Humanists of Greater Portland Meetup Message Board › Creationist vs. an atheist 6th grader

Creationist vs. an atheist 6th grader

Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 2,158
The book by Stephen Jay Gould called "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" looks totally awesome. Totally. It was published in 2002, the same year Gould died. One of the reviews says "[A] magisterial tome...[The Structure of Evolutionary Theory] is destined to go down in history alongside the writings of Galileo, Darwin, Huxley, Freud, Mayr and others as a work that will change its culture forever. Gould's critics (and there are plenty of them) may weep and gnash their teeth at such an assessment, but they ignore him at their--and our--peril. This man has something important to say about the preeminent origin myth of our age--evolutionary theory--and he has said it in this magnificent work. --Michael Shermer (Washington Post 20020414)".

An excerpted chapter from it was published in 2007 as Punctuated Equilibrium". I checked out that book from the local library.

In my reading of Gould's books and in reading what is posted here on Wikipedia, it looks like speciation usually takes place by a small group becoming isolated (either geographically or reproductively) from the parent population. As such it is possible that there was an initial very small group of first humans (such as first Homo sapiens) in which some degree of incest/interbreeding took place that resulted in creating and locking in distinguishing morphological features.

The Wikipedia article says in part "Allopatric speciation suggests that species with large central populations are stabilized by their large volume and the process gene flow. New and even beneficial mutations are diluted by the population's large size and are unable to reach fixation, due to such factors as constantly changing environments.[15] If this is the case, then the transformation of whole lineages should be rare, as the fossil record indicates. Smaller populations on the other hand, which are isolated from the parental stock, are decoupled from the homogenizing effects of gene flow. In addition, pressure from natural selection is especially intense, as peripheral isolated populations exist at the outer edges of ecological tolerance. If most evolution happens in these rare instances of allopatric speciation then evidence of gradual evolution in the fossil record should be rare." That article also says "As time went on Gould moved away from wedding punctuated equilibrium to allopatric speciation, particularly as evidence accumulated in support of other modes of speciation.[16] Gould was particularly attracted to Douglas Futuyma's work on the importance of reproductive isolating mechanisms.[17]" It further says "Philosopher Kim Sterelny adds, "In claiming that species typically undergo no further evolutionary change once speciation is complete, they are not claiming that there is no change at all between one generation and the next. Lineages do change. But the change between generations does not accumulate. Instead, over time, the species wobbles about its phenotypic mean. Jonathan Weiner's The Beak of the Finch describes this very process."[33]"

If the new species started out as isolated population then such isolation (if located) could be used to differentiate it from it parent population species. The punctuated equilibrium model (coupled with allopatric speciation and/or reproductive isolating mechanisms) appears to be key to figuring out how macroevolution and species takes place in the vast majority of time. It is thus interesting that old-biosphere creationists are correct in claiming that individual species usually undergo little morphological change over millions of years. They are also correct in stating that the fossil record shows such. Thus I now realize that Darwin was fundamentally wrong when he said that evolution and speciation takes place primarily by steady and gradual transformation of whole lineages (anagenesis). Since Richard Dawkins and others with the same view stress that it is populations that evolve and since they say there were no first humans, they appear to both believe in anagenesis.
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,465
Gavin wrote:
"This is the end of my argument in this forum topic, regarding "first human"."

Ok.
Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 2,159
Gavin wrote:
"This is the end of my argument in this forum topic, regarding "first human"."

Ok.


In my post of the 24th I was not arguing with you, nor even talking to you. Nor was my post specifically about "first human". My comment (the one quoted above) didn't say I wouldn't make another post in this forum topic, instead it said I would not make another one in this forum topic in which I specifically argued regarding "first human". I did not violate that. Instead I presented information (to anyone in HGP who is interested) about how species in general come into existence (the specific evolutionary mechanisms involved) and how fast they come into existence. Many people want to know the answers to such things, including myself. Many evolutionists besides myself are convinced that the vast majority of species undergo morphological stasis (as reflected in the geologic record) instead of persistent gradual evolution. But such a realization makes it hard to explain how new species come into being. I have thoroughly looked intensely for such answers. I then presented that information which I found the most helpful.

Now that I thought about your post some more, perhaps in your post you were just saying it is ok with you that I no longer wish to argue the subject. If so, great.
Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 2,160
The book by Stephen Jay Gould called "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" looks totally awesome. Totally. It was published in 2002, the same year Gould died. One of the reviews says "[A] magisterial tome...[The Structure of Evolutionary Theory] is destined to go down in history alongside the writings of Galileo, Darwin, Huxley, Freud, Mayr and others as a work that will change its culture forever. Gould's critics (and there are plenty of them) may weep and gnash their teeth at such an assessment, but they ignore him at their--and our--peril. This man has something important to say about the preeminent origin myth of our age--evolutionary theory--and he has said it in this magnificent work. --Michael Shermer (Washington Post 20020414)".

An excerpted chapter from it was published in 2007 as Punctuated Equilibrium". I checked out that book from the local library.

In my reading of Gould's books and in reading what is posted here on Wikipedia, it looks like speciation usually takes place by a small group becoming isolated (either geographically or reproductively) from the parent population. As such it is possible that there was an initial very small group of first humans (such as first Homo sapiens) in which some degree of incest/interbreeding took place that resulted in creating and locking in distinguishing morphological features.

....

If the new species started out as isolated population then such isolation (if located) could be used to differentiate it from it parent population species. ...

The latter sentence in the above quote is my paraphrase of what Gould said in his "Punctuated Equilbrium" book. I think it is a brilliant insight on Gould's part, since I resolves immensely the difficulty (at least in principle) in defining what consistutes a new species.
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