The fact of evolution.



N

Ngmsv

Guest
I'm sure this question is completely redundant in this group. I was reading an article discussing
how the Theory of Evolution encompasses both fact and theory. Alright, so the mechanism of evolution
is the theoretical part.

Could someone please elaborate what makes the fact a 'fact'? Is it simply because the animal
kingdom, and fossils found, can be placed upon a heirachy of differing features ?

-msv
 
R

R Norman

Guest
On Wed, 11 Feb 2004 00:46:16 +0000 (UTC), ngmsv <[email protected]>
wrote:

>I'm sure this question is completely redundant in this group. I was reading an article discussing
>how the Theory of Evolution encompasses both fact and theory. Alright, so the mechanism of
>evolution is the theoretical part.
>
>Could someone please elaborate what makes the fact a 'fact'? Is it simply because the animal
>kingdom, and fossils found, can be placed upon a heirachy of differing features ?
>

Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of change in heritable features over time. We
see changes in fossils over geologic time. We see changes in modern, existing populations over
observable time (albeit much smaller changes).

One of the predictions of the "theory" aspect is that organisms should be able to be put into a tree
structure, a hierarchical series of subdivisions, indicating relationship by descent. That the
observational data confirms this (and other aspects of the proposed mechanisms) puts the theory into
the category of accepted mechanism rather than the category of tentative hypothesis.

Simply put, evolution explains what we see and there is no competitive explanation that has any
shred of scientific validity.
 
W

Ward M. Clark

Guest
"ngmsv" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> I'm sure this question is completely redundant in this group. I was reading an article discussing
> how the Theory of Evolution encompasses both fact and theory. Alright, so the mechanism of
> evolution is the theoretical part.
>
> Could someone please elaborate what makes the fact a 'fact'? Is it simply because the animal
> kingdom, and fossils found, can be placed upon a heirachy of differing features ?
>
> -msv
>

It's a fact that gene frequencies in populations change over time.

--
Ward M. Clark Author, Lecturer, Traveler & Bum www.frombearcreek.com
 
M

Malcolm

Guest
"ngmsv" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> Could someone please elaborate what makes the fact a 'fact'? Is it simply because the animal
> kingdom, and fossils found, can be placed > upon
a heirachy of differing features ?
>
This is a good question, and doubtless a philosopher would be able to give a much more rigorous
answer. A theory becomes a fact when there is so much evidence for it that it ceases to be debated
by any competent person. For instance, no-one now denies the heliocentric theory, or the round Earth
theory, or the atomic theory of matter.

Evolution is a bit of a special case because there are some highly intelligent people who still
argue for creationism. However very few if any of them are professional biologists.

In a biology course you have to teach evolution as a fact to get anywhere, because so much other
theory is built upon it. For instance it is impossible to discuss the extinction of the dinosaurs
without realising that dinosaurs arose in a certain geological period, disappeared in another, and
were replaced by ancestors of today's birds and mammals. It is impossible to talk about sickle cell
anaemia without mentioning the selective advantage carries enjoy in resistance to malaria.

The evidence for evolution is very abundant, and not limited to taxonomy and the fossil record, but
not topical here since we don't cover the evolution / creation debate, but internal discussions
amongst evolutionists.
 
F

Frank Reichenba

Guest
"Malcolm" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> "ngmsv" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> >
> > Could someone please elaborate what makes the fact a 'fact'? Is it simply because the animal
> > kingdom, and fossils found, can be placed >
upon
> a heirachy of differing features ?
> >
> This is a good question, and doubtless a philosopher would be able to give
a
> much more rigorous answer. A theory becomes a fact when there is so much evidence for it that it
ceases
> to be debated by any competent person.

This is wrong.

For instance, no-one now denies the
> heliocentric theory, or the round Earth theory, or the atomic theory of matter.

