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How is evolution non-random if it is not teleological

Hi. I have a question I'm trying to get answered. I'm having discussions on other boards, but because I'm a scientific ignoramus much is this discussion seems to go above my head.

From what I've read about evolution, I see it can be characterized as non-teleological. However, natural selection is also termed as non-random and I don't see how a process can be both non-teleological and non-random at the same time.

Can anybody out there help me in a way that even an ignoramus like myself can understand?

To clearify, saying non-teleological means not involving supernatural interventtion. For example, "The Hand of God". If this is what you mean of being non-teleoligical then evolution doesn't not need "The Hand of God" for the evolutional process to happen.

What is meant by evolution not being random is the idea of Natural Selection. That is why you see the term phrased as "Evolution by Natural Selection". Its not "Evolution by the power of faith" or "Evolution by the Big Bang".

Natural Selection is the process in which certain favorable heritable traits are passed on to the next generation within reproducing organisms. Not only are these traits passed on over many generation but also result in adaptations that specializes organisms for particular ecological niches and may eventually result in the emergence of new species. The process of evolving into what we can differentiate as a new specie typically takes a long time. This is why scientist use fruit flies or organism with short life spans to perform expriments on heritity.

Usually, when identifying which trait bacames the favorable trait, a pattern appears in which we can map out. This is how scientist can show a progression of a specie through its evolutional path. It would be incorrect to say that this process is completely randow because of how and why certain traits become more favorable than others. Its is not random simply because natural selection is not a random process.

I think the question we must ask is how and why triats can change or how and why new traits form. To examine this question you have to understand how DNA works. It would be too long to explain DNA here, so I suggest getting aquainted with a biology book explaining the DNA replication process and what DNA is made of. From what I've learned and understand, DNA is simply a recation between particular sets of phosphates and sugar molecules. The combination of these molecules form protiens that eventually build up to form and organism with its many traits. This is a very short eplaination about how we get from DNA to a living organism, but beleive me the science is there. Typically changes in traits occur when a mutation happens. This is caused when the DNA replication goes out of step. Maybe due to radiation, improper division of cells, or formation of a unique DNA code. To explain how DNA can account for the diversity of life, know that DNA is a compination of the male and female gametes (sperm and egg). The basis of DNA is the building block of life and if you understand this, there's no need to insert the "Hands of God". Its a very natural process. Natural meaning, taking account of chemistry, physics, and animal behaviors. Is God dectating every molecular bond being made, or whespering to every creatures which animal to reporduce with, or dictating which protein goes where, in order to have the diversity of life the we have today and every animal that has ever lived?

So since Natural Selection is non-random and also non-teleological, evolution is therefore based on a process that is non-random and non-teleolocial. Inserting God into the equation just makes the question twice as mysterious. It just begs the question, "So where did God come from?". You can't answer a question with and even bigger question.

Believe me the science is there???? Ok, we'll all just believe you. Why should anybody look any further? Your credentials on all these statements are what? People are questioning a site like this for their information? Come on people!!! Wake up and do your own research. Dig a little deeper. There is also a thing called micro-evolution which is also scientific. If you want to talk about the sugar, etc... I suggest you do a little more research on what you are preaching. There is more scientific evidence against what you are saying than for it. So much to debate! Need a public debate! SPANK! Atheism is nothing more than a philosophy devoid of any scientific proof.

If you were a judge of the correctness of a scientific theory I would think you could point out our mistakes. I would also think that you would explain how microevolution disproves the theory of evolution. Since you didn't even explain the term or the creationists' argument I guess it's up to those who are doing all the work to do it, this time, but in the future don't post a word and call it an argument.

The terms 'microevolution' and Macroevolution are being used by some creationists who are anti-evolution, but the terms are being used incorrectly as totally separate things. The claim that microevolution is qualitatively different from macroevolution is false. The 'difference' between the two terms is that one occurs within a few generations, and the other occurs over thousands of years (a quantitative difference) describing the same process. The attempt to differentiate between microevolution and macroevolution is considered to have no scientific basis by any mainstream scientific organization.

Microevolution is used to refer to changes in the gene pool of a population over time which result in relatively small changes to the organisms in the population, these changes would not result in the newer organisms being considered as different species. Examples of such microevolutionary changes would include a change in a species' coloring or size. Macroevolution, in contrast, is used to refer to changes in organisms that are significant enough that over time the newer organisms would be considered an entirely new species. In other words, the new organisms would be unable to mate with their ancestors, assuming we were able to bring them together. In the past few years, thanks to large-scale studies of mammal DNA, studies indicate that giant pandas and red pandas are only distantly related. Their common ancestor lived 40 million years ago. One lineage gave rise to bears, including giant pandas. Another lineage gave rise to red pandas as well as skunks, raccoons, and weasels. To understand how evolution has produced the diversity of life you need to understand how a single species changes through time, and how a single species becomes two or more species. Macroevolution is merely the result of a lot of microevolution over a long period of time. This happens all the time. Evolution is the result of changes in genetic code. Ring species show how one species can branch into two or more species.

