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Mike Huckabee and Evolution

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by Surgo, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Surgo

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    Alright, so, "of a population" seems to be the key point here, which would make #2 some bullshit as well. I'll reformulate my first argument against SkarmBlissCounter using non-bullshit, then.
  2. Agamemnon

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    population used in the definition is used broadly
  3. Bioshock

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    The bacteria changed, and adapted to become resistant to the antibiotic... they changed and adapted (EVOLUTION)
  4. marrilpet

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    This is what most people, Mike Huckabee included, disagree with on the grounds of evolution: bacteria evolving into greater life forms, including monkeys, which humans eventually evolved from. You've got to admit: monkeys to humans is somewhat plausible, bacteria into humans (even over millions of years) is not.

    Additionally, the argument made by evolutionists saying that apes evolved into humans through natural selection is flawed. With natural selection, all organisms without the advantageous trait are wiped out and the new organisms with the beneficial mutation continue to live on. If this is the case, why do monkeys, birds, and all lower life forms still exist? If it is in their best interest to mutate and grow into a higher organism, why do they not do so?
  5. Surgo

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    Mike Huckabee claims that he "doesn't believe in evolution". More specifically, he "was one of three GOP candidates who raised their hand during Thursday's debate when asked if they don't believe in evolution." (The other two being Sam Brownback and Tom Tancredo, who this post is not about. And to be fair to Huckabee, he also said that he has no problem with it being taught in schools instead of creationism. Source: Fox News.)

    SkarmBlissCounter wants to take me to task for "belittling someone because they do not believe in evolution." Not "believing" in evolution is bullshit, though. Now, why is it bullshit to not believe in evolution? Well, we've got evolution from the laboratory, actually. Here are some examples of biology experiments and results that, unlike the original two that I said, Odinwolf shouldn't have a problem with because they actually fall under the umbrella of evolution:
    Green and black caterpillars (polyphenisms)
    Dessication resistant fruit flies
    Actual antibiotic-resistant evolution (as opposed to genes that are already there from my original flawed example)
    (Other stuff from scientific journals depends on me having access to a library, which I do not at the moment.)

    So: from experiments such as these, we can see evolution as it happens. How can you disbelieve evolution with these results staring you in the face? Mike Huckabee did not say that he did not believe in macroevolution. He did not say that he did not believe in men descending from apes. He said that he did not believe in evolution. And that is bullshit.

    edit:
    You're saying this as if it is an instantaneous process. It is not. Also, see posts below for other problems.
    I would like to turn this around and say: why is this implausable? It rather is the most plausable way to explain the rise of human life.
  6. Agamemnon

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    you have no idea what you are talking about. every organism has its own niche and as long as it fills that niche it will continue to survive (excluding extraneous circumstances, e.g. natural disasters, disease, etc.) please do some research before you jump to ridiculous such as the ones above. natural selection is not flawed. its merely a balancing act on the part of nature.

    please do not confuse others with information that is not true. :)

    edit: he is just confirming what his faith tells him, and there is nothing wrong with that. my faith says taht God created the universe and everything in it. however i am also a biology major and cannot to deny that evolution is a mechanism that is present. its all about what you believe.
  7. Big Bayou

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    Because it isn't, necessarily.

    Organisms fill environmental niches. Some have been required to adapt and evolve to assume theirs, others have already evolved sufficiently to inhabit their roles and face little to no competition.

    Examples of the latter would be sharks, crocodiles or centipedes. They have remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of millions of years because the basic tools they developed so long ago still work well today. Slowly evolving, say, a larger brain is not necessary for their survival.
  8. Altmer

    Altmer rid this world of human waste
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    Everything in biology is of a certain population. It's used broadly, but you have to specify it. I think that this is the big problem in biology: what are the definitions you're trying to use? That's what causes the hassle for me in biology. I think it's also why this thread gets convoluted because people don't know the exact biological definition of evolution (Neither do I; I am not a biologist and definitely not an ecological one; closest I come is biochemistry/molecular biology).

    Also, SkarmBlissCounter, everything that is passed on to our offspring as genes either comes from mutations or dominant/recessive alleles. Your body (and any living organism) mutates incredibly often. A lot of it is fixed by the body's natural defense against mutations (since mutations cause cancer amongst other things). Gaining immunity is either a gene being mutated to produce a certain substance that will nullify the toxin, or causes a change in the affected tissue so it becomes resistant to the toxin regardless. Immunology and toxicity are very much chemical processes; sure, they occur in our body naturally (and a lot of the reactions are common to biology), but on a microscopic scale, this is what genes control: mutation, and therefore the production/regulation of enzymes, which again control/regulate the building of chemical substances in the body.

