Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 64 (9164 total)
6 online now:
Newest Member: ChatGPT
Post Volume: Total: 916,839 Year: 4,096/9,624 Month: 967/974 Week: 294/286 Day: 15/40 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Can we accelerate evolution?
Alfred Maddenstein
Member (Idle past 3994 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 04-01-2011


Message 56 of 77 (615384)
05-12-2011 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dogmafood
08-31-2010 5:11 PM


Dogmafood writes:
As we gain the ability to manipulate genes, will we be able to effectively hyper accelerate the evolutionary process? Are we becoming the stewards of our own genome? Are we up to it?
That is a wrong question. The theory does not describe any directional process leading from point A to some definite point B. So there could not be any rates of motion applied in its description at all. There is nothing to accelerate towards anything as the process has no goal to reach in any motion at all, if the theory is correct.
Evolution is very bad and misleading term. Those who pretend to defend the theory against...well..creationists..or whoever..are themselves labouring under a flattering delusion about what it all means. The confusion started from Spencer's popularization of the thing and it never ended. Even Nietzsche was clearly labouring under the same delusion when fighting Spencer and al while assuming he had to say anything about Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Dogmafood, posted 08-31-2010 5:11 PM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by rueh, posted 05-12-2011 3:52 PM Alfred Maddenstein has replied
 Message 59 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-12-2011 9:37 PM Alfred Maddenstein has replied
 Message 61 by Dogmafood, posted 05-12-2011 11:33 PM Alfred Maddenstein has not replied

  
Alfred Maddenstein
Member (Idle past 3994 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 04-01-2011


Message 58 of 77 (615386)
05-12-2011 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by rueh
05-12-2011 3:52 PM


rueh writes:
Alfred Maddenstein writes:
The theory does not describe any directional process leading from point A to some definite point B. So there could not be any rates of motion applied in its description at all. There is nothing to accelerate towards anything as the process has no goal to reach in any motion at all, if the theory is correct.
With natural selection that is true. I think Dogmafood was referring to artificial selection though. Where we can dictate the desired outcome.
That, of course, can and has been done in all cases of breeding. Yet no acceleration takes place as the artificial selection introduces the very directional motion first which without it is totally absent. The natural selection is not in any hurry in any direction whatsoever so cannot be possibly sped up.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by rueh, posted 05-12-2011 3:52 PM rueh has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by rueh, posted 05-13-2011 3:29 PM Alfred Maddenstein has not replied

  
Alfred Maddenstein
Member (Idle past 3994 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 04-01-2011


Message 60 of 77 (615430)
05-12-2011 11:18 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Dr Adequate
05-12-2011 9:37 PM


Dr Adequate writes:
That is a wrong question. The theory does not describe any directional process leading from point A to some definite point B. So there could not be any rates of motion applied in its description at all. There is nothing to accelerate towards anything as the process has no goal to reach in any motion at all, if the theory is correct.
Just because something has no goal doesn't mean that it has no direction or speed, nor that it can't be subject to acceleration. A feather on the breeze has no goal, but it can still go faster or slower in this or that direction. The same is true of the evolution of a lineage.
Evolution is very bad and misleading term.
Not to those of us who know what it means. I daresay it would mislead someone who doesn't know what it means, but the same could be said of any other word.
Those who pretend to defend the theory against...well..creationists..or whoever..are themselves labouring under a flattering delusion about what it all means.
I see that mind-reading is amongst the talents that you do not possess.
Ok then, give me an example of such direction. Say a feather was floating south for a minute, a gust of wind blew it north, then the wind changed and carried it south-east. What was the direction the wind was speeding it up in? It seems unless you know where you want the feather to go, you can hardly talk about whether the feather was slowed down or sped up in any particular direction at any turn of the wind.
The word's definition is directional change. You think it's a good term for that? I don't know. Especially in the singular. When there are so many directions. Change and transformation of species might be better. Even in the title it says origins and not evolution. He used it sometimes but not overwhelmingly like it is used now.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-12-2011 9:37 PM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-13-2011 12:20 AM Alfred Maddenstein has replied

  
Alfred Maddenstein
Member (Idle past 3994 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 04-01-2011


Message 67 of 77 (615528)
05-13-2011 11:08 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Dr Adequate
05-13-2011 12:20 AM


Dr Adequate writes:
Ok then, give me an example of such direction. Say a feather was floating south for a minute, a gust of wind blew it north, then the wind changed and carried it south-east. What was the direction the wind was speeding it up in?
When the direction of the feather changed from south to north, it was accelerated in a northerly direction. When it then went southeast it was being accelerated southeast (feathers have a high area/mass ratio, so I'm discounting its momentum).
It seems unless you know where you want the feather to go, you can hardly talk about whether the feather was slowed down or sped up in any particular direction at any turn of the wind.
It is actually possible to determine the position, speed, and acceleration of objects without knowing where I want them to go. This is a shame, otherwise I should have a unique and lucrative job.
The word's definition is directional change. You think it's a good term for that? I don't know. Especially in the singular. When there are so many directions. Change and transformation of species might be better. Even in the title it says origins and not evolution. He used it sometimes but not overwhelmingly like it is used now.
I really don't see the problem. But if there is one, it's probably too late to change the English language now.
That is all true what you say about measuring the motion of isolated objects. I reckon that your analogy breaks on closer examination though. Your missed my initial point already because as a breeder you are the first to define what the object in motion is, let alone the direction. Consider it for example growth of a tree. The trunk and crown if taken as a whole may be assumed to move sunwards, yet it is going wider at the same time, branches are growing in all directions, the vectors of that growth are not quite parallel, each leaf is getting wider too.
What is the direction of the growth of a leaf? Even if you roughly define that somehow, the same leaf could be still divided into smaller parts that are growing and you can to consider the direction of each and every part and those directions are far too many again and the closer you look the more complicated it will get since smaller parts instead of just growing may be dividing and getting replaced.
Then if your consider more than one season, the leaves themselves may be falling and new ones appearing to replace them in spring and so on. The directions are way too many to start talking about the rate of acceleration without first isolating some that you might desire to measure.
To talk about a particular direction you need to isolate a particular segment of that growth or consider the tree as a whole, otherwise the vectors may remain ill-defined. The direction of motion of changing life is more like the growth of that tree than the motion of a feather on the wind.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-13-2011 12:20 AM Dr Adequate 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