Genetic Barriers Don't Exist

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    RUFUSATTICUS
    From: RufusAtticus
    Creationists like to erroneously claim that it is impossible for the
    accumulation of microevolutionary changes to produce macroevolutionary
    changes. A "genetic barrier" is oftern cited to account for this, although
    it is never identified. The hypothesis states, "there is a 'genetic
    barrier' that prevents one 'kind' from evolving into another 'kind.'" I have
    yet to see any attempt to justify this hypothesis using actual genetics or
    science. Furthermore, there clearly is not a justification because modern
    genetics has disproved this hypothesis (see below). However, it is another
    creationist buzzword that has no actual scientific value.

    The hypothesis of a "genetic barrier" was not originated by creationists. It
    arose almost a hundred years ago by biologists/evolutionists to describe the
    difference between macroevolution, evolution apparent between species, and
    microevolution, evolution apparent within a species. Creationists like to
    claim that the mechanisms from macroevolution are fundamentally different
    from the mechanisms for microevolution; this is their genetic barrier. They
    then assert that there is no evidence for macroevolution while
    microevolution is well supported. They never show why any evidence
    supporting macro is wrong; they just say it is. A long quote (please forgive
    me) from Futuyma helps explains the issue:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>One of the most important tenets of the theory forged during the
    Evolutionary Synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s was that 'macroevolutionary'
    differences among organisms--those that distinguish higher taxa--arise from
    the accumulation of the same kinds of genetic differences that are found
    within species. Opponents of this point of view believed that
    'macroevolution' is qualitatively different from 'microevolution' within a
    species, and is based on a totally different kind of genetic and
    developmental repatterning. The iconoclastic geneticist Richard Goldschmidt
    (1940), who held this opinion, believed that the evolution of species marks
    the break between 'microevolution' and 'macroevolution'--that there is a
    'bridgeless gap' between species that cannot be understood in terms of the
    genetic variation within species. Genetic studies of species differences
    have decisively disproved Goldschmidt's claim. Differences between species
    in morphology, behavior, and the process that underlie reproductive
    isolation all have the same genetic properties as variation within species:
    they occupy consistent chromosomal positions, they may be polygenic or based
    on few genes, they may display additive, dominant, or epistatic effects, and
    they can in some instances be traced to specifiable differences in proteins
    or DNA nucleotide differences. The degree of reproductive isolation between
    populations, whether prezygotic or postzygotic, varies from little or none
    to complete. Thus, reproductive isolation, like the divergence of any other
    character, evolves in most cases by the gradual substitution of alleles in
    populations.

    (Evolutionary Biology, third edition. 477-478)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Barrierists believe, like Goldschmidt did, that macroevolution and
    microevolution are fundamentally different; however, unlike Goldschmidt,
    they use the absence of a macro-only mechanism as proof of a creator and
    proof against evolution. The reason for the absence of a macro-only
    mechanism is that the same mechanisms apply to both micro- and
    macroevolution.
    This is not an "easy out" explanation, as they'd have
    laymen believe. It is backed up by genetic and biological observations and
    experiments. Goldschmidt was able to state his claim in 1940 because the
    science of molecular genetics did not exist then. It wasn't until the 1950s
    that Watson and Crick solved the structure of DNA and showed how genetic
    information was passed in cell division via template strands. The genetic
    code was later solved, explaining how DNA encoded proteins. Modern
    sequencing strategies allow us to map molecular genetic mutations to actual
    genes, demonstrating the variability of populations and the power of
    evolution. These sequencing strategies also allow us to map the differences
    between two organisms' genomes. The genetic distinctions for taxa can be
    detected by comparing organisms from different taxa. The data generated from
    such investigations show that distinctions between taxa follow the same
    rules as distinctions within a taxon.

    -RvFvS
     
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    HELEN
    Dear Rufus,
    With all due respect, the way I am reading your post, there are several
    things which are mixed up in terms of creation arguments. I’ll try to
    tease them apart…

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Creationists like to erroneously claim that it is impossible for
    the accumulation of microevolutionary changes to produce
    changes<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, that part is right. That is what we say in terms of the change of
    one basic sort of organism to another. Any expressed mutation will
    produce change, though. That is what ‘expressed’ means. But
    understanding that when we are talking about evolutionary change, we are
    talking about the sort of change that produces a different body type.
    This had to happen if a fish evolved into a dinosaur or a frog or a man.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>. A "genetic barrier" is oftern cited to account for this,
    although it is never identified. The hypothesis states, "there is a
    'genetic barrier' that prevents one 'kind' from evolving into another
    'kind.'" I have yet to see any attempt to justify this hypothesis using
    actual genetics or science. Furthermore, there clearly is not a
    justification because modern genetics has disproved this hypothesis
    (see below). However, it is another creationist buzzword that has no
    actual scientific value. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It’s not a ‘buzzword’ Rufus, and you referring to it as that is simply
    an attempt to marginalize it from the start. No genetic barriers?
    Well, I’ve heard of dogwood trees and catfish – maybe I just didn’t
    realize what those terms really mean! You can’t REALLY mean….

    No, I didn’t think so. Maybe your argument is more about where the
    genetic barriers are rather than that there really are none, eh?


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The hypothesis of a "genetic barrier" was not originated by
    creationists. It arose almost a hundred years ago by
    biologists/evolutionists to describe the difference between
    macroevolution, evolution apparent between species, and microevolution,
    evolution apparent within a species.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Then why are you calling it a buzzword of creationists?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Creationists like to claim that the mechanisms from
    macroevolution are fundamentally different from the mechanisms for
    microevolution; this is their genetic barrier.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Whoa! No one can simply say something (or claim something) except maybe
    God, and have it become a genetic barrier! We say it is there, and you
    say it isn’t. Now either it is or it isn’t, apart from anything anyone
    says. Nor is it quite right to say that the mechanisms being different
    are the genetic barrier. That seems to be – to me – mis-stating it to
    the point of confusion. There are obviously genetic barriers. Every
    person alive is probably aware of it to some degree! I could keep
    ducks with chickens outside and know they would have nothing to do with
    one another. And I have not even heard of a dicken or chuck egg! Maybe
    it’s a matter of mating preferences….. :D

    But the genetic barrier certainly seems to be there, whether or not we
    have it figured out yet. Sort of like gravity – we may not know exactly
    what it is, but we work around it all the time.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> They then assert that there is no evidence for macroevolution
    while microevolution is well supported. They never show why any
    evidence supporting macro is wrong; they just say it is.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The only evidence I have ever seen ‘supporting’ macroevolution comes
    from either simple variation or interpretations of data which can be
    interpreted other ways as well. In other words, how can we show why
    evidence is wrong when there is no actual evidence to deal with?

    Regarding the Futuyma quote, a couple of points.

    1. He refers to ‘the accumulation of the same kinds of genetic
    differences that are found within species.’ That is variation. The
    differences are already found within the species! However I am not sure
    what ‘accumulation’ he is talking about except for genetic load, which
    is the only thing we actually HAVE seen accumulate, and that is a nasty
    sort of thing, since it is the collection of heritable negative
    mutations found in any given population. So, please, what accumulation
    is he talking about? Something we have actually seen scientifically or
    something presumed to have happened “because evolution is true”?

    2. Macroevolution IS qualitatively different because it must break out
    of the standard variations found within a population (species, if you
    like) and produce something entirely different – some shift not found in
    the population until that time.

    3. Regarding Goldschmidt’s claim that there is a ‘bridgeless gap’
    between species, of course that was easily disproved – all that had to
    be done was to redefine ‘species’ and, voila! There it is – no gap!

    4. Now, look at the quote you quoted. Look at the part that starts
    “Differences between species in morphology, behavior…..” Do you know
    what I am seeing in that quote? Essentially what he is saying is that
    “The genetics are the same unless they are different.” I can certainly
    agree with him about that, if that helps any…:


    And a couple of more points on your post after the quote.

    1. No, we don’t use the ‘absence of a macro-only mechanism as proof of a
    creator’! There is too much else to demonstrate the reality of God
    without resorting to the absence of something! However the absence of
    any known mechanism to accumulate those mutations which are supposed to
    be responsible (via natural selection) for major evolutionary
    transitions between basic sorts of organisms does provide a bit of a
    hurdle in accepting the idea of evolution seriously.

    2. And no, in-house genetic variation is different from something new
    showing up in the organism. If evolution were only variation over time,
    then we surely would have seen something with dogs by now, or at least
    with bacteria! But – and I know you have heard this before – bacteria
    remain bacteria, dogs remain dogs, and oaks remain oaks…. Etc. etc. and
    so forth.

    3. The genetic code is not yet solved, by the way. We have barely begun
    to understand it! Todd Wood presented this summer at the Discontinuity
    Conference that he had been quite surprised in his research to realize
    that RNA is coded for differently in different organisms. And this is,
    really, a small thing. But it is indicative of the fact that new
    understandings are a daily affair in the field of genetics and that the
    more geneticists learn, the more they realize they don’t yet know.


    Why should a fertilized frog egg continue to divide after the genetic
    material is extracted? Why are some genes only turned on during times
    of stress or other emotional reactions?

