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Author Topic:   "Is 'genetic determinism' empirically valid, and is it essential to the "Modern Synth
Elmer
Member (Idle past 3980 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 31 of 49 (444735)
12-30-2007 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Modulous
12-30-2007 9:20 AM


Modulous;

You say;


quote:
So forget about him. His stuff adds up to an admission that 'genetic determinism' is false, and that is all that really matters.

Actually, it seems to indicate that your concept of 'genetic determinism' is wrong.

Explain yourself.


I look forward to seeing what you have to say regarding my assertion on this matter and the explanation I gave in my post.

I'll get to what you said [not what dawkin's said], in my next. If you explain your interpretation of dawkins, I may respond to that at some point.


quote:

Welcome to the debate. I wrote a long response to Dawkins' sophistry, tore him a new one, as they say, then hit the wrong button, and lost it.

You'll excuse me if I don't take your word for the efficacy of your argument.

Never expected you to. Just needed to vent.


However, I sympathize with your frustration. Maybe you are interested in a post I wrote a while ago: Thread Save your posts, plugin in Forum Links and Information?

Thanks. I'll take a look at it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Modulous, posted 12-30-2007 9:20 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Modulous, posted 12-30-2007 6:18 PM Elmer has responded

    
Elmer
Member (Idle past 3980 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 32 of 49 (444748)
12-30-2007 6:02 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Modulous
12-29-2007 5:36 PM


Hi again;

You say--


Phenotypical traits of a population can change through non-genetic factors...but this is not evolution.

Nobody I know of ever claimed that epigenetic alterations in phenotypes were necessarily evolutionary. But there can be no doubt that they sometimes are, in that epigenetic inheritance of altered traits, over generations, is a proven fact.


For example the height of mankind has varied through (recent) time - mostly due to health and dietary changes in the population over time rather than because of gene frequency changes.

That's your darwinist assumption, i.e., that evolution of the organism follows after and depends upon the evolution of the genome, [ accidental genetic system failure, genetic mutation]. Developmental
biology contradicts that assumption. There is every reason to believe that genomic evolution follows after, and depends upon, phenotypic evolution [responsive endogenous self-organization and re-structuring].


quote:

If 'genes' are only the 'dry timber' wrt evolution and development, then what is the 'flame'?

I'm a minor insurance geek - so your analogy appealed to me. When seeking proximate cause to decide if a party is liable there are some interesting things to keep in mind.

Let us say that there were two small flames and both fires would have caused the same amount of damage. In this case we'd probably hold both flame starters liable for the fire. These are sufficient combined causes.

First you say "both fires", meaning 2 of them, and then you say "the fire", meaning just 1 of them. As for 'would have', did each of the two flames generate an equal amount of damage, or didn't they? In any case, how is one flame any different from any other flame?
I do not see the point of this, since in my question, the gene is the 'dry timber', not the 'flame',-- but you seem to be implying that, to the contrary, the 'flame' is 'a gene'.


Also there could be a situation where two acts of negligence were needed to happen for the injury to result. Courtesy of wiki, imagine a situation where a workman leaves a manhole cover off and a driver then bumps into a pedestrian who then falls down the manhole. Both situations were required to cause the accident. These are concurrent causes.

Without environmental influence, genes could not be expressed.

True, especially when you consider that _the organism is the 'environment'_ ,[wrt 'genes'], that causes 'genes' to be expressed. Sometimes as a direct response to external environmental factors, sometimes as an oblique, indirect response to external environmental factors, but most often as an endogenous systematic response to internal needs.


Without genes, there would be nothing to express.

So you are saying that the first 'genes' existed _before_ the first organisms? That's a metaphysical assumption I'm not willing to accept.

It comes out of your metaphysical assumption that genes _cause_ novel traits [in evolutionary terms], and so 'gene' precedes the 'trait', and 'genes' precede 'organisms'. I doubt that 'genes' preceded the origin of life forms on earth. I believe that after organisms originated, organisms developed 'genes' as a way to avoid the effort of constantly re-inventing the wheel, so to speak, by recording within themselves instructions for their own self-replication, that is, bioform stasis and stability from one generation to the next. In which case, it makes more sense that an organism generates the trait first, the gene that records it for posterity, second. The trait precedes the gene that codes for it. That'evolution. That's 'origins'. If and when the gene precedes the organism it helps enable to develop, that's heredity. And that is why, contra darwinism, evolution and heredity are not the same things at all.


They are both needed and are both important - they are concurrent causes.

As above, only with respect to the inheritance of old traits; specific 'genes' are not necessary to the origins of original traits.

IAC, if 2 causes are concurrent, then neither of them 'determines' the outcome, in and of itself; not in the sense of 'metaphysical determinism', and its off-shoot, 'genetic determinism', where 'to contribute to, facilitate, enable, etc.', do not mean 'to determine'.


Different environmental factors will have influence that varies with magnitude, as will different genes. Some scientists have offered the view that the other genes that any given gene interacts with to create bodies are also part of its environment.

That would be true, IMO, but the organism itself is the immediate and proximate environment to which the genome responds.


Interesting stuff.

Very. Hope to hear more from you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Modulous, posted 12-29-2007 5:36 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Modulous, posted 12-30-2007 6:49 PM Elmer has not yet responded

    
Modulous
Member (Idle past 181 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 33 of 49 (444751)
12-30-2007 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Elmer
12-30-2007 4:32 PM


I'll get to what you said [not what dawkin's said], in my next. If you explain your interpretation of dawkins, I may respond to that at some point.

Dawkins was basically saying that determinism is a philosophical position. If you are a determinist you're a determinist, genetic determinism isn't some special case of determinism in this regard.

When biologists say they have discovered a gene for this or that, it doesn't necessarily follow that having said gene will definitely give a person a certain trait. Genetic determinism is looked on poorly because of the implications that behaviour is decided by genes, but biologists don't argue that it is as simple as possessing gene x will lead to behaviour y. A lot of the time, what determines the behaviour of a person is a complex web of causality...many strands having different influence on the final outcome.

This is analogous to the idea that eating red meat increases your chances of certain cancers. Eating red meat doesn't exclusively determine that you will get cancer, but it is one of the causal strands - and it is advised to not strengthen it.

Explain yourself.

You seem to be of the opinion that genetic determinism is required for evolution, and that genetic determinism must imply that the gene alone determines phenotypic traits.

I would suggest that you are both wrong about the necessity of what you call genetic determinism in the role of evolution, and what genetic determinism has to mean.

I do this because determinism doesn't have to mean that anything that could be considered a cause must have been the result of something that can be considered an effect. In the case of genes, they interact with the environment to express themselves, their expression leads to an effect, another cause creates another effect and these two (or more) effects lead to an observed trait. Not the result of one cause and one effect, but many causes and effects. Sometimes, a single gene has a very significant role in the determination. Sometimes, it only plays a small role - a role that can be filled in with one of its alleles.

Second - natural selection does not require to work on absolute determinism. Imagine a plant population where tallness is selected for. A gene exists, and if a plant has this gene AND this plant grows in an area rich in a certain nutrient AND if this plant is in an area that receives x amount of sunlight THEN it will be a very tall plant. However, if it has only 10% chance of landing in such an area - then a botanist might initially say he has found a gene for tallness that gives a 10% chance of being tall (ie 10% of plants with the gene end up being tall).

In the wild this gene might be positively selected for (or negatively depending on other factors) even though the gene is not the sole determining factor in the tallness of the plant.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Elmer, posted 12-30-2007 4:32 PM Elmer has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Elmer, posted 12-30-2007 11:32 PM Modulous has responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 181 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 34 of 49 (444757)
12-30-2007 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Elmer
12-30-2007 6:02 PM


Nobody I know of ever claimed that epigenetic alterations in phenotypes were necessarily evolutionary. But there can be no doubt that they sometimes are, in that epigenetic inheritance of altered traits, over generations, is a proven fact.

