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Author Topic:   Definition of Evolution
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1122 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 166 of 212 (419967)
09-05-2007 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 164 by RAZD
09-05-2007 1:23 PM


Re: back to the definition(s)
Look, I just read Moran's blog page or whatever you want to call it. He has his opinions, he merely asserts. I go with Mayr because his definition makes sense. Moran is biased because he has spoken up for the genetic definition and cannot go back. For him to assert Mayr is confused without showing any confusion is cheap and unconvincing.

The point is that I have a source for my view: Harvard Professor Ernst Mayr says evolution IS NOT a change in gene frequencies (2001:XV).

Ray


This message is a reply to:
 Message 164 by RAZD, posted 09-05-2007 1:23 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 167 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-05-2007 6:11 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded
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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 167 of 212 (419969)
09-05-2007 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 166 by Cold Foreign Object
09-05-2007 6:07 PM


Re: back to the definition(s)
The point is that I have a source for my view: Harvard Professor Ernst Mayr says evolution IS NOT a change in gene frequencies ...

And he also says that it is, so which of him are you going to trust?

Or perhaps both statements would make more sense in context?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-05-2007 6:07 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

Replies to this message:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1122 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 168 of 212 (419970)
09-05-2007 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 167 by Dr Adequate
09-05-2007 6:11 PM


Re: back to the definition(s)
And he also says that it is, so which of him are you going to trust?

Or perhaps both statements would make more sense in context?

Yes, good point (which I have already made). In context, Mayr said in the preface of 2001 that genetical explanation is important and needs to be covered (and his book does this) but he then says that genetic definition is not the definition of evolution. He then gives the definition of evolution. What is the problem here?

Ray

PS: While I have you I do know that I made an error a while back when I said stasis in the fossil record corresponds to PE. I agree with what you said that the same corresponds to an alternating scenario.

RM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-05-2007 6:11 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

    
RAZD
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Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 169 of 212 (419977)
09-05-2007 7:45 PM
Reply to: Message 165 by Cold Foreign Object
09-05-2007 5:57 PM


Re: back to the definition(s)
I meant for the material quoted from page 157.

You mean the part where I posted:

quote:
Evolution in sexually reproducing organisms consists of genetic changes from generation to generation in populations, from the smallest local deme to the aggregate of interbreeding populations in a biological species.

Ernst Mayr (2001) What Evolution Is, Basic Books, New York p.157


That is the quote and the reference citation.

Who wrote the article on Mayr? Ninja Turtle, 007, Son of Sam or Britney Spears? Or did all of them have a say?
The point is that Wikipedia is not a source.

Are you saying he was not one of the principal architects of the modern synthesis? DO a google on it and see what names you come up with.

http://bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca/Evolution_by_Accident/Modern_Synthesis.html

quote:
One of the goals of the Modern Synthesis was to reach consensus on the place of macroevolution. The founders of the Modern Synthesis insisted that macroevolution could be explained by microevolution and no additional mechanisms, such as the bogeyman of saltation, were required. Ernst Mary, one of the original founders, sums it up this way ...
The term "evolutionary synthesis" was introduced by Julian Huxley in Evolution: The Modern Synthesis (1942) to designate the general acceptance of two conclusions: gradual evolution can be explained in terms of small genetic changes ("mutations") and recombination, and the ordering of the genetic variation by natural selection; and the observed evolutionary phenomena, particularly macroevolutonary processes and speciation, can be explained in a manner that is consistent with the known genetic mechanisms.

Ernst Mayr (1980) "Some Thoughts on the History
of the Evolutionary Synthesis" in The Evolutionary Synthesis,
E. Mayr & W.B. Provine eds. Harvard University Press.


The origanl version of the Modern Synthesis included mechanisms other than natural selection, especially random genetic drift.

(FYI the indented portion is the direct quote from Mayr)

Criticizing the use of wikipedia is useless if the same information is generally available and it is correct.

What essay is being referred to here? Is it this one?
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html
How does blog writer know that Mayr wrote said book to reply to said essay?

Now you're just being confused. Note that "the blog writer" is a professor of molecular biology.

Moran is a geneticist, why wouldn't he disagree with Mayr? To say Mayr is inconsistent is merely an insult evading the fact that neither you or Moran have actually showed an inconsistency - it is asserted.

No, actually it is shown by quoting Mayr from two different parts of the same book where he gives (or appears to give) two different definitions for "evolution" -- both are quoted so you can compare them yourself.

