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Still More Evidence for Evolution

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the theocratic-republic-of-kansas dept.

Science 1482

Uche writes: "Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have uncovered the first genetic evidence that explains how large-scale alterations to body plans were accomplished during the early evolution of animals."

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1482 comments

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Evolution (-1, Offtopic)

jmays (450770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966007)

Great movie.

Objects Lodged in Rectums (-1)

the_furies (541751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966050)

Here are some links covering the phenomenon of people with objects lodged in their rectums.

This [202.71.136.146] site contains some interesting facts about peple with objects lodged in their rectums.

This [mja.com.au] site has some nice x-rays of people with things stuck in their rectums, and a picture of an extracted vibrator.

If you read only one site about people with objects lodged in their rectums, make it this one! [ncemi.org] It contains anatomical drawings of techniques used to extract different items from people's rectums. A must read for any aspiring goatse [goatse.cx] men.

Re:Objects Lodged in Rectums (-1, Offtopic)

jmays (450770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966111)

... I am not entirely sure what to make of your post, the_furies. All I know, is I am avoiding all your links ... EVIL.

Sorry, I just can't seem to post anything clever tonight. I am going to run in hide in shame now.

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Re:Objects Lodged in Rectums (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966153)

The girl with the vibrator stuck in her vagina must have had a hell of a sexual experience. How long would the batteries last? Imagine her having no choice but to go to a very important meeting with the vibrator still shaking inside her.

Evolution WILL happen (2, Funny)

pcbob (67069) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966010)

When we finaly evolve into apes. Hollywood doesn't lie, right?

Re:Evolution WILL happen (1, Interesting)

asyncster (532683) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966021)

Actually, its unlikely humans will evolve much more. Why? Because few people die and the genetically inferior ones still pass their genes to the next generation. This is as good as it gets... :(

Re:Evolution WILL happen (2, Insightful)

flockofseagulls (48580) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966045)

Evolution is part of life's process, it goes on regardless of human conceit. I don't know what you mean by "few people die." Last I checked we can all plan on dying. The human death rate is at 100%, as always; it just takes longer than it used to.

Jerry Springer's audience aside, the genetically fit are more likely to pass their genes on, and their offspring are more likely to survive. What makes an individual genetically more or less fit may or may not match your notions of genetically inferior or superior, but that is irrelevant.

Re:Evolution WILL happen (2)

The Original Bobski (52567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966087)

Evolution is part of life's process, it goes on regardless of human conceit.

Ummm, no. There was once on this planet several species of humans living concurrently. Homo Sapiens destroyed all competing species (unless you subscribe to the Bigfoot theory).

It is Homo Sapiens' drive ('conceit' in your terms) that won out.

There is little chance of any major evolution for us unless we colonize other worlds and evolve there to adapt to that specific environment. That or we so polute our own environment that it takes extroadinary measures to adapt.

Re:Evolution WILL happen (3, Insightful)

chfleming (556136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966120)

While it is true that modern medicine and human culture has nearly (not completely) stoped natural selection on humans, cultural prefrences still exhibit selective breeding.

What does this mean? Human beings will continue to become more intelligent, probably taller, and probably more beautiful.

Intelligence creates material success, which is a prize factor for breeding.

But why only probably more beautiful? Beauty is fairly relative, and for the human race to become more beautuful there has to be prolonged cultural stability.

So we will stop being wolves and start being domestic dogs.

Re:Evolution WILL happen (2)

The Original Bobski (52567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966157)

I don't mean to infer that that humans are immune to evolution, just that the kind of evolution mentioned in the article is impossible for our species.

Yes, human evolution can and will occur, most likely along the path you describe. But there will be no major shift. It will be a slow process, even on evolutionary terms. You won't find humans suddenly sprouting six fingers because five is no longer enough.

Re:Evolution WILL happen (1)

mrfunnypants (107364) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966168)

Interestingly enough, when you do have a baby with a six finger do you know what they do with it? they cut it off. Makes you wonder hey :) *grin* *nudge* *nudge*

Re:Evolution WILL happen (1)

flockofseagulls (48580) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966123)

Ummm, no. There was once on this planet several species of humans living concurrently. Homo Sapiens destroyed all competing species (unless you subscribe to the Bigfoot theory).

What's your point? Lots of species go extinct and individuals fight to survive in their own way. In fact evolution predicts that one species of human would push out the others; in any ecosystem there is very little room at the top. In all of North American you can count only a few apex predators; there simply isn't room for a lot of them.

The conceit I refer to is assuming we are exempt from natural laws (evolution) simply because we are human. We will certainly affect our own evolution, but the process goes on.

Re:Evolution WILL happen (1)

nurightshu (517038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966088)

<humor type="friendly sarcasm">

How can somebody with a nick like "flockofseagulls" even mention the words "genetically fit?" :-)

</humor>

Actually, I just feel bad that I queued up "I Ran (So Far Away)" after I saw your nick.

Re:Evolution WILL happen (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966055)

As long as the "politically correct" among us succeed in "saving the least of us," we are damned to devolution as the gene pool muddies.

Re:Evolution WILL happen (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966113)

As long as the "politically correct" among us succeed in "saving the least of us," we are damned to devolution as the gene pool muddies.

