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Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complexity

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Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complexity
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Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complexity

This debate is between Proteus and miccah1116 over the topic "Is the Modern Synthesis of Evolution Capable of Explaining the Complexity of Life?"

Standard debate rules.

Debate analysis found here.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:31 am
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ProteusUser avatarPosts: 84Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:55 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complex

About a month ago the youtube user micah1116 and I had a debate in the comments section of Donexodus2's video "Irrefutable Proof of Evolution-Part 1 (mtDNA, ERVs, Fusion)". The topics we discussed include the ability of evolutionary mechanisms to produce new features, and significantly affect an organisms morphology to produce the diversity in life hence the title. Topics we also wanted to bring up include the origin of new genes, how creationists define genetic "information" and "kind", and finally the definition of macroevolution.

I will now turn it over to micah1116 issue his first series of challenges.
Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:59 am
micah1116Posts: 58Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:12 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complex

Hey proteus, sorry it took so long to finally post. Anyway, I'll start off with a couple challenges for you.

My first challenge is for you to supply evidence that changes in allele frequency can cause evolutionary change. Evolution contends that fish evolved into amphibian tetrapods. This would obviously require a new body plan such as digits and limbs. Changes in allele frequency only change the frequency in which already existing genes are expressed. This process has led to changes such as a wolf to a domestic dog, but structurally they are EXACTLY the same. In order for something to be considered evolutionary change, there has to be new structures present, this is exactly what evolution contends, that all forms of life originate from one body plan. How can selecting from already existing genes, produce new genes for entirely new structures. This process of changing allele frequency is callled micro evolution, how can micro lead to macro? When micro isn't evolution at all and results in no structural changes and produces no new informaiton.

My second challenge is for you to show me one example of a transitional fossil. By transitional fossil, I'm talking about two fossils that are identical except for a new structure, atleast the beginnings of one. For example, if fish evolved into amphibian tetrapods, you would have millions of years of fossils of just fish, then lets say a mutation occurs, or whatever you think will do it, and it begins to evolve limbs, even just tiny traces of limbs since it's supposed to be a slow gradual process. The fish with the partial limbs will breed, die, and leave behind fossils. After a period of time, you would have fossils of the normal fish, then you would have identical fossils except they have partial limbs. Show me one example of this, it can be any organism you can think of.
Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:41 am
micah1116Posts: 58Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:12 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complex

Also, I'd like to make a few more points that I would like you to respond to:

If fish evolved into amphibian tetrapods, why would thier fins continually evolve into limbs when it would be a dissadvantage to a fish to have limbs which make it more difficult to swim with agility while at the same time being unable to walk on land with grace. Evolution contends that Natural Selection weeds out dissadvantages and passes on things which are advantageous. If fish evolved into tetrapods, a transitional form would be dissadvantageous since it would not be idealy suited for either the water or land for a vast measure of time, perhaps millions of years. Why then would not Natural Selection weed out such supoosed transitional forms?

why would a fish evolve to seek food on land when the water provides a greater food source, and attempting to hobble around on land to catch something to eat would be more difficult than a fish's remarkable ability to quickly catch bugs and smaller fish in the water. If you say because of a diminishing food source in the water, or the water drying up and turning into land, I'd like to know how the environmental pressure of a drying environment or reducing food source can effect the homeobox genes so that a fish's fins would turn into legs.
Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:14 am
ProteusUser avatarPosts: 84Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:55 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complex

micah1116 wrote:My first challenge is for you to supply evidence that changes in allele frequency can cause evolutionary change. Evolution contends that fish evolved into amphibian tetrapods. This would obviously require a new body plan such as digits and limbs. Changes in allele frequency only change the frequency in which already existing genes are expressed.

One of the key points of the modern synthesis developed in the 1940's was that mutations are the original source of variation for evolution. Should these new variants be beneficial nature selects them and this variant becomes dominant through out the population. These traits can also spread, and thus increase the genetic divergence between two populations, via genetic drift. This can happen even when the trait is completely neutral. For example in 1993 Uppala Radhakrishna and colleagues published a paper studying a family in rural India in which a common ancestor with preaxial polydactyl (other structural changes were observed in other individuals as well) spread through out the populations onto dozens of descendants. I'll answer the rest of your question through the rest of this post.

miccah1116 wrote:How can selecting from already existing genes, produce new genes for entirely new structures.

Even in the case of more drastic changes involved in the evolution of tetrapods from lobbed-finned fish a change in alleles, can produce novel structures, without creating new genes. Fish in the evolution of tetrapods display a trend to lose bones, which fuse, making the fin stronger. This series of intermediates also shows the development of our own basic limb structure, that is a humerus/femur, followed by an ulna & radius/tibia & fibula, and lotsa other bones, which make up the wrist/ankle and phalanges.

Image
Image

The earliest transitions in this series limbs, resemble chondrichthyans, like skates and rays, who's fins are essentially a giant fans which splay out on both sides of the body. A study in 2006 found that mutating a gene involved in embryonic development, called sonic hedgehog, produced a dorsal fin morphology which is suspiciously similar to the limb-like fins of our fishy ancestors.

Image

So new genes aren't needed to produce novel changes, all though that can happen as well. It evidently did according to genetic research which indicates hox gene duplication events which produced new raw material for evolution to act on. Even in the case of major structural changes, organs can evolve from a lose of genes. In a recent study researches identified genes (And1-4) partly responsible for the development of the median fin and pectoral fins in zebrafish, as well as fin regeneration. These genes are also found in chondrichthyans (cartilaginous fish) and actinopterygians (ray-finned fish), but are absent in tetrapods. Predicting that the lose of these genes played a role in tetrapod evolution, researchers observed that inactivation of and1 & and2 resulted in reduced and truncated fins, however the tail was not as severe effected. This is exactly what is indicated in the fossil record, where we see the fins reduce in length, but the "fishy" tail is retained even in early tetrapods, like Ventastega curonica.

Image

The authors of the study go on to note that other changes in gene expression, including polydactyl mutations seen in mammals, would lead to multiple distal limb elements which appear to be identical. Again this is exactly what we see in the fossil record, such as the "almost-tetrapod" Ancanthostega which has eight symmetrical digits, followed by Tulerpeton curtum a "true" tetrapod which bears six digits, and this is reduced even further on all tetrapods after, which have five or fewer, differentiated fingers and toes
.

micah1116 wrote:This process has led to changes such as a wolf to a domestic dog, but structurally they are EXACTLY the same.

Then according to you humans and chimpanzee's "are EXACTLY the same".

micah1116 wrote:In order for something to be considered evolutionary change, there has to be new structures present, this is exactly what evolution contends, that all forms of life originate from one body plan.

Wrong. Now you are disagreeing with your previous definition of evolution. All evolution is is a change in allelic frequencies over generations.

micah1116 wrote:How can selecting from already existing genes, produce new genes for entirely new structures. This process of changing allele frequency is callled micro evolution, how can micro lead to macro? When micro isn't evolution at all and results in no structural changes and produces no new informaiton.

