Notices
Results 1 to 69 of 69

Thread: The Theory of Devolution

  1. #1 The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    The foundation of molecular and quantum creationism and the theory of devolution[/url] are solid sciences. For example, the article, Evolution myths: Natural selection leads to ever greater complexity at newscientist.com says:

    "natural selection often leads to ever greater simplicity."

    "If you don't use it, you tend to lose it. Evolution often takes away rather than adding. For instance, cave fish lose their eyes, while parasites like tapeworms lose their guts.

    "Such simplification might be much more widespread than realised. Some apparently primitive creatures are turning out to be the descendants of more complex creatures rather than their ancestors. For instance, it appears the ancestor of brainless starfish and sea urchins had a brain."

    Personally, I'm very pleased that the theory of devolution is starting to look respectable.


     

  2.  
     

  3. #2 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Gliwice, Poland
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    parasites like tapeworms lose their guts.
    I'm not sure what to think about the theory of devolution, but this sentence has a merit of its own.


    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
     

  4. #3  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,256
    You appear to have a problem with addind a 'd' to 'evolution'. Whether an organism becomes more complicated, or less complicated, if the change means it is better adapted to its surroundings then it has evolved. Devolution as the opposite of evolution would mean the organism is not as well adapted to its environment, and so will become extinct.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    As Drowsyturtle says, devolution implies that evolution has some directionality to it. It doesn't. Evolution is defined as a change in gene frequencies over time. Any change of any kind. Thus "devolution" as described in the OP is the same thing as evolution, there is no new word or a new concept that needs to be supported, it was already inclusive in and is as well supported as modern evolutionary theory.

    In regards to your quantum creationism idea, just because quantum mechanically speaking there are infinite possibilities in the universe, doesn't mean that what happened to life on earth is a mystery of infinite possibilities. We have empirical evidence that speaks to what did and did not occur in earth's past, and though we certainly will never know everything about the past, we can narrow down the possibilities significantly given the evidence we have.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  6. #5 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle
    Whether an organism becomes more complicated, or less complicated, if the change means it is better adapted to its surroundings then it has evolved.
    Obviously, the organisms that have that lost their brain have became less complicated and less fit to survive but have survived nevertheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle
    Devolution as the opposite of evolution would mean the organism is not as well adapted to its environment, and so will become extinct.
    Specifically, the theory of devolution agrees with Darwin that there are living things that reproduce with variation but says that all life is spiraling downward toward extinction and death, not upward to more glorious forms of life.
     

  7. #6 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Obviously, the organisms that have that lost their brain have became less complicated and less fit to survive but have survived nevertheless.
    That is incorrect, Shubee. Loss of a trait can be just as adaptive as gaining a trait. In the case of loss of a brain etc in gut parasites, brain tissue is metabolically very expensive. In an adult human, for example, 30% of our metabolism is devoted entirely to our brain. In children with a growing brain, 70% of their metabolism is devoted to brain growth. That's a lot of energy you could be spending on other things, and growing a brain is only worth this high cost if it comes with high benefits. And what are the benefits to a gut parasite? You just sit in one place and the food falls down on top of you. You don't need a brain, the benefits are not high enough to outweigh the costs. Thus a parasite that wastes less energy on brain growth and more energy on reproduction will outreproduce those parasites which waste too much energy on brain growth and have less offspring as a result.

    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle
    Specifically, the theory of devolution agrees with Darwin that there are living things that reproduce with variation but says that all life is spiraling downward toward extinction and death, not upward to more glorious forms of life.
    As I said before, evolution has no direction. There has been a general trend in the history of life on earth to move towards more complexity but that is not a requirement of evolution. Evolution is simply change. As long as the offspring are not 100% genetically identical to their parents, evolution is happening. Extinction is as much a part of evolution as speciation.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  8. #7 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    As I said before, evolution has no direction.
    The theory of devolution says that evolution is always downward and that all life is becoming less robust over time.
     

  9. #8 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    As I said before, evolution has no direction.
    The theory of devolution says that evolution is always downward and that all life is becoming less robust over time.
    And how do you define robust? Number of species? Number of organisms? Adaptability? Flexibility? I highly doubt that, barring complete destruction of the planet, there is any catastrophe that could completely wipe out life on earth. Sure, most of the organisms we know today might die, but insects, rodents, at the very least various kinds of bacteria would persist.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  10. #9 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,232
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    As I said before, evolution has no direction.
    The theory of devolution says that evolution is always downward and that all life is becoming less robust over time.
    This can only make some kind of dubious sense if all life was created perfectly by a creator, no?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    There is no "devolution" or theory of it. If the changes in gene frequency are gradual over a period of time, then it's evolution if the population remains fit with regard to its environment. If it doesn't, this is called extinction, not "devolution."
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    I'm betting we're about to be proselytized by some religious cult in the next post or two from this guy.

    This thread's OP seems to pretend to be science but isn't. I'm moving it to a more appropriate venue for discussion.
     

  13. #12 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    And how do you define robust?
    I have adopted the term from computer science to mean well-designed and inherently stable, with numerous safeguards to prevent catastrophic failure.

    Robust Definition
    The word robust, when used with regard to computer software, refers to an operating system or other program that performs well not only under ordinary conditions but also under unusual conditions that stress its designers' assumptions.

    Software is typically buggy (i.e., contains errors) and fragile, and thus not robust. This is in large part because programs are usually too big and too complicated for a single human mind to comprehend in their entirety, and thus it is difficult for their developers to be able to discover and eliminate all the errors, or to even be certain as to what extent of errors exist. This is especially true with regard to subtle errors that only make their presence known in unusual circumstances.

    A major feature of Unix-like operating systems is their robustness. That is, they can operate for prolonged periods (sometimes years) without crashing (i.e., stopping operating) or requiring rebooting (i.e., restarting). And although individual application programs sometimes crash, they almost always do so without affecting other programs or the operating system itself.