Ah... the sweet smell of fascism...

Re:Evolution WILL happen (2, Interesting)

skotte (262100) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966117)

I was thinking about this subject yesterday.

On the contrary, i believe evolution is happening as we speak. but not on the scale of humans growing tales and fFeathers.

no, i'm thinking more about the sort of evolution on a cellular and microbiological level. the average american can eat all the carcenogens in a mcdonalds burger and coke. a previous human fFrom even a century ago probably wouldnt have the rigid stomach to handle a fFrench fFry.

more, we are presently using chemical fFertilizers to grow our fFood. previously these same chemicals would cause immediate poisoning and mass concers. today we are as a race more immune to these things.

the precedent example is when the europeans came to the new world, and brought malaria, polio and chicken pox -- which wiped out entire native american communities. today however, chicken pox is something or a rite of passage fFor 6-8 all year olds.

evolution hasnt stopped .. we just arent thinking of the right kind of evolution.

Re:Evolution WILL happen (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966022)

if you are talking about Planet of the Apes, then we did not evole into apes, but the apes took a baby intelagent ape back in time, which bread with normal apes, breading the super race of apes that went back in time...

Re:Evolution WILL happen (0, Offtopic)

martyn s (444964) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966056)

I'm sorry, that wasn't Planet of the Apes, you must be mistaken. In Planet of the Apes, *apes* evolved into advanced apes, while humans devolved (yes, I know there's no such thing) because of their destructive nature. The movie you're talking about is just a knock-off.

Re:Evolution WILL happen (2, Funny)

spectral (158121) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966105)

Are you sure there was breading going on? Honestly, I more think of it as like ... a muffin or something. Sure, bread has yeast, and so do ... (we'll not go there), but, well.. it's just too big. I definitely think a muffin is more along the line of what you're thinking about.

This is a first post I believe........ (0, Troll)

DiscoOnTheSide (544139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966011)

And I'm glad I have more ammo when I fight those narrow-minded catholics (Mind you, not ALL cathloics are narrow minded, just the ones I tend to run into) about science and religion.

Re:This is a first post I believe........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966031)

And please note, he used the lower-case catholics, so he is referring to common people, and not a particular religion or denomination. He probably should have just said common people to avoid the obvious flame war.

With that out of the way, evolution is the most empirically sound explanation for life and existence on Earth. If you want to argue against it, you need to provide a better theory. Don't have a better theory, then.... Bzzzt. Thanks for coming. Please try again.

Re:This is a first post I believe........ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966074)

so no more evolution of the body

guess Rob Malda and his sons will never have a penis.

sad day at the malda house.

Re:This is a first post I believe........ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966085)

Hmm...
/. poster laughing at narrow minded people....

;-)

finally? proof of evolution? (3, Funny)

condour75 (452029) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966014)

they had me at hello...

Well done lads, collective pat on the back (1)

LadyLucky (546115) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966016)

Mind you, i didnt think anybody took the no-evolution argument seriously these days anyway. Occasionally you get accosted by a christian in the streets, but other than that, most christians I know cede evolution as factual.

Meanwhile, I'm feeling very special with the banner ad up the top asking me if Im selling to New Zealand. Geotargeting, eh? Though, one wonders, if given that I'm in NZ already, shouldn't I be seeing ads asking me if I'm selling somewhere else? ooooohhh screws with the mind... help....

Re:Well done lads, collective pat on the back (4, Interesting)

GMontag451 (230904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966028)

Well, you have the good fortune to live in a country where the majority of people are sensible. Those of us who live in the US have to deal with states banning the teaching of evolution in public schools and other nonsense. I don't expect this to cause all the nuts to go away overnight, but hopefully this will speed their departure.

Re:Well done lads, collective pat on the back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966147)

You!

Leave!

;)

Re:Well done lads, collective pat on the back (1)

phagstrom (451510) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966077)


Mind you, i didnt think anybody took the no-evolution argument seriously these days anyway.

Well, personally I stopped to believe in evolution when I got my first spam mail a few years back.

It can only go downhill from here. :-)

Re:Well done lads, collective pat on the back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966093)


can you beleive in dvolution without believing in evolution??

Control genes (5, Interesting)

joonasl (527630) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966020)

The biologist have known about these regulatory genes for years, so that is not the big news here. The big news is that they could pinpoint the mutaution that turned one kind of animal into an other.

This fits nicely with Stephen J. Goulds theory of "stasis" evolution, in where when environment is more or less stable animals don't seem to evolve at all for millions of years but when there is drastic changes in the environment the animals evolve very quickly (in geological timeframe). The fact that the mechanism for inducing quick and major changes in the animals physiology in short time supports this theory.

Radical change (2, Interesting)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966068)

Another reason to consider the "Humans Are No Longer Evolving" as bogus. Humans, in this particular environment, are in the process of homoginiznig the gene pool, sure.

But when the environment radically changes, such as when people are finally allowed to spread into space, there will be -- In fact there MUST BE -- adaptation to the new environment in order to thrive. Imagine the stress of giving birth to a female who had bone loss due to long-term zero-G. Only people with lower bone loss, or lower birth stress, would be able to give birth.

