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Tags trial , evolution , intelligent design , dover id trial

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Old 19th November 2005, 09:05 PM   #641
Mercutio
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
So what would you call these selections made by nature? Non-artificial selection?
I would call them whatever label was appropriate which might vary from case to case. What I would not do is call them something that sounded right but which has a particular technical definition fitting only one of the phenomena.

In behaviorism, Skinner (perhaps unwisely, perhaps wisely) used some fairly common words in new and technically defined ways, giving us the phrases negative reinforcement and positive punishment, each of which makes perfect sense within the system, but which may sound either oxymoronic or nonsensical in casual conversation. Indeed, I have seen business textbooks which (quite improperly) switch the two terms, apparently because the author confused something that sounded right with something that had a specific technical definition.

There is already enough trouble with Creationists intentionally misdefining "natural selection", as a rhetorical tool to fight Darwin on fronts where his theory does not apply. The cartoon I posted takes advantage of three different uses of "evolved" to (intentionally or ignorantly) make the theory of natural selection look unsupported. It is clear that this issue is important enough that it should be phrased carefully and precisely.
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Old 20th November 2005, 12:04 AM   #642
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Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
Er, that puctuated equilibrium stuff?
Alright. Now I see where the confusion comes in. Punctuated equilibrium isn't caused by increased/decreased mutations. To give a quick rundown of the concept, I'll steal a couple quotes from talkorigins here:

Quote:
the period of transition between parent species and daughter species is short compared to the period of time a species exists as a distinct form
Quote:
significant adaptations developed or accentuated in the daughter species can lead to the rapid dispersal and establishment of a daughter species throughout the range of the ancestral species, or into new ranges. The ecological processes of dispersal and succession can occur very quickly compared to evolutionary processes of change.
So how does this relate to "The people who don't allow drastic & rapid change are neo-Darwinist evolutionists?"
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Old 20th November 2005, 12:52 AM   #643
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Originally Posted by chipmunk stew View Post
I've got to give credit where it's due, though, Dr A. He's a right perfect foil. I've learned a lot reading these threads, and much of that was through refutations of hammy's posts.
Which is sweet, but this thread is about the Dover ID trial.

If hammy wants to blather on about his unique undiscoverable genius, then he can start a thread about it.
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Old 20th November 2005, 07:50 AM   #644
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
I didn't realize that evolution has anything to do with dynamical systems that are attracted to particular states when trajectories get close enough.

~~ Paul
Ask BillHoyt. He made the initial suggestion -- one I agree with in the sense significant and rapid mutation points exist. Cats are not Dogs, critters above the K-T boundary break with those below. We could always discuss the Mid-Cambrian Explosion -- a few million years at most produced phenotypes we still don't understand -- the the actual time involved is unknown. The canid phenotype has been prodded to produce extreme body-types in just a few thousand years.


Today, we are faced with the fact that at the genotype level significant and catastrophic occurences are known, and needed for change -- gene-splicing, anyone? Micro-ev? I think not.

Originally Posted by Dr.A
HI. Remeber me? Remember how on every thread you posted on, I challenged you to define the boundary between micro-evolution and macro-evolution?

And you couldn't?

Well you still can't.
Agreed. And on your side, you can't even figure out what a "species" is. Species, you know, that thing you want to teach The Origin of? "Remeber"?


Quote:
Which is sweet, but this thread is about the Dover ID trial.
So are my comments. You just don't understand your opponents.


delphi_ote: I'd agree a gene-splice doesn't take long.
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Old 20th November 2005, 09:27 AM   #645
chipmunk stew
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Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
Today, we are faced with the fact that at the genotype level significant and catastrophic occurences are known, and needed for change -- gene-splicing, anyone? Micro-ev? I think not.
Just because major change can be produced by gene-splicing, doesn't make such a major, one-time overhaul a requirement for major change. Other catastrophic occurrences are known, too. Mass extinction, anyone?
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Old 20th November 2005, 11:45 AM   #646
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Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
There is already enough trouble with Creationists intentionally misdefining "natural selection", as a rhetorical tool to fight Darwin on fronts where his theory does not apply. The cartoon I posted takes advantage of three different uses of "evolved" to (intentionally or ignorantly) make the theory of natural selection look unsupported. It is clear that this issue is important enough that it should be phrased carefully and precisely.
And that careful, precise definition does not exclude the situations I mentioned. "Natural selection" refers to the winnowing process and has nothing to do with reproduction. Nor does it have to be acting upon biological organisms. It's just the mechanism that drives the evolution of those organisms.

