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Anthony Morris

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Posts posted by Anthony Morris

  1. On ‎11‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 6:01 PM, tuco said:

    I think its fascinating subject, with a lot of research being published lately,  and since I have not much to say about it I rather listen. 28 000 years ago? That's a news I missed. 

    In Gibraltar, fossils of Neandertals have been found dating back 28,000 years ago. At least, according to the sources I've been able to find, all of which are more than 8 years old. National Geographic from 2004 and Scientific American from 2009.


  2. I've been trying to find chemistry sets for X-mas presents but keep getting references to crystal growing kits. I'm not knocking crystal growing but it's not really the same thing. Any suggestions on key-words? I can not remember the name of the company that made the one I had as a kid. I probably never paid attention to it I'm sure. Any help would be appreciated.

  3. 6 hours ago, Itoero said:

    I get why you think like that, micro and macro evolution can cause confusion, those terms often lose their real meaning in the general public(the same with 'evolution') ...but what does that matter? Does science-language need to become more 'simple' so people understand it?  Those are not false terms, scientists make a distinction between micro en macroevolution to make references or they use those terms when it's clear something is micro or macroevolution....the same for macro and microbiology.

    The more important matter is how you quantize the terms. How exactly does one quantize any evolutionary event? Mutations run a gamut of types from single-point mutations to whole duplications and inversions to mention just three. Evolutionary events also include each and every selection event including each birth and death. Even speciation events are not all the same: some occur slowly over many generations while others are quite rapid and happen within one or two generations. The separations between the two words "appears" to be only opinion and has no clear basis in reality. 


    By and large macroevolution is suggested to be composed of microevolution occurring in two separate populations. I confess I see no utility to this kind of term. The fact that I don't see it myself does not mean there is nothing there but I have yet to see anything to convince me there is a scientific use. Scientific language should always strive for precision. 

  4. 15 hours ago, Itoero said:

    They are words to define an amount of evidence concerning evolution,  to categorize the evidence, what's sloppy about that?

    "Amount." What sort of amount? Measured how? How does one quantize them? There are no units for any sort of evolution really. 

    Microevolution and macroevolution are no different than "missing link" or "living fossil" and shouldn't really be used because they mislead people, especially lay-people. 

    I understand the appeal of such easy terms. The lay-public already uses them. It seems easier to get the public to understand and accept evolution and its theories by explaining them through these words but it really just reinforces their misconceptions. Better to explain the falsity of these terms for accuracy. Those who want to learn will, those who do not will continue to use the terms regardless. 

  5. On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 3:40 PM, Itoero said:

    Scientists use it so their must be a purpose. According to your logic people should not make a distinction between micro and macrobiology because they are both biology? And what about micro and macroscopy?

    This might be but this evolutionary process is not studied like  dinosaur-bird so there is no reason to call it macroevolution.

    Scientists are just as prone to laziness as the rest of us. They will use shortcuts when speaking or writing just like the rest of us do. The word "ain't" is technically a word. It is even found in most modern dictionaries. It is however sloppy speech. Microevolution and macroevolution are similarly sloppy. One is allowed to use them just as one is allowed to use "ain't" if they are okay with sloppiness. 

  6. 7 hours ago, StrontiDog said:

    If anybody can't see the evolutionary advantage of a species with an overwhelmingly-strong sex drive, then they would seem oblivious to some of the basic evolutionary tenants.

    Only humans even 'know' that mating is what produces offspring.  Any other population mates due to their biological imperative to do so. 

    And they are less likely to even make the connection to STDs. If a sex-drive is required by the heterosexual component of the population then the homosexual component will likely have the same drive. And the homosexual members are going to have less effect on the future generations than the heterosexual members will. 

  7. 2 hours ago, Itoero said:



    So the evolution to those sparrows with  different characteristics is micro evolution if you take the introduced house sparrow as starting point but it's macro evolution when you take the dinosaurs as starting point.




    If dinosaur to bird is macroevolution because of the starting point then bacteria to man or mushroom are also macroevolution. We already use the word evolution for just this sort of definition already. Using the definition you propose serves no useful purpose.

