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James Zediana

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Darwin's Theory of Evolution - The Premise
Darwin's Theory of Evolution is the widely held notion that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor: the birds and the bananas, the fishes and the flowers -- all related. Darwin's general theory presumes the development of life from non-life and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) "descent with modification". That is, complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time. In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival -- a process known as "natural selection." These beneficial mutations are passed on to the next generation. Over time, beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different organism (not just a variation of the original, but an entirely different creature).

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    Sep 30 2012: Natural Selection modifies creatures to fit their environment. To extrapolate this observed phenomena to cover the design & build of different species; which is not observed; is a leap of faith too far.

    CON

    :-)
    • Oct 1 2012: It's too much of a stretch to assume that evolution doesn't just stop at aome arbitrary level (while there are absolutely no indications that it does), but it's okay to assume that that means some invisible bearded skygod designed everything?

      Man, I guess some people were stuck at the back of the line when the invisible bearded skygod was handing out the ability to think logically.
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        Oct 2 2012: Ask any animal breeder. Change does most certainly stop abruptly when all the existing variations are exhausted.

        :-)
        • Oct 2 2012: I'll ask people who breed dogs, pigs and cows to point out to me how their animals are exactly the same as their wild ancestors, I'm sure there's a wild chiuahua living in the rainforests of Borneo...

          If a wolf can be turned into a chihuahua in a couple of thousand years then imagine what could happen in 500 million years, oh wait, Darwin already did that for you.
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          Oct 8 2012: Variations/breeds yes, evolution no they are still dogs. When I moved to florida with my parents that first summer sucked after that not so much I addapted to my enviornment but I did not evolve.
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        Oct 3 2012: A wolf can be turned into a chihuahua because a wolf has chihuahua DNA. Try turning a chihuahua into a wolf. Not so easy; most of the DNA variation has gone. A wolf & a chihuahua are both dogs, & are interfertile, try getting a snake from a wolf. Not in a billion years.

        :-)
        • Oct 3 2012: There is no such thing as "wolf DNA" or "chihuahua DNA" or "snake DNA". DNA is the same in all animals, it's just arranged differently. A wolf still contains all the DNA of his fish ancestors, in fact most of it is still in the same place doing the exact same thing. The difference between a snake and a wolf is even smaller. The visual differences between animals are like the visual themes in Windows, only skin deep, all the complex stuff (brain chemistry, digestion, regeneration, nerve system, etc...) are basically the same from fish to humans. In a human the smallest genetic difference can cover you with fur, make you grow huge incissors, change your skin color, make you grow a sixth finger on your hand, make you grow a tail. As with software you have small pieces of DNA controlling larger pieces, a mutation in one of those control pieces will trigger huge changes in the body that would require many mutations if you were only working on the base level.

          I sense that you are not genuinely interested in how evolution works, all you seem to do is throw some inaccurate statements around that I have to correct. If you were genuinely interested you would have asked genuine questions to me or a biologist or just opened a textbook. It's intellectual lazyness to just declare everything you don't have an answer to untrue, if you would just have taken the effort of contacting a biologist and askinh him your questions you wouldn't be stuck like you are now.
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        Oct 3 2012: I don't think I'm stuck John. I understand the hardware is the same for most creatures. After all, we have to live on the same planet. The software is however different. We cannot be experts at everything. I listen to the differing views of biologists & come to my own conclusions. For those closely involved in biology it is sometimes difficult to see the big picture.
        My particular thing is mechanical engineering, & I know just how difficult it is to get systems to work. When I look at the nano-engineering involved in biology I am very skeptical of claims that it had no designer. It was more believable in Darwin's day, but today, with modern insite, it is looking very unlikely indeed. We are looking at technology that is light years ahead of anything we can dream up. It's awesome & exciting; we can look at, & learn from, stuff created by intelligence so much greater than our own. We need to embrace the opportunity.