The point is that your genetic definition is not the only valid definition of evolution. I have supplied Mayr saying this specifically from the source you and possibly Moran quote mined, ignoring the text I pasted altogether. Usually, persons ignore what they cannot refute. This seems to be the case, here. I would surely appreciate a reply to my questions and points.

That Mayr said that is not disputed. That he ALSO said the other definition is the point being made -- which it seems you are unable to refute and are attempting to ignore. If you don't believe this then check the book out at the library and read page 157.

Look, I am not obligated to do your work, I do not have to read any article, RAZD, ...

But if you are going to argue that the quote from page 157 is not correct then you have to demonstrate it, and to do that you do need to go to the original source. You are the one claiming this is "quote mined" (ie quoted out of context) so it is incumbent on you to demonstrate that fact.

Mayr is not inconsistent: he acknowledged the importance of genetical explanation but said evolution is not defined at said level.

He also says that it is. See page 157.

Message 166
Look, I just read Moran's blog page or whatever you want to call it. He has his opinions, he merely asserts. I go with Mayr because his definition makes sense. Moran is biased because he has spoken up for the genetic definition and cannot go back. For him to assert Mayr is confused without showing any confusion is cheap and unconvincing.

The point is that I have a source for my view: Harvard Professor Ernst Mayr says evolution IS NOT a change in gene frequencies (2001:XV).

You are just choosing the definition you prefer based on your opinion. Your cite is also from the preface rather than the actual body of the book, and so context is more difficult to evaluate. Looking in the body of the book for context you need to look at p 189 and this quote where he gives an alternate definition for evolution:

quote:
... At first sight, there seems to be no method available to explain macroevolutionary phenomena by microevolutionary theories. But should it nevertheless be possible to expand the microevolutionary processes into macroevolutionary ones? And furthermore, can it be shown that macroevolutionary theories and laws are fully consistent with microevolutionary ones?

The possibility of such an explanation was shown by a number of authors during the evolutionary synthesis, particularly by Rensch and Simpson. They successfully developed Darwinian generalizations about macroevolution without having to analyze any correlated changes in gene frequencies. This approach was consistent with the modern definition of evolution as a change in adaptedness and diversity, rather than a change in gene frequencies, as suggested by the reductionists. To put it in a nutshell, in order to prove that there is an unbroken continuity between macro- and microevolution, the Darwinians have to demonstrate that seemingly very different "types" are nothing but the end points in a continuous series of evolving populations.


Same book, but here he is talking specifically about macroevolutionary effects -- ie the evolution that leads to speciation -- rather than evolution in general.

Finally, Mayr is not the only biologist that defines evolution, nor is he considered an ultimate authority, though his opinion is respected. One of the problems with the arguments from authority eh?

For instance, another well recognized authority says:

quote:
Biological (or organic) evolution is change in the properties of populations of organisms or groups of such populations, over the course of generations. The development, or ontogeny, of an individual organism is not considered evolution: individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are ‘heritable' via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportions of different forms of a gene within a population, such as the alleles that determine the different human blood types, to the alterations that led from the earliest organisms to dinosaurs, bees, snapdragons, and humans.

Douglas J. Futuyma (1998) Evolutionary Biology 3rd ed., Sinauer Associates Inc. Sunderland MA p.4


(quote is from the book referenced -- a common textbook used to teach evolution)

The point is that your genetic definition is not the only valid definition of evolution.

But the point being discussed here is that it is a valid definition of evolution, one that is also supported by Mayr (as well as other authorities).

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : corrected page reference from 168 to 189 and expanded quoted material from that page.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-05-2007 5:57 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 171 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-06-2007 12:16 PM RAZD has responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3107 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 170 of 212 (419978)
09-05-2007 7:56 PM
Reply to: Message 166 by Cold Foreign Object
09-05-2007 6:07 PM


Re:Mayr may I...
Of course Mayr says this. Have you ever compared the geographic distribution of snakes to a bird cline?? If one reads Provine’s book on Wright, (and I heard Will say twice two decades apart that he and Mayr differed “all down the line”) Provine documents that Mayr coming to Wright’s defense on Fisher’s attacks nonetheless insists that ‘bean bag genetics’ had not contributed to evo much (read natural history or evolution in nature).

Now if one reads Gould one finds in this place the statements that only Russian biology was able to combine natural history and genetics, continuing a false, in my opinion, dictomy so as to wail against Mayr from and evo-devo perspective. My grandfather WAS an experimentalist of the Morgan school but considered himself an ornithologist and conservationist first. He established a field station for a university and yet brought, bought and designed the biological labs for a SUNY school. The combination of a field man and fly guy are not the sole province of a particular nation.

