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aknerd
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aknerd
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Evolution!

People LOVE to "debate" evolution. But that's silly, and doesn't really solve anything. If you are in a debate about whether or not evolution is a valid theory, you are either debating someone who has little to no idea what what evolution is, or ARE the person who has little to no idea what evolution is. That doesn't sound like very much fun, so let's not do that, okay?

Instead, this thread will be about topics in evolution, because it is much more entertaining to talk about specific cases and ideas than one big overarching theory. The topics will be chosen by whoever has the best topic, with all "lesser" topics being ignored and forgotten.

Now, I'll start us off with what actually made me want to start this thread: randomness. I was reading Mage's post at the bottom of this thread, and immediately thought about genetic drift.

Here is a classic example of genetic drift in a fruit fly population:

Basically, genetic drift states that random sampling has a lot to do with the evolution of small populations. Think about it: say you have a population of four individuals, two males and two females. One female homozygous allele for blue fur, the others all have a homozygous allele for red fur. Mating between blue and red fur produces a heterzygous purple fur creature. We would therefore expect the next generation to have some purple and red individuals, and the one after that to have all three colors represented. Basic Mendelian stuff.

Now, it gets interesting. Lightening strikes the blue female. She's dead, and will never reproduce. Now, all individuals in this population will be forevermore purely red. Note that this is regardless of the fitness of these genes. Blue fur might have been much more beneficial (perhaps these creatures lived in blue grass, and it provided camouflage), due entirely to random events (as opposed to evolutionary pressures) it is RED fur that becomes fixed in the population.

Going back to and contradicting Mage's comment from before, due to genetic drift, having the same selective factors won't guarantee a particular evolutionary outcome, due to simple random events.

So.... Discuss?

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MageGrayWolf
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Not necessarily. There's no reason to think that monkeys stayed unchanged compared to our common ancestor while we obviously didn't. That was my whole point, you were arguing as if we were the only one that changed, but modern monkeys could have changed just as much from that common ancestor.


Of course changes occurred on both sides. Just not enough changes to give it a different classification.

Humans are definitely anthropoid; there's not the question at all. The question is, can the basal anthropoid be termed a monkey. It can, you say, and if that fossil really has monkey features, whatever that means, you win


I haven' had the energy or time to go looking for it but I had planned to find a picture to do a comparison from.

But I still would not say that we are monkeys, as most people will then imagine the modern ones. Best still to use the correct term anthropoids and qualify us as apes, which is more accurate since we're quite derived from the basal node.


Considering the point is to eliminate subjectivity this really doesn't seem to apply. Besides we get the same issue with people thinking we evolved from modern apes.
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Of course changes occurred on both sides. Just not enough changes to give it a different classification.

Give what a different classification? I'm not arguing to extract apes from the simian tree (btw, "simian" means monkey as well as ape, contrary to what your link stated (one more little mistake in that link)). To even make that linguistic distinction is an English specificity, and I'm starting to see I won't get anywhere if I continue using the term monkey myself as if it was a taxon. It isn't. Apes, OWM, NWM and all extinct relatives are simians, anthropoids. So we're apes AND we're simians. I think that's what we both said from the beginning.

I haven' had the energy or time to go looking for it but I had planned to find a picture to do a comparison from.

That would be worthless. C'mon, doing taxonomy on pics on the internet? Really? You better just link me to those fossils of yours, I searched the web but the only things I found yet are mentions of pieces of fossil primate mandibles. Hurray.

And I hope you're not thinking of Ida, because that's another matter altogether.

And I still won't qualify the basal simian as closer to the two "monkey" groups, as they're not particularly linked compared to apes. Instead, OWM are closer to apes than to NWM. The catarrhini have their very own characters justifying their end of the phylogenetic tree compared to the NWM, the platyrrhines. All of the single catarrhini taxa then split into own specializations. We certainly can agree that the basal simian probably superficially resembled a non-hominoidean one, but it still had to unite basic characteristics of all groups. The amount of derivation that apes might have experienced since then doesn't change that.
MageGrayWolf
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Give what a different classification? I'm not arguing to extract apes from the simian tree (btw, "simian" means monkey as well as ape, contrary to what your link stated (one more little mistake in that link)). To even make that linguistic distinction is an English specificity,


What? I see it pointing out how simian means monkey.

"We must either assign consistent definitions or drop these words from our vocabulary of scientific terms. And itâs important to note that while there are English words to distinguish apes from monkeys, other languages donât see this division. The Latin word for âmonkeyâ is âsimianâ, and that is the other name of the clade to which apes and all other monkeys belong."

Sounds like it's saying what you're basically saying.

