Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 179747 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”

Since: Jul 09

Minneapolis

#115901 Feb 2, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>The proposal that a random segment of genetic code could be inserted and result in functionality is absurd. It was assumed by all evolutionary biologists in the 1970's that ALL ERVs were nonfunctional... Until they were proven wrong. Now you're pretending that evolution predicts functional ERVs.
Wouldn't you say it's a good thing that science does not get mired in dogma? The science behind DNA was in its infancy in the 1970's.

Do you think it would be harmful or helpful if religion could break free of dogma?

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#115902 Feb 2, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Not absurd. It explains the difference in behavior between believers and non-believers. Believers place high value/importance on morality while non-believers generally do not. Ask an atheist and a Christian the same question about sex, honesty, family, marriage, etc., and you usually get very different answers. The typical non-believing young couple shacks up while the Christian couple waits until marriage for sex. Views on abortion, charity, etc. THere is a big difference. Believers have even been found to have less stress than non-believers.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/...
Again, this is totally absurd. Atheism is the rule, not the exception, among my friends (and the majority of young educated New Zealanders). Even among deist types, you will hardly find a single fundamentalist Christian past high school dropout level. Your stamp of fundamentalism is peculiarly American and just as bland, tasteless, and genuine as MacDonalds.

Yet for the most part the people I know have a very strong sense of justice, right and wrong, and believe that violaters of the law should be punished. They also believe in personal responsibility. The country happens to rank 1st in the world for low corruption, and other criminal activity is low. Its also run budget surpluses for 25 years straight up until the crash when it had to go somewhat into deficit but could easily afford to. For all these reasons I see absolutely no need for your doctrinal, one-eyed, medieval approach to morality. Countries can operate more morally without it.

The basis of morality most people use is based on the Golden Rule, and its a rule that preceded Jesus and seem to appear in some form in almost every culture. The substance of a non-doctrinal approach to morality is that you have to ask the question "who would be hurt by this action, how much, what alternatives are there, etc". In other words, you have to think for yourself and consider consequences, not just follow rules blindly.

The "no rules but our rules, every one is a victim, except the patriarchal oppressors, bankers are evil but street killers are victims" sort of idiocy that comes out of the far left is not bought by anyone else, including atheists.

I would really like you to think about this before launching on one of your tirades as if you think civilisation and morality will come crashing to a halt without your "remedy", which to me is different only in detail from the Iranian, Saudi, or Taliban remedies I see in this region.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#115903 Feb 2, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>The proposal that a random segment of genetic code could be inserted and result in functionality is absurd. It was assumed by all evolutionary biologists in the 1970's that ALL ERVs were nonfunctional... Until they were proven wrong. Now you're pretending that evolution predicts functional ERVs.
Get real. Very few ERVs are functional.

But Subduction is right. If something gets wound up in the genetic code there is always a chance it will have some effect, and even a chance that the effect will become part of a beneficial change in the organism.

While recent estimates are that 80% of the genome does "something", the same sources are still telling us that the vast majority of that "function" is useless, such as merely churning out useless RNA fragments that are then broken down with no further ado. Useful function had been determined for only 8-9% of the DNA and the researchers estimate that figure could be up to 20% once they have nailed it all down.

So while junk DNA is not and never was a core prediction of evolution, the presence of so much useless material still remains a conundrum for Creationists.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#115904 Feb 2, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>The junk DNA paradigm has collapsed, and your persistence in defending it only reveals your base ignorance. Every one of your strawman arguments has been soundly debunked. Darwinism has been reduced to nothing.
Look who is using a strawman argument!

Junk DNA was never a core prediction of evolution and is not necessary in evolution. However, it would be an embarrassment for Creationists.

I really don't care whether you call the estimated 80% of the genome that does nothing apparently useful junk or not. It was originally a colloquial terms anyway, not a technical one.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#115905 Feb 2, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
Dogen, I see that you've been effectively nailed to the wall... hence, your childish rantings. Rather than address the implausibility of the ridiculous ERV paradigm, you willfully choose to remain mired in nineteenth century thinking... that homology somehow indicates common descent. You maintain this worldview despite the fact that it is contradicted by science.
I truly apologize if I've offended you by demeaning your precious atheistic religion. I realize that you are attempting to utilize science to justify your amoral worldview, but your efforts are transparent.
Most ERVs do nothing useful.

They are inserted more or less at random.

They follow a nested hierarchy based on evolutionary distance.

Finding a few that might contribute some useful function does not destroy the "ERV paradigm".