I was not talking epigenetics. I was talking environmental factors principally. If a population is normally short, but their environment becomes filled with certain nutrients - that population might grow taller. This is not biological evolution.

That's your darwinist assumption, i.e., that evolution of the organism follows after and depends upon the evolution of the genome, [ accidental genetic system failure, genetic mutation]. Developmental
biology contradicts that assumption. There is every reason to believe that genomic evolution follows after, and depends upon, phenotypic evolution [responsive endogenous self-organization and re-structuring].

Absolutely it can happen the other way around. If our genes evolved to be optimal for males by existing in 5 foot hominids, then a dietary change caused us to grow up to 6 foot - then our genes may no longer be optimal. In this case those genes that are closer to the optimal at 6 foot male hominids will increase in frequency and any mutated genes that provided a more optimal solution still it may gain a foothold in the population. However, it would not be considered evolution until the gene frequency changes. The phenotypic change itself is not enough to be considered evolution.

First you say "both fires", meaning 2 of them, and then you say "the fire", meaning just 1 of them

Sorry for any confusion. I meant that both fires that were started by the flames would have caused equal damage had there been only 1 fire. That is to say - the two fires simply joined together and caused the same amount of damage as if just 1 fire had been started.

An easier example might be if two people shot someone in the head at the same time. One bullet was all that was needed to kill them, so both shooters are held liable. The same damage was caused by the one as was caused by the two.

As for 'would have', did each of the two flames generate an equal amount of damage, or didn't they? In any case, how is one flame any different from any other flame?

No - the point is that the damage would have been the same had there been one fire as had there been two fires or even three fires. Adding extra starter flames doesn't alter the eventual outcome of the large forest fire.

So you are saying that the first 'genes' existed _before_ the first organisms? That's a metaphysical assumption I'm not willing to accept.

No I'm not. I'm simply talking about the way current life works, not proto-life. As interesting as that puzzle is, it is irrelevant to the point at hand.

It comes out of your metaphysical assumption that genes _cause_ novel traits [in evolutionary terms], and so 'gene' precedes the 'trait'

That is one way around yes. It can happen both ways. For example, a gene that affects a mother's womb in a way as to provide a novel environment within the womb. This environmental effect affects the development of her child and a new secondary phenotype can occur. All of the child's genes are not optimized for its new form - but in total the phenotype is more fit. We might expect the non-optimized genes to evolve to a more optimal point as time goes on.

As I, and Dawkins said: it is a complex web of causality rather than a simple cause leads to effect affair.

That would be true, IMO, but the organism itself is the immediate and proximate environment to which the genome responds.

Right, but the external environment plays a vital role in the development of the organism - which is then the temporary environment of the genes. The genes are optimized for building and operating a phenotype born in the environment of its ancestral bodies. If the environment changes, the genes may no longer operate how they are meant to or may no longer confer the advantage they once did if they do operate the same way. Time for a genetic change in response...and that would be called evolution.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Elmer, posted 12-30-2007 6:02 PM Elmer has not yet responded

  
Elmer
Member (Idle past 3980 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 35 of 49 (444810)
12-30-2007 11:32 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Modulous
12-30-2007 6:18 PM


Hi again--


quote:

I'll get to what you said [not what dawkin's said], in my next. If you explain your interpretation of dawkins, I may respond to that at some point.

Dawkins was basically saying that determinism is a philosophical position. If you are a determinist you're a determinist, genetic determinism isn't some special case of determinism in this regard.

True. And if that is all dawkins is saying we could finish discussing dawkins. But it isn't.


When biologists say they have discovered a gene for this or that, it doesn't necessarily follow that having said gene will definitely give a person a certain trait.

Factually true, and contrafactual to 'genetic determinism'.

Genetic determinism is looked on poorly because of the implications that behaviour is decided by genes, but biologists don't argue that it is as simple as possessing gene x will lead to behaviour y.

They used to do. It was called 'genetic determinsm'. They do not use that argument anymore, because empirical science has shown that it is a false notion. Even so, they still talk as if it had not been invalidated. That's being disingenuous, to say the least.


A lot of the time, what determines the behaviour of a person is a complex web of causality...many strands having different influence on the final outcome.

This is the fact of the matter, and is contra genetic determinism.


This is analogous to the idea that eating red meat increases your chances of certain cancers. Eating red meat doesn't exclusively determine that you will get cancer, but it is one of the causal strands - and it is advised to not strengthen it.

No argument there, but it's nothing to do with either heredity or evolution, and certainly nothing to do with genetic determinsm.


quote:

Explain yourself.

You seem to be of the opinion that genetic determinism is required for evolution,

Actually, you seem to be of the opinion that that is my opinion. It is not. Not unless you define 'evolution' as being synonymous with RM+NS darwinism. Most darwinists do exactly that, as a matter of fact, but their constant repetition of this equivocation will never make it true. Evolution is a natural fact. RMNS darwinism is a hypothetical explanation for that fact. Conflating the two is, once again, worse than disingenuous.

However, it is true that I believe that the notion, 'RM+NS' darwinism, does require that 'genetic determinism' be true, real, and valid--which even dawkins admits, it is not. Which puts RMNS in an untenable position.


and that genetic determinism must imply that the gene alone determines phenotypic traits.

That is exactly what 'genetic determinism' does entail, and it is not true. The 'gene' alone does NOT determine phenotypic traits, not even for heredity. But the notion that 'genes' are totally responsible for traits, inherited or mutated,[the gene-centric view] collapses unless the relation 'gene'/'trait' is a deterministic, linear, mechanical one. Since it isn't, something else is required to explain the origin of the trait.
Most importantly for this thread and our understanding of evolution itself, without genetic determinism the notion that novel, adaptive, productive traits arise out of genetic accidents simply doesn't make sense. Something else has to be in play.


I would suggest that you are both wrong about the necessity of what you call genetic determinism in the role of evolution, and what genetic determinism has to mean.

Please explain how "RM", all by itself, can account for novel, adaptive, productive phenotypic traits, if 'genes' only 'influence' the development of such positive outcomes. Again, without 'genetic determinism', "RM" requires something epigenetic to accomplish such a thing. "RM" no longer can.

As to "what genetic determinism has to mean.", dawkins has already told you that it means just what I have been saying that it means. If you don't get that, then it it is because you, not I, do not understand what 'determinism' means. You should read up on it.


I do this because determinism doesn't have to mean that anything that could be considered a cause must have been the result of something that can be considered an effect.

No, it does not, and nobody, least of all myself, ever said that that is what it means. It is, however, a basic tenet of causality itself.
IOW, there is a logical axiom to the effect that nothing can bring itself into existence, unaided, out of nothing. In latin it goes, 'ex nihilo, ab nihilo, nihil fit'. Out of nothing, by means of nothing, nothing is made or done. So of course, regressing back beyond the "Big Bang", every cause is the effect of a previous cause--if that is what you are trying to say.

"Determinism", oversimplified, says that the first material, physical effect, [the BB], causally determined that certain effects, and only those effects, could, and must, result from it. And in turn, only certain effects could, and necessarily would, flow from them, and on and on and on. That is because, as per materialism, nothing but the physical material that came [inexplicably and irrationally], out of the BB are the sole and only causal elements in existence, because, according to materialism, nothing but this stuff exists, so no other, non-mechanical, form of causation exists.

And this metaphysical assumption is carried right down to the corollary that macromolecules of DNAcid must inexorably generate particular organic forms by way of an inflexible chain of chemical cause/effect events.


In the case of genes, they interact with the environment to express themselves, their expression leads to an effect, another cause creates another effect and these two (or more) effects lead to an observed trait. Not the result of one cause and one effect, but many causes and effects. Sometimes, a single gene has a very significant role in the determination. Sometimes, it only plays a small role - a role that can be filled in with one of its alleles.

True. Do you not see that that is not at all what 'genetic determinism' asserts?

