Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 180300 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 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#153464 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, let's try it again. Surely there is a lot at stake here. Do it for the benefit of others. You say there is an abundance of beneficial mutations. Show all I'm asking you to do is show us your best example and let us carefully examine it. You should be able to defend your theory, right? What's the problem?
What kind of bullshit are you trying to spread now?

There is not a lot at stake here. You have already put yourself fully in the rank of idiots and nothing that you can do will change that.

I already gave you a challenge. If you cannot live up to it admit it. Admit that you cannot be honest for one day and I will be happy to give you the information that you wish to see, again.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#153465 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
1. Which is the opposite of what you claim for evolution. The water cools and RELEASES energy to lower the entropy and form ice. You are using this backwards analogy to try and show that evolution does not violate the SLoT; however, your evolution analogy is that plants and animals ABSORB energy from the sun to vertically evolve!
[QUOTE]

In each case, an object first absorbs energy and then releases it in less ordered form. Same steps, different complexity.

One is an endothermic chemical reaction (glucose production), in which some of the energy absorbed goes into forming chemical bonds.(Life is not the only place this happens.)

...and one merely a physical endothermic action (water molecule heating up, moving to a colder place, and cooling further). But in each case energy is absorbed and stored, and the TOTAL entropy is higher for the system.

That is, the total entropy of the ingredients: sunlight, CO2, and H20, was LOWER than the glucose molecule they created. No violation of SLoT. The order created in the glucose is less than the order lost by the sunlight.

Whether its glucose or a snowflake, the INTERNAL entropy of the material has been lowered even though the total system has gained entropy when you look at the actual energy conversion. Complex structures formed by chemical bonds and alignments have been created, in both the glucose and the snowflake. In each case, it takes more information to describe them than their precursors.

You look at complex thing like a Tree and say that evolution describing it as a result of spontaneous reactions that created more and more order from the simplest original proto-cell violates SLoT. But it does not, so long as the order stored at each stage is less than the order lost in the system as a whole.

Earth is receiving highly ordered energy in the form of visible light from the sun by the terrawatt every day. Its emitting the same amount of energy by the terrawatt as lower order infrared.

Some of that energy is is processed by a snowflake, some by a tree, and part of the order captured before the energy is released as lower order IR. Its all allowed by the SLoT. Glaciers and trees can grow, capturing fractions of the order being lost as it passes through the Sun-Earth-Space system, entering as ordered sunlight and leaving as less ordered IR.

[QUOTE]
2. The snowflake is merely and external manifestation of the internal order of the water molecule. It also doesn't go any further then that. The snowflake is final. You are trying to argue a final process is anlaogous to a continuous process.
You could as easily say that life is just an external manifestation of the properties of the carbon atom.

Is the snowflake example "final"? Yes. But that is not the point. A snowflake is a simple example that answered your original question - which was, are there any spontaneous reductions of entropy in nature? YES is the answer.

There are more complex examples than a snowflake. The spontaneous developments of ordered convection currents is one. Even a polymerase chain reaction, used to double and redouble DNA artificially, is one where a bunch of chemicals in solution are merely heated and cooled repeatedly, each cycle doubling the number of DNA molecules. At the chemical level there is nothing mysterious going on in terms of SLoT.

And abiogenesis research is simply looking for plausible natural environmental conditions where the right chemicals could do something analogous to what we see in a polymerase chain reaction. Again, nothing that would violate the Second Law.

The Second Law does NOT disallow the creation of order, it merely says that to create more order in one part of the system, you have to allow a greater amount of disorder to be created in another part. Disorder always increases as a WHOLE.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#153466 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
1. Which is the opposite of what you claim for evolution. The water cools and RELEASES energy to lower the entropy and form ice. You are using this backwards analogy to try and show that evolution does not violate the SLoT; however, your evolution analogy is that plants and animals ABSORB energy from the sun to vertically evolve!
In each case, an object first absorbs energy and then releases it in less ordered form. Same steps, different complexity.

One is an endothermic chemical reaction (glucose production), in which some of the energy absorbed goes into forming chemical bonds.(Life is not the only place this happens.)

