Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 179619 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.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#162894 Jan 24, 2014
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, a previously nonexistent TRAIT. No new genetic information. It's a loss of information. It's like this:
Suppose my neighbors car alarm goes off all the time and is extremely annoying to the whole neighborhood. Due to time and entropy, eventually the car alarm breaks to the relief of everyone. This is beneficial but is a loss to the car. It once had a fully functioning car alarm and now it doesn't. But it is a great benefit.
That is basically what happened to Lenski's E.coli. Genetic mutations wrecked the regulation of a control operation so that when the bacteria produces citrate transporter regardless of whether it is in an oxidative state environment or not. In other words this is used to be able to be switched on and off but the mutation caused it to be stuck permanently in the "on" position. Another possibility is that an existing transporter gene that normally takes up tartrate 3 which does not normally transport citrate mutated so it lost its specificity to discern and now erroneously transport citrate in the cell as well. This is a LOSS of specificity and a loss of information.
Loss mean you no longer have something or having less of something. Loss is bad. Get it?
This means that you have excellent evidence that evolution never happened because in order to have macroevolution or vertical evolution or speciation or whatever you want to call the microbes-to-man type of evolution or Last Universal Common Ancestor type of evolution (I think you got it by now), you HAVE TO HAVE MUTATIONS THAT CREATE NEW INFORMATION AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANY OF THAT. Let Lenski go on for 100,000 generations, 100 billion generations, and you still won't have any.


Defining all change as a loss is philosophy, not science. There is no standard, perfect human (or horse or snake or any living thing) to measure against the changes that happen to every generation. The only guarantee is that each following generation will be ever so slightly changed.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#162895 Jan 24, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
You know nothing about science.
BONG!!!!

Herb's back to totally break everyone's irony meters again.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#162896 Jan 24, 2014
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe you haven't noticed but I defend the creation and the flood all the time. What specifically do you want to know?
How invisible Jew magic is relevant to evidence and passes the scientific method.

Take your time.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#162897 Jan 24, 2014
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, a previously nonexistent TRAIT. No new genetic information. It's a loss of information. It's like this:
Suppose my neighbors car alarm
Analogy fail.

Don't worry, we're still waiting for you to deal with the ACTUAL evidence for this from the last few hundred times.
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#162898 Jan 24, 2014
DanFromSmithville wrote:
<quoted text>Now hold on a sec hoss. Didn't you just a page back state that evolution is on the way out. Now you are talking about how we are exposed to it everywhere. You can't seem to get your stories straight.
You mean...

(GASP)

Urb's contradicted himself again??

:-O
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#162899 Jan 24, 2014
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, I think it is fading slowly a little at a time. I guess you have trouble with tense. Because I clearly said I WAS taught, etc. It might take another hundred years but eventually will be ditched.
ANY DAY NOW!!!

:-D
The Dude

Macclesfield, UK

#162900 Jan 24, 2014
Aura Mytha wrote:
I gotta admit, this here is some of the stupidest chit I ever heard.
"Suppose my neighbors car alarm goes off all the time and is extremely annoying to the whole neighborhood. Due to time and entropy, eventually the car alarm breaks to the relief of everyone. This is beneficial but is a loss to the car. It once had a fully functioning car alarm and now it doesn't. But it is a great benefit."
Can anybody explain WTF this has to do with evolution?
Didn't think so.....
Maybe it could be presented as evidence for Shoob's devolution.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#162903 Jan 24, 2014
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, I think it is fading slowly a little at a time. I guess you have trouble with tense. Because I clearly said I WAS taught, etc. It might take another hundred years but eventually will be ditched.
I'm pretty sure you'll have to wait for another church-empire to come along and enforce religious doctrine. The last one limited scientific thought to conform to church doctrine for over a thousand years. Who knows, maybe in the next hundred years the Talaban will take over the world--but otherwise I'd expect science to move forward instead of backward.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#162904 Jan 24, 2014
Those Crazy Aliens wrote:
<quoted text>
R U Gay??
Sure reads like it to me!
:)
Are you 13?

