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Author Topic:   Grasse a great biologist/zoologist??? and a knock for salty
derwood
Member (Idle past 1903 days)
Posts: 1457
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 1 of 79 (38590)
05-01-2003 11:14 AM


A couple of weeks ago, I decided to dig into one of JA 'salty' Davison's frequent references, PP Grasse's 1977 book "Evolution of Living Organisms". I must say I was tickled to see that, despite the fact that the book has been in our library since 1980, I am the first person to have cheked it out, such is the influence of "europe's greatest biologist."
Anyway, I got sidetracked (exams, life, etc...) and have not really had the time to look much into this book, though I had skimmed a few pages here and there and noticed some odd commonalities in writing style between Grasse and ReMine...
I have found some salty-unfriendly passages that I am sure slaty either did not read or decided to ignore, and I will get to those later.
One thing I came across - that can probably help explain salty's deference to paleontologists - is this statement by Grasse on p. 188, after describing chromosomal bvanding studies indicating a link between human and apes:
"But studies and extrapolations concerning the shape and stainability of the chromosomes cannot supersede paleontological evidence, the arbiter of evolutionism."
Ignoring for now the "evolutionism" bit, I find it absurd that one so often lauded as 'europe's greatest' this or that actually seems to think that there is some sort of disconnect between genetics and morphology. Perhaps Grasse did not know that it is the genes that CONTROL the shape of the bones? of course he did. Draw your own conclusions...
On that same page, however, there seems to be some troubling news for semi-meiosis.
Grasse goes on to describe some mammals (including a monkey species) in which there is not only a chromosomal number difference between male and female, but some groups within the population have differnt numbers as well, despite there being no morphological differences between them.
Grasse concludes this paragraph thusly:
"A fact such as this confirms that neither the number nor the arrangement of the chromosomes affects the characteristics determined by the genes, and only the presence of the latter has any importance (except in the handful of cases of position effect reported by geneticists)."
So?
Remember that salty hangs his hat on macromutations occurring during meiosis - chromosomal rearrangements. He spends some time on this in his essay "Evolution as a self-limiting process", from which I quote:
quote:
Another way to look at the problem is to ask what has remained unchanged in the various varieties of dogs and goldfish. One obvious answer is their chromosomes. The karyotypes, or pictorial representations of the chromosomes, are invaluable in identifying species and relationships between species. One of the pioneers in the recognition of the importance of chromosome structure was the geneticist Richard B. Goldschmidt. In 1940, the same year as Huxley's "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis," Goldschmidt published "The Material Basis of Evolution." It is difficult to imagine two books more dissimilar than these while dealing with the same subject. Goldschmidt's book is divided into two sections, the first dealing with what he called microevolution, the second with macroevolution. His first section ends with this statement so reminiscent of Bateson:
"Subspecies are actually, therefore, neither incipient species nor models for the origin of species. They are more or less diversified blind alleys within the species. The decisive step in evolution, the first step toward macroevolution, the step from one species to another, requires another evolutionary method than the sheer accumulation of micromutations" (Goldschmidt 1940).
The other method to which Goldschmidt refers is the reordering of existing genetic information within the chromosome. Alterations in genetic expression resulting from such rearrangements are called position effects. In his words at the end of the section on macroevolution:
".... the fact remains that an unbiased analysis of a huge body of pertinent facts shows that macroevolution is linked to chromosomal repatterning and that the latter is a method of producing new organic reaction systems, a method which overcomes the great difficulties which the actual facts raise for the neo-Darwinian conception as applied to macroevolution" (Goldschmidt 1940).
There are several sorts of chromosome rearrangements that can occur......
and later
quote:
First, point mutations in individual genes are reversible and as such that fact alone can be interpreted as indicating that such changes do not play an important role in evolution. Assume for purposes of discussion that evolutionary changes involve not individual gene mutations but chromosome restructurings such as those that I have mentioned. Consider an inversion as an example. If such an event should occur, the probability of it being reversed is virtually zero since the chromosome would have to break in exactly the same two places to return the chromosome to its original configuration. A similar argument applies to the improbable reversibility of chromosome fusion, dissociation or reciprocal translocation. Furthermore, these chromosomal structural changes are all-or-none events that have no intermediate states and cannot then be considered gradual.
There are more passages in that paper and elsewhere, but the conclusion is obvious - Davison believes that chromosomal rearrangements are the bread and butter of evolution (which has stopped, according to Davison).
I say that chromosomal rearrangements in and of themselves are in fact NOT the impetus for evolution.
And Grasse, Europe's greatest zoologoist, would agree.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by NosyNed, posted 05-01-2003 11:33 AM derwood has not replied
 Message 3 by Quetzal, posted 05-01-2003 11:38 AM derwood has replied
 Message 4 by Mister Pamboli, posted 05-01-2003 1:33 PM derwood has replied
 Message 18 by Speckle, posted 05-05-2003 10:25 AM derwood has not replied

NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9004
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 2 of 79 (38593)
05-01-2003 11:33 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by derwood
05-01-2003 11:14 AM


Thanks
It's a bit of a waste of space to post with no specific content. But you did a lot of work and I'd like to say thanks for that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by derwood, posted 05-01-2003 11:14 AM derwood has not replied

Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5899 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 3 of 79 (38594)
05-01-2003 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by derwood
05-01-2003 11:14 AM


Scott: Now I'm getting confused. salty states in the passage you quoted that karyotype differences distinguish species, but are immutable since only semi-meoisis can create new species. If so, then he simply ignored outright all the intraspecific karyotype differences I posted for him in the Mus musculus populations - same species, lots of hybrid zones, but 29 distinct karyotypes in the Alps alone. Not to mention the Ensatina papers I referenced. How can even a journal like Revista publish something so blatantly contradicted by so much other scientific research?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by derwood, posted 05-01-2003 11:14 AM derwood has replied

Replies to this message:
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Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7604 days)
Posts: 634
From: Washington, USA
Joined: 12-10-2001


Message 4 of 79 (38619)
05-01-2003 1:33 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by derwood
05-01-2003 11:14 AM


quote:
... such is the influence of "europe's greatest biologist."
This is an outrageous calumny! Professor Davison has never said Grasse was the greatest scientist in Europe. He states his view of Grasse in the following, crystal clear, unambiguous terms ...
quote:
Pierre Grasse, was the greatest French zoologist of his day, just as was his Russian counterpart Leo Berg.
As this is just about the clearest sentence in salty's entire output, I think it's a shame you should misread it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by derwood, posted 05-01-2003 11:14 AM derwood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by derwood, posted 05-01-2003 2:11 PM Mister Pamboli has not replied

derwood
Member (Idle past 1903 days)
Posts: 1457
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 5 of 79 (38622)
05-01-2003 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Mister Pamboli
05-01-2003 1:33 PM


red cheeked
quote:
quote-------------------------------------------------------------------------
... such is the influence of "europe's greatest biologist."
----------------------------------------------------------------------
This is an outrageous calumny! Professor Davison has never said Grasse was the greatest scientist in Europe.
In my defense, I did not attribute the above accolade in quotes to anyone specifically, rather it is a paraphrase of sorts of the many ways in which Grasse has been described on the many creationist websites that love to quote his old 'fairy tale' schtick...
But you are right, JA "Hero worship is hopw real sience is done" Davison never said or wrote the phrase, in describing Grasse, "europe's greatest biologist"...
quote:
He states his view of Grasse in the following, crystal clear, unambiguous terms ...
quote:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pierre Grasse, was the greatest French zoologist of his day, just as was his Russian counterpart Leo Berg.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
As this is just about the clearest sentence in salty's entire output, I think it's a shame you should misread it.
Me too. I was employing the salty style of reading for quotes rather than for understanding...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Mister Pamboli, posted 05-01-2003 1:33 PM Mister Pamboli has not replied

derwood
Member (Idle past 1903 days)
Posts: 1457
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 6 of 79 (38623)
05-01-2003 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Quetzal
05-01-2003 11:38 AM


