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Can you prove evolution with DNA research?My lecturer says the information stored in...

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dancer7 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted April 7, 2009 at 7:03 AM via web

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Can you prove evolution with DNA research?

My lecturer says the information stored in DNA tell us things about the history of life on Earth. She wrote, 'DNA is an encyclopedic record of the history of the tree of life which, while not 100%complete, already provides enough information to categorically prove that all animals, including humans, evolved from more simple life-forms."

Is this right? Can we use the DNA record to prove evolution? I thought it was only a theory.

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blinky969 | Student , Undergraduate | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 8, 2009 at 2:51 PM (Answer #2)

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Evolution is still a theory, which isn't to say it isn't a very plausible one.  There is a lot of evidence to support the theory, like DNA cataloguing, but most of that evidence is circumstantial, and can't be used to unilaterally prove evolution to be correct.  It's like if you see an EXIT THIS WAY sign, but not the exit door - you have a strong reason to believe there will be an exit in that direction, because you assume the sign is there for a reason, but you still haven't seen the door yourself.

Of course, your lecturer seems to be approaching this from a scientific point of view; anyone who believed in creationism would simply say that God, or some other higher power, had created those animals, with those genetic combinations, for some reason known only to Him.  It's effectively impossible to prove a scientific rational in the face of belief, since belief presupposes divine intent, and intent can render the scientific method invalid.

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted April 8, 2009 at 5:09 PM (Answer #3)

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Proof by belief creates truth vacuously.  Proof by fact defines truth incompletely, yet provides a consistent frame to expand understanding. Where theory crosses into fact may be a function only of one's desire or ability to comprehend accumulating fact.

It's effectively impossible to prove the scientific rational to those who entertain only belief, and those who substitute belief for fact do so at their (and unfortunately others) peril.  The deeper more interesting question is, "Why do they do so?"

Substitute the word "gravity" for "evolution" during creationist arguments.  What do you conclude? Those who wish to explore divine intervention should post to philosophy or religion, and leave science alone.

 

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 9, 2009 at 1:20 AM (Answer #4)

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Let's do a thought experiment... Try to imagine a large beautiful tree in your head. Carefully imagine every leaf, branch and twig.

Now, try to imagine a tree that's 10 miles high with trillions of leaves and branches. Hold that in your head.

OK, starting at the base of the trunk. Let's assign the trunk the number '0'. Now, go up the trunk to the place where it splits into, say, three large branches. Assign those branches the numbers 01, 02 and 03.

Let's follow branch 02 until it splits into two other branches which we will call 021 and 022. We'll follow 021 until it splits into three and assign those 0211, 0212 and 0213.

So we follow and split and number, follow and split and number etc until you finally come to a leaf that may have a number that is 02131241212132341.....

That leaf's number will tell you EVERY single step that connects it to the base of the trunk. And EVERY leaf will have it's own individual number that tells you its location on the tree and its connection to the trunk. That tree is a model for Evolution and DNA.

DNA is the construction manual for living creatures. Species share massive amounts of DNA but we are not identical. 

For example, there are plants and animals. At some point in history, life split into 'plants' and 'animals'. In our model ALL animals and ALL plants will have EXACTLY THE SAME 'tree number' up to the point where they split.

cont...

 

 

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 9, 2009 at 2:00 AM (Answer #5)

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cont...

Early Life was basic and then gradually evolved, splitting into different groups. Each change is recorded in our DNA. DNA contains a history of life and evolution. The codes in DNA are the numbers on our tree. Each DNA code tells you the evolutionary 'roadmap' a species took;a roadmap that tells you how to get from that particular living species back to 'early life'.

So all species have the same DNA for basic cellular functions, because we all evolved from basic single-celled life. But mammals have DNA that makes fur and reptiles have DNA that makes scales because at some point we separated and took different paths along the tree.

DNA fits evolutionary theory EVERY SINGLE TIME. Each species that shares an evolved feature (testes or wings or sepals etc) will have exactly the same DNA code up to the place where that feature evolved. So... all birds have wings, feathers, beaks etc. Compare bird DNA with non-bird DNA and you will see the point where they separate and become a distinct group. Even if they swim (penguins) or run (ostrich) it is a simple matter to prove they are birds from their DNA path-line.

