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Thread: evolution discussion in "Letter to the Editor" thread

  1. #1 evolution discussion in "Letter to the Editor" thread 
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    Why would you respond? Let someone who knows the subject clairfy the matter - or not . It's just a letter to the edtior and very unlikely to change anyone's opinion.

    Evolution is a theory not a fact.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907 View Post
    Evolution is a theory not a fact.
    Just want to point out that Evolution is both. its a a fact in that organisms evolve, and the Theory of Evolution has been formulated to explain this fact.


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    Glad it made you folks feel better.

    And no, evolution is a theory not a fact. Observations and comparisons of biological characteristics are facts. Interpretation that characteristics of an organism as compared to another are related as part of a sequence of events - that change has taken place -is evolution, the theory that science has determined as the basis for that change.
    Last edited by Jorge1907; September 9th, 2011 at 04:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907 View Post
    Glad it made you folks feel better.

    And no, evolution is a theory not a fact. Observations and comparisons of biological characteristics are facts. Interpretation that characteristics of an organism as compared to another are related as part of a sequence of events - that change has taken place -is evolution, the theory that science has determined as the basis for that change.
    I'm just curious what your ideas are. To the most scientifically ignorant population in the modern world a what we consider scientific theory are facts--you can cry well "it really don't mean that," and be ignored or put it in laymen terms they'll understand. The scientifically ignorant are using the tactic of pig piling in the most public forums their anti-scientific snake oil. If scientist let it happen and refuse to contribute to the public forums than their message isn't going to get out--it's that simple. Considering most scientific journals require money to read, and there's still a culture not to engage the public, it's no wonder we're being overwhelmed in disinformation--it's largely our own fault for deliberately staying in our ivory towers.

    As iceaura said so well "The key in the culture wars is repetition, which means getting your central assertion printed. Your argument, etc, is irrelevant unless you get a column or more (are you funded by the Heritage Foundation or its ilk, represent a church, have major corporate support, are a former liberal who's seen the light, or similar? If not, you won't) - most papers will cut out key parts and make gibberish of it anyway (and then use the space saved for a picture of a dinosaur). Keep it short, make an assertion directly, don't qualify for precision or to avoid exaggerated implications. If you can swing in a supporting image without a comma, that might fly ("the last time the CO2 was high the warming flooded most of Florida")." I forget to follow that advice myself, but completely agree with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907 View Post
    Glad it made you folks feel better.
    If it gets one person to actually think about global warming then it was worth the minimal effort on my part. Iceaura is right - if the organized anti-science groups are allowed to publish their nonsense repeatedly unchallenged their nonsense becomes fact in the minds of some less educated readers. Then we get Rick Perry for president.
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    evolution is fact as it has been observed in nature to occur. This occurrence is explained by the Theory of Evolution
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    i agree with paleo : evolution is both theory AND fact
    it is undeniable that evolution occurs, which makes it a fact
    "theory of evolution" refers to the mechanisms proposed to explain HOW evolution operates
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    You guys really ought to study the meaning of science. Evolution has not been "observed" - it is an interpretation as to the basis of a series of observations. Perhaps you can tell me what an evolution looks like - so as to be recorded in a results section of a paper. As a theory - it may be replaced with another theory one day. At this time and as far as science cn understand, it is the theory accepted by scientiststo explain the relevant observations. I refer you to a very good discussion of scientific theory from the Ohio Academy of Science "What is a theory as used in science? at: http://www.ohiosci.org/Whatisscience.PDF
    Letters to the editor are typically a matter of ego and come from folks similar to the person who started the thread - very sure of their opinion but lacking information to support their position.
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    evolution is descent with modification, which has been observed both in the wild (Darwin finches) and in controlled experiments (guppies)
    a series of events are just as much open to observation as a physical object
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907 View Post
    You guys really ought to study the meaning of science. Evolution has not been "observed" - it is an interpretation as to the basis of a series of observations. Perhaps you can tell me what an evolution looks like - so as to be recorded in a results section of a paper. As a theory - it may be replaced with another theory one day. At this time and as far as science cn understand, it is the theory accepted by scientiststo explain the relevant observations. I refer you to a very good discussion of scientific theory from the Ohio Academy of Science "What is a theory as used in science? at: http://www.ohiosci.org/Whatisscience.PDF
    Letters to the editor are typically a matter of ego and come from folks similar to the person who started the thread - very sure of their opinion but lacking information to support their position.
    You are completely wrong about evolution, but this thread is not about evolution so please stay on topic. Your boorish comments about folks who, once in a blue moon, feel motivated enough to write a letter to the editor remind me why on the old forum I had you on my ignore list. Now, where's the ignore option on this forum?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    evolution is descent with modification, which has been observed both in the wild (Darwin finches) and in controlled experiments (guppies)
    a series of events are just as much open to observation as a physical object
    Guppies are not NATURAL selection, but artificial, you might add all domesticated species, yet cows are cows, dogs are dogs, finches are finches- no new species have been developed by these means as Darwinian hypothesis maintains. In short, no good evidence for Darwinism is to be found in your post, care to try again, dotcomrade?

