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Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory 
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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Here's from the Nature article:

Quote:
In our view, this ‘gene-centric’ focus fails to capture the full gamut of processes that direct evolution. Missing pieces include how physical development influences the generation of variation (developmental bias); how the environment directly shapes organisms’ traits (plasticity); how organisms modify environments (niche construction); and how organisms transmit more than genes across generations (extra-genetic inheritance). For SET, these phenomena are just outcomes of evolution. For the EES, they are also causes.


Plasticity is something that also mystifies neuroscience. The world "mystify" usually ties atheist's panties into knots because of their insecurities, but it truly is a fitting word.
How the environment influences plasticity and what the mechanism is that controls it is exemplified I think by the appearance, disappearance and reappearance of a trait.
I think Darwinian evolution fails to address this, but attempts to with ad hoc explanations. I'm not familiar with what some might be.

I guess the explanation for fetal development is simply "It's an algorithm" or "it's silly to question it - it just does"



Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:16 am
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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Quote:
The theory will, of course, undergo continued conceptual changes. That's exactly my point.


Then why are you acting bitchy about it and dismissing it as silly?

I specifically used the words "conceptual change" "lens" "paradigm" and that didn't clue you in?
Did you even read the link I provided to the Nature article? There were two opposing views.

Your reactions are so predictable. Despite my saying what I did you still had to get stuffy and cranky about it like an insecure atheist that doesn't want his world attacked.

seriously, these overreactions and creationist witch hunts whenever darnwinism is mentioned are really old now.


Really.., part of the reason this type of atheism is rejected in society is because of its haughty zealotry.
There's nothing modest about you or any of your teammates here.



Last edited by ant on Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:38 am
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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Interbane wrote:
For example, we've seen speciation in under a century. I've posted a dozen or so links twice before to these examples. Such speciation has multiple parallel mutations that have occurred. And here you believe the lone wolf who says multiple mutations need 43 million years to happen? Pay attention to reality and the argument falls apart.


I think Sternberg was saying based on population genetics and data in relation to mutations that it takes 43 million years for two coordinated mutations to become fixed in a population.
There can be innumerable mutations and multiple mutations in a century but that's not the same thing.
You're saying the process itself is the proof of macro-evolution but as I said the lab work with fruit flies and bacteria suggest limits to variation.
You talk about speciation but this would be exampled in something like finches, who are still finches and birds. Right?
Here's the paper Sternberg used in relation to mutations.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article ... ool=pubmed



Last edited by Flann 5 on Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:41 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:15 am
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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
I think the time scales are so large it's nearly impossible to adequately predict anything with any reliability.

I couldn't understand the mathematical modeling Berlinksi was talking about briefly.
Could you, Flann?



Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:35 am
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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
ant wrote:
I couldn't understand the mathematical modeling Berlinksi was talking about briefly.
Could you, Flann?


I took it he was saying these must be very many changes given the constraints of sea versus land life,ant.
I suppose this challenges the time restrictions and the element of coordination is important given changes to physical systems.
It also implies very large numbers of intermediates.
I guess he's saying just count all the changes needed and fit it into your paradigm and time frame.
I linked the article by Durett and Schmidt in my previous post to show what Sternberg was working from.
A bit technical for me but Sternberg wasn't just pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
I agree with you that there are contemporary biologists challenging the neo -Darwinian model though they don't see this as a challenge to macro-evolution per se and neither does Sternberg in fact.



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Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:58 am
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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Quote:
I took it he was saying these must be very many changes given the constraints of sea versus land life,ant.
I suppose this challenges the time restrictions and the element of coordination is important given changes to physical systems.
It also implies very large numbers of intermediates.


okay so let me try to get this straight:

1) mammals that for some reason went from land to sea had to develop the necessary adaptations in order to survive in a drastically new environment.

2) most likely the need to change environments was due to pressures likely related to survival (ie food, predators)

3) the adaptations necessary for survival in water had to have happened significantly faster than the slow, gradual adaptations espoused by Darwinian evolution.

4) transitional fossils indicate a journey from land to sea.


My questions would be:

Why (or how) were these transitional animals able to survive long enough to prevent extinction if during the period of transition they likely were not able to exploit resources as well as cousins that were already adapted for land?

How were adaptations for water selected by the random process that is evolution?

Wouldn't there have essentially been a "race against a clock" to develop the necessary adaptations for water before extinction occurred?
I mean, if some environmental pressure was underway then it would have been just that - pressure to quickly adapt with greater speed than an alleged ceiling'less timeframe. How would a random process select a "fast forward" switch?

