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Old 08-02-2003, 03:02 AM   #106
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Originally posted by Klaus
And, please try to explain to me how something complex as an Eye can be created by sheer coincidence. It has to be there in a verry early stage of evolution since almost all living beings have 2 eyes. Also it is so complex (hard to believe that it was there verry early) that it is hard to imagine that all those mutations could have hapened and all the blind beings survived as the fittest on their way until they could use that eye after a few million years of evolution.
This wasn't addressed to me, but I think I can field this one. The flaw with the arguments pertaining to the impossibility of creating complex organs and organ systems is very minimalist. Evolution as a scientific process cannot be examined so superficially... if you want to break it down by looking at a complex structure, like the eye, you can see the development and differentiation of sensory organs towards more intricate structures. But this also brings up the issue of inferiority... in subjects like these you have to watch the connotation of your wording.

Spontaneous mutation/generation is not the only method of "natural selection". It has been shown that radiant energy at certain intensity can induce several events at the molecular level... sparking base pair substitutions/replacements/deletions/insertions which can ultimately result in the formation of an altered genetic code... through spontaneous recombination etc. Without getting too technical, and adhering to population studies in ecology... the most fit individuals (ones with the most advantageous expression of genetic inheritance) are more likely to reproduce with the greatest number of progeny. Traits then best fitting the environment are favored.

Now, this is a very simplistic look at how small changes are developed... a lot of theories point to species development as being a combination of behavior, natural selection, and spontaneous generation. It's very difficult to quantify the changes that are required to synthesize "a human eye" from "nothing"... but that's a bad scenario. Think of trait development more as constructing a foundation... where you're not working from raw materials... but have accrued specialization through time.

Time is the key.

The theory of utilitarianism (I'm afraid to even call it a law ) and geologic time is almost fluid with evolutionary theory. Before you tackle any questions about specialization and development, you have to realize exactly what fraction of the universe life existed. If you contest that, then it's very difficult to discuss things on a common ground. Please feel free to poke and prod my response. I'm prepared.

Wow, it's hard to answer any questions in here without writing a thesis.

Do I get University credit for this?

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Old 08-02-2003, 03:10 AM   #107
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wink go sweep the decks smartypants

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Do I get University credit for this?


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Old 08-02-2003, 05:38 PM   #108
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Booya, Cujo.

The University has been notified.
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Old 08-02-2003, 06:29 PM   #109
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Originally posted by cujo
It has been shown that radiant energy at certain intensity can induce several events at the molecular level... sparking base pair substitutions/replacements/deletions/insertions which can ultimately result in the formation of an altered genetic code... through spontaneous recombination etc.
Spontaneous recombination (whether homologous or not) is not necessarily dependent on any of those things. It is spontaneous particularly because it is stochastic, and oftentimes it depends on things like proximity of biologically active molecules to one another, as well as kinetics. That sort of "evolution" can occur on its own.

Then as you've said, you've got synthetic mutagens like radiation or carcinogens or anything that intercalates between the double strand that cause DNA damage. At this point, the DNA repair system kicks in, whether it be MMR, BER, NER, TcR, etc, there are many that play a role.

Interestingly enough, many diseases are now being re-examined, the thinking being that what was previously thought to be a result of transcriptional errors might be chalked up to faulty repair systems and vice versa. It's all actually really interesting.

As cujo said, it's not constructive to look at the final product, like an organ and think that this is the apex of evolution. Things mutate every single second, and humans have a tendency to think that this is it, but who knows where we will be in a million years. So, that eye you're looking at now may seem like the end of the line to you, when in fact, it's just a piece of a continuous puzzle.
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:11 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram

So, that eye you're looking at now may seem like the end of the line to you, when in fact, it's just a piece of a continuous puzzle.

that was really well said anitram.



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Old 08-02-2003, 07:30 PM   #111
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anitram:

when i was thinking about an eye i was not thinking about todays eye but the first useful product in that direction, so they needed some sensors that allowed them to see/hear/make noises in a verry rudiment level so that this one could develop, but - looking at the survival of the fittest - these primitive slightest modifications had to be usefull in some way or - evolution would have thrown them away. I certainly realize that these stochastic algorythms are verry useful to make a working concept better (see evolution algorithms in CAD software) but inventing something extremely different or something new - i'm not sure if my understanding or the understanding of the Biology students i talked with does that job.

