Darwins Finches evolve

Discussion in 'Science and the Universe' started by Vajradhara, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I'm hip...but unless we think this happenned quite rapidly it seems there would be some eohippi fossils or at least some equahips, or hipotanooses. If all we were missing was B, I'd be tempted to agree. But in any species evolution it appears the closest we can get is a-l we are missing b-k and conjecture that 42 changes happened between the two.
     
  2. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Wil, I won't pretend that I know a whole lot about paleobiology or the fossil record. But from what I do understand, it is not realistic to think that we would be able to find a record of smooth transitions from one morphological species to the next.

    What I find compelling is found in the genomes of present-day organisms, as well as the observations we have from intentional breeding of things like Brassica and canines. I know, I know, they are still broccoli relatives and still dogs, yet if you found an intact broccoli and an intact mustard plant in the fossil record, or an intact chiahuha and St. Bernard, you might not conclude that they really were so very closely related. And, the one thing we don't have as evolutionary experimentalists is the factor of time. It's pretty difficult for us to conceptualize the length of time at work, and unrealistic to think that in a minute fraction of our speices lifetime we could reproduce the conditions that resulted in something like our own speciation. Of course we can speed up the process using genetic engineering, but still, a foundational part of evolution amounts to a great great deal of 'trial and error' on the part of genes being altered and discarded, or in very very rare instances kept as more beneficial.

    But as I said, the more compelling evidence is not found in the fossil record, but in the genomes of present-day species. Tobacco and petunias and tomatoes are all quite different species, although in the same family of Solanacea. But they can no longer naturally interbreed, they have different numbers of chromosomes. However, the genomes of these species have many many shared genes, and even large sections of chromosomes that can be aligned. You can deduce from these patterns what the genome of the common ancestral species was like, even though that ancestral species no longer exists today or can be found in the fossil record. And the same thing can be applied as you get further and further from the same family of organisms, seeing smaller and smaller chunks of DNA that have not been rearranged as you get further away from the genus or family.

    If not evolution, what possible explanation could there be for this observation? Why do we see these footprints of ancestral relatedness between largely divergent species if some other mechanism were at work. And if indeed God Did It (as at the root I firmly believe He did ;) ), why would He leave us this evidence of evolution, rather than just assembling each genome from scratch in no discernable pattern? After all, there's no biological reason that the genes must appear in any given pattern in the genome for them to be functional.

    Wil, I'm not picking on your post, but this is a point that never seems to be discussed. The focus always seems to be on the fossil record.

    luna
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Must agree. Take two of the finches from the islands, and let them breed else where. Let us see if their DNA is altered, or if their chicks or the next generation of chicks shows the same "adaptation" to the environment they find themselves in. If what is said is true, there should be no change...If on the other hand the bills change to meet the new environment (that is back to the way old finches live), then there is no evolution. If on the other hand they die in their new environment, because it is inhospitable to what they are used to...then maybe we have an evolutionary step before our eyes...:cool:

    That indeed would be very cool...

    v/r

    Q
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Quahom,

    thank you for the post.

    why "must" you agree? is it a religious reason which forces your agreement?

    so, you would propose to remove the finches from their natural habitat and have offspring in a completely different ecological zone? what would you learn about the Galapagos finches if they were in, say, Arizona?

    so, in your view, if something changes in response to the new enviornment, that isn't evolution?

    what a surprising view.

    we'd simply have dead birds.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste Q, I think there is an interesting point there...on one hand we are amazed that something changed/evolved even and dance at the evidence in a couple of short decades. But I'm just thinkng outloud, hasn't man moved animals, moths, birds, from continent to continent, introduced foriegn species in strange lands...some hundreds of years ago? Is there marked differences that we are touting?

    Luna, I know and agree with your statement on the fossil record. It just seems if we find bunches of fish lizards on the top of a mountain in Nevada, and we trip through such a wide variety of dinosaurs in Arizona...and I really don't know what is everywhere else...just know about what I see and read...it still seems their are illogical holes. Now I am not a creationist...I just think both camps make up answers to suit their needs. Funny enough I've read the genome argument from the creationists...Once G-d built some DNA that worked in one species...had conventinal builing blocks he reused them...much as one would find cinder blocks used in residential basements, high rise commercial, and industrial warehouses. Or the bone structure of a hand...reused in birds and dolphins...why not?

