Should evolution be taught in high school?

Feb 24, 2008 Full story: www.scientificblogging.com 173,663

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
HTS

Englewood, CO

#171203 Mar 19, 2014
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
No way HTS. The Boy is 5+ standard deviations out of the modern range on multiple measures - and all in the direction of apes.. There is no human alive today with a forehead slope anywhere near as extreme as the flat horizontal plane from the brow ridge to the back of the skull like Turkana and all the specimens available from the Erectus/Ergaster period. And the pygmies have smaller brains proportional to their general stature but this specimen was much bigger.
Furthermore, we have fossils a bit older with even smaller skulls and more apelike features, and younger fossils with larger skulls and more human features. Goung backward, Habilis and Georgicus morph almost seamlessly into the most advanced Australopiths such as Sediba. And you could just as easily say that Georgicus is merely an outlier of the A. Sedibus type in one direction or an outlier of Erectus in the other direction.
This is, of course, exactly what we would expect from a trend of gradually more human and less apelike specimens through time. And its exactly what we found.
Whatever measurements you're using, you are obviously comparing the Turkana skull with an average human skull. Why not start with a pygmy skull? The average pygmy is no less intelligent than the average caucasion. What evidence do you have that a smaller brain case = less intellligence? What evidence you do you have that a pygmy skull represents the lower limit of brain size possible for a modern human. I'm looking at dog skulls from various breeds and using that as a rough guage as to how much morphologic variability can exist within a single species.
And you're grossly exagerrating when you describe the Turkana forehead as a "flat horizontal plane"... The photo on wiki doesn't show that... only the embellished artistic renderings.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#171204 Mar 19, 2014
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
A self evident fact to you but not to those who have studied the problem. In fact all the gradations from simple light receptor to one at the base of a depression to a series at the base of a pinhole depression to one with a simple and badly focused covering to a full camera eyeball are all increasingly functional and better than nothing.
As for the nerves etc...what if the original light receptor is IN the brain with other neurons and migrates to the outer edge of the creature gradually? In a tiny vertebrate, a light sensitive cell would still pick up some light even within a brain just as you can still sense light with your eyes shut. I am no expert but this is merely one scenario that renders your objections moot.
But the general lesson here is: "Just because you cannot think of a solution to a problem on the spot, does not mean a problem is impossible". What you call incredulity, I call a form of unconscious arrogance.
The fact is, we have enough evidence of startling transformations, step by step (3 boned middle ear etc), not to rule out other changes just because we cannot immediately see how they happened.
What you have is a hypothesis.
You have found gradations of what you believe creates conceptual continuity in proposed eye evolution. In addition, your explanations are simplistic and gloss over critical barriers of evolution... such as...
How did a system of cleaning (tear ducts and glands) just happen to develop?
How did the eyelid with rapid twitch muscles just happen to develop?
How did specific neural sensors develop within the conjunctiva to create feedback loops to the brain so as to trigger the eyelids to blink at the appropriate times?
How did the transparent cornea develop?
How did the lens develop?
How did the suspensory ligaments of the lens develop with neural feedback mechanisms, so that varying focal lengths would automatically result in signals to the brain to relax the ligaments so that the lens would change shape and focus.
How did the retina develop such that it could take light signals and transmit them into binary code?
How did the brain develop a system of integrating two separate images into one?
How did the optic nerve develop from the cerebral cortex?

How have offered simplistic stories and expect me to fill in the gaps with my expanded imagination. Fair enough. In order for your theory to be considered scientific, you have to test it. How do you test it? Not by coming up with more and more conjectures...but by demonstrating through experimentation that at least one of these steps could occur through mutations... or by demonstrating on paper that the nucleotide changes required for such a transformation are within the reach of chance. This has never been done. All of your conjectures invoke one extremely improbable event after another.