It's called "the Theory of Evolution", not "the Theory of Natural Selection", for just that reason.
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Old 20th November 2005, 11:59 AM   #647
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
And that careful, precise definition does not exclude the situations I mentioned. "Natural selection" refers to the winnowing process and has nothing to do with reproduction. Nor does it have to be acting upon biological organisms. It's just the mechanism that drives the evolution of those organisms.

It's called "the Theory of Evolution", not "the Theory of Natural Selection", for just that reason.
Again, Darwin's summary of natural selection:
IF there are organisms that reproduce, and
IF offspring inherit traits from their progenitor(s), and
IF there is variability of traits, and
IF the environment cannot support all members of a growing population,
THEN those members of the population with less-adaptive traits (determined by the environment) will die out, and
THEN those members with more-adaptive traits (determined by the environment) will thrive


This is the process. The result of this process is evolution. Unless you wish to argue that river rocks reproduce and inherit, with variability, characteristics from their progenitors, and that the environment can only support so many rocks...then your example simply do not fit the definition.

You say that only evolutionary biology uses this term this way. Can you provide examples of other areas using this technical term in other ways?
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Old 20th November 2005, 12:05 PM   #648
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Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
Agreed. And on your side, you can't even figure out what a "species" is. Species, you know, that thing you want to teach The Origin of? "Remeber"?
I remember you telling this pointless stupid lie before, yes. In your halfwitted fantasy world, no-one can define species. In the real world --- remember that? the one outside your padded cell? --- you have been told repeatedly that a species is a reproductively isolated variety.
Quote:
So are my comments.
But you are just reciting the same tedious nonsense you always recite when we discuss biology. You haven't even tried to make it relevant to the goings-on in Dover, you've just taken another opportunity to bore us with your dreary, hopeless monomania.
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Old 20th November 2005, 01:13 PM   #649
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Originally Posted by Dr Adequate View Post
I remember you telling this pointless stupid lie before, yes. In your halfwitted fantasy world, no-one can define species. In the real world --- remember that? the one outside your padded cell? --- you have been told repeatedly that a species is a reproductively isolated variety.
And the reproductively isolated varieties mutate & get selected, remaining varietal. Your assertion that time, random mutations & natural selection lead to useful genotype changes -- macro-ev, a new "species" -- remains an unproven hypothesis.

My understanding is that at the microbiology level, the action occurs not in groups in isolation but in groups of mixed partners-- the more, the merrier.


I'm not the only monomaniac in these discussions. If you find me boring, try Ignore.
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Old 20th November 2005, 02:28 PM   #650
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Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
I'd agree a gene-splice doesn't take long.
Do I dare ask what you're talking about and how it relates to punctuated equilibrium or your earlier claim that "The people who don't allow drastic & rapid change are neo-Darwinist evolutionists?"
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Old 20th November 2005, 03:25 PM   #651
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Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
Your assertion that time, random mutations & natural selection lead to useful genotype changes -- macro-ev, a new "species" -- remains an unproven hypothesis.
Wrong. It remains an unfalsified theory.
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Old 20th November 2005, 05:33 PM   #652
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Quote:
Your assertion that time, random mutations & natural selection lead to useful genotype changes -- macro-ev, a new "species" -- remains an unproven hypothesis.
Funny, it works in all the A-life programs I've heard of... But I suppose if I linked to one, you might redefine "useful". And as for species, you've done an excellent job of rendering your null hypothesis unfalsifiable by rejecting all definitions of "species" we have observed speciation with, and refusing to come up with a definition yourself. I suppose next you'll come up with a psychic prediction that I'm going to die in the future.

You know, I feel like I've learned more about irreducible complexity than Behe and most IDers from playing Armored Core than they have in their entire education. After all, I started out building up my AC to a multiweapon heavyweight, and got it all the way down to an irreducibly complex underweight. Even doing so during all the environmental changes through the series. (Big one for me: Energy and back weapon crisis of AC3: They removed the "Plus Powers" that cut down on booster energy use and the one that allowed bipeds to use back cannons while moving.)
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Old 20th November 2005, 07:30 PM   #653
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Let's look at which statements can be removed without invalidating the conclusion.

Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
(1) IF there are organisms that reproduce, and
(2) IF offspring inherit traits from their progenitor(s), and
(3) IF there is variability of traits, and
(4) IF the environment cannot support all members of a growing population,
THEN those members of the population with less-adaptive traits (determined by the environment) will die out, and
THEN those members with more-adaptive traits (determined by the environment) will thrive[/i]
We can easily remove statements 1 and 2 and keep the conclusions, assuming that the different traits are not all equally likely to survive. (You forgot to stipulate that - without differential viability, change in the distribution of traits is not guaranteed by any combination of those statements.)
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Old 20th November 2005, 07:33 PM   #654
Mercutio
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
Let's look at which statements can be removed without invalidating the conclusion.

We can easily remove statements 1 and 2 and keep the conclusions, assuming that the different traits are not all equally likely to survive. (You forgot to stipulate that - without differential viability, change in the distribution of traits is not guaranteed by any combination of those statements.)
Not me, Darwin. This is not my version; you can remove statements 1 and 2, but in doing so you are now defining something else entirely.
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Old 20th November 2005, 07:41 PM   #655
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Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
Not me, Darwin. This is not my version; you can remove statements 1 and 2, but in doing so you are now defining something else entirely.
No, you're not. For example, you don't need to assume that the environment cannot support all members - if some variations are more successful than others, they will eventually dominate the population. Voila! Evolution!

Darwin talked primarily about slow and gradual changes. That doesn't mean that the more rapid changes separated by periods of stasis postulated by punctuated equilibrium make PE not evolution. Likewise, forms of selection caused by environmental effects acting upon a population distribution are still natural selection, even if they don't match exactly what Darwin was talking about.

There's really not much else to be said. I'm really not interested in repeating this simple and obviously correct argument while you hold your fingers in your ears and hum. You're wrong, and that's all there is to it.
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Old 20th November 2005, 07:50 PM   #656
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
No, you're not. For example, you don't need to assume that the environment cannot support all members - if some variations are more successful than others, they will eventually dominate the population. Voila! Evolution!
That is #4, not #1 or #2, which were what you removed before. My point was that Natural Selection specifies that we are looking at organisms which reproduce and inherit from their progenitors, which is not the case with stars, pebbles, metals, etc.
Quote:
Darwin talked primarily about slow and gradual changes. That doesn't mean that the more rapid changes separated by periods of stasis postulated by punctuated equilibrium make PE not evolution. Likewise, forms of selection caused by environmental effects acting upon a population distribution are still natural selection, even if they don't match exactly what Darwin was talking about.
Did you find sources in which things other than reproducing organisms are said to undergo "natural selection"? A journal where physicists use the term for the process of birth, death, rebirth of stars, for instance, would be enough for me to say I am wrong. I have only seen the term used as Darwin defined it, except by Creationists.
Quote:
There's really not much else to be said. I'm really not interested in repeating this simple and obviously correct argument while you hold your fingers in your ears and hum. You're wrong, and that's all there is to it.
I am more than willing to admit I am wrong. So far, all you have done is assert.
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Old 20th November 2005, 07:54 PM   #657
Melendwyr
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Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
That is #4, not #1 or #2, which were what you removed before.
So? What's your point? (You don't actually have one - you just wanted to throw out an objection.)

Quote:
My point was that Natural Selection specifies that we are looking at organisms which reproduce and inherit from their progenitors, which is not the case with stars, pebbles, metals, etc.
Not necessary. A limited set of entities with differential viability will experience a change in the distribution of traits - evolution.

