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Author Topic:   Evolution Logic
dorkfrommarn
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 302 (313444)
05-19-2006 6:18 AM


First of all sorry if I put this in the wrong folder.

Anyway one time I was trying to put evolution in a logical perspective. Well I was wondering why we evolve in the first place. I could think of a couple answers. They were: need, curiosity, and want for perfection, which is sort of falls into the second category.

Just to be clear I want to make the distinction between microevolution and macro. microevolution can be seen in the difference between a different culture (often, but less and less as time goes on). It is defined as the changes between two animals of the same species based on different situations.

Anyway, lets assume that we do it by need. Quickly you see that microevolution can take care of most of the changes we are likely to encounter i.e. climate change. But lets say that there is something that it cant take care of, lets say a flood. We wouldn't be able to get gills fast enough before we drowned.

I am going to discuss the last two at the same time since I have the same argument. Lets say we were driven by one of them, both of them are driven by our brain and first when we were single cells we wouldn't be able to have curiosity and besides our consciousness cannot control the DNA. Another problem with the perfection angle is that suppose that some little part of us knows what would be better and changes us that way. How is a single celled being not as genetically good or better than us since it is more adaptable. And assuming that we are better there would be no other living thing besides us.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Modulous, posted 05-20-2006 9:50 AM dorkfrommarn has responded
 Message 4 by Chronos, posted 05-20-2006 10:29 AM dorkfrommarn has not yet responded

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Message 2 of 302 (313830)
05-20-2006 8:28 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Modulous
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From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
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Message 3 of 302 (313852)
05-20-2006 9:50 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by dorkfrommarn
05-19-2006 6:18 AM


Need, want or curiosity
Let's see if I can't help answer your questions.

Anyway, lets assume that we do it by need. Quickly you see that microevolution can take care of most of the changes we are likely to encounter i.e. climate change. But lets say that there is something that it cant take care of, lets say a flood. We wouldn't be able to get gills fast enough before we drowned.

The answer is 'need' but not necessarily in a way you might think (or maybe I'm wrong). It is 'need' in a similar way that 1 + 0.5 + 0.25 + 0.125 + ... will tend towards '2'. It's a mathematical thing (only its based around probabilities).

A simple model:
If we have an environment that can sustain 100 adults and each adult can give birth to 3 infants before it dies (perhaps they are asexual). Every generation then there are 300 adolescents who are vying to be one of the 100 reproductive adults.

If anyone of these adolescents has an advantage that means it is either more likely to survive to reproduce (ie be in the top 100), or has an advantage that means it (on average) gives birth to 3.1 infants, will by definition be a set of genes that is likely to reproduce, perhaps more than its competitors. Conversely 'bad' genes are likely to fall into the bottom 200 'losers'.

If this kind of set up existed, then it is pretty much inevitable that the organisms will find an 'equilibrium' point to hover around where any change is going to be harmful. They will stay around this equilibrium point (in a 'stasis' of sorts) until something happens to shift what makes the genes bad or good (for example an ice age coming to a tropical zone means that thick fur becomes much more 'good' than it used to be). At this point the equilibrium point shifts and the population starts to undergo relatively rapid change until finds the new equilibrium point.

And so on and so forth. Naturally this model is a simplification and I'm assuming certain things about your knowledge of evolution. If you aren't happy with some elements, let me know.

Naturally the other options 'curiosity and want' are falsified for reasons you outlined.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by dorkfrommarn, posted 05-19-2006 6:18 AM dorkfrommarn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by dorkfrommarn, posted 05-20-2006 12:09 PM Modulous has responded

Chronos
Member (Idle past 4004 days)
Posts: 102
From: Macomb, Mi, USA
Joined: 10-23-2005


Message 4 of 302 (313860)
05-20-2006 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by dorkfrommarn
05-19-2006 6:18 AM


Anyway one time I was trying to put evolution in a logical perspective. Well I was wondering why we evolve in the first place. I could think of a couple answers. They were: need, curiosity, and want for perfection, which is sort of falls into the second category.

