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Are there SCIENTIFIC disagreements with evolution theory?


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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 12:39:02 PM PST
John McClain says:
"the darweenies and chemists have never shown tht life can start witthout God"

And until it is shown that life started with God, they will never have to. Come back when you've learned something about how science works :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 12:38:55 PM PST
A. Caplan says:
Charlie T. says: Are there SCIENTIFIC disagreements with evolution theory? No
>There are scientific disagreements about theories within evolution, mostly concerning the mechanisms and forces involved. However, the basics of evolution, that all life is descended from earlier life and that those organisms that are better adapted to the environment are more likely as a species to survive, has never been successfully invalidated as a theory. The reality of evolution has been so well established in both biology and in the non-biological sciences and explains the formation of organisms, galaxies, planets, etc, that it could be considered as fact.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 8:48:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2012 8:50:45 AM PST
James G. Christenson says:
Philip--I think the point is that having the grandmother nurture the kids is a survival advantage for *the kids* and thereby helps to promote her "nurturing gramma genes" and incidentally her longevity genes.

James, It's a while since this was posted but unless I have remembered the details incorrectly, I don't see how *gramma's* wish to nurture her grand-offspring can be influenced by her genetic makeup. Edit: Or rather *can influence ... No, that's wrong too because one *gramma* does not a tribe make.
I can't help feeling there's something wrong with my thinking here - sort me out will you, plse.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 11:58:40 AM PST
Re Duerdoth, above: "... how *gramma's* wish to nurture her grand-offspring can be influenced by her genetic makeup." The human brain can be considered as two parts: the BIOS, or boot-up system, consisting of ROM as programmed by evolution (which lets babies suckle, excrete, breathe, and look cute), and the RAM, which stores memories and is used for reasoning. Clearly, most of our activity is based on our experiences (the RAM contents), but not all of it: some of the ROM has lingering effects -- and these may be favorable (or not). So, Grandma's influence, for better or worse, will have SOME effects resulting from her genetic heritage.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 12:26:28 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
A lot of laymen's confusion about how evolution works is helped by realizing that individuals don't evolve--species do, and in most cases whole ecosystems do.

Thus behavior that doesn't seem to make sense from an individual's viewpoint can make perfect sense from a gene pool viewpoint.

Take the shrimp goby. It's a group of dozens of species of gobies that live all their lives with certain species of blind shrimp. The animals aren't just different species--they're different phyla, separated for half a billion years. Yet shrimp gobies and their shrimp co-evolved to form what you might call a metaspecies. It's now in their DNA.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 12:15:34 AM PST
Sceptic says:
One must separate phylogeny from ontogeny. Tinbergen helps us do this with his 4 questions. Tinbergen's four questions, named after Nikolaas Tinbergen, are complementary categories of explanations for behaviour. It suggests that an integrative understanding of behaviour must include both a proximate and ultimate (functional) analysis of behaviour, as well as an understanding of both phylogenetic/developmental history and the operation of current mechanisms.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinbergen's_four_questions.
Therefore, to understand behaviour we need a syncretic bio-psycho-social model. This contains proximate mechanisms: 1: Causation (mechanism) which includes immediate stimuli, meanings, learning, and the neuro-chemical substrate, 2: Development (ontogeny), how behaviour is influenced by early experience and how behaviour changes with age. And ultimate mechanisms: 3: Evolution (phylogeny) how did the behaviour evolve? And 4: Function (adaptation), what evolutionary advantage does the behaviour confer? Evolution provides an overarching theoretical framework that permits the integration of these different levels of explanation. In humans personal meaning is crucial . Because of this complexity of human behaviour , a single viewpoint can seldom provide complete understanding.
One problem is the Creationists do not accept evolution and many hard-nosed biologists e.g. PZ Myers do not accept evolutionary psychology,calling it just so stories. Which is a pity because evolution is more than old fossils in every sense!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 10:45:33 AM PST
Robert, Ehkzu and Sceptic,
I clearly need to understand a lot more about evopsychology but I'll try. Thank you all very much.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 10:57:10 AM PST
Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" has a chapter on this, with several good references such as Marc Hauser's "Moral Minds" and Robert Wright's "The Moral Animal".

Some of these may sound a bit like "just so" stories, but better ways of expression could avoid that.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 11:50:13 AM PST
A. Caplan says:
Sceptic says: PZ Myers do not accept evolutionary psychology,calling it just so stories
>Please give me a cite for that. I've read several of his writings and don't recall that anything like that.
thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 1:53:44 PM PST
Sceptic says:
Recent blogs of his on Pharyngula

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 1:59:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2012 1:12:38 PM PST
Sceptic says:
Another ugly example of the abuse of Evolutionary Psychology
November 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm PZ Myers
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/11/23/another-ugly-example-of-the-abuse-of-evolutionary-psychology/

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 3:29:26 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 2, 2012 4:57:17 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 12:01:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2012 12:03:23 PM PST
Brian Curtis says:
It's true that Myers rejects evolutionary psychology as a scientific discipline. However, he does so for political/social reasons, not scientific ones.

Admittedly, evo-psych is more subject than most branches of science to 'media hype' and outrageous, sensationalized claims and conclusions based on the most preliminary of evidence; but that's a flaw in science reporting, not the science itself.

Here's a science-based critique of a recent Skepticon attack on evolutionary psychology... a critique that was itself depressingly low on scientific content or methodology:
http://skepticink.com/incredulous/2012/12/01/science-denialism-at-a-skeptic-conference/

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 12:27:30 PM PST
Sceptic says:
Yes agree with you.
I have just got a paper accepted in the subject. It is easy just to be speculative but Randolph Nesse has some good advice on how to test evolutionary hypotheses in this field.

