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Author Topic:   Natural Limitation to Evolutionary Processes (2/14/05)
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 3682 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 256 of 299 (342064)
08-21-2006 4:41 PM
Reply to: Message 246 by Faith
08-21-2006 1:16 PM


Re: Working against evolution? I'm afraid not.
Faith writes:
Yes, the ToE does seem to breed low expectations, as in calling a disease (Sickle Cell) a benefit because it happens to ward off another disease. Black humor.
Malaria mosquitos are responsible for over two million human deaths a year. There is nothing 'humorous' about improved resistance to this disease.
It says a great deal about the scourge of malaria in the world that a genetic tradeoff bringing sickle-cell anemia would still confer a survivability advantage for millions of people. The scientists conducting the study were at least able to acknowledge the desperation of that situation. Your flippant response, by contrast, comes across as smug, uncomprehending, and... well, anti-Christian.
In response to this I may seem to be contradicting my own argument that everything is winding down if I point out the extravagant complexities of what exists, the fine tuning, the elegant design, the beauty of living things. Whatever brought all this about wasn't merely "just good enough" or "mediocre." I may misremember C.S. Lewis on this point, but I like my mismemory because it seems true: Nature appears to be something immensely good gone wrong. Fantastic variety and adaptability in living things marred by disease and death.
This argument is aesthetic, not scientific.
Aesthetics have their importance, as C S Lewis understood. He knew how mental images worked and he knew how to use words to sculpt and shape them. As well he should: his expertise was in the humanities--literature, to be exact.
But art is not science. Your aesthetic statement, as science, is a non-starter.
Aslan is not a tame lion.
He is a fictional character in a children's fantasy novel.

Archer

This message is a reply to:
 Message 246 by Faith, posted 08-21-2006 1:16 PM Faith has not replied

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 117 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 257 of 299 (342075)
08-21-2006 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by Faith
08-21-2006 4:38 PM


Re: beneficial
Such as in Crash's example of the muscular baby. They ASSUME the mutation part of the story.
How exactly is it an unreasonable assumption? They assume that because the child has 2 mutated copies of myostatin one may be a de novo mutation. The only reason this is an assumption is becase the child's father was not identified. A random sample of several hundred subjects showed no others bearing similar myostatin mutations. This variant is obviously quite rare, it is possible that the father also had a mutated myostatin gene but it is also possible that the mutation arose de novo. There is plentiful evidence of the existence of the phenomenon of genetic mutation so it is by no means unreasonable for this to have occurred in this case. There is absolutely no evidence for an ancestral population of only about 8 people could account for all of the genetic diversity we see extant today.
One is a reasonable assumption, the other is simply fanciful. Not all assumptions are equal.
TTFN,
WK

This message is a reply to:
 Message 255 by Faith, posted 08-21-2006 4:38 PM Faith has not replied

nator
Member (Idle past 2254 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 258 of 299 (342080)
08-21-2006 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by Faith
08-21-2006 4:38 PM


Re: beneficial
quote:
OBSERVED errors. OBSERVED. Stuff you can point to in the DNA. Haven't seen this yet.
Gene CCR5.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 255 by Faith, posted 08-21-2006 4:38 PM Faith has not replied

Equinox
Member (Idle past 5226 days)
Posts: 329
From: Michigan
Joined: 08-18-2006


Message 259 of 299 (342096)
08-21-2006 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by Faith
08-21-2006 4:38 PM


