Theory of evolution.

Muki

Muki

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Pay attention to my emphasis on the belief, where the position I take is creationism and evolution are two explanations to how the world originated. This puts both theories as probabilities rather than truths.

The problem with science post enlightenment is that it did not get away with seeking the "truth" to generate public "belief"by what the system propagate as the truth. When in fact an enlightened people should reject systems of truth and belief regardless to whether these systems are divinely inspired or scientific.

A probability is negated by new evidence, looking for new evidence is the task of science and not constructing an alternative system of belief.
Pay attention that both theories start from the same position. This is how it began. Or better how it originated. This position is theological. I mean the assumption that things started somewhere or originated from some spot comes from the narrative of the prophets. The explanation then starts from a truth proposition asserting that all things started somewhere at some point, without evidence. There is no evidence that things must have started from nothingness into somethingness.

The point where someone may get stuck at is exactly at this truth proposition asserting that something starts from nothing, but what is nothing? how did they prove nothing to start with. What is the base of the proposition that origin that must have evolved or was created from a point of inexistence. How can we prove that there was nothing and by what material evidence do we measure nothing.
Evolution is not about "how the world originated" -- it's about the study of diversity of life on earth after origin.

Abiogenesis would be the study of origin of life from inorganic substances, but that's an entirely different topic altogether.
 
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  • Mighty Goat

    Mighty Goat

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    Evolution is not about "how the world originated" -- it's about the study of diversity of life on earth after origin.

    Abiogenesis would be the study of origin of life from inorganic substances, but that's an entirely different topic altogether.
    Certainly I am making reference to the theory at its primitive stage with Darwin. Like all theoreticians of the Enlightenment the query was into developing a totalizing theory that may explain how the cosmos, government, and species originated. Here we get Darwin speaking of biology, in the same way political scientists of the "state of nature, like Lock, Kant and Hobbes theorized the origin of law and government.

    Evolution is based on the premise that things evolved into something superior to their primitive origins.

    When one speaks of organisms in their interconnectedness with other organisms. One is somehow speaking of a paradigm ( a system of belief) governing one's inquiry. This is this someone is specifically speaking from within the functionalist structural paradigm which originates from systems theory, and includes various socio-political, economical, philological, and biological group of theories. The main premise is the interconnectedness of functional organisms within interrelated and functional systems and subsystems compose the universe, which is evolving or is progressing, because of the theory that explained its origins defined its movement in such terms, (i.e evolution and progress).

    The proposition of evolution is the instigator of investigation for the study of the diversity of life on earth as well as the origin of life on Earth. Both studies are within the same topic working with different interconnected fields of disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry.
     
    Muki

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    i could have missed it, but i have not seen abou sandal making a case for creationism. He simply pointed out what he considers to be fallacies in the theory of evolution, and truth be told they are substantiated fallacies.

    the problem however occurs is that people have been programmed to directly react against creationism whenever anyone raises a valid question about evolution. Pavlov style. the minute a question is raised about evolution, most atheists begin drooling.
    Abou Sandal did not make a case, but Mighty Goat did -- and I replied to Mighty Goat.

    mutations creating divergence and leading to new species.
    mutation could enhance a certain functionality but does not create new faculties, especially ones that require substantial bio-mechanical systems to implement certain features.
    at the rate which is needed for evolution, and the high risk random mutations represent relatively to positive change, random mutations would actually wipe out species long before allowing them to evolve.
    .....
    Variation of traits is production of novelty though, especially when there was no variation before. The accumulation of slight modifications is a basis of evolution.

    "mutation could enhance a certain functionality but does not create new faculties" -- that is factually incorrect.

