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#10906 - 12/31/05 07:46 PM The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Planko Offline
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Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 51
Loc: Mars
Ok, this thread is the official,

Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution

thread.

A place to post your observations that give rise to questions as to why they don't seem to fit the Theory of Evolution.

Also a place for others to show that your observations actually do fit into the TOE.


I've had many of these, but unfortunately I've never written them down so they have passed from me like water down a drain. So please excuse this first submital to this thread:

Why is it female humans adorn themselves instead of male humans?:

It seems that female humans, as far as day to day adornments go, adorn themselves I'd say at least 100% more than male humans. Also, at least in "free" societies, they seemingly tend to highlight their sexual features much more than male humans. This seems backwards given that male humans are the ones that are supposedly more sexually driven (thinking about sex on average every 24 seconds and all that jazz). It seems given that, that it would be male humans that would adorn themselves more to attract the opposite sex. This seems to be the case in other classes of the animal kingdom where males are more richly adorned in order to attract a female. What gives?


Again, I apologize for the rather poor first submittal, but let's hear your replies and your own submittals.

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#10907 - 01/01/06 01:14 AM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Dogrock Offline
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Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Ireland
Men adorn themselves with the things they believe attract females, i.e. power, wealth. Personality traits are sometimes aggressive to achieve these ends. Women adorn themselves with "flowers" and personality traits are often compliant. However all that is changing as men and women are reversing roles and so it is that men are now starting to wear the "flowers" and women the dark power suits. Men do whatever will enhance their changes of procreation, women do whatever will give them the "best" offspring. But I think evolution is so long and winding that applying it to a local time or place is not always wise.

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#10908 - 01/01/06 11:39 AM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
I have no issues with common descent etc.

I am, however, interested in the idea of Irreducible Complexity. The tail of the flagellate, for example, beats at 50 strokes per second and consists of a tail and a complex motor, none of which would seem to work independently. What is the mechanism by which this evolves?

Ants mandibles are another. I took the following from a website:

"So at first some ant-like creature evolved some kind of structure that didn't work, unless you want to believe that the mandibles were created full blown at the first try, on the very first genetic mutation. Thus there had to have been a lot of mistakes, creatures evolving other things rather than mandibles - you know, trial and error - perhaps an extra set of legs through mutation, or another thorax, or something else besides mandibles. These creatures all perished within one generation or so since they were burdened with this unecessary baggage that did not work right and thus they lost the battle for survival. This must have gone on for quite awhile until finally one day one of these ant-like creatures eventually produced a workable mandible, however not just one, but two at the same time to function together as pincers, with all of the cutting ability, the lifting muscles, the defensive and offensive power to fend off enemies that most ant mandibles have today. And it must have been a male and a female together at the same time who grew identical mandibles so that their offspring would carry the gene and pass it on to it's offspring lest it disappear as a quirky recessive trait that gets lost in the gene pool. And from there all of these other variations evolved with their marvelously configured variations in the different ant species."

- Now I feel that this is way too simplistic an approach. Can someone shed some light on where the writer is going wrong? And hopefully in the process shed some light on mutational change's ability to develop seemingly irreducibly complex systems.

For a long time people wondered how lungs could have evolved in water based animals and it became apparent that it was a change in the swim bladder - so I am not assuming there are no answers.

Please lets not have any pointless arguments about Evolution vs. ID etc. Can someone just answer the question?

Regards,

Blacknad.

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#10909 - 01/01/06 06:22 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
RM Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
There are not things that do not fit the evolution theory. There are things that APPEAR not to at first glance coupled with a lack of knowlege and understanding.

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#10910 - 01/01/06 06:58 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Planko Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 51
Loc: Mars
Quote:
Originally posted by Rob:
There are not things that do not fit the evolution theory. There are things that APPEAR not to at first glance coupled with a lack of knowlege and understanding.
Gee thanks. Is it alright with you if we go on with the discussion now?

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#10911 - 01/01/06 07:04 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Planko Offline
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Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 51
Loc: Mars
Come on people. Admit it, it happens to all of us. You are sitting there and hear something and say to yourself, "Wow! How does that fit into evolution theory?" I don't care if you're the most scientific scientist in science. I guarantee that exclamation pops up in the mind on occasion, for however short a time frame, in all of you.

So don't be shy, let's hear the ones that stumped you. Again, for however short a period that may have been.

