Understanding through Discussion

Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 57 (9054 total)
61 online now:
dwise1, kjsimons, PaulK, Percy (Admin), PurpleYouko (5 members, 56 visitors)
Newest Member: EWolf
Post Volume: Total: 888,324 Year: 5,970/14,102 Month: 118/438 Week: 50/112 Day: 5/8 Hour: 0/1

Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Author Topic:   Peppered Moths and Natural Selection
Member (Idle past 49 days)
Posts: 7051
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005

Message 310 of 350 (670691)
08-17-2012 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 308 by Big_Al35
08-17-2012 3:52 AM

An old darwinian definition "survival of the fittest"

Actually Darwin did not come up with this term. You actually might want to read something on a subject before you expound on it. It only took me 1 minute to research this phrase.

It was coined by Herbert Spencer who used it in a book after he read Darwin. He was using the term to draw comparisons between his economic theories and Darwins theories. Darwin did use it in the fifth edition of "On the Origin of Species". It was used as a metaphor.

Darwin meant it as a metaphor for "better adapted for immediate, local environment", not the common inference of "in the best physical shape". Hence, it is not a scientific description.


Lets follow the wiki note.

Evolutionary biologists customarily employ the metaphor “survival of the fittest,” which has a precise meaning in the context of mathematical population genetics, as a shorthand expression when describing evolutionary processes. Yet, outside of the shared interpretative context of evolutionary biology, the same metaphor has been employed to argue that evolutionary theory is fundamentally flawed. Natural Selection, the argument goes, leads to a survival of the fittest. The fittest are those that survive. Ergo, natural selection describes the survival of the survivors. Thus one of the core concepts of evolutionary theory is a tautology. While it is easy to see how such an argument represents a deliberate misunderstanding of evolutionary theory, it also alerts us to some problems inherent to the use of metaphors in science.

[aside]You should read this whole article. It is a fascinating look at how metaphors have helped and hindered science.[aside]

Interesting. You see how that research works. Survival of the fittest is not a scientific term and is not the basis of Darwinism. It is a metaphor for Natural Selection.

I apologize to all those offended by the quotes I am using to back up my comments. But it would be impossible to make the argument without the evidence to back them up.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 308 by Big_Al35, posted 08-17-2012 3:52 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:

Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2021