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#162905 Jan 24, 2014
Igor Trip wrote:
A Thermodynamics Theory of the Origins of Life
Jeremy England, a 31-year-old physicist at MIT, thinks he has found the underlying physics driving the origin and evolution of life.
From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.
https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140...

Interesting!

“Headline”

Since: Jan 14

Hometown

#162906 Jan 24, 2014
Evolution communicates that beneficial mutations gain information and early life used RNA instead of DNA to encode information. Empty assumptions!

Evolution assumes beneficial mutations gain information- Those information-gaining mutations haven’t been shown to occur. As a population grows larger, it is harder to fix new mutations in the population, because the cost of substitution is greater. Assuming that the mutations that will be fixed are the sort that creates new structures, such as lungs, feathers and wings but it is becoming the consensus even among evolutionist geneticists that mutations are like spelling mistakes in an instruction manual, which overwhelmingly degrade information. Recent studies show that even the “beneficial” mutations work against each other.

“Headline”

Since: Jan 14

Hometown

#162907 Jan 24, 2014
Evolution assumes early life used RNA instead of DNA to encode information. Where is the evidence for this, such as fossilized ancestral RNA life? The RNA world hypothesis is fraught with difficulties. RNA is even less stable than DNA, about a ½ million DNA codes are damaged in a typical cell on a good day, which then requires repair mechanisms to be in place (another problem for origin-of-life scenarios). And it is extremely unlikely that the building blocks for RNA would come about by undirected chemical interactions, and even if this happened, it would be even more improbable that the building blocks would self-assemble into any RNA molecule, let alone an informational one.

How could nucleotides have formed on the primitive Earth? Let’s look at a few problems.

1. it is not even clear that the primitive Earth would have generated and maintained organic molecules. All that we can say is that there might have been prevital organic chemistry going on, at least in special locations.

2. high-energy precursors of purines and pyrimidines had to be produced in a sufficiently concentrated form (for example at least 0.01 M HCN).

3. the conditions had to have been right for reactions to give perceptible yields of at least two bases that could pair with each other.

4. these bases must then have been separated from the confusing jumble of similar molecules that would also have been made, and the solutions must have been sufficiently concentrated.

5. in some other location a formaldehyde concentration of above 0.01 M must have built up.

6. this accumulated formaldehyde had to oligomerise to sugars.

7. somehow the sugars must have been separated and resolved, so as to give a moderately good concentration of, for example, D-ribose.

8. bases and sugars must now somehow come together.

“Headline”

Since: Jan 14

Hometown

#162908 Jan 24, 2014
Continued:

9. they must have been induced to react to make nucleosides.(There are no known ways of bringing about this thermodynamically uphill reaction in aqueous solution: purine nucleosides have been made by dry-phase synthesis, but not even this method has been successful for condensing pyrimidine bases and ribose to give nucleosides.

10. whatever the mode of joining base and sugar it had to be between the correct nitrogen atom of the base and the correct carbon atom of the sugar. This junction will fix the pentose sugar as either the alpha or beta-anomer of either the furanose or pyranose forms. For nucleic acids it has to be the beta-furanose.(In the dry-phase purine nucleoside syntheses referred to above, all four of these isomers were present with never more than 8 % of the correct structure.)

11. phosphate must have been, or must now come to have been, present at reasonable concentrations.(The concentrations in the oceans would have been very low, so we must think about special situations—evaporating lagoons and such things.

12. the phosphate must be activated in some way—for example as a linear or cyclic polyphosphate—so that (energetically uphill) phosphorylation of the nucleoside is possible.

13. to make standard nucleotides only the 5&#8242;hydroxyl of the ribose should be phosphorylated.(In solid-state reactions with urea and inorganic phosphates as a phosphorylating agent, this was the dominant species to begin with. Longer heating gave the nucleoside cyclic 2&#8242;,3&#8242;-phos phate as the major product although various dinucleotide derivatives and nucleoside polyphosphates are also formed.

