Night Owl Mk. II

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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) I have some questions.
(MB) Hopefully, I'll have some reasonable answers...

(R) 1) Does evolution happen in small increments of change or massive changes ?
(MB) The basis of evolution is small genetic changes from generation to generation. Over numerous generations, the small changes can accumulate to produce an end result in the descendants which is significantly different from the ancestors in the original population.

(R) 2) Does form follow function, or is a function found for the form?
(MB) Evolution is not directed towards any given end result. It is essentially a random process in which changes can be detrimental, neutral, or beneficial. Obviously, it is far more likely that changes which happen to be beneficial will accumulate, be passed along to offspring and, after enough changes, potentially result in a new species which is better adapted to its environment than was its predecessor.

(R) 3) If changes are incremental, what should be the minimul time frame to show a change at the DNA level?
(MB) One generation. Note that a "change" requires only that there be a difference in a single gene.

(R) 4) If changes are massive, what is the most recent example of one of those changes. (Please don't point to the moths inEngland)
(MB) Those famous moths aren't the most recent example of observed speciation. Speciation is observed in the laboratory for everything from bacteria to insects to plants all the time. This is because of their rate of reproduction and the small number of changes required to result in speciation.

(R) The final question that I have is what causes these changes?
(MB) Accumulated changes in genomes which result from errors in reproduction.

(R) I have read many sites on the web,some of the ones you suggested, these have come to bethe major questions that I have about evolution.
(MB) Hopefully, I've answered some of them. If not, please follow up with any additional questions.

(R) Creationism, is easy to understand. It May be harder to accept, but easier to understand.
(MB) Sure, it's easier to understand. After all, what's difficult about "God did it. I believe it. That settles it."? That's as deep as many people care to go. Unfortunately, for such beliefs, "ease of understanding" has very little to do with truth or accuracy.

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