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The Evolution Thread

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    (Original post by Gates)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_evolution

    Chemical evolution may refer to:
    Abiogenesis, the transition from nonliving elements to living systems
    Molecular evolution, evolution at the scale of molecules
    :facepalm:

    That doesn't mean you can take abiogenesis to be the same as or connected to evolution. By that argument a thread on TSR is in some way related to a thread in clothing or the thread of a screw or bolt.
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    (Original post by Gates)
    Wrong. Chemical evolution is a valid field of science, which attempts to explain how life emerged. Abiogenesis itself involves evolution. The fact you believe in a "different set of mechanisms", infering not natural, really ironically puts you in the same boat as creationists.
    However chemical evolution has nothing to do with evolution in biological terms (which is what this thread is for). Biological evolution concerns itself with explaining diversity of life, not origins.
    As for your comments about differing sets of mechanisms - how exactly does that imply "not natural"?

    (Original post by Gates)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_evolution

    Chemical evolution may refer to:
    Abiogenesis, the transition from nonliving elements to living systems
    Molecular evolution, evolution at the scale of molecules
    Molecular evolution has nothing to do with biological evolution.
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    If anybody fancies driven to punching a hole in their screen/wall
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...p_Creationism/

    I'm seven minutes in and I already feel the urge to hit something.
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    Definition of evolution: "The gradual development of something, esp. from a simple to a more complex form".

    Abiogenesis deals with chemical evolution, the same way stars deals with stellar evolution. Trying to shift the definition away is dishonest and isn't even done by genuine scientists who believe in evolution. Most in this thread pretending to know about evolution are just posers, who want to jump in and abuse creationists - despite the fact they know nothing about evolution.
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    (Original post by Gates)
    Definition of evolution: "The gradual development of something, esp. from a simple to a more complex form".

    Abiogenesis deals with chemical evolution, the same way stars deals with stellar evolution. Trying to shift the definition away is dishonest and isn't even done by genuine scientists who believe in evolution. Most in this thread pretending to know about evolution are just posers, who want to jump in and abuse creationists - despite the fact they know nothing about evolution.
    That definition covers everything from cultural evolution (e.g. Hippies & Flower power through to punks and mods, through to rockers, through to the modern day chav/gangster sort of stuff) to the evolution of an idea (basic brainstorming all the way through to the final plan). Would you say a discussion on the changes the teenage rebellious spirit, the counter-culture has gone through would belong here? No, because this may be "The Evolution Thread" but it should be clear to you that this is referring to "Darwinian Evolution" or whatever you want to call it.
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    (Original post by Gates)
    Definition of evolution: "The gradual development of something, esp. from a simple to a more complex form".
    That's the generalised definition for applying it in different circumstances. Here are a few accepted biological definitions;
    Change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.
    The process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
    The change in allele frequencies within a population

    You can't just take any dictionary entry with the word evolution and apply it to a specific field of biology. The dictionary also has a definition for economic evolution.
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    (Original post by Gates)
    Definition of evolution: "The gradual development of something, esp. from a simple to a more complex form".

    Abiogenesis deals with chemical evolution, the same way stars deals with stellar evolution. Trying to shift the definition away is dishonest and isn't even done by genuine scientists who believe in evolution. Most in this thread pretending to know about evolution are just posers, who want to jump in and abuse creationists - despite the fact they know nothing about evolution.
    Come on dude. Are you seriously looking at a dictionary definition of a scientific term?
    That's like trying to find the Planck constant after looking up 'constant' in a dictionary.

    Evolution can be simply defined as the change in allele frequencies within a population. It is not the 'chemical evolution' or 'stellar evolution'.

    We are not posers.
    Read a biology textbook and see if they mention anything to do with stellar evolution or the evolution of modern cars from the first auto mobiles.

    You're comparing completely different things.
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    If anybody fancies driven to punching a hole in their screen/wall
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...p_Creationism/

    I'm seven minutes in and I already feel the urge to hit something.
    Is there really any point in trying then?
    I just watched the video and it seems to me that there really is no way you can convince YEC creationists to accept the evidence.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Never said it was. I don't see what crocodiles have got to do with the dinosaur-bird transition in any case.

