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Old 03-29-2009, 08:12 PM
mscomc
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Default A Discussion on Evolutionary concepts

****taking a deep breath in*****

Ok, so i have to admit, I am nervous about starting this topic. The idea for this came from Black Mambas thread about an anatomy seminar he had and from that I asked Bonnie if she would perhaps like to discuss where Evolutionary Biologists are coming from. So this is primarily a topic that originated for us to talk. But of course, I hope we can all discuss this topic.

I would like to take this time to let everyone know that, I DO NOT SUPPORT THE IDEA THAT WE ALL CAME FROM A SINGLE CELLED ORGANISM

But i do have to say there is some quite compelling and thought pervoking evidence....whether or not it is flawed is something I hope we can all talk about.

And if everyone would like to me to abandon this topic, I will do so at the drop of a hat.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:24 PM
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Ok, so I will start with some evolutionary terms and concepts, just to make sure we are all on the same wavelength.

Also, I think its best if introduced concepts in waves, so we can thorouhgly talk about certain points.

Ok so evolution is just a progessive change in our Genome (our entire genetic makeup in every cell) that may translate to a change in our phenotype (the overal expression of our genes: Height, weight, colour of eyes, foot length, teeth, bone structure, basically the stuff YOU SEE) Now evolution is a very slow process, and takes years and years to happen. An evolved species, doesnt nessecarily mean a " better species". A single change in your bodies DNA is techincally an evolution, and whetehr or not the evoluton happens from natural process or through environment is irrelevant....please just keep that in mind for further posts.

Now as far as I know (having spoken to many religious biologists), no life-sceintist in any field denies that evolution has certainly taken place FROM THE TIME OF MAN. I am going to re-iterate this...... the big controversy stems form whether or not we came from a one single celled organism, and that organism progressively evolved over billions of years to form every other species on the planet, including humans. The debate is NOT whether we evolve right now, since the creation of man. In orther words, the human of today, is not the human of 200 years ago.


I'll discuss certain evidence points that I think will spark the most discussion. The first one will be my next thread.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:25 PM
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I think Black Mamba is going to be mad... that you called her a "he."

Anyways, I believe there is plenty of evidence for evolution (ie: slow changes over time) within species. GOD gave all living things the ability to adapt to their environments. So there is some scientific truth to evolution.

However, as a theory for the origin of life, Darwin's theory is dead in the water. Especially since Darwin himself couldn't come up with a satisfactory non-intelligent origin for life and Darwin never ruled out the existence of GOD.

So we'll see where this goes, if it becomes an attack on Christians and Creationism or Intelligent Design, then I'll be forced to close it down.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:39 PM
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1)

Ok so in early experiments, before we could study at the level of the gene, the first thing we started to look at was compative anatomy. Striking similarities between certain organisms.

I'll give on example that I think illustrates this point. Humans and Pigs

Liver - the human liver has four lobes: right, left, caudate and quadrate. The fetal pig liver has five lobes: right lateral, right central, left central, left lateral, and caudate

Lungs - Like humans, pigs have multi-lobed lungs

Stomach, spleen, bile duct system, small intestines, kidneys, bladder, etc. - the remainder of the abdominal organs found in the fetal pig are basically the same as found in humans

Urethra, ovaries, uterine tubes, labia, mesenteries, testes, epididymis, vas deferens, inguinal canal, prostate gland, etc. - these structures are basically the same in the fetal pig and human

In fact, you can "hook up" a liver from a pig to human who is in liver failure, and it can do its work for him. Some of you may have watched this on an episode of HOUSE in the past. Also, this is the reason you hear people who go to mexico for liver transplants and they get pigs liver.


Now as you can imagine, many of these similarties are present in other oragasims as well. Like the APE. This is evident in the skull structure, musco-skeletal system, jaw structure etc etc.


And, whats even more striking is fetal development......

