Corny Experiments

| 24 Comments

Biologist Stephen Matheson describes some cool evolutionary biology experiments:

Even better, though, would be to find an example of evolutionary change in which the new and old forms are still living, so that one could do the before-and-after comparison. It would look something like this: take a species, subject it to evolutionary influences of some kind until the descendants look significantly different from the ancestors, then compare the genomes (or developmental processes) of the descendant and the ancestor, in hopes of discovering the types of changes at the genetic or developmental level that gave rise to the differences in appearance or function of the organisms. That would be a cool experiment.

In fact, that kind of experiment has been done, more than once. The best example, in my opinion, involves an organism far less sexy than a dinosaur or a finch or a whale: Zea mays, better known as corn (or maize).

If that’s got you hungry for more, head on over to his blog and read the entire article.

24 Comments

This is genetics not evolutionism. The monk Mendel discovered this principle without denying the reality Jesus’ resurrection! A true evolutionist experiment would be to leave a rock out in the sun and see if a rain forest grows on it! This is what Darwin said would happen!

Urgh.

Where are the head-banging smilies when we really need them?

Polegreaser sez:

“A true evolutionist experiment would be to leave a rock out in the sun and see if a rain forest grows on it!”

I tried that in the backyard of my Puerto Rico house. It worked. So evolution is a proven fact. You can go home, now.

hoary puccoon:

Polegreaser sez:

“A true evolutionist experiment would be to leave a rock out in the sun and see if a rain forest grows on it!”

I tried that in the backyard of my Puerto Rico house. It worked. So evolution is a proven fact. You can go home, now.

I should have been more specific. You need to place the rock in an environment devoid of life, kinda like the moon.

The Illinois long-term corn experiment is also an interesting example of selection in action. Starting in 1896, one population has been continuously selected for high oil content and another for low oil content. The high oil-content population mean exceeded the values found in any of the original population many generations ago and shows no sign of reaching a limit. There have, of course, been numerous studies and experiments done on plants from these populations.

Pole Greaser: You have completely missed the point.

I should have been more specific. You need to place the rock in an environment devoid of life, kinda like the moon.

Talk about moving the goalposts!

Please ignore the parody. I don’t want to have to send this thread to the bathroom wall.

A true evolutionist experiment would be to leave a rock out in the sun and see if a rain forest grows on it!

I should have been more specific. You need to place the rock in an environment devoid of life, kinda like the moon.

I’s called the Guiana Shield.

Sorry Reed. Just very recently I saw an article that indicates that two very similar looking plants, considered the same species, were found to be different species by genetic barcoding. Unfortunately I can’t recall the reference. Has anyone else seen it? The relation between morphology and genetics remains nonlinear.

Thanks for the link! The teosinte story is very cool, and it’s approachable. There’s even a dig at “junk DNA” (Curse that phrase!) in the article about the distant enhancer (Nature Genetics 2006). I hope the blog entry gets more people to Doebley’s excellent web site.

An even better study might be dogs! lots of varied phenotypes, short evolutionary history.

Richard Simons:

The Illinois long-term corn experiment is also an interesting example of selection in action. Starting in 1896, one population has been continuously selected for high oil content and another for low oil content. The high oil-content population mean exceeded the values found in any of the original population many generations ago and shows no sign of reaching a limit. There have, of course, been numerous studies and experiments done on plants from these populations.

Pole Greaser: You have completely missed the point.

This example as well as the one in the OP creates no new information, just variation within a kind. It is you who has missed the point!

Evolutionist have said all that is needed for new information to be created is an external supply of energy. This predicts life should sprout up whenever such a supply exists. If the external energy from the sun created life from rocks here on earth, why did it not do the same on the moon?

Bill Gascoyne:

I should have been more specific. You need to place the rock in an environment devoid of life, kinda like the moon.

Talk about moving the goalposts!

Pole Greasser said: A true evolutionist experiment would be to leave a rock out in the sun and see if a rain forest grows on it! This is what Darwin said would happen!

