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-   -   Evolution: Gender Cannot Be Explained (http://ravingatheists.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14637)

Missionary 07-01-2008 09:50 AM

Evolution: Gender Cannot Be Explained
 
No observable, testable, measurable, repeatable evidence exists to explain how male and female evolved from asexual organisms. Evolutionary biologists have been unable to determine the origin of sexual reproduction, sperm and egg, or a mechanism that might cause such a mutation.

That doesn't prevent the "Wonders of the Scientifically Fantastical" sci-fi stories from being spun. But still, not a shred or speck of hard scientific evidence.

Discuss.

Riddler 07-01-2008 09:56 AM

Have you checked into my 'Thou art with me. . .' thread under 'Does God Exist'?

If you can overlook the irreverence of the title (and you reveal yourself to be exceptionally good at overlooking irreverence, if I may say so!) you will find that the same subject is already under discussion there. I would value your informed input.

Missionary 07-01-2008 10:06 AM

Done!

zer0 07-01-2008 10:14 AM

SIGH... the very process that you're trying to disprove with your piss poor logic is the process that pretty much fucking ensured the rise of gender. Natural selection is not very kind to those that reproduce asexually. Getting past the limits of asexual reproduction was the first great hurdle of life on this planet. Asexual reproduction limits the genetic variability in a population, and is detrimental to its survival. The Cambrian explosion also coincides with many of the first sexually reproducing species arising. Sex was one of the most important mutations ever.

The above link is not specifically about asexual reproduction but it touches on why genetic variability is a huge boon to a species. It also shows why the story of Noah's Ark would pretty much mean we'd all be dead. The video is made by a Christian, so piss off. There are plenty of people that can reconcile their faith with the truth of science, the beauty of science. If you can't wrap your head around it, I pity you, but I don't forgive you nor do I have to accept your ignorant worldview. Get the fuck out of here with your piss poor understanding of even the most basic statements scientists have made in the past 150 years.

Today is July 1st, 2008. 150 years exactly since the work of Darwin and Wallace were first brought before the public eye. 150 years later, many have questioned it, many have tested it, and it has withstood every barrage. The theory of evolution is one the most sound, well-supported, well-tested, exhaustively experimented bodies of science in existence. Yet, every lay person in the world thinks that biology is somehow open to debate. Just shut the fuck up if you don't know what you're talking about. Truth is not a democracy, your vote doesn't count.

Choobus 07-01-2008 10:39 AM

Missionary is obviously a shit stirring tard. I suggest that we all starve him. He is beyond tedious. He is no more capable of learning than a rock, and not as much fun to talk to either.

Missionary 07-01-2008 10:44 AM

Thanks zer0 for your ardent defense of The Theory Of EvolutionTM.

So, you can't really explain sexual reproduction either except that they appeared suddenly during the Cambrian Explosion. However, you seem to indicate that organisms sort of "saw a benefit" to overcoming "reproduction limits the genetic variability in a population"?? Do you think they just "slid" into genders gradually or suddenly? How would a missing link show it's transitional gender mutations?

Missionary 07-01-2008 10:46 AM

Quote:

Choobus wrote (Post 503072)
Missionary is obviously a shit stirring tard. I suggest that we all starve him. He is beyond tedious. He is no more capable of learning than a rock, and not as much fun to talk to either.

Don't want to comment or commit to the unknowable again? How many topics of science do you fear discussing out in the open? I bet it's all of them.

Erik 07-01-2008 11:20 AM

Oh, for crying out loud. There are hundreds of things that aren't explained yet, but that doesn't mean you just toss out the whole theory. Nobody knows exactly how gravity works yet, either, but I don't see you challenging that. Prior to the discovery of DNA, people disdained of ever finding out what the mechanism of genetics was. OH MY GOD! WE'LL NEVER KNOW HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS! Well, check in 50 years later and in fact, we know quite a bit. So going around saying that something cannot be solved is a fool's game.

Part of the problem with explaining how sexual reproduction arose is that soft tissue (no jokes please) does not readily fossilize. But to say that it is an intractable problem is to fall into the same old trap that generations have fallen into. Recent examples would include the evolution of the eye and the evolution of whales.

I will say that your idea is highly amusing: you seem to be saying that although many other biological characteristics may be explained by evolution, the one thing that your god was particularly keen on inventing was sex. Almost as if your god just likes to watch things fuck.

Irreligious 07-01-2008 12:45 PM

Quote:

Erik wrote (Post 503093)
... you seem to be saying that although many other biological characteristics may be explained by evolution, the one thing that your god was particularly keen on inventing was sex. Almost as if your god just likes to watch things fuck.