Take a look at the image from the university of Idaho
http://www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/apefetus.htm .............Notice any similarties? (ill see if i can find some more pictures later)

I my next thread, I will get into some more genetic and biochemical similarties that are not as subjective.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NateR
I think Black Mamba is going to be mad... that you called her a "he."

Anyways, I believe there is plenty of evidence for evolution (ie: slow changes over time) within species. GOD gave all living things the ability to adapt to their environments. So there is some scientific truth to evolution.

However, as a theory for the origin of life, Darwin's theory is dead in the water. Especially since Darwin himself couldn't come up with a satisfactory non-intelligent origin for life and Darwin never ruled out the existence of GOD.

So we'll see where this goes, if it becomes an attack on Christians and Creationism or Intelligent Design, then I'll be forced to close it down.

Did I say he? OOOOOOPS I am realllly sorry.

By the way, thanks Nate for letting me try this.... i can assure you, an attack on Christians and Creationism or Intelligent Design is not, and NEVER will be my goal or intention.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:48 PM
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It's ok, I should have clarified my introduction when I first PM you. Lil D is my nickname on here, but Danelle is my name.

I'm going to sit back and read this thread as it forms. I only have an introductory backgroud on evolution and the moment are getting involved with genetics.

I got a question to ask though. What was the whole deal with Darwin and the Gallapogos island experiment? Was that the one where he was suppose to prove it was every man for themselves? Or was that another experiment? I get some of his stuff mixed up.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscomc
In orther words, the human of today, is not the human of 200 years ago.
THis is true, just read the writings of America's Founding Fathers and you'll see that we're not nearly as intelligent as they were back then.

Plus, scientists have discovered a computer created by the ancient Greeks, 2000 years ago, that predicted the phases of the moon and solar eclipses using an intricate system of gears and knobs.

Here's my scientific question, the big stumbling block for Evolution is the crossing over from one species to another. I'm not talking about the big stuff (that can only be described with ever more radical theories like Punctuated Equilibrium). I'm talking about the forks created when canines and cats supposedly split off into different species.

Actually let me back up and try to understand what science believes a species to be. When I took biology, we were told that species were generally determined by sexual compatibility (or lack thereof). There were prezygotic and postzygotic barriers that prevented different species from mixing together. This was back in 1994 and I guess I just want to know how much of that has changed in the last 15 years.

For those who aren't familiar with the terms, a prezygotic barrier is something that physically prevents an egg from being fertilized. It could be incompatible sexual organs (for instance, a bird is not going to be able to impregnate an elephant) or something that just prevents fertilization from occurring.

A postzygotic barrier, will allow the egg to be fertilized, but the embryo will either self-terminated or produce an offspring that is unable to reproduce (a mule is a cross between a donkey and a horse and, last I heard, mules cannot get pregnant or impregnate other animals).

So how much of science's understanding of what constitutes a species has changed? Has anyone ever actually observed an animal evolving into a new species? In other words, what new species have emerged in the world since we've been studying Evolution?
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Mamba
It's ok, I should have clarified my introduction when I first PM you. Lil D is my nickname on here, but Danelle is my name.

I'm going to sit back and read this thread as it forms. I only have an introductory backgroud on evolution and the moment are getting involved with genetics.

I got a question to ask though. What was the whole deal with Darwin and the Gallapogos island experiment? Was that the one where he was suppose to prove it was every man for themselves? Or was that another experiment? I get some of his stuff mixed up.

OOOO no you see, I knew your name was Danelle because you told me. And i figured it was girls name because well it sounds like one, and you have a picture of female superhero whenever you post a thread, so that tipped me off It it just that, I have been trying to remember everyones name, that I got confused, and well...... c'est la vie.


