Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 50 (9181 total)
1 online now:
Newest Member: joebialek123
Post Volume: Total: 918,278 Year: 5,535/9,624 Month: 560/323 Week: 57/143 Day: 0/19 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   morality, charity according to evolution
Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 3049 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


Message 168 of 243 (313440)
05-19-2006 5:23 AM
Reply to: Message 160 by Hyroglyphx
05-18-2006 8:11 PM


Some responses to NJ (some redundant)
I have been following this thread with great interest. The evolution of altruism (or apparent altruism) is an area of great interest to me. But there are a few statements you have made that I need to address first.
In message #58 you said:
quote:
I wouldn't expect Charles to have all the answers back then. The problem is, he was pretty convinced that he did have all the answers and that his assumptions were factual
Charles Darwin never indicated he had all of the answers. Many posts later you were asked if you had ever read Origin. This statement demonstrates that you have not read Origin or anything by Darwin for that matter. Darwin was one of the most unassuming and humble figures in scientific history. He repeatedly allows for how he might be shown wrong. Nearly all of the out-of-context quotes creationists use against Darwin are from those times where he is outlining the kinds of evidence needed to show him wrong. Those evidences never surfaced during his lifetime nor since. As one of my committee members used to say, "Bad!" Don't cut down Darwin without reading him yourself.
In message #72:
quote:
No macroevolutionary progress has ever been observed, and it can't be studied or tested without these observations
This type of comment arises again and again here at EvC. Science does not rely on direct observation in the sense of seeing something. Science is based on the scientific method which is based on deduction. Generalizations (hypotheses) are created and tested against future observations. These observations could be based on direct observation, confirmation by predictions, etc. Macroevolutionary change (the term has no real meaning BTW, it is just evolutionary change used by creationists to explain changes between 'kinds') has been observed over and over again via fossils, genetics, etc.
In message #83
quote:
Evolution posits that there is no direction, just change. But this ignores the basic fact about evolution. If we go from less autonomy and complextiy to more autonomy and more complexity, isn't that indicative of a clear direction? Yes, it is
This, like many of your statements, shows your lack of understanding about evolution. Evolution from simple to complex (I am ignoring 'autonomy, I have no idea what you mean here) is a spectacular example of the process. But it is not the only. In evolutionary biology we use the terms 'advanced' and 'primitive'. Primitive means "less changed (derived) from the ancetsral form" and advanced is "most changed from ancestral form". Very often primitive forms are much more complex than are advanced forms. A universal trend is for parasites to be simpler in organization (loss or degeneration of nervous system, digestive, etc) from their ancestors and non-parasitic relatives. We see the same trend in commensal species that are non-parasitic.
And my favorites are a few from your message # 91:
quote:
Really? Then what is the Cambrian explosion all about? If they didn't appear abruptly then what need is there of punctuated equilibrium?
I see this again and again. You obviously have not read nor understand at all what Eldredge and Gould were talking about with PE. It has NOTHING to do with the Cambrian explosion. I strongly advise that you look up these references rather than trust creationist sources on them. PE is not nor was ever intended to be an explanation for the sudden appearance of major taxa. It was not an attempt to explain missing links. That is a strawman used over and over again. Read the paper.
Eldredge, N., & Gould, S. J. 1972. Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism. In: Models In Paleobiology (Ed. by T. J. M. Schopf).
And this gem from #91:
quote:
There are two known living types of Coelecanth, the Commoros and the Sulawesi. The difference between them is about as far-reaching as the difference between a Tabby and a Calico. The fact is the Coelecanth is its own Genus, and the fossilized version is no different between livings one. So, in 350 million years it either forgot to evolve or macroevolution simply doesn't exist.
As pointed out before, you mean 70 million years, not 350. A tabby and a calico are the same species, the living Coelacanths (note the spelling) are three members of the genus Latimeria (one undescribed). They belong to a genus that is unknown in the fossil record. The word coelacanth refers to any member of the subclass Coelacanthimorpha. Please learn about taxonomy before presuming to know such things. Also, please look at fossil coelacanths and note they are under 30 cm in length (usually) and freshwater rather than over 1 meter and deep saltwater before you say "no different".
Sorry, I had to address those points. Now on topic:
quote:
Think about this logically. If theft, rape, and murder occur in the animal kingdom for survival, then any organism helping out its competitors would simply die out. Remember, natural selection does not choose the weak vessels, but the strong, and in some cases, the mercilous.
I agree with your argument here in a theoretical basis. It is where game theory comes into play. The points you outlined above can be considered the rules of the game (or some of them). Game theory can look at how those hold up over repeated playings. For example theft. An individual that steals resources might do better than an indivdual that doesn't. And we find thieves throughout the animal kingdom. But why don't thieves predominate? Because if you play the numbers game you find that stealing is not an evolutionary stable strategy (except to a point). Stealing works if a few steal sometimes but not if all steal frequently.
Rape can also be an evolutionary advantage. But it is not an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS). This is because many females (mostly non-mammals) have mechanisms to control which individual male fertilizes their offspring. Female birds of many species eject the sperm of unwanted males. Many reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates have multiple sperm recepticles and can choose which mating will result in offspring. Mammals (and multiple other groups) have evolved female choice strategies such as pair-bonding, harems, etc. that prevent matings from unwanted males.
I have a lot more to say, but it is very late and I am not going to get to my main points tonight. I am going to leave it at this and finish this tomorrow.

Doctor Bashir: "Of all the stories you told me, which were true and which weren't?"
Elim Garak: "My dear Doctor, they're all true"
Doctor Bashir: "Even the lies?"
Elim Garak: "Especially the lies"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 160 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-18-2006 8:11 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 191 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-23-2006 10:08 PM Lithodid-Man has not replied

  
Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 3049 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


Message 188 of 243 (314096)
05-21-2006 7:53 AM
Reply to: Message 160 by Hyroglyphx
05-18-2006 8:11 PM


Getting to my response
NJ,
I had promised to talked about altruism. So I will try to ignore the temptation to reply to posts since the other day.
Before discussing altruism it is important to come up with a common definition. In biology altruism is thought of in two ways, true altruism and apparent altruism. True altruism is defined as a voluntary behavior that results in a loss of reproductive fitness in one individual that increases the reproductive fitness of another individual. Apparent altruism is similar but a fitness gain can be observed for the 'altruist'.
True altruism does not exist in the broad scale of natural selection. A true altruist will be outcompeted in the cycle of life. But apparent altruism does exist and can prosper. It can even closely mimic true altruism provided that the long term fitness is not lost. Also altruism may be a spandrel a la Gould.
Kin selection is a great example. Protecting your children has an obvious selective advantage. Protecting your relative's children also has a selective advantage. But what about Bob's kids? Bob is out hunting. Might as well take care of them too. If it is not too much trouble it works out. He will undoubtedly take care of your kids when you are out hunting. All of this makes good old fashioned natural selection sense. This is called tit-for-tat. Individuals in a group more likely to protect others in the group (kin or non kin) are more likly to prosper. So the gene to take care of your own progeny can be linked to a gene (if they are not different) to a gene to protect unrelated members of your group. Not for the good of the group, but for good of yourself (meaning genetic heritage).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 160 by Hyroglyphx, posted 05-18-2006 8:11 PM Hyroglyphx 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