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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

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Has man evolved?

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The Probability Of Being

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Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Apr 1. 2 Replies

A new theory explaining the origins of life?

Started by Donald L. Engel. Last reply by Donald L. Engel Mar 31. 5 Replies

Map of Archaic Ancestry

Started by Qiana-Maieev. Last reply by Joseph P Mar 29. 5 Replies

Homo Erectus food processing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 19. 1 Reply

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Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 13, 2015 at 5:49am

I'm not a biologist, so this is just what seems wrong to me with your review.

"Take as an example a blueprint for a two-stroke gasoline engine; damage leading to a shaving of metal from the engine case could make the engine more efficient in use."

You talk about "damage" in relation to things being chipped away, but in evolution it would seem to me that "damage" is an alteration, the organism doesn't become less it becomes different; it could lead as much adding something to the car you mention as taking something away (and just a stray thought but cars have changed and got better over time, but where are all the failed attempts? ;) )

"“If the mutant gene were opposed, even by a very minute selective disadvantage, the change would be brought to a standstill at a very early stage.” He doesn’t explain why this process would be faster than how a mutant gene being favored would lead to it gaining in frequency."

So if I understand it, it something like this - an opposed mutation is one that gets to reproduce less than the starting condition for any particular reason, a favoured mutation is one that gets to reproduce more. Because the favoured mutation increases in the population it's rate of increase increases over time as well, clearly this is not a feature of an opposed mutation.

"“In addition to the defective mutations, which by their conspicuousness attract attention, we may reasonably suppose that other less obvious mutations are occurring which, at least in certain surroundings, or in certain combinations, might prove themselves to be beneficial.” He doesn’t explain why beneficial genes will attract less attention"

Again I don't know the book (or the author), don't know what he wrote before or after, but he might be thinking of something like this. Compare a man born with poor eyesight with one born with better than average eyesight. Which do you think attracts more attention?

You end by saying he is a proponent of eugenics, I don't know why this has anything to do with the rest of the article. He might of believed in fairies but that would also seem irrelevant.

Hope this is helpful.

Comment by Donald L. Engel on February 12, 2015 at 7:14pm

This conversation is going on in at least two places on Nexus, and I don't know how I keep getting bounced from one string to the other.  It seems like it is different people on each string.

Comment by Shaun Johnston on February 12, 2015 at 8:41am

As recently as 2010 Fisher was Richard Dawkins’ choice for the greatest biologist since Darwin: "He therefore could be said to have provided researchers in biology and medicine with their most important research tools, as well as with the modern version of biology’s central theorem.”

If that central theorem is faulty, the modern synthesis collapses. In my review I detail precisely where I think Fisher is wrong. If you go to that review, it's laid out there, for anyone to see and follow along. Do please pass the link along to people able to assess Fisher's work. 

Comment by Joseph P on February 12, 2015 at 6:22am

The problem is that Shaun is carrying it from seems supernatural to is supernatural, without justifying that jump.  It's similar to the argument from design, in which they say that something seems designed then treat it as if it is designed.  That's absolutely crappy reasoning.

Hell, Shaun didn't even make an argument that coherent, in his post about Natural Selection being supernatural.  He just asserted it, flat-out.

The big problem I have is that he's presenting his borderline-incoherent ramblings here, in a forum with a bunch of people who aren't qualified to evaluate his claims.  If he actually had something, he would be presenting it to real scientists and trying to get it published in a peer-reviewed journal.

What he's engaging in is equivalent to what the 9/11 Truthers do.  If he has a better model for biological evolution, I'd love to hear it, but he has yet to even hint at such a thing.

Comment by Joan Denoo on February 11, 2015 at 9:06pm

Of course, natural selection is not beyond discussion. To me, germination of a seed or fertilization of an egg is supernatural. How does this happen? What starts the process? How does a peach seed split open and produce an embryo and then a root? Another node forms into two cotyledons that use photosynthesis to provide food for the growth of a stem and leaves, then into a peach tree or a bean vine? 

Any seed that sprouts, any egg that hatches performs a full-of-wonder act. I don't know where, when, or why the beginning of life as we know it begins. That is like asking an ant to explain why thy like to live in a colony. Does it really matter? Maybe there is a prime mover and if so, I am willing to entertain that idea. Maybe there was no superhuman act by anything or anybody. It doesn't matter to me. 

What does matter to me is whether I can live in peace, harmony and joy in my home. Others may want to know the answers to these questions and let them go after them. 

You may be on to something, Shaun, and if so, I hope you take it to a place more appropriate for closer examination and evaluation. If it turns out you opened a whole new way of explaining natural selection and if so, I will celebrate with you. Until then, I really don't care. I am in no situation to care because I know diddly squat what you write about. 

Comment by Joseph P on February 10, 2015 at 12:29pm

And it's published in which scientific journal, after several qualified biologists have examined the proposal for flaws?

Comment by Shaun Johnston on February 10, 2015 at 10:11am

I believe I have found a critical flaw in Ronald Fisher's Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, on which the modern synthesis based.See article.

Comment by Joseph P on January 28, 2015 at 3:16pm

Why should your "theory" not also be subject to criticism?

And hell, for that matter, tell us what your hypothesis is.  What mechanism have you discovered, which you think is absent from the current synthesis of the theory of natural selection?  I've never seen you express an inkling of an alternative model, which you're attempting to support as a replacement to natural selection.

And no, I'm not going to wade through your incoherent blog to try to find where you've mentioned it, if you've talked about it in there.  If you can't express it here, in simple, concise language, then you're right, I'm not interested in hearing what you have to say.  All I've ever seen from you is the sort of inane attacks that I would expect from a creationist conspiracy-nut (natural selection requires the supernatural; natural selection leads to eugenics), with no alternative even hinted at.

Comment by Christopher Lowe on January 28, 2015 at 12:10pm

@ Shaun Johnston Of course Darwinian theory of evolution should be criticized. Bring it on! But be specific. A vast army of biologists have amassed and reviewed data on the subject for a century and a half. You need a level of expertise to even have a debate with these scientists. 

What if you are wrong? Even misguided? I see you pissing and moaning on your blog how you've been attacked?

Why should your "theory" not also be subject to criticism? Show some comprehension of the subject and show some maturity.

Comment by Joseph P on January 28, 2015 at 11:32am

Or come up with something to say that is worth listening to.  I just took a glance at your latest blog post, and it's borderline incoherent.  I can't even figure out what you're getting at with your mountain metaphor, and I'd love to know why you have a bug up your ass about eugenics.


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