UCD and Genetics

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Quantum1988's picture
UCD and Genetics

An interesting point I thought to raise here and perhaps see other views.

I've studied evolutionary theory for many years and one point has always stuck out for me.

We generally know how genetics works, and anyone upon applying a basic level of critical evaluation can get an idea as to what would be required, genetically, to substantiate and give credence to the idea of universal common descent as defined by evolutionary theory.

In order to properly understand my point, the overall evolutionary narrative needs to come into view - going from a macroscopic, bacteria sized UCA all the way to present day biodiversity.

Random mutations are contingencies that alter pre-existing genetics, it is fairly obvious that modern evolutionary theory has morphed this mechanism into a convenient stop-gap. But even if we were to look at more critical / stable genes, such as hox genes - and the kind of effects that results from mutations, it is clear that mutations are not only limited in their utility to the Darwinian narrative but also in many cases destructive to it.

In short, I fail to see how Darwinian evolution is even genetically possible, given the evidence that is presently on hand. It is like asking a man to build a life sized replica of the Empire State building without any tools, to put forward a meager analogy in comparison..

If I am wrong in some way, do you care to bring any arguments forward?

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Sapporo's picture
It is not surprising that

It is not surprising that mutations that improve the reproductive success of an organism tend to prosper, whereas mutations that decrease the reproductive success of an organism tend not to.

Mutations may be random, but natural selection over any period of time is not.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Many critics underestimate

Many critics underestimate how much easier it is to get results from an otherwise random process when there is feedback (natural selection in this case) from the system.

Algebe's picture
@Quantum1988:mutations are

@Quantum1988:
mutations are not only limited in their utility to the Darwinian narrative but also in many cases destructive to it.

If mutation were the only process involved, that might be true. But there's also natural selection in changing environments. Beneficial mutations result in more food and more progeny. Negative mutations result in dead ends.

It is like asking a man to build a life sized replica of the Empire State building without any tools

Indeed, it could take billions of years to achieve something like that.

As a matter of interest, what mechanism do you propose as an alternative to Darwinian evolution?

Quantum1988's picture
"If mutation were the only

"If mutation were the only process involved, that might be true. But there's also natural selection in changing environments. Beneficial mutations result in more food and more progeny. Negative mutations result in dead ends."

Natural selection is a given, I am talking specifically about the issue of genetics. Ponder the difference in genetic material between common bacteria and a human being. Even given billions of years, no amount of natural selection can produce one from the other if that process of natural selection does not include genetic change, and by change...it would need to be by an astronomical degree considering the difference between such life forms, keeping in mind the belief that the LUCA was a single celled organism (something akin to bacteria). Where will the oceans of novel genetic material come from? Mutations definitely cannot be responsible for such a feat, that's not how they work. It becomes infinitely more problematic once you consider the nature of genetics itself, as in the molecular functioning.

"Indeed, it could take billions of years to achieve something like that."

The task is given without tools. The point is that it is not possible, at least within the naturalistic framework of Darwinian evolution.

"As a matter of interest, what mechanism do you propose as an alternative to Darwinian evolution?"

There is no need to provide an alternative explanation to evaluate the theory on hand, though I would submit that at this time, the actual origin of species escapes naturalistic explanation. What we have at the moment is a woefully inadequate placeholder, this just will not be admitted and for a myriad of reasons. And that is what I've always wondered, if there is at least someone who can see and understand these points.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Quantum1988 - Even given

Quantum1988 - Even given billions of years, no amount of natural selection can produce one from the other if that process of natural selection does not include genetic change...Mutations definitely cannot be responsible for such a feat, that's not how they work.

Mutations don't make genetic changes?

LogicFTW's picture
@Quantum1988

@Quantum1988

Natural selection is a given, I am talking specifically about the issue of genetics. Ponder the difference in genetic material between common bacteria and a human being. Even given billions of years, no amount of natural selection can produce one from the other if that process of natural selection does not include genetic change,

So first you say Natural selection is a given, and then you dismiss it in the next few words by stating you talking only genetics. Then you say in the next sentence that natural selection can not work if you include genetic change.

So which is it? Just ignore natural selection or is natural selection critical component of evolution and should be included in the conversation? You seemingly contradict yourself. Even after re-reading your sentence multiple times I still have no idea what you are really trying to argue here. Perhaps re-state it in a more clarifying manner?

it would need to be by an astronomical degree considering the difference between such life forms

Agree there, do you agree that billions of years is an astronomically long time, especially for us humans that are only here for 30-100 years or so? Perhaps the "astronomical" degree of difference is not astronomical given the amount of time and chances for change over billions of years?