...and one merely a physical endothermic action (water molecule heating up, moving to a colder place, and cooling further). But in each case energy is absorbed and stored, and the TOTAL entropy is higher for the system.

That is, the total entropy of the ingredients: sunlight, CO2, and H20, was LOWER than the glucose molecule they created. No violation of SLoT. The order created in the glucose is less than the order lost by the sunlight.

Whether its glucose or a snowflake, the INTERNAL entropy of the material has been lowered even though the total system has gained entropy when you look at the actual energy conversion. Complex structures formed by chemical bonds and alignments have been created, in both the glucose and the snowflake. In each case, it takes more information to describe them than their precursors.

You look at complex thing like a Tree and say that evolution describing it as a result of spontaneous reactions that created more and more order from the simplest original proto-cell violates SLoT. But it does not, so long as the order stored at each stage is less than the order lost in the system as a whole.

Earth is receiving highly ordered energy in the form of visible light from the sun by the terrawatt every day. Its emitting the same amount of energy by the terrawatt as lower order infrared.

Some of that energy is is processed by a snowflake, some by a tree, and part of the order captured before the energy is released as lower order IR. Its all allowed by the SLoT. Glaciers and trees can grow, capturing fractions of the order being lost as it passes through the Sun-Earth-Space system, entering as ordered sunlight and leaving as less ordered IR.
2. The snowflake is merely and external manifestation of the internal order of the water molecule. It also doesn't go any further then that. The snowflake is final. You are trying to argue a final process is anlaogous to a continuous process.
You could as easily say that life is just an external manifestation of the properties of the carbon atom.

Is the snowflake example "final"? Yes. But that is not the point. A snowflake is a simple example that answered your original question - which was, are there any spontaneous reductions of entropy in nature? YES is the answer.

There are more complex examples than a snowflake. The spontaneous developments of ordered convection currents is one. Even a polymerase chain reaction, used to double and redouble DNA artificially, is one where a bunch of chemicals in solution are merely heated and cooled repeatedly, each cycle doubling the number of DNA molecules. At the chemical level there is nothing mysterious going on in terms of SLoT.

And abiogenesis research is simply looking for plausible natural environmental conditions where the right chemicals could do something analogous to what we see in a polymerase chain reaction. Again, nothing that would violate the Second Law.

The Second Law does NOT disallow the creation of order, it merely says that to create more order in one part of the system, you have to allow a greater amount of disorder to be created in another part. Disorder always increases as a WHOLE.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#153467 Sep 19, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
I know. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Your post reminds me of the fake atheist, Josh something or other, who tried to "prove" that Jesus did not exist. A real atheist would have been looking for evidence that Jesus existed in the first place. It is impossible to prove that someone did not exist that supposedly lived 2,000 years ago, real or mythical. It is always the duty of the people making the positive claim to supply evidence for their beliefs and they have never been able to do so.
Ya, you have to keep in mind that benefit of the doubt. A friend of mine said she has joined a church group. She doesn't like any of the religion stuff, but hopes there's a God. She told me, "I believe in God...but it doesn't have to be like, you know,...God."

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#153468 Sep 19, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
You say apes evolved into humans over 8 million years, which would have required millions upon millions of favorable mutations.
You present no evidence other than your philosophical conclusions.
You present no evidence that millions of favourable mutations are required. Maybe its 10, maybe its 100, maybe its 1000.

There are an estimated 60 million base pair differences but nobody yet knows which of these were actively important and which (probably by far the majority) were merely drift.

Also, is a gene duplication that adds another copy of the amylase gene a single mutation, or are you counting every base pair added as if its another one? That would be stretching things, you have to admit. But a single amylase duplication adds thousands of base pair differences in one go.

(and ahem, it was beneficial!)

This idea of counting base pair differences is rather silly. The key differences between a human and a chimp may come down to a few critical changes at the developmental level, whereas other things like how hairy they are would be purely incidental anyway.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#153469 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Photosynthesis is accomplished as a result of the fearfully complex plant cells.
And does not violate SLoT.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#153470 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
The Lord is in control of time, and therefore he is in control.
Looks like He delegated His responsibility to Einstein's equations!

