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iSilurian

The Theory Of Evolution

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I watched through most of the above video.  He doesn't really talk about the evidences for the theory or really science at all. Just very basic, vague discussions.  His predominant focus is on Islam (as it presumably would be at a majilis).

Not that anyone should expect him to be descriptive, he isn't a scientist.

 

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As I said basic overview, many different age/level of understanding read these threads. So, basic overview for layman.

His bio says Phd, in Chemistry. But again, not a scientific lecture. To provide overview of the issue,(one of the views out there) His personal understanding,

Having a Uni Degree or Title is of consequence in technical terms. Common people can understand overall concepts.

http://usamaalatar.net/en/biography-2/

Edited by S.M.H.A.

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For example, here are the big issues identified 

Quote

Some of the questions that evolutionary biologists are trying to answer include:

Does evolution tend to proceed slowly and steadily or in quick jumps?
 

Why are some clades very diverse and some unusually sparse?
 

How does evolution produce new and complex features?
 

Are there trends in evolution, and if so, what processes generate them?

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_50

It does not take a rocket scientist to understand it. So, the beginning is missing, in the middle mechanics there so many gaps in this theory at multiple levels, ending is missing. Its one of the theories and no other theory is allowed and all the wealth and expertise in the world is bent of proving it for a specific reason. 

look at micro evolution, that is offered to support one of the gaps. Based on that whatever medical know how, is developed, is eventually of little use. Over all problem of Virus mutation and medicine resistant strains imply we will always be one step behind. Plus micro evolution, implies that change can happen in very short time and we have not seen it in humans.

So, you can believe in it, have faith in it if this is the only  thing you have but based on observations which not much solid data to demonstrate it.  Same argument can be made here, believing or having faith is one thing. Demonstrate it. Here we have got a modern day miracle, (as this science is used to provide a link, can't really explain it but believe in it  ) been presented to laypeople. 

This does not take away from science,Science , study and gaining knowledge is good. No one is denying progress in medical and biological fields. As it was a Tree of life , now is a Web of life based on new research. Its way more complicated than is been present to support a quest. ( its the connection that are troubling). 

Quote

["Gene exchange necessitates expanding the model of the tree of life, impacts the notion of organismal and molecular most recent common ancestors, and provides examples of natural selection working at multiple levels. Gene exchange, whether by horizontal gene transfer (HGT), hybridization of species, or symbiosis, modifies the organismal tree of life into a web. Darwin suggested the tree of life was like a coral, where living surface branches were supported by masses of dead branches. In phylogenetic trees, organismal or molecular lineages coalesce back to a lucky universal ancestor whose descendents are found in current lineages and which coexisted with other, now-extinct lineages. HGT complicates the reconstruction of a universal ancestor; genes in a genome can have different evolutionary histories, and even infrequent gene transfer will cause different molecular lineages to coalesce to molecular ancestors that existed in different organismal lineages and at different times. HGT, as well as symbiosis, provides a mechanism for integrating and expanding the organizational level on which natural selection acts, contributing to selection at the group and community level."]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19845634

 

Edited by S.M.H.A.

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On ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 12:34 PM, iCambrian said:

I think the biggest challenge in this discussion, isnt about whether biological evolution is a reality or not. The challenge is whether or not people are willing to accept it.

 

On ‎11‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 1:18 AM, S.M.H.A. said:

For example, here are the big issues identified 

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_50

... in the middle mechanics there so many gaps in this theory at multiple levels, ...

look at micro evolution, that is offered to support one of the gaps. Based on that whatever medical know how, is developed, is eventually of little use. Over all problem of Virus mutation and medicine resistant strains imply we will always be one step behind. Plus micro evolution, implies that change can happen in very short time and we have not seen it in humans. 

 

These two posts and elsewhere where "slow" or "jumps" in evolution are mentioned, l heard about and then found this: the Varroa mite's mutation in Northeast Russia is what is now attacking Western honey bees.  http://strathconabeekeepers.blogspot.com/2014/02/bio-control-of-varroa-mites.html  refers to this directly. There are also articles, such as bio-tech genetic research at Michigan (either UoM or MU) which found conduits to destroy these mites.

Here we do not having the Darwinian "survival" in a fixed environment, but the adaption to a new opportunity.

