Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 52 (9178 total)
1 online now:
Newest Member: Anig
Upcoming Birthdays: Theodoric
Post Volume: Total: 918,105 Year: 5,362/9,624 Month: 387/323 Week: 27/204 Day: 3/24 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Minimum requirements for applying Natural Selection
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5698 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 1 of 10 (27704)
12-22-2002 11:59 PM


For among others: Peter, Schrafinator, Tazimus_Maximus etc.
My arguments haven't actually changed, but since now John,an evolutionist, independently (more or less) agrees with me about the minimum requirements for the theory of Natural Selection to apply, I thought this might change the opinion of many evolutionists here. (seeing that creationist vs evolutionist politics tends to distort opinions otherwise)
John:
"Not really. You are bleeding into the ToE aspects. Natural selection is "If an individual survives long enough it reproduces, if it doesn't survive long enough it does not reproduce." That's it, really. There is no need for variants at all. You could have clones-- no variation at all-- and this would still apply. This kind of variant-less population is what triggered the Irish potatoe famine. Most of the potatoes grown in the affected areas were so closely related that once a disease -- an agent of natural selection-- took hold it ran wild."
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Quetzal, posted 12-23-2002 3:36 AM Syamsu has replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5698 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 3 of 10 (27718)
12-23-2002 5:16 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Quetzal
12-23-2002 3:36 AM


Well, I'm pleasantly surprised. That Natural Selection should be, fundamentally, understood in this simple way, is my main point in many, many posts I wrote.
I think it should be reproduce or failing to reproduce, in stead of survival, this is also how it is in mainstream Darwinism I think. (an organism either reproduces or fails to reproduce, therefore it is the unit of selection). But I don't want to argue about that now, if it should be reproduction or survival or both.
I just want to point out that it is not generally understood by biology students, and biology scientists alike that Natural Selection is this simple. What is taught and accepted is differential reproductive success of variants. Prior definitions like Darwin's, also are not this simple (do not apply to clone populations).
I'm not inclined to go look in backposts now exactly which extra requirements Peter, Schrafinator and Tazimus_Maximus made. This was much my whole argument so it's not likely that I would have missed it, if they had agreed with me, because I'm focused on it. When I asked for the minimal requirements on usenet talk.origins, among other things, I got a mathematical formula for variants which had a different reproductive success. Some of the people on talk.origins are scientists themselves, and I think this was one of them, so I don't think I am mistaken in saying, that it is not generally clearly understood or accepted that Natural Selection is simple this way. Below I copied the definition of Natural Selection from the talk.origins archive. Certainly it's not possible for a common student to know the simple definition of Natural Selection from that, and I think it's questionable if or not the scientist who wrote it actually accepts the simple definition.
The simple version of Natural Selection has several benefits over the complex version of Natural Selection. (differential reproductive success of variants)
1. some scientific benefits, it makes the perspective attained from Natural Selection more broad and cohesive, since it includes more.
2. some emotional benefits, the simple version is less conducive to derive valuejudgements from
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html
"Natural Selection
Some types of organisms within a population leave more offspring than others. Over time, the frequency of the more prolific type will increase. The difference in reproductive capability is called natural selection. Natural selection is the only mechanism of adaptive evolution; it is defined as differential reproductive success of pre- existing classes of genetic variants in the gene pool."
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Quetzal, posted 12-23-2002 3:36 AM Quetzal has not replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5698 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 4 of 10 (27770)
12-24-2002 2:29 AM


