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Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 24th, 2019, 4:17 pm
I have no dog in this fight, just an observation. Perhaps I'm wrong and someone can point out my error. It seams the evolution theory is flawed as the math doesn't seem to add up. Ok here me out. Using rounded off estimates, I took the estimated age of the earth, divided in the estimated number of species on earth. I got an number approximately 500 new species per year to get current number. I didn't even account for eath cooling time or time for water to form. I'm guessing my numbers are way off since, even just going from Darwin til now, there would need to be 100000 new species since then. But we haven't seen any? I'm sure there's a reason for this. Please help.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 24th, 2019, 11:13 pm
als6988 » April 25th, 2019, 8:17 am wrote:I have no dog in this fight, just an observation. Perhaps I'm wrong and someone can point out my error. It seams the evolution theory is flawed as the math doesn't seem to add up. Ok here me out. Using rounded off estimates, I took the estimated age of the earth, divided in the estimated number of species on earth. I got an number approximately 500 new species per year to get current number. I didn't even account for eath cooling time or time for water to form. I'm guessing my numbers are way off since, even just going from Darwin til now, there would need to be 100000 new species since then. But we haven't seen any? I'm sure there's a reason for this. Please help.

Perhaps you could clarify what your problem is...

What was the point of dividing the age of the Earth by the number of species?

PS the concept of species is notoriously undefinable. For any definition anyone comes up with, someone else will find an exception.

Perhaps, for the purpose of your calculation you could say that we are all one species, with some cuzzies more distant than others.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 12:50 am
als6988 » April 24th, 2019, 3:17 pm wrote: Perhaps I'm wrong and someone can point out my error.

Yes, and there are several.
I took the estimated age of the earth, divided in the estimated number of species on earth.

Huge error #1.
This makes no kind of sense. What is the premise - underlying assumption?
That evolution is some kind of assembly-line, only one new species coming off the conveyor-belt at some predetermined interval?
I didn't even account for eath cooling time or time for water to form.

Why not? You can't have evolution until all that's happened - like about the first billion years.
If you start from the estimated beginning of life, you have less than 4 billion to work with.
But why divide it? And by what units?
Some species live less than a day, some live 300 years. Some have been around for 120 million years and are more vigorous than ever; some came millions of years ago, stayed millions of years and went millions of years ago; some are younger than my daughter.
At any given moment, there may be 6-10 million species in existence, some new ones arising, some becoming extinct, all at the same time.

I'm guessing my numbers are way off

Yes!
I'm sure there's a reason for this.

Yes: That's not how it works.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17453-timeline-the-evolution-of-life/

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 7:39 am
As noted, it is actually tough to tell what this question is really about. The rise and fall in the number of species is a complex mix of what is going on at the time. Just looking around today, we do know that the number of species present in any area is highly variable with, for example, more species per square kilometre in some areas like a rain forest than in others such as in a desert. We are experiencing a decline in the number of some species aroundthe world due to rapid environmental due to human activity such as cutting down forests and other forms of "development". There certainly is no steady rate of production of new species because that is a product of the availability of populations that can exploit new environments and niches and the kind of competition these populations might face as well as the chance variation within their genomes. Based on detailed counting offossils and other geological studies we do know there were times when the earth had a lot of species diversity then as mass extinction occurred (i.e. due to a meteor or comet strike on earth's surface) with a huge reduction of the number species followed by a huge growth in the number and diversity of species as survivors took over a lot of now-vacant niches.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 8:25 am
I don't see an answer in the responses. I thought it was quite clear. Let me try it this way. If we have x number of species and, eath has been here y number of years. You need to avg z number of new species per year. That doesn't mean you need that many each year just avg that many each year. The problem is, correct me if I'm wrong, this is a simplified point. Evolution claims that over millions of years species can develop. Basically it's a gradual process. Crunching the numbers shows it can't be gradual. Just wondering why this hasn't been explained? I'm not proposing an alternative theory but, this seems like a big problem with current theory. Someone should try to explain it.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 9:41 am
als6988 » April 25th, 2019, 7:25 am wrote:I don't see an answer in the responses. I thought it was quite clear.