  8. 11 hours ago, CharonY said:

    The actual issue is that the species concept in bacteria is very arbitrary. It is traditionally based on 70% DNA-DNA cross-hybridization. Thus, if if we have divergence larger than that we call it a new species. Thus, there is no clear delineation. Genus and species are basically categorizations that we use to delineate populations in space and time (and in microbes also often functionally).

    Yup. Species in the creation/evolution debate is generally centered around the sexually reproducing species as they are the ones most likely to be seen as discrete entities due to their breeding capabilities. Asexually reproducing "species" are generally ignored by the majority of Creationists, and frankly by all too many "evolutionists" during those debates. "Microevolution" is easier to delineate from "macroevolution" with sexually reproductive types of organisms.


    All too often the nature of "kind" or "baramin" is being conflated with "species" and/or "genus" during these discussions. Bacteria are usually tossed into the "bacteria-kind", plants into the "plant-kind" and corals into the "coral-kind" etcetera. I have heard all of these in conversations about "microevolution" and "macroevolution" as goal-posts are shifted further and further out from the species "level" to keep speciation events inside of the "kind level" hence making macroevolution impossible to pin down as an actually defined concept. 

    13 hours ago, Itoero said:


    I Take the evolution of cetaceans (fully aquatic marine mammals) as example. They think they evolved from ungulates 50 million years ago. Many transitional forms have been found and studied. The evolution ungulates=>whales is macroevolution and implies a huge amount of evidence. The evolutionary processes between the transitional forms are microevolution.

    Evolution is a continuous process, macroevolution and microevolution are not continuous, they imply a process with a set start and end-point.

    Definition of "Imply" : verb (used with object), implied, implying. 1. to indicate or suggest without being explicitly stated: His words implied a lack of faith. 2. (of words) to signify or mean. 3. to involve as a necessary circumstance:


    Implications are not scientific especially when being used to define terms. Science "strives" for accuracy and precision. 

    Just from your statement above, all macroevolution is evolution over and over and over again. A metaphorical fractal that produces no new knowledge. Any and all predictions made using your definitions will depend heavily on caveats. This is why macroevolution and microevolution are not proper scientific terms.

  9. 22 hours ago, Itoero said:

    That's correct but on YouTube I noted many people don't understand/know there is a difference between evolution and the theory of evolution. On Wikipedia for example all the articles about evolution start with something like this: "Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations"   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution      They call the geologic evolution of the earth, the geological history of the earth.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geological_history_of_Earth

    This is a situation that could use more clarity in discussions. "Evolution" does mean change, that is true. All too often, people discussing biological evolution will use the word "evolution" without the qualifier "biological" as a means of short-hand. This can lead to confusion if one (or more)  of the individuals in the conversation isn't as familiar with this convention. Laypeople will often conflate biological evolution with planetary evolution and chemical evolution without noticing the difference. 

  10. On ‎10‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 3:06 PM, Itoero said:

    Don't you think scientists that study evolution are better suited to judge things like that? You are clearly filled with misconceptions due to creationists.

    Scientists are human beings and like the rest of us are prone to mistakes and even laziness. It happens. Once a mistake gets out there, and especially so today with the internet at the ready, it tends to stick out there. That doesn't mean I am denigrating a scientist's work just the way he/she described the work. I make similar mistakes myself and have even used the words macroevolution and microevolution thereby giving Creationists the mistaken impression that I support the terminology. I usually use the terms when talking with Creationists and strive to not use them when discussing evolution in general. I usually now use them only when discussing how they are invalid ideas. If there are valid uses of the terms I have not heard them used that way. I would be very interested to find such uses and the definitions used as well as the context in which they occur. 

  11. On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 10:29 AM, Area54 said:

    I have indicated, in red,  which of those assertions you have made that are faulty. Obviously, this is not a rebuttal, simply a contrasting set of assertions. I shall deal with each of them in detail, with appropriate support, ASAP. Real world issues may delay this for up to one week. In the meantime thank you for your participation in this thread.

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 10:52 AM, Itoero said:

    I completely agree. Those terms are used to 'categorize' evolutionary processes according to their time scale. In a sense, a macro evolutionary process exists out of micro evolutionary processes. It's all about the context they are in. The process that formed a Tamaskan dog out of several dog  breeds https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamaskan_Dog  you can call micro evolution and the process that formed a Tamaskan dog from a wolf is macro evolution.