Re: beneficial
Faith wrote:
quote:
I'm aware of the long list of genetic diseases, and the oddness of being given only two strange contenders for beneficial mutations
Um, that math is a little off. I mentioned about a half dozen, Crash mentioned one, and Modulous linked to a page with 6 others, which had specific gene locations mentioned. That comes to around a baker's dozen, not "two strange contenders". I can understand seeing sickle cell as "strange", even though it is quite good not to die of malaria, but don't you love the beautiful buttocks, if nothing else?
Faith wrote:
quote:
they are these mistakes called mutations, which alter some "normal" pattern of protein-making functions of genes, and it's hard for me to think of these as anything but a bad thing.
What do you mean by "normal"? If a copying error works better than a non-error, then is "normal" a bad thing by comparison? I guess if you are going to say that any mistake is bad, then you have to assert that the original creation is absolutely perfect, which seems impossible to defend based on how animals and plants are put together (anyone who knows animal anatomy knows how stupid a lot of the body plans are). Why do you suppose that any change has to be bad? Look at your own body - is it perfect for every conceivable environment? It can't be - if it's really furry, then a "less hair" mutation would certainly be good for a hot area, and vice versa. Did you read my last post?
quote:
Some of them seem to be simply normal potentials that are already in the population left over from the original gene pool, rather than mutations, but I don't know what criterion could be applied to tell the difference.
Often those are easy to tell - such as many of the examples modulous linked to, where the genes themselves are descibed.
quote:
But once the conversation has gotten to the level of asking what a mutation really is, I think it has to end because I can't follow if it gets too technical and the fact that we operate from completely different basic assumptions just adds to the difficulty.
As I descibed above, the different basic assumptions need not always prevent discussion, since they can often be tested openly.
I also described in detail what a mutation is in the DNA. So is it really an understanding issue? If it still is, then you have to give up your assertion that started this thread, since otherwise you claiming something and then when shown how it is false, saying "it's still true, regardless of evidence or logic".
Take care-
-Equinox

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 Message 255 by Faith, posted 08-21-2006 4:38 PM Faith has not replied

Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 96 days)
Posts: 2224
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 260 of 299 (342113)
08-21-2006 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 246 by Faith
08-21-2006 1:16 PM


Re: Working against evolution? I'm afraid not.
Faith writes:
If everything that exists is the result of mutations over the billennia, then of course since a great diversity of elaborately constituted things are living and functioning rather admirably in many ways, there must have been an enormous row of beneficial mutations. MUST HAVE BEEN. If the ToE is true.
Let me lure you into a trap. I'll tell you up front it's a trap, that much seems fair.
Since we're not allowed to reason backward from the assumption that the theory of evolution is true and may therefore not explain nature's diversity as the result of the theory's mechanism, implying unobserved beneficial mutations, which is fair enough, how about turning this thing around then? Let's look at some observed beneficial mutations. There are none? On the contrary, there are a multitude of them. Take for instance the greyhound:
Wikipedia writes:
The Greyhound is a breed of dog used for hunting and racing. It is one of the fastest land mammals; its combination of long, powerful legs, deep chests and aerodynamic build allows it to reach speeds of up to 72 km/h (45 mph).
I think we can assume that the greyhound did not exist 50.000 years ago. (I'm taking a very safe margin here.) That long ago, there were only the ancestors of all our modern breeds of dogs. (Whether these were wolves or coyotes is inconsequential for my argument.)
These ancestors did not have the "long, powerful legs, deep chests and aerodynamic build" the Wikipedia article mentions. These properties must therefore be the result of many mutations in the long line of descent between the ancient ur-dog and our modern greyhounds. From the viewpoint of the greyhound, these mutations are definitely beneficial, for without them the greyhound would not exist.
And what's more, these beneficial mutations have been observed. Keenly observed, I might say, because greyhounds are pets, human breeders have watched the race come into existence.
So there we have it: observed beneficial mutations. No assumption the theory of evolution is true, just an example of something thousands, maybe millions of people have collectively witnessed over time.
Now tell me where I've gone wrong.

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.
Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 246 by Faith, posted 08-21-2006 1:16 PM Faith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 261 by Equinox, posted 08-21-2006 6:21 PM Parasomnium has not replied
 Message 265 by Percy, posted 08-21-2006 8:34 PM Parasomnium has not replied

Equinox
Member (Idle past 5226 days)
Posts: 329
From: Michigan
Joined: 08-18-2006


Message 261 of 299 (342118)
08-21-2006 6:21 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by Parasomnium
08-21-2006 6:07 PM


Re: Working against evolution? I'm afraid not.
P wrote:
quote:
Now tell me where I've gone wrong.
well, I can at least tell you the canned creationist responses. That response is that either: 1 the ark contained a greyhound,the 50K year thing is obviously wrong since the world is only 6K years old. Or 2. all the genes that do the things you described were not mutations, but were in the genome of the dog on the ark, and were only "concentrated" by breeders.
Now, I do have problems with both answers. 1, simply denies tons of evidence and logic and then relies on a myth. 2 may be testable. Since genes mix all over, this would imply that all the genes that do that are in most dogs today. If so, then creationists could provide evidence for thier story by simply finding them, and perhaps using genetic engineering to take those genes and make a greyhound from a poodle. Of course, their response to that is probably that the genes are gone now, or some such.
It's interesting that some YECs believe in such hyper evolution, from a wolf like dog ancestor "kind" into everything from a kit fox to a greyhound to a great dane in just 6000 years, while in the same breath denying that 20,000 years is enough time to do the same thing. Or denying that 4,000,000,000 years is enough to go from single cells to us.
*Sigh*
-Equinox

