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Tough Earth bug may be from Mars
New Scientist ^ | 25 September 02 | Stuart Clark

Posted on 09/26/2002 3:12:44 PM PDT by Heartlander

Tough Earth bug may be from Mars

19:00 25 September 02

Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition

A hardy microbe that can withstand huge doses of radiation could have evolved this ability on Mars.

That is the conclusion of Russian scientists who say it would take far longer than life has existed here for the bug to evolve that ability in Earth's clement conditions. They suggest the harsher environment of Mars makes it a more likely birthplace.

The hardy bugs could have traveled to Earth on pieces of rock that were blasted into space by an impacting asteroid and fell to Earth as meteorites.

Deinococcus radiodurans is renowned for its resistance to radiation - it can survive several thousand times the lethal dose for humans. To investigate how the trait might have evolved, Anatoli Pavlov and his colleagues from the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute in St Petersburg tried to induce it in E. coli.

99.9 per cent deadly

They blasted the bugs with enough gamma rays to kill 99.9 per cent of them, let the survivors recover, and then repeated the process. During the first cycle just a hundredth of the lethal human dose was enough to wipe out 99.9 per cent of the bacteria, but after 44 cycles it took 50 times that initial level to kill the same proportion.

However, the researchers calculate that it would take thousands of such cycles before the E. coli were as hardy as Deinococcus. And on Earth it would take between a million and a hundred million years to accumulate each dose, during which time the bugs would have to be dormant.

Since life originated on Earth about 3.8 billion years ago, Pavlov does not believe that there has been enough time for this resistance to evolve.

Dormant bugs

On Mars, however, the researchers calculate that dormant bugs could receive the necessary dose in just a few hundred thousand years, because radiation levels there are much higher.

What is more, they point out that the Red Planet wobbles on its rotation axis, producing a regular cycle of climate swings that would drive bacteria into dormancy for long enough to accumulate such doses, before higher temperatures enabled the survivors to recover and multiply. Pavlov reported the results last week at the Second European Workshop on Astrobiology in Graz, Austria.

David Morrison of NASA's Astrobiology Institute is sceptical that Deinococcus came from Mars, pointing out that its genome looks similar to those of other Earthly bacteria. But he admits that there's still no obvious explanation for the bug's resistance to radiation.

"It is certainly a mystery how this trait has developed and why it persists," he says.

-Stuart Clark

Other stuff:
Spider mite upsets evolutionary theory

CELL INTELLIGENCE


TOPICS: Technical
KEYWORDS: crevolist; evolution; id; panspermia
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1 posted on 09/26/2002 3:12:45 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: Heartlander
However, the researchers calculate that it would take thousands of such cycles before the E. coli were as hardy as Deinococcus. And on Earth it would take between a million and a hundred million years to accumulate each dose, during which time the bugs would have to be dormant.

Since life originated on Earth about 3.8 billion years ago, Pavlov does not believe that there has been enough time for this resistance to evolve.

Foolish. A dose of radiation accumulated over a few days or weeks would not have the same effect as the same dose over a hundred million years. Besides, if that's all it took, all life would exhibit a similar radiation resistance; our cell line certainly reaches back hundreds of millions of years, too. The radiation resistance is most likely the by-product of another evolutionary pressure.

2 posted on 09/26/2002 3:20:34 PM PDT by Physicist
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To: VadeRetro; RadioAstronomer; PatrickHenry; jennyp; Gumlegs
Tough Earth bug may be from Mars

New Scientist sensationalism ping.

3 posted on 09/26/2002 3:23:19 PM PDT by Physicist
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To: Physicist
Hmmm… Scientific speculation? Surely not…LOL
4 posted on 09/26/2002 3:36:07 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: Heartlander
Dead bug bump.
5 posted on 09/26/2002 3:41:05 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Heartlander
During the first cycle just a hundredth of the lethal human dose was enough to wipe out 99.9 per cent of the bacteria, but after 44 cycles it took 50 times that initial level to kill the same proportion.

Assuming the lethal human dose was the MLD, they got the bugs closer to human survivability, but still short. I'd like to see the raw data before I'm too impressed.

