Macroevolution, an unexplainable process

Author: IlDiavolo ,

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  • IlDiavolo
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    Before going on with the matter at hand, I want to make clear that this thread is not meant to stir things up. I understand that this kind of subjects usually tend to divide opinions according to people's beliefs. Broadly speaking, religious people would stand for creationism (if ithere is such thing in the scientific community), and atheists would stand for the many theories of evolution that exist out there. As I don't stand for any of them, I will give my informed, unbiased opinion as to what I know about the subject, which is not little. You're free to dissent as long as you do it with respect and without bias.

    1. With the fossils found thus far, it's undenieable that evolution did come about. NEVERTHELESS, evolution doesn't mean that species evolved by themselves or evolved out of nothing. There are yet unknown mechanisms that triggered such changes, especially the big ones, meanwhile we have some theories that attempt to explain this evolution, one of them is the Synthetic theory based principally on mutation and natural selection, which is the most accepted among scientists, and also the most controversial. However, many people still confuse the concept of evolution with the theories that try to explain it. Evolution is a fact, what it's not a fact yet is the mechanisms of change that made evolution possible. That being said, if I disagree with the postulate of one of these theories, like for example the Synthetic theory, these confused people would get jumpy inmediately and will accuse me of being a creationst or even worse of being a religious guy, which would be a fallacy.

    2. It's useless to explain the differences between microevolution and macroevolution, so I will make it short. Microevolution is more of an adaptation to the environment in which mutuation and natural selection play an important role. However, contrary to what people believe, microevolution doesn't lead to macroevolution or speciation because of one simple reason, animals micro-evolve to develop traits they already hold on their DNA, like for example the skin's or fur's color which can change, but a terrestrial animal can't grow wings to fly because this trait should be created at DNA level or be taken from somewhere. In other words, the Synthetic theory of evolution can't explain macroevolution, or in other case the theory is incomplete.

    It is fair to say then that the most accepted theory of evolution has problems to explain the speciation and hence the evolution. As a result, scientists should acknowledge humbly that natural selection and mutuation are prone to criticism. What I observe nowadays though is that scientists consider the Synthetic theory as true and unique, and any attempt to criticise the orthodox theory, as I actually do, could be refuted by the false argument that it comes from creationists or religious people, which is not true.

    Il Diavolo
  • keithprosser
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    animals micro-evolve to develop traits they already hold on their DNA, like for example the skin's or fur's color which can change, but a terrestrial animal can't grow wings to fly because this trait should be created at DNA level or be taken from somewhere.
    You seem to be saying that to have a wing a critter needs a new set of genes that encodes how to make a wing.   The counter argument is that wings aren't made by a new set of genes but by modification of existing genes for front legs or arms.  

  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @keithprosser
    I mean new genetic information should be created because an arm is totally different to a wing. It's not the same as the skin color that adapt to the environment because this adaptation is written in the DNA code. In contrast, for big changes like the arm/wing, the genes might need to be changed, but the genetic information is going to be new because it wasn't in the DNA code before.

    Il Diavolo
  • keithprosser
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    I mean new genetic information should be created because an arm is totally different to a wing.
    I think "an arm is totally different to a wing" is debatable!

  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @keithprosser
    I think "an arm is totally different to a wing" is debatable!

    Keith, use your critical thinking please, and don't let your beliefs mislead you.

    It's not just a morphological difference. Having a wing is not just to have an "arm" with feathers, which is already a great difference, but it's also to have the knowhow of flying written in the genetic code.

    And if you go further, you will see that flying needs an engineering system which is a set of information that doesn't appear magically.

    Il Diavolo
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    Let’s ignore for the moment, the demonstrable process of gene duplication, which fundamental refutes you’re entire position in its own right; what you’re doing is presenting your own arbitrary opinion (rather than anything supported by evidence) as if it’s some impassable genetic barrier:

    For example let’s start with an antelope type creature. 