Quote:
I am more than willing to admit I am wrong. So far, all you have done is assert.
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Old 20th November 2005, 07:59 PM   #658
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
So? What's your point? (You don't actually have one - you just wanted to throw out an objection.)
Asked and answered. You even quoted it. Where I use the phrase "my point is..."
Quote:
Not necessary. A limited set of entities with differential viability will experience a change in the distribution of traits - evolution.
Darwin himself said that natural selection was not the only mechanism of evolution. The change in distribution of traits--evolution--does not mean that the process behind it was natural selection.
Quote:
I note that you have thus far declined to produce a source using the term as you do. That would have been a much more effective comeback than .
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Old 20th November 2005, 08:22 PM   #659
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Melendwyr, there may be a similarity between these ideas, but natural selection is a technical term with a precise definition. You don't like it when woos co-opt technical terms from other scientific fields out of context, do you?

Don't do it yourself!
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Old 20th November 2005, 08:51 PM   #660
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Originally Posted by delphi_ote View Post
Melendwyr, there may be a similarity between these ideas, but natural selection is a technical term with a precise definition. You don't like it when woos co-opt technical terms from other scientific fields out of context, do you?

Don't do it yourself!
Delphi, I think you must be having trouble creating your own quantum reality. If your energy field was fully charged you'd be able to see that pebbles evolve.
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Old 20th November 2005, 08:54 PM   #661
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I'll just pop Magneurol pills until my aura turns so blue I can shoot chakras out of my highly evolved nostrils.
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Old 21st November 2005, 12:53 AM   #662
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
No, you're not. For example, you don't need to assume that the environment cannot support all members - if some variations are more successful than others, they will eventually dominate the population. Voila! Evolution!
If no individuals die, or are removed, and the population only relies upon which reproduces faster, the upper limit of the population supportable by available energy is reached. Once that limit is hit, either some start to die or there is no population change. It has to do with replacement by death in animals because with other populations, the populations are relatively static, and the only way to winnow is removal without replacement. In animals, replacement is also necessary, and explains why populations persist. If traits were not passed generation to generation, the selection pressure would not cause a population change as a new random group would be culled each time.
Quote:
Darwin talked primarily about slow and gradual changes. That doesn't mean that the more rapid changes separated by periods of stasis postulated by punctuated equilibrium make PE not evolution. Likewise, forms of selection caused by environmental effects acting upon a population distribution are still natural selection, even if they don't match exactly what Darwin was talking about.
Environmental effects on a population are not selection unless part of the population is removed. Whether it is by competetive disadvantage or no, eventually some has to be replaced or again one reaches a static equilibrium.
Quote:
There's really not much else to be said. I'm really not interested in repeating this simple and obviously correct argument while you hold your fingers in your ears and hum. You're wrong, and that's all there is to it.
Your argument is incorrect, as has been shown several times. A blanket effect upon a population without differentiation is not selection. Death is a process in a population; only when it affects disparately based on traits of the population does it become a selection mechanism.
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Old 21st November 2005, 06:29 AM   #663
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Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
And the reproductively isolated varieties mutate & get selected, remaining varietal. Your assertion that time, random mutations & natural selection lead to useful genotype changes -- macro-ev, a new "species" -- remains an unproven hypothesis.

My understanding is that at the microbiology level, the action occurs not in groups in isolation but in groups of mixed partners-- the more, the merrier.


I'm not the only monomaniac in these discussions. If you find me boring, try Ignore.
I am sorta curious. Do you have a better explanatory model than evolution or are you simply pointing out areas for further research?
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Old 21st November 2005, 06:46 AM   #664
Melendwyr
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Originally Posted by PatKelley View Post
If no individuals die, or are removed, and the population only relies upon which reproduces faster, the upper limit of the population supportable by available energy is reached.
You're assuming there is such a limit - true about the real world, but not necessary for the argument.

Quote:
Environmental effects on a population are not selection unless part of the population is removed. Whether it is by competetive disadvantage or no, eventually some has to be replaced or again one reaches a static equilibrium.
No one is talking about that - the whole point is that the environmental effects are selective, affecting some trait combinations more than others. An environmental pressure that acts on a whole population equally obviously will not result in evolution.

Quote:
Your argument is incorrect, as has been shown several times. A blanket effect upon a population without differentiation is not selection.
That's not my argument. You've resorted to building strawmen.
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Old 21st November 2005, 06:49 AM   #665
Melendwyr
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Originally Posted by delphi_ote View Post
Melendwyr, there may be a similarity between these ideas, but natural selection is a technical term with a precise definition. You don't like it when woos co-opt technical terms from other scientific fields out of context, do you?
No, which is why I'm objecting to the improperly limited use advocated in this thread.

