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Author Topic:   Doesn't Natural Selection lead to Specified Complexity?
PaulK
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Joined: 01-10-2003
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Message 52 of 138 (616088)
05-19-2011 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Peter
05-19-2011 6:47 AM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
quote:

My understanding is that 'drift' referes to the change in gene distribution in a population which is not associated with any selective pressure

That would seem to be purely about the random mutations.


Although you offer a correct definition it is obvious that you do NOT understand it. Nobody who understood it could say that it is "purely about the random mutations". It must be about how those mutations spread through a population - or decline to extinction. Or do you imagine that a neutral mutation becomes fixed by independently occurring in so many individuals that it takes over the population?

quote:

It's more to do with the prevelance of a specific, nuetral change than aything else. So it isn't a process.

Why not ?

quote:

There is no such thing a as a freak accident -- there are situations for which the number of variables are so vast, with such complicated interactions that we are unable to comprehend them.

Perhaps instead of making assertions apparently based on nothing more than your own, personal idiosyncratic definitions you might try to discuss matters more reasonably.

quote:

I can see drift as a function of genetic mutation, but not as a process which relates environment to genetic mutation.

And, as shown above the way you see drift is wrong, as shown by the definition you, yourself offered.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Peter, posted 05-19-2011 6:47 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Peter, posted 05-20-2011 6:16 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 54 of 138 (616195)
05-20-2011 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Peter
05-20-2011 6:16 AM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
quote:

At the top of your post you said I defined drift correctly, and at the bottom you said I defined it incorrectly.

That is untrue. I said that you offered a correct definition but utterly failed to understand it. And I explained the error in your understanding, too. Did you actually bother to read my post ?

quote:

If the mutations are neutral wrt environment, then they can ONLY become fixed due to prevalence OR being co-present with selectable mutations.

If by "prevalence" you mean "being very common" then it's sort of redundant - and doesn't deal with HOW that mutant form becomes prevalent. If you mean something else, then you need to explain it.

The real point is that there are "chance" variations in gene distribution and they can and do add up to fixation on a regular basis.

quote:

Niether situation represents a process (i.e. a set of defined steps and/or functions -- or is that an incorrect definition of process).

I think that you are trying to use the wrong definition. And - at the level you appear to want to use, even natural selection wouldn't qualify for your definition. You certainly can't break it down to events in individual lives and still have well-defined steps.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Peter, posted 05-20-2011 6:16 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Peter, posted 05-23-2011 5:21 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 59 of 138 (616587)
05-23-2011 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Peter
05-23-2011 5:21 AM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
quote:

A mutation can become prevalent in a population for one of two reasons:
1) the mutation itself is in some-way preferred (maybe there is a predisposition towards a certain type of 'error' in some genes). Not saying there is, just saying that's a possible cause.

2) the mutation occurs in indivdiuals who also have a beneficial mutation.

I DID read your post, there was just very little in it.


Yet you obviously missed the point that there is a third way - some genes just spread by "chance". Which, when the numbers are considered, is far more likely in most cases than the idea that a mutation occurs fixation by occurring independently enough times to take over the population (your first suggestion),

quote:

At a very high level one could draw a flow-chart for natural selection.

At no level could you describe drift as any kind of sequence or logic.


Sure you could, at a high enough level. The only difference between drift and selection is that drift occurs more slowly because it relies on pure "chance" rather than biased "chance".

quote:

So: I asked for you to define drift -- you have basically accepted my definition, but stated that I don't understand my own definition of drift. A definition which, by definition, defines the way I think about drift.

And yet it does not. The way that you think about drift - the two choices you list above - is NOT inherent in the definition.

quote:

Ignore drift ... since it is not a filter and therefore not relevant to my OP.

THe problem is that you wanted to portray natural selection as deterministic. And yet it is not so in a simple way - there are many factors affecting the outcome which are independent of selection. They are modeled as chance events because they ARE independent of selection. And so you chose to incorporate such events by appealing to universal determinism. And yet these events are the events which cause drift (certainly when acting against selection, and I would say even when acting with it).

quote:

Ignore determinism. You don't agree with my position on that, that's OK. I simply have a 'not playing dice with the universe' kind-of attitude.

