Biology Forum Community General Discussion Macroevolution-Do people come from apes?

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    • #205
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I personally think this notion is absurd. But I am curious to see other people’s opinions on this. What do you think?

      (For those of you unaware of what macroevolution is…it is the notion that one species can evolve into a brand new species- I.E. monkeys to humans)

    • #18660
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Please understand that I never made any claim of idiocy toward anyone. Just the general idea that a monkey can turn into a person. I am sorry if I came off the wrong way but I certainly never meant to offend you or anyone for that matter with my statements. Now that I have said that, I would like to see if I understand what you are saying correctly. You believe that apes and humans have the same common ancestor. What would that be though? Are you saying that every species of hominid came from one original species? Also, you said that no scientist would ever make the claim that humans evolved from apes…however I recall old Darwin forming some kind of theory about it. So you can’t say the claim has never been made because it is out there and many people believe it. What I am trying to understand is, simply, how would one species go about evolving into a new one. I mean, with your wolf example, both species are still wolves. I am talking about a complete change…like frog to bird (completely hypothetical example there). What do you think? Once again, please don’t take anything I say as a direct threat to you as a person.

    • #18661
      biostudent84
      Participant

      Sure, they are both wolves…but the wolf is an entire group of species that we give the same name. They are still different species. Where you said “Are you saying that every species of hominid came from one original species?” I did mean that…SOMEWHERE along the line, this happened. And that one species was grouped together coming from one other species and so on and so on.

      When looking at macroevolution, you really do need to take a huge step back and understand the entire picture before even being able to address individual happenings such as humans.

      Have you heard of the archaeopteryx? (forgive me, I know that’s spelled wrong). It was a skeleton of a lizard/bird. What phylum do we put it in? We can’t…because in biology, (evolution especially), EVERY rule has thousands of exceptions. Most believe this is a transitory species between two phylums. Similar to dinosaurs…lizard/birds. We always say that dinosaurs were more closely related to birds…but no one can refute that they were at least partially related to lizards =).

    • #18662
      Anonymous
      Participant

      But how do you know that these aren’t just similarities. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they came from the same species. Maybe apes and humans are just similar. But you need to realize there are several differences as well. So maybe there is no relation. Maybe they never were related. It says in the Bible that lizards and birds were created seperately. So have you ever considered this?

    • #18663
      Anonymous
      Participant

      And yes, you are right. No one can refute that last statement of yours…but at the same time no one can prove they have any relation either…

    • #18664
      Anonymous
      Participant

      I don’t know if you know this or not, but evolution relies on the fact that mutations are selected for in every species. 99% of every genetic mutation is detrimental to the species. the odds of macroevolution taking place are astronomical even given billions and billions of years.

    • #18668
      biostudent84
      Participant

      Evolution is not only based on mutations. Mutation, however, are the only factor that brings new genes into the pool.

      Look at Darwin’s Finches. When he explored the Galapagos Archepelago, he found over ten different species of finch. However, only one species of finch actually came from mainland South America. What’s going on? Mutations could not possibly work this fast!

      They didn’t. They separated mainly out of what they ate. The original finch could eat either nectar from flowers, or nuts from trees. Naturally, there is variation within this original species (this is called the Founder Species). Finches best adapted for eating nectar spent most of their time in the flowers, and finches best adapted for eating nuts spent most of their time in the trees.

      Over time, these finches began to mate with those closest to them. Natural selection chose for the necter-drinkers to have increasingly longer and longer bills…better to get to the nectar! It also chose for the nut-eaters to have increasingly shorter and squatter bills…better to break open nuts.

      Eventually, the gene frequencies in the nut-eaters and nectar-drinkers changed so much that the two groups of finches were genetically far apart enough so that they could no longer breed to produce fertile offspring.

      There is a real-life example of evolution. It does not have to include mutations.

      Here’s an example of how gene frequencies can change this way:

      Let’s look at the nectar-eating finches. They know that long bills are needed to reach the nectar within flowers. The longer the bill, the greater chance of survival. Therefore, finches choose mates with long bills. Have you ever seen children taller than their parents? Same thing here. Often, finches bills will grow longer than their parents’. This happens over and over, making yet longer bills every generation.

