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Author Topic:   Evolution of Altruism
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1710 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 76 of 103 (586810)
10-15-2010 12:10 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Modulous
10-11-2010 12:12 AM


You asked me, "how this first mutation started", I answered 'the evidence suggests that it would likely have started as a copying error in a germ line cell'. I appreciate this didn't answer whatever question you were trying to ask, but it did answer the question you actually asked. I was hoping you'd take the hint and word your question more precisely so as I can understand exactly what you are asking.

I think I was being precise enough, in that I was asking if you actually DO believe that altruism evolved as a genetic mutation to an exiting gene then what is a rough picture of how you see this happening.

If you are now saying that you don't necessarily have an opinion about whether or not it arose in the simple Darwinian fashion that others are suggesting, but were simply pointing out that kin selection works mathematically if we are only looking at it that way, but not necessarily logically, fair enough.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Modulous, posted 10-11-2010 12:12 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by Modulous, posted 10-15-2010 2:47 AM Bolder-dash has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 777 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 77 of 103 (586812)
10-15-2010 12:34 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by Bolder-dash
10-15-2010 12:04 AM


Hi, Bolder-dash.

Bolder-dash writes:

Don't you first need to show that altruism did in fact evolve, before you can begin to speculate wildly on how?

Um... no. That was what my post just said. Do you want to just keep going back and forth, repeating this?

Look, we've been asked to speculate, to tell stories that make sense. In science, this step comes before the "demonstration" step. This is so we have an idea of what to demonstrate before we try to demonstrate it.

Doesn't that make sense?


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 12:04 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
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Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 78 of 103 (586820)
10-15-2010 2:08 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by Bolder-dash
10-14-2010 11:56 PM


Bolder-dash writes:

I suspect we weren't hunter gatherers for much longer than we were waring pillagers, or wine drinking sports fans.

I'm not sure exactly what you are saying would be coming before hunter-gatherers, as the only other option that comes to mind is starvation. It seems appropriate to think that prior to the rise of civilization all our ancestors human or otherwise were probably hunter-gatherers, scavengers, or something of the like.

The point I was getting at is that the origins of some of our basic behaviors need not have originated with humans at all. After all, evolutionarily the vast majority of ourselves are other species.

For instance, lets suppose that we have a 95% genetic similarity to our progenitor ape ancestors. If we can see apes sacrificing themselves to protect their ape family members, why should we assume that the soldier who leaps on a grenade to save a fellow soldier far genetically removed gets that behavior from their 5% human DNA? It could very well have developed with fish for example and just hung around thereafter.

But to summarize some of the points made in this thread already:

We have not established that altruism is selected for, mainly due to a rather fuzzy definition of altruism itself. Are bees altruistic by having stingers and the will to use them? If it is a genetic imperative, does it stop being altruism? Is an instinct for mutual defense that happens to get someone killed altruism?

Until we can adequately describe altruism the question isn't really able to be addressed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-14-2010 11:56 PM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Wounded King, posted 10-15-2010 3:13 AM Phage0070 has responded
 Message 84 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 3:42 AM Phage0070 has responded

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1710 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 79 of 103 (586825)
10-15-2010 2:38 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Blue Jay
10-15-2010 12:34 AM


Look, we've been asked to speculate, to tell stories that make sense.

Yes, and so those stories also need to attempt to make some make clear account scientifically for how it all could have started, from the beginning when no altruism existed in some organisms. Without that none of it can possibly make sense.

I am not opposed to the speculation, as long as it has some scientific merit to it. I am opposed to just glossing over the hard to reconcile problems of finding a heritable cause of altruism, and showing how that could arise through some kind of unguided mutation. If you start off just assuming this, and forget about how that could be, the whole discussion of "evolution of altruism" is weak.

Go ahead, speculate. Speculate how Darwinian evolution begins such a trait. That is exactly what I asked modulous to do, but he declined.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Blue Jay, posted 10-15-2010 12:34 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 184 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 80 of 103 (586827)
10-15-2010 2:47 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by Bolder-dash
10-15-2010 12:10 AM


I think I was being precise enough, in that I was asking if you actually DO believe that altruism evolved as a genetic mutation to an exiting gene then what is a rough picture of how you see this happening.