This might be a silly question, but..,
Why weren't humans able to develop traits for water survival (or at least some) when environmental pressures were a factor?



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Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:21 pm
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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Quote:
The world "mystify" usually ties atheist's panties into knots because of their insecurities


Sure it does. Half the time I can't tell if you really believe the stuff you make up, or if it's honest trolling. Please don't say the word mystify, please! :cry_baby:

Quote:
3) the adaptations necessary for survival in water had to have happened significantly faster than the slow, gradual adaptations espoused by Darwinian evolution.


Are you attacking Darwin's original thesis, or evolution in modern form? I thought this thread was an attempt to clear up these sorts of mistakes. What are you referring to when you mention Darwinian evolution?


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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
ant wrote:
Here's from the Nature article:

Quote:
In our view, this ‘gene-centric’ focus fails to capture the full gamut of processes that direct evolution. Missing pieces include how physical development influences the generation of variation (developmental bias); how the environment directly shapes organisms’ traits (plasticity); how organisms modify environments (niche construction); and how organisms transmit more than genes across generations (extra-genetic inheritance). For SET, these phenomena are just outcomes of evolution. For the EES, they are also causes.


Plasticity is something that also mystifies neuroscience. The world "mystify" usually ties atheist's panties into knots because of their insecurities, but it truly is a fitting word.
How the environment influences plasticity and what the mechanism is that controls it is exemplified I think by the appearance, disappearance and reappearance of a trait.
I think Darwinian evolution fails to address this, but attempts to with ad hoc explanations. I'm not familiar with what some might be. "


As Interbane says, I guess we have to ask what you mean by "Darwinian evolution" since you still use this term despite my attempts to clarify. Are you saying that Darwin's theory as it was first introduced in 1859 fails to address phenotypic plasticity? Or are you saying evolutionary theory in its modern form fails to address phenotypic plasticity? Obviously someone is looking into it. Who are these mysterious scientists coloring outside the lines, looking over their shoulders? Are they doing research in a secret room somewhere where proper evolutionary scientists can't see them?

It seems to me that these newer concepts like plasticity, epigenetics, etc. are, in fact, being investigated under the umbrella of evolutionary science. Pigliucci argues that Modern Synthesis is outdated and that we need to a newer conceptual lens. And he makes great points I'm sure. More to the point, even Pigliucci acknowledges that these newer concepts are "here to stay." Here's the entire last paragraph of his article:

Quote:
It doesn’t matter what we call it. Phenotypic plasticity, evolvability, epigenetics, niche construction, facilitated variation and all the rest are here to stay. But, we do usually label different versions of scientific theories with different names, and for good reasons. They mark significant advances in our understanding of the world, and of course recognize the work that went into making those advances, as well as the people who did that work. There certainly is no need for antagonism, on either side of the divide, we can and should all work together to further biological research. But it is hard to see what could possibly justify — given all of the above and much, much more — this recalcitrance to recognize that biology is entering a new phase of its history. It’s a very exciting phase, and one that will, thankfully, soon be in the hands of todays’ graduate students and young researchers.


https://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/201 ... ry-theory/

We are already entering a "new phase" of biology, as Pigliucci says in this article, even if there is some recalcitrance to accept it. He says it's inevitable. Even if we have to wait for the old guard to die off, it's coming.

So here comes the direct question, Ant. This is the one you should respond to.

How, pray tell, is evolutionary science or "Darwinian evolution"—as you insist on calling it—failing? Please inform us!!


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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Geo wrote:
We are already entering a "new phase" of biology, as Pigliucci says right here, even if there is some recalcitrance to accept it. He says it's inevitable. Even if we have to wait for the old guard to die off, it's coming.


From the little I've read on the recent advances, including Massimo's book that goes by the name phenotypic plasticity, the theory of evolution is getting far more complex as we gain understanding of more and more mechanisms at work. The breadth and scope of what is possible expands as more is discovered.


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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Interbane wrote:
Geo wrote:
We are already entering a "new phase" of biology, as Pigliucci says right here, even if there is some recalcitrance to accept it. He says it's inevitable. Even if we have to wait for the old guard to die off, it's coming.


From the little I've read on the recent advances, including Massimo's book that goes by the name phenotypic plasticity, the theory of evolution is getting far more complex as we gain understanding of more and more mechanisms at work. The breadth and scope of what is possible expands as more is discovered.


Indeed, one could say we need a new conceptual lens to accommodate all these new ideas.


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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
geo wrote:
Who are these mysterious scientists coloring outside the lines, looking over their shoulders? Are they doing research in a secret room somewhere where proper evolutionary scientists can't see them?