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#153471 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
From S = k ln M :
“We are now ready to provide a definition of entropy. The entropy S is defined as S = k ln M where k is Boltzmans’s constant and M is the number of microstates consistent with the given macrostate.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_ (statistical_thermodynamics)

…we can derive the formula, dS(max)= k ln Me/Ms = k ln Mo/M, which applies to all systems since the analysis is both system and path independent. The basic principle is that adding more randomness to a system makes it more random and adding more order to a system makes it more organized.

The general application of energy to a system in a manner more random than that system will increase the entropy of that system. The general application of energy to a system in a manner less random than that system will decrease the entropy of that system.
I have shown that when energy is applied to a system, the degree of randomness of the system moves toward the degree of randomness of the applied energy.
You start well, quoting Wiki, then sail off into the sunset.

The issue is not whether the "randomness of the energy applied is greater than the system"

The issue is whether total order emerging at the END of the process is less ordered than the total order ENTERING the process.

And this particularly applies to the processing of energy.

Whether it comes in as "highly random" or "less random", useful work can be done (localised order created in the process) so long as the energy dissipated at the END of the process is more random than it started when it entered the system.

See the difference?

And this applies equally to living systems and dead ones, and to the long term accumulation of localised order (such as evolution) as well. It can happen in the SLoT so long as the total entropy increases...not in the structures gaining order, but in the whole system which includes the huge dissipation of more ordered EM radiation (light) into less ordered EM radiation (IR).

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#153472 Sep 19, 2013
replaytime wrote:
<quoted text>
So they just used 1267 and went down as the years passed? or was that changed later for religious purposes?
1267 BC did not exist as a recognized specific year until the ninth century AD. In 1267 BC people tended to think in terms of spring, summer, fall and winter, and probably some local equivalent of January, February, etc.

Any calendars that existed would have had only local authority. Even amoung the few empires that existed, most of the relms were feudally governed. It would take a lot of organization and communication to establish and enforce an agreed upon calendar.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#153473 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Photosynthesis is accomplished as a result of the fearfully complex plant cells. And yes, puppy dogs are cute.
And the fearfully complex plant cells provide for the high order-low entropy of much of the life on earth.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#153474 Sep 19, 2013
appleboy wrote:
<quoted text>
And the fearfully complex plant cells provide for the high order-low entropy of much of the life on earth.
I guess Urb is still asking the question, how could that complex structure, capable of driving ever greater complexity, arise through natural means from simpler components?

Well, he isn't asking, he is just declaring it to be impossible, but that is the gist.

So we are back to the issue of abiogenesis I suppose. It certainly would not violate SLoT, which Urb may or may not see sooner or later...like any other process it would generate more disorder than it would create order.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153475 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
I already explained all this. Don't you read? Now tell me how entropy of a plant or animal can be decreased to allow for continual vertical evolution.
Explain why you think the total entropy has to be decreased and what, exactly, the term 'vertical evolution' means. Every reaction in a living being increases total entropy, even if the *internal* entropy decreases. This is best found using the Gibb's free energy, which takes into account the entropy changes of the environment.

So, exactly what reactions do you think increase the Gibb's free energy during evolution?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153476 Sep 19, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
So how does light catch up to us from a star 14.8 billion light years away at the time the light we are observing right now was just leaving the star. In 14.8 billion years moving faster then light that star could be millions of light years away from us now. One would think the red shift would be so radical that we would not even see it.
First of all, the Methuselah star is not 14.8 billion light years away. It is actually about 190 light years away. It is a very old star *in our galaxy*.

BTW, I was wrong before when I said it was in a global cluster. it is actually one of the population I stars going up through the disk. And it's age is 14.5 billion with a possible error of .8 billion years. This makes it consistent with a universe that is 13.8 billion years old.

A galaxy that actually *is* 14.8 billion light years away *would* have its light red-shifted to the point of invisibility. That is why there is a horizon.
Oh one more thing why is the Andromeda Galaxy on a collision course with the Milky Way Galaxy?
Yes. It is close enough (only a couple million light years) that the mutual gravity between it and our galaxy overwhelms the small rate of expansion.
How is this possible when everything started flying apart 13.7 billion years ago at faster then light speeds ?
The rate at which galaxies move apart because of the expansion depends on how far apart they are. To a good first approximation for close galaxies (less than a few billion light years away), the speed is proportional to the distance. So, a galaxy twice as far away is moving away from us twice as fast. Eventually relativistic effects become important, but the basic idea stays the same: farther galaxies are moving away from us faster due to the expansion.