    Now say that we have a population of a small organism called A. A is severely affected in the cellular processes and will die if given enough of substance Q. However, 0.1% of this population possesses a natural resilience against substance Q, which they received due to a fortunate genetic mutation. If we would apply substance Q to a sample culture of population A, let's say 90% of the population would (approximately) die. However, A is a bacterium for some reason, and bacteria proliferate quickly. The 0.1 % of bacteria that are immune are now in a much better position to profileration. Ergo, when we repopulate the culture for future sampling, there will be a far bigger fraction of bacteria that possess resilience against substance Q. That's how it works.

    Now there are many things that can cause mutations. Crossover genes, UV-radiation, point mutations, the body just being a dumbass when repairing the damage to the RNA strands, etc. There's so much going on in a single cell it's unbelievable.

    Now if we take all these mutations on a microscopic scale, they seem irrelevant. They're just resistance to one substance. But you know what the thing about evolution is? We are oxygen-surviving species because of only a few mutations. The atmosphere used to be carbon-dioxide rich, billions of years ago. Many organisms back then (like plants today), were CO2-dependent for survival, and released oxygen as a waste gas. The result was that oxygen levels in the air changed drastically. Organisms died due to oxygen poisoning. Of course, one organism managed to assemble a mechanism by which oxygen was not poisonous and carbon dioxide became the waste gas. This might have been a single mutation, a point mutation, chromosomes crossing over, I have no fucking clue. But it's the only possible explanation.

    You see how a single feed substance and nutrient change can affect the course of a whole evolutionary chain? It's a simple biological process that provides us with energy. It's not much more than a single reaction, divided into steps for the ease of energetical extraction and a couple of other things. Only a single enzyme lost or changed, and the whole future of a species changes.

    That's how it is: only a couple of these mutations and viable offspring from two particular members of a population of a certain species is not possible anymore, and we have a new species. Of course the line is drawn a little arbitrarily but that's the principle. You only need a couple of survivors that have resistance, and a possibility to reproduce to put it big-time into the gene pool of that particular population of the species; and that's how traits pass on.

    Hence the 'best' evolutionary organisms are those members that can put the most genes in the gene pool of their species. In other words, being a good fuck is a big requirement in evolution.
  9. Brain

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    A layman's opinion on a scientific subject is pretty much always flawed. If somebody thinks that quantum physics are flawed because "the same thing can't be at two places at once", maybe that's because he doesn't know shit about quantum physics. People who disbelieve evolution are guilty of the same failure: they give their opinion on something that they don't understand.

    No they aren't wiped out. What the fuck.

    Look I'm sorry to be so blunt but you don't know what you're talking about and it shows. First, you assume that monkeys, birds, etc. are "lower life forms" and that evolution has to weed them out. That's false - evolution weeds out life forms that are not adapted to their environment. Sure, other animals are less intelligent than we are, but if they survive in their environment, they'll prosper. Organisms don't just get up one day and tell themselves "hey I'll mutate into a higher organism just like these guys". Evolution pretty much directly entails variety and that's why it works so well.


    About Mike Huckabee: a person could perfectly be a great president even if he disbelieves evolution. Sure, it's not very reassuring, but there's worse.

    edit:

    The results can't stare you in the face if you don't look at them and they don't mean much if you have no background to understand them. Most people let other people think for them on matters they don't understand. Unfortunately, religion (in its fundamentalist flavor) has enough leverage to misinform the people who trust it over people who know their shit. But you can't blame someone for not doing his research if it doesn't matter (it would matter if he wanted to allow schools to teach creationism, but besides that, who cares). We all do the same and it's kind of difficult to tell people that they can't trust religion on anything.
  10. Agamemnon

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    yes. evolution isnt really survival of the fittest, its more who can leave the most offspring.
  11. Altmer

    Altmer rid this world of human waste
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    As my biology teacher used to put it: the fittest organism is the one who gets the most fucks.
  12. Agamemnon

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    hahahaha, sigged.
  13. Surgo

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    And isn't Atlas or Synre.
  14. Synre