First, I will ask you to define exactly what "information" is, how we can quantify it, and what would be an example of new "information" arising. Second, the only difference between micro- and macroevolution, is the number of generations between speciation events, or, as you insist, some arbitrarily assigned morphological difference between an ancestral and derived state. But even if we were to use that defintion these macro changes always occur through repeated microevolutionary events. For example in the case of the evolution of the eye, computer simulations have shown that only small but beneficial, random mutations when selected for, can produce a complex seeing eye in a relativity (on geologic timescales) short amount of time. So where is the barrier to macroevolution?

micah1116 wrote: If fish evolved into amphibian tetrapods, why would thier fins continually evolve into limbs when it would be a dissadvantage to a fish to have limbs which make it more difficult to swim with agility while at the same time being unable to walk on land with grace.

To quote Richard Dawkins, "evolution is a blind designer". Traits don't evolve with the specific intent to serve some purpose into the distant future, only to help the organism at present. These changes can be modified later to produce other features though, and I'll discuss this at length below.


micah1116 wrote: Evolution contends that Natural Selection weeds out dissadvantages and passes on things which are advantageous. If fish evolved into tetrapods, a transitional form would be dissadvantageous since it would not be idealy suited for either the water or land for a vast measure of time, perhaps millions of years. Why then would not Natural Selection weed out such supoosed transitional forms?

We still have fish today which either retain, or have convergently evolved, traits similar to those seen in the ancestors to tetrapods and they seem to get along just fine. For example mudskippers have dorsally located eyes, can spend hours out of the water, catch prey and compete for territory on land. Some researchers have even seen them climb trees! Lung fish, which are close relatives of the sarcoptergyii transitions I previously listed, can survive in oxygen depleted water during the dry season with the use of their lungs (or in one species lung) while rival teleosts asphyxiate and die.

micah1116 wrote: why would a fish evolve to seek food on land when the water provides a greater food source, and attempting to hobble around on land to catch something to eat would be more difficult than a fish's remarkable ability to quickly catch bugs and smaller fish in the water.

In order to understand the selection pressures involved in this transition, it's important to understand Devonian paleoecology. But first a general point about evolution to remember is that extinctions leave vacant niches which will be filled by invasive or newly evolved species. Part of the Devonian-Carbiniferous extinction, involved a drop in aquatic oxygen levels, which put pressure on larger marine organisms who need more oxygen, but not smaller lung bearing sarcoptergians.

At the same time tetrapods were evolving, large armor plated fish, were stalking the rivers and oceans through out the Devonian period. These animals would have easily out competed the much smaller, armor-less sarcopterygians in open water. But the first primitive trees, such as Archaeopteris, were growing on land near rivers and streams. The fallen branches from these trees would have produced weed chocked, oxygen poor swamp environments ideal for small, lung-bearing, bony limbed "fishapods", like Tiktaalik . These fish would have been at a greater advantage if they were able to support themselves on their fins allowing them to conserve energy while stalking winged insects or small fish croc-style. These modified fins would have also been useful for navigating through mazes of branches and decaying vegetation, as well as "walking" through the muddy substrate, rather than wasting energy swimming in short bursts. Modern Australian handfish do this too, but have evolved this feature in a different way. Later, when the Placoderms were dying out, the first primitive sharks had appeared, and began invading the territories of primitive tetrapods, who in response adapted (although not consciously) their feety "fins" for life on land to escape predation, and exploit new niches.


micah1116 wrote: If you say because of a diminishing food source in the water, or the water drying up and turning into land, I'd like to know how the environmental pressure of a drying environment or reducing food source can effect the homeobox genes so that a fish's fins would turn into legs.

Environmental pressures do not cause mutations. You are thinking of evolution in a Lamarkian sense where organisms want to evolve. That's incorrect, and we've known it for about three hundred years. Instead, the environment selects for variants which are present and continues to select new variations which arise.

Since you are so interested in tetrapod evolution, I suggest you read "Your Inner Fish" by Niel Shubin. He brings up some of the studies I've linked to, and discuss other aspects of tetrapod evolution and other anatomical changes which led to the modern human body.


micah1116 wrote:My second challenge is for you to show me one example of a transitional fossil. By transitional fossil, I'm talking about two fossils that are identical except for a new structure, atleast the beginnings of one. For example, if fish evolved into amphibian tetrapods, you would have millions of years of fossils of just fish, then lets say a mutation occurs, or whatever you think will do it, and it begins to evolve limbs, even just tiny traces of limbs since it's supposed to be a slow gradual process. The fish with the partial limbs will breed, die, and leave behind fossils. After a period of time, you would have fossils of the normal fish, then you would have identical fossils except they have partial limbs. Show me one example of this, it can be any organism you can think of.

I believe I've already shown that above, but ignoring the previous examples I gave there are other transitional forms which meet the criteria you offer. Just look at the fossil record of horses.

In the late Oligocene and early Miocene equids began to adapt to life out on the open grass covered plains, coming from dense forests. The genus Miohippus which is very similar to Mesohippus display similar morphology to each other. While Miohippus is slightly larger, it isn't very different, with the exception of the ankle joint which displays the beginning of the "spring-foot" structure seen in more derived horses. Various individuals also display an extra tooth crest located on the upper cheek teeth, but the trait varies in this genus. This toothy adaptation is also found in the next horse in the series Parahippus in which this trait has become fixed, and also shows the beginning of ligaments under the foot. After this another speciation event took place (the line between the two is so fine that paleontologists can't agree when P. leonesis ends and M. gunteri begins) leading to Merychippus which is essentially identical to Parahippus. The only major structural change other than an overall increase in body size and leg length, is the fusion of the ulna and radius, to produce a more efficient runner.

Now according to your definition of morphology changes in the length, shape, or proportion of bones and other features do not make different organisms distinct, only organisms with completely different structures, right? And according to your restrictive definition of a transitional form (which is different from the one we agreed to before the debate) an organism must be the same "structurally" with the exception of the development of a new feature, right? So even though multiple features typically evolve at the same time, doesn't this series of animals fit exactly what you asked for?

My last question is as follows, when we were organizing the debate, you brought up the creationist concept "kind". I've found a variety of creationists definitions for this term, ranging from the taxonomic rank of species to order. Could you please define exactly what a "kind" is?
Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:50 am
ProteusUser avatarPosts: 84Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:55 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complex

Correction: the text at the bottom of the second image should read "Credit: Dahn et al 2007".
Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:13 pm
micah1116Posts: 58Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:12 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complex

Humans and chimps are not the same according to my definition. We have different ribs, the part of the brain that allows for speach, opposed thumb, etc.

The fossils you showed me do not meet what I was asking for, they might have some similariy such as number of digits, but will be totally different in other ways. I'm looking for exactly the same except for a new structure.

