Evolution

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  1. lovetherain profile image81
    lovetherainposted 8 months ago

    Why do people believe in evolution when there is no proof for it?

    1. wilderness profile image98
      wildernessposted 8 months agoin reply to this

      ???  We see evolution taking place all around us.  It is a VERY well established fact, starting perhaps with a new strain of the flu virus every year.  Or the bananas in S. America that can no longer reproduce without human help.  Or the wheat we grow. 

      Evolution is everywhere we look - species DO mutate and change.

      1. Live to Learn profile image78
        Live to Learnposted 8 months agoin reply to this

        ??? The flu virus was the only example you have for evolution. The rest would be selective breeding and, in some cases, genetically modified by humans. Neither would be a classic example of evolution.

        1. mrpopo profile image72
          mrpopoposted 8 months agoin reply to this

          Do you mean natural selection? The others are still valid (if not classic) examples of evolution.

        2. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 8 months agoin reply to this

          Selective breeding, environmental change, radiation or cosmic rays resulting in mutations - all result in a change to a species.  Whether that change comes from nature in the form of radiation or from another of natures creatures (from a virus to a predator to a human being) doesn't matter.  The species changes, sometimes splitting into two distinctly different animals.

          And after all, evolution depends on selective breeding - it's called "survival of the fittest" whether that "fittest" is determined by weather, predators, climate or, yes, human beings.  We are a major part of the environment, after all!

          1. Live to Learn profile image78
            Live to Learnposted 8 months agoin reply to this

            Survival of the fittest, in a natural environment, is not akin to purposeful manipulation. Dog breeds are not the product of evolution any more than the banana is.

            1. mrpopo profile image72
              mrpopoposted 8 months agoin reply to this

              What would you call the gradual changes in dog breeds if not evolution?

              1. lovetherain profile image81
                lovetherainposted 8 months agoin reply to this

                Adaptation.

                1. wilderness profile image98
                  wildernessposted 8 months agoin reply to this

                  Don't get tied up in terminology - physical adaption is evolution.  The gene structure of the species, or a significant portion of it, changes - it adapts - and that is evolution.

                2. mrpopo profile image72
                  mrpopoposted 8 months agoin reply to this

                  Well I looked up adaptation and since Wiki is a good starting point:

                  "In biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their evolutionary fitness. Secondly, it is a state reached by the population during that process. Thirdly, it is a phenotypic or adaptive trait, with a functional role in each individual organism, that is maintained and has been evolved by natural selection."

                  All three meanings have something to do with evolution, you're almost opting for a synonym.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptation

            2. wilderness profile image98
              wildernessposted 8 months agoin reply to this

              But you are the environment for the dog and the banana tree.  The environment (you) apply forces that define what the "fittest" is and the organism adapts accordingly.

              Can't see that it makes one whit of difference whether it is a human being deciding to kill all dogs that are not white or the polar bears in the arctic circle that can find the colored ones easier than white ones.

              1. Live to Learn profile image78
                Live to Learnposted 8 months agoin reply to this

                That seems very odd to me. By your definition, whatever humanity does would be a natural part of the process. Hunting a species to extinction? Evolution. Causing a species to go extinct because of urban encroachment? Evolution. Genetic experimentation to combine two breeds artificially? Evolution.

                The problem with your definition,in my mind, is we create no boundaries. No moral imperatives. Why would we object to anything, no matter how potentially dangerous? It is after all, simply evolution.

                No. Man's manipulation of the environment and man's genetic experiments do not fall into the classic category of evolution. To me, they fall into the category of creation. We are creating an environment which pleases us. We have, for some yet undiscovered reason, an advantage that puts us outside the natural order. Time will tell if evolution, on the natural scale, will allow this to continue.

                1. wilderness profile image98
                  wildernessposted 8 months agoin reply to this

                  But man is part of nature!  We are not some kind of extra-universal ET, come from outside nature to mold nature into what it is.  We evolved right here on earth, subject to the forces of nature just as all other creatures are, and are as much a part of it as a lion or a salmon.  And just as other animals do, we do have an effect on other organisms around us.

                  When the wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone, they "created" a new environment, different from what it had been, just as man does.  Yes, we have an advantage in that our machinations are generally much quicker and much stronger, but they are still very much a part of nature - we cannot separate ourselves from nature.  We cannot operate outside of nature, doing the physically impossible or using magic to meet our goals; we can only do what nature - the universe and it's laws - allow to be done.  Just like every other organism.

                  When you talk of creating an environment which pleases us, isn't that what termites do with their giant anthills do?  Or prairie dogs with their vast underground network of tunnels?  Isn't that what gorillas do when they chase away (or kill) any gorillas not of their liking - create an environment they like better?  When coral builds a thousand miles of reef, aren't they making what they "like"?  Some animals use what they find, but most do at least some modification to their environment, and some do it quite consciously and intentionally, not simply eating their way to a change.

                  1. Live to Learn profile image78
                    Live to Learnposted 8 months agoin reply to this

                    I would argue that it is the degree of manipulation we can achieve which moves it outside of the 'natural'. Plus, our manipulation is artificial to the environment we are manipulating. So, although it is natural for humanity to desire to manipulate, it still equates to unnatural manipulation to the environment in question.