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On 11/25/2017 at 1:18 AM, S.M.H.A. said:

For example, here are the big issues identified 

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_50

 

In the berkley link he provided, discussion of slow and gradual, or "jumps" is a discussion related to punctuated equilibrium.

I've never really viewed this as a "big issue", rather it just gives people something to talk about. Both those who had proposed PE, those who are against the proposition, and those who recognize both, all still are aware of the occurrence and explanatory power behind biological evolution and common descent.

And this isnt a conspiracy or anything, its just that, whether PE is the case or not, this is irrelevant to whether or not evolution or common descent occurred overall.

To draw on an analogy, if a friend of yours was in new york one week, then in california the next, you could propose multiple means of traveling. Perhaps by car or train. But both by car or train are plausible means of traveling, its just a matter of understanding when the car was used, when the train was used, and what are the specific speed differences (or lack thereof) between the two.

And the means of travel doesn't change the fact that your friend has traveled, overall.

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2 hours ago, iCambrian said:

In the berkley link he provided, discussion of slow and gradual, or "jumps" is a discussion related to punctuated equilibrium.

I've never really viewed this as a "big issue", rather it just gives people something to talk about. ...

l'II have to read-up on PE, but as to slow versus gradual variations in natural selection l view as an important discussion.

Example, 3rd generation studies of men decades after a famine and the "genetic expressions" retained. An environmental determinant. Another like this is variation in genetic expression --even between twins-- by differences in food composition. (The soil where one food source is grown has a different metal-and-mineral content than the other.)

Maybe l read wrong, but from what l read about the Varroa is that a new bee in the area gave rise to another species of mites.

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On 11/27/2017 at 7:54 AM, iCambrian said:

In the berkley link he provided, discussion of slow and gradual, or "jumps" is a discussion related to punctuated equilibrium.

I've never really viewed this as a "big issue", rather it just gives people something to talk about. Both those who had proposed PE, those who are against the proposition, and those who recognize both, all still are aware of the occurrence and explanatory power behind biological evolution and common descent.

And this isnt a conspiracy or anything, its just that, whether PE is the case or not, this is irrelevant to whether or not evolution or common descent occurred overall.

To draw on an analogy, if a friend of yours was in new york one week, then in california the next, you could propose multiple means of traveling. Perhaps by car or train. But both by car or train are plausible means of traveling, its just a matter of understanding when the car was used, when the train was used, and what are the specific speed differences (or lack thereof) between the two.

And the means of travel doesn't change the fact that your friend has traveled, overall.

Lets look at the Actual Facts, at a Wider level. The Big questions

Any, Factual and tangible response to these questions(the kind of stuff a Layman can  comprehend). 15min and 5 min Videos 

 

*****

 

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On 11/27/2017 at 2:11 AM, hasanhh said:

 

These two posts and elsewhere where "slow" or "jumps" in evolution are mentioned, l heard about and then found this: the Varroa mite's mutation in Northeast Russia is what is now attacking Western honey bees.  http://strathconabeekeepers.blogspot.com/2014/02/bio-control-of-varroa-mites.html  refers to this directly. There are also articles, such as bio-tech genetic research at Michigan (either UoM or MU) which found conduits to destroy these mites.

Here we do not having the Darwinian "survival" in a fixed environment, but the adaption to a new opportunity.

They still stay the same species.

1:16 min

 

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Berlinski gets shut down here, live in debate. And even admits to a well understood faunal succession, at least with respect to certain sequences, such as the reptile to mammal sequence, see 8:00 minutes in.

 

And toward the video you see he even avoids supporting or being opposed to the concept of common descent because he cant deny the evidence, and he simultaneously cant accept it given his position, so he is driven into some sort of nihilism denial where he just doesnt accept anything, not even intelligent design. Even Behe supports common descent. 

Edited by iCambrian

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Really at this point, biological evolution is already established and known to occur and to have occurred in the past. There is still research going on to establish details of how it has occurred. Details in addition to things like your standard mutations and natural selection. But, it is established none the less.