    Mutations have been documented to produce new features. Some examples include:
    -ability of a bacterium to digest nylon (Negoro et al. 1994; Thomas n.d.; Thwaites 1985)
    -adaptation in yeast to a low-phosphate environment (Francis and Hansche 1972; 1973; Hansche 1975)
    -evolution of multicellularity in a unicellular green alga (Boraas 1983; Boraas et al. 1998)
    -modification of E. coli's fucose pathway to metabolize propanediol (Lin and Wu 1984)
    -evolution in Klebsiella bacteria of a new metabolic pathway for metabolizing 5-carbon sugars (Hartley 1984)

    Furthermore, most mutations are neutral. The harmful mutations do not survive long, and the beneficial mutations survive much longer, thus when considering only surviving mutations, most are beneficial. And they are quite common. As @Isabella pointed out previously, we observe beneficial mutations in disease-causing organisms that allow them to be resistant to antibiotics (I have done research investigating antibiotic resistance in environmental bacteria exposed to environmental concentrations of pharmaceuticals). We also observe them in agricultural pests that become more resistant to pesticides due to beneficial mutations. Beneficial mutations also help make bones stronger in humans.

    Whether a mutation is beneficial or not depends on environment. A mutation that helps the organism in one circumstance could harm it in another. When the environment changes, variations that once were counteradaptive suddenly become favored. Since environments are constantly changing, variation helps populations survive, even if some of those variations do not do as well as others. When beneficial mutations occur in a changed environment, they generally sweep through the population rapidly (Elena et al. 1996).

    Finally, there is more to evolution than mutation. Selection is what causes beneficial mutations to persist and harmful mutations to die off. The combination of mutation and selection can create new useful adaptations. Experiments and genetic analysis have shown this to be true (Max 1999).

    now the protein machine could break, and could produce faulty alignments, but in their absolute majority these faulty alignments are deadly, if they do not occur quite frequently they do not provide a solid basis for evolution, and if they occur as frequently as required for evolution they would rather bring all life to a very quick end.
    This ignores selection, as discussed above.

    i do not know whether or not this negates evolution theory, but it rather indicates we do not possess the full picture yet.
    We do not have the full picture and probably never will -- that's science, and scientists will be the first to tell you that. But, we do have a comprehensive theory with a fundamentally-correct central thesis that is well-supported by the evidence. To improve the theory, modify it, or debunk it, the correct course of action is to pursue it in research, as scientists do. Pointing at misunderstood or unknown features and claiming to debunk the theory in its entirety? That's part of denialism, not skepticism.

    but it most certainly means that atheists in general should stop attempting to use evolution in an attempt to negate a created universe and a created Life, because the evidence below the commonly dealt abstractions is a solid sign to something that defies all the mathematical odds.
    Why don't you make make a comprehensive case for creationism, or point to one you're satisfied with (not a video, though :)), and we can explore whether we can use evolution to dismiss it? Painting a broad brush that "atheists in general should stop attempting to use evolution in an attempt to negate a created universe and a created life" is not helpful. Atheists can certainly use evolution to negate the nonsense that is young-earth creationism.

    we can approach evolution from a purely scientific perspective and indicate that while it could make a giraffe's neck longer to reach for tree tops, it does not explain why all the philia were established in the short span of the cambrian explosion and the following period exclusively. this is something worth pondering upon.
    Let's be clear here, so that there is no confusion -- when we're talking short span, we're talking in evolutionary time scales, where short span means 20 million years or less. The emergence of these new fossils in a short scale are posed as a challenge to evolution because the sudden burst of change appears to be inconsistent with the more typical gradual pace of evolutionary change. However, although different in certain ways, there are other times of very rapid evolutionary change recorded in the fossil record, often following times of major extinction.

    While the Cambrian Explosion certainly does present a number of challenging and important research questions, it does not challenge the fundamental correctness of evolution -- the descent of all living species from a common ancestor. The fossil record is incomplete, and it provides numerous examples of organisms that appear transitional between living phyla and their common ancestors. An inconsistency does not negate the available evidence -- it merely presents scientists with an exciting opportunity to advance our understanding of how evolutionary processes work.

    this falls more in the realms of natural selection rather than natural gene mutilation, it does not explain the formation of new genes, but rather explains how in certain environments carriers of certain genetic traits encounter more advantages that ensures their survival longer than others, and soon enough these traits become dominant in the offspring. no?
    Selection and mutation work together to produce new adaptive traits.

    here is a more interesting question though. at which point in evolution increasing the chance of survival became a feature in creatures and more importantly, why?
    A fair question, though I fear it is based on a common misconception. Survival is not always promoted by evolution, and sometimes evolution results in individuals or populations becoming less fit and may occasionally even lead to extinction.
     