    The questions keep coming up faster than any answers can be found. It’s
    a fantastic field, but also one in which any geneticist worth his salt
    knows that there is an incredible amount we don’t yet know.
     
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    RUFUSATTICUS
    Helen,
    I kept the topic of my post brief. I could have called it "Genetic barriers
    that prevent the accumulation of microevolutionary changes from producing
    macroevolution do not exist." But that was too cumbersome, so I left it
    simply as "Genetic barriers don't exist" and let my introductory paragraph
    clarify what genetic barriers I was talking about. You are free to reread
    it if you don't quite understand.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Then why are you calling it a buzzword of creationists?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Because it has been disproved by science. This creationist buzzword appears
    to be of independent origin, but a similar concept has been previously
    tossed around by science and shown to be false.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>There are obviously genetic barriers. Every person alive is probably
    aware of it to some degree! I could keep ducks with chickens outside and
    know they would have nothing to do with one another. And I have not even
    heard of a dicken or chuck egg!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This has nothing to do with my argument in this thread. You are referring
    to reproductive isolation, not the accumulation of microevolutionary
    changes. Reproductive isolation is
    often due to genetic factors that inhibit or prevent gene flow from
    occurring between populations. If reproductive isolation evolves in a
    population and is maintained, the speciation will occur and macroevolution
    will follow. Furthermore, science has demonstrated that there is no barrier
    to prevent the accumulation of microevolutionary genetic changes producing
    macroevolutionary changes. If you feel otherwise, please identify the
    molecular genetic mechanism that prevents all populations from evolving
    novel characteristics. If I only had the DNA sequence from two organisms,
    how can I tell whether or not they share a common ancestor? Since you claim
    that distinctly separate kinds exist, you should be able to do this. Right?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> The only evidence I have ever seen 'supporting' macroevolution comes
    from either simple variation or interpretations of data which can be
    interpreted other ways as well. In other words, how can we show why evidence
    is wrong when there is no actual evidence to deal with?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No evidence? Why then has common descent withstood over a hundred years of
    scientific review and political assault? A list of the scientific support
    would be too massive for BaptistBoard. You might try keeping up with the
    journal Evolution. In lieu of that, Talk.orgins has an excellent faq
    on this topic, along with some exchanges with critics. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> He refers to 'the accumulation of the same kinds of genetic
    differences that are found within species.' That is variation. The
    differences are already found within the species! However I am not sure
    what 'accumulation' he is talking about except for genetic load, which
    is the only thing we actually HAVE seen accumulate, and that is a nasty
    sort of thing, since it is the collection of heritable negative
    mutations found in any given population. So, please, what accumulation
    is he talking about? Something we have actually seen scientifically or
    something presumed to have happened "because evolution is true"?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    He is referring to point mutations, gene duplications, chromosomal
    inversions, deletions, mutations due to recombination, viral infection, to
    name a few. All have been observed as producing variation both within a
    species and between species. Genetic load is not the only the only thing
    that has been observed to accumulate. I highly suggest that you visit your
    local library and read the passages framing the quote since they provide
    additional clarification that I cannot.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Macroevolution IS qualitatively different because it must break out
    of the standard variations found within a population (species, if you
    like) and produce something entirely different - some shift not found in
    the population until that time.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why must macroevolution be qualitatively different? As Futyuma
    states in his quote, the evidence indicates that, genetically,
    macroevolutionary differences are not any different than microevolutionary
    differences. There is no reason to expect macroevolution to "break out" of
    the standard variations found within a population. I suggest you look again
    at my definitions of macroevolution and microevolution. The distinction is
    due to the frame of observation, not biological consequences.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Regarding Goldschmidt's claim that there is a 'bridgeless gap'
    between species, of course that was easily disproved - all that had to be
    done was to redefine 'species' and, voila! There it is - no gap!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If this is true, then you can surely produce evidence from biological
    literature that species was redefined for the express purpose of falsifying
    Goldschmidt.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Now, look at the quote you quoted. Look at the part that starts
    "Differences between species in morphology, behavior....." Do you know what
    I am seeing in that quote? Essentially what he is saying is that "The
    genetics are the same unless they are different." I can certainly agree with
    him about that, if that helps any...:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have absolutely no idea how you interpreted the passage that way. Care to
    explain your reasoning?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> No, we don't use the 'absence of a macro-only mechanism as proof of
    a creator'! There is too much else to demonstrate the reality of God
    without resorting to the absence of something!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You might not personally, but "god of the gaps" arguments do exist. They
    even routinely appear on BaptistBoard.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>However the absence of any known mechanism to accumulate those
    mutations which are supposed to be responsible (via natural selection) for
    major evolutionary transitions between basic sorts of organisms does provide
    a bit of a hurdle in accepting the idea of evolution seriously.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is funny because you unintentionally mentioned one such mechanism:
    natural selection. Selection is responsible for maintaining many of
    the genetic features that account for transitions. Genetic drift is also
    very important. Sexual selection is also a mechanism responsible for
    speciation and species divergence. These mechanisms do exist and are well
    characterized. Any introductory text is able to explain them to you.
    However, I honestly don't think it's the mechanisms that prevent you from
    accepting evolution.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> And no, in-house genetic variation is different from something new
    showing up in the organism.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So novel mutations are distinctively different from existing variation.
    Right....

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If evolution were only variation over time, then we surely would have
    seen something with dogs by now, or at least with bacteria!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    We have seen evolution in these populations. The evolution of novel
    antibiotic resistance in bacteria is one. So is the ability to digest
    nylon, a synthetic polymer that did not exist 200 years ago. Also, when was
    the last time you saw an adult wolf the size of a Chihuahua or toy poodle.
    This is defiantly a novel feature that does not exist in the parent wolf
    population.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>But - and I know you have heard this before - bacteria remain
    bacteria, dogs remain dogs, and oaks remain oaks.... Etc. etc. and so
    forth.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes and you have heard this before: That is a strawman argument that has
    nothing to do with the validity of evolution. Please cite a single modern
    "evolutionist" source that advocates saltationism over gradualism. Just
    because you do not see any extreme differences between parent and
    offspring, does not rule out extreme differences over thousands of
    generations.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The genetic code is not yet solved, by the way.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Tell that to this page:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Taxonomy/wprintgc?mode=t#SG1

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>We have barely begun to understand it! Todd Wood presented this
    summer at the Discontinuity Conference that he had been quite surprised in
    his research to realize that RNA is coded for differently in different
    organisms.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Did he also tell you that those differences are minor, as predicted? The
    genetic code is the most conserved aspect of life. Organisms as different
    as bacteria and dogs share the exact same genetic code. This is the
    most compelling evidence for universal common descent, i.e. a complete
    genetic code only evolved once. All differing codes are clearly slight
    derivatives of the standard code.

    -RvFvS
     
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    DAVID PLAISTED
    Rufus is saying that you can get any chromosome from any other by point mutations, insertions, deletions, etc. This is mathematically true but not relevant in this case. The question is whether this could have occurred by a sequence in which each mutation was beneficial or at least not harmful. If one could give such a sequence of mutations between fish and amphibians or whatever, it would be most interesting.

    Dave Plaisted
     
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    RUFUSATTICUS
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> The question is whether this could have occurred by a sequence in
    which each mutation was beneficial or at least not harmful. If one could
    give such a sequence of mutations between fish and amphibians or whatever,
    it would be most interesting.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Yes, that would be most interesting. However, such a model is not needed
    for us to understand the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates. There is
    plenty of fossil evidence showing the transition. The mechanisms of
    biological evolution are well known, and there is no reason/need to consider
    amphibians a special case.

    Here's a page by Glenn Morton:
    http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/transit.htm

    A t.o FAQ
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

    -RvFvS
     
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    DAVID PLAISTED

    Rufus Atticus gives a web link showing a transition between fish and
    amphibians. If there are so many demonstrated transitions, then why
    did we have the theory of punctuated equilibrium? Or has that been
    rejected? Do we have any idea how legs, eyes, lungs could evolve in a
    smooth transition? Has the problem of half legs, half lungs, partial
    eyes been solved? Is it now the case that all biologists agree on the
    mechanisms of evolution?
    David Plaisted
     
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    RUFUSATTICUS

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If there are so many demonstrated transitions, then why did we have
    the theory of punctuated equilibrium?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You are confused. Punctuated equilibrium does not say that transitionals
    will not exist, but the appearance of transitionals will be sudden (in
    geologic time). This is attributed to the evolution of novel features in
    isolated and rare populations and to a subsequent expansion of the
    population.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Do we have any idea how legs, eyes, lungs could evolve in a smooth
    transition? Has the problem of half legs, half lungs, partial eyes been
    solved?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What problem? Do you have any recent scientific literature that mentions
    the "problem?" It is obvious that half legs, half lungs, and half eyes are
    better than no legs, no lungs, and no eyes.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Is it now the case that all biologists agree on the mechanisms of
    evolution?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Let me put it this way: There is no scientific controversy about the
    existence and characteristics of the mechanisms of evolution. There is a
    healthy debate about the strength and power of the various mechanisms. But
    there is no scientific doubt that diversity of known life is the result of
    evolutionary mechanisms such as natural selection, mutation, migration,
    drift, to name a few.