Technology helps aleviate the need to evolve, as anyone who is alive and would without tech be dead can attest. I don't believe this will stop the process, it just becomes another factor.

OpenSource'ing the Human Genom would be wonderful too. Imagine finally being able to fix the idiocy of the human eye, for example. To pull the connector to a sensor grid out through the front, and then compensate for the blind spot through software, is definately in need of fixing. This becomes evolution, the creation of destiny.

Bring it on!

Bob-

Re:Radical change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966094)

Bring it on!

Ohhh, its already been brung!

Re:Control genes (1)

Jett (135113) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966069)

Piggybacking on that concept - What new species will we see as a result of the human produced instabilities in the environment?
Besides the obvious of GMOs that "escape" (e.g. GMO corn/maize), what about natural species evolving in an urbanized environment? No doubt a few million years of existance in an urbanized environment would result in some strange adaptation to the species that survive their now (monkeys in particular).

From an evolutionary perspective, the extinction rate of the past few thousand years provides an interesting example of destablized ecosystems transforming into new stable states.

Re:Control genes (1)

Little Dave (196090) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966169)

On the subject of sudden and drastic evolution, readers might want to check out Darwin's Radio [amazon.com] by Greg Bear. About a genetic virus which causes miscarriages in women in the short term, but ultimately seems aimed at the fate of the species.

Personally, I thought that the book was interesting only for the science... like so many works in this genre, the characterisation was terrible at best, and it featured some truely ludicrous "sex" scenes. YMMV.

Beating a dead cow. (1, Troll)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966026)


It may seem strange that scientists are still researching Darvin't theory, but that's how science is, there is no truth in science and there is no supreme authority that dictates what is right and what is wrong.

The requirements we do to modern science, f.ex. repeatable results, statistical significance and control groups has killed off a lot of old "truths" like Freud's. Freud based his theories on his "patiens" for crying out loud, people that by definition should not be used for representing the general population.

Re:Beating a dead cow. (2, Offtopic)

tunah (530328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966096)

*me watches AftanGustur beating a dead cow (not a horse)*

Me: Uh, sir, why don't you just beat a dead horse?
AftanGustur: Horses don't look like horses on slashdot, you gotta use cows.
Me: What do you do if you want something that looks like a dead cow?
AftanGustur: Ehh, usually we just tape a Beowulf cluster of cats together.

Clue for the clueless: Simpsons, #2F17

Not "more evidence for evolution" (3, Insightful)

flockofseagulls (48580) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966029)

Evolution is accepted as fact by scientists and thinking people. It is no more or less a theory than physics or astronomy.

Many details of evolution are not understood, particularly the genetic mechanisms. This new discovery helps answer some of those questions, but it doesn't make evolution any more "real" than it already is. It's possible we haven't discovered every moon or even every planet in our solar system, but that doesn't mean the sun may actually revolve around the earth after all. We're pretty sure we haven't found all of the subatomic particles, and we still don't agree on what makes gravity, but physics is still secure and we don't expect the Red Sea to part on its own.

Accepting Creationism means tossing out all of established science. Creationism is the adversary of all science, not just Darwinian evolution.

Re:Not "more evidence for evolution" (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966039)

Creationism is the adversary of thought.

In other Slashdot news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966042)

Still More Evidence for A Round Earth

Wche writes: "Geologists at the University of Rhode Island, Springfield have drawn the largest triangle yet on the ground and found that the sum of angles was larger than 180 degres, supporting a curved Earth theory."

Re:In other Slashdot news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966138)

Hah, well that just means they made the triangle on a really, really big valley... or a really big hill. Yes.

Re:Not "more evidence for evolution" (2, Insightful)

nyke (550711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966052)

In science there is no fact. Any scientific theory is still theory, and you can only disprove something. Evidence towards is the counterbalance, and readily accepted in mainstream science as poular science. It took 200 years for anyone to start believing darwin, and his theory is quite simple and makes 'sense'. Genetics and environment working in conjunction, influencing each other, random mutations selected out, hey presto, new species.

Re:Not "more evidence for evolution" (2, Informative)

flockofseagulls (48580) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966071)

It took 200 years for anyone to start believing darwin

Not quite. Fact: Charles Darwin was born in 1809. The Origin of Species was first published in 1859. People started believing it right away. By 1925 the matter was already in U.S. Courts (the Scopes "Monkey Trial").

It's also not true that scientific method only allows for disproving a theory. Duplicating an experiment or obtaining corroborating evidence bolsters a theory.

Re:Not "more evidence for evolution" (1)

PenguiN42 (86863) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966091)

My theory X predicts that Y will happen.

In other words: if X is true then Y will happen.

I do some tests, and find out that yes, Y happens.

This does not mean that X is true! It's a one way conditional.

If, on the other hand, I do a test and find out that Y does NOT happen, then it's pretty certain that X is false, since "if X then Y" implies "if not Y then not X".

Gathering more evidence bolsters a theory in an inductive reasoning sense, but in the framework above, you can only prove for sure that theories are false.