      This has acutally been studied in the Galapagos today. Ecologists have measured over a millimeter length increase in nectar-drinking finches over the last fifty years. A millimeter or two is not much, true…but apply this over a thousand years. Hey! We have a finch with a two centimeter longer bill! The Galapagos Archapelegao is only 5 million years old. The islands of Hawaii are over 75 million years old!!!!!

      Look at the variation in the human race. Due to the lack of effective transportation, the human race was on its way to forming four different species of modern humans: Africans, Caucasians, Mongoloids, and Aboriginals (I will address it here that no good scientists would ever make conjecture as to which group is more advanced…each has traits to let each group best adapt to their area of origin…I will also say that historical data has led scientists to believe the first Homo sapiens originated in the Middle East/Northwest Africa region and spread out from there…Three Hundred Thousand years ago.)

      Signed,
      Someone VERY tired of defending the Principle of Evolution to fundamentalists…

    • #18673
      Chris
      Participant

      dude, the topic is macroevolution. i know things evolve, it is proven. however the topic of this discussion is MACROEVOLUTION. it is simply impossible that we came from apes. period flat and final. look at the facts. that is all i am arguing. the finch example is an example of microevolution in which i completely agree.

    • #18674
      biostudent84
      Participant

      Do you understand the idea of Wholistid science. It is the basis of any large-scale science out there. First you look at the little things, then you take a step back and look the the entire picture.

      You might look closely at one or two drops of paint on a canvas, but when you look at the whole work, you look at the overall pattern…NOT the countless dots. Look at each individual dot and you would never even be able to comprehend the work.

      I was refuting your statement that evolution is dependant completely on mutations.

    • #18730
      pfudd
      Participant

      There is no way you can take a monkey, go ‘alakazaam’, and *poof*, get a human.

      However, take a pair of monkeys, let them give birth to baby monkeys, and if one of the babies has less hair than their parents, let that baby grow up and have babies of its own. If any of those babies have less hair than the parents, let those babies grow up and have babies of their own.

      In a given generation, there may be no difference in hairiness between baby and parent. Be patient: eventually you’ll find a baby that’s different, in this generation or the next, or some later generation.

      Eventually, you’ll have hairless monkeys.

      Now, I won’t say that humans *are* hairless monkeys, but if you repeat the process outlined above with intelligence, posture, muscle development, and all the rest of the features that differ between monkeys and humans, you will end up with a critter that looks a lot like a human, and can probably behave like one too. If there are still some differences, by all means, work on breeding the differences out, and you will have done what evolution did.

      Of course, if you’re impatient, you can take shortcuts; start copying and pasting human DNA into the egg and sperm cells of monkeys, take out monkey DNA that doesn’t exist in humans, and in no time flat, you’ll have a monkey giving birth to a human baby. That’s not how evolution works, that’s just copy-and-paste cloning, but if you want human babies coming out of monkeys, that’ll get you where you want to go.

      I imagine that if you *really* wanted to have a monkey turn into a human (*alakazaam* style), you’d have to copy-and-paste human DNA into *every* cell of the monkey, delete the monkey-only DNA from *every* cell, and then perform a lot of surgery on that poor monkey. You’d have to change the length and shape of every bone in his body, and somehow force his brain to grow a little more. Fix the vocal cords and give him a whole-body shave, and *voila*, ersatz human. The monkey would be human, at least from a DNA point of view.

      Ok, ok, there are more things to fix, and when all is said and done, it probably would be a *lot* easier to just tinker with the DNA in the sperm and eggs and wait for the baby to be born. It’s like trying to convert a computer from windows to linux; sure, it’s technically possible to do it while it’s running (don’t know of anyone who’s done it), but it’s much easier to reboot it (after putting linux on the hard drive).

