Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
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28-11-2012, 06:23 PM
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
Evolution is scientific because it can be falsified at any time. It could have easily been falsified in the past with the advent of, say, genetics, but it wasn't. The fact that it has stood up to 150 years of scrutiny shows just how valid it is.
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28-11-2012, 06:41 PM
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
(28-11-2012 06:15 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(28-11-2012 05:35 PM)tiagorod84 Wrote:  I've used neo-darwinism because, in this forum, not all people are aware of the evolutionist terminology.

This has nothing to do with creationism. This is about epistemology! I am a biologist, I've observed evolution.

The question is related with the claims of some epistemologists that, because the modern synthesis cannot predict how organisms will evolve, it cannot be regarded as a scientific theory. What these guys fail to understand is that evolution has a factor of pure chance (mutations) that does not allow such a prediction.

Therefore, my claim is, who cares?! Modern synthesis explains by itself, in a very consistent way, all the biodiversity, which is just brilliant!

I'm really what you can call an evolution geek and I'm not affraid to discuss evolution. Are you? Are you affraid that because we have this discussion, creationists will use it against science? Because if you are, you shouldn't!
I think you could take samples(dna and others) and see a trend or movement in one direction over the other. However due to the amount of factors that effect evolution, it might be as good as weather prediction.
Mutations are random, there is no escape! There are hot spots in the genome with higher mutation rates, but even so there is no way to predict.

For what is worth, I think that random mutations, in opposition to directed mutations, greatly empowers evolution. And I say this because if mutations were directed towards the needs of the organism (in a lamarckist sense), it would be very conservative. Contrarily, randomness can provide really stupid moves, like the impairment of reproduction, but it can also provide brilliant moves, like the bacterial falgellum, which is curiously used by creationsts as a irreducible complexity example, don't really sure why...


Evolution is F****** awesome! Bowing
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28-11-2012, 06:44 PM
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
(28-11-2012 06:23 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  Evolution is scientific because it can be falsified at any time. It could have easily been falsified in the past with the advent of, say, genetics, but it wasn't. The fact that it has stood up to 150 years of scrutiny shows just how valid it is.
Evolution is scientific, no doubt! The question was related with the status of modern synthesis as a scientific theory.
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28-11-2012, 07:11 PM
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
(28-11-2012 06:41 PM)tiagorod84 Wrote:  
(28-11-2012 06:15 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  I think you could take samples(dna and others) and see a trend or movement in one direction over the other. However due to the amount of factors that effect evolution, it might be as good as weather prediction.
Mutations are random, there is no escape! There are hot spots in the genome with higher mutation rates, but even so there is no way to predict.

For what is worth, I think that random mutations, in opposition to directed mutations, greatly empowers evolution. And I say this because if mutations were directed towards the needs of the organism (in a lamarckist sense), it would be very conservative. Contrarily, randomness can provide really stupid moves, like the impairment of reproduction, but it can also provide brilliant moves, like the bacterial falgellum, which is curiously used by creationsts as a irreducible complexity example, don't really sure why...


Evolution is F****** awesome! Bowing
I'm assuming that you are talking about evolution into the future and not predictions made about the past. Correct me if I am wrong.

Anyways, yes there always is a random element about evolution. But due to factors in the environment things will change in a beneficial or neutral way.

We can measure changes in a population and infer a tendency in a direction but it's like weather prediction.

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28-11-2012, 07:23 PM
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
(28-11-2012 07:11 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  I'm assuming that you are talking about evolution into the future and not predictions made about the past. Correct me if I am wrong.

Anyways, yes there always is a random element about evolution. But due to factors in the environment things will change in a beneficial or neutral way.

We can measure changes in a population and infer a tendency in a direction but it's like weather prediction.
Yes, predictions of how organisms will evolve!

If you take such a measure, you wouldn't be measuring tendencies of mutations, you would be measuring a post-mutation phenomenon, i.e. the genetic traits that are being positively selected.
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28-11-2012, 07:26 PM (This post was last modified: 28-11-2012 07:44 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
(28-11-2012 07:23 PM)tiagorod84 Wrote:  
(28-11-2012 07:11 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  I'm assuming that you are talking about evolution into the future and not predictions made about the past. Correct me if I am wrong.

Anyways, yes there always is a random element about evolution. But due to factors in the environment things will change in a beneficial or neutral way.

We can measure changes in a population and infer a tendency in a direction but it's like weather prediction.
Yes, predictions of how organisms will evolve!

If you take such a measure, you wouldn't be measuring tendencies of mutations, you would be measuring a post-mutation phenomenon, i.e. the genetic traits that are being positively selected.
I agree, then from there the spread of said trait to the rest of the population. Unless the organism uses mitosis, then the new population with said mutation will simply replace the old.

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28-11-2012, 08:23 PM
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
I'm actually starting a blog using humour to inform the general public about evolution and the difference between science and superstition.

It would mean a lot to me if you all could review it.

http://www.clocksdonotfornicate.blog.com
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29-11-2012, 03:13 PM
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
I couldn't help but respond to this when I received it in my Yahoo alert. Yes indeed, Neo Darwinism is considered a theory. It is also referred to as the modern synthesis but this often parroted notion that it has withstood the test of time, is simply false. The only thing that has withstood the test of time is the name Darwin, but not the theory. It is well known that classical Darwinism could not even pass the science standards of the nineteen thirties, and for this reason, it had to be reformulated into what again what we now know as the neo Darwinian synthesis. "Neo" meaning new. Darwin knew nothing of genetics and it is actually the Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel who is considered the father of modern genetics. In fact "natural selection" which is not only an important part of the theory, (and one part that is actually excepted even by ID'ers like myself, and even creationist) was not even his original idea, but was the idea of Edward Blythe, and like Mendel, another creationist. In fact Mendel disagreed with Darwins theory as cited in...