    It loses its hair, it’s nose gets smaller and higher - I’m sure just micro evolution of traits. It’s legs get smaller, it’s hands get bigger. The layer of fat beneath its skin gets thicker, it’s lungs get bigger, tail gets longer and flatter. The back legs get so small they are invisible.

    And oops - you now have a whale from an antelope. There’s no major leaps, no new traits - just minor changes in size and shape that we have substantial and ample experimental and observational evidence to know can easily change.

    Take a Fish, make the skeleton at the tip of the fins more boney, thin the lining of the swim bladder, harden the scales, make the central fin spin thicker, and point all boney spins downwards From the end of the fin - and increase the size of swim bladder and - oops you have an amphibian.


    The main problem you have is you have a massively naive and oversimplistic understanding of organism development. You’re viewing DNA as if a trait is a thing you can trace to a definable gene. Sure, eye colour is traceable to a gene, hair colour too: but an arm? There is no arm gene, there are thousands of different genes that turn on and turn off in a particular combination and order: yielding an arm - but also contribute to legs, chest, neck and others. 

    The building blocks of the arm? Genes that mediate proteins that are unique to Skin cells, bone, veins, muscles, tendons, etc: have barely changed. 

    In that sense the idea that an “arm” is genetically much different than a wing is nonsensical. They’re pretty much the same thing just with different gene expressions controlled by very mutable genes that we can see changing in all animals today.





  • Ramshutu
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    This is a surprisingly accurate, and catchy explanation of the development of organisms - and how this plays into evolution.


  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @Ramshutu
    I thought the OP was clear. But let's get started again anyway.

    The point is not whether evolution happened or not. I already said it, evolution is a fact. What I try to point out here is that the mechanisms that try to explain it are insufficient, or even more they are unfit for explaining evolution. Your post didn't address it, not one bit. What you just did is show what we all know, that there has been evolution. But let's see it a little closer,

    The main problem you have is you have a massively naive and oversimplistic understanding of organism development. You’re viewing DNA as if a trait is a thing you can trace to a definable gene. Sure, eye colour is traceable to a gene, hair colour too: but an arm? There is no arm gene, there are thousands of different genes that turn on and turn off in a particular combination and order: yielding an arm - but also contribute to legs, chest, neck and others. 

    The building blocks of the arm? Genes that mediate proteins that are unique to Skin cells, bone, veins, muscles, tendons, etc: have barely changed. 

    In that sense the idea that an “arm” is genetically much different than a wing is nonsensical. They’re pretty much the same thing just with different gene expressions controlled by very mutable genes that we can see changing in all animals today.
    Show me please where I said an "arm gene" or something like that. I refered to traits as genetic information in a broad sense, and I didn't get into details.

    For example let’s start with an antelope type creature. 

    It loses its hair, it’s nose gets smaller and higher - I’m sure just micro evolution of traits. It’s legs get smaller, it’s hands get bigger. The layer of fat beneath its skin gets thicker, it’s lungs get bigger, tail gets longer and flatter. The back legs get so small they are invisible.

    And oops - you now have a whale from an antelope. There’s no major leaps, no new traits - just minor changes in size and shape that we have substantial and ample experimental and observational evidence to know can easily change.

    Take a Fish, make the skeleton at the tip of the fins more boney, thin the lining of the swim bladder, harden the scales, make the central fin spin thicker, and point all boney spins downwards From the end of the fin - and increase the size of swim bladder and - oops you have an amphibian.
    Alright, what you forgot to explain is how it did happened, because you're explaining evolution as if animals were plasticine that you can mold at will. Besides, it's not just a morphological change, there are physiological changes as well.

    The big question is if random mutations and natural selection are sufficient to truly explain what you just described. The answer is no, as this article explains (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/mar/19/evolution-darwin-natural-selection-genes-wrong). Synthetic Theory is so plain and simplistic that common sense seems to reject it. The major problem of it is that scientists consider the dissenting arguments as blasphemy, and that could limit further findings.

