Evolutionary Theory Evolves? - Survival Of The Fittest Is Likely False Study shows

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posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 06:52 PM
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It appears that as more and more demographic data becomes available on populations of species more and more issues arise with the current beliefs held by theorists of evolution. Our preconceived notions acquired from high school biology text books are increasingly being challenged as observable phenomena is cataloged and processed.

The scientific method strikes again!

What effect will these findings have on the direction evolutionary theory takes in the future?

Study demonstrates evolutionary 'fitness' not the most important determinant of success
phys.org...


When you think about evolution, 'survival of the fittest' is probably one of the first things that comes into your head. However, new research from Oxford University finds that the 'fittest' may never arrive in the first place and so aren't around to survive.

By modelling populations over long timescales, the study showed that the 'fitness' of their traits was not the most important determinant of success. Instead, the most genetically available mutations dominated the changes in traits. The researchers found that the 'fittest' simply did not have time to be found, or to fix in the population over evolutionary timescales.

The findings suggest that life on Earth today may not have come about by 'survival of the fittest', but rather by the 'arrival of the frequent'.


Here is the link to the actual article;
The Arrival of the Frequent: How Bias in Genotype-Phenotype Maps Can Steer Populations to Local Optima
Steffen Schaper, Ard A. Louis
www.plosone.org...


Darwin's account of biological evolution [1] stressed the importance of natural selection: If some individuals are better adapted to their environment than their competitors, their offspring will come to dominate the population. The fittest survive and the less fit go extinct. Yet selection alone is not sufficient to drive evolution because natural selection reduces the very variation that it requires to operate. It was only recognised well after Darwin's day [2], in part through the success of the Modern Synthesis, that the fuel for selection is provided by mutations that make offspring genetically different from their parents. Crucially, mutations change genetically stored information (the genotype) while selection operates on the physical expression of this information (the phenotype). Understanding the relation between genotypes and phenotypes – the GP map – is therefore crucial to understanding evolutionary dynamics [3].


So as usual, please comment or link to further info on the topic.

-FBB




posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:06 PM
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Kind of a semantics argument isn't it? The fittest, being the one that survived. (Based on the unfitness of the ones that didn't).



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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boncho
Kind of a semantics argument isn't it? The fittest, being the one that survived. (Based on the unfitness of the ones that didn't).


No.

The fittest implies they are actually the best at surviving, this study is showing that it is merely the abundance of a gene as opposed to its potency which appears to be the driving factor.

They would not have published a study or created models if it was semantics . . .

-FBB



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:27 PM
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reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
 



The fittest implies they are actually the best at surviving…


Well they claim otherwise. By the above definition the ones in the red group were not so good were they?


OxSciBlog: How do your results challenge current popular theory?
Ard Louis: We are arguing that some biological traits may be found in nature not because they are fitter than other potential traits but simply because they are easier to find by evolution. Darwinian evolution proceeds in two steps. Firstly, there is variation: due to mutations, different members of a population may have differences in traits. Secondly, there is selection: if the variation in a trait allows an organism to have more viable offspring, to be 'fitter', then that trait will eventually come to dominate in the population. Traditional evolutionary theory focuses primarily on the work of natural selection. We are challenging this emphasis by claiming that strong biases in the rates at which traits can arrive through variation may direct evolution towards outcomes that are not simply the 'fittest'.


Read more at: phys.org...


More viable offspring is the new benchmark?


survival of the fittest
n.
Natural selection conceived of as a struggle for life in which only those organisms best adapted to existing conditions are able to survive and reproduce.


If the red and grey are separate phenotypes but the grey has more numbers, and they prevail, that makes them more fit, no?



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
 


I don't know any contemporary evolutionary biologist that uses the phrase "survival of the fittest." That's a misinterpretation of natural selection based on 19th century social darwinist philosophy. As indicated, if a species is successful at passing on its genes, it lives on.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Bringing forth more viable offspring does not equate to being a better survivor . . . the difference may seem like semantics or extremely subtle but it is a serious issue.

Unless you want to change the definition of fitness to the actual ability to reproduce this is a fundamentally different mechanism driving the phenomena. Currently fitness is tied to the ability to actually survive which increases the chances of being able to reproduce at some point. The study is demonstrating the strongest link is actually the reproduction process itself.

These are very different things.

-FBB
edit on 7-2-2014 by FriedBabelBroccoli because: 101



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
 



What effect will these findings have on the direction evolutionary theory takes in the future?