    Robustness is something that should be designed into software from the ground up; it is not something that can be successfully tacked on at a later date. The lack of advance planning for robustness is a major factor in the numerous security and stability problems that plague some non-Unix-like operating systems.
    I believe that all science, like the theory of devolution, must be given a mathematically precise definition. See David Hilbert's Philosophy of Physics.

    If there is a scientifically acceptable definition for computer programs and electronic machines being robust, then the theory of devolution may be replaced with an equation that says, in the mathematical limit, all forms of life are becoming less and less robust over time.
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Shubee, the software definition assumes, (1) a designer, and (2) and intended usage. Organisms in the natural world lack both of these things. A software program is also a discrete entity. What is the entity in the biological realm? A single organism? A population? A species?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Shubee, the software definition assumes, (1) a designer
    I have made no such assumption. Furthermore, please note that there are scientific theories that say that all earthly species will eventually die out because all forms of life are genetically programmed for extinction.
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    You're confusing "theory" with "hypothesis." The link to tertiary literature you provided on telomeres is an hypothesis and not a theory.
     

  17. #16  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,232
    Yes, Stindl has an idea or hypothesis with very little actual research having been done.

    From the Guardian article:

    "Charles Darwin proposed that evolution is controlled by "survival of the fittest". Current natural selection models imply that evolution is a slow and steady process, with continuous genetic mutations leading to new species that find a niche to live in, or die. But digging through the layers of rock, palaeontologists have found that evolution seems to go in fits and starts. Most species seem to have long stable periods followed by a burst of change: not the slow, steady process predicted by natural selection. Originally scientists attributed this jagged pattern to the imperfections of the fossil record. But in recent years more detailed studies have backed up the idea that evolution proceeds in fits and starts.

    The quiet periods in the fossil record where evolution seems to stagnate are a big problem for natural selection: evolution can't just switch on and off.
    "

    I don't understand what the problem is. Evolution never "stops". It can only be said to slow down. It is not difficult to explain the stop-start of evolution. Typically an extinction event provides a host of new niches that surviving species can exploit and adapt to. When there is little drive for evolution, little will happen. When new opportunities present themselves, evolution is free to speed up.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    You're confusing "theory" with "hypothesis." The link to tertiary literature you provided on telomeres is an hypothesis and not a theory.
    The news report from guardian.co.uk states

    According to Reinhard Stindl, of the Institute of Medical Biology in Vienna, the answer to this question could lie at the tips of our chromosomes. In a controversial new theory he suggests that all eukaryotic species (everything except bacteria and algae) have an evolutionary "clock" that ticks through generations, counting down to an eventual extinction date.
    I recall checking google scholar for abstracts on Reinhard Stindl's theory in the scientific literature and, if I remember correctly, it is indeed presented as a scientific theory.
     

  19. #18 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    The theory of devolution says that evolution is always downward and that all life is becoming less robust over time.
    This can only make some kind of dubious sense if all life was created perfectly by a creator, no?
    I do not make that assumption.
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Popular media sources often confuse the words theory and hypothesis, much like the general public. In an article by Stindl himself, of which you can find the full text PDF here, he clearly describes a hypothesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stindl
    The species clock hypothesis, [emphasis mine - paralith] as presented here, is based on the idea of a tiny loss of mean telomere length per generation. This mechanism would not rapidly endanger the survival of a particular species. Yet, after many thousands of generations, critically short telomeres could lead to the weakening and even the extinction of old species and would simultaneously create the unstable chromosomal environment that might result in the origination of new species.
    Also, as Kalster pointed out, the current consensus is that evolution involves both gradual slow change and periods of accelerated change. Though "accelerated" in terms of evolution can still be tens to hundreds of thousands of years. Nor are periods of relative stasis surprising. Strong selective environmental pressures that are consistent over long periods of time will maintain a specific set of traits in a species for a long time. No one says evolution "stopped" at that time - no doubt mutations were arising throughout that period, but they were also selected out.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Shubee, the software definition assumes, (1) a designer
    I have made no such assumption.
    Oh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    I have adopted the term from computer science to mean well-designed and inherently stable, with numerous safeguards to prevent catastrophic failure.
    Well-designed implies a designer. By adopting the term from computer science that necessarily involves a human designer you are implying a designer of some kind, implying a purpose and a forward-looking plan to prevent disasters which evolution of any kind does not do. Thus your very concise definition of robusticity, which you yourself said is required for solid science (and it is), has inherent issues when being applied to biology and requires adjustment for it to be applicable as well as precise.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  22. #21 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    ABSTRACT According to the fossil record, 99.9% of all species that have ever lived on Earth have disappeared. However, only about 4% died out during the five mass extinction events, whereas it seems that the majority of species vanished without any signs of significant earthbound or extraterrestrial physical threats. Clearly, biological extinction mechanisms are by far the most important, but they are subject to serious limitations concerning the worldwide disappearance of species. In view of that, species-inherent mechanisms, which could lead to the worldwide destabilization of a population, might be worth reconsideration. Telomeres, the protective caps of chromosome ends, and the enzyme telomerase have been well preserved in plants and animals during evolution. In the absence of telomerase activity, telomeric DNA has been shown to shorten every time a cell divides. The concept of a mitotic clock based on the gradual erosion of telomeres is now generally accepted and has been confirmed in numerous plants and animals. Chromosomal rearrangements are the hallmarks of two completely different biological phenomena, cancer and speciation. In premalignant cells, gradual telomere erosion beyond a critical threshold is a well-known inducer of chromosomal instability. The species clock hypothesis, as presented here, is based on the idea of a tiny loss of mean telomere length per generation. This mechanism would not rapidly endanger the survival of a particular species. Yet, after many thousands of generations, critically short telomeres could lead to the weakening and even the extinction of old species and would simultaneously create the unstable chromosomal environment that might result in the origination of new species. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 302B: 111–120, 2004.
    I propose that Reinhard Stindl's references and logic support the theory of devolution and that Reinhard Stindl probably felt compelled to add the line that says "might result in the origination of new species" to get his alarming hypothesis published but a realistic hope of entirely new species to replace the old doesn't seem to be what he told Guardian reporter Kate Ravilious.
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    There is no "theory" of "devolution." Indeed, the term doesn't even exist in biological science. You can "propose" just about anything you want, but it doesn't make it so. Doubtless you have many wacky propositions based on what you've "proposed" thus far.
     

