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kahlanne

Why the need to know?

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There will never be a way to confirm we know exactly how evolution works simply because we can never confirm that we are familiar with all the details that exist. In other words, we can't know everything. But we do now how evolution works, even if we are still exploring newly uncovered details.

I don't deny evolution exists, but my in my class we explored several different theories about how it works across species, that is how one species can evolve into another. I understand that on a small scale it is understood, as in how mutations occur in bacteria or adaptations evolve in a species. I don't really keep up on these things, and so I really was curious about the topic, and what the latest advancements/theories on exactly how it works, since the class I took implied we don't know exactly how it works. If you don't want to take the time to explain that's fine, it I could just look it up, I was being lazy ;).

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Okay, I am old Earth, but in my physical anthropology class in college we spent a semester studying the fossil record and the various theories regarding how evolution actually works because as my prof explained we have a good idea but we don't have all the details worked out yet and it is still debated.

 

Is there now a consensus on exactly how evolution works? I'm asking because I don't have time to read up on it and I'm truly interested, thanks!

 

There are several different mechanisms by which evolution has been shown to work:

 

Mutation - replication errors, insertion or deletion of portions of the genetic code, and other events can result in new alleles appearing in an individual, and thus sometimes a population.

 

Natural Selection - those members of a species who are most able to survive and reproduce in a given environment produce more offspring than those who are less able to survive and reproduce in that environment, thus increasing the rate at which the advantageous traits appear in the population over time.  (This was the one discovered and described by Darwin, as I'm sure you know.)

 

Gene Drift - an event changes the proportion of genes in a population.  For example, a volcano explodes and just happens to kill off many of the individuals carrying a genetic trait A, leaving behind a population with a higher percentage of trait B.  

 

Gene Flow - an exchange of genetic material between two different populations.  For example, two populations of a species might have been separated by some sort of natural barrier, but then the barrier got destroyed, so the two populations can interbreed, and this changes the genetic makeup of the population.

 

Those were the main categories as I was taught them, with subcategories to these as well.  For example, coevolution would be one type of natural selection in which the evolution of one species affects the evolution of another, so that the two evolve together.  Some examples of this would be predators and prey, parasites and hosts, flowering plants and the animals that pollinate them, etc.  And there's the "founder effect", a type of gene drift in which a small sample of a population founded a new population, and since it just happened to have a higher proportion of a certain trait than the population from which it came, the newly founded population has a higher percentage of that trait.  There are lots of interesting examples of this among human beings, like polydactyly among the Amish. 

 

Does that help?

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I don't deny evolution exists, but my in my class we explored several different theories about how it works across species, that is how one species can evolve into another. I understand that on a small scale it is understood, as in how mutations occur in bacteria or adaptations evolve in a species. I don't really keep up on these things, and so I really was curious about the topic, and what the latest advancements/theories on exactly how it works, since the class I took implied we don't know exactly how it works. If you don't want to take the time to explain that's fine, it I could just look it up, I was being lazy ;).

 

Evolution is the theory - the explanation of an observable phenomenon (biodiversity). Different hypotheses about how it works shouldn't confuse the student about the theory's credibility, so I admit my knee-jerk reaction is to wonder if this class accommodated religious beliefs. In any case, it might help to understand evolution always works on the small scale. Always. If you can imagine mutations in bacteria, you can imagine mutations in genetic code. Mutations occur in all biological species, so the evolution of a strain of bacteria is the same property as the evolution of the family Equidae (horses), for example. 

 

ETA: Nevermind. Greta's got actual information to share. I'm just babbling.  -_-

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I am OE with a Physics degree, and I don't understand what all the fuss is about.  By fuss, I mean the idea that YE people should be rejected as friends or a convention boycotted.  Reject curriculum, yes.  Reject people, no.  Use YE/OE as a sort of litmus test?  Doesn't make any sense to me.  Now if it were NAMBLA we were talking about, then yes reject the people.  At least that is where my personal line is.  

