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Question: What do you think is the origin of the human DNA?
Natural process of evolution from common ancestor - 39 (65%)
Humans have been seeded by advanced civilizations - 4 (6.7%)
Humans have been created by God - 8 (13.3%)
Humans have been seeded by advanced civilizations according to God's plan Smiley - 2 (3.3%)
Humans have evolved in the process of evolution influenced by God - 7 (11.7%)
Total Voters: 60

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Author Topic: The Origin of the Human DNA  (Read 5347 times)
pedrog
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October 30, 2013, 03:24:15 PM
 #101

We are the current pinnacle of evolution on Earth, yes.

Why?

And that doesn't even make sense...

How does that not make sense?

We are the most advanced species that we know of (unless you can enlighten otherwise). I'm basing my assumption, the way science does, only on the empirical evidence at my disposal. Of course there are plenty of things I don't know. I know that.
How is it hard to understand that with our current understanding of biology/paleobiology and the fossil record that we are the most advanced species to date on this planet?

Make some sense, by all means.

It doesn't make sense saying that we are the most advanced species, there is no such thing, that's an anthropocentric perspective, if you fall naked into a shark tank which do you think will survive? Are you able to outrun a group of lionesses or a wolf pack? In a dooms day scenario, like an asteroid collision, which species do think will thrive?

The abilities needed for surviving doesn't mean some particular species is more advanced than other, like I said before, is all about change and adaptation, there's no ultimate goal in Evolution or in the Universe, every living organism is equally advanced, because we came from the same common ancestor.

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MrHempstock
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October 30, 2013, 03:56:22 PM
 #102

We are the current pinnacle of evolution on Earth, yes.

Why?

And that doesn't even make sense...

How does that not make sense?

We are the most advanced species that we know of (unless you can enlighten otherwise). I'm basing my assumption, the way science does, only on the empirical evidence at my disposal. Of course there are plenty of things I don't know. I know that.
How is it hard to understand that with our current understanding of biology/paleobiology and the fossil record that we are the most advanced species to date on this planet?

Make some sense, by all means.

It doesn't make sense saying that we are the most advanced species, there is no such thing, that's an anthropocentric perspective, if you fall naked into a shark tank which do you think will survive? Are you able to outrun a group of lionesses or a wolf pack? In a dooms day scenario, like an asteroid collision, which species do think will thrive?

The abilities needed for surviving doesn't mean some particular species is more advanced than other, like I said before, is all about change and adaptation, there's no ultimate goal in Evolution or in the Universe, every living organism is equally advanced, because we came from the same common ancestor.

You defeat your own argument. Humans, the only self-aware species capable of abstract thought (to date) is by an order of magnitude more capable of change and adaptation than any other species. Mainly because we alone can understand the world around us and plan for the future.

If we are throwing out anthropocentric perspective, we can stop typing now.

Man is more capable of navigating and mastering the oceans than sharks, who have had it for millions of years. Obviously I can't beat a gorilla at arm wrestling, but that's just a deflection of the true argument. Homo Sapien has been defined from the beginning by his use of tools and creative thinking to "outsmart" all other species. We went to the moon. We are more advanced.

And no unguided natural law or phenomenon can really have a "goal", but the continuing result of evolution via natural selection (and what you are referring to, I'm assuming) is a transference of particular genes and their mutations down through subsequent generations. So, yes, in your words, evolution does have a goal.

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pedrog
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October 30, 2013, 04:13:16 PM
 #103

You defeat your own argument. Humans, the only self-aware species capable of abstract thought (to date) is by an order of magnitude more capable of change and adaptation than any other species. Mainly because we alone can understand the world around us and plan for the future.

If we are throwing out anthropocentric perspective, we can stop typing now.

Man is more capable of navigating and mastering the oceans than sharks, who have had it for millions of years. Obviously I can't beat a gorilla at arm wrestling, but that's just a deflection of the true argument. Homo Sapien has been defined from the beginning by his use of tools and creative thinking to "outsmart" all other species. We went to the moon. We are more advanced.

And no unguided natural law or phenomenon can really have a "goal", but the continuing result of evolution via natural selection (and what you are referring to, I'm assuming) is a transference of particular genes and their mutations down through subsequent generations. So, yes, in your words, evolution does have a goal.

But our creative thinking is just a characteristic that differentiate us from the rest of the animal kingdom, like cheetahs are the fastest, whales the biggest, coral snakes have venom, and it ultimately can be an evolutionary disadvantage, because we destroy our habitat, like many human civilizations, Maya, Easter Island people, they have destroyed their environment, and in consequence their civilization.

Now, our creative thinking, gave us the ability to destroy the entire planet, so, what you want to see as a "pinnacle of evolution" is just another characteristic that may or may not be useful for survival.

