Microevolution, Macroevolution, and our species

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In the comments section of another thread over at Pandas’ Thumb, I asked leading ID proponent Paul Nelson to explain why he thinks the differences between humans and chimps represent macroevolution and not microevolution. Dr. Nelson responded to my question. The terms microevolution and macroevolution are so frequently used in the context of creationism, Intelligent Design, and evolution, so I thought it might be a good idea to move the topic to a new thread.

In addition to linking to Paul’s comment, I’ll also reproduce it in full at the end of this post. That should make it easier for people to see what he said in its entirety, without my commentary.

My question to Dr. Nelson was this:

While you’re here, and this is genuine curiosity on my part, could you take a couple of minutes to elaborate on exactly why you believe that human-chimp divergence is macroevolutionary rather than microevolutionary?

I asked that because he had just written a blog post in which he classified (more than once) the divergence of chimps and humans as “macroevolutionary.” The beginning of his response to my question is somewhat dismissive:

Micro, macro, tomato, tomahto…”I am apt to suspect there enters somewhat of a dispute of words into this controversy” (Hume 1779).

I’ve spent the last two years studying evolutionary biology, molecular ecology, speciation, and related subjects at the graduate level. My interest in evolution started well before that, and I’ve been following the various creation-evolution controversies for a solid decade now. I have absolutely no problem with the idea that the distinction between macro- and microevolution is nothing more than a dispute over words.

The thing is, they’re not my words.

Read More (at The Questionable Authority):

51 Comments

Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.

As to respiration in a man and in a beast; the descent of stones in Europe and in America; the light of our culinary fire and of the sun; the reflection of light in the earth, and in the planets.

Okay, Paul, tell us what is wrong with the statements above. Or if they’re a good rule to doing science, tell me why I may properly conclude that all humans are related but may not properly conclude that all primates (for example) are not.

And which methodological naturalist, materialist, or atheist wrote these words anyway?

Well, time’s up, these are Newton’s Rules for doing science, at:

members.tripod.com/~gravitee/rules.htm

Perhaps more properly, they are the rules devised by good (at least mostly) religious philosophers for doing science, or perhaps more crucially, for deciding justice in the courts. And they don’t allow for your “microevolution” vs. “macroevolution” distinction. True, we have a reason for distinguishing between macro and micro evolution, but that’s just because of speciation, nothing that changes the rules of evidence for inheritance.

More importantly, tell us how to do science without using roughly the same rules that the religious Newton used to such great effectiveness. Tell us how ad hoc differences in interpretation will yield useful results in science, and how these may be used to understand medicine and physiology. Tell us how the courts should change their rules of evidence to allow for deciding to treat similar kinds of evidence differently. IOW, tell us something useful for once in your long career of misunderstanding philosophy and science, and redeem yourself as something more than a crank.

Glen D http://geocities.com/interelectromagnetic

The “micro” versus “macro” distinction is another instance of the ID/Creationists attempting to set the definitions in science and the parameters of discussions in their “debates” with scientists.

Transitions between various scales, i.e., between quantum level to mesoscopic phenomena to nanoscale level phenomena to microscopic scale levels to various classical scale levels of phenomena are often accompanied by “jumps” or avalanche effects, or other kinds of “emergent effects” that suddenly become the predominant determiners of the subsequent behavior of a system. Rarely are the transitions between realms continuous or linear. Non-linear complex behavior is the norm in such transitions.

Physicists often make distinctions between these various realms in order to apply the most effective tools, both experimental and theoretical, in understanding and describing the phenomena in question within the realm in question. But they are usually aware that extending these approximations outside the realm of discussion will almost certainly overlook transitional or emergent phenomena in adjacent realms.

So there should be nothing particularly unusual or enigmatic about the apparent “abruptness” of differences between closely related species. The differences at the genetic level are being propagated up through many different scale lengths. At some level of genetic difference, it shouldn’t be surprising that emergent phenotypic differences could very well appear as “jumps” as other emergent phenomena come into play and have greater influence in subsequent development.

