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Author Topic:   Kin Selection & Altruism
Cal
Inactive Member


Message 61 of 136 (265233)
12-03-2005 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by RAZD
12-03-2005 11:11 AM


Re: new example?
The material in question is related to drug resistance and not to reproducing the genoptype of bacterium A in another cell. It is not reproducing {A}.

What exactly is {A} other than a collection of genes which, acting together, produce the sort of phenotypic properties of which drug resistance is an instance? It seems like you are viewing {A}ness as something like a Platonic essence, with an existence independent of the existence of the individual genes of which it is comprised.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 11:11 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 11:41 AM Cal has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 62 of 136 (265234)
12-03-2005 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Cal
12-03-2005 11:35 AM


Re: new example?
the injection into {B} modifies {B} to no advantage for {A} and with a possible disadvantage when {B} can now outcompete {A} for the same {resources\environment}. certainly {B} gains an advantage from the action of {A}.

the injection into {B} of material from {A} means that {A}'s resources are diminished, resources that could have gone into reproduction, with no present or future benefit to reproduction or survival.

we are discussing altruism.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Cal, posted 12-03-2005 11:35 AM Cal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by Cal, posted 12-03-2005 12:13 PM RAZD has responded

  
Cal
Inactive Member


Message 63 of 136 (265245)
12-03-2005 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by RAZD
12-03-2005 11:41 AM


the injection into {B} of material from {A} means that {A}'s resources are diminished, resources that could have gone into reproduction, with no present or future benefit to reproduction or survival.

My point is that you are trying to justify altruism from the perspective of the individual organism. For the individual gene (those involved in producing resistance), such a transfer constitutes reproduction.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 11:41 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 12:31 PM Cal has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 64 of 136 (265253)
12-03-2005 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Cal
12-03-2005 12:13 PM


... you are trying to justify altruism from the perspective of the individual organism.

Actually it is staying within both the definition of altruism as applied to biology and the topic of this thread.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Cal, posted 12-03-2005 12:13 PM Cal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Cal, posted 12-03-2005 1:27 PM RAZD has responded

  
Cal
Inactive Member


Message 65 of 136 (265267)
12-03-2005 1:27 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by RAZD
12-03-2005 12:31 PM


Actually it is staying within both the definition of altruism as applied to biology and the topic of this thread.

Altruistic behavior is defined in terms of costs and benefits, and reproductive success is the stick with which those costs and benefits are measured. I don't see horizontal gene transfer as a good example of altruistic behavior, because it doesn't appear clear whether it is a cost or a benefit, since horizontal gene transfer is reproduction.

Pointing to horizontal gene transfer as altruistic behavior seems to send the discussion off into a quagmire. Reproduction, in any form, does come at a cost to the parent (I'm here to tell ya). At some point, the loss of resources due to production of additional offspring can begin to threaten the parent's reproductive success, measured not only in terms of the number of future offspring the parent might produce, but in the survival chances for those offspring, and thereby the numbers of offspring those offspring might produce as well. Therefore, reproductive success ultimately refers not to the number of children, but the number of grandchildren (hence, in environments in which resources are limited, K-selected organisms will tend to outbreed r-selected ones).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 12:31 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 2:42 PM Cal has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 66 of 136 (265282)
12-03-2005 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Cal
12-03-2005 1:27 PM


I'm sorry but it is not reporoduction. The organism is not reproduced. You are changing the definition of reproduction to make your argument fit and that falsifies it.

Organism {A} gives resistance to drug {X} to organism {B}. The result is not a new {A}. The result is a more drug resistant {B}, better able to survive. The result is also a less resourceful {A} having given away some material that could have been used for something ... like reproduction.

You can equivocate on definitions if you want to, but don't call it an argument.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Cal, posted 12-03-2005 1:27 PM Cal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Cal, posted 12-03-2005 3:51 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 72 by FliesOnly, posted 12-05-2005 8:33 AM RAZD has responded

  
Cal
Inactive Member


Message 67 of 136 (265296)
12-03-2005 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by RAZD
12-03-2005 2:42 PM


I'm sorry but it is not reporoduction. The organism is not reproduced.

By that logic, sexual organisms do not reproduce either, since their replicating mechanisms produce a patching together of bits from two different genomes, rather than a re-creating of an entire organism. The number of copies of genes is what counts.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 2:42 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 5:54 PM Cal has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 68 of 136 (265313)
12-03-2005 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by Cal
12-03-2005 3:51 PM


word games. have fun.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Cal, posted 12-03-2005 3:51 PM Cal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Cal, posted 12-03-2005 7:56 PM RAZD has responded

  
Cal
Inactive Member


Message 69 of 136 (265332)
12-03-2005 7:56 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by RAZD
12-03-2005 5:54 PM


word games

I agree. In fact, that you are playing word games is precisely what I hoped to point out. You seem to be locked in on the idea that "reproduction" is meaningful only at the level of complete organisms, and your view of altruism naturally follows that. From that perspective, horizontal gene transfer in procaryotes can only be viewed as something the organism is doing, and altruism -- even kin altruism -- becomes hard to explain. There are other ways of looking at this, however, beginning with viewing conjugation as something the plasmid is doing; i.e., the plasmid may be viewed as a genetic parasite.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 5:54 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by RAZD, posted 12-04-2005 12:12 PM Cal has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 70 of 136 (265438)
12-04-2005 12:12 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by Cal
12-03-2005 7:56 PM


No. We went over the definitions early on in this thread what the parameters were and the specific definition (zoological) of altruism to be used:

http://http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=5&t=634&m=24#25

You are redefining {reproduction} to make your point valid, and without that redefinition it is false. Thus you are the one playing word games.

re·pro·duc·tion n.

