Author Topic: Questioning Evolution  (Read 4423 times)

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Offline Alzael

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2012, 06:52:05 PM »
I was watching a show last night about cosmology that reminded me of this question.  The scientist showed that everything around us is made of star dust because we're made of the atoms that came from them.  The Bible states that Adam was formed from the dust of the ground.  If we assumed that he created other animals in similar fashion what would geneticists expect to be different in their code than if they evolved?  I don't argue with science that genetically humans are little different from other animals.  But wouldn't this be true no matter which way they came to be?

For one thing there would be a lot less junk. A very large portion of our DNA serves no actual purpose. It's mostly leftover from other rungs on our evolutionary ladder that are no longer used. If we were created the way that the bible suggests then we shouldn't have all of this superfluous information inside of us. In the light of evolution however it makes sense as we still have traits from peviously evolved forms that make no sense to possess as we are now.

As an example, like a lot of people I suffer regularly from a bad back. This is because the design of ouor spinal cord is not good for a bipedal lifeform. Our spine is better designed for quadrapedal motion (four legs), because one of our ancient ancestor apes got around mostly on all fours. Much of our other bodily feautures fit in this way as well. From a design standpoint, humans are actually very poorly put together. A lot of our body traits don't make sense for the type of animals that we are, which an Intelligent Designer would have known. They do however make sense if you realize that we're (in simple terms) a Frankensteinian mishmash of traits from many different animals pieced together through countless millions of years.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2012, 07:22:48 PM »
For one thing there would be a lot less junk. A very large portion of our DNA serves no actual purpose. It's mostly leftover from other rungs on our evolutionary ladder that are no longer used.

To further Alzael's post, some of this junk dna is actually representative of once functional genes, that is parts of our dna that served a purpose for one or many species that we evolved from.  A good example of this is an enzyme that can be found in human DNA that allows the body to produce vitamin C.  This gene is non-functional, it doesn't actually do anything anymore and the gene itself is in the entire sub-order of primates that humans are in ( not sure if someone has told you but humans are classified as primates ).  We can also find the same vestiges of this non-functional gene in other mammals like guinea pigs.  The actual loss of function of this type of gene is not limited to a single event, it could and likely is something that can be lost/regained provided the right mutations occur.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-gulonolactone_oxidase
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2012, 07:31:11 PM »
Were you watching something with Neil DeGrasse Tyson?  He often gets all poetic and starts with his "we are stardust" monologue.  Here is a beautiful piece in which he finally gets to the "we are stardust" stuff. 

No it's a documentary series called "How the Universe Works".  It's on NetFlix.  There were a few scientists, but the one that said the above was Michio Kaku.  He seemed to be the main scientist.  It seems very up to date.  If I had a love for science this is where it would be.

If I reference it again you guys keep in mind it was meant to be simple.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

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Offline Argyle

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2012, 11:50:59 PM »
Michio Kaku is brilliant, I love his work.
Cheers!
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Offline freakygin

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2012, 03:33:57 AM »
When i went to the museum, i saw my country historical clothes.
They are very small in size. I think it will barely fit if today adults try to wear it.

So i assume, after centuries, the people in my country grew taller and stronger than the previous generation.
Evolution?
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2012, 04:44:29 AM »
When i went to the museum, i saw my country historical clothes.
They are very small in size. I think it will barely fit if today adults try to wear it.

Somewhat similarly, visitors to the "Mayflower" note that the ceilings are much lower than one finds on modern day ships.

Quote
So i assume, after centuries, the people in my country grew taller and stronger than the previous generation.  Evolution?

Actually, this particular example is probably not a case of evolution in action.  More likely it's due to better nutrition in modern times (having enough to eat, getting enough vitamins and minerals).
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Offline Argyle

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2012, 11:46:59 AM »
A quick search on the topic shows that Victorian era was a time of rampant malnutrition and that this resulted in a great deal of stunted growth. Anthropologists have been able to uncover the bones of the dead pre, during, and post Victorian era and the consensus is that the average height pre-Victorian era is only 4cm shorter than that post, so it is relatively speaking a "myth" that humans were shorter in the past. That is, we did not evolve over such a short period to all be taller, but we were shorter in a specific historical period due to nutrition. So.. carry on. Was someone questioning the fact of Evolution?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2012, 04:12:43 AM »
BM
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2012, 11:56:58 PM »
Okay I realize this is not evolution but I have a related question.  When the first organism formed what did it eat? 
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Offline Zankuu

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2012, 12:09:33 AM »
Okay I realize this is not evolution but I have a related question.  When the first organism formed what did it eat?

Most likely the inorganic material or organic amino acids it arose from. It probably also "ate" heat. One of the members that's primary focus is microbiology could probably give you a more precise answer.
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Online One Above All

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2012, 12:48:34 AM »
The first living being on this planet was photosynthetic. What do photosynthetic beings do?