Re:Not "more evidence for evolution" (0)

JTFaustus (553534) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966158)

As always, and as you stated, evolution is a theory. There is easily as much evidence, if not more, of the same type for the theory of creationism. It seems kind of narrow minded to categorically throw out the theory of creationism all together, without looking at the evidence for both. siggidy .sig and so on

OK then, Intelligent Design (0, Flamebait)

jamesmrankinjr (536093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966078)

Refute Michael Behe's arguments about irreducible complexity [arn.org] at the bio-molecular level.

Shouldn't be hard for all of you scientists and thinking people, right?

Best,
-jimbo

Re:OK then, Intelligent Design (1)

JetJaguar (1539) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966155)

Alright, consider this: In Behe's example, he makes a pretty bad assumption: That the chemistry itself is a constant, when in fact, at the bio-molecular level, you can have evolution as well, in fact, this kind of stuff really cuts to the core of "pre-cellular life" (to coin a term). Mutations in DNA can and do change the chemistry and the molecular structure the of proteins that are produced. What at first may have been a very simple protein exchange evolved into something more complex, but which ultimately improved our ability to see and detect light. After repeated mutations, you wind up with a sequence of interdependent reactions that would appear to require each of them to be in place at the same time, when in fact they replace a simpler set of reactions that used different ion/protein triggers...

Now granted, we don't know the chain of mutations that may have led to this, but that's not the point, it's only to show that this isn't implausable, which is what Behe is trying to argue. He makes some interesting points, but I don't think he makes his case.

Re:OK then, Intelligent Design (-1)

negativekarmanow tm (518080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966156)

Ok, here we go again.

Look here [uic.edu] for the answer.

Also, the favorite science scam poll [slashdot.org] has some interesting comments about this. Look it up.

Re:OK then, Intelligent Design (3, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966159)

Yep, it's pretty simple.

Just because something is irreducably complex *now* does not mean it was irreducably complex at the point at which the crucial beneficial change was made which allows the current behaviour.

Evolution can break down a complex interaction of simple non-necessary "actors" into a simpler interaction of necessary "actors", as easily as it can produce the extra "actors" in the first place.

Evolution is the process of harmonisation of an organism to its natural surroundings, with the additional constraint of fitness. "Fitness" can mean dumping things that aren't necessary because you can do the job easier another way now.

An example, your appendix: At one point it was presumably useful (perhaps even necessary). Now it's an atrophying organ with no discernable purpose, or side-effects when removed.

So, in summary, the author makes the assumption of linear progress in time. This is a false premise, and his argument therefore does not hold. To get from A to B, evolution (remember, this is random chance followed by population migration) could might easily go A,G,F,E,D,C,B.

Simon.

Re:Not "what evidence" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966118)

Wow this topic turned into a rant fest fast.

That sounded very much you have never looked at supporting science for creationism. I would say your denial is based more on your belief in atheism.

I think there is enough doubt and holes in both _theories_ for me not be satisfied with either.

I think it a big jump from saying large organisms can mutate into multiple sub-organisms, to saying that life started as a single cell organism, that magically appeared from elements after a big bang which occurred from elements that also just appeared.

hole: "Creationists have argued that any big jump would result in a dead animal that wouldn?t be able to perpetuate itself."

I fail to see how this research addresses this?. If they were to provide further research proving that such large scale mutation would occur to multiple animals at the same time (not even the exact I'll allow multiple sub-species of the same creature, and not even the same time, within the breeding span of another like animal is also fine) then this research might be used as an argument.

At the moment it is just a hypothetical manner of introducing large scale changes to a creature, not evidence of it happening in the wild.

I suppose this article and the replies so far just illustrate that "good science" or "smart thinking people" just translates into people with the same religion yet again.

And just as a parting shot, there's always the old "where are the in-between animals?" question which this article carefully ignores.

Of course I can rip into creationism to, but then again this isn't about a stupid article making far-reaching claims without sufficient evidence about creationism now is it?

Re:Not "more evidence for evolution" (0, Flamebait)

jazman (9111) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966133)

That's right. Because I'm a creationist, physics doesn't apply to me. I can fly. When I corner on my motorbike on solid ice I can lean over as far as I like because I don't have to believe in friction.

Come on get real. Evolution is accepted as fact by *those who don't want to believe in God*, because it implies no accountability. Creationism implies a creator, which is uncomfortable for anyone who doesn't want to meet him. Doesn't change the fact that you *will* meet him, just as not believing in friction won't stop me falling off my bike if I do the above.

Creationists do *not* toss out "all of established science". They question theories, perhaps even more so than evolutionists. I have a degree in comp sci - that's science, right? (as in computer SCIENCE, for the terminally stupid). I have a scientific approach to life. I just don't happen to believe I am a random product of electrocuted sludge, which although postulated about until the cows come home has never actually been *proven* (except for the circular "well we're here so it must have happened that way" nonsense that many people seem to accept, and the awfully convenient "millions of years" stuff which means it can't be demonstrated in a lab in a short time. True thinking people don't accept circular arguments (just try saying to a logician: A->B and B->A therefore both are true), although it takes goolies to reject current beliefs which is probably another reason why people who think they are thinking people like to think about evolution.)