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    im a pretty fit organism, wanna see?



    infracting user surgo for trolling


    I kinda felt obligated to post with the synreburn there but I don't really have anything intelligent to add, rather than be a pro-evolution version of marrilpet I'm just going to shut up and let the people who actually know what they are talking about debate. On a somewhat related issue on the Huckabee side of this topic - I would agree with Brain that not believing in evolution does not inherently prevent someone from doing a good job as president, although I can safely say if by some shot in the dark he's elected it'll be convenient that it will be a time I'll be transferring schools anyway since it'd be a splendid opportunity to hop to Canada or Europe.
  15. umbarsc

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    I don't think that believing in creationism makes you an idiot, or worth being subjected to belittlement (that might be a word). However, I do think that trying to rationalize creationism as "scientific" (like the bullshit link provided on the first page; the ironing was purely deliciousness), or else trying to force others to believe it is idiocy. The case for evolution is so strong, I don't see how it can be scientifically ignored (notice the italics, if you personally disbelieve for being a strong Christian, that's okay).

    Also, here's a straight-from-the-textbook definition of evolution.

    evolution: the process in which in which inherited characteristics within a population change ofer generations such that a new species arise

    Like the the Galapagos Finches of Darwins, who had subtly became new species with natural selection. Another example would be insects becoming resistant to pesticide. And by 'population', they don't mean the ENTIRE population; it simply means a group of organisms.
  16. QuickDraw

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    i think you people are looking waay too deeply into this. if you want to look at evolution in its finest look at the skeleton. take humans for example, specifically the Neanderthal. they were stout and had very thick bones, a barrel chest and prominent brows on an ape-like face. now as time meandered along their skeletons became longer and thinner, more agile with increased cranial capacity. some have attributed this to the end of the ice age but i wont delve into that. it is quite easy to see the slow changes if you look at skeletons from then until now. everything is gradual and certain traits were passed along as the generations went on. sure, there are still people with neanderthal like traits but that is to be expected because different people aquire different traits and depending on the topography and climate of where they live certain traits prosper where others don't.

    i agree with brain on huckabee. people don't have to believe in evolution to be good leaders. it will obviously bias their opinions but i don't think any sane person would cut scientific funding just because they refuse to believe in it. an athiest in the white house wouldn't remove churches from america because there is proof that faith is flawed.
  17. david stone

    david stone Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming.
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    That is evolution. You don't have to have every possible manifestation of evolution for something to be evolution. Environmental pressures lead to a change in the population. You don't have to create 'new' genetic material in evolution.

    Outside of natural selection and mutation, what else is there to evolution? I cannot think of any other component, and it's possible for one or the other acting alone to be the cause of the evolution of a species.

    That's because that's not what happened. No modern respectable scientist is claiming that humans evolved from monkeys, but rather, that the modern monkey and the human share a common ancestor.

    It's not bacteria to humans. A simplified timeline runs something like:

    prokaryotes -> eukaryotes (unicellular) -> eukaryotes (multicellular, simple) -> simple animals (invertebrates, so pre-fish) -> fish -> amphibians -> reptiles (in particular, synapsids) -> mammals -> primates -> common ancestor of humans, chimps, bonobos... -> us!

    The "bacteria turns into human" step seems absurd, but when you break it down to several smaller steps over billions of years, it's suddenly a lot more likely.

    I know of no scientist that makes that claim.

    This is false. Let's consider the example of a mutagen. Say there is something in the water that messes with some gene or another. Only a small subset of the species drinks this water, and thus only that species is influenced. The old group was obviously adapted to live as they were, and if the new group is lucky, the mutation will prove to be a net benefit. Alternately, the new mutation will only be a net benefit in some areas (those mutations that are purely negative or beneficial only in areas in which that species doesn't live will likely die out), and thus that new species will either gain a competitive advantage in that area and outcompete the old version of the species (possibly killing them all off in that area, or maybe just lowering their population), or else the mutation would put them into non-competition with the older version of themselves (for instance, they may have a different diet), which would have little-to-no effect on the old species. Evolution is often local, not global.

    Alternately, it could be natural selection. Say you have a species of rabbit. Some of these rabbits live in a wooded area, others live in a snowy area. The rabbits in the snowy area that are whiter are more likely to survive, leading to an increase of white rabbits over time. Brown rabbits will increase in the wooded area for the same reason. This change in color could be enough to cause the two types of rabbit, although physically capable of interbreeding, less likely to interbreed. This creates isolation among the two species, which means that minor changes within each group will remain in that group. Over time, this leads to increasingly large differences between the two groups until eventually they are incapable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.

