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simple question[edit]

If two monkeys have a baby, what species is the baby?
A. Dolphin
B Human
C Lion
D Monkey

PandaLover (talk) 18:38, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Dolphin, dolphin! Is it dolphin? I bet it's dolphin!! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:42, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
A. "Monkey" is not a species.
B. The baby would be a mutant monkey, same as its parents. (DNA copying during wp:meiosis is not perfect. => Small mutations. => The baby is a "mutant", i.e. its genome is not identical to the source parts of its parents' genomes.) --ZooGuard (talk) 18:45, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
No, the monkey would be mutated only if it was affected by radiation, and if the baby was mutated it would not be the same as its parents. Even if your answer is correct then that does not mean a human can be born to monkey parents.PandaLover (talk) 18:52, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Lunch! tmtoulouse 18:50, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm asking permission to call Poe, as it's far too obvious to point out that "mutations" aren't due to radiation. Indeed, radiation doesn't just change you into the X-Men, it will probably just outright kill you. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:55, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Poe was called about 17 hours ago. tmtoulouse 19:00, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I assume he said something like "who the hell is this and how did you get this number?!?" Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:03, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

You are all missing the point! monkey parents cannot give birth to human children, so the bogus theory that humans came from monkeys is proven false. I don't see how this has anything to do with Edgar Allen Poe.PandaLover (talk) 19:06, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Damn right the theory that humans came from monkeys is bogus! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:08, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
How did we lose track of the dolphin discussion? Can we refocus this conversation back to dolphins...or lunch even. tmtoulouse 19:12, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't think there's enough in this article about how dolphins come from monkeys. --Kels (talk) 19:35, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Its pretty obvious to me that you are not taking my opinion seriously. this kind of taunting is immature. maybe you are afraid of having your belief in evoution shattered, so you mock others to protect yourself from the truth.PandaLover (talk) 19:39, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, don't monkeys get born from Dolphins? And to PandaLover, I'm afraid that 1) if you're joking we're just joking with you and I assume you'll appreciate it or 2) if you're serious, your opinion is deserving of nothing but mockery for how stupid it is. Win-win situation here. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:42, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, it's been a long time since high school biology, but I know there's some sort of relationship between monkeys and dolphins. I mean, it's obvious isn't it?
As to taking you seriously, there's nothing wrong with laughing at clowns. That's why we have clowns, after all (I think they're born from marmosets). --Kels (talk) 20:09, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
How come there are still monkeys? TomS TDotO (talk) 09:22, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Dolphins and monkeys have a common ancestor - the donkey. (Or did I get that the wrong way round?)Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 09:33, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Why call Poe when you can call Ian Brown?

Where do pandas come from?--BobSpring is sprung! 15:46, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

New article idea.[edit]

As I walked into town, I was thinking about ideas for new very much on-mission articles. I had the idea of a full article on evolution denial, which focuses on (a) The contemporary response to evolution; (b) Modern Day Religions' responses; (c) How different nations view evolution and (d) How evolution-denial has become so mainstream among the American Right. The thing that got me thinking was that... we know ALL about Christian denialism, with their creationist arguments and conspiracy theories, etc, etc... but what about Islam? Hinduism? Judaism? Despite being really into this stuff, I'm not clued up at all on how these religions respond to it. I'd be up for doing this in my userpage as a base for the article, and putting in proper research and referencing well. This article could also address the 'social darwinism' crap. It could cover points like, "X claims that belief in evolution leads to A, B & C. But just because it leads to that doesn't make it false. If belief in the tooth fairy makes people nice and denying the tooth fairy leads to suicide and murder... it doesn't make the tooth fairy real. What do people think? DalekEXTERMINATE 19:04, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Some of that would already be in this article as the "broad arguments against evolution" and other bits would be in our creationism articles, but I'd say that an article on evolution denial would probably be a good idea. But not all your points are really about denialism. For example Social Darwinism is not really part of denialism - it's about miss-application. But I'd say go for it and see who joins in.--BobSpring is sprung! 21:30, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Peter Kropotkin and mutual aid[edit]

Not mentioned? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 19:28, 2 January 2011 (UTC)


I think the article needs a section on Symbiosis and how it applies to evolution. I believe that people need to focus more on the mutualistic and altruistic aspects of natural selection instead of the predatory and competitive. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 13:32, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Darwinian and Lamarckian evolution[edit]

Organic life evolves Darwinian-wise (for the most part - humans etc can select for particular characteristics in certain other species).