  24. #23 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    I propose that Reinhard Stindl's references and logic support the theory of devolution and that Reinhard Stindl probably felt compelled to add the line that says "might result in the origination of new species" to get his alarming hypothesis published but a realistic hope of entirely new species to replace the old is obviously not what he told Guardian reporter Kate Ravilious.
    This is what he told the reporter.

    Stindl's idea is that there is also a tiny loss of telomere length between each generation, mirroring the individual ageing process.
    This is his idea. He does not have support of this idea unless he has measured the loss of telomere length in organisms over time. There is data from which he could measure this; we have samples of humans that lived several hundred years ago from which we can pull reasonable DNA sequences. Or he could conduct laboratory studies on the molecular mechanisms by which telomere length is determined with each new generation. Until he makes these measurements he cannot state that this is a factual trend. He cannot state that this trend is fact in a published journal because a review by peers in his field would point out this inconsistency and it would not be published.

    This is also what he told that reporter.

    After a population crash there are likely to be isolated groups remaining. Stindl postulates that inbreeding within these groups could "reset" the species clock, elongating telomeres and potentially starting a new species. Studies on mice provide strong evidence to support this.
    This sure sounds like a "a realistic hope of entirely new species to replace the old" to me. Are you next going to propose that the reporter is lying to us?

    I would also like to add that even if this trend of decreasing telomere length between generations is true, this does not present a conflict with current evolutionary theory or natural selection. Natural selection is not far sighted. It happens to individuals, between single generations. A slow acting process that leads to the eventual death of whole species is not something that natural selection would necessarily prevent. This is why some species over-specialize into a certain environmental niche, and when the environment rapidly changes, when that niche suddenly disappears, the species often dies because it cannot adapt quickly enough. If this is what you think of as devolution, then I say yet again, nothing about this "devolution" is new or different from current evolutionary theory.

    Stindl accepts that more experiments need to be done to test his ideas.
    If you are such a supporter of Stindl you should support his self admitted need to test his ideas before blindly accepting them.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    There is no "theory" of "devolution." ... You can "propose" just about anything you want, but it doesn't make it so.
    It's a very fitting description of the powerful facts cited in the opening post coupled with the absence of direct evidence that the genetic code of any species on earth has become more robust over time.
     

  26. #25  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,232
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    There is no "theory" of "devolution." ... You can "propose" just about anything you want, but it doesn't make it so.
    It's a very fitting description of the powerful facts cited in the opening post coupled with the absence of direct evidence that the genetic code of any species on earth has become more robust over time.
    Then you still don't know the meaning of the word as used in science.

    Scientific method

    Stindl has not done any research to test his hypothesis. Taking existing data and making up an explanation does not constitute a theory. There is also an absence of direct evidence that the genetic code of any species has become less "robust" over time. You still haven't even explained exactly what you mean by "robust".
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
     

  27. #26 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Stindl has not done any research to test his hypothesis.
    The research has been done. Reinhard Stindl wrote:

    In the absence of telomerase activity, telomeric DNA has been shown to shorten every time a cell divides. The concept of a mitotic clock based on the gradual erosion of telomeres is now generally accepted and has been confirmed in numerous plants and animals. Chromosomal rearrangements are the hallmarks of two completely different biological phenomena, cancer and speciation. In premalignant cells, gradual telomere erosion beyond a critical threshold is a well-known inducer of chromosomal instability. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 302B: 111–120, 2004.
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Taking existing data and making up an explanation does not constitute a theory.
    Sure it does, if the explanation is reasonable enough and explains a wide range of phenomena.

    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    There is also an absence of direct evidence that the genetic code of any species has become less "robust" over time.
    You're not reading carefully. "The gradual erosion of telomeres is now generally accepted and has been confirmed in numerous plants and animals."

    "Gradual telomere erosion beyond a critical threshold is a well-known inducer of chromosomal instability."

    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    You still haven't even explained exactly what you mean by "robust".
    In the context of Stindl's theory, the more eroded your telomeres are, the less robust is your genetic code.
     

  28. #27 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Stindl has not done any research to test his hypothesis.
    The research has been done. Reinhard Stindl wrote:

    In the absence of telomerase activity, telomeric DNA has been shown to shorten every time a cell divides. The concept of a mitotic clock based on the gradual erosion of telomeres is now generally accepted and has been confirmed in numerous plants and animals. Chromosomal rearrangements are the hallmarks of two completely different biological phenomena, cancer and speciation. In premalignant cells, gradual telomere erosion beyond a critical threshold is a well-known inducer of chromosomal instability. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 302B: 111–120, 2004.
    Shubee he is referring to degradation within one individual's life time. Yes, this is a very well known phenomenon. What is not tested is the degradation of telomeres between generations. The prevailing idea is that telomere length is reset with every new set of offspring, while Stindl is suggesting that the telomere length of newborn offspring is shorter than the telomere length in the parents when newborn. For this there is no direct data that I know of.