    -RvFvS
     
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    HELEN
    RufusAtticus mentioned the ‘universal genetic code’ as being the next
    best thing to proof for evolutionary descent from a common ancestor.
    The problem is the genetic code is NOT universal. Certain DNA triplets
    code for different amino acids in some organisms. Exceptions to the
    standard code were first discovered in mitochondria in 1979. Since then
    exceptions have also bee found in the nuclear DNA of bacteria, algae,
    and various unicellular organisms. Here is a list of the exceptions:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Taxonomy/wprintgc?mode=c


    this is almost exactly like your page – and both show where there are
    differences noted in the coding.

    And yes, duplications, chromosomal inversions, deletions, mutations due
    to recombination, viral infection etc. do produce variation within and
    between species. No one is arguing that! But please show me where some
    combination of these has been known – seen – to build one upon another
    eventually producing something novel in the organism or changing
    something from one function to another in a way beneficial to that
    organism. This is what evolution has claimed happened innumerable times
    in the past, so if I could see just one known, demonstrated example in a
    multicellular organism, I would be grateful.

    I hear about strings of mutations building to the benefit of an
    organism, but all I see actual known lists of are harmful mutations. So
    where is the other side?

    Rufus claimed that there was no reason to expect macroevolution to
    "break out" of the standard variations found within a population.

    Are you seriously trying to say that a proto-cell simply VARIED to
    become a trilobite? Or a chambered nautilus? Or a squid? I sure would
    have like to have seen the genome on THAT first elemental critter!

    As for natural selection, it can’t select what isn’t there. And when it
    does select from what is ALREADY there, it has to eliminate certain
    other elements that are also already there, thus reducing the
    variability of the genome, not increasing it. And no, mutations can’t
    reverse that process. Please tell me the last time you heard a parent,
    or even an animal breeder, who was told “your newborn has a mutation,”
    and who then exclaimed, “Wow! Is it a good one?”

    We all know what mutation really means to an organism. People just
    don’t get excited about them in a positive way…

    In the meantime, antibiotic resistance in bacteria? There is a thread
    on that further down. I suggest you check it out. It is most
    definitely not evidence of evolution!

    And then you wrote:
    Also, when was the last time you saw an adult wolf the size of a
    Chihuahua or toy poodle. This is defiantly a novel feature that does not
    exist in the parent wolf population.

    -- and I had to laugh. I’m sorry, but I did. Go check the chimp/human
    thread or a couple of the others right now where your compatriots are
    claiming there is absolutely NO difference between fish and men, for
    instance, that a little genetic timing can’t cure! But you want me to
    recognize something novel in one kind of dog that is not in another
    kind? What? Size? Length of hair? By that standard, Zulus and
    Pygmies are different species of human beings! Do you really want to go
    there?

    Now, as far as the genetic code being solved or not solved – sequencing
    is NOT solving. We still are trying to figure out exactly what genes
    are responsible for what, and new genes are still being discovered.
    And no, the fact that the same RNA is coded for by different organisms
    in different ways was NOT expected; nor is it minor. Common descent
    would most certainly NOT predict something like that. I’m sure it will
    find a way to accommodate it, but it was not predicted!
     
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    SCOTT PAGE

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Helen:
    Now, as far as the genetic code being solved or not solved – sequencing
    is NOT solving. We still are trying to figure out exactly what genes
    are responsible for what, and new genes are still being discovered. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This same terminology problem cropped up on another board. The genetic code has absolutely nothing to do with mapping the genome.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> And no, the fact that the same RNA is coded for by different organisms
    in different ways was NOT expected; nor is it minor. Common descent
    would most certainly NOT predict something like that. I’m sure it will
    find a way to accommodate it, but it was not predicted!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Why wouldn’t ‘common descent’ predict something like that? Well, I don’t know what ‘common descent’ could predict, but I suspect that molecular evolutionists were none too surprised by the findings. Of course, by definition any ‘new’ finding is unexpected to a certain extent.

    The ‘accommodation’ part comes in when we understand how the genetic code works. It is simply a complementary binding of molecules. That some groups have slightly (yes, they are slight) different codons for some amino acids should not be a huge surprise to anyone that understands the workings of the genome.

    Of course, this brings up yet another interesting aspect of the creationary view of science. It appears that accepting and accommodating new information is seen as a minus by the creation camp. What do you prefer? Ignoring data and sticking with a ‘theory’ that will never change no matter what?

    Perhaps we are talking about different kinds of science?
     
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    RUFUSATTICUS

    Helen, I'm still waiting for you to identify the molecular genetic mechanism
    that prevents all populations from evolving novel characteristics. You also
    haven't defined "kind" or "genetic potential." I'm also waiting for
    criteria and methods to determine, based upon DNA evidence, if two organisms
    are related by common descent.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> RufusAtticus mentioned the 'universal genetic code' as being the
    next
    best thing to proof for evolutionary descent from a common ancestor.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Look again, Helen. I never once used the term 'universal genetic code.' I
    also did not ignore the small diversity of the genetic code. Please read my
    arguments more carefully and do not put words in my mouth. You'd have
    readers believe that the differences disprove common descent, which is utter
    nonsense. The genetic code is also subject to
    evolution. Considering its function in a cell, it is not surprising that
    the genetic code is highly conserved. Furthermore, all derivative codes
    occur in organisms/organelles that have small genomes. This is also not
    surprising because, the larger the genome, the more likely that a change in
    the genetic code will destroy the cell. Knight et. al. (2001)
    actually determine the relationship of various codes to one another. They
    formed a nested hierarchy, which is an unmistakable result of evolution.
    You can see the tree (page 4) from a paper by Kenneth R. Miller.
    http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/6945_km-3.pdf


    Further info by Miller at
    http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/8755_pr94_1032001__discovery_ins_1
    0_3_2001.asp
    http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/6249_pr89_10182001__di_fails_aga_1
    0_18_2001.asp


    Original paper:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_ui
    ds=11253070&dopt=Abstract


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> this is almost exactly like your page - and both show where there
    are
    differences noted in the coding.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is the same page, just with a different formatting option.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> But please show me where some combination of these has been known -
    seen - to build one upon another eventually producing something novel in the
    organism or changing something from one function to another in a way
    beneficial to that organism.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    "Evolution by small steps and rugged landscapes in the RNA virus phi6"
    http://www.genetics.org/cgi/content/full/151/3/921


    Don't forget to check out the references for other experiments.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> I could see just one known, demonstrated example in a
    multicellular organism<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Worthless constraint; Evolution is evolution. Would you care to explain
    your reasoning for requiring it to be demonstrated in a multicellular
    organism? Simple organisms have been used because they are easier and
    cheaper.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> I hear about strings of mutations building to the benefit of an
    organism, but all I see actual known lists of are harmful mutations. So
    where is the other side?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Beneficial mutations clearly exist. Many have been shown to you before.
    Why do you make such statements, when you know better? I'm not going to
    give an exhaustive list of beneficial mutant genes. Here is a sampling from
    humans.

    CCR5 gene: a mutation provides resistance/immunity to HIV infection
    Hemoglobin C: a mutation provides resistance to malaria, with no homozygous
    side effects.

    Mutation FAQ:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mutations.html


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Are you seriously trying to say that a proto-cell simply VARIED to
    become a trilobite? Or a chambered nautilus? Or a squid? Or a chambered
    nautilus? Or a squid? I sure would have like to have seen the genome on THAT
    first elemental critter! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Obviously not, since that statement makes no sense. However, it does reveal
    a flaw in your reasoning. Variation is not found in a genome; there
    is no variation in a sample of one. Populations, which consist of multiple
    individuals, do contain variation because individuals differ from one
    another.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> As for natural selection, it can't select what isn't there. And when
    it does select from what is ALREADY there, it has to eliminate certain other
    elements that are also already there, thus reducing the variability of the
    genome, not increasing it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Selection does reduce the variation in a population, unless it is group
    selection or frequency-dependent selection, which can maintain and increase
    variation. Mutation restores the variation. There is a long running
    experiment in Illinois, where corn has been selected for oil content since
    1896. For over 80 generations the oil content of the population has been
    steadily increasing. This is surprising because in most other experiments
    the existing variation in a population is quickly exhausted. Why not this
    one? There are many, many, many genes that are involved in determining oil
    content in corn. With so many genes involved, mutation easily maintains
    variation in the population to select upon. This is what is known as
    mutation-selection balance.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And no, mutations can't reverse that process. Please tell me the last
    time you heard a parent, or even an animal breeder, who was told "your
    newborn has a mutation,"
    and who then exclaimed, "Wow! Is it a good one?"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What an odd way to support your assertion. Despite your claims,
    there are well know instance of beneficial mutations; see above. In fact
    animal breeders love novelty, which is the result of mutation. When was the
    last time you heard an animal breeder say, "I want an individual with no
    characteristics to set it apart; I don't care about the money I might lose?"