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October 30, 2013, 04:23:36 PM
 #104

I'm not arguing humanity's potential threat to its own continuing survival. Who would? I'm a huge Sagan fan, and that was more important to him than neutering pets was to Bob Barker.

My point was that we are more evolutionarily advanced than any other species specifically due to our exclusive ability to intelligently alter our own course of evolution. I've made that point.

And, yes, civilizations have come and gone. So far, our species hasn't. The entire argument is really a moot point. I don't know about you, but I'd rather belong to a species capable of self-awareness, even if it ends up being an evolutionary cul-de-sac, than a mindless species that survives for millions of years.

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October 30, 2013, 04:47:00 PM
 #105

I'm not arguing humanity's potential threat to its own continuing survival. Who would? I'm a huge Sagan fan, and that was more important to him than neutering pets was to Bob Barker.

My point was that we are more evolutionarily advanced than any other species specifically due to our exclusive ability to intelligently alter our own course of evolution. I've made that point.

I see where you're coming from, but what I'm trying to dispute here is the advanced thing, I don't thing it's a correct term to define humans, we're different, not more "advanced", we're not apes 2.0.

And, yes, civilizations have come and gone. So far, our species hasn't. The entire argument is really a moot point. I don't know about you, but I'd rather belong to a species capable of self-awareness, even if it ends up being an evolutionary cul-de-sac, than a mindless species that survives for millions of years.

Can't argue with that. Smiley

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October 30, 2013, 04:51:40 PM
 #106

I'm not arguing humanity's potential threat to its own continuing survival. Who would? I'm a huge Sagan fan, and that was more important to him than neutering pets was to Bob Barker.

My point was that we are more evolutionarily advanced than any other species specifically due to our exclusive ability to intelligently alter our own course of evolution. I've made that point.

And, yes, civilizations have come and gone. So far, our species hasn't. The entire argument is really a moot point. I don't know about you, but I'd rather belong to a species capable of self-awareness, even if it ends up being an evolutionary cul-de-sac, than a mindless species that survives for millions of years.

Well don't think anyone would like to be a tree.  I'll read back the posts to see what you're saying, but I think we're considered more advanced because we're more intelligent which affords us a number of exclusive abilities, of which the ability to alter our own course of evolution doesn't stick out as the sole reason for us to be considered more advanced.

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October 30, 2013, 04:55:45 PM
 #107

Well don't think anyone would like to be a tree.  

If I could choose which type and where, I'd love to be a tree.

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October 30, 2013, 05:09:17 PM
 #108

Well don't think anyone would like to be a tree.  

If I could choose which type and where, I'd love to be a tree.

Well enjoy then I guess.  Would be pretty much the same as being dead IMO though.

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October 30, 2013, 05:11:47 PM
 #109

Well don't think anyone would like to be a tree.  

If I could choose which type and where, I'd love to be a tree.

Well enjoy then I guess.  Would be pretty much the same as being dead IMO though.

Is it so special to be a human, I'm not sure really...

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October 30, 2013, 05:33:41 PM
 #110

Well enjoy then I guess.  Would be pretty much the same as being dead IMO though.

As long as when you're dead that's it maybe.

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October 30, 2013, 07:14:18 PM
 #111

I chose the first option in the vote since it smells so good.

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October 31, 2013, 11:32:11 AM
 #112

So, to sum up some of the questions that are still unanswered:

1) Rassah mentioned the dice example, but the question remains: how probable is beneficial mutation compared to vast amounts of destructive ones. Aren't we talking about something like probability of "private keys collision" for beneficial change to occur? If so, shouldn't we see a lot of garbage mutated species in the fossils and only small percent of those that improved upon predecessor? It's hard to warp my mind around the fact that UV damage and mistakes in replication is the source of positive change.

2) TheJoint mentioned about the definition of species and the problem of parents, which is a very good point. Does evolution explain the diversity of species or only adaptation within each one of them? When new mutation occurs, which makes breeding with the old species incompatible, how does that new individual organism procreate then? The explanation I once heard was very complex and a bit "unethical", because it implied that brothers an sisters of this new type must interbreed for a while Smiley

3) Is mutation really random? Do we see the evidence of this in the fossils? The question of "why pigs didn't evolve wings?" was ironic, but the point remains. Do we see species, that would not be capable of certain behaviours for other reasons, attempt to evolve in that direction and fail as opposed to not even trying.

...
I'm very willing to entertain good explanations for this, as I would genuinely like to learn....not anti-evolution here...

On other hand the explanations offered by creationist and such are worse. And don't really answer a the questions either...

