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Author Topic:   Dogs will be Dogs will be ???
Member (Idle past 3544 days)
Posts: 622
From: NY,NY
Joined: 06-16-2006

Message 71 of 331 (468727)
05-31-2008 11:56 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Beretta
05-30-2008 8:54 AM

Re: Can vs Can't
If I may jump in...
Breeding experiments are organized with intelligence and cannot be compared to what would happen in the wild. Tame foxes if they were to arise naturally would most likely not survive. In the absence of intelligent input and protection of the tame ones, this variability is unlikely to occur. Same for the dogs. So your boundaries are not natural ones and should not be extrapolated to include potential variability in the wild.
I think breeding experiments can be compared to what may happen in the wild. Straggler, I believe, already made the point that the one and only selection criteria with regards to the foxes was for tameness. That is one characteristic. From selection from that one characteristic, much variability was produced.
Now, in the wild, tameness among foxes (and the resultant decrease in adrenalin and thus, the variability witnessed)) would probably not be selected for, however, another characteristic could/would be and a similar degree of variation based on this one selected for characteristic might be seen*. Just because the criteria was established by an intelligence (us) in this instance does not necessarily mean that an intelligence is behind all selection criteria.
To further complicate things (sorry if this goes too much off topic RAZD), sexual selection can be brought into the mix. Could not sexual selection of a trait or traits be considered akin to what human intelligence did with the foxes? A certain trait(s) is considered desirable and a decision is made based on our respective needs or desires. The selection is still natural in both cases (meaning that nature or our natural inclinations dictate what is selected), but, the outcome is based on a criteria that involved some form of "intelligent" selection.
*Does anyone have any articles that may demonstrate studies done which track variability in the wild due to specific environmental pressures (besides bacteria and viruses...nothing against them as they are the quickest studies, but I am looking for studies similar to the fox study, but done with other criteria perhaps)? This would be fascinating to me, thanks.
Every step in the transformation of one kind into another would have to have survival advantages or natural selection would eliminate the changes
Correct and incorrect. Each step would have to be non-detrimental to the individual/species. It does not necessarily have to confer an environmental advantage over the previous step. You are forgetting that genetic drift, sexual selection, and gene flow also play a part in evolution.
That is what the fossil record actually shows, natural selection appears to keep things within limits. Some things exhibit stasis and others become extinct.
And others evolve.
We have no scientific reason to believe that any one species became another species just because they may have certain features in common.
But we see it all the time. Are you confused by the definition of species?

This next bit is separate from my answers to Beretta. Just some thoughts as I was reading through the thread.
I think what RAZD is trying to get at (and correct me if I am wrong) is that we have a concept of dog in our minds and that includes all of the various breeds we see today. We also have a concept of horse which includes all of the different breeds we see today.
1,000,000 years from now, the people living (if any) will probably also have a concept of dog (given that humans and dogs continue in their relationship). The question is: how much difference between the modern dog and the future dog could possibly accumulate based on what we know about possible morphological changes and genetics? The progression of "dog" will possibly go on unbroken throughout the generations, with each generation retaining the concept of "dog" from the last, not noticing the larger changes that accumulate over the millenia. However, if one were to take a sample of any random dog as we know it today and compare it with a dog 1,000,000 years in the future, would it be recognizable to us or our dog recognizable to them (again, based on what we know about possible morphological changes and genetics)?
It's kind of like gaining/losing weight in front of someone who sees you everyday. They don't notice the gradual change, but someone who hasn't seen you in 5 years would immediately notice the difference.
We can only see the gradual changes and it is easy to dismiss them as insignificant step by step, but given a large enough window of time, the changes appear quite significant (and genetic evidence, which is not subject to bias or interpretation confirms the morphological changes evidenced in the fossil record and would likely do the same for my hypothetical dog of the future).
Back to Beretta.
There are two choices, either it happened or it didn’t and in the absence of scientific proof for a mechanism that allows it to happen, we are left with faith in naturalistic mechanisms as a possibility but, though naturalists don’t like to think so, not the only possibility.
It is the only possibility with explanatory evidence. The mechanisms described by the ToE have been evidenced time and time again. And no mechanism that would limit the variability which would lead to speciation and beyond has, yet, been put forth.
But you are right, it is possible that some divine and/or supernatural being is responsible for all of this. Without evidence, however, it is only a possibility which exists in the tiny percentage of "doubt" which is a part of science (nothing can be known with 100% certainty and all that). Call it a cousin of the God of the Gaps. Maybe the God of the 1/10th percentile?

"You are metaphysicians. You can prove anything by metaphysics; and having done so, every metaphysician can prove every other metaphysician wrong--to his own satisfaction. You are anarchists in the realm of thought. And you are mad cosmos-makers. Each of you dwells in a cosmos of his own making, created out of his own fancies and desires. You do not know the real world in which you live, and your thinking has no place in the real world except in so far as it is phenomena of mental aberration." -The Iron Heel by Jack London
"Hazards exist that are not marked" - some bar in Chelsea

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Beretta, posted 05-30-2008 8:54 AM Beretta has not replied

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