    In the context of Stindl's theory, the more eroded your telomeres are, the less robust is your genetic code.
    So robusticity is the long term protection of functional gene sequences to degradation that happens at the end of chromosomes every time mitosis occurs. And considering that, as I said above, prevailing knowledge is that telomere length is restored with every new generation, life is very robust. Until we have more knowledge about whether or not that is different, we cannot state whether or not your idea of devolution has any validity.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  29. #28  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,232
    You're not reading carefully. "The gradual erosion of telomeres is now generally accepted and has been confirmed in numerous plants and animals."

    "Gradual telomere erosion beyond a critical threshold is a well-known inducer of chromosomal instability."
    Can you tell me if this is meant to convey that telomeres erode in an organism's body during life, or if it’s meant to convey that telomeres erode with each successive generation? See the difference? He has no evidence that it erodes with each passing generation, other than the one cited of wild and generationally captive mice.

    Edit: Oh, I missed paralith's last post.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
     

  30. #29 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I said above, prevailing knowledge is that telomere length is restored with every new generation, life is very robust. Until we have more knowledge about whether or not that is different, we cannot state whether or not your idea of devolution has any validity.
    So Reinhard Stindl's hypothesis is subject to experimental verification and is therefore a scientific hypothesis and if proved true would confirm the theory of devolution.
     

  31. #30 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I said above, prevailing knowledge is that telomere length is restored with every new generation, life is very robust. Until we have more knowledge about whether or not that is different, we cannot state whether or not your idea of devolution has any validity.
    So Reinhard Stindl's hypothesis is subject to experimental verification and is therefore a scientific hypothesis, and if proved true would confirm the theory of devolution.
    Yes, if data is discovered that supports his hypothesis, his hypothesis will be supported. But if you had actually read through Stindl's paper, you would see that the generation of more telomere sequence to counteract a potential inter-generational shortening is also a distinct possibility and part of his hypothesis. His hypothesis is not that life is inherently destined to die by virtue of its own properties.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  32. #31 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Yes, if data is discovered that supports his hypothesis, his hypothesis will be supported.
    You have failed to note that the species clock hypothesis supports the theory of devolution and that there is no evidence for species getting more robust over time. Also, if the Reinhard Stindl hypothesis is science, then the theory of devolution has every right to call itself a legitimate scientific theory.
     

  33. #32  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    821
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
     

  34. #33  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    What distinguishes science from pseudoscience is social. Pseudoscience is supported by assertions of authority, by rejection or ignorance of pertinent tests, by supporters who take on the trappings of scientific argument without accepting science’s basic rules of refutation and replication. Pseudoscience is driven by charismatic personalities who do not answer direct questions. When held by those in power, like Lysenkoism, it destroys honest scientific inquiry.

    -John Hawks
     

  35. #34 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Yes, if data is discovered that supports his hypothesis, his hypothesis will be supported.
    You have failed to note that the species clock hypothesis supports the theory of devolution and that there is no evidence for species getting more robust over time. Also, if the Reinhard Stindl hypothesis is science, then the theory of devolution has every right to call itself a legitimate scientific theory.
    Number one, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Number two, the species clock hypothesis is about species, not the entirety of life. As I have already said, Stindl's hypothesis as described and explored in his paper includes the regeneration of telomere length in new populations and species. Number three, I never said your idea did not have the potential to be scientifically rigorous. And if your idea is encompassed in Stindl's hypothesis then it is definitely scientifically rigorous. But considering you continue to misrepresent Stindl's hypothesis, despite having access to a full text article outlining it, I'm still fuzzy on exactly what your idea is and how rigorous it is at it's current state of formulation.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  36. #35  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,569
    An hypothesis stated in a newspaper is a theory now? Because a scientist said it? Have we switched to an authority driven system and thrown out peer review while we're at it?

    Shubee, you've misunderstood evolution. Increases in complexity are not demanded by evolution. Nor are increases in "robustness". All that is required is robustness sufficient for persistence of a replicator, which typically demands continuous change but at varying rates and in any direction in terms of complexity.
     

  37. #36 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Number one, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    That is true but it doesn't help you.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Number two, the species clock hypothesis is about species, not the entirety of life.
    Transparent equivocation is a strike against you. According to Reinhard Stindl, as interpreted by Kate Ravilious, all eukaryotic species (everything except bacteria and algae) have an evolutionary "clock" that ticks through generations, counting down to an eventual extinction date.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Number three, I never said your idea did not have the potential to be scientifically rigorous. And if your idea is encompassed in Stindl's hypothesis then it is definitely scientifically rigorous.
    OK. I'll rescind your previous demerit.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I'm still fuzzy on exactly what your idea is and how rigorous it is at its current state of formulation.
    With my specific examples of known species getting less complex over time and there being no hard evidence of any species getting more complex over time, I believe it's reasonable to conclude that the theory of devolution trumps Darwin's theory of evolution.
     

  38. #37 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Shubee, you've misunderstood evolution.
    I have not interpreted evolution. I have defined devolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Increases in complexity are not demanded by evolution. Nor are increases in "robustness".
    Then why all the protests when I posit a general decrease in complexity and a decrease in robustness over time?
     

