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Useful scientific resources to silence fools 
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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
Interbane wrote:
Mutagenesis is successfully used for commercial ends all the time, moreso now with the anti GMO movement. If Loennig failed dismally on the commercial side, why don't the others?

http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/60/10/2817.full

"Exploiting natural or induced genetic diversity is a proven strategy in the improvement of all major food crops, and the use of mutagenesis to create novel variation is particularly valuable in those crops with restricted genetic variability. Historically the use of mutagenesis in breeding has involved forward genetic screens and the selection of individual mutants with improved traits and their incorporation into breeding programmes. Over the past 70 years, more than 2500 varieties derived from mutagenesis programmes have been released, as listed in the IAEA/FAO mutant variety database, including 534 rice lines, 205 wheat lines, and 71 maize lines (http://www-infocris.iaea.org/MVD/). Although this approach has clearly proved very successful, there are limitations imposed by, for example, the difficulty of identifying a small number of individuals with novel phenotypes within a large population, or by the genetic redundancy present in many plant species as a result of gene duplication and polyploidy, such that many mutations have no detectable effect on the plant."


What is not at issue is whether mutations cause mutants or variations in plants. Neither is it whether evolution can occur in species. It's whether this is an unbounded process that can seamlessly produce macro-evolution.

Loennigs central point is that mutagenesis is not a source of endless variety and that what is observed is a recurring pattern of the same mutations in large populations of plants over time.

In recent years plant breeders have developed techniques for targeted mutagenesis for particular desired traits. E.g. fractionally longer length in cotton.

Of course Neo-Darwinism holds that it's mutations naturally occurring which are the engine of evolution. However; "The occurrence of mutations within the genome of plants is rare,and in natural settings can be lethal."
So while modern mutagenic plant breeders are more upbeat about what they can achieve, none of this supports the hypothesis that it is the path to macro-evolution.

http://plantbreeding.coe.uga.edu/index. ... utagenesis

In fact it should be self evident that messing with the cells mechanisms and gene sequences randomly is not going to have a net positive effect.

http://phys.org/news/2014-08-biological ... imals.html

I keep repeating that large scale changes to entire biological systems such as required in the land mammal to whale example requires finely tuned co-ordination and specificity if anything of this kind is to be produced.And that's apart from the time constraint factor.

Here scientific research indicates that epistasis mitigates strongly against this.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/11/ep ... 66061.html

http://creation.com/antagonistic-epistasis
Of course it is opponents of Neo-Darwinism who point these things out, but they are real issues with the theory.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:08 am, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:02 am
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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
Flann 5 wrote:
Of course it is opponents of Neo-Darwinism who point these things out, but they are real issues with the theory.

So you keep saying. But where you see "problems", scientists see unknowns.

You have to look at the long view when it comes to science. So for every eureka moment, such as the discovery of the Tiktaalik fossil in 2006, you have to wait until the dust settles and the evidence looked at from every angle to get a better idea of the big picture. You point to a dated article by a Creationist, who suggests that the Tiktaalik "doesn't have a leg to stand on" so to speak, but since that time more fossils have been found and scientists continue the work to figure out how Tiktaalik fits into the grand scheme of things.

For every "problem" you've pointed to on this thread, you'll find very different interpretations by mainstream science sources. Scientists see the recent discovery of a 49 million year old whale jawbone, for example, as an unanswered question, not a problem. They're actually very excited about it. The significance of this jawbone and what it means will be sorted out over time. Creationists seize on short-term mistakes or misinterpretations (or more frequently just lousy science reporting) as "problems" with the theory, but this only shows an ignorance with the long-term scientific process and basic human fallibility.

I wonder, while you salivate over these "problems" in evolutionary theory—which are really just complex areas that have no black and white answers—what your position is over the geologic time scale. How old do you think the earth is? Do you think geologists are wrong about that as well?


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Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:16 am
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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
Flann wrote:
Loennigs central point is that mutagenesis is not a source of endless variety and that what is observed is a recurring pattern of the same mutations in large populations of plants over time.