As a physicist, I have never been too impressed with the artificial distinction between “microevolution” and “macroevolution”. I would think that the finer scale at the genetic level would be the primary determiner of relatedness. Emergent phenotypic traits may well affect the survivability of the species in the current environment and what gets propagated to succeeding generations, but these phenotypic traits could easily take place in “jumps”, I would suspect. There is somewhat of an analogy to the quantum jumps that take place at the molecular level, but these jumps at the classical level are leveraged from below.

no monkey, despite the common metaphor, will ever type – much less write – the Iliad

Actually, very few humans can write an epic as good as the Iliad.

Up until the advent of writing no humans could write, and global literacy rates are still not 100%.

Has anyone ever tried to teach a chimp to write?

Has anyone ever tried to teach a chimp to write?

I did, but it was just a bunch of crap about bananas and a hateful, error-filled diatribe about leopards. All the publishers he submitted it to rejected it.

Maybe not write, but there’s a chimp who can paint.

http://www.cheetathechimp.org/donate.html

And, he’s 75 (human) years old.

Yes, the original Cheeta from the Tarzan films of the 40’s.

Did he try Regnery? They specialize in hateful, error-filled diatribes!

Macroevolution involves an increase in complexity, while microevolution involves adaptations of existing features.

An example of adaptation is a change in coloring from light to dark, especially when the potential for both colors already exists.

It doesn’t matter how much DNA humans and chimps have in common, the difference in complexity is obvious. Chimps are intelligent and live in complex societies, but they are still much simpler than the simplest human societies.

As we know, complexity is awfully hard to quantify or define. As much as evolutionary biologists despise common sense, there are times when it has to be our last resort. Common sense tells us, loud and clear, that humans are far more complex than chimps (no insult to chimps intended).

Bleh.

Second.

Over on the other thread, Paul Nelson wrote:

Paul Nelson Wrote:

The character “white sclera” must then have evolved on the branch leading to Homo sapiens.

How did that happen? Anybody?

When the creationist becomes tired of discussing transitional fossils (or rather their fabled ‘missing links’), they can always switch to discussing distinguishing characters.

White sclera is a phenotype in for example horses. Is evolution of sclera color among horses micro- or macroevolution? Is evolution of sclera color among hominids micro- or macroevolution? Paul? Anybody?

It Trolled thusly:

It doesn’t matter how much DNA humans and chimps have in common, the difference in complexity is obvious.

To hell with the facts, I know the truth. The crank epistemology laid bare.

The amount of DNA humans and chimps have in common is not necessarily a measure of how similar the two species are. Since DNA is not well understood, it’s impossible to quantify the difference. Maybe the human-chimp differences are located mostly in “junk” DNA, for example.

Whether you like to admit it or not, genetic inheritance is still very poorly understood.

But we can see that the two species are very different, if we have not completely abandoned reason in favor of reductionism.

I’ve seen it said that “I don’t know” is the beginning of wisdom. What then is “it’s obvious” the beginning of?

Common sense tells us, loud and clear, that humans are far more complex than chimps (no insult to chimps intended).

My common sense tells me they’re equally complex, and my common sense isn’t any less common than yours! So long as we don’t define our terms, we can be as subjective as we like. And look equally ignorant.

But we can see that the two species are very different

But creationists can NOT see that bacteria have a vast range of variation, and lump them all into the same “kind”. Sharks, now well, sand sharks and whale sharks are maybe different but … nah, they’re all sharks! Rodents are mammals, but they’re kinda small and make lousy pets, so they’re all the same kind. But cats? No, there are several kinds of cats. White ones, black ones, spotted ones, even big ones!

