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Evolution - Who wants to KNOW?

 
 
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:31 pm
Whether it's spelt with a lower case 'e' or an uppercase 'E', EVOLUTION is used in modern language so frequently, and in most cases, so glibly, it's no wonder that many people don't know what this word, with its associated teachings, really means.

Such informal usage of the word, as well as the accompanying superficial understanding of its meaning, leads to ignorant discussion and debate, as well as glib application of the word.

Enough of the preamble. Evolution - Who wants to know?

Who wants to know what the word evolution means?
Who wants to know what the subject of Evolution really teaches?

This thread is for genuine, inquiring minds. Those who wish to make personal attacks on any of its contributors will be ignored by me. I will not be replying to such persons. Save the personal criticisms or snide remarks for another thread.

In this thread I want to address the word and subject of Evolution. Nothing else. This is not a Christian, Creationist or "have-a-go-at-em" thread. Please respect these conditions.

Thanks, Bib.
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:38 pm
So long as the reason/defination of evolution ISNT .. that we came from apes.. Laughing
I would be interested to hear the answer you will offer?
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Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:38 pm
The Merriam Webster Dictionary has the following SIX definitions for the noun, evolution:

1 : one of a set of prescribed movements
2 a : a process of change in a certain direction : UNFOLDING b : the action or an instance of forming and giving something off : EMISSION c (1) : a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state : GROWTH (2) : a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance d : something evolved
3 : the process of working out or developing
4 a : the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : PHYLOGENY b : a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations
5 : the extraction of a mathematical root
6 : a process in which the whole universe is a progression of interrelated phenomena
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:39 pm
( p.s )

I am here and acknowledge your requests. I am not here to bash, fight, or scream.
I just want to hear your take and see the information you will offer.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:41 pm
Quote:
Main Entry: evo·lu·tion Pronunciation Guide
Pronunciation: evlüshn also v- or -vlyü-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): -s
Etymology: Latin evolution-, evolutio act of unrolling, from evolutus + -ion-, -io -ion
1 a : a series of related changes in a certain direction : process of change : organic development : UNFOLDING, MOVEMENT, TRANSFORMATION <the evolution of his hair has been from brown to gray, to bald -- Current Biography> <the evolution of a complicated plot> <it should be remembered that even in the biological world, evolution is not always in the direction of progress -- A.B.Novikoff> <the evolution of the seasons> <there has been much discussion as to ... the possible evolution of benign adenomas into invasive carcinoma -- Journal American Medical Association> b (1) : a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse condition to a higher, more complex, or better state : progressive development : GROWTH, PROGRESS <the evolution of the capitalist forms of business organization, from primitive units to the modern corporation -- W.C.Scoville> <the evolution from childhood to manhood> <the evolution of physics from Galileo to Einstein> <the evolution of the rifle> (2) : a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance or amelioration -- often contrasted with revolution <a British pattern of change by evolution ... which contrasts with less attractive changes by revolution in other countries -- Current History> c : the end product of an evolutionary process : something that is evolved <economically it is an evolution of the ancient system of barter -- Encyc. Americana> <the style of the King James version ... is ... an evolution ... , the resultant of a long selective process -- J.L.Lowes>
2 : one of a set of prescribed movements or motions (as those of a skater, dancer, a body of troops, a fleet, or other formation) : any movement designed to effect a new arrangement by passing from one position to another : MANEUVER <evolutions of the eight pink bridesmaids and the eight black ushers -- Edith Wharton>
3 : the process of working out or developing (as an idea, design, or theme) <the greatest task facing agricultural scientists in this region is the evolution of an adaptable farming system -- Farmer's Weekly (South Africa)>
4 mathematics : the extraction of roots -- opposed to involution
5 a (1) archaic : the development of an organism by gradual unfolding of parts (as in the growth of a plant from a seed) (2) : the presumed process of development in which a germ containing the adult parts in miniature was stimulated to differentiate by the action of fertilization -- opposed to epigenesis; compare ENCASEMENT b : the development of a race, species, or other group : PHYLOGENY : the process by which through a series of changes or steps any living organism or group of organisms has acquired the morphological and physiological characters which distinguish it : the theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types, the distinguishable differences being due to modifications in successive generations -- compare DARWINISM, HEREDITY, MUTATION, NATURAL SELECTION, VARIATION, WEISMANNISM
6 a : the progressive development of civilization and social institutions in a fixed sequence of stages -- called also unilinear evolution; see EVOLUTIONISM b : a process of cultural change determined especially by technological factors and marked by a movement from simplicity to complexity and the gradual increase of man's control over his environment
7 a : the process of the whole universe conceived as a progression of interrelated phenomena b : the theory of such progression -- compare EMERGENT EVOLUTION, SPENCERIANISM

source: "evolution." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (2 Dec. 2004).
0 Replies
 
Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:42 pm
The Oxford English Dictionary has the following FOUR definitions for the noun, evolution:

1. the process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed, especially by natural selection. 2. gradual development. 3. Chemistry the giving off of a gaseous product or of heat. 4. a pattern of movements or manoeuvres.
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Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:45 pm
Thanks for your Dictionary contribution, Walter.
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Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:47 pm
I'll conclude with another dictionary definition - The American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition 2000:

1. A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. See synonyms at development. 2a. The process of developing. b. Gradual development. 3. Biology a. Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species. b. The historical development of a related group of organisms; phylogeny. 4. A movement that is part of a set of ordered movements. 5. Mathematics The extraction of a root of a quantity.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:47 pm
bm
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Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:50 pm
I'll let you all peruse the various dictionary definitions for a while, so as to get a sense of the varying meanings that are available for Evolution.

I'll return later with some more information.

Please feel free to discuss what the dictionary definitions have thus far revealed.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:51 pm
Bibliophile the BibleGuru wrote:
Who wants to know what the subject of Evolution really teaches?


Ok....
The dictionary says.. ( well.. that was covered, no need to expand. )

Then according to the dictionary humans HAVE been, and are a product of evolution. Right?
Isnt that what it teaches?
I mean, you get rid of the silly concept of people coming from apes , then basic slow evolution is the answer right?

The theory of evolution is pretty simple I think .
It boiles down to selective breeding.
Those with negative mutations ..( retardation, missing limbs, too short, low IQ etc.. )..will not breed..
hence thier negative mutations will be bred OUT of the species.
Those with positive mutations ( strength, height, intelligance etc. ) will mate and reproduce those positive mutations.

An example..
You take a general person.. of lets say above average attractiveness.
The likelyhood of that one person choosing and mating with another person who is also of above average looks are pretty high correct?
Well, thier offspring has a 50% or greater chance of coming out with above average looks.
That offspring.. does the same thing...
Repeat...
Repeat..

After a while, you have people whos traits for ATTRACTING a mate are now higher on the 'desirable scale' then most. They will mate first and have better choice. Survival of the species. Positive mutations. = evolution in a nut shell..
Correct?

( Hopefully I have made sence.. I am just using looks as an example )
Smile
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 02:56 pm
Bibliophile,

I am not a science professional. My interest in evolution is a mild one. The subject came to my attention in the last few years because my teenage children have been asking me about it. My son asked me: "Do you believe in evolution?" I replied that "believe" would be too strong a word. My attitude is that the theory of evolution provides a good explanation of how nature works.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 03:12 pm
Well...some of us humans apparently come from apes...and from the looks of things...some haven't come too far.

All said in the finest tradition of "a bit of humor helps any discussion along"...rather than pointing any fingers.





Besides...he ain't he here yet. :wink:
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 03:13 pm
Shewolf,

First, the definition I commonly use of the word "evolution" is scientific evolution-- that is the evolution that was proposed by scientists as a result of scientific investigation and has been widely accepted as fact by the scientific community.

Your post is a simple version of scientific evolution. But I want to clear up a few things for a more productive discussion.

First, scientists say that humans and apes both evolved from a common anscestor. No one says that humans evolved from modern apes.

Second, selective breeding has a small part to play in scientific evolution. There are several factors that come into play as to which mutations will be passed down to offspring.

The real question is the ability of individuals to survive to produce viable offspring. Thus, the terms "negative mutation" and "positive mutation" are not very helpful in a scientific discussion.

Remember that mutations can be passed on to offspring even if they are detrimental because of how genetics work. For example, people can pass off genes for fatal diseases without having these diseases for themselves.

For example, hemophilia (which was a fatal disease) was passed down through generations because it is a recessive gene. Parents can carry the gene and pass it even to their offspring even though they don't have the disease, but somewhere down the line an unlucky offspring will have a genetic makeup that expresses the gene.

Incidently, I am a science nerd, and I am interested in this discussion from two aspects.

I am able contribute the scientific point of view. I am also interested in the cultural and philosophical implications of scientific discoveries.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 03:25 pm
Bibliophile the BibleGuru wrote:
Please feel free to discuss what the dictionary definitions have thus far revealed.

Thus far, they've revealed that people here are capable of finding dictionary definitions on the web. Good job, everyone!

On the other hand, if you think that a casual reading of dictionary definitions will give any insights into the scientific bases of evolutionary theory, then I'm afraid you are bound to be disappointed.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 03:29 pm
If I want definitions, we don't need a special forum on A2K for it.
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 09:42 pm
I'm listening. I want to know more. I'm pretty certain it won't change my mind, but I am always interested in seeing how people with different opinions think.
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 10:13 pm
I should think all of us should already be familiar with what evolution is and what they teach about evolution, since I'm pretty sure we've all learned it in school already. What else is there to know about it?
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 10:14 pm
It's not really evolution itself that I'm interested in knowing about.
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 10:16 pm
I know, I was commenting to Bibliophile.
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