Evolution

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no-scientist
no-scientist's picture
Evolution

Ok i am not scientist but I have a question that only scientists and I was not sure if I have to post this topic in the Genetics section or in the cell/Molecular section and I didn't find any section to species-related , I might i didn't notice it so if it exists kindly move it to that section.

and here the topic

I just read an article anti-evolution saying that evolution is just a fairy tale and kind "belief" or "religion" among scientists and there s no single proof that evolution is true and evolution is just a fairy tale .

So you Genetic/bio scientists what do you say? is that true ?

ryan_m
ryan_m's picture
no-scientist wrote:Ok i am

no-scientist wrote:

Ok i am not scientist but I have a question that only scientists and I was not sure if I have to post this topic in the Genetics section or in the cell/Molecular section and I didn't find any section to species-related , I might i didn't notice it so if it exists kindly move it to that section.

and here the topic

I just read an article anti-evolution saying that evolution is just a fairy tale and kind "belief" or "religion" among scientists and there s no single proof that evolution is true and evolution is just a fairy tale .

So you Genetic/bio scientists what do you say? is that true ?

There is no "single proof", no. There is, however, a collection of evidence from many independent sources. What is nice, is that the fossil record and the molecular phylogeny both corroborate evolution without relying on one another. I have not read any reasonable arguments from any other perspective explaining why this is the case. However, there are many people who still argue that creationism (or intelligent design) is a reasonable alternative to evolution. Another alternative that has been proposed and is equally reasonable is the theory of the 'Flying Spaghetti Monster'.

FSM discussed in Wikipedia

marcus muench
marcus muench's picture
Here is a great forum for

Here is a great forum for discussing this topic (not that I have a problem discussing it here as well).

http://www.evcforum.net/

My take:

All evidience suggests we are here as a result of evolution. Sure pleanty of details are missing, but the big picture is pretty clear. So unless you want to believe that some deity put us here and then made it look like evolution was the cause, the simplest explanation is that we and all the other carbon units swimming, crawling, flying or just sitting there all evolved over the last 4 billion years.

leoyyf
leoyyf's picture
I agree with Carson O'Genic

I agree with Carson O'Genic and ryan_m. From the DNA evidence that I study. We can see the trait of the evolution.

guyuemissyou
guyuemissyou's picture
good ,just a viewer

good ,just a viewer

Amtekoth
Amtekoth's picture
 There is a good book out

 There is a good book out right now by Jerry Coyne called "Why Evolution is True", www.amazon.com="" why-evolution-true-jerry-coyne="" dp="" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); cursor: pointer; " href="http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0670020532">http://www.amazon.com/Why-Evolution-True-Jerry-Coyne/dp/0670020532 which lays out the mountains of evidence for Evolution in very clear terms.  Evolution is not a belief system.  Any scientist (or non-scientist, for that matter) can look at the detailed evidence and come up with the same conclusions, regardless of their religious beliefs.  The facts support it.  It has never been disproved by any evidence, and believe me, people have tried.  To insist otherwise is to cover your eyes and ears to the thousands and thousands of facts and go, "Nyah, nyah, I'm not listening."  Belief in God does not mean one NEEDS to not 'believe' in Evolution.  Just as Gravity doesn't care if you 'believe' in it or not, Evolution is real regardless of your particular faith.  People used to believe the world was flat, flies came out of raw meat all by themselves, the sun went around the earth, witches gave you the evil eye (which caused sickness and misfortune), Thor brought thunderstorms.  Facts and science eventually displaced these mistaken beliefs.
One of the arguments that people use against Evolution include: "It's just a theory, not a Law" , as if a scientific theory was just a hunch.  "Why were the Yankees so awful this year?  You know, I have a Theory on that."  That's not how science works.
When Darwin first proposed natural selection as a means of species change over time, he was basing this on observations he and others had made and was, yes, "just a theory" at the time.  But 150 years of searching for answers, looking for proof, looking for facts that disprove evolution by thousands of scientists has refined Darwin's theories and strengthened them to the point that we know evolution has occurred and continues to occur today as strongly as we know flies are not spontaneously generated out of rotting meat.  
Darwin wasn't the first scientist to propose evolution, but he is the best known and his original books on the topic were the foundation of the field.  But, as I've said, it's been built upon.  Darwin didn't know much about genetics and nothing about molecular biology.  He didn't have millions of pieces from the fossil record (but he did have thousands).  He couldn't measure atomic decay in fossils.  But we can and have.  And they ALL point to evolution being factual.
Another argument focuses on disagreements within the scientific community on continuous or punctuated evolution.  Is there a constant rate of change or are there jumps.  "Unbelievers" will say, "See?  They don't know." and use that to discount the whole shebang.  While there is disagreement over some details of the Theory, all sides of the dispute agree with the facts of evolution.
Another thing I keep seeing is the false argument that there are no Transitional Fossils in the fossil record or transitional organs, like eyes.  While that was true 50 years ago, that is no longer the case.  Many transitional fossils have been found, as have examples of creatures with visual receptors that are not complete eyes.  The people who don't want to believe in evolution keep changing their definitions, which is like 'moving the goalposts'.  It's cheating and dishonest.
Anyway, I can go on all day with this.  I've seen viral evolution with my own eyes in the lab. I know it's "True" through my own experiments.  If you don't have access to such things, I recommend Coyne's book.  Read it. 