And common sense tells us this because common sense draws distinctions NOT on the basis of degree of actual difference, but on the basis of utility to the human daily life. The distinctions common sense has us drawing between one another are the most critical of all - male and female kinds, fat and thin kinds, dark and light kinds, pro-Jesus and anti-Jesus kinds. Now, THOSE biological differences matter. The rest are pretty academic.

It is quotemined thusly:

The amount of DNA humans and chimps have in common is … necessarily a measure of how similar the two species are. Since DNA is … well understood, it’s … possible to quantify the difference… the human-chimp differences are located mostly in … DNA…

Whether you like to admit it or not, genetic inheritance is still very … understood.

Macroevolution is a technical term with a fairly well defined meaning. It refers to long term trends involving the origin of new lineages, adaptive radiation and mass extinction of many species over time. It does not refer to the relatively minor genetic changes that distinguish humans from their closest living relatives. It does not necessarily have anything to do with complexity.

Oh and by the way, if you think that genetic inheritance is poorly understood and that development is a complete mystery, both things are probably true - at least for you.

realpc said:

Macroevolution involves an increase in complexity, while microevolution involves adaptations of existing features.

Look it up. That’s not what distinguishes macroevolution from microevolution. Try talk origins. Or a book.

Aren’t macro- and micro- evolution just different regions on the same scale?

About the claim that humans are somehow more complex than chimpanzees - can somebody name one body part, or one tissue type, that is present in humans that is not also present in chimpanzees.

Henry

realpc: “Macroevolution involves an increase in complexity, while microevolution involves adaptations of existing features.

An incorrect claim, but if we accept it as face value, that should firmly place human/chimp divergence in the realm of microevolution.

realpc Wrote:

It doesn’t matter how much DNA humans and chimps have in common, the difference in complexity is obvious. Chimps are intelligent and live in complex societies, but they are still much simpler than the simplest human societies.

As we know, complexity is awfully hard to quantify or define. As much as evolutionary biologists despise common sense, there are times when it has to be our last resort. Common sense tells us, loud and clear, that humans are far more complex than chimps (no insult to chimps intended).

Funny. I know that there are plenty of people on the religious right who find macroevolution to be as morally objectionable as obscenity, but this is the first time that I can remember someone suggesting that we use the same standard for identifying it - ‘I know it when I see it.’

realpc Wrote:

The amount of DNA humans and chimps have in common is not necessarily a measure of how similar the two species are. Since DNA is not well understood, it’s impossible to quantify the difference. Maybe the human-chimp differences are located mostly in “junk” DNA, for example.

Well, yes. If you go back to the 1975 paper that kicked off the exchange between myself and Paul Nelson, you will find that the authors predicted exactly that. That’s one of the reasons that we get so annoyed when creationists start spouting off about how evolution somehow or another lead to the assumption that noncoding DNA is functionless, or that the discovery of a function for noncoding regions was somehow a prediction of ID.

I’ve never seen any convincing evidence that macroevolution is anything more than microevolution X N. If anyone knows of such, post it.

The fossil record seems to indicate such. Where we have enough fine grained info, often enough 1 species just sort of morphs into the next. Check out the human fossil record for an example.

The creo reality deniers don’t often deny microevolution. It is all around us and kills millions of people every year through resistance to anti-everythings.

I could have sworn that, just recently in the comments to another post, realpc was claiming that ID wasn’t anti-evolution, but was indeed merely a non-materialistic explanation for evolution and common decent.

Now I find myself gobsmacked to see that he’s arguing against common ancestry. So, what’s all that about?

Would the real realpc please stand up?

I NEVER argued against common ancestry, or evolution, or random mutations, or natural selection. I don’t think any scientific ID advocate would either.

And I don’t care what right-wing religious Christian creationists think about any of this. They are not scientific, so their opinions on science don’t matter to me.

realpc: “Common sense tells us, loud and clear, that humans are far more complex than chimps (no insult to chimps intended).