    Muki

    Muki

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    Certainly I am making reference to the theory at its primitive stage with Darwin. Like all theoreticians of the Enlightenment the query was into developing a totalizing theory that may explain how the cosmos, government, and species originated. Here we get Darwin speaking of biology, in the same way political scientists of the "state of nature, like Lock, Kant and Hobbes theorized the origin of law and government.

    Evolution is based on the premise that things evolved into something superior to their primitive origins.

    When one speaks of organisms in their interconnectedness with other organisms. One is somehow speaking of a paradigm ( a system of belief) governing one's inquiry. This is this someone is specifically speaking from within the functionalist structural paradigm which originates from systems theory, and includes various socio-political, economical, philological, and biological group of theories. The main premise is the interconnectedness of functional organisms within interrelated and functional systems and subsystems compose the universe, which is evolving or is progressing, because of the theory that explained its origins defined its movement in such terms, (i.e evolution and progress).

    The proposition of evolution is the instigator of investigation for the study of the diversity of life on earth as well as the origin of life on Earth. Both studies are within the same topic working with different interconnected fields of disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry.
    I understand the point you are making, but I insist that the theory of evolution itself has nothing to do with "origin of life on Earth". Evidence of evolution, however, may give clues to origin of life on Earth, and may help us debunk various creationist/religious assertions.

    As a field of biology, it obviously informs other fields of inquiry, just as those other fields inform biology. That's why you may see many disciplines with an 'evolutionary' prefix.
     
    Mighty Goat

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    insist that the theory of evolution itself has nothing to do with "origin of life on Earth
    To be more specific it has to do with the origin of life where life is defined as diverse species of living organisms coexisting on the planet, taking the premise of natural selection to explain the intellect of the species of man.
     
    Abou Sandal

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    In 1966, MIT engineers and eminent biologists met at the Wistar Institute to discuss problems with evolutionary theory. Paul Nelson describes what happened at the symposium, "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution."

    -----------------------------------------------------

    50 Years of Scientific Challenges to Evolution: Remembering The Wistar Symposium
     
    Mighty Goat

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    creation and evolution are two separate issues. evolution could very well manifest itself in a Created universe.
    Then the outcome of natural selection can only be based on race. This is taking that creation insists that man was created perfect in the image of god. This is within the human species we may get the inferior races and the superior races in the creation of man. I think creation working with evolution is a dangerous position to take.
     
    Muki

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    And they mutate with such rarity and such impredictability and such randomness
    Large mutations are rare, but mutations are ubiquitous. Mutations are random, but natural selection is most definitely not.
     
    Abou Sandal

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    Large mutations are rare, but mutations are ubiquitous. Mutations are random, but natural selection is most definitely not.
    Natural selection and mutation are two different things. However, for natural selection to happen you first need living samples from which to select.

    Problem is, mutation does not provide you this, not even once, let alone times and times again, over millions of years.

    So again, where do you get your samples from, for so-called natural selection to keep on breeding species for you.
     
    Abou Sandal

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    Cambrian Explosion: bigger problem for Darwinism than ever


    Major Problems with Darwinian Theory - Phillip E. Johnson
     
    Muki

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    Natural selection and mutation are two different things. However, for natural selection to happen you first need living samples from which to select.

    Problem is, mutation does not provide you this, not even once, let alone times and times again, over millions of years.

    So again, where do you get your samples from, for so-called natural selection to keep on breeding species for you.
    That is a question for the ages, and we do not know the answer to. It is also not what evolution is about, so I hope you do not reject evolution on that basis. Evolution doesn't explain origin of life, it explains diversity of life, i.e. how all life around us came to be after the point of origin.

