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Author Topic:   The Sex Life of 747 Aircraft
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 46 of 84 (408551)
07-03-2007 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Taz
07-02-2007 7:44 PM


The one thing which I have trouble with in the survival 'goal' is seed bearing plants. Obviously there is survival of the fittest...but not in the same sense as a plant which can tolerate poor soil or windy climate, harsh winters, arid ground, etc. That is much easier to grasp that the seed thing.

Plants with seeds survive as species. Is it too much to ask how a plant could randomly 'decide' to produce a seed, or a mammal produce offspring?

Is there something in the nature of life that causes reproduction, and why would this evolve rather than continuation or regeneration of the same organism?

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Taz, posted 07-02-2007 7:44 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Taz, posted 07-03-2007 12:13 PM anastasia has responded
 Message 48 by Modulous, posted 07-03-2007 12:44 PM anastasia has responded

    
Taz
Member (Idle past 1365 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 47 of 84 (408555)
07-03-2007 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by anastasia
07-03-2007 12:02 PM


First of all, I'm not a biologist.

anastasia writes:


The one thing which I have trouble with in the survival 'goal' is seed bearing plants.


There is an old saying. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Seed bearing plants have an advantage over other plants because they can spread their offsprings to great distances. This gives them a clear advantage in survival as well as not having the offsprings compete with the mother plant for the resources.

Plants with seeds survive as species. Is it too much to ask how a plant could randomly 'decide' to produce a seed, or a mammal produce offspring?

Ana, when you stop trying to misrepresent the theory of evolution with more (I wanna call it lies because you know better), we can talk more. Either that or read a book on it. Or you can ask someone else. I'm sorry, after the millionth time we've told you that evolution is not a random process, you keep using the word to describe it. Would the pope approve of this?


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 12:02 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 3:51 PM Taz has responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 178 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 48 of 84 (408560)
07-03-2007 12:44 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by anastasia
07-03-2007 12:02 PM


Is there something in the nature of life that causes reproduction, and why would this evolve rather than continuation or regeneration of the same organism?

If such an organism was ever to exist it would never die of old age and it would never reproduce. It would instead be killed by predators, parasites, diseases, accidents or disasters (organisms seldom die of old age anyway so it would make very little difference). The genes that made the organism non reproductive but able to be old aged would not get passed on and that would be end of it.

Genes that make many copies of themselves become more numerous than genes that don't make as many copies. Clearly genes that don't reproduce at all are doomed to extinction in one generation. The first order of the day for genes then is to reproduce. There are various strategies that have evolved for this task, but there are two main ones: sexual and asexual. Seed bearing plants can be both, (they will sometimes 'ejaculate' the male pollen to reach their own female ovule).

The one thing which I have trouble with in the survival 'goal' is seed bearing plants.

The goal isn't 'survival'. There is certainly a strong pressure to survive, but that pressure only needs to last until an organism has reproduced sufficiently and in some cases raised the subsequent offspring. After that, there is little to no survival selection. We see that in nature, some species die soon after mating. There are other pressures that come into play: sexual selection being the most obvious.

Producing seeds isn't a survival advantage for the plant itself (necessarily), but it is a survival advantage for the plant's genes. They get transferred to the offspring and the genes 'live' a little longer.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 12:02 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 3:32 PM Modulous has responded

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 49 of 84 (408588)
07-03-2007 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Modulous
07-03-2007 12:44 PM


Modulous writes:

The first order of the day for genes then is to reproduce.

Yes, all very interesting. I appreciate your reply.

If life has been around for millions of years, then all that we can see now are those organisms which have reproduced. We may call that 'all of them'.

Would you speculate that at one time, non-reproductive species existed, or would you say that reproduction is truly the order of the day? And if so, you didn't quite answer my question.

Things either survive, or don't. Survival seems to be the goal, but perhaps it is only the accidental result? What I am asking is, even if you could say that survival 'pressures' are evolved as part of a species and continue to be part of their make-up, how would we explain the 'desire' of the first living thing to reproduce? Is there some gene which designates this drive?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Modulous, posted 07-03-2007 12:44 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
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anastasia
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 50 of 84 (408591)
07-03-2007 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Taz
07-03-2007 12:13 PM


Tazmanian Devil writes:

Seed bearing plants have an advantage over other plants because they can spread their offsprings to great distances. This gives them a clear advantage in survival as well as not having the offsprings compete with the mother plant for the resources.