This message is a reply to:
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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 117 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 262 of 299 (342124)
08-21-2006 6:29 PM
Reply to: Message 247 by Equinox
08-21-2006 1:16 PM


Those beautiful buttocks
I believe the gene you are thinking of in this case is called Callipyge.
TTFN,
WK

This message is a reply to:
 Message 247 by Equinox, posted 08-21-2006 1:16 PM Equinox has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 263 by Equinox, posted 08-21-2006 6:42 PM Wounded King has not replied

Equinox
Member (Idle past 5226 days)
Posts: 329
From: Michigan
Joined: 08-18-2006


Message 263 of 299 (342129)
08-21-2006 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by Wounded King
08-21-2006 6:29 PM


Re: Those beautiful buttocks
I thank the king for finding my beautiful buttocks and showing them to everyone. Now we can all enjoy inspecting the beautiful buttocks in very close detail. Ahhh.....

This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by Wounded King, posted 08-21-2006 6:29 PM Wounded King has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22614
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 264 of 299 (342149)
08-21-2006 8:26 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by Faith
08-21-2006 4:38 PM


Re: beneficial
Faith writes:
Evolutionists must ALWAYS start from the assumption that the basic stuff of life was brought into being by complex genetic processes happening frequently all along the way, so that mutations are just assumed to be the original cause of any trait whatever -- and Mendelian genetics simply operates to shuffle these traits once mutation has brought them into being, or something roughly like that. Percy said I'm wrong about this, but what else can you all be thinking?
No, I'm afraid not, your confounding an explanation from one context with a different context.
Mutations are the ultimate origin of all traits, but that little tidbit was provided to you in the context of explaining that all genes that we consider normal were at one time the result of a mutation. I was attempting to provide a broader outlook.
New traits can of course be brought about through both new mutations and through allele remixing.
Explanations like this are founded upon evidence. It is evidence that enables widespread agreement about the fundamental principles of evolutionary theory and prevents the field from fragmenting into warring schools of thought like psychology and religion. Were it really true that there was no evidence at the core, then evolutionists would not be speaking with one voice as they do here. As long as you persist in employing your various means of denying the evidence you will never understand evolutionary theory to the point where a constructive dialog can take place.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 255 by Faith, posted 08-21-2006 4:38 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 267 by Faith, posted 08-21-2006 9:48 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22614
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 265 of 299 (342154)
08-21-2006 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by Parasomnium
08-21-2006 6:07 PM


Re: Working against evolution? I'm afraid not.
I haven't looked this up, but I'll go out on a limb and say that most dog evolution has been through selection and emphasis of existing traits using selective breeding, not through mutations causing new traits.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 260 by Parasomnium, posted 08-21-2006 6:07 PM Parasomnium has not replied

Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1528 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 266 of 299 (342170)
08-21-2006 9:41 PM
Reply to: Message 238 by nator
08-21-2006 8:05 AM


Re: wisdom teeth wisdom
You keep using the word "destruction", but you should more accurately be using the word "change".
Of course, that would be the evolutionally correct term, nice and neutral, implying neither good not bad. Which is all your whole post is about, promoting evolutionally correct thinking.
However, Crash used the term "malady" and "broken" in Message 170, and the concept that certain conditions of a gene "should" or "shouldn't" be the case with respect to "maladies," so I'm not on my own with this terminology.
being sexual, diploid organisms means that we have two copies of every gene. If one copy is broken the other can do the job, often. But if both copies are broken you're going to suffer whatever malady is going to result from your body not manufacturing that gene product.
Not all diseases are like this. Some disorders are chromosomal dominant, where simply having inherited one copy of the gene is enough to cause the disease. These disorders are caused by the presence of a gene product that shouldn't be there, rather than the absence of one that should. All it takes is one gene of that kind for the body to start producing something that it shouldn't.
Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by nator, posted 08-21-2006 8:05 AM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 268 by nator, posted 08-21-2006 11:17 PM Faith has replied

Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1528 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 267 of 299 (342173)
08-21-2006 9:48 PM
Reply to: Message 264 by Percy
08-21-2006 8:26 PM


Re: beneficial
Faith writes:
Evolutionists must ALWAYS start from the assumption that the basic stuff of life was brought into being by complex genetic processes happening frequently all along the way, so that mutations are just assumed to be the original cause of any trait whatever -- and Mendelian genetics simply operates to shuffle these traits once mutation has brought them into being, or something roughly like that. Percy said I'm wrong about this, but what else can you all be thinking?
No, I'm afraid not, your confounding an explanation from one context with a different context.
Mutations are the ultimate origin of all traits,
Yes, as I said. I was characterizing evolution thinking correctly.
but that little tidbit was provided to you in the context of explaining that all genes that we consider normal were at one time the result of a mutation.
Yes, that's what I said, again correctly characterizing evolution thinking about origins.
I was attempting to provide a broader outlook. New traits can of course be brought about through both new mutations and through allele remixing.
That was acknowledged in the remark about Mendelian shuffling. Of course, once the genes are in place then they are sorted and dispensed and often a "new" one appears to show up when it was merely one of those with a very low frequency in the population.
Again you are claiming evidence without showing evidence, just apparently enjoying saying I'm denying it, when in fact I've answered it.
Edited by Faith, : No reason given.
Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 264 by Percy, posted 08-21-2006 8:26 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
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nator
Member (Idle past 2254 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 268 of 299 (342189)
08-21-2006 11:17 PM
Reply to: Message 266 by Faith
08-21-2006 9:41 PM


Re: wisdom teeth wisdom
quote:
Of course, that would be the evolutionally correct term, nice and neutral, implying neither good not bad. Which is all your whole post is about, promoting evolutionally correct thinking.
Jesus, Faith, is this all you have left?
I notice that you ignored the part of my message most damaging to your position. Since you don't like the single sentence you quoted, I'll leave it out.
Honestly address the specifics for once in your life. Please.
It will only hurt for a moment.
Well, what if a mutation caused the destruction of a disease-causing gene?
Would you consider that to be detrimental and negative?
And I also think you are harboring another misconception about what happens in this particular mutation.
This mutation is is a change in the nuceotide sequence. No genes have been lost (although that can happen, just as additions can also happen). I just have a different nucleotide sequence in that particular gene than someone who has all of their wisdom teeth.
Also, I have posted several reminders to you that the destruction of the CCR5 gene leads to immunity to HIV.
Is the destruction of that gene detrimental, in your eyes?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 266 by Faith, posted 08-21-2006 9:41 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 270 by Faith, posted 08-22-2006 12:51 AM nator has not replied
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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1528 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 269 of 299 (342204)
08-22-2006 12:03 AM
Reply to: Message 247 by Equinox
08-21-2006 1:16 PM


