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Author Topic:   morality, charity according to evolution
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 243 (310304)
05-08-2006 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hyroglyphx
05-08-2006 1:16 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
quote:
Darwinian evolution is ALL about competition.
Actually, Darwinian evolution is all about reproductive success. If you have 10 individuals who are cooperating and helping each other, then they will presumably be more likely to survive and produce surviving progeny than 10 individuals who are hyper-competing with one another. In that case, the next generation will have more individuals with genes that produce altruistic behavior.

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-08-2006 1:16 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-08-2006 1:38 PM Chiroptera has replied
 Message 235 by scoff, posted 07-05-2006 11:44 AM Chiroptera has replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 243 (310318)
05-08-2006 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Hyroglyphx
05-08-2006 1:38 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
quote:
So, helping a man in a coma is going to affect your likelihood of survival? No.
Indeed not. But the non-specific drive for general altruistic behavior developed because it compels the individuals to assist others who would usually then reciprocate at some point. But this non-specific drive is just that, very non-specific, and, in the case of humans (who have an exceptionally strong capacity for learned behavior) can also express itself in situations that do not have a direct survival advantage. This is not unique to humans -- most instincts in non-human animals can be used to develop unnatural behaviors in those individuals. And of course modern human civilization creates many more novel situations for which the basic "instinctual" human behavior was not originally developed.

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-08-2006 1:38 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 243 (310480)
05-09-2006 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Quetzal
05-09-2006 10:53 AM


Re: Some random thoughts.
quote:
Game theory quite nicely demonstrates why this occurs and how it could have evolved (google on "iterated prisoner's dilemma" for instance).
The iteration is important, of course. One of the initial problems with reconciling altruism with the theory of evolution is that perfect altruism is unstable. If you had a tribe of perfect altruists and a tribe of non-altruists, then it is possible that the altruistic tribe will do better than the non-altruistic tribe.
However, if a mutation causes a non-altruist to arise in the altruistic tribe, then usually the non-altruist will have a reproductive advantage - it will have the benefits of getting help from others without the cost of actually helping others herself.
The solution is that perfect altruists do not exist (except, perhaps, as individuals among humans). The individuals of any cooperative species can identify and retaliate against cheaters, and this is the essential point that makes altruism stable in real populations.
I first read about this in a long ago article in Scientific American in connection with Robert Axelrod who I believe did a lot to develop the theory, although I don't know whether he is the one who first came up with the solution.

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Quetzal, posted 05-09-2006 10:53 AM Quetzal has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Modulous, posted 05-09-2006 11:35 AM Chiroptera has not replied
 Message 31 by EZscience, posted 05-09-2006 1:01 PM Chiroptera has not replied
 Message 39 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-11-2006 12:13 PM Chiroptera has replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 38 of 243 (310550)
05-09-2006 4:15 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by crashfrog
05-09-2006 1:47 PM


Re: Stability of Altruism
And let us not forget that selection is somewhat of a stochastic process -- if the fitness difference is not too great, then the altruism allele(s) may propagate for several generations and reach the critical number of individuals purely by chance.

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by crashfrog, posted 05-09-2006 1:47 PM crashfrog has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 243 (311105)
05-11-2006 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Hyroglyphx
05-11-2006 12:13 PM


Re: The altruism conundrum
quote:
How could altruism develop over time if it undermines the very principles that epitomize the evolutionary theory? How could a trait for altruism be transmitted from generation to generation? If an animal that exhibited some level of altruism, then they'd more prone to be preyed upon. If they are preyed more highly than the others, then fewer altruists would survive to reproduce.
Not so; if those that benefited from the act of altruism share the gene or genes for altruism, then those genes would end up being more likely to survive into the next generation. The existence and maintenance of altruism fit very well into the evolution paradigm.
Added by edit:
Oh, in case you've missed it, I did respond to your last message in the Evolution Simplified thread. No problems if you've lost interest in it; the topic seems to have drifted into other lines now.
This message has been edited by Chiroptera, 11-May-2006 09:34 PM

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-11-2006 12:13 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 243 (311248)
05-11-2006 10:46 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Hyroglyphx
05-11-2006 9:37 PM


altruism not a conundrum after all
quote:
Altruism is a selfless act where one person gains nothing and the other gains everything, (or in this case, animals). That isn't Darwinism.
It can be explain through evolution. All that is required is that the physical genes that produce the altruism trait have a greater chance of propagation. Since members of a species that exhibit altruistic behavior
will all presumably have the the altruistic genes, then the self-sacrifice of one individual will help the entire tribe survive, and so the next generation will have even more altruistic individuals.
-
quote:
The moral of this story is, this epitomizes the evolutionary model.
Actually, the story doesn't seem to have much to do with the theory of evolution at all.

