Evolution

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mark44, Jun 28, 2008.

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  1. Mark44

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2007
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    I'm pretty much in agreement, although I can see the case for microevolutionary or incremental changes, in which an external trigger can cause a small change over time. For example, it seems reasonable to me that in a population of rabbits, predators could serve to weed out the slower rabbits, allowing the faster ones to survive and produce progeny with this trait.

    On the other hand, it's difficult for me to fathom how a living cell, with its extremely complex DNA mechanism for replicating itself, could just spring into existence from a soup of chemical nutrients, even over the course of one or two billion (thousand million) years. I would be less amazed to see a pile of aircraft parts assemble itself into a working 787 airliner.

    So while I can accept the possibility of small evolutionary changes to some existing form of life, I have a hard time conceding existential evolutionary changes, in which chemicals become life. I'm not very religious, but the fact of life existing on this planet, which happens to be at just the right distance from the sun for water to remain mostly in its liquid state seems to be more than random chance to me.
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Cosmologists to the contrary, it's just as hard to imagine a vacuum state (their definition) into which a point of energy appears - and just happens to contain all the energy now in the observable universe, plus all the mass - in the equivalent form of yet more energy.

    If that's not bothersome, the inflationary period in which everything had to move lots faster than light is just a bit off-putting.

    At least we have solid evidence for incremental evolution.
     
  3. recca02

    Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
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    The evolution on unicellular level happened when life began on earth. I believe we are the result of evolution of simple unicellular beings into multicellular ones. (Any one here who believes in Adam and eve story?)

    This is why I wanted to know what you mean by order. So that a meaning of 'simpler order' and disorder be clear to me. What is more simpler order between an octagonal ring or a hexagonal ring? Which one is simpler between an unlimited number of carbon compounds (not ordered) or a chain formed by these?(polythene).
    Chemical reaction are only concerned about stability. The conditions in which they happen decides whether they from an ordered product or an unordered one.

    You wanted an example showing order coming from disorder.
    The formation of polythene and many other changes most noteworthy of which can be found in evolution of life hint towards the same.

    I failed to get your point here. With the water to ice conversion i simply intended to show you another example where a lower entropy is achieved by a system. Entropy is the measure of disorderliness of a system. Another example is discharging of heat from a fluid(water) in a condenser. The water reaches a state of lower entropy.
    Apologies, I never knew the usage of term is limited to my region(field?).
    M/C means Machine

    I chose to use a wider term machine as it can thus include a whole range of artificial/man-made entities.
    Nano level machines forming a system is somewhat similar to simple chemical compounds converting into an organic matter, then converting into a system which eventually evolved into a human.
    Every phenomenon occurs to achieve stability. Be it chemical or physical. I believe we are the result of one such long process. A 'plan' is not what is required. A couple of protozoa never planned to bring Homo sapiens on earth.
     
  4. Ratch

    New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    Mark44,
    Yes, there seems to be an ability in every kind of creature family to adapt and change to a finite degree. I would not call those changes evolution. These changes can be among other things, size, color, temperament, thickness of coat, length of tail, and limited changes in shape. Those changes are not radical either. A good example is the dog family. They all have a keen sense of smell, good lungs, strong jaws and teeth, and good hearing. Now note how many canine breeds there are now and more on the way. But no matter how much time passes, it is hard to imagine going from a dog to a donkey because of the innate limit to change.

    Right on. A cell or virus is the smallest and least complicated form of life. Yet even those could not have been built over eons because everything included within has to exist and work correctly for it to live and propagate. That means it has to come into existence fast and ready. That is not conducive to believing in evolution.

    You don't have to be religious to disbelieve evolution. Religion means subscribing to doctrine, dogma, advocacy of worship, sometimes proselytizing, and gathering together to proclaim your faith. You can still believe that a creator was a first cause. That is not a religious viewpoint. It is a theistic viewpoint, and a valid argument to explain what cannot otherwise be explained. Ratch
     
  5. Ratch

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    Mar 20, 2007
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    beenthere,

    What is the difference between incremental evolution and plain old evolution. What is the evidence and how is it interpreted? Ratch
     
  6. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Stephen Gould's study of the evolution of snails might illustrate in incremental evolution, where small changes can be discerned. Most evolution is more coarsely represented, like the record we have of eohippus into the modern horse. It is not an official term, by any means

    Evolution is evolution. The step from no life to unicellular life is very hard to imagine, though. There are enough records of organisms changing over time that the concept is extremely convincing.
     