Knowledge and technology can 'evolve' Lamarckian-wise - there are deliberate improvements on precursor models. (talk) 16:30, 9 February 2011 (UTC)


Since this is a featured article, I wanted to talk here before making any changes. My concern is specifically about the assertion that nothing apart from mutation is random about natural selection. While certain genes enhance the chances of reproductive success (and we might also make it clear that that's all the fitness needed), that doesn't guarantee success. Even on a macro level, sometimes a species just loses the crapshoot and dies out. Neanderthals, for example, certainly were competent -- their intelligence gave them a distinct edge over other species. Even humans had a evolutionary bottleneck like 75,000 years ago where we came pretty close. Thoughts? ShorinBJ (talk) 11:11, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it's certainly true that sometimes it just doesn't work out. A bird with a potentiating mutation for having more and better offspring might just get whacked by a cat early in its life, and a species that is very well adapted may get wiped out by a freak storm or earthquake. But I don't think that's quite the same level of randomness as with mutations. Events like these are the (high impact) outliers of the natural selection mechanism that, overall, isn't totally randomised. ADK...I'll snap your brisket! 11:44, 30 April 2011 (UTC)


Today's cartoon [1] seems relevant. Pashley (talk) 11:33, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Here's something shocking...[edit] — Unsigned, by: Thedoctor80 / talk / contribs 08:33, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Microscopic proof?[edit]

What about a total fitness cost? The Galapagos finches are first portrayed as an excellent example of Evolution, as their beaks change over time and generations in order to adapt to an environment. For example, they will adapt to eating hard seeds found on the ground if a drought has come, and the trees do not bear fruits. What is NOT also explained, is how those same finches revert back to normal once the drought is over and done with when the rains return.

Another thing I would like to question about is what about irreducible complexity? An example I found is in bacteria. How can a bacterium that has no flagella suddenly create one? Even if the organism managed to get the components to grow the tail, it would be rendered useless, as a 'motor' had not evolved yet. It would be eliminated by natural selection, as evolution is the overall change of an organism for the better and not for the worse. Some people try to explain that the bacterium obtained the 'pieces' from that of other structures, but these only account for 10 of the pieces to run a flagellum's 'motor.' What about the other 30 unaccounted pieces? And even if they HAD been from other places, none of them would be able to function the way they do without every piece accounted for... — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

"...and yet it moves." PintOfStout Talk Good people drink good beer. 00:26, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Worth mentioning?[edit]

I don't know much of anything about this, but this seems related to the subject. It might warrant inclusion at least as an external link. I'll let one of the Bio guys decide.— Unsigned, by: Hamilton / talk / contribs 02:52, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

To save five minutes of everybody's life could you explain what the video says and why it could be important? :-) Cheers. --Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 08:11, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Subspecies in Platypi is what it's about. Dunno how it's relevant. Peter tanquam ex ungue leonem 08:13, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Minor changes[edit]

Considering that this is a cover story, I'll mention what I'm going to do here before I do it. First, I'm going to merge Evilution into here (under "Broad anti-evolution arguments") per its talk page; second, "Evolution is both a theory and a fact" doesn't seem to belong under that aforementioned header. M'kay? Peter tanquam ex ungue leonem 03:46, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

'The problem with evolution is' that there are so many gaps - how did the original primordial soup (as with the stuff produced in the bottles in the experiments, whatever the comets (chemicals and kinetic energy) and the black smokers provided, and the effects of local conditions go to 'virus likes' and then to 'amoebas' and then to 'multicellular creatures' (using modern equivalent terms)the complexity of many species (how did dinosaurs come to swallow stones to aid digestion; the shift from light-sensitive nerve endings to eyes etc) and 'there are so many species'. In this case there is no opposition to evolution per se - if there is a niche species will evolve to find it (including nuclear power stations), and 'species adapt or disappear.'

A question of marketing readily understood explanations. (talk) 14:33, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure whether to tick one off the argument bingo card or just drink... Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:24, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah so many gaps. Let us worship.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 17:28, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

'Five minutes till library log-off -itis' (which comes just after 'the boss is coming back' in the list of excuses for compressed-entries)..

The point is much #does# make sense to the general willing-to-accept-the-concept public - 'evolution as a general explanation' makes sense, 'species splitting into two' (eg 'dogs the cat will persuade are potentially lunch' and 'size of a small horse, I tell you' becoming incapable of interbreeding for more than just practical reasons), adapting or not to environments, and extinction.