    However it does appear to possess phenotypic traits both of its ancestor species and supposed descendant species thus leading to its acceptance as transitional.
    I know. I was suggesting that medicine gapper won't be satisfied with transitional fossils unless you show him things like crocoducks and the yeti.
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    (Original post by Pinkhead)
    Is there really any point in trying then?
    I just watched the video and it seems to me that there really is no way you can convince YEC creationists to accept the evidence.
    Some can be convinced, for example the palaeontologist they meet with (Although he had the advantage of a full university education in a relevant field to steer him in the right direction). And the first mistake they made was bringing in the Irish guy, who actually works for the UK branch of a creation ministry (I forget which one, he was on another BBC show, Sunday Morning Live, earlier this year), so he wouldn't have admit he was wrong even if he was swayed. The others were just adamant that their beliefs weren't going to change.

    I think having these discussions are important though, especially in a forum like this one which attracts a good many younger people who may not know where they stand. If all they ever experience is what their parents or religious leaders tell them, they may well end up in a similar frame of mind to the people in that documentary. Simply having this thread in this site can potentially make a difference if someone reads it whilst they are still open minded.
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    That's the generalised definition for applying it in different circumstances. Here are a few accepted biological definitions;
    Change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.
    The process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed from earlier forms during the history of the earth.
    The change in allele frequencies within a population

    You can't just take any dictionary entry with the word evolution and apply it to a specific field of biology. The dictionary also has a definition for economic evolution.
    I use the standard definition and understanding of the word, as it can be applied to any field of science (biology, chemistry, comsology). The definition of evolution in biology in contrast changes every few years. The definition as a "change in alleles within a population" is from an obscure 1989 biology textbook, which websites like TalkOrigins quote-mine. This is a dishonest definition, as this understanding of evolution is only used in population genetics. Back to the point though - abiogenesis as a theory involves chemical evolution, yet so far has failed to produce scientific answers as to the origin of life.
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    (Original post by Gates)
    I use the standard definition and understanding of the word, as it can be applied to any field of science (biology, chemistry, comsology). The definition of evolution in biology in contrast changes every few years. The definition as a "change in alleles within a population" is from an obscure 1989 biology textbook, which websites like TalkOrigins quote-mine. This is a dishonest definition, as this understanding of evolution is only used in population genetics. Back to the point though - abiogenesis as a theory involves chemical evolution, yet so far has failed to produce scientific answers as to the origin of life.
    And yet when we talk about the Theory of Evolution, which is what this thread is predominantly about, we do not mean abiogenesis, but the Theory of Evolution that holds that all life on earth develops in a certain way, but in no way discusses how said life arose in the first place.
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    (Original post by Gates)
    I use the standard definition and understanding of the word, as it can be applied to any field of science (biology, chemistry, comsology). The definition of evolution in biology in contrast changes every few years. The definition as a "change in alleles within a population" is from an obscure 1989 biology textbook, which websites like TalkOrigins quote-mine. This is a dishonest definition, as this understanding of evolution is only used in population genetics. Back to the point though - abiogenesis as a theory involves chemical evolution, yet so far has failed to produce scientific answers as to the origin of life.
    You are correct, science has failed to account for the origin of life thus far. What you're failing to grasp is that this has no bearing on the validity of the theory of evolution. We could one day discover that a supernatural, omnipotent being of some sort did in fact place early life on earth by magic, this is irrelevant. The only thing needed for evolution to occur is for there to be life capable of giving birth to genetically varied offspring, it doesn't matter at all how that life got there.

    If you really aren't going to budge on this, can we change to something which is a bit more fulfilling than a ridiculous issue of semantics? I propose that universal common ancestry has been proven. Do you contest that.
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    You are correct, science has failed to account for the origin of life thus far. What you're failing to grasp is that this has no bearing on the validity of the theory of evolution. We could one day discover that a supernatural, omnipotent being of some sort did in fact place early life on earth by magic, this is irrelevant. The only thing needed for evolution to occur is for there to be life capable of giving birth to genetically varied offspring, it doesn't matter at all how that life got there.