The task is given without tools. The point is that it is not possible, at least within the naturalistic framework of Darwinian evolution.

Seems to me like the empire state building is a poor metaphor. For me I could build an empire state building all by myself if given a billion years to do it. Easily. I would probably get it done within the first 1000 years of my life and take the other 999,999,000 years off to do whatever I want. Or are you adding the in the stipulation that I am not allowed to build tools, without voicing that in your metaphor? And if so, how does that compare? Obviously the empire building was built with tools, and is impossible with no tools beyond what is provided with our own bodies. If that is the case, why not just say it is impossible to build an empire state building given zero tools and zero ability to make tools. Well duh, are you saying evolution completely lacks the ability to utilize various methods to get the job done like tools? What is DNA if it is not a "tool" for nature to pass along useful information to the next generation? What if there is still more tools we do not yet understand or discovered? Is a "god" like depicted in many popular religions the explanation that best fits these few small gaps in knowledge about exactly how evolution works? Is not "we do not know for sure yet a much better conclusion then some all powerful unexplained unevidenced god idea?

What we have at the moment is a woefully inadequate placeholder, this just will not be admitted and for a myriad of reasons.

The majority of scientist would disagree with you on that. Ya know the same scientist that utilize the same methods of discovery that allows us to easily converse right now online 1000's of miles apart? Why has science given us so much but suddenly is completely wrong on the evolution idea? Even though Evolution is VERY well supported? The overall evolution theory is not really challenged very often anymore by scientist due to the huge body of supporting and evidenced work. As it should be, and trust me when it was a new idea it was VERY challenged by scientist all over, and only through careful study, testing etc did it reach such widespread acceptance among the science community today, even if their is still a few lines along the edge that have not been fully "colored in yet."

And that is what I've always wondered, if there is at least someone who can see and understand these points.

Is science infallible? No of course not, it actually advances best under the notion that every idea should be challenged, but only by new real contradicting results. If you have an alternate theory to some of the core tenets of the evolution theory, great, go test and prove them. But until then why should I dismiss the entire evolution theory out of hand because you found a few grey areas in the huge overall theory that are not fully explained yet? You make a claim but you have absolutely nothing to back your claim that "origin of species escapes naturalistic explanation." All you did was find a small component of the overall theory that has not been fully understood yet, yet you want to dismiss the entire theory of evolution on this? Are you able to dismiss all the other findings of evolution and all the corroborating evidence found for evolution? As you should well know there is LOTS AND LOTS of this supporting evidence that you have not even begun to explain why they are flawed/incorrect.
 
 

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Algebe's picture
@Quantum1988: Mutations

@Quantum1988: Mutations definitely cannot be responsible for such a feat, that's not how they work.

Then why don't you explain how they do work?

Why are you arbitrarily removing factors from the process? Natural selection did occur. Environmental change did occur. What's the point of discussing one factor in isolation as if the others didn't exist?

In a few thousand years, wolves have evolved into pekinese and chihuahuas (with humans as the selection factor). Imagine what can happen over a few billion years.

doG's picture
"As a matter of interest,

"As a matter of interest, what mechanism do you propose as an alternative to Darwinian evolution?"
LOL.
I find it funny when we tip toe around the elephant.
LOL

Quantum1988's picture
There is no elephant.

There is no elephant.

Algebe's picture
Quantum1988: There is no

Quantum1988: There is no elephant.

Well since the "elephant" we were tiptoeing around was the notion that god was the prime mover or intelligent designer of evolution, I'd have to agree with you.

Cognostic's picture
Darwinian evolution isn't

Darwinian evolution isn't genetically possible. Do you even know what you are talking about? Darwinian evolution has nothing to do with DNA, Self replicating RNA, Ring Species, comparative genomics, DNA Sequencing and more. It has nothing to do with the fossil record or the genetic tree. As brilliant as Darwin was for his time, he would be thrilled with the evolutionary details scientists can now see. We have had 160 years of research all confirming Darwin's initial premise - "Natural Selection - the best adapted individuals survive the most, therefore reproduce the most, and pass down their variations to offspring. In a geographically separated group, this could produce a new species."

Nothing we know about Evolution contradicts Darwin's initial observation and assertion. NOTHING.

David Killens's picture
If a mutation occurs, it can

If a mutation occurs, it can kill the host or prevent offspring. If one billion simple organisms mutate, and just one is beneficial, then it is still a beneficial mutation.