Unfortunately, this fact does not invalidate 'determinism' in general sense, since it only says that that organismic traits are not determined genetically--they could still be determined chemically, if you claim that all other contributing factors are so determined. And so even if 'genes' only 'contribute', every other factor is as 'deterimined' as every other, and so the resulting trait is still mechanically, i.e., chemically, pre-determined by initial chemical conditions within and without of the organism and the mechanical determinism of their interactions. Fortunately, the general notion of determinism has been put to death by quantum indeterminacy, which calls for a non-mechanical element of causation in the universe.


Second - natural selection does not require to work on absolute determinism.

This thread is not concerned with the notion labelled, "Natural Selection". There are other threads for that. So let's not get de-railed, and stick to geneticism and its "random genetic mutation" as the causal mechanism that produces novel, original, adaptive, productive organismic traits.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Modulous, posted 12-30-2007 6:18 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Modulous, posted 12-31-2007 7:46 AM Elmer has responded

    
Modulous
Member (Idle past 181 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 36 of 49 (444863)
12-31-2007 7:46 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by Elmer
12-30-2007 11:32 PM


You seem to be under the impression that "RMNS Darwinism" is the currently accepted theory of evolution. If that is the case, that could explain the problems in communication we're having.

Please explain how "RM", all by itself, can account for novel, adaptive, productive phenotypic traits, if 'genes' only 'influence' the development of such positive outcomes.

Random mutations only account for part of the development of novel traits. Random mutations and their influence on the environment are required to create new traits. New traits can arise without random mutations - but these new traits are not hereditary and are as such not evolutionary changes.

And this metaphysical assumption is carried right down to the corollary that macromolecules of DNAcid must inexorably generate particular organic forms by way of an inflexible chain of chemical cause/effect events.

There is no need for it just to be DNA that inexorably generates particular forms. That doesn't follow from determinism one iota. The only thing that follows is that traits are determined. It doesn't matter what the causal reasons are, just so long as there are causal reasons. It could be a combination of things - that is still determinism.

True. Do you not see that that is not at all what 'genetic determinism' asserts?

Your expression of genetic determinism asserts that the only causal factor whatsoever is genetic. I do not think this is the only way to express genetic determinism: it can also be used to describe the position that genes are a strong and vital causal factor in determining traits.

...it only says that that organismic traits are not determined genetically

It does not say that organismic traits are not determined genetically. Genes can be one causal factor among many. It is perfectly straight forward, agreed?

This thread is not concerned with the notion labelled, "Natural Selection". There are other threads for that. So let's not get de-railed,

We are talking about how genetic determinism affects a theory of evolution that includes natural selection. You have spoken of natural selection yourself (including in the OP). I have shown you how even a basic theory of evolution of just natural selection acting on existing alleles can still function in a scenario where exclusive genetic determinism isn't in play. This falsifies your notion that genetic determinism is required in a RMNS scenario. I can complicate it more by adding random mutations - but doing so seems unnecessary when I am simply talking about the affect of genes on the expression of traits and how genetic determinism isn't required for gene frequency change to take place in a population.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Elmer, posted 12-30-2007 11:32 PM Elmer has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Elmer, posted 12-31-2007 11:12 AM Modulous has responded

  
Elmer
Member (Idle past 3980 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 37 of 49 (444898)
12-31-2007 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Modulous
12-31-2007 7:46 AM


Hi;

You say;


You seem to be under the impression that "RMNS Darwinism" is the currently accepted theory of evolution.

"RMNS darwinism" is still the backbone, the fundamental essence, the 'sine qua non' of evolutionary biology, even though the actual science of the past 40 years, and particularly the last 10 years, has shown that evolution is not a passive, mechanical, externally determined, reflexive, stochastic, genetic selectionist process,[RMNS] but rather a dynamic, psychologically motivated, responsive, organismically self-serving and self-directed heuristic process[autopoiesis]. You can choose one or the other, but not both, and most people have been carefully taught to assume the former,-- the darwinist RMNS position. And that has not changed.


If that is the case, that could explain the problems in communication we're having.

Any failure in communication would have to be from the side of those who want 'to have their cake and eat it too'; that is, those who insist that the old, scientifically disproven, gene-centric selectionist notion, "RMNS", remain a fundamental part of evolution's theoretical mechanism, despite the ever-increasing empirical evidence that 'chance plus necessity', i.e., 'chance plus determinism', [or, in the case of "RM+NS", 'chance plus chance'],is a failed paradigm.


quote:
Please explain how "RM", all by itself, can account for novel, adaptive, productive phenotypic traits, if 'genes' only 'influence' the development of such positive outcomes.

Random mutations only account for part of the development of novel traits.

That is the darwinist metyaphysical assumption. Not only does it violate the 'ex nihilo', but there is absolutely no empirical evidence to support the notion that novel, adaptive, productive, organismic expressions- ['traits']-are at all, not even only partially, the outcome of genetic accidents.


Random mutations and their influence on the environment are required to create new traits.

No, they are not. That is merely the darwinist [really, 'fisherian'], metaphysical assumption. Same criticism as above.


New traits can arise without random mutations - but these new traits are not hereditary and are as such not evolutionary changes.

Same rebuttal as above. The fact of the matter is that epigenetic inheritance and developmental evolution are direct, immediate, dynamic organismic responses to random external [environmental] stimuli that have all sorts of empirical support, whereas random, accidental genetic change [mutation] linked solely by fortuitous coincidence to random environmental events,

quote:

And this metaphysical assumption is carried right down to the corollary that macromolecules of DNAcid must inexorably generate particular organic forms by way of an inflexible chain of chemical cause/effect events.

There is no need for it just to be DNA that inexorably generates particular forms.[/qs]

That was the fundamental assumption that created the "RMNS" hypothesis. Now that it has been shown to be empirically untrue, darwinists now say that it isn't 'necessary', meaning, so long as all 'causes' are materialistically, mechanically determinist, ther can now be several determinist causes for novel 'traits', not just the 'statistically random' [but still mechanically determined] genetic mutations, but also other environmental and organic factors that are equally, 'statistically random' but still mechanically determined. In the end, all productive traits, and all destructive corruptions, are still mechanically determined, in the materialist, mechanist, determinist, darwinian metaphysic that your passage from dawkins promoted.


That doesn't follow from determinism one iota.

Actually, as above, having 2 or more supposedly 'determined' causes involved in generating a 'determined' trait, does follow, altogether, from 'determinism'. Saying that 'determinism' is unaffected wrt evolution, just because determinist 'genes' only partially contribute, along with other determinist causes, to a finally 'determined' trait, is what dawkins was spinning in your citation. And he might have a point, if quantum physics hadn't proven that that there is another element involved in creation, in origins, than just simply mechanical complications that allow only 'statistically predictable' [random] outcomes. But it has done, and so, to rephrase dawkins, if you are a determinist, you are wrong, and you are just as wrong about genetic determinism as you are wrong about causality in general,-- neither more, nor less.


The only thing that follows is that traits are determined. It doesn't matter what the causal reasons are, just so long as there are causal reasons. It could be a combination of things - that is still determinism.

Took the words right out of my mouth--and dawkins'. And since determinism is wrong, genetic determinism is wrong, and so is 'genetic' determinism plus 'other' determinism, even when you change 'random' to 'statistically determined', which is dawkins' little ploy.


quote:

True. Do you not see that that is not at all what 'genetic determinism' asserts?

Your expression of genetic determinism asserts that the only causal factor whatsoever is genetic.

Yes, that is 'genetic' determinism. Dawkins 'pooh-poohs' the fact that 'genetic' determinisn, the essential assumption of 'evolution of productive traits linearly, mechanically, deterministically, from genetic accident to expressed novel, productive organismic 'trait'has been proven untrue by the admission that other causal factore are in play. But he insists that these factors are all just as mechanically determined as are the 'genes', and so while 'genetic' determinism doesn't hold up under empirical scrutiny, 'determinism' escapes unscathed when we arrive at the final result, because all of the contributing factors involved in generating that final effect are, as materialism/mechanism assumes, equally determined.

