UCD and Genetics

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Quantum1988's picture
”It's odd, but no one ever

”It's odd, but no one ever comes here disputing any other scientific facts, only evolution?”

Maybe stop and think why.

”Given this is an atheist forum and not a science forum, does anyone else find this very suspicious?”

Why would it be suspicious, I thought atheists at large identify themselves as people of reason and logic, with science being the holy grail.

David Killens's picture
@Quantum1988

@Quantum1988

"I thought atheists at large identify themselves as people of reason and logic, with science being the holy grail."

Science is not the holy grail, truth is. Science is just a tool. If you know of any other tools that are as consistently reliable in describing this known universe, what is it?

Calilasseia'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?

Oh, I suspect it won't be long before someone comes here trying to take on modern cosmology. I've seen this hilarity starting to put in an appearance elsewere. But frequently, said attempts to do so involve wholly inappropriate attempts to conflate cosmological theories with evolution, which on its own is a huge red flag that one is dealing with yet another creationist stormtrooper for doctrine. Typically, one thinking that the latest apologetics he's read from one of the usual sources constitutes some startlingly new and original brand of wisdom with which he's going to "stick it to the stupid atheists", only to discover that we had this drivel brought to us repeatedly in the past over a four year period, and sent every instance thereof out the door with its tail between its legs.

I've also seen the instances of 'concern trolls', the ones who attempt to masquerade as atheists in a vain attempt to subvert us, only to be unmasked with ease, because they frequently have absolutely zero understanding of the subject matter they bring here. Who, as if to compound the stupidity of the enterprise they've embarked upon, often demonstrate that their purported 'understanding' of atheism, consists of the usual tiresome and fatuously wrong supernaturalist misrepresentations thereof.

In any case, with respect to the PRATT merchants who come here, it's best to let them find out the hard way that their Invincible Weapon Of Atheist Doom™ they're staked so much upon, turns out to be as useful as a peashooter in a full-bore engagement between main battle tanks.

Quantum1988's picture
”In any case, with respect to

”In any case, with respect to the PRATT merchants who come here, it's best to let them find out the hard way that their Invincible Weapon Of Atheist Doom™ they're staked so much upon, turns out to be as useful as a peashooter in a full-bore engagement between main battle tanks.”

You sure about that sir. How important is evolutionary theory to the worldview of many of the high profile atheists you know about. I am not attempting to tout an invincible weapon of atheist doom, but this has been made to become a central issue. In fact, I think it is one of the (if not the most) of the weightiest topics to tackle.

Tin-Man's picture
@Quantum Re: "How important

@Quantum Re: "How important is evolutionary theory to the worldview of many of the high profile atheists you know about."

Sorry, just had to chime in here a minute upon reading that particular remark. Speaking for myself, The Theory of Evolution has diddly-jack-squat to do with my being an atheist. The whole evolution thing could be shot down in a raging ball of flames tomorrow, and I would STILL be an atheist. Do I happen to believe the Theory of Evolution is a very well-grounded and highly rational/reasonable explanation for how life evolved on Earth? Absolutely. Do I pretend to understand absolutely every little detail about how and why it works? Nope. In the grand scheme of things, my knowledge on the subject is quite general and basic. That being said, NONE OF THAT has anything to do with why I do not believe in any god(s). Therefore, what is your point?

LogicFTW's picture
@Quantum1988

@Quantum1988

If something as minor to grand scheme as human brain development (one of the most complex things ever known,) is not fully understood or realized, "been made to become the central issue."

Wow yikes, that is like building a sand castle right on the shoreline at low tide. That is the best apologist can come up with?

I do not really believe in IQ test, as I think they are pretty flawed. (So easy to manipulate or "beat the test" artificially inflating results.)

But as a measure of intelligence, as flawed as it is, have you heard about how each generation has a higher IQ the the generation before it? Over the history of the IQ test they had to increasingly make the questions harder and more difficult, just to get to their 100 IQ mean/average.

In a sense, stating based on the IQ test, humans are getting "smarter" in as short as a generation. As flawed as IQ test are, basing that the entire evolution theory is wrong based on one tiny area not being fully understood is just as, if not more flawed than an IQ test. And IQ test show that humans are getting measurably smarter in a short as a generation. (~20 years)

 
 

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AccretedMinutiae's picture
Whenever I see posts or hear

Whenever I see posts or hear opinions like this, I have to wonder if the person making them has ever heard about the study of Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs) shared between modern humans and apes. This evidence is basically a "smoking gun" that proves humans are descended from the apes.