DNA is credible, rational proof of the taxonomy of evolution. Anyone who wishes to claim it isn't has the burden of proof with them. Science has satisfied itself using its thorough system of peer-review for 150 years. And DNA has finally nailed it. Evolution is true. Modern DNA research proves it.

You are a hairless ape.  :-)

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 11, 2009 at 12:28 PM (Answer #6)

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Frizzyperm, I may quote your answer  :) It is very well put. I have soooo had it up to *here* with people who misrepresent the word "theory" in a general sense to try to knock down "scientific theory";  scientific theory has to change when evidence that contradicts it is discovered. Not so with others.

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 15, 2009 at 8:24 AM (Answer #7)

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Try here for the explanations of why evolution is true

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_theory_and_fact

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jillyfish | Student , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted April 21, 2009 at 2:10 AM (Answer #8)

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Evolution is fact not theory. Biologists focusing on the changes in species over generations stress that evolution is a fact while insisting it is not helpful to use the term "theory":

  • R. C. Lewontin wrote, 'It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory.'
  • Douglas Futuyma writes in his Evolutionary Biology book 'The statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth's revolution about the sun.'
  • Richard Dawkins says, 'One thing all real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself. It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish, and bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun. It is not a theory, and for pity’s sake, let’s stop confusing the philosophically naive by calling it so. Evolution is a fact.'
  • Neil Campbell wrote in his 1990 biology textbook, 'Today, nearly all biologists acknowledge that evolution is a fact. The term theory is no longer appropriate except when referring to the various models that attempt to explain how life evolves... it is important to understand that the current questions about how life evolves in no way implies any disagreement over the fact of evolution.'
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melony82 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted April 22, 2009 at 8:51 AM (Answer #9)

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From the perspective of a biologist, nothing can be proven in science.  One of the most important characteristics of any scientist is an inheritent tendency to question things.  As soon as one takes an idea as "proven" they no longer seek out alternative possibilities, thus shutting their eyes and minds to the possibility that perhaps they were indeed mistaken.

Where many people tend to get confused is in believing that by accepting that evolution is occuring they are also refuting the existence of God.  In truth, evolution simply refers to the fact that organisms (as a group) change over time.  This is not contended among the scientific community, but is still referred to as a theory because nothing in science can be proven.  We, however, do use the word theory differently than it is used by most.  For us, a theory is a well-tested explanation that has been tested many, many times by many scientists and no evidence has yet been found to show that it is incorrect.  That being said, as new evidence comes to light we may have to adjust a theory.

What is still disagreed upon, and what most critics of evolution usually highlight as dissent among scientists over evolution, is how life started.  Was there a creator?  Did we all evolve from a single celled organism? Is it possible that a creator made template organisms (monkey, cat, fish, etc.) and then endowed them with the ability to evolve to adapt to their specific niche, thus giving rise to so many species of each?  There is certainly ample evidence (including gross amounts of DNA evidence) to suggest that we did in fact share a common ancestor, but since we cannot go back in time to witness early life, we will never be able to say for sure.

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 23, 2009 at 2:03 AM (Answer #10)

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@Melony82.

OK, we can't actually prove anything is ultimately fact. It is impossible to prove one plus one equals two. But the vast application of maths (which is based on the assumption that 1+1 = 2) is so useful and effective that only the most highly theorectical philosophical debate needs to question if 1+1=2.

This is the same with science 'facts'. You can't prove that Newtons Laws are right (noting Einstein's exceptions). You can't ultimately prove it with a pencil cos you end up having to prove 1+1=2. But you can send a spaceship whizzing off into space with its thousands of moving parts and trajectory and calculations and it works! What more proof do we need? (outside of philosophy)

Descartes is often quoted for saying, "Cogito ergo sum". What is not often understood about this statement is that he was asserting a rejection of too many abstractions. "I think, therefore I am." No, I can't prove it. No, it is not solid provable fact. But if I have to get up every morning and have a huge debate about the existence of my toothbrush, then life, real or otherwise, will grind to a halt.

So I assume my existence is a fact like I assume 1+1=2. And based on this rationalism, by extension, evolution is a provable fact and we share a common ancestor. If you wish to create a different theory, you'll have to prove it (within rational limits obviously! :-)) 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 23, 2009 at 3:07 AM (Answer #11)

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cont...

