evidence of evolution in present day
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16-12-2013, 04:59 PM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2013 07:53 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
evidence of evolution in present day
As I was embroiled in yet another evolution debate with a couple of science friendly creationists, I stumbled across some examples of evolution that are happening in the here and now. You have probably seen these before, but I thought I would share anyway.

1) As the huge array of drug resistant pathogens grows we are learning that evolution is easiest to observe in species with a quick generation turnover. Since 1988, in the lab of Richard Lenski, the evolution of twelve E. coli populations from a single ancestor strain has been studied. Since then, over 50,000 generations of E. coli have been and gone, and the differences between the populations and each population from the ancestor strain have been documented. With samples of each population taken regularly the accumulated genetic changes can be followed with ease. Over time the bacteria have become far more efficient at growing under the conditions used. This study has provided evidence of how evolution actually occurs. One of the populations developed the ability to utilize citrate as a nutrient, something otherwise unknown in E. coli under similar conditions.

2) Studying evolution can take decades, but occasionally change happens incredibly rapidly. The Blue Moon Butterfly (Hypolimnas bolina) of the Samoan islands was being attacked by a parasite which destroyed male embryos. This led to a gender imbalance whereby males made up only 1% of the butterfly population. However, within ten generations (~1 year) males had returned to 40% of the population. This is not because the parasite has disappeared, it is still present, but it is no longer deadly to male embryos. This case shows how a mutation giving an advantage can rapidly spread throughout a population. Any male with the ability to survive infection would be able to mate with a great many females, due to the paucity of other males, and spread his immunity through the gene pool.

3) The medium ground finch was well established on the isle of Daphne, and had been studied in depth. Its beak was suited perfectly for cracking large nuts. In 1982, the large ground finch from a neighboring island arrived. These larger finches could drive away the native medium ground finches and would eat all the large nuts. Over the period of study, the medium ground finches of Daphne island were found to have developed smaller beaks more suited to the smaller nuts, ignored by the invading larger finches. This is a classic study in evolutionary biology.

4) In 1971, ten Italian wall lizards (Podarcis sicula) were introduced to the island of Pod Mrčaru from a neighboring island. The lizards were left for decades, and compared to the colony from which they were taken. The wall lizards on Pod Mrčaru, having passed through a tiny genetic bottleneck, were found to have thrived and adapted to their new island. They were found to have shifted from a mainly insectivorous diet to one heavy in vegetation. This diet change seems to have driven dramatic changes in the lizards. The head of the Pod Mrčaru lizards is larger, and has a far greater bite force. These are key adaptations for dealing with chewing leaves. The most exciting sign of evolution is the development of cecal valves, muscles used to separate portions of the intestine. These serve to slow the passage of food through the intestine and give time for the bacteria in the gut to breakdown the plant matter for absorption. This is an entirely novel development in the Italian wall lizard, and a major adaptation.

5) The example of the peppered moth is a nice one for textbooks because it uses a single trait. Speciation involves many mutations leading to significant changes. The yellow bellied three-toed skink (Saiphos equalis) is a lizard of New South Wales, in Australia, that appears to be undergoing the change from laying eggs to live birth. Since these skinks can either lay eggs or give birth, it gives scientists the chance to study the adaptations necessary for live birth. Skink embryos encased in an egg have an extra source of calcium that the live born skinks lack. It turns out that this nutritional difference is made up by the mother secreting extra calcium for the young held inside her. This looks like the first step on the road to developing a system like the mammalian placenta. Skinks living on the coast tend to lay eggs, probably because the warm weather is predictable and sufficient for embryonic development. Those skinks living in the cooler mountains tend to give birth to live young, the mother’s body providing a more stable temperature. It is to be predicted that these two populations will at some point separate into different species as each population becomes fixed in its reproductive strategy. This brings up a common question in creationists – If man evolved from apes, why are there still apes? Well, with the skinks we would see two species formed, an egg laying and a live birthing species. Each would be best suited for their habitat. If live birthing skinks evolved from egg layers, why are there still egg layers? Because each is adapted for its niche.

The lines of evidence for evolution can be broken down into 4 groups.
a) Fossil evidence: The fossil record provides snapshots of the past that, when assembled, illustrate a panorama of evolutionary change over the past four billion years. The picture may be smudged in places and may have bits missing, but fossil evidence clearly shows that life is old and has changed over time.

b) Homologies: Evolutionary theory predicts that related organisms will share similarities that are derived from common ancestors. Similar characteristics due to relatedness are known as homologies. Homologies can be revealed by comparing the anatomies of different living things, looking at cellular similarities and differences, studying embryological development, and studying vestigial structures within individual organisms. Frogs, birds, rabbits and lizards all have different forelimbs, reflecting their different lifestyles. But those different forelimbs all share the same set of bones - the humerus, the radius, and the ulna. These are the same bones seen in fossils of the extinct transitional animal, Eusthenopteron, which demonstrates their common ancestry.

c) distribution in time and space: Understanding the history of life on Earth requires a grasp of the depth of time and breadth of space. We must keep in mind that the time involved is vast compared to a human lifetime and the space necessary for this to occur includes all the water and land surfaces of the world. Establishing chronologies, both relative and absolute, and geographic change over time are essential for viewing the motion picture that is the history of life on Earth.

d) Chronology utilizing relative and numerical dating methods.

All available evidence supports the central conclusions of evolutionary theory, that life on Earth has evolved and that species share common ancestors. If you want to deluge yourself with data, there are copious amounts of websites, check out berkeley's evolution page, it even has pictures Wink

2. Big bang, first off, a common misconception is there was some type of massive explosion 13.8 billion years ago creating the big bang. Experts however say that there was no explosion; there was and concentrated universe, something happened and now it is in a state of (and continues to be) expansion. Rather than imagining a balloon popping and releasing its contents, imagine a balloon expanding: an infinitesimally small balloon expanding to the size of our current universe.

