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Author Topic:   Dogs will be Dogs will be ???
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005

Message 35 of 331 (450504)
01-22-2008 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Beretta
01-22-2008 8:43 AM

Re: Continuing with - Part 1: comparison of dog and eohippus skeletons
But we have no evidence that that can actually happen. Everything we observe shows there are limitations.
Specifically list these limitations. What exactly prevents the small changes from adding up?
If you say, aaah yes but we need millions of years to observe it so we are limited, we must then rely on our imagination instead of observation -that is not science, that is speculation and belief not proof.
It's called logical inference. Given observation of small changes, it can be logically inferred that if these small changes were to continue they would add up to a very large difference after a few thousand iterations, barring a specific mechanism preventing such a result. This inference makes certain testable predictions, like being able to guide the small changes in generations to create new breeds with specific characteristics...much like we do with dog breeds. It predicts that the fossil record should continue to show small changes over time adding up to more significant changes...which is exactly what we see. It predicts that we should be able to see a large degree of genetic similarity between closely related species, and less similarity between species separated by millions of generations...which is exactly what we see.
If we have no evidence that it did not happen, that does not mean it necessarily did happen.
We have a large amount of evidence suggesting that small changes do and did add up to very large changes. We have observed new species forming from pre-existing ones. We have observed new traits forming and bred specifically to increase their frequency. With such a strong suggestion that evolution happened, and every prediction it makes being verified through experimental evidence or the fossil record, it is extremely likely that it did happen, barring the introduction of some new mechanism that is observed to prevent the tiny raindrops from causing a flood.
Just because things have similarities, like fingers or eyes, does not mean they are necessarily related. Do you think we are related to fish simply because we both have eyes?
We are very distantly related to fish, though the reason we know that has little to do with eyes. Did you know that the human fetus briefly forms gills while in the womb?
There again you are assuming time. And what about the very abrupt appearances of fully formed body types -their general stasis in the fossil record and then their either disappearance (extinction)
Fossilization is extremely rare, and nobody seriously suggests that an organism will ever be anything other than "fully formed," excepting perhaps when it is still a fetus. We have statistically few examples of each species to go on, and evolution predicts that all species should be fully formed with fully functioning features - except that the features gradually change over time and sometimes take on completely different roles.
or the fact that so many kinds have really barely changed at all in the time it has taken one-celled organisms to become human?? If this all makes sense to you perhaps it is your belief system and is not based on the evidence at all.
A species that is extremely well-adapted to its environment is unlikely to change all that much. Evolution is prompted by the environment selecting for beneficial changes. When we use antibacterial soap, for example, we kill off all of the non-resistant bacteria, and so the only population that remains to reproduce is the resistant strain. Left on their own without the antibiotics, there would be no selection, and the non-resistant bacteria would do just fine as they always have. This is the same silly argument of "if humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes?" First, humans and apes both evolved from a common ancestor. Second, if both apes and humans are well-adapted to their respective environments, why would one ever die out?
That's not what the data says, it is an interpretation of the data most likely (or definately) inspired by the belief that it happened that way. There may be other ways of interpreting it that wouldn't even occur to the interpretor due to his evolutionary mindset.
You ignore the fact that we have observed changes in species. We have even observed speciation events, where a new species arises from a pre-existing species. When an organism develops separately from its ancestor population for enough generations that, when re-introduced to the parent population, the two populations no longer breed and have distinctive characteristics, it's extremely difficult to interpret the data any other way.
Some things don't look as likely to some people as they do to other people.
The opinions of those uneducated in biology are irrelevant to scientific discussions of biology. Arguments from ignorance or incredulity are flawed from the start. My great-grandfather would have thought it impossible for men to land on the moon even if he had seen it on TV with his own eyes - it doesn't make the fact that we did land on the moon any less true.
There are philisophical differences behind the differences in interpretation and neither way can be conclusively proven but one is more evidence-based than the other. The belief that humans only produce other humans is more evidence-based and thus scientific than saying that, given time, somthing else (like apes) might have produced mutated varieties that progressed to humans -that's more speculative and saying that we do not have enough time to prove it, therefore we should accept it on faith, is not scientific.
Yes, one is more based on evidence than the other. Evolution has mountains of evidence from multiple fields of research that all happen to match up with its predictions.
There is no faith in science. There is only evidence, prediction, testing, and inference. Evolution has proven to be a highly accurate model for the way life changes over time, backed up by countless observations.
That just means we can never falsify the theory -except maybe in millions of years -in the meantime, in the absence of evidence that it did not happen, we teach it as fact.
Of course we could falsify the theory. If we saw a compeltely new species, existing today or in the fossil record, that had no similarities to any species ever observed, that would be a pretty large blow. If we saw a species that had such a differnt genetic code that it could not have been related to the common ancestors all other life is descended from, that would be a large blow. If we detected a new mechanism that does prevent small changes from adding up to large ones, that would be a large blow. If we did not observe the formation of a new species from a pre-existing species, that would be a large blow.
Each and every experiment testing the predictions of the theory of evolution is another chance for the theory to be falsified, Beretta. You're just unhappy because, so far, it has proven to be highly accurate in all of its predictions.

Every time a fundy breaks the laws of thermodynamics, Schroedinger probably kills his cat.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Beretta, posted 01-22-2008 8:43 AM Beretta has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by RAZD, posted 01-22-2008 8:03 PM Rahvin has not replied

Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005

Message 53 of 331 (455880)
02-14-2008 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Marcosll
02-14-2008 11:07 AM

Re: Wow
I've always wondered about dogs and evolution because there is such a variety and they seem to all be the same species.
To answer the original question, what could a dog become, I think the logical conclusion, if dogs keep being trained by humans and coexisting with us (which is a safe assumption they will) will be for dogs to have bigger heads, have less hair (since we take care of them more they are less oudoors or even wear clothing) and will develop the ability to communicate with us probably speech (some dogs already try to).
How long before we can expect that change to happen? 10,000 years? maybe 100,000 years?
Dogs and other human-bred organisms are interesting cases with regards to evolution. They don't need to be particularly well-adapted to any environment, they simply have to be desirable for humans. We use our technology to take care of the rest.
The future of dog breeds depends entirely on the desires of humans. We choose how they breed for the most part, so we are the real selective pressure. If we bred a dog that's really "cute" but has chrinic hip problems, the hip problems would normally be detrimental in the wild. But because the breed is "cute," we'll continue to breed it despite the hip problems.
The logical conclusion as to what dogs will look like at any point in the future would be "however humans continue to breed them." New breeds will likely be developed, but so long as existing breeds remain desireable to humans, those breeds won't change much.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Marcosll, posted 02-14-2008 11:07 AM Marcosll has not replied

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