To say that all the evidence of common descent doesn't actually prove common descent goes against the 'Occam's Razor' assumption that the least complicated explanation for the facts should be considered more trustworthy than extended explanations.

Yes, it is possible that a god created all of Earth's life-forms separately and included faux-evidence of common descent in the DNA and fossil record for unknown reasons. But is it probable?  No, it is not. The evidence for common descent fits the theory for common descent and vice-versa.

A quick glance at your post history shows that you are clearly well-informed about science issues, but I suspect you have allowed some wishful thinking in your post. You said it is 'possible that a creator made template organisms'. This is generally an argument put forward in order to keep humans distinctly separate from other animals (and therefore divine). It is only possible to believe this if you disregard the evidence I'm afriaid. It is not supported by scientific evidence. It is your right to believe it, but it is not science.

The evidence for life on Earth sharing a common ancestor is extremely compelling. There is no scientific evidence to posit a credible alternative theory. All attempts to dent common ancestry appear to me to be Christians fighting a 'rear-guard defence' rather than the opinion of scientists doing credible research.

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hi1954 | Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 2, 2009 at 1:44 AM (Answer #12)

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I understand all these arguments quite well, but I'm still not convinced that DNA can actually prove evolution.  For instance, a chimpanzee has 98% the same DNA material as a human.  But that doesn't mean humans are chimpanzees with two percent more DNA.  The chimpanzee has two percent of its DNA that is different from a human's, and vice versa. But that two percent is quite significantly different, and all of the DNA of both is put together very differently.  That 98% is the same DNA proteins, but the 98% is not "the same" as one another's.  Frizzyperm's analogy of a tree is very good, but simplistic and somewhat misleading.  The differences are more important than the similarities in DNA- human DNA indicates we may be primates, but it also proves we are not apes.  All life may be related in some way, but that still does not prove the actual "theory of evolution" as it exists today or back to Darwin, or before him back to the Vedas.  We all do understand that evolution is a religious concept from Vedanta, or Hinduism, right? Or have we not researched where Darwin got these ideas originally?  From Mary Wallstonecraft Shelley's father, who got it from studying the Vedas.

Yes, species change over time, yes species change form, natural selection is the driving force of that change and we know so many facts about genetics and mutation that it's coming out of our ears.  But that does not prove "evolution," it proves CHANGE.  Evolution is not simply change, it involves specific types of change which science in general has proven unlikely or impossible.  Out of all the DNA evidence and fossil evidence we have come up with there has been nothing that shows it is possible for one species to change into another one, and that is the crux of the theory of evolution.  Everything we have learned about biology, genetics, mutation, etc. tell us that one species cannot change into another, and if that does not occur than evolution as we define it today cannot be true.  Unless, of course, the laws of nature changed at some point, and things evolved for possibly millions of years and that those laws of nature have now changed and evolution is not any longer occuring, and is now impossible.  I find that unlikely.

Except for right-wing bozos and anti-religionists (as distinct from atheists) religion has nothing to do with this issue.  I never questioned evolution until 1986 when I read a book by the head paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, who claimed it had taken him 30 years to admit to himself that paleontology had proven evolution did not occur.  I had never heard such a thing, except from the "uneducated", so I did some serious research.  I have continued all these years, and I've become convinced that there's something to the theory of evolution, but that it's not actually the answer we thought.  It is a point to begin from, and we've learned a lot from it, but it turns out to be not quite correct.  We refine the theory, or we discard it and find another, but it is simply unscientific and possibly foolish to persist in arguing about something we obviously need to change.  And the passion and vitriol those arguments often descend into is not needed at all in social intercourse or science.

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted May 3, 2009 at 6:48 AM (Answer #13)

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We all do understand that evolution is a religious concept from Vedanta, or Hinduism, right? Or have we not researched where Darwin got these ideas originally?  From Mary Wallstonecraft Shelley's father, who got it from studying the Vedas.