>
> Evolution is a bit of a special case because there are some highly intelligent people who still
> argue for creationism. However very few if
any
> of them are professional biologists.
>
> In a biology course you have to teach evolution as a fact to get anywhere, because so much other
> theory is built upon it.

Evolution is a fact because alleles in a population do change with time. However, this fact requires
a mechanism or cause in order to make sense of it. Thus, a theory of evolution.

Gravity is a fact. The cause, or mechanism which creates gravity, however, is open to dispute --
thus we have at least one theory of gravity.

Frank

For instance it is impossible
> to discuss the extinction of the dinosaurs without realising that
dinosaurs
> arose in a certain geological period, disappeared in another, and were replaced by ancestors of
> today's birds and mammals. It is impossible to
talk
> about sickle cell anaemia without mentioning the selective advantage
carries
> enjoy in resistance to malaria.
>
> The evidence for evolution is very abundant, and not limited to taxonomy
and
> the fossil record, but not topical here since we don't cover the evolution
/
> creation debate, but internal discussions amongst evolutionists.
 
J

Jeffrey Turner

Guest
Malcolm wrote:
> "ngmsv" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>Could someone please elaborate what makes the fact a 'fact'? Is it simply because the animal
>>kingdom, and fossils found, can be placed > upon

> In a biology course you have to teach evolution as a fact to get anywhere,

You have to teach evolution as a fact because it has been repeatedly observed.

> because so much other theory is built upon it. For instance it is impossible to discuss the
> extinction of the dinosaurs without realising that dinosaurs arose in a certain geological period,
> disappeared in another, and were replaced by ancestors of today's birds and mammals.

Dinosaurs WERE the ancestors of today's birds.

--Jeff

--
Ho, ho, ho, hee, hee, hee and a couple of ha, ha, has; That's how we pass the day away, in the merry
old land of Oz.
 
J

Jim Menegay

Guest
ngmsv <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> I'm sure this question is completely redundant in this group. I was reading an article discussing
> how the Theory of Evolution encompasses both fact and theory. Alright, so the mechanism of
> evolution is the theoretical part.
>
> Could someone please elaborate what makes the fact a 'fact'? Is it simply because the animal
> kingdom, and fossils found, can be placed upon a heirachy of differing features ?
>
> -msv

You may have mislead some respondents with the bit about "Alright, so the mechanism of evolution is
the theoretical part."

To my mind, Darwin's theory had two main parts:
1. "The fact of evolution" is a theory about what the past looks like, and how it relates to the
present. Included in this part of his theory are things like "common descent", "gradualism", and
"an abundance of time".
2. "The mechanism of evolution" is a theory as to WHY it happened the way it did. Darwin's answer -
Natural Selection.

Both parts are theoretical.

Now, I think that what you are asking for is the evidence for believing in "the fact of evolution".
Until recently, the main evidence was paleontology, and the fairly good match between that fossil
evidence and the heirarchy that a biologist comes up with in classifying modern forms.

More recently, a new class of evidence has arisen that makes the inference inescapable. This is
molecular taxonomy - for example, the work of Woese and his associates on ribosomal RNA sequences,
and the work of many others on protein/gene sequences. The fact that this new body of evidence
mostly conforms to our prior inferences regarding the tree of life from other sources - this fact
suggests that our taxonomic theories are real facts of nature, and not illusions created by biased
researchers.

This evidence for "the fact" is nearly independent of any evidence for "the mechanism", though, to
my mind, the evidence is overwhelming for both.
 
J

John Edser

Guest
RN:- Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of change in heritable features over time.

JE:- Incorrect. "Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of" A NON RANDOM "change in
heritable features over time".

RN:- Simply put, evolution explains what we see and there is no competitive explanation that has any
shred of scientific validity.

JE:- Random changes on their own, do not have "any shred of scientific validity" .