Geology alone has its strong evidence for an ancient earth. Nobody is really in a position to go against geologic research, it is just too well understood at this point, like the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. And, the faunal succession is a byproduct of our strong understanding about the earth. Biologists have their own understanding of evolution, which reflects on what is understood in the faunal succession. And geologists can make predictions about biology, while biologists can make predictions about geology, through paleontology, as a testament to how well understood common descent with modification is.

And the only way around this, would be to...disprove the age of the earth, as well as...collectively disprove numerous large bodies of research across multiple fields of science (including biogeography, paleontology, biology, anatomy, morphology, genetics).

And that is something that no youtube video of some fringe religious fundamentalist, can really do. Despite what they think.

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10 hours ago, S.M.H.A. said:

They still stay the same species.

1:16 min

 

@1:16ff  Conservation of Species  (Q: He doesn't explain how 99% of species have gone extinct, does he?)

From some notes l took. Since it is now half a century since l had biology, y'all can go shoot any of this down. Thanks if you do, if you have good arguments.

- Search for Truth/Search for Evidence.  We had Science is a search for explanation.

-Darwin knew of Cambrian and pre-Cambrian geologic eras? Sedgewick first used the term in 1835 according to encyclopedia.com but it was not generally accepted until 1879. When I was in college, Cambrian Era was when life first formed, yet Darwin is supposedly -in this film- discussing pre-Cambrian life forms which weren't discovered l believe until the last quarter of the 20th Century.

- What l always had a real problem with is "comparative anatomy" arguments. This is because as a farm kid l know that hogs have the closest physiology to humans than any other animal --including all the 'other' apes.

-Cambrian Explosion ~540million years ago and Darwin discusses this?  l do not find this believable.

-@19minutes The lecture here reminded me of the panda. Not a bear. A bear. Not a bear. Now a bear as determined from DNA analysis.

-@23 minutes Homology - l never had a history of biological thought.

-@27 minutes  Embryos controlled by their genetic program.  :accident: Not entirely. For example crocs. The sex of the embryo is controlled by temperature. This occurs in other life forms as well.

- Hokey Haeckel:  didn't know this one.

- Same with the Pepper Moths "fraud".

-@ 46minutes Finch beak size. Did the enlarged beak size coincide with the drought and the growth stage of the finch -so the RNA expression kicked in? Similar to the first tadpole eaten by a dragonfly emits a chemical signal that mutates the other tadpoles in the pond.

-@ 55 minutes Mutations are not evolutionary material. l have no opinion.

-@ 1:16 Conservation of Species::  Finches not 'selected' but not _____

-@ 1:20 Environmentally Directed Mutations.

-@ 1:36 Epigenetics  --He glossed over this.

Thanx for the video.

 

 

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Articles/Videos raise important points( Big Questions) it up to us to investigate further. 

Like people question, investigate  every little detail when it come to Divine Religion. Same investigative, curiosity, and tenacity is needed, when taking anything (ideology) at its face value. Just because someone went to a prestigious Ivy League University, has few Phds, is a good writer and has a command of language and can market his/her idea in a book and it shows up on a the NY Times bestseller list --does not guarantee that he/she is absolutely correct in everything he/she says or written. Can’t take that as the gospel Truth.

Or if the establishment/Institution is propagating an idea it can’t be challenged and should be taken as absolute Truth. Remember when the establishment/Institution were controlled by the people with Divine Religion their first line of defense was it's an heretical idea(i.e Galileo).

Now that the institution/establishment is controlled by a different religion( i.e Non Divine Religion-). Their first line of defense is to deflect, divert and redirect attention by using charged words like Fundamentalist Religious person’s opinion. We need to sift  through the noize and take these (articles/videos) as a starting point to investigate further. Especially the Concepts. Big questions. Technicalities are lawyers domain, and its true in Religious and other discussions.

As this is not philosophy, or metaphysics, or theology it should be discussed in a dispassionate way, emotions indicate we have taken it as a Religion, Rhetoric has no place in Science, It's all about Evidence.

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7 hours ago, iCambrian said:

. Even Behe supports common descent. 

