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Everything posted by BusaDave9

  1. So we don't get new species from evolution? Then how do they come about? Please clarify. I think you meant to say there can be evolution without producing a whole new species. But you wanted to word that in the most condescending way you could possibly come up with. Can't we tone this discussion down and do without the personal attacks?
  2. Thanks Arete. You have provided lots of information. Framingham heart study does show evolution is still taking place for humans. When I realize 80% of the deer and other wild animals do not make it to the age to bear young I see survival of the fittest being a strong force directing evolution toward traits that are better suited for survival. I still don't understand how we could be evolving as fast as the other animals that fight for survival each day but I will drop the topic.
  3. I don't think anyone is misunderstanding fitness as it applies to evolution. We know we are talking about genetics not physical fitness that can improve with exercise. no one is saying humans have stopped evolving but I believe wild animals for which survival is a daily battle, are evolving at a faster rate than humans. For evolution to take place there must first be variations in the gene pool. These variations may be due to gene drift or mutations. Due to mutations we may have people with longer fingers than other people. These variations are not yet evolution toward a new species. Then there must be some guidance for evolution such as survival of the fittest. So you need both a variation of genes (maybe due to mutations) AND survival of the fittest to give direction to evolution. Maybe people with short fingers would be more likely to die and less likely to pass their genes off to the next generation. I think survival of the fittest is no longer directing our evolution. We are surely still getting mutations and gene drift but that is not offering evolution in any particular direction. Some people disagree with me but I still haven't heard any theories of what could be guiding our evolution if not survival of the fittest. I think everyone and their brother has told me we are still evolving. Okay, but my question is what is guiding that evolution? And to what direction (what traits)? As stated many times I think we do have survival of the fittest but not to the degree of wild animals. Wild animals often have 12 offspring and only 2 end up living to bear young. This results in zero population growth. Insects may have hundreds of offspring with the vast majority dieing quickly. Illnesses and genetic disorders may also cause us to evolve. But not to the degree as wild animals. To disagree with that statement is to say that modern medicine has not made any advancements at all since the beginning of civilization. Wild animals have disease but zero technologies to help them deal with these sicknesses. As a matter of fact I think the lack of survival of the fittest is causing what might be called negative evolution. By that I mean some disorders that would be fatal in the wild will still allow a human to live well past child bearing age. For example many humans have blindness, deafness, or there are countless genetic diseases and disorders that prevent people from running or even walking. If an animal were to be blind, deaf or unable to run due to muscular dystrophy or any other disorder or disease they would certainly die before having offspring. But deaf and blind humans live as long as the rest of us. For that reason I can see more people with genes for blindness, deafness and countless other genetic problems that we can deal with. We are also making great strides in almost all diseases. I even believe we will cure cancer long before we evolve into a new species.
  4. Yes, defining life is the difficult task. Scientist can’t ignore the topic. They need to define life and when it begins. There is a big push for “Personhood” laws. Religious groups are saying that human life begins at conception and therefore should be protected the same as a child’s life. They say science dictates that life begins at conception. I say it’s not so easy to define. If I were to give the definition of a human life as when the fetus has all the genes necessary. Then the thread would end with someone saying “by that definition life begins at conception”. The problem is these laws such as abortion, Personhood, miscarriages due to the beating of a pregnant woman MUST start with science tackling the difficult issue of defining human life. It’s not easy and in my opinion, science would NEVER end up with life starting at an instantaneous (or even well defined) time. It’s a gradual process. But when religious groups say “science tells us that human life starts at conception and the laws need to match accordingly”, I think scientist need to jump up and say that’s not true. We could start a new thread but science needs to define when life begins.
