Of what real value is evolutionary "knowledge"?

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Ragtime
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09 May 2008, 7:49 pm

I'm not talking about social value; not talking about getting along with your peers. I want to know how evolutionary knowledge helps you become a better biologist, BESIDES the fact that the other biologists publicly assent to evolution (even while many privately doubt it, instead choosing to study from a design/engineering perspective).

How does evolutionary theory help you be a more competent scientist? Do scientists who question evolution believe in heretical chemistry, or physics, or mathematics, or biology?
No.
Both creationists and evolution subscribe to the same equations, chemical makeups, and laws of physics. All the same hard science.

So, why is evoltionary biology not an elective course? It should be like an art class: you can take it if you want, but its subjective, and thus not required.

How does evolutionary "knowledge" determine the image you see when you look into a microscope? Or the functionality of a cell? It doesn't. It's extraneous data, at best.

How are biologists who don't believe in evolution able to keep their careers, which they indeed are able to do, if disavowal of evolution makes them incompetent at their jobs?

(I'm speaking, of course, of those who weren't fired for questioning evolution.)

Answer: It doesn't.
It does not make them any less knowledgable about the proven facts of biology. Not one iota. Evolution is now completely political, and its membership of believers is held together through intimidation from colleagues, to the extent that one could easily call it a religious order of the scientific community.

Believing that man came from soup does not help one study cells, nerves, chemical reactions within the body, or any other hard science. Evolution is extraneous to all of that. And particularly since evolution has not been proven, it is of no TRUE scientific help to rest one's new scientific ideas upon.
It sits there upon the science landscape, an empty shrine around which to congregate and bow down oneself, and produces nothing.



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09 May 2008, 7:58 pm

Ragtime wrote:
Believing that man came from soup does not help one study cells, nerves, chemical reactions within the body, or any other hard science. Evolution is extraneous to all of that. And particularly since evolution has not been proven, it is of no TRUE scientific help to rest one's new scientific ideas upon.
It sits there upon the science landscape, an empty shrine around which to congregate and bow down oneself, and produces nothing.


It helps one understand where organisms came from, where we sit in relation to other organisms, the origins of some diseases (varicose veins are common in older humans because our evolution to bipeds isn't completely flawless).

Evolution cannot be proven completely because of timescale, but it fits best without a need for deity-based intervention. Darwin himself acknowledged the issues within his theories

Evolution promises nothing, and gives back nothing, unlike religion, which promises heaven, and gives oblivion.


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09 May 2008, 8:06 pm

Ragtime, I find your delusions of persecution quite amusing. YEC's are not oppressed so much as they are idiots; you wouldn't take someone seriously if they still believed in the miasma theory of disease would you?

To respond to your question, evolution helps biologists to make sense of the various forms of life they encounter and leads them to patterns that can help them do their work more effectively. I know a guy who's going to grad school next year for immunology, and a good understanding of evolution is helping his research in finding better anti-microbial treatments to supplement the current use of antibiotics.


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09 May 2008, 8:25 pm

If we want to fully understand the functioning of an organism one MUST understand the evolutionary history of that organism's anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. Because evolution has no pre-determined goal, it is just a result of natural selection caused by the environment and reproductive competition, the "engineering" of organisms is full of ad-hoc solutions, usually consisting of an already existing element being commandeered to a new function. A good example is how elements of the reptilian lower jaw became the Malleus (Hammer) and Incus (Anvil) bones in the mammalian inner ear; that explains why the Malleus and Incus are innervated by the nerve controlling the jaw muscles while the other ear bone, the Stapes (Stirrup), in innervated by the nerve controlling muscles in the throat (and that shows where the stirrup came from, it was originally a strut that connected the first pair of gill arch bones to the braincase).


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Sedaka
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09 May 2008, 10:58 pm

I just told you that in every BIO curriculum i've ever seen... evolution IS an elective.... THERE IS NO FIELD OF EVOLUTION. people who research evolution do so THROUGH their respective field.

it's very applicable for wildlife management.... that's what i used to want to do... apply my evo interest into something useful for this planet. that's enough for me right there. is that not worthy enough of a cause?


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09 May 2008, 11:00 pm

Sedaka wrote:
I just told you that in every BIO curriculum i've ever seen... evolution IS an elective.... THERE IS NO FIELD OF EVOLUTION. people who research evolution do so THROUGH their respective field.

it's very applicable for wildlife management.... that's what i used to want to do... apply my evo interest into something useful for this planet. that's enough for me right there. is that not worthy enough of a cause?


Though, without evolution the whole study of Biology goes out the window. It is the basis for modern Biology, as Dawkins puts it.



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09 May 2008, 11:04 pm

Kalister1 wrote:
Sedaka wrote:
I just told you that in every BIO curriculum i've ever seen... evolution IS an elective.... THERE IS NO FIELD OF EVOLUTION. people who research evolution do so THROUGH their respective field.

it's very applicable for wildlife management.... that's what i used to want to do... apply my evo interest into something useful for this planet. that's enough for me right there. is that not worthy enough of a cause?


