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Author Topic:   Evolution and Increased Diversity
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 91 of 140 (439115)
12-07-2007 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by Fosdick
12-07-2007 11:42 AM


Re: The tautology of tautology
Or does it mean that such muddling is totally limited by environmental conditions...independed of life itself?

That's what the ToE says. Is it correct? It seems like it. I haven't seen anything to suggest otherwise.

why couldn't that obvious trend of increasing biodiversity in the last 245 million years be the result of an integrated sort of muddling, wherein the biota and their habitats do not change independently but are instead push and pulled by each other in combination?

Instead of asking why would it NOT be like this, why not ask, what do we see that suggests that this is the case.

Simply documenting the trend does not imply causation. Especially when a non-causitive explanation is fitting the bill.

But I stiil don't see how this negates the obvious trend toward macro-diversification on Earth.

It doesn't negate the trend. It negates that the trend must happen.


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Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3836 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 92 of 140 (439119)
12-07-2007 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by New Cat's Eye
12-07-2007 11:49 AM


Re: The tautology of tautology
CS writes:

We need more information to determine if evolving causes the increase.


Yes, I suppose, if 245 million years of macro-evolution on earth is not enough to test the idea. Maybe what we need is a sterile-but-fertile planet to infect with life to see what happens. I'll bet that bio-diversification happens automatically on that panet, assuming that life can actually survive there and proliferate.

—HM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-07-2007 11:49 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

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 Message 93 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-07-2007 12:16 PM Fosdick has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 93 of 140 (439123)
12-07-2007 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by Fosdick
12-07-2007 12:01 PM


Re: The tautology of tautology
Yes, I suppose, if 245 million years of macro-evolution on earth is not enough to test the idea.

But the data we have doesn't tell us exactly what the cause is. We have dtermined the fundamentals of evolving (the ToE) and they do not necessitate the increase. The increase is cause by something extrinsic to the ToE, ie the environment.

Or so it seems...

Maybe what we need is a sterile-but-fertile planet to infect with life to see what happens.

Why the need for a whole planet? Why not a petri dish?

You could put a species in a biodiverly neutral environment and see if there is diversification by default. You could then introduct selective pressure for either an increase or a decrease in biodiversity. If there was no increase without the pressure and the biodiversity increases and decreases with the respective pressures, then we could determine that the environment is what is causeing the changes in the diversity and not something inherant to the process that drives the diversification.

Make sense?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Fosdick, posted 12-07-2007 12:01 PM Fosdick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by Fosdick, posted 12-07-2007 12:47 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3836 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 94 of 140 (439132)
12-07-2007 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by New Cat's Eye
12-07-2007 12:16 PM


Re: The tautology of tautology
CS writes:

You could put a species in a biodiverly neutral environment and see if there is diversification by default. You could then introduct selective pressure for either an increase or a decrease in biodiversity. If there was no increase without the pressure and the biodiversity increases and decreases with the respective pressures, then we could determine that the environment is what is causeing the changes in the diversity and not something inherant to the process that drives the diversification.

Make sense?

Maybe. Because it could go either way. And there would be matters of ecological capacity to consider. My problem is that I can't tell where the organism ends and the environment begins. And I can't tell the difference between "before" and "after" in your rule: "Post hoc ergo propter hoc falacy, which means "After this therefore because of this'."

Catholic, I'll posit one in your favor: ecological succession. Usually ecological succession leads to a decrease in biodiversity, climaxing to stability with fewer extant species.

Again, I'm only sinning off from Sepkoski's graph, wherein I find evidence of macro-diversification. Then I'm taking the precarious next step to say that macro-evolution inherently proceeds toward macro-diversification.

Side question: Isn't all evidence reducible and refutable by using your "Post hoc ergo propter hoc argument?

—HM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-07-2007 12:16 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 95 of 140 (439134)
12-07-2007 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Fosdick
12-07-2007 12:47 PM


Re: The tautology of tautology
Maybe. Because it could go either way.

Sure. If diversification happend independent of the selective pressure, then that would suggest that there is something inherent to the process of evolving that causes diversification. We just don't have that evidence that suggests that.

All you have provided is the observation that the diversification has occurred. We don't have anything to sggest an inherent cause. We do have the sofar irrefuted explanation provided by the ToE that does not suggest an inherant cause.