By what metric? Was Einstein more “complex” than George Bush or a microencephalitic baby? Does your “common sense” notion of complexity readily translate to the genetic, epigenetic or biochemical realms? At the root of any significant difference in functional capabilities I see only incremental, slight differences in the core structures.

no monkey, despite the common metaphor, will ever type — much less write — the Iliad

As usual, the YEC’s get the timeline wrong.

They’re comparing modern humans with modern apes.

But look at Adam and Eve.

They wore no clothes - just like monkeys.

They made no fire - just like monkeys.

They used no tools - just like monkeys.

Heck, they didn’t even know the difference between right and wrong, as evidenced by the whole “big snake” episode.

Nor, presumably, could Adam make much headway reading or writing the Iliad. Almost certainly illiterate (Who would he correspond with?) Adam wouldn’t even be able to conceptualize, much less write down “boat”.

So maybe Adam and Bonzo were in fact, the same “kind” at one point, just like science has been claiming (albeit with a somewhat different slant) for centuries.

YEC’s should be careful what they try to explain, because sometimes they get it right.

RealPC blathers thusly

… the difference in complexity is obvious …

Yet after all these years, he and his ilk still can’t give us a no-nonsense answer about how to measue such an “obvious” property.

Common sense tells us, loud and clear, that humans are far more complex than chimps

The first thing a scientist must throw out is his common sense.

Why? Because it comes between observed facts and tested theories.

One could even say that it is common sense to junk things that obviously doesn’t work. :-o

As the data tells us, chimps and their ancestors have changed more since the split than us and our ancestors.

Depending on measure one could say that we are as much evolved (same time period), or that chimps are more evolved (changed at a larger mean rate).

Also, again depending on measure, one could say that we have the same complexity (same existing features), or that chimps are more complex (more changes means, in some measures, picking up more information from the environment, which again in some measures means more complexity achieved though not necessarily retained).

What we definitely can’t say is that “humans are far more complex than chimps”. We may build more complex brains or more complex societies, but that is largely epiphenomenal and a small part of the observed evolutionary complexity, information or whatever strawman-for-biology creationists gets off of.

Has anyone ever tried to teach a chimp to write?

If jackasses and weasels can learn to use keyboards, I’d have to think that chimps would have a fighting chance.

raven Wrote:

I’ve never seen any convincing evidence that macroevolution is anything more than microevolution X N. If anyone knows of such, post it.

Macroevolution

Science Avenger — Before I retired, I was a reviewer of papers with high mathematical content, sometimes for maths journals. I quickly learned to spot oversights and actual mistakes by reading the phrase It’s obvious that …

RealBullDada blithered thusly:

As we know, complexity is awfully hard to quantify or define…

And as we also know, your “arguments” on this subject have absolutely no validity unless and until you can define and quantify “complexity.” Until then, Skippy, you have absolutely nothing to contribute to this debate.

Whether you like to admit it or not, genetic inheritance is still very poorly understood.

Given your obvious and consistent ignorance on EVERY subject on which you’ve bloviated, why should we trust you to judge how well others understand anything?

Sorry, boy, we’re all well ahead of you, and have been for some time; and the more time you spend pretending we’re all as ignorant as you, the further ahead we get. Buh-bye…

Whether you like to admit it or not, genetic inheritance is still very poorly understood.

Really? I seem to remember something from grade school about mommies and daddies. What was that all about?