In your conjecture of the evolution of a photosensitive spot, you simplistically imagine that a light sensitive spot developed in the brain. How could that have been a survival advantage? You imagine that the spot gradually migrated to the skin...such a pathway might look gradual by only observing phenotype... but gradualism could not be extended to embryology. You imagine that an optic nerve gradually developed as an extension of the brain. Fine. You have a hypothesis. Now prove it. Show me an example of an experiment performed on laboratory animals that demonstrates such a phenomenon. Why should I accept your special pleading arguments in the face of so many conceptual impossibilities? Science is not just about making hypotheses... you have to test them... and all of your testing falls flat.,

“Evil Atheist :-)”

Since: Mar 07

Location hidden

#171205 Mar 19, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
What you have is a hypothesis.
You have found gradations of what you believe creates conceptual continuity in proposed eye evolution. In addition, your explanations are simplistic and gloss over critical barriers of evolution... such as...
How did a system of cleaning (tear ducts and glands) just happen to develop?
How did the eyelid with rapid twitch muscles just happen to develop?
How did specific neural sensors develop within the conjunctiva to create feedback loops to the brain so as to trigger the eyelids to blink at the appropriate times?
How did the transparent cornea develop?
How did the lens develop?
How did the suspensory ligaments of the lens develop with neural feedback mechanisms, so that varying focal lengths would automatically result in signals to the brain to relax the ligaments so that the lens would change shape and focus.
How did the retina develop such that it could take light signals and transmit them into binary code?
How did the brain develop a system of integrating two separate images into one?
How did the optic nerve develop from the cerebral cortex?
600 million years of gradual evolution of course.
You keep making the mistake of believing everything had to evolve at once.

"Hagfish eyes are small, conical, completely lacking in any sign of a lens, an iris, a cornea or intra- or extraocular muscles, and buried beneath unpigmented translucent skin. The retina contains only two main nuclear layers, with no obvious bipolar or amacrine cells, and the photoreceptors connect directly to the output neurons (ganglion cells). "

"These and further observations strongly support the notion that a common ancestor of sea-squirts and vertebrates possessed a photoreceptive organ that contained many of the building blocks that are fundamental to light signalling in our own eyes."

"The morphology of ciliary photoreceptors is illustrated in FIG. 2 at several ‘stages’ of chordate evolution, from tunicates to mammals. A smooth transition of features from stage to stage is apparent, compatible with the sequential acquisition of these features in ancestral forms. The stages we have illustrated are: the ascidian larva ocellus58,77, the hagfish eye36,39–43, the lamprey pineal organ48,78,79, the lamprey retina36,80–85 and the jawed-vertebrate retina."

"We have conducted a comparative analysis of the features of opsins, photoreceptors, retinal connectivity and eye morphology, across organisms that range from sea-squirts to hagfish, lampreys and jawed vertebrates. By combining this analysis with a consideration of the embryological development of the mammalian eye, we have been able to discern what we believe to be a long sequence of transitions that we postulate have underlain the evolution of the vertebrate eye."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3...
HTS

Englewood, CO

#171206 Mar 19, 2014
Take a look at the sloped forehead of the Russian boxer Nicloai Valujev.
It his skull was found in the fossil record, he would be labeled a "missing link".

http://deepthoughts123.wordpress.com/2012/07/...
HTS

Englewood, CO

#171207 Mar 19, 2014
Igor Trip wrote:
<quoted text>
600 million years of gradual evolution of course.
You keep making the mistake of believing everything had to evolve at once.
"Hagfish eyes are small, conical, completely lacking in any sign of a lens, an iris, a cornea or intra- or extraocular muscles, and buried beneath unpigmented translucent skin. The retina contains only two main nuclear layers, with no obvious bipolar or amacrine cells, and the photoreceptors connect directly to the output neurons (ganglion cells). "
"These and further observations strongly support the notion that a common ancestor of sea-squirts and vertebrates possessed a photoreceptive organ that contained many of the building blocks that are fundamental to light signalling in our own eyes."
"The morphology of ciliary photoreceptors is illustrated in FIG. 2 at several ‘stages’ of chordate evolution, from tunicates to mammals. A smooth transition of features from stage to stage is apparent, compatible with the sequential acquisition of these features in ancestral forms. The stages we have illustrated are: the ascidian larva ocellus58,77, the hagfish eye36,39–43, the lamprey pineal organ48,78,79, the lamprey retina36,80–85 and the jawed-vertebrate retina."
"We have conducted a comparative analysis of the features of opsins, photoreceptors, retinal connectivity and eye morphology, across organisms that range from sea-squirts to hagfish, lampreys and jawed vertebrates. By combining this analysis with a consideration of the embryological development of the mammalian eye, we have been able to discern what we believe to be a long sequence of transitions that we postulate have underlain the evolution of the vertebrate eye."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3...
Your "millions-of-years" dogma is not a scientific explanation. It is raw conjecture that makes no logical sense.
You have a hypothesis, and nothing more.
You keep vainly believing that showing more and more examples of homology between species indicates common descent. No one is denying homology. What I am denying is your philosophical interpretation of homology.
Now that you have a hypothesis, how about testing it?
Show through experimentation that any one of these proposed steps of eye evolution could actually occur.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#171208 Mar 19, 2014
The Dude wrote:
<quoted text>
So you propose (a) God exists, and that it's NOT responsible for a 5 year old's diabetic condition. Therefore that condition is the result of a SHITLOAD of chemicals pumped into our drinks etc, such as coke, soda, chocolate candies, whatever.
So if the child wasn't BORN with that condition then the parents are to blame for her eating a RIDICULOUS amount of unhealthy food and drink. They had no choice but to AVOID giving her healthy food.
Boy you're stupid.
Your atheism is founded on your RELIGION. You don't believe in God because you don't believe nature is "fair". You are entitled to your religious beliefs... but that's all they are...religious beliefs.
Mugwump

