Does evolutionary theory provide any useful scientific benefit?


(Benjamin Kirk) #347

What’s the point of your more serious note?

My point is that the numbers don’t tell you which differences are important. They don’t tell you which differences were selected. If we start the discussion with the differences “between the mammals that share a common ancestor” as you requested, but begin with the time interval zero, you might see my point more easily.

Are you beginning to see mine, perhaps? Please understand that I’m not denying the existence of new mutations nor the rate of new mutations. You are claiming that new mutations are the primary substrate for evolution, I am pointing you to the evidence that shows that existing variation is the primary substrate for evolution, a perfectly mainstream concept among population geneticists.

It’s presented in another way here:
http://slideplayer.com/slide/4569596/
starting with slide 28.

The point I’m making is highlighted on slide 33:

"Genetic polymorphism provides a much greater source of genetic variation than do the relatively few new mutations that arise each generation."

Merely measuring the numbers or ratios of differences between species or individuals does not help one to understand this extremely important mechanistic point. Denialists ignore and obscure it because it makes evolution easier to understand and takes away the theological club of randomness.


(Benjamin Kirk) #348

[quote=“gbrooks9, post:337, topic:548”]
Wasn’t my use of the term “badger” in connection to an Evolutionary Denier who wanted to talk about an early mammal that got to the approximate size of a badger?[/quote]
Not to my knowledge. You were the first to use the term in this thread.

In this thread you’ve only used it to try to make a point AFAIK.

[quote]The word “badger” was used because this early mammal seems to have been a fierce carnivore … and so badger-like would be a reference to the mammal being fierce and a carnivore … not because it LOOKED like a badger.
[/quote]I see. That’s puzzling, because I am not aware of any characterization of the land ancestor of whales as fierce. It seems to me that they could have walked/swam around eating fish and not fighting with any other animal.


#349

No, Falk never said that he worked at Wistar. He didn’t name any particular institution; he merely said that it was prestigious. He valued the scientific expertise provided by benkirk (for some odd reason!)


#350

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(George Brooks) #351

@benkirk

I just don’t understand why you are so fixated on the term “badger”. It was proxy terminology … to refer to a fierce small mammalian carnivore… a topic that was raised (though not specifically mentioned in connection to badgers) here (see link below for DCSSSSS posting in another thread):

I thought I had used the term “badger” in this thread (link above) - - but it looks like I was only thinking “badger” because it looks like I was the first to use the term … and right here in this thread.

But you seem to be the ONLY one who thinks my mention of badges was supposed to be LITERALLY interpreted. Can you give it a break? Even Eddie didn’t jump me with the use of the term - - he borrowed the term himself. I’m sure he doesn’t think Whales come from Badgers either.

I RENOUNCE ALL INTEREST in Badgers. It was a terrible mistake of mine to use the term. Badgers are Nothing … I SPIT on badgers.

Are we done now?

Now …as to the INTERESTING part of your recent postings:

"The point I’m making is highlighted on slide 33: “Genetic polymorphism provides a much greater source of genetic variation than do the relatively few new mutations that arise each generation.”

I believe I’ve already AGREED that this “genetic polymorphism” provides a greater source of variation … but I ALSO said that I was more interested in what would by definition be the SMALLER category of genetic variation: “new mutations”.

But, Ben, if you have a good exemplar where two separate species have the net mutations separating them QUANTIFIED . . . and mostly polymorphism also QUANTIFIED … well, then let’s get to it. Let’s DISCUSS THAT…

If you DON’T have a good exemplar … PLEASE GET OFF MY BACK … and let’s discuss WHATEVER IT IS THAT DOES separate mammalian species.

(I am raising the specific topic of mammal speciation because I’m thinking it would be more relevant than lizard speciation … but I’ll go to wherever or whatever has the best evidence to discuss.)


God - Natural or Supernatural?
#352

No, but the title is irrelevant.


#353

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#354

BioLogos has not retained the conversations from before the new system.


(Benjamin Kirk) #355

Humans and mice, of course. But you didn’t want to…


(Benjamin Kirk) #356

Hello Eddie,

What relevance would Wistar have to anything being discussed here?