However certain aspects need more coverage/a statement of how things are thought to have happened: even if 'explaining by bingo card.' (talk) 17:22, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Not really sure why an article on Evolution should contain all the alternatives to evolution or stuff related to origins. BTW guys...."bingo card" in mean something else. -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:47, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Being what? (There are a number of such terms, and an Anglo-Australian equivalent involving a brand of stickytape). The point is - there are lists refuting Conservapedia/Creationist viewpoints/giving scientific explanations - could there be a similar list of key points aimed at the person who accepts evolution but is puzzled by questions such as 'what is the current thought about turned the primordial soup into self-replicating chemicals/life whether or not as we know it Jim' and 'does Lamarkianism ever work biologically (rather than for 'evolution of memes.' (talk) 15:10, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

you ever notice?[edit]

that anti-evolutionists seem to not understand a few things. They seem to think that organisms can only have one new trait at a time (lets say longer tail) instead of several (longer tail, longer nose, longer legs etc) and, they also dont seem to be able to understand that those changes are not immune to chain (a longer tail, can become even longer in subsequent generations), and last but not least . . . they dont seem to understand these changes are accumulative, some argue "yeah these changes cant change the species" but . . . what about when they have gotten so many changes that they no longer resemble the species they once did . . . isnt that a new species? (talk) 02:17, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 03:48, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Another origin of species?[edit]

Interesting work, needs confirmation. Gut Microbes Can Split a Species. I expect the loonies will find some way to misuse this. Pashley (talk) 12:39, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Honest Question About Evolution[edit]

Can a fossil reveal the heritage of something? A fossil is an image left over by something that had once lived and then died. But to say that a fossil happened to evolve from another fossil, well, where is this coming from? How do we know, without just interpreting far more into this than we should? Do fossils actually show HERITAGE or not? Bumpy Toad (talk) 11:46, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

That's a question more specifically related to paleontology, phylogeny or the fossil record.
Anyway, first, who says how "far into this" "we" should be interpreting? Barring a time machine, there's no 100% sure way to know the past. That applies to both paleontology and crime scene investigation. Second, the word you are looking for is probably "inheritance", no "HERITAGE" (and please don't SHOUT).
As for your question, the ages of fossils, both absolute and relative, allow you to make a census saying which critters lived when - before, after or at the same time as other critters. Then comparative anatomy can suggest which creatures are related, and if you chain relations to each other, you get a tentative phylogenetic tree. Paleontologists love to argue which species is the more likely ancestor of another - see for example this.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:07, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry about the shouting.

Anyway, that's what I meant by interpreting. Just noticing superficial similarities between fossils and calling it evolution wouldn't be very scientific, would it?

Then again, what do I know? That's why I'm asking the question, because I'd just like to understand it better.

Has there been any testing that has verified human from non-human evolution, in particular? Bumpy Toad (talk) 12:37, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Testing is an interesting concept. What there is is a collection of human like fossils over a very long time span. Although saying exactly which ones evolved into which is very hard it is easy to see that the later the fossil the more "human like" they are.
But let's look at the alternatives. If these humaniods didn't evolve into each other then how did they come and go? Why are the earlier ones less human like? Why is there a steady increase in brain size? The only hypothesis that makes sense is evolution. The big, big question is what evolved into what, not whether there was evolution. Innocent Bystander (talk) 12:54, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Most of these are not exactly "superficial" similarities, and evolutionary theory isn't based solely on the fossil record - comparative anatomy applies also to living animals, nowadays we also have much better understanding of genetics, including the ability to sequence genomes, the appearance of new genetic traits has been observed in the lab, etc., etc. If you want a real, in-depth explanation, I suggest talking to a evolutionary biologist or a paleontologist and/or trying to read the literature, starting with a paleontology textbook if you are particularly interested in fossils. You can also try asking the same thing in the newsgroup.
As for your last question, it's unclear. What do you mean by "human" and "non-human evolution", and how does one "verify" the former from the latter? Do you mean the evolutionary origin of humans? I suggest starting with the Wikipedia article on human evolution.--ZooGuard (talk) 13:03, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Fossils don't evolve - the creatures that 'generated' them did.
'Human evolution' - creatures that argue about whether evolution exists, and if so how it did, and writing to the papers/RW/other places about its nature or non-nature.
'Non-human evolution - those creatures who aren't interested in such things and don't write about it (or ...can't...can't...) (talk) 13:58, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Speaking of, their page on transitional fossils is worth reading. A very salient point is that the similarities are not "superficial" -- there are many fossils that are so similar that drawing the line where one species ends and another begins can be difficult. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:29, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
There is also DNA. We know a lot about genetics and how DNA changes over time so we can backtrack from extant species to see when they might have diverged. We share 99% of our DNA with chimps and bonobos but rather less with a chicken or potato. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 14:51, 9 August 2013 (UTC)


... should be distinguised from devolution.

