Friday, April 9, 2010


We are always talking about how animals evolved, and showing examples that explain how they could have evolved. Is there any animals that did not evolve that we know of? Would this prove the evolutionary theory wrong? If these animals are not evolving, are there any signs that they possibly are? Bring in sources that help answer your thoughts.


  1. Well, the arguments for creationism or intelligent design would be the argument against evolution. I am a believer of intelligent design myself.

    One main argument against evolution is the one concerning birds. Although fossils are available that seem to support the idea of a species gradually gaining the ability to glide and eventually learning to flap, those arguing against evolution would question the appearance of feathers. Feathers provide the aerodynamics necessary to produce flight in a bird; however, how feathers first appeared is questioned. Theropods fossils show the first feathered dinosaurs. Since they weren't able to fly, scientists speculate that feathers were first evolved as forms of insulation. Evolution for ornaments to attract mates is also another hypothesis. The final mystery is what feathers have evolved from since not everyone agrees that they originate from the same cells that give rise to reptilian scales.

    Another arguments against evolution is mathematical probability. The question poses: where did life originate from? Life can only come from life, not non-life. Therefore the argument against evolution is that even if planet earth was a sea of chemicals, simply through probability, the most simple unit for life would not have been created. After Truthseekers, I listened to Mr. Roys give some points against evolution. He stated that the probability for the spontaneous creation of life by scientists is over 1/1^1000+. Although this still leaves the argument for "It's still possible", the scientific boundary for probability possibility was around 1/1^216 (if my memory serves). This provides some evidence against evolution. How could life start from simply a sea of chemicals?

    The next thing Mr. Roys stated what that evolution can very possibly break things, not make them. In a strain of a certain disease (sickle cell anemia?), that I'm not able to remember, the pathogens developed a resistance to a formula used by humans to eliminate it. Eventually the resistant ones survived and evolved, but were only able to survive within the cocktail that was originally intended to destroy them. If the cocktail was removed, the pathogen would die. This provides evidence that although evolution may seem to be beneficial, evolution can also be very detrimental to an organisms survival. This also applies in the aspect that evolution relies on genetic mutations to aid the organism. Mutations are harmful, not helpful.

    Of course, a simple logical argument can be that if evolution was completely proven, there would be no debate concerning it, such as there is no debate for the existence of gravity or the laws of physics.

    Why Evolution is True
    Mr. Roys

  2. Answering The blog, an example of animals evolving (or evolving very little that it is unnoticeable), would be the Coelacanth. Its own named derived from hollow spine in Latin, is one of the few surviving members of the Sarcopterygii class, hasn't changed much over the last few million years simply because there were no environmental pressures for it to change. If their environment changed, then they would either become extinct or adapt to survive.

    However, my main post will be a response to John's comment.
    His first point being about the lack of evidence for the development of birds. There are quite a few things wrong with this assumption, you stated that: "Although fossils are available that seem to support the idea of a species gradually gaining the ability to glide and eventually learning to flap, those arguing against evolution would question the appearance of feathers." In response to this, there are two things i would like to add. First, you accept the fact that there are transitional-like fossils that demonstrate how birds could have achieved flight, but yet you still deny that they did change, perhaps an "intelligent being" had designed several species that lived in chronological order that gradually had developed flight, as well as all of them being extinct. Another point that I find quite strange is that fact that you think that scientists not knowing the exact reason why dinosaurs developed feathers as the reason it cannot be true. Take this analogy for example, scientists still do not understand why there is gravity, but they understand how it works, does it mean that the theory of gravity is false? Probably not, but there is definitely more to be learned about it. Just as the theory of Gravity cannot be 100% explained, neither can the Theory of evolution, but there are intrinsic facts about nature that is best described by evolution, and a simple lack of knowledge in a specific area does not correlate to the theory being wrong, but simply requiring more research.