But, each galaxy has what is known as its peculiar motion on top of the expansion speed. That peculiar motion is due to local gravity and can be up to about 200 km/s. The rate of expansion is about 70 km/s/Mpc. In other words, for each 1 mega-parsec (about 3.28 million light years), the rate of expansion increases by 70 km/s. In particular, the Andromeda spiral is about 2 million light years and has a peculiar motion of about 200 km/s (fairly standard).
These galaxy's are expanding with space yet this rather perplexing problem?
Doesn't seem possible with you explanation up above does it?
it is only perplexing if you don't think about it. The expansion of space produces speed that separates galaxies that is directly related to how far apart they are. On top of this is a peculiar motion. For distant galaxies, this peculiar motion is overwhelmed by the expansion. For close ones, it isn't.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#153477 Sep 19, 2013
HTS wrote:
The fundamental problem with you guys is that whenever you're backed into a corner you demand that your opponent define "order" and "complexity". Dogen, for example, refuses to acknowledge that human intelligence is more complex than ape intelligence. This attitude is born of your deep seated belief that order and complexity are flexible, relative terms that you can bend and manipulate any way you like to accomodate your worldview.
How can we be backed into a corner by a premise that you are unable to define?

How is "complexity" measured?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153478 Sep 19, 2013
The Almighty Tzar wrote:
<quoted text>
You don't see any problem?
Like there was the Big Bang and instantly there were stars?
Oh come on.....
It took billion of years after the Big Bang for stars to form.
Read a book and learn SOMETHING!
Actually, the Methuselah star probably formed in the first 100 million years. Why do you think it took billions of years for stars to first form after the BB? The *first* generation of stars formed very early on. Even the first galaxies formed fairly quickly. But the sun is a *third* generation star that was formed about 9 billion years after the expansion started.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153480 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
A little. As I've said 5 times today, they are just external manifestations of the internal ice molecules. Plus they are close-ended. Once a crystal forms, that's it. It goes no further. So don't go there, it isn't an argument. Plus the ice releases heat energy when the snowflake forms. THis is the opposite of what you require for evolution, which is suppose to absorb heat energy to form life or continuously evolve.

Yes. Very highly ordered.
OK, you are simply flat-out wrong here. A crystal is *much* more 'ordered' than anything biological. Biological reactions are, if anything, characterized by being intermediate in entropy. That's part of why they can work.
Of course since we are dealing with order and information issues we use Bolzmann's. I could give you the complete derivation of his equations if need be.
If you could, you would realize where your previous material is wrong. Your understanding of entropy is simply wrong.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153481 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
SLot isn't wrong. TOE is wrong.
Both are correct. And SLoT does not contradict ToE. Not even close.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#153482 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
No one has ever observed vertical evolution or abiogenesis you delusional cartoon character.
Urb, why are you lying by arguing against goal-directed evolution - again?

And why are you lying when you've already been shown evidence of, what you would term "vertical", mutations?
Urban Cowboy wrote:
Evolution depends on mutations, right? And mutations are indicative of positive entropy right?
Nope.
Urban Cowboy wrote:
But negative entropy is required if order is to be increased, right? Don't you see the contradiction? It is right in front of your face! Evolution violates the SLoT!
I see the contradiction - your definitions don't match reality.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153483 Sep 19, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
Statistically, entropy is logarithmically related to the randomness of a system (Bromberg, 1984), as shown in the formula:
S = k ln M where
S = Entropy
k = Boltzmann constant
M = the number of equivalent micro states (possible arrangements)
of a system
Shall I continue?
Sure. Now what is the number of available microstates in a crystalline solid? What is the number of available microstates in a biological system of comparable size?
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#153485 Sep 19, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Every argument that you present ultimately PRESUMES the validity of evolution.
With what?

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