  39. #38 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    821
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Then why all the protests when I posit a general decrease in complexity and a decrease in robustness over time?
    Because this observation is flawed. Merely observing human history proves this, as humans have become more complex over time.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
     

  40. #39 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Number one, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    That is true but it doesn't help you.
    Of course not. It means that no conclusion can be made, neither support nor disproof. You were claiming it is the same as disproof, which is incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Number two, the species clock hypothesis is about species, not the entirety of life.
    Transparent equivocation is a strike against you. According to Reinhard Stindl, as interpreted by Kate Ravilious, all eukaryotic species (everything except bacteria and algae) have an evolutionary "clock" that ticks through generations, counting down to an eventual extinction date.
    Equivocation? Allow me to quote, yet again, something written by said reporter from her interview with said researcher:

    After a population crash there are likely to be isolated groups remaining. Stindl postulates that inbreeding within these groups could "reset" the species clock, elongating telomeres and potentially starting a new species. Studies on mice provide strong evidence to support this.
    After a population crashes, groups will remain that will be able to reset the clock, and life continues. There is no equivocation here. You continue to misrepresent both Stindl and Ravilious.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I'm still fuzzy on exactly what your idea is and how rigorous it is at its current state of formulation.
    With my specific examples of known species getting less complex over time and there being no hard evidence of any species getting more complex over time, I believe it's reasonable to conclude that the theory of devolution trumps Darwin's theory of evolution.
    Again, your definition of robusticity lacks clarity. Previously you stated that Stindl's description of what happens to chromosomes when the telomeres degrade is decreasing robusticity. What happens to chromosomes is that the functional genes begin to lose sequence and become non-functional. This is not the same things as decreasing complexity in organisms. And in case you try to say that less complex organisms have less genes, that is not always the case. Gene number varies vastly and there is no known predictor of gene number in a species.

    And, no hard evidence of organisms become more complex over time? Earliest life single celled, modern life multicellular. There's your solid evidence. And as I continue to repeat myself, a decrease of complexity and a degrading of telomeres, even between generations, is completely consistent with current evolutionary theory. There are no conflicts whatsoever. And do stop calling it Darwin's theory - the modern synthesis has changed significantly since Darwin's time because his knowledge of the heritable material was almost completely lacking.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  41. #40 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    After a population crash there are likely to be isolated groups remaining. Stindl postulates that inbreeding within these groups could "reset" the species clock, elongating telomeres and potentially starting a new species. Studies on mice provide strong evidence to support this.
    The theory of devolution asserts that there is no way to avert the eventual extinction of all species through inbreeding. For example, crows that are the product of incest are more susceptible to diseases, according to a new Cornell study published recently in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

    One reviewer of the Cornell study wrote:

    By measuring the overall survival rates of both normal and inbred crows, the researchers found that the inbred crows often died in the nest prior to fledging, and those that did fly off were far more susceptible to such diseases as avian pox and bacterial infections.

    One likely cause of these deaths is that incest and inbreeding increase the chances that recessive genetic diseases will be expressed in offspring. Another potential reason is that when both parents' genes are very similar, the offspring's immune system is less able to fight off a broad diversity of pathogens, explained Townsend.
     

  42. #41  
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Shubee, you've misunderstood evolution.
    I have not interpreted evolution. I have defined devolution.
    Sure you have. You said "Specifically, the theory of devolution agrees with Darwin that there are living things that reproduce with variation but says that all life is spiraling downward toward extinction and death, not upward to more glorious forms of life."
    I was contrasting the theory of devolution with the expressed beliefs of Charles Darwin. Chapter 14 of The Origin of Species states:

    "from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows."
     

  43. #42 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    The theory of devolution asserts that there is no way to avert the eventual extinction of all species through inbreeding. For example, crows that are the product of incest are more susceptible to diseases, according to a new Cornell study published recently in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
    Inbreeding depression is a well-known phenomenon, you do not need to convince me of it. However, whether or not inbreeding in combination with a hypothetical decrease in telomeres between generations will inevitably kill all life is questionable. It depends on the severity of the inbreeding depression, the amount of inbreeding required to re-set the telomere clock, the environmental conditions, and the generation time. If inbreeding populations under some conditions can last long enough to re-set the clock and then outbreed and survive inbreeding depression, all life is certainly not destined to die. This is why the telomere hypothesis needs testing because conclusions about its impact on life will depend on whether or not it is true, what its properties are, and how these properties interact with other factors.

    Your idea is a hypothesis, not a theory, and does not have conclusive support. It does not have conclusive disproof either. In other words, there is little else we can say about it at this point.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  44. #43  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    I was contrasting the theory of devolution with the expressed beliefs of Charles Darwin. Chapter 14 of The Origin of Species states:

    "from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows."
    I am repeating myself an awful lot in this thread, Shubee. I have already told you to stop referring to Darwin's theory of evolution. Modern evolutionary theory has already "trumped" Darwin's formulation by adding essential information Darwin simply did not know during his time. To argue against "the expressed beliefs of Charles Darwin" is like arguing against flat earth theory. Been there, done that.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  45. #44 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Your idea is a hypothesis, not a theory, and does not have conclusive support. It does not have conclusive disproof either. In other words, there is little else we can say about it at this point.
    The theory of devolution is just as much a scientific theory as the theory of evolution.
     

  46. #45 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Your idea is a hypothesis, not a theory, and does not have conclusive support. It does not have conclusive disproof either. In other words, there is little else we can say about it at this point.
    The theory of devolution is just as much a scientific theory as the theory of evolution.
    Wrong. A theory is an explanatory framework. Your idea is a hypothesis of a trend. Evolutionary theory is also one of the most thoroughly supported explanatory frameworks in science and has not been disproved despite countless tests of its predictions. Your idea has yet to be really tested, let alone already have any strong support.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  47. #46 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Your idea is a hypothesis, not a theory, and does not have conclusive support. It does not have conclusive disproof either. In other words, there is little else we can say about it at this point.
    The theory of devolution is just as much a scientific theory as the theory of evolution.
    Perhaps in your mind. But your delusions do not necessarily transcend to reality.
     

  48. #47 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    A theory is an explanatory framework. Your idea is a hypothesis of a trend.
    The theory of devolution inherits the entire evidential framework of modern evolutionary theory while cleverly usurping Darwinism through a simple supplemental hypothesis. Devolution produces speciation.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    To argue against "the expressed beliefs of Charles Darwin" is like arguing against flat earth theory.
    I shall continue to argue against the flat-earthers in the realm of biology because popularizes continue to promote the idea of an ever more progressive march toward more glorious forms of life.
     