Mayr was so ingrained in his ideas that he REFUSED to think he was wrong. I simply tried to show him how useful irrational numbers might be to catalog trait variations and before he took in what I was suggesting he was off on his ideas about typology, essentialism, and speciation at the edges of ranges. That was 1987. He was a Cornell AD White Prof at large. He became very small to me and deflated overnight.

The whole, recent, notions of peak shifts, fails to follow up Wright’s geometry fully. In 1987 when Levin and Kaufmann came out with their own versions, much more friendly to Wright than Mayr, they still insisted on the concept of a “next” mutant, again the best theoreticians could not grapple with the visual place the theory opened. Gould has somehow managed linguistically to open this space without maths. But the criticism remains that Wright failed to differentiate gene combinations per individual and gene frequencies in a population. This IS NOT Wright failure but the failure to understand the phenotype GIVEN a genotype. More attention to math is all that is required. Mayr was more concerned with whether birds fly north to south or south to north and never adequately dealt with Croizat. The 70s is not the final chapter.

For me, I was always a naturalist first and foremeost. I was most influenced by Oliver’s book The Natural History of Reptiles and Amphibians. I did not want to be a fireman, I wanted to be Oliver’s natural historian. It was either as a Senior in High School or Freshman at Cornell (going on memory of memory) that I realized and decided that a natural historian can not simply compare objects but must also use mathematics, and then began my search for the correct maths, still continuing a little. Mayr and no one else , as far as I know has shown how Wright’s deme fits within Darwin’s diagram and supplements that only came out in the 1 9 70s!! I can see that it does! Provine AND Gould insist on “incomprehensibility”, this is due to a lack of figuring out what math to use in comparing symmetries. I know this. It does not help if others do not. It seems to me that by using quaternions one DOES NOT sacrifice the evolutionary individual to reductionism. If Mayr would not listen to me on irrationals to label specimens I a jar just imagine what he and Gould would say to me today!!!!

There needs to be a whole new field of quaternion phlyogenetics. With such an apparatus even my own notion of baramins (on EvC) would be subsumed.


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 Message 166 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-05-2007 6:07 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

    
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1122 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 171 of 212 (420141)
09-06-2007 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by RAZD
09-05-2007 7:45 PM


Re: back to the definition(s)
That is the quote and the reference citation.

And you failed to place quote marks around text.

Are you saying he was not one of the principal architects of the modern synthesis? DO a google on it and see what names you come up with.

No, you have said that. I know exactly who Mayr is and was. We know you are quite proficient in evolutionary theory, RAZD, but not in history of science. Mayr was not a chief architect; he was a principal player, still being quite young at the time in question.

Criticizing the use of wikipedia is useless if the same information is generally available and it is correct.

Then why use Britney Spears in the first place? Wikipedia is not a source; anyone with a computer can post anonymously, RAZD.

Ray originally writes:

What essay is being referred to here? Is it this one?
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html
How does blog writer know that Mayr wrote said book to reply to said essay?

RAZD responding writes:

Now you're just being confused. Note that "the blog writer" is a professor of molecular biology.

I am confused that is why I asked said question. Am I to believe that based on your non-answer that you are too? Can you please answer the question? I know who Moran is, that was not my question.

Is Moran saying that Mayr 2001 was a reply to his blog or Talk Origin page or both or something else and how does he know? Or is it just his judgement that Mayr 2001 was a reply to something HE WROTE?

No, actually it is shown by quoting Mayr from two different parts of the same book where he gives (or appears to give) two different definitions for "evolution" -- both are quoted so you can compare them yourself.

What we actually have is two quotes; one from the preface and one from page 157 under the heading "Conclusions." The preface quote, being in the preface, does not in any way diminish what is said. The preface is establishing context for the entire book. The preface quote said that genetical explanation is important BUT it is not the definition of evolution. The book follows this scheme: it covers the importance of genetics (page 157) but, like the preface says, it is not the definition of evolution. Mayr supplies the definition of evolution which you have evaded two times now - good job RAZD, and very objective.

That Mayr said that is not disputed. That he ALSO said the other definition is the point being made -- which it seems you are unable to refute and are attempting to ignore. If you don't believe this then check the book out at the library and read page 157.

"The other definition" (to use your words) is not a definition; it is explanation. Mayr provides one plain definition in the preface. All you have done is describe explanation as definition because you have already spoken up for that as a definition. By the way: I own a copy of Mayr 2001.