But only if they're married and planning to have babies. Otherwise, his god intended them to be like amoeba and split.

Tenspace 07-01-2008 01:46 PM

Quote:

Missionary wrote (Post 503052)
No observable, testable, measurable, repeatable evidence exists to explain how male and female evolved from asexual organisms. Evolutionary biologists have been unable to determine the origin of sexual reproduction, sperm and egg, or a mechanism that might cause such a mutation.

That doesn't prevent the "Wonders of the Scientifically Fantastical" sci-fi stories from being spun. But still, not a shred or speck of hard scientific evidence.

Discuss.

No observable, testable, measurable, repeatable evidence exists to explaining how stars are formed, but that doesn't stop Science from studying the subject and presenting various hypotheses which attempt to explain the phenomenon. By default, processes that take millions of years - like evolution, star formation, and fossilization - are untestable in the short timescale of a single human's existence. Funny how folks think that if no one was there to record an event, it could never have happened.

So, Missy (you don't mind if I call you Missy, do you?), let's take a look at your statement, and compare it to what the scientific community has to say about sexual reproduction.

First, drop the word, Gender - it is irrelevant here. Sex is what we're talking about. Gender primarily refers to the linguistics of referencing the classes of nouns. Sex is how we classify biological organisms, and it's what we do to make new organisms. We don't have gender to make babies, though we refer to said babies in gender, as He or She.

So, how did life go from fucking itself to fucking a mate? Let's discuss:

Up until about twenty years ago, the two primary competing hypotheses for the reason behind sexual reproduction were Deleterious Mutation, and the Red Queen hypothesis. DM's prime reasoning was that sexual exists to purge a species of damaging genetic mutations.(1) Basically, it goes like this: an asexual organism produces a clone. The clone will carry two copies, or alleles, of a mutation. If the organism dies, then the mutation dies with it. Sexual reproduction allows mutations to continue throughout the organism's gene pool's history. Most mutations are harmful, and the organisms carrying those harmful/lethal mutations won't generate viable offspring, whereas neutral or beneficial mutations will be passed on to future offspring, allowing for a more diverse genetic pool. This explains a benefit of sex, but does not penetrate the subject completely, pulling out before a valid origins hypothesis can be fertilized.

The Red Queen hypothesis, first proposed by Leigh Van Valen(2), states, very simply, that sex evolved in order to fight disease. Host species can fight off diseases by evolving new genetic defenses against the attacking organisms. That doesn't sound like much of a big deal, until you realize that all those non-deleterious mutations are carried by the organism's offspring, which leads to greater variability in future generations. This hypothesis goes much further in presenting a methodology for the split from asexual to sexual reproduction.

To summarize, sexual reproduction is more adept at providing mechanisms to combat disease, whereas asexual reproduction is advantageous where populations of organisms don't face external threats from parasites.

Now, let's talk about the origin of sexual reproduction vs asexual reproduction. All eukaryotes produce sexually, whereas most prokaryotes produces asexually. Biology is in general agreement that the split from protists was heralded by sexual reproduction. And here we are, partially in agreement with your statement: was it Viral Eukaryogenesis, or cannibalism/recombination, or viral fusion? We don't know exactly the original event that occurred which created sexual reproduction - but we do know that it happened, approximately when it happened, and in what organisms it could have happened. This does not detract from evolution, biology, or your last orgasm. It is simply a case of, "we don't know yet, but one day, if we continue to enhance evolutionary theory, we'll find out."

Just like the origin of the universe, or prokaryotic life, or the godhead in any of three thousand religions, we may not be able to explain the origin to the last detail, but that does not deter us from understanding and contemplating the results we see around us today.

So yes, you're right - we don't have an answer to the origin of sex, but we know it exists, we know it is beneficial for diploid organisms, and we understand enough about it to postulate its origins. And we certainly know that we would never, ever participate in the act with Paris Hilton, for fear of acquiring those really, really deleterious pathogens she carries in her cooch, a walking, talking petri dish of unimaginable horror.

(1) A. Kondrashov, 1988, Deleterious mutations and the evolution of sexual reproduction. Nature 336: 435-440

(2) L. Van Valen, 1973, A new evolutionary law. Evolutionary Theory, 1:1-30.

zer0 07-01-2008 02:53 PM

I applaud you Tenspace for actually taking the time to reference sources when replying to this dipwad.