I pointed out a number of areas where Loennig's work isn't clear. His work doesn't support his point. It needs further peer review. It's also contradicted by the success of other scientists using mutagenesis for commercial ends. This is a dead end Flann.

Quote:
Of course Neo-Darwinism holds that it's mutations naturally occurring which are the engine of evolution. However; "The occurrence of mutations within the genome of plants is rare,and in natural settings can be lethal."
So while modern mutagenic plant breeders are more upbeat about what they can achieve, none of this supports the hypothesis that it is the path to macro-evolution.


Of course it supports it as the path to macro evolution. Why wouldn't it? Mutations happen. Molecular and phenotypic phylogeny support this. The fossil record supports this. Examples of speciation support this. All these things considered together form an interlocking set of evidence that is a mountain compared to Loennig's molehill. You're lacking perspective here.

The one thing you keep falling back on is that we haven't seen extreme speciation. But that's ridiculous, because the changes you're demanding only happen over longer periods of time. You cite Loennig's experiment as evidence that there's a limit to variation, but his experiment doesn't pass muster. Why don't others repeat it? Why not get it peer reviewed? It's a farce. A lone man amidst thousands with an ulterior motive, and you think he's right because his assumptions align with your own. Come on Flann.


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Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:32 am
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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
Image

Earliest known bee preserved in amber approximately 100 mya found in the Hukawng Valley in Myanmar.

Melittosphex burmensis, which has been trapped in amber for the past hundred million years, is the oldest bee fossil ever discovered. It lived in northern Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia about 35 million to 45 million years earlier than the next oldest specimens known to science.

The ancient bee shares some traits with its modern relatives but is also quite unlike any other known bee (honeybee photos, facts, more).

"The [previous] oldest bee fossils that we have are essentially fauna that are pretty much like modern groups that you could go out and collect today," said Bryan Danforth, associate professor of entomology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Danforth and colleague George Poinar of Oregon State University in Corvallis will report the find in the October 27 issue of the journal Science.

"What's very interesting about this fossil is that it isn't really attributable to any modern group that we can think of or any bee family that exists," Danforth said.

In fact, the diminutive insect, which is a mere 0.12 inch (2.95 millimeters) long, appears to have characteristics of both bees and wasps—and may even be a link between the two.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... t-bee.html

The discovery of the oldest bee fossil supports the theory that bees evolved from wasps, scientists reported today.

The 100 million-year-old fossil was found in a mine in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar (Burma) and preserved in amber. Amber, which begins as tree sap, often traps insects and plant structures before they fossilize.

"This is the oldest known bee we've ever been able to identify, and it shares some of the features of wasps," said lead author George Poinar, a researcher from Oregon State University. "But overall it's more bee than wasp, and gives us a pretty good idea of when these two types of insects were separating on their evolutionary paths."

The quarter-inch fossil shares traits of the carnivorous wasp such as narrow hind legs while exhibiting branched hairs on its leg, a characteristic of the modern bee that allows pollen collection.

Around the same time the bee was trapped, plants that rely on mechanisms other than the wind to spread their seeds, started expanding and diversifying. Prior to that, the world was mostly green with conifer trees that depended on the wind for pollination.

"Flowering plants are very important in the evolution of life," Poinar said. "They can reproduce more quickly, develop more genetic diversity, spread more easily and move into new habitats. But prior to the evolution of bees they didn't have any strong mechanism to spread their pollen, only a few flies and beetles that didn't go very far."

http://www.livescience.com/4255-oldest- ... -buzz.html



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Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:35 pm
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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
geo wrote:
Flann 5 wrote:
Of course it is opponents of Neo-Darwinism who point these things out, but they are real issues with the theory.



So you keep saying. But where you see "problems", scientists see unknowns.


Interbane wrote:
Of course it supports it as the path to macro evolution. Why wouldn't it? Mutations happen. Molecular and phenotypic phylogeny support this. The fossil record supports this. Examples of speciation support this. All these things considered together form an interlocking set of evidence that is a mountain compared to Loennig's molehill. You're lacking perspective here.