Then I'm taking the precarious next step to say that macro-evolution inherently proceeds toward macro-diversification.

What, besides just the trend of diversification, suggests that there is something inherent that causes the diversification?

Without other evidence, it is the post hoc fallacy.

Side question: Isn't all evidence reducible and refutable by using your "Post hoc ergo propter hoc argument?

Not if there is other evidence that corroberates with the claim. It is the fallacy when the only thing that suggests a cause is that the one thing happened after the other.

When it rained after the Indian did his Rain Dance, it was a fallacy for him to say that his dance caused the rain. If we had evidence that shows that specific dancing actually does influences the weather, then we would no longer be committing th fallacy.


This message is a reply to:
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Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3836 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 96 of 140 (439156)
12-07-2007 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by New Cat's Eye
12-07-2007 12:56 PM


Re: The tautology of tautology
CS writes:

Without other evidence, it is the post hoc fallacy.

Well, then the theory of the expanding universe is a post hoc fallacy, too, since there are no other universes with which to "correlate" (your term) the observation.

—HM


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 97 of 140 (439180)
12-07-2007 3:53 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by Fosdick
12-07-2007 2:27 PM


Re: The tautology of tautology
Well, then the theory of the expanding universe is a post hoc fallacy, too, since there are no other universes with which to "correlate" (your term) the observation.

We don't need another universe to correlate. We just need other evidence. The other evidence is the red shift, Hubble's Law, and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.

Actually, what does the theory suggest as the cause of the expasion? It looks like the theory is just describing the expansion, in which case, it would not be the Post Hoc fallacy.

The fallacy would be commited if the argument was:

The Big Bang occured. Then the Universe began expanding. Therefore the Big Bang caused the Universe to expand.

That is fallacious.

However, if other evidence suggested that the Big Bang caused the expansion, then it would nolonger be the fallacy.

For example:

The Big Bang occured. Then the Universe began expanding. X observation suggests that a Big Bang causes universes to expand. Y observation does too. Therefore the Big Bang caused the Universe to expand.

That is no longer a fallacy.

Got it?


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 Message 96 by Fosdick, posted 12-07-2007 2:27 PM Fosdick has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20323
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 98 of 140 (439204)
12-07-2007 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by Fosdick
12-07-2007 11:42 AM


Re: The tautology of tautology
2. And you are saying that because macro-biodiversity "could happen there was a 50-50 change that it would." Here's where I start having trouble. What enables you to assume that macro-biodiversity has a "50-50 chance" of happening?

It's a question of speciation versus extinction, and what I was thinking was that it could go either way at any time. One species may become very successful and edge others out (ie humans?) in an otherwise optimum environment for speciation so you could either have a + or a - change at any time.

Even with a 50-50 chance at any time to increase vs decrease there is likely to be a long term trend to an overall + result due to the skewed, necessarily skewed graph of organism number vs diversity. Diversity cannot be less than zero, but has no absolute upper limit.

Does this automatically mean then that biological evolution could not muddle in the direction of macro-diversification?

Of course it could - in your graph it has - but it isn't a direct cause and effect relationship.

Cope's rule states that the size of a species will increase over time - is that a necessary result of evolution (it's called a "rule" after all eh)? Nope, but it is more common than not.

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20323
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 99 of 140 (439205)
12-07-2007 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by New Cat's Eye
12-07-2007 11:56 AM


Re: The tautology of tautology
It doesn't negate the trend. It negates that the trend must happen.

Well put. That's the post hoc in a nutshell.


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Elmer
Member (Idle past 4240 days)
Posts: 82
Joined: 01-15-2007


Message 100 of 140 (439229)
12-07-2007 8:15 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by New Cat's Eye
12-07-2007 11:42 AM


This thread intends to explain how the process described in Theory of Evolution does not necessarily yield an increase in biodiversity. We are not here to debate if the ToE is, in fact, correct. We are exploring the ramifications of the theory.
I’m just reiterating what the ToE says, not making matter-of-fact statements about what must be true.

Or are you saying that the ToE does not say what I said it says?