(George Brooks) #357

And you are correct! I do embrace a certain amount of denial on this point. I have yet to read a definitive analysis … and until your recent postings, @benkirk, I didn’t realize there was any other view.

What do you think is the most persuasive case that polymorphism-without-mutations convincingly resulted in a new species? I am wide open to reptilian, amphibian or mammalian evidence that you may offer. You say humans and mice … but I don’t know of any study that says that. So introduce us to what you think is one of the better studies … yes?

Or is there actually a dearth of such literature? And to have speciation, we really need a robust chunk of “polymorphism-WITH-mutations” ?

[As for your comment about you needing to search through every posting… really? I think you should just believe me when I tell you why I said something … I said it wasn’t intended as a literal reference … and that’s the gospel truth. I’m an open book. A person has to be on a list with good search tools… and people with long memories…]


#358

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#359

No, I don’t remember the title. Who was preserving some of the comment sections?


(Benjamin Kirk) #360

[quote=“gbrooks9, post:357, topic:548”]
What do you think is the most persuasive case that polymorphism-without-mutations convincingly resulted in a new species?[/quote]
I think you’re missing my point, George.

Both are happening. What we are disagreeing about is the relative importance of new mutations vs. existing variation.

The idea that any ONE study would “say” that is preposterous! It’s an integration of a LOT of evidence, mostly for the human/mouse pair.





etc.

No, there’s a massive amount–for this pair. Those took me 30 seconds to find.

[quote]As for your comment about you needing to search through every posting… really?
[/quote]I was joking.


(Benjamin Kirk) #361

How is Wistar relevant to that?


(George Brooks) #362

@benkirk

You CLEARLY know the material more than I do… these links are virtually useless to the “average person” for showing what is involved in SPECIATION.

Last night I read an interesting article about population BOTTLENECKS contributing to episodic or faster speciation. But as SIMPLE as the article was supposed to be … in the end the author said that the evidence is still shaky or foggy.

So YOUR articles seem even further away from a conclusion on Speciation.

I encourage you to maintain a slightly more patient and tolerant stance when discussing some VERY NUANCED ANALYSIS of the experimental or observational evidence available out there.

Just as a reminder … the point of my earliest comments to which you objected was that I was especially interested in the kinds of population changes that lead to speciation (so-called “macro-evolution”) … rather than so-called “micro-evolution”.

Lots of writers are quick to say that even some/many Creationists agree with micro-evolution as a phenomenon … and that was is being disputed is Macro-Evolution.


(Benjamin Kirk) #363

[quote=“gbrooks9, post:362, topic:548”]
…these links are virtually useless to the “average person” for showing what is involved in SPECIATION.[/quote]
Hello George,

You asked for studies, I provided them. They are four examples of THE SAME THING. Are you saying that you can’t see the common story?

They are highly relevant to your claim that mutation is driving evolution, because they show that many human and mouse genes are functionally identical. That means that your hypothesis, at least for these genes and many, many more, is false.

I don’t see much nuance.

If mutation, causing changes in function, was driving evolution, that necessarily means that said mutations alter function. If your hypothesis is correct, most human genes wouldn’t rescue mice lacking a functional allele of their ortholog.

Just a reminder, George, humans-to-mice is ultra macro. They are IN DIFFERENT ORDERS.


#364

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(Benjamin Kirk) #365

[quote=“Eddie, post:364, topic:548”]
It’s a prestigious institution. Its prestige was invoked to justify Darrel’s estimation.[/quote]
When was it invoked and by whom?

[quote]I was merely completing the information that beaglelady supplied. If I was off-topic, it was in completing an already off-topic point. So either both beaglelady and I are off-topic here, or neither of us is. So any chastisement should be directed to both of us, if the person doing the chastising is interested in consistency.
[/quote]I invite you to point out how you think I’m chastising anyone. I’m simply asking questions because your fixation on Wistar makes absolutely no sense to me.


#366

I didn’t go off-topic. After Christy got on benkirk’s case, I added the following comment:

> It’s true that he could lighten up a bit, but I think we should be grateful that somebody with his knowledge is here and willing to share. As I recall, Darrell Falk (himself a scientist) was very grateful.

So I was responding to Christy, and wasn’t off-topic.

I think BioLogos should be very interested in getting the science right.