Impossible evolutionary steps?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Phillip, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. Phillip

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    This thread is to discuss steps that I believe would be impossible for evolution to take due to intermediary steps that would not fit the evolutionary theory.

    An example: The eye-ball and associated nervous system transmission system and visual processing system (visual portion of the brain).

    Are there steps involved in coming to a complete eye-ball with auto-focusing lens system, high-dynamic range iris, clear protective fluid. Very complex and high definition detector (retina) which includes both low-level black and white sensors and color sensors that can kick in with more light. Remember that the picture is inverted on the retina and the recognition system must convert it so what we perceive as an upright and useable scene.

    The system is better and more complex than any mechanically designed video camera system.

    Let us discuss what steps would have to be taken to go from light-detection (period) and why, to a complete functional stereo video system with depth perception. Remember, every single step MUST improve the creature on which the eyes develope otherwise the mutation would not have lasted.

    This is not just to discuss the eyes it can also discuss other features whether microscopic or macroscopic.

    We who do not believe in evolution will provide these features and evolutionists may provide information as to "how" the features came to be, with each rebutting.

    Let us keep this thread specific to these features and not get into a fuss about who knows the most about the subject and also try to stick to facts that we can state and can be understood here, not to just pointing to some obscure scientific paper written by ANY scientist. There is enough knowledge here that we should be able to discuss this in understable levels.

    So, my first question is how did a light sensor first develop and what form would it take?
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

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    Light has a bleaching effect on many chemicals so all living cells seem to have some reaction to the presence of light immediately. The first light sensor would not have to be anything more than an ordinary cell that says "hey, a light is shining on me", which might help a worm to turn away from the surface and get safely below ground.
     
  3. UTEOTW

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    The intro is a classic arguement from incredulity and is not valid. If you wish to show that something is "impossible" it is not enough to merely assert that it is so complicated that the person making the assertion cannot understand how it happened. That does not constitute proof that it could not happen.

    To answer the question posed at the end, it is likely that light sensing has been around since the time that all life was single celled. For example, rhodopsin is one of the chemicals used in human vision. It is merely a variation on Vitamin A, a rather ubiquitous chemical where life is concerned. Other variations of rhodopsin are used as light sensing chemicals in various forms of life.
     
  4. Phillip

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    UTEOTW, I would appreciate a little change in your attacks on every statement made that YOU disagree with. Obviously, maaybe I was not clear, but obviously you have a slight misconception of my point.

    To explain more clearly: Any system, regardless of its complexity, requires certain "steps" to obtain that level of complexity. According to the theory of evolution all mutations must provide a legitimate support to the "evolutionary" theory itself. In other words. If we have to get from A to C and step B is required, but there is no reason for "B" to even exist or step B makes no improvement to the survival of the species, so therefore it is unlikely that the step B would even occur unless "naturalism" is thrown out and supernatural pre-planning is involved.

    Now, if you are saying that God actually directed the steps of evolution, your theory of evolution is not the standard theory believed by secular scientists.

    Even secular scientists try to understand how to get to step A to C, when B makes no genetic improvement to the specie's survival.

    So, please dispense with the remarks that a theory is invalid, because I could say the whole notion of evolution is invalid because it is simply a "theory" to explain the existence of life from "naturalistic techniques" without supernatural intervention.

    So, this discussion is indeed valid, unless you wish to admit that supernatural occurances took place and the evolutionary theory of secular scientists is wrong on this major point.
     
  5. Phillip

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    Now we need to determine how we get from this simple method of light detection to lensed, pixalated and video processing system with an extremely large dynamic range. How would a step of a lens take place, which would have to be not only clear, but focus the light, be at a specific location and have a detector that will convert the light to an image. How do each of these steps improve the species enough to become a permanent part of the genetic mutation?
     
  6. Phillip

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    Please, excuse my typing again tonight. I am agin uing my laptop and keys often stick or skip causing difficculty in typing a decent post. I think most of you can read and understnd what I am saying with the poor grammar, spelling and punctuation.
     
  7. robycop3

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    Many creatures can only sense the presence of light; they cannot distinguish specific objects, and often, not even what direction the light is coming from.