And what was the Victorian concept of 'degeneration' all about? (talk) 14:14, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

You are probably referring to racialist theories in which all non-white races were said to have been created through "degeneration" of a Caucasian population. There's also the related concept of dysgenics, in which the genetic stock of the entire population is said to be degenerating. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:34, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

'Effectively neutral'[edit]

There are likely to be many mutations that are of no immediate impact on the creature's survival (see the articles in Prospect magazine on diatoms) - but which may prove so should the situation change (thus the change is fair comment). (talk) 14:55, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Seeing as organisms are constantly mutating, it may be useful to separate "neutral" mutations from beneficial ones, since we already have separated negative. I propose the following change:
  • If the mutation is effectively neutral, it can survive and breed, spreading the mutation.
  • If the mutation is especially useful, it thrives and breeds, spreading the mutation more effectively.
Thoughts? Shadow of Lords talk 16:50, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
Fine by me. Though if you the "neutral" ones do need mentioned, then it's worth bringing in potentiating mutations. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:02, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
Some 'neutral mutations' could lead to species separation - those with it are 'more capable' of living in one environment and those without in another, both being equally accessible (I read something about a crab species - and the 'black and white moths experiment' (even if the experiment was created the concept behind it seems valid). (talk) 17:32, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Evolution not observable[edit]

The atheists at rationalwiki love to crriticize creationism on the basis it is not oobservable science, however by definition neither is evolution. According to Richard Dawkins:

"Nobody has actually seen evolution take place over a long period"

For the world’s leading evolutionist this is actually a stunning statement! What is Dawkins saying? Well, there’s no observable evidence for evolution (which means it’s not empirical science, which means evolution is a hypothesis at best!). This is pretty earth shaking stuff for the average evolutionist that thinks they are standing on solid intellectual ground.

Richard Dawkins: ‘‘Evolution... hasn't been observed while it's happening.’’ PBS, NOW, 12/03/04.

G. Ledyard Stebbins: ‘‘… the major steps of evolution have never been observed Processes of Organic Evolution, p. 1.

Since evolution is therefore non-observable, evolution rests entirely on faith since it can't be observed.

Dr. Colin Patterson: [describing evolution] ‘‘…unique and unrepeatable, like the history of England…unique events are, by definition, not a part of science, for they are unrepeatable and not subject to test’’ Evolution, p. 45 Pyramidologist (talk) 19:16, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

see: Lenski results challenge creationism For example.--The soul of the unicorn (talk) 19:37, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
See also: straw man and quote mining. Both describe quite well what you did here.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:42, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Where does this fit in?[edit]

New research on the physics of the origin of life Pashley (talk) 22:59, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

If anywhere, then not here, but in there: origin of life, or there: abiogenesis
But I think at this stage the paper is too young to be especially notable and too speculative to be immediately relevant. Nullahnung (talk) 23:36, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it's a good example of the kind of science that can be young and speculative without being fringe. Notably, he talks about thinking of how to devise experiments to test his predictions, which is the appropriate process for testing a theory. That said, I agree that it's currently not notable enough and too speculative to be in any of our articles. - Grant (Talk) 23:38, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Evolution of a syndrome[edit]

What can be made of [2]? (talk) 15:17, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Print it out & it'll make toilet paper. Otherwise nothing? Scream!! (talk) 15:24, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Evidence for Evolution[edit]

It surprises me that there is a section for "evidence for evolution" and not a section for "evidence against evolution." TBH this rationalwiki isn't very rational. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 16:35, 27 July 2014‎ (UTC)

Most likely that's because "evidence against evolution" is not taken seriously by credible scientists. Or would you prefer the tumbleweeds GIF?
Two tumbleweeds rolling across the screen, from left to right.

Also, see Disproving evolution. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:47, 27 July 2014 (UTC)