I'm not sure just what it is that you say that "the ToE" says. I was responding to your claim that "natural selection" can, [and presumably, does],account for fluctuations in the amount of biodiversity, both positive and negative, in not only circumscribed localities/ecosystems, but even in the biosphere as a whole, and in both the long and short term. As per your affirmative response to my question.
In short, you are saying that 'natural selection' causes fluctuations in biodiversity, (both increases and decreases), and not just locally, but globally, as well.
That's quite a sweeping claim, and all I've asked you to do is to back that claim with empirical evidence, and sound reasoning from that evidence. Now, I simply do not see how you can do that without clearly defining 'natural selection' as a causal agency, a natural (i.e., empirical) force, similar to gravity, etc., a physical, universal, scientific, discernible and describable mechanism. Not as an observed empirical effect of some other cause, force, mechanism or assortment of mechanisms and/or unrelated events, nor as a catch-all metaphor for such indescriminate, indeterminate unknowns. Most importantly, I would like to hear how it can be that such a force, cause, universal mechanism can _increase_ biodiversity, rather than just decrease or stabilize it. From what I know of 'natural selection', it simply cannot increase biodiversity; Fisher's "random, genetic mutation" is supposed, by neo-darwinists, to be the cause, force, mechanism that does that job. Except that 'random accident', "chance", "luck", "coincidence", "happenstance", being irregular and unpredictable, can never be called, nor called upon to replace, a 'force' or a 'mechanism', in terms applicable to scientific explanation for observed phenomena. Such as evolution and increased biological variation and complexity [biodiversity].


I am able but unwilling. Can you understand that?

Only too easily, I fear.


Like I said, this thread does not intend to logically demonstrate the observed development. What we are doing, is discussing what the Theory of Evolution says about the observations. You don’t even have to believe that the explanations are correct to discuss them.

With respect, that seems silly and pointless.


quote:
Do you think the ToE necessitates an increase in biodiversity?

That is the topic.

If that is the topic, (and I had supposed that it was), how can you discuss it if, as you say, "What we are doing, is discussing what the Theory of Evolution says about the observations. You don’t even have to believe that the explanations are correct to discuss them."?!?!


According to the ToE, if the environment is favorable for a trait,
that trait will become more prominent.

That is not a theory; that is a tautological statement of a brute fact, a truism. It's no more scientific than the observation that rain tends to fall from cloudy, rather than cloudless skies. Therefpore a rtrait, [rain], will become "more prominent" depending upon the degree of cloud cover. It's true, but it isn't a truth that can be elevated to the status of 'scientific insight' or 'universal principle of science', or anything so edifying as all that. In short, your statement, as it stands, is meaningless.


You need the selective factor for the traits to either “stick” or “fall”. Otherwise it would be stochastic, ie from RM alone.

As above, exactly what is it that you are calling, "the selective factor"- (and please do not simply say, 'natural selection')-, and how does it increase biodiversity?


Like I said in previous messages, RM provides the “opportunity” for the variation but it takes NS for the variation to take hold and be passed on. NS alone can’t do it, you need the RM for the source of the variation.

What I hear you saying is that "NS" does not generate biodiversity, but causes particular bioforms to expand numerically. Now, my understanding of biodiversity says that the term has only to do with the numbers of different bioforms, and has nothing to do with the number of individuals belonging to a particular bioform. Therefore your "RM" still has nothing at all to do with biodiversity. Show me where I'm wrong.


Again, the empirical observations are unnecessary. We are just discussing what the ToE says, not if it is really true.

Actually, you've flat-out refused to "discuss what the ToE says". And it's [forgive me], silly and pointless to tie empirical observations to "the ToE" without clearly stating the precepts and principle of that hypothesis, supported by facts and logic which imbue it with at least a fair degree of 'truth value'.


I just explained how NS does it. Does that make sense? Any questions?

Your definition of 'explanation' is quite radically different from my own, apparently. And I've still got all the same questions that your "explanation" did anything but answer.


RM doesn’t “do” it. RM provides for the variation, NS determines if the variation gets passed on or not, ie whether the biodiversity increases or not.

Whether variation "gets passed on or not" has nothing to do with whether or not biodiversity increases, although it might be said to have something to do with whether or not it decreases. When a novel bioform, evern a single individual, comes into existence, then biodiversity may be said to have increased. So long as a single individual example of that bioform exists, it does not effect the sum of biodiversity. When the the last extant individual dies, that bioform goes extinct, and by so doing decreases biodiversity. In between its coming into existence and its extinction, that bioform does not alter the sum of biodiversity in the biosphere.