Again, the point is that the genetic definition is not the only definition, and I have the most respected scientist of the 20th century as a source.

But if you are going to argue that the quote from page 157 is not correct then you have to demonstrate it, and to do that you do need to go to the original source. You are the one claiming this is "quote mined" (ie quoted out of context) so it is incumbent on you to demonstrate that fact.

I have shown quote mine and you have evaded it like the plague. There is no definition on page 157. The definition and explanation of what the book is about is in the preface. Mayr said evolution is NOT a change in gene frequencies. Page 157 does not contradict. Page 157 is simply part of the explanation of the importance of genetics said in the larger context of that NOT being the definition of evolution. Again, you evaded this explanation. What you cannot accept (or Moran) is the fact that there are persons even more qualified and respected than a blog writer with a degree. How cowardly of Moran to say the things he said (street insults) to a dead giant who cannot defend himself. Did Moran ever say these types of things when Mayr was alive?

He also says that it is. See page 157.

No he does not. Mayr plainly says that it is not in the preface.

You are just choosing the definition you prefer based on your opinion.

Where does page 157 say anything about definition? You are engaged in a classic quote mine and cannot admit. OTOH, the preface clearly says three things:

1. The genetic definition is not the definition of evolution.

2. The genetic definition is important.

3. The real definition of evolution.

Page 157 does not say anything about "a definition" but falls in the context of number #2 above. You and Moran are calling page 157 "a definition of evolution" and it does not say that in context.

Your cite is also from the preface rather than the actual body of the book, and so context is more difficult to evaluate.

Nonsense. Like I said: the preface sets the context. It's not a matter of opinion: the preface explains page 157 and so forth. You are deliberately engaged in equivocation.

Speaking of equivocation: here is an example in your next quote:

Looking in the body of the book for context you need to look at p 168 and this quote where he gives an alternate definition for evolution:

["]This approach was consistent with the modern definition of evolution as a change in adaptedness and diversity, rather than a change in gene frequencies, as suggested by the reductionists.["]

You are demonstrably confused. The quote above fully supports everything I have said and argued. What you have called a definition is not a definition but disproves your contention and disagrees with your genetic definition of evolution - SHEESH!

Finally, Mayr is not the only biologist that defines evolution, nor is he considered an ultimate authority, though his opinion is respected. One of the problems with the arguments from authority eh?

Nobody said Mayr is the only thus and such - you did. By dismissing having a source for ones view (= your 'argument from authority') you are demanding that your subjective viewpoint is factual and objective. Since you really believe Wikipedia is a source we are not surprised.

The only opinions that count as factual are scholarship. This is the system of Western nations since the inventing of the printing press. It does not matter what you or I or Mods or any other person says: unless you have a scholarly source for your view it is an unsupported opinion and not factual. It is also a major component of the Rules of this Forum.

But the point being discussed here is that it is a valid definition of evolution, one that is also supported by Mayr (as well as other authorities).

No, Mayr has said that it is not. How much more clearer can it be? You are straight out lying to the Forum: Mayr said evolution is not a change in gene frequencies. Page 157 says nothing about definition: you and Moran have added that claim to the text.

Ray

Edited by Cold Foreign Object, : No reason given.

Edited by Cold Foreign Object, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1122 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 172 of 212 (420145)
09-06-2007 12:30 PM


Ernst Mayr, writing critically in the context of the way evolution is presented and explained in literature:

quote:
"....the principles of genetics must be thoroughly explained....[however]....most treatments of evolution are written in a reductionist manner in which all evolutionary phenomena are reduced to the level of the gene. An attempt is then made to explain the higher-level evolutionary process by 'upward' reasoning. This approach invariably fails. Evolution deals with phenotypes of individuals, with populations, with species; it is not 'a change in gene frequencies.' The two most important units in evolution are the individual, the principal object of selection, and the population...." (What Evolution Is, 2001:XIV).

Edited by Cold Foreign Object, : No reason given.

Edited by AdminNosy, : to remove large font


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AdminNosy
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Posts: 4754
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Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 173 of 212 (420170)
09-06-2007 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 172 by Cold Foreign Object
09-06-2007 12:30 PM


It is not necessary to yell
I will shrink your font for you. Don't do that too often ok?
This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 174 of 212 (420181)
09-06-2007 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 171 by Cold Foreign Object
09-06-2007 12:16 PM


Re: back to the definition(s)
No, you have said that. I know exactly who Mayr is and was. We know you are quite proficient in evolutionary theory, RAZD, but not in history of science. Mayr was not a chief architect; he was a principal player, still being quite young at the time in question.