True or not. No comment of what anyone believes We all Star dust. (Common Material)

Here is the interesting point, sicne you mentioned the name 

Quote

For a while, Behe built a nice little career on being a maverick. His colleagues might have disowned him, but they didn’t receive flattering invitations to speak all over the country and to write for The New York Times. Behe’s name, and not theirs, crackled triumphantly around the memosphere. But things went wrong, especially at the famous 2005 trial where Judge John E. Jones III immortally summed up as “breathtaking inanity” the effort to introduce intelligent design into the school curriculum in Dover, Pa. After his humiliation in court, Behe — the star witness for the creationist side — might have wished to re-establish his scientific credentials and start over. Unfortunately, he had dug himself in too deep. He had to soldier on. “The Edge of Evolution” is the messy result, and it doesn’t make for attractive reading.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/01/books/review/Dawkins-t.html

This looks more like a Religious issue, with rhetoric/emotional/passionate views/attack.. not a pure Academic/ Scientific/evidence based honest investigation. Branding indicates that their are Gaps, and peoples view need to be deflected ...

 

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On 12/9/2017 at 7:59 AM, iCambrian said:

Really at this point, biological evolution is already established and known to occur and to have occurred in the past. There is still research going on to establish details of how it has occurred. Details in addition to things like your standard mutations and natural selection. But, it is established none the less.

Geology alone has its strong evidence for an ancient earth. Nobody is really in a position to go against geologic research, it is just too well understood at this point, like the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. And, the faunal succession is a byproduct of our strong understanding about the earth. Biologists have their own understanding of evolution, which reflects on what is understood in the faunal succession. And geologists can make predictions about biology, while biologists can make predictions about geology, through paleontology, as a testament to how well understood common descent with modification is.

And the only way around this, would be to...disprove the age of the earth, as well as...collectively disprove numerous large bodies of research across multiple fields of science (including biogeography, paleontology, biology, anatomy, morphology, genetics).

And that is something that no youtube video of some fringe religious fundamentalist, can really do. Despite what they think.

your view about those opposing man descends from an LCA is bit faulty.

I (maybe quranists are the exception) believe Prophet Adam (as) had no father nor mother.

but i surely believe how i evolved from a single cell (zygote is my biology knowledge still holds true) to a fully developed man as i am right now.

even if science is able to show to the world what is believed to be an LCA for the present human beings, it's still doesn't contradict my belief since "that LCA" could well be from one of thousands of Adams before the last Prophet Adam (as).

maybe, just maybe, if science can demonstrate how living organisms can evolve from non-living organisms, i will review/revise my belief system.

no, i'm not trying to impose my view on you, dear friend. :grin:

 

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http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235054707-macroevolution/?tab=comments#comment-3102302

There is no answer from Investigation/discovery of the physical world/elements (Science) to Origin of The Universe or Life or The System that sustains Life.  Science can only concentrate on secondary patterns, processes and the party line is enforced and followed. Avoid the fundamental questions and engage in processes/patterns and mechanic. Its up to us (Laypeople) to say enough with the magic show or the modern day miracle workers. Chance/random are new age words for Magic/Miracle (something not understood with current knowledge).

All Science can tell us is what they have discovered, as Science Is Agnostic- The Scientists can put any spin they want  on the data. There are Scientists who question the Party Line the prevalent view,(view that all things need to be understood without the Cosmic Authority). And any deviation from this doctrine is not allowed. There is an effective dictatorship in this community and the “Madrasa”(word appropriate to use to convey the reality)- follow the party line and graduates are brainwashed and the result is as we see.

Big Issue/Fundamental questions are key here.

1)Origin

After that, Even with the soup of enzymes how did we get this tiny machine?

https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/what-is-a-cell-14023083

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1 hour ago, hoskot said:

 

even if science is able to show to the world what is believed to be an LCA for the present human beings, it's still doesn't contradict my belief since "that LCA" could well be from one of thousands of Adams before the last Prophet Adam (as).

maybe, just maybe, if science can demonstrate how living organisms can evolve from non-living organisms, i will review/revise my belief system.

Regarding LCA, Posted this on Page 16 of this Thread. 

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/234989658-the-theory-of-evolution/?page=16&tab=comments#comment-3076564

Depending on the definition/understanding and motive- common material/element/ etc...From the Materialistic point of view, we are all Star Dust, or elements in the periodic table, or initial soup(enzymes/chemicals) All stuff is made form these , here 

Quote

Trees in a forest, fish in a river, horseflies on a farm, lemurs in the jungle, reeds in a pond, worms in the soil — all these plants and animals are made of the building blocks we call cells.