John Edser Independent Researcher

PO Box 266 Church Pt NSW 2105 Australia

[email protected]
 
R

R Norman

Guest
On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 05:55:06 +0000 (UTC), "John Edser"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>RN:- Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of change in heritable features over time.
>
>JE:- Incorrect. "Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of" A NON RANDOM "change in
>heritable features over time".
>
>RN:- Simply put, evolution explains what we see and there is no competitive explanation that has
>any shred of scientific validity.
>
>JE:- Random changes on their own, do not have "any shred of scientific validity" .
>

Everyone in the known universe except you understands probabilistic phenomena and accepts drift as a
legitimate mechanism of evolution.
 
J

John Edser

Guest
>RN:- Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of change in heritable features over time.

>JE:- Incorrect. "Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of" A NON RANDOM "change in
>heritable features over time".

>RN:- Simply put, evolution explains what we see and there is no competitive explanation that has
>any shred of scientific validity.

>JE:- Random changes on their own, do not have "any shred of scientific validity" .

RN:- Everyone in the known universe except you understands probabilistic phenomena and accepts drift
as a legitimate mechanism of evolution.

JE:- Well, isn't it just amazing that RN knows "everyone in the known universe"! Perhaps RN is an
associate of Sai Baba who wrote: "There are those who think that the world exists and that the world
is real. There are others who think that the world does not exist and that the world is not real.
Rare indeed is that blessed one who does not think, But who is ever calm, abiding in the Absolute."

If you wish evolutionary theory to remain a testable view of science so that it never again becomes
just post modern clay for group selective maniacs like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol pot etc, etc, then
we will have to re-educate "everyone in the known universe" to independently THINK, won't we...

Kindest Regards,

John Edser Independent Researcher

PO Box 266 Church Pt NSW 2105 Australia

[email protected]
 
R

R Norman

Guest
On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 07:32:43 +0000 (UTC), "John Edser"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>
>>RN:- Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of change in heritable features
>>over time.
>
>>JE:- Incorrect. "Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of" A NON RANDOM "change in
>>heritable features over time".
>
>>RN:- Simply put, evolution explains what we see and there is no competitive explanation that has
>>any shred of scientific validity.
>
>>JE:- Random changes on their own, do not have "any shred of scientific validity" .
>
>RN:- Everyone in the known universe except you understands probabilistic phenomena and accepts
>drift as a legitimate mechanism of evolution.
>
>
>JE:- Well, isn't it just amazing that RN knows "everyone in the known universe"! Perhaps RN is an
>associate of Sai Baba who wrote: "There are those who think that the world exists and that the
>world is real. There are others who think that the world does not exist and that the world is not
>real. Rare indeed is that blessed one who does not think, But who is ever calm, abiding in the
>Absolute."
>
>
>If you wish evolutionary theory to remain a testable view of science so that it never again becomes
>just post modern clay for group selective maniacs like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol pot etc, etc, then
>we will have to re-educate "everyone in the known universe" to independently THINK, won't we...
>

John clearly is not amused by the rhetorical device called "hyperbole". Clearly I don't mean
literally everyone in the universe. I simply mean everyone in the universe with a clear
understanding of science and evolution. Yes, I do personally know all of them.
 
J

John Edser

Guest
>>RN:- Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of change in heritable features
>>over time.

>>JE:- Incorrect. "Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of" A NON RANDOM "change in
>>heritable features over time".

>>RN:- Simply put, evolution explains what we see and there is no competitive explanation that has
>>any shred of scientific validity.

>>JE:- Random changes on their own, do not have "any shred of scientific validity" .

>RN:- Everyone in the known universe except you understands probabilistic phenomena and accepts
>drift as a legitimate mechanism of evolution.

>JE:- Well, isn't it just amazing that RN knows "everyone in the known universe"! Perhaps RN is an
>associate of Sai Baba who wrote: "There are those who think that the world exists and that the
>world is real. There are others who think that the world does not exist and that the world is not
>real. Rare indeed is that blessed one who does not think, But who is ever calm, abiding in the
>Absolute." If you wish evolutionary theory to remain a testable view of science so that it never
>again becomes just post modern clay for group selective maniacs like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol pot
>etc, etc, then we will have to re-educate "everyone in the known universe" to independently THINK,
>won't we...

