Amongst the billions of species today is evolution going on? No! Why not !

if evolutionism is the mechanism for biological changing of bodyplans then it must be a option it could happen today, and relative to billions of species, it should be happening to a powerful percentage. new population by the millions should be newly created with need for new scientific names. Yet i say there are none or less than six.  WHY? I say because evolutionism is not accurate as a mechanism . it never existed. other mechanisms exist. the great evidence against evolutionism is the very unlikely situation of it not having occurred in the last twenty years in great, or any, numbers. Very unlikely but i offer the issue.

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501 thoughts on “Amongst the billions of species today is evolution going on? No! Why not !

  1. Mung: Fossils don’t really represent plants and animals that lived in the past. Or if they do, they are plants and animals that died, and as such could not possibly be ancestral to organisms alive today.

    Definitely needed a smiley. Had me fooled. 🙂

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  2. PeterP: let’s not leave uot the elephant seals

    Bladders of air rather than muscle. What wild boars can do with their noses is impressive, especially if you have planted anything they find edible. It’s like a ploughed field.

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  3. Point is, that entire clade has some degree of nasal overdevelopment compared to others. That suggests that, if evolutionary forces were at work, it wasn’t a trunk in a population of trunkless elephants but a feature already beginning development in a common ancestor very unlike an elephant. It certainly isn’t ‘Can’t think why it was designed so it evolved’ – the mention of Design was just a bit of (successful) cage-rattling. It’s more that Common Descent seems a front runner in competing hypotheses.

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  4. Allan Miller,
    Indeed.

    There used to be a bit of a mystery regarding the nearest living relatives of whales. Bears? Cows? Molecular phylogenetics confirms the hippopotamus. When you look at hippos and where and how they live now, it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch – metaphorically or topologically!

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  5. Nonlin.org

    Corneel: Me: Do you see how you have defeated yourself with your last comment?

    Nonlin: No. How?

    Why am I not surprised?

    To spell it out: You yourself just postulated a link between the limitation of phenotypic and genetic variation, thus saving me the effort to establish the link between Darwin’s and Mendel’s work.

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  6. Nonlin.org: ?!?

    I could not have said it better myself! Your writing is incoherent. You should try framing it as an argument. Then folks reading what you write, including you, would be better able to see whether your conclusion follows from your premises.

    How do you even begin to define what is “evolutionary change” and what is “non-evolutionary change” and is that definition rigorous or merely special pleading?

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  7. Alan Fox: When you look at hippos and where and how they live now, it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch – metaphorically or topologically!

    Seems like a quite stretch to me!

    Though you don’t actually come right out and say it, you could be construed as saying that it’s not a stretch for you to believe that whales evolved from hippos.

    Is that what you think?

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  8. Mung: Seems like a quite stretch to me!

    Topologically? I don’t see any insurmountable barrier to changes in regulatory gene expression. There is no new body plan to find. No new body part to find.

    Though you don’t actually come right out and say it, you could be construed as saying that it’s not a stretch for you to believe that whales evolved from hippos.

    Whales didn’t evolve from modern hippos. Both whales and hippos share a common ancestor. The clade that includes hippos and whales is called The Whippomorpha

    Is that what you think?

    I don’t find it outlandish to imagine that hippo-like ancestors living in river basins exploited both estuarine areas and moved upstream leading to speciation.

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  9. Alan Fox:
    Allan Miller,
    Indeed.
    There used to be a bit of a mystery regarding the nearest living relatives of whales. Bears? Cows? Molecular phylogenetics confirms the hippopotamus. When you look at hippos and where and how they live now, it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch – metaphorically or topologically!

    Tempting, although the early ancestors of cetaceans don’t seem to bear much resemblance to either.

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  10. Mung: Is that what you think?

    I took Alan as saying we should throw out all the old fossils because morphological similarity is meaningless, you have to look at molecular phylogeny.

    And I take other evolutionists as saying molecular phylogeny is also meaningless because of horizontal gene transfers and bushes not trees, and other incongruities so we have to look at morphology.

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  11. phoodoo: I took Alan as saying we should throw out all the old fossils because morphological similarity is meaningless, you have to look at molecular phylogeny.

    Molecular phylogeny plus a healthy dose of imagination. You have to *imagine* the hypothetical ancestor and how to get from that to both a hippo and a whale. It helps to find a good story-teller as well. The story is very important.

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  12. Mung,

    Just seems to me that if you are going to go from a hippo like thing to a whale like thing, it sure helps if you know ahead of time you are going to go to a whale like thing. Would save a lot of time with accidental mutations.