  5. What an argumentative bunch? I'm not trying to make a point. I'm trying to ask opinions. True I didn't have an option worded exactly as you would have worded it. Once again I am not asking for anyone to vote for a single point of time. Do you think the egg suddenly becomes a human life at conception? If not don't vote for #1. Do you think the fetus suddenly becomes a human life at birth? If not don't vote for #2. I thought the 3rd option was vague enough and encompassed enough time. Do any of you really think it is not a human life at the time of birth or are you guys being argumentative? I didn't want to have a million options for every opinion possible. NO. The debate is not "which characteristics define us as humans and how many/which of them are needed before something qualifies for human status?" I am asking when can the life be considered a human life. Sure we all develop after birth. But does that mean we are not humans when we are children?
  6. To answer that. I do not believe it is scientifically reasonable to say that at the time of conception a fertilized egg is suddenly a human life. Also I do not believe it is scientifically reasonable to say that a fetus suddenly becomes a human life at the time of birth. So in making the thread, I wanted to ask people if they had the same believe as me. I created a poll that not only included my view, but also include what I think are the other 2 most common views of when life begins. In all honesty I don't think many people think it suddenly becomes a human life at the moment of birth but I felt I should include it. So I really am not trying to convince you of anything at all. Nothing. I am only trying to ask for opinions (hence the poll). If you could write a fourth poll answer, what would it be? Just a short one sentence answer. Should I apologize for not arguing?
  7. Interesting. And I agree no other animal needs parental support for 18 years (or anything close to that). A human infant is completely helpless. But I can't imagine if you had an accident that killed a newborn child that you would tell the courts or press that "it wasn't really a human. It was only half a year old." Could you really say that, even to yourself? You don't have to say "it starts here" if you choose the last option. that is unless you (Like Ophiolite) think that it's not truly a human life until after birth. The bottom line is I believe the creation of human life is a gradual process that encompasses the time between conception and birth. To say it extends outside of those bounds is hard to believe (but I am listening).
  8. So you voted for the last option: "It becomes a human after conception but before birth" ? The other 2 options say there is a specific event that suddenly makes the creation of a human. The creation of a human is a gradual process. At conception you get a full set of genes that specify what traits the human WILL have. But it is not yet a human. I don't see how a scientifically minded person can answer anything but the last option. If I were to ask the same question on a religious site almost every response would be that life begins at conception.Religious people need a specific, miraculous event where God says "Let there be life" and then infuses a soul (whatever that is) into the unborn child. I think science agrees that the development of a human is gradual. No one can give a specific event that defines when human life begins.
  9. Yes a zygote WILL become a human being. But you must use future tense. At what point can you say it IS a human life. I like Ophiolite's post. It is a matter of defining words but you are playing with words if you must use future tense.
  10. Many people say life begins at conception. Actually it begins before that. Every sperm cell, egg cell and blood cell in our bodies are alive. The much more important question is when does that life become a human? That is the topic I am interested in. At what point can you say "that's a human". I know answer 3 is vague. I would have said "it's a human when it's viable to live on it's own" But I was afraid that would leave some wanting to say none of the above. The way I see this, the building of a human is gradual. It starts off as a fertilized egg. Then becomes more complex as the fetus develops. It may be a human when it is viable outside the mother. I do not believe the fertilized egg is a human. If I were to hire an architect to build a million dollar home but someone were to destroy those plans I can't sue for a million dollars. It wasn't a house yet even though the plans show just what the final home would look like.
  11. I agree with Swansont on this. Of all the scientific topics that have been brought up in this thread I think the evolution debate has some of the most outdated opponents. To believe in creationism or to deny evolution you have to discard over 150 years of science. Simply looking at fossil records in rock layers shows that plants and animals have changed over billions of years. To doubt evolution you must discard whole branches of science such as geology, radioactive and carbon dating. Even so called scientists dont even learn evolution before they write books to discount it. One example is Stephen Meyer who writes books saying before evolution could have taken place amino acids would have had to create spontaneously and that would take a trillion years, far longer than the age of the Earth. Stephen Meyer and other evolution deniers evidently dont understand evolution (or have heard of the Miller–Urey experiment)
  12. I disagree. Modern medicine and science has made great strides in these areas. Of course there are still problems that could kill us but we are far better off than we were before science and medicine.