It isn't. Apes, OWM, NWM and all extinct relatives are simians, anthropoids. So we're apes AND we're simians. I think that's what we both said from the beginning.


I suppose. Wouldn't that fit with the whole "we are monkeys" things though?

That would be worthless. C'mon, doing taxonomy on pics on the internet? Really? You better just link me to those fossils of yours, I searched the web but the only things I found yet are mentions of pieces of fossil primate mandibles. Hurray.


What we can't use photographs of fossils to compare characteristic similarities mentioned by others who had the chance to study them? Of course I would provide links. Though so far a quick search so far is coming up with the same as you got.

And I hope you're not thinking of Ida, because that's another matter altogether.


No I wasn't thinking of Ida.

And I still won't qualify the basal simian as closer to the two "monkey" groups, as they're not particularly linked compared to apes. Instead, OWM are closer to apes than to NWM.


Basically it would be saying the OWM, NWM ape, and this basal form all belong to the same clade and thus can all fall under the term "monkey".
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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What? I see it pointing out how simian means monkey.

I was just under the impression that he was using the translation of simian as monkey as an argument, omitting it also means ape. But I guess that's unimportant.

I suppose. Wouldn't that fit with the whole "we are monkeys" things though?

What are monkeys anyway? Extant non-apes, not a valable taxonomic term. Why use it if we have simian or anthropoids, pretty much unambiguous terms?

What we can't use photographs of fossils to compare characteristic similarities mentioned by others who had the chance to study them?

Many characters aren't as visible on photos as on the original; for example the distinction of sediment and actual fossil. If others have looked at the original, which is to be expected from published material, you can use the photo to visualize their arguments, but a photo alone is not a base for arguments.
The reason why I say this is that there have been claims from dubious people, making their own interpretation using private software on published photos, completely misinterpretating many details. Here, have fun:
Why the world has to ignore ReptileEvolution.com

Basically it would be saying the OWM, NWM ape, and this basal form all belong to the same clade

Never said anything different..

and thus can all fall under the term "monkey".

..but again... argh, whatever. I do agree it is wrong to say, like in the wiki, that simians include "tarsiers, monkeys and apes"; mainly because I do not attach any systematic value to the term monkey. I couldn't care less whether we're monkeys or not in the sense that I wouldn't consider it an offense. I'm just saying it makes no sense as we have other terms already, and just because two groups are called old world and new world monkeys doesn't mean this has any taxonomic relevance. Those two groups have other names as well.
MageGrayWolf
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Why use it if we have simian or anthropoids, pretty much unambiguous terms?


Same way we go about using ape.

Many characters aren't as visible on photos as on the original; for example the distinction of sediment and actual fossil. If others have looked at the original, which is to be expected from published material, you can use the photo to visualize their arguments, but a photo alone is not a base for arguments.


Using the photo to visualize the argument while pointing out what is being said in the field was the whole idea. Guess I just didn't get that across right.

What are monkeys anyway? Extant non-apes,


This is kind of the issue with the term used in that way. Keep in mind we at one point used ape in a similar fashion excluding humans.

Perhaps a visual of what I was trying to say.
Currently this is basically what we are saying by excluding apes.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y163/MageGrayWolf/Evolution/monkey2_zpsd0b0784b.jpg

This is basically what I'm saying.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y163/MageGrayWolf/Evolution/monkey1_zps140fa401.jpg
MageGrayWolf
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And I should have put monkey in quotes. So pretend those visual have it written as "Monkey".

aknerd
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On the Naming of Things

Within the scope of evolution, we primarily want names to reflect relatedness. Things (ALL things) with the same name should be more related to related (genetically related, that is) to each other than to things with other names. This... makes sense. It would be silly to do things any other way, and from what I've read over the last couple pages this seems to be to motivation over the discussion over the label "monkeys".

Of course, things are not always so simple. The relevant genetic data is not always to easy to find, and is sometimes confusing or contradictory (as with bacteria, or in some cases when you compare mitochondrial DNA to nuclear DNA). But just because a task is difficult doesn't mean we shouldn't try, right? In this day and age, to let a clade remain knowingly paraphyletic just seems... wrong.

BUT. As with all things, there is another side. There is more to biology than evolution, and we typically want names to be consistent across all disciplines. The point was raised earlier (I think) that humans are, if we want things to be strictly monophyletic, lobe finned fish. Suppose I'm an ecologist, and I want to examine the effects of climate change on all lobe-finned fish. Should I include humans in my study (and every other tetrapod)?