Are you familiar with how the ToE describes the evolutionary process? My explanation seems pretty straight forward from the ToE to me. What is it that you don’t understand?

See the questions I've been asking all along.


quote:

Care to justify this statement of faith?

Umm, how about no.

As expected, but still disappointing.


quote:

I do not believe so, because if biodiversity is mechanically predetermined, as is widely supposed, then 'adaptation', 'adaptedness', 'adaptable', and so on, add absolutely nothing to our understanding of it.

How do they not add anything? I’m not so sure I understand what you are saying here. Could you please expand on it?

If a change in something is determined, predetermined, predestined, inevitable, inflexible, and mechanical, [see water freezing, melting, flowing, boiling, steaming, etc.], then in what sense can it be called 'adaptive', that is, 'able to adapt', where 'to adapt' means something more than simply 'to change/to be changed'?!?
Of course, if you wish to reduce 'to adapt' to a simple synonym for 'to change', as opposed to being a particular kind of change, I won't try to stop you, but that misses the point. WRT bioforms, 'to adapt' means to dynamically 'make suitable to or consistent with a particular situation or use'. Since that implies teleology, how do you reconcile that teleology with your determinism, without admitting to a belief that the entire universe is "teleologically determined", as opposed to "mechanically determined"? I don't think that you want to go there, do you?


Can you explain why causation is even necessary? What do we observe that suggests some causative factor?

It isn't, unless you are a scientist-- or someone who wants to understand reality.


But if that scares you off then just explain to me, in your own words, what makes you think it is causative.

What's to be scared of?!? And if "it" refers to "natural selection", then it is your good self that needs to explain why you think it is causative, since, as a matter of fact, I have no reason to believe that it is any such thing.

Anyhoo, that's all the time I have.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-07-2007 11:42 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-08-2007 2:17 PM Elmer has responded
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20323
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 101 of 140 (439259)
12-07-2007 10:35 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by JB1740
12-06-2007 8:53 AM


Re: random events
Neither would floods probably be. Nor volcanoes. Changes in climate aren't random either.

Floods, if they are seasonal, would then be a seasonal change.

They are random in the sense that they are not regular and the time scale involved is greater than that of organisms to such a degree that they have no mechanism to adapt. The result is the same as stochastic events.

The effect is also more based on who got lucky to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time rather than being able to survive better than others in the same situation. Thus the selection involved would not depend on the hereditary traits of the survivors, and what selection occurred of hereditary traits would be due to genetic drift.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : finished


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This message is a reply to:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 102 of 140 (439371)
12-08-2007 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Elmer
12-07-2007 8:15 PM


Hey Elmer,

Thanks for the well written reply. I have read it but I don't have enough time right now for a proper reply. I will get to that later.

There are a couple things I would like to say real quick.

I expect you to be familiar with the Theory of Evolution.
I'll get to your (great) questions about it when I can.

Some quick questions:

WRT bioforms, 'to adapt' means to dynamically 'make suitable to or consistent with a particular situation or use'. Since that implies teleology,

How does that imply teleology?


Can you explain why causation is even necessary? What do we observe that suggests some causative factor?

It isn't, unless you are a scientist-- or someone who wants to understand reality.

I don't get that reply. You're the one who brought up avoiding the issue of causation. If it isn't necessary then how am I avoiding it?

And to clear things up:


But if that scares you off then just explain to me, in your own words, what makes you think it is causative.

What's to be scared of?!?And if "it" refers to "natural selection",

I meant the empiricism. "It" did not refer to Natural Selection.

then it is your good self that needs to explain why you think it is causative, since, as a matter of fact, I have no reason to believe that it is any such thing.

Hrm. I though you were saying it was causitive.

I'm confused now and...shit, out of time.