    There are several other scenarios in which it's more likely than not that both species would remain, rather than one's existence coming at the cost of the destruction of the other.

    It's not always in their best interest. An increased brain size means massively increased dietary intake and larger cranial capacity. In a desert, for example, there is not the food to support this increase, so even if a smarter creature had a theoretical advantage over its less intelligent comrades, it wouldn't be able to live long enough to put it to good use. The larger cranial capacity also means greater size, which many creatures simply cannot have.

    Not quite. If you have 5,000,000 children, and all of them die before they can reproduce, your line is still dying out. Compare the strategy of the turtle (lay a bunch of eggs in one place, and a lot of the baby turtles can make it to sea before being eaten, and hopefully enough of those will survive long enough to have baby turtles of their own) with the human (have few children, but spend time raising them to ensure that a maximum amount live to adulthood).

    But it is a sign that they may not be the best person to have a great influence in choosing where federal funds go for scientific research.
  18. QuickDraw

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    i guess i have to agree with that but presidents are not allowed to change funding or allocate resources to other areas of research on a whim, there are votes and papers to be filed, not to mention the ever vigilant groups of activists for any cause. a change in funding due to disbelief of a subject as large as this would be nearly impossible to rationalize, especially with the current events that the world is experiencing on behalf of the US. to do so would require an almost complete devotion to the subject and whoever is elected will not have the luxury of that much free time with the war in iraq, the genocide in darfur, or the AIDS epidemic in africa to name a few examples. there are too many people who see this as trivial and their sheer numbers would shut him down before he even got started not to mention the whispers of impeachment that would surely roll of the tongues of the population if he followed that course of action.
  19. david stone

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    lol hardly. The fact that all these other issues are big only lends support to the idea that such "trivial" matters would receive less attention. In fact, support for various other activities could be used as further justification.
  20. QuickDraw

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    i never thought about it that way and politicians are sneaky bastards.
  21. majesty

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    Just throwing this first bit out there...

    Does anyone remember back a little while ago when Evolution VS Intelligent design (Aka. Repackaged creationism) went to court to see which idea was constitutional to teach? Evolution landslided, actually, smoking every single arguement including the paradigm of "irreducible complexity" in the flagellar motor system. That was the most ellegant arguement for intelligent design/creationism and it was absolutely refuted.


    Okay, warning- Long post ahead from someone who has done scientific research about this topic and has been emmersed and educated in it for about 3 years now. Let me know if I can clarify anything.

    One thing that is oft overlooked is that Evolution is infact a theory. Not just a theory. Here's a few other theories that are, by definition, held at the same scientific level of reguard as evolution:

    -Friction
    -Gravity
    -Microbial causation of disease (such as...influenza, Malaria or the common cold to name a few).


    If you can refute any of these by wandwaving or even some logical hypothesis, I invite you to. It's kind of interesting that Evolution has MORE evidence than all three of these (by volume)...especially Gravity and Microbial causation of disease. I want to stress that last one. It was discovered by, Bassi I believe, in like 1830 and then popularizard by Pasteur in the 1860's or so. Look at how much medical success we have had since then! Look at the breakthroughs! How marvelous a theory, almost air tight infact...yet it still can't hold up a candle to the volumous mass of data in support of Evolution.

    Interesting side point, aside from the interpretations of a book and faith, there really is nothing that can solidly refute evolution. Science has only found minor holes and then elegantly and quite perfectly patched them (ie. Stephen J Gould's punctuated Equilibrium).

    Remember, even if you think something is FACT, scientific processes demand you maintain an open mind. By the way, by this true scientific definition (since we are playing on a scientific playing ground, RIGHT?), Creationism or ID or whatever you wanna call it actually isn't a theory. It's a hypothesis. A lower level idea that has not yet been refuted. I won't get into the convenience of how you cannot ever truely refute it...but that's the main problem. A theory or hypothesis needs to leave room to be disproven, not matter how elegant. That's how science works. If you want to impose your beliefs on a scientific playing field, you have to play by the rules.

    I hope my mini monograph has given a bit of insight into what actually is and isn't theory or science for those that might not have been forutunate enough to be educated in it.


    Back on topic of the original post: Doesn't the US constitution state clearly that state and religion are suppost to be mutually exclusive in their operations? Logically, shouldn't that mean that stating your personal beliefs just to score votes (which is clearly what this is) with one side or the other against the constitution? Shouldn't that disqualify him or something? I don't know the US constitution that well, I am Canadian!


    Okay, since I tried to be neutral on this post (despite what it may look like), I do have my biases. As parting words, I have something of a cheap shot for those that want to teach both 'theories' and let people decide. I think it's funny and it certainly applies to this debate:

    [​IMG]
  22. The.Lost.Hylian

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    To reply to a statement in this thread:

    Evolution does not have to replace the original species, just exist period. Because something evolves in any set amount of time doesn't mean it will replace anything. If the outcome of the evolution proves to be beneficial, then the new species will survive. If not, that species will die out rather quickly.
  23. D_Force

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    The meaning of evolution has already been firmly set down by you guys, so I'll take the thread in a slightly different direction :-

    The main reason for Huckabee coming out with this is to get the support of those hardline christians who would vote for him just for coming out with that, whether he believes it or not. The sad fact is, religion has far too much sway in American politics.
  24. Agamemnon

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    you cannot compare humans to other species. humans have no predators. they are very very different from other species in terms of evolution. your example is proves my point. if you have 5 million children, and all of them die then they obviously are not "fit" for survival. you interpreted what i said wrong. its not just who can have the most babies, it who can have the most babies survive. those who have the greatest number of offspring survive are the most fit and will pass on traits that are advantageous for survival in a particular environment.

    the turtle example, also proves my point. the turtle's offspring that survive will pass on their traits to the next generation. the ones that are "fit" enough to survive will, the ones that are not won't.

    now you may say, well youve proven my point, the survival of the fittest. that means nothing if you cannot have offspring and keep the advantageous genes in your gene pool. mating is what drives the force of evolution. natural selection is merely its mechanism that helps weed out unfavorable genes.

    this is why humans evolve very slowly. because every offspring we have is cared for and allowed a chance to survive. imagine if we had predators, we would be a much stronger, smarter, faster race than we are now. we have no competition with other species. and since we do not mate randomly (we choose our own mates by feature), we do not keep up the gene frequencies in the gene pool.
  25. majesty

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    we also have the most polluted gene pool by about 30-60% of ANY animal population. Where's your pedestal now? I'd say that there are far more dangerous things than predators out there for the human race...war being an obvious example. One you might not be aware of is our little plasmodium friend called "malaria". You honestly can't tell me millions of deaths per year to malaria doesn't count as predation. Another terrifying and impending thing is an airborne plague. Wasn't the black death responsible for 1/3 of Europes population dying at one point? I'd take a few bears and lions over that ANY day if we are talking about individual mortalities.

    There are actually two different measures. For those that care for their young and have a conservative amount of young, success is measured by those offspring that go on to have offspring of their own. Therefore successfulness reproductively means you basically have to be a grandparent. For something that spawns en mass, such as insects, it's simply a measure of how many infants survive in the wild as they don't put any effort into infant care.

    Incorrect. Luck cannot be denied. Do you have any idea how many turtle hatchlings bite it to birds on the way to the water just by dump luck? Do you know how many actually DROWN in the waters along the beach on their way into deeper water because they are so tiny? A bad wave hitting or a bird dumbly selecting you is all it takes for your 'fitness' to go out the window. Of these lucky ones, fitness is a big issues though. It's not a matter of a single generation passing genes, as you seem to fixate on. It's the accumulation of many, many reproductive events eventually leading to a more solid set of traits for their environment.

    Actually humans had a rapid evolution leading up to modern man. If you think the 1 million years it took to get from some 'cave man' and cycle through several different species is anything but very rapid, you are incorrect. People are not in stasis, as many people think. Think about it this way: We have undergone a HUGE environmental shift, making it easier on us. We also have intellectual pressures as well as artificial stress that is off the charts. Surviving offspring doesn't necessarily mean the genes will be passed- do you think someone with severe downs syndrome or autism has much chance of reproduction? Sorry if it offends anyone, but they aren't exactly reproductively competative.

    If you want populations that are actually more or less in stasis, try looking up parthenogenetic lizards. They reproduce basically by cloning themselves and in some cases don't even have males. THOSE are the true masters of evolving slowly.

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