This quest for LCA , is a hunt with a motive, Tree of life, with genetics, its web of life with HGT (read above link), it will be some fancy foot work to formulate it, and there is a specific reason for this quest.  It will not matter in the whole scheme of things nor it will impact any Belief system.

Second, even if our Investigation or discovery efforts and gaining new knowledge about us our surrounding will only enhance the reality to us. Because even if we were to find out the reason for a material to combine and somehow gain forward memory and design template it will be just a process that we have discovered. 

Point is that we have very little information and gigantic leaps are been taken by the some in the scientific community and they can't back up there claims. These unproven theories/hypothesis  serve as doubt creators. 

Only thing, Real / Good/ Science will ever do is to make us more humble, as we and whats around us is created. All we do is uncover this reality. 

Edited by S.M.H.A.

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evolution (n.)

1620s, "an opening of what was rolled up," from Latin evolutionem (nominative evolutio) "unrolling (of a book)," noun of action from past participle stem of evolvere "to unroll" (see evolve).

Used in medicine, mathematics, and general writing in various senses including "growth to maturity and development of an individual living thing" (1660s). Modern use in biology, of species, first attested 1832 in works of Scottish geologist Charles Lyell. Charles Darwin used the word in print once only, in the closing paragraph of "The Origin of Species" (1859), and preferred descent with modification, in part because evolution already had been used in the discarded 18c. homunculus theory of embryological development (first proposed under this name by Bonnet, 1762) and in part because it carried a sense of "progress" not present in Darwin's idea.

But Victorian belief in progress prevailed (and the advantages of brevity), and Herbert Spencer and other biologists after Darwin popularized evolution.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/evolution

How is it different from these processes> Potential or every thing/building blocks on everything/ existed in the following processes.

Process: A fertilized human egg to full grown Human.

Process: A seed to full grown giant Sequoia tree

Process: Singularity to Current Universe

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235048597-think-out-of-the-box-universehumansequoia/

*****

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16 minutes ago, iCambrian said:

Im seeing a lot of random talk about abiogenesis, but still no response to arguments revolving around biological evolution and common descent. 

I posted this on Page 16 of this Thread: 

Read it in its entirety: 

Quote

Any thoughts on this, or plan to revisit your thesis Is it a Tree of Life or a Web of life ?

["Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) or lateral gene transfer (LGT) is the movement of genetic material between unicellular and/or multicellular organisms other than by the ("vertical") transmission of DNA from parent to offspring. ... Artificialhorizontal gene transfer is a form of genetic engineering.'']

 

--------------------------------------------------------

["Gene exchange necessitates expanding the model of the tree of life, impacts the notion of organismal and molecular most recent common ancestors, and provides examples of natural selection working at multiple levels. Gene exchange, whether by horizontal gene transfer (HGT), hybridization of species, or symbiosis, modifies the organismal tree of life into a web. Darwin suggested the tree of life was like a coral, where living surface branches were supported by masses of dead branches. In phylogenetic trees, organismal or molecular lineages coalesce back to a lucky universal ancestor whose descendents are found in current lineages and which coexisted with other, now-extinct lineages. HGT complicates the reconstruction of a universal ancestor; genes in a genome can have different evolutionary histories, and even infrequent gene transfer will cause different molecular lineages to coalesce to molecular ancestors that existed in different organismal lineages and at different times. HGT, as well as symbiosis, provides a mechanism for integrating and expanding the organizational level on which natural selection acts, contributing to selection at the group and community level."]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19845634

 

['"Charles Darwin's "tree of life", which shows how species are related through evolutionary history, is wrong and needs to be replaced, according to leading scientists.

The great naturalist first sketched how species might evolve along branches of an imaginary tree in 1837, an idea that quickly came to symbolise the theory of evolution by natural selection.

But modern genetics has revealed that representing evolutionary history as a tree is misleading, with scientists saying a more realistic way to represent the origins and inter-relatedness of species would be an impenetrable thicket. Darwin himself also wrote about evolution and ecosystems as a "tangled bank".

"We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality," Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, told New Scientist magazine.

