"Darwin was the first to use data from nature to convince people that evolution is true, and his idea of natural selection was truly novel. It testifies to his genius that the concept of natural theology, accepted by most educated Westerners before 1859, was vanquished within only a few years by a single five-hundred-page book. On the Origin of Species turned the mysteries of life's diversity from mythology into genuine science." -- Jerry Coyne
Sunday, December 18, 2016
This post has cut and paste jobs of numerous evidences for evolution.
Sean B. Carroll wrote about science deniers in "The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution":
"For all of those who do see the overwhelming evidence of natural selection and life's descent from ancestors, and the immense span of time over which the story of life unfolded, it is, to put it mildly, baffling how so many still do not. It is absolutely astonishing and often infuriating that some take it so far as to deny the immense foundation of evidence and to slander all the human achievement that foundation represents."
The denial of evolution requires denial of the bedrock of two centuries of biology and geology. That is quite a feat. -- Sean B. Carroll
"Fortunately, there is, however, an altogether new way of deciphering species' relationships. It also relies on DNA, but rather than being based on the degree of sequence similarity, it looks for the presence and absence of certain landmarks in specific places in species DNA. These landmarks are produced by accidental insertions of junk DNA sequences near genes. Particular chunks of junk DNA, call long interspersed elements (LINES) and short interspersed elements (SINES), are very easy to detect. Once a SINE or LINE is inserted, there is no active mechanism for removing it. The insertion of these elements marks a gene in a species, and is then inherited by all species descended from it. They are really perfect tracers of genealogy. These insertion events are very rare; therefore, their presence in the same place in the DNA of two species can be explained only by the species sharing a common ancestor. The inheritance of variable markers in DNA is the same principle applied to paternity testing in humans. By surveying the distribution of a number of elements that arose at different times in different ancestors, biologists have sufficient forensic evidence to determine species' kinship beyond any doubt." -- "The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution" by Sean B. Carroll
From page 51 of Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne:
"Finally, at 40 million years ago, we find the fossils Basilosaurus and Dorudon--clearly fully aquatic mammals, with short necks and blowholes atop the skull. They could not have spent any time on land, for their pelvis and hindlimbs were reduced (the fifty-foot Dorudon had legs only two feet long) and were unconnected to the rest of the skeleton."
What we have here is an ancestor of modern whales. It is a whale but it still has legs which shows its ancestors use to walk on land. The science deniers can't explain these legs without lying about it.
The science deniers can't explain anything without lying about it.
Do these strange people ever wonder if just maybe all the world's biologists know more about biology than they do?
A curious thing about creationists. I try to study the minds of these strange people, who still, 150 years after Alfred Wallace, retain the primitive mindset of the eighteenth century when people thought that animal species, including the naked ape, had been created, each in its own place, by a finger-pointing white-bearded figure in the sky. It is as if we still had, living among us, people who believed in phlogiston, or humors, or the heart as the seat of emotions; a glimpse back into a distant past of primitive ideas about the world around us. So I study them, much as a time traveler visiting the Dark Ages might, or a traveler to the deepest Amazon finding a previously uncontacted tribe. And in the case of creationists, these strange throwbacks living still among us, I try to see the world through their eyes, wonder what strange shadows that imperfect organ is throwing on to the retina of these good simple people as they struggle to come to grips with the realities of several hundred years of scientific advances. Here is one for you. What do creationists see when they look in the evolutionary mirror? What do they see when they look at Chimpanzee or Gorilla? Do they see both as just another mammal, like Cat or Dog, Kangaroo or Opossum, Platypus or Echidna? Do they not see the close resemblances to us in the face, the expressions, the hands and feet, the body, the behavior, the movement, the social groups, the young? Do they not say, well, my cousin is a hairy man, but he is still my cousin? Do they not say there but for the grace of Darwin go we? That these close cousins just traveled a different path from an obviously identical starting point? And looking at the faces of their cousins, are they not inspired to investigate further, find that the resemblance is not just skin deep but extends through brain and skeleton and into the most fundamental unit of evolution the DNA? I mean it is one thing to believe that the old silverback in the sky created beasts of burden and sheep and cattle, obviously different to, and, from an anthropocentric view, inferior to, humans, as part of his reward of dominion over all as long as you didn’t eat of the “tree of evolutionary knowledge” scheme. But the bronze age sheepherders typing out the Old Testament on a piece of goatskin didn’t know about the great apes, or even the monkeys, which did not live around what the desert nomads thought of as the centre of the universe but which we now call the Middle East, a kind of evolutionary backwater with barely enough species known to fill a boat. If there had been a band of gorillas living by the Dead Sea, or a band of chimpanzees living on the Mount of Olives, do you think one of the sheepherders might have modified the relevant bit of his creation mythology to read, “And then Yahweh created the great apes, and he took a rib from a chimpanzee and it became the first human”? With that kind of mythology, one of Darwin’s early ancestors, say living in Ancient Athens, might well have been inspired to discover the reality of evolution long before Alfred Wallace. And in that case, would the primitive members of the Texas School Board still be demanding that creationism be taught? How long does it take for the blindingly obvious to be accepted?