The "mean lethal dose" for humans for a one-time exposure to ionizing radiation is around 300 rads (i.e. 3 Gray), that is, 50% of the humans exposed to such an absorbed dose would be expected to die within thirty days with no medical treatment. While it varies from product to product, a typical absorbed dose for the sterilization of disposable medical products (sutures, surgical kits, operating gowns, catheters, etc.) prior to their delivery to hospitals is around 25 kGy (about 40 million times more than a typical chest X-ray, and over 8,300 times more than the human mean lethal dose). An absorbed dose of around 100 Gray (0.1 kGy) is sufficient to kill most insects and parasites, as well as inhibit plant sprouting (i.e. extend the shelf life of onions, garlic, etc.). Stepping up an order of magnitude, an absorbed dose of around 1.5 kGy --> 4.5 kGy is sufficient to kill most bacterial pathogens (except spores) in foodstuffs such as poultry, beef and spices. For example, a dose of 1.5 kGy will kill about 99.5% (and a 3 kGy dose will kill about 99.99%) of the Salmonella in contaminated poultry (the majority of which is contaminated, incidentally). Similar absorbed dose levels are sufficient for eliminating the danger of bacteria such as E. Coli 0157:H7 and Campylobacter jejune. A slightly higher dose (up to 7 kGy) is allowed for frozen meat. An absorbed dose of around 10 kGy --> 45 kGy is sufficient to inactivate bacterial spores and some viruses. The more resistant spores of Clostridium botulinum (responsible for botulism) necessitate a larger absorbed dose of 30 kGy --> 60 kGy. As previously mentioned, the current required absorbed dose for eliminating the danger of anthrax spores is 56 kGy --> 112 kGy. The US legal limits (both minimum and maximum) for commercial irradiation of various foodstuffs are set forth in Title 21, Volume 3, Parts 170-199 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21CFR3).

6 posted on 09/26/2002 3:57:00 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Physicist
All it would take would be a deposit of pitchblende near a good source of nutrients. The bacteria who survived the radiation would prosper.
7 posted on 09/26/2002 4:02:00 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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To: VadeRetro; jennyp; Junior; longshadow; *crevo_list; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; ...
To investigate how the trait might have evolved, Anatoli Pavlov and his colleagues from the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute in St Petersburg tried to induce it in E. coli.

They blasted the bugs with enough gamma rays to kill 99.9 per cent of them, let the survivors recover, and then repeated the process. During the first cycle just a hundredth of the lethal human dose was enough to wipe out 99.9 per cent of the bacteria, but after 44 cycles it took 50 times that initial level to kill the same proportion.

Lab-induced evolution bump.

8 posted on 09/26/2002 4:22:58 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
. . . after 44 cycles it took 50 times that initial level to kill the same proportion.

Not bad for 9 hours 22 minutes of work!

9 posted on 09/26/2002 4:27:18 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: PatrickHenry
Come on Patrick, you know that Evolution is a theory and all who claim to study it are charlatans....

watch for the blue man and his crazy zealots to get on here and explain how this DOES NOT prove evolution or that it never happened.

Pretty cool experiment though.

Survival of the fittest in a record amount of time.
10 posted on 09/26/2002 4:47:27 PM PDT by Aric2000
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To: All
[We evolution types interrupt this thread to bring you the following important message:]
George W. Bush is the greatest! Down with bolshevism! Defeat the socialistic dems! Win back the Senate! God bless America!
[And now, let the thread continue ... ]
11 posted on 09/26/2002 4:49:20 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: Heartlander
Yasss, I have heard of theeessss bugs.
Here we caaall them deeemocratssssss.
12 posted on 09/26/2002 4:50:10 PM PDT by tet68
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To: PatrickHenry
It's an interesting experiment. Probably not proof of Martians over any Confidence Interval. Would they let us do this in Sophomore chemlab?
13 posted on 09/26/2002 4:51:43 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: RightWhale
It's an interesting experiment. Probably not proof of Martians over any Confidence Interval.

Certainly not "proof" of the Martian hypothesis. But I wonder what certain creationists think when they can see a species being transformed, by mutation and selection, literally before their very eyes?

14 posted on 09/26/2002 4:55:27 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: tet68
Petroleum - the archetypal fossil fuel - couldn't have formed from the remains of dead animals and plants, claim US and Russian researchers1. They argue that... petroleum---originated from minerals at extreme temperatures and pressures."

Geologic columns...what about the massive canyon on mars---no water!

