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Theories of Evolution

FCARR at delphi.com FCARR at delphi.com
Fri Sep 16 15:30:16 EST 1994

Quoting gwyckoff from a message in bionet.molbio.evolution
   [ Newsgroups: bionet.molbio.evolution
   [ Path: 
   [lis!gwyc koff From: gwyckoff at ellis.uchicago.edu (I've seen things you 
   [people wouldn't believe. ..) Subject: Re: Theories of Evolution
   [ Message-ID: <1994Sep8.042856.18051 at midway.uchicago.edu>
   [ Sender: news at uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System)
   [ Reply-To: gwyckoff at midway.uchicago.edu
   [ Organization: University of Chicago
   [ References: <brjot1.29.2E5045A0 at MFS01.cc.monash.edu.au> 
   [<333gnf$tk at bbs.pnl.gov> <33m7pq$2h1q at unix1.sncc.lsu.edu>
   [ Date: Thu, 8 Sep 1994 04:28:56 GMT
   [ Lines: 55
   [ If the alleged engineer who posted the response that evolution violates
   [ thermodynamic laws would like, perhaps they could try to look at 
   [evolution as taking place at the level of an entire ecosystem, as 
   [opposed to at an organismal level.  Though evolution does take place 
   [at the level of an organismi n one sense, the origin of life, which I 
   [believe what had the engineer in question in such a state, most likely 
   [took place in a chemical soup.  In which c ase, an increase in 
   [relative "order" in one part of the system would likely occur with an 
   [increase in entropy in another portion of the system. Evolution, at 
   [the level which it is most commonly applied, does not address the very 
   [early part of the history of life.  It really only applies since DNA 
   [(or at least, a self replicative molecule) has existed.  In which 
   [case, we are really speaking of Molecular Evolution. (caps for 
   [emphasis.) Molecular evolution involves the random replacement of base 
   [pairs in DNA, and therefore a sort of reshuffling of genetic material 
   [due to mutation. This violates no physical laws.  In fact, one could 
   [make an arguement that entropy in a system actually increases if the 
   [genome size increases, but that is not really relevant to the topic. 
   [ I believe that the initial poster wanted to know about the different
   [ theories of evolution.  In reality, most of the historical theories 
   [about how evolution occured have been discredited.  LaMarck believed 
   [that organisms inherited those characteristics that their parents 
   [derived during their life. The classic experiment that disproved this 
   [was that if you take two rats, a male and a female, and cut off their 
   [tales and subsequently breed them, they do not have progeny with no 
   [tails (as LaMarck would have predicted.) (NOTE: I don't really recall 
   [wether it's Lamarck or LaMarck.) This proved to be true even after 
   [several HUNDRED generations. Darwin believed that Natural selection 
   [acted upon variation which was already present in a population in 
   [order to produce different characteristic s after many generation of 
   [selection for a given trait. The idea here is that the variation is 
   [inherint in the population.  With the rediscovery of Mendel's work 
   [with pea plants, genes were seen as the units which defined a trait, 
   [and alleles are the variations within that trait.  It's a little more 
   [complicated than this, but it would take much longer than I have. 
   [Anyway, the so-called Modern Synthesis is the use of the method of 
K~   [heritable variation discovered by Mendel to make sense of the 
   [observations of Darwin.  This is called selectionism . There are some 
   [other ideas, but I can't go through them all here. For references, 
   [please see the textbook Evolutionary Biology by Douglas J. Futuyma, 
   [2nd edition, Sinauer Associates Publ ishers, Massachusetts
   [ or for a historical perspective, see any of the works by
   [ Dr. William Provine, Cornell University
   [ That's for a start.  There's a wealth of information out there.
   [ And please note that this channel is for serious discussion.  Someone
   [ actually asked a question here.  Just posting that Evolution violates a
   [ thermodynamic principle with a refernce to a work that explains the 
   [principle but not how evolution violates it just dosen't cut it.  It's 
   [just flame bait. So keep your mind open and talk, or just lurk, but if 
   [you can't discuss or have nothing worthwhile to contribute, buy a 
   [Nintendo and leave the rest of us alone. 
   [ Thanks,
   [ Jerry
   [ These are my own views or opinions unless someone
j   [ else has been cited.
   [ .

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