Re:Not "more evidence for evolution" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966143)

Your arrogance in assuming we know exactly what the fuck we're talking about is amazing. I'm impressed, at least.

Re:Not "more evidence for evolution" (2, Informative)

SkewlD00d (314017) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966149)

I agree.

Stipulative Definitions (or) formerly: jargon.

Scientist: Law == invariant relationship between cause and effect. (final version)
Layman: Law == another $100 on taxes

Scientist: Theory == proven, widely accepted principle or explaination (release 1.0)
Layman: Theory == weak explanation

Scientist: Hypothesis == working theory, subject to revision (beta version of a theory)
Layman: Hypothesis == Theory

Scientest: Conjecture == guess (alpha version of theory)
Layman: Conjecture == ??

In science, everything must be questioned.

"Marge, I agree with you -- in theory. In theory, communism works. In theory." -Homer Simpson

Re:Not "more evidence for evolution" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966175)

The creator of creation is necessarily the creator of science. How could it be otherwise?

Let's start a diologue. Questions: What are the steps of fossilization? How long does the process take? Answer, and I'll respond. I am going somewhere with this.

I trust that I'll get some response from the open-minded, scholarly readers of this forum.

Is this really going to convince anyone? (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966035)

Creationists (usually) base their conclusion on a religious, rather than scientific conclusion. Scientific evidence will probably not sway most of them.

Re:Is this really going to convince anyone? (1)

ShawnMcCool42 (557138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966049)

I know someone who at one point honestly believed that scientists where deceivers. This was a 'truth' passed down to her from those who raised her.

Re:Is this really going to convince anyone? (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966063)

Yeah, usually something like "...science is a creation of man, but man is a creation of God." Followed up by the fact "that God has allowed us to find our own explanations for life/universe etc, to keep us busy..."

Personally, if I had proof of God, actual physical proof, not just some book (Bible/Koran whatever) written over hundreds of years and undergoing numerous revisions (oldest copies were hand written after all), then I would believe. Until then, I will stick with evolution.

Nothing wrong with being educated about both idealogies though...

Re:Is this really going to convince anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966140)

There is a Jewish nation.

The Jews were scattered throughout the world over hundreds of years. Somehow they have managed to remain alive and identifiable. What other groups can you say this of?

BTW, there was a book written some time ago (ohh, several thousand years...) which said quite clearly that all of these things would happen.

More Logic (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966036)

Finally, more logical reasons for the possibility of evolution.

"What? Never been seen? What about this? I'd call that mutation-driven evolution."

Thanks guys! :)

Evolution is only logical (1)

ShawnMcCool42 (557138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966043)

You can view this logical fact with such a simple situation as cave fish. When eyesight does not help determine the survival of the animals the gene pool dilutes and eye sight has gotten worse and worse to the point where eyes themselves are hardly formed. Since we have discovered genetics there is really no logical arguement against it.

Re:Evolution is only logical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966148)

You are, of course, only talking about natural selection. There's more to evolution than natural selection, and not everything is so clean-cut.

Good sir, I plonk thee.

drugs... (1)

manofherb (211786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966044)

so does this mean the drug of the future is going to allow you to really fly by mutating the right genes and thus wings appear on your back? If so I'll volunteer for human trials.

Explain a lot but... (4, Informative)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966046)

The article only refers to the repressor genes, (i.e. 6 legs instead of 12). But the creature still has to go through the slow process of developing legs itself in order for the gene to have some effect. It also doesn't explain how appendages like for instance wings on that fruit fly came along. They would have to start somewhere and I can't see how wings could be useful in any but their mature form. They wouldn't be needed to slow an insects fall(as they are small enoguh not to be hurt) and I can't see a pair of fans growing the muscle control and speed necessary to flight. What steered the evolution of the fruit flies to lead them to functioning wings?

Re:Explain a lot but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966119)

Well put. I make similar points here [keithdevens.com] .

It's amazing to me how much this news release dwelled on "answering the creationists" rather than detailing their scientific discovery.

Irreducible Complexity (0, Flamebait)

jamesmrankinjr (536093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966047)

Before all of you fundamentalist materialists pat each other on the back too much, maybe you can answer the problem of irreducible complexity on the molecular level cited here [arn.org] .

Best,
-jimbo

Re:Irreducible Complexity (1)

flockofseagulls (48580) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966102)

The irreducible complexity issue has been addressed at length by Richard Dawkins and others. In fact the author the paper you linked to and one of his books are discussed by Dawkins.

The mousetrap analogy is false. Remove any part and the mousetrap ceases to function as a mousetrap. It does not cease to exist, though. A horse may be born with a pair of stubby wings. The horse can't fly, but as long as the wings don't lessen the horse's chances at survival and reproduction the wings don't do that horse any harm. Mutations and adaptations don't have to be advantageous; they can be neutral, or even disadvantageous if they are offset by other factors. The widespread survival of Americans with genetically-based diseases is an example of an ofsetting environmental factor.

Read some Richard Dawkins books for an expert's refutation of the irreducible complexity issue.