Though, without evolution the whole study of Biology goes out the window. It is the basis for modern Biology, as Dawkins puts it.


true...

i can understand the frustration of not being able to have unit on debating such things in gk-12 public schools...

but if you take an evo course in college... you're there cause you enrolled in an elective. hell, the majority of bio courses i took were elective... it's rather amusing just how LITTLE biology you need to get a degree... especially just at the BS/BA level....


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09 May 2008, 11:06 pm

Sedaka wrote:
I just told you that in every BIO curriculum i've ever seen... evolution IS an elective.... THERE IS NO FIELD OF EVOLUTION. people who research evolution do so THROUGH their respective field.

It's included in intro bio classes, even though its not the main focus of the class. An evolutionary perspective gives biology coherence.


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09 May 2008, 11:06 pm

Sedaka wrote:
Kalister1 wrote:
Sedaka wrote:
I just told you that in every BIO curriculum i've ever seen... evolution IS an elective.... THERE IS NO FIELD OF EVOLUTION. people who research evolution do so THROUGH their respective field.

it's very applicable for wildlife management.... that's what i used to want to do... apply my evo interest into something useful for this planet. that's enough for me right there. is that not worthy enough of a cause?


Though, without evolution the whole study of Biology goes out the window. It is the basis for modern Biology, as Dawkins puts it.


true...

i can understand the frustration of not being able to have unit on debating such things in gk-12 public schools...

but if you take an evo course in college... you're there cause you enrolled in an elective. hell, the majority of bio courses i took were elective... it's rather amusing just how LITTLE biology you need to get a degree... especially just at the BS/BA level....


I'm contemplating getting a degree in Biology, along with one in electrical engineering. I find that my thirst for science isn't quite quenched by the heavily math based courses (Though, I began my physics in the fall, so we'll see).



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09 May 2008, 11:07 pm

Orwell wrote:
Sedaka wrote:
I just told you that in every BIO curriculum i've ever seen... evolution IS an elective.... THERE IS NO FIELD OF EVOLUTION. people who research evolution do so THROUGH their respective field.

It's included in intro bio classes, even though its not the main focus of the class. An evolutionary perspective gives biology coherence.


That is what I was trying to say. You and your fancy words, like coherence..and evolutionary..



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09 May 2008, 11:08 pm

and ill ask again... why do you consider it not to be proven?

please explain a) how evolution has been "attempted" to be proven and b) why that is wrong

(i'm trying to deduce where you're coming from.... and your sources)


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09 May 2008, 11:12 pm

Orwell wrote:
Sedaka wrote:
I just told you that in every BIO curriculum i've ever seen... evolution IS an elective.... THERE IS NO FIELD OF EVOLUTION. people who research evolution do so THROUGH their respective field.

It's included in intro bio classes, even though its not the main focus of the class. An evolutionary perspective gives biology coherence.

hmm okay... maybe i've taken too many evo courses to remember... guess they didn't focus so much on that for me in my intro bio courses (guess im gett old)

i do remember comisserating with all the intro bio students in my courses that they had to learn about DNA replication and blah blah blah... at a VERY moldcular level.... hell, i didnt get to that stuff til my junior year undergrad in a molec bio course.... and here we are tossin it out at newbies.


i retract that somewhat thought, ragtime.


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09 May 2008, 11:12 pm

Sedaka wrote:
and ill ask again... why do you consider it not to be proven?

please explain a) how evolution has been "attempted" to be proven and b) why that is wrong

(i'm trying to deduce where you're coming from.... and your sources)

If you're asking Ragtime, you're not likely to get an answer from him. We called his bluff early on in this thread by providing several answers about the value of studying evolution, so he'll probably want to let this thread sink so he can try a different angle.


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09 May 2008, 11:21 pm

Sedaka wrote:
hmm okay... maybe i've taken too many evo courses to remember... guess they didn't focus so much on that for me in my intro bio courses (guess im gett old)

i do remember comisserating with all the intro bio students in my courses that they had to learn about DNA replication and blah blah blah... at a VERY moldcular level.... hell, i didnt get to that stuff til my junior year undergrad in a molec bio course.... and here we are tossin it out at newbies.

So what DID they teach in your intro bio courses?


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09 May 2008, 11:27 pm

Orwell wrote:
Sedaka wrote:
hmm okay... maybe i've taken too many evo courses to remember... guess they didn't focus so much on that for me in my intro bio courses (guess im gett old)

i do remember comisserating with all the intro bio students in my courses that they had to learn about DNA replication and blah blah blah... at a VERY moldcular level.... hell, i didnt get to that stuff til my junior year undergrad in a molec bio course.... and here we are tossin it out at newbies.

So what DID they teach in your intro bio courses?


Well, at my high school, which was a Lutheran school, they gave us lessons in basic molecular genetics and evolution. I don't think they would have had the cojones to advance creationism, although the RE courses were enough, as far as I was concerned. But making us sit through at least 3 chapels a week sorta put me off religion.


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