    The orderly process which the evolutionist believes in is shattered by the octopus, which has eyes almost as well-developed as our own, and which is far more-developed than those of related creatures.

    God has given each creature the light-sensing ability it needs to live in its given environment. For example, the eagle can see movement and make out distant objects far better than we can. Most owls can see a mouse moving through grass in a moonless night, from 50 feet away. Many deep-water fish cannot see at all, but they live in a lightless environment & their other senses are much more sensitive than are those of most other animals...while other deep-sea creatures can both see and emit light. I cannot believe any creature evolved to live in water 5 miles deep.
     
  8. UTEOTW

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    "UTEOTW, I would appreciate a little change in your attacks on every statement made that YOU disagree with. Obviously, maaybe I was not clear, but obviously you have a slight misconception of my point."

    Apologies if you were ofended by my response. It was supposed to be an attack upon your premise not upon you personally.

    The main point is that you asserted that you asserted that the formation of an eye is impossible and then offered no evidence that this is actually the case other than pointing out how complex an eye actually is. It was a classic argument from incredulity and demonstrated nothing other than that you do not know how it could happen.

    "To explain more clearly: Any system, regardless of its complexity, requires certain "steps" to obtain that level of complexity. According to the theory of evolution all mutations must provide a legitimate support to the "evolutionary" theory itself. In other words. If we have to get from A to C and step B is required, but there is no reason for "B" to even exist or step B makes no improvement to the survival of the species, so therefore it is unlikely that the step B would even occur unless "naturalism" is thrown out and supernatural pre-planning is involved."

    and

    "Now we need to determine how we get from this simple method of light detection to lensed, pixalated and video processing system with an extremely large dynamic range. How would a step of a lens take place, which would have to be not only clear, but focus the light, be at a specific location and have a detector that will convert the light to an image. How do each of these steps improve the species enough to become a permanent part of the genetic mutation?"

    A cursory glance at nature will show you many different creatures that have a continuum of eyes from simple light detecting pigments to spots to cavities without lens all the way up to full eyes. There are even different designs in nature for the complete eye.

    It should be easy enough to see how each small advance is helpful. I am headed to bed so rather than go through a laundry list, let me simply ask a question or two. Do you think you would be better off (or would rather have) an eye that focused not as well as your current vision or no sight at all? A catarct covered lens that you cannot see out or no lens to focus? The ability to see shapes or no vision at all? The ability to distinguish light from dark or no vision at all?

    Each step is an improvement.

    And don't worry about the typing. I am using a full sized keyboard and I still cannot type or spell.
     
  9. Plain Old Bill

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    For the last few weeks since these threads have been going I have :
    Followed and read the threads(even participated some).
    I have read 4 books about creation science.
    I have went to old earth and young earth sites and read thier materials and articles.

    The result is I think like I did before all of this started.Nothing has changed my mind.Life in all of it's many simple and complex forms is simply to complex to have been a bunch or random accidental happy circumstances.So I guess I'm still a young earther.
     
  10. Phillip

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    Again my appologies for not being descriptive enough. I think you get my premise now. The idea of moving from a simple system to a more complex system with steps that would not make sense in a naturally evolving system.


    I get where you are going and I do have to respond in the way you want me to to your questions.

    Let me take a possible step. A lens requires a clear and shaped organic material that can be focused using muscles. I can certainly agree that certain steps could be acceptable to evolutionary theory. For example, the lens could have developed from a protective covering that developed in a harsh environment and its shape developed over time as mutations changed for better focus.

    I also admit that you may be able to show me a legitimate natural change for each step, but I'm trying this as an experiment to see if this is a legitimate argument. So, I do expect you to make the best answers that you can so that I have to try harder to find mutations that would not fit the evolutionary theory. So, if you nail me on these specific issues, I will take those ideas into consideration and either debate them or accept.

    Let me try a step or two with the eye. How about the development of pixel detection from single detector. What would cause a step to a multiple, but small number of pixels (I would assume that a complete picture would not be a single step.) Also, how about a step to get to the correct seperation between the lens and the eyeball. Why would "naturalistic" theory include a step of knowing the lens needs to be seperated by a certain amount of distance (or any distance at all away from the retina? I would assume that a natural protective covering that would probably develop into a lens would start right against the detection system. What would cause seperation and what would cause adjustment of that seperation without a complete multiple pixel detector? Or how would the multiple pixel detector come about before the lens were in place an working to a certain extent? (I am using multiple paths, lens first or retina first or even both together.)