It looks to me like realpc is confusing human cultural development with human biological evolutionary development– a common mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. We think we are complex because we use complex things like cars and computers and airplanes, but in fact none of us knows how to construct any of those things. Even the chief designer at Boeing can’t tell you how to make the plastics or prospect, mine and smelt the metal in the plane he designed. The complexity comes from the division of labor, not from the evolution of a single human brain. Hunter-gatherers do not, in fact, have radically more complex societies than chimps. The thing they do have which is radically different is art– in the form of songs, dances, story-telling and plastic arts (including makeup and other body decorations.) In other words, there was one big shift between chimps and humans– to being able to visualize and communicate symbolically. Our complex societies are simply a secondary after-effect of that one change. And the latest evidence I’ve seen (based, admittedly, on popular presentations of science) is that the human brain doesn’t seem to have any additional features from any other apes – it just has a runaway expansion of gray matter. Now, runaway evolutionary changes are generally associated with sexual selection. And the fact that the arts, including makeup and fashion– which have no other use than enhancing one’s apparent sexual fitness– were developed tens of millenia before useful things like agriculture would indicate that our complex human brains are no different from the peacock’s complex tail– another proof of sexual selection run amok. This may be hard to swallow for Christians and Muslims who distain sexuality as a sign of our animal natures, but there you have it. It’s probably our randiness that made us what we are today.

Realpc Wrote:

I NEVER argued against common ancestry, or evolution, or random mutations, or natural selection. I don’t think any scientific ID advocate would either.

Yes, we all know that few if any ID advocates ever argue directly against common ancestry - or the other terms you mention, although they often do use nonstandard definitions.

Realpc Wrote:

And I don’t care what right-wing religious Christian creationists think about any of this. They are not scientific, so their opinions on science don’t matter to me.

Well, you better care, because “right-wing religious Christian creationists” are more than ever using the arguments of IDers to validate their demonstrably falsified, and mutually contradictory, accounts of biological history. With their literalist views vindicated in their minds, they then justify their particular interpretation of the Bible’s moral code. ID activists do nothing to stop that, and if the Wedge Document is any indication, they actively encouraging it.

Mike Dunford Wrote:

Funny. I know that there are plenty of people on the religious right who find macroevolution to be as morally objectionable as obscenity…

In fact they also find microevolution (natural selection, “survival of the fittest” etc.) to be as morally objectionable as obscenity. While the rank and file are mostly just confused, the activists, whether IDer or classic creationist, surely know that they are pulling a bait-and-switch.

Stevearoni wrote, responding to quoted material (in quotes and bold):

“no monkey, despite the common metaphor, will ever type — much less write — the Iliad”

As usual, the YEC’s get the timeline wrong.

The bolded phrase was written by Stephen Gould, in his Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Harvard U Press, 1977, p. 405).

i submit that the difference between macro and micro evolution is a function of time. If you except one how can you not except the other.

OK, let’s see, what of our questions has Paul answered? I mean ever?

The fact is that his wont is to actively ignore everything that has been said, and to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

So I’m not saying that he has never answered anything at all, as #185921 was even a very slight and trivial “answer”. But I can’t remember a big question that he’s answered, like the one with which I started out the comments.

And let’s go ahead and say why: He knows no answers to questions like those. He faults the “atheist scientists” for following the guidelines set out by primarily theistic philosophers and scientists during an age that still believed, and he can’t give any reason for his false statements against “his neighbor”.

So it goes with Xians like him, bringing disrepute and disrespect on all Xians (though if people were better and more fair judges, Paul would not be seen to reflect upon, say, Newton and Dobzhansky). He proves neither to be competent nor intellectually honest, just a wretched propagandist for a particular set of liars of this age. He has no answers, or he’d provide them.

Glen D

hoary puccoon Wrote:

In other words, there was one big shift between chimps and humans— to being able to visualize and communicate symbolically. Our complex societies are simply a secondary after-effect of that one change.

Avtually, it seems neuroscientists finds that neural structures such as ours spontaneously form symbol-like patterns when they learn, explaining why training sets doesn’t automatically lead to overtraining as in simple algorithmic (or machine) learning. And the (so far known to be) needed prefrontal cortex seems to have an homolog in most or all mammals.

Symbolic thought is probably a very basic ability - but it is as noted above facility of visualization and communication that makes societies go boom.

hoary puccoon Wrote:

would indicate that our complex human brains are no different from the peacock’s complex tail— another proof of sexual selection run amok.

Big balls vs big brains, eh?