Re:Irreducible Complexity (1)

jamesmrankinjr (536093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966163)

The mousetrap analogy is false. Remove any part and the mousetrap ceases to function as a mousetrap. It does not cease to exist, though. A horse may be born with a pair of stubby wings. The horse can't fly, but as long as the wings don't lessen the horse's chances at survival and reproduction the wings don't do that horse any harm.

Behe's key point is that irreducible complexity can be found at the molecular level. Also, because the wings are not selected for, as they offer no advantage, natural selection can not work to change the wings into something useful.

The reason that Amercians with genetically-based diseases survive is due to human ingenuity and compassion, not evolution.

Best,
-jimbo

Re: Irreducible Complexity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966107)

Ah yes, "Irreducible Complexity," the Bible-thumping crowd's favorite bit of pseudo-scientific argument. As I recall, Behe's contribution to the art of razzle-dazzle has been pretty roundly debunked [mit.edu] .

But hey, if you really want to believe that a cranky old white guy created the universe, be my guest.

Allah bless America!

Re: Irreducible Complexity (1)

jamesmrankinjr (536093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966145)

Behe refutes this refutation here [arn.org] .

Best,
-jimbo

Re:Irreducible Complexity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966115)

evolution works slowly.
In this case, a random mutation causes a nerve to become light sensitive.
This is selected out because this nerve indicates faster to the animal that prey is around. Over many generations this trait becomes inbred. The same mutation is carried over.
Eventually a cluster of these nerves form. Then a protective layer. Et cetera et cetera.
This article is crap, it tries to say that the eye was an eye when it started out, but didn't have all it's part and thus no function. It reverse engineers it's evolution, by taking away bits that have become so dependant on each other and saying it wont work.

Re:Irreducible Complexity (0)

skizz (9994) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966128)

[YAWN]
Irreducible Complexity is a crock, like the rest of Creationism.
I for one am sick of seeing the 'debate' re-hashed here all the time.
Here's the refutation you asked for:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html [talkorigins.org]
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/publish.html [talkorigins.org]

Other headlines (4, Funny)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966054)

  • Flat earth theory might prove wrong
  • The moon : not made of cheese
  • Cure for tuberculosis found
  • Horseless charriots : a liberal myth
  • Copernic says earth around sun, not otherwise

Alright sinners, listen up (0, Funny)

TrollForJesus (557139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966057)

Jesus says... Evolution is a lie... How else can you explain Taco?

I don't get it (1)

RuphSkunk (22588) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966058)

How, exactly, does a body mutant reproduce to perpetuate its unique body type?

Re:I don't get it (1)

joonasl (527630) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966070)

That's the whole point, the "mutant" is no more mutant than any other member of it's species, because the change occured in just one gene. All animals have odd mutations here and there which do not normally effect their reproduction. So in this case the body mutant would reproduce with it's own species (even though they look a little different).

Re:I don't get it (1)

RuphSkunk (22588) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966098)

So, when Mister FruitFly thought he was being really kinky by getting his groove on with Miss BrineShrimp, he was just doing what came naturally? I guess if that is actually the case, it had to have been helped out with a little spanish fly (or pheremones(sp))

Troubling (4)

PingXao (153057) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966062)

Creationists have always struck me as being strident and inflexible. I believe in evolution. I also believe in creation to the extent that some higher being at one point installed the last "spark plug", if you will, in order to give humans that certain something extra that separates us from mere beasts. I really do hold that both beliefs can coexist in harmony. There are two passages from the linked article that trouble me, however, being scientifically disposed and all that.

The achievement is a landmark in evolutionary biology, not only because it shows how new animal body plans could arise from a simple genetic mutation, but because it effectively answers a major criticism creationists had long leveled against evolution--the absence of a genetic mechanism that could permit animals to introduce radical new body designs.


and this one...

The UCSD team's demonstration of how a mutation in the Ubx gene and changes in the corresponding Ubx protein can lead to such a major change in body design undercuts a primary argument creationists have used against the theory of evolution in debates and biology textbooks.


Doesn't it seem that these scientists are going out of their way to discredit creationists? While the real bible-toting creationists constantly rail about the godlessness of science and the inherent evil they see in the theory of evolution, I always thought that the scientific view would be to let the results of solid research speak for themselves. A thinking person would be able to decide for himself what to make of the whole debate. These two paragraphs really disturb me. They clearly desire not only to further the study of evolutionary processes, but also to denigrate those who hold onto the creationist point of view for dear life (no pun intended). This seems to be way too over the top for my liking. Is it necessary to drag down opposing viewpoints while making your own best case? It's almost as though they actually see the by-the-book creationists as a threat to their cherished beliefs. Certainly, creationists feel that way about what science has shown us since the days of Darwin. Is it necessary to stoop to the same tactics?

Re:Troubling (1)

nyke (550711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966079)

me: So mr creationist, how old is the earth? mrc: erm, around 10,000 years me: oh yeah, how so? mrc: well, we calculated all the ages of the people in the bible, added up the ages going back to adam and eve, and the result was 10,000 or so. me: wow, i never realised you were so scientific....erm, mrc... mrc: yeh... me: just one thing. fossils. mrc: ah yes, they were put here on the earth by god to test our faith in him. me: ah.... Doesn't that completely scare you? The idea of a prankster god running around digging up the land and planting dinosaur fossils "ah, let's see who believes in me now! ha ha ha" These guys believe the bible is the true word of god....and then they go and change it..."I think what god meant to say was...." A little fucking presumptuous? Creationists suck ass.