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-11-2006 9:37 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 243 (311267)
05-11-2006 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Hyroglyphx
05-11-2006 11:05 PM


Re: The altruism conundrum
quote:
Therefore, the burden of proof remains with you and anyone else that believes that there is an 'altruism gene' that makes creatures instinctively care about their natural competitor.
Huh? You don't think that creatures' behaviors are determined largely by their genes? Where do you think their behaviors come from?

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-11-2006 11:05 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-11-2006 11:15 PM Chiroptera has replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 61 of 243 (311273)
05-11-2006 11:22 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by Hyroglyphx
05-11-2006 11:15 PM


Re: The altruism conundrum
"Being nice" is a behavior. Most behaviors (by your own admission) arise through the expression of genes. Why would "being nice" be any different?

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-11-2006 11:15 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-11-2006 11:31 PM Chiroptera has replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 64 of 243 (311295)
05-11-2006 11:49 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Hyroglyphx
05-11-2006 11:31 PM


Re: The altruism conundrum
I still don't see what is so hard about any of this. We see animals assist each other. Under a very simplistic idea of "survival of the fittest", this may seem strange. But it actually isn't so strange. If the members of a tribe have genes which cause helpful behavior, then the the members of that tribe will live better and survive better than a tribe whose members do not have those genes (and so do not help each other). So the next generation will have even more individuals which have helpful behavior.
It doesn't matter whether you call this "altruism", "team work", "cooperative behavior", or whatever -- there really isn't anything mysterious about it.
In the case of humans, the genetic basis for our social behavior causes us to have feelings of "empathy". That is because tribes whose members feel "empathy" for one another will help each other. And helpful behavior will help the entire tribe survive better than tribes whose members do not feel such strong empathy and so do not help each other. Hence, the next generation will have more people who have inherited the tendency toward empathy.
Should a mutation disable a person's ability to feel empathy, then that person will presumably behave more selfishly and be less helpful to others. Like all social animals, humans can detect "free loaders" and "parasites", and all human societies have ways to detect and get rid of the free loaders. By being forced to live on his own, or perhaps even being killed, that person will be less likely to pass his non-helpful genes to the next generation.

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-11-2006 11:31 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 73 of 243 (311464)
05-12-2006 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Hyroglyphx
05-12-2006 3:58 PM


Re: The altruism conundrum
quote:
But looking back in the fossil record shows no changes either. Everything appears abruptly, fully formed, without any evidence of gradations.
This is off-topic here, but I will say that this statement is false.
-
quote:
What's effectively worse, the living Coelecanth is exactly the same as his fossilized contemporary.
This statement is completely, absolutely false.

"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-12-2006 3:58 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 97 of 243 (311995)
05-15-2006 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by Hyroglyphx
05-15-2006 12:57 PM


Re: Too much for this thread -- we are off topic already.
Sorry for being off-topic, but....
quote:
The stark fact remains that the fossilized Coelecanth is the same as living ones.
See, this is why it is so difficult to discuss these things with creationists; they make up their own "facts".

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken (quoted on Panda's Thumb)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-15-2006 12:57 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-15-2006 1:13 PM Chiroptera has replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 102 of 243 (312007)
05-15-2006 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by Hyroglyphx
05-15-2006 1:13 PM


Re: Too much for this thread -- we are off topic already.
From Wikipedia:
It is often claimed that the coelacanth has remained unchanged for millions of years but in fact the living species and even genus are unknown from the fossil record.

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken (quoted on Panda's Thumb)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-15-2006 1:13 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 129 of 243 (312901)
05-17-2006 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by Hyroglyphx
05-17-2006 11:06 AM


creationists and the problems of staying on-topic
quote:
Yeah, maybe homosexuality, pedophilia, beastiality, necrophilia, and rape is just an instance of a person expressing their normal and natural biological urges. I mean, for us to get mad about our children being raped is as valid as getting angry at someone born with blue eyes. There's no need to think of it as some squalid aberration, but rather embrace these notions with an abundance of smootches and huggles.
You get confused easily, don't you, nemesis? No one has been talking about accepting these or any other practices -- in fact, this whole discussion is even irrelevant to whether homosexuality should be accepted. This whole subtopic is about how homosexuality can persist in a population despite the initial, intuitive idea that it should be selected against.