A. Sure, I'm very happy to. The next slide, this is another test of the evolutionary hypothesis of common ancestry.
We have, as I'm sure most people know, 46 chromosomes in our human cells. That means we have 23 pairs of chromosomesbecause you get 23 from mom and you get 23 from dad, so we've all got 46 total. We've got 23 pairs.
Now, the curious thing about the great apes is they have more. They have, as you can see from the slide, 48 chromosomes, which means they have 24 pairs. Now, what that means, Mr. Walczak, is that you and I, in a sense, are missing a chromosome, we're missing a pair of chromosomes. And the question is, if evolution is right about this common ancestry idea, where did the chromosome go?
Now, there's no possibility that that common ancestry which would have had 48 chromosomes because the other three species have 48, there's no possibility the chromosome could have just got lost or thrown away. A chromosome has so much genetic information on it that the loss of a whole chromosomewould probably be fatal. So that's not a hypothesis.
Therefore, evolution makes a testable prediction, and that is, somewhere in the human genome we've got to be able to find a human chromosomethat actually shows the point at which twoof these common ancestors were pasted together. We ought to be able to find a piece of Scotch tape holding together two chromosomes so that our 24 pairs -- one of them was pasted together to form just 23. And if we can't find that, then the hypothesis of common ancestry is wrong and evolution is mistaken.
Go to the next slide. Now, the prediction is even better than that. And the reason for that is chromosomes themselves have little genetic markers in their middles and on their ends. They have DNA sequences, which I've highlighted in here, called telomeres that exist on the edges of the chromosomes.
Then they have special DNA sequences at the center called centromeres, which I've highlighted in red. Centromeres are really important because that's where the chromosomesare separated when a cell divides. If you don't have a centromere, you're in really big trouble.
Now, if one of our chromosomes, as evolution predicts, really was formed by the fusion of two chromosomes, what we should find is in that human chromosome, we should find those telomere sequences which belong at the ends, but we should find them in the middle. Sort of like the seam at which you've glued two things together, it should still be there.
And we should also find that there are two centromeres, one of which has, perhaps, been inactivated in order to make it convenient to separate this when a cell divides. That's a prediction. And if we can't find it in our genome, then evolution is in trouble.
Next slide. Well, lo and behold, the answer is in ChromosomeNumber 2. This is a paper that -- this is a facsimile of a paper that was published in the British journal Nature in 2004. It's a multi-authored paper. The first author is Hillier, and other authors are listed as et al. And it's entitled, The Generation and Annotation of the DNA Sequences of Human Chromosomes 2 and 4.
And what this paper shows very clearly is that all of the marks of the fusion of those chromosomes predicted by common descent and evolution, all those marks are present on human Chromosome Number 2.
Would you advance the slide. And I put this up to remind the Court of what that prediction is. We should find telomeres at the fusion point of one of our chromosomes, we should have an inactivated centromere and we should have another one that still works.
And you'll note -- this is some scientific jargon from the paper, but I will read part of it. Quote, Chromosome 2 is unique to the human lineage of evolution having emerged as a result of head-to-head fusion of two acrocentric chromosomes that remain separate in other primates. The precise fusion site has been located, the reference then says exactly there, where our analysis confirmed the presence of multiple telomere, subtelomeric duplications. So those are right there.