This year is the 150th anniversary of Darwin's On The Origin of Species (By Means of Natural Selection). To celebrate this, the BBC made several excellent series on Darwin and his theory. They were high-brow, erudite and well recieved. They looked at the history of 18th and 19th century views on how life started. The main series was made by Andrew Marr, one of the BBC's most respected intellectuals and political journalists. They had extensive interviews with Oxbridge Professors of Biology, Theology, Politics, History of Science, Sociology etc etc etc etc.

http://www.open2.net/darwin/dangerousidea/index.html

I watched them all avidly. They were fantastically well reasearched and explorered the concepts, controversies and background thoroughly. They also made a different, equally serious-minded programme that looked at Darwin's life with two, one-hour programmes. 

Nobody mentioned Evolution being rooted in Hinduism in either of them, Nor any influence from the Vedas via Mary Wallstonecraft Shelley's father. As far as the profs at Oxford were concerned, Darwin's influences were from his father and Lamarck and other conteporary biologists.

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estodd1809 | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 4, 2009 at 11:45 AM (Answer #14)

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1 Corinthians 3:19

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness." Translation: EVOLUTION WHICH IS OF THIS WORLD IS FOOLISHNESS!!!!

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hi1954 | Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 4, 2009 at 1:11 PM (Answer #15)

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Contrary to many people's ideas, Mary Wollstonecraft, feminist and author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women, was not the author of Frankenstein.  That was her daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, whose father was William Godwin, author, philosopher and one of the founders of the anarchist movement.  Godwin's influence on scientific and political contemporaries have been obfuscated somewhat because of the later problems with segments of that movement.  I think if you'll research the published (originally private) letters and papers of Darwin you'll find he was very influenced by Godwin, who combined the sort of evolutionary ideas of Vedanta with what was then modern science.  Godwin's writings were quite influential at the time on scientists, including Lamarck, Haeckel, etc.  Although Darwin considered Jean-Baptiste Lamarck as a forerunner of his theories, Lamarck's ideas and theories have been discredited long ago.  Charles Darwin's father, Erasmus, had arrived at nearly the same concepts as Lamarck, and the majority of his work has also fallen by the wayside (There's nothing wrong with that- the scientific method is a means of learning through failure in a controlled environment, and almost all theories fall by the wayside sooner or later after we learn enough from them).  He, too, was influenced by Godwin.  Charles Darwin, late in his life, also considered much of the work of such scientists, including some of his own, to have been mistaken, another point television and academia tend to overlook.  Kind of like Carl Jung repudiating most of his early work, but psychology today still enshrining it.  And although "religion" is irrelevant to the issue under discussion, those who like to cite Darwin as an anti-religious figure also ignore his return to Christianity late in life.

When we're talking about DNA we're talking about an alphabet of only four letters.  There are only so many ways you can combine them to make "words", and some of those combinations will not work.  So nature strings them into long "sentences", but since it has only four proteins to work with everything with DNA is going to inevitably have similarities.  But a "new" species does not have the "same" DNA as the "preceding" species plus a little more strung on the end to make up the difference, it just doesn't work like that.  All live things (or those which were once alive) have DNA, and this proves they are or were alive.  But that is all it actually proves.  The presence of DNA and the similarities caused by the limitations of workable DNA protein combinations does not "prove" interrelationships among the species.

We tend to think of DNA "evidence" as infallible and omniscient, but it's not.  For instance, we can prove that Sally Hemmings was involved with some member of Thomas Jefferson's family, because the present-day Hemmings family members' (of direct descent from Sally) DNA proves descent from some close relative of Thomas Jefferson, either himself or his brother or some other very close relative.  But it has to be a very close relative, not a second cousin or third cousin once removed, etc., and in a direct line.  We can tell a lot lengthwise through time down a line of direct descent, but not broadly across the population.  We can prove remains are those of a human, but not that the human is the fourth cousin of a sister of say, George Washington.  So to expect to use contemporary DNA research to prove relationship between species is not realistic.  We can prove a frog is related to another frog, but we cannot prove it is related to a salamander or a fish.

One problem with academic science is that it is nearly always a minimum of ten to 20 years behind the current state of science.  We've gone in 150 years from going to a university to learn the leading edge of science to going to a university to get a degree so we can get a job where we might, with great effort and over a period of years, begin to catch up to the leading edge of science.  As for television, I enjoy PBS specials about history and the History Channel, etc., but I notice that these are frequently mistaken.  TV, Wikipedia and semi-discredited scientists are not great things to hang an argument on.