It could be that both sides of the creationists-evolutionists argument are influenced by the same forces willing to divert the discussion away from the truth. You might find similar approach in politics. Smiley

If I were to imagine creation by God, I wouldn't go the simple route, where God comes from the sky in a chariot, waves his hand and everything comes into existence. I would imagine God to conceive of an environment (or mathematical model), where it would be difficult and challenging to create something. Then the process of creation would be more like providing an invisible guidance, while growing very complex and very dense crystal.

People often ask, if God is all powerful, why didn't he create a better life for us?
Well, because it's freaking hard in this part of the model. Wanna help? Smiley

I chose the first option in the vote since it smells so good.

The popular answer might not always be the correct one, but thank you for voting anyway Smiley
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October 31, 2013, 12:14:23 PM
 #113

1) Rassah mentioned the dice example, but the question remains: how probable is beneficial mutation compared to vast amounts of destructive ones. Aren't we talking about something like probability of "private keys collision" for beneficial change to occur? If so, shouldn't we see a lot of garbage mutated species in the fossils and only small percent of those that improved upon predecessor? It's hard to warp my mind around the fact that UV damage and mistakes in replication is the source of positive change.

A destructive mutation usually dies out within one generation. While beneficial mutations experience a exponential growth. Basically that's the definition of any beneficial mutation, one that leads to more breed that manages to breed itself. (More breed only doesn't cut it. A mutation that would lead to 10 Times the newborn would be destructive if this means they all die of starvation)
That's also why there are characteristic that's don't seem beneficial, like the peacocks feathers. But as they lead to more females breeding with the males with big feathers and only the females need to survive in a big number it is "beneficial".

From all beings that ever lived we only find a fraction as fossils. As destructive mutations die out very fast, it's no surprise we don't find them as fossils.

Besides evolution only works in small, barely noticeable changes. A lion with slightly shorter legs would be a destructive mutation, yet we wouldn't notice it as such in a fossil.

Also the highest amount of destructive mutation (the ones from UV / Radiation etc.) that are not mutations in the genetic material that get passed on. And are actually pretty common. They usually lead to something called cancer.


Mutations that get passed on to your offspring are also usually common.

Quote
On average, a 20-year-old father passes down about 25 de novo mutations — which arise spontaneously in sperm cells — to his child, the study found. With each year of paternal age, the number of transmitted mutations increases by two. Mothers, in contrast, pass on about 14 de novo mutations through their eggs regardless of their age.


http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2012/fathers-age-dictates-rate-of-new-mutations

original study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22914163

2) TheJoint mentioned about the definition of species and the problem of parents, which is a very good point. Does evolution explain the diversity of species or only adaptation within each one of them? When new mutation occurs, which makes breeding with the old species incompatible, how does that new individual organism procreate then? The explanation I once heard was very complex and a bit "unethical", because it implied that brothers an sisters of this new type must interbreed for a while Smiley

That only happens when the species separated for a long time. Many species that are separated by a significant distance could theoretically still breed with each other.

Horse and donkeys are not further away from each other than Human and Chimp, yet they can still breed. Shocking thought isn't it? (Luckily it doesn't work)

Mutations don't at once form a new type. It's still the same species, but only with a slight difference. It can usually still interbreed with the former while 50% of all offspring get the new mutation. If the 50% have a advantage over the other they will slowly replace them.

If there are separate populations that don't interbreed for a long time. 2 New species can form over a long time, otherwise one is simply replaced.

3) Is mutation really random? Do we see the evidence of this in the fossils? The question of "why pigs didn't evolve wings?" was ironic, but the point remains. Do we see species, that would not be capable of certain behaviours for other reasons, attempt to evolve in that direction and fail as opposed to not even trying.

Yes it it, but if some conditions are met, even seemingly beneficial mutations would die out. Therefore (in some conditions) it sometimes really can only go in one direction. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muller%27s_ratchet

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October 31, 2013, 06:07:54 PM
 #114

A destructive mutation usually dies out within one generation.
Exactly. The definition of a "failed" mutation is that it does not succeed at propagating itself through subsequent generations. The chance of any fossil being formed from such a small sampling is theoretical at best.
Another good example of beneficial mutations observable in a shorter time frame is Jellyfish Lake. The 4 species of jellyfish that were separated from the rest of the ocean when the volcanic island rose enough to form a lake underwent adaptive mutations to survive and forgo unnecessary appendages. (They lost their poisonous tentacles and adapted their internal organ structure to begin feeding on algae, the only available food source)
The unique thing about this particular phenomenon is that the unaltered species they branched from are still observable in the adjacent ocean right outside the lake. Kind of the exact same way the several species that inhabit the Galapagos were easily compared to their cousins on other continents that inspired Darwin to form his most famous theory.

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