    Abiogenesis is the natural process by which life originated from inorganic substances, but it is nowhere near as widely accepted or complete as the theory of evolution.
     
    Abou Sandal

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    That is a question for the ages, and we do not know the answer to. It is also not what evolution is about, so I hope you do not reject evolution on that basis. Evolution doesn't explain origin of life, it explains diversity of life, i.e. how all life around us came to be after the point of origin.

    Abiogenesis is the natural process by which life originated from inorganic substances, but it is nowhere near as widely accepted or complete as the theory of evolution. You will not find a single mainstream biologist who publishes in an internationally-recognized journal that denies the validity of evolutionary theory.
    Oh semantics...ok. And how does evolution explain diversity that is supposedly issued from a common ancestry?
     
    Abou Sandal

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    Oh...And by the way: "Evolution is only a theory"- Richard Dawkins.
     
    Dark Angel

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    @Dark Angel @Abou Sandal

    I think you guys are approaching the probability incorrectly.

    What are the odds of throwing 1000 dices and all of them show the number 6? Very close to 0.

    In the same way, the probability of a very basic form of life to evolve into a human after hundreds of thousands of years of genetic mutations will be 0.

    But this doesn't matter, take the dices again and throw them, you'll obtain a certain sequence, do this 1000 times you'll always obtain a certain sequence of number, never the same but you'll have a sequence each time.

    The same thing happens with evolution, repeat the process 1000 times and each time you'll have mutations taking place and each time you'll end up with new forms of life.
    if you want to think in terms of dice throwing, then not any outcome of the dice throwing produces life, but rather only one sequenced combination, ie one single permutation, produces life.

    most of that however is abstracted for the general masses. in order to know a little bit more about the subject research protein synthesis, all the way from the transcription to the messaging, to the decoding and reconstruction. which is all about encoding, messaging, decoding and reconstruction of precise information.

    these are good illustrations about the subject, they simply illustrate the process without diving into the probabilities.

    you know what genes are with respect to dna and rna? they are simply a coded sequence on the dna strand.
    you think this is the product of randomness?
     
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    Dirty Dragon

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    I'll preface by saying genetics is not a topic am well familiar with, nor do I hold strong views about. However there are one or two faulty arguments that keep being brought up from time to time.

    if you want to think in terms of dice throwing, then not any outcome of the dice throwing produces life, but rather only one sequenced combination, ie one single permutation, produces life.
    This is one of them. This assumes the only possible form of life is the life we observe around us. A more reasonable assumption is that there may well be many forms of life, with many corresponding sequences...

    Who said life is limited to protein based DNA ?
    Who said all life will have similar tolerances to environmental conditions like temperature/pressure/light or radiation intensity ?
    Heck, going further, who said there is not life or self awareness in objects we instinctively assume to be inanimate ?

    The other one being

    you think this is the product of randomness?
    The second one, not explicit stated but implied in arguments like the above : That no, randomness could not produce this.

    It might seem the answer is an obvious no if we assume the entire process (each roll of the dice, from start to finish) occurs independently of each other roll. But what if the dice landing a "4", increases the probability of the next toss being a "4" also, for example?
    A mutation occurring effects the probabilities of another mutation to occur?

    To put it simply... it is more likely to evolve an elephant with wings if an elephant is already evolved... Where as it might seem the probability of a winged elephant to evolve from scratch is near zero.
     
    Muki

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    Oh semantics...ok. And how does evolution explain diversity that is supposedly issued from a common ancestry?
    DNA of an organism changes via mutation, which either affects the offspring immediately or several generations down the line. The change is either brought on by a mutation that is beneficial, harmful, or neutral. If the change is harmful, it is unlikely that the offspring will survive long enough to reproduce, so the mutation dies off. If the change is beneficial, then it is likely that the offspring will do better than other offspring and thus will reproduce more. Through reproduction, the beneficial mutation spreads through a population. The more genetic variation a population has, the more likely that population is to survive should an abrupt change in environment occur (like rapid climate change). Less genetic variation might lead to extinction. The process by which beneficial mutations spread and harmful mutations die off is called natural selection. As mutations occur and spread over long periods of time, they cause new species to form, which explains diversity of life all around us. That explains how evolutionary change occurs.