But, as I keep repeating, quantum mechanics shows that materialist/mechanism's metaphysical assumption that all outcomes are pre-determined by the BB, is false. At the very heart of creation/evolution lies uncertainty, and that means that some non-mechanical factor, some cause that materialism cannot account for, is at play throughout the universe; including the causation, the mechanism, of evolution,-- [that is, the origins of novel, productive, organismic traits]. No cause, be it genetic or anything else, no matter how important or trivial, can any longer be assumed to be 'determined', and so no effect can be said to be 'determined', which is what dawkins wants you to believe. The truth is, materialist/mechanist physical causes alone can no longer be said to determine anything. From the pattern of a butterfly's wing to serial murder. Nothing. RMNS, therefore, is dead. Altogether dead, that is. Not just wounded and on darwinist ["dawkinsian"] life-support.


I do not think this is the only way to express genetic determinism: it can also be used to describe the position that genes are a strong and vital causal factor in determining traits.

What you are saying is that 'genes' are 'essentially', and inescapably, linked to 'traits'. As far as heredity is concerned, this is true, but it is not 'genetic determinism'. As far as evolution is concerned, it is only an assumption, and is not nececesarily true at all. Novel traits arise epigenetically, and are inherited epigenetically, and that is evolution in phenotypic terms, without any change [mutation] required in the genome whatsoever.


...it only says that that organismic traits are not determined genetically

But still remain 'determined', anyway. Yes, I know that that is what dawkins, and all materialist determinists are now saying. And they are wrong to do that.


It does not say that organismic traits are not determined genetically. Genes can be one causal factor among many. It is perfectly straight forward, agreed?

How in the world can "it", [ie., 'genetic determinism'], "say that organismic traits are not determined genetically"?!? That is what it is, so of course it cannot and does not say otherwise. But yes, that is perfectly straightforward, albeit perfectly obvious, and perfectly pointless, so far as I can tell.


quote:

This thread is not concerned with the notion labelled, "Natural Selection". There are other threads for that. So let's not get de-railed,

We are talking about how genetic determinism affects a theory of evolution that includes natural selection.

Exactly. We are NOT talking about a different notion, 'natural selection', and its supposed contribution to a hypothetical combination of two mechanisms, i.e., the one we are discussing, "RM", and itself. Bringing in "NS" to prop up "RM" is just muddying the waters.


You have spoken of natural selection yourself (including in the OP).

There are 2 parts to this thread--first, the validity of 'genetic determinism', and by extension, 'biological determinism' in general, [mainly as they apply to evolution, but also wrt to heredity], and second, how the invalidation of genetic/biological determinism invalidate the evolutionary hypothesis, "RMNS", aka, 'The Modern Synthesis", "Fisherism", "Modern Evolutionary Biology", "Darwinism", and even, [falsely], just plain, "Evolution".
'
If you are willing to concede the first part, that biological evolution, whether considered simply as 'genetic determinism', or as overall, many-faceted, 'biological determinism', is untrue, then we can move on to the second part. The part about evolution, but not about heredity.

If not, then let me point out that there is no way that a belief in 'natural selection' justifies, let alone promotes, a belief that 'random genetic mutation' is an essential component of the mechanism responsible for the origins of adaptive, productive phenotypic traits. In fact, neo-darwinians fought long and hard against "RM" until Fisher, et al, managed to reconcile "RM" with "NS" in the 30's and 40's. But if you want to try that on, I guess I'll have to let you prove that, in fact, it does that very thing. If you can.


I have shown you how even a basic theory of evolution of just natural selection acting on existing alleles can still function in a scenario where exclusive genetic determinism isn't in play.

Well, I have no recollection of you ever doing any such thing, and certainly not in this thread. But even if you had done, you would only have been discussing statistical allele population fluctuations,[differential reduction/elimination rates for inherited alleles in local organismic populations] and not evolution, [ origins of novel organismic traits].


This falsifies your notion that genetic determinism is required in a RMNS scenario.

No, it does not. I cannot even see where or how you could think that it might, so you are going to have to spell out your reasoning for this assertion. But, before you do that, you had best start by proving that "NS" is any kind of 'cause/mechanism' at all, instead of just being a post hoc observation of the ecological effects of an unobservable, non-specific, random assemblage of local causes.


I can complicate it more by adding random mutations - but doing so seems unnecessary when I am simply talking about the affect of genes on the expression of traits and how genetic determinism isn't required for gene frequency change to take place in a population.

And I can simplify it entirel by pointing out that "gene frequency change... in a population" is not the mechanism driving the origin of adaptive trait changes [i.e., evolution] in a taxon, [i.e., a trait-defined set of organisms]. That's only a silly definition of evolution that population geneticists use to inflate their own importance in biology.

Talk to ya later.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Modulous, posted 12-31-2007 7:46 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Modulous, posted 12-31-2007 1:23 PM Elmer has responded
 Message 41 by MartinV, posted 01-01-2008 1:13 PM Elmer has not yet responded

    
Modulous
Member (Idle past 181 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 38 of 49 (444928)
12-31-2007 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Elmer
12-31-2007 11:12 AM


Any failure in communication would have to be from the side of those who want 'to have their cake and eat it too'; that is, those who insist that the old, scientifically disproven, gene-centric selectionist notion, "RMNS", remain a fundamental part of evolution's theoretical mechanism, despite the ever-increasing empirical evidence that 'chance plus necessity', i.e., 'chance plus determinism', [or, in the case of "RM+NS", 'chance plus chance'],is a failed paradigm.

If you can show that evolutionary biologists have a picture of evolution that is contrary to the discoveries of science (most importantly the evolutionary biological sciences), then we'd have something to talk about. You haven't shown this though.

That is the darwinist metyaphysical assumption. Not only does it violate the 'ex nihilo',

How can a mutating entity be considered the creation of something out of nothing. There is definitely a something involved here. Nobody assumes that nothing mutates to create a something!

but there is absolutely no empirical evidence to support the notion that novel, adaptive, productive, organismic expressions- ['traits']-are at all, not even only partially, the outcome of genetic accidents.

That sounds like a bold claim. Do you care to support it?

The fact of the matter is that epigenetic inheritance and developmental evolution are direct, immediate, dynamic organismic responses to random external [environmental] stimuli that have all sorts of empirical support

I don't see anything to strongly disagree with here. However, your denial that mutation events can produce novel traits seems contrary to the literature. Do you have any support that would suggest that mutations are not at all involved in the origins of new traits?

That was the fundamental assumption that created the "RMNS" hypothesis. Now that it has been shown to be empirically untrue, darwinists now say that it isn't 'necessary', meaning, so long as all 'causes' are materialistically, mechanically determinist, ther can now be several determinist causes for novel 'traits', not just the 'statistically random' [but still mechanically determined] genetic mutations, but also other environmental and organic factors that are equally, 'statistically random' but still mechanically determined. In the end, all productive traits, and all destructive corruptions, are still mechanically determined, in the materialist, mechanist, determinist, darwinian metaphysic that your passage from dawkins promoted.

So we agree that one can be a determinist and accept that genes play a vital but not exclusive role in the expression of traits?

Actually, as above, having 2 or more supposedly 'determined' causes involved in generating a 'determined' trait, does follow, altogether, from 'determinism'. Saying that 'determinism' is unaffected wrt evolution, just because determinist 'genes' only partially contribute, along with other determinist causes, to a finally 'determined' trait, is what dawkins was spinning in your citation.

So we agree that the idea of DNA being the exclusive source of traits is not necessary in determinism?