You could just admit that you were wrong, Ray. Notice I said "one of the principal architects" not chief architect -- that is your conflation to avoid the reality.

Then why use Britney Spears in the first place? Wikipedia is not a source; anyone with a computer can post anonymously, RAZD.

And in this case got it 100% correct. Gosh. Wonder why?

Is Moran saying that Mayr 2001 was a reply to his blog or Talk Origin page or both or something else and how does he know? Or is it just his judgement that Mayr 2001 was a reply to something HE WROTE?

I have absolutely no idea where you get this bizarre concept from Ray. Moran wrote the article and quoted Mayr in it -- so how could the book quoted in the article be written as a response to the article that quotes the book? One can conclude that reading for comprehension is not your strong suit if you make assertions like this.

What we actually have is two quotes; one from the preface and one from page 157 under the heading "Conclusions." The preface quote, being in the preface, does not in any way diminish what is said. The preface is establishing context for the entire book. The preface quote said that genetical explanation is important BUT it is not the definition of evolution. The book follows this scheme: it covers the importance of genetics (page 157) but, like the preface says, it is not the definition of evolution. Mayr supplies the definition of evolution which you have evaded two times now - good job RAZD, and very objective.

Notice that you claimed I had "quote mined" the definition on page 157 -- that means misrepresenting what was said out of context. For reference here is all of page 157:

quote:
Conclusions

Evolution in sexually reproducing organisms consists of genetic changes from generation to generation in populations, from the smallest local deme to the aggregate of interbreeding populations in a biological species. Numerous processes, particularly mutation, contribute to these genetic changes to supply the phenotypic variation needed by selection. The most important factor is recombination, which is largely responsible for the virtually inexhaustible supply supply of new genotypes in every generation. Selection, then, is responsible for the elimination of all but on average two of the offspring of two parents. Those individuals that are best adapted to the abiotic and biotic environment have the greatest chance to be among the survivors. This process favors the development of new adaptations and the acquisition of evolutionary novelties, thus leading to evolutionary advance, as stated in the language of evolutionary biology. Evolution, being on the whole a population turnover, is ordinarily a gradual process, except for certain chromosomal processes that may lead to the production of a new species-individual in a single step.

Genetic material (nucleic acids) is constant and impervious to any influence from the environment. No genetic information can be transmitted from proteins to nucleic acids, and so the inheritance of acquired characteristics is therefore impossible. This provides an absolute refutation of all Lamarkian theories of evolution. The Darwinian model of evolution, based on random variation and natural selection, explains satisfactorily all phenomena of evolutionary change at the species level, and in particular all adaptation.

-- Ernst Mayr (2001) What Evolution Is, Basic Books, New York p.157


Note: when I use a quote box like this I do not need to use quote marks -- they would be redundant.

Now, please point out where he contradicts evolution as "genetic change from generation to generation in populations" anywhere in that quoted material, for that is your claim when you say I quote-mined.

Show me where in that material he says this is not evolution, Ray, or acknowledge that this is an accurate and correct quote of the material and there is not misrepresentations of what Mayr said on that page.

Note that this is his conclusion to "Section II: How Are Evolutionary Changes and Adaptedness Explained" and are not just off the cuff remarks.

I have shown quote mine and you have evaded it like the plague.

No you haven't -- you have not demonstrated that I misrepresented what he said on page 157 or taken it out of context at all: you haven't even discussed what he said on page 157 because you are avoiding it Ray. Or you don't understand what "quote mining" means.

Page 157 does not say anything about "a definition" but falls in the context of number #2 above.

It says what evolution is. It is not qualified in stating what evolution is. You can call it something other than a definition if you want to Ray, but you are only fooling yourself.

Nonsense. Like I said: the preface sets the context. It's not a matter of opinion: the preface explains page 157 and so forth. You are deliberately engaged in equivocation.
Speaking of equivocation: here is an example in your next quote:

No Ray, what I have said is that Mayr say two contradictory things about what evolution is, and that to claim that only one or the otehr of them applies is false and misrepresents the reality: that is what you are doing.

No, Mayr has said that it is not. How much more clearer can it be? You are straight out lying to the Forum: Mayr said evolution is not a change in gene frequencies. Page 157 says nothing about definition: you and Moran have added that claim to the text.

And on page 157 he says

quote:
Evolution in sexually reproducing organisms consists of genetic changes from generation to generation in populations, from the smallest local deme to the aggregate of interbreeding populations in a biological species.