It's clearing up now. You're looking for the proverbial Hole in the Theory.
You can't find it unless you get a rudimentary understanding of how evolution works.
https://www.britannica.com/science/evolution-scientific-theory

Alternatively, you can look to Reg Prescott for guidance.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 9:59 am
Crunching the numbers shows it can't be gradual. Just wondering why this hasn't been explained?

It has. Speciation is going on all across the earth. If a gradual process is happening in millions of locations at once, then a per diem rate can be quite high. It's not like, "It's Thursday - a species is arising today in this bog in Borneo."

Your flaw of logic is analogous to saying "Ozone molecules form one at a time. How can there be so many?"

Also not all speciation is gradual. As others noted, learn a bit about the various kinds of speciation....

http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/evolu ... tion/13340

Hope that helps.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 1:00 pm
Yes there are a whole bunch of problems with the "question". It is kind of like someone saying that, on average, there are x number of goals per game in hockey and that is different than basketball. Even in hockey, the number of goals can vary differently such as if some peewees were to play an NHL team. Even within the NHL, some games will have very different scores. So saying that there should be x number of goals scored in any given game is misleading.

Species do not emerge according to any steady rate. There might be times when someone might legitimately use such a statistic but it would only be for a very specific kind of purpose/argument. For any number of reasons, I would be very suspiscious of any claim that species do or should emerge at any specific average rate anywhere for any sustained period of time.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 6:08 pm
It's not meant to imply linear growth but, you still need 500 per year. Even if it's sporadic and only happens so often. That just means more at the sporadic time than the 500 per year. It still negates the millions of years explanation. There must be something missing. Only a question not an attack on evolution. You all sound more like someone defending a faith than people discussing science.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 6:10 pm
als6988 » April 26th, 2019, 7:08 am wrote:Only a question not an attack on evolution. You all sound more like someone defending a faith than people discussing science.

Shhh!!! People disappear in the middle of the night for saying things like that.

See you at the gulag.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 6:17 pm
PaulN » April 25th, 2019, 10:59 pm wrote:
Crunching the numbers shows it can't be gradual. Just wondering why this hasn't been explained?

It has. Speciation is going on all across the earth. If a gradual process is happening in millions of locations at once, then a per diem rate can be quite high. It's not like, "It's Thursday - a species is arising today in this bog in Borneo."

Your flaw of logic is analogous to saying "Ozone molecules form one at a time. How can there be so many?"

Also not all speciation is gradual. As others noted, learn a bit about the various kinds of speciation....

http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/evolu ... tion/13340

Hope that helps.

From what I understand (thanks to Gould, Lewontin, Eldredge, etc), a great many (most?) species enter the fossil record unannounced, do pretty much nothing for a few million years, and then disappear equally mysteriously.

What's all this talk of speciation going on all the time all over the Earth? A bedtime story?

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 6:18 pm
als6988 » April 25th, 2019, 5:08 pm wrote:It's not meant to imply linear growth but, you still need 500 per year. Even if it's sporadic and only happens so often. That just means more at the sporadic time than the 500 per year. It still negates the millions of years explanation. There must be something missing. Only a question not an attack on evolution. You all sound more like someone defending a faith than people discussing science.

You read the articles I linked?
Which specific items are you still having trouble with?
Perhaps we can point you to more information on those specific issues.
It's not a secret; not inaccessible. Here is a little more from Britannica.
https://www.britannica.com/science/speciation

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 6:28 pm
Serpent » April 25th, 2019, 1:50 pm wrote:Yes: That's not how it works.

It may just be my own low self-esteem, but words such as these make me awfully nervous.

Is there any possibility you could be wrong?