    Again, I think the perponderance of evidence lends towards some sort of evolving process. But also see some other influence that caused major changes...whether that was radiation, electromagnetic, alien (either through an active life form or something contained in a meteorite), or G-d...I don't know. I saw a special maybe a year ago about the animals returning to Chernobyl...foxes, voles, raptors, rabbits...all highly radioactive, the ones with tumors and cancer died, and now these seem to exist and replicate offspring that can deal with radiation...it is all interesting to me...still doesn't stop me from questioning...
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Not at all Vaj. I happen to believe evolution is a definitive change in the DNA structure of a life form, and I believe that it takes alot of time in order to get that helix to change from its original pattern. Anything short of that (IMO), is simply a temporary adaptation to an alien environment. If you stuck me on the Galopagos Islands (sp), for a year, I would come back as brown as an almond with bleached Strawberry blond hair. But a year later away from that environment, I'd be back to the ruddy Irish complexion and dirty blond hair I was born with.

    Case in point, with as many chemicals and energies man is subjected to every day, plus the different items we consume that were not available even a hundred years ago, we should show signs of evolving (genetically). With the exception of a mutation here and there, we aren't evolving in any sense of the word.

    If you wish to show conclusively that the Finches of the Galopagos Islands (sp), have "evolved" from the other finches around the world (including Arizona) ;) , genetic comparrison and results side by side would most definitely do it.

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  7. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Quahom,

    thank you for the post.

    in your view, evolution is not a change in allele frequencies?

    how long must something be changed for it to be considered "changed"? for instance, how long should the MSRE bug be resistant to our antibiotics before it would be considered resistant to our antibiotics?

    populations evolve, not individuals. hence the defintion as = change in allele frequencies in a population over time.

    oh?

    so, you would say that homo sapien sapien is the same as homo sapien neandthalas?

    what time frame is acceptable to you for a population to evolve? 1 generation? 1,000 generations?

    what about nested hierarchies and retrovirii?

    i see.

    so, when the DNA does evidence evolution, what is the objection then? further, you realize that i am not one of the scientists that have published this report, correct?

    it is not "my wish" to demonstrate anything other than the continued accumulation of evidence and knowledge to support the various theories that humans have regarding the natural world.

    it really comes down to ones a priori axioms and what they find to be pursuasive, in my view. clearly, you and i have different axioms and what we find to be pursuasive.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  8. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Wil, I have to say that is this kind of answer that 1) makes me want to tear all of my hair out of my head, 2) pray that we don't stop trying to educate our children about the mechanisms and evidence of evolution and 3) never ever want to particpate in this kind of debate again. I hope you take all of that in the light-hearted spirit in which it is intended, although I must say it is a very frustrating view to try to discuss.

    Why do you say that you think 'both camps just make up answers to suit their need?' Do you really think that scientists are just pulling things willy nilly from thin air and publishing them because they think they sound good? And even in defense of the creationists, they are trying to make their arguments conform to the Biblical account, as wrong-headed as I believe that approach to be.

    As for the creationist response to the genomic evidence for evolution, I just have to say that they have to try really really hard to ignore or explain away this fact. The simple straightforward answer is of course that it is exactly what we expect if evolution is occuring. It's not like Darwin had genetic evidence for evolution when he postulated his theory of descent with modification. He made a hypothesis based upon his observations. Lo and behold this hypothesis predicted what we were to find in the fossil record. And after that, lo and behold again it would predict what we find in the genomes of various species. That's what makes it a useful theory: its predictive value. The creationists 'theory' on the other hand has not predictive value, and in fact the reverse is true. Every time we discover more evidence supporting evolution, the creationist has explain this evidence away, and in doing so fails to provide any evidence that evolution is not occurring.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Gotta love it...and yes, I take it fine...no offense here. After all when it comes to a layperson in this discussion you can't get anyone with less knowledge unless you went to a third grader...I did graduate high school, but that was 30 years ago, when they were regularly promoting people through to get rid of them...all my higher degrees are achieved on the streets...

    But do I really think some scientists publish crap to get their name in the paper or their name on some thesis...uh yes. Publish or die, grant money, funded projects...millions if not billions are wasted on dead ends and ridiculous theories (I'm not just lumping evolution into that camp...just hopefully making a point)

    So yes, I do believe both camps have an agenda...and like our US court system...we are not out to find truth or justice but to prove our side is right. The both have benefit of thier side winning out.

    Me I'm just on the sidelines making stupid comments....and doing my best to support the hair replacement centers around the world....everyones gotta work!
     
  10. AletheiaRivers

    AletheiaRivers Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that your getting tan skin and bleached hair while on the island is an adaptation?

    That would be like saying that a finch with a long beak actually had its beak shrink while on the island.