He says both, as I have pointed out, and ignoring either is to misrepresent what he says.

Get it? Getting all huffy and posting one in big colored letters does not negate that he also said the other.

Now I also give you this quote from near the end of the book, where he is wrapping up all the issues covered:

quote:
End

Evolution is often considered as something unexpected. Wouldn't it be more natural, some antievolutionists ask, if everything would always stay the same? Perhaps this was a valid question before we understood genetics, but it is no longer. In fact, the way organisms are structured, evolution is inevitable. Each organism, even the simplest bacterium, has a genome, consisting of thousands to many millions of base pairs. Observation has established that each base pair is subject to occasional mutation. Different populations have different mutations, and if they are isolated from each other, these populations inevitably become more different from each other from generation to generation. Even this simplest of all possible scenarios represents evolution. If one adds further biological processes, such as recombination and selection, the rate of evolution accelerates exponentially. Therefore, the mere fact of the existence of genetic programs makes the assumption of a stationary world impossible. Evolution is thus a plain fact, not a conjecture or assumption.

It is very questionable whether the term "evolutionary theory" should be used any longer. That evolution has occurred and takes place all the time is a fact so overwhelmingly established that it has become irrational to call it a theory. To be sure, there are particular evolutionary theories such as those of common descent, origin of life, gradualism, speciation, and natural selection, but scientific arguments about conflicting theories concerning these topics do not in any way affect the basic conclusion that evolution as such is a fact. It has taken place ever since the origin of life.

-- Ernst Mayr (2001) What Evolution Is, Basic Books, New York p.264


Can you tell me where in that page he says evolution is not "genetic change from generation to generation in populations" Ray?

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : spleling in end quote


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-06-2007 12:16 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

Replies to this message:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1122 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 175 of 212 (420190)
09-06-2007 4:36 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by AdminNosy
09-06-2007 1:28 PM


Re: It is not necessary to yell
I will shrink your font for you. Don't do that too often ok?

I consider large font to be emphasis attempting to obtain the notice of eyes that appear blind. But since you say that it is yelling (and thus unacceptable) I will refrain.

Ray


This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by AdminNosy, posted 09-06-2007 1:28 PM AdminNosy has not yet responded

    
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1122 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 176 of 212 (420196)
09-06-2007 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 174 by RAZD
09-06-2007 2:31 PM


Re: back to the definition(s)
RAZD writes:

I have absolutely no idea where you get this bizarre concept from Ray. Moran wrote the article and quoted Mayr in it -- so how could the book quoted in the article be written as a response to the article that quotes the book?

http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2007/01/what-is-evolution.html

"Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Gene Centrist Objection

Ernst Mayr wrote an entire book on the subject of this little essay."

RAZD: my question is: what essay is Moran talking about in the above quote? Do you or do you not know?

Again, when Moran says "this essay" - what essay is he talking about? I interpret this comment by Moran to be talking about "The Gene Centrist Objection."

If true, then even Moran agrees that Mayr was against evolution being defined at the genetical level.

Notice that you claimed I had "quote mined" the definition on page 157 -- that means misrepresenting what was said out of context.

Negative.

I did not say that you quote mined "the definition" on page 157 since what is written on page 157 and the description of that text to be "a definition" (in your unsubstantiated view) is what we are in disagreement over.

I have repeatedly said and strenuously objected to you calling the quote from page 157 "a definition."

Where do you get the idea that it is a definition when nothing written indicates that it is a definition? This is rhetorical. In the preface Mayr specifically says genetic centrist is not the definition and something else is.

Your tactic, pursued to avoid having to admit that you are wrong, is to assume and presuppose that page 157 is a definition when it is not and you refuse to explain why you call it a definition while avoiding the preface.

Now, please point out where he contradicts evolution as "genetic change from generation to generation in populations" anywhere in that quoted material, for that is your claim when you say I quote-mined.

Comment dishonestly presupposes that I am arguing against something said by Mayr. He explains evidence and the same is not a definition. His definition is in the Preface. Mayr has already said evolution is not a change in gene frequencies in the context of saying that a change in gene frequencies is not the definition of evolution (see Preface).

It does not matter what Mayr says about genetics in his book after the preface. The preface clearly says genetics is important but it is not the definition of evolution. Again, you are calling certain texts after the Preface "a definition" arbitrarily and evading my rebuttals.