RN:- John clearly is not amused by the rhetorical device called "hyperbole". Clearly I don't mean
literally everyone in the universe. I simply mean everyone in the universe with a clear
understanding of science and evolution. Yes, I do personally know all of them.

JE:- It's just more group selective rubbish isn't it! A larger group is NOT necessarily naturally
selected over a smaller group. None of RN's LARGE group of mates disagree with him and RN and all
his mates are TO HIM (surprise surprise) "everyone in the universe with a clear understanding of
science and evolution" and of course, RN personally knows all of them. Tribalism rules. I am sure
Hitler, Stalin and Sai, would have been proud to write the same mind numbing _nonsense_.

Kindest Regards,

John Edser Independent Researcher

PO Box 266 Church Pt NSW 2105 Australia

[email protected]
 
F

Frank Reichenba

Guest
"John Edser" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
>
> >>RN:- Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of change in heritable features
> >>over time.
>
> >>JE:- Incorrect. "Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of" A NON RANDOM "change in
> >>heritable features over time".
>
> >>RN:- Simply put, evolution explains what we see and there is no competitive explanation that has
> >>any shred of scientific validity.
>
> >>JE:- Random changes on their own, do not have "any shred of scientific validity" .
>
> >RN:- Everyone in the known universe except you understands probabilistic phenomena and accepts
> >drift as a legitimate mechanism of evolution.
>
> >JE:- Well, isn't it just amazing that RN knows "everyone in the known universe"! Perhaps RN is an
> >associate of Sai Baba who wrote: "There are those who think that the world exists and that the
> >world is real. There are others who think that the world does not exist and that the world is not
> >real. Rare indeed is that blessed one who does not think, But who is ever calm, abiding in the
> >Absolute." If you wish evolutionary theory to remain a testable view of science so that it never
> >again becomes just post modern clay for group selective maniacs like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol pot
> >etc, etc, then we will have to re-educate "everyone in the known universe" to independently
> >THINK, won't we...
>
> RN:- John clearly is not amused by the rhetorical device called "hyperbole". Clearly I don't mean
> literally everyone in the universe. I simply mean everyone in the universe with a clear
> understanding of science and evolution. Yes, I do personally know all of them.
>
> JE:- It's just more group selective rubbish isn't it! A larger group is NOT necessarily naturally
> selected over a smaller group.

Especially when the "smaller group" is actually just a single nutjob with *way* too much time on
his hands.

Frank

None of RN's LARGE
> group of mates disagree with him and RN and all his mates are TO HIM (surprise surprise) "everyone
> in the universe with a clear understanding of science and evolution" and of course, RN personally
> knows all of them. Tribalism rules. I am sure Hitler, Stalin and Sai, would have been proud to
> write the same mind numbing _nonsense_.
>
> Kindest Regards,
>
> John Edser Independent Researcher
>
> PO Box 266 Church Pt NSW 2105 Australia
>
> [email protected]
>
>
>
>
>
 
J

John Edser

Guest
> >>RN:- Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of change in heritable features
> >>over time.
>
> >>JE:- Incorrect. "Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of" A NON RANDOM "change in
> >>heritable features over time".
>
> >>RN:- Simply put, evolution explains what we see and there is no competitive explanation that has
> >>any shred of scientific validity.
>
> >>JE:- Random changes on their own, do not have "any shred of scientific validity" .
>
> >RN:- Everyone in the known universe except you understands probabilistic phenomena and accepts
> >drift as a legitimate mechanism of evolution.
>
> >JE:- Well, isn't it just amazing that RN knows "everyone in the known universe"! Perhaps RN is an
> >associate of Sai Baba who wrote: "There are those who think that the world exists and that the
> >world is real. There are others who think that the world does not exist and that the world is not
> >real. Rare indeed is that blessed one who does not think, But who is ever calm, abiding in the
> >Absolute." If you wish evolutionary theory to remain a testable view of science so that it never
> >again becomes just post modern clay for group selective maniacs like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol pot
> >etc, etc, then we will have to re-educate "everyone in the known universe" to independently
> >THINK, won't we...
>
> RN:- John clearly is not amused by the rhetorical device called "hyperbole". Clearly I don't mean
> literally everyone in the universe. I simply mean everyone in the universe with a clear
> understanding of science and evolution. Yes, I do personally know all of them.
>
> JE:- It's just more group selective rubbish isn't it! A larger group is NOT necessarily naturally
> selected over a smaller group.