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> In the meantime, antibiotic resistance in bacteria? There is a
    thread on that further down. I suggest you check it out. It is most
    definitely not evidence of evolution!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Let's look
    at what evolution is. (Biological) Evolution is the change of
    features (or frequency of features) in a population over generations. The
    emergence of antibiotic resistance is clearly a change in the features of a
    population of bacteria. The same holds for the ability to digest nylon.
    What's there to debate?


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> But you want me to recognize something novel in one kind of dog that
    is not in another kind? What? Size? Length of hair? By that standard, Zulus
    and Pygmies are different species of human beings! Do you really want to go
    there?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Helen, go read your statement again. It does not refer to speciation;
    neither do my statements. Now, I am at a loss as to how you read speciation
    into it. My statement is accurate. The evolution of dogs have from wolves
    has produced novel attributes and variation not found in the parent
    population. So "something" (to quote you) has happened.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Now, as far as the genetic code being solved or not solved -
    sequencing is NOT solving.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    "Genetic code" refers to the sequence of nucleotide triplets that code for
    polypeptides. This has been solved. I don't see what modern sequencing
    projects have to do with this accomplishment.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And no, the fact that the same RNA is coded for by different
    organisms in different ways was NOT expected; nor is it minor. Common
    descent would most certainly NOT predict something like that. I'm sure it
    will find a way to accommodate it, but it was not predicted!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    See above. Please, explain how evolution would not predict a nested
    hierarchy. Also provide an alternative falsifiable reason with
    justification
    that explains the observations better than the current
    scientific one.

    -RvFvS
     
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    FROGGIE

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Helen stated: And yes, duplications [...] do produce variation within and
    between species. No one is arguing that! But please show me where some
    combination of these has been known – seen – to build one upon another
    eventually producing something novel in the organism or changing something
    from one function to another in a way beneficial to that organism. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Do you have any evidence that genetic barriers DO exist to prevent
    macroevolution?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Helen: all I see actual known lists of are harmful mutations. So
    where is the other side? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    First of all, your categorization of mutations into discrete categories
    titled "beneficial" and "harmful" is flawed. Certain adaptations are
    advantageous in one situation, and harmful in another. An overactive immune
    system is one example. I have a list of a bunch of examples, but I will
    have to link to them later.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Helen: - and I had to laugh. I’m sorry, but I did. Go check the chimp/human
    thread or a couple of the others right now where your compatriots are
    claiming there is absolutely NO difference between fish and men, for
    instance, that a little genetic timing can’t cure! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Helen, since you obviously meant me, I think you deserve a response from me.

    Background for the readers: Helen had asked the question, "So I guess my
    question is, do we really have enough evidence in to make a judgment about
    even the genetic similarity between man and chimp?”

    I replied with a bit of a tongue-in-cheek response here (but the scientific
    truth is still valid):The first thing I thought about when answering this
    question was, well, me! See, I used to be a tadpole. I had gills, and I had
    a tail instead of arms and legs. Now I hop around on four legs, breathe
    through my lungs and my skin, and my tail has disappeared. What is the
    difference between my genomic DNA then, and now? Assuming no mutations,
    Zero. Gene expression makes all the difference. So yes Helen, the answer to
    your question-hypothetically-is “Yes.”

    Helen, if you are interpreting this post as me stating, "there is absolutely
    NO difference between fish and men that a little timing can't cure," than
    you misread my post.

    My take was that you were trying to use the 98% similarity fact as evidence
    against evoution--i.e. the 2% difference is not enough to account for chimp
    and human differences. I simply provided data that yes 2% is enough to get
    different morphologies, because 0% is enough (if you understand gene
    expression). I was nowhere claiming that humans and fish are the same.

    How about it Helen--if a tadpole and a frog have the same DNA but very
    different morphology, isn't that evidence that it doesn't take much
    of a genetic difference (whether this difference is coded in the DNA or the
    expression of it) to produce distinct organisms?

    If you found my posts in the chimp thread so laughable, they should be easy
    to refute. I'll be waiting. . . .
     
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    DAVID PLAISTED
    I'm still having trouble imagining an organ that is half fin and half leg.
    It seems that it would not be a very good fin or a very good leg.
    David Plaisted
     
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    KEVIN KLEIN

    Reply to David Plaisted:
    How about the front flipper of a seal?

    Or the hind feet of an otter?
     
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    PAUL OF EUGENE
    Reply to David Plaisted who things half fin half legs would not work well

    Consider the walking catfish, see at this site:
    http://www.nrm.se/ve/pisces/clarias.shtml.en


    No doubt they complain about their awkward feet as they walk about. But when their pond dries up they walk anyway.
    PAUL OF EUGENE
     
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    RUFUSATTICUS

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> I'm still having trouble imagining an organ that is half fin and
    half leg.
    It seems that it would not be a very good fin or a very good leg.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You should check out the walking catfish. It uses its fins (actually the
    spines on the fins) to walk across land. This fish is both capable of
    swimming and walking. So fins are certainly capable of being used on land.
    Legs are also useful for swimming. (Did you watch the 2000 summer
    Olympics?) So there is no problem with "half-fins" or "half-legs."

    -RvFvS
     
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    HELEN

    Scott, Rufus, froggie, in that order, OK?

    To Scott:
    Thank you for the correction on the terminology. I will know better
    than to make that mistake again.

    Regarding the different coding for identical RNA results, you asked me
    why common descent would NOT predict that! I don’t for the life of me
    see how common descent WOULD predict something as basic as that!
    Accommodate it, yes. Predict it, though? What in common descent would
    predict something like that?

    You then stated, “The ‘accommodation’ part comes in when we understand
    how the genetic code works.”
    I disagree with you here. Accommodation is figuring out what to do
    with it AFTER you have seen how it works. You have to see how it works,
    first, and that is completely apart from any interpretation you give it
    after that. And is it, really, “just” a complementary binding of
    molecules? Where did the concept of ‘code’ come in, then?

    You then made a statement which indicated to me that you are
    misunderstanding an objection a number of us have to something that is
    going on in evolutionist circles:

    Of course, this brings up yet another interesting aspect of the
    creationary view of science. It appears that accepting and accommodating
    new information is seen as a minus by the creation camp. What do you
    prefer? Ignoring data and sticking with a ‘theory’ that will never
    change no matter what?


    What I see in evolution apologetics is not a scientific sort of
    accommodation, but an excuse-making accommodation. A striking example
    is ‘convergent evolution.’ The appearance of the functional eye in so
    many different types of animals should have been enough to cause any
    number of evolutionists to back up and say “Wait a minute…!” And maybe
    a number of them did. But what came out publicly was “well, it happened
    a lot of different times.” What evolutionist accommodation means is
    that there will never be a way to falsify evolution. It has been
    declared true and all evidence is interpreted to fit it, even
    when the fit is kind of strange.

    Here is an example: natural selection is known to delete genetic
    potential from a population.
    Evolutionist: yes, but mutations bring back that potential.

    Fact: most mutations are deleterious-to-lethal.
    Evolutionist: well, not in all situations.

    Fact: lethal is lethal
    Evolutionist: that means I don’t have to deal with those! That leaves
    me more advantageous mutations.

    Fact: advantageous mutations are only good in specific circumstances and
    normally die back out in the ‘wild’ state.
    Evolutionist: Circumstances are always changing, so some populations
    will survive.

    Fact: When and if they do survive, they will be a very small population
    and thus any further mutations will run the risk of decimating this
    population still further. In addition, they have lost a great deal of
    genetic potential.
    Evolutionist: Nevertheless, evolution has happened, so we know these
    populations didn’t die out!

    Fact: Sexual reproduction has a tendency to wipe out mutations at random
    in a population, so how will your advantageous mutation survive in just
    one or a few individuals at first?

    Evolutionist: Sure, many get wiped out, but natural selection will help
    preserve them. And since evolution happened, we know this is what
    happened.

    And so it goes. No matter what is brought up to show that evolution
    really did not and could not happen, it happened anyway because it has
    been declared as happening and the evolutionary grab bag of excuses and
    reasons and accommodations makes sure every possible challenge is met by
    reason of special pleading, or self-referencing, or changes in
    definitions, or new ideas.

    Scientific accommodation, on the other hand, is willing to change the
    presupposition when so much data is lined up against it. The
    accommodation is to the facts by the ideas, not to the ideas by the
    facts.


    Perhaps we are talking about different kinds of science?

    I’ve thought that for a long time…


    To Rufus:
    1. I have no idea what the genetic mechanism is for preventing
    populations from evolving novel characteristics, but evidently some of
    your evolutionary cohorts have an idea, for an argument which is
    becoming more and more common now is that we are really all the same as
    everything else and it is simply a matter of genetic timing as to what
    is what and who is who. That sort of argument is, to me, like someone
    saying “Well, all the books in English use the 26 letters of the
    alphabet, so they are all really saying the same thing. It’s just a
    matter of spacing between the letters!” That is such a clearly
    fallacious argument for either genetics or literature that it lets me
    know that something is going on which needs an excuse to get around.
    At any rate, should I personally ever find the mechanism, I’ll expect a
    Nobel prize! In the meantime, until we see novel structures, or a novel
    function for an existing structure, as a result of mutations building on
    each other to produce it, I’ll hold with the idea that such a protective
    mechanism exists in the created world.