    Unintended artificial selection remains ARTIFICIAL- many misguided Darwinians invoke development of drug resistant strains of bacteria as "proof" of theory. This is not so. In effect humans are "culling" bacteria susceptible to antibiotics just as they cull chickens which produce fewer eggs. Equally artificial, yes?

    Manatees' growing dependence on power plants for survival | PRI.ORGWill new species of aquatic mammal develop from human activity? Odds are very low given history of domestication so far.

    Have species adapted to variances in climate before, or perhaps become extinct? Most certainly!

    Are they required to do so now? Perhaps not...

    New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism - Forbes
    Last edited by The Finger Prince; September 13th, 2011 at 10:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907 View Post
    Glad it made you folks feel better.

    And no, evolution is a theory not a fact. Observations and comparisons of biological characteristics are facts. Interpretation that characteristics of an organism as compared to another are related as part of a sequence of events - that change has taken place -is evolution, the theory that science has determined as the basis for that change.
    Evolution is FACT according to fossil record. Exact MEANS of evolution, commonly assumed to be random mutation plus natural selection, are much less certain.
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.- Thucydides
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    I would like to continue the evolution thread, but first I would as one of the mods to split it from Bunbury's thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    I would like to continue the evolution thread, but first I would as one of the mods to split it from Bunbury's thread.
    Agreed, best to address topics singly, though some digression seems inevitable. Good to be seeing you, sir, and goodnight for now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post
    Guppies are not NATURAL selection, but artificial, ...
    the variation in spot colouration of guppies in the wild (yes they actually DO live outside aquaria too) is a well-known example of natural selection influencing the way guppies look

    Sex and the Single Guppy
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    Evolution is the modern framework for all of biology.

    To deny evolution is to deny the biological sciences, which only makes a fool of you if you would write something so silly to an editor.
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    Also it has been observed in the evolution of new species such as the nylon-eating bacteria that have been discovered. Also the fact that humans had a part on the process on organisms such as bacteria in no way invalidates the theory or the fact of evolution.