                2. mrpopo profile image72
                  mrpopoposted 8 months agoin reply to this

                  Whatever life does is a natural part of the process, and humans are living creatures. Why would anything we do be unnatural?

                  1. Live to Learn profile image78
                    Live to Learnposted 8 months agoin reply to this

                    Natural for us is not necessarily natural for the environment. You have to admit our ability to manipulate so far exceeds any other animal, or plant, as to throw is into a completely different category.

                    I'll ask you this. If the Borg arrived and turned us all into half human,half machine, would that be evidence of evolutionary change?

      2. lovetherain profile image81
        lovetherainposted 8 months agoin reply to this

        Evolution is not a fact.

        1. psycheskinner profile image83
          psycheskinnerposted 8 months agoin reply to this

          I think it is, you disagree.  Is there really anything to discuss about that?  It's not like you really want to understand that difference. If you did your question would have been phrased rather differently.

        2. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 8 months agoin reply to this

          Do species change, adapting to an environmental change?  That's evolution in action.  Do animals ever mutate?  If they then reproduce, that's evolution in action.  These things happen, ergo evolution is a fact.  Animals (including human beings) and plants change.

        3. Venkatachari M profile image28
          Venkatachari Mposted 8 months agoin reply to this

          I think any kind of change that takes place in a species naturally without the involvement of artificial conditions is evolution.

          1. wilderness profile image98
            wildernessposted 8 months agoin reply to this

            What is an "artificial condition"?  If an animal changes the environment, is that "natural"?  If one builds giant homes and another develops a tongue to reach in and grab the ants, is that "natural"?  If one animal selects which plant will reproduce (eating the rest) is that a "natural condition"? 

            Given that man is an animal just like the rest of them, that man is a part of the environment other plants and animals live in, do the changes forced by man count as natural, or is it artificial when the one animal does it but not the others?

            1. Venkatachari M profile image28
              Venkatachari Mposted 8 months agoin reply to this

              By the word change, I meant the gradual development towards some betterment or improvement that affects vast members of the species throughout ages. Not any one particular case of an exception. Just like a man's evolution from an ape that took place naturally.

  2. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 8 months ago

    You might not find the evidence convincing, they do.

  3. GA Anderson profile image80
    GA Andersonposted 8 months ago

    This back and forth between "natural" and "unnatural,' (human manipulation), evolutionary processes is an interesting one.

    Jumping in with the advantage of only speaking from a "first thoughts"  position - not an informed position, my first thoughts are that Live to Learn's perspective seems most logical.

    Following mrpopo's "adaptation" comment, I know it seems counterproductive to say, but I wonder if there should be defined lines between mutation, adaptation, and evolution.

    My recall is that when speaking of evolution; as in the process of apes to man, or feathered dinosaurs to birds, and even less dramatic changes like flight to flightless birds, the period of change is hundreds, or thousands or even hundreds of thousands of generations. With one small minor mutation, (like a slightly longer beak, or more colorful exterior, than your buddies), leading through successive generations, to major species mutations that can end with the extinction of one form of a species and the ascendancy of another form - without the radical distinction of a new species, it seems that is the model for a proper view of the evolutionary process. Somehow the thought that man's forced adaptations, (evolution?), in a span of only a few generations fits more the description of mutation than evolution.

    It will take a bit more thought, but my gut says Live to Learn's perspective is right, and the thought that any mutation, no matter how prompted, or how quickly promoted, still qualifies as evolution is wrong.

    mrpopo's thought that as creatures of nature, nothing humans do can be unnatural is too big a bite for me. I can see where his logic would go to defend that thought, but I don't agree with it.

    https://usercontent1.hubstatic.com/13904420.jpg

    1. mrpopo profile image72
      mrpopoposted 8 months agoin reply to this

      I am thinking part of the confusion is the two uses of natural as "normal" and "part of nature." There is value in distinguishing intentional evolutionary mechanisms (i.e. by humans) vs. unintentional evolutionary mechanisms (i.e. by nature). But the discussion has been touching on topics like whether the development of dog breeds by humans is not part of evolution. That seems to be conflating the "normal" dichotomy with the "part of nature" dichotomy.

      Looking at these links:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_breeding
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimental_evolution

      I don't see how we can conclude that human selection is not an evolutionary mechanism. It quite literally an analogue to natural selection, which is itself an evolutionary mechanism.

      If selecting for certain traits in dogs (like dog breeders do) is not an example of evolution, what is it an example of?

      It doesn't matter how few generations it happens in - if there's a change from one generation to the next (as is often the case with viruses and bacteria), it's evolution, by its definition.

      To clarify, my comment was in the context of evolutionary processes. I don't see how human activity affecting other species' evolution is unnatural unless you are defining unnatural as "being done by humans."

      I would also add that I didn't see any comment that stated any mutation qualifies as evolution. It has to be a change from one generation to the next. Mutations are one mechanism for that change, but they are not the only one. Since not all mutations are passed on to the next generation, not all mutations cause evolutionary changes.

 
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