Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:53 AM
HarveyDarkey (9,077 posts)
Senator Asks For Proof Of Evolution, Discovers He Doesn't Actually Understand What It Is
Wikipedia defines evolution as "the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations." Essentially, we all have one common ancestor that split off into a billion different directions over time. Creationism, on the other hand, is a bunch of people making stuff up.
In Louisiana, a movement to help get creationism taught in science classes hit a snag when someone decided to stand up and explain how it isn't actually science. A state senator on the wrong side decided to learn about this whole "science" thing everyone has been talking about and asked a question that explained why it's even a debate. It turns out that they don't actually know how evolution works...
For those playing the home game, the senator had evolution backwards. His theory of evolution is that all creatures eventually turn into humans, whereas in reality, it's that one common ancestor split off in a billion directions, with humans just becoming one arbitrary and quite "advanced" direction of many billion potential outcomes.
29 replies, 3081 views
Senator Asks For Proof Of Evolution, Discovers He Doesn't Actually Understand What It Is (Original post)
|Solly Mack||Jan 2013||#15|
|wackadoo wabbit||Jan 2013||#21|
Response to Fumesucker (Reply #5)
Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:28 PM
DreamGypsy (1,989 posts)
17. And microscopic life may do so again...
Once global warming and it's consequences, and collisions with massive asteroids, and famine, plague, pestilence, and the outrageous behaviors of Man wipe out all the macro fauna and flora of the planet, then our remaining prokaryote cousins will have another 4 to 5 billion years before the nova of the sun to try a second experiment in evolution. They will have a head start over the last time around as they will build on existing genetic mechanisms and not have to wait for the building blocks to congeal from a molecular soup. However, the hugely different initial conditions and a distinct sequence of planetary changes will ensure that no product from this second evolutionary experiment will have more than a passing similarity to the products of the first.
Ok. I've posted the following quote in several other threads that touch on the hubris of man, but I just can't resist repeating it here.
From Richard Dawkins', The Ancestors Tale:
Look at life from our perspective, and you eukaryotes will soon cease giving yourselves such airs. You bipedal apes, you stump-tailed tree-shrews, you desiccated lobe-fins, you vertebrated worms, you Hoxed-up sponges, you newcomers on the block, you eukaryotes, you barely distinguishable congregations of a monotonously narrow parish, you are little more than fancy froth on the surface of bacterial life. Why, the very cells that build you are themselves colonies of bacteria, replaying the same old tricks we bacteria discovered a billion years ago. We were here before you arrived, and we shall be here after you are gone.
Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #17)
Sat Jan 19, 2013, 10:45 AM
ananda (14,023 posts)
22. You know, I've always imagined that humanity would last as long as the sun.
It was a harsh realization to see us imploding as fast as we did, dooming all the large life forms to extinction much sooner than later.
I would like to see how the next round of evolution goes, but I'm sure it will proceed exactly as it will.
Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #17)
Sat Jan 19, 2013, 10:54 AM
tblue37 (14,412 posts)
23. My favorite Dawkins comment is about how if you
go back to your grandfather, then your grandfather's grandfather, then his grandfather, then his grandfather, and keep going back far enough, eventually the next grandfather is a fish.
That one made me chuckle.
Response to tblue37 (Reply #23)
Sat Jan 19, 2013, 02:04 PM
DreamGypsy (1,989 posts)
27. Definitely an important concept...in fact, the whole plot premise of the Ancestor's Tale...
...is the journey backward in time to meet these distant relatives and understand what they might have been like, based on current physical and genetic evidence and on the consensus of evolutionary biologists.
However, the remark as stated is slightly misleading and might cause our brilliant legislative friend, Senator Walsworth, to ask a question like "Oh, what kind of fish was my great, great, ..., great grandfather? A ling cod, a snapper, a tuna?".
An edited, completely correct version of Dawkin's comment would be "...eventually the next grandfather is the least common ancestor of humans, mammals, etc. and of all living species of fish." This creature would probably look more like a present day fish than a present day human, but no living human or living fish could pick out a specimen in a crowd and exclaim "That's my great grandpa!".
Some info about that least common ancestor (concestor), from The Ancestor's Tale, Rendezvous 22: LAMPREYS AND HAGFISH
Rendezvous 22, where we meet the lampreys and hagfish, occurs somewhere in the warm seas of the early Cambrian, say 530 million years ago, and I would very roughly guess that Concestor 22 was our 240-million-greats-grandparent. The lampreys and hagfish survive as pivotal messengers from the dawn of vertebrates. Although it is convenient to treat them together, as the jawless and limbless fish, I have to admit that many morphologists think that lampreys are closer cousins to us than they are to hagfish. According to this school, we should greet the lamprey pilgrims at Rendezvous 22, and the hagfish at 23. On the other hand, molecular biologists are equally insistent that both join us at one rendezvous, and this is the opinion I am provisionally adopting here. In any case, it is fair to say that neither lampreys nor hagfish do justice to the jawless fish as a whole, most of whom are extinct.
The statement about our fishy least common ancestor would be even more accurate and humorous, I think, if it included all two hundred and forty million repetitions of "then his grandfather,".
Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)
Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:10 AM
Doctor_J (30,259 posts)
4. Read the frre book "The Authoritarians"
It is gripping reading, and Prof. Altmeyer goes into great detail to explain that ring nuts often don't have a clue about the issues they believe/don't believe.