The size---circumference of the Earth has gotten smaller(although at certain pts. it could have been changing/variable). During collapse large ridges---mountains would protrude upwards! Land wouldn't form evenly...continents would remain at higher levels above water level then plates would dry out---shrink/'sink' producing canyons--basins--ravines...then cooled and hot sediments would form(rise) as the shrink/sink-ing would continue...producing more mountains/hills--'volcanoes'---to fill the receding gaps!

At the Grand Canyon older sedimentary levels are at the top and the fresher/newer ones below...those straight up 'buttes' came out of hole--soft spots in the plates like cake decorations---Ayres Rock like a bubble in a blown tire.

All that erosion/sedimentary crap old age of the Earth is hooie-dooie!

There is not enough dust on the moon to support an old earth dating system!

15 posted on 09/26/2002 4:57:48 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: Heartlander
could have evolved this ability ....could have traveled to Earth on pieces of rock ....dormant bugs could receive the necessary dose .

Yep.

16 posted on 09/26/2002 4:57:50 PM PDT by Tom Bombadil
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To: Tom Bombadil
No one doubts the improbability of events. Your existence is highly improbable. So is mine. Think of all the events in just the past 100 generations which could have caused any of our ancestors to behave differently than they did. Yet all the past events happened, naturally, step by step, and here we are, so mere improbability is not much of an issue.
"The facts upon which evolution theory is based are rather well established. Mutations happen. They really do. And new species appear over time, really. And they appear in form and DNA to be related to pre-existing species. No joke, that's the evidence. In every generation, those best suited for the game of life are most likely to breed the next generation. Mutation and natural selection. And time, lots of time. They're the stuff of evolution."

"The results are always going to be seen as improbable in retrospect, but that's how things happen. It's such a reasonable explanation that there's no need to wave it all away and grasp instead for an external "designer" for whom there is no evidence at all.

"So I don't see ID as an "honest attempt" to deal with improbability. Rather, it's a clever attempt to confuse the poorly trained public with slick (but unscientific) patter."

353 posted on 9/19/02 2:24 PM Pacific by PatrickHenry


17 posted on 09/26/2002 5:02:16 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: Aric2000
…you know that Evolution is a theory and all who claim to study it are charlatans.

I believe most people disagree specifically with the ‘theory of common descent’.

Survival of the fittest in a record amount of time.

Not enough time though, so the author assumes it came from Mars… Hmmmm. Abiogenesis is happening everywhere, even Venus. It’s really very common. LOL

18 posted on 09/26/2002 5:02:50 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: Heartlander
Geologic column---dating??

Why does it look like it does(grand canyon)?

"The reason that it looks the way does is due to the sequence in which the events that help to create it happened. We already know that there was once a very tall chain of mountains in the area that occupied the Grand Canyon. These mountains were, over many millions of years, eventually eroded away to form a level plain. Fluctuations in climate then caused the oceans to move in over successive periods and each time a new rock layer was deposited. The rock layers were deposited one on top of the other and sometimes there were long periods in between in which some of the upper layers were eroded away, sometimes completely."

"We already know that there was once a very tall chain of mountains in the area that occupied the Grand Canyon. These mountains were, over many millions of years, eventually eroded away to form a level plain.

That is called science..."we already know"! Campfire stories! Junk!!

Evolution...tall tales/legends---big lies(no comprehension)!

But the effect is permanent---zombie brains---religion/ideology---BIAS!

Govt school religion---'science'!

19 posted on 09/26/2002 5:13:40 PM PDT by f.Christian
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To: PatrickHenry
I wonder what certain creationists think

Makes shivers run up and down the spine, doesn't it.

20 posted on 09/26/2002 5:18:01 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: Heartlander
That is the conclusion of Russian scientists who say it would take far longer than life has existed here for the bug to evolve that ability in Earth's clement conditions.

Oh, spare me! Does this guy even have a clue as to what the levels of radiation were here on the clement Earth 2 billion years ago?
21 posted on 09/26/2002 5:20:40 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: RightWhale
"A hardy microbe that can withstand huge doses of radiation could have evolved this ability on Mars."

Yeah... Duh... what else could it be? That's the only logical explaination.
22 posted on 09/26/2002 5:22:14 PM PDT by Seeker204
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To: PatrickHenry
 But I wonder what certain creationists think when they can see a species being
transformed, by mutation and selection, literally before their very eyes?

