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. . . in the past 25 years or so concerning this observation:

“Facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years, and for an equally long period of time numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving… At best, present evolutionary phenomena are simply slight changes of genotypes within populations, or substitution of an allele with a new one.”

And:

“The period of great fecundity is over; present evolution appears as a weakened process, declining or near its end. Aren't we witnessing the remains of an immense phenomenon close to extinction? Aren't the small variations which are being recorded everywhere the tail end, the last oscillations of the evolutionary movement? Aren't our plants, our animals, lacking some mechanisms which were present in the early flora and fauna?”

(Pierre Grasse, The Evolution of Living Organisms, 1977.)

If this is still the "facts", I wonder why evolution seems to have worked it's way out of a job?

Bryan
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“Facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years,

Evolution has no plan; there is no "finished product." Several hundred million years? What's he talking about? Dinos have died, and mammals have taken over. That's a big change, I'd say.

and for an equally long period of time numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving…

Homo Sapiens is what, 100,000 years old? That's pretty damn recent, the blink of an eye in evolution terms. We're the latest product on the market.
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“Facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years,

Evolution has no plan; there is no "finished product." Several hundred million years? What's he talking about? Dinos have died, and mammals have taken over. That's a big change, I'd say.


I think he's refering to body plans. No finished product? He's not the only one who thinks that evolution is done.

We're the latest product on the market.


Or the last . . .


B
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(Pierre Grasse, The Evolution of Living Organisms, 1977.)

If this is still the "facts", I wonder why evolution seems to have worked it's way out of a job?


No, that is no the "facts". Any reason why you are quote-mining books from 30 years ago? Grasse also says in the same book:
"Zoologists and botanists are nearly unanimous in considering evolution as a fact and not a hypothesis. I agree with this position and base it primarily on documents provided by paleontology, i.e., the history of the living world"


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No, that is no the "facts".

Fine, but I was looking for evidence that scientists have discovered evidence for major evolutionary change in the fossil record since Grasse wrote that. You seem to think they have. Care to elaborate?

Any reason why you are quote-mining books from 30 years ago? Grasse also says in the same book:


To be charged with quote-mining, you'd have to demonstrate that someone's comments were taken out of context. I did no such thing. I quoted from Grasse, and asked if his opinion on the fact that major evolutionary change seems to have stopped (based on the fossil record) has been proven wrong. I made no comment, implied or otherwise, that Grasse didn't believe in evolution. So you're quote from him is not relevant. You're picking a fight where there is none.

Bryan
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Fine, but I was looking for evidence that scientists have discovered evidence for major evolutionary change in the fossil record since Grasse wrote that. You seem to think they have. Care to elaborate?


http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/geo_timeline.html
You can find plenty of examples of evolution less than "several hundred million years" ago.

You're picking a fight where there is none.

Dinosaurs were extinct 65M years ago. Hominids came after dinos died off. Exact time frame isn't important, since it is much less than "several hundred million years". By any definition, the introduction of hominids was a "major evolutionary change".

What are we to believe? Did you not know that hominids evolved ~20M years ago? Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish you from a troll.


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I wonder why evolution seems to have worked it's way out of a job?

Isn't that what one might logically expect from evolution? Here are several reasons why.

1. For any given environment there should be a finite number of possible biological organisms that can be produced by mutation and can survive. As evolution continues and evolutionary pathways become established that number will decline. Here's an analogy, consider a game in which one randomly chooses letters until words are produced. Everytime a word is made, it is crossed off the list and cannot be used again. As the game continues, creating words will become increasingly difficult.

2. As evolution continues in a given environment, natural selection will assure that the organisms will become increasingly fit. In other words they become more optimized to their particular niche. This makes it increasingly difficult for new forms to compete and supplant them. This is why humans beat the martians in "The War of the Worlds".

3. As organisms become more complex, major changes that improve fitness become more difficult. That is why there are many different forms of legs (relatively low complexity), but only one biological "design" that can do algebra (high complexity). It appears that for our environment, complexity is positively selected so subsequent changes should become more difficult. For example, consider the aforementioned word game. Suppose we add a rule that new words can be added only if they are longer than previous words. As the game goes on, it will become more difficult to add to the list of words.

A prediction of these suggestions is that if there is a major environmental change then the pace of major morphological changes should also increase. I believe the fossil record supports this (for example the increase in mammalian types after the dinosaur extinction event).

Note that ID provides no such explanation or prediction. To explain the observed changes in evolutionary rate ID has to resort to theology, which further indicate its deficiencies as a scientific theory.
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You can find plenty of examples of evolution less than "several hundred million years" ago.