Ant's elaborate fantasy that he has cooked up seems to be that there are these atheist scientists, cheered on by fundamentalist atheists, who are not interested in asking new questions and are unable to admit that they don't know everything. They are using their time and resources to defend the dogma of "Darwinism." There are a few heroic scientists (probably theists) who dare to do new research. Just ask him, he's an expert in the scientific method.



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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Quote:
From Flann 5:
And just to summarise the scale of changes required here's a recap from David Berlinski. It starts on the whale question about 11 minutes in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5r5cRlctLM


My question is; Is the example of a cow evolving into a whale an appropriate foundations for a premise? Is it a proper argument that demonstrates a weakness in evolutionary theory? I watched the video and the bit about the cow seemed more like a detraction from realism. Is the cow analogy a proper form of skepticism?



Quote:
Quote:

It doesn’t matter what we call it. Phenotypic plasticity, evolvability, epigenetics, niche construction, facilitated variation and all the rest are here to stay. But, we do usually label different versions of scientific theories with different names, and for good reasons. They mark significant advances in our understanding of the world, and of course recognize the work that went into making those advances, as well as the people who did that work. There certainly is no need for antagonism, on either side of the divide, we can and should all work together to further biological research. But it is hard to see what could possibly justify — given all of the above and much, much more — this recalcitrance to recognize that biology is entering a new phase of its history. It’s a very exciting phase, and one that will, thankfully, soon be in the hands of todays’ graduate students and young researchers.



Pile on any science, the more the merrier, it will only make the science better.
Pushing back on evolving science, should be a good thing, a necessary thing. How lucky we are that we can pushback. When science as it is happening live endures scrutiny and welcomes outlying studies it does not suffer the indignity of revisionist bias.



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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
geo wrote:
Indeed, one could say we need a new conceptual lens to accommodate all these new ideas.


Perhaps. Do you think a single lens could accommodate them all? It seems like the theory is a complex tree of branching mechanisms, and we're discovering links between branches. The theory doesn't change so much as it gains nuance. Whatever the case, I'm interested to see the best attempts at explaining it all comprehensively.


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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Interbane wrote:
geo wrote:
Indeed, one could say we need a new conceptual lens to accommodate all these new ideas.


Perhaps. Do you think a single lens could accommodate them all? It seems like the theory is a complex tree of branching mechanisms, and we're discovering links between branches. The theory doesn't change so much as it gains nuance. Whatever the case, I'm interested to see the best attempts at explaining it all comprehensively.

I was being sarcastic with the term 'conceptual lens.' I don't think it's a very useful term, but I believe Ant may have also used the word 'scaffolding' which seems a more suitable metaphor for a science that must accommodate new discoveries. As Taylor said, pile it on, the more the merrier, it will only make the science better.

To that end, it seems to me that the newer ideas—plasticity, evolvability, epigenetics, niche construction, etc.—show that selection pressures are more complex than previously understood. But it doesn't change the fact that natural selection is still the main mechanism of evolution. For example, the quick Wikipedia definition of evolvability is: "Evolvability is . . . the capacity of a system for adaptive evolution. Evolvability is the ability of a population of organisms to not merely generate genetic diversity, but to generate adaptive genetic diversity, and thereby evolve through natural selection."

Once more, it should be taken for granted that evolutionary theory will continue to gain more nuance (as Interbane says above). Life is staggeringly complex. We are looking through a much higher-powered telescope now, revealing a much more detailed image of the Cosmos. And we will continue to make improvements to the telescope as time goes on.

I'm throwing metaphors all over the place now.


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Post Re: Darwinism — a misnomer for evolutionary theory
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
There is no evidence, to my knowledge, that something as enormously complex as a single cell organism originated on our planet.
Is there?


Yes, life.


Right. There isn't anything that has ever existed or that exists today that proves man evolved from anything. The whole theory of evolution concept is strictly from the mind of man, who can't or refuses to accept that some unseen higher power CREATED life, and all men and women stem from that. It's a simple matter of what you choose to believe. If you smoke enough weed or do enough drugs, a person can come up with all sorts of wild philosophies on just about anything and MAKE IT sound believable; but I have always held that just because you believe something doesn't mean it's true, and just because you don't believe something, means that it's a lie. As humans we tend to embrace concepts and ideologies that speak to our inner sense of self and being. Anything that doesn't line up with that is dismissed as irrelevant or untrue. In the end, what does that really mean though? All it really means is that we all, as human have FREE WILL and can CHOOSE to believe as we will, irrespective of facts, logic, reason, etc....Simple as that really, no more or less.



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