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If you have half an hour to spare, here is an interesting interview with Ben Carson

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    #46
    Chris and others, what great answers! Most of the examples given boil down to the first and most important influence of evolution on our research: our use of lower animals to model diseases in humans is based on the assumption that we have similar physiological and metabolic mechanisms, morphology, genes, and even responses to and reparative mechanisms after injury. If animals were created by God separately, why should they be models for human disease? All right, a smart creationist might say that God didn't want to reinvent the wheel and therefore He/She used similar mechanisms in all species. But this is a subterfuge because, as I pointed out below, the wealth of similarities between us and lower animals is more than just superficial. We share over 90% of our genome with the rat. While there are some differences, almost every one of our anatomical structures have an analog in rats, ranging from muscle to bone, and to trivial details of our nervous and immune system. If God really wanted to fool us, I guess that He/She could have by making such a detailed body of evidence that we evolved from animals. I can't imagine why. Let me, however, give several principles of evolution that have important consequences for our current research; each of these principles then can be used to generate many examples of why evolution is important for our research today.

    Second, ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. This is short-hand for saying that our fetal development reflects our evolution. If you compared the embryo of a rat with a human embryo, you will see that there are even closer resemblance of structures and function at earlier stages of development than later stages. For example, the blastocyst of a human and a rat probably cannot be readily distinguished even by very experienced scientists. The similarities do not end with just the appearance of the embryos and fetuses but details of brain development. For example, the first structures that develop are in the spinal cord, the brainstem, and the subcortical structures. The cortical (and phylogenetically later structures) occur later during development. Although the time-scale may not be the same, it is possible to equate various stages of development of lower animals to human development. That is why we can infer from the development of the mouse to development of the human.

    Third, the history of our evolution is apparent in our genes. The further we are phylogentically from a species, the greater the difference is in our genes. So, for example, the roundworm C. Elegans has about 19,099 protein-coding genes http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conten...282/5396/2012, The number of genes is more than 3 times that found in yeast and 4 times the number of genes in bacteria. In 1998, before the human genome was completed, people thought that the C. Elegans had only a third to a fifth of the genes that humans had. But, when the human genome was completed, it became apparent that the C. Elegans actually may have as many as 74% of human genes. Even more convincingly, the non-gene portions of our genome, i.e. those that don't code for proteins and are not expressed, have a remarkable number of similarities. Thus, even in discarded sequences that are not part of expressed genes, we have a lot of homologies. The closer we are in evolution, the closer the genetic similarities. We are closely related to other organisms and this relationship on the genetic level allows us to draw inferences from the genetics of lower animals to humans. For example, the receptor for netrin (the molecule that attracts axonal growth to the midline for decussation) was first discovered found in C. Elegans and then a homolog was found in humans.

    Fourth, unidirectional evolution. One of the most important developments in evolutionary theory, which Darwin did not predict, is the concept of forward evolution. Once we have evolved in a given direction, evolution apparently does not go backward. Thus, for example, during the evolution of insects, there were many "insects" that had 4 legs, 12 legs, etc. rather than 6 legs. However, once the insect settled down on six legs, all insects had 6 legs. Similarly, it is striking that all mammals have similar number of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae despite very large differences in size. For example, the human has the same number of cervical vertebrae as the giraffe and whale, despite the 10-100 fold difference in size. This is in part it is harder to change genes that are already working rather than add genes to change the behavior of existing genes. Thus, evolution proceeded to add desirable functions and suppress some undesirable functions, rather than engage in wholesale re-design of the organism. So, we as humans have elements of the worm, rat, and other animals before us incorporated into our design. We just kept adding features on top. It is like a very complex software program. Rather than rewrite the genetic code, evolution simply added new modules. The most important mechanisms of life, such as death, growth, differentiation, injury responses, regeneration, immune responses, aging and procreation are evolutionarily conserved. The fact that many lower animals can regenerate while the human cannot should be viewed in the context of forward evolution. For example, it suggests that humans do possess the ability to regenerate but something was superimposed to prevent this ability from manifesting.

    Fifth, many organisms have a much richer evolutionary history than humans. For example, certain plants have been around much longer than mammals. It is therefore not particularly surprising that several modern day plants have much larger genomes than the human. I remember when the human genome was first completed and the number of protein-encoding genes was estimated to be somewhere in the range of 33000. This number was viewed with some chagrin because the lowly rice plant has 40,000-56,000 genes. The wheat plant may have even more. But, humans (mammals) have evolved an extra level of complexity called alternative splicing where two or more genes can be spliced together to form additional proteins. Some scientists console themselves that human, with alternative splicing, actually produce well over 100,000 proteins with 33,000 genes. But, the fact remains that the rice plant has a more complex genome than the human. However, the rice plant has only 12 chromosomes compared to 23 pairs in human. But, the number of chromosomes does not necessarily mean greater evolutionary history or complexity. For example, apes have 24 pairs and horses have 64-66 pairs. http://www.gate.net/~rwms/hum_ape_chrom.html While the number of chromosomes may seem unimportant from a genetic point of view (because the genes are still present but located on different chromosomes), the number of chromosomes is critical for mating. A difference in chromosome number would lead to a higher likelihood of an infertile offspring.