How high would you rate that possibility?

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 6:47 pm
Reg_Prescott » April 25th, 2019, 5:28 pm wrote:
Serpent » April 25th, 2019, 1:50 pm wrote:Yes: That's not how it works.

It may just be my own low self-esteem, but words such as these make me awfully nervous.

Why? Is there some way in which my answer to another poster's misconception could possibly threaten you?

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 6:53 pm
Serpent » April 26th, 2019, 7:47 am wrote:

It may just be my own low self-esteem, but words such as these make me awfully nervous.

Why? Is there some way in which my answer to another poster's misconception could possibly threaten you?[/quote]

Bertrand Russell says it best:

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts"

As the nice man said above, it's like you're defending a faith. I'd sleep a lot better if I heard the occasional "in my opinion", or "I could be wrong about this" or "judging by the historical record of science, I am almost certainly wrong about this".

Er, I butchered the quote function. Sorry! These things are poorly designed.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 6:57 pm
als6988 » April 25th, 2019, 4:08 pm wrote:It's not meant to imply linear growth but, you still need 500 per year. Even if it's sporadic and only happens so often. That just means more at the sporadic time than the 500 per year. It still negates the millions of years explanation. There must be something missing. Only a question not an attack on evolution. You all sound more like someone defending a faith than people discussing science.

Normally, when someone tries to help explain a statistical confusion, it's not very courteous to reply with an ad hominem. Evolutionary biology is based on many many chains of evidence, and is quite the opposite of faith. Several people with science training took time to address the problem, with citations from reputable sources, and explain how populations all over the earth and in the oceans are in a process where a subgroup, through isolation or specific environmental stresses, may diverge to the point that it can no longer interbreed with the original species. Your mathematical error was dealt with. Can you read up and acknowledge at least that error?

An average, over billions of years doesn't define the RATE at which one specific species changed. The Galapagos finches didn't diverge into all those different species by each one doing so in a year. Or consider that square mile of dense rainforest, where there are, say, a million species (including nematodes, fungi, and microbes)...they could be changing quite slowly (though bacteria, for example, can change much faster due to very short generations and ease of mutagenesis), each on AVERAGE taking a hundred thousand years, and that would give the result of ten new species per year. You see the problem with misinterpreting the math? It doesn't mean ten species all split off a new species in a single year. It means a million species, each at its own rate, speciated during that span of a hundred thousand years.

Please read up on how evidence is collected, and how statistical methods are used, before assuming that you have a valid point of critique.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 7:22 pm
als6988 » April 26th, 2019, 10:08 am wrote:It's not meant to imply linear growth but, you still need 500 per year. Even if it's sporadic and only happens so often. That just means more at the sporadic time than the 500 per year. It still negates the millions of years explanation. There must be something missing. Only a question not an attack on evolution. You all sound more like someone defending a faith than people discussing science.

As previously mentioned species is not a definable entity.. it is like the coriollis force.. it kinda looks sensible at first glance but on closer examination evaporates into nothing.

I think you would do better to consider genetic diversity than species for your calculations.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 7:26 pm
Reg_Prescott » April 25th, 2019, 5:53 pm wrote:[ Is there some way in which my answer to another poster's misconception could possibly threaten you?]
Bertrand Russell says it best:

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts"

As the nice man said above, it's like you're defending a faith. I'd sleep a lot better if I heard the occasional "in my opinion", or "I could be wrong about this" or "judging by the historical record of science, I am almost certainly wrong about this".

Rather than answer any question yourself, you quote others.
If you think I'm wrong, please explain, preferably in your very own words, how it does work.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 7:30 pm
It may also be that als6988 has confused the process of speciation with the discipline of taxonomy.
But I don't think so; I doubt that poster is interested in any facet of evolutionary science.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 8:15 pm
A_Seagull » April 25th, 2019, 5:22 pm wrote:
als6988 » April 26th, 2019, 10:08 am wrote:It's not meant to imply linear growth but, you still need 500 per year. Even if it's sporadic and only happens so often. That just means more at the sporadic time than the 500 per year. It still negates the millions of years explanation. There must be something missing. Only a question not an attack on evolution. You all sound more like someone defending a faith than people discussing science.