    Here you find info concerning the origin...it has nothing to do with creationists.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microevolution#Origin  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroevolution#Origin_of_the_term

    From the link you provided:





    The term microevolution was first used by botanist Robert Greenleaf Leavitt in the journal Botanical Gazette in 1909, addressing what he called the "mystery" of how formlessness gives rise to form.[52]

    ..The production of form from formlessness in the egg-derived individual, the multiplication of parts and the orderly creation of diversity among them, in an actual evolution, of which anyone may ascertain the facts, but of which no one has dissipated the mystery in any significant measure. This microevolution forms an integral part of the grand evolution problem and lies at the base of it, so that we shall have to understand the minor process before we can thoroughly comprehend the more general one...

    However, Leavitt was using the term to describe what we would now call developmental biology; it was not until Russian Entomologist Yuri Filipchenko used the terms "macroevolution" and "microevolution" in 1927 in his German language work, "Variabilität und Variation", that it attained its modern usage. The term was later brought into the English-speaking world by Theodosius Dobzhansky in his book Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937).[1]

    Use in creationism[edit]

    See also: Speciation

    In young Earth creationism and baraminology a central tenet is that evolution can explain diversity in a limited number of created kinds which can interbreed (which they call "microevolution") while the formation of new "kinds" (which they call "macroevolution") is impossible.[3][53] This acceptance of "microevolution" only within a "kind" is also typical of old Earth creationism.[54]

    Scientific organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science describe microevolution as small scale change within species, and macroevolution as the formation of new species, but otherwise not being different from microevolution. In macroevolution, an accumulation of microevolutionary changes leads to speciation.[55] The main difference between the two processes is that one occurs within a few generations, whilst the other takes place over thousands of years (i.e. a quantitative difference).[56] Essentially they describe the same process; although evolution beyond the species level results in beginning and ending generations which could not interbreed, the intermediate generations could.

    Opponents to creationism argue that changes in the number of chromosomes can be accounted for by intermediate stages in which a single chromosome divides in generational stages, or multiple chromosomes fuse, and cite the chromosome difference between humans and the other great apes as an example.[57] Creationists insist that since the actual divergence between the other great apes and humans was not observed, the evidence is circumstantial.

    Describing the fundamental similarity between macro and microevolution in his authoritative textbook "Evolutionary Biology," biologist Douglas Futuyma writes,

    One of the most important tenets of the theory forged during the Evolutionary Synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s was that "macroevolutionary" differences among organisms - those that distinguish higher taxa - arise from the accumulation of the same kinds of genetic differences that are found within species. Opponents of this point of view believed that "macroevolution" is qualitatively different from "microevolution" within species, and is based on a totally different kind of genetic and developmental patterning... Genetic studies of species differences have decisively disproved [this] claim. Differences between species in morphology, behavior, and the processes that underlie reproductive isolation all have the same genetic properties as variation within species: they occupy consistent chromosomal positions, they may be polygenic or based on few genes, they may display additive, dominant, or epistatic effects, and they can in some instances be traced to specifiable differences in proteins or DNA nucleotide sequences. The degree of reproductive isolation between populations, whether prezygotic or postzygotic, varies from little or none to complete. Thus, reproductive isolation, like the divergence of any other character, evolves in most cases by the gradual substitution of alleles in populations.

    — Douglas Futuyma, "Evolutionary Biology" (1998), pp.477-8[2]

    Contrary to the claims of some antievolution proponents, evolution of life forms beyond the species level (i.e. speciation) has indeed been observed and documented by scientists on numerous occasions.[58] In creation science, creationists accepted speciation as occurring within a "created kind" or "baramin", but objected to what they called "third level-macroevolution" of a new genus or higher rank in taxonomy. There is ambiguity in the ideas as to where to draw a line on "species", "created kinds", and what events and lineages fall within the rubric of microevolution or macroevolution.[59] "

    The above seems to confirm my position as opposed to that of the OP. Microevolution's original use was with regard to development of the body from an egg. Creationists appear to have suborned the word with a differing definition. I have heard and read scientists use the word as well but I believe they are in error to use it at all.



