possible pathways do you imagine exist?
You can't use that lame argument as a carte blanche dismissal of probability challenges. Infinite numbers of hypothetical evolutionary pathways do not exist. Let's see your math.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#130140 May 15, 2013
MikeF wrote:
<quoted text>
Numbers? What does that have to do with your silly statements? Let's roll the tape back. You said...
<quoted text>
Then you went on to say...
<quoted text>
So it would appear that wisdom teeth may, indeed, be disappearing. Your pulled-out-of-your-ass number of 'millions of years ago' means absolutely nothing. Evolution is happening today. It will continue to happen tomorrow.
BTW, you also said...
<quoted text>
So if you are correct here (as farfetched as that may seem) then you have already agreed that individuals without wisdom teeth are more likely to reproduce.
Nice storytelling, Mike.
Show me scientific evidence that individuals without wisdom teeth mate and reproduce more successfully than those who do.
Natural selection is supposedly the driving force of evolution. If you insist that it has such power, you should be able to see it.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#130141 May 15, 2013
Aura Mytha wrote:
<quoted text>
1.Man didn't go ape to man , man went from a hominid to a modern human, while current ape lineages went to a different evolutionary path, branching of into several different species, the last major branch split one path to humans and the other to chimpanzees.
2. The difference's between species after a branch is now being generated by both species down different paths.
The differences and
3. The mutation rate can only be examined by comparing the nucleotide difference generated between the two, but
the number of differences between two different species is used to estimate how long ago two species branched away from each other.
So the mutation rate is itself is based on the number of
changes between the two species.
4. You got the figure wrong it is 40 million.
5. The original estimate of 10,000 breeding pairs rises over the time span. Also he molecular clock and mutation can vary under environmental pressures.
Utilizing all of your assumptions, demonstrate that ape-man evolution is mathematically possible.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#130142 May 15, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
Wrong.
HST assumed directionality. Evolution is not directional in that sense. He made the mistake of calculating how difficult it would be for another population to follow the evolutionary trail that occurred in the past. If he made a calculation based upon how many changes there would have to be versus how many changes there actually are, even taking into account that most changes are neutral or even bad, he would have found that there were more than enough changes in the populations for this evolutionary action to take place.
You assume that any hodgepodge collection of mutations can result in complexity.

No article has ever been published that demonstrates that proposed evolutionary mechanisms are mathematically possible. As exemplified in this discussion, the issue of probability is invariably centered around attempts of evolutionists to diffuse probability challenges posed by creationists.

If you believe evolution to be a scientific viable theory, why can't you demonstrate mathematically that it is at least POSSIBLE? All you can do is point out unknowns and by so doing attempt to stop the argument.

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Level 8

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#130143 May 15, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Nice storytelling, Mike.
Show me scientific evidence that individuals without wisdom teeth mate and reproduce more successfully than those who do.
Natural selection is supposedly the driving force of evolution. If you insist that it has such power, you should be able to see it.
Hey, doofus!*YOU* were the one who claimed wisdom teeth are a detriment to survival. Don't you remember?

How about you back that up first before we move on to your next ridiculous claim.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#130144 May 15, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
In the past, before modern medicine and antibiotics yes. Today, not so much.
Show me the data. If what you're saying is true, then why didn't natural selection remove the appendix and wisdom teeth millions of years ago?

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#130145 May 15, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
You assume that any hodgepodge collection of mutations can result in complexity.
No article has ever been published that demonstrates that proposed evolutionary mechanisms are mathematically possible. As exemplified in this discussion, the issue of probability is invariably centered around attempts of evolutionists to diffuse probability challenges posed by creationists.
If you believe evolution to be a scientific viable theory, why can't you demonstrate mathematically that it is at least POSSIBLE? All you can do is point out unknowns and by so doing attempt to stop the argument.
ERRTTT!!

Wrong. I never made that claim. I was simply pointing out the fatal error in your so called attempt to prove that there was not enough time for man and chimp to share a common ancestor.

With 100 mutations appearing per individual per generation and with a population of 10,000 individuals that is a change of 1 million mutations per generation available. Now obviously not all of those apply. Most of the changes between our two genomes, chimp and man, would have been in the so called "Junk DNA". Though they may have some function it seems that most mutations do not change the function of non-coding DNA. 98% of the differences that we see would be in the non-coding part of our genome and the vast majority of mutations there are neither helpful nor harmful. They are benign. So we have to only worry about the changes in the coding part of our genome.