F:- Especially when the "smaller group" is actually just a single nutjob with *way* too much time on
his hands.

JE:- Frank I am so sorry to hear that you have "*way* too much time" on your hands and this is
driving you nutty. Can I suggest a study of the epistemology of science to give you an appreciation
of what is and what isn't, science?

Kindest Regards,

John Edser Independent Researcher

PO Box 266 Church Pt NSW 2105 Australia

[email protected]
 
A

Anon.

Guest
John Edser wrote:
>>>>RN:- Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of change in heritable features
>>>>over time.
>>
>>>>JE:- Incorrect. "Evolution is a fact because we have direct evidence of" A NON RANDOM "change in
>>>>heritable features over time".
>>
>>>>RN:- Simply put, evolution explains what we see and there is no competitive explanation that has
>>>>any shred of scientific validity.
>>
>>>>JE:- Random changes on their own, do not have "any shred of scientific validity" .
>>
>>>RN:- Everyone in the known universe except you understands probabilistic phenomena and accepts
>>>drift as a legitimate mechanism of evolution.
>>
>>>JE:- Well, isn't it just amazing that RN knows "everyone in the known universe"! Perhaps RN is an
>>>associate of Sai Baba who wrote: "There are those who think that the world exists and that the
>>>world is real. There are others who think that the world does not exist and that the world is not
>>>real. Rare indeed is that blessed one who does not think, But who is ever calm, abiding in the
>>>Absolute." If you wish evolutionary theory to remain a testable view of science so that it never
>>>again becomes just post modern clay for group selective maniacs like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol pot
>>>etc, etc, then we will have to re-educate "everyone in the known universe" to independently
>>>THINK, won't we...
>>
>>RN:- John clearly is not amused by the rhetorical device called "hyperbole". Clearly I don't mean
>>literally everyone in the universe. I simply mean everyone in the universe with a clear
>>understanding of science and evolution. Yes, I do personally know all of them.
>>
>>JE:- It's just more group selective rubbish isn't it! A larger group is NOT necessarily naturally
>>selected over a smaller group.
>
>
> F:- Especially when the "smaller group" is actually just a single nutjob with *way* too much time
> on his hands.
>
> JE:- Frank I am so sorry to hear that you have "*way* too much time" on your hands and this is
> driving you nutty. Can I suggest a study of the epistemology of science to give you an
> appreciation of what is and what isn't, science?
>
Josh - WAKE UP!

And the rest of you should really listen to our esteemed moderator when he asks you to be polite. If
I wanted to read endless bouts of insults, I'd subscribe to Hansard.

[moderator's note: Yeah, I actually saw this and let it go, figuring John deserved one shot
back. But now, please, people, enough slagging. If you can't say something constructive, don't
bother. - JAH]

Bob

--
Bob O'Hara Department of Mathematics and Statistics
P.O. Box 4 (Yliopistonkatu 5) FIN-00014 University of Helsinki Finland Telephone: +358-9-191 23743
Mobile: +358 50 599 0540 Fax: +358-9-191 22 779 WWW: http://www.RNI.Helsinki.FI/~boh/

Journal of Negative Results - EEB: www.jnr-eeb.org
 
P

Peter F.

