• Rich
    3.2k
    "Magic" isn't a scientific term. However it is a term used by the religious. Magic is the basis of all religion, actually - not science.Harry Hindu

    Well that's the point, isn't it?

    Mutations happenHarry Hindu

    An yes, the it just happens explanation.

    Natural selection is just a nice story, without a shred of evidence, that appeals to those seeking fitter and not fitter. The Nazis loved it.

    A brief survey of life will reveal that everyone is living, everyone is dying, some a bit earlier than others and some a bit later than others. No big deal either way and as far as humans are concerned, much sooner than turtles and trees. That's about it after billions of years. Lots of variety and as always lots of surprises. The one thing I haven't figured out is why elephants haven't evolved to shoot guns back at the hunters and why we haven't evolved into cockroaches?
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    his kind of stuff gives me a headache, but for those so inclined here is one perspective of the current state of the evolution of evolutionary theory:Rich

    So the article can be summed up as saying everyone working on evolutionary theory agrees the glass has water sitting to the halfway mark, but then "violently disagrees" about whether to call that state of affairs half-full or half-empty.

    Business as usual. ;)

    (Back 30 years ago, the evo-devo vs modern synthesis issue was rather more controversial - folk might swear the evo-devo glass was empty.)
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Let me provide my own theory of evolution:

    The more money that is available for research, the faster the theory of evolution will mutate.

    Scientists on the whole can be quite creative when it comes to fundraising.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.3k
    Natural selection is just a nice story, without a shred of evidence, that appeals to those seeking fitter and not fitter. The Nazis loved it.Rich
    Wrong. It has plenty of evidence. You are just to frightened to look into it. It is religion and unfalsifiable philosophical claims (which would be most of philosophy) that have not a shred of evidence.

    A brief survey of life will reveal that everyone is living, everyone is dying, some a bit earlier than others and some a bit later than others. No big deal either way and as far as humans are concerned, much sooner than turtles and trees. That's about it after billions of years. Lots of variety and as always lots of surprises. The one thing I haven't figured out is why elephants haven't evolved to shoot guns back at the hunters and why we haven't evolved into cockroaches?Rich
    If you had a better understanding of evolution by natural selection, the answers would be easy. I'm sure you understand how difficult it is to have an intelligent conversation with someone who doesn't have the slightest idea of what they are talking about.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    In short, natural selection is a nothing theory that explains nothing other than "things happen" but it does provide fodder for supremacists and of course materialists/atheists get i their Genesis story. The nice thing though is that there are many, many more theories being dished out by scientists like a Chinese banquet meal, thanks to all the money that is being thrown at it. Of course, all theories support No Mind. Industry only supports materialism because business depends on it.

    How about a Superlative Gene Theory that explains why Billionaires are the superior race? Any chance for funding?
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    As a social theory, that applies to all human activity. Churches and all the other theatres of ideas.

    The difference of course for science is that it also has the self-regulating mechanisms for calling time on unproductive bullshit. As a model of the world, it has to meet certain objective criteria. It ain't just entertainment.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Yeah, it is regulated by money and dogma which puts it well within the sphere of religion.

    More money begaths more theories. A Genesisl story of a different sort.
  • Harry Hindu
    2.3k
    Yeah, it is regulated by money and dogma which puts it well within the sphere of religion.

    More money begaths more theories. A Genesisl story of a different sort.
    Rich
    So what is your point? - That any idea that is funded is hogwash? - That making any explanation for ours and the universe's existence is a waste of time? What is it exactly that you are making an argument for?
  • Rich
    3.2k
    The point is scientists can be extremely creative when marketing new ideas for funding. They are great spinners of tales. Modern day troubadors. The industry is polluted with fairy tales woven to create big businesses. I use to hear similar whoppers in the technology industry. Silicon Valley was all weaving tales.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    Yep, society is like biology in that it diversifies as it feeds off an entropic gradient.

    These pesky ESS evolutionary scientists you complain about turn out to be explaining exactly what you are complaining about. Fancy that.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Science is a money making industry. There actually may be something interesting out there but no way is anyone going to hear about it. It will be BANNED.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    It's like all a conspiracy? Whoah.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Hardly. Science is no different than the financial industry. Money pollutes and attracts those who are willing to say and do anything for money. When $trillions are involved, there are plenty of takers. Know anyone like this? I know tons. Just the latest.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/09/opioid-crisis-responsibility-profits/538938/

    https://merryjane.com/news/insys-therapeutics-charged-with-deceptive-practices-in-opioid-scandal

    Materialism is fundamental to these drug scandals. The industry needs to propagate the myth that chemicals are beautiful things because that is all humans are. They just find people who are willing to take money to create appropriate myths. Cigarette makers use to do it all the time.
  • WISDOMfromPO-MO
    753
    I wish I had a particular book with me right now. It defined evolution as the distribution of alleles in a population, or something like that. I do not remember the exact wording.

    What I do know is that it contained nothing about "survival", "fittest", "adequate", etc.

    Of course, a book published in 1979 is not going to be up to date now with evolutionary theory. But I doubt that anything has changed since then that now demands the use of, and a fight over the biologically-correct use of, words like "fittest".

    The author even illustrated evolution as he defined it at work without "survival" being a factor: lower birthrates in wealthy countries.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2k
    Materialism is fundamental to these drug scandals. The industry needs to propagate the myth that chemicals are beautiful things because that is all humans are.Rich

    So your argument is:
    1. If biologists did not tell them so, people would not believe they are only chemicals.
    2. If people did not believe they were only chemicals, they would not believe that chemicals are beautiful things.
    3. If people did not believe chemicals were beautiful things, Big Pharma could not sell them addictive and destructive chemicals.
    4. Big Pharma wants to sell people addictive and destructive chemicals.
    Therefore,
    5. Big Pharma funds biologists to tell people they are only chemicals.
  • apokrisis
    4.5k
    Hey, when you put it like that, you have an argument that works.