      Selecting for desirable properties is what evolution is all about. That’s why there’s a zillion breeds of dogs; they’re still all the same species (can interbreed), but people have been selecting for “interesting” characteristics for thousands of years. Same for the finches of the Galopagos, nature has been selecting for ability to feed on different food sources for many thousands of years.

      I hope this has been a clear explanation of macroevolution, as I’m studying for a biology class and macroevolution is on the final exam. If I wasn’t clear, I need to work on my presentation! 🙂

    • #18731
      pfudd
      Participant

      Already I’m seeing things I should have mentioned.

      A species has of a fixed number of genes; each one is like a multiple-choice question, like “what color eyes does this organism have?”

      An organism has an alelle in each gene; each one is like an answer to the mc question, like “blue”, or “green”.

      The gene pool for a species is the set of all alelles that exist in living organisms of that species (colours of hair, eyes, skin; size of brain, hands, torso, etc; hairiness).

      The only way to form new alelles is through mutation; each mutation adds one more alelle to the gene pool (“purple eyes”, “green hair”).

      If there were no mutation, there would be no humans. No monkeys, for that matter. I don’t know if the first cell counts as a mutation of some inorganic process, so I can’t say whether the planet would be covered with verbatim copies of that first cell or not.

      If mutation were to stop today, the gene pool would stop growing, and all you could do is shuffle the alelles that exist with sexual reproduction. If you could count the alleles in the gene pool, you could find out how many possible humans there will ever be before they start repeating. If there are people with rare alleles that don’t have kids, then the gene pool would shrink.

      So, is evolution dependent completely on mutations? Hmm. How about “evolution is completely dependent on mutations AND allele shuffling”? Well, in organisms that don’t do sex and don’t swap dna with any other organism, then mutations are the only way to change.

    • #18733
      biostudent84
      Participant

      Yes. The point I was making, however, is that evolution is not entirely dependant on mutations. I do agree, as will all scientists, that mutations are the only source of NEW genes in a species.

    • #18856
      Inuyasha
      Participant

      How can you be a biologist and not believe in evolution? That is the fundation of biology.

    • #18859
      Solid Snake
      Participant

      You can observe the changes animals have gone through in short periods of time with the records we have from biologists in various centuries. How can you think that these changes werent compounded over millions of years

    • #18873
      Cyranian
      Participant

      Inu, there are biologists out there who believes in every single word of the Bible, and there are also priests who thinks that evolution might be true. There are different people with different interests in this world.

    • #18879
      biostudent84
      Participant

      Please be careful with the religious arguments…Chris and I were in a HUGE debate a few weeks ago on this subject and nothing got done. Unfortunately, Chris, our creationistic biologist is no longer here as a result of that. Admin and I went back and deleted the more hostile arguments from that.

      We’re here to share information and help others…not debate theology =D

      Kyle

    • #18931
      junkyarddawg
      Participant

      Why does everyone frame evolution in terms of “selecting” for survival features.? It is just as easily described as a “culling ” process. Nature removes those without the right mix of characteristics needed at any given point of time. Then the only ones left to reproduce are the ones with whatever attributes fit with the current environmental system.

    • #18934
      biostudent84
      Participant

      “Culling” usually is used to describe selection for a specific purpose. One scientist I’ve studied heavily opposes the idea that evolution is a process that changes species for specific purposes. Evolution is only the result of natural processes allowing better adapted for survival to reproduce.

      Evolution doesn’t wake up in the morning and say, “I want a monkey with a bright orange butt.” Any trait that evolution selects for is simply a process that by which those orange butt monkeys are better able to reproduce.

    • #19403
      RobJim
      Participant

      A species has of a fixed number of genes; each one is like a multiple-choice question, like “what color eyes does this organism have?”

      There are observed mechanisms by which genes can be copied, so that an animal might have two copies of the same gene.

      There are also mechanisms by which genes can be changed.

      Combine the two and you get “new genes being created”.

      Mutating stop codons can increase the length of a gene, which could be interpreted as an increase in complexity.

      Retroviruses stick new genes into the genomes of organisms.

      These are the sorts of things that can cause a simpler organism to evolve into a more compex one.