    2. I have defined kind already. It is an original created population
    and all its descendents.

    3. Genetic potential refers to variety of genetic expressions in a kind
    which are not a result of mutations.

    And the concept of needing a DNA test to determine common descent is
    your ballgame, not mine. Don’t ask me to provide you with a test,
    please. But I would ask you, when you have one, how you are determining
    that what you find is due to common descent rather than common design?

    Then you said something which fascinated me:
    the larger the genome, the more likely that a change in the genetic
    code will destroy the cell. Knight et. al. (2001)


    How does the evolution of fish to man get around THAT one?

    Now, as far as Ken Miller is concerned, I have seen him operate. The
    man does not appear to me to be wedded to the truth. So I’ll tell you
    what, you don’t try to use something he wrote to convince me of anything
    and I’ll stay away from Hovind, Baugh, and them, OK?

    And no, it is not a worthless constraint, to use your words, to ask to
    see evolution happening in a multicellular organism. I am very much
    aware that asexually reproducing unicellular organisms are capable of
    mutating rather rapidly. I am also aware, however, that they back
    mutate just as rapidly and that there is no essential permanent change
    which occurs in the long run.

    But multicellular organisms are what are used with the public as
    examples of evolution: dinosaur to bird, fish to amphibian, etc. They
    have a different way of reproducing, and mutations do not serve the same
    purpose in multicellular organisms as they do in unicellular organisms,
    where they are needed for variability. Variability in the sexually
    reproducing populations comes about through the genetic combinations
    that occur due to sex. So it is not only NOT a ‘worthless constraint’
    to ask to see evolution in a multicelluar organism, it is absolutely
    essential to show that evolution is true.

    You stated that I have been shown many beneficial mutations. No, I
    haven’t. Not of the sort that shows evolution past basic variation.

    I read the TO faq page you linked. From the beginning they are sliding
    around the truth in such a way as to present a lie. For instance, the
    first question, “Aren’t most mutations harmful?” is a typical layman
    question. The truth? Most mutations are considered neutral, but of
    those that show up in the organism (are expressed), the VAST majority
    are either harmful if not lethal. But the TO page slid around that
    didn’t they?

    Here is the TO answer:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> No. Most mutations are neither harmful nor helpful.

    That's the short answer. The long answer is that mutations can be
    neutral (neither helpful nor harmful), strictly harmful, strictly
    helpful, or (and this is
    important) whether they are harmful or helpful depends on the
    environment. Most mutations are either neutral or their effect depends
    on the
    environment.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, they are not wrong, but they are giving the distinctly wrong
    impression, and that ends up being called a lie by parents when their
    kids do it! But then perhaps TO is not wedded to the truth either.

    Then they brought up the peppered moths! Now THAT takes chutzpah!
    Please show me ANY study done on the peppered moth which shows that the
    color predominances are due to mutations! No studies have been done
    there! The fact that the Kettlewell material has ‘not stood the test of
    time’ is glossed over lightly by Harter.

    Here is the truth. 1) We have no evidence that mutations are
    responsible for the peppered moth shifts in population color and 2)
    Kettlewell was completely refuted by others in later experiments.
    To
    even bring up the peppered moths as an example of any kind of evolution
    is dishonest.

    The C allele for malarial resistance is recessive. It can’t help a
    population, only individuals.

    Now, take a look at part of the discussion you and I have had so far:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Helen: Are you seriously trying to say that a proto-cell simply
    VARIED to become a trilobite? Or a chambered nautilus? Or a squid? Or a
    chambered nautilus? Or a squid? I sure would have like to have seen the
    genome on THAT first elemental critter!

    Rufus: Obviously not, since that statement makes no sense. However, it
    does reveal a flaw in your reasoning. Variation is not found in a
    genome; there is no variation in a sample of one. Populations, which
    consist of multiple individuals, do contain variation because
    individuals differ from one another.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    OK, let’s take a look a couple of your statements there. First you said
    that simple variation from a unicellular to a complex multicellular
    organism makes no sense. I agree with you completely! It doesn’t. And
    yet that is the very argument I have heard a number of times from a
    number evolutionists: evolution is simply a matter of slow variation of
    existing features.

    But then you said that there is no variation in a sample of one. I
    agree there, too. So, please, how many proto-bacteria sprang into
    existence at once? If there is no variation in one cell, then when and
    where did variation begin?

    However, to make myself clear about wanting to see the genome in that
    original critter, please understand that I was referring to type of
    critter, not individual critter. I’m sorry if that was not understood.

    And the only reason you have a mutation-selection balance with the corn
    is because PEOPLE – intelligent, designing people – have been working
    with this corn! Evolution denies intelligent design, I’m afraid.

    And no, animal breeders DON’T love novelty! The breed for expected and
    anticipated results and spend far too much money doing it. Novelty is
    considered a curse in animal breeding. Experimenters may get a kick out
    of novelty, but professional breeders do not.

    Regarding antibiotic resistance: it is one of the variations common in
    bacteria and is not an example of evolution into something other than a
    bacteria. Antibacterial substances are found in nature and bacteria
    have been dealing with them for an awfully long time.

    And they are still bacteria.

    The fact that we were able to work with some bacteria so they would
    digest nylon is because intelligent designers were involved in this.
    Are you trying to tell me this would have happened naturally?

    Given enough time, of course…

    Regarding dogs – would you please tell me from your above post what you
    feel is ‘novel’ about a size or color change? Breeders are breeding OUT
    certain variations to get what they want. So where is the novelty? In
    the loss?

    And finally, yes, of course evolution predicts a nested hierarchy.
    Please understand, however, that nested hierarchies can occur due to
    selected characteristics in anyone’s model. Linnaeus chose a system
    that helped for purposes of simple study and universal (meaning
    European at the time) classification for the purposes of
    medicine. Evolution has adapted and changed that system. Other systems
    are certainly possible, none of which would be ‘predicted’ by evolution,
    but might be predicted by other models. One of the Biblical models
    works with means of locomotion, thus nesting bats with birds. Modern
    people laughed about that until the simple fact that the method used for
    grouping was simply different, not wrong. But evolution certainly would
    not predict THAT sort of nesting, would it?


    And froggie: …

    Do you have any evidence that genetic barriers DO exist to prevent
    macroevolution?


    Yes, I think so. Everything alive around me. One hundred years’ work
    with E.coli. Breeding programs.


    First of all, your categorization of mutations into discrete
    categories titled "beneficial" and "harmful" is flawed. Certain
    adaptations are advantageous in one situation, and harmful in another.
    An overactive immune system is one example. I have a list of a bunch of
    examples, but I will have to link to them later.


    Please don’t worry about linking them – especially if it is to something
    on TO! What you are doing is playing with words above. First of all,
    you seem to be mixing the words ‘mutation’ with ‘adaptation’. They are
    not synonymous. Most expressed mutations are harmful. It is most
    beneficial mutations, as rare as they may be, which are only beneficial
    in some circumstances and under some conditions. Harmful is harmful
    almost everytime and lethal is lethal no matter what.

    And no, actually, I was NOT meaning specifically you when I referred to
    lack of genetic differences between fish and man. You were the first
    example I thought of, but I did use a plural there. The argument is
    getting more and more common from evolutionists. I did recognize your
    response for what it was and enjoyed it, by the way. However it does
    need to be said that the change from tadpole to frog, like the change
    from caterpillar to butterfly, is programmed into the organism from the
    start. Thus this is not a good example of the evolution argument
    regarding similar DNA for different morphologies.

    And while I appreciate you saying that humans and fish really are not
    the same, which is something I sort of suspected all along – there are
    those on these boards (ev/cr) which claim differently, as I have seen.
    And please, no, I was not laughing at your posts. They are intelligent
    and I enjoy the humor you can squeeze in sometimes. It is a refreshing
    change.
     
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    DAVID PLAISTED

    Yes, people, I'm aware of the walking catfish and flippers and thought of
    them when posting. Flippers basically have the bony structure of a leg
    already. I'm trying to imagine a fin that is beginning to have a leg
    strucure in it but only partially so and trying to think how this could take
    place and how these extra bones could advantage the fish. Even catfish
    are somewhat awkward on their fins.
    Dave Plaisted
     
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    RUFUSATTICUS

    Helen,
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I have no idea what the genetic mechanism is for preventing
    populations from evolving novel characteristics<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yet you claim that, irrespective of cladistics, dogs will always be dogs and
    bacteria will always be bacteria. How do you know this is true if you don't
    have a mechanism? In fact all data points to the inexistence of such a
    mechanism.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>evidently some of your evolutionary cohorts have an idea, for an
    argument which is becoming more and more common now is that we are really
    all the same as everything else and it is simply a matter of genetic timing
    as to what is what and who is who.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You do understand that the above situation is not without mutations and that
    there is no barrier in this either?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>That sort of argument is, to me, like someone saying "Well, all the
    books in English use the 26 letters of the alphabet, so they are all really
    saying the same thing. It's just a matter of spacing between the letters!"
    That is such a clearly fallacious argument for either genetics or literature
    that it lets me know that something is going on which needs an excuse to get
    around.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Your analogy is flawed since you ignore the effects of mutation, which are
    still involved.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>In the meantime, until we see novel structures, or a novel
    function for an existing structure, as a result of mutations building on
    each other to produce it, I'll hold with the idea that such a protective
    mechanism exists in the created world. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    See the fossil record and comparative genomics. The evidence is there; you
    just have to stop ignoring it. There have also been studies by Lenski and
    others. Did you look at the paper by Chao from my previous post? There's
    some proof for you.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I have defined kind already. It is an original created population
    and all its descendents.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Now that you have a definition, how do you test it? By what scientific
    methods are you able to determine whether dogs and cats are members of the
    same kind? Do kinds have certain characteristics that are impossible
    to loose? What exists to prevent such a loss?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Genetic potential refers to variety of genetic expressions in a kind
    which are not a result of mutations.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Variety of genetic expressions? What do you mean by this? What prevents
    mutations from generating novelty within a "kind?"