If the past is any guide, something like this:

"So what?  The bugs didn't turn into gerbils, did they?"

23 posted on 09/26/2002 5:27:16 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: Physicist
Foolish. A dose of radiation accumulated over a few days or weeks would not have the same effect as the same dose over a hundred million years.

Silly. That's precisely the point of the statement in the article.

24 posted on 09/26/2002 5:28:14 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Heartlander

Other stuff:
Spider mite upsets evolutionary theory

Haploid sexual species. Interesting.

25 posted on 09/26/2002 5:29:45 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: PatrickHenry
During the first cycle just a hundredth of the lethal human dose was enough to wipe out 99.9 per cent of the bacteria, but after 44 cycles it took 50 times that initial level to kill the same proportion.

Lab-induced evolution

What does 50 times one one hundredth come out to?

I'll give you a hint 50 * .01 = 0.5. Their numbers don't hunt.

26 posted on 09/26/2002 5:32:16 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: PatrickHenry
I wonder what certain creationists think when they can see a species being transformed, by mutation and selection, literally before their very eyes?

Most definitely NOT evolution. The researchers contaminated their samples somehow. (/sarcasm)

27 posted on 09/26/2002 5:34:22 PM PDT by Aracelis
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To: All
In other news, Bacterial Defenses Predate Antibiotics

" In fact, [bacteria] had mobilized the genetic defenses that now defeat penicillin millions of years before humans discovered the drug. The findings challenge the long-standing notion that bacteria's antibiotic-fighting arsenal arose in response to modern antibiotics. "

28 posted on 09/26/2002 5:34:55 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Nebullis
The findings challenge the long-standing notion that bacteria's antibiotic-fighting arsenal arose in response to modern antibiotics.

I wouldn't bet this will change one Darwininian's mind.

29 posted on 09/26/2002 5:38:32 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: PatrickHenry
But I wonder what certain creationists think when they can see a species being transformed, by mutation and selection, literally before their very eyes?

I suspect you are stating this in regard to the article? There's selection, but, so far, no indication of mutation. You might not want to quit your day job (defending Bush) just yet.

30 posted on 09/26/2002 5:38:32 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: AndrewC
I wouldn't bet this will change one Darwininian's mind.

The penicillin example is commonly bandied about here. I'm sure it will continue unabated.

It's already known that antibiotic resistance is shared between bacteria on plasmids. It's also known that these plasmids have been around for a while. The news here is that the genes have been around for millions of years.

31 posted on 09/26/2002 5:42:37 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Nebullis
The penicillin example is commonly bandied about here. I'm sure it will continue unabated

Somehow I find the concept unacceptable that bacteria know that when a human produced penicillin molecule hits them it is time to act.

32 posted on 09/26/2002 5:49:54 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
Somehow I find the concept unacceptable that bacteria know that when a human produced penicillin molecule hits them it is time to act.

I'm surprised. It sounds like something right up your alley, natural genetic engineering and all that. Cells which don't contain the plasmid will collect it under selective pressure. It's evolution, nonetheless.

33 posted on 09/26/2002 5:53:47 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Heartlander
They blasted the bugs with enough gamma rays to kill 99.9 per cent of them, let the survivors recover, and then repeated the process. During the first cycle just a hundredth of the lethal human dose was enough to wipe out 99.9 per cent of the bacteria, but after 44 cycles it took 50 times that initial level to kill the same proportion.

This doesn't prove evolution. This proves that resistance to radiation follows a lognormal distribution (or something close) within a given population. The article doesn't say anything that I see about that ability being passed on to future generations. Only that harsher treatments on the same set of microbes got diminishing results. Interesting, but it is about mortality in a population, not about whether that is passed along ot future generations. That can be hypothesized, but such a hypothesis is not supported by this data.

34 posted on 09/26/2002 5:56:06 PM PDT by TN4Liberty
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To: TN4Liberty
The article doesn't say anything that I see about that ability being passed on to future generations.

What do you think 'cycles' means?

35 posted on 09/26/2002 5:58:30 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Nebullis
I'm surprised. It sounds like something right up your alley, natural genetic engineering and all that.

I think you missed my point. I don't believe the Penicillium notatum is less than 100 years old.

