10 Replies to “Elephants Evolving

  1. 1
    crandaddy says:

    cool trick. 🙂

  2. 2
    Charlie says:

    That one’s hard on the old eyes.

  3. 3
    keiths says:

    A simple point mutation to the Legless gene. 🙂

  4. 4
    LCM says:

    OK, I have been following this blog for a few months now, and this is my first post. I am a scientist (atmospheric scientist) but not a biologist, so I don’t feel I have any special qualifications in this field. The biggest disincentive for me to pursue a career in the biological sciences while in college (a long time ago!) was the mandatory acceptance of Darwin’s macro-evolutionary theory. I have always considered Darwinism to be extremely weak from a scientific perspective, although I suppose my Baptist upbringing predisposed me to an anti-darwin bias.

    I beg your indulgence since these issues have probably been discussed innumerable times on this forum. However, I have never received what I felt was a satisfactory answer from a scientific perspective. What are Darwinists explanations for:

    1. To me, design (and VERY complex at that) implies a designer. Don’t Archeologists generally assume a (human) designer of the artifacts they find, and not just some arbitrary forces of nature (wind/precipitation/weathering, etc.)? Isn’t Archeology considered a “science”?

    2. How do Darwinists explain “lower life forms” not only surviving but thriving in ecosystems with “higher life forms”? “Lower life forms” appear much more adaptable than “higher life forms” (e.g., a species of spider ranging from jungles of Malaysia to high elevations of the Himalayas, bacteria that live near underwater volcanoes @ 160-180 degrees F, etc.). Why haven’t “lower life forms” long since become extinct with only a few “higher life forms” competing for survival?

    3. How are biological systems required for the survival of a species explained by evolution? E.g., sponges had to “evolve” the mechanism for NOT digesting themselves (something I actually heard on a nature show).

    4. Has anyone ever observed two single-celled organisms combining for a competitive edge?

    I obviously acknowledge micro-evolution (e.g., bacteria becoming drug resistant). However, they are still bateria. I am highly skeptical of macro-evolution (totally new species “evolved” from ancestral species with which the new species is incapable of reproducing). I find ID a much more palatable premise from a scientific perspective.

  5. 5
    Red Reader says:

    Eshervolution.

  6. 6
    pmob1 says:

    Symbol of the GOP, evolving under Bush. The extra, free, (or at least cheap), legs represent globalized labor from Mexico.

  7. 7
    Josh Bozeman says:

    I saw this post shortly after it was posted, and I was half asleep- for a few mins there I had no idea what on earth it was. I was like- ‘okay, an elephant with no text…I’m confused!’

    I see it now tho. 🙂

    Reminds me of those books of visual tricks where you hold the book close to your face, unfocus your eyes and pull the page away and you can see a 3D image (anyone know what those are called?)…I hate those things, because I have never been able to see any of them EVER. 🙂

  8. 8
    RobG says:

    LCM,
    Trying to answer some of your questions.
    1. When archaeologist find artifacts that are the same as objects that we know people created (because we have documented observations of the creation) then we can reasonably conclude that the artifacts are man-made.
    2. All extant organisms are “higher life forms” and have been evolving since they first came into existence. Each extant organism has its niche and has evolved to outcompete other organisms in its niche. Bacteria, as a group, are extremely diverse and have evolved to fill a huge variety of niches. Bacteria are much more diverse biochemically than animals or plants.
    3. If the biological systems necessary for survival had not evolved then the species would have become extinct. I don’t know the answer to your sponge question, so I can’t address it.
    4. YES!!! Numerous species of dinoflagellates have endosymbiotic diatoms. Many speicies of coral have endosymbiotic dinoflagellates living withing the coral cells, not simply within the tissue. During periods of stress the coral cells may expel the dinoflagellates leaving the coral incapable of photosynthesis and, unless they re-acquire the dinoflagellates, they will not survive.

  9. 9
    WayneFrancis says:

    To the following questions I provide some answers.

