I'm pretty impressed with the overwhelming dislike for this subject.
I would like to know the reasons why there has been such an angry response?. I only started it because there were some misconceptions in a recent unrelated thread. It seems the guys who know least about evolution, are the ones who dislike it the most. And judging by the red thumbs, thats everyone!.
It's an interesting reflection on the mindset of this forum. Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution. How can people be so hostile towards a fact of science?
Is banging on about Haarp doomsday devices more interesting to the average Australian?
Can anybody who thinks this is such a sh1t subject explain why?
Barn, evolution through DNA mutation is a simple concept but the consequences and reality of how this leads to evolution are extremely complex to grasp. It is also in direct conflict with most established religous doctrines so a natural scepticsm is going to prevail.
I know you are just trying to get the facts across but pushing people won't get them there - especially on this forum
I agree with you that evolution is as as close to fact as you can get in scientific theory. The mapping of DNA has multiplied the burden of proof a thousandfold.
I find that the biggest problem in the explanations of the process is that when people write about the mechanism of evolution they write in an active rather than passive sense. It is easy to do and I had to rewrite some of below doing the same thing. DNA mutations are active and repetative, but any long term change is passive and dictated by the environment. ie the environment an organism exists in shapes evolution of a species over time, not the DNA mutations, which are random and are not directly influenced by the environment. The harsher the environment the quicker and larger the change as survival truly does come down to the wire.
For example you said this:
".....pretty soon there will be competition for resources. This competition, selects the less competitive copies for deletion..."
Whilst true it is an anology and suggests there is active will in the "deletion" process, which there is not. I am sure this adds to peoples confusion when trying to understand the process. Most people I talk to incorrectly believe that evolution is some magical active process, not a passive one of simple random mutations and passing those mutations onto offspring. Good mutations help you survive and have more kids (also with that good mutation) than your neighbor, bad ones kill you before you can have offspring. Rinse and repeat this a million times and you have large scale change.
What is important is the DNA mutations that provide a very small advantage to an individuals ability to procreate. Survival is important but not the most important advantage, the ability to have as many offspring survive and also procreate with the advantagous DNA is what matters.
Most people also think that mutations are big - like someone suddenly growing an additional leg. It does not work like that. Mutations are small, and generally there is only a significant change in a species when there is environmental pressure on a small community and small changes make a big difference over many, many generations.
Many people also incorrectly think that evolution effects all members of a species at once. (ie the question on why there are still monkeys). Evolution through DNA mutation effects an individual. That individual passes on it's DNA to it's children, who then contribute more mutations and pass them on. The monkeys that were around when the first monkey had a positive DNA change will either interbreed with the offspring of the original monkey and therefore contribute to slow change, or they will move away and change differently or die out. Change comes from individuals, not whole species. Large changes come from whole generations of a single isolated colony living seperately from others (read up on Madagasca or just take a look around Australia).
By the way we did not evolve from monkeys. We have a common ancestor to monkeys, similar to a lemur actually. Don't forget there were at least two close cousins to us that evolved over seperate evolution lines at the same time as humans. Neanderthols and those hobbit people in indonesia. These seperate species experienced environmental pressure and died out before they could change. The environmental pressure could well have been humans killing them off!! This is the norm.
You know, I can cope with the possiblity of intelligent design, who knows, but I can't see any recent direct involvement by that entity. If someone or something is at the helm then they designed, fired and forgot sometime before the big bang....good job though, a very robust system.