Am I getting Evolution right?
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01-06-2012, 10:33 AM
RE: Am I getting Evolution right?
(30-05-2012 07:15 PM)TheKetola Wrote:  The Greatest Show on Earth, I'm going to say, has got to be the worst book I've ever trudged through. The information is all good, but I did not like the style that Dawkins wrote with. Basically he made a subject I'm interested in extremely boring. I would recommend any book other than that one.

One thing I want to make clear is that there is no such thing as "microevolution" and "macroevolution." Those are terms that some creationists like to use to rationalize why there is such evidence for evolution. They use microevolution to describe changes in DNA (random mutations) which may change a species slightly, but they will not admit that small changes over a long period of time result in big changes (in other words, they are stupid and trying to ACT smart).
The bolded portion is a common misconception amongst non-believers. Those are legitimate scientific terms. Creationists deceivingly use those terms to separate the two from each other. In reality, science does not separate them. You can't have one without the other.

To the OP: One thing I would clarify in your definition is that "good" vs "bad" isn't necessarily the good/bad the way we generally understand them to be. Sometimes a "bad" mutation is "good" for survival hence it carries over.

Our big brains is actually a bad mutation when considering our means of locomotion. Bigger brains mean bigger, heavier skulls. We have to walk upright to support our heads. Walking upright is very unnatural which is why we are rife with back and knee problems.

It's all about context so be careful when you use the "good" and "bad" terms.

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson
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02-06-2012, 06:16 AM
RE: Am I getting Evolution right?
(01-06-2012 08:43 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(31-05-2012 01:48 AM)Chas Wrote:  In evolutionary biology, there are no 'kinds'. That is a Biblical and creationist concept.

By your logic, we are lobe-finned fish. Cats are lobe-finned fish. I think you are trying to say something useful, but the way you have put it is confusing and a bit misleading.

I'll try to clarify. This is a line of understanding that is important due to the "crocoduck" fallacy and related fallacies. It's easy for someone who doesn't understand the process well to imagine chimeras which are part one animal and part another being characteristic of evolution, when in fact such forms would generally be evidence against the theory. Generally the correct way to categorise life is as monophyletic groups based on common ancestry. Each member of the group will be identifiable by key traits that are specific to their particular grouping. I use the word "kind" here as a deliberate trigger to nail this point home, particularly to creationists who misunderstand evolution.

You're suggesting that because we have left the water we are no longer lobe-finned fish. Well, fish is really not a good term to use in classifications for various reasons. However, as descendants of Sarcopterygii[2] - YES - we are still Sarcopterygii. Cats are still Sarcopterygii also, and will always remain so Smile Discard these weird notions of paraphyletic clades, and swim with me among its descendants!





[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clade
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcopterygii
I think it is just clearer to say 'descended from' than 'is'.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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