RAZD writes:

Show me where in that material he says this is not evolution, Ray, or acknowledge that this is an accurate and correct quote of the material and there is not misrepresentations of what Mayr said on that page.

Misrepresentation.

NOBODY (Mayr or I) has said "this is not evolution" since we are talking about the definition of evolution and not evidence for evolution. Since Mayr specifically said that a change in gene frequencies is not the definition of evolution you cannot sneak around his book and pick passages that support the geneticist view and also say Mayr supports your view. All the passages in Mayr 2001 that say evolution is thus and such (genetic friendly) are written in the context of what is said in the Preface, AND, more importantly, said passages are NOT a definition; they are explanatory exegesis. You are calling these select passages a definition while avoiding the Preface which gives a contrary definition.

The overall point: you have no support from Harvard Professor Ernst Mayr is any of your attempts to define evolution at the genetic level.

No Ray, what I have said is that Mayr say two contradictory things about what evolution is, and that to claim that only one or the other of them applies is false and misrepresents the reality: that is what you are doing.

You have said that Mayr contradicts, but that is not true. He only "contradicts" if you ignore the Preface and arbitrarily label certain passages definitions when they are not in view of the Preface.

Since we went through this same type of nonsense in the "Definition of ToE" topic I am not the least bit surprised to see you attempt such brazen misrepresentations again.

If I was a Moderator I would nail you to a cross in the name of decency.

Ray


This message is a reply to:
 Message 174 by RAZD, posted 09-06-2007 2:31 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
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Q
Junior Member (Idle past 4120 days)
Posts: 12
From: Fort Knox, KY USA
Joined: 09-06-2007


Message 177 of 212 (420202)
09-06-2007 6:55 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ihategod
08-26-2007 9:45 PM


I hope this topic is still on the Definition of Evolution

Seems since I found this sight today I have been reading this topic most of the day at work and now that I'm home...well I cant find the post I was going to reply to but here is Q's definition:

quote:
Evolution is the process that, at the smallest level, changes the beneficial or non-beneficial traits ( genetics ) of a given group. Changing that group from its original blue-print to something either significantly or slightly different in an attempt to adapt, improvise or overcome to their soundings.

from reading this forum today I know I'm not as educated as most of you, but based of the premise ( I assume ) of the topic, that is my response.

Edited by Q, : No reason given.


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 Message 1 by Ihategod, posted 08-26-2007 9:45 PM Ihategod has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3107 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 178 of 212 (420212)
09-06-2007 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 176 by Cold Foreign Object
09-06-2007 5:48 PM


Re: pressure for sure
Ok I am going to try to guess what is happening between Ray and Razd. I do not know if this is correct or not.

Wright had made a comment in Volume Two about whether or not systematic pressure or random sorting be theoretically identical or not. The move by Mayr in "the end" seems to be establish the older debate with creationism about "fact of evolution" (which I think was traceable to Simpson if I got that right) as having intellectually survived the placement of static modeling of biochanges. This static system modeling is used by Wright to place his own visualization in real paper. I take it that Harvard's establisment of Evolutioanry Dynamics is the formation of a subdiscipline where this static situation is passed and past. I found however, by going to Oxford England and talking with JD Murray in the "Biomathematics Department" that whatever this "Dynamic Biology" is it permits the use of models indscriminatly applicable FROM Zebras to Snakes. This violated my own sense of natural history. I think the static positioning is needed in relating math to biology via expermients because Biology unlike Physics has an added problem of structure or some would in another time call design.

I think that moving evolutionary theory in this direction fails the evidence from simple comparisions and is only organized for more recent philosophy science considerations. Because Gould had moved some lingo of evolutionary talk, (aptation, exaptation, spandrel, franklin, core morphospace, constraint) into a "new theoretical space" Mayr was forced to come out strong against

whatever it is we are disputing about gene version of def of evolution
, so as to put Gould in place among dynamical researchers who had already moved nonlinearly beyond the static argument of Wright (Provine did this ( by continuing to expect Wright to answer where in evo theory the non-linearity show up "GENETICALLY"!!) in 1986 rather than BE "the mentor" (Cornell Adminstrative Label of what Will was SUPPOSED to have done with me) of me, which including using Kant to discuss bilateral symmetry). The consequence was that creationism would ipso facto not be able to keep up.

But this is not how I read the literature because I find that Mayrs' sense of anti-reductionism may be sustained from the gene frequency view if the gene frequencies and gene combinations per individual be worked on from ... enter Brad's discussion....I think I found that Mayr over applied Aristotle into the current discussions etc etc.