You persist in misreading the question, and what is being said. I'm not asking for "examples of evolution" as you state, I'm asking for examples that counter what Grasse wrote (which I repeat):

“Facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years, and for an equally long period of time numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving… At best, present evolutionary phenomena are simply slight changes of genotypes within populations, or substitution of an allele with a new one.”

Since humans supposedly evolved from apes, which in turn evolved from some 4-legged predecesor, there are no "new broad organizational plan" in the series.

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish you from a troll.


If you'd spend more time focusing on the questions, and take that huge chip off your shoulder, you'd be able to tell the difference.

Bryan
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Note that ID provides no such explanation or prediction. To explain the observed changes in evolutionary rate ID has to resort to theology, which further indicate its deficiencies as a scientific theory.


At least you consider it a scientific theory, even if deficient :-)

Why should ID need to deal with such predictions? You make it sound like ID is supposed to be a total replacement for the theory of evolution. It's not.

Bryan
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At least you consider it a scientific theory, even if deficient

Saying something is deficient as a scientific theory is not the same as saying it is a deficient scientific theory.

Why should ID need to deal with such predictions?

Because if it doesn't, it isn't testable nor does it have any scientific value. The proposal that something might be produced by ID is like proposing it might be made by magic, it doesn't provide knowledge nor provide an empirical strategy for gaining knowledge.
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Since humans supposedly evolved from apes, which in turn evolved from some 4-legged predecesor, there are no "new broad organizational plan" in the series.

But this is vacuously true at any point in history. It's much like if you said "No new giant redwood trees have come into existence in the last hundred years." If I pointed to particular examples of giant redwood trees today, you'd say, "Yes, but that tree was already there 100 years ago. It was just smaller." And if I pointed out small redwood saplings that didn't exist 100 years ago, you could say "Yes, but I specifically said GIANT redwood trees, and this is just a little one."

Similarly, if you could take your wayback machine back to the time when the first mammals came into existence, they wouldn't look like major new body plans. They would look very much like early reptiles, having only diverged recently.

It's only after a significant period of time has elapsed that you can use the benefit of hindsight to point to that divergence and say "See? That was the beginning of a major new body plan."
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Similarly, if you could take your wayback machine back to the time when the first mammals came into existence, they wouldn't look like major new body plans. They would look very much like early reptiles, having only diverged recently.

It's only after a significant period of time has elapsed that you can use the benefit of hindsight to point to that divergence and say "See? That was the beginning of a major new body plan."


have to start by defining "major body plan"

from what i've read, biologists define MBPs same as the Phyla.... and ,iirc, no new Phyla since Cambrian (about 540mya).



-j
..... a hairless Ape isn't *majorly* different from a tailless Monkey from a Rodent from a quadruped from a Fish ......etc
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have to start by defining "major body plan"

from what i've read, biologists define MBPs same as the Phyla.... and ,iirc, no new Phyla since Cambrian (about 540mya).


I think that is what Grasse had in mind . . . but maybe a level or two lower. For example, Chordata could be broken up further into major body plans IMO.

Bryan
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have to start by defining "major body plan"

from what i've read, biologists define MBPs same as the Phyla.... and ,iirc, no new Phyla since Cambrian (about 540mya).

I think that is what Grasse had in mind . . . but maybe a level or two lower. For example, Chordata could be broken up further into major body plans IMO.


if he/you had been that specific, there'd have been an explanation .....

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23631192

or in modern buzzwords: the Cambrian Explosion was caused by the Cambrian Mass Extinction .... and "Punctuated Equilibrium"


-j
...... googled Grasse --interesting guy, but i don't think he's much support of Creationists
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Bryan: You persist in misreading the question, and what is being said. I'm not asking for "examples of evolution" as you state, I'm asking for examples that counter what Grasse wrote:

Grasse quote: “Facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years, and for an equally long period of time numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving… At best, present evolutionary phenomena are simply slight changes of genotypes within populations, or substitution of an allele with a new one.”

I provided evidence that countered the bolded claim of Grasse. I did just as you asked. Do you see why I am frustrated? Apparently you are asking for a counter to one of the specific claims that Grasse made. You ask me to "spend more time focusing on the questions", while I think I understood the question completely. If your question was more accurate, we wouldn't be having this problem.

Can I counter the claim of "no new broad organizational plans"? I don't understand what that phrase really means. Can you explain? But in general, evolution doesn't come up with plans.

Bryan: If this is still the "facts", I wonder why evolution seems to have worked it's way out of a job?