Below added the formulation of Natural Selection, and Selection from the glossary of this site. As you can see it is not easy, or impossible, to derive the simple formulation of Natural Selection from below formulation.
I would guess that ignorance/nonacceptance of the simple formulation among biology students who have been taught Natural Selection is about 99 percent, and among biology scientists it would also be well over 50 percent. If you can remember then tell me how you did arrive at the simple formulation. I just can't see it happening very much for anyone to arrive at a simple formulation after having accepted formulations like below.
Natural selection:
Differential reproduction or survival of replicating organisms caused by agencies that are not directed by humans (See Artificial selection). Since such differential selective effects are widely prevalent, and often act on hereditary (genetic) variations, natural selection is a common major cause for a change in the gene frequencies of a population that leads to a new distinctive genetic constitution (evolution). (See also Adaptation, Fitness, Selection.)
Selection:
A composite of all the forces that cause differential survival and differential reproduction among genetic variants. When the selective agencies are primarily those of human choice, the process is called artificial selection; when the selective agencies are not those of human choice, it is called natural selection. (See also Adaptive value, Fitness.) Although evolutionary biologists recognize other factors that contribute to genetic change, and therefore to evolution (for example, Mutation, Random genetic drift), selection remains the most commonly accepted cause to account for organismic adaptive features. However, selection does not have the foresight nor can development supply the means to enable a single population to face every eventuality. That is, although selection is a cause for evolutionary change, the amount and direction of change is limited by an organism's past history. The regularity of extinction, embracing many lineages and practically all fossil species, indicates such limitations. That evolution proceeds continuously in the face of successive environmental contingencies is because selection is exercised in different populations, some of which possess adaptations that replace other populations which lack them. Among other "adaptive" hypotheses that have generally been rejected are unknown or mystical causes believed to guide evolutionary changes in non-selective yet adaptive directions, such as directed mutation, directed responses to environmental needs (Lamarckianism), orthogenesis, and saltation.
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Syamsu, posted 02-17-2003 11:00 AM Syamsu has not replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5698 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 5 of 10 (28109)
12-30-2002 9:51 AM


-bump-
I guess most people are away for the holidays, but I'm impatient to settle this important question, so please all contribute and give your opinion on this simple question.
Is variation required for Natural Selection to apply or isn't it?
Is "reproducing or not reproducing", or either "surviving or not surviving", or something like that, a correct definition of Natural Selection?
If the definition is generally thought to be correct, then creationists will claim moral victory of the evolution vs creation debate in my estimation.
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu
[This message has been edited by Syamsu, 12-30-2002]

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Brad McFall, posted 12-31-2002 2:18 PM Syamsu has not replied
 Message 7 by forgiven, posted 12-31-2002 5:33 PM Syamsu has replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5698 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 8 of 10 (28241)
01-01-2003 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by forgiven
12-31-2002 5:33 PM


John Wilkins, Howard Herschey etc. some evolutionists on talk.origins who do not accept the simple version. I wish the simple formulation was mainstream, but if it was mainstream then the word selection would be used lots in relation to endangered species, but it isn't AFAIK. So as it stands, you really do not have much authority to rely on, you have to argue it yourself and decide if the simple formulation provides meaningful knowledge or not.
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by forgiven, posted 12-31-2002 5:33 PM forgiven has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Syamsu, posted 02-15-2003 10:29 AM Syamsu has not replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5698 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 9 of 10 (32324)
02-15-2003 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Syamsu
01-01-2003 10:25 AM


-bump-
I'm restarting this thread with the focus to change the formulation of Natural Selection/Selection as it is in the glossary of this site, with a basic formulation of Natural Selection as defined by Quetzal, John and Me. The definition in the glossary of this site, as well as the (sort of) definition of John and Quetzal can be found in the postings above.
Normally, in all other sciences as far as I know, the most generally applicable formulation is the one that is in the textbook at school, or in the dictionary or glossary. Why then should this be any different with Natural Selection? Clearly the formulation of Natural Selection as by Quetzal, John and me is more generally applicable. It is applicable where variation is not present or not relevant, like with clone populations of bacteria, or endangered species, or when just normally looking at any individual organism.
So the definition of Natural Selection/Selection should read something like:
Selection: the relationship of an organism to it's environment in terms of it's chance of reproduction. Selecting in meaning to increase the chance of reproduction, selecting out meaning to decrease the chance of reproduction. The light (environment) falls on the photosynthetic cells of plant (organism), which contributes to it's reproduction (selected in). Fitness then has the same meaning as chance of reproduction. For instance an organism with 20 prc chance of reproduction is unfit, one with 80 prc is fit, etc.
(note the definitions of John, Quetzal and me are all slightly different and those differences should also be sorted out, but they are similar in that the definitions don't require variation).
What kind of argument can possibly legitmize the non-general, special case definition in the glossary?
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Syamsu, posted 01-01-2003 10:25 AM Syamsu has not replied