    Also I would like to ask before things get any further that we drop the "Darwinian" epithet that is being used, it is not part of the process name, the concepts have been refined far beyond the original precepts Darwin put forth, and "Darwinian" is only used now as a pejorative term.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907 View Post
    You guys really ought to study the meaning of science.
    Are you genuinely here to discuss topics, or are are you simply trying to stir shit? Your quoted statement is belligerent, insulting and blatantly ignorant. Do you think that statements with those characteristics will encourage fruitful dialogue? Do you feel more or less inclined to converse with me now that I've handed you your ass on a plate? Why not offer your thoughts in an objective, supportive manner, rather than an overly vigorous and robust riposte? I believe this could beenfit both sides of the discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post
    Unintended artificial selection remains ARTIFICIAL- many misguided Darwinians invoke development of drug resistant strains of bacteria as "proof" of theory. This is not so. In effect humans are "culling" bacteria susceptible to antibiotics just as they cull chickens which produce fewer eggs. Equally artificial, yes?
    You can't compare bacterial resistance to chickens, bacteria acquire genes much more readily through lateral gene transfer (LGT). The ability for a bacterial strain to become resistant to a particular antibiotic is not analogous to descent with modification. Additionally, LGT also occurs in the wild in an environment with a significant amount of a particular stressor; e.g., high-temperature:

    "The hyperthermophilic Eubacteria Aquifex aeolicus and Thermotoga maritima each contain a large number of genes that are most similar in their protein sequences and, in some cases, in their arrangements, to homologues in thermophilic Archaea. Twenty-four per cent of Thermotoga's 1,877 ORFs and about 16% of Aquifex's 1,512 ORFs, display their highest match (as detected by BLAST) to an Archaeal protein, whereas mesophiles, such as E. coli, B. subtilis and Synechocystis, have much lower proportions of genes that are most similar to Archaeal homologues" http://www.bmb.arizona.edu/ochman/Pa...Nature2000.pdf

    Yet, this can be given as proof of evolution but the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains can't? Please enlighten me as to what the difference is and don't use another domestic bird or mammalian analogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post
    Manatees' growing dependence on power plants for survival | PRI.ORG Will new species of aquatic mammal develop from human activity? Odds are very low given history of domestication so far.
    This has only been occurring for several decades, which, in a animal with a long reproductive cycle, such as the manatee, is a very short time period. You would have to be extremely naive to expect speciation of the manatee to occur in this time period, I suspect even a thousand or two thousand years wouldn't be long enough, especially given that the proposed genetic barrier is a very flimsy one; gene transfer with the cold-water manatees will most-likely occur inevitably.
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    it is not part of the process name, the concepts have been refined far beyond the original precepts Darwin put forth, and "Darwinian" is only used now as a pejorative term.
    As there are a couple of different theories of evolution extant, each valid in its proper arena of application (Lamarckian, the best known, is important in the evolution of culture), we would need a term for the one based on the differential reproduction and culling of chance variation.

    As Darwinian is the current standard term for that one, it fittingly honors the genius and dogged persistence that established it as the fundamental theory of biological evolution, and it is a pejorative only occasionally and only to the very ignorant,

    we should keep it. Inventing new terms in attempts to slough off the connotations of old ones is a marketing technique, with a marketing technique's lifespan - the name acquires the attributes of the thing, rather than the other way around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge1907 View Post
    Glad it made you folks feel better.

    And no, evolution is a theory not a fact. Observations and comparisons of biological characteristics are facts. Interpretation that characteristics of an organism as compared to another are related as part of a sequence of events - that change has taken place -is evolution, the theory that science has determined as the basis for that change.
    You are wrong. The same mechanism that drives biodiversity and mutation almost irrefutably causes evolution over a large number of generations. This has been observed directly.
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    it's not an easy one to call - yes that the current version of natural selection rests on the same principles as the ones expounded by Darwin, but obviously the elaboration on those principles is far advanced beyond what Darwin could have hoped to prove

    on the other hand, the use of the word "Darwinian" has been used on a regular basis by creationists to imply that is 19th century and out of date
    that's probably the main reason why some people prefer not call natural selection Darwinian evolution
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post
    Guppies are not NATURAL selection, but artificial,
    Artificial selection is a subset of natural selection. So you are wrong to say something is artifical selection, but not natural selection.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post
    you might add all domesticated species, yet cows are cows, dogs are dogs, finches are finches- no new species have been developed by these means as Darwinian hypothesis maintains. In short, no good evidence for Darwinism is to be found in your post, care to try again, dotcomrade?
    Haha, you don't know anything about how evolution works. This statement is ridiculous. Cows, dogs, finches are all animals, distinguished from non-animals, but grouped together by their common traits as animals. The relations get more generalized as you include more creatures. This implies increasing diversity through time with radiating populations, which implies common decent as you go back through time.