  49. #48 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    A theory is an explanatory framework. Your idea is a hypothesis of a trend.
    The theory of devolution inherits the entire evidential framework of modern evolutionary theory while cleverly usurping Darwinism through a simple supplemental hypothesis. Devolution produces speciation.
    Clever? You are complimenting yourself ahead of time, Shubee.

    One, don't call it Darwinism. Scientific theories are not based on the faithful following of a single person but on the work of many people who have tested and refined hypotheses and predictions. We have long since changed much of what Darwin stated.

    Two, you're not usurping anything. As I have said countless times in this thread, even if Stindl's hypothesis is true there is nothing in it that is inconsistent with current evolutionary theory. Nothing whatsoever. Evolution as a process incorporates all possible directions of change. If lineages of organisms are essentially timebombs waiting to go off, that doesn't mean those lineages are not evolving while that timebomb ticks. Natural selection is not far sighted; it has no way of adapting organisms to deal with a consequence that will happen suddenly many generations down the road, and this is a well known fact.

    Three, devolution produces speciation? According to you devolution means all life will eventually be wiped out. What on earth does that have to do with speciation? Speciation rather assumes life is going on, at least for the current moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    To argue against "the expressed beliefs of Charles Darwin" is like arguing against flat earth theory.
    I shall continue to argue against the flat-earthers in the realm of biology because popularizes continue to promote the idea of an ever more progressive march toward more glorious forms of life.
    Since you mistook my meaning (I suspect intentionally), let me rephrase. To claim victory over Darwinism is like claiming you yourself have finally disproved the flat earth hypothesis when it was already disproved several hundred years ago. Also, no one who is knowledgeable about evolution is popularizing a march towards glorious forms of life. Seriously, put down Origin of Species and read something on the modern synthesis instead.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  50. #49 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    According to you devolution means all life will eventually be wiped out. What on earth does that have to do with speciation?
    As I've said, the theory of devolution inherits the entire evidential framework of modern evolutionary theory. For instance, modern evolutionists claim that evolution occurs through DNA copying errors. Likewise, devolutionists affirm that devolution occurs through DNA copying errors. Thus, as all life is spiraling downward toward extinction and death, new species arise.

    That is why devolution is a major theory and not a hypothesis.
     

  51. #50 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    According to you devolution means all life will eventually be wiped out. What on earth does that have to do with speciation?
    As I've said, the theory of devolution inherits the entire evidential framework of modern evolutionary theory. For instance, modern evolutionists claim that evolution occurs through DNA copying errors. Likewise, devolutionists affirm that devolution occurs through DNA copying errors. Thus, as all life is spiraling downward toward extinction and death, new species arise.

    That is why devolution is a major theory and not a hypothesis.
    No it does not, because the essential idea behind your hypothesis is that inevitability of death. There is nothing in current evolutionary theory that addresses the likelihood of that. And you are still making no sense - all life spiraling towards death, and magically, speciation? You do realize that speciation is the emergence of new species of organisms, correct? So everything dies, and shazam there's life again?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  52. #51 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    821
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    As I've said, the theory of devolution inherits the entire evidential framework of modern evolutionary theory. For instance, modern evolutionists claim that evolution occurs through DNA copying errors. Likewise, devolutionists affirm that devolution occurs through DNA copying errors. Thus, as all life is spiraling downward toward extinction and death, new species arise.

    That is why devolution is a major theory and not a hypothesis.
    The most concise manner of proving or disproving the consistency of this assertion is based around this premise: If all things are devolving, what was the original form? Do you disagree with the fact that earliest life forms were the simplest? If not, why the sudden spontaneous devolution trend? If it is a theory, as you say, you should be able to answer these (and more) questions based on the very premise of devolution: A higher state by which to devolve from.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
     

  53. #52  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,569
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Shubee, you've misunderstood evolution.
    I have not interpreted evolution. I have defined devolution.
    Sure you have. You said "Specifically, the theory of devolution agrees with Darwin that there are living things that reproduce with variation but says that all life is spiraling downward toward extinction and death, not upward to more glorious forms of life."
    I was contrasting the theory of devolution with the expressed beliefs of Charles Darwin. Chapter 14 of The Origin of Species states:

    "from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows."
    You've made two mistakes here. First, you have assumed that Darwin is accepted as the ultimate authority on evolution. He isn't and Origin is not some bible of evolution. Second, you have misunderstood his writing.

    That's quote a claim of directionality in evolution. That's a claim that the observed species were generated by evolution. The reference to "higher animals" is merely a reference to the more complex forms of life that do exist. It is not a claim that they are the only inevitable product of evolution, nor the better in some absolute or objective sense, but merely that they are some of the products of evolution (bacteria, viruses and slime moulds are another extant product that Darwin would hardly deny the existence of). Darwin says that we humans value or exalt such complex life, which we do. We like dogs more than amoebas. That's just subjective valuation, not the ultimate judgement of natural selection.
     

  54. #53 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    As I've said, the theory of devolution inherits the entire evidential framework of modern evolutionary theory. For instance, modern evolutionists claim that evolution occurs through DNA copying errors. Likewise, devolutionists affirm that devolution occurs through DNA copying errors. Thus, as all life is spiraling downward toward extinction and death, new species arise.

    That is why devolution is a major theory and not a hypothesis.
    The most concise manner of proving or disproving the consistency of this assertion is based around this premise: If all things are devolving, what was the original form? Do you disagree with the fact that earliest life forms were the simplest? If not, why the sudden spontaneous devolution trend? If it is a theory, as you say, you should be able to answer these (and more) questions based on the very premise of devolution: A higher state by which to devolve from.
    Darius,

    The Wikipedia article on abiogenesis states: "In the natural sciences, abiogenesis … is the study of how life on Earth could have arisen from inanimate matter. It should not be confused with evolution, which is the study of how groups of living things change over time."

