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Author Topic:   natural selection is wrong
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4866 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 1 of 276 (110089)
05-24-2004 6:06 AM


http://www.philosophy.ubc.ca/faculty/matthen/...
{Shortened display form of URL, to restore page width to normal - Adminnemooseus}

Basicly the paper referenced argues that lightningstrikes, or events which are equally likely to happen to each variant, should be understood to be part of the operation of natural selection, and that to separate these kinds of events from the operation of natural selection is against the rules which are known to apply in physics.

It then concludes with a formulation of natural selection which equates population evolution with selection, as differential retention of variation.

But there is another formulation that becomes possible if you allow lightningstrikes to be part of selection theory. If lightningstrikes are part of selection, then there is no logical requirement anymore for variation in the formulation of selection. The inclusion of variation in the theory is then simply on the basis of the observation that there is a lot of variation about, and not a neccessary part of the logical argument of selection. Where before the variation played the role of corresponding to a difference in likelyhood to reproduce, which was the core of Darwinist logic, now variation doesn't neccessarily correspond to differences in likelyhood to reproduce.

So I propose that selection should basicly be defined as the relationship of the organism to the environment in terms of reproduction, and evolution defined as reproduction with modification.

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 05-24-2004 11:27 AM


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AdminNosy
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Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 276 (110122)
05-24-2004 10:53 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1381 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 3 of 276 (110127)
05-24-2004 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Syamsu
05-24-2004 6:06 AM


Seems to me like the kind of wonky thinking one expects from a philosophy department.

Do you include lightning strikes in a theory related to the motion of balls along a plane? No, of course you don't. That's not to say they won't happen, just that they're not what your dealing with.

Natural selection is not the whole of evolution and it's path is often altered by events outside of it's scope - most famously by a bloody great asteroid hitting the earth. Natural selection is a description of the driving mechanism - and it's the one that we're interested in because it is capable of explaining the emergence of apparent design, of complexity and of ecological fitness. Lightning strikes are not included because they have no explanatory power.


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mark24
Member (Idle past 4471 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 4 of 276 (110130)
05-24-2004 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Dr Jack
05-24-2004 11:24 AM


Mr Jack,

Lightning strikes aren't included is a part of natural selection because they aren't selective.

Mark


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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1381 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 5 of 276 (110132)
05-24-2004 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by mark24
05-24-2004 11:39 AM


Sure they are - they select organisms into two groups: those struck by lightning, and those not.

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mark24
Member (Idle past 4471 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 6 of 276 (110135)
05-24-2004 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Jack
05-24-2004 11:50 AM


Mr Jack,

I presume you are being facetious?


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't

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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1381 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 7 of 276 (110141)
05-24-2004 12:12 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by mark24
05-24-2004 11:56 AM


No, actually I'm not.

There are an awful lot of potential classes for selection, we ignore them in natural selection because random processes are not useful in explaining biological diversity, not because they don't select.


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mogur
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 276 (110146)
05-24-2004 12:19 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Syamsu
05-24-2004 6:06 AM


That's just silly. The fact that non-selective factors can influence the selective theory has always been part of selective dynamics. In fact, non-selective (random) mutations are the cornerstone of selective theory. You have always had the option of assuming complete non-variance as the basis of evolution. There never was a logical barrier to such an hypothesis, that this article now 'permits' you to assume. Your problem, however, is to show that your non-variance hypothesis is a better model of reality, by both matching observational and predictive evidence more closely than currently accepted models. Take for example, a situation where you and I bet on roulette such that you win every time the number 17 occurs, and I win whenever any other number occurs, at even odds. The influence of non-selective factors such as lightning, drive-by shootings, and spontaneous combustion will be strong influences on the outcome of any one gambling session, but their influence is greatly minimized when considering their rarity in a senario that involves many such sessions. But to include their influence in an hypothesis that tries to refine the dynamics of this example, does not give one license to disregard the variance of the stacked odds. But your opinion may vary. Wanna bet?

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mark24
Member (Idle past 4471 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 9 of 276 (110147)
05-24-2004 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Dr Jack
05-24-2004 12:12 PM


Mr Jack,

No, actually I'm not.

There are an awful lot of potential classes for selection, we ignore them in natural selection because random processes are not useful in explaining biological diversity, not because they don't select.

Either the species whose individuals are being struck by lightning possess variants that are able to better resist lightning, or they don't. It is implicit that the article is using the lightning as an indiscriminate culler. Given that the population posesses no variation that can be selected for or against from the organisms point of view, then no adaptive evolution can occur; therefore no selection occurs.