I'm glad we cleared up that I don't accept that the picture is so simple as that.

If you are now saying that you don't necessarily have an opinion about whether or not it arose in the simple Darwinian fashion that others are suggesting, but were simply pointing out that kin selection works mathematically if we are only looking at it that way, but not necessarily logically, fair enough.

Are you saying that mathematics is not logical?

Odd.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 12:10 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 3:16 AM Modulous has responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2174 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 81 of 103 (586829)
10-15-2010 3:13 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by Phage0070
10-15-2010 2:08 AM


Are bees altruistic by having stingers and the will to use them?

Many Bees, especially honey Bes, are a quite unusual case since they are eusocial and have a very restricted mating setup and atypical genetics. Those stinging bees in such a case will be workers that would never have offspring anyway and are more closely related genetically to their true sisters than would be the case in normal diploid species.

TTFN,

WK

Edited by Wounded King, : *ABE* corrected confused sentence about haplodiploid genetics.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Phage0070, posted 10-15-2010 2:08 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Phage0070, posted 10-15-2010 3:21 AM Wounded King has responded

    
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1710 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 82 of 103 (586831)
10-15-2010 3:16 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by Modulous
10-15-2010 2:47 AM


I'm glad we cleared up that I don't accept that the picture is so simple as that.

I hope that your intention in writing on a scientific forum is to do more than word play. I don't think there is anything clear at all about what you want to say-that seems to be your intention. Do you feel Darwinian evolution accounts for altruism or doesn't it? If you feel it does, can you explain in any clear fashion how you see that happening.

All you seem willing to do is just obfuscate the question with semantic silliness. Hello Kitty is also cute to some people I suppose, but equally void of meaning.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Modulous, posted 10-15-2010 2:47 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
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Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 83 of 103 (586833)
10-15-2010 3:21 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by Wounded King
10-15-2010 3:13 AM


Wounded King writes:

Many Bees, especially honey Bes, are a quite unusual case since they are eusocial and have a very restricted mating setup and atypical genetics.

Were you going to argue that humans are much more usual when compared to other animals?

On a more serious note, I don't really get your point. Are you suggesting that the bees understand that they are not going to have offspring and thus decide to die for the greater good? And to have suicide stingers?

It seems to me that if a species can develop self-sacrificing behaviors as beneficial to a group, then why not others?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Wounded King, posted 10-15-2010 3:13 AM Wounded King has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by Wounded King, posted 10-15-2010 4:50 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1710 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 84 of 103 (586835)
10-15-2010 3:42 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by Phage0070
10-15-2010 2:08 AM


I understood your point. If we are going to assume that altruism is a result of Darwinian evolution, there is no reason to assume it only began in the human lineage. Hunter-gathering is just one of the phases of man's lifestyle. The fact that it was probably the first phase doesn't really mean it would be more important evolutionarily than the 2nd phase or third phase, etc. But every time someone comes up with a human personality trait that they want to explain through evolution-you can guarantee the first thing they will say is..."well, but when we were hunter gatherers, it would have been an advantage to have the middle finger be slightly longer than the ring finger, because the middle finger was used for dislodging seeds from the Savannah grasslands..." Hunter-gathering is the magic explanation for everything.

So back to your point, if some are going to try to postulate altruism as going back all the way to fish or what have you, I think this requires a few loose ends of logic to be tied up as to how this could happen. I don't put a lot of stock in things like the Granny Magda models of well, it just arose independently a number of times in history and I guess stuck around because it was selected for. Not ubiquitous, and also not so rare.

Sounds like just more evolution talking points to me. Extremely unsubstantiated tales that all evolutionists just love to hang their hats on.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Phage0070, posted 10-15-2010 2:08 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Phage0070, posted 10-15-2010 3:55 AM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 88 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-15-2010 4:10 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded
 Message 91 by Granny Magda, posted 10-15-2010 4:30 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded
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Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 85 of 103 (586837)
10-15-2010 3:55 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by Bolder-dash
10-15-2010 3:42 AM


Bolder-dash writes:

Sounds like just more evolution talking points to me. Extremely unsubstantiated tales that all evolutionists just love to hang their hats on.