'Natural selection' whenever elements of the environment acting upon a population create a differential viability of trait groupings in that population. The population does not need to be alive, or reproducing; there does not need to be replacement or loss.

Biology only uses the term to refer to living organisms because biology only deals with living organisms.
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Old 21st November 2005, 06:54 AM   #666
Melendwyr
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Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
Asked and answered. You even quoted it. Where I use the phrase "my point is..."
That's just a restatement of your position. It doesn't follow from your objection, which in itself leads to no substantive conclusions. You objected for the sake of objecting.

Quote:
Darwin himself said that natural selection was not the only mechanism of evolution. The change in distribution of traits--evolution--does not mean that the process behind it was natural selection.
Sexual selection, for example. But sexual selection only applies to things that have sex, and anything vulnerable to sexual selection will necessarily also be vulnerable to natural selection.

Natural selection is the most basic cause of evolutionary change. If you can tell us about an even simpler cause, and then explain why it is not included in the concept of 'natural selection', do so.
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Old 21st November 2005, 07:04 AM   #667
Mercutio
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
Biology only uses the term to refer to living organisms because biology only deals with living organisms.
I keep hoping you will post an example of physicists using the term for stars (or pebbles, for that matter). I seriously would like to learn that I am using the term too narrowly, that all this time I have been in error. That would be cool. But thus far, the only examples I have found have been in Biology, and thus far you have not provided any others.
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Old 21st November 2005, 07:09 AM   #668
Mercutio
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
That's just a restatement of your position. It doesn't follow from your objection, which in itself leads to no substantive conclusions. You objected for the sake of objecting.
No. You suggested eliminating 1 & 2. My point was that 1 & 2 define natural selection as working on organisms which reproduce and inherit from their progenitors. Stars do not. Pebbles do not. You have removed from Darwin's definition those things which make your examples inappropriate. Your "improperly limited use" is, in fact, the accepted technical definition; the use which you are advocating, by eliminating parts of the technical definition, is an "improperly broad use".
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Old 21st November 2005, 07:33 AM   #669
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Originally Posted by EdGod
Do you have a better explanatory model than evolution or are you simply pointing out areas for further research?
I'm in full agreement with the parts of The Theory that are fact based, which include inheritance, mutation, survival and on to the offspring.

I accept that common ancestor has reasonable basis, although the actual number of abiogenesis events needed to represent viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes -- and all rna/dna life -- is unknown. Parallel development vs common ancestor is as yet poorly defined.

Another area of interest is the implication in microbiology, sfaik, that environmental stress 'encourages' mutation, and those mutations are not random but occur at specifically defined locations. Are these hints of Lysenkoism in action, and if so, do similar pressures effect mutation in even the most complex creatures?
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Old 21st November 2005, 07:35 AM   #670
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Let's see what we can find out about natural selection in fields other than biology.

Neither of my physics dictionaries mention it.

Lee Smolin gave a keynote address at the international meeting on genetic algorithms in 1999 titled "Natural selection in physics and cosmology." Here's a bit about it:

http://www.templeton.org/humbleappro...ds/default.asp

And he wrote a book, The Life of the Cosmos, which talks about universe reproduction and selection via black holes:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/019...books&v=glance

Googling "natural selection in cosmology" brings up a few hits.


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Old 21st November 2005, 07:57 AM   #671
Mercutio
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Let's see what we can find out about natural selection in fields other than biology.

Neither of my physics dictionaries mention it.

Lee Smolin gave a keynote address at the international meeting on genetic algorithms in 1999 titled "Natural selection in physics and cosmology." Here's a bit about it:

http://www.templeton.org/humbleappro...ds/default.asp

And he wrote a book, The Life of the Cosmos, which talks about universe reproduction and selection via black holes:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/019...books&v=glance

Googling "natural selection in cosmology" brings up a few hits.