    If you really aren't going to budge on this, can we change to something which is a bit more fulfilling than a ridiculous issue of semantics? I propose that universal common ancestry has been proven. Do you contest that.
    There is not a shred of evidence for universal common descent. That is Darwinian dogma.
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    (Original post by Gates)
    There is not a shred of evidence for universal common descent. That is Darwinian dogma.
    Whilst I may point out there are still gaps in our knowledge of universal common descent, there is definitely a hell of a lot of evidence for it, hence why I agree with the Theory. In what way do you think all the bone fragments, genetic similarities, etc. are not evidence?
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    (Original post by Gates)
    There is not a shred of evidence for universal common descent. That is Darwinian dogma.

    No, it is not "Darwinian dogma". There is reason that 99% of the world's qualified biologists, 40% of whom are theists, accept common ancestry by way of evolution as scientific fact. It's because the evidence for it so abundant and overwhelming that it is able to be considered as well proven as almost any other field of science.

    I assume you'll want examples, so I'll give you my favourite, endogenous retroviruses. WOuld you like a more detailed explanation?
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    (Original post by Gates)
    There is not a shred of evidence for universal common descent. That is Darwinian dogma.
    May I ask what sort of evidence you are requesting?

    A lot of people have the wrong idea about common ancestry so I just want to clarify.

    Here is a good start though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    Some can be convinced, for example the palaeontologist they meet with (Although he had the advantage of a full university education in a relevant field to steer him in the right direction). And the first mistake they made was bringing in the Irish guy, who actually works for the UK branch of a creation ministry (I forget which one, he was on another BBC show, Sunday Morning Live, earlier this year), so he wouldn't have admit he was wrong even if he was swayed. The others were just adamant that their beliefs weren't going to change.

    I think having these discussions are important though, especially in a forum like this one which attracts a good many younger people who may not know where they stand. If all they ever experience is what their parents or religious leaders tell them, they may well end up in a similar frame of mind to the people in that documentary. Simply having this thread in this site can potentially make a difference if someone reads it whilst they are still open minded.
    Yes, I guess learning even a bit about it is better than complete ignorance; at least it gets rid of the misconceptions such as the ones Gates has.

    On the topic of evolution, do you know of any useful books that I could read to expand on my knowledge? I would have liked to pursue (evolutionary) biology as a degree but my interest in physics and maths is greater so unfortunately I can't do that.
    I only understand it to a basic level such as what you can find on talkorigins, wikipedia/ science magazines and some youtube videos.

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by Pinkhead)
    Yes, I guess learning even a bit about it is better than complete ignorance; at least it gets rid of the misconceptions such as the ones Gates has.

    On the topic of evolution, do you know of any useful books that I could read to expand on my knowledge? I would have liked to pursue (evolutionary) biology as a degree but my interest in physics and maths is greater so unfortunately I can't do that.
    I only understand it to a basic level such as what you can find on talkorigins, wikipedia/ science magazines and some youtube videos.

    Thanks.
    A couple of good starters for building a base knowledge would be The Greatest Show On Earth by Dawkins, and Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne. Both cover an expanse of different evidences in an approachable fashion, so they're nice starting points [=
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    No, it is not "Darwinian dogma". There is reason that 99% of the world's qualified biologists, 40% of whom are theists, accept common ancestry by way of evolution as scientific fact. It's because the evidence for it so abundant and overwhelming that it is able to be considered as well proven as almost any other field of science.

    I assume you'll want examples, so I'll give you my favourite, endogenous retroviruses. WOuld you like a more detailed explanation?
    Common descent - yes: X and divergence = Y + Z. Both Y and Z will share X as an ancestral type.

    Universal common descent - no. Do you really think everything from a fruit fly, to an common bean, to a giraffe at one stage millions of years ago had a single common ancestor? To me that borders crazy, there's also not evidence. This theory is only fuelled by political correctness, as its so attempting to prove everyone and everything is a universal "brotherhood".

    What makes sense, is if different biological taxons (animals, plants etc) have multiple common ancestors. This would also account for the 'gaps' in the fossil record which is the result of Darwinian monophyletic (single origin) theory.

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