Re: Pasteur and nature of science

From: Bill Payne (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 23:33:40 EST

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    Hi Tim,

    On Sun, 6 Jan 2002 11:28:03 -0500 ""
    <> writes:

    > Comparison of drosophila biochemistry & genetics with other species'
    > generally conforms to the pattern of common descent. It has also
    > revealed relationships we previously couldn't confirm. Fossil and
    > geological evidence has accumulated to determine the temporal
    > and morphological relationships between groups of organisms.
    > Study of molecular, cell and developmental biology have identified
    > molecular mechanisms by which common descent with modification may
    > proceed.

    I appreciate what you are saying here, and would agree that it "_may_
    proceed" in this way, but that is not experimental proof that it

    > Mutations in fruit flies have doubled or tripled their lifespans.
    > Other mutations have increased their resistance to pesticides. Some
    > have increased cold or heat tolerance. Numerous mutations have been
    > found to affect their adult sizes, behaviors and timing of
    > developmental steps. Gene fusions, duplication and horizontal
    > transfer, all of which may increase the genetic information and
    > complexity in the genome, have been identified in flies. Further,
    > many drosophila species exhibit greater genetic variation than
    > observed between human and great ape species.

    I assume this may be as good as any evidence you can offer. And I don't
    mean to belittle in any way this work. But, taking a skeptical view of
    this paragraph, after all of the fusions, duplications, transfers and
    increases in the genetic info/complexity, fruit flies are still fruit
    flies. You haven't shown that the type can be pushed to change
    indefinitely. There always seem to be boundaries which limit the amount
    of change we can induce. I'd like to see an experiment where a fruit fly
    becomes a hornet.

    My point in all of this is that the evidence is much more convincing if
    it happens to support your POV.

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