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Thread: evolution tests with bacteria

  1. #1 evolution tests with bacteria 
    Forum Freshman chicken_boy's Avatar
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    Because Bacteria evolve far faster than humans, bacteria would be ideal for testing evolution. If you isolate one bacteria population from another after a while they should evolve into different species, right?

    Actually, I have heard this test has already been carried out but is this true?

    If so, how far has the isolated bacteria evolved? Have they evolved into different species and maybe even into different families of bacteria? Who knows, maybe even a different order or class?

    If this hasn't been tested, why hasn't it? This is the best way to prove evolution beyond the species, genus, family, order, class ect. barrier because bacteria evolve far faster than we do. This will definitely shut the creationists and anti-evolutionists up.


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    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    Well, oddly enough this is where Benji the small dog from television comes from. It was a bizarre result, but one that made a lot of money for everyone involved.

    Bacteria evolve all the time. If you have ever heard of the concept of bacterial resistance of antibiotics it is through evolution. Some bacteria that the antibiotics do not kill live and reproduce while the others die off and wwaaalllaaaahhhhh!! bacterial resistance.


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    This is true, but you can't say that just because something evolves or has a resistance to a particular set of circumstances, that it automatically would rule out the remote possibility of creation.
    Human beings also evolve as you have mentioned, but they have evolved over a period of time to fit the surroundings and environments that they are surrounded in. The evolution of the species has not evolve simply because of chance. It has evolved in order to maintain the populus. of the species in harsher environments.
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    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    Listen, we know things have evolved and continue to evolve. If they were created why wouldn't the creator put what he created in a situation where they would not evolve? Was he trying to fool us or did he just make a mistake in his design?

    There is no God that rewards the morals of the Bible. There is no concious being that governs. And that is just obvious upon honest investigation and has nothing to do with evolution, which set out to explain biological variation and not to challenge the existence of God. Grow up and get over it.

    When we die worms will eat us. Fact of life no matter what you believe. Better live your life now instead of in heaven, you're very fortunate to have it.

    I must make it a point to note too that science only uses natural explainations for phenomena, so the presence of a supernatural being is irrelevent to science because to science it does not exist. You can't control for a supernatuial being IF (emphasis on the bigness of that if) it is there. You'd be hard pressed to find any article in any credible scientific journal that weighs the existence of God in its conclusion because it is irrelevant.

    So, to sum up, when science investigates bacterial resistance they're not trying to prove or disprove the existance of God or a designer but SIMPLY TO UNDERSTAND BACTERIAL RESISTANCE which is something pretty important to study. If you've been prescribed an antibiotic other than penicillan the understanding of bacterial resistance (which is from evolution) has saved your life.

    That's more than any imaginary being has ever done for you.
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    you are right Silk. I apologize if my last post was a bit confusing on what I meant to say. I was just saying that no matter what science can disprove about creation or anti-evolution, that it will not cease what people will continue to believe. Again sorry about the confusion.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Actually I am not sure that bacteria would be such a good test subject for evolution for two reasons. The first is their habit of sharing genetic material with each other. It means that you need to isolate groups from each other and the more isolated groups you have the better, because this genetic sharing will tend to stablize their populations. Then by exposing different groups to different conditions you may get a genetic drift. But the biggest reason is where you define the barrier between the species, which in the case of bacteria I suppose must be when they can no longer share genetic material.

    In species that reproduces sexually, this point is reached when the two groups can no longer produce offspring which can reproduce themselves. This may actually be an easier condition to reach than the one for bacteria, I don't know.
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  8. #7 Re: evolution tests with bacteria 
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicken_boy
    Because Bacteria evolve far faster than humans, bacteria would be ideal for testing evolution. If you isolate one bacteria population from another after a while they should evolve into different species, right?

    Actually, I have heard this test has already been carried out but is this true?

    If so, how far has the isolated bacteria evolved? Have they evolved into different species and maybe even into different families of bacteria? Who knows, maybe even a different order or class?

    If this hasn't been tested, why hasn't it? This is the best way to prove evolution beyond the species, genus, family, order, class ect. barrier because bacteria evolve far faster than we do. This will definitely shut the creationists and anti-evolutionists up.
    I'm not really in the mood to answer your questions, sorry. :-D
    But I did just finish an article that I think you will find interesting. It can be found at www.discover.com and is called unintelligent design. It proposes a the theory that viral particles may be the origin of the nucleus in eukaryotic cells. I think it would be cool if one could culture bacteria in the lab, introduce the bacteria into a medium that would be agreeable for the bacteria but not for a virus that can infect that particular bacteria. Introduce the virus to the medium and see if the virus could infect the bacteria and "evolve" to a point where it exsists only in the bacteria themselves. Let me know what you think.
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    I definetely agree with silkworm abouth the last thins he wrote,but not 100%. if u ask why then click here http://support007.com/find.php?value...+with+bacteria

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  10. #9 Re: evolution tests with bacteria 
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicken_boy
    Because Bacteria evolve far faster than humans, bacteria would be ideal for testing evolution. If you isolate one bacteria population from another after a while they should evolve into different species, right?

    Actually, I have heard this test has already been carried out but is this true?

    If so, how far has the isolated bacteria evolved? Have they evolved into different species and maybe even into different families of bacteria? Who knows, maybe even a different order or class?