Genetic tests on bacteria, plants and animals increasingly reveal that different species crossbreed more than originally thought, meaning that instead of genes simply being passed down individual branches of the tree of life, they are also transferred between species on different evolutionary paths. The result is a messier and more tangled "web of life"...."]

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2009/jan/21/charles-darwin-evolution-species-tree-life

*****

Read the top left hand corner- It says what ? I think ?

Darwin's sketch of the tree of life

A page from Darwin's Notebook B showing his sketch of the tree of life

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36 minutes ago, iCambrian said:

Im seeing a lot of random talk about abiogenesis, but still no response to arguments revolving around biological evolution and common descent. 

This was posted on Page 17.

Quote
  Quote

 Importantly, Darwin's more general phrases, including descent with modification, emphasise the continuity between populations, subspecies, sibling species, etc., which was perhaps the more fundamental issue in the mid-19th century (rather than that of the precise form of relationships).

This modification with descent phrase is used in several contexts, including main headings in the Origin. It occurs in the discussion around difficulties for the “theory of continuity”—including the absence or rarity of transitional varieties (leading to a discussion on the relative completeness of the fossil record, and why the fossil record should not be read literally—still excellent reading for paleontologists). 

 

  Quote

So where does this leave us? With respect to the Tree of Life, it is unambiguous that Darwin neither invented this ancient phrase, nor used it to describe the fundamentals of his evolutionary understanding. In contrast, he routinely used the term theory of descent with modification, and focussed more on the mechanisms of evolution and the continuity of life. I would therefore argue that we evolutionists need to have a better understanding of the history of our subject if we wish to claim something as novel. My own interpretation of why Darwin focused on a mechanistic view of evolution is that he started his professional career as a geologist [6],[7], effectively with Charles Lyell as his mentor [33], and Lyell sought to explain past geological events by mechanisms that could be studied in the present (Figure 1). Whether this interpretation of Lyell's influence stands future tests remains to be seen, but certainly Darwin was much more interested in mechanisms that could explain evolution than in describing patterns of relationships. As mentioned earlier, given Darwin's theory of descent and his interest in explaining the past by known mechanisms, we should welcome lateral gene transfer as another mechanism that can help explain past biology.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3130011/

 

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On 12/10/2017 at 8:09 AM, S.M.H.A. said:

I posted this on Page 16 of this Thread: 

Read it in its entirety: 

*****

Read the top left hand corner- It says what ? I think ?

Darwin's sketch of the tree of life

A page from Darwin's Notebook B showing his sketch of the tree of life

The article you posted doesnt really oppose biological evolution or common descent. Its just discussing how things like gene transfer result in expansion of phylogenetic trees in web-like ways. Whether you call it a tree or web or anything else, this doesnt change whether or not evolution or common descent occurred.

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l admit that Evolution is so complexly argued that l -to a large part- am lost.

Here is an example --and question-- prompted from the Berlinski lecture on page 19:

https://www.genome.gov/dnaday/q.cfm?aid=5827&year=2006  How viruses alter the genome.

And my question: Can this altering of genomes be enough to be an evolutionary driver?

 

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15 hours ago, iCambrian said:

The article you posted doesnt really oppose biological evolution or common descent. Its just discussing how things like gene transfer result in expansion of phylogenetic trees in web-like ways. Whether you call it a tree or web or anything else, this doesnt change whether or not evolution or common descent occurred.

FYI:

Quote

The entangled bank

A theory is based on the concepts that form its pillars. Community, or biocenosis, is surely a key ecological concept. The credit for coining it is given to Möbius [24], who developed it by describing an oyster bank. In The Origin of Species, however, Darwin describes rather clearly a biological community, using the tangled bank as a metaphor:

When we look at the plants and bushes clothing an entangled bank, we are tempted to attribute their proportional numbers and kinds to what we call chance. But how false a view is this! What a struggle between the several kinds of trees … what war between insect and insect … between insects, snails, and other animals with birds and beasts of prey … all striving to increase, all feeding on each other or on the trees and their seeds and seedlings …”.

