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Author Topic:   Morality! Thorn in Darwin's side or not?
AZPaul3
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Posts: 8612
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 273 of 438 (742556)
11-21-2014 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 272 by New Cat's Eye
11-21-2014 4:13 PM


Re: Good and Bad
Aren't the initial thoughts of both 1 and 2 products of acculturation and not instinct? Maybe you define instinct different than I. An acculturated instinct? Is there such a thing as an "instinct" based on nurture rather than nature?
Maybe this has already been covered here and I've just been too lazy to read up-thread. Feel free to slap me around.

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 Message 272 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-21-2014 4:13 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

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 Message 274 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-21-2014 9:29 PM AZPaul3 has seen this message but not replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8612
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 379 of 438 (743629)
12-02-2014 7:43 PM
Reply to: Message 378 by Dogmafood
12-02-2014 6:21 PM


A creature's ability to adapt to changing environments is an objective measure of greater fitness.
While this may be somewhat correct it truncates what is actually happening here.
First, of course, creatures have no ability to adapt. They are stuck with what they are. The population, however, can evolve by adapting over time to a changing environment with each new crop of babies taking incremental steps in this adaption process. I will take your "creature" as meaning a population. That is probably what you meant anyway.
Second, the way this adaptation occurs is by killing off all those who do not have the necessary traits to survive. So those new crops of babies who have the survival traits get to make even more babies.
It is the "making babies" part that is the definition of "fitness" in evolution. If you make more babies than Joe and your babies go on to make more babies than Joe's babies then you are considered "fitter" for your niche in this environment than is Joe. It has nothing to do with the spread of disparate environments to which a species has become adapted.
There is no higher or lower scale for fitness, just more or less fit. And that is determined by counting the babies.
In almost all cases I can think of, the various populations of a species that each adapt to different environments become what we determine to be different species anyway because of those different survival traits.
Being able to survive in any environment is evolutionary perfection.
Naw. Just human bluster. Back some 150,000 years ago humans spread throughout the globe into different environments and evolved different melanin levels, eye structures and skeletal statures that allowed these populations to survive in their different environments. Well on our way to becoming separate sub-species, and if left long enough, separate species of human. But with that one big evolutionary advantage, intellect, humans built ships and traveled then built planes and traveled to the point now where the genomes are all intermixed.
The only thing that allows us to survive the range of environments we have is we can intellectually devise tools to compensate for our short comings. Even then we cannot survive the deep pressures, extreme temperatures and sulfur energy sources in the environment of the tube-worm. There are and probably will remain many hundreds of environments on this planet where humans cannot adapt to be fit.
The most successful critters on this planet, surviving in just about every environment on the planet, bacteria, only do so by evolving separate species specifically adapted to each different niche.
Like what was said, there is no higher, lower or perfection in evolution.
Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.
Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.
Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

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 Message 378 by Dogmafood, posted 12-02-2014 6:21 PM Dogmafood has replied

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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8612
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 383 of 438 (743661)
12-03-2014 3:00 AM
Reply to: Message 381 by Dogmafood
12-02-2014 8:40 PM


Wouldn't you agree that being able to survive across a variety of environments makes a species more fit than only being able to survive in one?
But that is not evolution, is it. That is arresting evolution and using technology in its place. If you want to argue that the technology is a natural result of our evolved intellect then you may have to find a different word to use. I don't think most in the discipline would say evolution includes human technology in its definition and processes.
So, no, I would not say humans were more fit in evolution on this planet than others since it is this technology that brings us the capability to make more babies than evolution would have allowed.
Humans screw up everything we touch. Even our own definitions.
Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

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 Message 381 by Dogmafood, posted 12-02-2014 8:40 PM Dogmafood has replied

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 Message 384 by Dogmafood, posted 12-03-2014 5:47 AM AZPaul3 has replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8612
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 389 of 438 (743706)
12-03-2014 3:39 PM
Reply to: Message 384 by Dogmafood
12-03-2014 5:47 AM


Being able to build a rocket ship is not really that different, in this context, from being able to build a nest.
I understand what you are saying, but remember, the nest builder does so because natural selection gave that a slight reproductive differential over the non-nest builder. The nest builder did not intellectually devise the nest the way humans devise tools. The nest started as a patch of ground to harbor the brood that became more elaborate as some new mutations to the instincts gave reproductive advantage to some new nest forms.
IMO, there is such a stark difference in the mechanisms of nest instinct versus intellectually preconceived tool development that they cannot be equated even though both ultimately stem from evolved capabilities.
That still does not justify any "higher", "lower" or "perfect" designations vis-a-vis evolution or fitness.
Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

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 Message 384 by Dogmafood, posted 12-03-2014 5:47 AM Dogmafood has replied

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 Message 393 by Dogmafood, posted 12-04-2014 5:56 AM AZPaul3 has replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8612
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 395 of 438 (743763)
12-04-2014 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 393 by Dogmafood
12-04-2014 5:56 AM


Doesn't the probability of survival increase as the creature's habitable zone increases? Isn't probability of survival an objective yard stick for measuring evolutionary success?
Remember how evolution works. It works through babies generation by generation. It does not work through longevity. And no, for many species longevity does not mean more babies let alone more successful babies. We have to go out to your babies production of babies to determine your fitness. For most life it is a posthumous award.
Still, even though we don't have numbers, I think you have done well on your math. It makes sense that a larger range offers more resources, more probability for survival for both you and your babies so in that way a larger range can be helpful. But then, for most life, modern technological humans being a major exception, a wider range also means more probability of speciation events. Still, the only measure of evolutionary success is fitness, not survival.

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 Message 393 by Dogmafood, posted 12-04-2014 5:56 AM Dogmafood has replied

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 Message 398 by Dogmafood, posted 12-05-2014 4:23 AM AZPaul3 has replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8612
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 402 of 438 (743829)
12-05-2014 7:41 AM
Reply to: Message 398 by Dogmafood
12-05-2014 4:23 AM


I think that a species that could survive in any environment should rightfully be considered more fit than a species that can only survive under particular conditions.
Well, it isn't. The discipline determined quite some time ago that the only scale of evolutionary success is fitness and fitness is assessed by counting babies. You may not be wrong that wider range and environmental flexibility might have a positive impact on fitness, but fitness, as defined, will always rule.
It has to be this way. The more babies the more mutations and genetic variability. The more babies the more the spread of beneficial new traits. And that is evolution.
Wouldn't an ability to survive in many different environments reduce the probability of a speciation event?
I don't think so. Evolution is reproduction with modification. Change will take place. The broader the range the less chance some portions of the population will mix with others to share new traits. The population begins to differentiate by suite of traits. Where you have population differentiation I would think there would be more chance of speciation.
Please don't think of speciation events as bad. That is how evolution drives the diversity of life. The bush gets ... well ... bushier.
Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8612
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 426 of 438 (744400)
12-10-2014 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 425 by ringo
12-10-2014 11:04 AM


Since when does anybody think in terms of what's good for "humans as a species" anyway?
I know some who think that what's good for humanity as a species is to get rid of 2/3 of them.

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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8612
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


(3)
Message 436 of 438 (757398)
05-08-2015 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 435 by 1.61803
05-08-2015 10:15 AM


Re: Read the Bible
I always thought this taking up of serpents and drinking poison stuff was a set-up by Jesus to, in some small way, help rid the human gene pool of stupid.

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 Message 435 by 1.61803, posted 05-08-2015 10:15 AM 1.61803 has replied

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