    The eye might not have been the best item to use, it was simply the first that came to my mind, so if you do not have a problem, I may also add other organs besides just the eye.

    I would like to discuss the duck and its capability to fly. It has an extremely complex aerodynamic system which include special features with hooks that allow the stroke of a beak to fix them if minor damage or ruffling occurs. It also has a tail section much like a standard airplane to provide balance, stability and some directional or attitude control. Without this tail there would be no flying. So I would like to discuss the steps from an animal with no wings to a completely aerodynamically stable effecient flying machine.


    Actually, my keyboard is probably just a subconscious excuse for me. :D

    Let me ask you a question. As an evolutionist are there any components of an animal that you actually would think would be the most difficult for you to explain the steps and maybe you might have questions about. I will honestly try to argue your point too and see what we come up with.

    Thank you for the civil conversation regarding this issue. I will try to be very careful to keep this specifically on a professional level of discussion and I certainly appreciate your professional responses to date.

    I'm sorry about the long post, Its late and everybody is gone and I'm just in a writing mood. [​IMG] Take all the time you need to respond.
     
  11. UTEOTW

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    I am going to try and answer your questions. I do have a better idea now of where you are going. One problem may be that sight is so common and has been around for so long and eyes are such delicate structures when it comes to preservation that much must be speculated about. An anecdote. Last year BobRyan tried to make a point by asking for fossils showing how the trilobite evolved its eye. Well the earliest trilobites already had eyes. I did show how the eye changed and improved in trilobites with time. They have a hard lens that will actually fossilize. But he went on with this for weeks. If you have ever crossed paths with him, this should not surprise you. He has an interesting debate style.

    Just speculating here...

    "How about the development of pixel detection from single detector. What would cause a step to a multiple, but small number of pixels (I would assume that a complete picture would not be a single step.) "

    Let's imagine that you have a small, multicellular creature. As we have seen, light detecting chemicals are ancient and are easily derived from other chemicals that are basic to life. The genes that make the chemical for black and white vision are fairly highly conserved among life. The others receptors are mutations of these genes. Also, phylogenic trees made from these genes match those from other sources.

    Now in a multicelled animal, it would be of little use to have all of its cells making this chemical. So a small change in development could restrict things such that there was a small spot of cells that made the chemical. Each cell would have its own nerve ending attached so it could send the single for detection of light back to the brain. From here only minor changes would be needed to register intensity of the light or to change the size of the spot.

    To take it to the next step, another slight modification makes the spot slightly concave. This would make the spot less prone to damage, it could give a little more sruface area for the light sensing cells making them more sensitive, and the curvature would allow for a very rudimentary image to be formed. You would also need the brain to learn to process the individual signals into an image.

    "Also, how about a step to get to the correct seperation between the lens and the eyeball. Why would "naturalistic" theory include a step of knowing the lens needs to be seperated by a certain amount of distance (or any distance at all away from the retina?"

    Well, it does not "know" it just preserves what works well and gives an advantage.

    We just discussed the improvement of adding a little curvature. Each additional bit makes things just a little better. Eventually you get enough that the opening starts to close in a bit on itself. Like closing the aperture on a camera, this really begins to focus the light much better. This is sufficient to give you the equivilent of a pinhole camera, no lens, and is used successfully by the nautilus.

    Any change that brings the shape of the eye a little bit closer to the proper focal length will be an improvement in quality over eyes with a focal length farther from ideal. Just as even being able to see dark shapes is useful bringing those shapes into slightly better focus is even more useful.

    "I would assume that a natural protective covering that would probably develop into a lens would start right against the detection system. What would cause seperation and what would cause adjustment of that seperation without a complete multiple pixel detector? "

    Most likely you would start with a simple covering that protected the indentation from contamination. Making the covering clear is not too complicated. The clear material of the cornea is used for other purposes in the body and could have already been around. Untill you get close to a pinhole type eye, focusing with a lens might not have been too much of an improvement. Though it might have been.