14. if not already activated—for example as the cyclic 2&#8242;,3&#8242;-phos phate—the nucleotides must now be activated (for example with polyphosphate and a reasonably pure solution of these species created of reasonable concentration. Alternatively, a suitable coupling agent must now have been fed into the system.

15. the activated nucleotides (or the nucleotides with coupling agent) must now have polymerised. Initially this must have happened without a pre-existing polynucleotide template (this has proved very difficult to simulate) but more important, it must have come to take place on pre-existing polynucleotides if the key function of transmitting information to daughter molecules was to be achieved by abiotic means. This has proved difficult too.

16. the physical and chemical environment must at all times have been suitable—for example the pH, the temperature, the M2+ concentrations.

17. all reactions must have taken place well out of the ultraviolet sunlight; that is, not only away from its direct, highly destructive effects on nucleic acid-like molecules, but away too from the radicals produced by the sunlight.

What is required here is not some wild one-freak of an event and it is not true to say it only had to happen once. A whole set-up had to be maintained for perhaps millions of years: a reliable means of production of activated nucleotides at the least.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#162909 Jan 24, 2014
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
Evolution communicates that beneficial mutations gain information and early life used RNA instead of DNA to encode information. Empty assumptions!

No, that is called a hypothesis. If you had ever taken a science class you should know the difference between a hypothesis and an asumption.
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
Evolution assumes beneficial mutations gain information-

No, that is called an OBSERVATION. Again, if you ever study any science you will learn these things.
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
Those information-gaining mutations haven’t been shown to occur.

That is called a lie or incorrect information. You probably originally got that tidbit from a creotard site somewhere and never bothered to check it. Science has to check. That is the way science works.
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
As a population grows larger, it is harder to fix new mutations in the population, because the cost of substitution is greater.

That is sort of true. Poorly worded, but not worth arguing over the semantics.
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
Assuming that the mutations that will be fixed are the sort that creates new structures, such as lungs, feathers and wings but it is becoming the consensus even among evolutionist geneticists that mutations are like spelling mistakes in an instruction manual, which overwhelmingly degrade information.

Your sentence does not make sense. Try rewording it.

What I can glean it sounds like you are trying to say something that is incorrect, but fix the literacy issues and I will reexamine it.
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
Recent studies show that even the “beneficial” mutations work against each other.

That statement would prompt a citation if you had one. At any rate it is half true and half false. Negative mutation can work for each other. My statement is just as true as yours.

It is hard to say, in factuality, how separate mutations will interact.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#162910 Jan 24, 2014
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
Evolution assumes early life used RNA instead of DNA to encode information.

This is not an assumption. It is a hypothesis (see previous post).
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
Where is the evidence for this, such as fossilized ancestral RNA life?

There isn't any. Nor is it likely that any will be found. Do you understand why?
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
The RNA world hypothesis is fraught with difficulties. RNA is even less stable than DNA,


OH, you DO understand (in part). THAT is ONE of the reasons RNA "life" will likely not be found.


The rest of you post does not look any better for you. You have strung together a bunch of half truths, truths, misconceptions and misunderstandings into a cobbled list that basically proves you really don't understand what you read.

You need to unlearn all the psudoscience and learn the real thing. Good luck in your future education.

“Headline”

Since: Jan 14

Hometown

#162911 Jan 24, 2014
Dogen wrote:
<quoted text>
That statement would prompt a citation if you had one.
This may help you.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2...