And he might have a point, if quantum physics hadn't proven that that there is another element involved in creation, in origins, than just simply mechanical complications that allow only 'statistically predictable' [random] outcomes. But it has done, and so, to rephrase dawkins, if you are a determinist, you are wrong, and you are just as wrong about genetic determinism as you are wrong about causality in general,-- neither more, nor less.

Since I suspect neither of us really understands quantum physics to an appropriate level to really discuss this meaningfully - I suggest we simply defer to the experts on this one. The answer is: maybe it does affect determinism, maybe it doesn't. However, this issue is not relevant here.

Quantum effects does not alter the fact (correct or otherwise) that genes are a vital determinant in trait expression. Quantum physics does not change the fact that cutting the arm off a person will also affect their traits.

Took the words right out of my mouth--and dawkins'. And since determinism is wrong, genetic determinism is wrong, and so is 'genetic' determinism plus 'other' determinism, even when you change 'random' to 'statistically determined', which is dawkins' little ploy.

Not at all. Determinism could be ultimately wrong but genes can still play a vital role in determining phenotypical traits. If somethings happen with no base cause...that does not necessarily mean all things have no cause. If naive determinism is wrong right at its base, that doesn't mean there is no cause and effect whatsoever.

Yes, that is 'genetic' determinism

It's one expression of it. However, there is another expression of it, which is that genes play a vital and front-line role in the expression of phenotypical traits. If we change the genes, the phenotype changes. Some species have a high phenotypical plasticicity - meaning that their phenotype can change dramatically based on environmental pressures. Other species are less plastic. However, the genes still play an important role a lot of the time. That is another form of genetic determinism.

No cause, be it genetic or anything else, no matter how important or trivial, can any longer be assumed to be 'determined', and so no effect can be said to be 'determined', which is what dawkins wants you to believe.

And yet you type on a keyboard and press "submit reply" expecting that to cause your words to be submitted to EvC and that I will request the server for the page and read it, disagree with it and type words in reply and submit them causing those words to go to EvC. You expect photons to more or less cause the correct stimulus in your optic nerve to faithfully recreate the letters and signals sent to your language centre to cause an understanding of the words. You still accept that some causes can lead to some effects.

What you are saying is that 'genes' are 'essentially', and inescapably, linked to 'traits'. As far as heredity is concerned, this is true, but it is not 'genetic determinism'. As far as evolution is concerned, it is only an assumption, and is not nececesarily true at all. Novel traits arise epigenetically, and are inherited epigenetically, and that is evolution in phenotypic terms, without any change [mutation] required in the genome whatsoever.

Right, and if you had asked me 'what is the theory of evolution?' I would not have said 'RMNS'. I would have said: " it includes natural selection, hereditary variation, neutral drift and epigenetics to name a few...It is a body of knowledge of hypotheses and theories that, when combined help explain all the ways we know how population changes can occur under certain circumstances. Those circumstances are present in life and so the theory can help explain the evolution of biological life. Some examples of these sub-theories include the process of natural selection acting on hereditary variations, neutral genetic drift, recombination of recessive and dominant traits and so on and so forth. "

How in the world can "it", [ie., 'genetic determinism'], "say that organismic traits are not determined genetically"?!? That is what it is, so of course it cannot and does not say otherwise. But yes, that is perfectly straightforward, albeit perfectly obvious, and perfectly pointless, so far as I can tell.

I explained my shorthand straight afterwards. I was suggesting that it doesn't have to be exclusively genes, genetic determinism also can describe the position that genes provide an essential role in trait determination.

Exactly. We are NOT talking about a different notion, 'natural selection', and its supposed contribution to a hypothetical combination of two mechanisms, i.e., the one we are discussing, "RM", and itself. Bringing in "NS" to prop up "RM" is just muddying the waters.

You claimed that in a world were genes are not the only determinant in traits - RMNS doesn't work. I showed you how natural selection can act on non-deterministic genes to cause evolution. It is trivial to add random mutation to the example and I thought you'd be capable of doing that yourself. Am I wrong?

There is no propping RM up on NS. There is just me showing natural selection occurring in a non-exclusively genetically determined world can lead to gene frequency change.

Well, I have no recollection of you ever doing any such thing, and certainly not in this thread. But even if you had done, you would only have been discussing statistical allele population fluctuations,[differential reduction/elimination rates for inherited alleles in local organismic populations] and not evolution, [ origins of novel organismic traits].

No biologist I have ever spoken to studies evolution as if it were exclusively about the origins of novel organismic traits. They talk of studying gene frequency changes. Anyway, here it is again:

quote:
magine a plant population where tallness is selected for. A gene exists, and if a plant has this gene AND this plant grows in an area rich in a certain nutrient AND if this plant is in an area that receives x amount of sunlight THEN it will be a very tall plant. However, if it has only 10% chance of landing in such an area - then a botanist might initially say he has found a gene for tallness that gives a 10% chance of being tall (ie 10% of plants with the gene end up being tall).

In the wild this gene might be positively selected for (or negatively depending on other factors) even though the gene is not the sole determining factor in the tallness of the plant.


If you'd like - we have here the origin of the 'supertall' trait in plants..you can mix it up and say that a new mutation causes the plants to open wider, taking in more sunlight but only 10% of the time. Either way, we have a trait spreading around the population. If every plant ends up with our gene, then 10% of all plants will be tall. If only 10% of plants start with the gene then only 1% of plants will be tall. If we went from one state of affairs to the other we have a definite evolutionary shift in the tallness gene.

I expect you to respond that the tallness of a plant isn't a trait. If I am right, let me ask a response question now: How are you defining 'trait'?

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Elmer, posted 12-31-2007 11:12 AM Elmer has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Elmer, posted 01-01-2008 10:49 AM Modulous has responded

  
Elmer
Member (Idle past 3980 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 39 of 49 (445144)
01-01-2008 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Modulous
12-31-2007 1:23 PM


Hi;

You say;


If you can show that evolutionary biologists have a picture of evolution that is contrary to the discoveries of science (most importantly the evolutionary biological sciences), then we'd have something to talk about. You haven't shown this though.

Another thing I don't have is the time to go back over every scientific discovery in evolutionary biology of the past 50 years; nor do I have the patience needed to explain their implications, one by one. Besides, I am not saying that "evolutionary biologists have a picture of evolution that is contrary to the discoveries of science (most importantly the evolutionary biological sciences)". They most certainly do. And that is why I am here, and that is what I am talking about. What I am saying is that _darwinists_, i.e., "RMNS" congregation, "have a picture of evolution that is contrary to the [post 1960, and especially post 1990] discoveries of science (most importantly the evolutionary biological sciences)".


That is the darwinist metyaphysical assumption. Not only does it violate the 'ex nihilo',

How can a mutating entity be considered the creation of something out of nothing. There is definitely a something involved here. Nobody assumes that nothing mutates to create a something![/qs]

You are wrong. Darwinists do precisely that. All the time. Every time
they claim that a novel, original, productive trait arose in a biosystem [organism]out of the chemical accident, RM, plus the statistical fall-out, "NS".
It's quite obvious if you think about it. The ex nihilo requires only that something that was not, becomes some thing that is, unaided by anything that was, to begin with. Let us say you put 2 pebbles into a paper bag. You close the bag set it down, and wait for as long as it pleases you to do so. If, when you finally re-open the bag, you find any more, or even fewer than the original two pebbles in the bag, then either the ex nihilo has been violated, and something 'magical' has happened, or somebody else snuck up while you weren't lookiing and added to or subtracted from the bag's contents. To violate the 'ex nihilo, ab nihilo, nihil fit', there is no necessity that the bag be empty to begin with. All that is required is that the contents alter themselves, without any added input from an external source.