    If this hasn't been tested, why hasn't it? This is the best way to prove evolution beyond the species, genus, family, order, class ect. barrier because bacteria evolve far faster than we do. This will definitely shut the creationists and anti-evolutionists up.
    Yes this has been done, cells are irradiated causing genetic mutations, mutations are usually negative. I think a lot of work involves turning on and off existing genes rather than mutating genes since switched off genes usually `work` whereas mutations probably won`t.

    They always use organisms with very rapid lifespans because thats the quickest way of getting results anyway.
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    interesting thread...yes some of the first origin of life species...could not evolve by random chance such as those bacteria which feed on sulphur, that produces sulphuric acid...which then breaks down phosphates into a soluble form that plants can absorb...
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    ive always seen the ability of bacteria to become resistant to disinfectants and anti-biotics as good proof for the whole evolutionary thing myself
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captaincaveman
    ive always seen the ability of bacteria to become resistant to disinfectants and anti-biotics as good proof for the whole evolutionary thing myself
    it's a well known fact that insects become resistant against insecticides, that bacteria become resistant against antibiotics, that various strains of plasmodium become resistant to anti-malaria drugs, that HIV has changed its behaviour substantially in the short few decades we've known it, etc.etc. - the list is endless

    if this isn't evolution, what is ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by captaincaveman
    ive always seen the ability of bacteria to become resistant to disinfectants and anti-biotics as good proof for the whole evolutionary thing myself
    it's a well known fact that insects become resistant against insecticides, that bacteria become resistant against antibiotics, that various strains of plasmodium become resistant to anti-malaria drugs, that HIV has changed its behaviour substantially in the short few decades we've known it, etc.etc. - the list is endless

    if this isn't evolution, what is ?
    You know, I've never heard any arguments against this. IDers generally try to avoid it.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  15. #14  
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    exactly, it seems like common sense, i think it came up on here a while back and someone said, that things on a larger scale dont work the same as on a micro scale, but i though "yeah it does", it makes total sense to me
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  16. #15  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Mitchell's point needs to be repeated and restated and emphasised and consumed and digested and appreciated.

    Actually I am not sure that bacteria would be such a good test subject for evolution for two reasons. The first is their habit of sharing genetic material with each other. It means that you need to isolate groups from each other and the more isolated groups you have the better, because this genetic sharing will tend to stablize their populations. Then by exposing different groups to different conditions you may get a genetic drift. But the biggest reason is where you define the barrier between the species, which in the case of bacteria I suppose must be when they can no longer share genetic material.

    Moreover, most creationists accept that minor variations, such as resistance to chemicals, do occur through evolution. They generally do not deny such micro-evolution. What they do challenge is macro-evolution, the emergence of higher taxnomic orders. For the reasons noted by Mitchell experiments with bacteria are really bugger all use in demonstrating this.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    but then again, i don't accept the distinction between micro-evolution and macro-evolution - that is a creationist invention because they could no longer deny that you could see evolution in action + by calling this micro-evolution which they see as different in kind from "real" evolution they hope to have their cake + eat it

    the type of "micro-evolution" recognised by creationists has in a matter of a few centuries already created genuine species who no longer mix their gene pools
    from there on there's absolutely nothing keeping these 2 species from drifting apart indefinitely

    read Steve Jones's "Almost like a whale", which is subtitled (and rightly so) "The origin of species updated" - it shows how many of the gaps that existed in the mid 19th century and which are still quoted by creationists, have been filled in the intervening 150 years
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    but then again, i don't accept the distinction between micro-evolution and macro-evolution - that is a creationist invention because they could no longer deny that you could see evolution in
    This is most decidedly not a creationist invention, but is a distinction made by many (probably most) practicing biologists/palaeontologists.

    Moreover, there are powerful arguments (backed by evidence) that suggest the mechanisms of macro-evolution may differ from those of micro-evolution.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Moreover, there are powerful arguments (backed by evidence) that suggest the mechanisms of macro-evolution may differ from those of micro-evolution.
    source ?
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  20. #19  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Moreover, there are powerful arguments (backed by evidence) that suggest the mechanisms of macro-evolution may differ from those of micro-evolution.
    source ?
    Gould, S.J. The Structure of Evolutionary TheoryISBN 0-674-00613-5 The Belknap Press 2002

    In particular Chapter Nine, Punctuated Equilibrium and the Validation of Macroevolutionary Theory, pages 745 - 1024.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    if this is the same argument that Gould put forward in A wonderful life about how the processes that brought forward the major divisions of life are different from what we see now as evolution at the lower levels, i happen to disagree : what we now call a phylum is human construct produced with the benefit of hindsight

    in the Cambrian most arthropods would have formed a continuum of form and shape, and subsequent extinction has produced the gaps that make it possible to distinguish phyla
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  22. #21  
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    Gould's thesis, is indeed the one that is previewed in A Wonderful Life. However, it is greatly expanded and justified in his later work.

    Now you are free to disagree with his proposal. However, that is beside the point. The point is, and I quote, that "there are powerful arguments (backed by evidence) that suggest the mechanisms of macro-evolution may differ from those of micro-evolution."

    You challenged this. I demonstrated your challenge was invalid. I am not arguing that Gould is correct, merely that he offers a plausible, argument which has substantial evidence in its favour. The counter argument, that there is no distinction between the mechanisms of micro and macro evolution, is also plausible and backed by substantial evidence.

    End of story.
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