    • #19569
      keldo
      Participant

      It is a proven fact that most mutations are bad. So when a new trait enters the gene pool by mutation most likely it will be a bad one.

    • #19570
      keldo
      Participant

      Also you were talking about how evolution wasn’t solely based on mutations. What other things is evolution based on.

    • #19571
      keldo
      Participant

      One more think I can’t understand about evolution is since human cells are very complex and interdependent then how did the first cell that started evolution form eventually into the human cell. How can something so simple make something so complex when one element needs another to deveope?

    • #19575
      mith
      Participant

      Where can genes also be acquired from other than mutations:

      If you look at bacteria, they swap genes with each other and thus can acquire new traits without sex/mutations. Also if a virus attacks our sperm/egg cells we may pass diffent genes to an offspring.

      How can independent cells evolve to become interdependent and specialized:

      First off, independent cells can take advantage of their surroundings. If we look at barnacles and some other simple life forms such as jelly fish, the individual cells are very independent but they do work collectively. Notice that only some of the barnacles cling to the anchor and others build themselves into long strands.

      Second, interdependent organisms might fuse into one. If you look at a plant cell it contains a motile cell, a cyanobateria(chloroplast), mitochondrion, and a protist nucleus all fused together to form a single organism. Examine a lichen and you might see a fungus and a photosynthetic organism bonding. In the future they may merge into a single organism.

    • #19580
      RobJim
      Participant

      Keldo –

      It is a proven fact that most mutations are bad. So when a new trait enters the gene pool by mutation most likely it will be a bad one.

      This is true. The process of natural selection will weed these traits out of the gene pool.

      One more think I can’t understand about evolution is since human cells are very complex and interdependent then how did the first cell that started evolution form eventually into the human cell. How can something so simple make something so complex when one element needs another to deveope?

      Mithrilhack has most of the answer. However, you bring up the idea that each element needs each other, so they must have been created simultaneously. The Theory of Evolution challenges this idea. Do you have a specific example you’d like me to address?

    • #19586
      keldo
      Participant

      I’m a freshman in highschool and I am in biology. We are having a debate on evoluion and I am looking for new information that is for evolution or against it. It does not matter. Thats why I asked those questions. Anything will help.

    • #19592
      mith
      Participant

      How I wish I was at your school! You’d be lucky to hear the teacher mention debate and evolution in the same sentence at my school.

    • #19599
      thank.darwin
      Participant

      Yah, same here – my teacher didn’t even go there… I didn’t want her to

    • #19607
      RobJim
      Participant
      quote keldo:

      I’m a freshman in highschool and I am in biology. We are having a debate on evoluion and I am looking for new information that is for evolution or against it. It does not matter. Thats why I asked those questions. Anything will help.

      Tell you what. Do some Google searches on the subject. For example, search for irreduceable complexity. Read up on what they have to say, get some specific examples, and then come back here and present that point of view. I’ll do my best to refute it. At this point my answer is very simple, and probably unsatisfying. Here it is:

      Any example of so-called “irreduceable compexity” is consistent with the TOE. If you think otherwise, give me examples.

    • #19609
      keldo
      Participant

      Lets see if I’m right. Irreducible complexity is basically the fact of how human cells are very interdependent. So basically certain things need to coexist to make the cell work. So irreducible complexity would be a strong question for the creationism side. You could ask how did such a simple cell form into cells that have elements that have to coexist? How would a evolutionist counter that? Got any ideas.

    • #19610
      keldo
      Participant

      I’m also researching the second law of thermadynamics. But I can’t seem to understand it. Would someone explain it to me better it’s likely to be a topic against evolution.

    • #19615
      mith
      Participant

      Irreducible complexity means everything is created perfect as it is and any attempt to simplify it would result in disaster, hinting that’s it’s too perfect not to be designed by God/god/creator.

      TOE — Things fall apart and do not tend to become more complex over time in a closed system.

