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Author Topic:   Darwinism and Nazism
Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5667 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 61 of 90 (29984)
01-23-2003 2:29 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Quetzal
01-22-2003 10:23 AM


In my own experience, the relation to Social Darwinism comes from comparing organisms, using words like good and bad. Also the term success or struggle, which posits reproduction, or survival as a worthy goal.
It should be clear now to everyone that the popular formulation of Natural Selection is biased towards evolution, which formulation unfortunately unusable for describing endangered species.
Also, there are other possible adaptive evolutionary scenario's which fall outside differential reproductive success of variants. Mainly the extent to which a mutant organism inhabits a different environment then it's ancestor falls outside the standard formulation. So there is again bias in the formulation there, this time towards those evolution scenario's that present a limited set of shared resources between variants, in stead of partly shared, or not shared resources.
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Quetzal, posted 01-22-2003 10:23 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Quetzal, posted 01-23-2003 5:53 AM Syamsu has replied

Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5949 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 62 of 90 (29995)
01-23-2003 5:53 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Syamsu
01-23-2003 2:29 AM


Hi Syamasu,
quote:
In my own experience, the relation to Social Darwinism comes from comparing organisms, using words like good and bad. Also the term success or struggle, which posits reproduction, or survival as a worthy goal.
Actually, I agree with you. The social darwinists, eugenecists, monists, and others of that ilk did base their philosophies on value judgements. They took the conceptual framework of "evolution = change driven by selection" and imputed subjective values to the nature of that change. This is the fundamental fallacy in social darwinism. The reality is, of course, that evolution, whether of species lineages or societies, says nothing whatsoever about relative worth. Nor does it say or imply anything of "purpose" or "goals" (which, in my opinion, is a vestige from relgion or metaphysics). However, to reiterate, the fact that the social darwinists distorted an elegant and well-supported concept to suit their own predispositions and agendae doesn't invalidate the original concept - merely their distortion. And that, I think, is where most of us have a problem with your argument: we feel that the formula "variation + ns and drift + inheritance = evolution" doesn't axiomatically require or imply direction, purpose, or value. And note well that the formula can be restated many different ways, and NONE require these.
On the other hand, it is a convenient "short hand" to speak in comparative terms like "better adapted" or "more fit" when discussing the action (or better said, results) of natural selection. However, the comparatives should not be taken to mean "of more value". "Fitter", for instance, as used by biologists is simply an easy way of saying "has a higher probability of replicating its genotype in the particular environment in which the organism (or population) lives in comparison to other individuals or populations in the same environment and subject to the same conditions". Whew! "Fitter" is better...
quote:
It should be clear now to everyone that the popular formulation of Natural Selection is biased towards evolution, which formulation unfortunately unusable for describing endangered species.
Again, I agree about the first part - the concept of NS is biased towards evolution. It is, after all, one of the primary engines of evolution. It is the iterative and creative power of NS that drives evolution and diversity, so saying it is biased toward evolution is certainly correct.
I'm not sure why NS would not be useable for describing endangered species. As I noted in a previous post, NS is the mainly the proximate cause of species endangerment in the first place. Perhaps you could expand on your statement and explain in detail what you mean? Possibly using an example from an actual endangered species for illustration? Apologies - as an ecologist, I think better when I have a concrete example to look at/think about. I'm honestly not clear what you mean.
quote:
Also, there are other possible adaptive evolutionary scenario's which fall outside differential reproductive success of variants. Mainly the extent to which a mutant organism inhabits a different environment then it's ancestor falls outside the standard formulation. So there is again bias in the formulation there, this time towards those evolution scenario's that present a limited set of shared resources between variants, in stead of partly shared, or not shared resources.
Again, I'm not really sure I'm following you here. It appears at first glance that this IS the standard formulation. In allopatric speciation, for instance, either the ancestral population is divided by some barrier, and the "daughter" populations diverge from both the ancestor and each other, or a peripheral isolate diverges from the ancestor which continues to diverge while the ancestor remains relatively unchanged. They don't even have to be physically isolated by a geographic barrier - it may be behavioral, reproductive, etc or some combination.
If the environment changes, one or another variant may be "favored" or survive, while the other goes extinct. Alternatively, one of the variants may be enabled to move into a new habitat. In both cases, you would have a "mutant" organism inhabiting an environment different from its ancestor. This is actually fairly common - and is one of the key observations Darwin himself made.
I don't see that there is a bias toward direct intraspecific competition for resources - that is simply one (of many) of the "selection pressures" subsumed under the umbrella of natural selection.
If I've misunderstood you, please let me know.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Syamsu, posted 01-23-2003 2:29 AM Syamsu has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by Syamsu, posted 01-23-2003 8:15 AM Quetzal has replied
 Message 67 by Peter, posted 01-30-2003 7:55 AM Quetzal has replied

Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5667 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 63 of 90 (30012)
01-23-2003 8:15 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Quetzal
01-23-2003 5:53 AM


The popular formulation of selection is differential reproductive success of variants (as in the glossary of this site, and in the talk.origins faq, as well as countless scientific papers).
This is not the basic concept of Natural Selection, as you agree. Obviously the popular formulation is unusable for situations where variation is irrellevant, since it requires it. (except if you follow John's argument that variation can be understood as just 1 sort).
It is useless to look at how fast the 3 leaved clover is disappearing compared to the 4 leaved clover in some area. There isn't neccesarily any significant difference between the disappearancerates.
It's generally useless to look at variation when looking at endangered species, except in a way that runs counter to the logic of differential reproductive succes of variants. Apparently there should be some minimum variation for long term reproductionstability.
Of course the basic formulation of Natural Selection still applies to endangered species, because it doesn't require variation.
Darwin and Wallace both got their idea for origin of species, from Malthus. The idea is based on competition for limited resources. There are just a few resources, a mutant who has an "advantage", will replace the ancestor variant, like that. It doesn't deal with scenario's from the perspective that there are large amounts of oppurtunities for reproduction, if only a mutation occured which corresponds to the niche.
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Quetzal, posted 01-23-2003 5:53 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Quetzal, posted 01-28-2003 10:25 AM Syamsu has replied

Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5949 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 64 of 90 (30431)
01-28-2003 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by Syamsu
01-23-2003 8:15 AM


Hi Syamasu,
quote:
It is useless to look at how fast the 3 leaved clover is disappearing compared to the 4 leaved clover in some area. There isn't neccesarily any significant difference between the disappearancerates.
All other things being equal (no particular adaptive advantage from the standpoint of the four vs three-leaved clover), I'd say it depends on what question you're trying to answer. If you're simply making an observation - there are more four leaved than three leaved clovers in an area today as compared to yesterday, then you're probably right. If, on the other hand, you want to look at the "why" a phenomenon like this is occuring, then you would have to consider various environmental (i.e., selection) factors. Ecologists and conservation biologists do this all the time.
quote:
It's generally useless to look at variation when looking at endangered species, except in a way that runs counter to the logic of differential reproductive succes of variants. Apparently there should be some minimum variation for long term reproductionstability.
Of course the basic formulation of Natural Selection still applies to endangered species, because it doesn't require variation.
Weeell, yes and no. If I were trying to preserve a species or population, I'd want to look and see whether there were any variants that were more viable. With a highly homogenous endangered population, I'd want to experiment and see if outcrossing could increase their survivability. There are a whole pile of different things to consider with endangered populations. It again depends on what question you're trying to answer. I agree that variability is usually a good thing (in the long run) in a population. A small, genetically homogenous population (whether sexually reproducing or clonal/hermaphrodite) can often be at greater risk of extinction than a variable population. On the other hand, variation can be a bad thing if it means lower overall fitness and/or increased mutational load. Nature is often a trade-off.
quote:
Darwin and Wallace both got their idea for origin of species, from Malthus. The idea is based on competition for limited resources. There are just a few resources, a mutant who has an "advantage", will replace the ancestor variant, like that. It doesn't deal with scenario's from the perspective that there are large amounts of oppurtunities for reproduction, if only a mutation occured which corresponds to the niche.
Well, Darwin certainly read Malthus (I don't know about Wallace). However, he pretty much had his theory down before that (population variation + descent with modification + differential extinction). It was the mechanism he was missing until he read Malthus's treatise on population dynamics and competition in human societies. It provided one of the final pieces to the puzzle - how it happens in nature.
If there are large amounts of opportunities, the observations that have been made on living populations show that organisms will breed until they fill all available niches - something that can only occur with variation. If a single species, for instance, has no variation and no selective constraints, it will reproduce until it's filled its current niche to carrying capacity, then will go no further (or possibly destroy itself). A variable species on the other hand may be able to radiate into new niches based on the fortuitous possession of some variation. If it doesn't have that variation, it's effectively blocked.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Syamsu, posted 01-23-2003 8:15 AM Syamsu has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Syamsu, posted 01-29-2003 9:28 AM Quetzal has replied

Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5667 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 65 of 90 (30559)
01-29-2003 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Quetzal
01-28-2003 10:25 AM


Species generally get endangered because of massive change in the environment. No small variation is going to help them out of that.
Malthus's competitive population pressure is not a neccessary requirement for origin of species, in fact it could more likely be argued that populationpressure wipes out many beneficial mutation. When there is pressure to some environmental limit, then chance plays a greater role which organism gets to reproduce, hence beneficial mutations may be destroyed by chance due to populationpressure.
As before the only requirement for origin of species is for a mutation that contributes to reproduction. Your insistence on variation does not make sense to me.
Clearly it is ridiculous to compare the reproductionrate of elephants and ants for instance. It provides no meaningful knowledge. The only time when comparison of reproductionrates provides meaningful knowledge is if there is some sort of competitive replacement going on, equivalent to the reproductionrates (as was argued on account of Malthus). In fact you could better do away with the comparison, and just mention something like a replacementrate. But there isn't neccessarily this replacementrate with any new mutation. The need for comparison of reproductionrate with an ancestor form is then baseless, since they can inhabit (partly) separate environments. Therefore to focus on a scenario of populationpressure to describe origin of species, is simply bias towards scenario's of limited shared resources.
I must say though that population pressure is only strongly implied by differential reproductive success of variants, it's not actually part of the definition. It's wrong because it is useless/deceptive.
As a rule, I think it's better to focus on actual physical relationships, where the one influences the reproductionrate of the other, then focus on non-physical measurement standards, which is what "differential reproductive success of variants" amounts to. It is in essence no different then the theory of differential lightintensity of stars, which is just a measurement standardization.
I'm not sure why I am arguing anymore, since actually you agree to the basic definition of Natural Selection. What would it matter to discuss the merit/demerit of "differential reproductive success of variants" when it is already shown and accepted not to be the basic formulation of Natural Selection?
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Quetzal, posted 01-28-2003 10:25 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Quetzal, posted 01-29-2003 10:35 AM Syamsu has not replied

Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5949 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 66 of 90 (30566)
01-29-2003 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by Syamsu
01-29-2003 9:28 AM


I concur that we probably don't have much more to discuss on this particular topic. However, I reach that conclusion because I think we're still in large measure talking past each other. If you want to state that "differential reproductive success of variants" is not part of the definition of natural selection - semantically I can accept it. Natural selection is a mechanism or process. "Reproductive success" is one way to measure organismal or species/population fitness in relation to their environment. "Variant" represents the different traits within a population that natural selection operates on. I certainly agree that it makes no sense to compare reproductive rates between vastly different species (of elephants and ants for isntance), unless somehow that had a bearing on their survival.
The one thing I'd like to bring out (one last time) is this:
quote:
As before the only requirement for origin of species is for a mutation that contributes to reproduction. Your insistence on variation does not make sense to me.
This is inaccurate - the requirement for origin of species is reproductive isolation. Mutation can be one cause. Geographic isolation followed by genetic divergence can be another. There are other causes. Variation allows for the possibility that a species/population can take advantage of new niches (radiation), survive new pathogens, etc. Whereas I concur that rapid massive environmental dislocation is likely to cause extinction (not always - check out bacteria and drug resistance), some change is gradual enough that populations can adapt. Local populations are disappearing all the time. If a species has a broad enough range, such local extinctions are unimportant. Finally, population pressure is only ONE of a myriad of possible selection pressures.
Anyway, interesting conversation. Thanks.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Syamsu, posted 01-29-2003 9:28 AM Syamsu has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Adminnemooseus, posted 01-30-2003 1:44 PM Quetzal has not replied