"We still have fish today which either retain, or have convergently evolved, traits similar to those seen in the ancestors to tetrapods and they seem to get along just fine. For example mudskippers have dorsally located eyes, can spend hours out of the water, catch prey and compete for territory on land. Some researchers have even seen them climb trees! Lung fish, which are close relatives of the sarcoptergyii transitions I previously listed, can survive in oxygen depleted water during the dry season with the use of their lungs (or in one species lung) while rival teleosts asphyxiate and die."

Now show me the transitions of the mudskipper before it full had lungs and walked on land.

The evolution of horses idea you mentioned has been debunked as of about 50 years ago, and hardly and books still talk about it.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creatio ... /horse.asp


"First, I will ask you to define exactly what "information" is, how we can quantify it, and what would be an example of new "information" arising. Second, the only difference between micro- and macroevolution, is the number of generations between speciation events, or, as you insist, some arbitrarily assigned morphological difference between an ancestral and derived state. But even if we were to use that defintion these macro changes always occur through repeated microevolutionary events. For example in the case of the evolution of the eye, computer simulations have shown that only small but beneficial, random mutations when selected for, can produce a complex seeing eye in a relativity (on geologic timescales) short amount of time. So where is the barrier to macroevolution? "

A computer simulation is not science, it's imagination, it's how they imagine it happened. Show me an example of a complex eye forming by natural processes.

You'll have to give more time to respond to the rest, most of the names you gave me I'm not familiar with.


I think your trying to give me a lot of information to make it look like you've said something. You know I haven't heard of most of the things your even talking about, so are we going to debate about each individual organism you are talking about, or are you going to give me a short and to the point answer?
Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:29 am
micah1116Posts: 58Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:12 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complex

"One of the key points of the modern synthesis developed in the 1940's was that mutations are the original source of variation for evolution."

Since the 1930's however, even to this day, millions of mutation experiments have been performed. Perhaps hundred of thousands between the 30's and 40's, asnd they continue to this day at most universities in the world. Not once in all of these experiments has a change to morphology been reported due to random mutation. Mutations may cause deformity in the individual, but these deformities dissapear in thier offspring, typically in the fisrt generation of offspring. No new structures that are permanent in any species has been observed due to random mutation. It is therefore unscientific to claim random mutation is a mechanism for evolutionary change, as there is no evidence that morphological change can be derived from random mutation. In fact, the certainty with with offspring revert to wild type after deforming mutations indicates random mutation not only does not, but cannot cause change to morphology. Why then if no mutation experiment has been reported to cause morphological change that is permanent in a species is it scientific to claim that mutation is a mechanism for the evolution of one kind into new kinds, such as fish into amphibians, which would require countless permanent morphological changes?

"Should these new variants be beneficial nature selects them and this variant becomes dominant through out the population. These traits can also spread, and thus increase the genetic divergence between two populations, via genetic drift."

Changes to color, size, pattern, and muscularity or robustness are reported due to mutation or adaptation. These are not morphological changes however. No number of changes such as these can transform fish into amphibians, which requires new structures, not merely the deformation or addition of more tissue to extant structures. Changing the shape of a fish any number of times cannot turn it into an amphibian. Such transition would require countless morphological changes - new structures not present. Mutation has never been reported to have caused such change, thus there is no morphological change for Natural Selection to make prominant in a population, and no transition from one kind into new kinds can be had. Why do you call it science to claim that cosmetic changes can be evolutionary change and suppoirt evolution theory's claim that all of the body plans and morphologies of life have arisen by random mutation acted upon by natural Selection when no evidence of morphological change is observed to occur by random mutation?

As for your reference to Genetic Drift, it must be understood that Genetic Drift is drift is the change in the relative frequency in which a gene variant. However, changing the frequency of any given gene within the genetic material causes a loss of genetic information by gene redundancy of expression. This is a negative to the imagined process of evolution. Furthermore, Genetic Drift does not cause change to morphology any more than random mutation. There is no evidence that changing the frequency of existing genes or alleles can somehow develop new strucutres by generating new genetic information. Why do you call it science to claim that changes to gene frequency can develop new morphological structures when no evidence of this is observed and Genetic Drift is the opposite of new information arising in the genome which might define new morphological structures?

"For example in 1993 Uppala Radhakrishna and colleagues published a paper studying a family in rural India in which a common ancestor with preaxial polydactyl (other structural changes were observed in other individuals as well) spread through out the populations onto dozens of descendants."

Firstly, Polydatyly in humans is a negative. Secondly, the trait, though dominant, is dissapearing in humans which carry it because of selection, in exactly the same way that countless animals reject deformed flies as mates, as is observed regarding flies in the laboratory which have become deformed and are rejected by others for mating. Thus, their deformity is doomed and a dead-end. Those who have the feature are not marrying as often as in the past, and the trait is being reduced to a smaller population continually, and thus will eventually be gone one day. Thirdly, the additional digit is not a new morphological strucutre. Those persons already have fingers and toes. A fish cannot become an amphibian by gaining additional bones in it's fins, nor a human transform into anything new by gaining digits. Evolution contends that new morphological strucutres have arisen in transition, as fish do not have the same morphology, not even all of the same bones or organs or, and often not even in the same location in ther body plan as mphibians. Thus, the evolution of fish into amphibians, amphibians into reptiles, reptiles into mammals, cannot occur by reproduction of extant structures. More eyes does not transform a fish into an amphibian. Neither do replication of extant fingers in humans support the claim of evolution. Why do you call it science to claim that replication of extant structures in humans is evidence of evolution when it does not cause new structures and is cannot support evolution's claim that new structures have arisen?

"Even in the case of more drastic changes involved in the evolution of tetrapods from lobbed-finned fish a change in alleles, can produce novel structures, without creating new genes."

That is scientifically unsupportable. Your statement demonstrates the anti-science of evolutionists. You have just made a statement of faith that something for which there is no evidence today has taken place countless millions of times in the past. There are no observed examples of morphological change in any species. Again, changing allele frequency causes a loss of genetic information, the opposite of evolution's requirement of new information which defines new morphological structures. There is no evidence of any "novel structure" as you put it, arising in any species without accompanying dormant genetic information being re-expressed, such as is the case with Italian Wall Lizards. Genes can be turned on or off by tuning epigenetic information (the existance of which alone discredits evolutionism). As for your statement "without creating new genes", this is also antiscience. There is no known mechanism for the development of new information in genetic material, no mechanism for it exists, and nature cannot produce information, which is a product of intelligent process - a product of mind conveyed from one intelligent source to another via communication. There are no examples of the repackaging of extant genetic information having produced new morphological structures not already present in any species. Why do you call this science when there is no example to use as evidence to support your claim?