    But by the time a lens started to become useful, most of the rest of the eye should be functional. There should be a lot of individual pixels. They should be connected to the brain. The brain should be able to form some form of image from the signal. The space behind the covering would have time to fill with a clear "jelly."

    Since you already have a clear covering, making a lens only requires that the material become a little thicker. Once it get thicker, then it can bend and focus light somewhat. At this point the eye would need to flatten a little bit to bring the image into focus more sharply. Add a few small muscles to adjust the focus as needed, and you have a very functional eye.

    There is a paper written along such speculative lines. The authors imagined starting with a simple spot and tried to deduce how many step would be required to make a fish eye if each step could at most change things by ony 1%. The answer they found was 1829 steps. Not too many, actually. They also found that there were not any points along the way were these small changes would not have a significant enough improvement to be selected for. Ths is important as it shows that there is not a plateau where the process could get stuck, at least in their scenario. The reference is

    A Pessimistic Estimate Of The Time Required For An Eye To Evolve, D.-E. Nilsson and S. Pelger, Proceedings of the Royal Society London B, 1994, 256, pp. 53-58.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed&cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=94277993&dopt=Citation

    As far as the birds go, keep in mind that it is possible that flight developed to its modern complexity from something that was simpler but effective enough. Evolution also tends to modify what is available. (Like reusing proteins to make a lens that are already in use for other purposes.) The dinosaur Caudipteryx already had a fan of tail feathers and barbs on the feathers that allow them to zip together like bird feathers do. So all you need is the structure on the beak to fix them. Since dinosaurs did not have beaks, there must have been other ways to do this without the special equipment. The dinosaur Microraptor had flight feathers that covered both its legs and arms. It did not have the body for powered flight but would have been a nice four winged glider.
     
  12. Paul of Eugene

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    After the light spot, we can have a little dent appear in where the light spot is and that helps determine more accurately the direction of light.

    A protective layer of skin over the light spot can thicken, acting as a better and better lens.

    The light spot can have nerve cells respond to individual cells instead of the whole spot at once, increasing sensitivity to details.

    We're well on our way to a full functioning eye, bit by bit, as requested.
     
  13. Benfranklin403

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    &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;For the last few weeks since these threads have been going I have :
    Followed and read the threads(even participated some).
    I have read 4 books about creation science.
    I have went to old earth and young earth sites and read thier materials and articles.&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

    But as with most creationists, I would be willing to bet that you have never read the most important book on the subject and that is Darwin's "Origin of the Species". Until you have done that, you have not read the most persuasive arguments for evolution.
     
  14. Phillip

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    I just happen to have a copy laying by me at this moment and will also say that Darwin was unsure of his own theories making reference that it was difficult to get from one point to the other in many parts of the theory.

    If you haven't heard, Darwin's book is now quite dated and although the presumption of "evolution of the species" is still the 'big' theory, much of the detail of Darwin's work has been thrown out for more modern theory.

    A lot of modern books are much more persuasive than "The Origin of the Species". It certainly didn't persuade me when I first read it many years ago.

    If I were to try to recommend "persuave" books for evolution, I think even I could do better. Although, I don't buy the theory.
     
  15. Phillip

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    Why would insect eyes with multiple lenses have a tendency to detect the direction of light by bulging outward?

    What would make muscle start attaching itself to the lens to change its shape and thickness?

    Where would an automatically adjustable iris start?
     
  16. UTEOTW

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    Again, just speculating.

    As to the first question, studies of the genes involved in eye development suggest that there was a common ancestor with a simple eye that diversified into the various types of eyes that we see. In insects, the compound eyes have a very short focal length. So short that we would need a microscope to focus at an equivelent length. So the compound eye, with its many segments, could be an adaptation to the very close in work that insects need eyes for. If that is the case, then the function determines the shape. All the little cones by necessity fit together in such a way as to cause the shape you see.

    As to the other two, I think the question starts with the origin of the muscles. Once you have a muscle in the area, the rest is only changes in degrees. Since there are tiny muscles in the skin of many animals (checking I stopped after finding this to be a common trait of all tetrapods and fish) then the eye spot that turned into a pit that turned into an eye would already be likely to have tiny muscles attached to the surrounding tissue. It is only a matter of getting it to perform the correct functions.
     