I'm not sure how to address this question.
A. There is plenty of evidence of Evolution in the past 100M years.
B. You personally believe in Evolution, yet you ask if it is out of a job.
C. Evolution is unguided, it doesn't have a job to lose.
D. Evolution is a natural process, nothing prevents it from working 'itself out of a job'

Bryan, I know we clash at times, but that shouldn't prevent us from discussing this professionally. I'll try to do better on my part.
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“Facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years, and for an equally long period of time numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving…

My last stab at this. You picked up on the bolded part, now I understand. Thanks for patiently explaining your POV. But you still did not provide evidence that counter the bold part. He said "numerous species" . . . to counter that claim, you'd have to ask him "Which ones?", then provide specific counterevidence. You can't do that, because paleontologists can point to numerous species that ceased evolving in the past 100 million years. It's not a disputed fact.

Bryan, I know we clash at times, but that shouldn't prevent us from discussing this professionally. I'll try to do better on my part.


I appreciate that.

Yet, I feel very much like we are all vultures and hyenas, all circling around the same dead carcass that has already been picked clean long ago.

I struggle to come up with something new to say about CvE, and end up saying the same old things. Joe was right.

We're in a rut. It's fun for awhile when new people come along, then the same old.

All I really care about is defending the point of view that there is a rational basis for seeing design, and therefore the work of a creator. Not that the evidence is compelling to the point where no one has a choice.

I realize that those coming from a way of looking at the world that does not allow the existence of the supernatural will not see design. How could they? I can't argue with them . . . we live in different worlds.

Reminds me of an old story:

"Gracious!", exclaimed Mrs. Snip, "and is there a place where
people venture to live above ground?" "I never heard of people
living *under* ground", replied Tom, "before I came to Giant-Land."
"Came to Giant-land!" cried Mrs. Snip, "why, isn't everywhere Giant-Land?"

(Roland Quiz, Giant-Land)


Bryan
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“Facts are facts; no new broad organizational plan has appeared for several hundred million years, and for an equally long period of time numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving…
>>>>>>>>>>
My last stab at this. You picked up on the bolded part, now I understand. Thanks for patiently explaining your POV. But you still did not provide evidence that counter the bold part. He said "numerous species" . . . to counter that claim, you'd have to ask him "Which ones?", then provide specific counterevidence. You can't do that, because paleontologists can point to numerous species that ceased evolving in the past 100 million years. It's not a disputed fact.


is there a list somewhere..... species that have not changed at all for 100My ?

( and Grasse says "numerous" for "several hundred" ....how many is numerous? how many is several? ... if "numerous" is 12 of the 47 brazillion living species..... so? )


-
.... actually curious about the former
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All I really care about is defending the point of view that there is a rational basis for seeing design, and therefore the work of a creator. Not that the evidence is compelling to the point where no one has a choice.

But all the sources you use say the evidence is compelling. That is certainly the claim Behe makes with irreducible complexity.

I realize that those coming from a way of looking at the world that does not allow the existence of the supernatural will not see design. How could they? I can't argue with them . . . we live in different worlds.

I can't speak for anyone else but that isn't my problem. I know many scientists who readily see design and God in the universe. But they recognize the distinction between science and faith. What I'm opposed to are people arbitrarily redefining science just to fit their theology. And I'm also bugged by bad reasoning.

FYI, I find Kenneth Miller's reconciliation of his faith and science more convincing and intellectually honest than Behe's.
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is there a list somewhere..... species that have not changed at all for 100My ?


I wonder if he includes those that have gone extinct . . . hard to evolve if you're dead.

Probably refering to "living fossils"
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is there a list somewhere..... species that have not changed at all for 100My ?


I wonder if he includes those that have gone extinct . . . hard to evolve if you're dead.


that would be TOO silly



Probably refering to "living fossils"


then here's "a list"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_fossil

this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuatara#The_living_fossil_myth
may apply to all of them.

all seem to be mid-level in the taxonomy ...ie a couple species representing an entire order that goes back a few 100My ... are the species new?

does it matter?


=
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All I really care about is defending the point of view that there is a rational basis for seeing design, and therefore the work of a creator.

Don't you mean 'work of a designer'?
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Don't you mean 'work of a designer'?


ID has metaphysical implications for me . . . I see evidence for a creator, for God.

Just like evolution, for some, has the opposite implication.

Bryan
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I've gotten lost on this question too. Grasse was either wrong or lying when he said "numerous species, animal as well as plant, have ceased evolving". Nothing ever ceases to evolve. Evolution is constant. As was mentioned earlier, those "slight changes of genotypes within populations, or substitution of an allele with a new one." Continue to acrue until some drastic shift in the environment (such as what will occur from global warming) causes natural selection to root out whatever traits turn out to be harmful to survuval and reproduction tin that environment, and allows for the beneficial traits to flourish. When that happens new body plans arise. An example of this is the quenon monkey in africa. There basic body plan is that of the baboon, but it is in the process of modification to suit the lidfestyle of a tree dwelling primate rather than a plains dwelling primate that its ancestor was.
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