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What's so hard about evolution?

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posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 05:42 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I was unaware that bacteria, plants and jellyfish have will, without which they would not be able to compete for resources. Of course, that's been your thesis all along; but you have yet to show an atom of evidence for it.

will [wil]
noun
1. the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions: the freedom of the will.
2. power of choosing one's own actions: to have a strong or a weak will.
3. the act or process of using or asserting one's choice; volition: My hands are obedient to my will.
4. wish or desire: to submit against one's will.
5. purpose or determination, often hearty or stubborn determination; willfulness: to have the will to succeed.

Determination and the faculty to make decisions are products of will which all organisms possess. Survival depends on it. Thus, competition for the purpose of survival, by which NS so heavily relies, is based on one form of will or another as presently defined. I don't see the fault in this logic.

Now, if you don't believe that a gazelle can will itself to run as fast as it can, or to decide on an escape route to evade its predator; or, if the predator does not will itself to run faster to catch the gazelle or to decide when best to pounce, then you hold a different notion of will which I am not familiar with. And if you uphold the view that living things not called humans are incapable of making decisions for the purpose of their survival, especially as an environment changes, then we can only agree to disagree. That's the nicest way to say it.

Given what modern research is revealing on the subject though, it's becoming ever more evident that all living things do exhibit these traits and capabilities. This does include jellyfish, plants and even bacteria. However true to your own words, you claim them to be simple organisms void of any meaningful intelligence. Blind, dumb, and numb, is that it? Darwin liked to refer to them as, "lower organisms". Well, it is precisely this narrow minded view, which you harbor, that should be relegated to the past with Darwin where it belongs.

Fact is these organisms are not at all the mindless creatures you prefer to classify them as. And the evidence you demand, yet claim is non-existent, can easily be found if you cared to do the research. But let's be real. Your agenda here is the crusade not the science.


by PhotonEffect
You presume the palms that remained standing were 'selected for' because they were more deeply rooted than the others, and thus, passed this advantageous trait down to their offspring.


by Astyanax
I did nothing of the sort. That is your presumption, not mine.

My presumption? No, it was yours when you offered your example of natural selection: "A tsunami strikes a tropical shore that is lined with coconut palms. Some palms are more deeply rooted than others. These few trees will survive the deluge, while the remaining palms are uprooted and borne away. Next year, only those trees that remained rooted will produce nuts. They get to pass their genes on. The dead trees, obviously, don't. "

It would appear to me that you made a baseless assertion when you stated that survival of the palms was due to their deep roots. The reality, however, is this: your claim, while reasonable, can't be determined with any degree of certainty since there are any number of factors, even unrelated to the trees themselves, that could have played a role in their survival.

To claim it was because of their deep roots, or this, or that is to engage in the sort of speculative science that natural selection often relies on as far as identifying what phenotypic trait was selected for (even if one wasn't). So your example, it seems, only succeeded in demonstrating my point.

If that wasn't meant to be your illustrative intent then what do you identify as the unit of selection in your example and by what means is it verifiable?


Do physicists study a different kind of matter from the kind chemists study, then? Could you explain the difference?

Of course they do. Are physicists not trying to understand what dark matter is? Or does that fall within the sphere of chemistry? Remember baryonic matter makes up only 5% of the universe. So you tell me, Asty, the 25% that is dark matter, what's that stuff made of? Are you saying we are made from that stuff too? Because last I checked no one knows.


You have failed at the science.

Whatever.

And to address your private messages. You say you aren't stalking me, but that's exactly what you were doing wasn't it? Baiting me to reply to your post. Come on Asty, do you really think that your contributions here were so devastating to my case that all I could do was run away tail tucked never to be heard from again? Really? Wow. You think I lose sleep at night worrying if I have your respect? How delusional and helplessly narcissistic of you. It's readily apparent that ATS represents a much deeper level of validation for you, more than I care to know. It's great because it's place for you to assert yourself anonymously, bully people with your condescension, without the worry of real confrontation. Probably makes you feel good about yourself. Well, I would say that's your thing, not mine. Whatever it is that is important in your life, where I'm from, it's proper human etiquette to not project that onto others.

You won't agree with anything I say, and that's more than okay with me. I don't care nor put much weight into any of it. But is it necessary to chase me down for a reply? Nothing you ever have to offer here is that important, no matter how much you believe it to be.
edit on 27-6-2014 by PhotonEffect because: over it.




posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 09:50 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect


PhotonEffect
You presume the palms that remained standing were 'selected for' because they were more deeply rooted than the others, and thus, passed this advantageous trait down to their offspring.


Astyanax
I did nothing of the sort. That is your presumption, not mine.


PhotonEffect
My presumption? No, it was yours when you offered your example of natural selection: "A tsunami strikes a tropical shore that is lined with coconut palms. Some palms are more deeply rooted than others. These few trees will survive the deluge, while the remaining palms are uprooted and borne away. Next year, only those trees that remained rooted will produce nuts. They get to pass their genes on. The dead trees, obviously, don't."

Right. Note the words I have put in bold.

Now read the text you have put in quotes.

Now use your brains a little.