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  13. phoodoo: Just seems to me that if you are going to go from a hippo like thing to a whale like thing, it sure helps if you know ahead of time you are going to go to a whale like thing. Would save a lot of time with accidental mutations.

    When you don’t care where you go , there is no hurry to get there.

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  14. Mung: Molecular phylogeny plus a healthy dose of imagination. You have to *imagine* the hypothetical ancestor and how to get from that to both a hippo and a whale. It helps to find a good story-teller as well. The story is very important.

    I think I agree with this, at least partially. The common ancestor of the hippo and whale actually existed (according to our best evidence), but in most cases we must imagine what it looked like. Skeletons, if found in the fossil record, give us a good clue as to size and shape, but not to details like musculature or color. For that, we need imagination. For a good many organisms, there is no fossil record either, so all we have is morphological or molecular clues.

    To make matters even more interesting, some lineages are the only species of an only genus of an only family — and even the order might be debatable. The aardvark is assigned an order all to itself. That order is related to elephants and manatees! In cases like this, morphology doesn’t help much.

    But I think it’s important that there is SOME story which is not imaginary, despite sometimes ambiguous evidence. True stories are both true and stories, and some are stranger than fiction.

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  15. Mung: Molecular phylogeny plus a healthy dose of imagination. You have to *imagine* the hypothetical ancestor and how to get from that to both a hippo and a whale. It helps to find a good story-teller as well. The story is very important.

    The molecular phylogeny’s not nothing, though. The existence of a hierarchically arrangeable set of SINE markers in cetaceans is a powerful indicator that there is a story to be told, for example – as is the increasing dissimilarity of fossils from modern forms with stratigraphic depth. Alternative theories are deafeningly silent on these – and pretty much all other – facts.

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  16. Allan Miller: Alternative theories are deafeningly silent on these – and pretty much all other – facts.

    That may well be true, but i fail to see how that lends any plausibility to any particular story that might be told about this hypothetical ancestor and how either hippos or whales arose from it.

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  17. phoodoo: I took Alan as saying we should throw out all the old fossils because morphological similarity is meaningless, you have to look at molecular phylogeny.

    I don’t think that and I certainly did not write anything to imply that.

    First came Linnaeus and his classification hinting at common descent, while fossil discoveries were becoming better understood in the light of geological strata. Then Darwin proposed a mechanism for change, Mendel demonstrated inheritance wasn’t blending and the modern synthesis fusing genetics and biological evolution into one theory. All this before the discoveries in biochemistry on the “nuts and bolts” of cell chemistry, gene replication, protein synthesis. Now we have the technology to routinely elucidate DNA sequences of whole genomes. Molecular phylogenetics does not discount earlier work; it builds on it, complements it and it dovetails with it.

    Fossils provide a huge amount of information about extinct animals. Molecular phylogenetics provide a huge amount of information on relationships between living organisms (and as far back as DNA remains intact enough for analysis- a few hundred thousand years in exceptional cases). The two sources of information are consilient. Both support the concept of universal common descent.

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  18. Mung: i fail to see how that lends any plausibility to any particular story that might be told about this hypothetical ancestor and how either hippos or whales arose from it.

    A competing hypothesis that was better at explaining the facts than universal common descent with modification would end ToE’s reign as explanation. It’s not a religion after all – just an explanation based on observation and research.

    The odd thing about evolution is that as knowledge of biology extends, the theory remains in harmony with new discoveries. I often wonder if we might actually be on the right lines with ToE and I conclude that we are!

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  19. Alan Fox,

    If any biologist here says that phylogenies based on morphology are meaningless, they should be embarrassed. The consilience of morphological relationships was what persuaded biologists of the 1800s that evolution had occurred, with descent from common ancestors. That is true even without considering fossils.

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  20. Joe Felsenstein: If any biologist here says that phylogenies based on morphology are meaningless, they should be embarrassed.

    I’m not a biologist but I certainly don’t think that phylogenies based on morphology are meaningless. My point was how beautifully molecular phylogenetics confirmed the patterns already elucidated.

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  21. Corneel: You yourself just postulated a link between the limitation of phenotypic and genetic variation, thus saving me the effort to establish the link between Darwin’s and Mendel’s work.

    I knew it was something stupid like that: “Darwin = phenotypic variation”. Because no one observed organisms characteristics before stupid Darwin.

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  22. Nonlin.org: You don’t know?!? Or are you trying to set a very poor trap?

    I know, yes; I’m trying to find out what you think changes, if anything. It’s a pretty straightforward question; no trap.