Mendel's Opposition to Evolution and to Darwin

OXFORD JOURNAL OF HEREDITY VOLUME 87




However, Darwin did do some great work nonetheless. He was able to demonstrate how finch beaks could vary slightly in size from Island to Island through natural selection, but what he wasn't able to prove, was prokaryote to man evolution or common ancestry through descent with modification. Unfortunately many even today, do not understand that many of these tenants of the theory are based on assumptions, and the term "assumptions of the modern synthesis" is a valid scientific term, and can be found in the science literature. Today there is a revolution going on in evolutionary theory, and oddly enough it is being led by those who are called evo devo/evolutionary development biologist, who still believe in the concept of macro evolution, but who are honest enough to admit the current theory/the modern synthesis/neo Darwinism is inadequate, and cannot explain life as we know it. Some put it more mildly, while others are more outspoken, and remember, we are not even yet speaking of creationist or IDers when speaking of what evo devo are now calling for in the recently proposed new "extended synthesis" (which if anyone wants more info on, just contact me) Let me cite some recent peer review articles below that echo the dilemma we are in right now concerning evolutionary biology based on current 21st century data.












The new biology: beyond the Modern Synthesis

Michael R Rose1* and Todd H Oakley2




The last third of the 20th Century featured an accumulation of research findings that severely challenged the assumptions of the "Modern Synthesis" which provided the foundations for most biological research during that century. The foundations of that "Modernist" biology had thus largely crumbled by the start of the 21st Century. This in turn raises the question of foundations for biology in the 21st Century.










Genetics and Molecular Biolog



Soft inheritance: challenging the modern synthesis



Eva JablonkaI; Marion J. LambII

II11 Fernwood, Clarence Road, London, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT

This paper presents some of the recent challenges to the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary theory, which has dominated evolutionary thinking for the last sixty years. The focus of the paper is the challenge of soft inheritance - the idea that variations that arise during development can be inherited. There is ample evidence showing that phenotypic variations that are independent of variations in DNA sequence, and targeted DNA changes that are guided by epigenetic control systems, are important sources of hereditary variation, and hence can contribute to evolutionary changes. Furthermore, under certain conditions, the mechanisms underlying epigenetic inheritance can also lead to saltational changes that reorganize the epigenome. These discoveries are clearly incompatible with the tenets of the Modern Synthesis, which denied any significant role for Lamarckian and saltational processes. In view of the data that support soft inheritance, as well as other challenges to the Modern Synthesis, it is concluded that that synthesis no longer offers a satisfactory theoretical framework for evolutionary biology. END





Epigenetics: a challenge for genetics, evolution, and development?

Van de Vijver G, Van Speybroeck L, De Waele D.

Source

Abstract

In this paper, it is argued that differences in how one relates the genome to its surrounding contexts leads to diverse interpretations of the term epigenetics. Three different approaches are considered, ranging from gene-centrism, over gene-regulation, to dynamic systems approaches. Although epigenetics receives its widest interpretation in a systems approach, a paradigmatic shift has taken place in biology from the abandonment of a gene-centric position on to the present. The epistemological and ontological consequences of this shift are made explicit. END
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29-11-2012, 03:55 PM
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
(29-11-2012 03:13 PM)THEMAYAN Wrote:  I couldn't help but respond to this when I received it in my Yahoo alert. Yes indeed, Neo Darwinism is considered a theory. It is also referred to as the modern synthesis but this often parroted notion that it has withstood the test of time, is simply false. The only thing that has withstood the test of time is the name Darwin, but not the theory. It is well known that classical Darwinism could not even pass the science standards of the nineteen thirties, and for this reason, it had to be reformulated into what again what we now know as the neo Darwinian synthesis. "Neo" meaning new. Darwin knew nothing of genetics and it is actually the Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel who is considered the father of modern genetics. In fact "natural selection" which is not only an important part of the theory, (and one part that is actually excepted even by ID'ers like myself, and even creationist) was not even his original idea, but was the idea of Edward Blythe, and like Mendel, another creationist. In fact Mendel disagreed with Darwins theory as cited in...

What has withstood the test of time from Darwin is the mechanism of random variation and natural selection. Darwin did not know the mechanisms, but he showed the algorithm. The modern synthesis combined the idea of genes with Darwin's algorithm.

The more recent discoveries about DNA, biochemistry, and the complexity of gene expression and fetal development only add to the theory - they in no way overturn it.
Nothing inheritable happens without it being in the DNA. What goes during gene expression is either directly or indirectly caused by the DNA. Effects from anything else are not heritable - they come from the environment.

Quote:There are objections to the use of the term epigenetic to describe chemical modification of histone since it remains unknown whether or not these modifications are heritable.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-11-2012, 04:04 PM (This post was last modified: 29-11-2012 04:11 PM by tiagorod84.)
RE: Is neo-darwinism a scientific theory?
Evolution is a fact, I think we can all agree on this.

Modern synthesis is the current scientific theory that better explains evoultion. The thing is no scientific theory is an absolute truth.
If scientists demonstrate, in a consistent way, that there are, for example, lamarckistic mechanisms in evolution, then modern synthesis will be revised.

My question is: what's your point?

A) Because there is discussion in scientific community it automatically invalidates evolution. In other words, you're a creationist.
B) Because there is discussion in scientific community it automatically invalidates modern synthesis as the explanatory scientific theory. In other words, you don't really know nothing about epistemology.
C) You see the modern synthesis as an incomplete scientific theory. In other words, you're a rational person.

Which one are you?

(Edit: I now realized that you believe in ID. I think you would be a definite A. In other words, you're just an idiot)
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