    • #19621
      RobJim
      Participant

      Keldo –

      Lets see if I’m right. Irreducible complexity is basically the fact of how human cells are very interdependent. So basically certain things need to coexist to make the cell work. So irreducible complexity would be a strong question for the creationism side. You could ask how did such a simple cell form into cells that have elements that have to coexist? How would a evolutionist counter that? Got any ideas.

      Please be more specific. What “certain things” are you talking about?

      I’m also researching the second law of thermadynamics. But I can’t seem to understand it. Would someone explain it to me better it’s likely to be a topic against evolution.

      The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a statistical analysis of the universe. There is a concept called entropy which is basically the number of exact arrangements of matter and energy in a system which will give the same macroscopic values. This sounds confusing, I know. A similar idea involves dice rolls.

      Imagine you have two six sided dice, a red one and a blue one. The macroscopic state of a system would be like the sum of the numbers on the dice, while the entropy of that macroscopic state would be how many ways you could roll the dice to get that sum. For example, the sum 2 has very low entropy; to get a sum of 2, you need to roll a 1 on the red die and a 1 on the blue die. This is the only possible arrangement, so we’ll say it has an entropy of 1.

      However the sum 7 has much higher entropy. There are six possibilities which will sum 7: 1-6 on the red die and 6-1 on the blue die. Thus the entropy is 6.

      The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the total entropy of the universe will always tend to increase. Why? Well imagine if you put the two dice on 1 and 3 in a shoebox; this is a state with sum 4 and entropy 3 (1-3, 2-2, 3-1). Now shake the box; the chance of getting a state of entropy 1 is 1/36 (sum=2), while the chance of getting a state of entropy 6 is 6/36 (sum=7). The higher the entropy, the more likely you are to get that value on a random roll of the dice. The more you shake the box around, the more likely you are to get a high entropy state.

      In science, a macroscopic state might be the volume and pressure of a gas in a sealed chamber, while the microscopic state is the exact position and energy of each molecule of gas. The chance that the gas will all stay in the center of the chamber leaving a vacuum near the walls is extremely low; this is a low entropy state. More likely the gas will fill the biggest volume it can and exert the most pressure it can spread evenly around the walls of the chamber. This is because the greatest number of microscopic states will give this macroscopic result.

      Creationists often claim that the idea that life becomes more and more complex and ordered under evolutionary theory violates this Law, because the entropy in the organisms becomes less and less. The problem with this argument is that it doesn’t take into account the entropy in feces, urine, exhaled breath, body heat, skin flakes, shed hair, damage to the environment caused by running around and clawing things up, etc. The Second Law only works for the whole universe. Living things create more entropy than they reduce.

    • #19627
      biostudent84
      Participant

      You also fail to mention that while entropy has a natural tendancy to increase, Enthalpy has a tendancy to decrease.

      Water at room temperature is a liquid, but according to entropy, would it not make more sense to have it a gas? Entropy would be higher. The answer is that while entropy would go up if it was a gas, enthalpy would also increase.

      Entropy, disorder, and Enthalpy, heat energy, both need to be addressed when looking at the world. A balancing point between the two must be found before you can talk about one over the other.

    • #19632
      Keith
      Participant

      ‘Irreducible Complexity’ is an attempt to identify some things which are so complex that they could not have been produced by evolution.

      The idea is that an irreducible complex assembly, (a whole cell or some sub-assembly of proteins within a cell) will not function at all if one component is removed or defective. Since natural selection only operates on assemblies which have some useful function, a working assembly could not evolve from a series of non-working stages.

      For example, car is irreducibly complex in that it will not work if one of the wheels is removed. A car could not have been ‘evolved’ by making small changes to a car originally designed without any wheels. If one wheel was added by a chance mutation it would still not work. Natural selection could not adopt that change and adding all 4 wheels in succession is even more improbable.

