Human Biology First ID paper in scientific journal already under attack

Discussion in 'Human Biology' started by amantine, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. amantine

    amantine Premium Member

    Recently, the first ever scientific paper about Intelligent Design was submitted to the relatively unknown scientific paper Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. The article is "Meyer, Stephen C. 2004. The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories.". Intelligent Design believes that all life was created by an intelligent designer and that macroevolution is not the cause of the current biodiversity.

    It is always good to have a healthy discussion about the current theories of science. However, there is much wrong with the paper. This article, Review of Meyer, Stephen C. 2004. The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 117(2):213-239 by Alan Gishlick, Nick Matzke, and Wesley R. Elsberry, at the Panda's Thumb explains the worst problems with the paper:

    Other articles about certain sections of the paper can be found in the Panda's Thumb's archives.
  2. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    This was a very interesting article to say the least. The Cambrian explosion is quite a fascinating time for me. The reason is... There seemed to be SOOOOO much evolution during that time. Also, i am wondering is why did not all the monkeys or apes actually evolve into more human like creatures? Is there something that sets us apart from them? Also, why did we start to lose our hair from being apes? It does seem to me that we are about the only animal without natural defenses, well, except our intelligence. I can understand that we would not need clothes in the Amazon, but, even the apes living in amazon all have hair covering their bodies. This seems like the gap for me. I would think that we would have a few forms of humans, or the Apes would be evolving. Why the transition for some and why is there the gap? (from ape - human; no in-between). Does anyone know of any research on this?

    [Edited on 3-9-2004 by JcMinJapan]
  3. BlackJackal

    BlackJackal New Member

    One thing so far in this article that I definetely agree with Pandas Thumb on is the appeal to the Novel Proteins. That argument is anything but solid right now.

    For Example, Theta-x-174 the catalytically non-essential componenets of a protein contained information for other proteins. So Meyer's use of the improbability of novel proteins is currently a bad argument, but that does not mean it might not be in the future.
  4. Nygdan

    Nygdan Member

    Its an interesting and valid question, the explanation I am familiar with goes something like this.
    The ancestral population to humans and chimps lived in east africa. Africa started rifting and the weather started changing, the ancestral population got split in two by the rifting. The climate in the west stayed the same as it was orginally, mostly wet jungles. THe chimps were well adapted to this and remain well adapted to this. In the eastern side of the rist, the climate became drier, more savannah like, and the forests became further and further seperated by grasslands. This put 'selective pressure' on the chimp population, such that over time, the individuals who were better at walking those distances out-bred those that were less good at it. Once bipedal, the new animal had its hands free to carry stuff, or, more importantly, to make and use complex tools. The ability to speak and function in a society wherein the making of good tools was learned provided the 'selection pressure' that ended up, under these circumstances, with higher and higher intelligence. More or less thats the explanation. Monkeys are still monkeys because evolution is driven by adaptation and small changes, and there simply wasn't that 'pressure' to select more upright chimps in the jungle or more talkative chimps in a group that doesn't understand language.

    Extraordinarily little. Some naturalists from the old days used ot even remark that there was practically nothing that seperated man from ape. Indeed, in modern phylogenetics classifications, man is an ape.

    Strictly speaking, humans haven't lost their hair. Humans have the same number of follicles as chimps. Its just much shorter and thinner. I've never heard a good explanation why. I like the aquatic ape theory's handling of it, but on the other hand i think that the aquatic ape theory as a whole isn't very well supported. They say that man went thru an important phase in which man was semi-aquatic. THey say that man's hair follicles are streamlined for this purpose, that the body is 'hairless' beuase it wasn't a good insulator in the water, and that humans have a well developed body fat layer, better than that of apes, because it served to insulate in the water.
    I still wouldn't want to tangle with a feral human.
    On the hair bit, not too sure. On the divisions between man and the various apes, oh yeah, thats a nice field. I like this site for that info:
    Fossil Hominids: the evidence for human evolution

    it also has a list of other sites on the subject.

    I just saw your post now, else I would've responded earlier. Hope it was helpful.