As previously mentioned species is not a definable entity.. it is like the coriollis force.. it kinda looks sensible at first glance but on closer examination evaporates into nothing.

I think you would do better to consider genetic diversity than species for your calculations.

A biological species is a group of organisms that can reproduce with one another in nature and produce fertile offspring. Species are characterized by the fact that they are reproductively isolated from other groups, which means that the organisms in one species are incapable of reproducing with organisms in another species.

https://www.nature.com/scitable/definition/species-312

Please, everyone, do some basic research before posting. The forum rules - please read - specifically request that you do this when participating in a SCF thread.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 8:32 pm
Serpent » April 26th, 2019, 8:26 am wrote:If you think I'm wrong, please explain, preferably in your very own words, how it does work.

Ok, in my onion, no one has the first damn clue.

But hey, wouldn't wanna ruin your career.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 9:13 pm
Reg_Prescott » April 25th, 2019, 7:32 pm wrote:
Serpent » April 26th, 2019, 8:26 am wrote:If you think I'm wrong, please explain, preferably in your very own words, how it does work.

Ok, in my onion, no one has the first damn clue.

But hey, wouldn't wanna ruin your career.

I'd be willing to lay a small bet that Bertrand Russell had something, somewhere, to say about people who are certain that everyone else is clueless.
But at least we've now had the benefit of your opinion.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 25th, 2019, 10:49 pm
trying to get back to the original poster's question (and hoping he hasn't been scared off), it is still tough to guess where some of that is coming from. So, one problem I see is in that if we went somewhere like an Amazon forest, we would find an awful lot of species that 1) would not show up as fossils because they don't have parts that would preserve and a place like that is not condusive to fossilization and 2) quite often even very different species can be tough to tell apart. Just by way of example, I am an archaeologist and I found out a few years ago that, unless you have the right bones, it can be tough to tell the difference between cow bones and bison. It can be very tough to tell domesticated dog from wolf, virtually impossible to tell walleye from sauger, etc.
In most archaeological assemblages even from very recent sites most of the bones don't even get identified to the genus level and end up classified as something like "large mammal fragment". So species lists are always under represented at the best of times. And given the very nature of speciation processes (by definition) it can be tough to impossible to distinguish populations in the process of becoming two different species because even the genes have not become discrete yet. (I am not sure the Galapogos finches could be distinguished from the bones alone). Now imagine how tough it would be to correctly identify the evolution of beetles in a tropical rain forest when they almost never fossilize under the best conditions and certain don't preserve colours or behaviour. And I mention that because I had once run across a stat (sorry no reference but it could have been in Dawkins book) that when scientists go out into the Amazon they can potentially find 6 new species of bugs a day! But that doesn't happen much anymore because there just aren't enough scientists willing or able to do that very much any more.

So I don't actually necessarily dispute the stat in some ways but Iwould want to know more about where it came from to tell what it means, etc. In fact, as one way of looking at it, species are often defined as being breeding populations that can or do interbreed. But if defined that way, every individual micro-organism that breeds asexually by fission becomes a new species (since it doesn't breed to exchange genetic material with any other individual) so, by that stretched definition we could say there are billions of billions of new species emerging every day. But that is probably not a very helpful stat.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 26th, 2019, 12:12 am
I took the estimated age of the earth, divided in the estimated number of species on earth. I got an number approximately 500 new species per year to get current number.

This calculation is wrong! The earth's biosphere does not speciate at a linear rate.

You have to consider an exponential curve and then characterize its parameters. This is the same equation that is used in the calculation of continuously compounded interest in banks.

f(t) is the total number of species at year t.

r is the exponent or "rate" of species increase.