It's not "unknowns" that are the problem Geo, but what is known and increasingly becoming known that shows serious discordance between the evidence and the theory.
Mutations happen you say Interbane, but the question is whether mutations can provide the raw materials for macro-evolution.
You say molecular and phenotypic phylogeny supports it, but it doesn't. You talk about attempts to 'reconcile' conflicting genetically based relationships and trees, when I point this out.

Do they take cytocrome C as their priority in a particular animal because it fits the preconceived theoretical tree and just discard the conflicting cytochrome B findings in the same animal?

They can 'reconcile' their genetic findings to their heart's content, but these won't convince specialists in particular animals and their morphology of their genes based conclusions.

Here's just one example from lizards and this example could be multiplied.

http://www.anoleannals.org/2012/12/14/m ... phylogeny/


The fossil record does not support micro-evolution gradually leading to macro-evolution. I don't know why you keep saying the fossil record supports macro-evolution.
At face value it shows extreme stasis interrupted by the sudden appearances of new fully formed complex animals.
Evolutionists reject saltation for obvious reasons, but that is what the record actually shows.

Interbane wrote:
The one thing you keep falling back on is that we haven't seen extreme speciation. But that's ridiculous, because the changes you're demanding only happen over longer periods of time.


The punctuated equilibrium advocates postulate rapid episodic bursts of evolution. But that is extreme speciation.
It's perfectly reasonable to ask how a land mammal could have evolved into a whale in the very narrow time frame paleontologists claim, based on their purported fossil links.
What biological mechanisms achieved this feat of transformation of such completely different animals and their biological systems?
As you say Interbane it's endless, and we are really just repeating ourselves.

From my perspective I would paraphrase Olsen's barbed quip to Henry Gee. "I don't know what you've got there,but it's not a walking whale."
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/01/re ... 02281.html



Last edited by Flann 5 on Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
DB Roy wrote:
Earliest known bee preserved in amber approximately 100 mya found in the Hukawng Valley in Myanmar.

Melittosphex burmensis, which has been trapped in amber for the past hundred million years, is the oldest bee fossil ever discovered. It lived in northern Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia about 35 million to 45 million years earlier than the next oldest specimens known to science.


That's very interesting, DB. I didn't know bees are believed to have evolved from wasps. What's striking to me is the sheer time span involved in evolution, which is why I asked Flann about geologic time scale. Speciation takes millions of years and many, if not most, species end up as evolutionary dead-ends as, I believe, the Tiktaalik was. Scientists predict transitional fossils and find them all the time, but we cannot expect to find every single transitional fossil between species a and species b. The evidence is fragmentary, scattered over eons of time Nor can we expect to be able to model macroevolution in a laboratory, being unable to factor in the most important factor of all: time. Time on an unfathomable scale.

It seems likely that an older bee/wasp ancestor will eventually be discovered and the timeline will have to be adjusted accordingly. Such as it is, always a work in progress.


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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
Flann wrote:
The fossil record does not support micro-evolution gradually leading to macro-evolution. I don't know why you keep saying the fossil record supports macro-evolution.
At face value it shows extreme stasis interrupted by the sudden appearances of new fully formed complex animals.


The fossil record supports it beyond the shadow of a doubt. You're referring to punctuated equilibrium.

Quote:
You say molecular and phenotypic phylogeny supports it, but it doesn't. You talk about attempts to 'reconcile' conflicting genetically based relationships and trees, when I point this out.

Do they take cytocrome C as their priority in a particular animal because it fits the preconceived theoretical tree and just discard the conflicting cytochrome B findings in the same animal?


You read Denton's book and suddenly you know how evolution works? There is a reason knowledge comes in aggregate - individuals are often wrong. Read actual books on evolution, rather than just ID or Creationist doubt merchants.

http://ncse.com/cej/9/2/protein-sequences-dentons-error

Quote:
What biological mechanisms achieved this feat of transformation of such completely different animals and their biological systems?


The same mechanisms staring us in the face. The real question is, what mechanisms do you propose would prevent such a change? The weight of evidence is entirely on the side of the mechanism being sufficient. You may not agree with this, but that's because you read creationist and ID literature rather than actual science literature. You're catering to your confirmation bias and are smugly indifferent to it.
Quote:
They can 'reconcile' their genetic findings to their heart's content, but these won't convince specialists in particular animals and their morphology of their genes based conclusions.