If the move was to get rid of creationism by making the "fact" of evolution, lineage of horse etc , to come through the relation of static models to kinematics regardless of the dynamics then special creationists would be stuck between the allele and its loci. This "seemed" to have been Wallace's attack on creationism in 60s when he left NY for Italy and wrote up some stuff about salivary glands in drosophila etc.

I do not know If I have been able to ferret out , "the behind the scenes"goings on, but perhaps it will help to turn the temperature down on the Razd-Ray pressure cooker.

So on my version the whole thing comes down to if "systematic" applies (species selection vs species sorting {might"" be a subproblem of this as well) across individuals, demes, populations, geological layers, or the lines in Darwin's diagram or who knows what else when not random/ chance is what was thought to have happened generationally.


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 Message 176 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-06-2007 5:48 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 179 of 212 (420220)
09-06-2007 10:05 PM
Reply to: Message 176 by Cold Foreign Object
09-06-2007 5:48 PM


quote mines and contradictions
Negative.

I did not say that you quote mined "the definition" on page 157 ...

Yet on Message 165 you said:

I have supplied Mayr saying this specifically from the source you and possibly Moran quote mined, ...

And on Message 171 you said:

I have shown quote mine and you have evaded it like the plague.

Conclusion: yes you did accuse me of quote mining, and now that it has been shown that you cannot support this claim you are equivocating?

Ernst Mayr wrote an entire book on the subject of this little essay."
RAZD: my question is: what essay is Moran talking about in the above quote? Do you or do you not know?

My simple interpretation is that (a) "the subject of this little essay" is the definition of what evolution is, that (b) "this little essay" is the one with those words in it, and that (c) he notes that Mayr wrote a whole book on the subject (defining what evolution is) from which he proceeds to quote. If you think this is whack, then I suggest you go to the horses mouth and ask Dr. Moran -- he has his email addy on the essay. It's not something I'm going to lose sleep over, and it's irrelevant to the thread.

Where do you get the idea that it is a definition when nothing written indicates that it is a definition? This is rhetorical. In the preface Mayr specifically says genetic centrist is not the definition and something else is.

From the words used, Ray: "Evolution ... consists of ... " -- with no qualification of the statement anywhere in the rest of the paragraph.

Gravity between two objects consists of the the attraction between the two objects based on their mass and the distance between them (squared).

Notice, Ray, that your pet quote does not mention the word definition at all, so you are guilty of conflating this word into that quote.

Where do you get the idea that he says that quote involves a definition?

You have said that Mayr contradicts, but that is not true. He only "contradicts" if you ignore the Preface and arbitrarily label certain passages definitions when they are not in view of the Preface.

Really Ray, your logic is faulty: if I ignore the preface there is no contradiction. You are really making a mountain out of a molehill by this ridiculous argument. The reality is that Mayr made two statements in the book that are contradictions:

  1. "Evolution deals with phenotypes of individuals, with populations, with species; it is not 'a change in gene frequencies.'"
    -- Ernst Mayr (2001) What Evolution Is, Basic Books, New York p.XIV).
  2. "Evolution in sexually reproducing organisms consists of genetic changes from generation to generation in populations, from the smallest local deme to the aggregate of interbreeding populations in a biological species."
    -- Ernst Mayr (2001) What Evolution Is, Basic Books, New York p.157

Do you dispute that these two statements are contradictory?

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : mary\mayr tpoy

Edited by RAZD, : subtitle


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we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 176 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-06-2007 5:48 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 186 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-07-2007 11:46 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 180 of 212 (420221)
09-06-2007 10:19 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by Q
09-06-2007 6:55 PM


Welcome to the fray Q.

quote:
Evolution is the process that, at the smallest level, changes the beneficial or non-beneficial traits ( genetics ) of a given group. Changing that group from its original blue-print to something either significantly or slightly different in an attempt to adapt, improvise or overcome to their soundings.

Such changes are not necessarily hereditary, they can be acquired traits (muscles), so I would add hereditary.

I would also use genome or genotype instead of blue-print, as that is not strictly accurate as a description of the function of DNA.

And finally there is no mention of the time scale of these changes -- do they occur in individuals (no) or are they realized in descendant populations (yes)?

Enjoy.


Join the effort to unravel AIDS/HIV, unfold Proteomes, fight Cancer,
compare Fiocruz Genome and fight Muscular Dystrophy with Team EvC! (click)


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by Q, posted 09-06-2007 6:55 PM Q has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 181 by Wounded King, posted 09-07-2007 5:57 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
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