This axiom applies not only to 'bits of stuff', such as the number of pebbles in a bag, or 'alleles/genes' in a 'population' of genomes, it also applies to information. For instance, if a book has only 2 chapters in it when you put it down, then when you pick it, it has 3 , then you can either claim that the first two chapters magically wrote a third, or that the 3rd chapter wrote itself, [both of which violate 'ex nihilo']or you can admit that appeals to magick are wrong, irrational, and superstitious, and admit that the only way another chapter could have been added to what the book already contained is if something outside the book, took the book and added a new chapter to it. Moreover, that external something had to be capable of adding information, not just more ink-stained pages. The passive, helpless bits of stuff that make up books are not the meaning they are used to codify and signify. The _medium_, [contra McLuhan, at least in biosystems], is NOT the _message_. Randomly destroying a meaning by randomly damaging the medium can never create, randomly [ab nihilo], a new meaning where that meaning did not exist before [ex nihilo]. Can you follow that? If you can, then you will see that the novel meaning found in an original and productive trait cannot be generated, 'ex nihilo, ab nihilo' by random genetic mutations. And since that information needs to pre-exist any influence that the supposed darwinist mechanism, "NS", can possibly have upon it, then "NS" has no role to play in its origin, either. "RM+NS" is an hypothetical humbug.


That sounds like a bold claim. Do you care to support it?

Just did. Can you refute my logic?


The fact of the matter is that epigenetic inheritance and developmental evolution are direct, immediate, dynamic organismic responses to random external [environmental] stimuli that have all sorts of empirical support

I don't see anything to strongly disagree with here. However, your denial that mutation events can produce novel traits seems contrary to the literature.[/qs]

The "literature" you refer to is really just the darwinist [RMNS]portion of the material published wrt evolutionary biolgy. The rest of that literature shows a different, dynamic, non-selectionist mechanism for evolution, and simply ignores "RMNS" or pays the obligatory [if you want to get and/or keep a job] lip-service to it.


Do you have any support that would suggest that mutations are not at all involved in the origins of new traits?

See above. Do you have any support [from logic and/or observation of fact] that would suggest that [random, undirected, genetic] mutations are at all involved in the origins of new traits? And before you run to to those hackneyed, shop-worn excuses for scientific evidence, Luria and Delbruck [1943] and Lederberg and Lederberg [1951], you should know that to me they are just fish in a barrel. Nothing but empirically unsupported assumptions made up out of arithmetic resemblance. Microbiology, wrt our understanding of eubacteria dynamics, has advanced quite a bit in the past 50+ years.

[qs]
That was the fundamental assumption that created the "RMNS" hypothesis. Now that it has been shown to be empirically untrue, darwinists now say that it isn't 'necessary', meaning, so long as all 'causes' are materialistically, mechanically determinist, ther can now be several determinist causes for novel 'traits', not just the 'statistically random' [but still mechanically determined] genetic mutations, but also other environmental and organic factors that are equally, 'statistically random' but still mechanically determined. In the end, all productive traits, and all destructive corruptions, are still mechanically determined, in the materialist, mechanist, determinist, darwinian metaphysic that your passage from dawkins promoted.


So we agree that one can be a determinist and accept that genes play a vital but not exclusive role in the expression of traits?

Insofar as heredity is concerned, if you are a determinist then that is exactly what you _must_ accept. I am not a determinist, and even I can say that much. After all, it neither adds nor subtracts from the argument, since, a/ "vital", is entirely irrelevent to 'determined', and second, "the expression of traits" is not 'the creation of traits', i.e., evolution.


So we agree that the idea of DNA being the exclusive source of traits is not necessary in determinism?

Yes, but so what? Look back at what you quoted Dawkins as saying. He said that 'genetic determinism' adds nothing to 'determinism'. Which is true. What he did not say, but which is equally true, is that 'determinsm' subtracts nothing from 'genetic determinism'. That is, that genetic determinism is rendered non-existent or merely diminished simply because everything else is also determined. That would be like claiming that peas are not vegetables because carrots and cauliflower are also vegetables.

So long as 'determinism' stands, 'genetic determinism' stands, and 'biological determinism' stands, and "RMNS" stands, and all lifeforms can be seen as passive, hapless, robotic zombies that scuttle, gibber, and squeak because that is what they are pre-destined to do, that is all they can do, and that is what they must do. Forced to be nothing better than complicated billiard balls. They themselves having no power to alter themselves and their own chemical and/or organismic behaviour. Able only to await new orders from determinist mechanics. Fortunately, determinist mechanics is falsified by quantum mechanics, and so we can now forget all that and get caught up with the new reality, if only the darwinists will let us.


Since I suspect neither of us really understands quantum physics to an appropriate level to really discuss this meaningfully - I suggest we simply defer to the experts on this one.

Yes, let's do that. The experts say that at its most fundamental level, the quantum level, reality is indeterminate; i.e., non-determined.


The answer is: maybe it does affect determinism, maybe it doesn't.

Gee, first you say that you are going to accept the expert opinions of sub-atomic physicists, and then you turn right around and refuse to do any such thing!! See below--

"Notes on Quantum Indeterminacy

It is important that we understand what modern physicists say about quantum indeterminacy. It is a very unintuitive notion, and I sympathize completely with people who distrust it. My own reaction to it was this: "This can't be right. They must be confusing not knowing the event's cause with the event not having a cause."

If physicists were confused about this, then we wouldn't need to take them seriously. But they are not confused about this. They know the distinction, and they continue to believe in quantum indeterminacy (QI).

In the early days of QI, the physicists seemed to be making that mistake. Some of them claimed that QI was an implication of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Heisenberg pointed out that we can measure an electron's position, but in doing so we destroy any possibility of measuring it's momentum, and vice versa. So the combination of position and momentum of an electron is uncertain.

Notice that "uncertainty" is a characteristic that is an epistemological concept -- it is defined in terms of knowability. The argument seemed to be Uncertainty, therefore Quantum Indeterminacy:

We can't know both an electron's position and momentum, therefore an electron does not have a determinate position and momentum. (If we can't know it, it doesn't exist.)

But that was a mistake, and physicists now think more like this:

We can't know both an electron's position and momentum because electrons do not have simultaneous determinate positions and momentums.

In other words, QI, therefore Uncertainty. (You can't know something that doesn't have a determinate truth.)

All modern science is falliblist in epistemology. That means that any scientific theory might be wrong. We all acknowledge this. But scientific theories vary a lot in how likely they are to turn out to be wrong. The present state of physics makes quantum indeterminism a very well-established theory. It may still turn out to be wrong, in the sense that any theory may turn out to be wrong. Just like the "fact" that the earth orbits the sun might turn out to be wrong.

But QI is very well established. Very few scientific theories are as well verified by experience. And remember, the evidence is not just that we don't know what the quantum causes are -- the evidence is that there are no quantum causes. Again, it might turn out to be wrong, but we still ought to take quantum indeterminacy seriously.

Quantum indeterminism asserts that certain kinds of events, call them "Q events" are indeterministic. Really really really indeterministic, not just "as far as we know" indeterministic. Q events are (approximately) events that take place at a sub-atomic level. An example is the radioactive decay of a radioactive element. (There are lots of other examples, but this is an easy one to think of.)

Radioactive elements have half-lives. The half-life of an element is the length of time during which one atom of the element has a 50% chance of undergoing radioactive decay. That probabability is a real, objective probability, even though there is no real, objective cause for an individual case of radioactive decay.

The half-life of Uranium-238 is 4.5 million years. It decays into thorium-234, which has a half-life of 24.5 days. There are tons of radioactive elements with various half-lives, some very short and some very long. And it's ALL probability (objective probability) when each event will occur. According to QI, of course.

(I don't really care whether you believe in QI. But I do really want you to understand it.)

Let's call non-Q events "M events" for "macroscopic events". Now, you might think that QI is not a problem for Causal Determinism, as long as we restrict CD to non-Q events. Is that possible? We live in the M-world after all -- the world of macroscopic events, larger than atoms. Maybe CD is true of all M events even though it is false of all Q events.