Well, sure, all that is orthodox interpretation of the Gospel According to the ToE, and I'm afraid all I can do is repeat my same old objections, which only gets me accused of repeating myself and ignoring the "evidence."
About your discussion of the relativity of good and bad "mutations," sure, but I don't have a problem understanding the selection processes. The question is how do you know they are mutations, rather than simply allelic possibilities naturally in the human population that got selected under the different situations? Again, I have no problem with natural selection, I assume it. It's the origin of the stuff selected or selected-out that is in question. You automatically call them "mutations" but that's exactly what needs to be demonstrated, that they are mutations rather than built in genetic possibilities.
Thanks for the description of the various forms of mutations. I've had a vague idea of all that and I guess it's still vague, because it's complex and I'd need to study it more, and maybe even then wouldn't get the whole thing digested. But now they need to be connected up with actual genetic stuff.
And I still have the question, are these changes regarded as normal, as mistakes, or something like normal mistakes or what? How do you decide? I would assume that the ToE simply accepts anything that happens as, well, to be expected. There can't really be a mistake REALLY, because the whole system is a sort of trial and error system. Something like that.
The tails in babies example requires evidence. The only evidence I've ever seen is of a baby with a long piece of flesh that doesn't really act like a tail.
So are there hind legs in living whales or only in fossil whales?
The "beautiful buttocks" gene sounds to me like a gene that was probably predominant in wild sheep -- for strength in climbing steep mountains as you say -- gradually lost in domesticity but still lurking in very low frequencies in populations of domestic sheep. This gene simply found expression in one population after years of dormancy in domestic populations. It's merely assumed, as per the ToE, that it was originally a mutation.
Antibiotic resistance IS a beneficial mutation IF it is a mutation and not just a naturally occurring option that got selected. But it's about bacteria and I'm looking for something to contrast with the genetic diseases caused by destructive mutations in HUMANS, so I want human examples, and these appear to be just about nonexistent.
No, sickle cell does not stand. This just can't be an example of a beneficial mutation in a system which supposes that all the adaptations of life arose by mutations. You can't claim that all life has been made up of diseases combating diseases or life would never have existed. There's more true vigor in ANY population than that, despite my creationist view that everything is winding down. We need a pure example of a truly purely positive beneficial mutation.
Nor does the wisdom teeth mutation qualify. I've said why many times.
Nylon-digesting bacteria is interesting. So far the only truly positive examples are of bacteria. But again, how do you know it's a mutation and not just a built-in genetic option of low frequency in the population, a natural option that comes to the fore under heavy selection pressure or some accidental circumstances?
Yes I know it reproduces asexually. I'm assuming an analogous situation to the array of allelic options in some genes in sexual reproduction.
Ditto monkyflower.
Let’s look at the numbers again. The vast majority of mutations are expected to be neutral. This is because the vast majority of our DNA does nothing. It is like have a million volume encyclopedia, where only a few thousand volumes have real information, while the rest have gibberish or repeated sections ...
Yes, and again, assuming that evolution is true, you have to explain all this as normal, rather than wonder why there is so much unnecessary stuff. But a creationist wonders and suspects that it's not normal.
Same with the pseudo-genes, or "copies of working genes that are non-functional due to mutations," although it's nice they're there to absorb some otherwise negative mutations, and same with the redundancy of the genetic code. This all looks to me like something that has gone wrong, something that started out functional, in fact perfect, and got messed up. But evolutionists just treat it all as business as usual.
We’ve discussed how there are lots of harmful mutations. Yep - we should expect that, since a change to a working gene that we need is likely to be a change that isn’t as good.
Yes. A disaster. And yes I know, evolution couldn't care less, just let it suffer or struggle through or die.
And as I mentioned before, the number of mutations selected against (the harmful mutations) is completely irrelevant, since those mutations all disappeared with their unfortunate owners.
Then what is that long list of genetic diseases that don't look like they're going away any time soon? Not to mention all the minor little genetic glitches so many of us live with such as myopia, flat feet and so on.
If half of the mutations that have an effect are selected for, then the ration you want is 1:1, and you end up with only the "selected for" mutations. If there is only 1 helpful, "selected for" mutation in 5, then you ratio is 1:5, and you still have exactly the same number of mutations at the end of the day, since the ones that weren’t selected for are gone anyway. That's why the number of non-selected for mutations is irrelevant. See why the number of harmful mutations is unimportant?
Accumulating millions of good mutations is quite easy, since the bad ones are selected against and removed anyway, and we’ve had literally billions of years to accumulate the good ones that remain. Since we’ve seen at least the half dozen good ones mentioned above in just the past few decades, then just doing the math adds up to quite a few in a billion years - and that’s ignoring the fact that the half dozen I’ve listed is undoubtedly a tiny fraction of the ones that have occurred, since we don’t watch all births of all animals for any change - how could we?
OK, that's the Evo Gospel. For which the evidence you gave, that everyone else has given too, is awfully pathetic, face it. But sure, logically, based on the Evo Gospel, it makes some kind of sense. I just think the creationist theory of devolution explains it better.
Edited by Faith, : No reason given.
Edited by Faith, : No reason given.
Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 272 by NosyNed, posted 08-22-2006 12:57 AM Faith has replied
 Message 273 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-22-2006 12:59 AM Faith has not replied
 Message 279 by Wounded King, posted 08-22-2006 2:59 AM Faith has replied

Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1528 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 270 of 299 (342218)
08-22-2006 12:51 AM
Reply to: Message 268 by nator
08-21-2006 11:17 PM


Re: wisdom teeth wisdom
duplicate
Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 268 by nator, posted 08-21-2006 11:17 PM nator has not replied

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