~~ Paul
From your first link:
Quote:
Lee Smolin is a theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to the search for a quantum theory of gravity. A professor of physics at the Center for Gravitational Physics and Geometry at Pennsylvania State University, he is one of a small number of scientists actively seeking to reconcile - or "unify" - general relativity, Einstein's theory of gravity, and quantum mechanics, the prevailing theory of matter and motion developed in the 1920s. Among his most fruitful ideas is the loop formation of quantum gravity, which he developed with Carlo Rovelli and other physicists. It led to the prediction that space has a certain discrete or atomic structure at very small distances. He also has worked on cosmology and, in particular, proposed a hypothesis called "cosmological natural selection," in which Darwinian principles of evolution are applied to the universe, providing a possible explanation for some of the properties of the elementary particles and forces. His conjecture is that our universe forms part of an infinite chain of self-reproducing universes whose physical laws evolve through natural processes of self-organization. The black holes created by collapsing stars lead to the creation of new regions of space and time. These events resemble the big bang, and, indeed, the big bang in our past is assumed to be one such event. Dr. Smolin has hypothesized that the daughter worlds that emerge from "dark stars" may differ in small, random ways from their parents. But if, and to the extent, that changes of even the slightest degree affected the production of black holes, evolutionary pressure would favor universes with many of them.
I stand partially corrected. "Cosmological natural selection"...It does, though, sound as if Smolin's hypothesis proceeds from the narrower biological definition of "natural selection", rather than from a broader one which does not include reproduction. Here, "daughter worlds" and "parents" are specifically hypothesized.
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Old 21st November 2005, 08:25 AM   #672
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Smolin's ideas bring us to a question about selection pressure. There really isn't any pressure in his analogy to natural selection, in the sense that black hole-sparse universes would be killed before they can reproduce, because there is no environment in which the universes reside. Rather, it is simply the case that universes with many black holes will reproduce at a greater rate.

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Old 21st November 2005, 08:31 AM   #673
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Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
I keep hoping you will post an example of physicists using the term for stars (or pebbles, for that matter). I seriously would like to learn that I am using the term too narrowly, that all this time I have been in error. That would be cool. But thus far, the only examples I have found have been in Biology, and thus far you have not provided any others.
Why do you think creationists always accuse biologists of making claims about the origins of life? Biology only deals with the evolution of biological organisms, but natural selection is far broader. Once you recognize that selective pressures can be responsible for the change in organisms, you must also accept that living organisms can arise from non-living substances through natural selection.

You don't understand your own arguments. Points 1 and 2 did not define natural selection as applying to reproducing organisms. They were just statements of how natural selection applies to reproducing organisms. As I've pointed out several times before, the conclusion of that argument follows even when those assumptions are eliminated.

One final note: quit it with the appeals to authority. Creationists are the ones who argue that because modern biology doesn't use the exact same concepts in the exact same way that Darwin did, Darwinian evolution has been rejected. If you're not willing to apply reason to the perfectly acceptable English words and derive valid conclusions from them, don't bother replying. Natural selection can operate on reproducing organisms in more ways than it can on static populations, but it's still natural selection. If natural selection cannot be applied to a population, no other forms of selection can either - NS is the broadest and most inclusive conceptual form of selection there is.
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Old 21st November 2005, 08:33 AM   #674
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Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
Another area of interest is the implication in microbiology, sfaik, that environmental stress 'encourages' mutation, and those mutations are not random but occur at specifically defined locations. Are these hints of Lysenkoism in action, and if so, do similar pressures effect mutation in even the most complex creatures?
No, those are fictional. During environmental stress, "good" mutations are just more likely to stick around than they are in stable times, when a species is already doing well. "Bad" mutations are also more likely to be weeded out. The mutation rate is the same. The environment changes, and with it, the selection pressures that act on those mutations.
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Old 21st November 2005, 08:55 AM   #675
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
Why do you think creationists always accuse biologists of making claims about the origins of life? Biology only deals with the evolution of biological organisms, but natural selection is far broader. Once you recognize that selective pressures can be responsible for the change in organisms, you must also accept that living organisms can arise from non-living substances through natural selection.
First...why do creationists do this? Because it is part of a rhetorical divide-and-conquer strategy to attack on several fronts and take advantage of, say, a biologist's ignorance of cosmology and vice versa. Second, I never limited natural selection to living organisms, merely to reproducing (with heritability) organisms. I have posted on here (months ago) about a wonderful example of natural selection in teddy bears. The means of reproduction was human-mediated, but it fit all of the criteria for natural selection. And your last sentence...unless the non-living substances fit the criteria (reproducing, with inheritable characteristics), then natural selection does not apply until those criteria are met.
Quote:
You don't understand your own arguments. Points 1 and 2 did not define natural selection as applying to reproducing organisms. They were just statements of how natural selection applies to reproducing organisms. As I've pointed out several times before, the conclusion of that argument follows even when those assumptions are eliminated.
Right...when you redefine it, it fits more examples.
Quote:
One final note: quit it with the appeals to authority. Creationists are the ones who argue that because modern biology doesn't use the exact same concepts in the exact same way that Darwin did, Darwinian evolution has been rejected. If you're not willing to apply reason to the perfectly acceptable English words and derive valid conclusions from them, don't bother replying. Natural selection can operate on reproducing organisms in more ways than it can on static populations, but it's still natural selection. If natural selection cannot be applied to a population, no other forms of selection can either - NS is the broadest and most inclusive conceptual form of selection there is.
The appeal to authority, in this case, is to legitimate authority, and not fallacious.