  
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5698 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 10 of 10 (32428)
02-17-2003 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Syamsu
12-24-2002 2:29 AM


To get things going with changing the definition of selection in the glossary of this site, I will give a criticism of it.
(glossary evcforum)
"Selection:
A composite of all the forces that cause differential survival and differential reproduction among genetic variants."
Apart from the faulty reference to variants (explained earlier), I think it's deceptive to refer to selection as a force, because it tends to deny the stochastic, incidental, and random aspects of an organism's relation to the environment in terms of it's reproduction. I think this definition of force derives from Dawkins his typification of Selection, of "forces being deployed in a special way". Dawkins is generally known to have problems with accepting chance, which he calls "the enemy of science". If a 10^50 chance would be observed, so he says, then he would believe in God, because then he would have witnessed a miracle. What other magical beings he would believe in for lower or higher chances then that he doesn't say. More likely chance is the enemy of his atheism, then it is the enemy of science. Anyway the use of force seems unjustified.
" When the selective agencies are primarily those of human choice, the process is called artificial selection;"
Which then would make human choice into a force, which I think is somewhat peculiar. I think it may be better to distinguish Natural and Artificial in terms of nonrandom forces, and random factors, where human choice would fall (largely) into the category of random factors, but so would many other non-human factors fall into the random category.
It's also strange that the same people who want to (wrongly IMO) categorize animals with humans, would make a special category for humans in terms of selection.
" when the selective agencies are not those of human choice, it is called natural selection. (See also Adaptive value, Fitness.) Although evolutionary biologists recognize other factors that contribute to genetic change, and therefore to evolution (for example, Mutation, Random genetic drift), selection remains the most commonly accepted cause to account for organismic adaptive features."
But adaptednes is already describing organisms in terms of selection. It would not be possible to describe organisms in terms of adaptedness without reference to selection, either implicit or explicit.
Read together with the definition of selection at the beginning it reads:
The cause of adaptation is that some genetic variants have a greater (differential) reproductive success then others.
I think this is wrong because it doesn't mention the relation to environment. An adaptation is when a feauture contributes to reproduction in relation to it's environment, and a mal-adaptation is when a feature detracts from reproduction in relation to it's environment.
" However, selection does not have the foresight nor can development supply the means to enable a single population to face every eventuality. That is, although selection is a cause for evolutionary change, the amount and direction of change is limited by an organism's past history."
I don't think that selection causes any change, except in so far as the changes caused by reproduction and no reproduction, an increase or decrease in number of organisms. Mutation causes change, I think you can better replace the word selection with mutation in the above paragraph.
Because Wallace objected to the term Natural Selection, on account of the word selection supposing some agency in Nature chosing the organisms, Darwin considered to change the term into Natural Preservation, and indeed the title of his book refers to preservation of races. Preservation clearly indicates to me that it is not about change.
" The regularity of extinction, embracing many lineages and practically all fossil species, indicates such limitations. That evolution proceeds continuously in the face of successive environmental contingencies is because selection is exercised in different populations, some of which possess adaptations that replace other populations which lack them."
It seems to me this is all but forgetting about Natural Selection, and continuing to talk about evolution on some specialized point.
"Among other "adaptive" hypotheses that have generally been rejected are unknown or mystical causes believed to guide evolutionary changes in non-selective yet adaptive directions, such as directed mutation, directed responses to environmental needs (Lamarckianism), orthogenesis, and saltation."
I can't find much wrong here, except that evolutionists at this point tend to bring in other decidely atheist rethoric about un-supervision, un-direction, lack of foresight, blindness (and deafness, and unsmellingness, why not), dumbness, that is not present in the definition of theories in any other science. I think this all just refers to the randomness of mutation, but then of course mutations aren't absolutely random, some mutatations are more likely then others. I don't think this belongs in the definition of Natural Selection.
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Syamsu, posted 12-24-2002 2:29 AM Syamsu has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024