Quantum1988's picture
"Darwinian evolution has

"Darwinian evolution has nothing to do with DNA."

I use the term Darwinian loosely to reference evolution in terms of universal common descent, for the simple reason that the term evolution itself is ambiguous and is often equivocated with many different things, many times on purpose.

I am not arguing that modern evolutionary theory contradicts Darwin, you're missing the point. If universal common descent is true, then where did all the genetics coding for virtually every aspect of biological life come from, considering that the LUCA was a small, single celled organism? Scientifically speaking, where is the evidence? Based on modern understanding, we know that an organism's DNA is a vast and highly complex storehouse of molecular information (genetic coding and instruction). Random mutations affect what is already there, with a fraction of 1% of known mutations proving beneficial and thus qualifying for selection. The bigger problem comes from what we know about mutations and how they work, they have no ability to actually produce novel genetic information to the degree that a species can diverge into an entirely new organism indistinguishable from its predecessor – which is what evolution is ultimately predicated upon. New limbs, new organs, new systems, new features and new functions, etc. – all of which did not exist previously. Genetic divergence and speciation (reproductive isolation) can produce a high diversity of different populations, but they are all still the same organism. Even the fossil record itself is dominated by trends of stasis. Phyletic gradualism is non-existent in the record, so we need ad hoc theories such as punctuated equilibrium to explain how biological life can constantly evolve and get so diverse, and yet leave no evidence of the processes in the record.

In a nut shell, modern science provides zero evidence on how universal common descent via evolution "actually" took place genetically in real time. For the simple reason that there are no mechanisms that exist to explain it, yet the evolutionary narrative of UCD is a foregone conclusion. It is simply assumed that non-existent mutations (god mechanisms) accomplished this astronomical feat. Mapping the genetic hierarchy of biological life is one thing. The question of origins is something else, as it deals with undiscovered processes, undiscovered for the simple reason that we cannot evaluate them empirically due to scope and time scale. Practically speaking, our ability to understand the origin of biological life through time is purely contingent on our interpretation of the geological column, an interpretation often fraught with subjectivity and bias. Contrary to what many would want to believe, the fossil record does not support evolution anywhere near to the degree that it should. Those who claim that evolution is “fact” do not understand what they are saying, and perhaps on purpose. More often than not, this is nothing more than an equivocal statement abused for the purpose of propping up some form of secular worldview.

We can get specific. Take the human brain as an example. Comparing the human brain with that of a chimpanzee to get an idea for the difference in genetic underpinnings, we know that the last common ancestor between the two lived approximately 5-7 million years ago. In terms of evolution, it would require thousands of mutations across thousands of brain related genes to go from one to the other, which is the equivalent of a brain overhaul. But the brain is an organ that abhors mutations, evidenced from the fact that mutations in brain related genes are invariably linked to some form of disease, disability, decay or death. Beneficial mutations in brain related genes are non existent, which would make sense from a design viewpoint as the brain is a highly critical and complex organ. And yet evolution did it anyways, and in 5-7 million years? Quite miraculous, wouldn’t you say.

LogicFTW's picture
@Quantum1988

@Quantum1988

In terms of evolution, it would require thousands of mutations across thousands of brain related genes to go from one to the other, which is the equivalent of a brain overhaul.

thousands of mutations over 5-7 million years really is not much. I suspect the amount of "changes" large and small over the 5-7 million years is a lot greater then a few thousand.

Did you know we can go through both genetic and physical mutation within our own lifetimes? In fact it is constantly occurring at a low level at every moment in our lives?

You stated you have studied this subject extensively, you should know thousands or millions of changes over 5-7 million years is actually a really small and slow number?

If we did not have a need to constantly adapt and evolve, we would not die of "old age." However other species that did have the life death and reproduction cycle would of evolved and adapted much faster than us, and the organisms that did not die of old age would simply been food for the species that can evolve much faster due to the more efficent reproduction cycle.

But the brain is an organ that abhors mutations, evidenced from the fact that mutations in brain related genes are invariably linked to some form of disease, disability, decay or death.

This is not correct, and if you studied this subject it should be obvious to you why this is incorrect.
 
 

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Quantum1988's picture
”thousands of mutations over

”thousands of mutations over 5-7 million years really is not much. I suspect the amount of "changes" large and small over the 5-7 million years is a lot greater then a few thousand.”