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#10912 - 01/01/06 07:24 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Planko Offline
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Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 51
Loc: Mars
This is the standard refrain. But it just doesn't seem to cut it for me. Many of the points don't seem to logically follow.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dogrock:
Men adorn themselves with the things they believe attract females, i.e. power, wealth. Personality traits are sometimes aggressive to achieve these ends. Women adorn themselves with "flowers" and personality traits are often compliant.
So why is it different for men? Why wouldn't traits of power and wealth be attractive to men given that the driving aim is to seek the highest probability of producing offspring which will have those traits? It doesn't follow. Given, that the desired outcome suggests that both male and female parents would most desirably have those traits, or probably more exact, traits of health and longevity, it seems to even out and again leaves the question, "well then why do women adorn themselves more than men?".

Quote:
However all that is changing as men and women are reversing roles and so it is that men are now starting to wear the "flowers" and women the dark power suits. Men do whatever will enhance their changes of procreation, women do whatever will give them the "best" offspring. But I think evolution is so long and winding that applying it to a local time or place is not always wise.
Men doing whatever will enhance their chances of procreation, and women doing whatever will give them the "best" offspring, makes it seem like it would be men who adorn themselves more. See what I mean? It doesn't logically follow.

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#10913 - 01/01/06 07:40 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Planko Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 51
Loc: Mars
Quote:
Originally posted by Blacknad:
I have no issues with common descent etc.

I am, however, interested in the idea of Irreducible Complexity....
Well I have no background in biology, and am not all that familiar with the concept of irreducible complexity. But I'm not sure I see the problem here? Why couldn't the tail and the motor of the flagellate have begun as a less compicated version and evolved to the "complicated" version of today? Where exactly does this notion of irreducible complexity come from?

Same thing with the ants' mandibles. Why couldn't the genetic mutation have started as just a nub on the ants head, not wierd enough to cause its demise within a very few generations, and in fact possibly infinitesimally slightly useful in some way, and through generation after generation evolved more and more use, building upon itself through mutation (or iteration or whatever you prefer)?

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#10914 - 01/01/06 07:47 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Planko Offline
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Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 51
Loc: Mars
By the way, I'm sure there is some good probability work that can/has been done on whether the assumed time frame of the existance of an order or class and the time frame of probabilistic occurance of genetic mutation, concur with one another.

Can anybody tell me what this field of probability study might be labelled?

Evolutionary Probability? Is it fairly conclusive?

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#10915 - 01/01/06 09:47 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Why couldn't the genetic mutation have started as just a nub on the ants head, not weird enough to cause its demise.

- We would probably need to ask this question of many functional appendages. The problem, for me, is why we don?t see these useless nubs on existing animals. If what you say is correct, (and I am not saying it isn't), then why don't we have unexplainable lumps and bumps covering us, we are (maybe) oddly smooth. They would have as much chance appearing as any advantage giving structures. Of course because they would give no advantage they would not proliferate. But then why did the ants nubs? And the many other things that would need to appear in order to later become functional?

Wood ants squirt acid from their abdomens. This needs three things:

A cavity to hold it (gland). Acid to go in it (something to create it). A device to squirt it.

How does this occur through mutation?

What advantage does this confer unless it actually works? A partial acid squirting system does not squirt acid. Acid without the ability to use it confers no advantage. The ability to squirt something with nothing to squirt gives no advantage. At first thought the system seems to need to appear spontaneously. I don't think this is the case - what are the stages the wood ants acid squirting could go through, from simple to complex - confering an advantage at every stage to ensure its proliferation into the gene pool?

Regards,

Blacknad.

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#10916 - 01/01/06 10:24 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
and in fact possibly infinitesimally slightly useful in some way,

- The nubs would need to do one of the following to become established:

1. Allow an ant to eliminate ants without nubs.

2. Give an ant an advantage over other ants, allowing it to fertilise the Queen's eggs more often.

Worker ants have mandibles, but they are sterile, so can not pass on the advantage. They come from unfertilized eggs. So the Queen must be the originator of the genetic mutation - so to proliferate, the initial, barely formed mandibles must give an advantage when attacking or defending against other colonies. What advantage can lumps give to ants?

Regards,

Blacknad.

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#10917 - 01/01/06 10:40 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
and am not all that familiar with the concept of irreducible complexity.

By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly (that is, by continuously improving the initial function, which continues to work by the same mechanism) by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional. An irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would be a powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution. - Michael Behe.

I've been googling this a bit more (which I should have done before posting on it).
There are good critiques on Behe's approach - mainly along the lines that 'just because we cannot concieve of a simpler system that conferred an advantage doesn't mean there wasn't'. You can't argue with that really.