Guest
Other than being a concept of unpredictability and variation at the level of genetic and
reproductive interactions within and between gametes, and a concept that also covers events that
sometimes select-OUT the "most fit" (with hypothetical hindsight seen to be the most ideally
functionally flexibility and reproductively resilient) physioanatomy or "genophenotype" of an
individual, sub-population, or population, of individuals, there is relatively little value in
"drift" as an evolution theoretical concept.

[What I mean by "genophenotype" include, as is anthropobiologically appropriate, heritable
epigenetic - e.g. "histone coded" - and neuropsycho-socio-logical (as broad based as that)
characteristics.]

Given this percEPTion of what drift is and means in context of our evolution, then it seems that
within evolutionary biology the importance of genetic drift is often overemphasized.

I would go so far as to claim to have observed, here in s.b.e., many cases of 'derelict evolution
theoretical demagogy'.

(Don't intent to waste and pollute my life by digging up examples - for people too lazy to do that
themselves.)

I use "derelict evolution theoretical demagogy" to refer to argumentation that (on the topic of
drift) OBSCURES the small window of opportunity to recognize a much more explanatorially potent
"evolutionary trend" [hyponym of drift] within the phylogeny of fauna; one that has become uniquely
(extremely/exponentially) expressed in the "AEVASIVE capacity" (and ditto manifestations) of the
human species.

N.B. Whilst the Science (as a whole) largely is the sum total of highly curious and precision-
/systematically minded people's PATTERN-RECOGNISING pursuits and perceptions, it is almost
always also "AEVASIVE preoccupations" in action.

In general, individual scientific (and science-aligned philosophical) insights result from "Ambi-
advantageously$ Evolved", Veritable "Actention {Selection} Systems" [modular, selectively 'attention-
paying' and behaviour generating, brain (or nervous systemic) activity] being typically co-
motivated, in their respective individual's realtime, by CURSES type memory states, originally
specifically caused, during the same individuals' respective life-times, by *****.

Hence Science is a process of consisting of current and past pursuits that also almost inevitably
has tended (and still tends) to involve amassing insights and systems/schemes of knowledge built
*around* the CURSES containing and rerouting (and by psychosocial effects *****-regenerating) brain
functional components, Including, amongst else, Various Endogenous opiate-like neuromodulators.

It should of course never be forgotten that the considerable AEVASIVE aspect of our entire
phylogenetically accumulated functional and behavioural characteristics, must only be understood
to have resulted in evolutionarily successful cases of coping and survivals on the whole and
only this far.

There are of course many individual cases wherein AEVASIVE means of survival are faulty or, due to
all relevant individual circumstances, fall short of resulting in reproductive success.

$----------- "Ambi-advantagous(ly)" is a word entirely contrived to function (semantically) as a
reference specifically to the inevitable and frequent _CONCURRENCY_ of "Adversity type" selective
pressures of ***** {come CURSES} type and (selective/evolutionary) pressures of "Opportunity type".

The reference imply a natural principle whereby, when all other features and factors being equal
between for reproductive survival de facto competing

default tend to *select-in* the most ambi-advantageously functional -- most ambi-advantageously
adapted -- individual variant.] $----------

This principle - of "ambi-advantageous selection" (? - am not sure what to call it) - is a concept
that as if "collects", or can help one to grasp, an important (or highly significant whilst very
insidious) evolution theoretical "signal"; Whereas the concept of drift helps, if aptly used and
understood, mainly to identify the "noise". (Allowance made for that, perhaps, the notion of a
molecular clock in mitochondrial DNA can be put to good use.)

In conclusion:

There is an "AEVASIVEness in action" within Science as a whole.

However it is especially within the anthropobiologically oriented evolutionary and psychobiological
area of Science that this "AEVASIVEness" gives rise to a most striking naturally ironic 'aura'.

>From a distance this aura can easily be mistaken for the messy hair of a
"derelict evolution theoretical thinker". %-}

P