This is not what researchers themselves think. It's extremely drastic. It doesn’t seem like your conclusions are evidence based, take a look at these articles.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-12/hhmi-eth122804.php
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-12/uocm-uoc122304.php

To downplay the facts is to miss the point. It is not just a matter of x changes over y amount of time. The human race is an enigma in evolutionary terms. If anything, the kind of reasoning you put forth is demonstrated to have no bearings on the actual evidence specifically or basic logic in general. The evolution of the human brain is not a scientific fact, it is an inference based on virtually nothing but assumptions. Yet evolution did it anyway, right. This is why I often argue that evolutionary theory is the trojan horse of science.

”Did you know we can go through both genetic and physical mutation within our own lifetimes? In fact it is constantly occurring at a low level at every moment in our lives?”

Yes, I know this. But what does that have to do with the evolution of brains? Or any other type of organ that did not exist prior?

”You stated you have studied this subject extensively, you should know thousands or millions of changes over 5-7 million years is actually a really small and slow number?”

You are going somewhere with your logic, I can see. I am trying to point out that it is not sound. We cannot shovel in an inference on nothing more than assumed probabilities. Numbers cant be slow or fast! Its all relative to what we are talking about.

”This is not correct, and if you studied this subject it should be obvious to you why this is incorrect.”

Care to indicate any sort of mutation in a brain-related gene that has produced beneficial results? The link between our brain and mutations is obvious. The brain is an organ unfathomable more complex than anything manufactured by mankind, and yet you want to infer undefined (and for all intents and purposes, non-existent) mutations as the cause? Logic!

Here is an interesting post from a forum I was in a while ago.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pick a chromosome, any chromosome and you will find a disease or disorder effecting the human brain as the result of a mutation.

In order to examine the scientific basis for common descent I propose to examine the genetic basis for the common descent of humans from that of apes. The most dramatic and crucial adaptation being the evolution of the human brain. Charles Darwin proposed a null hypothesis for his theory of common descent :

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” (Darwin, On the Origin of Species)
With a cranial capacity nearly three times that of the chimpanzee the molecular basis for this giant leap in evolutionary history is still almost, completely unknown. Changes in brain related genes are characterized by debilitating disease and disorder and yet our decent from a common ancestor with the chimpanzee would have had to be marked by a massive overhaul of brain related genes. I propose that a critical examination of common descent in the light of modern insights into molecular mechanisms of inheritance is the single strongest argument against human/ape common ancestry.

Darwin discussed what he called the 'bane of horticulture', this was infertility. Haldane in 'The Cost of Natural Selection indicated "genetic deaths," which is either deaths or it's equivalents in reduced fertility. He said that it would take 300 generations for a beneficial mutation to become fixed with 1667 accrued in 10 million years.

Like Darwin, he used artificial selection to illustrate what would have had to happen in natural settings:

"especially in slowly breeding animals such as cattle, one cannot cull even half the females, even though only one in a hundred of them combines the various qualities desired." (Haldane, The Cost of Natural Selection)

For us to have evolved from apes it would have required an accelerated evolution of brain related genes. The evolution of the human brain would have had to start it's accelerated evolution on a molecular basis some 2 million years ago and within Homo Erectus (considered human by most creationists) would have had a brain size twice that of the Austropihicene and early Hominids:

Early Ancestors:

A. Afarensis with a cranial capacity of ~430cc lived about 3.5 mya.
A. Africanus with a cranial capacity of ~480cc lived 3.3-2.5 mya.
P. aethiopicus with a cranial capacity of 410cc lived about 2.5 mya.
P. boisei with a cranial capacity of 490-530cc lived between 2.3-1.2 mya.
OH 5 'Zinj" with a cranial capacity of 530cc lived 1.8 mya.
KNM ER 406 with a cranial capacity of 510cc lived 1.7 million years ago.

Homo Erectus Skulls:

Hexian 412,000 years old had a cranial capacity of 1,025cc.
ZKD III (Skull E I) 423,000 years old had a cranial capacity of 915cc.
ZKD II (Skull D I) 585,000 years old had a cranial capacity of 1,020cc
ZKD X (Skull L I) 423,000 years ago had a cranial capacity of 1,225cc
ZKD XI (Skull L II) 423,000 years ago had a cranial capacity of 1,015cc
ZKD XII (Skull L III) 423,000 years ago had a cranial capacity of 1,030cc

Sm 3 >100,000 years ago had a cranial 917cc

KNM-WT 15000 (Turkana Boy) 1.5 million years ago had a cranial capacity of 880cc

(Source: Endocranial Cast of Hexian Homo erectus from South China, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 2006)

Homo habilis that would have lived. 2.5–1.5 mya with a cranial capacity of ~600 cc. The next link would have been Homo erectus with a cranial capacity of ~1000cc. KNM-WT 15000 (Turkana Boy) would have lived 1.5 mya and the skeleton structure shows no real difference between anatomically modern humans. The skull while smaller then the average cranial capacity of humans but close to twice that of his ancestors of 2 mya.

