Re: Change over time v. Gene freqs?

Vance Geiger (geiger@PEGASUS.CC.UCF.EDU)
Mon, 11 Mar 1996 00:04:46 -0500

I perceive a problem with the minimalist definition of evolution
as a "change in gene frequencies." After all, the genes in the
North American branch of my family certainly display different
frequencies from those in Tuscany. Can we be said to have
"evolved" in the last 8 decades? If not, then how should the
distinction be understood?


Yes, it can be said that evolution has taken place in the last 8
decades as a result of the changes in allele frequencies.
Evolution is change, not progress, just change. Changing allele
frequencies have led to differences between you and your
ancestors. It is time, and probably better, to take creationists
to task for their dissembling. Creationism asserts that there
can be no change. When creationists accept "microevolution" i.e.
variation, but say they reject "macroevolution" it is time to
point out their own fallacy. They have to either accept change
or reject it. We do not have to accept their supposed acceptance
of microevolution as some sort of small, hopeful victory. We can
point out that they are lying. If they accept increasing
variation then they are evolutionists and we can call them such.
We can then, in Tennessee, say that they cannot teach such ideas
as facts, of course.

From: Andrew Petto <AJPETTO@MACC.WISC.EDU>

THe changes in gene frequencies that ARE related to evolution are
those that result (ultimately) in the appearance of new species
(or new higher taxa), new structures and/or new functions in
gross or molecular perspective. The problem, of course, is that
we can never tell whether any specific pattern of genetic change
will lead to evolutionary change -- at least not while it is


I wish there was no association between "new taxa" and "higher
taxa," new taxa is enough. Any specific pattern of genetic
change is evolutionary change. Why is this not enough?
Evolution does not have direction, nor hierarchy.

Why do we not make the creationists stick to their epistomology,
i.e. that change does not take place. When they assert otherwise
then we can simply explain that they are accepting evolution. If
God created the world full and complete 4,000 something years ago
then why is there change? Instead of always being on the
defensive why not put these guys on the defensive?

Find me a Tyrannasaurous Rex! Find me a Brontasaurous (or
whatever it is now called)! Find me a Giant Sloth (outside of a
Republican Convention)!


vance geiger