    On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 10:53 AM, Strange said:

    That is one definition of species, but not the only one. And it can work the other round: reproductive isolation can lead to speciation. 

    Yes indeed. There are roughly 30 or so definitions for the word species. Some are more applicable for sexually reproducing species while others are more suitable for asexually reproducing species. Of course, there are also species that reproduce both ways.


    On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 11:24 AM, Itoero said:

    All evolution is not micro evolution. All evolution is evolution. 'micro' and 'macro' are prefixes used to note the time of an evolutionary process. There basically ends an infinite amount of micro and macro evolutionary processes every second.

    Nothing I've read including the wiki article above suggests that "time" is an element in the definitions of either. All evolution is indeed evolution. Micro and macro are prefixes that are added spuriously from what I've been reading. Now if that can be demonstrated to be false I'd like to read the article or whatever you have. 

    On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 0:08 PM, CharonY said:



    But this is not true for asexually reproducing species, such as bacteria. Considering that this is how life started out, it is a rather large exception.

    There are roughly 30 or so definitions for species. See above. Microevolution and macroevolution would not seem to be relevant here either although I might concede that some single-celled organisms share DNA between "species" and create new forms rather quickly. That could possibly be considered macroevolution. 

    On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 0:21 PM, Roamer said:

    Macro-economics is about numbers and is mostly used to propagate political views/show that they're affordable,

    it is NOT a hard science, it is mathmatics applied to assumptions.

    Micro-economics deals with what people economically actually do, basically the exploration of the underlying assumptions of macro-economics.

    Hence, micro and macro are actually two distinct concepts in econmics.

    Now, in evolution i have no idea what would be macro... the calculation of how much bio-mass was available ??? making up different definitions of life ??

    edit:it is my understanding that micro and macro are terms that came from economics and "flew "over to evolution.

    According to this article:


    The terms originally entered use as a term in embryology and was later co-opted by Creationists. The use of micro and macro in economics may have merely been a co-option of the terms from embryology. There are similarities between economics and embryological development. When did economics start using the terms?

  12. 7 hours ago, Area54 said:

    You noted that the word genus is a human invention. You overlooked the fact that the same is true of the word species. Classification systems are artificial throughout. 

    Are you suggesting that the word species doesn't describe an actual thing in the real world? The word was invented to distinguish differing groups of individuals. There is a whole etymology behind the word that has been around for thousands of years as far as we know. We have always distinguished species the way we do now although we now also have more details to the process of naming a new species. The word genus is a fairly new word to designate a classification that compares relationships between and among species which is not a concept that existed much before Linneaus.

    When a species evolves into two species those two species will no longer interbreed with much if any frequency. Once the genetic isolation is complete and they never interbreed again then their individual evolutionary paths are irrelevant to each other. The microevolutionary changes produced after they have become completely separate are often referred to as macroevolutionary change but that designation is spurious. All of said changes are still small changes made over numerous generations. 

    I don't know who started using the terms microevolution and macroevolution but they are unnecessary. All evolution is microevolution (as defined by those who use the word microevolution) and macroevolution loses all definition from there and then microevolution becomes redundant since all evolution is microevolution. Some people use macroevolution to mean the large number of genetic changes between two groups but that hardly seems a significant reason to use the term and really seems to confuse the issue for many. 


  13. 9 hours ago, Anthony Morris said:

    Very likely any future civilization would spring from some species that does not yet exist. Capuchins would not be capable of doing this and if they had descendants that could do it, they would not be the same species and would be largely unrecognizable as capuchin monkeys. 

    Humans are very different from the australopithecines who were at a basic tool-using level as capuchins are today. We are dramatically different from them. Furthermore, there was no guarantee they would evolve into us. They evolved into a number of different species and only one happened to become civilized although civilization probably was not beyond the capabilities of Homo neandertalensis or Homo denisova. None of these was on the level of capuchins today but far beyond them. Capuchins would likely need to grow larger and grow larger brains as well. Just those two changes would be dramatic enough to call them different genera, hence not capuchins. The changes for any species to become a civilization-building species will simply change them far beyond what they are now.