    Your next point, about mathematical probability, is an often misunderstood by questioner and the responder. The fact is, is that evolution only describes the changes from one species into another (or two), not how life began itself. There are many theory's to how life began on Earth, but a large majority of them believe that life came on Earth by a process known as Abiogenesis. Creationists/Intelligent Design-ists often talk about the mathematical improbability of this occurring, however, many of their calculations are based on today's bacterial cells (which are obviously more complex), and talking about how nothing forms something. Abiogenesis is a very touchy topic because of how little data scientists have about the earth 3.4 billion years ago. Some of the worlds top researchers would have difficulty answering this question. Again, I can only give a limited answer on this due to my limited knowledge of abiogenesis, but many factors that could form self-replicating molecules that eventually grew more and more complex, eventually becoming what we define as "life". Viruses, for example, contain RNA, can perform functions to control a cell, but it isn't considered life because it doesn't have its own metabolism. A lot of things aren't known about our world, but Evolution doesn't try to explain how life started on Earth.

    Onto your third statement, Evolution is not a outside force telling species to become "better" and "fitter". Evolution is merely an explanation for why species can change and differentiate. Looking at evolution in that light, the extinction of many species would not make sense without evolution. Examples of vestigial organs (as creatures had better survival without an organ, it would eventually get smaller and perhaps disappear), cancer (mutation of cells), and death (Why aren't there Telomerase enzymes fixing Telomeres of DNA in all our cells?) are all explained by evolution.

  3. Finally, your last statement is more of a religious-orientated statement, but i will answer it anyways. Many theories are hotly debated, but with opposing evidence and other theories, such as String theory, will be contended by theories such as the Multiverse theory. In the case of the theory of evolution, there are not scientific theories (or evidence) that goes against the general theory of evolution. Some may say "What about Intelligent Design?" That question is barely better than "Why are there still apes if humans evolved from them?". Their are two reasons people would vie for Intelligent Design: one is because it matches their religious beliefs, and second is because of their lack of scientific understanding. A theory does not consist of "Oh look at that thing--its pretty complicated, i guess someone made it." Nor is there any explanation on how, when, where, why, and who made these animals in the first place.

    Evolution of species from one to another can only be classified by what we deem as different--after all, look at hybrids such as a Liger or a mule, can really only be explained because their past ancestors didn't live too long ago. Evolution is gradual change, and many questions like "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" can be answered only if we know what exactly we classify as a chicken. Once again, evolution doesn't have a goal, it only keeps that works well. Evolution involves many things in our lives, but it doesn't describe how the Universe formed, or how life began. It is usually these misconceptions (as well as ignorance), that fuel the arguments against evolution.

    Biology book
    Why evolution is true
    11 years of living in America <-me

  4. Just in response to Tianyu's last line "Their are two reasons people would vie for Intelligent Design: one is because it matches their religious beliefs, and second is because of their lack of scientific understanding."

    This is definitely not true as Mr. Roys is a scientific knowledge monster yet he still believes in intelligent design. I challenge you to try debating this with him since you seem to imply that your knowledge of evolution is sufficient to effectively refute any claims for intelligent design.

    (this post obviously isn't for credit Mr. Erdmann)

  5. It's nothing personal, but I don't think that Tianyu or Mr. Roys answered THIS question succinctly. You two have a terrific dialogue going, but this prompt is specifically about organisms that have not evolved and/or aren't currently evolving.

    So what does it mean to not evolve? It's easy to say that if it looks the same as it did millions of years ago, then it hasn't evolved. In fact, we know that this relationship is more complex. The last step in natural selection is gradual speciation. If a population hasn't evolved then a current organism could theoretically mate with its ancestor. Sadly, this is not testable. We can't send animals back in time and see if they can mate with other organisms. However, it sounds like the start of the most interesting science fiction film EVER! But I digress...

    There are many species that have possibly gone unchanged. A horseshoe crab would be recognizable around 200 million years ago. However, even these organisms are relatively young compared to my favorite example. Archaea are aptly named for their evolutionary age. The populations have remained almost exactly the same for billions of years. The reason for this is simple. They are extremeophiles. They live in areas of high salinity, temperature, or methane content (Ex. Thermus Aquaticus). No other organisms can challenge their niche or prey on them in there natural habitat. There is no environmental pressure acting upon the population. There is no reason for change.
    Lamarck was incorrect when he wrote that populations change based on necessity.

    In conclusion, when we observe organisms that have not or are not changing, it actually proves natural selection rather than refuting it. Populations only evolve as a reaction to environmental pressures. When there is no pressure, the current population already has the required selective advantage.

    Also, I looked up ligers, Tianyu. They're GIGANTIC! Does anyone know why that is?