And even if it did, you still have to deal with the "pseudogene paradigm" and the "ubiquitous protein" paradigms which show exactly the same nested hierarchy pattern that can be explained by common ancestry but not by "separate and distinct kinds" creationism.
HTS

South Lake Tahoe, CA

#115906 Feb 2, 2013
Dogen wrote:
<quoted text>
[sigh.....bangs head].
No, like mutations they can add function, take function away or be neutral. Further, over time those roles may change via mutation or even overlapping erv insert. Most of ERV material is useless, but of course some of it will have some positive function.
Sorry you are so steeped in prejudiced ideology that you don't even recognize that I am a Christian and your atheist spittle does not stick to me.
What a load of BS. No principle of experimental genetics can validate your bedtime stories.
HTS

South Lake Tahoe, CA

#115907 Feb 2, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Most ERVs do nothing useful.
They are inserted more or less at random.
They follow a nested hierarchy based on evolutionary distance.
Finding a few that might contribute some useful function does not destroy the "ERV paradigm".
And even if it did, you still have to deal with the "pseudogene paradigm" and the "ubiquitous protein" paradigms which show exactly the same nested hierarchy pattern that can be explained by common ancestry but not by "separate and distinct kinds" creationism.
The pseudogenes paradigm also has collapsed. Virtually all DNA is now believed to be functional. Darwinism cannot make scientific predictions because its entire foundation is false.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#115908 Feb 2, 2013
ENCODE:

...As T. Ryan Gregory of University of Guelph points out, most of the major media outlets ran with the press release and proclaimed the revolutionary discovery that Junk DNA isn’t Junk after all.

The key point of misunderstanding, as both Gregory and Larry Moran at University of Toronto, point out, is that the ENCODE team, headed by Ewan Birney, decided at the outset of their announcement to define biological function in as liberal a way as possible. Here’s Gregory:

"To get that 80% figure, you have to have a very loose definition of “function” indeed. Actual evidence (which itself may not convince many experts) suggests 20% is functional in the sense of, well, having a biological function. The 80% value refers only to “specific biological activity”.

IN other words, every ID/creationist from here to Siberia has latched onto a rather silly statement by Birney, taken out of context. There still appears to be only 20% essential function in the genome, plus a lot of useless activity.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#115909 Feb 2, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text> What a load of BS. No principle of experimental genetics can validate your bedtime stories.
Rubbish.

Evolution works on the principle of random variation and natural selection. And ERV insertion that altered function somehow would follow the same set of rules as any other mutation. Mostly neutral, occasionally lethal or beneficial, and often deleterious. We do not need a separate framework for ERVs - they would in principle work like any other mutation (random change to the genome).

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#115910 Feb 2, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>The pseudogenes paradigm also has collapsed. Virtually all DNA is now believed to be functional. Darwinism cannot make scientific predictions because its entire foundation is false.
Rubbish again. You are taking a loose statement by Birney and ignoring that his definition of functional just means any kind of biological activity at all. By that definition even the parasitical re-copying of itself by an ERV is "function".

Even Birney still agrees that only 20% of function is likely to be useful to the organism (and only 8-9% has actually been identified to date - 20% is an estimate).

So long as you guys continue to merely ride the coattails of real researchers and try to twist their words or meanings to suit yourselves, you will always be nothing more than a troublesome nuisance to those who even bother to listen to your drivel.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#115911 Feb 2, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>The pseudogenes paradigm also has collapsed. Virtually all DNA is now believed to be functional. Darwinism cannot make scientific predictions because its entire foundation is false.
Reality: predictions of Junk DNA are not core to evolution.

Reality: in early investigations of DNA, biologists were surprised to discover that little of it appeared to do much. Early estimates of number of genes etc has to be revised down drastically.

Reality: Biologists accommodated this with the colloquial term Junk DNA meaning originally non-coding DNA. Though it seemed wasteful, evolution could accommodate it if there was no strong selection factor operating against this waste.

Reality: More recently, biologists have found that a large part of the non-coding DNA does something useful, and the figure may be as high as 20%.

Reality: Of the remaining 80%, 60% may be biologically active in some way but for the most part the activity appears to be useless to the organism.

Of course, creationists were ignored in this scientific discovery from start to finish, as they always are by real biologists...but the creationists noted that Junk DNA would be a difficult paradigm to fit into any Design scenario. Therefore they have been aching to prove that the whole genome is useful, and will happily take anything they can out of context in order to remove the idea of useless DNA from the picture.