    I do have answers to your questions but there is no point in switching topics immediately because the easy-to-understand alternative to neo-Darwinism, i.e., the theory of devolution, is not understood.
     

  55. #54 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    I do have answers to your questions but there is no point in switching topics immediately because the easy-to-understand alternative to neo-Darwinism, i.e., the theory of devolution, is not understood.
    Well Shubee, I guess that finishes my contribution to this conversation. I don't know how many times I can repeat my explanation of why your idea is not an alternative to, in opposition of, trumps, or "cleverly usurps" current evolutionary theory (and you continue to use the term Darwinism despite my request that you cease). Since you have yet to actually address the factual points in my explanation of why this is so, and just blindly repeat "it's an alternative and you just don't get it!" I'm going to assume you lack the ability to intelligently debate the issue further. I'm passing this off to the rest of the gents here.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  56. #55 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I don't know how many times I can repeat my explanation of why your idea is not an alternative to, in opposition of, trumps, or "cleverly usurps" current evolutionary theory
    My essential point is that the theory of devolution is a scientific theory for the same reasons that neo-Darwinism is a scientific theory. There are minor but relevant and interesting differences. For example, Charles Darwin argued that natural selection is the sole mechanism that causes evolution and that natural selection is synonymous with Spencer's phrase, "Survival of the fittest." I argue that devolution is the primary mechanism that causes speciation and I have a wonderful tautology that goes along with it. "Whatever survives, survives." Frankly, I'm very amused by my very revealing adaptation. You just don't appreciate the adaptation of scientific theories but that is how science evolves.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    (and you continue to use the term Darwinism despite my request that you cease).
    You should have noticed that I now use the term neo-Darwinism whenever necessary, which is used to refer to current evolutionary theory in publications such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and in the scientific literature.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Since you have yet to actually address the factual points in my explanation of why this is so, and just blindly repeat "it's an alternative and you just don't get it!" …
    I haven't noticed anyone agreeing with you.
     

  57. #56 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    My essential point is that the theory of devolution is a scientific theory for the same reasons that neo-Darwinism is a scientific theory. There are minor but relevant and interesting differences. For example, Charles Darwin argued that natural selection is the sole mechanism that causes evolution and that natural selection is synonymous with Spencer's phrase, "Survival of the fittest."
    Stop referring to Darwin. Natural selection is not the only mechanism by which evolution occurs and that is a basic fact. Spencer is a political figure whose ideas were political and not scientific. Do not bring his ideas into this conversation.

    I argue that devolution is the primary mechanism that causes speciation
    But you have yet to explain how. You have avoided the question though I asked you twice.

    and I have a wonderful tautology that goes along with it. "Whatever survives, survives."
    Except that tautology is wrong if you're attempting to describe natural selection. Natural selection is the process by which individuals with heritable variations have differential success in transmitting copies of their genes to future generations. Some individuals are better at reproducing than others. Those that are more fit for the current environment will have offspring that outnumber those that are less fit. It's not about survival it's about reproduction.

    Frankly, I'm very amused by my very revealing adaptation. You just don't appreciate the adaptation of scientific theories but that is how science evolves.
    Frankly, I don't understand what you think you've revealed. Once again you're claiming victory over something that was overturned long ago or was never true. Regardless of what you think I do and do not appreciate you have failed to address my factual points and bring up outdated or simply untrue ideas to attack instead. You're trying to adapt an old idea that's already been adapted.

    You should have noticed that I now use the term neo-Darwinism whenever necessary, which is used to refer to current evolutionary theory in publications such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and in the scientific literature.
    You have used it once. And the use of the term Darwinism in general, whatever term you put in front of it, implies a faithful following of Darwin's words and that's not what current evolutionary theory does. And your constant referral to Darwin's words makes it clear that you're under the mistaken impression that it does.

    I haven't noticed anyone agreeing with you.
    I'll run a poll if you'd like. I, however, trust more to factual knowledge than a popularity contest.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  58. #57 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    I do have answers to your questions but there is no point in switching topics immediately because the easy-to-understand alternative to neo-Darwinism, i.e., the theory of devolution, is not understood.
    Well Shubee, I guess that finishes my contribution to this conversation.
    I hope so because I don't know how to explain utter trivialities.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    I argue that devolution is the primary mechanism that causes speciation and I have a wonderful tautology that goes along with it. "Whatever survives, survives."
    Except that tautology is wrong if you're attempting to describe natural selection. Natural selection is the process by which individuals ...
    Would anyone care to explain to paralith that I am free to define whatever fundamental principles that I wish to characterize my theory and that I choose to define natural selection in the theory of devolution via the tautology, "Whatever survives, survives"?
     

  59. #58 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Would anyone care to explain to paralith that I am free to define whatever fundamental principles that I wish to characterize my theory and that I choose to define natural selection in the theory of devolution via the tautology, "Whatever survives, survives"?
    Yes, please explain it to me, because I didn't know we can take well established terminology and change the definition to suit our needs whenever we wish, and just throw the established theory out of the window for no apparent reason.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  60. #59  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,704
    LOL

    wind is windy

    what goes up must come down...

    I don't know about you para, but I think this kid's a genius.
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
     

  61. #60  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax

    The question is whether we made a mistake in defining it that way. Perhaps our definition of it should have had a direction.