Since: Jan 14

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#162912 Jan 24, 2014
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, a previously nonexistent TRAIT. No new genetic information. It's a loss of information. It's like this:
Suppose my neighbors car alarm goes off all the time and is extremely annoying to the whole neighborhood. Due to time and entropy, eventually the car alarm breaks to the relief of everyone. This is beneficial but is a loss to the car. It once had a fully functioning car alarm and now it doesn't. But it is a great benefit.
That is basically what happened to Lenski's E.coli. Genetic mutations wrecked the regulation of a control operation so that when the bacteria produces citrate transporter regardless of whether it is in an oxidative state environment or not. In other words this is used to be able to be switched on and off but the mutation caused it to be stuck permanently in the "on" position. Another possibility is that an existing transporter gene that normally takes up tartrate 3 which does not normally transport citrate mutated so it lost its specificity to discern and now erroneously transport citrate in the cell as well. This is a LOSS of specificity and a loss of information.
Loss mean you no longer have something or having less of something. Loss is bad. Get it?
This means that you have excellent evidence that evolution never happened because in order to have macroevolution or vertical evolution or speciation or whatever you want to call the microbes-to-man type of evolution or Last Universal Common Ancestor type of evolution (I think you got it by now), you HAVE TO HAVE MUTATIONS THAT CREATE NEW INFORMATION AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANY OF THAT. Let Lenski go on for 100,000 generations, 100 billion generations, and you still won't have any.
Others have pointed out the flaws in your car analogy, so I won't belabour the point. Not all analogies work, and perhaps you were having a bad day. I hope you wouldn't normally write an argument containing the phrase "This is beneficial but is a loss... but it is a great benefit".

I'd rather focus on the Lenski experiment. You claim "genetic mutations wrecked the regulation of a control operation so that when the bacteria produces citrate transporter regardless of whether it is in an oxidative state environment or not". This is not the case at all. The citT gene was duplicated, and the duplicate was inserted after a different promoter that encourages transcription in the presence of oxygen. The original gene and its promoter were undamaged. This is the introduction of new genetic information you were asking for.

You state that "loss mean you no longer have something or having less of something. Loss is bad". Here is an example of gene duplication, not loss. We are gaining something.

You try to argue that being able to import citrate as a food source is bad because... why? The bacteria with these mutations are still able to consume glucose, but they can now also consume citrate. Remember, they live in an environment with a little glucose but lots of citrate. Why is it bad for them to eat it?

You are trying very hard to find a way to present this as bad for this bacteria. You're going to struggle though. The bacteria with this mutation were able to dominate those without it - they now comprise 99% of the population. This mutation has been very successful.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#162913 Jan 24, 2014
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
Evolution communicates that beneficial mutations gain information and early life used RNA instead of DNA to encode information. Empty assumptions!
Evolution assumes beneficial mutations gain information- Those information-gaining mutations haven’t been shown to occur. As a population grows larger, it is harder to fix new mutations in the population, because the cost of substitution is greater. Assuming that the mutations that will be fixed are the sort that creates new structures, such as lungs, feathers and wings but it is becoming the consensus even among evolutionist geneticists that mutations are like spelling mistakes in an instruction manual, which overwhelmingly degrade information. Recent studies show that even the “beneficial” mutations work against each other.
The point you seem to have missed is that smaller populations have a greater advantage in fixing beneficial mutations. Once those mutations are fixed, those populations have a greater advantage of becoming much larger.

