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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Chad Kreutzer on September 14, 2013 at 9:36pm
Yeah, Susan, my "creationist" bells have been ringing about him for a while (for example, by and large only creationsists use Darwinism these days), but I'm trying to take him at his word.
Comment by Susan Stanko on September 14, 2013 at 9:26pm

Shaun keeps saying that Evolution is false but, he has yet to provide any evidence for it.  (And, no Shaun, the fact that we don't have perfect knowledge is not evidence.)  I think I have sort of an idea where he gets the idea that the majority don't think evolution happened through Darwinian means.  He read the Origin of the Species and thinks that is all we know about evolution.  He, like creationists, does not seem to understand that evolution has changed since Darwin first proposed it.

Comment by Chad Kreutzer on September 14, 2013 at 9:14pm
That's the problem Shaun. It DOES work. It works very well, in fact. Just look at modern medicine. And over and over, predictions made based on evolutionary theory are proven right and lead to more and more exciting discoveries! Heck, even that article Dorian sent me was made possible by evolutionary theory.

This "over half believe in non-supernatural means but only half in darwinian means" stat is new to me. What is your source?

Also, science does keep using a model as long as it keeps working until and unless something that works better comes along. But "working" does not mean "perfect."
Comment by Shaun Johnston on September 14, 2013 at 9:03pm

"... the majority have no idea what evolution is?  Yeah, we know that already and we know why." Are you sure you know why? Have you checked?  Can you appreciate that you don't sound very open to contrary opinion, so it seems unlikely you do know.

The majority opinion in the US (just over 50%) is that we evolved through non supernatural means. But only half of those people believe the mechanism was darwinism. So what do the others think?  You can ask me, I'm one of them. Just don't ask me for an alternative theory, we don't think science is  yet capable of coming up with one.

Chad, in this world, most people, once  they reject a theory because it seems implausible, just abandon it.  They don't act as if they have affection for the old theory and hang onto it out of sentiment. You may demand an alternative first, I, and most people, don't. We just say, it doesn't work and more on.

Comment by Chad Kreutzer on September 14, 2013 at 8:41pm
What evidence, Shaun? The burden of proof is on the upstart new hypothesis. And if it stands up to testing, it will become the new consensus. Or it will modify and be absorbed into the current one.
Comment by Chad Kreutzer on September 14, 2013 at 8:37pm
Dorian, that is facinating! I love how, as we learn more about the microscopic world, how complex it shows itself to be. But it's still not an "intentional" thing.

Shaun, if by "majority," you mean those who have their view of evolutionary theory coloroed by pre conceived religious notions and skewed by misrepresntation by religious leaders, then yes. Yes, you do look like the majority.
Comment by Dorian Moises Mattar on September 14, 2013 at 8:36pm

Shaun are you stating that Darwin's Theory is wrong because most people don't understand it?

Seriously.  I guess Quantum Physics is wrong too...

Comment by Susan Stanko on September 14, 2013 at 8:33pm

So what you are saying, Shaun.  Is that the majority have no idea what evolution is?  Yeah, we know that already and we know why.  So what exactly is your point?

Comment by Shaun Johnston on September 14, 2013 at 8:32pm

Chad, when the evidence tells you a theory is wrong you don't  continue to assume it's true until an alternative is offered. If spaceships  going to the moon hadn't proved otherwise would you still insist it was made of green cheese, for want of proof it wasn't?

Comment by Dorian Moises Mattar on September 14, 2013 at 8:25pm

Chad, this article states that bacteria employes different tactics or adaptations to survive the antibiotics.

"Antibiotics stop working because bacteria come up with various ways of countering these actions, such as:

  • Preventing the antibiotic from getting to its target When you really don't want to see someone, you might find yourself doing things like hiding from them or avoiding their phone calls. Bacteria employ similar strategies to keep antibiotics at bay. One effective way to keep a drug from reaching its target is to prevent it from being taken up at all. Bacteria do this by changing the permeability of their membranes or by reducing the number of channels available for drugs to diffuse through. Another strategy is to create the molecular equivalent of a club bouncer to escort antibiotics out the door if it gets in. Some bacteria use energy from ATP to power pumps that shoot antibiotics out of the cell.
  • Changing the target Many antibiotics work by sticking to their target and preventing it from interacting with other molecules inside the cell. Some bacteria respond by changing the structure of the target (or even replacing it within another molecule altogether) so that the antibiotic can no longer recognize it or bind to it.
  • Destroying the antibiotic This tactic takes interfering with the antibiotic to an extreme. Rather than simply pushing the drug aside or setting up molecular blockades, some bacteria survive by neutralizing their enemy directly. For example, some kinds of bacteria produce enzymes called beta-lactamases that chew up penicillin.

How do bacteria pick up these drug-fighting habits? In some cases, they don't. Some bacteria are simply making use of their own inherent capabilities. However, there are many bacteria that didn't start out resistant to a particular antibiotic. Bacteria can acquire resistance by getting a copy of a gene encoding an altered protein or an enzyme like beta lactamase from other bacteria, even from those of a different species. There are a number of ways to get a resistance gene:

  • During transformation - in this process, akin to bacterial sex, microbes can join together and transfer DNA to each other.
  • On a small, circular, extrachromosomal piece of DNA, called a plasmid - one plasmid can encode resistance to many different antibiotics.
  • Through a transposon - transposons are "jumping genes," small pieces of DNA that can hop from DNA molecule to DNA molecule. Once in a chromosome or plasmid, they can be integrated stably.
  • By scavenging DNA remnants from degraded, dead bacteria."


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