I do concede that random culling can change the allele frequency within a population, however, but I put it to you that this is better described as genetic or neutral drift, rather than natural selection, since the alteration of allele frequency has nought to do with the alleles themselves.

Mark

This message has been edited by mark24, 05-24-2004 11:27 AM


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't

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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1381 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 10 of 276 (110151)
05-24-2004 12:44 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by mark24
05-24-2004 12:25 PM


Either the species whose individuals are being struck by lightning possess variants that are able to better resist lightning, or they don't. It is implicit that the article is using the lightning as an indiscriminate culler. Given that the population posesses no variation that can be selected for or against from the organisms point of view, then no adaptive evolution can occur; therefore no selection occurs.

Yup. That's why it isn't part of Natural Selection. However there is still selection, it just isn't selection affected by the alleles.

I do concede that random culling can change the allele frequency within a population, however, but I put it to you that this is better described as genetic or neutral drift, rather than natural selection, since the alteration of allele frequency has nought to do with the alleles themselves.

I agree. The idea is stupid.


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 743 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 11 of 276 (110181)
05-24-2004 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Syamsu
05-24-2004 6:06 AM


Where before the variation played the role of corresponding to a difference in likelyhood to reproduce, which was the core of Darwinist logic, now variation doesn't neccessarily correspond to differences in likelyhood to reproduce.

You can't talk about selection without talking about variation. If all organisms are the same, then there's no selection - there's no choice if all the choices are the same.

Once again, Syamsu presents his argument, and once again, we see it's as pointless as ever.


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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 4309 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 12 of 276 (110205)
05-24-2004 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Syamsu
05-24-2004 6:06 AM


That makes sense if it was a consensus opinion but if there is found some relative freqeuncy need to have selection results apportioned across levels of magnitude (lighting tends to strick certain objects within a given size range etc) then incorporation you suggest may need modification but that is not against your logic. I did not really get much futher than the isolation of predictive fitness in the article as it seems undefined just what the SIZE of any parts such numerically there MIGHT be. That is why it would be some time before your idea would be a consensus if it could. I did not read to the point of it being against natural laws but recently I have been reading IN PHYSICS (not biology) and I am suprised how lightly physicts use language to try to get their own partisan points of view across. Langauge seems more precise to me in the better biologists but maybe its just that I know that better.

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Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4866 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 13 of 276 (110325)
05-25-2004 4:13 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Syamsu
05-24-2004 6:06 AM


The supposed fault in natural selection, supposedly leads to illegitimate teleology. (obviously this tends to validate my longstanding argument that a fault in natural selection facillitates ideology being derived from it, because teleology facilitates ideology rather well). Faults of teleology in science are never small faults IMO. This paper can't be just dismissed if you would care about the validity of natural selection theory.

"The idea is that if natural selection were to act on its own, it would achieve optima. Evolution does not always produce optima, however, because natural selection is opposed by constraints.

But this is an illegitimately teleological way of conceptualizing the action of natural selection,"

"So in fact, it is not at all clear that any sense can be made of the idea of natural selection acting as an isolated force, if this means “without the intrusion of constraints.” (We’ll return to this point in the next section.) What we have here, therefore, is a violation of the Newtonian idea that if an effect is to be analysed in terms of two forces acting together, then a vector value has to be assigned to each acting independently."

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu


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Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4866 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 14 of 276 (110326)
05-25-2004 4:30 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by crashfrog
05-24-2004 3:09 PM


But the choices in selection are reproduction and no reproduction, my argument is as clear as ever, but the point of selection and fitness not understood. Fitness depends on the structure of the organism on the one hand, and the structure of the environment on the other. It is not something that arises solely out of the structure of the organism. Given the parameters there are 4 possible results in a standard natural selection theory scenario of 2 variants, not 2 as you imply with choice.

A-B+
A+B+
A-B-
A+B-

The standard theory has too many choices, rather then that the cut down theory has nothing to choose.

regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message has been edited by Syamsu, 05-25-2004 03:32 AM


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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 743 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 15 of 276 (110327)
05-25-2004 4:37 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Syamsu
05-25-2004 4:30 AM


But the choices in selection are reproduction and no reproduction

Right, and the determining factor, besides luck, is how long they were able to survive.

Individuals with different abilities survive for differing periods of time. Some don't survive long enough to reproduce, but others do, because they have some biological edge.

But if you ignore that variation between individuals, then you're forced to consider each individual identical - an entire species of clones. If each individual is identical, then selection doesn't matter - the same genes get passed on no matter who lives or dies.

This is just lunacy. Variation is a part of natural selection because variation is a part of life. You can't just ignore it - variation is real. If you try to take out variation, then you're left with a theory that ceases to model reality.


This message is a reply to:
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