That's not the issue. It's the inconsistency in your views that is the problem. You can't appeal to universal determinism to make natural selection deterministic without doing exactly the same to drift - and making drift equivalent to selection (since some drift is INCLUDED in your natural selection).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Peter, posted 05-23-2011 5:21 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 5:41 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 63 of 138 (616943)
05-25-2011 8:15 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Peter
05-25-2011 5:41 AM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
quote:

I think you are confusing natural selection with evolution as a whole.

I see no reason for you to think that.

quote:

Since I am interested in the specifying capability of natural selection, and since drift can be viewed as 'chance' then for the purposes of THIS discussion we can neglect drift.

You went beyond that with your claim that natural selection was deterministic, which required you to mix drift in with natural selection. That made it relevant.

quote:

Check back -- an answer you gave to one of my questions means that you acknowledge the determinism of natural selection

More correctly the determinism of natural selection plus drift....

quote:

Your third option for drift being 'purely by chance' is insufficient for explanation.

If a particular mutation becomes prevalent then there WILL be a reason for that.


Essentially the reason is the statistical inevitability that SOME neutral mutations will eventually achieve fixation, while most vanish. Simply calling it "insufficient" is like arguing that the lottery is rigged because nobody could win by "chance".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 5:41 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 2:44 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 66 of 138 (617198)
05-26-2011 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Peter
05-26-2011 2:44 PM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
quote:

It is the determinism of NS that makes the difference in evolution.

Again, NS is better conceived as a statistical bias than inevitable determinism, for the reasons I have already explained,

quote:

Given the SAME set of mutations, but a different set of selective pressures the result will be different -- regardless of drift.

Not necessarily. It is very unlikely, but drift could in principle produce the same outcome. How unlikely depends on the relationship between the mutations and the selective pressures.

quote:

I don't remember mixing drift in with NS -- I added it as a kind of offset.

You do it implicitly every time you say that NS is deterministic - and when you defined the environment to include ALL events, even those which have no selective effect.

quote:

Why is it a statistical inevitability that some non-selectable mutations will become fixed?

Dr. Adequate has already explained it. See Message 62 above.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 2:44 PM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 3:01 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 68 of 138 (617202)
05-26-2011 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by Peter
05-26-2011 3:01 PM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
quote:

If drift could cause the same outcome, despite selective pressure then natural selection is a non-starter as an explanation for diversification in biological systems.

You're wrong again. Just because drift COULD explain it, it doesn't mean that drift is a good explanation. Drift is not a good explanation for adaptions (but it is a warning against assuming that a feature is an adaption). We need selection to adequately explain what we observe, because drift is just too damned unlikely to come up with anything useful.

quote:

I cannot implicitly include drift in natural selection while I am explicitly excluding it.

Indeed, you should not. That is why I object to you doing so.

quote:

I have also said that I segregate genetic mutation from all other events -- thus they are not included in my concept of environment -- they are included in my concept of genetic mutation.

I strongly suggest that you drop the idea of mutations directly causing drift to any significant extent - it's been explained to you why that is wrong often enough, by myself and Dr. Adequate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 3:01 PM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Percy, posted 05-26-2011 7:29 PM PaulK has replied
 Message 76 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 10:00 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 70 of 138 (617263)
05-27-2011 1:39 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by Percy
05-26-2011 7:29 PM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
Percy, the appearance of mutations is required for drift. The spread of those mutations, however is controlled more by reproductive success rather than the same mutation independently occurring again and again.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Percy, posted 05-26-2011 7:29 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Percy, posted 05-27-2011 7:56 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 72 of 138 (617284)
05-27-2011 8:26 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by Percy
05-27-2011 7:56 AM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
I think if you look back over the posts it should be very clear that I'm talking about the spread (or decline) of mutations after they appear. Just as with selection, mutations are the driver, but not the immediate cause of the actual frequency change (which is differential reproductive success).

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 Message 71 by Percy, posted 05-27-2011 7:56 AM Percy has seen this message

  
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 79 of 138 (619294)
06-09-2011 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by Peter
06-09-2011 10:00 AM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
It's still very unclear what is intended to be new text. What is clear is that this is another attempt to obscure the fact that you lumped drift and selection together, in your attempt to paint natural selection as deterministic.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 10:00 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 11:55 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 81 of 138 (619327)
06-09-2011 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by Peter
06-09-2011 11:55 AM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
quote:

Please show me how I lumped drift and natural selection together when my psuedo code specifcally separates them.