Peter
Member (Idle past 1556 days)
Posts: 2161
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 67 of 90 (30682)
01-30-2003 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Quetzal
01-23-2003 5:53 AM


quote:
Again, I agree about the first part - the concept of NS is biased towards evolution. It is, after all,one of the primary engines of evolution. It is the iterative and creative power of NS that drives
evolution and diversity, so saying it is biased toward evolution is certainly correct.
Call me pedantic, but NS is not biased towards evolution.
NS is a proposed (and observed) phenomenon which leads to
evolution.
Saying that it is biased to evolution is like saying that
1 + 1 is biased towards 2.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Quetzal, posted 01-23-2003 5:53 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by Quetzal, posted 01-30-2003 9:37 AM Peter has not replied
 Message 69 by Syamsu, posted 01-30-2003 10:04 AM Peter has not replied

Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5949 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 68 of 90 (30692)
01-30-2003 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Peter
01-30-2003 7:55 AM


Yeah, I agree. I was being nice by not saying "it is trivially true that...". I DO think that NS is biased toward evolution in the same way 1+1 is biased toward 2. It's one of those statements that is true by definition - but not significant in any sense. Besides, Syamasu seems to like people to agree with him - and when you can on some utter minutiae like this, it doesn't cost anything and keeps the flames and rhetoric down... Look how much effort I put into trying to find some rationale for the bizarre construction "differential reproductive success of variants".
[This message has been edited by Quetzal, 01-30-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Peter, posted 01-30-2003 7:55 AM Peter has not replied

Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5667 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 69 of 90 (30704)
01-30-2003 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Peter
01-30-2003 7:55 AM


The formulation of NS as "differential reproductive success of variants" is biased towards evolution, and within that bias towards evoluton, it biased towards evolutionary scenario's of limited shared resources. There is no bias in the basic formulation of Natural Selection. Unfortunately I don't believe more then 1 percent of Darwinists accepts/uses the basic formulation of Natural Selection, since nowhere is it defined in a basic way, and several seemingly authoritative people on talk.origins denied the basic formulation had scientific merit.
Why not change the definition of selection on the glossary of this site?
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Peter, posted 01-30-2003 7:55 AM Peter has not replied

nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 70 of 90 (30716)
01-30-2003 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by nator
01-20-2003 8:35 AM


Any comments, Syamsu, to my message 42 in this thread?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by nator, posted 01-20-2003 8:35 AM nator has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Syamsu, posted 01-31-2003 1:16 AM nator has replied

Adminnemooseus
Administrator
Posts: 3977
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 71 of 90 (30733)
01-30-2003 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Quetzal
01-29-2003 10:35 AM


quote:
I concur that we probably don't have much more to discuss on this particular topic.
I'll leave this topic open at least a bit longer, and try to keep track of it, but I does seem to have run its course.
Adminnemooseus
------------------
{mnmoose@lakenet.com}

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Quetzal, posted 01-29-2003 10:35 AM Quetzal has not replied

Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5667 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 72 of 90 (30799)
01-31-2003 1:16 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by nator
01-30-2003 10:55 AM


Your questions in post 42 are already largely answered elsewhere in this thread.
As I mentioned before, Darwin's "Origin of Species" is also a popular press book, just like Dawkins' "Selfish Gene", so is Konrad Lorenz's "On aggression" a popular press book. You really have no point with saying "The Selfish Gene" is a popular pressbook, since popular pressbooks are the mainstay of Darwinist science. I've never seen any Darwinist reference Darwin and Wallace's science paper on Natural Selection actually. The introduction of this site also doesn't refer to Darwin's sciencepaper, but to the "Origin of Species".
There aren't many clone population in Nature (some populations of asexually producing bacteria for instance), but there are many situations in Nature where variation is irrellevant, that is the point.
If you think I accurately defined Natural Selection then why is my definition different from the definition in the glossary of this site? Why is variation required as a conditition for selection to apply in the glossary of this site?
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by nator, posted 01-30-2003 10:55 AM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by nator, posted 01-31-2003 9:34 AM Syamsu has replied

nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 73 of 90 (30818)
01-31-2003 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Syamsu
01-31-2003 1:16 AM