ProveIt 07-01-2008 05:32 PM

Can we make it so that trolls can only comment in the forum... and not start threads?

Choobus 07-01-2008 05:33 PM

Only if we can get an efficient troll detector

Missionary 07-01-2008 06:54 PM

Quote:

Tenspace wrote (Post 503127)
No observable, testable, measurable, repeatable evidence exists to explaining how stars are formed, but that doesn't stop Science from studying the subject and presenting various hypotheses which attempt to explain the phenomenon. By default, processes that take millions of years - like evolution, star formation, and fossilization - are untestable in the short timescale of a single human's existence. Funny how folks think that if no one was there to record an event, it could never have happened.

Now, I don't have a problem with that as long as we identify it as hypothetical explanations. And no, it's not a matter of "it didn't happen" and you know it. The problem is that some people take those speculative hypothesis and run with them like they're facts. They aren't facts and they aren't even factual explanations. They're opinions of possible mechanisms and events that may have SOME bearing to the actual event and how it happened OR may be completely inaccurate.

What many atheists will do is CLAIM "I rely upon peer reviewed EVIDENCE and FACTS!!" then out of the other side of their mouths claim "Abiogenesis EXPLAINS it ALL!!" which of course is faith and belief in hypothetical scientific explanations; not science and the scientific method.

Other atheists who know better don't correct these folks thus perpetuating untruths and acting intellectually dishonest.

Quote:

Tenspace wrote (Post 503127)
So, Missy (you don't mind if I call you Missy, do you?),

Whatever makes you feel superior.

Quote:

Tenspace wrote (Post 503127)
let's take a look at your statement, and compare it to what the scientific community has to say about sexual reproduction.

What the scientific community "has to say" really doesn't amount to a hill of beans without actually observing, testing, collecting data, etc. They may put forth an educated opinion, but lets not fool ourselves, it's opinion, speculation, and conjecture. It's an educated guess and nothing more.

Quote:

Tenspace wrote (Post 503127)
First, drop the word, Gender - it is irrelevant here. Sex is what we're talking about. Gender primarily refers to the linguistics of referencing the classes of nouns. Sex is how we classify biological organisms, and it's what we do to make new organisms. We don't have gender to make babies, though we refer to said babies in gender, as He or She.

The act of sex and the gender of sex are separate yet interrelated subjects. You have to have male and female sexes to 'have sex' and reproduce. We see this in plants, animals, insects, and humans.

Quote:

Tenspace wrote (Post 503127)
So, how did life go from fucking itself to fucking a mate? Let's discuss:

Up until about twenty years ago, the two primary competing hypotheses for the reason behind sexual reproduction were Deleterious Mutation, and the Red Queen hypothesis. DM's prime reasoning was that sexual exists to purge a species of damaging genetic mutations.(1) Basically, it goes like this: an asexual organism produces a clone. The clone will carry two copies, or alleles, of a mutation. If the organism dies, then the mutation dies with it. Sexual reproduction allows mutations to continue throughout the organism's gene pool's history. Most mutations are harmful, and the organisms carrying those harmful/lethal mutations won't generate viable offspring, whereas neutral or beneficial mutations will be passed on to future offspring, allowing for a more diverse genetic pool. This explains a benefit of sex, but does not penetrate the subject completely, pulling out before a valid origins hypothesis can be fertilized.

The Red Queen hypothesis, first proposed by Leigh Van Valen(2), states, very simply, that sex evolved in order to fight disease. Host species can fight off diseases by evolving new genetic defenses against the attacking organisms. That doesn't sound like much of a big deal, until you realize that all those non-deleterious mutations are carried by the organism's offspring, which leads to greater variability in future generations. This hypothesis goes much further in presenting a methodology for the split from asexual to sexual reproduction.

To summarize, sexual reproduction is more adept at providing mechanisms to combat disease, whereas asexual reproduction is advantageous where populations of organisms don't face external threats from parasites.

Now, let's talk about the origin of sexual reproduction vs asexual reproduction. All eukaryotes produce sexually, whereas most prokaryotes produces asexually. Biology is in general agreement that the split from protists was heralded by sexual reproduction. And here we are, partially in agreement with your statement: was it Viral Eukaryogenesis, or cannibalism/recombination, or viral fusion?