Evolution occurs because lifeforms are imperfect replicators who sometimes die before they can reproduce.

There is no 'need' for evolution, it's just something that occurs.

Evolution acts on pupulations, which have no desires or curiosities.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by dorkfrommarn, posted 05-19-2006 6:18 AM dorkfrommarn has not yet responded

dorkfrommarn
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 302 (313891)
05-20-2006 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Modulous
05-20-2006 9:50 AM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
Modulous,

Just to make sure I understand you.
what you meant was, when the climate is cold, generation by generation they will get more fur by survival of the fittest, which (in your example) is microevolution. Also you were talking about microevolution*, and I was wondering about macro. I would appreciate an example of macroevolution like the above one, thanks. Lastly I'm not sure I understand your very first paragraph

The answer is 'need' but not necessarily in a way you might think (or maybe I'm wrong). It is 'need' in a similar way that 1 + 0.5 + 0.25 + 0.125 + ... will tend towards '2'. It's a mathematical thing (only its based around probabilities).

Chronos,
Are you saying that evolution occurs for no reason?
__

since we have at least a small amount of fur on almost every part of our body*

Edited by dorkfrommarn, : Including Chronos

Edited by dorkfrommarn, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Modulous, posted 05-20-2006 9:50 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by ramoss, posted 05-20-2006 3:05 PM dorkfrommarn has responded
 Message 13 by Chronos, posted 05-21-2006 10:02 AM dorkfrommarn has not yet responded
 Message 15 by Modulous, posted 05-21-2006 10:51 AM dorkfrommarn has not yet responded

ramoss
Member
Posts: 3076
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 6 of 302 (313916)
05-20-2006 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by dorkfrommarn
05-20-2006 12:09 PM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
The difference between 'micro evoluiton' and 'macro-evolution' is the number of steps. The way evolution works is through many many small steps.

If there is enough small steps, the change between the 'ancestors' and the 'decendants' is enough to make them new species.

After all. you can not walk from Istanbul to Bagdad in a single step. It takes many many steps, but eventually, you go from one country to another.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by dorkfrommarn, posted 05-20-2006 12:09 PM dorkfrommarn has responded

Replies to this message:
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dorkfrommarn
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 302 (313932)
05-20-2006 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ramoss
05-20-2006 3:05 PM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
yes but would you walk from Istanbul to Bagdad for no reason?
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 9 by jar, posted 05-20-2006 5:05 PM dorkfrommarn has responded

Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5323
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 8 of 302 (313935)
05-20-2006 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by dorkfrommarn
05-20-2006 3:36 PM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
yes but would you walk from Istanbul to Bagdad for no reason?

It's an analogy, dorkfrommarn. If the weather gradually kept getting colder and colder at Istanbul, do you think perhaps a family of foxes there might walk a little to the east - enough so that they denned up in slightly less severe winters every year? Over 500 generations, might they not be to Baghdad?


This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30368
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 9 of 302 (313960)
05-20-2006 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by dorkfrommarn
05-20-2006 3:36 PM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
I would say that right now there is no sign that there is a reason in evolution. The walker is not heading for Bagdad, that's just where he happens to end up.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by dorkfrommarn, posted 05-20-2006 3:36 PM dorkfrommarn has responded

Replies to this message:
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dorkfrommarn
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 302 (313969)
05-20-2006 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
05-20-2006 5:05 PM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
Coragyps,
I understand that, I was just saying that there being no reason for evolution happening really doesn't fit in. I'm just wondering if someone could present a situation in which macroevolution would be better than micro yet still have enough time to work.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Belfry, posted 05-20-2006 6:30 PM dorkfrommarn has responded

Belfry
Member (Idle past 2864 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 11 of 302 (313970)
05-20-2006 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by dorkfrommarn
05-20-2006 6:26 PM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
dorkfrommarn writes:

I'm just wondering if someone could present a situation in which macroevolution would be better than micro yet still have enough time to work.