What are you telling ME for?
quote:
Scott: Now I'm getting confused. salty states in the passage you quoted that karyotype differences distinguish species, but are immutable since only semi-meoisis can create new species. If so, then he simply ignored outright all the intraspecific karyotype differences I posted for him in the Mus musculus populations - same species, lots of hybrid zones, but 29 distinct karyotypes in the Alps alone. Not to mention the Ensatina papers I referenced.
Of course he did. That or he did not understand that his beliefs are falsified. That or...
Anyway, are you surprised that he will not acknowledge such obvious falsifications of his claims? That is the way of the anti-Darwinist. Grasse seems to do this, too. From the tidbits I have read, he seems to be a neo-Lamarckian of some sort. He described some 'internal force' of some sort which provides creatures with the ability to instantly respond to the environment. Utter poppycock, of course. He describes how an amoeba can basically cleave itself in half to avoid being killed when 'impaled' on a thorn. This, he claims, is evidence of this innate ability, which somehow is counter to Darwinism. I've never heard of an amoeba getting impaled on a thorn, but the description is taken from some Swiss naturalist, whose observations Grasse claims are beyond reproach (I guess hero worship runs deep in the anti-Darwinism crowd). But I am rambling...
quote:
How can even a journal like Revista publish something so blatantly contradicted by so much other scientific research?
Good question. Have you perused the journal's website? Many article titles seem to scream out "fringe nonsense", but that is just my opinion. It is also interesting to note that the concluding sentence of the paper I refer to is something like 'real science is done by bench experimentation', after implying that all work supporting 'Darwinism' is purely theoretical, and that all of salty's anti-Darwinism papers have been review-type essays, and all published in Rivista, a journal dedicated to theoretical musings, and further that salty claims that his hypothesis can be tested by experimentation, and yet has not ever tried to do so (afaik) .
I may not be Mr.Nice guy, but at least I am not THAT big of a hypocrite.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Quetzal, posted 05-01-2003 11:38 AM Quetzal has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by John A. Davison, posted 05-03-2003 3:31 PM derwood has replied

John A. Davison 
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 79 (38870)
05-03-2003 3:31 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by derwood
05-01-2003 2:25 PM


Re: What are you telling ME for?
I just happened to drop by. I see now that I am still number 1 on your hit list. I'm flattered. You bet I think chromosome rearrangement is the bread and butter of evolution. So did Goldschmidt. Further, I believe that the information for all of evolution may have been present from the beginning just as it is for ontogeny. I recommend you read 'Ontogeny, phylogeny and the origin of biological information' That should give you something to use against me. Please do. If you had bothered to read you would have realized that I never maintained all chromosome reorganizations resulted in speciation. Quite the contrary. I also note that now you have to denigrate Grasse. When you have finished with him go after the other five to whom I have dedicated the Manifesto. After all they are just a bunch of lightweights. I don't understand why I get so much attention even after I have stopped responding. I like what Terry suggested as a possibility. "Salty is the Darwinians worst nightmare". I am beginning to believe it. Go right on with your mutual admiration society. I may drop back in from time to time just for laughs. salty

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by derwood, posted 05-01-2003 2:25 PM derwood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by wj, posted 05-03-2003 6:47 PM John A. Davison has not replied
 Message 9 by Fedmahn Kassad, posted 05-03-2003 9:23 PM John A. Davison has not replied
 Message 10 by nator, posted 05-04-2003 7:41 AM John A. Davison has not replied
 Message 13 by derwood, posted 05-04-2003 6:32 PM John A. Davison has not replied

wj
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 79 (38889)
05-03-2003 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by John A. Davison
05-03-2003 3:31 PM


Re: What are you telling ME for?
Your failure to provide a substantive response to the many issues raised about your hypothesis here and on other threads is noted.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by John A. Davison, posted 05-03-2003 3:31 PM John A. Davison has not replied

Fedmahn Kassad
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 79 (38893)
05-03-2003 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by John A. Davison
05-03-2003 3:31 PM


Re: What are you telling ME for?
"I may drop back in from time to time just for laughs. salty"
That is very kind of you. We could all use a good laugh every now and then. Feel free to drop by and provide laughs any time.
FK

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by John A. Davison, posted 05-03-2003 3:31 PM John A. Davison has not replied

nator
Member (Idle past 2197 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 10 of 79 (38907)
05-04-2003 7:41 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by John A. Davison
05-03-2003 3:31 PM


Re: What are you telling ME for?
quote:
I like what Terry suggested as a possibility. "Salty is the Darwinians worst nightmare". I am beginning to believe it.
Beginning to?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by John A. Davison, posted 05-03-2003 3:31 PM John A. Davison has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Minnemooseus, posted 05-04-2003 1:04 PM nator has not replied

Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3945
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 11 of 79 (38925)
05-04-2003 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by nator
05-04-2003 7:41 AM


Re: What are you telling ME for?
Salty said -
quote:
I like what Terry suggested as a possibility. "Salty is the Darwinians worst nightmare". I am beginning to believe it.
This is the sort of statemnet that so represents Terry's thought process (Morton's Demon?). Despite Salty's conflicts with mainstream evolutionary thought, he is still probably far closer to that mainstream, than to Terry's YECism.
This is, more or less, what I have referred to as "Terry's nitpicking of the details". Terry thinks that finding flaws (which may or may not be real) are small steps in the direction of having "old earth evolutionism" eventually collapse, leaving YECism to reign supreme.
Moose
[This message has been edited by minnemooseus, 05-04-2003]