    So, there is an extraordinary wealth of information that creationism simply does not explain well. It is possible for us to contort the creationist or intelligent design theory to fit the data but evolutionary theory explains the data so much more and better. This doesn't mean that the current evolutionary theory explains or will explain all the phenomenology that has been or will be discovered. It is currently the most parsimonious explanation of available knowledge.

    Wise.

    [This message was edited by Wise Young on 05-02-04 at 10:49 PM.]

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      #47
      [QUOTE]Originally posted by Wise Young:

      If animals were created by God separately, why should they be models for human disease?

      Conversly, since God did create animals why shouldn't they be models for human disease? Moreover, since the essence of all life is water why should not all life be model for human disease?

      "All right, a smart creationist might say that God didn't want to reinvent the wheel and therefore He/She used similar mechanisms in all species."

      I'm not so sure a "smart" creationist would say this...seems like a pretty infantile argument.

      Further, the remainder of your thesis seems to support the belief in "creationism" (your term). Whereas evolution is a constant in our God created world.

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        #48
        Why does evolution and creation have to be
        exclusive of each other?

        We read the first book of the Bible..and that
        was written by men. The seven days don't necessarily mean the same as our concept of time.

        A human can take a glob of clay..and perform
        functions to it that let's it evolve into
        a most beautiful sculpture.

        Anything man CREATES...evolves. Look at the
        computer systems.

        In my heart..someone had to start this evolution..and in our language we call that
        someone God.

        We are evolutionist..so why is it so hard to
        realize our creator is one too?

        Might explain why we can't verbally communicate with the lower animals.
        I feel they instinctively know the secret
        of their creator in ways we are too mentally
        evolved to understand..or even willing too..
        so the secret will remain as such.
        <"();:::::::::::::::;~

        [This message was edited by Lindox on 05-03-04 at 03:58 PM.]
        Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.

        Comment


          #49
          Lindox, there is nothing wrong with creationism, as long as it does not deny the existence of evolution. I find nothing objectionable with your version of creationism. It is open-minded, thoughtful, and flexible. The problem with most creationism, however, is that it is phrased as a matter of faith rather than as a provable theory. A theory is as good as its ability to explain the facts. If one ignores the facts and say that the only relevant facts are written in the Bible, then we might as well discard science and all the knowledge that we have gained since the Bible was written. Wise.

          Comment


            #50
            It was all so simple, God just placed Adam and Eve here on earth and thats how it all got started. This explains why monkeys are still monkeys and apes are still apes. The main thing God messed up with is he forgot to allow central nerves the ability to regenerate, or at least not in an efficient way.
            "Life is about how you
            respond to not only the
            challenges you're dealt but
            the challenges you seek...If
            you have no goals, no
            mountains to climb, your
            soul dies".~Liz Fordred

            Comment


              #51
              Originally posted by Curt Leatherbee:

              It was all so simple, God just placed Adam and Eve here on earth and thats how it all got started. This explains why monkeys are still monkeys and apes are still apes. The main thing God messed up with is he forgot to allow central nerves the ability to regenerate, or at least not in an efficient way.
              Curt,
              Did he forget? Or is it the job of those made in his image?
              Nature shows us it can be done..now it is up to us to figure out how.

              The one thing that cements creation in my view..is the platypus.
              Come on..ducks don't have sex with beavers.
              [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

              <"();:::::::::::::::;~
              Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.

              Comment


                #52
                Dr. Wise,
                I find creationism and evolution to be intertwined.

                But honestly cannot fathom it all being without design. It works too well to be a random happening.

                Seeing what man accomplishes is very exciting
                sometimes. But when looking at nature..pops my eyes wide open..and I become in total awe.
                Childlike..but just can't help it.

                BTW..I think Jesus expects his scientists to perform miracles. With unfortunately the same
                close minded BS he had to endure.

                <"();:::::::::::::::;~
                Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.

                Comment


                  #53
                  I know this is over a decade old. But curious if this interview still exists anywhere online?

                  Comment


                    #54
                    This is a very interesting conversation, we are trying to track down the video.

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