To sum up:
1. Viruses implant their genetic coding into the DNA of the cells they attack.
2. These sequences of virus gene coding are extremely unique to the viruses they belong to and are recognizable as such.
3. When the cell attacked is a gamete (female egg/ovum or male sperm cell), the resulting overwritten DNA sequence will be passed onto the affected creature's offspring.
4. This happens relatively seldom, however even a rare event over large spans of time will happen a lot of times.
5. Breeding among members of populations will pass these viral gene transcriptions around until they become ubiquitous.
6. Examination of over 100,000 such viral transcription sites in both human and chimp DNA results in over a 90% match of exact same viruses and same relative locations within the genome.

In other words, the ancestral evidence of ERVs in chimps matches the ancestral evidence of ERVs in humans to an astounding degree. It's a "paper trail" of viral attacks that provides pretty much ironclad evidence that humans' ancestors are chimps' ancestors. There's really no other way to rationally interpret this if you understand the underlying mechanisms.

EDIT: I see now that the topic is actually about the efficacy of random mutation versus evolution as it is proposed in modernity. And my thoughts on that are along the lines of pointing to the mechanisms of diversity - in the form of male/female coupling of DNA, or imperfect duplication - as the real powerhouse behind evolutionary change. This may very well be what people label "random" or "mutation" or both, but I honestly always felt that these terms were misleading. This diversity was probably slated very early on as strong a promoter of survival of species - and therefore became a (more or less) "standard" feature in many reproductive processes.

Quantum1988's picture
ERVs may indicate a genetic

ERVs may indicate a genetic link, but they are essentially markers that we observe as already being in place. Its another question entirely how they got there. They are interpreted as evidence for common descent, but this does not add to or subtract from what I am talking about - which is evaluating how the genetics arose in the first place via the framework of modern evolutionary theory.

AccretedMinutiae's picture
And if you want to talk

And if you want to talk evolution-science "sticking points", I don't consider the "Random mutation" bit to be anywhere near as sticky as inherited knowledge. Something like the Bolas spider, for example. Adult females' method of capturing prey is so specific and unique that it has to have basically been born with the knowledge of how to enact its "prey-er ritual" - which is to weave a single strand of web with a sticky ball at the end (a "bolas"), onto which it secretes one of three compounds that mimic the pheromones of local species of moths. It then lowers the strand into the air and proceeds to spin it around to put the scent of the pheromones in the air. Spiders' parents don't stick around... so this isn't learned behavior. It is pure wackiness, and amazing. But I guess if things like being able to change your color and the motions involved in swimming can be built-in to brains, then why not even more complex, or step-wise activities like this?

Quantum1988's picture
Definitely more mystical, but

Definitely more mystical, but the question of genetics & mutations I believe is more straightforward and practical.

David Killens's picture
@Quantum1988

@Quantum1988

"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."

If a hox gene mutates in a malignant manner, it does not destroy the Darwinian narrative, it kills the organism. And thus the Darwinian narrative continues.

Evolution has more fails than success.

"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.."

Why are you applying restrictions to a man building the Empire State? Evolution has many tools, such as success or death, vast numbers of continual changes, and time. You are making an unfair and unbalanced comparison.

Quantum1988's picture
I use hox genes as a clear

I use hox genes as a clear and concrete example in order to put the Darwinian narrative in its proper light. This is how we can be absolutely certain that mutations had nothing to do with how genomes were formed, nor do genomes just form themselves. The mutation clause in the evolutionary narrative is simply preposterous, o put it bluntly. Evolution is no realistic or accurate description of how biodiversity arose through time once you properly understand the relationship between genetics and mutations. If you can perhaps grasp this point - what would be required, genetically, to go from a single celled organism to modern day biodiversity. Which also brings me to the second point of my analogy of the Empire State building - you say evolution has tools, I am trying to point out that it really has none, practically speaking. The feat is astronomical and there are not even any means whatsoever to see the task to completion. This analogy technically falls way short. The statement of vast numbers of continual change + time is not pertinent to anything, it is just a statement.

aperez241's picture
The objections raised to

The objections raised to evolution here are based on two ideas:
1- Mutations are uncommon phenomena and
2- mutations are mostly damaging to the organism.

Neither assumption ist true; 1- Every organism has mutations that are not found in its parents, so 'mutants' are not the exception but the norm. Every human has about 60 mutations in their DNA that are not found in his parents. All organisms are mutants. 2- Most mutations are not damaging or advantageous but neutral. Something logical if we recall that all organisms carry mutations. These neutral mutations become damaging or advantageous when there is an environmental change. Then selection can do its work.

The third point of the objection is that the writer of the post does not understand how the DNA can change so much as to create a human starting from a bacteria. That is a clear "argumentum ad ignorantiam" . If I do not understand or can conceive the phenomenon, then it had to be this solution I favored beforehand.

It is necessary to remember that 1- our DNA is 92 % similar to that of mice and 60% similar to bananas DNA, so changes are not that large between species and even higher taxons. 2- Virus can transfer genes at once from one species to another or add their own DNA to another species 3- Mutations are not limited to genes, there are chromosomal mutations in which the number or shape can change.

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