Microevolution occurs when the frequency of an allele in a population changes. Unlike what some creationist want the inadequately informed to believe there is fossil evidence. Five different species transitions have filled critical gaps in the fossil record. There are well-known fossil transitions, which clearly indicate Darwinian evolution in action. The fossil remains of a half-fish, half-amphibian that would all but confirm paleontologists' theories about how land-dwelling tetrapods (four-limbed animals, including us) evolved from their fish ancestors was discovered in 2004 by a field crew digging in the Canadian Arctic. The animal was a so-called lobe-finned fish that lived about 375 million years ago. Named Tiktaalik rosae by its discoverers, it is a classic example of a transitional form, one that bridges the evolutionary gap between two quite different types of animal.

Otis responded to this thread by questioning our credentials and challenged us to look deeper and do more research. Otis also brings up micro-evolution and from what I can piece together has a problem with sugar molecules being the building blocks of DNA. Otis says, "There is more scientific evidence against what you are saying than for it.", but does not even bother to explain any points that he finds objectionable. What exactly do you disagree with and what are your resources? Otis comes on here throwing out "scientific" words and claims about Atheism without backing up anything.

Thanks for your input Otis. You have been absolutely no help in furthering the conversation. Your response had nothing to do with the question that was posed and made no meaningful sense. If you do not know that DNA is made from sugar and phosphate residues than you are completely naive about DNA replication. Like I said, I suggest you get acquainted with a biology book. Before you start taking about "micro-evolution" you should understand some basics, the basics that you should have been taught in high school.

That's not an incendiary statement, right? "Atheism is nothing more than a philosophy devoid of any scientific proof." Nothing more? Atheism isn't a philosophy AT ALL--it's simply a rational stand on an issue for which there is no evidence given. And why should THEY be the ones from whom proof is required?

To the contrary, Atheism is rational skeptics awaiting scientific proof--or indeed ANY proof...strike that, any EVIDENCE of a God. And when I say, "awaiting," believe me I don't mean actively awaiting, like they're waiting with bated breath for this to turn up anytime soon. They're just suspending the expenditure of any investment in the God concept until there's at minimum some kind of rational reason to do so. And they're not holding their breath.

"Atheism is nothing more than a philosophy devoid of any scientific proof."

Atheism is also nothing more than a philosophy devoid of any superstitious beliefs of such things as a deity, devoid of the belief in unsupported miracles, devoid of the superstitious belief in prayer, devoid of the superstitious assumption of the existence of Heaven and an afterlife, and many more "devoid of" superstitions that have no substantiated proof or reason for believing. Atheist's do not need scientific proof to make the claim that God does not exist since it is the superstitious believer who asserts that a God does exist. The burden of proof does not fall upon the shoulders of neither the scientific community, nor Atheist's. The belief in a supernatural God was never the Atheist's extraordinary claim, which therefore, does not require extraordinary evidence to prove that God does not exist. There is nothing for any Atheist to prove. It is a simple statement. God does not exist. If he did, there would be no purpose for this debate. He would simply exist and we would all know it for certain. There wouldn't be any question about it. It would be a non-issue. That, in and of itself, is enough proof right there. Science and scientific proof is actually irrelevant when there isn't an ounce of evidence to validate and support even the slightest belief in a supernatural deity.

Your assertion is equal to: One scientist invents an invisible metal. It's there, but no one can see it or measure it with any instruments. Take my word for it... it's there.

So, because I say it is there, then other scientists now have to prove that it either exists or it doesn't exist.

No. That is not how scientific field theory works. It is up to the scientist who asserted that the invisible metal exists to prove that it actually exists. By not offering proof that it does not exist is no reason to assume that it, therefore, exists.

How is evolution non-random if it is not teleological - it's not theological?

Leysin >It would be too long to explain DNA here,

The explanation of DNA is. DNA has a basic formula. A five carbon sugar(ribose) missing an oxygen, a phosphate ion, and one of four nucleotides.

DNA is a long, but narrow string-like object. A one foot long string or strand of DNA is normally packed into a space roughly equal to a cube 1/millionth of an inch on a side. This is possible only because DNA is a very thin string. Our red blood cells lack DNA. Blood itself can be typed because of the DNA contained in our white blood cells. A strand of DNA is made up of tiny building blocks. There are only four, different basic building-blocks. Scientists usually refer to these using four letters, A, T, G, and C. These four letters are short nicknames for more complicated building-block chemical names, but actually the letters (A,T, G and C). The DNA code, or genetic code as it is called, is passed through the sperm and egg to the offspring. But there is far more involved in explaining replication, and those are minor factors. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid, which carries genetic instructions for the biological development of all cellular forms of life and many viruses. In bacteria and other simple cell organisms, DNA is distributed more or less throughout the cell. In the complex cells that make up plants, animals and in other multi-celled organisms, most of the DNA is found in the chromosomes, which are located in the cell nucleus. The energy-generating organelles known as chloroplasts and mitochondria also carry DNA, as do many viruses.

