Small question...
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14-11-2011, 06:51 AM
Small question...
Something came up on my radar couple of days ago, one idea and now I'm not sure how to explain it so I would like a help from someone who understands biology a bit better then I do.

When I was a kid I used to have one old microscope and I was playing with it all the time, I was always full of cuts because it was interesting to see my blood... Then in my biology class my teacher told me how I can grow single cell organisms in 10 days. You take normal tap water, leave it for a few days under the bed in a jar, then you put a few salad leaves in a jar and leave it for a week or so in dark, with a few holes for air. After 10 days there are millions of Paramecium inside, which can be easily seen through even old microscopes. You can also see a few other single-cell organisms, but not that often.

Now my question is: How did Paramecium evolve there? Where they in the water already so they just multiplied or have they evolved from that salad and old water somehow? I think they have just multiplied there, because of the suitable environment, but can this be of any use regarding the evolution/Creationist debate?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramecium

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14-11-2011, 07:06 AM (This post was last modified: 14-11-2011 07:09 AM by Peterkin.)
RE: Small question...
Did you try the experiment and anything show up in your culture?
What will grow depends on the water supply and the vegetable matter. Both would usually have some micro-organisms, either active or dormant. But the water in cities nowadays is so chlorinated and the lettuce, so covered in poison spray, that you may not find any kind of life.
Either way, it won't be useful in the debate: these are not spontaneously-generated animalculae... but they are directly descended from the very first creatures on Earth.

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14-11-2011, 08:25 AM
RE: Small question...
They were most likely on the lettuce leaves. 10 days was enough time for them to grow and multiply to the point were they would be abundant enough to see under a microscope. They would have been there all along, but in such small numbers it would have been hard to find them.

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15-11-2011, 02:23 AM
RE: Small question...
@ Peterkin

I used tap water there after 10 days it was all swarming with Paramecium. I guess that in the first few days when you leave the water to age, the chlorine is released and this cleared from the water.. Got to go now, will post more if I have anything smart to say on this subject.

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15-11-2011, 08:46 AM
RE: Small question...
(14-11-2011 06:51 AM)Filox Wrote:  Now my question is: How did Paramecium evolve there? Where they in the water already so they just multiplied or have they evolved from that salad and old water somehow? I think they have just multiplied there, because of the suitable environment, but can this be of any use regarding the evolution/Creationist debate?

First, they didn't 'evolve there'. You need to improve your understanding of evolution as you seem to confuse it with spontaneous generation.
Second, this has no bearing on the debate.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-11-2011, 04:23 AM
RE: Small question...
Yeah thanx Chas, if you read my whole question you could see the other thing I mentioned, did they just multiply there... Anyway, I just taught that if you can grow this many simple lifeforms in such a short period of time, maybe that can be used somehow to help us discard Creationists theories. Obviously, my try was too simple, but at least I tried. Will try again, when something else inspires me.

Peace.

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17-11-2011, 07:46 AM
RE: Small question...
Paramecium is a neat eukaryote, eating up bacteria like a boss and even makes deals with some organisms (See Paramecium bursaria with Chlorella).

Well, regarding experiments to prove evolution is correct, there are many that are carried out, but majority of them involved multicellular organisms. But first, consider that there are 5 mechanisms for evolution: gene flow, genetic drift, natural selection, mutations and artificial selection.

As evolutionary processes usually take a long time (except artificial selection), and to top that you need a large amount of a certain species, it's better to observe from nature instead.

Here's one which everyone can easily do, and nature has done most of the work for you Smile

Experiment 1: The City Ant and The Country Ant (Natural Selection)
1) The City: Find various ants around different parts of the city. Measure their body length (to make things easier).
2) Repeat for the country side.
3) Get at least 100 readings, and at DIFFERENT parts of the city/country.

My hypothesis: The country ant will be much larger than the city ant, for the city ant faces selection pressure in the form of human interaction, and thus the smaller the ant living in a city, the greater it's chance of survival to sexual maturity.

NOTE: I don't think this experiment has ever been done before, just thought of it while reading up on E. Coli. If you can actually find ants of the same species from both the country side and the city, and multiple colonies of them, you can further prove your point if the experimental data shows that the hypothesis is correct.

Remember, happy experimenting, and try not to manipulate the data by just selecting the smallest of ants in the city and the largest of ants in the country side. Just capture the first ant victim you see, it's all right if the hypothesis is wrong Smile

The easiest way to capture and kill ants for examination is to fill a small vial, pill container, or jar with a small amount of ethanol or rubbing alcohol. Use the end of a soft cloth, or a brush, wet with alcohol to pick up the ants and drop them in your container. The alcohol will kill your ants quickly and allow you to examine them more closely.


However, if you particularly dislike insects, here is another one.

Experiment 2: Mine Plants (Gene flow)
1) Search for any abandoned metal mines nearby. Be wary of the dangers you may face and protect yourself. SAFETY FIRST.
2) Go to the mine. Obtain plant samples there. Get a few buckets of soil there too.
3) Go to regions 250m, 500m and 1km away from the metal mine, and collect plant samples at these places.
4) Get a bagful in each region for easier experimentation.
5) Now, plant the plants into the metal enriched soil you found at the mine. Use some plant samples in the city as control, to determine copper resistance.

Hypothesis: The control sample will die off while the plant samples obtained from at the epicenter of the mine, 250m, 500m and 1km from the epicenter will remain healthy as they have obtained metal resistance from plants of close proximity to the mine. Gene flow has occured.

These 2 experiments should help, enjoy Big Grin

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18-11-2011, 06:55 AM
RE: Small question...
My, my, robotworld, there are some good hypothesis here. Too bad I don't have any mines near by an I live in the country, not in the city.

Smile

We will find something useful, do not worry.

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