James Zediana

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Neo-Darwinian PRO or CON choose and discuss

The modern evolutionist is called a neo-Darwinian. He still accepts Darwin’s ideas about natural selection, but something new (neo-) has been added. The modern evolutionist believes that new traits come about by chance, by random changes in genes called “mutations,” and not by use and disuse.

  • Oct 3 2012: This is not a matter of choice. There's no deciding for pro or con. Evolution is both a fact, and a well established scientific theory. Denying it requires incredible amounts of misinformation, and/or loads of ignorance, often stupidity, and/or dishonesty (or malice). Unlike Dawkins, I do not mind considering malice.

    Before any of you considers playing the insulted, consider that your problem might be an honest one: misinformed, ignorant. None of these is insulting. I am ignorant of lots of things (evolution is not one of them). It becomes a problem if you decide and stay ignorant, or decide to be unable to follow explanations. Your choice, but then your self-inflicted insults.

    I shall give you one example of flawed logic for now from what James wrote below. He said:
    "Almost every mutation we know is identified by the disease or abnormality that it causes ..."

    James, or his source, used this "fact" to propel the idea that mutations are harmful. But, wouldn't you expect that we know of these mutations precisely because they are harmful, and that there might be many times more mutations that cause from little to no visible effects until confronted with certain problems? Clearly, using sickness numbers as backup for any claims is ridiculous without asking how many mutations might just provide variation that can then give advantages under some environmental condition. That there's many such mutations is evident if we consider that we are not all identical. For example, some people are more resistant to some sicknesses than to others. James might never get some sickness that could kill me. I might be all right against some parasite that would harm James badly, and so on. This is no mere speculation, we witness such differences every time there's an outbreak. Variation is one clue to evolution. Selection is another clue.

    I can talk about the other mistakes in James "debunking." But one should suffice for now.
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    Oct 1 2012: It would maybe be a good thing to inform you thoroughly about the subject before you bring it up in a debate.
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      Oct 2 2012: Please read more indepth answer below
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        Oct 2 2012: I've no idea where you found those numbers however what I was pointing at was read some new stuff.

        Learn about Epigenetics and see how the environment shapes the inhabitants and how it all changes over time.

        http://f1000.com/reports/b/4/18/

        Darwin did spread the idea of evolving organisms from simple to more complex forms. The mechanism behind it was a wild guess at his days. And even though gene mutation combined with natural selection plays a part it is only a minor part. The interaction with circumstances but even more, the interaction between species plys the major part.
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          Oct 2 2012: Epigenetics (according to your link) deals with current enviornmental trends introduced by chemicals not found in nature (Man made). Evolution has been over history. Thus this does not apply to the topic.
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        Oct 2 2012: What you've read were examples from current research.

        Here you see examples of the effect of hunger on genetics.

        http://www.news.leiden.edu/news/dutch-hunger-winter.html

        http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1952313,00.html

        It has to do with all environmental changes over all times.
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          Oct 2 2012: Interesting that there were genetic changes (height of those born during hunger times 1941) but they are still people and generations later they still are.
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        Oct 2 2012: James, you don't understand or you do not want to understand.

        If a part of some species has to deal with a different environment (ecological niche) because it becomes wet or dry or is isolated as an island, then changes diverge in a different direction. Over many generations that one part has become that much different that they have become another species.
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    Sep 30 2012: I believe in natural selection, but I believe it occurs by choice. Decisions are made, even at the microscopic level, though they may seem unimportant and ill informed to us.
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    Sep 30 2012: Use and disuse in definitely not darwinian. It's lamarkian!
    And the new addition to darwinism is not chance!
    The mechanism is the same, natural selection, but Neo-darwinism explains evolution from a replicating gene standpoint, and understands that evolutionnary pressure does not apply to the species, the individual or the group.
    And mutation is not enough. Many adaptations are in fact existing genes being switched on or off by something in the environment.
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      Sep 30 2012: Yes i come down this line of thought Gerald,i always thought it was the environmentals.Reactive,but what happens when an organism changes it's environment?
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        Sep 30 2012: I 'm not sure I understand, can you give an example?
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          Sep 30 2012: If i think we are on the same track,the example is "us" in the last 300 years we have changed and make changes to our environment,in the last 80 years we have changed our food type from one that is natural to one that is processed,air quality is dropping while artificial particulate levels are rising,adding fluoride to our water supply,spending more time within close proximity to ultra low radiation emitting devices to the washing powder residue that is in contact with your skin and cosmetic chemical buildup in womens tissues that don't get cycled out.it's not a rant at science but a lite look at how these factors though lightly chosen from off the top of my head "could" be used as we the organisms environment.Actually it is in our environment.
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        Oct 2 2012: If it was related to enviornment we would still see it over time and it has not happened. Bacteria is bacteria and fruit flies are fruit flies no change. Evolution requires a change we have not documented to date.