1. The act of reproducing or the condition or process of being reproduced.
2. Something reproduced, especially in the faithfulness of its resemblance to the form and elements of the original: a fine reproduction of a painting by Matisse.
3. Biology. The sexual or asexual process by which organisms generate new individuals of the same kind; procreation.

The biological one would apply here, and this is my usage. If you have a gripe with it, take it up with the dictionary.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Cal, posted 12-03-2005 7:56 PM Cal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Cal, posted 12-04-2005 12:56 PM RAZD has not yet responded

  
Cal
Inactive Member


Message 71 of 136 (265448)
12-04-2005 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by RAZD
12-04-2005 12:12 PM


You are redefining {reproduction} to make your point valid.

I understand your objection. It is exactly the same as the objection I have to the narrow way you define "reproduction". What we have here (in addition to a failure to communicate) is a tempest in a teapot, and a bit of a tangent to the main topic of the thread. If it makes you feel any better, I like everything you said right up to where you presented conjugation as an example of altruistic behavior.

Since you did, it seems worthwhile to take a closer look at that process, asking what it is that is behaving, and what (if anything) is being reproduced. Your position is that conjugation is 'behavior' on the part of the bacterium. I submit that plasmids are autonomously replicating entities which essentially co-opt the bacterial cellular machinery for their own purposes, and that this process of replication easily fits within the definition of "reproduction" which you have just provided. This might become clearer if you consider the fact that plasmids do not always confer an advantage upon the host; it is the plasmid that is acting -- and it is acting in its own self-interest.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by RAZD, posted 12-04-2005 12:12 PM RAZD has not yet responded

  
FliesOnly
Member (Idle past 2221 days)
Posts: 797
From: Michigan
Joined: 12-01-2003


Message 72 of 136 (265682)
12-05-2005 8:33 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by RAZD
12-03-2005 2:42 PM


It's still not altruism
RAZD writes:

Organism {A} gives resistance to drug {X} to organism {B}. The result is not a new {A}. The result is a more drug resistant {B}, better able to survive. The result is also a less resourceful {A} having given away some material that could have been used for something ... like reproduction.

This would be an example of commensalism (if species "A" receives no benefit or harm), but not altruism.

However, if it could be shown that there is reproductive loss to species "A", then I suppose it could be argued it is an example of altruism (see, I'm not completely opposed to the concept altruism).

Who knows, maybe this sort of thing is the key to the evolution of altruistic behavior. It's simply an artifact of our bacterial heritage :).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by RAZD, posted 12-03-2005 2:42 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by RAZD, posted 12-05-2005 9:39 PM FliesOnly has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 73 of 136 (265894)
12-05-2005 9:39 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by FliesOnly
12-05-2005 8:33 AM


Re: It's still not altruism
actually I think it could be where sex came from ... so it is very generous on their part :D

not sure commensalism applies as it really appears to be more unspecific nonselective in behavior, especially if it can be done to several other bacteria as well as the same species (mistaken identity?)

it certainly is not "mindful" of the consequences ...

if it could be shown that there is reproductive loss to species "A"

The specific organism in question gives up material that could otherwise be used for reproduction, setting back the time it takes to acquire sufficient resources for reproduction.

In terms of species I think it does offer the possibility that it enables the species {B} to be more fit than species {A} for survival.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by FliesOnly, posted 12-05-2005 8:33 AM FliesOnly has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by FliesOnly, posted 12-09-2005 11:05 AM RAZD has responded

  
FliesOnly
Member (Idle past 2221 days)
Posts: 797
From: Michigan
Joined: 12-01-2003


Message 74 of 136 (267156)
12-09-2005 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by RAZD
12-05-2005 9:39 PM


Re: It's still not altruism
RAZD writes:

actually I think it could be where sex came from ... so it is very generous on their part

There is a species of fish (a cichlid I believe) where the male has an egg-like pattern near his anal fin close to where sperm are released. The female of this species are mouth brooders so upon the release of her eggs she promptly sucks them up into her mouth. She sees the males "fake" egg spot and tries to suck up that "eggs" as well, as he of course, releases sperm. This then, by your logic would clearly be a precursor to a path leading to the...well...to the...BJ? :o:D

RAZD writes:

The specific organism in question gives up material that could otherwise be used for reproduction, setting back the time it takes to acquire sufficient resources for reproduction.

Has any looked into the comparative reproduce success of individuals that transferred genes to those that did not? I hate to be a stickler for detail, but with no corresponding decline in reproductive success, this behavior would not be considered altruistic. I know, I know, I’m using the wrong definition, which just so happens to be the classic definition. Oh well.

I have to be honest and admit that I have not read the paper, so I will ask you this: Is it explained anywhere “why” species "A" would do this?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by RAZD, posted 12-05-2005 9:39 PM RAZD has responded

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 Message 75 by RAZD, posted 12-09-2005 8:44 PM FliesOnly has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 75 of 136 (267346)
12-09-2005 8:44 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by FliesOnly
12-09-2005 11:05 AM


Re: It's still not altruism
Has any looked into the comparative reproduce success of individuals that transferred genes to those that did not? I hate to be a stickler for detail, but with no corresponding decline in reproductive success,...

Lets see, throwing away perfectly good cellular material, expending energy unrelated to feeding or reproduction, positive benefit?

At a minimum the energy would need to be recovered before the organism could proceed to reproduce.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by FliesOnly, posted 12-09-2005 11:05 AM FliesOnly has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Cal, posted 12-09-2005 10:42 PM RAZD has responded

  
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