Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 15:51:02 EDT

Cornelius,

>
>> If we "assume" that evolution is true, it's because there is
>> significant warrant for doing so.
>>
>
> Yes, evolution is supposed to be a fact. What we need are
> compelling evidences though. How about this: start by supplying
> *one* compelling evidence.
>

Back to where we've been before. I and most biologist,
palentologists, think that the "textbook" examples are compelling
especially taken together. So there's a bunch of them there: fossil
record, homologies of all sorts (nested hierarchies), biogeography.
It seems what's compelling to me is not compelling to you. (By the
way, I also like some forms of punk rock and there's no better music
in all the world than progressive/classical rock!)

I'll even leave out the small-scale evidence that you're fond of
criticizing, because I agree that it doesn't address directly
"macroevolutionary" questions. However, it does show us that the
genetic variations that are observed in the large-scale tree of life
are for the most part "more of the same" as what is observed in
virus, bacteria, fruit flies, zebrafish, mouse, pigeon, dog, cows,
pigs, horses, and humans. Are you going to tell me that all of the
instances of hemophilia or sickle-cell anemia or cystic fibrosis or
whatever mutation you want to track arose independently? Maybe some
did, but who cares? The vast majority are examples of descent with
modification of single base pair. That's how a good chunk of modern
molecular genetics actually works. Traditional pedigrees based
instances of disease identify "families". Detailed genome analysis of
these families identifies regions of the chromosome where the
modified gene exists. Further analysis usually locates a single base
pair modification.

BTW, I still owe you a response to something from Saturday night.
Hope to get to it soon.

TG

________________
Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
Received on Tue Sep 20 15:52:55 2005

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