Ivan Delgado
Ivan Delgado's picture
The fact that you are asking

The fact that you are asking this question is very good. All science come from a very basic idea: we as humans have an innate desire to know. Ever ask yourself why we remain glued to the floor when we walk instead of flying away (it would be really cool to glide or even fly, like so many other living organisms do)? or why is it that we can only see light with wavelengths between 380 nm and 750 nm, when insects and even bird are able to see so much more?
If you read enough about these topics, or a million others, you come up with all sorts of experiments and observations. You find out that the gravity generated by our spinning planet happens to be 9.8 meters per second squared, strong enough to keep our heavy bodies anchored to the ground, but letting lighter living organism take off in flight. And as for our vision, you find out that our eyes have two kinds of photoreceptor cells: rods and cones. Rods are good at capturing light when there is little light present (in the dark, which is why they cannot distinguish colors), while cones require more light to be activated, which is why they are able to distinguish colors.
Why I am talking about all this? because all of biology, even the kind you cannot really see, is a testament to evolution. When you think about why we cannot fly and birds can, you start to find out things like the composition of bones. Bird bones have evolved over the years to be very light, almost hollow, thus minimizing their weight. And bird wings are a perfect example of evolution. They have the same types of bones as you will find in our arms, just of different lengths to best take advantage of their plumage. Ever wonder why trees turn colors in the fall? Chlorophyll, the molecule that gives leaves their green appearance is the main photoreceptor used by plants to capture the sun's energy (much like the cone cells in our eyes). Chlorophyll captures blue and red light but cannot capture green light, so it reflects it away (when you see green, it is because the plant cannot use that wavelength of light). Other pigments present in leaves, like xanthophylls and carotenoids (much like the rod cells in our eyes), capture small ranges of light beyond that of chlorophyll, thus extending the range of light a plant can capture and turn into food (analogous to us being able to see in the dark as well as distinguish colors during the day). You just do not see these other photoreceptors because the concentration of chlorophyll is so much higher that it drowns them out. In the fall, when there isn't as much light, leaves turn colors because the plants stops making chlorophyll (which breaks down very fast) and these other pigments, which are much more stable, start to show up.
Hopefully examples like these provide a small window to what genetics, and evolution, is all about. We are all interconnected by the magic of genetics. If you want to go even deeper, just chose a conserved gene (one of my favorite ones are the Hox genes, from the homeobox gene family, which are involved in the regulation of pattern formation in everything from us to all animals, plants and fungi) and see how similar they are no matter what organism you look at. What you will find is that there are DNA sequences in every single organism in this planet that are identical to each other. I do not know of a better explanation than evolutionary theory, which suggests that what it means is that we all originated from a single ancestor. This will always remain a theory because there is no way of proving it (unless you can go back in time, isolate the DNA of our original one-cells ancestor, and compare it to our DNA - wait, isn't that what we are doing today with the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome and other extinct species? - and guess what, even this latest of observations continues to prove that evolution is correct; in other words, that we've evolved from "lower" life forms).
A wonderful book that describes what I just tried to explain but in a much better way is "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" by Sean Carroll.