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jillyfish | Student , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted May 5, 2009 at 3:49 AM (Answer #16)

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We tend to think of DNA "evidence" as infallible and omniscient, but it's not.  For instance, we can prove that Sally Hemmings was involved with some member of Thomas Jefferson's family, because the present-day Hemmings family members' (of direct descent from Sally) DNA proves descent from some close relative of Thomas Jefferson, either himself or his brother or some other very close relative.  But it has to be a very close relative, not a second cousin or third cousin once removed, etc., and in a direct line.  We can tell a lot lengthwise through time down a line of direct descent, but not broadly across the population... We can prove a frog is related to another frog, but we cannot prove it is related to a salamander or a fish.Hi1954

Your example refers to members of one particular species and highlights the difficulties when comparing unique, personal genetic data of two members of the same species. You then take this internal example and say it proves the difficulties when you compare the general genomes of different species.  

I very strongly (but still politely) disagree with your model. It contains a large, insurmountable false-assumption.

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hi1954 | Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 6, 2009 at 12:51 PM (Answer #17)

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Cool, please tell me what my false assumption is.  If you spot a hole in my logic I would be grateful.  I suppose I could have been more clear.  My point was that if DNA research (at least at this time) cannot track across a species very far, how can it track across species lines, or across phylla?  I am not, personally, a DNA researcher, so it's very possible for me to not be up-to-the-minute.  If you can show me something that can be done to do this sort of DNA tracking I'd be thrilled.

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jillyfish | Student , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted May 7, 2009 at 5:44 AM (Answer #18)

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Your false assumption is that you claim the comparative study of the genotypes of single members of a the same species to discover how they are related to each other illustrates the methods of comparing different species genomes.

They do not. Which means your conclusion...

"We can prove a frog is related to another frog, but we cannot prove it is related to a salamander or a fish."Hi1954

is unsupported.

BTW... talking of not being able to prove frogs are related to slalmanders... did you read about the Frogmander fossil discovered recently? (see link below) Another 'hole below the waterline' for those pesky creationists to flatly deny I guess. When they are sitting on the bottom of the ocean with an eel up their nose, they will still claim their argument is watertight ;-)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/080521-frog-fossil.html

 

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hi1954 | Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 8, 2009 at 1:25 AM (Answer #19)

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Frogmander, eh? Sounds very interesting, but I'd like to know an awful lot more about it than a tiny blurb before making any big decisions. I have a first cousin who's been a staff writer at National Geographic since the '70s, and she says the editorial standards have really fallen. I was a voting member since 1964, but I dropped my membership recently over stuff like the Archaeoraptor fraud. Can you please post some actual information on this DNA tracking method you're referring to? I'm really very interested, and you keep mentioning it. Can you recommend an article or book about what exactly you are speaking about, or post a link?

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jillyfish | Student , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted May 8, 2009 at 2:12 AM (Answer #20)

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Can you please post some actual information on this DNA tracking method you're referring to? Can you recommend an article or book about what exactly you are speaking about, or post a link?

No, Hi1954, that's not how it works. You see, Science is happy to believe their DNA work and there are 1000s of research projects which include the comaprative use of various species' DNA. As a light-hearted example, those glow-in-the-dark mice with flourescent squid molecules spliced into their DNA.

Now you say all their work is flawed. It is you coming from left-field with a large, unpopular claim. It is for you to provide the evidence. The scientific community is not especially interested in your doubts. So you will have to make them sit up and notice with brilliant evidence, if you can. But most likely, if you presented your arguments to the best experts, they would quickly dissect your objections and show you why you are wrong to believe that intra-species study does not equate to inter-species study. But if you want to challenge their functioning and practical model/methods, go to it.

Mainstream science does not have to defend itself to every doubting Thomas. It is the challenger who bears the burden of proof. Evolution/DNA/Genetics etc has already made the journey from 'left field' to become a near-universally accepted and respected field of science.

They have already proved themselves. To be blunt, you haven't. Sorry.  

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marilynn07 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted May 8, 2009 at 2:55 AM (Answer #21)

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In reply to #20: As a light-hearted example, those glow-in-the-dark mice with flourescent squid molecules spliced into their DNA.

The glow-in-the-dark mice you mention were genetically altered by human manipulation.  I think the question is can evolution be proven across species without manipulation by humans to make it happen?

