Definition of evolution and the distinction between micro/macro

(George Brooks) #262


I think it is more because YECs want to equate “Kind” with a category of animals …
when the Bible seems to equate “kind” with any reproductively unique population.

There’s a difference in terminology… where YECs think they can call a group of cattle a KIND,
when in fact, Western cows and african water buffalo most likely can’t reproduce a new Generation
at all. By the definition used in Genesis 1, cows and water buffalo are not ONE kind… they are two kinds.

(George Brooks) #263


Who who first suggested this as a definition for macro-evolution? It wasn’t @aarceng was it? Somebody else must have come up with that one…

But I’m willing to be corrected! @aarceng, did you invent that definition?

(Chris) #264

Back in post 88 I quoted Durston.

While I think it has much to recommend it I don’t think his method to measure functional information is applicable in all cases.

I’m repeating myself her but if the theory is that all other life on Earth is descended from LUCA, a single cell microbe with perhaps a few hundred genes, then to get to humans with many types of cells, tissues, and organs and around 20,000 genes then qualitatively there has been an enormous increase in information even if we can’t quantify it.

Since it is the gain of information, functions, features, that evolution must explain that is what I used in my definition of macroevolution.

Obviously other people disagree with this reasoning, and I have tried to explain why they’re wrong :wink:

(George Brooks) #265


And this is exactly the same trap that causes trouble for so many amateur evolutionists… they equate Evolution with a progression up some imaginary scale of complexity. Certainly things evolve and do become more complex.

But Evolution is ANY change…regardless of complexity.

When snakes evolved from 4 legged reptiles… are you saying snakes should not be considered an evolutionary development… because they are now SIMPLER?

(Lynn Munter) #266

I will accept that I was wrong here! I did not pay enough (any) attention to which creationist position Uncommon Descent was representing. If they really believe that intervention was only required to get so many different kinds of worms during the Cambrian, I remain somewhat baffled but I will not try to further discuss it here.

I would not even go that far. It is the definition of all life that it reproduces something like itself (after its own kind). I think kind can mean most anything the reader wants it to, just like the modern word can. All it’s saying is that there was a huge variety.

Since evolution is explaining that it occurred in many small steps, a proposed definition that claims each step must be both a functional change in the organism and a physical increase of DNA is a very cunning way to make it seem as if there is no such thing as a ‘functional increase of information,’ or if there is it’s very rare.

Or if scientists bring up examples and the response is more or less, ‘No, that’s not an increase in information because . . . well, I don’t know for sure what an increase in information would look like, but I’ll know it when I see it, and that’s not it.’

It’s no surprise that people are not very impressed with this reasoning. If I have understood it wrong, please correct me.

(Haywood Clark) #267

He only provides one link to his 2007 paper, which has only been cited 8 times in 11 years, so it’s obvious that no one, including Durston, is using his definition to measure anything.

The other link is to the Wikipedia article on statistical signifiance, so your use of the plural is false.

Perhaps you should consider clicking the links before making grand claims about what they say?

You seem to be ignoring how many of those 20000 are related to each other (from an ancestral duplication). Does a genome duplication event therefore double the amount of information?

But there are clear cases of evolution involving a loss of information, functions, and features.


I don’t see why this would be so. If you define information so that it isn’t needed in order for all of these species to evolve then there wouldn’t be an increase in information, as you define it.

It’s a bit like saying that you have to hit the ball 1,000 feet in order to get a home run. Of course, no one has ever hit a baseball 1,000 feet, and yet they are still recording home runs all of the time. If you set the bar too high for what counts as an increase in information then evolution no longer has to increase information in order to produce the biodiversity we see today.

As we have seen with many ID supporters, a gain in information is not needed to produce new functions or features. Whenever we show them the emergence of a new function or feature they say that it isn’t an example of an increase in information (e.g. the Lenski experiment). What the ID supporters have done is argue themselves out of the conversation because evolution no longer needs to produce new information as they define it.

(Stephen Matheson) #269

The Durston piece is ridiculous. But it links “functional information” to this PNAS paper by some solid scientists. I think you are referring to a different link, in the sentence following, which claims that “we have a method to measure evolutionary change in terms of functional information” and links to the nearly-uncited paper from 11 years ago.

(Haywood Clark) #270

That paper didn’t exactly light the world on fire, as it’s only been cited 24x.

Yes, thanks for the clarification.

(Stephen Matheson) #271

49, actually. “Citations on PubMed Central” is a poor approximation of actual citations. Caveat lector.

(Haywood Clark) #272

Fair enough, but 49 citations over 11 years remains in the not-lighting-the-world-on-fire category.

(Chris) #273

A good question, but before I can answer it can you give a definition of the theory of evolution?

(Chris) #274

A good question, but before I can answer it can you give a definition of the theory of evolution?

(George Brooks) #275


So… full circle? I don’t see how you think this will help you:

I define evolution as any change in the genome of a population. ANY change…it happens CONSTANTLY.

Even moments after God created a life by Special Creation…as soon as a new generation is produced… flaws in replication of DNA are unavoidable.

(Haywood Clark) #276

Before I do that, can you provide the evidence for your claim?

I’m still waiting on that, remember?

And if you can’t or won’t, maybe we could discuss what the evidence in this paper shows?

(Chris) #277

I like it. That definition of the theory of evolution is perfectly compatible with Young Earth Creation.

Less than 10,000 years ago God created the Universe, the Earth, and all that is in it, including Man, and all the kinds of animals. From the created kinds evolution has produced the many species we have today (and many others that have become extinct) through changes in the genomes of those populations. Some of these changes were flaws in replication of DNA, others were losses during partitioning of the kinds into species.

(Chris) #278

Actually it’s very good, probably in the top 10%

almost 44% of all published manuscripts are never cited. If you have even 1 citations for a manuscript you are already (almost!) in the top half (top 55.8%). With 10 or more citations, your work is now in the top 24% of the most cited work worldwide; this increased to the top 1.8% as you reach 100 or more citations. Main take home message: the average citation per manuscript is clearly below 10!
I also found a great blog post by Scott Weingart, which by restricting his analysis to a single journal, Scientometrics, got very similar results, with 50% of all published papers in that journal having fewer than 4 citations, 70% fewer than 7.

How many citations are actually a lot of citations? Nov 19, Posted by Luc Beaulieu

(Chris) #279

What’s the topic of this thread? Oh, wait, it’s Definition of evolution and the distinction between micro/macro

How about you address that first?

(Actually all I have to do to answer your question is go back to what I’ve already posted.)

(George Brooks) #280


Yes… but then you ruin everything by not including speciation and common descent for humans!

(Haywood Clark) #281

Certainly not. You’re missing context.

How many citations are actually a lot of citations ? Nov 19, Posted by Luc Beaulieu

That blog post is about about papers in physics. Are we discussing a physics paper here, Chris?

You’re even missing important context in the comments of the very page you cited!

“Nice article Luc. A minor observation is that those highly cited papers tend to be slanted towards biological sciences, which also tend to have a fairly high number of publications.”