Re:Troubling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966106)

Sure, talk to the STUPID creationists...

"The Creation" was such and such a time ago. The earth is obviously older than that. The earth existed proir to Genesis 1:1. "The earth was without form and void" ie, it existed, but had no life on it at the time. Anything before that is outside of the scope of the creation account.

Re:Troubling (1)

Novus (182265) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966104)

Doesn't it seem that these scientists are going out of their way to discredit creationists? While the real bible-toting creationists constantly rail about the godlessness of science and the inherent evil they see in the theory of evolution, I always thought that the scientific view would be to let the results of solid research speak for themselves. A thinking person would be able to decide for himself what to make of the whole debate.

Unfortunately, far too many people either don't think or don't accept (or accept selectively) logic, observations, et.c.

The major problem is the segment of creationists that wants to prohibit teaching people about evolution; those whose despite the lack of evidence for their theory and extensive (although still somewhat circumstantial) evidence for evolution feel that creationism is the only right idea.

Re:Troubling (0, Funny)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966125)

in order to give humans that certain something extra that separates us from mere beasts

It's called conceit.

As MC Hawking said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966065)

Fuck the damn Creationists, Doomsday get my gun!

Dear God (4, Funny)

beej (82035) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966072)

Thank you, O Lord, for creating these wonderful genes which allow macroevolution to take place.

God of the gaps. (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966080)

The tendency to relocate the act of creation just before the first-proposed-event is called the doctrine of the God of the Gaps. Wherever we don't know something, some religious thinkers will stick God in as a place-keeper.

Re:God of the gaps. (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966103)

With all different flavours of God(s) and Goddesses available to stick into your gap it could get rather crowded...

Sounds like a Makefile gene to me (5, Funny)

JamieF (16832) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966084)

./configure --with-booklungs --with-antennae --no-fishybits \
--legs=6 --enable-experimental-wing-thingies
make critter
./critter -buz

Creation vs. Evolution debate at my university (5, Interesting)

chfleming (556136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966092)

Just happened like a week or two ago.

The creationists mostly lied the whole time.

1) They misaplied the 2nd law of thermodynamics very poorly by treating a race of species as a closed system. A few chemist and myself (a physics major) were very upset at these outright lies.

2) They denied the existence of any transitional fossils, and basically said that scientists were arranging bones and fossils how they wanted to see them.

3) They made false accusations against radioactive dating that haven't applied sense the birth of the field.

4) And finally they had to make up for logical loop holes by stating that early man was far superior to present man, and that in the begining all species existed at once, including the dinosaurs.

5) In all of the debate, they only had one true argument, and it was a bad argument at that. Guess what that argument was? "Positive" mutations haven't been reproduced or observed in the laboratory, therefore they do not exist, therefore evolution is false. And this article is about just that.

Before the debate, I thought it would be interesting to see why someone would believe in creation. Afterwards I was a bit depressed. I had no idea how far a person would go to decieve themself and perpetuate a lie. I felf very sorry for the young teenagers that came with their church group. They were being raised by liars.

One of the debaters agrugment was based on the very results that this article brings up. I know if he saw this now, it would not change his opinion one bit. He has no reason, he creates what ever psuedo reason needed to calm the conflict between his arogant soul and his mind. I bet he doesn't even know that his words are lies.

Any way, I thought I would share this with you people. I don't know what can be learned from this, but anyway, good luck in this sad and ignorant world maya.

Re:Creation vs. Evolution debate at my university (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966121)

Maybe God created a World that looks like the result of billions of years of evolution. Ridiculous, but hard to disprove.

Re:Creation vs. Evolution debate at my university (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966137)

Ahh, yes, I'm sure God loves to decieve us.

The best argument for creationism is that it wins out in a Minimum Description Length (or as the philosophers call it, Occam'a Razor) comparison. Even that is stretching it, because it doesn't really attempt to *explain* the phenomena we see.

Re:Creation vs. Evolution debate at my university (2)

scowling (215030) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966172)

No, it doesn't win the Occam's Razor test, because you have to account for what caused God to come into being.

Pick a non-observable phenomenon, like abiogenesis or the creation of the universe. Either it happened spontaneously (i.e., "the universe had no creator") or it was created (i.e., "the universe was created by a creator that had no creator.").

Occam's Razor suggests that you not multiply entities unnecessarily. Hence, the introduction of a supreme creative being into any equation fails Occam's Razor.

Re:Creation vs. Evolution debate at my university (1)

chfleming (556136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966142)

Very true, but also very absurd.

Think about this. Let's pretend . . .

I believe that the universe didn't arise until exactly one second ago. All of your memories are falsely imprinted to make you believe that some continuity of time has existed. Everything is as it is to complete the deception.

This belief cannot be proven false, many things are like this, and almost none of them are of any use and any practical application to anything.