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And the concept of needing a DNA test to determine common descent is
    your ballgame, not mine. Don't ask me to provide you with a test,
    please.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you claim that only sets of creatures are related by common descent and
    those sets are distinct, than you should be able to provide me genetic
    criteria that can demonstrate this? According to you, it should be possible
    to simply look at the DNA of two organisms and determine if they are related
    or not. Right? Should there not be some signature and distinction of
    creation in DNA?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>But I would ask you, when you have one, how you are determining that
    what you find is due to common descent rather than common design?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    1. Before you can posit common design, you must posit a designer. Is the
    designer designed? Is the designer's designer designed (ad
    infinitum
    )? If you want to make it scientific, the designer has to be
    testable. You have yet to do so.

    2. Define/describe "intelligent" as used in the phrase "intelligent
    designer."

    3. Under a common design scenario, DNA similarity would correlate perfectly
    with design relationship. For example, all swimming things should be more
    similar to one another than to anything else. However, whales are
    definitely more related to cows than to fish. Common design also does not
    explain the nested hierarchy that is observed.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Then you said something which fascinated me:
    "the larger the genome, the more likely that a change in the genetic
    code will destroy the cell." How does the evolution of fish to man get
    around THAT one?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It didn't. Fish and humans use the same genetic code for mRNA. For that
    matter, so does E. coli. In fact, our mitochondria actually use a
    slightly different code. Now, explain to me why an intelligent designer
    would give the same genetic code to humans and bacteria, but a different one
    to vertebrate mitochondria.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Now, as far as Ken Miller is concerned, I have seen him operate. The
    man does not appear to me to be wedded to the truth. So I'll tell you what,
    you don't try to use something he wrote to convince me of anything and I'll
    stay away from Hovind, Baugh, and them, OK?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    :eek: I can't believe that you just compared Miller to Hovind and Baugh!
    Miller is an actual scientist, a member of the Brown University Department
    of Molecular and Cell Biology. Hovind and Baugh are not scientists; their
    "degrees" come from diploma mills. They have never published anything
    scientific. Hovind and Baugh are nothing more than snake-oil salesmen,
    getting rich off the impressionable public. So please, use them, it'll make
    my life much easier.

    Did you even look at the hierarchical data Miller presents from Knight
    et. al.? (It's on page 4.) It clearly shows that the minor
    diversity of genetic codes is the product of evolution.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And no, it is not a worthless constraint, to use your words, to ask
    to see evolution happening in a multicellular organism. I am very much aware
    that asexually reproducing unicellular organisms are capable of mutating
    rather rapidly. I am also aware, however, that they back mutate just as
    rapidly and that there is no essential permanent change which occurs in the
    long run.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Did you bother to read the paper and references? All your objections are
    answered.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>But multicellular organisms are what are used with the public as
    examples of evolution: dinosaur to bird, fish to amphibian, etc. They have a
    different way of reproducing, and mutations do not serve the same purpose in
    multicellular organisms as they do in unicellular organisms, where they are
    needed for variability. Variability in the sexually reproducing populations
    comes about through the genetic combinations that occur due to sex.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You should some more investigation. Plenty of unicellular organisms
    reproduce sexually. Take yeast for example. There are also multicellular
    organisms that reproduce asexually. Take whiptail lizards for example. So
    your above argument, which relies on false association, is false. BTW, are
    you claiming that mutations only happen in unicellular organisms? Are you
    sure you want to make an argument so obviously false. In humans, one
    mutation (on average) occurs every three cellular divisions. This results
    in, on average, 30-100 point mutations (depending on the age of the father)
    between child and parents.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>So it is not only NOT a 'worthless constraint' to ask to see
    evolution in a multicelluar organism, it is absolutely essential to show
    that evolution is true.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Reread your post. You did not ask for evidence of "evolution" but,
    specifically, molecular genetic evidence of the accumulation of benefic
    mutations. The evidence from multicellular organisms is too vast. Check
    out the journal Evolution and talk.orgins.
    http://lsvl.la.asu.edu/evolution/
    http://www.talkorigins.org


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>You stated that I have been shown many beneficial mutations. No, I
    haven't.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I present you with example of beneficial mutations in a previous post. You
    actually responded to it, so I know you read it. The post was in a thread
    entitled "What is Evolution?" With the reorganization of this forum, I
    think it no longer exists. Here is the pertinent quote: "For example, there
    is a mutant in the CCR5 gene that increases a person's resistance to HIV
    infection." So, now that you have been presented with beneficial mutations,
    will you admit your error?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Not of the sort that shows evolution past basic variation.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This statement has no explanatory value until describe "basic variation".
    What makes variation "basic?" How do you determine what variation is basic
    and non-basic? What is the scientific point of even differentiating basic
    from non-basic variation?

    In regards to the TO page, I read your description of mutations and theirs.
    I don't see what your complaint is. Phenotype is effected by the
    environment. It's known as gene-by-environment interaction. Fitnesses are
    very much determined by the environment. Compare human skin color across
    latitudes. Or look at the frequency of hemoglobin-S in US versus West
    African populations. If anyone is presenting the wrong impression, you are.
    What were you saying again about sliding around the truth?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Then they brought up the peppered moths! Now THAT takes chutzpah!
    Please show me ANY study done on the peppered moth which shows that the
    color predominances are due to mutations! No studies have been done there!
    The fact that the Kettlewell material has 'not stood the test of time' is
    glossed over lightly by Harter.
    Here is the truth. 1) We have no evidence that mutations are responsible for
    the peppered moth shifts in population color and 2) Kettlewell was
    completely refuted by others in later experiments. To even bring up the
    peppered moths as an example of any kind of evolution is dishonest.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Whatever.... Helen, to not read the entire paper before commenting on it is
    very dishonest. Check out the fifth footnote:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Johnathan [sic] Wells has written an excellent summary article on the
    peppered moth which should not be taken as being definitive. The topic is
    the subject of considerable controversy. For dissenting commentary see: http://www.calvin.edu/archive/evolution/199904/0100.html and http://www.calvin.edu/archive/evolution/199904/0103.html
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    How was he being dishonest again?

    You should also check out the post by Nic Tamzek on the following page in
    regards to pepper moths.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/feedback/oct01.html


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> The C allele for malarial resistance is recessive. It can't help a
    population, only individuals.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually the C allele, like the S allele, is codominant. In fact, the
    heterozygotes are more fit than homozygotes. That cannot happen if the
    allele was recessive. Resistance in individuals helps the population, since
    in every generation the frequency of the resistance gene increases.
    Likewise the average fitness of the population also increases. Thus there
    are clear benefits to the population.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>that is the very argument I have heard a number of times from a
    number evolutionists: evolution is simply a matter of slow variation of
    existing features.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I doubt the word "variation" was ever used. Perhaps you should clarify what
    you mean by "varied" and "variation." Specifically, in what frame of
    reference this variation is occurring?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>But then you said that there is no variation in a sample of one. I
    agree there, too. So, please, how many proto-bacteria sprang into existence
    at once? If there is no variation in one cell, then when and where did
    variation begin?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Variation began at the first cellular division. Imperfect replication
    produced two daughter cells different from one another. Now there is a
    population of two with variation. Mutation generates variation. Haven't we
    already covered this?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And the only reason you have a mutation-selection balance with the
    corn
    is because PEOPLE - intelligent, designing people - have been working
    with this corn! Evolution denies intelligent design, I'm afraid. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So you are claiming that only intelligent beings can produce selection?
    Maybe you should look into the scientific literature on parasites and try
    again.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>And no, animal breeders DON'T love novelty! The breed for expected
    and
    anticipated results and spend far too much money doing it. Novelty is
    considered a curse in animal breeding. Experimenters may get a kick out of
    novelty, but professional breeders do not.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If breeders don't like novelty, then why do we have hundreds of dog and cat
    breeds, not to mention all the different types of livestock and crops? In
    every one of these instances, some organism showed a novel feature that was
    preserved because it was unique. Would you seriously have me believe that
    grand-champions are of average type? Have you ever heard of Scottish Folds?
    It is a fairly recent breed that is descended from a cat named Susie. It
    exists because of a single novelty: folded ears. The trait is due to a
    simple dominant gene. Thus it must be the result of a novel mutation in
    Susie. If breeders didn't care about novelty, then why does this breed
    exist?
    http://www.fanciers.com/breed-faqs/scottish-fold-faq.html