Ten questions for evolutionary studies of disease vulnerability.
Task 1: Define the object of explanation precisely.
Q1. Is the object of explanation a uniform trait in the species, or is
the goal to explain variations in a trait among groups or
individuals?
Q2. Has the object of explanation been influenced by evolution?
Q3. What kind of trait is the object of explanation?
a. A fixed human trait, such as the narrow birth canal
b. A facultative trait, such as the capacity for sweating
c. Human genes, in the most general sense of the term
d. Pathogen traits, such as the level of virulence
e. Pathogen genes, such as those that confer antibiotic resistance
f. Somatic cell lines, such as those in tumors or the immune
system
Task 2: Specify the kind of explanation sought
Q4. Is the goal to explain the evolution of the trait, or its proximate
mechanisms?
Q5. Is the goal to explain the trait's phylogeny, or the evolutionary
forces that shaped it?
Task 3: List and consider all viable hypotheses
Q6. Are all viable hypotheses considered and given fair consideration,
or are some hypotheses neglected, while others receive favored
treatment?
Q7. Could different vulnerabilities cause the disease in different
individuals or subgroups?
Q8. What categories of explanation are under consideration?
a. Mismatch of bodies with environments they did not evolve in
b. Co-evolution with pathogens that evolve faster than hosts can
c. Constraints on selection, such as time required, genetic drift,
and mutation
d. Trade-offs, especially costs associated with apparently superior
alternative possible traits
e. Reproductive success at the expense of health
f. Defenses such as fever and pain that cause harm and suffering,
but were shaped by selection because they offer protection in
certain situations
Q9. Could multiple explanations be correct?
Task 4: Describe the methods used to test the hypotheses
Q10. What methods are used to test the hypotheses?
a. Consistency with evolutionary theory
b. Modeling using quantitative methods
c. Comparative methods
i. Comparisons among species
ii. Comparisons among subgroups of a species
iii. Comparisons among individuals who vary in a trait
d. Experimental methods
i. Extirpation or disruption (e.g. studies that knock-out
genes or block fever)
ii. Augmentation (e.g. administration of extra testosterone)
iii. Examining regulation of a facultative trait to see if it
behaves as predicted
iv. Observing evolutionary changes in the lab or the field
e. Examining the details of fit between observed form and a
postulated function

P

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 12:55:00 PM PST
The Moral Animal is a phenomenal book for anyone looking to understand evolutionary psychology. You will recognize impulses you've had (but may not have acted on) your entire life and finally understand where that impulse comes from.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 2:45:21 PM PST
BC

Myers just thinks that evolutionary psychology claims are getting ahead of the evidence to support those claims.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 2:47:21 PM PST
Eugene

Since Hauser got caught fudging data. 'Moral Minds' is interesting but the science can't be relied upon.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 3:19:28 PM PST
Hmm--I hadn't heard of that yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2012 1:41:40 AM PST
Sceptic says:
I agree. The claims should clearly remain ideas or hypotheses and be labelled as such. However they are still needed in a full explanation of why a behaviour might exist; especially if it occurs across cultures.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2012 7:15:17 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 4, 2012 7:16:02 AM PST
noman says:
You might find the following interesting:

The Emerging Mind
The Lecturer: Vilayanur S Ramachandran

Vilayanur S Ramachandran is Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition and professor with the Psychology Department and the Neurosciences Programme at the University of California, San Diego. He is also Adjunct Professor of Biology at the Salk Institute.



He has lectured widely on art - as well as visual perception and the brain - and is a trustee of the San Diego Museum of Art. He has published over 120 papers in scientific journals, is Editor-in-chief of the Encyclopaedia of Human Behaviour and author of a popular book on neuroscience, Phantoms In The Brain.

Professor Ramachandran's work has concentrated on investigating phenomena such as phantom limbs, anosognosia or denial of paralysis, Capgras syndrome, and anorexia nervosa.

Although most of these conditions have been know since the turn of the century they have usually been treated as curiosities and there has been almost no experimental work on them. V.S. Ramachandran has brought them from the clinic to the laboratory and shown that an intensive study of these patients can often provide valuable new insights into the workings of the human brain.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003/

Posted on Dec 4, 2012 7:28:01 AM PST
Sceptic says:
Funny you should say that! I am reading it at present,for a second time.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 2:55:28 PM PST
P. Durdoth: Keeping active may help one live longer but may not represent an evolutionary reason for evolving a longer life.

J. Christianson: The evidence in favor of the grandmother hypothesis is generally that humans proportionately live a lot longer after menopause than other mammals. If grandmothers by nurturing their own grandchildren contribute to the survival potential of their grandchildren, then humans having more longevity would tend to get selected.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 8:15:51 PM PST
"If grandmothers by nurturing their own grandchildren contribute to the survival potential of their grandchildren, then humans having more longevity would tend to get selected. "

This sounds reasonable. It is indeed a testable hypothesis. I believe that it has yet to be tested (just sayin).

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 1:25:45 AM PST
John Smith says:
"Science 101: In order to need an alternative, your explanation must first qualify as an explanation by being evidenced."

Interesting concept. How can you say Darwin's postulate of "original organism" qualifies?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 10:36:10 AM PST
A. Caplan says:
John Smith says: How can you say Darwin's postulate of "original organism" qualifies?
>Life is the evidence of an original organism. There had to have been a beginning, a first life. We now know that the Earth, and, indeed, the universe had a beginning. So at some point there was no life, until life developed.

While we may never know how life started in Earth, there are several avenues of research being conducted. Hopefully, at some point all but one will be eliminated. We still won't know, but we will certainly have a pretty good idea.
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  53
Total posts:  860
Initial post:  Sep 28, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 19, 2013

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