quote:
As I mentioned before, Darwin's "Origin of Species" is also a popular press book,
Well, technically, yes, but only because there was no distinction 150 years ago betweeen popular science books and the professional literature.
quote:
just like Dawkins' "Selfish Gene", so is Konrad Lorenz's "On aggression" a popular press book.
No, no, no. Not, "just like" in the least.
The two modern books are not comparable to Origins at all, because today we have a marked distinction between popular press books which are not peer-reviewed, and articles which are published in the peer-reviewed professional science journals.
The Selfish Gene is NOT a peer-reviewed journal article.
The Selfish Gene is a popular press book which should not be taken as a formal statement of any scientific theory.
Again, I challenge you to find a FORMAL, professional or textbook definition or explanation of the ToE which uses the word "selfish" in it.
quote:
You really have no point with saying "The Selfish Gene" is a popular pressbook, since popular pressbooks are the mainstay of Darwinist science.
No, professional Science journals are the mainstay of any science. These are peer-reviewed highly technical professional papers.
You can't get these in book stores. You get them in University Libraries and online in databases such as Pubmed or Medline.
quote:
I've never seen any Darwinist reference Darwin and Wallace's science paper on Natural Selection actually.
What paper is that?
quote:
The introduction of this site also doesn't refer to Darwin's sciencepaper, but to the "Origin of Species".
Like I told you months and months ago, formal scientific peer-review Journals didn't exist 150 years ago. The field of science wasn't professionalized back then. Rich clergy and gentlemen naturalists did all of this work. That's why we have a book, and that's why it is written the way it is.
These facts and concepts seem to be extremely difficult for you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Syamsu, posted 01-31-2003 1:16 AM Syamsu has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Syamsu, posted 01-31-2003 11:06 AM nator has replied

Syamsu 
Suspended Member (Idle past 5667 days)
Posts: 1914
From: amsterdam
Joined: 05-19-2002


Message 74 of 90 (30840)
01-31-2003 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by nator
01-31-2003 9:34 AM


The paper Darwin and Wallace jointly published in the journal of the Linneanian society (could be misspelling). That you don't even know of it's existence says much about the attitudes on peer-review in Darwinist science. The paper was also largely ignored at the time it was published. I think this is because the paper was substandard, and not as many Darwinists argue, because of unwillingness of creationists to accept it.
I have seen reference to Dawkins selfish gene doctrine in a science paper, besides a large share of Darwinists have the opinion that his book "The Selfish Gene" is an "important" book. As before, I would be happy if Dawkins books were ignored within science as the books of an eccentric, but unfortunately they aren't. Dawkins also gives a technical definition of selfishness, and altruism in his book. It is not as some people would like to believe a metaphore, but it is supposed to be used as a technical term. But before he defines selfishness technically he already uses the word to say that "people are born selfish", and says things like people can get insight into their "greed" and "genorosity" through his and Darwin's theory. I don't think he has a technical definition of greed.
Am I to suppose that when Dawkins warns that people are born selfish, and they should learn to overcome their inborn selfishness in becoming adults, that that is just technical usage of the term selfish? Then it would read something like people are born to try to get themselves to reproduce, and in becoming adults they should try to get others to reproduce at cost of not reproducing themselves. By the technical usage of selfish, Dawkins is a nut telling us we should try to help others to reproduce. By the more straightforward colloquial usage of selfishness, Dawkins mixes science with valuejudgement, so it should also be discarded.
You are just pretending that the scientific process in Darwinism is just the same as in physics, or chemistry, much as a dialectical materialist Marxist ecnomotrist would, but unfortunately it's not.
You also fail to answer questions about the validity of the formulation "differential reproductive success of variants". Would a physician or chemist also fail to answer such questions? Isn't it just unique to Darwinism, that the field is filled with highly politicized people, for who answering such questions presents political risk of defaming their science?
"differential reproductive success of variants" is used in many science-papers. It is not a highly technical term, it has an intuitive part about "success", which notionally refers to things like struggle/competition/purpose.
regards,
Mohammad Nor Syamsu

This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by nator, posted 01-31-2003 9:34 AM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by Primordial Egg, posted 01-31-2003 11:12 AM Syamsu has replied
 Message 76 by nator, posted 02-02-2003 9:49 AM Syamsu has replied

Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 75 of 90 (30842)
01-31-2003 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 74 by Syamsu
01-31-2003 11:06 AM


Thats a pretty outlandish interpretation of Dawkins you have there. What exactly is the "technical" definition of selfish?
PE
[This message has been edited by Primordial Egg, 01-31-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Syamsu, posted 01-31-2003 11:06 AM Syamsu has replied

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