"Fish in the evolution of tetrapods display a trend to lose bones, which fuse, making the fin stronger. This series of intermediates also shows the development of our own basic limb structure, that is a humerus/femur, followed by an ulna & radius/tibia & fibula, and lotsa other bones, which make up the wrist/ankle and phalanges."
The series you provide demonstrates the absurdity of ev0olutionism, for in it we are expected to believe that Sauripteris had somehow acquired additional, new bones in it's fin, then Eusthenopteron lost many bones, then Tiktaalik again lost bones, then Acanthostega somehow gained many new bones, then Tulerpeton lost bones, etc. This imagined gaining and losing, gaining and losing of bones illustrates that evolutionism is lunacy. At such a rate or morphological change, the sheer number of deforming, illness-causing, and biochemically degrading mutations that would occur would have made each and every one of these species extinct, since we know that the overall effect of random mutation upon life forms is degrading. To imagine that 100K negative mutations would be somehow overcome by the imagined single beneficial mutation is perposterous. Scientists such as William A. Dembski (Multiple PhDs in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science) have demonstrated with mathematics that the imagined rare beneficial mutation cannot overcome the overwhelming negativity of mutation in general, and that accruing mutation is a death sentance for all life forms.

"The earliest transitions in this series limbs, resemble chondrichthyans, like skates and rays, who's fins are essentially a giant fans which splay out on both sides of the body."

That's your assumption, but does not qualify as science, as there is no observed or repeatable example of new morphological strutures arising in any species. Please conform your claims to that which is scientific. We are not here to share assumption. This is a disscusion of science. Any claim you make must conform to science and the Scientific Method. Please do not posit that your assumptions are evidences in science. If you want to claim that such morphological change has taken place, you need to provide an observed, testable, and repeatable example of new morphological strutures arising and becoming permanernt in species, and these examples should be common enough that one can make Strong Inference that it takes place commonly and has done so countless times in the past. Else it cannot be considered evidence and cannot support your statement, and your statement is mere assumption. Please conform your claims to science.

"A study in 2006 found that mutating a gene involved in embryonic development, called sonic hedgehog, produced a dorsal fin morphology which is suspiciously similar to the limb-like fins of our fishy ancestors."

The study you cite describes variety within the kind. It does not discuss the observation of new morphological structures arising. Variation is not a new morphological structure. Varyious patterns of fins ins not a new fin, nor is it a new bone. There are dogs with long hair, dogs with short hair, and because of man's intervention, dogs with little hair at all. This is not evolutionary change. One cannot transform a fish into a tetrapod by causing or observing that variation in fin patterns arise. Fish-to-amphibians requires new morphological structures that do not exist in the ancestral species. Variation in fins is not a new morphological structure. It is merely the expression of new or different patterns in existing structures.

Furthermore, the study states, "Here we demonstrate that chondrichthyans share patterns of appendage Shh expression, Shh appendage-specific regulatory DNA, and Shh function with ray-
finned fish and tetrapods2--10" Gene expression is a remarkable example of Intelligent Design, and provides no evidence to support evolution, but instead supports Intelligent Design. Furthermore, the expression of extant genes does not create new genetic information which can define new morphological structures. Why do you call this science when variation within a kind is not evidence that life has acquired new morphological ctructures to become the various life forms? Why do you call it science to claim that existing genetic information can be expressed to define new morphological structures, such as bones and organs that are not present in the ancestral species? Please, conform your claims to science. To do this regarding this claim, you must provide the following evidence:

1) That extant genetic information can be expressed and produce new morphological structures no present in a species
2) That fin rays can transform into new bones
3) that appearance of variety in fin rays can be extrapolated with evidence to demonstrate that new morphological featurees can arise

Changing the shape of fins any number of times cannot move a fish towards becoming a tetrapod. To evidence this, you would need to provide observed examples of the following:

1) that gene expression can produce new, permanent cartiledge in a species
2) that gene expression can produce new, permanent bones in a species
3) that the expression of genes which define fin rays can cause the rise of other morphological structures, such as bone

Your evidence must be common enought that we can make Strong Inference that it has occurred commonly in the past and overcome the observed negativity of random mutation upon the structures of life forms as we observe them.

There is no evidence that the expression of extant genetic information can cause the rise of a morphological feature which is defined in other homeobox genes, such as those which define bones.

Lastly, the study you cite is an example of intelligent engineering, as the researchers induced these changes biochemically with the use of retinoic acid. I quote their study: "The ability of retinoic acid to exert dose- and stage-dependent" Why do you use an example of intelligent engineering and man-induced changes to life forms as evidence that such changes occur naturally as part of evolution? It is not scientific to do such a thing. You are producing hegemony when you cite intelligent causes as evidence of natural causes, then claiming it's evidence for evolution. Furthermore, it's not even an example of evolutionary change for variety within a feature to be observed. It is an example of Intelligent Design, in that the intelligent processes of gene expression are the cause. The epigenetic ant meta-information properties of DNA discredit evolution, they do not support it. Please, conform your claims to evidences in science. Putting forth intelligent engineering as evidence of naturally occuring evolution and putting forth claims that variation within a feature is evidence that new morphological features can arise naturally is antiscience. Please conform your claims to science.

"It evidently did according to genetic research which indicates hox gene duplication events which produced new raw material for evolution to act on."

Your claim here is antiscience and hegmonic. The appearance of duplicate genes is observed. This is however a negative, as the duplicate feature is typically a hinderance or death sentance to the organism, and may cause the organism to be rejected as a mate, thus ending the existance of the duplicate gene, as is the case with flies which acqire duplicate wings, a leg where an eye should be, etc. Also, the existance of a duplicate gene is entropic for the genetic system, as it causes the cell to expend more energy managing the genetic material, and provides a breeding grounf for negative mutation, and the overwhelming number of mutations which effect form and srtructure are indeed negative. It is your statement "for evolution to act upon" that is hegemonic. It posits that mutation will transform a duplicate gene into new information which will define new morphological structures. Therefore, I require that you provide evidence of the following to support this claim:

1) that mutations are capable of creating information (which is impossible, as information itself is a prodoct of intelligence)
2) that random mutation will transform this duplicate gene into information which defines a new morphological feature
3) that random mutation which effect morphology produce new morphological features

Your evidence must be common enought that we can make Strong Inference that it has occurred commonly in the past and overcome the observed negativity of random mutation upon the structures of life forms as we observe them.

Please conform your claims to science. Assumptions are not acceptible as evidence in science. I am not here to be indoctrinated.

"Even in the case of major structural changes, organs can evolve from a lose of genes."

This is a perposterous claim. The continued loss of genetic information would have caused all life to become extinct iof your claim were true. Please provide4 evidence that losing genetic information causes the rise of new morphological features, specifically, organs, or cause existing organs to "evolve", and I assume this to mean create new biological functions and interdependancies with the other organs of the organism. Without this evidence, you are speaking antiscience assumptions and presenting them as evidences in science. I must insist you provide evidence to support this outrageous claim. Your evidence must be common enought that we can make Strong Inference that it has occurred commonly in the past and overcome the observed negativity of random mutation upon the structures of life forms as we observe them.

"In a recent study researches identified genes (And1-4) partly responsible for the development of the median fin and pectoral fins in zebrafish, as well as fin regeneration. These genes are also found in
chondrichthyans (cartilaginous fish) and actinopterygians (ray-finned fish), but are absent in tetrapods. Predicting that the lose of these genes played a role in tetrapod evolution, researchers observed that inactivation of and1 & and2 resulted in reduced and truncated fins, however the tail was not as severe effected."