    1. To me, design (and VERY complex at that) implies a designer. Don’t Archeologists generally assume a (human) designer of the artifacts they find, and not just some arbitrary forces of nature (wind/precipitation/weathering, etc.)? Isn’t Archeology considered a “science”?

    An Answer: Archeology is the scientific study of past human cultures by analyzing the material remains. Of course they assume “human designers” for items found since they are studying “human cultures”. They can infer things about the culture because they understand the designers of the object. If we found artifacts on another planet we could not readily make the same assumptions about the makers of those objects if we even recognized the objects at all. Programs like SETI are based upon an assumption that the message senders would want their message to be found thus would spend time thinking what type of message should be sent so that an receiver that was looking for these types of messages would recognize it as a message.

    2. How do Darwinists explain “lower life forms” not only surviving but thriving in ecosystems with “higher life forms”? “Lower life forms” appear much more adaptable than “higher life forms” (e.g., a species of spider ranging from jungles of Malaysia to high elevations of the Himalayas, bacteria that live near underwater volcanoes @ 160-180 degrees F, etc.). Why haven’t “lower life forms” long since become extinct with only a few “higher life forms” competing for survival?

    An Answer: Populations tend not to evolve if there is no selection pressure to cause them to evolve. A put bacterium that is very well suited to an environment that doesn’t change for billions of years evolution predicts that these bacteria will have changed very little in that time period. Your “Lower/higher Life forms” is an arbitrary classification. Show me a bacterium that competes with a vertebrate. They can co-exist in the same environment very well because they don’t compete for the same resources and you will often find they might form some symbiosis with your “higher life forms” in which both organisms can benefit from each other. We have many different bacteria in our bodies that we have just this type of relationship with.

    3. How are biological systems required for the survival of a species explained by evolution? E.g., sponges had to “evolve” the mechanism for NOT digesting themselves (something I actually heard on a nature show).

    An Answer: Sponges are Porifera. They are a good example of simple multicellular organism with just a few different types of cells. Why they don’t digest themselves is a bit misleading. They do digest themselves. Sponges like many other organisms can and do cannibalize themselves when food supplies are low. How do you think our digestive system works? The fact is we digest our own digestive system constantly. The rate this happens at is less then the rate of mitosis thus we don’t eat ourselves from the inside out.

    4. Has anyone ever observed two single-celled organisms combining for a competitive edge?

    An Answer: Yes! Porifera are a good example of a simple multicellular organisms but there are many colonials such as Asterionella, Pediastrum, Pediastrum, Chroococcus and Chrysosphaerella just to name a few.

    I obviously acknowledge micro-evolution (e.g., bacteria becoming drug resistant). However, they are still bateria. I am highly skeptical of macro-evolution (totally new species “evolved” from ancestral species with which the new species is incapable of reproducing). I find ID a much more palatable premise from a scientific perspective

    You have to understand that “Species” is a human classification system. In nature there is no clear divides in the speciation process. There is no “dog” giving birth to a “cat”. There are populations that change with regard to other populations. The more genetic changes between the populations the less likely those populations will be able to interbreed. A good example is ring species where a ring of populations of a single species can, over time, evolve 2 or more species where neighboring species may be able to interbreed quite successfully but the further apart you go the less viable the offspring become even to the point where species at then ends are not genetically compatible at all. You may say that they are still the “same species” but the common definition of a species is “a taxonomic group whose members can interbreed”. Now Lions and Tigers can interbreed. Female offspring are fertile, males generally are not. There are many different “species” that can interbreed with other “species” with different levels of success. There are 3 species of Zebras that have huge differences in genetic makeup. They don’t naturally interbreed for various reasons and if they do breed the viability of the offspring is low and if the offspring is viable the fertility is often lower. If you wish to claim that lions and tigers are the same “species” or that different members of the Equid family are actually the same species then you would have to classify all the great apes as the same species as there is less genetically different from humans, chimps and bonoboos then the fore mentioned species.

    Remember that there is much more difference between most bacteria, genetically speaking, then many vertebrates.

    I just noticed that LCM answers you too. Hope both these posts help.

  10. 10
    LCM says:

    Thanks all, for your responses.

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