(Note that my focus is not microbiology, but this is how I was taught in Biology)
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #40 on: May 03, 2012, 01:55:11 AM »
Quote
The first living being on this planet was photosynthetic

I actually suspected this would have to be the case.

Was it also able to multiply without a mate?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #41 on: May 03, 2012, 02:02:45 AM »
Was it also able to multiply without a mate?

You're here, aren't you?
Also, bacteria divide and multiply. No mate required.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2012, 02:44:35 AM »
Well I thought it could have just been a case that when life first formed many of the same type could have formed together.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

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Online One Above All

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #43 on: May 03, 2012, 02:50:42 AM »
Well I thought it could have just been a case that when life first formed many of the same type could have formed together.

Such a thing might have happened somewhere in the universe, but most likely not here.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #44 on: May 03, 2012, 03:04:09 AM »
So bacteria was the first organism?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

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Offline Iamrational

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #45 on: May 03, 2012, 04:09:34 AM »
It is my understanding that many scientists believe that life began deep inside our oceans, in pressure and atmosphere that we think impossible.

You may have heard about these deep sea thermal vents. They excrete massive amounts of minerals that can feed life. They expected these hot vents to be inhabitable. What they found is they were exploding with life.

Case in point are these giant tubeworms. Now in shallow water these worms are the size of our hands. Down there they are up to 8 feet long. Here is what they said about them according to extremescience.com:

These worms lack mouths, anuses, intestines and stomachs. Scientists were at a loss to explain how these tube-worms were getting nutrients to survive and grow. It turns out their insides are lined with bacteria that oxidize the H2S, turning it into usable nutrients for the worms.

So they are able to convert something that would not allow us to survive on. Hydrogen Sulfide I believe.

Basically the hypothesis I am comfortable with for now, and comfortable teaching my kids, is that it is possible that life started on Earth deep in the ocean by these thermal vents. It could have produced the right mixture of nutrients and heat to more or less cause a reaction. This could have caused non replicating material to replicate, creating a living organism.

Just keep in mind christian this is not impossible considering scientist in the past couple of years have created self replicating bacteria from non replicating DNA.

Online One Above All

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #46 on: May 03, 2012, 06:05:18 AM »
So bacteria was the first organism?

They are the simplest organism known on this planet. That makes them the most likely candidates for the first life forms.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #47 on: May 03, 2012, 09:04:52 AM »
So bacteria was the first organism?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organism

In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system (such as animal, fungus, micro-organism, or plant). In at least some form, all types of organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homeostasis as a stable whole.

When we talk about organisms or life we are talking about various properties of matter that are collectively found together.  Some of these properties of life are represented in what we would consider non-life; such as crystals, fire, proteins, and other complex forms of matter with self organizing properties.  All of the individual properties of of what is considered an 'organism' can be found in matter that is not considered 'alive' and it is only when those properties are combined that we define something as an organism.  So really, the only difference between living matter and non-living matter is the inclusion of various combined elements.

There are several hypothesis on the origins of life, none of which have approached what would be considered a scientific consensus.  A scientific hypothesis is a proposed explanation for an observed phenomenon or a problem, a scientific hypothesis as an explanation must be able to adequately explain the phenomenon through observation, prediction, and experimentation.  Once all of these criteria are met it is considered a scientific theory.  The strongest hypothesis so far is something called RNA world hypothesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world_hypothesis

The RNA world hypothesis proposes that life based on ribonucleic acid (RNA) pre-dates the current world of life based on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), RNA and proteins. RNA is able both to store genetic information, like DNA, and to catalyze chemical reactions, like an enzyme protein. It may therefore have supported pre-cellular life and been a major step in the evolution of cellular life.

This is the strongest hypothesis by far because of the amount of experimentation, observation, and prediction that have been correct.  We have experimentally demonstrated many hypothesized stages of how this model for the origins of life would occur, but not at all.

1. Natural synthesis of RNA: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/05/ribonucleotides/
2. RNA replication without proteins: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090109173205.htm
3. Evolution of replicating RNA molecules from simpler RNA components: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/04/was-it-the-ultimate-origin-of-life-biologists-create-self-replicating-rna-molecule.html
4. Building models for proto-cell development: http://www.hhmi.org/news/szostak20080604.html
5. Lipids, components of cell membranes, can be agitated to form vesicles ( cell like structures for the purpose of experimentation ): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_membrane#Lipids
6. Creating life in the lab: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/05/scientists-create-first-self-replicating-synthetic-life/
7. Not necessarily related, but recently an enzyme was created to transfer dna to another kind of chemical bond structure called XNA and back again: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2012/04/synthetic-dna-substitute-gets-its-own-enzymes-undergoes-evolution.ars

The compounds in these experiments are generated naturally in the environment in different situations and research is being done to try to narrow down the correct avenue as to where exactly all these components could occur.  There are many such situations like bubbling mud pits, shallow seas, black smokers, etc.  The first 'life' or 'organism' would have been something similar to the proto-cell model suggested above, but many stages are required to reach this kind of organism.  The reality is that complex organic matter is everywhere, even in space.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 09:06:51 AM by Omen »
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #48 on: May 03, 2012, 12:37:48 PM »
JWB,

You are asking good questions.  The answers for some of them might be found in the Science boards.  We often post links to interesting science discoveries that relate to evolution, abiogenesis, astrophysics, etc.  You might find it beneficial to spend some time perusing those posts.
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Offline mrbiscoop

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #49 on: May 03, 2012, 05:34:38 PM »
The first living being on this planet was photosynthetic. What do photosynthetic beings do?