Your claim is perposterous and hypocracy. You have already claimed that duplicate genes provide the material for random mutation to transform into new morphological features, now you claim that a loss of genes does even more astounding things - that it creates new organs and transforms existing organs into more complex ones with new biochemical processes and interdependance with the body's other organs. There is no evidence in science to support this gross assupmtion that loss of genetic information can generate something new. Observed examples of loss of genetic information, as in the case with contual breeding of dogs, causes weakness of the varieties, loss of features (such as hair or a tail) and is a dead-end for the organism. All of the evidence of a loss of genetic information demonstrates the exact opposite of your outrageous claim that a loss of genetic information can produce new, stupefyingly complex, interdependant systems and morphological structures. I must therefore insist that you provide an example of observed loss of genetic information causing the rise of such structures. Your evidence must be common enought that we can make Strong Inference that it has occurred commonly in the past and overcome the observed negativity of the loss of genetic information upon the structures of life forms as we observe them.

"This is exactly what is indicated in the fossil record, where we see the fins reduce in length, but the "fishy" tail is retained even in early tetrapods, like Ventastega curonica."

The fossil record does not provide evidence of transition, which is why the majority of prominant evoluytionist scientists who have written books have stated in their own work that the fossil record of life demonstrates stasis predominantly. There are no evidences of transition. Placing extinct varieties within a fkind next to each other, then adding an organism which is not of the same kind but has a similar homology, does not provide evidence of morphological transition.

You have made many claims without providing evidences, and expecting us to accept your assumption as evidence. You have claimed:

1) random mutations create new information
2) random mutatiuons transform duplicate genes into new genetic information which defines new morphological structures
3) that gene expression constitutes evolutionary change (though it is not new morphological structure)
4) that a loss of genetic information creates new morphological structures, even organs
5) that Genetic Drift and (presumably) changes to allele frequency cause new morphological structures to arise
6) that random mutations are beneficial to the morphology of life forms,

...and perhaps a half-dozen other implied claims. Please provide evidence for these outrageous claims that conforms to science - that is observed, repeatable, and testable.
Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:34 am
ProteusUser avatarPosts: 84Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:55 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complex

micah1116 wrote:Humans and chimps are not the same according to my definition. We have different ribs, the part of the brain that allows for speach, opposed thumb, etc.

So you admit that you have contrived your own definition to satisfy your creationists presupposition, that humans cannot be apes. Unfortunately for you we are. Homo sapiens and H. neanderthalensis happen to have different ribs (although slightly), does that make one species an ape, and the other not? Humans and chimps both have opposable thumbs (as do all primates), chimps have the same basic neural hardwiring as do humans and are capable grasping concepts like language and abstract symbolism.

micah1116 wrote:The fossils you showed me do not meet what I was asking for, they might have some similariy such as number of digits, but will be totally different in other ways. I'm looking for exactly the same except for a new structure.

I've already presented that, both according to your made up definitions of transitional form and morphology.

micah1116 wrote:Now show me the transitions of the mudskipper before it full had lungs and walked on land.

I suggest you check the source I provided for the bit about the mudskipper, because if you had, you would know they don't have lungs.

micah1116 wrote:The evolution of horses idea you mentioned has been debunked as of about 50 years ago, and hardly and books still talk about it.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creatio ... /horse.asp

Interesting you link to AiG considering that even they accept the evolution of horses even though on a scale of hundreds of years, not millions.

Image

Your source also claims that an ancient three-toed horse was found in the same strata as a uni-toed horse, and this some how falsifies evolution. For one, no part about evolution suggest that an ancestor must go extinct when it produces a daughter species. Also, the evolution of horses, as in most clades, not a single anagenic line. There were several lineages of horses which went extinct through out the Cenozoic.

Image

Traits (like toe number, dental formula, tooth morphology, ext) were variable in many of these species, as I stated in my previous post. Further more we still have horses which are born with vestiges sets of two extra side toes. So if horses were created as is, and never evolved from smaller, primitive, tree toed runners, why do they have the genes for making extra toes? And we do some horses still have two or even four canines, while some don't have any at all, even though we have dozens of proto-horses with four canine teeth? And why is that the genera Homo and Pan are more closely related to each other, than either is to orangutans, if humans aren't supposed to be apes at all? And why is it that creationists can't deciede among themselves which of these transitional species are "just apes" and "just humans", even though every species listed here is 100% both!

Image
Note: For the sake of simplicity I used the "lumper" classification.

micah1116 wrote:A computer simulation is not science, it's imagination, it's how they imagine it happened. Show me an example of a complex eye forming by natural processes.

Wrong. This is proof, in the actually academic sense, of evolution. This is one example of how gradual changes can lead to novel, complex organs with random variations coupled with a non-random selective process, which is how evolution works. And if you'd like we have all the transitions in nature in one class of animals, the mollusc's, which demonstrates that steps involved in the evolution of the eye.

micah1116 wrote:I think your trying to give me a lot of information to make it look like you've said something. You know I haven't heard of most of the things your even talking about, so are we going to debate about each individual organism you are talking about, or are you going to give me a short and to the point answer?

I've been trying to do exactly that. You are the one who boasted that you had been in hundreds of debates and presented evidence before so I thought that the way I countered your challenges would suit you. I've also listed links to peer reviewed publications as well as websites and books written for laymen so you can verify that what I'm saying is accurate and learn about the details if you wish. You are the one who asked for specific transitional species and I appropriately responded to your request. I only hope that you will do the same.

micah1116 wrote:Since the 1930's however, even to this day, millions of mutation experiments have been performed. Perhaps hundred of thousands between the 30's and 40's, asnd they continue to this day at most universities in the world. Not once in all of these experiments has a change to morphology been reported due to random mutation.

Wrong. First off, mutations have been studied since the 1900's, by the father of modern genetics, Thomas Hunt Morgan. Second, I've already listed mutations which affect morphology, even according to your definition of that term, so are you or are you not going to recognize the points I made in my previous post? Third, universities have reported other mutations which even effect body plan and go a long way to explaining what we see in biology. For example Wolfgang Jakob and Bern Schierwater conducted an experiment in which they changed hox gene expression radically alter the body plan of hydrozoans. The two noted that some mutant phenotypes led to, among other things, body plans seen in living hydozoans:

"Notably, some of the observed gene inhibition phenotypes look like direct links to the bauplan patterns found in other hydrozoan taxa. The multiple oral poles (or multiple heads) phenotype is strikingly suggestive of colonial hydrozoans, or colonial cnidarians in general. Many colonial cnidarians form colonies by adding oral poles to a common stalk (stolon or hydrocaulus). Each head is functional in feeding and connects to a shared gastrovascular cavity, just as in some Cnox-2, Cnox-3 and Cnox-5 inhibited Eleutheria medusae. Other cnidarian bauplans derive from multiplication of tentacle structures or whole tentacles. The already bifurcated tentacles in Eleutheria duplicate further if Cnox-1 or Cnox-2 is inhibited, and the resulting phenotypes are similar to those found in several hydrozoan groups such as Cladonema radiatum. As a working hypothesis, it seems to us an intriguing idea that Cnox genes in Cnidaria may provide a very efficient means for macroevolutionary bauplan alteration, for example by multiplication of body parts."