        You refer to the fact that we control our enviornment, which is true but not everywhere in the world is that so and there still is no evolution of the species.
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          Oct 2 2012: I don't think bacteria change?

          We are changing because of our changing of the environment but i didn't say we control the the change and the changes are moving too fast for any organism to adapt.

          This is about i.d isn't it James?
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        Oct 2 2012: Subject of debate is for us to discuss if we are pro or con about evolution current method of thought and prove it.

        If we are changing because of our enviornment we would change when we move. I have lived in the north and south and traveled around the world yet enviornment has not changed that I am a human or my offspring.
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          Oct 3 2012: I can't say i'm right on this but cancer though not a new thing is everywhere,i personally believe that our changing of our personal environments that we move within and our body environments is a part of the problem,i could be even suggesting that it might be a catalyst for change.

          Yes you haven't changed but it would take possibly 100,000 years without any other human contact,just the group to change a few facial features that would show that they have become another race of man.

          Evolution is a con
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    Oct 14 2012: I PRO both because:
    (1) "By random changes in genes called “mutations,”" is unavoidable, and
    (2) " By use and disuse" is the organism nature of adaptation.
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    Oct 3 2012: I posted this comment at another conversation but I will post it here as well:

    Many of the responses here demonstrate a limited understanding of the theory of evolution. There is a widely held belief that natural selection happens on an individual basis and this is probable never the case. An example might be to ask whether the bacteria in one's stomach exist for our benefit or whether we exist for its benefit, and to which of these would natural selection occur if not to both in someway?
    See the work of Stuart Kauffman.
    He is best known for arguing that the complexity of biological systems and organisms might result as much from self-organization and far-from-equilibrium dynamics as from Darwinian natural selection, as well as for applying models of Boolean networks to simplified genetic circuits. His hypotheses stating that cell types are attractors of such networks, and that genetic regulatory networks are "critical" have found experimental support."
  • Oct 1 2012: "The modern evolutionist believes that new traits come about by chance, by random changes in genes called “mutations,” and not by use and disuse."

    As did the old "evolutionist", what you might be referring to is Lamarckism, an idea that predates Darwin.
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      Gail .

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      Oct 2 2012: that couldn't be true. Random mutations do come about, but then comes putting the mutations to the test. Isn't that what evolution is about?
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    Sep 30 2012: What is the latest view on Puntuated Equilibrium. Is it 'neo', 'traditional', or 'dumped' ?
    • Oct 3 2012: The neo- happened with the incorporation of genetics into evolutionary theory.

      Punctuated equilibrium was proposed after neo. It is about the tempo of evolution, about whether it has a constant rhythm or not. It is about it not having a constant rhythm, but rather species showing periods of apparent, anatomical stasis, followed by relatively quick—anatomically evident—evolutionary changes, still thousands and millions of years, only quick compared to the periods of stasis. Punctuated equilibrium is still here as part of evolutionary theory. After all, it was established by following the evolution of particular groups of organisms, and both, the evidence and the logic, are undeniable.
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    Gail .

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    Sep 30 2012: How does Darwinism compare to Neo-Darwinism. I'm not a christian, so I'm not familiar with the idea.
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      Oct 2 2012: Darwinism is natural selection debunked in another discussion, neo is debunked below.
      • Oct 3 2012: Neither is debunked anywhere. Debunking any of it would require showing scientific evidence to the contrary, not fallacious arguments mixed with misinformation.
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    Gail .

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    Sep 30 2012: What is Neo-Darwinism?
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    Sep 29 2012: I choose CON

    We have abundant evidence that various kinds of radiations, errors in DNA replication, and certain chemicals can indeed produce mutations, and mutations in reproductive cells can be passed on to future generations. Mutations are certainly real. They have profound effects on our lives. And, according to the neo-Darwinian evolutionists, mutations are the raw material for evolution.

    Mutations are very rare. They occur on an average of perhaps once in every ten million duplications of a DNA molecule (107, a one followed by seven zeroes). That’s fairly rare. On the other hand, it’s not that rare. Our bodies contain nearly 100 trillion cells (1014). So the odds are quite good that we have a couple of cells with a mutated form of almost any gene.