That is why science only deals with things that are verifiable. Science tries to provide the best and simplest solution. I love science and I also love philosophy and religion, but I trust science far more than I trust religion. Science cares about its limits and its certainty, very few religions care about this, I can only think of Jainism and maybe Bah'hai.

But above all I search for the truth, and if I see a 3 on 3 debate and one side lies and the other side is honest ...

Just be grateful the creationists weren't muslims (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966129)

They'd have attempted to murder you for daring to have "infidel" thoughts.

Bleh (5, Insightful)

crisco (4669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966097)

Evolutionist: Aha! The smoking gun!

Creationist: It was designed that way.

Seriously though, that article seemed a little light on details. It appears that there are two articles [nature.com] on the Nature site.

Creationism for the 21st century. (2)

Dog and Pony (521538) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966146)

Evolutionist: Aha! The smoking rubble of my OS!

Microsoft tech support: That is the designed behavoiur.

---
If Darwin was right, something more stable and adaptable would prevail.

But with enough dollars, creationism will be the winner. You do know that B.G. invented the internet, right? And open source? :)

AYB.

So what? (5, Insightful)

JoeShmoe (90109) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966122)

Many years in the future, a bunch of scientists manage to contact God.

"God," they go on to say, "we no longer need you. Anything you can do, we can do. We know now how everything works."

"Is that so?" God responds. "Well, in that case, how about a contest? You create a man, and I'll create a man and we'll see which turns out better."

"Agreed," the scientists repond.

"But," God continues, "you'll have to do it like I did and create a man from the dirt."

"Not a problem," the scientists chortle, knowing enough to be able to resequence basic elements into complex structures like DNA. So, in unison, the scientists get out their beakers, bend down, and scoop up some dirt.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," God says. "You get your own dirt."

My point? Evolution is a non issue. The real debate is in the origin of the framework by which everything evolves. Scientists playing with DNA can make pretty much anything happen. But they still can't create matter with a thought.

- JoeShmoe

.

So what indeed (5, Insightful)

krmt (91422) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966164)

Unfortunately, while the scientists presuppose the existence of matter in your argument, you presuppose the existence of a God that can create that matter. No one wins this argument, like any other of this sort.

Interesting Timing... (1)

SkewlD00d (314017) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966127)

Is this to counter that earlier posting of a story from the UK, that asked if humans stopped evolving? Nice timing, in any event.

Using DNA analysis, the same species of a shrimp in the Gulf and Pacific, seperated by Panama, are diverging. When one from the pacific and gulf are placed in proximity, they do not identify the other for mating, etc.

Another DYK tid-bit: somehow, in "human"-ancestors DNA, probably before reptiles, a simple, single cell organisms' DNA "mixed" w/ our ancestors, giving us an immune system. The scaling up, from one to multicellular organisms was one of the biggest leaps forward in evolution, the others are probably the formation of cells, sexual dimorphism and plant/animal cells differentiation. The truth is that there are no "lost links," as it would be virtually impossible to find the ancestry of every individual animal to every single ancestor (and "species"). 99.9999% of soft tissue does not end up in the La Brea Tar Pits or get preserved, we will have to live with some holes in genetic history, but we will get a clearer picture over time.

UCSD's logo is the Dr. Seuss Library (1)

Mr. Spleen (308231) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966134)

The logo in the top left corner of that page is the Geisel Library [ucsd.edu] , which is argueably UCSD's most prominant landmark. It is named after Theodore and Audrey Geisel, residents of San Diego (more accurately I think Coronado). You might remember Ted as Dr. Seuss.

For more info about the library head here: http://libraries.ucsd.edu/services/info/struct.htm l [ucsd.edu]

Mr. Spleen

Re:UCSD's logo is the Dr. Seuss Library (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2966150)

um... 'k. thanks.

Honesty - not! (1, Interesting)

oz1cz (535384) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966154)

I find the following quote in the article quite revealing: "Creationists have argued that any big jump would result in a dead animal that wouldn't be able to perpetuate itself. And until now, no one's been able to demonstrate how you could do that at the genetic level with specific instructions in the genome."

This particular problem has frequently been pointed out by creationists, but evolutionists have dismissed it as a non-issue. Until now. Now when they have found an answer to the problem, it suddenly makes sense to address the issue.

So a creationist claim that evolutionists cannot answer is irrelevant. A creationist claim that evolutionists can answer is relevant.

Interesting!

Bias (1, Funny)

pkplex (535744) | more than 12 years ago | (#2966174)

I find it amusing why most scientists seem to always try and prove evolution, rather than looking for the truth and the bigger picture.

I mean, why doesnt anyone take any notice of what is written in the Bible, and the evidence for its scripture?

For example, Noahs ark has been found. It size and position is exactly as described in the bible. Nobody cares except those who are looking for truth.

A much more simple example would be the existance of Jesus Christ. Well, there is no doubt he existed, is there? History is based on his existance.

I refuse to believe that all life on earth was a fluke. Out of nowhere, pure chance, fluke. What rubbish.

If it was a fluke, Then why is it, that no man has ever shown how the first living thing on this earth, came to be? Should the depth of the makeup of even simple living things, be clue enough to conclude: Life was not a fluke. Life has order and design.
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