daniel_carrington — 2015-02-18T00:11:52-05:00 — #1
I've been thinking about an angle for talking about evolution and wanted to get some feedback on it.
By "evolution" I'm referring to the standard neo-Darwinian model (common decent, genetic mutation, natural selection).
It seems to me that, on the Darwinian model, the first life would have necessarily reproduced asexually. Given that natural selection is predicated on the idea of reproductive advantage, I am trying to figure out whether there is a legitimate way to argue for reproductive advantage for organisms who must rely on another organism of the opposite gender in order to reproduce. How would it be reproductively advantageous to have to rely on a separate organism?
Also, along similar lines, what are the odds that the male and female reproductive physiology would manage to evolve in such a way as to simultaneously be so completely co-dependent and complementary? That seems a little far fetched, to me.
Perhaps someone can help me to find problems with this line of thinking?
gao_lu — 2015-02-18T06:11:01-05:00 — #2
First, evolution is true in the sense that God built into living organisms an amazing genetic ability to adapt to varying environments on earth. Natural selection is a part of that. That is evidence for an intelligent designer/creator however, and is a far cry from Darwinian evolution. The Bible tells us about the origins of earth and its creatures. I suggest that you do not waste too much time refuting notions that you know are wrong. To do so will be a lifetime investment as the theories will be changing for the rest of your life. They have to change because scientists know they are wrong.
The theories are...hardly theories, more speculation. Very concisely, for sexual reproduction to be an advantage, an improved fitness of offspring must result. The advantage could be genetic variation or the possibility of DNA repair during meiosis or possibly heterosis, masking of mutations.
There are also substantial costs to sexual reproduction, such as female only bearing young and each organism only passing on 50% of it's genes. There is much more.
It is far-fetched. The best evolutionist can do is say, "I believe it happened, therefore it did," and then imagine a mechanism for how it came about. Such mechanisms are proposed, but are mere speculation and unproven. Presently reproduction occurs asexually, sexually and hermaphroditicly. Natural selection would seem to preclude all three methods existing together even if among varied organisms. Where is reproducible evidence for macroevolution for sexual reproduction? It doesn't exist because it didn't happen.
eric_seelye — 2015-02-18T19:09:19-05:00 — #3
Daniel, I agree very much with Gao Lu here. The only thing I would add is you could try talking to Fazale Rana, a biochemist with Reasons to Believe. His RTB bio says, "I became a Christian as a graduate student studying biochemistry. The cell's complexity, elegance, and sophistication coupled with the inadequacy of evolutionary scenarios to account for life's origin compelled me to conclude that life must stem from a Creator." Keeping up with the latest evolutionary "advances" is a main part of his job, so he would definitely know the answers you're looking for. His Facebook page is here.
daniel_carrington — 2015-02-25T02:19:53-05:00 — #4
I totally agree. I have never personally denied that natural selection is a thing, though I disagree with people who are in the camp of Richard Dawkins with regards to the explanatory power and scope of natural selection.
Thanks for your feedback. It was very helpful!
daniel_carrington — 2015-02-25T02:21:02-05:00 — #5
I'm familiar with Dr. Rana and RTB. Not sure why I hadn't thought to see if I could contact him on this issue. I guess that should have been pretty obvious.
lu1 — 2017-05-08T20:10:27-04:00 — #6
MAY 8, 2017
The Octopus Outsmarts Darwin Again
WITH SHANE MORRIS
Imagine being able to make yourself more intelligent than your genes allow. If you were a slimy, spineless bottom-dweller, that might be a welcome bonus.
What’s the most intelligent animal on the planet? There are a lot of ways to answer that, and depending on your standard, apes, crows, dolphins, and parrots could all be contenders. But none of these vertebrates (animals with backbones) can lay claim to the incredible feats of one highly-intelligent group of invertebrates. A group that—according to new research—ignores the rules laid down by Darwin and takes evolution into its own tentacles.
I’m talking about cephalopods—the octopi, squid, and cuttlefish, which are widely regarded as scoring at the top of their class. These Mensa-worthy mollusks have been known to open jars, climb in and out of their tanks, communicate via a kind of Morse-code, and can camouflage themselves to match their surroundings with startling accuracy, using colorful skin cells.
And as I told you some time ago on BreakPoint, these eight-armed wonders of the deep defy evolution by exhibiting traits usually found in higher vertebrates like us. It’s a mind-boggling coincidence that Darwinists have long dismissed with euphemisms like, “convergent evolution.”
But octopi, squid, and cuttlefish seem to have altogether missed the memo about Darwinism, because new science is revealing another way in which they defy evolution.
In a paper published in the journal, “Cell,” Tel Aviv University researchers Joshua Rosenthal and Eli Eisenberg report that unlike almost all other animals, cephalopods routinely bypass the instructions in their DNA and edit their own genes.
In biology class, you probably learned that ribonucleic acid, or RNA, transcribes and carries the information coded in deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, to protein-factories in the cells. These proteins, built based on instructions from the DNA, are what make up our bodies. But what if we could edit the messages in our RNA to change the kind of protein produced? As it happens, that’s what cephalopods do—on a scale unknown anywhere else in the animal kingdom, and specifically in one area of their bodies: their nervous systems and brains.