        :-)
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      Oct 3 2012: Thank you for your reply
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      Oct 3 2012: Hello Peter, my view is PRO evolution, however, i want to follow your train of thought. So you are saying that natural selection will produce variations (and hence adaptation) within a single species, correct?

      I assume that you are also saying that this variation has its origins in DNA differences, correct?

      So if i read correctly, you are saying that variation is constrained within a species, what then is an example of a non-plausible jump?, in other words, how do we define a separate species that would not be possible by natural selection?
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        Oct 4 2012: Excelent question that gets to the heart of the debate.

        The problem is evolution requires a species to change to another (fish to a bird).

        Keep chasing this line of thought
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        Oct 4 2012: Hi Andres.
        You interpret my points correctly.
        Let's take James's fish to bird example.
        I think the original fish would have coding for (let's say), among other things, scales. There may be coding to allow the scales to vary in size, thickness, colour, shape, orientation, etc etc. All the attributes of the fish would have similar variables coded into the original DNA. As time goes by the fish may swim in different waters & natural selection would favour some of the attributes over others. Some may become fresh water, & others salt water. Some live in the tropics, some at the poles. Some of the attributes used in shallow water may fall into disuse in deep water & eventually be lost entirely.
        So over a relatively short time we may have dozens of different looking fish types; or species , if you will. They did not however 'evolve', they were 'selected'. They are still running on the original; now slightly watered down, DNA coding.
        If, for the sake of argument, we wanted to transform a fish to a bird, then we would require new coding to be written into the DNA; for feathers for example. In reality however this would be a mammoth task, as every part of the creature would need re-coded. Evolutionists are them selves split on the timescale of these transformations. My contention is that it's not going to happen, regardless of time. Even If the DNA went about coding itself, the resulting in-betweenies would be picked off by natural selection.
        I very much doubt however that mutating existing coding is going to have an advantageous effect. Each creature is built with such precision that thoughtful design is indispensable .
        This is my conclusion, after much listening to both sides. What's your take.?

        :-)
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          Oct 4 2012: Thank you for your answer Peter. From what i have read over the years, Evolution and Selection are two different things. The change from wolf to chihuahua is evolution, to evolve essentially means simply "to change", and in the case of the dog the mechanism driving this change was human selection. And yes, what is different between a chihuahua and a wolf are pieces of their DNA. But don't think that the number of differences is small... there is no single dna gene for "dog height" that changed a little and a dna gene for color that changed a little and a dna gene for agressiveness that changed a little. There were indeed a miriad of changes in the dna code. again, mostly driven by human selection

          Any dog breeder will tell you that sometimes they find offspring that develop a severe alteration (blindness, deafness) this starts to hint that the genes in the new generation now contain differences (when compared with previous generations) in areas of the dna code that are more important to vital functions. A blind or deaf dog needs a lot more care in order to survive.

          (to be continued)
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          Oct 4 2012: (cont.)

          One of the beauties of modern genetic biology, is that it is possible to study the dna of a particular fish species, and compare it to the dna of a particular mice species (let me jump from bird to mouse since this is the example i have read in the literature). They can see areas where the dna is completely different, and they can see long strains of dna that are identical. They then trace what some of the seemingly identical dna does as the embryo grows into a full fledged creature. Common sense says that one would expect it to be silent, otherwise either the fish would develop some mouse attributes or viceversa. But what they have found is that this identical dna that one would expect to be silent, is actually very active. In one case, they have traced a particular region of both embryos that uses this identical dna (the way they test it is when they remove it, neither the fish or the mouse embryos develop this region). As the embryo develops, other smaller variations of dna make this region to become a fully formed gill in the fish, where as it becomes the middle ear bones in the mouse.

          what i am trying to say is that there is no map between dna and a fully formed adult, but rather, identical dna can be used in different ways in different species
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          Oct 8 2012: Which proves changes in breeds but not evolution. The fish is a fish not a bird.
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        Oct 5 2012: Hi Andres.
        I guess if the definition of evolution is change over time then we all believe in evolution. Evolution however claims to have developed complex organisms from simpler organisms. If this is actually occurring then the programming in the DNA must be going from simple to complex as well.
        I have no idea whether this is occurring or not; & I don't really think anybody does. So it really becomes a matter of faith. There are 'experts' on both sides.
        Thankfully there are many different fields we can explore which help us with the overall picture. It is up to each one of us to come to our own conclusions; there are few cast-iron certainties in life.