I'll re-read and give you a better reply when I have more time. I think were getting somewhere :)


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20323
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 103 of 140 (439403)
12-08-2007 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Elmer
12-07-2007 8:15 PM


variation, selection, adaptation and diversity
I'm not sure just what it is that you say that "the ToE" says. I was responding to your claim that "natural selection" can, [and presumably, does],account for fluctuations in the amount of biodiversity, both positive and negative, in not only circumscribed localities/ecosystems, but even in the biosphere as a whole, and in both the long and short term. As per your affirmative response to my question.
In short, you are saying that 'natural selection' causes fluctuations in biodiversity, (both increases and decreases), and not just locally, but globally, as well.
That's quite a sweeping claim, and all I've asked you to do is to back that claim with empirical evidence, and sound reasoning from that evidence.

We were talking about the theory of evolution, not only the mechanism of natural selection. The theory of evolution can be stated simple as the theory that evolution -- the change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation -- is sufficient to explain the diversity of life as we know it in the present, in history, in the fossil record and as we know it in the genetic record.

That may seem like a sweeping claim, but that is what science does: science makes sweeping claims all the time -- it tries to understand the universe, after all.

The empirical evidence is all those facts we know about the diversity of life - life as we know it in the present, in history, in the fossil record and as we know it in the genetic record.

The sound reasoning based on that evidence is the whole field of biological science, including evolutionary biology. Natural selection is one of the mechanisms that is studied in this process.

Now, I simply do not see how you can do that without clearly defining 'natural selection' as a causal agency, a natural (i.e., empirical) force, similar to gravity, etc., a physical, universal, scientific, discernible and describable mechanism.

Fortunately nature is not limited by your understanding.

Not as an observed empirical effect of some other cause, force, mechanism or assortment of mechanisms and/or unrelated events, nor as a catch-all metaphor for such indescriminate, indeterminate unknowns. Most importantly, I would like to hear how it can be that such a force, cause, universal mechanism can _increase_ biodiversity, rather than just decrease or stabilize it.

By selecting for increased hereditary variation and speciation. Mutation introduces new alleles, hereditary traits, into populations. This is increased biodiversity. Natural selection can select for these to be spread into the population, or it can select to suppress them. Mixing allele between subpopulations means more mixed traits, more diversity, than existed in either subpopulation alone.

From what I know of 'natural selection', it simply cannot increase biodiversity; Fisher's "random, genetic mutation" is supposed, by neo-darwinists, to be the cause, force, mechanism that does that job. Except that 'random accident', "chance", "luck", "coincidence", "happenstance", being irregular and unpredictable, can never be called, nor called upon to replace, a 'force' or a 'mechanism', in terms applicable to scientific explanation for observed phenomena. Such as evolution and increased biological variation and complexity [biodiversity].

Fortunately nature is not limited by your understanding.

According to the ToE, if the environment is favorable for a trait,
that trait will become more prominent.

That is not a theory; that is a tautological statement of a brute fact, a truism. It's no more scientific than the observation that rain tends to fall from cloudy, rather than cloudless skies. Therefpore a rtrait, [rain], will become "more prominent" depending upon the degree of cloud cover. It's true, but it isn't a truth that can be elevated to the status of 'scientific insight' or 'universal principle of science', or anything so edifying as all that. In short, your statement, as it stands, is meaningless.

However the trait (rain) will not persist beyond the environment (cloud) unlike the traits we are talking about. You are confusing strict cause (cloud) and effect (rain) , the rain will cease to exist once the clouds cease to exist, however the hereditary trait will still exist in a population after the environment changes. Nor do hereditary traits have to be passed on - generally they will be, but it is not necessary: stochastic events can eliminate new traits no matter how favorable they are.

What I hear you saying is that "NS" does not generate biodiversity, but causes particular bioforms to expand numerically. Now, my understanding of biodiversity says that the term has only to do with the numbers of different bioforms, and has nothing to do with the number of individuals belonging to a particular bioform. Therefore your "RM" still has nothing at all to do with biodiversity. Show me where I'm wrong.

By selecting for different variations of subpopulations of a species to live in different habitats and by selecting mutations to adapt to those different habitats, selections that would not necessarily occur in the original habitat..

Whether variation "gets passed on or not" has nothing to do with whether or not biodiversity increases, although it might be said to have something to do with whether or not it decreases. When a novel bioform, evern a single individual, comes into existence, then biodiversity may be said to have increased. So long as a single individual example of that bioform exists, it does not effect the sum of biodiversity. When the the last extant individual dies, that bioform goes extinct, and by so doing decreases biodiversity. In between its coming into existence and its extinction, that bioform does not alter the sum of biodiversity in the biosphere.