Nope. First of all, physicists will claim that all M events are merely the additive effects of a lot of little Q events. But even if that's false, there's a bigger problem. There are certain Q events that have a huge influence on events in the M world. One example is sunshine. According to the best physics of today, sunshine comes from nuclear fusion, which is a Q phenomenon. Secondly, nuclear explosions. Thirdly, the clicking of a Geiger counter. We'll discuss in class this penetration of Q events into the M world that we live in (or like to think we live in).

Just to give you an example of how seriously this is taken by physicists, the following is quoted from Abner Shimony, "The Reality of the Quantum World", Scientific American, January 1988.

Shimony describes "indefiniteness" and the "superposition principle" (you don?t really need to know what they mean) then continues:

"From these two basic ideas alone -- indefiniteness and the superposition principle -- it should be clear already that quantum mechanics conflicts sharply with common sense. If the quantum state of a system is a complete description of the system, then a quantity that has an indefinite value in that quantum state is objectively indefinite; its value is not merely unknown by the scientist who seeks to describe the system. Furthermore, since the outcome of a measurement of an objectively indefinite quantity is not determined by the quantum state, and yet the quantum state is the complete bearer of information about the system, the outcome is strictly a matter of objective chance -- not just a matter of chance in the sense of unpredictability by the scientist. Finally, the probability of each possible outcome of the measurement is an objective probability. Classical physics did not conflict with common sense in these fundamental ways."

"A number of theorists have maintained however, that [quantum-theory-described physical systems] ... differ from one another in ways not mentioned by the quantum state, and this is the reason the outcomes of the individual experiments are different. The properties of individual systems that are not specified by the quantum state are known as hidden variables. If hidden variables theorists are correct, there is no objective indefiniteness. There is only ignorance on the part of the scientist about the values of the hidden variables that characterize an individual system of interest. Moreover, there is no objective chance and there are no objective probabilities."

Shimony then goes on to report on recent experiments which very strongly indicate that hidden-variables theories are wrong. Indeterminacy is an objective fact and not just a matter of scientists' lack of knowledge."
Found at-- http://www.uhh.hawaii.edu/~ronald/310/Quanta.htm

However, this issue is not relevant here.

The devil you say!! It isn't simply "relevent", it is the very essence of the matter!!!!

This calls for a break. Later.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Modulous, posted 12-31-2007 1:23 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Modulous, posted 01-01-2008 12:08 PM Elmer has responded

    
Modulous
Member (Idle past 181 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 40 of 49 (445163)
01-01-2008 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Elmer
01-01-2008 10:49 AM


Trying to get some coherency
Gee, first you say that you are going to accept the expert opinions of sub-atomic physicists, and then you turn right around and refuse to do any such thing!

I'm perfectly aware of Quantum Indeterminacy. That is why I answered: maybe it does affect determinism, maybe it doesn't. To quote wiki:

quote:
The time dependent Schrödinger equation gives the first time derivative of the quantum state. That is, it explicitly and uniquely predicts the development of the wave function with time...So quantum mechanics is deterministic, provided that one accepts the wave function itself as reality (rather than as probability of classical coordinates)...

So yes, you are right that quantum physics may show that total determinism is not entirely correct at the scale of very small - but it is also the case that it might be that determinism is still in play at this level.

Now - since we are both unqualified to talk about quantum physics we should probably leave it well alone unless we don't mind the risk of looking like idiots. Whether or not some events occur with no prior cause is not relevant to the question at hand in this thread no matter how many exclamation marks you use:

It isn't simply "relevent", it is the very essence of the matter!!!!

You assert that genetic determinism (the exclusive variety) is necessary for certain variants of evolutionary theory. I hope it is clear that this is evidently false since it is simple enough to demonstrate that genetic determinism isn't essential to the simple theory of evolution.

You go on to say that this is somehow affected by the fact that it might be impossible to determine the future from the present - but this part of your idea seems many steps ahead of the argument at this stage. So let's take things one step at a time.

First step: Define trait
Second step: Demonstrate genetic determinism is required for the modern synthesis taking into consideration my counter argument.

Once we have got there we might be able to talk about how QI might fit into the argument. From where I am standing you are making a whole bunch of unrelated claims so starting at the beginning might be the best way of bringing them to form some kind of coherent whole, what say you?

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Elmer, posted 01-01-2008 10:49 AM Elmer has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Elmer, posted 01-02-2008 2:04 AM Modulous has responded

  
MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3905 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 41 of 49 (445184)
01-01-2008 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Elmer
12-31-2007 11:12 AM


Hi Elmer,

you've written:


"RMNS darwinism" is still the backbone, the fundamental essence, the 'sine qua non' of evolutionary biology, even though the actual science of the past 40 years, and particularly the last 10 years, has shown that evolution is not a passive, mechanical, externally determined, reflexive, stochastic, genetic selectionist process,[RMNS] but rather a dynamic, psychologically motivated, responsive, organismically self-serving and self-directed heuristic process[autopoiesis].

This "psychologically motivated" process is something what is totally neglected by the modern science. Nowadays neo-darwinism reminds me of marxism - everything is only superstructure (phenotype) over base (nature and nuture, genes and environment). The first is fully explainable by study of the second even if in some cases it has it's own special rules.

The whole relationship is based on dialectical connections between base and superstrucre, but it is the base which is responsible for almost everything - like culture, religion etc... I am afraid neodarwinian human sociobiology continues to spread such ideas. Wilson and Dawkins are major proponents of these concepts, of the "gene's eye view".

Wilson is more honest than Dawkins admitting that his theories are valid also for humans.

Arguing philosophically with marxism and neodarwinism have no sense on my opinion. It is unexplainable details that will kill both naturalistic paradigmas from mid 19 century. Newtonian physics ruled centuries until it philosophical determinsm has been changed over by the quantum mechanics.

--

As to the discussion about change of average height of population: the process should be connected also with earlier sexual maturation. The process is more psychological and environmental as genetic one I would say considering the fact that average height of population in the 10-th century was much greater than in medieval era. One psychological explanation of the height is maybe observable at Universities. The prevalent type of scientists who now occupies Universitties are rationalists. Those people are thin and tall - more jovial types of pycnics are to be found at Art schools I suppose. Some research would be interesting.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Elmer, posted 12-31-2007 11:12 AM Elmer has not yet responded

  
Elmer
Member (Idle past 3980 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 42 of 49 (445392)
01-02-2008 2:04 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Modulous
01-01-2008 12:08 PM


Re: Trying to get some coherency
So yes, you are right that quantum physics may show that total determinism is not entirely correct at the scale of very small - but it is also the case that it might be that determinism is still in play at this level.

If you insist that Laplacian determinism be accepted as a given, then there is no point in further discussing the subject of this thread, or in fact any other idea or any other matter, since, thanks to determinism, there is nothing that any discussion can do about anything. Even though, ironically, we cannot stop uselessly discussing things because, like everything else we do, determinism forces us to do it anyway.

So here we are. I accept what quantum physicists say about quantum indeterminacy, i.e.; that it is a real, not an abstract, phenomenon. That it is an ontological fact, not just an epistemological, mathematical, notional construct. You, OTH, want to claim that the jury is still out on that one, and that until these scientists pile up sufficient 'proof' to satisfy your demands, quantum indeterminacy will remain speculative. Meanwhile, until quantum physics meets with your satisfaction, you, I, and all the world together, must stick with the mechanist determinism of pre-quantum mechanics,i.e. 17th-18th century materialist determinist mechanics. I must deny the postulate that is the basis for my thread--that reality, including biology, is not mechanically determined.


Now - since we are both unqualified to talk about quantum physics we should probably leave it well alone unless we don't mind the risk of looking like idiots.

We do not have to go into it far enough to make ourselves look like idiots. All we have to do is agree that, as per my citation in my previous post, quantum physics has disproven materialist determinism , and replaced that postulate with quantum indeterminacy.

Since you refuse to do that, rightly or wrongly, we have reached an impasse, an irreconcilable difference, and have nothing further to say to each other wrt evolution's proposed mechanism/s.