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Replies to this message:
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John A. Davison 
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 79 (38935)
05-04-2003 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Minnemooseus
05-04-2003 1:04 PM


Re: What are you telling ME for?
I certainly do not regard myself as in any way close to what you mean by mainstream thought. I am convinced that speciation is no longer occurring. I also see no evidence that sexual reproduction has in the past or in the present contributed anything to our understanding of evolution. Quite the contrary, it has served along with Lyell's uniformitarianism to inhibit progress. Mendelism is the genetics of sexual reproduction. One of my favorite biologists is William Bateson who hit the nail on the head with this quotation taken from Arthur Koestler's "The case of the midwife toad":
By 1924, Bateson had come to realize, and told his son in confidence, "that it was a mistake to have committed his life to Mendelism,that it was a blind alley which would not throw any light on the differentiation of species, nor on evolution in general"
What was obvious to Bateson still has not penetrated the Darwinian uniformitarian mentality. I refer you to Davison 1998 "Evolution as a self-limiting process".

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Minnemooseus, posted 05-04-2003 1:04 PM Minnemooseus has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by wj, posted 05-04-2003 6:40 PM John A. Davison has not replied
 Message 15 by Mammuthus, posted 05-05-2003 5:45 AM John A. Davison has replied

derwood
Member (Idle past 1903 days)
Posts: 1457
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 13 of 79 (38941)
05-04-2003 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by John A. Davison
05-03-2003 3:31 PM


Re: What are you telling ME for?
quote:
JA "So what if I take my heros out of context when I need to" Davison:
You bet I think chromosome rearrangement is the bread and butter of evolution. So did Goldschmidt.
Grasse did not. He would agree with me. Grasse also knew that populations played a role ion evolution. I would agree with him.
quote:
Further, I believe that the information for all of evolution may have been present from the beginning just as it is for ontogeny. I recommend you read 'Ontogeny, phylogeny and the origin of biological information'
I have read that comic book treatise, and in it your only "answer" to the origin of biological information is that it was already there. That is, you just repeat unsupported assertions. That paper is crap, as is you manifesto. It is not worht the disc space it take sup.
quote:
That should give you something to use against me. Please do. If you had bothered to read you would have realized that I never maintained all chromosome reorganizations resulted in speciation.
I didn't say you did, but of course it is something of a contradiction to claim that chromosomal rearrangements are the bread and butter of evolution and at the same that chromosomal rearrangements do not always result in speciation. Slippery as a creationist.
quote:
Quite the contrary. I also note that now you have to denigrate Grasse.
Yes, it must be devastating to see a hero's irrelevance pointed out.
quote:
When you have finished with him go after the other five to whom I have dedicated the Manifesto. After all they are just a bunch of lightweights.
Well, they are certainly out of date and were ignorant of what really makes evolution work. It is sheer folly to claim that fossils are more important in evoluton that genetics is. Foolishness.
quote:
I like what Terry suggested as a possibility. "Salty is the Darwinians worst nightmare". I am beginning to believe it.
Terry Trainor is, frnakly, quite ignorant and more intreresting in propping up his fantasies than actually trying to understand anything. You are no nightmare. More like a hemorrhoid - annoying but not really damaging.
quote:
Go right on with your mutual admiration society. I may drop back in from time to time just for laughs.
As has been mentioned, yes, we can all use a good laugh at your expense form time to time. As was also noted, you did not actually respond to anything in this thread, or in any other for that matter.
As is par for the course with the fringe crackpot.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by John A. Davison, posted 05-03-2003 3:31 PM John A. Davison has not replied

wj
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 79 (38942)
05-04-2003 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by John A. Davison
05-04-2003 3:56 PM


Re: What are you telling ME for?
So, Salty, do you consider the paleontological sequence of the whale ancestors (Sinonyx to Dorudon, here }to be a valid example of previous evolution? Where did the transition from asexual to sexual reproduction occur?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by John A. Davison, posted 05-04-2003 3:56 PM John A. Davison has not replied

Mammuthus
Member (Idle past 6502 days)
Posts: 3085
From: Munich, Germany
Joined: 08-09-2002


Message 15 of 79 (38975)
05-05-2003 5:45 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by John A. Davison
05-04-2003 3:56 PM


Re: What are you telling ME for?
I direct you to the For Salty thread in the Free for All where your "ideas" are being picked apart unmoderated if you care to join and support your hypothesis.
Cheers,
M

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by John A. Davison, posted 05-04-2003 3:56 PM John A. Davison has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by John A. Davison, posted 05-05-2003 7:42 AM Mammuthus has replied

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