 

True, but with a few exceptions most of us in this thread have pointed out that we didn't reject YE people, they rejected us. After you have that happen to you enough times, you do start to generalize and figure if someone is a YE believer and you're not, they probably don't want to be friends with you (or if they do it's just to convert you). You no longer bother trying to cultivate friendships with such people because of how it will probably end. So while I agree that beliefs aren't a good reason to reject people, people like me are usually the ones being rejected.

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I don't deny evolution exists, but my in my class we explored several different theories about how it works across species, that is how one species can evolve into another. I understand that on a small scale it is understood, as in how mutations occur in bacteria or adaptations evolve in a species. I don't really keep up on these things, and so I really was curious about the topic, and what the latest advancements/theories on exactly how it works, since the class I took implied we don't know exactly how it works. If you don't want to take the time to explain that's fine, it I could just look it up, I was being lazy ;).

 

Oops, somehow I missed this when I typed my reply. I thought you were asking about general mechanisms of evolution, but you were really asking about mechanisms of speciation?

 

 

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That hasn't been my experience so far. Of course I'm usually the first to point out and jump on anecdotal evidence, so I most certainly realize that my experience is anecdotal and doesn't negate your statement. I just know my kids.

 

 

:iagree:  That's what would have to happen here too, and I don't see it happening.

 

Dss has chosen a woman whose beliefs don't conflict with his. He would have a hard time with someone who wanted to raise their children in a religious home. Ds' girlfriend is an atheist as well. While they have friends who are believers, and even one who is YEC, neither of them could have a romantic relationship with someone whose beliefs are completely opposite of their own. I don't know where this relationship will go, but even if they eventually break up, ds would have to undergo a radical change to find himself attracted to someone who is a fervent believer (young earth OR old earth). He's practically a 7 on the Dawkins scale.

 

I know that love is puzzling sometimes, but I just couldn't see either of them being attracted to someone so opposite in the first place.  Even if there had been an initial attraction, it would fade once they started to get to know each other. I also can't imagine a woman who has strong religious beliefs and considers them an important factor in a mate, falling for either of my boys.

 

And if there was any validity at all to the original comment about this, then DH would be a YE or I would. And both of us would laugh in your face if you accused either of us of that thought process. So nope. Atheists, agnostics, liberals, and progressives are able to find each other and be happily together for more than 16 years so far. And DH's parents are liberal progressives from 2 long lines of liberal progressives and no one knows of divorces in either line for generations.

 

It was a valiant attempt to scare me though. Lame, but valiant. :laugh: :lol:

 

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But he missed the most basic, fundamental, simple facts, facts like cleaning hands after voiding one's bowels or before preparing food. Making this a commandment doesn't require knowledge microbiology. If God can make eating shellfish or planting two different seeds in a single field a divine rule never to be broken (for what conceivable purpose?), why not make washing hands a divine rule never to be broken? Why state that the prayer of the faithful and the elders of the church anointing a person will heal sickness when this idea patently untrue? Forget the reasons behind these rules and regulations, something as simple as making a rule to wash hands after eliminating waste or preparing food could have made a profound difference in the lives of the people the god of the bible chose to set apart and bless. But somehow this knowledge seems to have been not only missed, but other, erroneous information was divinely inspired to be recorded for the good of humanity instead. 

 

Actually, it is a religious belief in Orthodox Judaism that hands are to be washed before eating, after using the bathroom, etc.  There are also verses in the Bible talking about how when you need to defecate you need to leave the city and bury it with a shovel.  The handwashing part might be found in the Talmud rather than the actual Bible, I'm not quite sure, but that doesn't seem relevant because I'm sure Jewish people would believe the Talmud was inspired by God as well, yes?

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Actually, it is a religious belief in Orthodox Judaism that hands are to be washed before eating, after using the bathroom, etc.  There are also verses in the Bible talking about how when you need to defecate you need to leave the city and bury it with a shovel.  The handwashing part might be found in the Talmud rather than the actual Bible, I'm not quite sure, but that doesn't seem relevant because I'm sure Jewish people would believe the Talmud was inspired by God as well, yes?

 

Ceremonial hand washing [all prayer and no soap] doesn't prevent bacteria. These ancient religious texts claim to be inspired by an otherworldly source of superior knowledge, yet they fail to recognize simple hygiene practices known to modern kindergarteners.

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