Here's just one example from lizards and this example could be multiplied.


Stop it with the creationist sound bites. An "unknown" isn't a problem Flann. Read the comments in that article you linked.

http://anchoredphylogeny.com/scincid-li ... ep-levels/

http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/ ... .2012.0703

http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/usin ... -phylogeny


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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
geo wrote:
DB Roy wrote:
Earliest known bee preserved in amber approximately 100 mya found in the Hukawng Valley in Myanmar.

Melittosphex burmensis, which has been trapped in amber for the past hundred million years, is the oldest bee fossil ever discovered. It lived in northern Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia about 35 million to 45 million years earlier than the next oldest specimens known to science.


That's very interesting, DB. I didn't know bees are believed to have evolved from wasps. What's striking to me is the sheer time span involved in evolution, which is why I asked Flann about geologic time scale. Speciation takes millions of years and many, if not most, species end up as evolutionary dead-ends as, I believe, the Tiktaalik was. Scientists predict transitional fossils and find them all the time, but we cannot expect to find every single transitional fossil between species a and species b. The evidence is fragmentary, scattered over eons of time Nor can we expect to be able to model macroevolution in a laboratory, being unable to factor in the most important factor of all: time. Time on an unfathomable scale.

It seems likely that an older bee/wasp ancestor will eventually be discovered and the timeline will have to be adjusted accordingly. Such as it is, always a work in progress.


And look how long it took us to find that bee. And we were very lucky to find it because it is so much older than the other bee fossils we have which means there's about 35 million years worth or bee fossils missing. Had we not found this one, the anti-evolutionists could go on and on about how bees and wasps did not evolve from a common ancestor. Now this fossil doesn't mean they did but it points strongly in that direction. The other problem is this bee is male whereas a female would have been so much more helpful since they are the worker bees.

But when I first read about the gall wasps, I figured the bee's ancestor must have evolved from something similar. Fig farmers often take the galls (egg sacks) of these wasps from one tree and hang them on branches that already have galls. As the egg hatches and the larva feeds on the sap, the tree sends more sap which fools this wasps into believing it's time to emerge and mate--they actually mature faster and lay more eggs resulting in more galls resulting in more sap with sweetens the fruit. Not only are figs dependent on these wasps for pollination but these wasps can be used to make the fruit sweeter. And it seems to me that a beehive may be an imitation of the cross section of a fruit tree--little hexagons full of sap.

Image

These ancient bee-wasps didn't cross over into becoming carnivores because of genetic variation. They learned to make their own sap.



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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
DB Roy wrote:
But when I first read about the gall wasps, I figured the bee's ancestor must have evolved from something similar. Fig farmers often take the galls (egg sacks) of these wasps from one tree and hang them on branches that already have galls. As the egg hatches and the larva feeds on the sap, the tree sends more sap which fools this wasps into believing it's time to emerge and mate--they actually mature faster and lay more eggs resulting in more galls resulting in more sap with sweetens the fruit. Not only are figs dependent on these wasps for pollination but these wasps can be used to make the fruit sweeter.


Here's another inconsistency with the story. Wasps morphologically the same as the modern ones that lay their larvae in fig plants,existed 65 million years before the fig plants appear in the fossil record. Not only that but the molecular dating for figs also places figs similarly later.
Of course they speculate and invent stories to get around this, as they always do in these cases.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... d-shared=0

Interbane wrote:
The same mechanisms staring us in the face. The real question is, what mechanisms do you propose would prevent such a change? The weight of evidence is entirely on the side of the mechanism being sufficient. You may not agree with this, but that's because you read creationist and ID literature rather than actual science literature. You're catering to your confirmation bias and are smugly indifferent to it.


No,it has to be demonstrated that the proposed mechanisms of mutations and natural selection are adequate to the task.
Plenty of well qualified scientists think not.

You simply don't find micro-evolutionary gradualism culminating in macro-evolution in the fossil record.
In reality it's the opposite, and that's a fact.