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Regarding antibiotic resistance: it is one of the variations common
    in bacteria and is not an example of evolution into something other than a
    bacteria. Antibacterial substances are found in nature and bacteria have
    been dealing with them for an awfully long time.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well then, if antibiotic resistance is not the result of evolution, then how
    do you explain the evolution of resistance to completely man made
    antibiotics? Even if antibiotic resistance is a preexisting trait, any
    change in frequency of antibiotic resistance is still evolution.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The fact that we were able to work with some bacteria so they would
    digest nylon is because intelligent designers were involved in this.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In what way are the biochemical properties of nylon digestion "intelligently
    designed?" If you are right, then you should be able to explain how the
    "intelligence" determined the structure of a protein needed to digest nylon,
    then scanned the bacterial genome looking for potential sites, and finally
    used site directed mutagenesis to produce the exact mutation needed to
    digest nylon. All steps would have been needed for these bacteria to be
    intelligently designed. You would also need to explain why the designer
    chose to use such an inefficient enzyme and remove the ability of the
    bacteria to digest normal sugars. However, these bacteria occur naturally
    in the wastewater of nylon producing plants, and no evidence exists what so
    ever that they were "intelligently" designed.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Are you trying to tell me this would have happened naturally?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, I'm showing you that it did happen naturally. Check out this
    page for more info. http://www.nmsr.org/nylon.htm Don't forget to look at the
    references for the original papers on the topic.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Regarding dogs - would you please tell me from your above post what
    you feel is 'novel' about a size or color change?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What's novel? You've got to be kidding me. Wolves do not have the color or
    size range that the domestic dog does. The traits that domestic dogs have
    and wolves not, are clearly novel traits. What's the difficulty? It's a
    very simple argument.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Other systems are certainly possible, none of which would be
    'predicted' by evolution, but might be predicted by other models.One of the
    Biblical models works with means of locomotion, thus nesting bats with
    birds. Modern people laughed about that until the simple fact that the
    method used for grouping was simply different, not wrong. But evolution
    certainly would not predict THAT sort of nesting, would it?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, evolution would not predict a hierarchy based on locomotion. However,
    it would predict that a hierarchy based upon similarity of heritable
    material (DNA) would be a nested hierarchy; the nodes represent ancestral
    populations that have split. A classification based upon locomotion would
    not. Birds and bats are not more related to one another than to any other
    taxa. Thus the Biblical model is clearly wrong about common descent.

    -RvFvS
     
  19. Administrator2

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>

    To Scott:
    Thank you for the correction on the terminology. I will know better than to make that mistake again.

    Regarding the different coding for identical RNA results, you asked me why common descent would NOT predict that! I don’t for the life of me see how common descent WOULD predict something as basic as that! Accommodate it, yes. Predict it, though? What in common descent would predict something like that? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    To which I asked what ‘common descent’ could predict, since common descent is just part of the theory of evolution. If you meant theory of evolution, then you should say so. Molecular evolutionists understand that nucleotide changes do occur. Predicting a specific change is probably impossible, and post-dicting such things is an exercise in sophism.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    You then stated, “The ‘accommodation’ part comes in when we understand how the genetic code works.” I disagree with you here. Accommodation is figuring out what to do with it AFTER you have seen how it works. You have to see how it works, first, and that is completely apart from any interpretation you give it after that. And is it, really, “just” a complementary binding of molecules? Where did the concept of ‘code’ come in, then? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, it is ‘just’ binding of complementary molecules. You are delving into other aspects of it. As for the accommodation thing, it appears that you and I understand it the same way, you are just using unflattering descriptions of it. Finding out things often requires accommodation. Refusing to accommodate is anathema to science.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    You then made a statement which indicated to me that you are misunderstanding an objection a number of us have to something that is going on in evolutionist circles:

    “Of course, this brings up yet another interesting aspect of the
    creationary view of science. It appears that accepting and accommodating
    new information is seen as a minus by the creation camp. What do you
    prefer? Ignoring data and sticking with a ‘theory’ that will never
    change no matter what?”


    What I see in evolution apologetics is not a scientific sort of accommodation, but an excuse-making accommodation. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Oh, so you don’t really mean ‘accommodation’ in the usual sense, but some new sinister definition of the word.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    A striking example is ‘convergent evolution.’ The appearance of the functional eye in so many different types of animals should have been enough to cause any number of evolutionists to back up and say “Wait a minute…!” And maybe a number of them did. But what came out publicly was “well, it happened a lot of different times.” What evolutionist accommodation means is that there will never be a way to falsify evolution. It has been declared true and all evidence is interpreted to fit it, even when the fit is kind of strange. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I do not know what ‘evolution apologetics’is. Are you saying that the evolution of different eyes falsifies evolution? The ‘fit’ of evidence into a theory is often strange, yet that does not mean that the theory is wrong. Scientific reality is often counter-intuitive. I suppose that I will have to add the word ‘accommodation’ to the growing list of words not to use in this debate.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Here is an example: natural selection is known to delete genetic potential from a population. Evolutionist: yes, but mutations bring back that potential. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Please provide documentation that supports your major premise. Natural selection is known to add adaptive information to the genome. In reality, the evolutionist would probably say something like “Mutations add to the variation within gene pools upon which various types of selection can act.”

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Fact: most mutations are deleterious-to-lethal. Evolutionist: well, not in all situations. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    REAL fact: most mutations are neutral or nearly so.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Fact: lethal is lethal
    Evolutionist: that means I don’t have to deal with those! That leaves me more advantageous mutations. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I see that you are trying to mock one of my previous posts. If only you had read the papers I cited, you might not be so quick to try to mock. A lethal mutation effectively REMOVES ITSELF from a population. Or do you have evidence to the contrary?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Fact: advantageous mutations are only good in specific circumstances and normally die back out in the ‘wild’ state.
    Evolutionist: Circumstances are always changing, so some populations will survive. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    How does your ‘fact’ contradict what your farcical ‘evolutionist’ says? Are you implying that circumstances always remain the same? Are you not the same person that often argues for changes in the fundamental constants of physics?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Fact: When and if they do survive, they will be a very small population and thus any further mutations will run the risk of decimating this population still further. In addition, they have lost a great deal of genetic potential.
    Evolutionist: Nevertheless, evolution has happened, so we know these populations didn’t die out! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Helen, I find little reason to reply to these silly strawman arguments of yours. Instead of using these rhetorical ploys, why not just present the evidence supportive of your position?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Fact: Sexual reproduction has a tendency to wipe out mutations at random in a population, so how will your advantageous mutation survive in just one or a few individuals at first?
    Evolutionist: Sure, many get wiped out, but natural selection will help preserve them. And since evolution happened, we know this is what happened. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    FACT: Creationists would do themselves a favor by not ignoring the citations provided them by evolutionists.
    FACT: Sexual recombination, in reality, as demonstrated empirically in the Science paper I cited before, acts to increase the rate of accumulation of beneficial mutations in a population while also increasing the rate of the extinction of deleterious mutations.
    Your “And since evolution happened, we know this is what happened” is clearly intended as an insult. Please refrain from such tactics as it makes taking the time to produce a substantive response seem like a waste.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    And so it goes. No matter what is brought up to show that evolution really did not and could not happen, it happened anyway because it has been declared as happening and the evolutionary grab bag of excuses and reasons and accommodations makes sure every possible challenge is met by reason of special pleading, or self-referencing, or changes in definitions, or new ideas. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    What, exactly is brought to show that “evolution really did not and could not happen”? I have yet to see any such thing from any creationist at any level. In fact, most of the standard creationist anti-evolution arguments have been declared erroneous by the creationists themselves! (see the Aig article on the subject). What is ‘self-referencing’? And who is changing definitions? I am in the process of reading ReMine’s book, and I see a redefined word every few pages. Am I seeing projection here?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Scientific accommodation, on the other hand, is willing to change the presupposition when so much data is lined up against it. The accommodation is to the facts by the ideas, not to the ideas by the facts. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That is extremely interesting. The theory of evolution is only a shadow of it former self. The basic tenets are still intact, but the guts are quite a different beast then they were even a few decades ago. Why? Because the ToE accommodates new information and, in fact, none of the new information has required the wholesale trashing of the theory. You talk about changing presuppositions, yet you are Faith-bound (and members of some anti-evolutionist organizations are oath-bound) to never do so! What is the data ‘lined up’ against the presuppositions of evolution? Please produce a succinct, brief outline of this data and the appropriate citations.
    Assertions are not evidence, by the way.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Perhaps we are talking about different kinds of science?

    I’ve thought that for a long time…<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Me too. Real science on the one hand, and creation science on the other. I read the last page of ReMine’s conclusion yesterday. He claims that creation science is the only real science. I actually chuckled out loud. Having read about ¾ of the rest of the book, one thing struck me like a shot between the eyes – ReMine does not once produce a citation or reference supportive of his positive claims. Sure, he has quote after quote from evolutionists ‘documenting’ controversies and such, but not a single such quote to SUPPORT his claims.