Well... no. Lobe-finned fish are very, very different from humans in terms of the scope of this study. So, in this sense, names are context dependent, even within the biological sciences. But this is a HUGE problem, because there should be only one group of things that have the same name, in order to avoid confusion.

One possible solution would be to keep the cladistic view, but be more when careful naming things. Instead of saying "lobe finned fish" I could have said "Lung fish and Coelacanths", which basically constitutes all lobed finned fish minus the tetrapods. But, in some cases this work-around would get rather messy and tedious, and is hardly ideal.

Basically, we have a trade-off between practicality and information-loading: we can have names describe evolutionary relationships or current ecological function*, but we can't always do both very well. Solutions?

*Or, really, a lot of other things: morphology, behavior, chemistry, etc. And we have secondary names for some of this things, but often we use primary latin naming system for everything, which creates problems.

HahiHa
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No need for visuals. I know very well what you mean, and we basically agree on the whole. I just think "monkey" is an outdated term and shouldn't even be used for NW and OW "M". Though maybe using the term ape and not the term monkey makes me unconcistent linguistically; but the linguistics is weird in this case anyway. Since "simian" literally means both monkey and ape in latin, or simply "Affe" in German and "singe" in French, why use any of the term in any different way than to qualify the whole group? So maybe if I won't use "monkey", I shouldn't use "ape" either?

Solutions?

None, I guess. If you want to be really correct, you have to name the actual groups you want to analyze. In your example, you want to look at extant lung fishes and coelacanths, as you said. Though usually, studies restrain to a set of species which are listed separately anyway, no? Like, "we're looking at the lobe-finned fish species A, B, C, D and E". In that way, you mention the actual species while saying what bigger group they belong to.
KnightDeclan
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Evolution's retarded. God made us 8000 years ago. The world is not even a week older. Evolution was created by atheists to make it harder to believe in God. It's really stupid when u think about it. I didn't come from a fish, bird, bacteria, or ape. Why are there still all of those creatures, and why don't they evolve?!

Kasic
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God made us 8000 years ago. The world is not even a week older.


Where is this specific, 8000 years and not one week older claim coming from? Today marks year 8000 exactly, huh.

Evolution was created by atheists to make it harder to believe in God.


1) Evolution is the name for the theory which explains how life changes over time. It was proposed by Charles Darwin, a Christian.
2) Evolution has absolutely nothing to do with God. Even if you want to argue that the earth is 8000 years old, we have seen evolution take place in bacteria and ring species.

I didn't come from a fish, bird, bacteria, or ape


Why, you're exactly right! It's a good thing the Theory of Evolution claims no such thing, and would actually be disproved if that was found to be so!

Why are there still all of those creatures, and why don't they evolve?!


We share common ancestors with apes. They evolved too. As for why we still have bacteria, birds, fish and what not, different ecological pressures, events, niches and mutations are your answer. Organisms respond to their environment and in a stable one, there are not many changes.
pangtongshu
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pangtongshu
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Evolution's retarded. God made us 8000 years ago. The world is not even a week older. Evolution was created by atheists to make it harder to believe in God. It's really stupid when u think about it. I didn't come from a fish, bird, bacteria, or ape. Why are there still all of those creatures, and why don't they evolve?!


After viewing your other posts and your profile..it is fair to say, you are a troll. And a poor one at that
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Why are there still all of those creatures, and why don't they evolve?!

We did not evolve from the same organisms we see today, as "evolving from" something implies that that something has changed (d'uh). All organisms today are still evolving.. heck, WE are still evolving! Now go plant your head back in the sand. You've overslept too many centuries already, better go back to ignore the world.

1) Evolution is the name for the theory which explains how life changes over time. It was proposed by Charles Darwin, a Christian.

Mind ya, Charles Darwin did not coin nor propose the name "evolution". And todays theory has changed a bit compared to what he proposed (keeping the basic idea of course).
pangtongshu
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pangtongshu
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Why are there still all of those creatures, and why don't they evolve?!


Oh yes..forgot something

If Americans came from Europe..why are there still Europeans?!
Checkmate, Atheists
HahiHa
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If Americans came from Europe..why are there still Europeans?!
Checkmate, Atheists

So, spontaneous generation of American people? Now that would at least explain certain things... X)
Moe
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8000 is a rough estimate, just like 7000000000 is a rough estimate.


8000 is one of many "estimates" based solely on the bible. 4.5 billion, not 7 billion, is the estimate scientists came up with after massive amounts of research for the age of the Earth. I wonder which is more accurate.

then give me proof that we evolved or that the earth is old enough for us to evolve from little things.


More proof than anyone could require for evolution is on MageGrayWolf's profile. As for age of the Earth, I'd suggest you start here.
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