That means for our ancestors to have evolved it would have required a dramatic adaptive evolution of the size just under 2 mya sandwiched between two long periods of relative stasis. One such gene would have been the HARf regulatory gene involved in the early development of the human neocortex from 7 to 19 gestational weeks. With only two substitutions allowed since the common ancestor of the of 310 mya the divergence between humans and chimpanzees indicates 18 substitutions as early as 2 mya. (Nature, vol. 443, no. 7108, pp. 167-172 September 14, 2006)The ASPM gene while 99.3% the same for the human–chimpanzee comparison is marked by ten insertions/deletions equal to or longer than 50 bp, all of them located within introns. Primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global reduction in cerebral cortical volume.(Genetics, Vol. 165, 2063-2070, December 2003) In addition, a total of 2014 genes or ~10% of brain related genes analyzed differed in expression between humans and chimpanzees brains.(Genome Res. 14:1462-1473, 2004 ).

Evolutionists used to be able to use a 10 million year timeline, then it was 5 million years but when it comes to the most important adaptation you are looking at less then 1 million years and realistically it's only half that.

Darwin's null hypothesis for common descent is not unanswerable:
“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” (Darwin, On the Origin of Species)
If you take the road less traveled and choose to question common descent popularized by Darwin I submit that human brain evolution is prime topic. Darwin's theory is supposed to absolutely break down if a complex organ by decent with modification. My proposal is simply this, the human brain had neither the time nor the means to have evolved from that of apes.

David Killens's picture
@Quantum1988

@Quantum1988

"You are going somewhere with your logic, I can see. I am trying to point out that it is not sound. We cannot shovel in an inference on nothing more than assumed probabilities. Numbers cant be slow or fast! Its all relative to what we are talking about."

Do you have any siblings? I have two brothers, one taller, one shorter than myself. In fact, we differ in many ways, we are very distinct to each other.

One does not need any statistics to realize that change is constant and rapid, it is staring you right in the face.

"My proposal is simply this, the human brain had neither the time nor the means to have evolved from that of apes."

Of course it did, once again, we are here, we are intelligent, we share 96% of Chimp DNA.

The human brain did not start from that of an amoeba, it was built on the foundation of that 96% commonality. You are describing it as building a skyscraper from the ground up. The fact is that we were already almost on the top floor.

I do not deny that the human brain did evolve very quickly, but that too is explained (and definitely not the exception in rate of change), and that is environmental pressure. We were the lucky ones, our ancestors were in the right place at the right time, obtained the optimum diet for our development, our species was able to change rapidly enough to survive and get intelligent. There were many hominoid species that did not.

Ardipithecus kadabba, Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus garhi, Australopithecus sediba, Homo floresiensis, Homo habilis, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo naledi, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo rudolfensis, Kenyanthropus platyops, Orrorin tugenensis, Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, Paranthropus robustus, and Sahelanthropus tchadensis all fell to the wayside. Only Homo Erectus developed into Homo sapien. And as a footnote, even Homo erectus went extinct, they failed too.

Was it luck, yes. But evolution was not a single track, it was multiple pathways, most to dead ends. But one led to us.

CyberLN's picture
Quantum1988, a few questions

Quantum1988, a few questions for you:
Are you a biologist?
Have you ever discussed this stance you have with an evolutionary biologist?
Besides posting your opinions about evolution in an online forum with a bunch of miscellaneous atheists, have you ever discussed your ideas anywhere else, like academia?
If you are not trained biologist, what are the primary sources from which you have gathered your information about evolutionary biology?
What are your expectations for having a discussion about biology with folks identified only as atheists in a non-academic online forum?

Quantum1988's picture
”What are your expectations

”What are your expectations for having a discussion about biology with folks identified only as atheists in a non-academic online forum?”
I see a whole of other threads dedicated to talking about evolution. This is the debate room right, considering the role that evolutionary theory plays in many an atheists world view, I want to present these points as food for thought and see if any others care to provide some discourse.

David Killens's picture
Your food for thought is as

Your food for thought is as full of holes as a fishnet. And you know it. Because if you presented this to any legitimate biologist and this proposition held any water, you would win the Nobel prize and be as famous as Darwin.