    Example:

    p.253
    “… That is merely 0.0007 percent of the genome. That is not enough to account for human evolution.”

    There are no citations or footnote accompanying this statement of ‘fact.’ All we have is ReMine’s assertion. Assertion is not evidence. And yet in all of the situations that I have taken note, all we are given is an assertion. This has convinced numbers of lay creationists that ReMine is right. But he is wrong. He is wrong because there is no empirical basis for his statement. He never even attempts to justify it scientifically. He doesn’t have to. He knows that his readership is most likely to be those with set-in-stone presuppositions that are similar to his. Thus, his target audience will merely kowtow to his confident assertions.

    This sort of ‘reasoning’ seems to permeate creationist ‘science.’ That and constraining one’s results to fit into a creationist paradigm (shall we discuss the ‘Scriptural considerations’ section in the CRSQ baraminology papers again?). It does not have a home in real science – evolutionary or otherwise.

    If, as ReMine insists, creation science is the only real science, it is the only real science that exists upon a foundation of supposedly finding fault with other branches of science.

    Science by quote is a unique way of doing things.

    This was to Rufus, but I thought I would comment on it:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    And the concept of needing a DNA test to determine common descent is your ballgame, not mine. Don’t ask me to provide you with a test, please. But I would ask you, when you have one, how you are determining that what you find is due to common descent rather than common design?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Claiming that the results of molecular phylogenetic analyses could be due to common design is yet another example of a refusal to read citations presented on this topic. I know that I have personally presented you with citations and abstracts for papers that lay out quite clearly the testable and tested assumptions used in such analyses. Here, for the umpteenth time, are the citations. I hqve bolded the pertinent sections:

    : Science 1994 Apr 29;264(5159):671-7

    Application and accuracy of molecular phylogenies.
    Hillis DM, Huelsenbeck JP, Cunningham CW
    Department of Zoology, University of Texas, Austin 78712.

    Molecular investigations of evolutionary history are being used to study subjects as diverse as the epidemiology of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and the origin of life. These studies depend on accurate estimates of phylogeny. The performance of methods of phylogenetic analysis can be assessed by numerical simulation studies and by the experimental evolution of organisms in controlled laboratory situations. Both kinds of assessment indicate that existing methods are effective at estimating phylogenies over a wide range of evolutionary conditions, especially if information about substitution bias is used to provide differential weightings for character transformations.

    Science 1992 Jan 31;255(5044):589-92

    Experimental phylogenetics: generation of a known phylogeny.
    Hillis DM, Bull JJ, White ME, Badgett MR, Molineux IJ
    Department of Zoology, University of Texas, Austin 78712.

    Although methods of phylogenetic estimation are used routinely in comparative biology, direct tests of these methods are hampered by the lack of known phylogenies. Here a system based on serial propagation of bacteriophage T7 in the presence of a mutagen was used to create the first completely known phylogeny. Restriction-site maps of the terminal lineages were used to infer the evolutionary history of the experimental lines for comparison to the known history and actual ancestors. The five methods used to reconstruct branching pattern all predicted the correct topology but varied in their predictions of branch lengths; one method also predicts ancestral restriction maps and was found to be greater than 98 percent accurate.


    Science 1991 Oct 25;254(5031):554-8
    Gene trees and the origins of inbred strains of mice.
    Atchley WR, Fitch WM
    Department of Genetics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695.

    Extensive data on genetic divergence among 24 inbred strains of mice provide an opportunity to examine the concordance of gene trees and species trees, especially whether structured subsamples of loci give congruent estimates of phylogenetic relationships. logenetic analyses of 144 separate loci reproduce almost exactly the known genealogical relationships among these 24 strains.titioning these loci into structured subsets representing loci coding for proteins, the immune system and endogenous viruses give incongruent phylogenetic results. The gene tree based on protein loci provides an accurate picture of the genealogical relationships among strains; however, gene trees based upon immune and viral data show significant deviations from known genealogical affinities.


    Followed up by:

    Mol Biol Evol 1993 Nov;10(6):1150-69
    Genetic affinities of inbred mouse strains of uncertain origin.
    Atchley WR, Fitch W
    Department of Genetics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 26795-7614.

    Phylogenetic analyses of genetic data arising from 144 gene loci are used to describe the interrelationships among 24 widely used inbred strains of mice. An unordered-parsimony analysis gives a cladogram that is virtually identical to the known genealogy of the mouse strains. A loss-parsimony analysis is used to evaluate the hypothesis that the observed patterns of genetic divergence among these 24 strains can be explained by the segregation of residual heterozygosity arising from a small population of highly heterozygous mice. The loss-parsimony cladogram is very similar to both the unordered-parsimony cladogram and the known genealogy of the mice. The phylogenetic analyses of these 144 loci are integrated with data on the type and origin of the Y chromosome. Inclusion of the Y-chromosome data provides additional insights into the genetic composition of several of the original stocks used to produce the current inbred strains of mice. Ten strains of uncertain origin are contained in these analyses, including AKR, BUB, CE, I, NZB, P, RF, SJL, ST, and SWR. SJL is hypothesized to have been derived from the same Swiss albino stock previously used to produce SWR. The BUB strain appears to have had a complex origin and shows closest genetic similarity to SWR and ST. AKR and RF are shown to be closely related, while the I strain shows greatest genetic similarity to DBA/2 for the 144 loci. However, I and DBA possess different types of Y chromosome. The NZB strain shows genetic similarity to several stocks of both U.S. and European origins. The power of the genetic data used in these analyses reiterates that inbred strains of mice can be a valuable paradigm for studies in evolutionary biology.


    As for the 'coincidence' part, a good example:

    Mol Phylogenet Evol 1992 Jun;1(2):97-135
    Reexamination of the African hominoid trichotomy with additional sequences from the primate beta-globin gene cluster.
    Bailey WJ, Hayasaka K, Skinner CG, Kehoe S, Sieu LC, Slightom JL, Goodman M
    Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201.

    Additional DNA sequence information from a range of primates, including 13.7 kb from pygmy chimpanzee (Pan paniscus), was added to data sets of beta-globin gene cluster sequence alignments that span the gamma 1, gamma 2, and psi eta loci and their flanking and intergenic regions. This enlarged body of data was used to address the issue of whether the ancestral separations of gorilla, chimpanzee, and human lineages resulted from only one trichotomous branching or from two dichotomous branching events. The degree of divergence, corrected for superimposed substitutions, seen in the beta-globin gene cluster between human alleles is about a third to a half that observed between two species of chimpanzee and about a fourth that between human and chimpanzee. The divergence either between chimpanzee and gorilla or between human and gorilla is slightly greater than that between human and chimpanzee, suggesting that the ancestral separations resulted from two closely spaced dichotomous branchings. Maximum parsimony analysis further strengthened the evidence that humans and chimpanzees share the longest common ancestry. Support for this human-chimpanzee clade is statistically significant at P = 0.002 over a human-gorilla clade or a chimpanzee-gorilla clade.
    An analysis of expected and observed homoplasy revealed that the number of sequence
    changes uniquely shared by human and chimpanzee lineages is too large to be attributed to homoplasy.
    Molecular clock calculations that accommodated lineage variations in rates of molecular evolution yielded hominoid branching times that ranged from 17-19 million years ago (MYA) for the separation of gibbon from the other hominoids to 5-7 MYA for the separation of chimpanzees from humans. Based on the relatively late dates and mounting corroborative evidence from unlinked nuclear genes and mitochondrial DNA for the close sister grouping of humans and chimpanzees, a cladistic classification would place all apes and humans in the same family. Within this family, gibbons would be placed in one subfamily and all other extant hominoids in another subfamily. The later subfamily would be divided into a tribe for orangutans and another tribe for gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Finally, gorillas would be placed in one subtribe with chimpanzees and humans in another, although this last division is not as strongly supported as the other divisions.

    [ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  20. Administrator2

    Administrator2
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    DAVID PLAISTED
    Scott gives a number of cases where known phylogenies are well
    reconstructed by molecular phylogenies. The implication is that these
    molecular techniques are reliable in general. However, the known
    phylogenies all involved relatively small amounts of evolution. Such
    techniques may not be as reliable for larger amounts of evolution.
    Furthermore, in the creationist view, certain organisms do not have
    common ancestors at all, so such phylogenies would be meaningless.

    * * *

    second email:

    Scott says that most mutations are neutral. I find this statement
    interesting and wonder what his justification for it is.

    As for transitional forms, the web site
    http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/

    has an article

    Exposing the Evolutionists Sleight-of-Hand With the Fossil Record

    which asserts that 95 percent of the fossil record consists of
    complex invertebrates and among these there are no transitional forms.
    There are small changes, such as different kinds of trilobites, but
    no major transitional sequences.

    I also saw an outline of a talk in which a creationist said that
    among marine invertebrates, the distribution in the fossil record is
    basically random, with no recognizable pattern at all.

    Maybe someone here could comment on the accuracy of these statements.

    Dave Plaisted
     

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