What are the major evidences which support the Big Bang theory?

First of all, we are reasonably certain that the universe had a beginning.
Second, galaxies appear to be moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance. This is called "Hubble's Law," named after Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) who discovered this phenomenon in 1929. This observation supports the expansion of the universe and suggests that the universe was once compacted.
Third, if the universe was initially very, very hot as the Big Bang suggests, we should be able to find some remnant of this heat. In 1965, Radioastronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered a 2.725 degree Kelvin (-454.765 degree Fahrenheit, -270.425 degree Celsius) Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) which pervades the observable universe. This is thought to be the remnant which scientists were looking for.

The anatomy of the human eye, in fact, shows anything but "intelligence" in its design. it is built upside down and backwards, requiring photons of light to travel through the cornea, lens, acquaeous fluid, blood vessels, ganglion cells, amacrine cells, horizontal cells, and bipolar cells before they reach the light sensitive rods and cones that transduce the light signal into neural impulses....which are then sent to the visual cortex at the back of the brain for processing into meaningful patterns. For optimal vision, why would an intelligent designer have built an eye upside down and backwards?

yeah, after careful analysis of all available empirical evidence, it seems the debate on evolution should be no longer called a debate. There is a reason it seems that it is taught in school afterall Tongue

Edit: fixed a couple of typos.
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16-12-2013, 06:02 PM
RE: evidence of evolution in present day
Creatards will look at your examples and simply declare "goddidit."

You can't reason with the unreasonable.

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16-12-2013, 06:44 PM
RE: evidence of evolution in present day
(16-12-2013 06:02 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Creatards will look at your examples and simply declare "goddidit."

You can't reason with the unreasonable.

You nailed it, whenever I have them backed into the corner, they slap open the goddidit escape hatch. Consider
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16-12-2013, 09:22 PM
RE: evidence of evolution in present day
(16-12-2013 06:44 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 06:02 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Creatards will look at your examples and simply declare "goddidit."

You can't reason with the unreasonable.

You nailed it, whenever I have them backed into the corner, they slap open the goddidit escape hatch. Consider

But then you remind them how they call it "Creation Science" and science can't use "goddunnit". Notbecause it makes a lick of difference but because they're so damned cute when they try to use science and end up destroying the world. It's like watching a kitten unroll toilet paper only in this case it's more of a roll of what goes on the toilet paper. I think "Vapor Canopy" is my favorite though perching the Earth on the lip of a white hole was hilarious too.
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16-12-2013, 09:23 PM
RE: evidence of evolution in present day
Dismiss such claims by pointing out that there is no evidence for their god or any of the others which mankind has created.

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17-12-2013, 04:59 AM
RE: evidence of evolution in present day
Also the most obvious proof is present in the human body.

[Image: img26.jpeg]

If we didn't come from a monkey then why do we have Tailbones ? LOL
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17-12-2013, 09:10 AM
RE: evidence of evolution in present day
(17-12-2013 04:59 AM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  Also the most obvious proof is present in the human body.

[Image: img26.jpeg]

If we didn't come from a monkey then why do we have Tailbones ? LOL

pretty pictures, I may have to borrow those Smile
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17-12-2013, 09:36 AM
RE: evidence of evolution in present day
I think one of the most interesting pieces of evolution surround the ability to digest lactose into adulthood---lactose persistence.


80% of people with European descent have this ability, while Africans in Sub-Saharan Africa and SE Asia have a very low percentage.

This was one of these mutations/variations that was extremely successful in a particular environment.

In Europe, where foodstuffs were much more limited compared to Africa, the ability to digest lactose into adulthood provided a very substantial evolutionary benefit---so substantial that it 'spread like wildfire.'

Those with better nutrition had the ability to not only survive, but a much better ability to reproduce and pass on those advantageous traits.

Adding to the intrigue, 100% of Native Americans in the study were lactose intolerant--which gives us even more evidence that they descended from humans that crossed the land bridge.

Absolutely fascinating.


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17-12-2013, 09:38 AM
RE: evidence of evolution in present day
(17-12-2013 09:36 AM)jaguar3030 Wrote:  I think one of the most interesting pieces of evolution surround the ability to digest lactose into adulthood---lactose persistence.


80% of people with European descent have this ability, while Africans in Sub-Saharan Africa and SE Asia have a very low percentage.

This was one of these mutations/variations that was extremely successful in a particular environment.

In Europe, where foodstuffs were much more limited compared to Africa, the ability to digest lactose into adulthood provided a very substantial evolutionary benefit---so substantial that it 'spread like wildfire.'

Those with better nutrition had the ability to not only survive, but a much better ability to reproduce and pass on those advantageous traits.

Adding to the intrigue, 100% of Native Americans in the study were lactose intolerant--which gives us even more evidence that they descended from humans that crossed the land bridge.

Absolutely fascinating.


[Image: 800px-LacIntol-World2.png]

Interesting, thanks for the post
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17-12-2013, 11:28 AM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2013 11:32 AM by IndianAtheist.)
RE: evidence of evolution in present day
(17-12-2013 09:36 AM)jaguar3030 Wrote:  Adding to the intrigue, 100% of Native Americans in the study were lactose intolerant--which gives us even more evidence that they descended from humans that crossed the land bridge.
Wow... i never knew that some people can't digest milk at all O_O aww man i can't imagine Life without ice cream and pizza.. Weeping
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