So basically you don't have an argument against it, you simply have a bias and contempt toward the entire field on which modern biology rests. Because of this you are going to rail against arguments that haven't been made and then conclude...

Well, what *is* your alternative explanation? Magic?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 3:42 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 4:05 AM Phage0070 has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16086
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 86 of 103 (586839)
10-15-2010 4:04 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by Bolder-dash
10-15-2010 12:04 AM


Don't you first need to show that altruism did in fact evolve, before you can begin to speculate wildly on how?

Not according to the question asked. We were required to produce explanations of a certain phenomenon within a certain paradigm.

If someone had instead asked: "Can you provide evidence showing beyond a shadow of possible doubt that altruism evolved and exactly how it did so", then the correct answer would have been "no".

Finally, I would point out that you are wrong to say "speculate wildly". We were asked to speculate within the evolutionary paradigm of well-understood and well-evidenced biological mechanisms such as natural selection and mutation and recombination and genetic drift.

That is not wild speculation.

To propose an explanation involving an unevidenced invisible man who performed unevidenced magic using unevidenced methods would be speculating wildly. But we were asked to speculate within the boundaries of known mechanisms.

This is not wild speculation any more than explaining why an apple fell from a tree is wild speculation. It did so according to the theory of gravity. How "wild" a "speculation" is that?

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 12:04 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1710 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 87 of 103 (586840)
10-15-2010 4:05 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by Phage0070
10-15-2010 3:55 AM


Well, what *is* your alternative explanation? Magic?

Well, speaking of evolutionist talking points!

I think that if my explanation were magic, it would be just as logical as the explanations put forth here.

And I certainly think that there is nothing even remotely scientific about a line of reasoning that constantly uses the defense of "Well, since you don't have a better explanation..."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Phage0070, posted 10-15-2010 3:55 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Phage0070, posted 10-15-2010 4:17 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded
 Message 90 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-15-2010 4:19 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16086
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 88 of 103 (586841)
10-15-2010 4:10 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by Bolder-dash
10-15-2010 3:42 AM


Sounds like just more evolution talking points to me. Extremely unsubstantiated tales that all evolutionists just love to hang their hats on.

But you are, of course, lying.

We hang our hats on the things that we can test.

Now, given that our ideas work every time we can test them, we suggest that our ideas might also work in those instances where they are not directly testable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 3:42 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

  
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 89 of 103 (586842)
10-15-2010 4:17 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Bolder-dash
10-15-2010 4:05 AM


Bolder-dash writes:

And I certainly think that there is nothing even remotely scientific about a line of reasoning that constantly uses the defense of "Well, since you don't have a better explanation..."

Actually, that is an extremely scientific way of operating. The vast majority of scientific models of the world are not without their margins of error, and I don't think any can claim to be beyond improvement. Yet scientists will use the useful predictions of these models in the absence of more accurate theories; in essence, since nobody has a better explanation its the one we use.

This is how and why hypotheses become theories become laws.

Bolder-dash writes:

I think that if my explanation were magic, it would be just as logical as the explanations put forth here.

And this perfectly explains why you are what you are (YEC, IDer, etc). You view the scientific method and the proven track record of predictive and explanatory power of evolutionary theory as on par with magic. Furthermore, you don't actually offer an explanation but content yourself with complaining loudly about wide-ranging and complex fields of which you have slim to no education or experience, much less formally recognized qualifications.


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 Message 87 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 4:05 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16086
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 90 of 103 (586843)
10-15-2010 4:19 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Bolder-dash
10-15-2010 4:05 AM


Well, speaking of evolutionist talking points!

I think that if my explanation were magic, it would be just as logical as the explanations put forth here.

You are the billionth person on the internet to use the word "logical". YOU HAVE WON A PRIZE!!!

The existence of unicorns is consistent with logic. The question is, what's consistent with the facts?

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Bolder-dash, posted 10-15-2010 4:05 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

  
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