And to address your private messages. You say you aren't stalking me, but that's exactly what you were doing wasn't it?

Here are my all my private messages to you, in full.


APRIL 13

Hi, PhotonEffect,

I'm curious about your response to our discussion about natural selection. Have I helped you understand it better? Do you see the point now? Or do you remain unconvinced?

Why not drop in on the thread and let us know what you have concluded?

All the best,

Scamandrius



APRIL 14
Don't worry. I'm not going to stalk you. This will be my last message to you. But tell me — how does your concept of honour square with walking away from the thread in silence? Don't you want us to respect you?

You can forget about an answer to the rest of your post. You've lost the match, sport. You have also, sadly, lost my respect. Do the decent thing now, and leave of the ring instead of coming back for another pulping. I am not a sadist.


edit on 27/6/14 by Astyanax because: some people just never learn.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 12:24 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax
The bolded part is of no consequence. You're only sidestepping the real issue with your example. No surprise there really.

But now I've done it, haven't I. I've gone and lost your respect. Odd, why you would think that matters to me at all. You've resorted to labeling me throughout this entire discussion. So what respect was there for me to lose? And odd still, is why you would bother wasting your time sending me pm's baiting me for a reply, only to take the ball and leave after I do. Is that how the game is played?

Here how about this, skip over all the points you can't/won't address and get back to just calling me a creationist. There, you win. Thanks for playing.

If I'm so easy to turn into a pulp then drop the empty threats and have at it already. Take your best shot and put me away for good.

Why not start with your example of NS. See if you can verify how deep roots (and not anything else) can be shown to be the target of selection.

edit on 28-6-2014 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 04:01 AM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect


The bolded part is of no consequence.

Then you didn't use your brains, as requested.


Your respect. Odd, why you would think that matters to me at all.

I don't give a fig whether it matters to you or not. It matters to me. I like to think well of the people I meet in the world, and at first you seemed like an open-minded person who genuinely wanted to understand evolution, but had got hung up on a technical point. It took me a while to realize you were playing a different game.


why (would you) bother wasting your time sending me pm's baiting me for a reply, only to take the ball and leave after I do?

Your reply was merely a self-justifying effort to score debating points. Hardly worth the effort. You're just digging yourself in deeper.


Why not start with your example of NS. See if you can verify how deep roots (and not anything else) can be shown to be the target of selection.

The 'target', eh? You haven't taken on board one blessed word of what's been explained to you.

Now go and stand in front of a train or give Mike Tyson the finger or something. I'm done beating you up.


edit on 28/6/14 by Astyanax because: I'm done beating him up.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax
Yeah, "the target of selection". Ever hear of that term? As in the object or unit of selection. Is it the gene? The individual? or the group? Something else? Or none of them. Or all of them? What is the level of selection in your example? Can you answer it?? NO, you can't answer it without engaging in conjecture. Your example is flawed. It's why you've been evading my questions about it for the last 2 or 3 posts now. No surprise there.

Oh and you can drop your self righteous BS. No one is buying it. You never once thought well of me, made clear in the manner with which you've addressed me throughout this forum and now in pm's. Don't insult my intelligence by pretending that you were trying to help me understand evolution. I don't need that kind of help.

Good day.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect


Yeah, "the target of selection". Ever hear of that term?

Yes, I've heard the term. Group selectionists are fond of it. It's a lousy term because it implies that natural selection is an entity aiming at some kind of object, but people who understand evolution sometimes use it as shorthand, the way we sometimes say 'evolution designed eyes for seeing.' Your use of it, however, merely perpetuates the error you have clung to all along.


The object or unit of selection. Is it the gene? The individual? or the group?

I prefer 'unit', for reasons that should be obvious from the above. The level at which selection occurs was a matter of considerable debate amongst evolutionary biologists a generation ago. Stephen Jay Gould went to his grave defending the idea that species or even clades could be units of selection. Other evolutionary biologists, such as Richard Dawkins, find that considering the gene as the unit of selection resolves certain conceptual issues and sheds light on a very wide variety of questions, some of which extend well beyond the scope of the discipline. But nobody worries about units of selection very much any more, because it is increasingly evident that natural selection can operate at any level, even the pre-biological; Jeremy England, as we have seen, applies the principle to thermodynamic systems. Lee Smolin applies it to universes, postulating that initial universal conditions which are better at producing black holes are selected for. Your question, therefore, is redundant.


What is the level of selection in your example? Can you answer it?? NO, you can't answer it without engaging in conjecture. Your example is flawed. It's why you've been evading my questions about it for the last 2 or 3 posts now. No surprise there.

The unit of selection in my example is the tree, obviously, because I was talking about trees of the same species. If I had spoken about the differential survival of various species of trees (some, perhaps, having longer roots than others), then the unit of selection would have been the species. If I had been talking about the differential survival of trees of the same species growing in related groups at different locations, the unit of selection would have been the kin group. If I had been talking about trees of the same species in which alternative alleles produced longer or shorter roots, the unit of selection would have been the gene.

And a very good day to you, too.




edit on 28/6/14 by Astyanax because: I can't spell 'species', apparently.



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