So i don't think it is impossible, it just dosn't make sense to me at the moment.

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Old 08-02-2003, 08:44 PM   #112
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Originally posted by anitram
Spontaneous recombination (whether homologous or not) is not necessarily dependent on any of those things. It is spontaneous particularly because it is stochastic, and oftentimes it depends on things like proximity of biologically active molecules to one another, as well as kinetics. That sort of "evolution" can occur on its own.
Sorry for the ambiguity there, I was just trying to cover a lot while remaining brief and comprehensive. Like I say, it's tough to answer such large scale questions without writing a textbook-sized answer. You need to go back to early experiments with Miller, and atmospheric conditions favorable to the formation of life... before you can tackle the development of systems. Mongy already touched on micelle and other cellular structure formation. Once you understand some of the small scale biological changes... separating organism from environment... then specialization and cephalous organisms are more plausible.

Quote:
Then as you've said, you've got synthetic mutagens like radiation or carcinogens or anything that intercalates between the double strand that cause DNA damage. At this point, the DNA repair system kicks in, whether it be MMR, BER, NER, TcR, etc, there are many that play a role.
And with the redundancy of the genetic code it's sometimes difficult to grasp that large scale changes occur. But like you say small isolated events interplay to alter sequences (good or bad in terms of survivability) pertaining to specific expressions... not to mention the variation in protein conformations.

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Interestingly enough, many diseases are now being re-examined, the thinking being that what was previously thought to be a result of transcriptional errors might be chalked up to faulty repair systems and vice versa. It's all actually really interesting.
Exactly... we're just at the cusp of discovery. We have the road map, we just need to label it. Where's that friggin' Rand McNally when you need him?



This has been an interesting discussion... who knew that a Bio background could be practical? I realize that I should brush up on some of my cell bio and genetics... it's been a while. It was difficult to "answer" any of these questions without really just re-stating the query or what's already been said.

Anitram.

Mongy.

BioChem representin'.

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Old 08-02-2003, 08:53 PM   #113
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I would just like to say that I'm disappointed that no one has used the term fecundity at all.

How can you not?

I mean really.

Another thing about favorable traits and the development of specialized features, is that it can work "backwards" as well. If you isolate a group of organisms, like Fish in a dark cave... they will speciate. Maybe not to the degree of reproductive isolation, but it will most likely occur (and has been observed in field studies) that these aforementioned fish will no longer "select" for these traits. Those with the highest degree of survivability will be those with heightened senses in other areas. Eventually the make-up of the fish eye would change... creating an apparent disparity between its optical receptors, and that of its divergent predecessor.

Gotta love population genetics eh?



That's just a simple example in "reverse".
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Old 08-02-2003, 11:27 PM   #114
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I would just like to say that I'm disappointed that no one has used the term fecundity at all.
Are you trying to tell us you are v. fecund?
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Old 08-03-2003, 03:16 AM   #115
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cujo: I mainly didn't use it because i had to look in my dictonary to translate fecundity to my native language

that "backwards" work i'd call degeneration if i understood your text correctly

I guess almost all Creationists believe that there is evolution and its "backwards" work existed after creation, the main difference is if they can imagine that it all evoluted out of nothing.
(I've said that before, but i like to repeat that) here it looks to me that we know a few seconds from a film and analyzed that verry well, now we try to extrapolate the things we saw to the begining of the film.

Another interesting question is, if evolution works and homosexuality isn't a free choice, but you're born that way, how come that they survive?
Or is it even a somewhat inteligent mechanism or feature of evolution that stops the world from overpopulating?

Klaus

ps. I wanted to thank all the people who contribute to this thread, i can remember threads like these in the past which were running wild, 2 groups just bashing at each other - this time it is fun to read and think about it.
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Old 08-03-2003, 03:37 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Are you trying to tell us you are v. fecund?
Wouldn't you like to know...

I agree with Klaus' assessment of this thread... it's been mostly civil from what I've seen. I'm just glad that no one pointed out my shortcomings, as they were rampant.



It's hard not to discuss these things without mentioning the cliché examples, like the Darwinian finches and Mendelian's simple model for inheritance. I like how anitram took it up a notch with post-second year University material. For that, I am glad that I still have my textbooks.

Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
Another interesting question is, if evolution works and homosexuality isn't a free choice, but you're born that way, how come that they survive?
Hmmm. That could be a very touchy subject indeed. Organism behavior is definitely one of the influential factors in selective mechanisms. It really comes down to what you want to talk about... are you talking the entire catalogue of species, or are you talking about strictly human characteristics?

We need a psychologist, geneticist, and P.R. person.

Stat.

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Old 08-04-2003, 12:21 AM   #117
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cujo: that "backwards" work i'd call degeneration if i understood your text correctly

Klaus
Degeneration.

Actually that's not what I meant at all. As I was referring to earlier, terminology is a sensitive issue when dealing with homologous/analogous structures. Degeneration implies inferiority, a sentiment which is all too prevalent in archaic science journals, as well as rhetoric emanating from "anti-evolutionist" writings. To deal with explanations in this manner would be to limit and devalue the adaptational features of an organism. It may be a convenient way to delineate species, and "assumed" complexity, but in scientific terms it is all relative. The inherent benefit of a trait or structure may only be evaluated/quantified (from a strict field perspective) in an environmental/ecological context. Using words like "backwards" and "reverse" are also vaguely inferring the devaluation of the eye (in my example), but were only meant for rudimentary purposes. Just for clarification and future reference, I'll try to stay away from imparting value on traits from a vantage of cross-species comparison (I encourage others to follow suit)... to remove humanist subjectivity in this evolutionary discussion.

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Old 08-04-2003, 07:31 AM   #118
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
And here's something else. Today, one of my best friends had a baby. Teh baby was nursing from her and I learned something. Did you know that the mother doesn't automatically start producing milk after the birth? First, she produces a syrupy pre-milk stuff, which is exactly what the baby needs at that point. Then the mother's body produces real milk, and at that point the baby can take real milk. Now is that a coincidence? I don't think so. Now, how can intricacies like that be explained in a universe that just exploped into being, without creative force behind it?
While I see your point and agree with it to some extent, it's not just a coincidence, and you implying that those who don't believe God directly made that characteristic are automatically saying it's just a coincidence or "exploded into being" is rather sketchy logic.

To take the other side of your point, the two different types of nourishment a mother provides can be explained simply as survival of the fittest. The child that receives the best nourishment has the best chance of surviving and therefore breeding/propagating the species. So it would follow that the traits that help further the species would become more prominent and specialized. Natural selection, if you will.
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:36 AM   #119
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cujo: it is not difficult for me to imagine that organs stop working, that animals get blind, that their ears get better etc..
What is difficult for me is that a ear or a eye can be created by evolution, because i can't see a high chance that several single mutations which could be necessary for very primitive viewing/hearing organs can be added in a row, survive the evolution and then finally be useful to that living beeing

Diemen:
Well correct me if i'm wrong, but the evolution theory is coincidence (random changes in the DNA)+ survival of the fittest.
Without the coincidence part evolution would be impossible, so calling it coincidence isn't that wrong imho.

I don't know enough about the baby example to have a real opinion if it is logic for me that it could be by evolution or not.

Diemen: any idea about the above described "homosexual dilemma"?

Klaus
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Old 08-04-2003, 06:39 PM   #120
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Originally posted by Diemen
To take the other side of your point, the two different types of nourishment a mother provides can be explained simply as survival of the fittest. The child that receives the best nourishment has the best chance of surviving and therefore breeding/propagating the species. So it would follow that the traits that help further the species would become more prominent and specialized. Natural selection, if you will.
Zygote development and such in mammals... to go with the mammary example... are all the same with different "cut-off" points (sorry for the rudimentary term) which determine the outcome and identity (species wise) of offspring. Each species has different cues based on protein expressions and hormonal signalling that trigger events... like cell proliferation and differentiation.

As for the nutritional supply of milk, and why it appears to change, it has to do with hormonal signalling within the mother. The balance of oxytocin, and several other steroid complex signalling molecules, serves to "time" the production of milk, and the essential nutrients present within.

This feedback loop is similar to the onset of pregnancy, and its details are easily acquired on most biology websites. If you really want to get the details, I bet anitram could give you a more than sufficient answer... just remember that even though at some point things are coincidental, it doesn't mean that there isn't an ordered and synchronized method to the biology within your body. The interactions that occur between your processed thought, motor neurons, and subsequent finger stimulation to type characters, isn't "coincidental". It's all signalling, whether it be a voluntary action like typing, or an involuntary response to stimuli... like milk production.
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