    So, going back to the Synthetic Theory, what we have so far is just a bunch of explanations and hypothesis, like macromutation or Punctuated Equilibria, coming from several disciplines trying to synthesize all in one theory, but to be honest there is no such a unique explanation. No scientist would explain macroevolution because of a simple reason, there is no way to do that.

    Il Diavolo
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    Who said animals are plasticine that can be moulded at will?

    Take terrestrial vertebrates, pretty much every sincle one has a very similar body plan - four appendages, cranium, jaw, backbone eukaryotic cells, some variation of keritomous covering: hair, feathers, scales. 

    The evidencs shows animals are not very plastic at all.


    Considering your OP, is talking about how macro evolution can’t be considered as a series of changes as it can only be driven of existing DNA - I explained that this is not the case - that major morphological changes are by definition explainable by small changes if you understand how organism development works.

    As you don’t appear to have any response other than changing the subject onto something different, can I surmise that you’re conceding the point?
  • Stronn
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    The big question is if random mutations and natural selection are sufficient to truly explain what you just described. The answer is no, as this article explains (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/mar/19/evolution-darwin-natural-selection-genes-wrong).
    That article says nothing about mutations and natural selection being insufficient at explaining macroevolution. It is about epigenetics. The idea is that an organism's behavior and environment can, to a limited extent, affect certain traits inherited by its descendants. The vast majority of change over long periods of time, however, are still explicable by natural selection. Epigenetics just acts as a fine-tuning knob on that evolution. 

  • mustardness
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    --> @IlDiavolo


    18 Dec 2018
    What'sNEW about HGT |
    Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) is the only source for all of the evolutionary innovations observed among all of the bacterial clades examined.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    28 Oct 2018
    What'sNEW about HGT |
    The lateral transfer of bacterial genes by viruses can be 1000-fold more effective than previously known, when mutliple transducing phages carrying only bacterial DNA are released to infect other cells.



  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @Ramshutu
    Considering your OP, is talking about how macro evolution can’t be considered as a series of changes as it can only be driven of existing DNA - I explained that this is not the case - that major morphological changes are by definition explainable by small changes if you understand how organism development works.
    I think you didn't notice that there are not just "small changes" in evolution theory anymore. Actually, scientists talk about two kind of changes, micromutations and macromutations. Guess why they introduced that terminology, because they weren't able to explain the large gap between fossils, so they made up the term "macromutation" which could satisfy the flaws of Darwinism.

    If you see in detail this theory you will realise it's just a fancy attempt to explain the unexplainable, there is no way to explain macroevolution with random mutations and natural selection, leta alone with macromutations. The natural perspective scientists use to approach evolution is useless and short-sighted.

    Il Diavolo
  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @Stronn
    That article says nothing about mutations and natural selection being insufficient at explaining macroevolution. It is about epigenetics. The idea is that an organism's behavior and environment can, to a limited extent, affect certain traits inherited by its descendants. The vast majority of change over long periods of time, however, are still explicable by natural selection. Epigenetics just acts as a fine-tuning knob on that evolution. 
    No, the article is not that evident, that is right. If you read again it refers to Darwininsm, meaning random mutation and natural selection.

    The article points out that a naturalist perspective is not enough to explain evolution, because epigenetics have proved it wrong.

    Il Diavolo

  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @mustardness
    I heard about that. Evolution migh have happened by transfering genetic information from another living matter. It's a good hypothesis, but I really doubt the orthodox scientists will give in to that.

  • Ramshutu
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    I don’t think you understand what a micro and macro mutation actually are.

    You're arguing as if macro mutations are large genomic changes. They’re not. 

    If you have a mutation in the gene for eye colour, you may have blue eyes. If you have the same mutation in a Hox gene, you’ll not develop with legs.

    Micro and Macro don’t describe the substance of the mutation itself, but the impact they have on the phenotype. Even were they not, it’s doesn’t matter, as macro mutations definitely do exist, and are observed repeatedly.