Image
Credit: modified from Jakob & Schierwater 2007

Now compare their findings with what we actually see in biology.

Image
The multi-headed hydrozoan, Obelia, in its polyp form.

micah1116 wrote:Mutations may cause deformity in the individual, but these deformities dissapear in thier offspring, typically in the fisrt generation of offspring.

Yes, some mutations do, and those variants are typically removed from the gene pool via natural selection.

micah1116 wrote:No new structures that are permanent in any species has been observed due to random mutation.

Wrong. We have.

micah1116 wrote:It is therefore unscientific to claim random mutation is a mechanism for evolutionary change, as there is no evidence that morphological change can be derived from random mutation.

Wrong. Mutations are the raw material for evolution, not the mechanism. Genetic drift and natural selection are the mechanisms.

micah1116 wrote:In fact, the certainty with with offspring revert to wild type after deforming mutations indicates random mutation not only does not, but cannot cause change to morphology. Why then if no mutation experiment has been reported to cause morphological change that is permanent in a species is it scientific to claim that mutation is a mechanism for the evolution of one kind into new kinds, such as fish into amphibians, which would require countless permanent morphological changes?

Do you just parrot Nephilimfree videos and think that people like me have never heard this creationists rhetoric before?

micah1116 wrote:Changes to color, size, pattern, and muscularity or robustness are reported due to mutation or adaptation. These are not morphological changes however.

So the transitional horses I listed earlier were the same morphologically, with the exception of the single traits, you asked to see arising. I'm glad we can agree.

micah1116 wrote:No number of changes such as these can transform fish into amphibians, which requires new structures, not merely the deformation or addition of more tissue to extant structures.

I suggest you go back and re-read my second post, as well as the links I provided to understand why you are wrong.

micah1116 wrote:Changing the shape of a fish any number of times cannot turn it into an amphibian. Such transition would require countless morphological changes - new structures not present.

Evolution modifies existing structures to find new functions. And in the case of the "fin-to-feet" transition, bony fins and skull elements were modified, via fusion and fission to produce the scapula, humerus, ulna, radius, ext. which was modified further by later tetrapods. Nothing was really added, nor needed to be, and a lot of skeletal elements were lost! However all these animals, despite their superficial external differences, share the same basic skeletal pattern.

Image
Homology, it's a beautiful thing, ain't it?

micah1116 wrote: Mutation has never been reported to have caused such change, thus there is no morphological change for Natural Selection to make prominant in a population...

Why are you repeating the same assertion?

micah1116 wrote: Mutation has never been reported to have caused such change, thus there is no morphological change for Natural Selection to make prominant in a population, and no transition from one kind into new kinds can be had.

We don't know until you define exactly what a "kind" is. Now would you please do so as I've requested for the third time?

micah1116 wrote:As for your reference to Genetic Drift, it must be understood that Genetic Drift is drift is the change in the relative frequency in which a gene variant. However, changing the frequency of any given gene within the genetic material causes a loss of genetic information by gene redundancy of expression.

How does this cause a lose of genetic "information" when the trait is being spread through out a population? And again, how do you know this since you refuse to define exactly what "information" is.

micah1116 wrote:This is a negative to the imagined process of evolution. Furthermore, Genetic Drift does not cause change to morphology any more than random mutation.

As I said in my second post, drift increase the genetic divergence between two or more populations, making them more and more distinct, both on the level of the phenotype and genotype. This mechanism is also responsible for accelerating the process of speciation.

micah1116 wrote:There is no evidence that changing the frequency of existing genes or alleles can somehow develop new strucutres by generating new genetic information.

Even though I've presented evidence that it does happen. And again what is "information", why do you refuse to define it, and why does evolution require an increase of it to take place?

micah1116 wrote:Firstly, Polydatyly in humans is a negative.

Not really. Typically in mot species it tends to be neutral, and has been maintained in some cat breeds via artificial selection. Some of the first American sailors also valued polydactyl cats because they were said to be able to navigate snowy terrain, and catch more mice. Also this answers your challenge to show an example by which organisms can get new digits/change morphology. Are you going to deny that too?

micah1116 wrote:Secondly, the trait, though dominant, is dissapearing in humans which carry it because of selection, in exactly the same way that countless animals reject deformed flies as mates, as is observed regarding flies in the laboratory which have become deformed and are rejected by others for mating. Thus, their deformity is doomed and a dead-end. Those who have the feature are not marrying as often as in the past, and the trait is being reduced to a smaller population continually, and thus will eventually be gone one day.

Fortunately for the chaps who inherited the mutation in this family, you are wrong.

Image
Credit: Radhakrishna et al 1993

Next time please take a look at my sources, so we don't have to waste time.

miccah1116 wrote:Thirdly, the additional digit is not a new morphological strucutre. Those persons already have fingers and toes. A fish cannot become an amphibian by gaining additional bones in it's fins, nor a human transform into anything new by gaining digits.

Problem with that is is that this mutation accounts for the peculiar digit formula in Anchanthostega, but you would know that if you checked the source I provided.

miccah1116 wrote:Evolution contends that new morphological strucutres have arisen in transition, as fish do not have the same morphology, not even all of the same bones or organs or, and often not even in the same location in ther body plan as mphibians.

Yes, some of them do. Amphibians, mammals, and repitles do have any of the same bones as the sarcoptergians I listed previously and as the illustration I presented earlier clearly shows.

micah1116 wrote:Thus, the evolution of fish into amphibians, amphibians into reptiles, reptiles into mammals, cannot occur by reproduction of extant structures.

For the record, mammals didn't evolve from reptiles or amphibians for that matter. But I'm not going to go off on a cladistics tangent and distract from the rest of this debate.

micah1116 wrote:More eyes does not transform a fish into an amphibian.

What amphibian has more than two eyes?


micah1116 wrote:Neither do replication of extant fingers in humans support the claim of evolution. Why do you call it science to claim that replication of extant structures in humans is evidence of evolution when it does not cause new structures and is cannot support evolution's claim that new structures have arisen?

Because in your first post you asked this:

"My first challenge is for you to supply evidence that changes in allele frequency can cause evolutionary change. Evolution contends that fish evolved into amphibian tetrapods. This would obviously require a new body plan such as digits and limbs."


micah1116 wrote:"Even in the case of more drastic changes involved in the evolution of tetrapods from lobbed-finned fish a change in alleles, can produce novel structures, without creating new genes."

That is scientifically unsupportable. Your statement demonstrates the anti-science of evolutionists. You have just made a statement of faith that something for which there is no evidence today has taken place countless millions of times in the past.