  7. Ratch

    New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    recca02,

    How did the first single cell develop? Knowing that randomness never produces order, how did that first cell become a system of cells?

    I can see your confusion. My meaning of order in this case is from a operational system or organization point of view, not from a thermodynamics perspective. What I would like to hear from you is an explanation of how a simple low order of collection organic chemicals, and a source of energy in the form of heat, lighting, or anything else you can name, can change into a high order of arrangement like a cell. Then change to a still higher order of a multicell organ. Then change to an even higher order of a multiorgan animal. In other words, what I would like to see explained is system organization from randomness.

    Polythene, the British variant of the word polyethlene, is a man made product produced by directed manufacturing, not randomness. Chains and rings of carbon atoms do not show randomness. They happen when energy and external conditions act on certain chemicals according to mustly understood chemical laws.

    My fault. I should have emphasized better the concept of system organization order.

    Because nanomachines are manufactured and designed, they will only do what they are built to do. A directed influence is required for anything to happen. That is why I agree with you that protozoa never brought us to existence on Earth. Ratch
     
  8. Ratch

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    Mar 20, 2007
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    beenthere,

    I am not familiar with the snail study, but I would guess that is normal variation within a family of gastropods. I have heard of certain displays of the horse evolution being pulled from museums because of poor scholarship, fraud or misinterpretation. I did a quick check and found this. http://www.bible.ca/tracks/textbook-fraud-dawn-horse-eohippus.htm#informed

    Evolution can be made to sound plausible, but I don't think the fossil evidence they dig up stands up to acute scrutiny. Ratch
     
  9. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    I am not an atheist or an agnostic. I subscribe to a variant of creationism. Which variant is not relevant to this discussion. Let's just say I give the Divine more credit than I perceive a lot of other folk do. Which is more miraculous: pulling a phylum out of your hat in the morning of the fifth day, or setting up the universe from the get-go in a way for said phylum to pull itself out of its own hat?

    Try an internet search on the "Miller-Urey experiment."
     
  10. Ratch

    New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    thingmaker3,

    I did. It appears they showed that some of the "building blocks" of life could form in what they think were the conditions on Earth long ago. That is still a very long way from getting it all together and running as life.

    Why not try something simpler. Can anyone name a norishing edible product for a mammal that can be manufactured from substances that never were living. That disqualifies petroleum products, of course. Ratch
     
  11. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    You didn't ask for proof of getting it all together and running as life. You asked for an example where order comes from disorder. I gave you one. The polite response would have been "thank you."

    Here's another one: http://www.im.microbios.org/0801/0801063.pdf

    Ammonium cyanide does count as a substance that never was living, does it not? Amino acids do count as edible nutrient for mammals, yes?
     
  12. Ratch

    New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    thingmaker3,

    No thanks are in order yet. I corrected and clarified my definition of order in post #7 as an operational system or organization point of view. Pointing out chemical reaction products do not qualify as an example because they are cut and dried processes that occur and end with no system organization follow on. The same could be said of carbon being turned into diamond.

    Yes, it sure does.

    Not sure about any amino acid being edible in its raw form. Especially adenine. Probably would not be very nutritious either. I was thinking about what I heard the Germans did in WWII. I believe they made ersatz butter from petroleum somehow. Probably was just an oily paste with no nutritional value. Ratch
     
  13. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    Fine. Change your definitions as we go along. I thought you might actually be interested in a dialog this time. I was mistaken. Refute this post and let's end this, yet another useless thread.:rolleyes:
     
  14. Ratch

    New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
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    thingmaker3,

    I only made one correctional change for a poorly defined definition. I think we pretty much agree on the underpinning of evolution so there is not much to discuss. Ratch
     
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