But variations ARE biodiversity. And yes every individual organism is a novel organism ("bioform") even though they share many traits with other individuals, each individual cannot have more than two variation forms (alleles) of a specific gene, so adding a new allele increases the biodiversity of a population. Selecting for that new allele to be shared with all the other alleles of all the other traits in different combinations also increases the biodiversity of the population without any new(er) mutations needed. Selection can also operate to keep a new allele from being passed on, so it can work to increase or decrease diversity.

If a change in something is determined, predetermined, predestined, inevitable, inflexible, and mechanical, [see water freezing, melting, flowing, boiling, steaming, etc.], then in what sense can it be called 'adaptive', that is, 'able to adapt', where 'to adapt' means something more than simply 'to change/to be changed'?!?

Seeing as none of those processes apply to adaptations of life forms your point is irrelevant.

Of course, if you wish to reduce 'to adapt' to a simple synonym for 'to change', as opposed to being a particular kind of change, I won't try to stop you, but that misses the point. WRT bioforms, 'to adapt' means to dynamically 'make suitable to or consistent with a particular situation or use'

Not really - it means that variations that make organisms even slightly better adapted for an environment will be preferentially selected over those who are just slightly less adapted for an environment. Each generation is selected for all individuals with better combinations of hereditary traits because they are better adapted to the environment, but the individuals are not changed - "made suitable" - by the environment. Individuals do not evolve, they live, die and reproduce, and those in each generation that are better adapted to an environment have an easier time living and reproducing and have more opportunity to succeed.

Since that implies teleology, how do you reconcile that teleology with your determinism, without admitting to a belief that the entire universe is "teleologically determined", as opposed to "mechanically determined"? I don't think that you want to go there, do you?

Since your argument is false, it is irrelevant.

Can you explain why causation is even necessary? What do we observe that suggests some causative factor?
It isn't, unless you are a scientist-- or someone who wants to understand reality.

It is one thing to study causation when there is a "trendency" that implies a cause and effect relationship, it is another to claim a cause and effect from an unrelated "trendency" - which is the case here between evolution of species, varieties and life in general, and the "trendency" of biodiversity to increase or decrease over time.

Let me put it this way: the mechanism or process of evolution does not change with the changes in diversity, either to increase it or decrease it.

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
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Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3836 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 104 of 140 (439437)
12-08-2007 8:02 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by RAZD
12-07-2007 6:26 PM


Cope's rule and the random-walk principle
RADZ writes:

Cope's rule states that the size of a species will increase over time - is that a necessary result of evolution (it's called a "rule" after all eh)? Nope, but it is more common than not.


If it can be shown that the random walk principle of Cope’s rule is reasonable and verifiable with empirical evidence , I don’t see why that same random-walk principle shouldn’t also apply to evolution, with regards to macroscopic increases in biodiversity.

—HM


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20323
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 105 of 140 (439445)
12-08-2007 8:36 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Fosdick
12-08-2007 8:02 PM


Re: Cope's rule and the random-walk principle
But forams dispel this apparent relationship:

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/foram_article3.html

quote:
One of the findings already is being described -- perhaps too hastily -- as disproving Cope's Rule, so named for it's synthesis by the American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope (1840-97). The time-honored evolutionary principle basically holds that all animal groups tend to start out small and increase in size over time.

"We've found out that apparently, lineages don't exactly work that way," Arnold said. "Many of the forams start out small, and essentially stay that way until extinction. Others do manage to wander into dramatically larger sizes, but they're the rare ones."

But the find doesn't necessarily contradict what Cope said, only what many scientists think he said, says Parker. "Cope's observation was simply that there are a few extremely large examples (of individuals) in any given lineage, and these examples always occur at the later stages of the organism's development. And that's apparently true.

"But our findings show that the vast majority of forams start small and end small, even though the mean size increases somewhat due to a few very large specimens. As you get more and more species evolving, some of them eventually manage to get moderately to very large, but most of them don't increase in size at all."


So what you are seeing is a trend that does not need to occur -- very much like diversity.

Enjoy.


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