    As for evidence for common ancestor, review the following page: Evidence of common descent - Wikipedia
     
    Mighty Goat

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    I was just thinking if evolution and the idea of god can coexist. In fact, they can only if when one believes that all texts about creation were texts about the myths of the ancients.

    This is to say it took god this long to make man, and also he did not make the first cell in his own image. This is also to say that god did not create Adam as a man. Adam was a cell. It multiplied with Eve another cell, producing more cells.

    It is very probable to believe that an egg and a sperm are also cells. We just have to call them Adam and Eve.
     
    Isabella

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    I was just thinking if evolution and the idea of god can coexist. In fact, they can only if when one believes that all texts about creation were texts about the myths of the ancients.

    This is to say it took god this long to make man, and also he did not make the first cell in his own image. This is also to say that god did not create Adam as a man. Adam was a cell. It multiplied with Eve another cell, producing more cells.

    It is very probable to believe that an egg and a sperm are also cells. We just have to call them Adam and Eve.
    All creation texts are allegories so this is not an issue!
     
    Dark Angel

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    I'll preface by saying genetics is not a topic am well familiar with, nor do I hold strong views about. However there are one or two faulty arguments that keep being brought up from time to time.



    This is one of them. This assumes the only possible form of life is the life we observe around us. A more reasonable assumption is that there may well be many forms of life, with many corresponding sequences...

    Who said life is limited to protein based DNA ?
    Who said all life will have similar tolerances to environmental conditions like temperature/pressure/light or radiation intensity ?
    Heck, going further, who said there is not life or self awareness in objects we instinctively assume to be inanimate ?
    very spiritual of you. but so far we have only encountered organic life form and we have no clue whether or not different life forms do exist.

    The other one being
    The second one, not explicit stated but implied in arguments like the above : That no, randomness could not produce this.

    It might seem the answer is an obvious no if we assume the entire process (each roll of the dice, from start to finish) occurs independently of each other roll. But what if the dice landing a "4", increases the probability of the next toss being a "4" also, for example?
    A mutation occurring effects the probabilities of another mutation to occur?

    To put it simply... it is more likely to evolve an elephant with wings if an elephant is already evolved... Where as it might seem the probability of a winged elephant to evolve from scratch is near zero.
    the implications of the randomness i was referring to is different from what you thought i was implying, despite the validity of the argument on both levels. the impossible randomness i was referring to relates to the synthesis, transcription translation and replication, which implies that all the intricate and very sophisticated components of the different information processing machines inside the cell have been conceived and implemented simultaneously at the same very same time.
     
    Dark Angel

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    Abou Sandal did not make a case, but Mighty Goat did -- and I replied to Mighty Goat

    Variation of traits is production of novelty though, especially when there was no variation before. The accumulation of slight modifications is a basis of evolution.

    "mutation could enhance a certain functionality but does not create new faculties" -- that is factually incorrect.

    Mutations have been documented to produce new features. Some examples include:
    -ability of a bacterium to digest nylon (Negoro et al. 1994; Thomas n.d.; Thwaites 1985)
    -adaptation in yeast to a low-phosphate environment (Francis and Hansche 1972; 1973; Hansche 1975)
    -evolution of multicellularity in a unicellular green alga (Boraas 1983; Boraas et al. 1998)
    -modification of E. coli's fucose pathway to metabolize propanediol (Lin and Wu 1984)
    -evolution in Klebsiella bacteria of a new metabolic pathway for metabolizing 5-carbon sugars (Hartley 1984)
    i have looked for all these studies and didn't find their original texts, except in the "counter creationism handbook" and only managed to read the introduction to the last study, and as suspected it states the following "Often silent or cryptic genes, genes not known to be expressed or utilized by the parent strain, are mobilized to catalyse a critical reaction in establishing the new pathway." which indicates the gene is already preexisting, and it was simply activated or reconstructed. do correct me if i am wrong, i didn't have much time to investigate further.