Mainstream science does not have to defend itself to every doubting Thomas.

As far as I can understand, science, in order to be credible among other scientists must prove with evidence, support, and observations that a theory is valid, otherwise it is a mere hypothesis.  Science has the obligation to prove its own theories so that more can be learned and known.  I find it amusing that you use a "doubting Thomas" in defence of your own ideas.  What if in 50 years or so, your theory is proved wrong by better scientific research?  Will you accept it or will you doggedly cling to what you are emotionally tied to?

 

As far as I can see, and I am not a scientist, you are mainly interested in your own pet theory rather than listening to anyone who has a different viewpoint.  I am surprised that you can't read French or German being a doctoral student.  Were you not required to take a foreign language in your under grad studies?

 

And, science has not definitively proved the kind of DNA evolution that you are referring to. It is still a theory.  A theory is a theory until proven true or false...it is a theory...a guess with some support behind it.

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hi1954 | Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 8, 2009 at 4:35 AM (Answer #22)

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OK, so we're talking about science, right? And you feel no responsibility to back your assertions with actual information? No need to document evidence of your conclusions? Have you actually been getting college degrees with a method like that? At what kind of school? Studying what?

It sounds a lot like you won't give me any documentation about the way you think DNA tracking works because you can't. Do you really know anything about this topic in reality?

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asalwen667 | Student , Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 14, 2011 at 12:17 AM (Answer #25)

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Absolutely! DNA evidence is also known as comparitive cytology. It has been found that ancestors of modern animals have the same (or extremely close) DNA patterns and cell structures.

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husrev | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:13 AM (Answer #26)

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cont...

Early Life was basic and then gradually evolved, splitting into different groups. Each change is recorded in our DNA. DNA contains a history of life and evolution. The codes in DNA are the numbers on our tree. Each DNA code tells you the evolutionary 'roadmap' a species took;a roadmap that tells you how to get from that particular living species back to 'early life'.

So all species have the same DNA for basic cellular functions, because we all evolved from basic single-celled life. But mammals have DNA that makes fur and reptiles have DNA that makes scales because at some point we separated and took different paths along the tree.

DNA fits evolutionary theory EVERY SINGLE TIME. Each species that shares an evolved feature (testes or wings or sepals etc) will have exactly the same DNA code up to the place where that feature evolved. So... all birds have wings, feathers, beaks etc. Compare bird DNA with non-bird DNA and you will see the point where they separate and become a distinct group. Even if they swim (penguins) or run (ostrich) it is a simple matter to prove they are birds from their DNA path-line.

DNA is credible, rational proof of the taxonomy of evolution. Anyone who wishes to claim it isn't has the burden of proof with them. Science has satisfied itself using its thorough system of peer-review for 150 years. And DNA has finally nailed it. Evolution is true. Modern DNA research proves it.

You are a hairless ape.  :-)

As  a  living  being We  all  live  in the  same  environment we  all  need  nearly  the  same  things  like  oxigen  and  sun    and  etc   so   what  is to be  expected   yeah  the  DNA   should  be  smilar   if  some  of  us   are  from  Mars   our  DNA   is  expected  to  be  different  so  evolution  is  nothing  than a

nonsense

 

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husrev | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:43 AM (Answer #27)

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From the perspective of a biologist, nothing can be proven in science.  One of the most important characteristics of any scientist is an inheritent tendency to question things.  As soon as one takes an idea as "proven" they no longer seek out alternative possibilities, thus shutting their eyes and minds to the possibility that perhaps they were indeed mistaken.

Where many people tend to get confused is in believing that by accepting that evolution is occuring they are also refuting the existence of God.  In truth, evolution simply refers to the fact that organisms (as a group) change over time.  This is not contended among the scientific community, but is still referred to as a theory because nothing in science can be proven.  We, however, do use the word theory differently than it is used by most.  For us, a theory is a well-tested explanation that has been tested many, many times by many scientists and no evidence has yet been found to show that it is incorrect.  That being said, as new evidence comes to light we may have to adjust a theory.