    So I really don’t get what you’re trying to say: are you trying to say that the thing we can objectively see today doesn’t exist? Or are you simply misunderstanding how genetics work for the second time in this thread.


    I’m assuming, once again, that as you’re not really defending the initial claim at all - you’ve conceded the point?



  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @Ramshutu
    I understand more than you think.

    Macromutations are not large genomic changes? You must be thinking macromutation is micromutation at large scale. It's not, I'm afraid.


    You claimed evolution happened by gradual changes, but I showed you this is not sustained anymore by modern scientists. Scientists don't have much of a choice, I guess.

    If you show me a clear scientific explanation that proves macroevolution is possible with random mutations and natural selection, just one, I will give in. But since there is no such a thing because all of them are just beautiful stories that vainly attemp tp explain how the magic hand of natural selection mould animals as if they were plasticine (notice it's just irony), I will keep criticising Darwininsm which is the orthodox theory of evolution.


    Even panspermia seems to be more logical.

    Il Diavolo
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    Actually you either don’t understand, or you literally have not read what I said. The latter would not surprise me, as you’ve gone multiple posts now where you have ignored the key point.

    I literally explained the difference, with a specific example, of what a micro and macro mutation are - they are the same thing in different places that present wildly different effects.


    So yes, I understand what it is - I literally explained what it is. Why are you replying to me when you’re not even reading what I’ve said?
  • Stronn
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    The article points out that a naturalist perspective is not enough to explain evolution, because epigenetics have proved it wrong.
    Have you actually read the article? 'f so, you are either misunderstanding or misrepresenting it. It mentions nothing about naturalism, or that a naturalist perspective is insufficient to explain evolution. Epigenetics is, in fact, just another naturalistic process.


  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    I mean new genetic information should be created because an arm is totally different to a wing.
    A mammalian arm, wing and flipper have the same number of bones and joints arranged in a somewhat (but not totally) different configuration.

    Macro-evolution has been observed in the stickleback - http://www.bozemanscience.com/stickleback-evolution

  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @Ramshutu
    Would you mind presenting a case of macromutation, no matter if it was induced in a lab, in which just turning on and off genes it's possible to turn one species to another one?

    If it's that easy as you say I guest scientists migh have proved it in a lab. But remember, only turning on and off genes as you said, it's not allowed to create new information.

    I can't imagine a mice growing wings just turning on and off some genes. That would be a technological breakthrough.

    Il Diavolo
  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @Stronn
    Have you actually read the article? 'f so, you are either misunderstanding or misrepresenting it. It mentions nothing about naturalism, or that a naturalist perspective is insufficient to explain evolution. Epigenetics is, in fact, just another naturalistic process.

    Yes, I did. Maybe I didn't explain myself properly. When I say naturalistic perspective, I refer to the belief that natural selection is the main engine or mechanism for evolution, because it's the nature that make evolution possible, which is not so true according to the article.

    What the article says is that random mutations and natural selection are not enough to explain evolution. Darwinism disregards several factors such as epigenetics and other discoveries like for example horizontal evolution which states that genetic information might be transfered from other organisms.

    Il Diavolo
  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @3RU7AL
    A mammalian arm, wing and flipper have the same number of bones and joints arranged in a somewhat (but not totally) different configuration.

    Macro-evolution has been observed in the stickleback - http://www.bozemanscience.com/stickleback-evolution

    This is not macroevolution, but micro-e, almost adaptation to a hostile environment.
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    Sure, does that hat mean you are conceding every response you’ve ignored thus far?
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @IlDiavolo
    A chicken embryo with a dinosaur-like snout instead of a beak has been developed by scientists


    Dolphin with hind legs


  • IlDiavolo
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    --> @Ramshutu
    I think I addressed all your posts.

    But feel free to show me what I requested. That would put an end to this thread and I will go with the tail between the legs.