But yes, you are correct with the assumption that larger populations tend to absorb new mutations--unless they are deleterious enough to be eliminated from the population. So, for instance, the human population is large enough and mobile enough to prevent any radical species changes other than eventual genetic drift over a vast period of time.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#162914 Jan 24, 2014
HTN640509-040147 wrote:
Continued:
9. they must have been induced to react to make nucleosides.(There are no known ways of bringing about this thermodynamically uphill reaction in aqueous solution: purine nucleosides have been made by dry-phase synthesis, but not even this method has been successful for condensing pyrimidine bases and ribose to give nucleosides.
10. whatever the mode of joining base and sugar it had to be between the correct nitrogen atom of the base and the correct carbon atom of the sugar. This junction will fix the pentose sugar as either the alpha or beta-anomer of either the furanose or pyranose forms. For nucleic acids it has to be the beta-furanose.(In the dry-phase purine nucleoside syntheses referred to above, all four of these isomers were present with never more than 8 % of the correct structure.)
11. phosphate must have been, or must now come to have been, present at reasonable concentrations.(The concentrations in the oceans would have been very low, so we must think about special situations—evaporating lagoons and such things.
12. the phosphate must be activated in some way—for example as a linear or cyclic polyphosphate—so that (energetically uphill) phosphorylation of the nucleoside is possible.
13. to make standard nucleotides only the 5&#8242;hydroxyl of the ribose should be phosphorylated.(In solid-state reactions with urea and inorganic phosphates as a phosphorylating agent, this was the dominant species to begin with. Longer heating gave the nucleoside cyclic 2&#8242;,3&#8242;-phos phate as the major product although various dinucleotide derivatives and nucleoside polyphosphates are also formed.
14. if not already activated—for example as the cyclic 2&#8242;,3&#8242;-phos phate—the nucleotides must now be activated (for example with polyphosphate and a reasonably pure solution of these species created of reasonable concentration. Alternatively, a suitable coupling agent must now have been fed into the system.
15. the activated nucleotides (or the nucleotides with coupling agent) must now have polymerised. Initially this must have happened without a pre-existing polynucleotide template (this has proved very difficult to simulate) but more important, it must have come to take place on pre-existing polynucleotides if the key function of transmitting information to daughter molecules was to be achieved by abiotic means. This has proved difficult too.
16. the physical and chemical environment must at all times have been suitable—for example the pH, the temperature, the M2+ concentrations.
17. all reactions must have taken place well out of the ultraviolet sunlight; that is, not only away from its direct, highly destructive effects on nucleic acid-like molecules, but away too from the radicals produced by the sunlight.
What is required here is not some wild one-freak of an event and it is not true to say it only had to happen once. A whole set-up had to be maintained for perhaps millions of years: a reliable means of production of activated nucleotides at the least.
Abiogenesis is not included in the ToE. There are lots of hypothesis, but no actual theory to argue for or against.

“Headline”

Since: Jan 14

Hometown

#162915 Jan 24, 2014
HillStart wrote:
<quoted text>
Others have pointed out the flaws in your car analogy, so I won't belabour the point. Not all analogies work, and perhaps you were having a bad day. I hope you wouldn't normally write an argument containing the phrase "This is beneficial but is a loss... but it is a great benefit".
I'd rather focus on the Lenski experiment. You claim "genetic mutations wrecked the regulation of a control operation so that when the bacteria produces citrate transporter regardless of whether it is in an oxidative state environment or not". This is not the case at all. The citT gene was duplicated, and the duplicate was inserted after a different promoter that encourages transcription in the presence of oxygen. The original gene and its promoter were undamaged. This is the introduction of new genetic information you were asking for.
You state that "loss mean you no longer have something or having less of something. Loss is bad". Here is an example of gene duplication, not loss. We are gaining something.
You try to argue that being able to import citrate as a food source is bad because... why? The bacteria with these mutations are still able to consume glucose, but they can now also consume citrate. Remember, they live in an environment with a little glucose but lots of citrate. Why is it bad for them to eat it?
You are trying very hard to find a way to present this as bad for this bacteria. You're going to struggle though. The bacteria with this mutation were able to dominate those without it - they now comprise 99% of the population. This mutation has been very successful.
Experimental populations of Escherichia coli have evolved for 20,000 generations in a uniform environment. Their rate of improvement, as measured in competitions with the ancestor in that environment, has declined substantially over this period. This deceleration has been interpreted as the bacteria approaching a peak or plateau in a fitness landscape. Alternatively, this deceleration might be caused by non-transitive competitive interactions, in particular such that the measured advantage of later genotypes relative to earlier ones would be greater if they competed directly.

To distinguish these two hypotheses a large set of competitions using one of the evolved lines. Twenty-one samples obtained at 1,000-generation intervals each competed against five genetically marked clones isolated at 5,000-generation intervals, with three-fold replication. The pattern of relative fitness values for these 315 pairwise competitions was compared with expectations under transitive and non-transitive models, the latter structured to produce the observed deceleration in fitness relative to the ancestor. In general, the relative fitness of later and earlier generations measured by direct competition agrees well with the fitness inferred from separately competing each against the ancestor.

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