 

The entangled bank is not a product of chance; it is a well-defined entity deriving from the interactions among all the actors that play a role in it. Communities interact with the physical factors, so as to form ecosystems. In fact, later in the book, Darwin introduces the physical factors, envisaging what was later called an ecosystem:

Nearly all (species) either prey on or serve as prey for others; in short, … each organic being is either directly or indirectly related … to other organic beings … the inhabitants of any country by no means exclusively depend on insensibly changing physical conditions, but in large part on the presence of other species, on which it depends, or by which it is destroyed, or with which it comes into competition”.

 

“Exclusively” means that a community depends on physical conditions, but not only. In certain parts of the Origin, Darwin disregarded physical conditions and stressed biotic interactions, namely competition and predation, whereas in other parts he recognised the importance of both biotic and abiotic drivers.

https://f1000.com/prime/reports/b/7/49/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26097722

Quote

By using the jumping genes, or so-called retrotransposed elements, the Uppsala researchers have found that, for instance, a cuckoo can be more closely related to a hummingbird than a pigeon in a certain part of its genome, while the opposite holds true in another part. The study found numerous examples to corroborate the existence of the phenomenon.
 

https://phys.org/news/2015-08-tree-life-bush.html

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Abstract

Reconstructing the 'Tree of Life' is complicated by extensive horizontal gene transfer between diverse groups of organisms. While numerous conceptual and technical obstacles remain, a report in this issue of Journal of Biology from Koonin and colleagues on the largest-scale prokaryotic genomic reconstruction yet attempted shows that such a tree is discernible, although its branches cannot be traced.

The Tree of Life (ToL) is a widely used metaphor to describe the history of life on Earth. While Darwin argued that the 'Coral of Life' may be a more apt description (since only the surface remains alive, supported by the dead generations beneath it), relationships between organisms based on shared characters are best organized using the schematic representation of a tree. Use of molecular markers, in particular small-subunit ribosomal RNA, have allowed this metaphor to be extended to microorganisms; however, this has also presented unique challenges for notions of phylogeny and evolution. One of the most significant challenges is the impact of horizontal gene transfer, which causes genes that coexist in a genome to have different molecular phylogenies [1]. Despite these challenges, the increasing ease with which genomes can be sequenced has reinvigorated attempts to use genomic information to reconstruct the ToL.

Combining datasets: supertree and supermatrix methods

All microbial individuals arise as the result of a fission of a parent individual. Therefore, a vertical line of descent exists, and could theoretically be reconstructed as a purely bifurcating tree (that is, an organismal or cytoplasmic tree).

However, while evolution presupposes and requires descent via reproduction, the two are not analogous. Evolution is, by definition, the change in the genetic material within a population of organisms across generations; therefore, any process by which genetic material within a population changes that is unrelated to the reproduction of individuals will show a history that is unrelated to the organismal vertical line of descent. This includes horizontal gene transfer. In many cases, the sum effect of these other genetic processes may completely obfuscate vertical descent, leaving only some measure of 'relatedness' based on overall genetic similarity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737374/

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FYI

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Alastair Crisp from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge said:

“This is the first study to show how widely horizontal gene transfer occurs in animals, including humans, giving rise to tens or hundreds of active 'foreign' genes.  Surprisingly, far from being a rare occurrence, it appears that this has contributed to the evolution of many, perhaps all, animals and that the process is ongoing.

We may need to re-evaluate how we think about evolution.”

http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/human-genome-includes-foreign-genes-not-from-our-ancestors

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Many animals, including humans, acquired essential ‘foreign’ genes from microorganisms co-habiting their environment in ancient times, according to research published in the open access journal Genome Biology. The study challenges the conventional view that animal evolution relies solely on genes passed down through ancestral lines and suggests that, at least in some lineages, the process is still ongoing

Link in the Last post, 

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3 hours ago, S.M.H.A. said:

Maybe you can start by giving your basic understanding of the concept of evolution.

This is not an understandable sentence.

Now, here is a :cool: one --for someone who grew up with the "terrible lizard" hypothesis:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/12/569949770/amber-trapped-tick-suggests-ancient-bloodsuckers-feasted-on-feathered-dinosaurs 

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9 hours ago, hasanhh said:

This is not an understandable sentence.

FYI

This should be crystal clear.

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Our cells use a number of special molecules to control which of their genes make proteins. In a process called methylation, for example, cells put caps on their DNA to keep certain genes shut down. When cells divide, they can reproduce the same caps and other controls on the new DNA. Certain signals from the environment can cause cells to change these so-called “epigenetic” controls, allowing organisms to adjust their behavior to new challenges.