According to the Wiki, The Red Queen hypothesis simply attempts to "explain the advantage of sexual reproduction at the level of individuals, and the constant evolutionary arms race between competing species" AND as an "explanatory tangent to his proposed Law of Extinction". It further states that "...a direct test of the hypothesis remains elusive, particularly at the macroevolutionary level" AND "Discussions of sex and reproduction were not part of Van Valen's Red Queen's Hypothesis"

So, i
t does not offer or propose any mechanism by which asexual organisms began an evolutionary process of mutation over millions of years mutating into separate male/female sexes of the species.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sex state the following, "The evolution of sex is a major puzzle in modern evolutionary biology. Many groups of organisms, notably the majority of animals and plants, reproduce sexually. The evolution of sex contains two related, yet distinct, themes: its origin and its maintenance. However, since the hypotheses for the origins of sex are difficult to test experimentally, most current work has been focused on the maintenance of sexual reproduction."

While there are plenty of explanations available for benefits which obviously can be observed theres a problem with genetic deficiencies and mutations degenerating and weakening the species as opposed to strengthening any given species.

Single cell organisms still exist today in a variety of forms, remained asexual, remained healthy, have a plentiful food source, hospitable environment and really have shown no need to mutate into anything else much less mutate into separate male/female sexes and reproduce in some new complicated egg-sperm-seed-pistol-pollination schemes.

Regardless of the "benefit" hypothesis and theories, the mechanisms ivolved are almost silent except for Viral Eukaryogenesis and Neomuran Revolution. Now, the Neomuran Revolution theory proposed by Thomas Cavalier-Smith is interesting because he dismisses other scientific opinion based on what he refers to as " “theoretically and empirically” unsound model of molecular clocks"...hahaha. I agree with that.

So essentially, science so far has failed to come up with anything more than a model and speculative opinionated conjecture to explain the simultaneous mutations of a variety of species over millions of years into male/female sexes WHILE STILL reproducing asexually AS THEY mutated into opposite sexes. You have to admit, that's an difficult mutation to explain away.

Quote:

Tenspace wrote (Post 503127)
We don't know exactly the original event that occurred which created sexual reproduction - but we do know that it happened, approximately when it happened, and in what organisms it could have happened.

Obviously male/female exists and reproduction happens. So, of course we know it's here.

Quote:

Tenspace wrote (Post 503127)
This does not detract from evolution, biology, or your last orgasm. It is simply a case of, "we don't know yet, but one day, if we continue to enhance evolutionary theory, we'll find out."

Now that's hopeful; dare I say faith. "enhance evolutionary theory"?? That's an interesting phrase. I suspect (and hope) you mean 'find evidence to support' as opposed to dream up a new story to fill the gap of missing knowledge.

Quote:

Tenspace wrote (Post 503127)
Just like the origin of the universe, or prokaryotic life, or the godhead in any of three thousand religions, we may not be able to explain the origin to the last detail, but that does not deter us from understanding and contemplating the results we see around us today.

So yes, you're right - we don't have an answer to the origin of sex, but we know it exists, we know it is beneficial for diploid organisms, and we understand enough about it to postulate its origins. And we certainly know that we would never, ever participate in the act with Paris Hilton, for fear of acquiring those really, really deleterious pathogens she carries in her cooch, a walking, talking petri dish of unimaginable horror.

(1) A. Kondrashov, 1988, Deleterious mutations and the evolution of sexual reproduction. Nature 336: 435-440

(2) L. Van Valen, 1973, A new evolutionary law. Evolutionary Theory, 1:1-30.

Again...of course we know it exists. I'll disagree with your position that it doesn't threaten or detract from the Theory of Evolution because it's critical to science in proving that all life originates from common ancestry and single cells.

Again...The species has to originate as asexual, that it is purposely mutating towards a new beneficial reproduction scheme, over millions of years, while reproducing asexually the entire time. Until that one special day...bam, sex. I don't know there...that's a very tall mutation order. Very, very tall mechanism. Lots of species involved.

A model and hypothesis isn't going to be sufficient here. We'll need an observation somehow. Otherwise, it cannot just be skipped over or pushed aside to claim the Theory of Evo to be fact. It HAS to be answered with hard evidence.

Missionary 07-01-2008 07:00 PM

Quote:

ProveIt wrote (Post 503187)
Can we make it so that trolls can only comment in the forum... and not start threads?

I'm sure mods can always delete threads that are spam. Or lock them and put them in a special spam forum. They can even move troll/bait-argument starting threads there.

However, if you're afraid of a theist blowing up your belief system because of it's frailty ...I suggest you reevaluate your belief system as opposed to playing thought police and thread censor.

This thread topic is legit. And it's a major threat to evolution. In fact, it could prove to be the sinking of the whole ship.


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