[qs]
Whether or not some events occur with no prior cause is not relevant to the question at hand in this thread no matter how many exclamation marks you use:

quote:
It isn't simply "relevent", it is the very essence of the matter!!!!

Funny, now you are trying on some of your own sophistry. You quote me where I refer to quantum indeterminacy, at the end of my post, but try to make it appear that by "it" I am referring to the 'ex nihilo', which occupied the early part of my post. The 'ex nihilo' being a logical argument I challenged you to rebut, but which you do not even mention until this point, where it is falsely dragged in where it does not belong. 'QI' and the 'ex nihilo' are two separate arguments, as I'm sure you know.

The quotation marks are not offered as proof of relevency, but rather, my reaction to your absurd assertion that the validity of 19th century determinism, given QI, is irrelevent to the issue of whether or not genetic/biological determinism is valid , and still supports the RMNS hypothesis. No matter many exclamation marks come with my reaction to it, your assertion of irrelevency is still just as absurd as ever.


You assert that genetic determinism (the exclusive variety) is necessary for certain variants of evolutionary theory.

No, I do not assert that at all. I assert that 'determinism', [specifically gene-centric genetic/biological determinism], is necessary _to_ 'RMNS',--that is, the 'sine qua non', foundational causal mechanism that supposedly explains biological evolution in darwinian, i.e., materialist, terms.


I hope it is clear that this is evidently false

In my own terms, as above, it is true.


since it is simple enough to demonstrate that genetic determinism isn't essential to the simple theory of evolution.

If by "the simple theory of evolution [?!?]", you mean "RMNS" then provide this 'simple demonstration' that "RM" can be the 'mechanism' generates productive novel traits, but without relying upon/entailing mechanical determinism.


You go on to say that this is somehow affected by the fact that it might be impossible to determine the future from the present - but this part of your idea seems many steps ahead of the argument at this stage. So let's take things one step at a time.

Well, since 'this' proposition, {QI},is not "somehow affected by" determinism, but rather, itself affects whether or not it _is_ possible "to determine the future from the present" [determinism _ meaning, 'fix', 'establish', I assume?], is not "ahead of the argument at this stage", but rather, is the heart of the matter now, and at all stages, I suggest that we either deal with this step now, or, as above, simply agree to disagree and abandon our exchange.

Edited by Elmer, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Modulous, posted 01-01-2008 12:08 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Modulous, posted 01-02-2008 3:51 AM Elmer has not yet responded
 Message 44 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 8:48 PM Elmer has responded

    
Modulous
Member (Idle past 181 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 43 of 49 (445396)
01-02-2008 3:51 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Elmer
01-02-2008 2:04 AM


Re: Trying to get some coherency
If you insist that Laplacian determinism be accepted as a given, then there is no point in further discussing the subject of this thread, or in fact any other idea or any other matter, since, thanks to determinism, there is nothing that any discussion can do about anything.

What part of 'maybe it does, maybe it doesn't' gives you the deluded idea that I insist that determinism must be a given?

So here we are. I accept what quantum physicists say about quantum indeterminacy, i.e.; that it is a real, not an abstract, phenomenon. That it is an ontological fact, not just an epistemological, mathematical, notional construct. You, OTH, want to claim that the jury is still out on that one, and that until these scientists pile up sufficient 'proof' to satisfy your demands, quantum indeterminacy will remain speculative.

That's not what I claim at all. I explicitly accept QI. The implications of it might affect determinism, or it might not.

We do not have to go into it far enough to make ourselves look like idiots. All we have to do is agree that, as per my citation in my previous post, quantum physics has disproven materialist determinism , and replaced that postulate with quantum indeterminacy.

As I said - quantum physics might actually be deterministic even with QI as crazy as that sounds. Once again, due to our ignorance of this non-intuitive subject I advise we simply leave it well be. This one might be best for its own thread...we're here to talk biology not quantum physics.

Whether or not some events occur with no prior cause is not relevant to the question at hand in this thread no matter how many exclamation marks you use:
Funny, now you are trying on some of your own sophistry. You quote me where I refer to quantum indeterminacy, at the end of my post, but try to make it appear that by "it" I am referring to the 'ex nihilo'

How on earth did I manage to 'make it appear' that by 'it' you were referring to 'ex nihilo' when the sentence previous to the one you quoted I was talking about quantum physics AND I never mentioned 'ex nihilo' in my post?

I must be one slippery customer to be able twist your words that much :)

I assert that 'determinism', [specifically gene-centric genetic/biological determinism], is necessary _to_ 'RMNS',--that is, the 'sine qua non', foundational causal mechanism that supposedly explains biological evolution in darwinian, i.e., materialist, terms.

Then address my rebuttal example where I show how it is not necessary.

If by "the simple theory of evolution [?!?]", you mean "RMNS" then provide this 'simple demonstration' that "RM" can be the 'mechanism' generates productive novel traits, but without relying upon/entailing mechanical determinism.

You have still neglected to define 'trait'. You seemed to spend most of your post misrepresenting my position. Defining 'trait' played a big role in my post for a good reason. It's very important that I know what you mean by it.

I have posted the simple demonstration twice now. By all means, read my posts and you'll see it. It was the one about plants and tallness.

Well, since 'this' proposition, {QI},is not "somehow affected by" determinism,

Reading comprehension. You might try it. 'this' did not refer to indeterminacy. Why would it make any sense to say that indeterminacy was somehow affected by indeterminacy? Try reading it again. Or better yet, perhaps you should just respond to the following?

quote:
First step: Define trait
Second step: Demonstrate genetic determinism is required for the modern synthesis taking into consideration my counter argument.

Once we have got there we might be able to talk about how QI might fit into the argument. From where I am standing you are making a whole bunch of unrelated claims so starting at the beginning might be the best way of bringing them to form some kind of coherent whole, what say you?



This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Elmer, posted 01-02-2008 2:04 AM Elmer has not yet responded

  
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2975 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 44 of 49 (451486)
01-27-2008 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Elmer
01-02-2008 2:04 AM


Re: Trying to get some coherency
I just want to comment I have been very impressed by your arguments. I think another way to illustrate the fact QM dispels the notions of reality being mechanically determined is rather than discussing indeterminancy, pointing out the operations of quantum mechanics occur outside space and time as shown with the phenoma of entanglement. 2 particles that are entangled act as one system regardless of distance and time. They defy local realism as well as causality.

Their connection as one system and the operations of that occur outside space and time, as quantum physicists such as Zeilinger attest to. In fact, most assert particles also exist outside space and time with no definite location in the universe until "observation" which in itself is hotly debated.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Elmer, posted 01-02-2008 2:04 AM Elmer has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Elmer, posted 01-27-2008 11:47 PM randman has responded

  
Elmer
Member (Idle past 3980 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 45 of 49 (451536)
01-27-2008 11:47 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by randman
01-27-2008 8:48 PM


Re: Trying to get some coherency
Hi randman. thanks. But unless quantum field theory and alocality are understood to confound Materialism's determinist realty/ontology, and that understanding is taken as a given--[and modulous refuses to do this], then determinism is indeterminate. Modulous wanted to continue the debate from the perspective that mechanical determinism could be assumed as a given. But this thread was begun on the understanding that it the "Aspect" experiments were irrefutable proof that space and time, and thus matter itself, were not what Materialism, and its determinism, had always held them to be. There is no way to debate this gainsaying of physics, since I have no real understanding of the science involved.

I had hoped that someone with an informed opinion on alocality might pick it up, but you are the first to respond since modulous assumed his metaphysical position If you have more and better knowledge of the phenomenon, perhaps you could expand on it for him and others who insist upon a determinist universe.

I would love to get a better grasp of it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by randman, posted 01-27-2008 8:48 PM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by randman, posted 01-28-2008 12:03 AM Elmer has responded

    
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