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Author Topic:   Criticizing neo-Darwinism
nwr
Member
Posts: 6445
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 16 of 309 (297097)
03-21-2006 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by crashfrog
03-21-2006 3:47 PM


Re: muddled thoughts.
What would be the basis of an evolutionary theory besides the biology of the organisms that are evolving?
This isn't a discussion of the biological basis for evolution. It is a discussion of whether the neoDarwinian account, as quoted in Message 1 (from a post by Parasomnium) is an adequate model for ToE.
In case it wasn't already clear, let me restate that I am on the pro-evolution side of the house.

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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 149 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 17 of 309 (297112)
03-21-2006 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by nwr
03-21-2006 2:00 PM


Re: Gradualism
They have to do with whether a sequence of steps is required, such that intermediate steps should be impossible or very unlikely due to negative selection against them. To me, this does seem to be a problem in the neo-Darwinian account...
Do you have any evidence that non-functional or detrimental intermediates are the standard pathway in neo-darwinian 'accounts'?
TTFN,
WK

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1583 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 18 of 309 (297136)
03-21-2006 8:05 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by nwr
03-21-2006 4:09 PM


Re: muddled thoughts.
It is a discussion of whether the neoDarwinian account, as quoted in Message 1 (from a post by Parasomnium) is an adequate model for ToE.
You're still not being clear, because I don't see how that answers the question.
Maybe it's best I bow out here. Apparently clear communication is not going to be possible for us.

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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 5149 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 19 of 309 (297156)
03-21-2006 10:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by nwr
03-20-2006 8:58 PM


some ideas on neo-darwinism and critiques
Richard Dawkins has an amazing facility to avoid the line of thought represented by Waddington and facilitated variation below.
I heard him on NPR a couple of weeks ago in a discussion of what we can believe but can not explain due to ignorance. The issue becomes if the origin of genetic information is not in the phenotype materially and if the plausibility represented beyond neo-Darwinism cannot remain the novelty it was before the Dawkins’ of the world rejected the notion. It seems that the POTENTIAL variation as presented in the Vonyich manuscript might indeed return an answer that can not be simply understood by Dawkinsonian gradualism BECAUSE as Chomsky said, “the Soul sings out the whole Song upon the first hint, as knowing it very well before.”(p15 On Interpreting the World, in “Problems of Knowledge and Freedom THE RUSSELL LECTURES).
Perhaps the “pure form” that the origin of genetic information is retained in might be less tainted if read from something like this:

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6445
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 20 of 309 (297428)
03-22-2006 7:56 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Wounded King
03-21-2006 5:40 PM


Re: Gradualism
Do you have any evidence that non-functional or detrimental intermediates are the standard pathway in neo-darwinian 'accounts'?
I don't know that there is such a "standard pathway". It is pretty much the definition of IC (irreducible complexity), that such a problem would exist for IC systems (see Message 102).
If such systems can evolve, but the neo-Darwinian account does not provide a plausible explanation, then there is a problem with that account.

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Belfry
Member (Idle past 5202 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 21 of 309 (297435)
03-22-2006 8:10 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by nwr
03-22-2006 7:56 PM


Re: Gradualism
nwr writes:
If such systems can evolve, but the neo-Darwinian account does not provide a plausible explanation, then there is a problem with that account.
Can you give any examples where this scenario exists?
Also, are you being sincere with this thread, or are you messing with us? This "detrimental intermediate" thing is a classic creationist strawman, as you must know.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6445
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 22 of 309 (297445)
03-22-2006 8:58 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Belfry
03-22-2006 8:10 PM


Re: Gradualism
Can you give any examples where this scenario exists?
I'm not a biologist, so I can only go on what I read.
As best I can tell, biologists have not denied that there are IC systems. However, they have shown that IC system can evolve.
Does neo-Darwinism really pose a problem for such system? Or am I misunderstanding it? You will have to decide that for yourself. It seems to me that neo-Darwinism is a bit too vague. It doesn't really give enough details on how the evolving would proceed. But excessive vagueness can also be a problem.
This "detrimental intermediate" thing is a classic creationist strawman, as you must know.
Yes, I'm aware of that. But creationists are not making this argument out of whole cloth. They are getting the idea from what seems to be the neo-Darwinist account as to how an IC system would have to evolve.
Also, are you being sincere with this thread, or are you messing with us?
I'm being sincere. But, to repeat, I am not arguing against evolution. I am arguing that neo-Darwinism is part of the problem. It describes evolution in a way that many non-scientific folk find implausible. If you had a better theory, one that made it more obvious to non-scientists that evolution is a near certainty, then creationism and ID would not be getting the support that it has.

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Belfry
Member (Idle past 5202 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 23 of 309 (297447)
03-22-2006 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by nwr
03-22-2006 8:58 PM


Re: Gradualism
Okay, maybe I'm just not understanding what you mean by "neo-Darwinism." This term is often used loosely to include, essentially, the whole of modern synthesis. How are you using it, exactly?
nwr writes:
They are getting the idea from what seems to be the neo-Darwinist account as to how an IC system would have to evolve.
I am not aware of any "neo-Darwinist" account such as this. I think you need to show that such an account actually exists (other than as a creationist strawman) before you present it as a problem.
(edited to fix plural/singular disagreement)
This message has been edited by Belfry, 03-22-2006 09:13 PM

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Belfry
Member (Idle past 5202 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 24 of 309 (297495)
03-23-2006 5:52 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by nwr
03-22-2006 8:58 PM


Re: Gradualism
Or maybe a better question is, what in evolutionary theory would you say falls outside of "neo-Darwinism?" How does it differ from the modern synthesis?