(Note that my focus is not microbiology, but this is how I was taught in Biology)
The current thinking is that they were extremophilic sulphur reducing bacteria living near deep sea hydrothermal vents. Photosynthesis came later.
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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #50 on: May 04, 2012, 12:04:26 AM »
The current thinking is that they were extremophilic sulphur reducing bacteria living near deep sea hydrothermal vents. Photosynthesis came later.

Interesting. I'll start another topic later today about something I've been meaning to discuss here.
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Offline Nozzferrahhtoo

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #51 on: May 04, 2012, 06:36:18 AM »
If we assumed that he created other animals in similar fashion what would geneticists expect to be different in their code than if they evolved?

A few people have mentioned Junk DNA and redundant features and vestigial traits and the like. That is one good answer to your question and it has been covered well so I will not cover it further other than to say that if you assume a designer made all the animals together then these are things that require a lot of explaining.

Another difference I have not seen mentioned however is that genetics show all the hall marks of the historicity of evolution which one would not expect if they had been all created at the same time.

What I mean by this is easy to explain but probably harder to understand. Imagine for a moment ignoring genetics entirely. Instead you use all the other methods at your disposal.... for example dating techniques and fossils etc.... to "line up" all the animals in the world today on a family tree and draw up where their common ancestors were on that tree as far back as you can.

If you THEN and only then look at the genetic make up of the animals on that tree you find it lines up perfectly. There are methods for dating Genes too and we find that the points where genes arose and diverged in the gene pool match where we thought common ancestors diverged on the ancestor tree.

This is either massive evidence for the truth of evolution of course, or the scientists engaged in such practices are suffering from an abundence of sheer luck comparable with winning their local state lottery many times over. In a row. The predictive power used to test Evolution has consistently been so strong in fact that I am still constantly agog that there is any doubt of its veracity.

I would certainly recommend the Ancestors Tale as a good, if long, book about just how this genetic historical tracing works and how it has been applied in Evolutionary Theory.

So bacteria was the first organism?

Not quite, and it is a very difficult question to answer. Like much of evolution it is quite like asking about a rainbow where red ends and orange begins. One can not point to a single point on a rainbow and say "This is the first bit of orange".

Similarly the first rise of life was not bacteria. It would have simply been a protein that was capable of replicating itself, or if you want to get technical about it a protein that was able to act as a catalyst on itself in reactions that produced more of itself.

This would have been the first rise of "life" on the planet and as soon as a self replicating series started then "Evolution" could kick in. The proteins would have replicated in different ways, then had different results, these results would each have reacted on each other producing new results and combinations and so on. Out of this would have eventually risen things like the Cell and more which would lead to what you know as Bacteria.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 06:41:43 AM by Nozzferrahhtoo »

Offline Quesi

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #52 on: May 04, 2012, 06:58:37 AM »
This is a bit of a tangent, but I read this article this morning and wanted to share.


The inhabitants of the Solomon Islands - east of Papua New Guinea - are very dark-skinned - but have puzzled scientists for decades with their blond hair.

Now a genetic study has found that the islanders have a 'homegrown' gene that gives them blond hair - and it's different from the one in Europeans.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2139462/Blond.html


Offline screwtape

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #53 on: May 04, 2012, 07:04:55 AM »
cool article. 

I just wanted to point out for all the creationists and intelligent design advocates, Evolution predicts isolated groups of the same species will evolve independently and ultimately diverge.  In other words, this is another score for the theory of evolution. 

The score now stands at 4,509,179,006 to 0.
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Offline Historicity

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Re: Questioning Evolution
« Reply #54 on: May 04, 2012, 08:50:46 AM »
The first living being on this planet was photosynthetic. What do photosynthetic beings do?

No, as Miller-Urey and subsequent experiments have shown there are a lot of ways that small organic molecules will form.  The original naked gene lifeform "fed" on those fragments.  Real feeding had to wait for a later date.

I seem to recall Darwin noted that 2 or 3 (he later said 1) such lifeform would quickly use up all such latent material which would prevent lifeforms of a completely competing biochemistry from arising.

Some clays like kaolin concentrate organic molecules.  The clay would be supportive and while the processes would be slowed, the clay would be protective.

There are bacteria in rock layers which are so deprived that they only reproduce about once a hundred years.  So "quickly" in the above sentence would mean in, say, a few thousands of years.

The next step would be a self replicator that threw off fragments that formed a cell wall.