36 posted on 09/26/2002 5:58:52 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
I don't believe the Penicillium notatum is less than 100 years old.

Ah, OK. Quite right!

37 posted on 09/26/2002 6:01:01 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Nebullis
What do you think 'cycles' means?

What do you think of the numbers?

50 * .01 = 0.5

Are we really more resistant to radiation than the "improved" bug?

38 posted on 09/26/2002 6:01:36 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
Are we really more resistant to radiation than the "improved" bug?

I doubt that. Their starting 99.9 lethality rate seems way too high for the radiation dose used. But... the sensitivity variance may be very large.

39 posted on 09/26/2002 6:10:12 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Nebullis
"Cycles" seems to mean iterations of the application of the radiation, not "generations." You don't let a generation have time to "recover." They are clearly talking about a fixed population of microbes.
40 posted on 09/26/2002 6:13:48 PM PDT by TN4Liberty
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To: Nebullis
I doubt that. Their starting 99.9 lethality rate seems way too high for the radiation dose used. But... the sensitivity variance may be very large.

I can't believe any of their numbers. They started off by killing nearly all(how can they determine that before the fact?)of the bacteria with a dose one hundredth of the lethal dose for humans. They improved it by a factor of 50 after 44 trials. That means that they achieved a kill of nearly all the bacteria while still only using 50% of the dose needed to kill a human(whatever that means, MLD is a clear standard). See my post 6 for the fact that E.Coli resistance is 1000 times greater that human resistance by the numbers of my unattributed citation.

41 posted on 09/26/2002 6:20:28 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: TN4Liberty
They are clearly talking about a fixed population of microbes.

44 cycles. 0.1% survives at each cycle. You tell me how many E. coli they would have had to start with. I imagine at each cycle they had to test a series of radiation doses as well.

Each cycle represent several generations.

42 posted on 09/26/2002 6:22:21 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: AndrewC
how can they determine that before the fact?

By titration and estimation of original population.

43 posted on 09/26/2002 6:26:22 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: Nebullis
By titration and estimation of original population.

Before the fact?

You mean that it was a shoot-look-shoot... tally endeavor?

44 posted on 09/26/2002 6:34:18 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Nebullis
"It seems that in biology there are exceptions to every rule," says Weeks.

There is an exception to this rule. Or there isn't.

45 posted on 09/26/2002 6:37:31 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: AndrewC
You mean that it was a shoot-look-shoot... tally endeavor?

Senator Daschle, you may call it what you like. I'm outta here.

46 posted on 09/26/2002 6:38:46 PM PDT by Nebullis
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To: TN4Liberty
This doesn't prove evolution….

I do not see this as proof of evolution. I see this as proof of speculation, quick conclusions, and dogma within the scientific community.

I am no ‘theory of common descent’ advocate.
Actually, I was curious to see how the ‘theory of common descent’ advocates would respond to one of their own – that is the scientist in this article – Pavlov.

I’m just ringing the bell for him :)

47 posted on 09/26/2002 6:40:14 PM PDT by Heartlander
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To: Nebullis
It isn't hard to come up with billions of E-coli bacteria. It's not like you have to buy them. If you want to play Mr Scientific Method, knock yourself out. But you do a disservice to your argument when you extrapolate beyond what the data saya, and that is what you are doing in this case. I am not taking sides in this debate you folks want to have everyday. But this experiment does not appear to deal with generations, and is not generalizable into some proof of evolution. Not saying such proof does not exist in laboratory settings. But this isn't it.
48 posted on 09/26/2002 6:40:25 PM PDT by TN4Liberty
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To: Nebullis
Senator Daschle, you may call it what you like. I'm outta here.

I'm sorry you find questions of simple protocol difficult to answer. I don't know how they supposedly accomplished this feat since their numbers don't make sense. That is why I ask the questions. 1.5KGrays to 3KGrays seem to be close to 500 to 1000 times greater that 3Grays as my citation lists. So I don't know where they got the "sissy" E. Coli.

49 posted on 09/26/2002 6:45:45 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: VadeRetro
There is an exception to this rule. Or there isn't.

There must be! Exept if... If there were only some place where there isn't any trouble. Somewhere....

50 posted on 09/26/2002 6:49:12 PM PDT by Nebullis
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