    Dogs will always be 'dogs' in the sense that the traits that unite dogs as a group separate from non-dogs will persist in descendants and grow more derived in future generations. But in the future, there may be a group of dogs distinguished from other dogs with derived traits specific to that group. Speciation. And it has been observed, FYI. Though you are determined to pretend such things away.

    Let me ask you, are dogs descended from wolves?
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    on the other hand, the use of the word "Darwinian" has been used on a regular basis by creationists to imply that is 19th century and out of date
    that's probably the main reason why some people prefer not call natural selection Darwinian evolution
    Trying to find a term that creationists cannot misuse or slander by innuendo is a waste of time. How often do you plan to change the name of the century old fundamental theory of biology - every ten years?

    We have a standard name that honors the worthy and identifies the specific theory meant.
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    Except it is not referred to by that name except in creationist literature. It is NOT referred to by that term in professional papers which discuss the subject.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo
    Except it is not referred to by that name except in creationist literature. It is NOT referred to by that term in professional papers which discuss the subject.
    I doubt you are referring to papers which actually discuss "the subject" - it's long settled. What profession would that be?

    In the realm of popular or public discourse, in which people do discuss "the subject", Darwinian theory is referred to by that name all the time by everyone. See "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" or similar writings.

    One would have to look pretty hard to find a professional physicist's paper referring to "Newtonian Mechanics" or "Copernican Astronomy" either - they have other fish to fry, usually.
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    Im not sure what you are talking about to be honest. Im referring to peer reviewed papers that talk about the evolution of various taxa.

    Prove that its referred to as "Darwinian evolution" by "everyone" in the public/popular realm.

    Why should the name that is used by the people who spend the most time working with a particular subject be cast aside?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Except it is not referred to by that name except in creationist literature. It is NOT referred to by that term in professional papers which discuss the subject.
    I have the greatest respect for your knowledge, experience and contributions, but on this occassion you are talking bollocks. I started to extract a suite of examples, but decided it was only worth the effort if you really needed to see these. This google Scholar query has over 100,000 hits on Darwinian, which suggests this is a commonplace usage in research papers and textbooks. You might note that 10,500 of them are from 2010 and 2011, so it isn't as if this terminology is dropping out of favour.

    Note: Looking back over some of the prior posts I find it is not clear which position you are advocating. I'll just stand on the point that 'Darwinian' is a bona fide terms used by many researchers in the various fields of biology.
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    Hmm, interesting. I spend most of my time with papers on fossils and rarely if ever see the term. Looking through the search (limited to "since 2010) it looks like its most popular with papers on genetics with a smattering of social sciences/historical overviews. Both areas I will freely confess not having much interaction with
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    The term "Darwinian evolution" is used frequently in the primary literature. It's a contentious usage though, and some people might get all worked up about its use in various contexts. It's most correctly used (I think) to distinguish natural selection from non-adaptive evolutionary processes such as drift - we can speak of Darwinian versus non-Darwinian processes, for example. With this in mind you could argue that referring to all of evolution as Darwinian is incorrect. On the other hand, many use the phrase to distinguish modern evolutionary theory from ideas such as those of Lamarck.

    In my opinion it is also often used in an entirely superfluous manner just to sound high-brow, when it would be so much easier to be more precise by dropping it altogether. Every time I see the Darwinian prefix I have to stop and double check what exactly the author is referring to since it's often not clear (including whether or not the author themself knows exactly what they mean).
    Last edited by Zwirko; September 16th, 2011 at 03:52 PM. Reason: gaff deletion
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