Systems that satisfy Behe's claim to be irreducibly complex have been shown to be evolvable in a step process, like flagellates tail and motor.

http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/flagellum.html

Rob - 'There are not things that do not fit the evolution theory. There are things that APPEAR not to at first glance coupled with a lack of knowlege and understanding.'

- I thought this was a statement of faith in evolution, but you may be right.

Regards,

Blacknad.

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#10918 - 01/02/06 05:17 AM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Planko Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 51
Loc: Mars
A few points,

I think your wood ant acid example is a good one. I was going to say why couldn't this squirting system just have started off as a bit of acid on the ant's mouth which later internalized itself more into the ants body and evolved into this "complex" mechanism, gland and all. However this doesn't seem to explain why the ant would develope this relatively un-complex, but necessarily complex in its own right, precursor mouth acid system in the first place. So I think I see your point.

However the answer might be to not look at the ant but its early, maybe even very early, progenitors where the poison could have started off merely as a distateful or even harmful, to the progenitor's preditor, part of the progenitor's body. Through natural selection and this basis to start on, the progenitor through many interations might have developed this system further which further developed into the "complex" system and ant we see today.

Same thing with the nuubs. And i'm not sure the nubs would have to satisfy the 2 criteria you listed. As long as they at no point contributed to a vulnerability in the ant, I suppose they could go on through iterations until at some point they actually switched into an actual advantage. Sort of just like a useless and uninhindering basis to start on.

I don't think animals, uncluding humans, are as smooth as you think. I actually think we are quite bumpy, depending on how you look at it.


The quote you provided regarding irreducible complexity does seem a bit circular: "If there is such a thing as irreducible complexity, then by definition there could not have been a precursor because then the thing can not be said to be irreducibly complex". Well great, then I guess its settled.


And finally, another poor contribution by me (probably again more in the vain of evolutionary sociology or psychology as my first one probably was):

If the driving force for humans is self-preservation and proliferation of one's own genes, or enhancing chances of procreation or creating the "best" offspring, then where does the existential fact of the urge to commit suicide come in? How is it possible that this idea is not yet eradicated? How about wars? How is it possible that the psychological construct of the willingness to sacrifice ones own life in war, has developed so late in the evolutionary game?

The answer may be that the so called inexcapable urge to procreate and proliferate ones own genes is itself a concept that is undergoing the vary evolutionary change or iteration that it claims to be the underpining of?

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#10919 - 01/02/06 01:05 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Planko,

Your wood ant acid idea makes sense. It could have appeared as a foul tasting secretion that was a by-product of some other process. The ability to secrete more and more would have been selected for. And the ability to secrete greater amounts eventually becomes the ability to project, and again this is selected for until you have an ant that bites an enemy and then bends its abdomen forwards and sprays formic acid into the wound.

I cannot imagine the development of the pump at a molecular level, able to spray acid up to 30 cm, but that is simply my ignorance and as Rob says 'a lack of knowledge and understanding'.

Regarding the ant's nubs - isn't a premise of evolution the fact that everything needs to give an advantage to be selected for and end up in the gene pool?

Regarding suicide - I don't think we should expect to see evolutionary reasons for all non-physical human characteristics. I think some things are mere emergent properties. When the thought processes become complex enough to allow self-realisation and the possibility of existential angst etc. then maybe suicide emerges as a solution to that pain.

Planko - "How is it possible that the psychological construct of the willingness to sacrifice ones own life in war, has developed so late in the evolutionary game?
"

- The idea of self sacrifice is certainly not unknown as an evolutionary advantage. A bird will potentially sacrifice its life by playing wounded to draw a predator away from its chicks.

People go to war, not to sacrifice their lives but to kill the enemy. But where a soldier lays his life down to save a wounded comrade, well of course this makes no sense in evolutionary terms. In fact it must be contrary - here you have young strong males (prime breeding material) and the stronger gives his life to protect the weaker who may not even be capable of propagating his genes afterwards.

This is a case of our ability to break free of our evolutionary heritage on many levels.

It is my genes interests that I go out and have as many women as I can. In fact it is in their interests if I save time and dispense with the whole chatting up malarkey and either try a John Nash or simply forcefully take as many women as I can. In fact I should really beat up smaller men and take their women.

I suspect my wife is grateful that I have the ability to choose otherwise.

This is why people can sacrifice themselves for no gain in war - because they are able to choose to.

Regards,

Blacknad.