Your question doesn't make sense, dork. Micro- and Macro-evolution are not different types of evolution, such that you could choose one or another. Macroevolution results from an accumulation of microevolutionary changes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by dorkfrommarn, posted 05-20-2006 6:26 PM dorkfrommarn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by dorkfrommarn, posted 05-21-2006 9:40 AM Belfry has not yet responded

dorkfrommarn
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 302 (314107)
05-21-2006 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Belfry
05-20-2006 6:30 PM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
Macro is a change outside of species, micro is change within. Although microevolution is a component part of macro, which goes out of species. When I speak of micro I am talking about below species level. So I am asking about a situation where changing from one species to another would benefit better than in-species yet still allow enough time for it to work
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Replies to this message:
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Chronos
Member (Idle past 4004 days)
Posts: 102
From: Macomb, Mi, USA
Joined: 10-23-2005


Message 13 of 302 (314110)
05-21-2006 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by dorkfrommarn
05-20-2006 12:09 PM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
Chronos,
Are you saying that evolution occurs for no reason?

No, I gave the reasons why evolution occurs.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by dorkfrommarn, posted 05-20-2006 12:09 PM dorkfrommarn has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Chronos
Member (Idle past 4004 days)
Posts: 102
From: Macomb, Mi, USA
Joined: 10-23-2005


Message 14 of 302 (314112)
05-21-2006 10:12 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by dorkfrommarn
05-21-2006 9:40 AM


Re: Need, want or curiosity
So I am asking about a situation where changing from one species to another would benefit better than in-species yet still allow enough time for it to work

All that will happen from one generation to another are small changes. You're never going to see a "horse giving birth to a duck" type situation. If an isolated group of beavers that live in a cold environment are more likely to survive with thick fur and develop thick coats over a few thousand generations, we might classify them as a new species.

For the record, scientists have documented quite a few (at least several hundred) instances of speciation/macroevolution occuring.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by dorkfrommarn, posted 05-21-2006 9:40 AM dorkfrommarn has not yet responded

Modulous
Member
Posts: 7745
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 15 of 302 (314118)
05-21-2006 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by dorkfrommarn
05-20-2006 12:09 PM


Microevolution is discussed for simplicity, not for deception
what you meant was, when the climate is cold, generation by generation they will get more fur by survival of the fittest, which (in your example) is microevolution. Also you were talking about microevolution*, and I was wondering about macro

I'm afraid it needs a little more thinking about than that. Would that it was so straightforward. Any property change that happens to a single characteristic could be described as microevolution. Macroevolution is simply the result of property changes to multiple characteristics (the exact number is arbitrary and basically subjective). It makes simple dialogue cluttered to talk in such terms, so we concentrate on a single characteristic.

That is why I stressed in my post that the model I was using for illustrative purposes was simple.

The central theme of my post was aimed towards the concept of equilibrium points and stasis. When the environment changes from tropical conditions to ice age conditions, you can bet that more than a single characteristic's equilibrium point will shift. Indeed, if you want to talk in more depth we can start talking about balanced scales in many many dimensional space, but that is getting ahead of ourselves.

We can see that it isn't just the equilibrium point for fur length that might change - but also for colouring, metabolism, body weight, eye sight, hearing, digestive system, circulatory system, surface area, reproductive behaviour, hunting/foraging behaviour and so on and so forth. There is another subtle thing to consider here, when all the organisms in the area start to change because of the climate, their environment changes too (because the 'landscape' of their competitors changes). This means that when equilibrium points shift it tends to be dramatic, a form of feedback can begin akin to an arms race.

It gets doubly subtle when we start considering genes as the unit of selection, since now we see that their environment changes massively during these times.

Are you saying that evolution occurs for no reason?

As far as we know it happens for no more reason that things fall when we drop them. Some people believe there is a reason for evolution, but that is belief.

Edited by Modulous, : Ridding the world of redundancies one step at a time. Also, deleted a repeated point because it was redundant.


This message is a reply to:
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