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  23. Nonlin.org: [quotes Allan Miller]

    If there’s adaptation to the environment, what changes when that happens?

    You don’t know?!? Or are you trying to set a very poor trap

    It’s more likely he’s asking for your explanation. I don’t speak for Allan but adaptation happens when the phenotypic variation in a population is selected by the environment and that results in genotypes with the beneficial alleles increasing in the population. So both genotypes change and phenotypes change.

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  24. To clarify, I don’t simply mean the naive observation – some phenotypic character changes – I mean what changes mechanistically?

    To me, when a population adapts, it is typically accompanied by a shift in the genetic composition of the population. But nonlin rejects any link between genetics and evolution (chortle!), so I’m looking for an equivalent mechanistic link between environment and the change, when genetics stays constant.

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  25. Nonlin.org: Because no one observed organisms characteristics before stupid Darwin.

    Don’t know who stupid Darwin is but Charles Darwin was among the first* (with Wallace) to propose a mechanism for the diversity and distribution he observed on and after his trip on Beagle.

    *Lamark gave it a passable shot!

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  26. Nonlin.org: Because no one observed organisms characteristics before stupid Darwin.

    I think nonlin may be attempting to use irony for sarcastic effect.
    As often happens hereabouts, the author’s track record of saying dumb shit and meaning it literally blunts the effectiveness of this rhetorical barb.

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  27. Mung: Molecular phylogeny plus a healthy dose of imagination. You have to *imagine* the hypothetical ancestor

    No, the phylogeny can be used to reconstruct, to a pretty good approximation, the characteristics of the ancestor. Shared derived characteristics. The key word is shared. If it’s shared, it’s inherited from the common ancestor, hence the ancestor must have had those characteristics. It’s like seeing footprints in the mud. If you see them, the best explanation usually is that someone walked there with real feet.

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  28. phoodoo: I took Alan as saying we should throw out all the old fossils because morphological similarity is meaningless, you have to look at molecular phylogeny.

    You took him to be saying that, but if you’re not dyslexic, or a blatant moron, how is that even possible?

    phoodoo:
    And I take other evolutionists as saying molecular phylogeny is also meaningless
    because of horizontal gene transfers and bushes not trees, and other incongruities so we have to look at morphology.

    LOL. Okay, so you take them to be saying that, thus revealing your total lack of comprehension of the subject matter. This is just you tossing a bunch of words out you’ve sort of heard in connection with molecular phylogenetics (“horizontal gene transfer”, “bushes”, “incongruities”) and yet you understand nothing of what they refer to or mean. You sound exactly like someone who has got your biology education from reading headlines on creationist propaganda websites.

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  29. Nonlin.org: Me: You yourself just postulated a link between the limitation of phenotypic and genetic variation, thus saving me the effort to establish the link between Darwin’s and Mendel’s work.

    Nonlin: I knew it was something stupid like that: “Darwin = phenotypic variation”. Because no one observed organisms characteristics before stupid Darwin.

    I see. So when you said

    Regression limits genetic variation. Why no 9 ft human? Because of regression to the mean. Why no 2 ft adult human? Now you know.

    …you were just talking about phenotypic variation, and not about evolution at all. When you wrote “regression to the mean”, you weren’t talking about the regression to the mean that you wrote an entire OP about explaining how it opposes “divergence of character”. Despite appearances, you did not mean to say that regression to the mean limits the divergence of phenotypic variation by limiting the amount of genetic variation, even though you wrote “regression limits genetic variation” and “why no 9 ft human? Because of regression to the mean”.

    You seem to be labouring under a misapprehension, Nonlin. We are not in a discussion. You are attacking YOUR OWN claims that I happen to repeat at you.

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  30. Allan Miller: I know, yes; I’m trying to find out what you think changes, if anything. It’s a pretty straightforward question; no trap.

    You contradict yourself in two sentences. Don’t you worry about what I know. Make your point if any.

    Corneel: You are attacking YOUR OWN claims that I happen to repeat at you.

    I asked before: how so? Your story doesn’t make any sense and is not even much of a story. Did you take your temperature today?

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  31. Nonlin.org: You contradict yourself in two sentences. Don’t you worry about what I know. Make your point if any.

    My point is to ask the simple question: what do you think changes when a population adapts? If you haven’t got a clue, which certainly seems to be the case, that’s fine too.

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  32. Alan Fox: I don’t speak for Allan but adaptation happens when the phenotypic variation in a population is selected by the environment and that results in genotypes with the beneficial alleles increasing in the population. So both genotypes change and phenotypes change.