And then, secondly, during the formation of human chromosome 2, one of the two centromeres became inactivated, and the exact point of that inactivation is pointed out, and the chromosome that is inactivated in us -- excuse me, the centromere that is inactivated in us turns out to correspond to primate Chromosomes Number 13.
So the case is closed in a most beautiful way, and that is, the prediction of evolution of common ancestry is fulfilled by that lead-pipe evidence that you see here in terms of tying everything together, that our chromosome formed by the fusion from our common ancestor is Chromosome Number 2. Evolution has made a testable prediction and has passed.
Q. So what you're testifying here is that modern genetics and molecular biology actually support evolutionary theory?
A. They support it in great detail. And the closer that we can get to looking at the details of the human genome, the more powerful the evidence has become.
We also harbor dead genes that came from other species, namely viruses. Some, called 'endogenous retroviruses' (ERVs), can make copies of their genome and insert them into the DNA of species they infect. (HIV is a retrovirus.) If the viruses infect the cells that make sperm and eggs, they can be passed on to future generations. The human genome contains thousands of such viruses, nearly all of them rendered harmless by mutations. They are the remnants of ancient infections. But some of these remnants sit in exactly the same location on the chromosomes of humans and chimpanzees. These were surely viruses that infected our common ancestor and were passed on to both descendants. Since there is almost no chance of viruses inserting themselves independently at exactly the same spot in two species, this points strongly to common ancestry.
-- Jerry Coyne, University of Chicago biologist, author of Why Evolution Is True
This was written by a biologist. Here is the link:
I'm sure you've heard that humans and chimpanzees have the vast majority of our DNA in common. You're also probably not convinced by this argument ("I don't understand...so what if twoorganisms share the same genes? How does this prove that they came from the same lineage?"). But for now, forget about how very similar we are in our genetic sequence and let's focus on our chromosomes.
If you need a refresher, remember that the number of chromosomes a species has tends to stay the same from generation to generation. A fruit fly has four autosomal chromosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes; it's offspring will all have the same number. What about us humans? We have 23 pairs of chromosomes; 46 chromosomes in total. If you took a karyotype - that's a display of all the chromosomes in a cell - of an ape (I know you're skeptical of humans being primates, but lets call 'em primates for now) you'll notice something different from human chromosomes: there's twoextra! Apes have 48 chromosomes.
You might wonder how this proves we evolved from an ancestral primate. You might even suspect that it is evidence against such a claim, since an ancestral primate would have had 48 chromosomes, and that number would have likely stayed constant down the generations, while in us, it's different. Well, this information alone does not prove much. But let's take a look at what the genome sequence shows us.
The sequence of the human genome showed an interesting fact about our Chromosome 2. The area around the very centre of chromosome 2 (known as a centromere) looked an awful lot like telomeric DNA. Telomeres are the regions at the very ends of chromosomes; what were they doing in the centre of chromosome 2? Furthermore, each arm of Chromosome 2 had what appeared to be their own centromeres. Chromosome 2 was looking to be quite an oddity. No other human chromosomedisplayed these characteristics.
Once the chimpanzee genome was sequenced, things got even more interesting. One of the chimpanzee's chromosomes was pretty much identical to the top half of the human chromosome2. Another chimpanzee chromosome was nearly identical to the bottom half of Chromosome 2. On top of this, the banding pattern of these two chromosomes (as well as the same chromosomes in many other species of primates) was a complete match to the banding pattern of Chromosome 2.
Coincidence? Not likely. What this is, is evidence of a chromosomal fusion. An ancestral primate, ancestor to humans, chimpanzees and apes, had 24 pairs of chromosomes. Eventually, this lineage diverged: apes and chimps went one way and we humans evolved along a separate path. But something interesting happened in the lineage that was to become humans: the two extra chromosomes from that ancestor fused together end to end to become human Chromosome 2. This is why our Chromosome 2 has what appears to be telomeres in its centre, and what appears to be two extra centromeres, one on each arm.
The only way to explain Chromosome 2's odd characteristics and similarity to other primates is with a chromosomal fusion. And the only way this could be possible is if we were descended from a common primate ancestor.
