Refuting "Evolution refuted" video
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08-01-2013, 03:29 PM
Refuting "Evolution refuted" video
Today Seth posted this video on the TTA facebook page:
Check it out as it's somewhat entertaining. The video is pretty well produced and I think it can confuse a lot of people who did not come from a scientific background. Like Seth says in many of his speeches, don't just believe everything that I say even though I have a degree in biology. Go out and do the research for yourself. A simple google search can show you the answers.

Anyway, here it is:

In the video, the producer makes two arguments:
1. Life has never been observed to come from non-life.
2. There is no known observable process by which new genetic information can be added to the genetic code of the organism.

Both of these are false, especially the second one and here is why:

#1 is somewhat true. We have never been able to observe that life has been able to come from non-living things. However, we have been able to observe the building blocks of life being able to come from non-living things. We can all agree that proteins are the basic building blocks of life, and proteins are made up of long chains of molecules called amino acids. Life on earth utilizes 20 amino acids but there are many more than that that occur in nature.

In an experiment by Urey and Miller in 1952, the two were able to create an environment similar to a primitive Earth 4 billion years ago. It was abundant in inorganic materials that were in the atmosphere at the time such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, etc. After some time it was observed that amino acids, the basic building blocks for proteins, were formed under these conditions. This experiment has been repeated many times (as all scientific experiment should) and have resulted in similar findings. Unfortunately we don't live long enough to observe living organisms that arise from these inorganic material, but perhaps someone as old as Noah can observe the experiment and tell us?

#2 is completely false and this has been proven and tested thousands of times. Living organisms DO gain new genetic material. I have done experiments like this in microbiology myself. Single celled organisms like bacteria gain new genetic information ALL THE TIME. They do so by a process called horizontal gene transfer, which breaks down into three categories: conjugation (mating), transformation (picked up from environment) and transduction (viral-transfer).

Conjugation is pretty much bacteria sex. One bacteria transfers a certain gene to another. This is the main way how bacteria gain antibiotic-resistance, by the way. Transformation allows the bacteria to pick up DNA from its surroundings (often from other organisms that died and have released its DNA into the surroundings), and transduction is when a virus injects its DNA into the bacteria strain. Sometimes when the virus leaves the bacteria, it can carry some of the genetic material from its previous host into a new one.

Another way of gaining new genetic material is gene duplication. Sometimes, during DNA replication a certain chromosome can be more times than it should have been. This creates new genetic material that may or may not harm the organism. Certain ferns have HUNDREDS of pairs of chromosomes in a single cell. Most of the genetic material is unused though.

My own notes from microbiology and evolution classes at UC Riverside Tongue

So there you have it, if anyone still has any questions regarding the topic please post a reply and I'll try to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

"It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be."
- Sigmund Freud
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Refuting "Evolution refuted" video - seventhmoon - 08-01-2013 03:29 PM
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