I must admit that the findings of the amount of substitution in immune and reproductive system genes vs brain genes between chimps and human (as reported on another thread here) is suggestive. As is the fact of a menstrual cycle in great apes, and the cryptic version among humans.

Associating brain gene change with reproductive gene change seems to be a fair first order guesstimate.

Paul Nelson Wrote:

Stevearoni [sic!] wrote … The bolded phrase was written by Stephen Gould

Glen Davidson Wrote:

#185921 was even a very slight and trivial “answer”

Indeed it was an “answer”, because I think stevaroni pointed out that the phrase is only problematic when used unwittingly by YEC’s. Paul Nelson is, I believe, a professed YEC:er.

TL Wrote:

facility of visualization

Thinking further, since birds and mammals seems to visualize fine when problem-solving, as for example demonstrated by ravens fishing up food hanging from strings, I would strike that and go for the facilitated ability to communicate as the foremost prerequisite for forming our type of complex society. (Where our plasticity makes for the flexibility when compared to for example ants and bees.)

And thinking even further, I now have one of those “duh!” moments. :-)

I’m still awaiting Ontogenetic Depth. Once we get a good description of it, we can put it on the shelf with Irreducible Complexity, Complex Specified Information, the Explanatory Filter, all the other capitalized pseudoscientific notions these guys have produced which have completely failed to amount to anything.

I’m still waiting on whether Paul Nelson will accept moral responsibility for any children who die because of the HIV/AIDS denial he and his cohorts have attached their name to.

So how about it, Paul? I am personally much more interested in letting the public know about your rationalizations for killing children than in your rationalizations for your baldfaced lies about what biologists said three decades ago.

I’m still waiting on whether Paul Nelson will accept moral responsibility for any children who die because of the HIV/AIDS denial he and his cohorts have attached their name to.

What is so special about kids dying of HIV/AIDS. 40 million people are infected worldwide, 3 million die of AIDS each year. Got to hand it to the polykook deniers at the DI. If you are going to encourage and cheer on mass killings, go for the big ones.

In the unlikely event the polykooks are reading this and have any integrity and conscience they could always clarify their position on large scale human dieoffs.

More likely they will add malaria and TB (the other 2 top disease killers) to the list of diseases that don’t exist. Germ theory of disease denial is the up and coming delusion.

realPC writes:

“Macroevolution involves an increase in complexity, while microevolution involves adaptations of existing features.”

I’m sorry, but can you give any references to the peer-reviewed professional literature that define those terms as you do above?

Macroevolution referes to evolutionary processes operating above the population level; speciation, extinction, etc.

“An example of adaptation is a change in coloring from light to dark, especially when the potential for both colors already exists.”

yes, that is what we would be called microevolution.

“It doesn’t matter how much DNA humans and chimps have in common, the difference in complexity is obvious. Chimps are intelligent and live in complex societies, but they are still much simpler than the simplest human societies.”

What does that have to with biological complexity?

Beavers build dams. Does that make them more complex than a rat?

“As we know, complexity is awfully hard to quantify or define.”

None the less, you made a claim that chimps are less complex than humans.

I hope I really am misunderstanding Paul’s argument, because if I’m not it’s embarrassingly bad.

Nelson is a dishonest git. I’m always amused when people expect arguments that aren’t embarrassingly bad from his sort.

It doesn’t matter how much DNA humans and chimps have in common, the difference in complexity is obvious. Chimps are intelligent and live in complex societies, but they are still much simpler than the simplest human societies.

The difference in societies is obviously largely a consequence of humans having language and related conceptual apparatus and chimps lacking it. To equate the difference between microevolution and macroevolution to “complexity” and then note the difference in “complexity” of human and chimp societies and then use that as an answer to Mike Dunford’s question is incredibly absurd ad hoc sophistry, but that’s realpc for you. How about cats and dogs and octopi? Must be microevolution, because there is no “obvious difference in complexity”.

None the less, you made a claim that chimps are less complex than humans.