None.
Theory of evolution had worked to the point where humans became self aware. From that moment the theory of evolution isn't applicable any more to our species. Our society isn't based on the premise of 'survival of the fittest' even though there are groups who behave like this. Societal norms are different than in animal societies. I cannot simply eliminate someone else in order to gain their teritory and food resources.
It's hard to tell which way our evolution is heading, but I think it will be shaped around technology.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:46 PM
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The environment determines which changes in a genome or trait are likely to survive. Currently, the most important determinant of environmental survival appears to be Government rather than nature.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:48 PM
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FriedBabelBroccoli
reply to post by boncho
 



Unless you want to change the definition of fitness to the actual ability to reproduce this is a fundamentally different mechanism driving the phenomena. Currently fitness is tied to the ability to actually survive which increases the chances of being able to reproduce at some point. The study is demonstrating the strongest link is actually the reproduction process itself.

These are very different things.

-FBB
edit on 7-2-2014 by FriedBabelBroccoli because: 101


Um, actually the study is saying reproduction(?) determines fitness:


As there are so few possible mutations resulting in the fittest phenotype in red, the odds of this mutation are a mere 0.15%. The odds for the slightly fitter mutation in grey are 6.7% and so this is far more likely to fix, and thus to be found and survive, even though it is much less fit than the red phenotype.

Read more at: phys.org...


You are arguing my point for me.

Maybe they stumbled on more popular variations being fitter than the less popular ones? But again, semantics.
edit on 7-2-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:54 PM
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“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”


― Charles Darwin




posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:56 PM
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zilebeliveunknown
reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
 



What effect will these findings have on the direction evolutionary theory takes in the future?

None.
Theory of evolution had worked to the point where humans became self aware. From that moment the theory of evolution isn't applicable any more to our species. Our society isn't based on the premise of 'survival of the fittest' even though there are groups who behave like this. Societal norms are different than in animal societies. I cannot simply eliminate someone else in order to gain their teritory and food resources.
It's hard to tell which way our evolution is heading, but I think it will be shaped around technology.


That is social Darwinism. Very different than natural selection. Eugenics, or the idea of it, is a manmade construction of what it perceives as "weak", but in fact no one knows exactly what is strong or weak.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:58 PM
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boncho

FriedBabelBroccoli
reply to post by boncho
 

Unless you want to change the definition of fitness to the actual ability to reproduce this is a fundamentally different mechanism driving the phenomena. Currently fitness is tied to the ability to actually survive which increases the chances of being able to reproduce at some point. The study is demonstrating the strongest link is actually the reproduction process itself.
These are very different things.
-FBB
edit on 7-2-2014 by FriedBabelBroccoli because: 101

Um, actually the study is saying reproduction determines fitness:

As there are so few possible mutations resulting in the fittest phenotype in red, the odds of this mutation are a mere 0.15%. The odds for the slightly fitter mutation in grey are 6.7% and so this is far more likely to fix, and thus to be found and survive, even though it is much less fit than the red phenotype.
Read more at: phys.org...

You are arguing my point for me.
Maybe they stumbled on more popular variations being fitter than the less popular ones? But again, semantics.


No . . . they are not saying reproduction determines fitness . . .


As there are so few possible mutations resulting in the fittest phenotype in red, the odds of this mutation are a mere 0.15%.

The odds for the slightly fitter mutation in grey are 6.7% and so this is far more likely to fix, and thus to be found and survive, even though it is much less fit than the red phenotype.

Read more at: phys.org...

The less fit phenotype has a greater chance to be found and survive due to its abundance.

Less fit would indicate that they did not change the definition of fitness. You can try and argue that until you are blue in the face but it doesn't appear to be true based on your own quote. If the definition had been changed than the most fit would be the one passing their genes on when in reality they are NOT saying that.

-FBB



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:01 PM
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Nibiru hits the Earth, the surviving humans are either ascended to Heavens or taken by aliens and eaten.
Meanwhile, a little community of rodents who happened to be in an underground perfectly fitted for prolong life become the next most intelligent specie on Earth, and emerge from said cavern over a thousand years later.

Was it the fittest who survived? How was it determined the fittest survived?

For all we know, we are the survivors of a lucky weakest link... lol



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:05 PM
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A clear misunderstanding of the term "survival of the fittest." The unspoken qualifier "in a given environment" should help clarify things. Being the fittest doesn't mean being the biggest, strongest, fastest, or even the smartest. When a species can't adapt to changes in its environment, it is no longer fit to survive, no matter how successful it may have been in the past. Dinosaurs are a great example of this.

Nature shows that there are many strategies to survive in different environments.
Some animals, like rabbits, survive by reproducing faster than predators can consume them. Put them in an environment without predators, and they reproduce their way to extinction.

Insects, probably the kings of evolution, still don't adapt very well to cold climates.