When darwin went to gallapogos islands he was going there to try and further his studies of comparative physiology. In essence, this is that start of Darwansim.......which led to his theory of natural selection, which does tie into the notion of everyman for himself..... to be quite honest also, my knowledge of darwain is not very good anymore. Modern evolutionary biology rejects most of his original ideas......these days we are more focussed on genes, which darwain knew nothing about.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NateR

Actually let me back up and try to understand what science believes a species to be. When I took biology, we were told that species were generally determined by sexual compatibility (or lack thereof). There were prezygotic and postzygotic barriers that prevented different species from mixing together. This was back in 1994 and I guess I just want to know how much of that has changed in the last 15 years.

For those who aren't familiar with the terms, a prezygotic barrier is something that physically prevents an egg from being fertilized. It could be incompatible sexual organs (for instance, a bird is not going to be able to impregnate an elephant) or something that just prevents fertilization from occurring.

A postzygotic barrier, will allow the egg to be fertilized, but the embryo will either self-terminated or produce an offspring that is unable to reproduce (a mule is a cross between a donkey and a horse and, last I heard, mules cannot get pregnant or impregnate other animals).

So how much of science's understanding of what constitutes a species has changed? Has anyone ever actually observed an animal evolving into a new species? In other words, what new species have emerged in the world since we've been studying Evolution?


Okie Dokie.... I accept your challenge Master Cheif

1)
Ok so, a species is just a unit of biological classification based on a heirachy called Taxa. There are 8 units of increasing specificity: Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. The last 2 are the most important. For example, for us: Homo Sapiens....Homo is our genus and Sapeins is our species. And you are correct, a species is usually determined from its abiliity to procreate.

The primary barrier that you are talking about is the organisms have to have the same polyploidy , in other words, how many sets of homologous chromosomes do we have? As humans we have 23 pairs of chromosomes so we are dubbed 2n. and a 2n can breed with a 2n. One unique example is a mule, via a horse and a donkey.

In terms of evolution into a new species.... do you mean did anyone see something like a crocodile turn into a bird (which is beleive to have happened)? As far as I know, NO. But, evolution is happening.....the most prime example is bacteria and viruses. Bacteria and their ability to resist antibiotics is evolution, and who knows, maybe we are only in year 500 of a needed 1000000 years to evolve into something new. However, this is kinda scary..... the HIV virus....mutates thousdands of times a day. I heard from other faculty at my university, that the CDC has encountered a new HIV that can spread via AIR......that would make it a new species, the method of reproduction has changed....
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscomc
Okie Dokie.... I accept your challenge Master Cheif

1)
Ok so, a species is just a unit of biological classification based on a heirachy called Taxa. There are 8 units of increasing specificity: Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. The last 2 are the most important. For example, for us: Homo Sapiens....Homo is our genus and Sapeins is our species. And you are correct, a species is usually determined from its abiliity to procreate.

The primary barrier that you are talking about is the organisms have to have the same polyploidy , in other words, how many sets of homologous chromosomes do we have? As humans we have 23 pairs of chromosomes so we are dubbed 2n. and a 2n can breed with a 2n. One unique example is a mule, via a horse and a donkey.

In terms of evolution into a new species.... do you mean did anyone see something like a crocodile turn into a bird (which is beleive to have happened)? As far as I know, NO. But, evolution is happening.....the most prime example is bacteria and viruses. Bacteria and their ability to resist antibiotics is evolution, and who knows, maybe we are only in year 500 of a needed 1000000 years to evolve into something new. However, this is kinda scary..... the HIV virus....mutates thousdands of times a day. I heard from other faculty at my university, that the CDC has encountered a new HIV that can spread via AIR......that would make it a new species, the method of reproduction has changed....
Yes, I've heard about bacteria and viruses, however, those are on a level of complexity far below humans, dogs, birds, even insects. I guess I'm thinking of complex life consisting of more than a single cell. What new species of mammal, bird, reptile, fish, etc. have emerged since Darwin?

If the answer is "none" or "we don't know", then it should be said that there is no observed or recorded evidence of new species being created by Evolutionary processes among complex life forms. Looking at a crocodile and a bird and imagining what MIGHT have happened IF they shared a common ancestor is nothing more than educated guesswork and is not true, empirical science.
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