As I have already explained it was when you defined the environment as every event that occurs. And your more recent post has nothing to do with it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 11:55 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Peter, posted 06-10-2011 6:29 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 83 of 138 (619522)
06-10-2011 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by Peter
06-10-2011 6:29 AM


Re: So: 'If it was designed intelligently then it is the product of intelligent design.'
quote:

I posit natural selection as a function of environment and gene distribution and drift as a function solely of gene distribution.

Then you are still wrong about drift. Drift is every CHANGE in gene distribution, not accounted for by selection. It is not predictable from gene distribution alone, even in principle.

quote:

That the environment includes everything that happens was intended to mean at the same level of abstraction as 'population'.

The full definition specified "complete and fully detailed", which cuts against that idea.

quote:

And I still don't really see what that disagreement has to do with the concept of natural selection generating specified complexity.

Then why don't you believe me when I say that it is about your determination to portray natural selection as deterministic instead ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Peter, posted 06-10-2011 6:29 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by Peter, posted 06-13-2011 10:33 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 87 of 138 (619726)
06-11-2011 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by SavageD
06-11-2011 4:38 PM


Re: Doesn't Natural Selection lead to Specified Complexity?
As I said in message 3 it really depends on your definition of Specified Complexity. Using Dembski's idiosyncratic definition of complexity, the answer is probably not. But there is no doubt that, given the possibility of increases in complexity, natural selection will guide these in ways that would be considered to have a valid specification according to Dembski.

So, with a more normal concept of complexity there is no reasonable doubt that natural selection could produce specified complexity.


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 Message 85 by SavageD, posted 06-11-2011 4:38 PM SavageD has taken no action

  
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 93 of 138 (619758)
06-12-2011 5:13 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by SavageD
06-11-2011 7:28 PM


A call for clarity
Your post seems very unclear about the concept of specified complexity.

Under Dembski's definition "specified" means that the thing in question has a more "interesting" description than a simple listing of parts and relationships. e.g. A list of the lottery numbers is not specified in itself. You winning the lottery would be and if the last five winners of the lottery were friends with a director of the company running the lottery, that would definitelybe interesting.

Any system that performs a useful function qualifies as specified under this definition, because performing that function is a suitable description.

Complexity is a bit different in that Dembski's definition is odd. To Dembski, a thing is "complex" if and only if it is incredibly unlikely that anything other than intentional design could produce it. Naturally, that includes evolution (i.e. you can't show that something actually is complex by Dembski's definition unless you can show that it could not have evolved - which is the wrong way round for the argument you want to make)

I hope that the ordinary definition of "complex" is well understood enough that it needs no discussion.

Is all that clear ? Can you explain the definition that you are using ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by SavageD, posted 06-11-2011 7:28 PM SavageD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by SavageD, posted 06-12-2011 10:20 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 102 of 138 (619794)
06-12-2011 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by SavageD
06-12-2011 10:20 AM


Re: A call for clarity
So basically you are just talking about complex, functional systems. Well that's OK, but you still need more than that to establish design.

One thing to consider. Iterative change is pretty good at producing complexity - in fact a designer using that approach has to work hard to avoid unnecessary complexity. So, it seems to me that a process of iterative change unguided by intelligent design would be more prone to producing complexity than a designer using iterative change - while a designer starting from scratch each time would produce even simpler designs.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by SavageD, posted 06-12-2011 10:20 AM SavageD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by SavageD, posted 06-12-2011 12:45 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 105 of 138 (619797)
06-12-2011 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by SavageD
06-12-2011 12:45 PM


Re: A call for clarity
You may not have explicitly used the word but it is pretty clearly what you mean.

Iterative change is simply a process of continually adding changes. It's normal with software sold as a product. Think of all the changes Windows has gone through - the same for Internet Explorer or Firefox, or whichever browser you use. But it's also the way evolution works. Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker is pretty good on this point.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by SavageD, posted 06-12-2011 12:45 PM SavageD has replied

Replies to this message:
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