The Tel Aviv researchers found “tens of thousands” of such RNA recoding sites in cephalopods, allowing a creature like the octopus to essentially reprogram itself, adding “new riffs to its basic genetic blueprint.” In other words, these invertebrates don’t care that they didn’t inherit the smart genes. They make themselves smart, anyway.
Of course, an animal can’t be the author of its own intelligence, and this is not a process anyone believes cephalopods perform consciously. Rather, it is a marvelous piece of “adaptive programming” built-in to their biology.
Darwinists have tried to spin this feat as “a special kind of evolution.” But the folks at Evolution News cut through this nonsense and identify RNA editing for what it is: “non-evolution.”
“Neo-Darwinism did not make cephalopods what they are,” they write. “These highly intelligent and well-adapted animals edited their own genomes, so what possible need do they have for…blind, random, unguided” evolution?
This is also an emerging field of research, which means it’s possible, in theory, that other organisms make extensive use of RNA editing, and we’re just not aware of it, yet.
If, as one popular science website puts it, other creatures can “defy” the “central dogma” of genetics, the implications for Darwin’s “tree of life,” and his entire theory, are dire.
But if cephalopods and the complex information processing that makes them so unique are in fact the result of a Programmer—of a Designer—the waters of biology become far less inky.
alex_vaughn — 2017-05-08T22:50:55-04:00 — #7
Regarding your question about the advantages of sexual reproduction. Reproducing sexually results in a wider genetic diversity in the offspring, and thus they have a better chance of adapting to changing conditions or overcoming novel obstacles. It's also worth noting that some organisms are hermaphrodites. Some can reproduce asexually when no mate is available and sexually when mates exist. Some reproduce sexually but can act as male and female. Others change sex during their lifetimes. Many plants also self-pollinate. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermaphrodite
alex_vaughn — 2017-05-08T23:03:55-04:00 — #8
Convergent evolution is common sense. Similar needs result in similar abilities. Also, editing pre-messenger RNA before it gets converted into the final version isn't terribly unusual. It is a common process across eukaryotic cells generally. Also, the editing process is controlled by another set of regulator genes, not by the animal in a conscious (or unconscious) fashion. http://jcs.biologists.org/content/117/26/6261
I actually taught my Biology student about these topics over the last month.
lu1 — 2017-05-09T17:02:11-04:00 — #9
So common sense to what level? According to this article the RNA recoding of cephalopods are uncommon in reprograming itself. What other animals do this at the level?
If Pre-messenger RNA is common place, why the denial?
Again, why the denial of this commonality in nature? I'm just curious.
alex_vaughn — 2017-05-09T22:56:00-04:00 — #10
It appears that Evolution News has significant misinformation and misdirection. This kind of work turns people away from the Gospel and makes Christians appear to be ignorant fools without reason, it's better to just stick to the truth.
Tetrahymena are used as an example of RNA undergoing splicing before the final RNA is transcripted into protein. Tetrahymena is a single-cell eukaryotic organism that lives in freshwater. (Schleif, Robert Genetics and Molecular Biology, 2nd ed. Baltimore: John Hopkins U Press; 1993)
The article that they appear to be referring to is http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2017.03.025 I don't see anything in their abstract that would yield the conclusions Evolution News reports. Ideally, I'd like to read the article, but the journal is behind a paywall.
The textbook below discusses the process of pre-mRNA modification. This is a process that occurs to varying extents in eukaryotes generally. It is not unique to cephalopods.
Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology, 4th ed. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000.
Regarding "Again, why the denial of this commonality in nature?", I don't understand there is no denial that for an example a bat and a bird's wings are similar. Or, the shape of fast-swimming species are similar tunas and penguins for an example. The physics of flying and swimming fast require certain characteristics those are examples of convergent evolution.
gao_lu — 2017-05-10T03:09:06-04:00 — #11
Interesting statement considering the list of well-known. and some distinguished, well-educated contributors there. Some are controversial. Some are quite respected public figures.
I have a biochem degree and plenty of "evolution" but I am not qualified to speak to this matter. My son specialized in it at undergrad level before attending med school. I will ask him if he has time.
lu1 — 2017-05-10T07:28:47-04:00 — #12
How does that relate to RNA recording of cephalopods? Not following your train of thought
alex_vaughn — 2017-05-10T13:24:57-04:00 — #13
The article you posted discussed RNA editing, which happens in practically all eukaryotes, and convergent evolution.
This portion discusses convergent evolution.
The remainder of the post discusses RNA editing with appropriate references to textbooks and an article.
I found it interesting that several of the persons listed do not hold science degrees at all. They appear to be smart and accomplished but do not have a scientific background. So as a PhD scientist, why should I listen to them?
gao_lu — 2017-05-10T19:46:48-04:00 — #14
There may be a few reasons to listen to people who don't have PhD's. YOUr mother for example. Why would you listen to her? Your pastor? Your wife? Any quality journalist? Then too, many of the writers are writing on a variety of other subjects other than evolution, so they are not relevant to the conversation. I am speaking of those who do.
lu1 — 2017-05-11T06:45:27-04:00 — #15
So the author in this articles is wrong in your opinion, then?