We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, November 4. 2014
No, I am not talking about intelligent design and all that. Also, I understand that evolutionary theories (of which there are several) say nothing about "progress," just adaptation to current conditions. It's just that I find the science and the logic of it all puzzling.
So did the fine essayist Stephen Jay Gould. I enjoyed this, but had to read it twice: Challenges to Neo- Darwinism and Their Meaning for a Revised View of Human Consciousness
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I find it most puzzling when I look at just one type of insect, a butterfly, and dissect the impossibility of its existence. How does a creature 'evolve' to turn itself into liquid inside the chrysalis and completely reform into an entirely different thing in only a matter of days? I cannot imagine this spontaneously happening at all. Nor can I imagine a reason why a creature would evolve to do this type of transformation.
Another problem I have with evolution is the interdependence of certain animal species with certain plant species. There is no way for me to believe that a plant, that needs a certain animal/bird/insect in order to spread its pollen would happen to appear at exactly the same time as the animal/bird/insect. I mean, really, how ridiculous does that sound?
Thank you for illustrating arguments from ignorance, and both personal and general incredulity.
Here's a primer on butterfly evolution. it took about five seconds to find via google.
True, I am no scientist, but your article has flaws:
"In response to this unfavorable situation, some pro-nymphs gained a new talent: the ability to actively feed, to slurp up the extra yolk, while still inside the egg."
This statement in the article does not explain WHY or HOW this new 'talent' developed. This statement had to be added in order to jump from a 3-stage process to a 4-stage process (which includes a chrysalis). It doesn't prove anything to me about why evolution is 'right' at all. Merely shows that evolutionary scientists must make leaps of logic all the time to fill in the blanks.
And what about this problem with the idea of a 'pronymph'?:
"One fatal problem with this idea is that the underdeveloped ‘pronymph’, as described in Nature, doesn’t eat! It would need a fully formed digestive tract and the capability to bite, chew and swallow if it were to survive and grow into an adult. Truman and Riddiford argued that the ‘pronymph’ overcame these difficulties and gradually evolved until it could eat, move, and presumably defend itself. Defence is very important in a world of ‘survival of the fittest’, and it boggles the mind how the first premature ‘pronymph’ was safer and better favoured by evolution than a normal, fully developed nymph!
A better explanation is that four-stage metamorphosis was created independently and completely functional."
Anyway, that is where I come from. Leaps of logic are used consistently in evolutionary theory to cover up the stuff that doesn't quite make sense. Along with 'time.' We are told that because of all the 'time' involved in the evolutionary process huge changes occurred and all the variety we see on earth was possible. Just knowing the miniscule amount I know about the building blocks of life (proteins) and the combinations possible (innumerable) makes the 'time' statement laughable.
Where do you think you are?
This is a talkback on a political blog, not the rebuttal section of a scientific journal.
If you're curious about the mechanics of butterfly evolution instead of using it as a poorly conceived way of arguing against something by using your own personal disbelief, then ten minutes on google will yield scores of primary sources for you, many of which are written for nonscientists.
Crafting an argument on a technical or scientific issue based on what you admit and emphasize that you personally do not understand is a guaranteed fail.
Just knowing the miniscule amount I know about the building blocks of life (proteins) and the combinations possible (innumerable) makes the 'time' statement laughable.
In what way is your minuscule knowledge in any conceivable way persuasive?
Wow, pretty testy for a person who told me I was 'ignorant.' If you don't want to debate, then don't bring up the topic.
Calling people names is not helping you any.
Sorry I tried to rebut your name calling with my own points.
Talk.origins is a Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins. Most discussions in the newsgroup center on the creation/evolution controversy, but other topics of discussion include the origin of life, geology, biology, catastrophism, cosmology and theology.
The thing to understand about evolution is that what we are seeing is the result of trillions and trillions of accidents. I don't mean accidents in the normal sense I mean things that happened over time without the hand of intelligent control. There may have been a million moths or a million butterflys that failed to survive and accidently one ot two oe a hundred did. That their life cycle is odd or flawed or seems to make no sense is simply accidental. When some form of life developed something useful like the ability to sense light or sound it was accidental and we are simply ignorant of the billions of previous accidents where a life form failed to develop a useful sense. It is the massive number of accidents trillions, billions, Quadrillions, quintillions. sextillions. septillions of accidents over millions of years billions of days, quadrillions of hours... It is the sheer number of possibilities, failures, successes and accidental results that gave us what we see all around us. Is it all awe inspiring, confusing, unbelievable, unlikely and surely not the result of "chance"? Well, yes and no. It is different things to different observers but the observer and the observer's opinion/belief doesn't change what it is. Call it evolution, chance, a series of accidents and lucky breaks but it doesn't change what it is or isn't. I can't explain why a "creature 'evolve' to turn itself into liquid inside the chrysalis and completely reform into an entirely different thing" because I wasn't there to see the millions of accidently formed creatures that accidently choose some other method of evolving into a different creature. But I do know that it all came about due to a series, an incredibly long and large series of accidents and providential things. We can still see these things/accidents happening all around us. Cows born with two heads, puppies that fail to thrive, birds that throw their siblings out of the nest so they will be fed enough to survive. Most accidents are meaningless in the big picture but some go on to create "elephants" or moths.
Micro evolution is pretty well accepted. It's how we bred wolves into greyhounds and bison into heifers. But those aren't different species and can still interbreed. In fact, we have never witnessed a new high order species emerge.
There have been lots of Biology PhD papers published recently that challenge our traditional assumptions on macro evolution. "Drift" doesn't suffice as an explanation of how a species divides into 2 species who can no longer breed with each other.
"micro evolution" is typically young earth creationist's hijacking of science.
you've got to stay away from the creationionist comic books.
Sydney Smith remarked to Darwin, on his theory of evolution, that he understood that Lady Cork had been overlooked.
Gould was in very bad odor with his fellow biologists because he allowed his Marxism to control his science. Lewontin did the same but got away with it.
"...I am a skeptic about evolution, possibly because I do not really understand the theories behind the theories."
More than 'possibly', I hope, because really, this is the only scientifically honest reason for anyone to be an evolution-skeptic today: on the surface, it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. You have to know something of the facts behind the theory in order to understand why the theory is so strong.
"I do get the part about development of related species, but I do not get the adaptive advantage of an elephant over a bacterium or an algae colony."
I'd be concerned if you did. :-) See, this is the wrong question to ask. Organisms exist within a specific environment, and you can only talk about 'adaptive fitness' within that environment. Also, as "gonewiththewind" said above, it's important to remember that what we see today is the result of four billion years and many billions of generations worth of accidents: accidental mutations, and accidental interactions between organisms and their environment. So every living organism carries a large amount of genetic 'baggage' with it. You can't talk about fitness as an absolute; you can only talk about fitness of a certain organism within a certain environment, and with its existing genetic baggage.
So "are elephants more fit than bacteria" is really the wrong question to ask, because elephants and bacteria don't have an environment in common.
I know, I know: clear as mud. :-) It was to me for a long time, too. But there are a number of good books that will help you understand better - for example, The Beak of the Finch by a chap named Jonathan Weiner is a great place to start.
"...because elephants and bacteria don't have an environment in common."
But they do.
The accepted theory does need a fix but not for the reasons you propose.
It claims the Bilateria (all complex animals, including humans) came to exist as a result of mechanisms found in cell colonies.
My peer-reviewed alternative suggests otherwise.