    Is that really what you meant to say? Or is this a communication thing again? ;)
     
  11. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    If memory serves, there was a Seinfeld episode regarding "shrinkage". If I'm not mistaken that was also an environmental adaptation, although short-lived probably.

    BTW, I'm on the side of science when addressing our realities (in case you hadn't noticed), even though the findings and theories are sometimes distorted and venalized because of money, power, and ego. I'll bet the creationist system folks suffer from the same human foibles.

    But having worked with some very famous and well-respected scientists, for the most part their intentions were/are noble and moral IMHO, even if they sometimes don't turn out that way once they are published and exploited by others who might have not so noble and moral compunctions and intentions.

    flow....:)
     
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  12. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    My genetic sequences are not altered. Neither are the finch's (unless someone has information to the contrary). Since beaks are like fingernails...yes, the beak can shrink or grow depending on the needs at the moment. Hey, I'm willing to concede the point if someone will present the DNA comparisons between the finches of different geographical/environmental areas. ;)

    Case in point might be the wild Turkey and the domestic Turkey. Both have "dew claws", however the wild bird has a pronounced claw, wherein the domestic bird (farm grown), has a claw that is much smaller. Yet there is no genetic difference between the two birds...

    v/r

    Q
     
  13. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Good Morning Vaj!

    I do not think "genetic drift" can occur within two generations, or four, or six or eight...


    I acquire an immunity to each virus I get causing me a cold. My DNA sequence didn't change, but my immune system learned to combat that particular virus, so that I won't get it again.

    Starts with one, and the one must have a powerful "dominant" gene that will proliferate throughout the species. Still that has to take time (more than two generations to be sure).

    Never saw concrete evidence as to the existence of Neanderthalas (let alone Cro-Magnan).

    Depends on outside influences as well as breeding.

    Same template? Yes. Same species? Maybe not, let us compare the DNA sequences of the finches.

    None. But speculation verses "evidence to the fact" are two different ball games. Again, let us consider the comparrison of the DNA of the Island finches and finches elsewhere. Surely there will be a commonality as well as the differentian...and it will be most notable.

    I've yet to see the "evidence", hence my reservations...:eek:

    Sorry Vaj. I'm from "Missouri"...

    I'm more than willing to entertain evolution, even as quickly as proscribed, if there is genetic evidence to the same.

    A Platypus has a bill, but that doesn't make it a duck. The Finches on the Islands could very well be a unique breed of birds that look like finches elsewhere (mostly) but are not the same, in reality.

    A redwing black bird, is not the same as a black bird...just like a Crow is not the same as a Raven, or a Hawk the same as an Eagle. Steelhead are not Salmon; rather they are sea going Trout.

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  14. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Q,

    well, if you are going to decide what you think biological evolution *should* be rather than work with what it is, i suspect that we shall never come to any agreement. we are working with two completely different ideas and are seemingly unable to communicate effectively with each other on this.

    we have observed speciation in both the wild and in the labratory.

    nevertheless, do not dodge the question about MSRE and MSRA. if evolution does not occur, why are these immune to our antiobiotics? and, further, how did they become so?

    metta,

    ~v
     
  15. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I'm very open to hear your take on evolution. As for MSRE and MSRA, well, with our anti-biotics we gave them the equivelent of...the flu. Hence their immune system is now programmed to repel that...?

    It's just a thought.

    v/r

    Q
     
  16. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Greetings Vajra!

    I'm not certain how I missed this, it's been over ten years now...

    Seems to me the entire discussion has always been a classification issue...

    I would disagree. By suggesting that "mere" cosmetic "adaptations" denote different species, then cosmetic adaptations among human animals *also* denotes different species. Which is precisely within the scope of the OP.

    While I certainly agree, who outside of anthropologists gives a hoot about changing human taxonomy? (other than maybe doctors, and then not so much with historic changes)

    Surely you do not dispute that all of the Galapagos finches are able to interbreed, do you?

    That evades the inevitable result of your changing alleles argument as a basis for speciation.

    Not at all, it is precisely the end result of touting cosmetic adaptations as the be all and end all of speciation.

    Ah! But that is my argument, and has been all along. There is more to the story than what is currently preached. ;)

    I want to believe....

    Peace
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    ....a decade! goodness! :) you'll have to give me a bit to re-read the thread.... i wonder if i hold the positions, now, that i used to hold then! this is a rather fascinating opportunity :)

    i hope you have been well :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
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  18. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I hope the same for you, old friend!
     
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