The I.D. advocates have solid evidence and a science based case here. Some people may not like it but it needs to answered scientifically.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=olC3fTcOalU The Cambrian Explosion.



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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
Flann wrote:
Here's another inconsistency with the story. Wasps morphologically the same as the modern ones that lay their larvae in fig plants,existed 65 million years before the fig plants appear in the fossil record. Not only that but the molecular dating for figs also places figs similarly later.
Of course they speculate and invent stories to get around this, as they always do in these cases.


What? What do you mean by invent stories? Is it ridiculous to think there might be a plant that existed a long time ago that has similarities to a fig?

Quote:
No,it has to be demonstrated that the proposed mechanisms of mutations and natural selection are adequate to the task.
Plenty of well qualified scientists think not.


Plenty of well qualified scientists expect natural selection to be demonstrated? Are these well qualified scientists a hundred thousand years old? How can natural selection be adequately demonstrated without a long enough stretch of time passing? The proposed mechanisms of mutation have been shown to be adequate beyond the shadow of a doubt. Speciation has been demonstrated.

Quote:
You simply don't find micro-evolutionary gradualism culminating in macro-evolution in the fossil record.
In reality it's the opposite, and that's a fact.


I don't even understand what you're trying to say here. Are you saying the fossil record contradicts evolution? Where did you hear this?


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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
Flann 5 wrote:
Here's another inconsistency with the story. Wasps morphologically the same as the modern ones that lay their larvae in fig plants,existed 65 million years before the fig plants appear in the fossil record. Not only that but the molecular dating for figs also places figs similarly later.
Of course they speculate and invent stories to get around this, as they always do in these cases.

Well, no, they have to incorporate new evidence and figure out what it means. Evolution encompasses a lot of detail and the details change whenever new evidence is discovered. You seem to be faulting scientists for not knowing everything about evolution from the start. Your comment here demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of how science works.

I have referred to an essay in the past written by Jeffrey Ellis called “Castles and Tents”. The author says that to be critical thinkers we have to build tents, not castles. Dogmatists build castles and throw up walls and embattlements from which to protect and defend their firmly entrenched beliefs against attack. But good critical thinkers build tents. Interested only in moving their opinions as close to the truth as possible, they must be able to pull up stakes and relocate as new arguments and new evidence cause them to reconsider their opinions.

In science we have to follow the evidence. This is its strength. If new evidence comes along or new interpretations are made of existing evidence that contradict our older assertions, we will happily pick up our stakes and move the tent.

http://jeffreyellis.org/castles-and-tents/


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Post Re: Useful scientific resources to silence fools
"The world's oldest known example of a fig wasp has been identified from the Isle of Wight. Dating back 34 million years, the fossil wasp looks almost identical to the modern species, suggesting the specialized insect has remained virtually unchanged for at least that long."

"We believe from molecular evidence that fig wasps and fig trees have been evolving together for over 60 million years," said Steve Compton, a fig wasp expert at the University of Leeds in England. "Now we have fossil confirmation that gets us a bit closer to that date. Although we often think of the world as constantly changing, what this fossil gives us is an example of something remaining unchanged for tens of millions of years."

"Compton and his colleagues used high-tech microscopy techniques to compare the ancient wasp fossils with modern fig wasps and with a specimen of a fig wasp encased in Dominican amber dated to 20 million years ago. Both fossil insects showed the same body shape and features as the modern species, they found.

The team also found pollen pockets on the underside of the fossil wasp and the wasp trapped in amber and identified grains of fig pollen within those pockets.

"What makes this fossil fascinating is not just its age, but that it is so similar to the modern species," Compton said. "This means that the complex relationship that exists today between the fig wasps and their host trees developed more than 34 million years ago and has remained unchanged since then.""

http://www.livescience.com/6617-world-o ... vered.html

Even if it were true that fig wasps existed 65 million years before the first fig trees, that they came upon a new plant to pollinate wouldn't be particularly odd. Here is an article on the use of bees to pollinate coffee crops. Bees are not the natural pollinator of coffee plants but introducing them to coffee fields have greatly increased our yields of coffee beans.

http://www.amjbot.org/content/90/1/153.full



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