I've already presented evidence of exactly that. You simply refuse to acknowledge it. And no aspect of "evolutionism" uses or desires faith.

micah1116 wrote:You have just made a statement of faith that something for which there is no evidence today has taken place countless millions of times in the past. There are no observed examples of morphological change in any species.

Are you going to keep repeating the same mantras, or make a valid point, which I haven't yet refuted.

micah1116 wrote:here is no evidence of any "novel structure" as you put it, arising in any species without accompanying dormant genetic information being re-expressed, such as is the case with Italian Wall Lizards.

I've been waiting for this. Point one, since you want to bring up atavisms, please explain why humans have the atavistic genes for making tails, why chickens have the genes to make teeth, why cetaceans have the genes for making hind legs, ext. Point two, present evidence that this trait is an atavism(I'm calling your bluff), because I've heard this Nephilimfree crap refuted already.

micah1116 wrote:Genes can be turned on or off by tuning epigenetic information (the existance of which alone discredits evolutionism).

No, it doesn't. In fact it helps explain some of the changes which have happened in the evolution of some organisms.

micah1116 wrote:As for your statement "without creating new genes", this is also antiscience.

:lol:

micah1116 wrote: There is no known mechanism for the development of new information in genetic material, no mechanism for it exists, and nature cannot produce information, which is a product of intelligent process - a product of mind conveyed from one intelligent source to another via communication. There are no examples of the repackaging of extant genetic information having produced new morphological structures not already present in any species. Why do you call this science when there is no example to use as evidence to support your claim?

I'll again ask you to define genetic "information" and to stop repeating yourself.

micah1116 wrote: There is no known mechanism for the development of new information in genetic material, no mechanism for it exists, and nature cannot produce information, which is a product of intelligent process - a product of mind conveyed from one intelligent source to another via communication.

Wait, so "information" is something which is passed from one intelligence to the other? Then in that case a genome is defiantly not "information" for the simple reason that most organisms aren't intelligent and don't inherit their genome from an intelligent source either. Shit, by that definition, some information written by humans doesn't qualify either. After all any book, say a diary, written by someone can contain information which will only be read (ideally) by one intelligence, the author.

micah1116 wrote:"Fish in the evolution of tetrapods display a trend to lose bones, which fuse, making the fin stronger. This series of intermediates also shows the development of our own basic limb structure, that is a humerus/femur, followed by an ulna & radius/tibia & fibula, and lotsa other bones, which make up the wrist/ankle and phalanges."
The series you provide demonstrates the absurdity of ev0olutionism, for in it we are expected to believe that Sauripteris had somehow acquired additional, new bones in it's fin, then Eusthenopteron lost many bones, then Tiktaalik again lost bones, then Acanthostega somehow gained many new bones, then Tulerpeton lost bones, etc.

I've addressed all this above and in previous posts so I won't repeat myself again.

micah1116 wrote:This imagined gaining and losing, gaining and losing of bones illustrates that evolutionism is lunacy. At such a rate or morphological change, the sheer number of deforming, illness-causing, and biochemically degrading mutations that would occur would have made each and every one of these species extinct, since we know that the overall effect of random mutation upon life forms is degrading. To imagine that 100K negative mutations would be somehow overcome by the imagined single beneficial mutation is perposterous.

Wrong. Most mutations are completely neutral since they are so common and most don't have any effect on fitness. Besides, as I've said before, natural selection sweeps away the ugly ducklings and favors those with beneficial mutations, so the scenario you imply goes against not only evolution, but common sense as well.

micah1116 wrote:Scientists such as William A. Dembski (Multiple PhDs in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science) have demonstrated with mathematics that the imagined rare beneficial mutation cannot overcome the overwhelming negativity of mutation in general, and that accruing mutation is a death sentance for all life forms.

Can you come up with an argument that isn't almost word for word recited transcript of a Nephilimfree video? For one, beneficial mutations don't have to "overcome" anything, they are just selected for by the environment. So the number of negative mutations, even if they were as high as you say, wouldn't matter thanks to natural selection. Dembski has been refuted on this point and many others. But I challenge you, if you really think that deleterious mutations are accumulating in all organisms, make a prediction as to when all life should go extinct, and the rate at which species should go extinct.

I also find it curious that you assert the already disproven maths of Dembski, but refuse to acknowledge the source I provided for the maths around the evolution of the eye and the computer model calculating the rate (based on observations of the real world, not creationist strawmen) at which one could evolve.


micah1116 wrote:"The earliest transitions in this series limbs, resemble chondrichthyans, like skates and rays, who's fins are essentially a giant fans which splay out on both sides of the body."
That's your assumption, but does not qualify as science, as there is no observed or repeatable example of new morphological strutures arising in any species.

Wrong. That statement was based on the obvious fact the the fins of the early sarcoptergians I listed in my previous post do resemble the fins of some chondrichthyians. This objection of yours doesn't make any sense, and yet again your repeating yourself.

micah1116 wrote:Please conform your claims to that which is scientific. We are not here to share assumption. This is a disscusion of science. Any claim you make must conform to science and the Scientific Method...[e]lse it cannot be considered evidence and cannot support your statement, and your statement is mere assumption. Please conform your claims to science.

At this point I am beginning to suspect that you are a troll.
micah1116 wrote:Please do not posit that your assumptions are evidences in science. If you want to claim that such morphological change has taken place, you need to provide an observed, testable, and repeatable example of new morphological strutures arising and becoming permanernt in species, and these examples should be common enough that one can make Strong Inference that it takes place commonly and has done so countless times in the past.

And I have. Will you acknowledge these examples?

micah1116 wrote:"A study in 2006 found that mutating a gene involved in embryonic development, called sonic hedgehog, produced a dorsal fin morphology which is suspiciously similar to the limb-like fins of our fishy ancestors."
The study you cite describes variety within the kind.

Again, define a "kind".


micah1116 wrote:It does not discuss the observation of new morphological structures arising. Variation is not a new morphological structure. Varyious patterns of fins ins not a new fin, nor is it a new bone.

I would ask you to actually read the paper I cited so you would know why you are wrong, but I'm not so optimistic at this point.
micah1116 wrote:There are dogs with long hair, dogs with short hair, and because of man's intervention, dogs with little hair at all. This is not evolutionary change.

Yes, it is a change in allelic frequencies, and thus it is evolution. But because of your creationist presuppositions, and blind adherence to a literalistic interpretation of scripture you cannot admit that, can you?

micah1116 wrote:One cannot transform a fish into a tetrapod by causing or observing that variation in fin patterns arise.

But according to the fossil record it did.

micah1116 wrote:Furthermore, the study states, "Here we demonstrate that chondrichthyans share patterns of appendage Shh expression, Shh appendage-specific regulatory DNA, and Shh function with ray-
finned fish and tetrapods2--10" Gene expression is a remarkable example of Intelligent Design, and provides no evidence to support evolution, but instead supports Intelligent Design.