Actually, Taz, some seeds are rather perfunctory, and the plants that bear them may reproduce in alternative ways that are more conducive to that species needs and abilties.

There are all sorts of variables. 'Great distances' in the plant world, are often a few feet, outside of which the plant just won't grow at all. The mother plant often has no need for resources one seed is produced. Plants do not seek 'advantage' over other plants. They either have it, or don't, and bearing seed has little to do with it. What we see are the species that had an advantage. I was asking how things 'know' to reproduce, and you didn't help.

Or you can ask someone else. I'm sorry, after the millionth time we've told you that evolution is not a random process

Fine, then. If you want to tell me that something 'knew' to produce a seed, go ahead. Otherwise, I will have to say that out of a random selection of living things, those with seeds may have survived, the others didn't...and I still want to know what may have caused that first plant to produce a seed. It can't just sit there and 'think' of new ways to reproduce, so it either happened accidently, or was planned. Where exactly is this random mutations stuff supposed to come in?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Taz, posted 07-03-2007 12:13 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by NosyNed, posted 07-03-2007 4:50 PM anastasia has responded
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8837
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 51 of 84 (408600)
07-03-2007 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by anastasia
07-03-2007 3:51 PM


topic
I think we are wandering rather far from the original topic.

Please take these questions to somewhere else.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 3:51 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 5:44 PM NosyNed has responded

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 52 of 84 (408602)
07-03-2007 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by NosyNed
07-03-2007 4:50 PM


Re: topic
NosyNed writes:

I think we are wandering rather far from the original topic.

Ned, didn't you say this?

NosyNed writes:

It suggests that evolution is a random process and this isn't true. The analogy leaves out the mechanism of natural selection. It is wonderfully ironic when a poster puts "but refuse to look at other theories" and this strawman in the same paragraph. (The poster may be disappointed to discover that most of the "evilutionists" here have studied his theories more than he has.

I'd suggest that any poster wanting to use this argument explain why they think it applies and then we can discuss it further here.

{bolding mine}

I am explaining why I think it may apply. Natural selection, which is not a great term in itself, explains why a thing which reproduces continues on. I don't know why a thing would reproduce at all without either A. Knowledge that it should do so, or B. A chance event which caused it to reproduce.

For every characteristic of life, we use the term 'random mutation', and if that mutation is advantageous to survival, it gets selected for. Don't you think that science is still a bit hazy about how or why a plant would come up with a whole system for reproduction when it has no idea it needs to reproduce? If you can tell me how, outside of pure luck, or sentient design, then I will withdraw my further comment and all mention of randomness. In the meantime, did you address the topic to people who may use the above argument, really, or to people who want to mock them? Because my questions are completely in line with what you asked, even if a bit more specific in nature.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by NosyNed, posted 07-03-2007 4:50 PM NosyNed has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by NosyNed, posted 07-03-2007 6:23 PM anastasia has not yet responded
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1365 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 53 of 84 (408604)
07-03-2007 5:51 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by anastasia
07-03-2007 3:51 PM


(1) Ned is right that we are wandering off topic.

(2) Even the Vatican has admitted that evolution is "truth". If you want, I can find the specific speech by Pope John Paul II on this. Since evolution is science and the vatican deals with theology, they have been wise enough to leave science in the hands of scientists... for once in history.

(3) Regarding your last point, I want to refer back to the monte carlo method to solving physical and mathematical systems. If you don't know what that is, familiarize yourself with it, then perhaps you could finally get some new insight into the matter.

(4) I'm a programmer who got degrees in math and physics, and I know I'm not a dumbass. I'm pretty sure biologists and geneticists aren't dumbasses either. Yes, this can be seen as argument from authority, but I don't think it is. I just want you to consider the fact that there are people out there who spend entire lifetimes studying these things before you imply that we are all dumbasses.

