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Author Topic:   PZ Myers vs. Adaptationism
Taq
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Posts: 9077
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Message 11 of 49 (763211)
07-22-2015 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by MrHambre
07-22-2015 10:34 AM


Re: Spandrels and Storytelling
Um, but no one is disputing that adaptive features are the result of natural selection. What's being refuted here is the notion that natural selection is all-important to evolution because it's responsible for adaptation. Adaptation is not synonymous with evolution.
It really depends on what you are trying to explain. Darwin was originally trying to explain why life physically changed through time. Natural selection is the main driver of those observations.
If you are trying to explain how junk DNA in two species diverges over time, then selection is obviously not going to be as important.
Edited by Taq, : No reason given.

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 Message 9 by MrHambre, posted 07-22-2015 10:34 AM MrHambre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by MrHambre, posted 07-22-2015 2:58 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
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Posts: 9077
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.3


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Message 14 of 49 (763219)
07-22-2015 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by MrHambre
07-22-2015 2:58 PM


Re: Spandrels and Storytelling
Contemporary biologists know a lot more about population genetics than Darwin did, and realize that natural selection has been given pride of place for many reasons aside from scientific evidence.
Then what is the main driver of changes in morphology through time?
The notion of adaptation lends itself very easily to theorizing about what a trait or feature is "for," and the allure of this boundless horizon has led to a lot of bad thinking in a self-validating Panglossian fashion. Unfortunately, this bad thinking has also taken the form of scientific rationales for prejudices about race and gender.
Then how do you explain the correlation between skin color (as determined by alleles) and latitude?

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Taq
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Posts: 9077
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 18 of 49 (763228)
07-22-2015 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by AZPaul3
07-22-2015 3:05 PM


Re: Spandrels and Storytelling
Maybe I'm reading this wrong but isn't this exactly what Prof. M is disputing? Adaptationists insist there is a fitness value to all adaptations in your body or they wouldn't be there. This leads most adaptationists to posit selective pressures (natural selection) on the most flimsy of bases.
We could look at this through the eyes of evo-devo.
Of the genes involved in developmental pathways responsible for physical traits, how many show evidence of selection against deleterious mutations? My own expectations is that a vast majority of developmental genes show evidence of selection at the sequence level.
What Prof. M is saying, by my reading, is that having or not having a nose may be a major adaptation which helps define a species and is a major selective determinant in passing through the sieve of natural selection (fitness), but the (beautiful) angle of the bridge of his nose has little to no selective value to fitness and this adaptation merely drifts through the future population as a function of the probabilities in meiosis and fecundity.
IOW, there is more of a fitness mesa instead of a fitness peak.

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Taq
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Posts: 9077
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.3


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Message 32 of 49 (765341)
07-27-2015 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by caffeine
07-27-2015 2:56 PM


Re: The Emperor's Fashion Sense
Secondly, there's the fact that most women do not orgasm just from penetrative sex. If female orgasm came about because women who orgasm are more likely to have sex and thus reproduce, why aren't nerves rearranged so that penetration is the easiest way to orgasm. Surely this would be the way to make pleasure-seeking most likely to result in pregnancy.
I think I speak for many men when I say that most organisms during our teenage years was not due to penetrative sex. Just sayin'.

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 Message 37 by 1.61803, posted 07-28-2015 5:27 PM Taq has replied

  
Taq
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Posts: 9077
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 42 of 49 (765466)
07-29-2015 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by 1.61803
07-28-2015 5:27 PM


Re: The Emperor's Fashion Sense
And if I may venture to add that many pregnancies had little to do with the Big "O" either.
It could be that the female orgasm is a spandrel from selection for the male organism.
It could also be that the female orgasm helps to forge a stronger relationship between mates which increases the number of children and protection for those children.

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