    Total nonsense. Discussed ad nauseam already.

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  33. Allan Miller: My point is to ask the simple question: what do you think changes when a population adapts?

    Your point cannot be “to ask a question”. That’s stupid. Seems you don’t have a point.

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  34. Nonlin.org: Your point cannot be “to ask a question”. That’s stupid. Seems you don’t have a point.

    But the question still stands: What exactly do you think changes when a population adapts?

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  35. Nonlin.org: Your point cannot be “to ask a question”…

    Why not?

    If Allan is trying to understand your objections to evolutionary processes, how else is he find out other than asking you to explain? It seems that the beginning and end of your contributions here is to scoff at evolutionary theory. It’s as if you are simply prejudiced against the concept rather than able to provide coherent criticism.

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  36. Nonlin.org: Your point cannot be “to ask a question”. That’s stupid. Seems you don’t have a point.

    You certainly seem to be having enormous trouble answering it.

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  37. Nonlin.org: I asked before: how so?

    And I answered that question. And then you suddenly pretended that all your talk about “regression to the mean” had nothing to do whatsoever with Darwinian evolution. Who is playing the fool here?

    Nonlin.org: Your story doesn’t make any sense and is not even much of a story.

    It’s YOUR story, Nonlin.

    Now, be a good boy and answer Allan’s question.

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  38. Alan Fox: If Allan is trying to understand your objections to evolutionary processes, how else is he find out other than asking you to explain?

    Analyze my comments and either acknowledge their value or make counterarguments accordingly. If not clear by now, I have no interest in falling into poorly set traps (answering random questions). Why do I even bother?

    Alan Fox: It seems that the beginning and end of your contributions here is to scoff at evolutionary theory. It’s as if you are simply prejudiced against the concept rather than able to provide coherent criticism.

    This is unfair as always. My criticism is very well founded, extremely specific, entirely coherent, and extensively proven. Again, why do I even bother?

    Corneel: And I answered that question. And then you suddenly pretended that all your talk about “regression to the mean” had nothing to do whatsoever with Darwinian evolution.

    Whatever you’re trying to say, it doesn’t make sense to me. Either rephrase in a coherent, brief statement I can address, or drop it. Repeating won’t do a thing. Sorry.

    Now, going back to your uncompleted tasks:
    1. Show measurable real time trends in “evolution” if any (you know, like rising mountains measured daily and annually)
    2. Prove a bidirectional link (if any) between “evolution” and genetics.

    I know you linked to nowhere (LTEE), but that won’t do it. It’s up to you to find, cite, and only then link to the relevant facts. If any…

    BTW, here’s the second and last reminder you conceded by ignoring this argument: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/intelligent-design-explains-sex/comment-page-9/#comment-271590
    I’m fine with that, but don’t claim you won it.

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  39. Nonlin.org: Analyze my comments and either acknowledge their value or make counterarguments accordingly. If not clear by now, I have no interest in falling into poorly set traps (answering random questions). Why do I even bother?

    Good question. Care to provide an answer?

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  40. For someone so keen to avoid traps, nonlin has done a splendid job of digging a hole, covering it with brushwood and strolling obliviously across. If, that is, my ‘trap’ was to demonstrate that nonlin doesn’t have the first idea about the subject he presumes to criticise, his own actions have aided that effort splendidly. Silence would have been a far better strategy, but nonlin keeps digging.

    From an evolutionary perspective, adaptation involves genetic change. This is readily demonstrated – this is simply the first hit in a Google search for ‘cline drosophila’ .

    But nonlin says no.

    What is it then? Aha, Nonlin’s far too clever to fall into that trap!

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  41. Nonlin.org: Again, why do I even bother?

    Well, why do you? What’s the beef? I asked this before but let’s try again. Has anyone, anywhere, ever read your internet screeds and responded along the lines of “yes, you have a valid point”. And “yes” is insufficient. Link to it.

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  42. Nonlin.org: rephrase in a coherent, brief statement I can address

    Oh, for Pete’s sake:
    If regression to the mean is a biological law that prevents evolution, but genetic change is NOT evolution, then it doesn’t make sense that regression to the mean limits genetic variation.

    Nonlin.org: Now, going back to your uncompleted tasks:
    1. Show measurable real time trends in “evolution” if any (you know, like rising mountains measured daily and annually)
    2. Prove a bidirectional link (if any) between “evolution” and genetics.

    I don’t need to do that anymore, since you already conceded that when you claimed that the accumulation of genetic change is opposed by regression to the mean. Don’t you see?

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