First off, ID isn't science, but that isn't within the scope of this debate. Let's, instead take the quote you presented from the abstract and look what the rest of it says:

"Here we demonstrate that chondrichthyans share patterns of appendage Shh expression, Shh appendage-specific regulatory DNA, and Shh function with rayfinned fish and tetrapods. These studies demonstrate that some aspects of Shh function are deeply conserved in vertebrate phylogeny, but also highlight how the evolution of Shh regulation may underlie major morphological changes during appendage evolution."


So even in the abstract of the paper you quoted, disproves the assertion you've made several times now.

micah1116 wrote:Why do you call it science to claim that existing genetic information can be expressed to define new morphological structures, such as bones and organs that are not present in the ancestral species?

Because we've seen it happen. Why do you keep repeating the same points over and over again?

Your next series of paragraphs you dishonestly move the goal posts. While this tactic is a logical fallacy, but not unexpected when debating a creationist, it is a bit annoying. Why can't you accept it when you've been proven wrong? Other than that you continue to repeat what you've already said and I've already presented, I'll skip a few paragraphs.


micah1116 wrote:Lastly, the study you cite is an example of intelligent engineering, as the researchers induced these changes biochemically with the use of retinoic acid. I quote their study: "The ability of retinoic acid to exert dose- and stage-dependent" Why do you use an example of intelligent engineering and man-induced changes to life forms as evidence that such changes occur naturally as part of evolution? It is not scientific to do such a thing.

The use of retinoic acid mirrors the effect of an shh mutation without actually altering the genome of the embryo studied. This is a common practice in studying development, and mimics what one would see in a mutation.

micah1116 wrote:The epigenetic ant meta-information properties of DNA discredit evolution, they do not support it.

What are you talking about?


micah1116 wrote:"It evidently did according to genetic research which indicates hox gene duplication events which produced new raw material for evolution to act on."
Your claim here is antiscience and hegmonic. The appearance of duplicate genes is observed. This is however a negative, as the duplicate feature is typically a hinderance or death sentance to the organism, and may cause the organism to be rejected as a mate, thus ending the existance of the duplicate gene, as is the case with flies which acqire duplicate wings, a leg where an eye should be, etc. Also, the existance of a duplicate gene is entropic for the genetic system, as it causes the cell to expend more energy managing the genetic material, and provides a breeding grounf for negative mutation...


Wrong. Most gene duplications are inactivated through mutations and are degraded due to no selective pressure. However when some are mutated they acquire a function which aids the organism, therefore increasing fitness and likelihood to mate or grow to reproduce.

micah1116 wrote:Therefore, I require that you provide evidence of the following to support this claim:

1) that mutations are capable of creating information (which is impossible, as information itself is a prodoct of intelligence)
2) that random mutation will transform this duplicate gene into information which defines a new morphological feature
3) that random mutation which effect morphology produce new morphological features

Define "information". I'll also remind you that you are moving the goal posts, again.

mich1116 wrote:1) that mutations are capable of creating information (which is impossible, as information itself is a prodoct of intelligence)

Are you actually admitting to a presupposition?

micah1116 wrote:"In a recent study researches identified genes (And1-4) partly responsible for the development of the median fin and pectoral fins in zebrafish, as well as fin regeneration. These genes are also found in
chondrichthyans (cartilaginous fish) and actinopterygians (ray-finned fish), but are absent in tetrapods. Predicting that the lose of these genes played a role in tetrapod evolution, researchers observed that inactivation of and1 & and2 resulted in reduced and truncated fins, however the tail was not as severe effected."

Your claim is perposterous and hypocracy. You have already claimed that duplicate genes provide the material for random mutation to transform into new morphological features, now you claim that a loss of genes does even more astounding things - that it creates new organs and transforms existing organs into more complex ones with new biochemical processes and interdependance with the body's other organs.

I presented evidence that the changes you asked for can happen through a change in existing genes, a lose of genes, and through gene duplication followed by mutation.

micah1116 wrote:There is no evidence in science to support this gross assupmtion that loss of genetic information can generate something new.

So "information" is a functional gene? If that's the case, then I've already proven you wrong.

micah1116 wrote:Observed examples of loss of genetic information, as in the case with contual breeding of dogs, causes weakness of the varieties, loss of features (such as hair or a tail) and is a dead-end for the organism.

Well the lose of certain features, such as hair or a tail, is adaptive in certain organisms, such as naked mole rats.

micah1116 wrote:"This is exactly what is indicated in the fossil record, where we see the fins reduce in length, but the "fishy" tail is retained even in early tetrapods, like Ventastega curonica."

The fossil record does not provide evidence of transition...

Yes it does and I provided evidence that that is the case. If you are just going to ignore reality then there is no point in debating.

micah1116 wrote:"This is exactly what is indicated in the fossil record, where we see the fins reduce in length, but the "fishy" tail is retained even in early tetrapods, like Ventastega curonica."

The fossil record does not provide evidence of transition, which is why the majority of prominant evoluytionist scientists who have written books have stated in their own work that the fossil record of life demonstrates stasis predominantly.

For one, the fossil record demonstrates both phyletic gradualism and punctuated equilibrium. Further more there are obvious examples stasis followed by rapid changes with the intermediate fossils in between. I've already given an example in the case of equids and another in the adapid Notharctus demonstrates an [url=http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/pelycodus.html]case[url] of gradual change in the fossil record. For an example of stasis followed by rapid transition would be one case in the Two Medicine Formation where Jack Horner et al [url=http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v358/n6381/abs/358059a0.html]reported[url] finding morphological intermediates being found after a period of five million year stasis in dinosaurs, followed by rapid change which took place in half a million years.

Also, morphological stasis doesn't imply evolutionary stasis. For example tuataras were long considered to be living fossils. That is until scientists found the remains of an ancient tuatara with their DNA revealing them to be one of the fastest evolving animals.


micah1116 wrote:There are no evidences of transition. Placing extinct varieties within a fkind next to each other, then adding an organism which is not of the same kind but has a similar homology, does not provide evidence of morphological transition.

Science does not recognize the creationist concept "kind". And unless you specify what a "kind" is there's no way we can test whether or not the evolution of new "kinds" is possible.

In closing I find it frustrating that you want to change the definitions which we already agreed to and refuse debate for a set of common definitions which both wanted to agree on as a main part of the debate. If you cannot agree to what we set out to do in the first place and accept when you've been proven wrong, then there's no point in having this debate.
Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:30 am
micah1116Posts: 58Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:12 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Debate: Modern Synthesis of Evolution and Life's Complex

I've already defined kind, it's not hard to understand. A wolf and any domestic dog are the same kind, they are exactly the same structurally. If you were able to get a wolf or dog to evolve a new structure, it would be evolving into another kind of animal.

Let me respond to the rest of your claims before I move on to your others:

"Then according to you humans and chimpanzee's "are EXACTLY the same"."

Humans and apes do not have the same morphology. They have a different number of ribs, different bone and muscle and tendon numbers, humans have a