P is the starting number of species at some given first year.

f(t) = Pert

I'm going to look up numbers to plug into this and we can solve it. We will consider the biological Kingdom Animalia only. Be back in a few minutes.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 26th, 2019, 12:44 am
PaulN » April 26th, 2019, 12:15 pm wrote:
A_Seagull » April 25th, 2019, 5:22 pm wrote:
als6988 » April 26th, 2019, 10:08 am wrote:It's not meant to imply linear growth but, you still need 500 per year. Even if it's sporadic and only happens so often. That just means more at the sporadic time than the 500 per year. It still negates the millions of years explanation. There must be something missing. Only a question not an attack on evolution. You all sound more like someone defending a faith than people discussing science.

As previously mentioned species is not a definable entity.. it is like the coriollis force.. it kinda looks sensible at first glance but on closer examination evaporates into nothing.

I think you would do better to consider genetic diversity than species for your calculations.

A biological species is a group of organisms that can reproduce with one another in nature and produce fertile offspring. Species are characterized by the fact that they are reproductively isolated from other groups, which means that the organisms in one species are incapable of reproducing with organisms in another species.

https://www.nature.com/scitable/definition/species-312

Please, everyone, do some basic research before posting. The forum rules - please read - specifically request that you do this when participating in a SCF thread.

"No term is more difficult to define than "species," and on no point are zoologists more divided than as to what should be understood by this word." Nicholson (1872).[54]

"Of late, the futility of attempts to find a universally valid criterion for distinguishing species has come to be fairly generally, if reluctantly, recognized" Dobzhansky (1937).[13]

"The concept of a species is a concession to our linguistic habits and neurological mechanisms" Haldane (1956).[46]

"An important aspect of any species definition whether in neontology or palaeontology is that any statement that particular individuals (or fragmentary specimens) belong to a certain species is an hypothesis (not a fact)" Bonde (1977).[55]

"The species problem is the long-standing failure of biologists to agree on how we should identify species and how we should define the word 'species'." Hey (2001).[49]

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 26th, 2019, 1:06 am
Arthropods are beetles and hexapod insects, more or less.
vertebrates are comprised of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

 Phylum species count arthropods 1,302,809 mollusks 118,061 vertebrates 85,432 platyhelminthes 29,488 nematode worms 25,043 echinoderms 20,550 Annelida 17,426 cnidaria 16,363 bryozoa 11,474 porifera 10,876

Total animal species (Kingdom Animalia) : 1,659,420

Approximate last common ancestor 665 mya.

f(t) = Pert

f(t) = P * e ^ (r*t)
{ after lines of algebra we find... }
r = (ln( f ) - ln(P)) / t

f = f(t) = 1659420 the number of species today.
P = 1 starting at one last common ancestor species.
t = 665,000,000 years until today.

plugging :

r = (ln( 1659420 ) - ln(1.0) ) / (665000000)

r = 2.15368 x 10-8
r = 0.0000000215

Interpretation
The biosphere on earth produced new animal species at an excruciatingly slow rate. Roughly an exponential that goes to e2.1x10-8

And this is counting all of the insects and beetles too!

To give you an idea of how slow that rate is. Imagine you placed \$10 into a bank account that gives continuously compounded interest, but at a rate as given above.

You come back to the bank in 70 million years. Yes. I said seventy million years.

How much money do you have in the account now? \$45 (forty five dollars)

While that is achingly slow, exponential curves are not linear.
Your account gains its first \$1 million at 534 million years.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 26th, 2019, 1:20 am
hyksos » April 26th, 2019, 2:06 pm wrote:
How much money do you have in the account now? \$45 (forty five dollars)
.

None of your business.

Re: Just a thought weighing on my mind

Posted: April 26th, 2019, 12:49 pm
Oh. He hasn't disappeared in the night.