He claimed that chimp society is much simpler than human society. I agree with that, but it doesn’t make his argument any less ridiculous.

The bolded phrase was written by Stephen Gould, in his Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Harvard U Press, 1977, p. 405).

Bully for him. We don’t worship Stephen Gould, and we quote mined arguments from authority as fallacious.

Now, when are you going to stop being such an ass and give a straight answer to the question? Never? Hey, big surprise.

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 7, column 52, byte 502 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

“We pity them for taking form so far below ourselves, but therein we err - and err greatly…” -Beston

Schmidt wrote:

“If evolution had/has no conscious direction (and I’m not saying that it does), then what set of laws drives the evolutionary process? Our answers are woefully inadequate using the library of natural knowlege that we have accumulated so far.”

This is in fact correct, but only to a certain extent. It depends on how much explanatory power you demand from a theory.

We have decided the most basic and important fact, the historical fact of descent woth modification. We have determined the two most basic processes responsible, “random” mutation and natural selection. We have come a long way in understanding the basic mechanisms of inheritance, molecular biology and development. We have a fairly good knowledge of basic population level phenomenon including drift. We have come a very long way in our knowledge of differnt mechanisms of selection, their limitations and consequences. Of course there is still a lot to learn in all of these fields and more (and a good thing for those of us working in these fields).

As far as prediction is concerned, we cannot predict with any real accuracy exactly what trajectory will be taken by any individual lineage, or the entire biosphere, in the future. Partly this is because of our lack of understanding. Partly this is because of the random element in mutations and drift. Partly this is because of the fact that evolution involves response to the environment and we cannot predict with arrcuray exactly how the environment will change (unfortunately for those warning of global warming).

However, we can make some very definitive probabilistic predictions based on current knowledge. For example, most would consider it extremely unlikely that the type of life that has come to dominate the planet could ever evolve again, given the way in which life has changed the environment. It is also extremely unlikely that certain combinations of morphological characters will ever evolve (i.e. fill in the empty spots in the tree of life), due to historical contingency and functional constraint. We can predict with some confidence that evolution is not over, for our species or most others now living (the exceptions being those that are doomed to extinction in the very near future).

As for the future of the human speices, that is a matter of considerable debate. We now have the technological ability to control our own evolution, at least to a certain extent. The question is, what will we choose for ourselves? We will have the wisdom to choose a bright future of knowledge, progress and achievement, or will we choose to move backwards or even destroy ourselves? Evolutionary theory does not have the answer to this question, but human beings will answer it, one way or another.

Hey Paul, as long as you’re avoiding all of the questions you can’t answer, which is about all of them, I’d like to ask you how anyone would know if humans are related to each other. I mean, apparently you’re willing to think that it’s just a coincidence that humans and chimps share 95% + of the same DNA, or that for some unfathomable reason your creator decided to design in a way that would look like evolution occurred.

Now all humans share 99.5 to 99.8 percent of the same genetic information, but I don’t see why we should expect common inheritance to account for this fact if the similarities between chimps and humans aren’t supposed to stem from common inheritance. So will you bite the bullet and admit that it may very well be that humans in South America are not actually related to humans in Australia? As you asked previously (and obtusely), if the similarities are supposed to mean common descent, what are the differences supposed to mean?

And please give us a sound scientific epistemology based upon your inconsistent view of things. See, I don’t know how to tell if chimps are related to humans, if Australian aborigenes are related to Eskimos, or if I’m related to my (purported) Mom (note that I didn’t witness my own birth, and if there are similarites, then what of the differences? Come on Paul, you try to pretend that you have answers, cough them up). Inform us about pattern recognition, relationships, and the cause-effect expectations from your design model.

If you don’t answer again I just might have to suspect that you have nothing legitimate to say. Huh, imagine that conclusion.

Glen D http://geocities.com/interelectromagnetic

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Dunford published on July 3, 2007 2:21 PM.

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