London, UK

#171209 Mar 19, 2014
HTS wrote:
Take a look at the sloped forehead of the Russian boxer Nicloai Valujev.
It his skull was found in the fossil record, he would be labeled a "missing link".
http://deepthoughts123.wordpress.com/2012/07/...
So you are suggesting that the numerous hominid fossils are all examples of unrepresentative modern humans, given the parcity of the fossil record?

How is that scientific logic working out for you?

Oh, I forgot - you don't do probability do you

“Evil Atheist :-)”

Since: Mar 07

Location hidden

#171210 Mar 19, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Your "millions-of-years" dogma is not a scientific explanation. It is raw conjecture that makes no logical sense.
You have a hypothesis, and nothing more.
You keep vainly believing that showing more and more examples of homology between species indicates common descent. No one is denying homology. What I am denying is your philosophical interpretation of homology.
Now that you have a hypothesis, how about testing it?
Show through experimentation that any one of these proposed steps of eye evolution could actually occur.
The article lists predictions and tests of their hypotheses of vertebrate eye evolution
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3...

“The Bible is no science book”

Level 4

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#171211 Mar 19, 2014
HTS wrote:
Take a look at the sloped forehead of the Russian boxer Nicloai Valujev.
It his skull was found in the fossil record, he would be labeled a "missing link".
http://deepthoughts123.wordpress.com/2012/07/...
Where is the chin on the chimp, or the nose? You are nut, and where is the forehead?
HTS

Englewood, CO

#171212 Mar 19, 2014
Mugwump wrote:
<quoted text>
So you are suggesting that the numerous hominid fossils are all examples of unrepresentative modern humans, given the parcity of the fossil record?
How is that scientific logic working out for you?
Oh, I forgot - you don't do probability do you
It is far more logical to assume that a sub-population of humans achieved sloped foreheads through inbreeding than to believe an ape evolved into a man.
I can show through science that the change from an average modern human to a sloped forehead can and does occur through simple selective breeding. You cannot show that an ape can evolve into a human. You have no science...only special pleading arguments.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#171213 Mar 19, 2014
Igor Trip wrote:
<quoted text>
The article lists predictions and tests of their hypotheses of vertebrate eye evolution
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3...
The article is not listing "predictions and tests"...it is only amassing more examples of homology...which I am not disputing.
Logic alone is not science. I'm challenging you to TEST your hypothesis.
Homology does not prove common descent. It is merely a hypothesis.
You think by citing all of these examples such as primitive eyes in lampreys and hagfish, you've proven evolution. No... you've formulated a hypothesis...and nothing more.
Every observation in that article is entirely compatible with creative design. Therefore, you must test your hypothesis.
HTS

Englewood, CO

#171214 Mar 19, 2014
sweets2360 wrote:
<quoted text>
Where is the chin on the chimp, or the nose? You are nut, and where is the forehead?
If one factors in the known potential for morphologic variability that does exist in humans, there is no convincing evidence that Turkana boy is anything less than a modern human. I can demonstrate that human skulls do vary such that Turkana boy could be selectively bred from modern humans. You cannot show through selective breeding that an ape could be selectively bred into a human. My position is supported by science...your's by wishful thinking.