Some studies indicate that — under certain circumstances — an epigenetic change in a parent may get passed down to its offspring. And those children may pass down this altered epigenetic profile to their children. This would be kind of heredity that’s beyond genes.

The evidence for this effect is strongest in plants. In one study, researchers were able to trace down altered methylation patterns for 31 generations in a plant called Arabidopsis. And this sort of inheritance can make a meaningful difference in how an organism works. In another study, researchers found that inherited methylation patterns could change the flowering time of Arabidopsis, as well as the size of its roots. The variation that these patterns created was even bigger than what ordinary mutations caused.

After presenting evidence like this, Jablonka argued that epigenetic differences could determine which organisms survived long enough to reproduce. “Natural selection could work on this system,” she said.

While natural selection is an important force in evolution, the speakers at the meeting presented evidence for how it could be constrained, or biased in a particular direction. Gerd Müller, a University of Vienna biologist, offered an example from his own research on lizards. A number of species of lizards have evolved feet that have lost some toes. Some have only four toes, while others have just one, and some have lost their feet altogether.

Sonia Sultan has shown that genetically identical organisms can be raised in such a way that they appear to be completely separate species.

Tom Parker for Quanta Magazine

The Modern Synthesis, Müller argued, leads scientists to look at these arrangements as simply the product of natural selection, which favors one variant over others because it has a survival advantage. But that approach doesn’t work if you ask what the advantage was for a particular species to lose the first toe and last toe in its foot, instead of some other pair of toes.

“The answer is, there is no real selective advantage,” said Müller.

The key to understanding why lizards lose particular toes is found in the way that lizard embryos develop toes in the first place. A bud sprouts off the side of the body, and then five digits emerge. But the toes always appear in the same sequence. And when lizards lose their toes through evolution, they lose them in the reverse order. Müller suspects this constraint is because mutations can’t create every possible variation. Some combinations of toes are thus off-limits, and natural selection can never select them in the first place.

Development may constrain evolution. 

https://www.quantamagazine.org/scientists-seek-to-update-evolution-20161122/

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Charles Darwin conceived of evolution by natural selection without knowing that genes exist. Now mainstream evolutionary theory has come to focus almost exclusively on genetic inheritance and processes that change gene frequencies.

Yet new data pouring out of adjacent fields are starting to undermine this narrow stance.

https://www.nature.com/news/does-evolutionary-theory-need-a-rethink-1.16080

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Continuation of above on Constraints...

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Constraints on evolutionary change

A lineage's development may limit the sorts of phenotypes that it can evolve. This limitation is called a developmental constraint.

The idea of constraint helps us explain why some things didn't happen in evolution that we might think would be advantageous:

why didn't any tetrapods evolve more than five real fingers and toes,

why didn't caterpillars evolve to have the complex eye of adult butterflies,

and why didn't pigs evolve wings?

Although difficult to figure out, the answers to these questions likely have to do with the developmental processes of tetrapods, insects, and pigs. Perhaps these features would fatally interrupt other aspects of the organism's development — or perhaps these features would require so many other drastic changes in development that they are unlikely to arise through mutation.

To look at an example in more detail, horses (and all tetrapods — from sloths to salamanders) develop through a stage where the embryo has limbs with five digits, even though some of these will be lost or greatly modified. One might think that it would be advantageous for horses to develop hooves directly, but they don't — they retain the five-digit developmental stage.

The explanation for this may be developmental in nature — skipping the five-digit stage may simply not be an option in tetrapods' developmental processes.

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evodevo_03

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@S.M.H.A.  Thank you very much.

ln your first explanation, l saw a program on epigenetics concerning the effects of famine on the later generations of males in a small population in Europe.

What you wrote in the second post about evolutionary constraints reminds me of the best laugh l ever had over a program on evolution: the thesis was this North American water creature evolved legs to escape a ferocious predator. That is 2 :hahaha:able points: the question, since when is 'Necessity' a driver of evolutionary change?; and second, if it evolved legs, then why not wings --and then fly or more quickly flap its way away?

 

Edited by hasanhh

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