  17. Plain Old Bill

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    Back in my day "the origen of the species" by darwin was required reading in our sophmore biology class.So I've read it many years ago.In those days anthropology was sort of a hobby of mine,but I lost interest when I became interested in modern 10th grade girls.
     
  18. Phillip

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    So then you became an expert on human physiology and skipped the origin of the species part, I take it? [​IMG]

    How you interpret that, tells where your mind is. (At least that makes a good excuse for writing it. [​IMG] )
     
  19. OldRegular

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    The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that order cannot spontaneously arise out of disorder which is required for evolution to occur. Transition from a state of disorder to a state of order requires a decrease in entropy, again a violation of the Second Law. I will repeat some statements on the Second Law by noted scientists for your edification.

    Rudolph Clausius, who developed the concept of Entropy, used the universe as his model when he drew the conclusions "the energy of the Universe is a constant, the Entropy of the Universe tends toward a maximum" [A Brief History of Eternity by Roy E. Peacock]. Thermodynamist Peacock notes [page 69]: "It is this pronouncement "the Entropy of the Universe tends to a maximum', that is of vital importance. In making it Clausius did not refer to individual processes taking place in the universe, neither did he consider different theories of its creation, evolution, and direction. He didn't need to. All that was necessary for his statement to hold true was that all processes should be irreversible.

    Peacock also quotes [page 75] Sir Arthur Eddington, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge: "The law that entropy always increases - The second Law of Thermodynamics - holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observations - well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the Second Law of Thermodynamics I can give you no hope: there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation."

    Harvard scientist John Ross, in a letter to Chemical and Engineering News [July 7, 1980], writes: "There are no known violations of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second Law is stated for isolated systems, but the second Law applies equally well to open systems. . . There is somehow associated with the field of far from equilibrium phenomena the notion that the second law of Thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself."

    Thermodymanicist Arnold Sommerfeld author of Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics [Academic Press, 1955] writes [page 155]: "The statement in integral form, namely that entropy in an isolated system cannot decrease, can be replaced by its corollary in differential form, which asserts that the quantity of entropy generated locally cannot be negative irrespective of whether the system is isolated or not, and irrespective of whether the process under consideration is irreversible or not."

    As to evolution:

    There are at least three aspects or ways to express the Second Law:

    1. As a measure of the increased unavailability of the energy of a system for useful work. [Classical Thermodynamics].
    2. As a measure of the increased disorder, randomness, or probability of the arrangement of the components of the system. [Statistical Thermodynamics]
    3. As a measure of the increasingly confused information in the transmission of the coded message through a system. [Informational thermodynamics]
     
  20. UTEOTW

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    "The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that order cannot spontaneously arise out of disorder which is required for evolution to occur."

    Nope.

    My thermodymanics textbook states the second law as follows.

    "No apparatus can operate in such a way that its only effect is to convert heat absorbed by a system completely into work."

    "No process is possible which consists solely in the transfer of heat from one temperature level to a higher one."

    "It is impossible by a cyclic process to convert the heat absorbed by a system completely into work."

    Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics Smith and Van Ness 4th Edition 1987

    Now, tell us which of these statements matches your assertion.

    Second, give us one hypothesized step in, say, the evolution of man from our last common ancestor with the other apes that violates the 2LOT. It would help to show your work.

    "There are at least three aspects or ways to express the Second Law:

    1. As a measure of the increased unavailability of the energy of a system for useful work. [Classical Thermodynamics].
    "

    Yes, this is thermodynamic entropy.

    "2. As a measure of the increased disorder, randomness, or probability of the arrangement of the components of the system. [Statistical Thermodynamics]"

    Yes, this is also a way to express entropy and a very valuable way. But you must be careful here to use proper definitions. The disorder of entropy in thermodynamics is at the molecular level. It does not apply to disorder at macro scales!

    "3. As a measure of the increasingly confused information in the transmission of the coded message through a system. [Informational thermodynamics] "

    This is not thermodynamics. Information theory does have its own concept of entropy but it is not thermodynamic entropy. You cannot lump this in as part of the 2LOT.
     

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