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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 5149 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 25 of 309 (297506)
03-23-2006 7:53 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Belfry
03-23-2006 5:52 AM


There is no "better" question, it was already in thread
Attempts to make explict from implication of a level of organization supervenient on a supramolecular aggregate (as exists in those biologists who philosophically support organacism) some kind of hierarchicalization of what the relative gene frequency differences are is "outside" neo-D, I would say, is it not? Is not Gould's entire tome on RENAMING neo-Darwinism through associative hierarchies but an example of something so "outside"?
This message has been edited by Brad McFall, 03-23-2006 07:54 AM

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 101 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 26 of 309 (297508)
03-23-2006 8:22 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by nwr
03-21-2006 4:09 PM


my muddled mind
This isn't a discussion of the biological basis for evolution. It is a discussion of whether the neoDarwinian account, as quoted in Message 1 (from a post by Parasomnium) is an adequate model for ToE.
I'm still confused - Parasomnium was discussing a biological basis for evolution. He talked about heredity.
But if neodarwinism were a good model, then you should not have to keep appealing to the biology to help the model over its weak points.
It doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Neodarwinism is an explanation for biological change. How does 'appealing to biology' present a problem for a biological theory, surely that is precisely what it should do?
My only conclusion is that we are using different meanings for neodarwinism. I take neodarwinism to another way of say 'the modern synthesis of the theory of evolution'. So what you are saying is you shouldn't have to appeal to biology to gloss over the weak points in your biological theory.
It makes my head spin, no matter how hard I try to comprehend what you are trying to communicate.

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Belfry
Member (Idle past 5202 days)
Posts: 177
From: Ocala, FL
Joined: 11-05-2005


Message 27 of 309 (297510)
03-23-2006 8:33 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Brad McFall
03-23-2006 7:53 AM


Re: There is no "better" question, it was already in thread
As usual, I find your postmodern writing style rather obfuscated. In any case, my question wasn't "is there any line of evolutionary theory outside of neo-Darwinism." I was simply trying to get nwr clarify how he was defining "neo-Darwinism" in this thread, and thought that my second question might offer a better way for him to clarify.
For example, at one point (in Message 13) nwr suggests that his "preferred alternative theory" (apparently in contrast to neo-Darwinism) "predicts punctuated equilibria as a significant mode of speciation. It predicts that novelty will arise.". If neo-Darwinism, in nwr's thinking, excludes these concepts, then I don't know of any modern biologists who are neo-Darwinists. It is a concept built of straw.
{edit: closed parentheses}
This message has been edited by Belfry, 03-23-2006 08:34 AM

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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 5149 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 28 of 309 (297511)
03-23-2006 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Modulous
03-23-2006 8:22 AM


Re: my muddled mind
The problem (in biology (keeping all CvE out for the moment, etc.)) is that bean bag Neo-Darwinisms do have all of this 'biology' that is not simply a version of Dawkinsoniansims as "heritibility." But as Waddington remarks (see the first thumbnail provided above) this is a "fudge factor." It covers any and all not explict by the maths correlations across generations. If the heritbility itself has some strucuture independent of gene frequency changes themselves (and there is some evidence in niche construction that this may indeed be the case). Attempts at hierarchicalization beyond genic selectionism do remand possible strucutures but if the meaning of this supplement IS NOT what RUSSELL called "natural kinds" of discrete units empirically the room is made for CvE of any design. Gould would simply say such meaning is nonsense.
Will Provine, despite having edited a book with the title "Synthesis" now thinks that THE synthesis NEVER existed. Mayr removed the bag and got a gabble of genes by assuming that the form of the naming must retain the Haeckel underbelly through some kind of reading of Weismann which rejects the necessity in the extendable names hierarchy might give as being essentialistic or Aristotelian except insofar as his reading of the GROWTH of biological thought is retained. That is too ornithological for me.
IC with a kind of theory of language might be outside biology but this would really only be of interest if the rejection of neo-darwinism was apparent to Dawkins himself. We all can assume he knows enough biology to make the judgement of his own habit rather than the projection that I provide so I would suggest sticking to a discussion of alternatives (relative to adaptation say) that is brought up in faciliated variation (see the other pages I provided above).

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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 5149 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 29 of 309 (297512)
03-23-2006 8:47 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Belfry
03-23-2006 8:33 AM


background reading?
I think it is CLEAR AND OBVIOUS what NWR means. Did your read the pages I attached in this thread?
Dawkins is a neoDarwinist in the "contrary" sense.
This message has been edited by Brad McFall, 03-23-2006 08:48 AM

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6445
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 30 of 309 (297586)
03-23-2006 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Brad McFall
03-23-2006 8:47 AM


Re: background reading?
I think it is CLEAR AND OBVIOUS what NWR means.
Thanks, Brad. However, reading the other responses in this thread, is is apparent that what I mean is neither clear nor obvious to most of the responders.
Dawkins is a neoDarwinist in the "contrary" sense.
Quite right.

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