Evolution: a different view with loss of traits; not Behe (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 11:01 (13 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I have not mentioned and in fact oppose the concept of chance mutations! That is a total digression. Please tell me what is wrong with what I have written.

DAVID: The human genome study, about thirty years old, shows that all of us, unchanged, are filled with genes with mutations making each of us slightly different.

dhw: Irrelevant to our subject of speciation.

DAVID: All mutations are relevant to the speciation issue.

How is the fact that we are all slightly different relevant to speciation? These mutations are within the same species!

dhw: You have already agreed that new genes exist. I have proposed that speciation is accompanied by new genes or old genes taking on new roles. That is how my ‘theory’ relates to speciation! According to your version of Behe, evolutionary “advances always result from loss of genes”, and “I view evolution as over and Behe's probable explanation of speciation as a very cogent avenue for a new theory of speciation.” I assumed that meant speciation, but now you suddenly change your terminology:

DAVID: Behe is presenting a reason for species modification.

dhw: Species modification is not speciation! The bear example shows that, just like the article we have been discussing, this theory relates to ADAPTATION, which you agree “goes on either by deletion or gene modification”. It makes perfect sense that when a species adapts to different conditions, certain genes will become unnecessary. But then I would argue that the changes (why “advances”?) do not RESULT from loss of genes: loss of genes is the result of the changes, because they are no longer needed. Let me stress again that I’m not arguing here with Behe. I’m arguing with the muddled case you have presented.

DAVID: Behe calls his finding "Darwin devolves" and believes his analysis may well tell us how speciation occurs. What I presented is not muddled, but counter to one of your favorite theories straight out of Neo-Darwin.

You began by telling us that evolutionary “advances always result from loss of genes”, which I challenged. This was diluted into Behe presents “a reason for species modification” (which sounds to me like changes within the same species, and not speciation), and now you tell me Behe believes this “may well tell us” how speciation occurs. You keep modifying your interpretation of Behe, and changing your objections to my own proposal: first it was “no new genes” (but there are), then it was random mutations (irrelevant to my proposal), and then it was that evolution is no longer on-going, which is irrelevant to the cause of speciation. Here comes the next objection:

DAVID: Currently the human gene study tells us there are many mutations in existing genes and humans are still humans. Where is your theory?

What do you mean “where is your theory”? My theory, proposed in response to your version of Behe’s theory, concerns speciation. But mutations within existing species which lead to variations within that existing species are irrelevant to the subject of speciation! Has the human gene study now proved that no species in the history of life has ever contained new genes? My theory is that speciation entails the production of new genes (you now agree they exist), new uses for old genes (do you disagree?), and the discarding of genes that are no longer of any use. Now please tell me which of these proposals you object to, and why you think that speciation can only be achieved by loss of genes.

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