The fact that most mutations are benign takes that into account. Now we only need a very small percentage of the 1 million mutations per generation to be positive to allow hominid to man evolution. We don't have to worry about the benign mutations. The negative mutations take care of themselves (they die out). So we only need far fewer positive changes than you thought and we have a huge number of changes to play with. Some of those, though a very small percentage, will be positive. And it does not really matter that the positive number is small. Their populations will grow at the expense of others.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#130146 May 15, 2013
By the way HST, the reason that no one has published an article showing how "mathematically" it is possible for evolution to occur is that same reason as no one has ever published and article showing how it is mathematically possible for a rock to fall.

It is obvious to all but the most dense student that if something has happened it is mathematically possible.

Now you can show that it is mathematically possible the way that I did. But that is such an obvious observation that it will never make it to a professional journal.

We know evolution is possible. We see it happening all of the time and can be observed several different ways. There is no need to "prove" that it is possible. It has already been "proven".

Why, when you fail terribly with our mathematical "proofs", which you always do, do you then try to shift the burden of proof to others?

Do you think you are fooling anyone with that idiocy?

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#130147 May 15, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>Show me the data. If what you're saying is true, then why didn't natural selection remove the appendix and wisdom teeth millions of years ago?
I already explained that. Go back and read the past posts.

“Nihil curo de ista tua stulta ”

Since: May 08

Orlando

#130148 May 15, 2013
MikeF wrote:
<quoted text>
For the vast majority of human history, the reproductive rate was no where near this high. So your math fails.
Not to mention infant mortality was abysmal up until the post Industrial age (working from memory here). Only until relatively modern sanitation and medical advancements did infant mortality begin to drop significantly.

I thought I read Infant mortality rates at about 50%(Pre-industrial England?). Unable to check that data now, as I'm at work.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#130149 May 15, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
ERRTTT!!
Wrong. I never made that claim. I was simply pointing out the fatal error in your so called attempt to prove that there was not enough time for man and chimp to share a common ancestor.
With 100 mutations appearing per individual per generation and with a population of 10,000 individuals that is a change of 1 million mutations per generation available. Now obviously not all of those apply. Most of the changes between our two genomes, chimp and man, would have been in the so called "Junk DNA". Though they may have some function it seems that most mutations do not change the function of non-coding DNA. 98% of the differences that we see would be in the non-coding part of our genome and the vast majority of mutations there are neither helpful nor harmful. They are benign. So we have to only worry about the changes in the coding part of our genome.
The fact that most mutations are benign takes that into account. Now we only need a very small percentage of the 1 million mutations per generation to be positive to allow hominid to man evolution. We don't have to worry about the benign mutations. The negative mutations take care of themselves (they die out). So we only need far fewer positive changes than you thought and we have a huge number of changes to play with. Some of those, though a very small percentage, will be positive. And it does not really matter that the positive number is small. Their populations will grow at the expense of others.
First, your "junk DNA" paradigm has collapsed. Why do you persist in the debunked "98% nonfunctionality" dogma when you know perfectly well that it is false?

Second, you say most mutations are "benign". You think because their effects are not measurable that they are harmless. If their effects are not measurable, then how is natural selection going to preserve them. Natural selection cannot get rid of obvious problems like wisdom teeth and appendices, so what makes you assume that it can filter out mutations that have no measurable harmful effect?

All you've done is simply imagine that if you can amass enought "benign" mutations into the genome, that they will magically come together to form a man from an ape. That is not valid science. That is nothing less than a bedtime story.

There are, according to evolutionary dogma [unproven, of course], only 60 million differences in nucleotides between humans and chimps. Do you seriously think that the sequences of those 60 million nucleotides that define human vs ape are not important? How many different configurations do you imagine would be possible? I want you to give me a number...