        :-)
        • Oct 5 2012: The only increases in complexity where the transition from prokaryotic single cell organisms to eukaryotic single cell organisms and from single cell life to multi cell life. Everything else is just in the eye of the beholder. Humans have a smarter brain than crocodiles but crocodiles have a more complex, more effective immune system and it's entirely possible the human brain's blueprint in our DNA is relatively simple (there may be a great deal of repetition and only a few rules that when combined make for a very efficient computer). The Paris Japonica flower has 47 times more base pairs then human DNA.
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          Oct 8 2012: I like your answer Peter and it is the one I've been looking for. We don't know by science or our understanding. No matter what the experts say, right now there is no proof for evolution beyond a doubt. There is some awesome data and learning to come. I can't wait. Right now it is a theory. A theory is an educated guess, but still a guess. Proff changes a theory to laws of science. With this comment I start the next debate and look forward to learning.
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        Oct 5 2012: Hi John.
        It seems fairly self evident that an eagle is more complex than a worm, & a human more complex than a starfish. All life is awesome & pretty much beyond our comprehension . Our main problem lies with admitting that fact. All we have is an ability for imagination. Whether that imagination bears any relation to fact is difficult for us to ascertain.

        :-)
        • Oct 5 2012: "It seems fairly self evident that an eagle is more complex than a worm"

          Why? The worm has more effective regenerative capabilities and may have an incredibly complex immune system. Worms are just as evolved as eagles, they've just followed a different path.
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          Oct 5 2012: Hi Peter,

          I am a scientist at heart, a phycisist, more specifically. I don't think your point of view and mine are too different when it comes to the awe with which we look at life around ourselves and marvel at its complexity.

          A few hundred years ago, Newton was able to explain why the planets orbit the sun the way it was observed. It was a triumph of the human intellect. There were, however, some obervations that did not quite match his predictions. In particular, mercury did not appear to follow quite exactly the same rule as the other planets. At that time, and for a long time eafter, these obervations were beyond anybody's comprehension. Pretty much like many of the facts regarding life's complexity that today marvel us.

          But once in a while, somebody makes a small breakthrough, Einstein, in this case, was able to advance our knowledge that little bit beyond Newton, and develop a theory that was able to predict correctly the orbits of all planets, Mercury included.

          What i am trying to say is that it is precisely that wonder about the unknown that drives the greatest advances in our scientific search for knowledge, and many things that are not understood today are there awaiting for those among us who yearn to understand them at a deeper level
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        Oct 6 2012: Hi John.
        The worm & the eagle are both very good at what they do. I see where you're coming from that one is just as 'evolved' as the other. I do not believe in evolution. To me they were both designed & built for their purpose; to me the eagle is a more involved design. Just a common sense observation.

        Hi Andres.
        I agree entirely.We are discovering things which are amazing all the time. There seems to be a rumour around that those who believe in a creator god have no interest in how things work. I think the reverse. The reason that we can understand any of this is that this ability is within us. It gives weight to the biblical claim that we are related to the creator. We also have an innate curiosity which drives us on. The fact that we are alive here in such a wonderful universe speaks volumes. Whatever the truth is must, by definition, be awesome!

        :-)
        • Oct 8 2012: "to me the eagle is a more involved design."

          To you that may be so

          "Just a common sense observation."

          That it is not. You assume "closer to humans" means more complicated but does it really matter if complexity is visible in the structure of an eagle eye or hidden in an invincible worm immune system? A mathematician would smack you over the head for suggesting 123456 contains more information than 654321...

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