  13. Each of those are very good points. My point is that humans are far more likely to survive these hardships and therefore natural selection has less of an effect on us. I will also repeat that evolution is still affecting us, just not to the degree as animals in the wild. True. It would take a super creature to survive a meteor strike. It would probably wipe out civilization and we would have to survive in the wild. That is unless there was a creature that could divert the meteor. Such as .... humans? Who needs survival of the fittest when you are as advanced as humans. We'll survive anything. .... well not anything but a heck of a lot more that the animals that live in the wild.
  14. How many of your friends have died from a broken leg because they couldn't get food and run from predators? None? That's odd. How many of your children have been eaten by wolfs? None? ! ? WOW! Same here! What a coincidence! That's very common for deer and other wild animals. How are your teeth at opening nuts? I wonder if people really understand how hard it is to live in the wild. And how easy we have it. I say we may be evolving but not as fast as any animal in the wild due to natural selection. I have said from the beginning that I think the driving force for evolution is survival of the fittest through natural selection. In the human race we (modern medicine) make sure everyone lives as long as possible (or at least well past child bearing years). I don't think survival of the fittest has much impact on us anymore. It's survival of everyone. Several of you have said I have underestimated the other factors involved here such as gene drift and mutations. I hear you but I don't understand how gene drift and mutations can give evolution DIRECTION. In my previous example gene drift and mutations may cause people to have longer and shorter fingers but which would be more fit? More likely to be passed on in the gene pool? I can only see natural selection as the mechanism that gives evolution direction. Even when we talk about blood pressure, genetic defects, sickle cell anemia etc. etc. We still need the less fit to be less likely to survive. Maybe they are less likely but for an animal with medical issues it has a much bigger impact on them. I think a dozen people have told me I have underestimated the impact of gene drift and mutations but no one has attempted to explain why gene drift and mutations could ever affect us more than wild animals that must struggle and fight every day to survive. They can't call 911. Can't get checkups and preventative medicine. Don't have billions of dollars spent to prevent cancer and other diseases? My big question is how could gene drift and mutations give evolution direction. I only see these factors providing variation. But variation is not evolution toward a new species. You only end up with some people with long fingers and some with short (or whatever trait).
  15. You didn't recognize my sarcasm when I asked if Darwin was wrong. I strongly believe Darwin was right when he said evolution is driven by natural selection. That's my main point. Sure there has to be mutation and/or gene drift. But natural selection drives evolution in a certain direction. Natural selection drove squirrel to have teeth that can open nuts, claws that can allow it to scurry up trees. Because natural selection is the driving force for evolution. I believe it is no longer survival of the fittest for humans. It's survival of everyone. It's amazing what modern science can do. So there are stats that show we are evolving. Okay but I want to understand why. Lets forget about gene drift. Forget about population size. Forget about mutations. Why? Because these things only introduce variation not a driving force for evolution. Let me explain. Lets say some people get a mutation that causes longer fingers and some people get shorter fingers (yes very hypothetical). Now we have a population with different size fingers. For evolution to take place we need more than random mutations. We need evolutionary direction. Are the people with long fingers more fit? Or less likely to survive? How about the people with short fingers? We have people that are born blind, deaf, or cripple or whatever traits that would surely mean death if it inflicted any wild animal. No so for humans. Now diseases may cause evolution in humans but not to the degree as it does with wild animals.
  16. I agree. And I say: Everyone seems to be saying we are still evolving. Okay but no one is convincing me that evolution is taking place nearly as fast as with wild animals.