    It seems fair to say that evolution always moves in the direction of survivability in the environment a species lives in. But, maybe it would be wise to also note whether it is moving toward being adapted to the environment we would like to create, since anything that isn't adapted to that environment will ultimately have to be selected out.
    kojax, what you are describing is natural selection, which is only one of the mechanisms by which evolution occurs. Natural selection is the only mechanism by which organisms can become adapted to their environment. Evolution also occurs by mutation (which is random), genetic drift (which is random), by migrations and bottlenecks or portions of the population getting wiped out by natural disasters, which have varying directions depending on the specifics of the situation. This is why evolution has no specific direction in it's definition, because all of the above counts as evolution.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  62. #61 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,569
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Since you have yet to actually address the factual points in my explanation of why this is so, and just blindly repeat "it's an alternative and you just don't get it!" …
    I haven't noticed anyone agreeing with you.
    I agree with Paralith. Entirely. And you're just basically repeating the same assertion over and over without addressing any of her rebuttals. That means the conversation cannot progress. If that's all there is to this discussion then I'm going to lock it.
     

  63. #62 Re: The Theory of Devolution 
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,079
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    ...the easy-to-understand alternative to neo-Darwinism, i.e., the theory of devolution, is not understood.
    ????

    Evolution and devolution are not competing theories.
     

  64. #63  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,569
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Shubee
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Shubee, you've misunderstood evolution.
    I have not interpreted evolution. I have defined devolution.
    Sure you have. You said "Specifically, the theory of devolution agrees with Darwin that there are living things that reproduce with variation but says that all life is spiraling downward toward extinction and death, not upward to more glorious forms of life." So you are under the impression that there is directionality to evolution and that this assumed directionality is incorrect. But there isn't any directionality to evolution, so asserting that the direction assumed is wrong is a very serious misunderstanding of evolution on your part.
    The question is whether we made a mistake in defining it that way. Perhaps our definition of it should have had a direction.
    We already have ways to describe the direction of change in terms of complexity, stability, etc. We don't need separate theories or concepts for the directionality of evolution any more than we need to distinguish between walking north and walking south when developing some imaginary "theory of walking". The mechanism underlying both directions is identical.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It seems fair to say that evolution always moves in the direction of survivability in the environment a species lives in. But, maybe it would be wise to also note whether it is moving toward being adapted to the environment we would like to create, since anything that isn't adapted to that environment will ultimately have to be selected out.
    But the environment is what causes selection and thus adaptation in the first place. Evolution is not proactive, or at least not in a planned way. Mutation generates a bunch of variations and the environment selects what survives. So in that sense it is reactive and concerning ourselves with whether evolution is moving in the desired direction makes no sense at all.
     

  65. #64  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,232
    I haven't noticed anyone agreeing with you.
    Lol! Shubee, really, you are making a fool of yourself. Sorry to put it like that, but you are.

    Now, please explain why your hypothesis is needed and what missing part of the puzzle it explains. Then, please cite primary research that unequivocally confirms or even strongly suggests Stindl's and/or your hypothesis.

    Further, please explain properly how an organism with critically short telomeres would present symptoms and, if you can, give a properly cited example of an organism that shows both the symptoms and critically eroded telomeres across the whole population. Also try to exclude other explanations. See if you can provide a properly researched comparative example of a species that has shown eroded telomeres after a certain number of generations and then explain both the symptoms and exclude other possibilities.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
     

  66. #65  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    I think the real topic here is the phenomenon of cranks and crackpots like Shubee who venture out to science boards from their pseudoscience/creationist havens to play in the dirt with "the atheist-darwinists."

    As a hallmark of pseudoscience, this trend is both common and expected and it's a diagnostic element of pseudoscience, crackpottery, and crank ideas. Shubee has no desire in the least for actual discourse or discussion, evident in the manner in which he avoids acknowledging real science, addressing refutations of his crackpot idea, and continually repeats the same pseudoscientific/crackpot mantra over and over.

    In the end, this so-called "devolution" as weakly attempts to define it doesn't exist and is no more science than tarot cards, dowsing, or ESP.

    And yet there is something fascinating with the lengths that crackpots go to voice their "theories" (inverted commas intentional since no actual theory has been demonstrated).

    I'd be interested in thoughts and discussion related to this phenomenon -we can exclude shubee if he becomes annoying, but his opinion on the matter could be entertaining -or perhaps even informative if he's willing to drop the charade for the moment and give true insight to his motivations (assuming he's not truly deluded and just trying to achieve a goal based on his social agenda).
     

  67. #66  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,256
    Probably in creationist/pseudo circles, any small piece of science which agrees with the individual's "theory" in any way is noted down, untill they have enough bits and pieces to scrape together something resembling a thesis. This can then be presented to pseudos and creationists with great sucess, up to the point where they actually begin to believe themselves, and move to a website that deals with real science secure in the knowledge that they can prove their position, despite never having actually gathered any evidence.

    Just a thought.

    I can tell you that a lot of people are easily persuaded to believe almost anything, if you throw in scientific terminology and long (made up or real, it doesn't matter) words that they don't know the meaning to.

    It would amase you what I have made people believe before (note: I do this purely as a psychological experiment, and always tell them soon after what I was doing).
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
     

  68. #67 The definition of a scientific theory 
    Forum Freshman Shubee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Shubee ... avoids acknowledging real science ... no actual theory has been demonstrated.
    I admit that I don't know how to define the robustness of biological machinery mathematically but it does seem that software engineers do have a very intuitive grasp of the meaning of robust code.

    Also, from my perspective, the highest and purest form of science ever conceptualized by the human mind is David Hilbert's philosophy of physics. Thus, my preference is to define a scientific theory as an axiomatized mathematical model that mirrors some aspect of the universe.

    What is your definition of a scientific theory?
     

  69. #68  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,704
    a hypothesis supported with experimentation
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
     

  70. #69  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,569
    Okay so, at this point I think we've exhausted the original topic, which was some vague rubbish about the opposite of a straw man version of evolution. The OP seems unable to move the conversation on from flat, evidence-free denial of any and all criticism so I'm going to lock the thread. If any of you feel like picking up the side topics here in a new thread I can split those posts into a new thread. Though I reckon they could probably go in Biology rather than languishing here in Pseudo.
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •