Evolution
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16-05-2011, 04:13 PM
Evolution
Just had a debate with my Dad. We were debating evolution, I believe in evolution and he believes in ID. He asked that if you have the first mammal to evolve (I believe it was an aardvark type creature), that only has one stomach, how can you end with a cow that has four stomachs. I suppose he has a point in that you can't gradually evolve a second stomach.

I only have a very limited understanding of evolution and so if anyone with a greater understanding can answer this I'd like to hear what you have to say.

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16-05-2011, 07:55 PM
RE: Evolution
Who is to say that perhaps we will eventually evolve a second stomach. A genetic mutation could occur resulting in a second sphincter after the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine) and end up giving that person a survival advantage. Thats how evolution works. A genetic screw up that ends up being advantageous. The animal with the anomaly then out survives others within the species, and therefore passes on more of it's genes through mating.

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16-05-2011, 10:55 PM
RE: Evolution
Cows don't have four stomachs. They have one with four compartments.
I don't actually know, and can only give thoughts on the way I think it could have. Someone else more qualified to talk about this stuff would be a better bet, perhaps TheBeardedDude?

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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17-05-2011, 08:43 AM
RE: Evolution
daemonowner is correct about the four compartment configuration but I am unfamiliar with the evolutionary history of the cow. Herbivores typically have a longer digestive tract than omnivores or carnivores to aid in digestion. Cows have specialized in eating grass which is a relativity recent trend for mammals since the grasslands of America became dominant in the last 40 million years (maybe less). Grass is particularly difficult to digest since it contains silica on the outside of its leaves (pick up a blade of grass and run your fingers over the surface and you realize it feels like sandpaper). This means it is very abrasive on teeth (which is why horse and cow teeth are specialized for grinding) and requires extra time to digest. Any adaptation that aids in the digestion of grass would be selected for.

I can talk more specifically about horses in this regard. Propaleotherium is one of the earliest horses we have fossils for and first appears somewhere around 50 million years ago. At this point in time it stood no taller than your average dog and had three distinct toes rather than a single hoof. Its teeth had a shorter crown indicating that it probably dined mainly on fruits and its toe configuration and lower leg configuration suggests it was a forest dweller (better musculature for climbing over things and maneuvering). Over the last 50 million years the fossils indicate that the early horses began to get taller, they began to reduce the role of toes 2 and 3 and the crowns of their teeth began to get taller. This all suggests that they were beginning to spend more time on the newly developing grasslands of America (horses were wiped out by humans in the Americas only a few thousand years ago and then reintroduced by Europeans). The decreased lower leg musculature and the reduction of toes 2 and 3 enabled them to run faster on the long flat plains where there was not as big of a need to climb or maneuver. The crown height of their teeth also increases in response to the abrasiveness of the grass that was becoming a bigger portion of their diet. Presumably (since I do not know of any fossilized digestive tracts in horse or cow lineages) the digestive tract would have also lengthened in order to increase the surface area for breaking down the grass.

If I was in this debate I would simply say that any adaptation that increases the surface area of the digestive system would be advantageous and selected for. The cow or bull who is better at obtaining nutrition from the grass will be bigger and stronger. Starkraving is also correct in that these early adaptations were probably anomalies caused by the accumulation of mutations over generations. A "second" stomach is more beneficial than just "one" stomach." Same thing about the eye, 10% of an eye is better than no eye...about 10% better!

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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30-05-2011, 07:34 AM
 
RE: Evolution
I would also point out that the fact that humans used to be plant eaters, rather than omnivorous, is indicated by the remains of our second stomach compartment, known as the caecum in ruminants, and the vermiform appendix in us. In a cow the caecum is the holding tank where a large amount of bacterial action takes place. Carnivores don't need it, and in us it has reduced itself to a small dead-end side channel.
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30-05-2011, 08:25 AM
 
RE: Evolution
I wonder though. There is this concept of 'Human Purity' these days. They don't even want us to tinker with the genetic information of a person. 'You want to make them [insert various improvement]. THAT'S BAD! The next generation would over throw us!' So apparently they DONT want what is best for their children? I didnt even use the 'thats God's realm not ours' argument. Even though... if we can mess with 'God's' powers... what do we need him for... ANYWAY. This subject is kind of close to my heart.

But say Jim Bob has a mutation. This mutation gives him a split stomach that helps him deal with the massive amounts of food available to him in the Southern U.S. He would probably freak out and try to get it cut out. Because its not 'normal.'

People seem to be fine with gene-mutations that will affect small things. The color of their eyes, some digestive factor, an improvement to their immune system, etc. But something large and physical becomes this cancer that needs to be removed.
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30-05-2011, 07:01 PM
RE: Evolution
Sorry to pander the more science savy users of this forum, but I've got another good nugget of potential ignorance from facebook.

"Nick, here's some food for thought for you. I watched your first video, and will get to the second as time permits.

The Never-Ending Problems In Evolutionary Biology
by Frank Sherwin, M.A.

n 1995, a reviewer of the book, Darwinism Evolving: Systems Dynamics and the Genealogy of Natural Selection by Depew & Weber said, “. . . evolutionary biology remains a turbulent, dynamic area of biology and of science in general” (American Library Association, choice card #356-57, v. 33). Many unsolved problems in evolution thinking were listed, and the problems continue for scientific materialists. Consider the following “problematic” quotes:

One of the most difficult problems in evolutionary paleontology [the study of fossils] has been the almost abrupt appearance of the major animal groups (A. G. Fisher, evolutionist, Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1998, fossil section.)

The formation of species has long represented one of the most central, yet also one of the most elusive subjects in evolutionary biology (Palumbi, “Marine Speciation,” Annual Review of Ecology & Systematics, 1994, p. 548.)

As Darwin noted in the Origin of the Species, the abrupt emergence of arthropods in the fossil record during the Cambrian presents a problem for evolutionary biology (Osorio, Bacon & Whitington, American Scientist, May/June 1997, p. 244.)

How natural selection operates at the molecular level is a major problem in evolutionary biology (Yokoyama, “Color vision of the Coelacanth,” Journal of Heredity, May/June, 2000.)

Genetic variability is an open problem within Darwin theory (David Berlinski, Commentary, September, 1996, p. 38.)

Indeed, the fact that dioecy [female & male flowers are borne on separate plants] has evolved from hermaphroditism [both female & male reproductive organs on the same flower] repeatedly distinguishes it as a central problem in evolutionary biology (Tia-Lynn Ashman, “A prescription for gender study in the next century,” American Journal of Botany, January 2000, p. 147).

Thus we see formidable and fundamental problems of evolutionism. We suspect these “problems” of secular biologists derive from the fact that they are looking at the evidence from the wrong perspective. There is a better alternative, one which fits the evidence—that of sudden creation of each basic type at some unobserved event in the past. Today we see the separate groups, and variation within each group, but their origin was accomplished by some another process.
You claim that the theory of evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of the universe. You might believe that, Nick, but most evolutionists obviously don't. Are we really supposed to believe that when evolutionists expound on the "big-bang" that they're not giving us their version of how the universe began??
The example of the banana in the video particularly caught my attention. Here is a process that could only have come about by human intelligence, yet it's used as an example of natural selection. Ditto for the "word game" example, in which new words are formed just by changing one letter. Human intelligence required, don't you think? Apparently we're supposed to believe that chance + time = intelligence?!"

I see some obvious problems, the fact that he doesn't know the difference between the big bang, evolution, and abiogenesis should tip me off that hes full of it, but lets see what our experts can rip out of this.

Hey brother christian, with your high and mighty errand, your actions speak so loud, I can't hear a word you're saying.

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30-05-2011, 07:21 PM
 
RE: Evolution
This poster's biggest mistake is that he fails to realize that simple organisms existed prior to the Cambrian explosion; unless of course he claims that his god only created the complicated ones; which is not an argument he should use if he'd like to support his ideas.

He also fails to understand that the Cambrian period is not a moment but rather a huge span of years. The fact that we say that a lot of species emerged in Cambrian area means that a lot of species emerged in a range of millions of years that simply possesses a nominal designation.

Apart from that, the evolution explosions do in fact have a creator. But that creator is not god. It's the gamma-rays from a proximal supernova that cause mutation to the dna and rna of the organisms. If those are accompanied by accomodating environmental circumstances then we have an evolution explosion.

Some info
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07-06-2011, 11:46 AM
RE: Evolution
Thanks for your replies, they were most helpful.

Another question I have been hit with is the giraffes neck. Apparently the giraffes neck requires a some sort of specialised blood pumping system in the base of the neck as the regular system all other mammals have would not have the power to pump blood the length of a giraffes neck. This suggests an evolutionary problem as if the neck slowly lengthened due to evolution then once it reached a certain length (which would be shorter than it is now) the animal would be unable to survive.

How would anyone suggest I answer this? (TheBeardedDude I'm looking at you here Smile)

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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04-07-2011, 02:20 PM
RE: Evolution
(07-06-2011 11:46 AM)Hughsie Wrote:  Thanks for your replies, they were most helpful.

Another question I have been hit with is the giraffes neck. Apparently the giraffes neck requires a some sort of specialised blood pumping system in the base of the neck as the regular system all other mammals have would not have the power to pump blood the length of a giraffes neck. This suggests an evolutionary problem as if the neck slowly lengthened due to evolution then once it reached a certain length (which would be shorter than it is now) the animal would be unable to survive.

How would anyone suggest I answer this? (TheBeardedDude I'm looking at you here Smile)

I am afraid I do not know of any "specialized pumping system" that is required for pumping blood in giraffes. I would assume that it has a large heart for its body size and higher blood pressure in order to keep the blood pumping. I also believe they have some sort of retention system in their brain for storing blood but I could be wrong. The most interesting part of the giraffe to me is the vocal nerve. This is the nerve that only needs to go from the brain to the vocal box near the upper portion of the neck....instead it travels ALL the way down the neck, past the heart and then all the way back UP the neck to the vocal box. Why? Ours and every other vertebrates does the same thing. Start with the fish. The vocal nerve travels from the brain PAST the heart to the vocal box (or the equivalent structure). The heart is on the way to the vocal box. As the head began to elongate and necks began to develop in amphibians, reptiles and mammals the vocal nerve continued along its traditional path past the heart first. Why? It is simpler and easier to simply lengthen the vocal nerve rather than evolving a completely new pathway for the nerve to travel. As for the blood problem I would be willing to bet that there is probably an increased number of blood vessels in the brain and that the diameter of the main artery is different than expected in order to increase the efficiency of the entire system. I am sure that the necks of the giraffe represent an example of stabilizing selection where the most efficient longer necks were slowly selected for over generations such that those whose necks were too long were selected against and those who were too short were selected against. This type of selection would prevent the length of the neck from increasing too dramatically over generations because it would allow for time to improve the efficiency of the heart and artery system.

I am no vertebrate expert so perhaps I can find a book on them to confirm. I will keep you up to date if I find anything new or interesting. And sorry it took so long to reply...I was in the middle of nowhere WY for a month!

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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