DNA Replication Process:

Several enzymes and proteins are involved with the replication of DNA. At a specific point, the double helix of DNA is caused to unwind possibly in response to an initial synthesis of a short RNA strand using the enzyme helicase. Proteins are available to hold the unwound DNA strands in position. Each strand of DNA then serves as a template to guide the synthesis of its complementary strand of DNA. DNA polymerase III is used to join the appropriate nucleotide units together The DNA template guides the formation of a DNA complementary strand - not an exact copy of itself.

The replication of DNA is guided by the base pairing principle so that no other heterocyclic amine nucleotide can hydrogen bond and fit correctly with cytosine. The next heterocyclic amine, cytosine (C), guides the incorporation of guanine (G) while similar arguments apply to the other bases.

It is so important that the cells duplicate the DNA genetic material exactly, and two different polymerase enzymes check the sequence of newly synthesized nucleotides. The second enzyme can check for and actually correct any mistake of mismatched base pairs in the sequence. The mismatched nucleotides are hydrolyzed and cut out and new correct ones are inserted. Understanding how DNA is faithfully replicated time and time again was key to accepting that DNA could, indeed, be the hereditary material that had been sought for so very long.Once you understand how it works, it is quite simple and refined.

The DNA strand is often compared with a zipper. When it is time to replicate, one small section at a time is unraveled and a duplicate made. Section by section is replicated until the entire DNA strand has been transformed into two identical DNA strands.

While 'unzipping' is a critical part of the process, so too is the fact that the 4 nucleotides that make up DNA only occur in specific pairs -- A with T and C with G. These pairing occur automatically because they are attracted to each other by non-covalent bonds. We compare this type of bond with sticky paper that can be attached to one place and stay put until, with very little effort, it is removed. So too will the nucleotide pairs remain attached to each other - actually holding both strands of DNA together - until it is time to replicate and the nucleotide pairs are pulled apart.

Linda was very correct to point out the difference in microevolution and macroevolution, and the fact that Ottis does not understand the difference in the two processes. Her explanations were precise and very accurate.

The first thing you need to know is that Creationists often make statements that are not correct about scientific theories in order to make it fit their arguments. Creationists once said that it was inconceivable that pure chance could produce all the complexity of life, it had to be intelligently designed, so evolution was wrong. The problem is that is not what the Theory of Evolution states. There are certain facts that are very important to grasp before anyone can discuss this topic. Chance and random chance are not the same things. Evolutionists never said that pure chance produced anything. The theory of Evolution does not say it occurs by chance. Evolution contains a component of chance, but it does not happen by chance, and it is the existence of the non-chance components that allows evolution to work.

Since the old arguments against evolution don't seem to be working some creationists needed a new argument (evolution proves god because evolution is not random chance.) There is a big difference in random chance and chance, evolution is true or creationism is true, but not both. If evolution is true, then we all got here by random chance.

Evolution is easy to understand. Due to mutation, organisms undergo random changes, some of which are beneficial, while others are not. (Why would god create something that is not beneficial for life to evolve if evolution comes from god?) The organisms with beneficial changes enjoy a competitive advantage, and these changes are passed on throughout the population and become common; those with harmful changes are at a disadvantage, are less likely to reproduce, and do not pass these changes on, causing them to disappear out of the population. (Or a half-baked perfect creator did them wrong)? This is natural selection, and there are debates in the scientific community about topics such as the level at which selection operates or the relative rate of evolutionary change, but there is no argument about the theory of evolution in the (for-real) scientific community. The simple principles outlined above lie at the heart of all versions of evolutionary theory.

Evolution is a scientific theory that refers to the cumulative changes that occur in a population over time. Evolution deals only with objects, events, and processes in the material world. Science has no theories about the existence of god (nothing to falsify) or about people's spiritual beliefs.

The theory of evolution answers certain things about how we all got here (the fact that characteristics tend to increase in frequency in the population, while those that are disadvantageous decrease in frequency) and this theory does not need a creator for it's explanation to make sense. This process of differential survival and reproduction is known as natural selection. The genetic variation on which natural selection acts may occur randomly, but natural selection itself is not random at all. The survival and reproductive success of an individual is directly related to the way its inherited traits function in the context of its local environment. Whether or not an individual survives and reproduces depends on whether it has genes that produce traits that are well adapted to its environment. Some organisms became extinct because it did not have the genes to produce traits that are well adapted to its environment. Either God makes mistakes (not perfect) or this is an example of random selection.

"Atheism is nothing more than a philosophy devoid of any scientific proof."

/sigh.

atheism is not a philosophy. It is simply a denial. A-theism. No god. Non-belief does not require proof. I don't believe in fairies either. I do not have any responsibility for providing proof that there are no fairies. I do not have a No-fairy philosophy.

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