“Evil Atheist :-)”

Since: Mar 07

Location hidden

#171215 Mar 19, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
The article is not listing "predictions and tests"...it is only amassing more examples of homology...which I am not disputing.
Logic alone is not science. I'm challenging you to TEST your hypothesis.
Homology does not prove common descent. It is merely a hypothesis.
You think by citing all of these examples such as primitive eyes in lampreys and hagfish, you've proven evolution. No... you've formulated a hypothesis...and nothing more.
Every observation in that article is entirely compatible with creative design. Therefore, you must test your hypothesis.
You asked how the eye could have evolved, well the article answers that by giving you the necessary evidence including the genetic evidence.

A designer wouldn't have needed millions of years.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#171216 Mar 19, 2014
KAB wrote:
<quoted text>
You can call the single-generation demand ridiculous, but stating that macroevolution has been observed in the fossil record without it is incorrect since evolution defines itself as generational change thru time. To observe macroevolution in the fossil record requres observing, between endpoints, a full set of changes each step of which could be accomplished in one generation.
Generational change through time can be observed, as every generation of every species is slightly different than its parent generations. What you call macro evolution (specieation) does not occur in one generation, so the ToE would not predict such an outcome.

Another continuum is a calendar. Though it does not show us minute by minute advancement, it does show us day by day advancement. Kind of like evolution shows us a continuum in the fossil record.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#171217 Mar 19, 2014
defender wrote:
<quoted text>
And this says it all... For all the mountains and mountains of overwhelming evidence now we get "well fossils are rare so we don't have any generation to generation fossil record"... And furthermore for all the charts and brackets shown for nested hierarchies we see nothing of any one kind of species morphing into something completely different... It's bullshit... Enough said...
We don't see any of one species "morphing" into something completely different in one generation. That's not part of the ToE, never was. Yet it can be observed that every generation of every species is slightly different than the previous one.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#171218 Mar 19, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
A nerve is required, with transmission of light signals to the brain.
Also, the brain would need to evolve behaviors to respond to the light.
A simple photosensitive spot would be of no survival advantage without these other integrated components.
The whole outer membrane would already be connected to the brain. Light sensitivity would follow the pathway already established by touch. And light sensitivity predates flatworms. It can be found in many bacteria, so the potential for sensing light would have already been present in the flatworm brain.

Leaves are light sensitive, without any apparent eye.
HTS

Williston, ND

#171219 Mar 19, 2014
Igor Trip wrote:
<quoted text>
You asked how the eye could have evolved, well the article answers that by giving you the necessary evidence including the genetic evidence.
A designer wouldn't have needed millions of years.
Genetic homology is not "genetic evidence"
Genetic homology is perfectly consistent with intelligent design.
You have no proof that any of your "millions-of-years" time frames are valid.
Furthermore, you are introducing theology into the argument, imagining how a God would or would not have created eyes.

Why should I just accept your religion-based conjectures on faith?
Show me an observed example of any step in eye evolution.

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#171220 Mar 19, 2014
Aura Mytha wrote:
<quoted text> Ok ask yourself why eyes over a nose which is over a mouth.
Because the eyes can see what to eat, the nose can verify it's taSTY and the mouth can eat it.
You will find , my very young padawan ,, that this configuration .
is not only universal to mammals. But an evolutionary advantage to all creatures who share this method of predatory existence.
....or it is what very early life forms had to begin with. Basic characteristics tend to be conserved. There might be a better way, but you have to play with the cards you were dealt.
defender

Madison, TN

#171221 Mar 19, 2014
HTS wrote:
Take a look at the sloped forehead of the Russian boxer Nicloai Valujev.
It his skull was found in the fossil record, he would be labeled a "missing link".

http://deepthoughts123.wordpress.com/2012/07/...
Lol.. Good point...

“Don't get me started”

Level 1

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#171222 Mar 19, 2014
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't need a paper. Eyes are irreducibly complex. That is a self evidence fact. It's up to you to provide a plausible pathway of you think a microbe could evolve into a worm.
And yet the fossil record shows that microbes existed long before worms. How do you account for that?

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