Birney, talking of course only to his relevant audience of real biologists, pointed out that up to 80% of the genome shows some kind of biological activity.

Creationists pounce, jumping to the conclusion that this means all DNA is useful, Junk is dead, evolution is dead, blah blah blah.

Real biologists continue to ignore their stupidity.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#115912 Feb 3, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>Read the article. I claims that if it weren't for viruses, mammals couldn't reproduce. The article is pro evolution.

That is a step closer to the truth.

Our current means of reproduction utilizes genetic material that was originally from an ERV.

http://vir.sgmjournals.org/content/87/7/2067....

http://www.retrovirology.com/content/5/1/6

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#115913 Feb 3, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>The proposal that a random segment of genetic code could be inserted and result in functionality is absurd. It was assumed by all evolutionary biologists in the 1970's that ALL ERVs were nonfunctional... Until they were proven wrong. Now you're pretending that evolution predicts functional ERVs.

This fallacy is call Appeal to Ignorance.

Based on our knowledge of how the genome works it is not at all improbable that some ERVs would have found a functional niche.

For the 5th time (you are a slow learner) ERVs (based on past experience) can have or can develop (through future mutations) functionality. There is nothing fundamentally surprising about this from an evolutionary perspective.
One way or another

United States

#115914 Feb 3, 2013
The failing school systems across the planet, due to government control, fail in the most important way and that is, to teach how to think for oneself.

The gov teaches A B C's and 1 2 3's, it teaches what to say and what to do. It teaches what not to say and what not to do.

Most of the housing bubble and fall were not due to lending to those who couldn't afford it, but it was due to the group think, taught all throughout school and work.

I'll bet none of you know what it was.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#115915 Feb 3, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text> What a load of BS. No principle of experimental genetics can validate your bedtime stories.

Do some reading and get back to us when you know more.
defender

United States

#115916 Feb 3, 2013
appleboy wrote:
<quoted text>The article tells us that there are several ERV's found in mammal genomes that contribute to reproductive ability. There is NO help for creationism in this article.
One must be careful not to step in the agenda pushing BS like some media outlets ( Talkorigins , Scientific American and many others )... No matter what subject is at hand ( ERV's, Higgs Boson, etc )... Without solid proof it's speculation or just bald face lies to sell print and get more funding... Just look at the global warming money racket !! Evolutionist will believe any snake oil sales man that might give Their foolishness some hope....
One way or another

United States

#115917 Feb 3, 2013
If you are able to think for yourself, it should be very easy to figure out, especially in hindsight and knowing that the rise and fall of the housing industry was due to group think and action.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#115918 Feb 3, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>The pseudogenes paradigm also has collapsed. Virtually all DNA is now believed to be functional. Darwinism cannot make scientific predictions because its entire foundation is false.

No, that is not correct. And even if it was it would not have any bearing on evolution which is a proven fact.

I am amazed that creationist think they can wish away what has been observed in the genomic and fossil records AND what is observed in the field and in laboratories. Just pretend it did not happen and give some philosophical based excuse, is their moniker.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#115919 Feb 3, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
ENCODE:
...As T. Ryan Gregory of University of Guelph points out, most of the major media outlets ran with the press release and proclaimed the revolutionary discovery that Junk DNA isn’t Junk after all.
The key point of misunderstanding, as both Gregory and Larry Moran at University of Toronto, point out, is that the ENCODE team, headed by Ewan Birney, decided at the outset of their announcement to define biological function in as liberal a way as possible. Here’s Gregory:
"To get that 80% figure, you have to have a very loose definition of “function” indeed. Actual evidence (which itself may not convince many experts) suggests 20% is functional in the sense of, well, having a biological function. The 80% value refers only to “specific biological activity”.
IN other words, every ID/creationist from here to Siberia has latched onto a rather silly statement by Birney, taken out of context. There still appears to be only 20% essential function in the genome, plus a lot of useless activity.

Thank you for (again) debunking this creationist canard.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#115920 Feb 3, 2013
defender wrote:
<quoted text>
One must be careful not to step in the agenda pushing BS like some media outlets ( Talkorigins , Scientific American and many others )... No matter what subject is at hand ( ERV's, Higgs Boson, etc )... Without solid proof it's speculation or just bald face lies to sell print and get more funding... Just look at the global warming money racket !! Evolutionist will believe any snake oil sales man that might give Their foolishness some hope....
Hasn't worked since Galileo. Won't work now.

There is more truth in the worst single edition of Scientific American than in all of Genesis.

Get over it.

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