    Furthermore, most mutations are neutral. The harmful mutations do not survive long, and the beneficial mutations survive much longer, thus when considering only surviving mutations, most are beneficial. And they are quite common. As @Isabella pointed out previously, we observe beneficial mutations in disease-causing organisms that allow them to be resistant to antibiotics (I have done research investigating antibiotic resistance in environmental bacteria exposed to environmental concentrations of pharmaceuticals). We also observe them in agricultural pests that become more resistant to pesticides due to beneficial mutations. Beneficial mutations also help make bones stronger in humans.
    random mutations usually lead to tumors and cancer, the rate at which random mutations are needed to produce one good feature is enough to destroy all other well established features.
    the resistance to antibiotics is not related to gene mutations but rather to selective breeding and multiplication, when a group of bacteria is exposed to an antibiotics encountered for the first time it wipes out the majority of them, the few that survive are the ones with the highest degrees of immunity, a trait that they will pass to their offspring, and soon there after, and after continuous exposure to the antibiotics, the majority of the bacteria in that environment becomes one that is resistant to this one antibiotic.

    Whether a mutation is beneficial or not depends on environment. A mutation that helps the organism in one circumstance could harm it in another. When the environment changes, variations that once were counteradaptive suddenly become favored. Since environments are constantly changing, variation helps populations survive, even if some of those variations do not do as well as others. When beneficial mutations occur in a changed environment, they generally sweep through the population rapidly (Elena et al. 1996).
    again you are quoting straight from the counter creationism handbook. the study does not suggest what the book is implying but rather that under stress, the mutation spreads more rapidly. this is not different from the antibiotic resisting bacteria, the stress factor eliminates the rest of the population leaving the ones with the resisting trait which soon becomes dominant.

    Finally, there is more to evolution than mutation. Selection is what causes beneficial mutations to persist and harmful mutations to die off. The combination of mutation and selection can create new useful adaptations. Experiments and genetic analysis have shown this to be true (Max 1999).
    we only actively use a tiny fraction of our DNA encoding, there are many encoded genes that are switched off, when they are switched on they do offer a completely new ability. so what you might refer to as a mutation might be nothing more than switching an already encoded gene on or off.

    This ignores selection, as discussed above.



    We do not have the full picture and probably never will -- that's science, and scientists will be the first to tell you that. But, we do have a comprehensive theory with a fundamentally-correct central thesis that is well-supported by the evidence. To improve the theory, modify it, or debunk it, the correct course of action is to pursue it in research, as scientists do. Pointing at misunderstood or unknown features and claiming to debunk the theory in its entirety? That's part of denialism, not skepticism.



    Why don't you make make a comprehensive case for creationism, or point to one you're satisfied with (not a video, though :)), and we can explore whether we can use evolution to dismiss it? Painting a broad brush that "atheists in general should stop attempting to use evolution in an attempt to negate a created universe and a created life" is not helpful. Atheists can certainly use evolution to negate the nonsense that is young-earth creationism.



    Let's be clear here, so that there is no confusion -- when we're talking short span, we're talking in evolutionary time scales, where short span means 20 million years or less. The emergence of these new fossils in a short scale are posed as a challenge to evolution because the sudden burst of change appears to be inconsistent with the more typical gradual pace of evolutionary change. However, although different in certain ways, there are other times of very rapid evolutionary change recorded in the fossil record, often following times of major extinction.

    While the Cambrian Explosion certainly does present a number of challenging and important research questions, it does not challenge the fundamental correctness of evolution -- the descent of all living species from a common ancestor. The fossil record is incomplete, and it provides numerous examples of organisms that appear transitional between living phyla and their common ancestors. An inconsistency does not negate the available evidence -- it merely presents scientists with an exciting opportunity to advance our understanding of how evolutionary processes work.



    Selection and mutation work together to produce new adaptive traits.



    A fair question, though I fear it is based on a common misconception. Survival is not always promoted by evolution, and sometimes evolution results in individuals or populations becoming less fit and may occasionally even lead to extinction.
     
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