  17. Of course I know what survival of the fittest is. We're talking genetics here. New genetic traits getting passed on to the next generation to the degree to create a new species. I'm still waiting for anyone to point our any reasons we may be evolving faster than other animals. Sickle cell anemia and malaria are child's play in the non-forgiving wilderness. Do you think wild animals don't have disease? We humans can treat diseases. We are even making great progress with genetic diseases and disorders. As Sunshaker alluded to we may even cure genetic diseases with genetic manipulation, but that would be artificial evolution. How's the animal world coming along finding cures to their diseases? Some plants produce chemicals to fight off parasites. Here in Colorado the bark beetle is killing thousands of square miles of lodgepole pine. They don't attack all species of trees. Duch elm disease killed all the elm trees in large areas of the US. Where's a comparable killer in humans? The bubonic plague is an excellent comparison. In the 14th century the black death wiped out many towns in Europe. Just learning about sanitation and how germs travel has prevented this from happening again. When animals get sick it's common for them to infect the entire herd. Animals have it so much harder than us. Most don't make it to bear young. Let me say that again. Most wild animals that are born do not live long enough to bear young. Which ones die? The ones that are not as fit as the others. Maybe they can't out run the predators, or scurry up a tree. Maybe they can't fight off the diseases. Either way they don't get their genes passed on to the next generation. That's evolution and I say evolution is FAR more prevalent when life and death is a daily battle. Who can really say our gene drift is causing us to evolve faster than wild animals? I don't buy it for a second.
  18. So was Darwin completely wrong? His theory explains evolution by natural selection. With natural selection a new species appears roughly every million years (I said roughly so no need to bring up punctuated equilibrium or alligators that have not changed much). I think we agree that survival of the fittest no longer applies to humans but some of you seem to be saying we are evolving faster than ever. How? I get an answer back that it is still possible. I am not saying it's impossible. As I said in my original post: To say we can now evolve faster without natural selection must mean that Darwin was wrong and natural selection is not the main driving force of evolution. I ask once again, how could this be? What is the main driving force for evolution? Please don't say intelligent design.
  19. "Simply false" "just plain silly" simply wrong. Why? Explain how the entire population of the Earth can evolve in a certain direction. With world travel we are blending our genes, blending the races. Are you with me so far? Do you agree? Yet, humans the world over are becoming shorter (or maybe taller or maybe whatever). What would cause this in such a large population? Everyone can't suddenly start getting mutations for longer fingers.
  20. But we are not a small population. We have overpopulated the earth. We are one big population. As I said in my opening post we can quickly and easily travel the whole world. The races are interbreeding and blending. The races are far from being separate species. With more interracial marriages even the races will be less pronounced in the future. If we had one small group of people from one race left on an island for many generations evolution may take place. With the amount of gene blending going on with our large population what would coordinate the evolution of the entire human species?
  21. Mutations and genetic drift alone can not cause evolution. You must also have survival of the fittest. You must have the death of those without certain traits. This is basic to evolutionary theory. Otherwise what would orchestrate these changes to head in a certain direction for the entire population? Even a broken leg may mean a fawn may never make it old enough to bear young. Our survival rate is far and above any other animal on earth. It is no longer survival of the fittest. It is survival of everyone. We expect everyone to live several times further than the child bearing years.
  22. I say no. What say you? Here's my reasoning: evolution takes place more so in smaller populations. We have heavily populated earth. We can easily travel the whole world over. Native Americans can marry orientals. Africans can marry Europeans. We are blending our genes. That makes the population more bland (for lack of a better word). Now if a small group of humans were to be dropped off on an island without any technologies they would evolve over generations. Also it is no longer 'survival of the fittest'. It is now survival of everyone! If someone is in a horrible accident it is amazing what modern medicine can do. We are also curing diseases. Also the most attractive don't end up having the most kids. People can control their family sizes. We are unlike animals that can't relate sex to offspring. Super models don't end up having a dozen kids. The people with lots of kids have big families because of their beliefs not because they are more attractive. Sure we are evolving a little. You can't stop it completely. I am just saying we are evolving much less than other animals. Am I right or am I right?
  23. In the south eastern US many say we should not teach evolution without also teaching creationism. We should not let ignorant moms dictate what we teach their kids. We should listen to the scientific community, the people that have their facts strait.
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