My major argument was, and is, that the term "Natural Selection" is used in the literature much more narrowly than you use it in your examples here. Paul has tried to show other examples. You seem to be arguing that the way the term is used by the scientific community is wrong, not that the way I use it is different from how the scientific community uses it.
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Old 21st November 2005, 09:20 AM   #676
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
Why do you think creationists always accuse biologists of making claims about the origins of life? Biology only deals with the evolution of biological organisms, but natural selection is far broader. Once you recognize that selective pressures can be responsible for the change in organisms, you must also accept that living organisms can arise from non-living substances through natural selection.
Sorry, this simply isn't so. Your opening sentence, I'm afraid, implies a subject / motive shift. Who cares why a group says a or not-a; it has nothing to do with whether the truth is a or not-a. Regardless of this fallacy, though, "natural selection" is NOT as broad as you claim. In fact, Darwin's original meaning has been NARROWED over the decades. His "natural selection" today is called "directional selection," and now known to be one of three principle selection modes.
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Old 21st November 2005, 10:48 AM   #677
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Originally Posted by BillHoyt View Post
Sorry, this simply isn't so. Your opening sentence, I'm afraid, implies a subject / motive shift. Who cares why a group says a or not-a; it has nothing to do with whether the truth is a or not-a. Regardless of this fallacy, though, "natural selection" is NOT as broad as you claim. In fact, Darwin's original meaning has been NARROWED over the decades. His "natural selection" today is called "directional selection," and now known to be one of three principle selection modes.
If it has narrowed to one of three, is the evolution of stars, metals, etc. (as per the cartoon) contained within any of the three?
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Old 21st November 2005, 10:52 AM   #678
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Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
If it has narrowed to one of three, is the evolution of stars, metals, etc. (as per the cartoon) contained within any of the three?
In a word, no. I think Melendwyr is simply confusing the terms evolution and natural selection. Natural selection is one of the mechanisms we critters use to change over time (that is, evolve).
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Old 21st November 2005, 11:35 AM   #679
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Originally Posted by Melendwyr View Post
You're assuming there is such a limit - true about the real world, but not necessary for the argument.
But it is. Finite numbers are necessary else one never is talking about selection. A population assumes proportion, which as near as I can tell does not allow infinity as the denominator.
Quote:
No one is talking about that - the whole point is that the environmental effects are selective, affecting some trait combinations more than others. An environmental pressure that acts on a whole population equally obviously will not result in evolution.
That is my point. You spoke of rocks in a streambed. It is precisely this of which you spoke, and it was your example of "selection."
Quote:
That's not my argument. You've resorted to building strawmen.
You stated that rounding of rocks in a streambed was an example of selection. That is not a strawman; it is your statement. If it fits the definition of blanket effect, it does little good to accuse me of building strawmen when you are the holder of the incorrect analogy "bag" as it were.
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Old 21st November 2005, 11:48 AM   #680
Melendwyr
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Originally Posted by BillHoyt View Post
In fact, Darwin's original meaning has been NARROWED over the decades.
In the field of biology, which has developed more specialized terms to discuss the kinds of selection that take place within populations of organisms.

'Confused evolution and natural selection'? Did you even read my previous posts?
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