(5) Think in very small baby steps when you think about evolution. To say that plants suddenly decided to start having seeds is the same as saying the whole world suddenly decided to enter the iron age from the bronze age over night. I'm sure you know a thing or two about history.

(6) Sorry for the rant above. I'm in a bad mood today.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 3:51 PM anastasia has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8837
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 54 of 84 (408606)
07-03-2007 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by anastasia
07-03-2007 5:44 PM


reproduction and evolution 101
Living things don't develop any traits because they recognize they "need to". Living things, through mutations, develop huge numbers of traits. Almost all of them very close to the traits the species had in the previous generation.

A very large number of these "traits" (changes from the previous generation) are weeded out immediately. We see this in humans were something like half are conceived with "traits" that cause them to never be born.

Every animals carries slight differences within it. Every one!

None of them "know" that they need them, none of them developed them through any need. They were just something that appeared and gets a try at seeing how it does. Some do well and become the new normal in subsequent generations.

So living things have characteristics that have proven to be necessary or good for reproducing abundantly. That is the nature of the selective sieve. It isn't that they got them because they were good for reproduction it is that they kept them because they were good for reproduction.

This applies to traits for speed, defense and, of course, reproducing well.

Trees come from some billions of years of organisms that reproduced. Obviously they couldn't have come from organisms that didn't reproduce ! They've had time to filter out a lot of different ways of doing that and have kept the better ones.

Of course, reproduction is itself one of the basic definitions of what it is to be alive. Chemicals that "reproduced" 3 and a half some billion years ago are the ones that became more common than ones that didn't.

Plants didn't come up with the methods they reproduce with now by "luck". Luck is when you buy one lottery ticket and it wins. Living things don't do that so they aren't depending on "luck". They buy all the available lottery tickets (or at least a heck of a lot of them) each generation. Then they keep the ones that win. I don't call this "luck" in the way we usually use the word.

Humans for example try something up to as many as 30 billion some new "tickets" each generation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 5:44 PM anastasia has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1365 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 55 of 84 (408610)
07-03-2007 6:51 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by anastasia
07-03-2007 5:44 PM


Re: topic
ana writes:

I am explaining why I think it may apply. Natural selection, which is not a great term in itself, explains why a thing which reproduces continues on. I don't know why a thing would reproduce at all without either A. Knowledge that it should do so, or B. A chance event which caused it to reproduce.


I think I know where you are confused now. Imagine 2 organisms A and B. Organism A can't reproduce and organism B can. Time goes by and organism A dies off without having an offspring. Organism B dies off after leaving an offspring or two. The offsprings carry the genes that let them reproduce and so on and so forth.

I don't think you understand what natural selection is.

For every characteristic of life, we use the term 'random mutation', and if that mutation is advantageous to survival, it gets selected for. Don't you think that science is still a bit hazy about how or why a plant would come up with a whole system for reproduction when it has no idea it needs to reproduce?

Well, again, consider plant A and plant B. Plant A can't reproduce and plant B can. Very quickly, plant A will become extinct and plant B will continue on.

As to the how and why, I'd use Dr. Strangelove's answer. It is essential that the plant can reproduce, otherwise there wouldn't be a plant for us to discuss about.

If you can tell me how, outside of pure luck, or sentient design, then I will withdraw my further comment and all mention of randomness.

Monte carlo method. Monte carlo method. Monte carlo method. Monte carlo method. 1 billion years. 1 billion years. 1 billion years. 1 billion years. Monte carlo method. 1 billion years.

I'm not saying understanding the monte carlo method will solve the problem completely. I'm saying that it's a good start.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 5:44 PM anastasia has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1365 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 56 of 84 (408612)
07-03-2007 6:55 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by NosyNed
07-03-2007 6:23 PM


Re: reproduction and evolution 101
Ned writes:

Humans for example try something up to as many as 30 billion some new "tickets" each generation.


And let's not forget that the vast majority of lotery tickets don't have the winning numbers. In much the same way, the vast majority of species as well as traits that have ever existed since the beginning are extinct, and the few that have the winning tickets are alive today.