    The mathematical problem for evolution comes when you want a series of related mutations. The odds of getting two mutations that are related to one another is the product of the separate probabilities: one in 10^7 x 10^7, or 10^14. That’s a one followed by 14 zeroes, a hundred trillion! Any two mutations might produce no more than a fly with a wavy edge on a bent wing. That’s a long way from producing a truly new structure, and certainly a long way from changing a fly into some new kind of organism. You need more mutations for that. What about trying for four related mutations? One in 10^28. Suddenly, the earth isn’t big enough to hold enough organisms to make that very likely. And we’re talking about only four mutations. It would take many more than that to change a fish into a frog. Four mutations don’t even make a start toward any real evolution.

    Even more serious is the fact that mutations are “going the wrong way” as far as evolution is concerned. Almost every mutation we know is identified by the disease or abnormality that it causes. As a matter of fact, human beings are now subject to over 3500 mutational disorders. Fortunately, we don’t show as many defects as we carry. The reason they don’t show up
    • Oct 1 2012: Just throwing this in there, I had a conversation with an autistic scientist. He is very high functioning but still impaired. He beleives that the increase in the mutations that cause the symptomatic array that is currently labeled autism is a genetic mutaiton that will free humanity from our crippling reliance on irrational and emotion driven behavior. He says the problems are the mtation working its way through the populace and being expressed in larger or lesser amounts in each individual. The level of "dis-eaase" is individual and emotional as well as socially motivated by their failure to comply with current norms. The genes do not care about how well the individual manages as long as the genes get passed on and have the chance to further their mutation.

      I don't say I agree with him, but it was interesting food for thoght.
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        Oct 3 2012: Sharon, I happened to start a conversation about autism in response to the TEDTalk presented by Ami Kiln . This issue of mutation or evolution in regarding autism did come up during the conversation, with a lot of links to research posted as well.
        Have a look: http://www.ted.com/conversations/11849/is_autism_or_some_types_of_au.html

        I'll add a note here about the point of "genes starting to "misfire" from aging." The research of Simon Baron-Cohen touches on this issue since boys are more effected than girls, and there are indicator that point to testosterone levels.
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          Oct 3 2012: Strangely i was watching our usual news at six and they reported that men after the age of 40 in todays life-era are most likely to have autistic children due to their genes starting to "misfire" from aging,if this is just statistical then it needs to be viewed with a pinch of salt but our current view of having babies is having them late in life,late 30's to 40's rather than in your pristine years.
        • Oct 3 2012: Thanks Theodore it is good to know he was not the only one thinking this!
    • Oct 2 2012: "The mathematical problem for evolution comes when you want a series of related mutations. The odds of getting two mutations that are related to one another is the product of the separate probabilities: one in 10^7 x 10^7, or 10^14. That’s a one followed by 14 zeroes, a hundred trillion! Any two mutations might produce no more than a fly with a wavy edge on a bent wing. That’s a long way from producing a truly new structure, and certainly a long way from changing a fly into some new kind of organism. You need more mutations for that. What about trying for four related mutations? One in 10^28. Suddenly, the earth isn’t big enough to hold enough organisms to make that very likely"

      One gene controls multiple functions in the body, evolution happens over many generations, you've confused the odds of two related genes mutating with the odds of the same gene mutating twice, in the same way, within the same cell, and you have severely understimated the mutation rate: an average human ancestral line acquires ~100 mutations (of base pairs, genes consist of many base pairs) per generation. More primitive animals have fewer base pairs and shorter generations.
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        Oct 2 2012: If rapid mutation as you suggest is true (and is the only possible way for eveloution to work, I agree) the resultant would be step changes in people, but it is argued that it took millions of years for man to change from apes to human without definitive proof. A better arguement would be to look at bacteria that can change in generations in hours but again we need helful mutations (not very likely as indicated by probibilities given) and all the vast number of bacteria in the world is still bacteria. Fruit flies studied to death for changes are still fruit flies with at best different shaped wings.

        The mutation rate I described was helpful mutations. This is what is needed for evolution and what we don't see.
        • Oct 2 2012: "the resultant would be step changes in people"

          No, genes can be switched off by gene switches, a lot of animal DNA is permanently switched off. You can have hundreds or even thousands of mutations within these genes before another mutation pulls the switch and the gene suddenly becomes active. There are also many instances known where entire organs change functions, such as a fish's swim bladder becoming an amphibian's lung without the need for evolution to create an entirely new organ. Harmless viruses are known to leave multiple mutations behind in every cell of the body (that's how gene therapy works, but we know it also happens in nature). You don't have to be a scientist to know that small mutations can have large consequences, ifyou've ever seen a cow with 5 legs that's all the proof you need.

          Now that we understand DNA pretty well we can literally trace evolution back and see what evolved from what and how long it took.

          Knowing these details separates the genuinely interested from those who are only looking at the surface and then only at things that support their preconceived notions.