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#10920 - 01/05/06 09:01 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:
Originally posted by Planko:
Why is it female humans adorn themselves instead of male humans?:

It seems that female humans, as far as day to day adornments go, adorn themselves I'd say at least 100% more than male humans. Also, at least in "free" societies, they seemingly tend to highlight their sexual features much more than male humans. This seems backwards given that male humans are the ones that are supposedly more sexually driven (thinking about sex on average every 24 seconds and all that jazz). It seems given that, that it would be male humans that would adorn themselves more to attract the opposite sex. This seems to be the case in other classes of the animal kingdom where males are more richly adorned in order to attract a female. What gives?
You're considering a social trait to be a biological trait without foundation. In modern western society, women are more adorned than men (generally). But that's certainly not the case in other societies.

Men seem to be attracted to "healthy-looking" women. Women are attracted to both healthy-looking men and men who show signs that they could support a family.

The same is true of other species, except that signs of supporting a family are not all that important when dealing with species where males don't invest anything in offspring, besides their gametes.
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#10921 - 01/07/06 01:11 AM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
jjw Offline
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Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 636
Loc: USA
Evolution at issue:

I think that man, humanity itself, is a poke in the eye of evolution. If this principle worked on all life form all the millions of years why is one life form, us, unique in so many ways?
Relax, it is ggod for you.
jjw

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#10922 - 01/07/06 05:41 AM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
jjw004 asks:
"I think that man, humanity itself, is a poke in the eye of evolution. If this principle worked on all life form all the millions of years why is one life form, us, unique in so many ways?"

My goodness you really are full of yourself aren't you. You stand in front of a mirror, admire yourself, proclaim yourself superior to all living beings, puff yourself up and think what a smart little boy you are. Makes me want to gag. A little education might lead to a large dose of humility.

You and your species won't be around 1/50th as long as the dinosaurs. And those things you will leave behind on this planet will be of as much consequence as the hills built by colonies of ants.

You are no more unique than the bacteria in your gut without which you couldn't even digest your food.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#10923 - 01/07/06 05:58 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
jjw Offline
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Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 636
Loc: USA
DA:

What little thing in your tirade relates to the point of my statement? So we are animals- some more then others- but we are the only writing and talking animals. We are the only animals drivig cars and inventing computers and rockets.
If you see nothing unique about people animals then try talking to the rest of the animals that evolution produced.
jjw

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#10924 - 01/07/06 09:58 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
RM Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
"You and your species won't be around 1/50th as long as the dinosaurs. And those things you will leave behind on this planet will be of as much consequence as the hills built by colonies of ants."

I disagree with this. Think of all the great movies and TV programs that we have sent off into outer-space. Aliens somewhere are bound to enjoy at least one of these programs.

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#10925 - 01/07/06 10:03 PM Re: The Official "Things That Don't Fit the Theory of Evolution" thread.
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
You are no more unique than the bacteria in your gut without which you couldn't even digest your food.

- Where would you start?

Grammar Nazi Alert:

"For many grammarians, unique is the paradigmatic absolute term, a shibboleth that distinguishes between those who understand that such a term cannot be modified by an adverb of degree or a comparative adverb and those who do not. These grammarians would say that a thing is either unique or not unique and that it is therefore incorrect to say that something is very unique or more unique than something else."


So DA, what were you saying about us being no MORE unique?

But to the point. Chimpanzees share 98.5% of their DNA with us indicating we evolved from a common ancestor - Do we share 98.5% of our achievements with them? Does any other species do a fraction of what we are able to do?

In fact every other species on this planet is in the main confined to activities such as eating, crapping, procreating, sleeping, hunting, fighting and grooming.

I also think that we are the only species to stand alone within a genus.

So are we unique? Of course.

The question is would we stay unique?

On the basis that chimpanzees can understand basic sign language and demonstrate the ability to use innovation when solving problems, it would seem not. Give them another couple of million years and they will probably join us in destroying the planet and maybe even make it to the giddy heights of producing their own reality TV programs: Chimp Idol - Celebrity Fit Chimp.

So as much as I would like it to be otherwise, I cannot really agree with you Jim. We are not a poke in the eye for evolution.

Now there is half a debate to be had about whether the future chimps would develop all of the characteristics that we have, such as complex emotion, love, art, justice, compassion, philosophical musings, sex for the fun of it etc. Can we even assume that they would become self aware? Would they develop religion without us Christians placing Gideons Bible's in the Monkey Hospitals?

Now I'm straying into origins. I won't go there, not on this board.

Regards,

Blacknad.

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