      Now a car is definitely not an assembly which developed by biological evolution. However, it certainly did not develop first through the invention of the car body and engine etc and then finally the invention of wheels. The wheel definitely came first. I do not know whether the wheel was first used in a wheelbarrow, but 2-wheel carts and chariots are very ancient. 4-wheel carts were presumably invented to carry heavier loads. The steam engine was invented as a device to pump water from mines, and then adapted to pulling trains and finally the early steam cars. The gasoline engine was one of the final big changes. The actual ‘evolutionary’ path to todays car is a series of relatively small, useful and moderately obvious steps, rather than one completely unexpected invention.
      There has been continued refinements in design of all car components. For example, it used to be necessary to start a car manually by turning a starting handle at the front of the engine. Now, there is a starter motor, a storage battery, an alternator and rectifier to keep the battery charged, and a starter switch to turn on the starter motor. A failure of any one of these components makes the car (temporarily) useless.

      Demonstrating that a car is ‘irreversibly complex’ by showing the large number of components which must be present and functional for it to be useful does not prove that the car was invented in one step. It is necessary to study the actual historic path which led to the modern car.

      Similarly, showing that a large number of different molecules are now essential for blood clotting does not prove the impossibility of this arising through evolution. The earliest creatures with blood undoubtedly had much lower blood pressure, and a much simpler, and slower-acting, clotting system would have been an advantage. Once established, further improvement could slowly lead to our present system.

      Before the claim of ‘irreducible complexity’ can be accepted for any biological system, the proponents or their critics have to investigate thether there is an evolutionary path which gets to the present system via a number of small and individually useful steps. I do not know of any system for which ID proponents have been able to establish that such a natural alternative is impossible.

      Keith

    • #19698
      RobJim
      Participant

      Keldo –

      You should check out the Debates forum at Red Hot Pawn. There are a lot of creationists there. Here’s an example of a thread by one of these guys.

      http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=19960

      The general website’s url is

      http://www.redhotpawn.com

    • #19701
      Moff231Dawrin
      Participant

      I might sound a bit like a hypocrite, but I think we should get on with the subject of macroevolution. If you want facts about evolution, just go to the evolution conversation page.

      Species are not created by mutations alone. if the mutation is good and it allows the organism to survive and pass on its traits to its offspring. but mostly species are created by natural selection. actually, by one or two types of selection. there are 3 types, but I can’t find my biology notes on that just now :?. I do however, remember the patters. the most common is shaped like a bell-curve, in which the in-between of a species is favored (i.e., average-height humans are favored over tall or short humans) and there is another, in which one of the extremes is more favored (such as tall or short over average or the other extreme). Finally, there is the one I remember, which is called Disruptive Selection. this one is the most uncommon in which both extremes are favored over the average, which may indeed result in a new species if they eventually do evolve differently.

      Also, like with Darwin’s finches, they were isolated goegraphically, so they would evolve differently.

    • #19714
      thank.darwin
      Participant

      Here is a site on the different types of natural selection –

      http://www.uri.edu/artsci/bio/twombly/B … atsel.html

      Natural selection is caused by mutations in a given population along with other factors. If a mutation is favorable in a population then that individual (which has that mutation) may have more reproductive success.

    • #41110
      Jwright
      Participant

      Please understand that I never made any claim of idiocy toward anyone. Just the general idea that a monkey can turn into a person. I am sorry if I came off the wrong way but I certainly never meant to offend you or anyone for that matter with my statements. Now that I have said that, I would like to see if I understand what you are saying correctly. You believe that apes and humans have the same common ancestor. What would that be though? Are you saying that every species of hominid came from one original species? Also, you said that no scientist would ever make the claim that humans evolved from apes…however I recall old Darwin forming some kind of theory about it. So you can’t say the claim has never been made because it is out there and many people believe it. What I am trying to understand is, simply, how would one species go about evolving into a new one. I mean, with your wolf example, both species are still wolves. I am talking about a complete change…like frog to bird (completely hypothetical example there). What do you think? Once again, please don’t take anything I say as a direct threat to you as a person.

      simple way to say it yes we did come from apes cause scientist proved it ages ago…

    • #41182
      Linn
      Participant

      I do not believe we came from apes. 🙂

      I have many reasons
      PM me
      Sincerely,
      Lynne

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