What is still disagreed upon, and what most critics of evolution usually highlight as dissent among scientists over evolution, is how life started.  Was there a creator?  Did we all evolve from a single celled organism? Is it possible that a creator made template organisms (monkey, cat, fish, etc.) and then endowed them with the ability to evolve to adapt to their specific niche, thus giving rise to so many species of each?  There is certainly ample evidence (including gross amounts of DNA evidence) to suggest that we did in fact share a common ancestor, but since we cannot go back in time to witness early life, we will never be able to say for sure.

yeah  I think you  mean  that  coincidences  can  not be  proven beacuse of  their  essences   because  they  are  occuring coincidentally  so  they  can  be not observed   such as  a  fact

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parkourfreak | Student , Grade 9 | Honors

Posted September 14, 2011 at 5:44 PM (Answer #28)

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I think the most important thing about science is to keep the mind open and to never become set in a single way. It is important to note there are flaws with every theory and to be blinded to these and refuse they exist is like being a creation believer and ignoring science... :P

I think as a scientist we ought to examine evidence and see what that piece of evidence says about our beginnings-or evolution. DNA is certainly one of them!!

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docsheng | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted September 23, 2011 at 6:34 AM (Answer #29)

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Can you? Yes.

Will you? It depends on which axe you are grinding.

The whole world around you is proof of human evolution.

What we do with that information is politics.

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patelmilia98 | Student , Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted October 22, 2011 at 3:41 AM (Answer #30)

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yes

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kapila64 | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 24, 2011 at 3:29 AM (Answer #31)

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Hi1954, What was the name of the book from the British Museum of Natural History? I'd be interested in reading it. In reality science and spirituality were never separate. The modern doctrines of "scientific" reductionism are just as religious as any other belief system because they completely ignore all that is metaphysical. In Vedanta analytical study is called sankhya, only it's more complete because it breaks down both matter AND spirit.

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crobl005 | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 14, 2012 at 11:29 PM (Answer #32)

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Can you please post some actual information on this DNA tracking method you're referring to? Can you recommend an article or book about what exactly you are speaking about, or post a link?

No, Hi1954, that's not how it works. You see, Science is happy to believe their DNA work and there are 1000s of research projects which include the comaprative use of various species' DNA. As a light-hearted example, those glow-in-the-dark mice with flourescent squid molecules spliced into their DNA.

Now you say all their work is flawed. It is you coming from left-field with a large, unpopular claim. It is for you to provide the evidence. The scientific community is not especially interested in your doubts. So you will have to make them sit up and notice with brilliant evidence, if you can. But most likely, if you presented your arguments to the best experts, they would quickly dissect your objections and show you why you are wrong to believe that intra-species study does not equate to inter-species study. But if you want to challenge their functioning and practical model/methods, go to it.

Mainstream science does not have to defend itself to every doubting Thomas. It is the challenger who bears the burden of proof. Evolution/DNA/Genetics etc has already made the journey from 'left field' to become a near-universally accepted and respected field of science.

They have already proved themselves. To be blunt, you haven't. Sorry.  

 What about Dr. Jonathan Wells?  Theory of evolution is far away from being universally accepted, the scientific community is very confused about the whole thing, and there is brilliant evidence that evolution is fake, it's just that some scientists have decided to believe in this, or they don't want to lose their jobs, but the general plubic do not understand what the theory of evolution is really about, so how can you accept as true something that you don't understand?   then the choice of believing in this would be personal rather than universal. It's just about money.

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proskeptic | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:47 PM (Answer #33)

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Can you please post some actual information on this DNA tracking method you're referring to? Can you recommend an article or book about what exactly you are speaking about, or post a link?

No, Hi1954, that's not how it works. You see, Science is happy to believe their DNA work and there are 1000s of research projects which include the comaprative use of various species' DNA. As a light-hearted example, those glow-in-the-dark mice with flourescent squid molecules spliced into their DNA.

Now you say all their work is flawed. It is you coming from left-field with a large, unpopular claim. It is for you to provide the evidence. The scientific community is not especially interested in your doubts. So you will have to make them sit up and notice with brilliant evidence, if you can. But most likely, if you presented your arguments to the best experts, they would quickly dissect your objections and show you why you are wrong to believe that intra-species study does not equate to inter-species study. But if you want to challenge their functioning and practical model/methods, go to it.

Mainstream science does not have to defend itself to every doubting Thomas. It is the challenger who bears the burden of proof. Evolution/DNA/Genetics etc has already made the journey from 'left field' to become a near-universally accepted and respected field of science.