    Furthermore, capuchins are far from the only species that is intelligent enough to use tools. Crows, whales, elephants, parrots and octopi are all sentient enough to use tools but none of them have the social organization necessary to build a civilization. All of these groups have been around for millions of years and yet not produced a civilization. They would each have to change enough to be called something else (by us) in order to build a civilization. Apes can be reasonably claimed to have done so through the development of Homo sapiens and look how different we are from the other apes. 

  14. On ‎8‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 8:55 PM, Area54 said:

    Many processes are subdivided depending upon scale. It can be a useful distinction. Melanism in peppered moths is on a different scale from the emergence of a new genus.

    I'm afraid your second observation has lost me. Obviously conception is simply the continuation of life, not its beginning and equally sperm, ovum and zygote are all alive, so I don't see where you are heading with that even as an issue separate from evolution.

    I did not say that creationists do not abuse the concept, I simply observed that they had not invented it.

    The word genus is a human invention. We use it to help us understand the relationships between species because we have a brain that insists on categorizing things. Once one species evolves into two species the two species will rarely interact or interbreed. This reduces their relevance to one another and so we call them separate "species" so we can understand the "relationship" between them. When species diverge in such a way that they look to be too different from each other (to our eyes) we might say they are members of different genera (plural of genus) but there is no such concrete thing in nature. Specifying a form of evolution (macroevolution) for such a "stage" is meaningless because a genus is not real. All it means as a word is that mere mortal humans see these two groups of organisms as very different indeed. What happens to one species or set of species does not necessarily affect the other. They no longer have a relationship in the real world. Each evolves in a micro way with respect to the other individuals with which they do have actual relationships - there own species mates and perhaps occasionally a closely related species. Microevolution is real. Macroevolution is all in our heads.

  15. I think the genetic modification fears are mostly hype. Genetic modification is actually pretty cheap and people can do this sort of thing in a kitchen. It's better to understand what we are doing than to let unethical individuals do this in the dark somewhere out of sight. I know of no attempts to modify how we digest food though. Better to understand our natural biomes and find ways to correct genetic problems there. More good from the technology. There are potential problems, yes but holding the technology back will not solve them and will in fact make the evils of biotech proliferate with nothing for us to do to protect ourselves from them.

  16. On ‎9‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 0:12 PM, mad_scientist said:

    What evolutionary advantage does sodomy give to animals which choose to engage in this activity?

    If you are asking about it in relation to STDs I have to ask "why aren't you concerned about heterosexual animals getting STDs through their sexual activities?" They get them too. 


    While "straight" animals need to reproduce they have to run the risk of STDs while "gay" animals might not need to run the risk of STDs? These animals don't know about STDs for one and since homosexual activity doesn't produce offspring then any STDs the "gay" animals get would not affect selection in future generations. There is little to no selective advantage to not engaging in "sodomy" because of STDs. "Straight" animals get them too and have not selected against sexual reproduction yet (at least not usually).

  17. On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 4:59 PM, jfoldbar said:

    im a layman so please feel free to correct me here, but simply. but i am under the impression that the 'missing piece' in the theory of evolution is a transition from simple amino acids, to dna. is that right?

    so we have the miller-urey experiment in 1952 showing where amino acids came from. then once the first life sprang up, we can show it evolving. but it seems to me we cant show where dna came from. we can only hypothesise. 

    so i wonder, are there scientists now frantically trying to show how dna could have come about?  are there "miller-urey" experiments going on, but for dna?

    and i dont mean computer modelling, i mean actual real experiments.

    if not, why not. and if there are, then after more than 50 years why cant they come up with anything yet.

    Considering how little funding science gets for this sort of research I think we've come quite a long way for just 50 years. Earth developed life over a longer period of time than that I'm sure. There is nothing frantic about efforts to discover the origins of life. This sort of research doesn't have much of an incentive for most investors to bother with it. Federal grants are the usual income source for it I believe. And yes, there are still attempts to find chemical pathways to RNA and to DNA from there. Chemical experiments are not the only valid method for arriving at the answers. Computer modelling is very useful and can potentially lead us to actual chemical demonstrations of RNA production or DNA production in the lab. 

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