Another cut and paste job. Ken Miller gave this radio speech at Rhode Island. What he said was brilliant except for one dumb mistake. He said he "believes" in evolution. Nobody believes in evolution. The strongest fact of science is not a belief. Except of course the uneducated morons, people "accept" the countless thousands of powerful evidences for evolution.
This is probably the best speech about the foundation of biology ever made. Here it is:
I believe in evolution. In America that's a controversial statement. More than half of us reject the theory of evolution, and for some, it's not only wrong, but the source of nearly everything that's wrong with society today. But to a biologist like me evolution isn't politics or sociology. It's a scientific idea. And it might just be the best scientific idea ever.
Darwin's great insight was that the living world today holds the key to our biological past. The fact that he worked in an age before genetics, before the discovery of radioactivity, before the identification of even a single pre-human fossil, makes his work that much more remarkable. Darwin didn't know about the gene, but today we trace the ways in which genes themselves produce evolutionary change. Darwin didn't know about DNA, but today we follow the course of evolution thru our own DNA and the story is unmistakable. Like everything else on this planet, we evolved.
The objections often raised against evolution, like the age of the earth, or their so called gaps in the fossil record, are remarkably easy to answer. And I've done that many times, in books and lectures and twice, even in a federal court. But the evidence isn't what really bothers most Americans about evolution. What bugs them is that evolution says something they just don't want to hear. Namely, that we not only live in a natural world, but we are part of it, we emerged from it, or more accurately, we emerged with it. To them that means we are just animals. Our lives are an accident, our existence is without purpose, meaning, or value. My concern for those who hold that view, isn't just that they are wrong on science, wrong about the nature of the evidence, and mistaken on a fundamental point of biology, it's that they are missing something grand and beautiful and personally enriching.
Evolution isn't just a story about where we came from. It's an epic at the center of life itself. Far from robbing our lives of meaning, it instills an appreciation for the beautiful, enduring, and ultimately triumphant fabric of life that covers our planet, and even this beautiful little state, from the deep forests of Hope Valley to the rich aquatic life of Narragansett Bay.
Understanding that doesn't demean human life, it enhances it. We may be animals, but we are not just animals. We are the only ones who can truly appreciate, as Darwin put it, that there is grandeur in this view of life. And indeed there is.
To accept evolution isn't just to acknowledge the obvious, that the evidence behind it is overwhelming. It is to open one's eyes to the endless beauty that life has generated and continues to produce. It is to become a knowing participant in the truest sense, in the living world of which we are all a part. -- Ken Miller, biology professor at Brown University
Evolution - ruining the fantasies of retards since 1859.
EVOLUTION: "The supporting evidence is abundant, various, ever increasing, solidly interconnected, and easily available in museums, popular books, textbooks, and a mountainous accumulation of peer-reviewed scientific studies."
-- National Geographic
"If there's a paper in one of the big journals that discusses more evidence for evolution, there is a creationist hack somewhere who'll quickly write it up and lie about it."
-- PZ Myers, University of Minnesota biologist
There is probably no other notion in any field of science that has been as extensively tested and as thoroughly corroborated as the evolutionary origin of living organisms.
-- Encyclopedia Britannica
Evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence."
-- Florida's public school state science standards adopted in 2008
"The blood vessels of embryonic humans start out resembling those of embryonic fish, with a top and bottom vessel connectedly by parallel vessels, one on each side ('aortic arches'). In fish, these side vessels carry blood to and from the gills. Embryonic and adult fish have six pairs of arches; this is the basic ground plan that appears at the beginning of development of all vertebrates. In the human embryo, the first, second, and fifth arches form briefly at the beginning of development, but disappear by four weeks of age, when the third, fourth, and sixth arches have rearranged themselves, looking much like the embryonic vessels of a reptile. In the final adult configuration, the vessels are rearranged still more, with some having vanished or transformed themselves into different vessels. The aortic arches of fish undergo no such transformation."
"All vertebrates begin development looking like embryonic fish because we all descended from a fishlike ancestor with a fishlike embryo. We see strange contortions and disappearances of organs, blood vessels, and gill slits because descendants still carry the genes and developmental programs of ancestors. And the sequence of development changes also make sense: at one stage of development mammals have an embryonic circulatory system like that of reptiles; but we don't see the converse situation. Why? Because mammals descended from early reptiles and not vice versa."
"Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eyewitnesses to the Holocaust. It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips...continue the list as long as desired...It didn't have to be true, but it is. We know this because a rising flood of evidence supports it. Evolution is a fact, and this book will demonstrate it. No reputable scientist disputes it, and no unbiased reader will close the book doubting it."
-- Richard Dawkins
"Geneticists have come up with a variety of ways of calculating the percentages, which give different impressions about how similar chimpanzees and humans are. The 1.2% chimp-human distinction, for example, involves a measurement of only substitutions in the base building blocks of those genes that chimpanzees and humans share. A comparison of the entire genome, however, indicates that segments of DNA have also been deleted, duplicated over and over, or inserted from one part of the genome into another. When these differences are counted, there is an additional 4 to 5% distinction between the human and chimpanzee genomes."
"No matter how the calculation is done, the big point still holds: humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos are more closely related to one another than either is to gorillas or any other primate. From the perspective of this powerful test of biological kinship, humans are not only related to the great apes – we are one. The DNA evidence leaves us with one of the greatest surprises in biology: the wall between human, on the one hand, and ape or animal, on the other, has been breached. The human evolutionary tree is embedded withinthe great apes."
-- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Are you know-nothing science deniers reading this stuff? There is a lot more out there. There are countless thousands of evidences for evolution.
From Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne:
One of my favorite cases of embryological evidence for evolution is the furry human fetus. We are famously known as "naked apes" because, unlike other primates, we don't have a thick coat of hair. But in fact for one brief period we do--as embryos. Around sixth months after conception, we become completely covered with a fine, downy coat of hair called lanugo. Lanugo is usually shed about a month before birth, when it's replaced by the more sparsely distributed hair with which we're born. (Premature infants, however, are sometimes born with lanugo, which soon falls off.) Now, there's no need for a human embryo to have a transitory coat of hair. After all, it's a cozy 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit in the womb. Lanugo can be explained only as a remnant of our primate ancestry: fetal monkeys also develop a coat of hair at about the same stage of development. Their hair, however, doesn't fall out, but hangs on to become the adult coat. And, like humans, fetal whales also have lanugo, a remnant of when their ancestors lived on land.
From a science webite:
• Lanugo. This little-known developmental phenomenon is an important clue to our mammalian past. Lanugo is a coat of fine, downy hair that fetuses grow while in the womb, covering the entire body except for the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. Typically, lanugo is shed by the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy, although premature infants may retain it for several weeks after birth. The question is why we grow it at all, and the theory of evolution can easily explain this as a vestigial characteristic retained from our furry ancestors.
Darwin and other 19th-century biologists found compelling evidence for biological evolution in the comparative study of living organisms, in their geographic distribution, and in the fossil remains of extinct organisms. Since Darwin’s time, the evidence from these sources has become considerably stronger and more comprehensive, while biological disciplines that emerged more recently—genetics, biochemistry, physiology, ecology, animal behaviour (ethology), and especially molecular biology—have supplied powerful additional evidence and detailed confirmation. The amount of information about evolutionary history stored in the DNA and proteins of living things is virtually unlimited; scientists can reconstruct any detail of the evolutionary history of life by investing sufficient time and laboratory resources.
That's it for now. Numerous posts about the overwhelming evidence for evolution, all written by the world's best scientists.
There is a lot more where this stuff came from.
There is absolutely no excuse to deny the truth of evolution in the 21st century.
How do the know-nothing science deniers explain the diversity of life? They never want to talk about it. They would rather show off their total ignorance of how evolution works and overwhelming evidence for it. They would rather ask dumb questions and then ignore the answers.
This is how the brain-dead explain the development of new species: A magic fairy waved its magic wand and magically created cockroaches, thousands of species of beetles, mosquitos, trees, plants, thousands of different species of bacteria, and human apes, not to mention the millions of species that went extinct. The whole thing was a magical event.
Science hard. Hurts brain.
Magic easy. No think.
There is no nice way to say this. The science deniers are just plain stupid.