They have already proved themselves. To be blunt, you haven't. Sorry.  

 What about Dr. Jonathan Wells?  Theory of evolution is far away from being universally accepted, the scientific community is very confused about the whole thing, and there is brilliant evidence that evolution is fake, it's just that some scientists have decided to believe in this, or they don't want to lose their jobs, but the general plubic do not understand what the theory of evolution is really about, so how can you accept as true something that you don't understand?   then the choice of believing in this would be personal rather than universal. It's just about money.

Jonathan wells is a crank.  Sorry, he is far from an actual scientist.  Science doesn't work from an assumption or presupposition and then try to FIT things to fit those BUT instead works from the evidence and tries to construct the model which is consistent with those pieces of evidence.

We know that we can't trust his pseudo-science since he explicitly states "my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinish".  He claims that is THE reason that he sought out a biology PhD.

The consensus of the last 100 years of scientific endeavour across various disciplines entirely support evolution.

There is no assertion made by evolution which isn't able to be tested, and furthermore, there isn't any contradicting evidence.

 

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crobl005 | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 7, 2012 at 10:31 PM (Answer #34)

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Can you please post some actual information on this DNA tracking method you're referring to? Can you recommend an article or book about what exactly you are speaking about, or post a link?

No, Hi1954, that's not how it works. You see, Science is happy to believe their DNA work and there are 1000s of research projects which include the comaprative use of various species' DNA. As a light-hearted example, those glow-in-the-dark mice with flourescent squid molecules spliced into their DNA.

Now you say all their work is flawed. It is you coming from left-field with a large, unpopular claim. It is for you to provide the evidence. The scientific community is not especially interested in your doubts. So you will have to make them sit up and notice with brilliant evidence, if you can. But most likely, if you presented your arguments to the best experts, they would quickly dissect your objections and show you why you are wrong to believe that intra-species study does not equate to inter-species study. But if you want to challenge their functioning and practical model/methods, go to it.

Mainstream science does not have to defend itself to every doubting Thomas. It is the challenger who bears the burden of proof. Evolution/DNA/Genetics etc has already made the journey from 'left field' to become a near-universally accepted and respected field of science.

They have already proved themselves. To be blunt, you haven't. Sorry.  

 What about Dr. Jonathan Wells?  Theory of evolution is far away from being universally accepted, the scientific community is very confused about the whole thing, and there is brilliant evidence that evolution is fake, it's just that some scientists have decided to believe in this, or they don't want to lose their jobs, but the general plubic do not understand what the theory of evolution is really about, so how can you accept as true something that you don't understand?   then the choice of believing in this would be personal rather than universal. It's just about money.

Jonathan wells is a crank.  Sorry, he is far from an actual scientist.  Science doesn't work from an assumption or presupposition and then try to FIT things to fit those BUT instead works from the evidence and tries to construct the model which is consistent with those pieces of evidence.

We know that we can't trust his pseudo-science since he explicitly states "my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinish".  He claims that is THE reason that he sought out a biology PhD.

The consensus of the last 100 years of scientific endeavour across various disciplines entirely support evolution.

There is no assertion made by evolution which isn't able to be tested, and furthermore, there isn't any contradicting evidence.

 

Thank you for your comment, I also used to believe in darwinism, or at least I wasn't questioning any of this, until I found this website  www.dissentfromdarwin.com 

This is a list of respected scientists that are skeptical of darwinism. I, was surprised and then, began a serious research into why we believe this, and I have found out that this idea has been romanticized too much.

I began to read research papers actually written by scientists who support or not really disbelieve evolution, and I saw the real challenges that this theory is actually facing. The reason why there are many scientists that believe this, actually the vast majority is because evolution has been worked up so much, that many do not feel at ease questioning it, or at least being open about it. Since, also this theory is historical science, it is not so easy to question it, like question if the earth is flat or round, or the heat of the sun, something that we can see happening with our own eyes, these things happened in the past, so it makes the whole thing more difficult to analyze. I saw an interview of Jhonatan Wells and he is not the religious fanatic that many people think, he says that you don't need to be religious to doubt darwinism. And if you go through the work of seeing the research objectively, you will  see why.  But for many this will never happen.  

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