Edited by Tazmanian Devil, : No reason given.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by NosyNed, posted 07-03-2007 6:23 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 7:55 PM Taz has responded

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 57 of 84 (408616)
07-03-2007 7:55 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Taz
07-03-2007 6:55 PM


Re: reproduction and evolution 101
unknown member writes:

There is a better chance in a tornado for 747 to be created from an airplane wrecking yard than for any of these theories to exist.

Can you folks look critically at this sentence?

Does it say, anywhere, that there is an anology here between the tornado and evolution?

I think it is a slim chance that a thing could develop reproduction means, in one slight change at a time, without knowing what it was doing. I will call it ignorance for now, and I am not at the moment worried about what the pope says. If I don't understand a thing for myself, I could care less what anyone says.

I can't comment further after rereading the OP. I don't see how the author in any way was referring to evolution as chance or random. I see that he/she gave an opinion about how likely evolution appears to them. That may be ignorant in itself, as evolution is far more likely than some other theories, but without further clarification from the author...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Taz, posted 07-03-2007 6:55 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by NosyNed, posted 07-03-2007 8:13 PM anastasia has responded
 Message 59 by Taz, posted 07-03-2007 9:59 PM anastasia has not yet responded

    
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8837
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 58 of 84 (408620)
07-03-2007 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by anastasia
07-03-2007 7:55 PM


know your history
Does it say, anywhere, that there is an anology here between the tornado and evolution?

Perhaps you should have read and quoted the whole paragraph from the OP. From that it is clear that the unknown poster was using at as an argument against evolution. In fact, maybe you should read up on the history of this particular analogy.

It was originally used, I believe, as an argument against abiogenesis. That was discussed earlier in the thread. And since then it has been used (over, and over, and over, and over) as an argument against evolution.

You are implying exactly the same argument in your statement:

I think it is a slim chance that a thing could develop reproduction means, in one slight change at a time, without knowing what it was doing.

It is possible that you have a "747" idea of reproduction looking at how things reproduce now. We see in the lab that very simple chemicals can reproduce themselves which might be equivalent to a falling leaf compared to a 747 as a flying vehicle.

You may think it is a slim chance but you have no basis in knowledge for calculating a chance. In fact, it is still unknown what the chances are for chemicals to become reproducing entities. It may be, indeed, very slim but that doesn't preclude it from happening somewhere. It may also be that it is almost a sure thing once conditions meet some set of requirements. We don't know the odds of those requirements being met either.

You are arguing against evolution when you say "one slight change at a time". It is only abiogenesis that we are uncertain about the chances of.

It is very clear that different reproductive strategies can arise "one slight change at a time" because we see a near continuum of different strategies in living things alive now. It is your lack of familiarity with biology that makes you think the chances of evolution working to build lots of different reproduction methods is low. You are making a judgment on too little knowledge.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 7:55 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 10:07 PM NosyNed has responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1365 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 59 of 84 (408630)
07-03-2007 9:59 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by anastasia
07-03-2007 7:55 PM


Re: reproduction and evolution 101
ana writes:

I think it is a slim chance...


I'm about to embark on a journey to another state for the 4th of July. I'll be back sometime tomorrow night. Enough time for you to give us the mathematical calculations to this "slim chance" you are talking about?


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by anastasia, posted 07-03-2007 7:55 PM anastasia has not yet responded

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4027 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 60 of 84 (408633)
07-03-2007 10:07 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by NosyNed
07-03-2007 8:13 PM


Re: know your history
NosyNed writes:

It is very clear that different reproductive strategies can arise "one slight change at a time" because we see a near continuum of different strategies in living things alive now. It is your lack of familiarity with biology that makes you think the chances of evolution working to build lots of different reproduction methods is low. You are making a judgment on too little knowledge.

I would describe it more as 'the chance of evolution working to build one reproduction method seems low'...but I suppose biologists put reproduction pretty much first on the list of things which must have evolved, and yeah, I can get the mental picture from there to my satisfaction. Thanks for your responses.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by NosyNed, posted 07-03-2007 8:13 PM NosyNed has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by NosyNed, posted 07-03-2007 10:29 PM anastasia has responded

    
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