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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2009 :  15:55:05  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I need to write a paper on a topic in Biology that is controversial among biologists. So nothing like "Evolution vs Creation Science". Something more along the lines of "Is a virus alive?" is what I'm looking for.

Does any have some good ones for me?

Thanks

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2009 :  17:03:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about "what is a gene?"? I suspect that lots of biologists still see a gene as simply a piece of protein-coding DNA, whereas others might include stuff like methylation patterns.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2009 :  18:58:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Group selection.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2009 :  20:47:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would put the "is a virus alive?" dispute aside in favor of one of those other suggestions. The question of whether viruses are live seems to me to be more a matter of settling definitions than a real biological issue. The others are inherently more interesting questions.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2009 :  21:21:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about epigenetic influence on inheritance?


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2009 :  21:56:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about how if humans are still evolving? We are, of course, but with natural selection largely rendered inconsequential, in what ways? Could make an interesting paper. But really, any topic can be fascinating if you find the right angle.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  06:01:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

How about how if humans are still evolving?

As a species, humans must have one of the largest gene-pools among mammals, and thus an enourmous amount of mutations per base-pair (think parallel-processing) comparatively speaking. And I disagree with natural selection rendered inconsequential: Only a fraction of the human population have access what we consider "proper" medical care. The rest is more or less subject to natural selection.


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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  07:09:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He's looking for a topic that is controversial among biologists. Ongoing human evolution is not, to my knowledge, disputed by any credible scientist.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  10:53:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

He's looking for a topic that is controversial among biologists. Ongoing human evolution is not, to my knowledge, disputed by any credible scientist.
An article in the Times last year quoted geneticist Steve Jones as saying that human evolution is over. I'm not saying it's a popular position, but I think the rate of human evolution is debated enough among experts to make a good paper.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 11/07/2009 10:54:51
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  12:22:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Group selection.

Thanks everyone.

I'm going to see what I can dig up on Group Selection. The subject seems particularly interesting and is related to a discussion my wife and I were having about Native American warfare and how the kidnapping of members of the losing side for procreation might be an evolutionary imperative.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  15:51:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm finding that some consider the group selection vs kin selection argument to be one of terminology more than anything else.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  16:02:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One of my favorite controversies involves the evolution of flight for birds: From the ground up or from the tree down. Another good one, which is mostly not known to the public (at least from what I've seen), is whether dinosaurs were cold or warm blooded.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  17:54:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by @tomic

Originally posted by Dave W.

Group selection.

Thanks everyone.

I'm going to see what I can dig up on Group Selection. The subject seems particularly interesting and is related to a discussion my wife and I were having about Native American warfare and how the kidnapping of members of the losing side for procreation might be an evolutionary imperative.

@

You might want to check David Sloan Wilson's blog out. Looks like it might be right up your alley.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  18:22:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

Originally posted by Dude

He's looking for a topic that is controversial among biologists. Ongoing human evolution is not, to my knowledge, disputed by any credible scientist.
An article in the Times last year quoted geneticist Steve Jones as saying that human evolution is over. I'm not saying it's a popular position, but I think the rate of human evolution is debated enough among experts to make a good paper.




Looks like he needed/wanted a title for his talk that would draw attention. I agree its an interesting topic, but I don't think it is controversial. From the Times article it seems Prof Jones is just saying that some of the things impacting human evolution in the past aren't doing it now.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  19:48:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks

Originally posted by @tomic

Originally posted by Dave W.

Group selection.

Thanks everyone.

I'm going to see what I can dig up on Group Selection. The subject seems particularly interesting and is related to a discussion my wife and I were having about Native American warfare and how the kidnapping of members of the losing side for procreation might be an evolutionary imperative.

@

You might want to check David Sloan Wilson's blog out. Looks like it might be right up your alley.

Thank you. I'd already seen it, though. Almost everything I found on this subject had a Wilson's name on it.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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Joshua
New Member

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2009 :  22:11:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Joshua a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A virus is alive, it is a living organism that feeds of the cells in your body. We are sort of like a virus in that we have invaded the earth and have began to live un-symbiotically with in nature so we have become a viral out break to the earth just on a macro level.
THis sounds like a great paper to write about I am in the middle to of a course on Psychology of Religion and are covering the boilogical aspects of religion and how there are some religions that are more suceptable to disease based on there breading practices or shall we say imbreading practices and the genetic consequences of such actions. Good luck on you paper.
Joshua

Joshua Baxter
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