One of the bigger factors of a changing environment these days is expanding human populations. Roaches and rats are adapting well to this, tigers and rhinos not so much.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:05 PM
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reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
 



The odds for the slightly fitter mutation in grey are 6.7% and so this is far more likely to fix, and thus to be found and survive, even though it is much less fit than the red phenotype.


They are saying the variation which has higher odds of being passed on, is more likely to fix, and thus be found and survive.


the grey are mutations to an alternative phenotype with slightly higher fitness and the red are the ‘fittest’ mutations. As there are so few possible mutations resulting in the fittest phenotype in red, the odds of this mutation are a mere 0.15%

Read more at: phys.org...


How are they saying the red is the fittest, what are they basing it on? If it is not a common variation? And it didn't survive. (Making it not the fittest).



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:12 PM
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boncho
reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
 


The odds for the slightly fitter mutation in grey are 6.7% and so this is far more likely to fix, and thus to be found and survive, even though it is much less fit than the red phenotype.

They are saying the variation which has higher odds of being passed on, is more likely to fix, and thus be found and survive.

the grey are mutations to an alternative phenotype with slightly higher fitness and the red are the ‘fittest’ mutations. As there are so few possible mutations resulting in the fittest phenotype in red, the odds of this mutation are a mere 0.15%
Read more at: phys.org...

How are they saying the red is the fittest, what are they basing it on? If it is not a common variation? And it didn't survive. (Making it not the fittest).


You are citing the percent chance of the most fit variation of a gene being present. Red is the name given to the gene which they chose as the most fit for the simulation. The simulation is a composite of the demographic and genetic data currently available.

Here is a quote from the researcher providing you with a better explanation;
OxSciBlog: How do your results challenge current popular theory?


We are arguing that some biological traits may be found in nature not because they are fitter than other potential traits but simply because they are easier to find by evolution. Darwinian evolution proceeds in two steps. Firstly, there is variation: due to mutations, different members of a population may have differences in traits. Secondly, there is selection: if the variation in a trait allows an organism to have more viable offspring, to be 'fitter', then that trait will eventually come to dominate in the population. Traditional evolutionary theory focuses primarily on the work of natural selection. We are challenging this emphasis by claiming that strong biases in the rates at which traits can arrive through variation may direct evolution towards outcomes that are not simply the 'fittest'.

Read more at: phys.org...


The chance for the trait to occur increases its actual presence in the gene pool which is what they are identifying as the primary mechanism of evolution.

-FBB



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:12 PM
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reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
 


Galton coined the term "survival of the fittest" in large part to justify Eugenics philosophy and policies. One of his main propositions was that wealth and "economic fitness" were features of genetic superiority.

Thanks much for posting. F&S&



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:16 PM
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Ken Ham: “It’s not survival of the fittest, it’s survival of those who survive.”
who just happen to be the fittest.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:25 PM
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So what they are saying is that quantity prevails over quality. When you have 100 not so good mutations and only one "perfect" mutation, the one perfect mutated organism is very likely to survive, but a certain % of the 100 others "not perfect" will also survive and reproduce. Thus today on our planet, a great % of all the existing genetic material is the offspring of those "not perfect" organisms. Am I right ?

That's communism !!!

But seriously, what does that say about us humans ? In which category do we fit ? The quantity or the quality ? What about consciousness ? And what about those great tools that we call hands ? What about language ?



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:28 PM
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reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
 


Can I put my metaphysical/spiritual terms up for reproduction by you all? lol

I think evolution is "good" concept (re)production -- not only evolution but all of reality's actions are.

That is, a trait, concept, or appearance (the body / image of a concept produced) that is viewed to be "good" is favored to be reproduced.

Essentially, everything is trying to do their version of "good" and if someone/thing finds the others' version of "good" to be "good" then they will reproduce what the other has produced.

The "good" that is most (re)produced lives own as gene expression / spirit within the offspring and effects / becomes the image / body of the concept.

--Even our very chatter is "good" concept reproduction / evolution of the will / spirit. e.g. You found that reproducing the concept of the article "good", so you are here trying to reproduce it in us.

Spiritually, I think it is the (be)coming of church, for the Son.

-The light or form of reality is the Son and he is to wed the practice of "just" creation, which is church, or evolution, or "good" concept (re)production.

more

"fittest" is what is determined to be "good" to reproduce, which is usually what is most pleasurable, but in morality / church, it is what is most "just".


A runaway train is speeding down a track and heading towards five people. You are next to the switch and have the option to switch the train on to a side track where there is only one [person].
ex source

What do you do? Careful, your thoughts / concepts live on in your offspring.
edit on 2/7/2014 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)





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