Now tell us what a true Intelligent Design Creationim experiment would be like? How would you know the designer was causing or preventing any particular result? If you repeat the experiment - would the intelligence be forced to perform the same way or can it perform differently and give you a different result? How do you account for that in your experiment?

Pole Greaser:

This example as well as the one in the OP creates no new information, just variation within a kind. It is you who has missed the point!

Hey! You’re right! Evolution is just “variation within a kind.” Mushrooms and hippos: variations within a kind (eukaryotes). Man, that’s a really useful insight. Have a nice day!

Oh wait. Before you go, could you toss me a link for that whole rock/rain forest thing that Darwin said would happen? I’d love to blog on it, but I haven’t been able to find the quote. Fortunately for both of us, Darwin’s work is freely available online. Just a little hint?

It’s still just teosinte!

Yo, Pole Greaser,

I give. Are you making a parody of a dumb creationist, or are you serious?

It’s really hard to tell, since so many creationists say things so dumb that it’s hard to do a parody with something that is an exaggeration of creationist thinking. No matter how dumb it is, a bunch of creationists proclaim it loudly (and their leaders rarely if ever call them on it).

P.S.: Your name suggests parody, too. Perhaps a masturbation reference?

Corn, the atheist’s nightmare.

:)

Steve Matheson:

Pole Greaser:

This example as well as the one in the OP creates no new information, just variation within a kind. It is you who has missed the point!

Hey! You’re right! Evolution is just “variation within a kind.” Mushrooms and hippos: variations within a kind (eukaryotes). Man, that’s a really useful insight. Have a nice day!

What kind of Darwinian nonsense are you spewing. None of those links had anything to do with mushrooms and hippos–only corn to corn. The level of information remained the same. Now, if you could change mushrooms to hippos just by adding energy–that would be an increase in the level of information without intelligent design. Why can’t Darwinists do this?

Oh wait. Before you go, could you toss me a link for that whole rock/rain forest thing that Darwin said would happen? I’d love to blog on it, but I haven’t been able to find the quote. Fortunately for both of us, Darwin’s work is freely available online. Just a little hint?

I will just as soon as you provide me with confirmation of the mushroom/hippo thing!

Re “I will just as soon as you provide me with confirmation of the mushroom/hippo thing!”

The lineages that became animals and fungi separated from each other long before mushrooms or hippos arose.

Mushrooms are such fun gi’s, aren’t they?

Henry

Evolutionist have said all that is needed for new information to be created is an external supply of energy. This predicts life should sprout up whenever such a supply exists. If the external energy from the sun created life from rocks here on earth, why did it not do the same on the moon?

Actually, both evolutionists and creationists can run the exact same experiment, place a rock in the sun and see if life grows on it.

As you point out, the moon will do nicely.

Of course, in the evolutionary model of things, nothing happens by magic, so we can specify certain prerequisites, like energy, of course, reactive molecules, and some kind of environment which allows chemical activity where self-replicating molecules (simple amino acids are obviously preferred, but there are other options) can interact.

The moon supplies no such opportunity, so far as we can tell, so the evolutionary experiment fails. (BTW, the model of self replicating molecules without suitable environment is thereby falsified something creationists say never happens in evolutionary theory).

On the other hand, there is absolutely no such prerequisite on the designer, who seems to be capable of making life out of nothing in a good, old-fashioned, old-testament way. Assuming your designer to be, well, Godly, there’s no reason at all that he couldn’t have made the moon lush rainforest, assuming he existed.

The moon isn’t, I would point out, lush rainforest. Evolution doesn’t expect it to be. Your side has no excuse, other than whimsy.

When asked:

“Before you go, could you toss me a link for that whole rock/rain forest thing that Darwin said would happen?”

Pole Greaser responded:

“I will just as soon as you provide me with confirmation of the mushroom/hippo thing!”

In other words, you are just another creationist troll making shit up. That’s assuming you are serious at all. “Pole Greaser” is a bit much.

Testing publishing queue.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on October 25, 2007 4:35 PM.

Logic v Intelligent Design: Dawkins “Darwinism leads to Fascism” was the previous entry in this blog.

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