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken (quoted on Panda's Thumb)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-17-2006 11:06 AM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 138 of 243 (313175)
05-18-2006 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 136 by Hyroglyphx
05-18-2006 10:07 AM


rationality is indeed failing, hard and fast
quote:
I reject it on the basis of its impotency to explain anything about anything.
Actually, the Theory of Evolution has great explanatory power in many different fields. That you don't want to acknowledge this in no way makes the evidence go away.
-
quote:
I object to it over its scientific implications.
The only scientific implication that a fundamentalist could object to is that Genesis is not literal history.
-
quote:
As well, there is no mechanism that accounts for how morals should develop through various epochs.
I could be wrong, but it appears that this has been explained to you several times. And you have never really tried to argue against the main points that were presented.
-
quote:
True or false: Evolution cannot continue without heterosexual contact resulting in the procreating of an offspring capable of carrying the parents genes?
Precreation is one aspect of evolution, yes.
quote:
True or false: In order for homosexuals to have offspring, they have to go against their own self-proclaimed nature to do so?
False. Homosexuals do not have a "self-proclaimed" nature to go against. Homosexuals can and do have heterosexual sex. If there are genes that influence the sexual preference of the carrier, then these genes can occur in siblings who are do exhibit heterosexual behavior and then pass the genes into the next generation.
Come on, nemesis, what is so hard about this?
quote:
True or false: Natural selection is completely dependant upon heterosexual sex producing offspring?
False. Natural selection is about the prevention of the production of offspring by certain individuals.
-
quote:
At the end of the day you have to drop one or both theories because they are incompatible.
No, and it has been explained over and over again why they are not incompatible. Do you even read the posts that are written to you?
-
quote:
It doesn't attempt to justify behavior???
Providing explanations as to why certain behaviors exist is not the same as justifying them.
-
quote:
If there is no moral absolute then you have no justification to object to my version of what morality is, or anyone's for that matter.
This is off-topic here. The topic in this thread is to explain how altruism (and the feeling that there are morally acceptable behavior) can arise under the theory of evolution. There are several threads that concern themselves with the issue and implications of whether or not there can is an absolute standard.
-
quote:
Here's what evolution looks like what its about from an outside perspective.
Interesting, but evolution actually is an explanation of phenomena we currently see in the world around us based on evidence acquired through the observation of the world around us, like any other scientific theory. If you see it differently, then that is your problem. I suggest that you examine the facts and evidence that support the theory of evolution rather that what it "looks like" to someone uninformed about the issues.

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken (quoted on Panda's Thumb)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-18-2006 10:07 AM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-18-2006 1:54 PM Chiroptera has replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 146 of 243 (313222)
05-18-2006 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by Hyroglyphx
05-18-2006 12:54 PM


acute reading comprehension issues
quote:
Evolution needs reproduction in order for anything to evolve.
Indeed; in fact, evolution needs imperfect replication and a process that preferentially allows individuals to successfully reproduce more often than others based on inherited qualities. However, this is does not mitigate against the existence of a gene or complex of genes that influence homosexual behavior.
Let us try this again, and this time try to read the points and try to decide whether the points are valid, and if not try to refute the points themselves. Just repeating, "But it can't be so!" only makes you look foolish and ends up undermining any point of view that you are trying to share.
(1) A homosexual, by foregoing reproduction herself, has more resources to spend in helping the tribe. This is similiar to what happens in eusocial species, and this is an extreme case of "altruism". If all the members of a tribe are reproducing, then necessarily they each must devote a certain amount of resources to ensure the survival of their progeny. If another tribe has several members who have foregone reproduction, then those members have additional resources that can be used for other members of the tribe, and so the entire tribe may benefit. Therefore, like in the argument for general altruism, the second tribe will be better off, and will produce more offspring than the first. Therefore, the next generation will have individuals that have the alleles that are responsible for homosexual behavior. If, in addition, the homosexual individuals will also engage in heterosexual behavior, then this increases even more the number of individuals in the next generation that will have the alleles that are responsible for homosexual behavior.
(2) Even if homosexuality is completely detrimental, it may be that it is like sickle cell anemia. Individuals who are homozygous for the homosexual trait may be at a disadvantage in "reproductive fitness"; however, persons who are heterozygous for the trait may have a reproductive advantage over those who are homozygous for heterosexual behavior.
(3) It may be that sexuality in general forms part of the social behavior that binds the tribe together. In that case, it may be that tribes where the individuals will engage in both homosexual and heterosexual behavior will work together better and survive better than tribes whose members are all obligate heterosexuals.
-
quote:
Look, Tse-Tung, Hitler, Stalin, Marx, and the rest of the gang absolutely loved Darwin and loved what he provided for them.
This has nothing to do whether the Theory of Evolution is the correct history of life on our planet, and it certainly is not on-topic for this thread.
Instead of going off on tangents, why don't you at least try to address the points that people are actually making?

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken (quoted on Panda's Thumb)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-18-2006 12:54 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 171 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-19-2006 10:28 AM Chiroptera has replied

  
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