CyberLN's picture
Quantum1988, willyou be

Quantum1988, willyou be answering the other questions I Asked?

Algebe's picture
@Quantum1988: The point is

@Quantum1988: The point is that it is not possible, at least within the naturalistic framework of Darwinian evolution.

So let's consider the alternative. An intelligent designer created the first life shortly after the formation of the planet and then waited for around 4 billion years before launching the Cambrian Explosion. Then the designer stood back and watched while life went through numerous mass-extinctions, all the while evolving makeshift organs and retaining vestigial redundant parts.

Specific physical and chemical factors appear to have triggered the Cambrian Explosion. For example, the amount of oxygen produced by cyanobacteria rose past a tipping point following the oxidation of all free iron in the oceans. With more oxygen available, animals could grow larger. The Earth also formed an ozone layer. Calcium levels in the sea rose, so animals could form shells. If a designer was involved, why didn't it simply magic all these changes when life first formed? If a designer was involved, why has evolution been so cruelly wasteful?

Quantum1988's picture
”If a designer was involved,

”If a designer was involved, why didn't it simply magic all these changes when life first formed? If a designer was involved, why has evolution been so cruelly wasteful?”
You are conflating a lot of things, the biggest issue being how you define and use the term evolution. Shall we take the minutest form of change in nature and call it evolution. You also present both a straw man and a false dichotomy here, that the only alternate explanation is a designer performing magic.

Calilasseia's picture
I refer everyone to the

I refer everyone to the following paper:

A Formal Test Of The Theory Of Universal Common Ancestry by Douglas L. Theobald, Nature, 465: 219-223 (13th May 2010)

[QUOTE]

Universal common ancestry (UCA) is a central pillar of modern evolutionary theory. As first suggested by Darwin, the theory of UCA posits that all extant terrestrial organisms share a common genetic heritage, each being the genealogical descendant of a single species from the distant past. The classic evidence for UCA, although massive, is largely restricted to ‘local’ common ancestry— for example, of specific phyla rather than the entirety of life—and has yet to fully integrate the recent advances from modern phylogenetics and probability theory. Although UCA is widely assumed, it has rarely been subjected to formal quantitative testing, and this has led to critical commentary emphasizing the intrinsic technical difficulties in empirically evaluating a theory of such broad scope. Furthermore, several researchers have proposed that early life was characterized by rampant horizontal gene transfer, leading some to question the monophyly of life. Here I provide the first, to my knowledge, formal, fundamental test of UCA,without assuming that sequence similarity implies genetic kinship. I test UCA by applying model selection theory to molecular phylogenies, focusing on a set of ubiquitously conserved proteins that are proposed to be orthologous. Among a wide range of biological models involving the independent ancestry of major taxonomic groups, the model selection tests are found to overwhelmingly support UCA irrespective of the presence of horizontal gene transfer and symbiotic fusion events. These results provide powerful statistical evidence corroborating the monophyly of all known life.

[END QUOTE]

Delve further into that paper, and UCD is demonstrated to be a whopping 10^2,860 times more probable than any multiple ancestor theory.

Game over, methinks.

Quantum1988's picture
”Game over, methinks.”

”Game over, methinks.”
If anything, this only demonstrates ”probabilities” as the deus ex machina of evolutionary theory. What kind of game are you playing, that is the question to ask.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
Thank you for including that

Thank you for including that last line in the OP because you are shockingly wrong for someone that claims to have studied this topic for such an extended period of time. A clear example of how random genetic mutation supports Darwins work can be found if you research the origins of the polar bear.

Algebe's picture
@SecularSonOfABi... the

@SecularSonOfABi... the origins of the polar bear.

The pepper moth is a good example, too.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36424768

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
Yes! Great example.

Yes! Great example.

Quantum1988's picture
”A clear example of how

”A clear example of how random genetic mutation supports Darwins work can be found if you research the origins of the polar bear.”
Anything can be made to support anything, you are missing the point of the thread.

David Killens's picture
Actually, no. If the polar

Actually, no. If the polar bear only took 20,000 to 50,000 years to evolve from one brown bear from Ireland, this proves that change can be rapid.

The point of your thread is that change cannot be rapid enough.

Sheldon's picture
No offence, but why would you

No offence, but why would you bring that to an atheist forum? Surely a science forum would be more edifying?

It's odd, but no one ever comes here disputing any other scientific facts, only evolution? Given this is an atheist forum and not a science forum, does anyone else find this very suspicious?

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