You're saying that a monkey to be able to type specific a work of Shakespeare. I say that a monkey couldn't type any meaningful text in any language, given trillions of years. In the same manner, evolution cannot create a meaningful secquence of nucleotides, because the number of meaningless possibilities, each of which is equally likely to occur, is astronomically great.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#130150 May 15, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
By the way HST, the reason that no one has published an article showing how "mathematically" it is possible for evolution to occur is that same reason as no one has ever published and article showing how it is mathematically possible for a rock to fall.
It is obvious to all but the most dense student that if something has happened it is mathematically possible.
Now you can show that it is mathematically possible the way that I did. But that is such an obvious observation that it will never make it to a professional journal.
We know evolution is possible. We see it happening all of the time and can be observed several different ways. There is no need to "prove" that it is possible. It has already been "proven".
Why, when you fail terribly with our mathematical "proofs", which you always do, do you then try to shift the burden of proof to others?
Do you think you are fooling anyone with that idiocy?
Evolution is imagined... it is not observed.
A falling rock is observed and is undisputed.
If someone questioned that a rock would fall, it could easily
be shown that it's mathematically possible for a rock to fall. You, however, cannot show that evolution is mathematically possible. Your absurd declaration that it doesn't need to be shown is a manifestation of your supreme arrogance.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#130151 May 15, 2013
MikeF wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey, doofus!*YOU* were the one who claimed wisdom teeth are a detriment to survival. Don't you remember?
How about you back that up first before we move on to your next ridiculous claim.
I implied that, according to evolution, wisdom teeth are a detriment to survival. If they are, there shouldn't be any because the all powerful natural selection has had millions of years to remove them from the population.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#130152 May 15, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
By the way HST, the reason that no one has published an article showing how "mathematically" it is possible for evolution to occur is that same reason as no one has ever published and article showing how it is mathematically possible for a rock to fall.
It is obvious to all but the most dense student that if something has happened it is mathematically possible.
Now you can show that it is mathematically possible the way that I did. But that is such an obvious observation that it will never make it to a professional journal.
We know evolution is possible. We see it happening all of the time and can be observed several different ways. There is no need to "prove" that it is possible. It has already been "proven".
Why, when you fail terribly with our mathematical "proofs", which you always do, do you then try to shift the burden of proof to others?
Do you think you are fooling anyone with that idiocy?
You're busted, SZ.
You cannot demonstrate that evolution is mathematically possible.
No one can, because it is impossible.
All you can do is hurl stupid insults and creat distractions and smokescreens.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#130153 May 15, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
First, your "junk DNA" paradigm has collapsed. Why do you persist in the debunked "98% nonfunctionality" dogma when you know perfectly well that it is false?
The junk paradigm has not collapsed. It has been found that some of the junk DNA has a use. It does not have the same use as regular DNA and that is why mutations, very often, do not change it. The so called "functionality" of junk DNA is not the same as that of coding genes. It is still perfectly fine to use the proper term "non-coding DNA". You are the one who is caught in a lie here, not me.
Second, you say most mutations are "benign". You think because their effects are not measurable that they are harmless. If their effects are not measurable, then how is natural selection going to preserve them. Natural selection cannot get rid of obvious problems like wisdom teeth and appendices, so what makes you assume that it can filter out mutations that have no measurable harmful effect?
All you've done is simply imagine that if you can amass enought "benign" mutations into the genome, that they will magically come together to form a man from an ape. That is not valid science. That is nothing less than a bedtime story.
They are preserved since there is not active program to get rid of them. We can observe these changes in the genome and we know, again by observation, that over 99% of them have no measurable effect. That is by definition benign. Of course 98% of them are going to end up in the non-coding regions so their benign nature is understood.
There are, according to evolutionary dogma [unproven, of course], only 60 million differences in nucleotides between humans and chimps. Do you seriously think that the sequences of those 60 million nucleotides that define human vs ape are not important? How many different configurations do you imagine would be possible? I want you to give me a number...
First off, please quit lying. There is no "evolutionary dogma". Look up the meaning of the word "dogma" it does not apply. Second, 98% of those differences are in noncoding areas so yes, those differences should make no or very little change in the two species. At best most of the so called functionality merely tells genes when to turn off or on. Minor changes in the genome do not seem to affect this, otherwise we would all be in trouble with our 100 mutations per generation.
You're saying that a monkey to be able to type specific a work of Shakespeare. I say that a monkey couldn't type any meaningful text in any language, given trillions of years. In the same manner, evolution cannot create a meaningful secquence of nucleotides, because the number of meaningless possibilities, each of which is equally likely to occur, is astronomically great.
No, I said virtual monkeys using a selection method similar to the natural selection one sees in nature have typed out the works of Shakespeare. You can say what you like, you of course will be wrong. You have no idea how natural selection works with variation to allow evolution to continue. That much is obvious.

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