    SSRI's are a famous Big Pharma example of selling the public on the notion that depression is due to a lack of a particular molecule.

    Scientists working on evolutionary theory could only wish they might get a sniff of some of that Big Pharma dosh.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2k
    Hey, when you put it like that, you have an argument that works.apokrisis

    I'm not sure. Think I rushed it.

    Better might be:
    4. If Big Pharma did not fund them, biologists would not tell people they are only chemicals.
    5. Big Pharma wants to sell people addictive and destructive chemicals.
    Therefore,
    6. Big Pharma funds biologists.

    Should probably try a version that isn't all counterfactuals ...
  • MikeL
    644
    Thanks for your input, but I think you've missed the point completely Harry, and now almost find yourself arguing my case.

    But what would make some variant useful under the CEM, if not great environmental change?"Harry Hindu

    I agree in times of great environmental changes you want a genome that is actively throwing out a lot of diversity, not one that has the occasional mutant which just by chance may be able to allow life to scrape through at just the right time - talk about a lucky coincidence, time after time after time after time. Life should buy a lottery ticket with that kind of luck.

    After all the devastatingly close calls life on this planet has had, and every time has bounced back to occupy every niche we can imagine, it was not because there was a lucky one-off mutant that should not have occurred, which being unfit and on the verge of being wiped out, suddenly was made king of the castle. It is because variety is being spat out all over the place all of the time and regardless of what you do to the environment, life will spit out the combination it needs in short order (at least 99.99% of the time).

    It seems that you are arguing that mutations crop up as the result of some intelligence, instead of the random miscopying of genes.Harry Hindu

    If I recall correctly there are regions of the DNA in some cell types where copying errors are (seemingly purposefully) high. I believe it is the regions of antibody creation. Rapid, random variation is very much required to find the best match for the antigen. Those mutations that don't cut the mustard are not selected for. Not all mutations are random copying errors without purpose.

    Purpose of course does suggest an intelligence, and is it such an abstract notion to suggest that life is intelligent? Is it incorrect to suggest that life may have some control of the regulation of the DNA transcription and translation that....it regulates.

    Most mutations are a hinderence to survival, and are rejected in the current environmental conditions and most other conditions that exist on Earth, past, present, and future. So where is the intelligence in that?Harry Hindu

    You're suggesting the mutations serve no purpose most times and are therefore wasteful. Most soldiers on the wall overlooking the enemy territory never see an enemy soldier or come under fire. Where's the intelligence in that? That's wasteful.

    Actively spitting out variety of genetic combinations at a high level also allows organisms to find their snug little niches in the environment much quicker then waiting for some accidental mutation. Take as an illustration a bacterium next to a volcanic pond. Creative evolution would see a rapid increase in allele population around metabolism until the bacterium is able to metabolise sulphurous gases.

    By contrast the Survival of the Fittest model, which is conservative by definition (mutations are unplanned accidents that most times it does not want even though they have repeatedly allowed survival) asks us to believe that a random copying error out of all the possible millions of random copying errors that may have occurred suddenly allows the metabolisation of sulphurous gases. To me the Survival of the Fittest model asks us lower our intellectual reasoning to the point that there really isn't any.

    Is there an intelligence behind the changing of environments throughout Earth's geological history? You'd have account for that change and the cause of it. Is it the same intelligence evolving organisms, or are there two intelligences - one that controls the evolution of organisms, and one that controls the changing environment and both are in a never-ending battle against each other?Harry Hindu

    Well here you've blown out the scope of the argument in order to find an advantageous foothold I think. You've presupposed my answer to your intelligence question was yes, and then created a strawman to know down. Let's quickly look at the question though. Is there an intelligence behind the universe? Is that your question? Maybe there is Harry, maybe there is.

    Are there two intelligences? Maybe, I can take one intelligence and blow it out into bubbles, each bubble with its own restraining properties, trying to hold form while bumping into the other bubbles. Of course, when they all pop again, you have the same intelligence you started with.
  • MikeL
    644
    The less fit an individual is, the less likely it is to survive, and the more variance there is, the more there are unoptimal individuals. Thus, as the species in stable conditions approaches their optimal form, the weaker the survival of the fittest as a force driving them towards that stage of existence gets.BlueBanana

    Hi Blue Banana, I think you started by trying to argue Survival of the Fittest and ended up lending weight to Creative Evolution.

    "The more variance there is, the more there are unoptimal individuals."
    - Yes, and the more there are optimal individuals. Think of boxing, take a crowd of a thousand young men, different sizes, weights, coordination levels, fitness levels. Most of them won't be able to box well at all, but a handfull will probably show a lot of promise. Compare this to random sampling 100 young men.

    "As the species in stable state conditions approaches their optimal form, the weaker the Survival of the Fittest as a force driving them forward towards that stage of existence gets." - right, you are suggesting conservation of the allele diversity in the population, which I am arguing we should expect to see in the survival of the fittest model. So, how does that fit into divergent evolution where this 'approaching optimal form' says: 'You know what, stuff being a possum, I want to be a kangaroo.'
  • MikeL
    644
    So natural selection would have to be countered by a matching capacity for creative (that is, intelligently tuned) variety production.apokrisis

    I agree with your post, Apokrisis. I agree you need conservative and creative elements alike to succeed and you need regulation over them. In the DNA this would be expressed as conserved regions and more recombinant regions.

    We know that certain cells can generate high levels of recombinant alleles in certain sections of the DNA, such during antibody production, while maintaining the integrity of the cell.

    Surivival of the Fittest per se would advocate a position too conservative for life to be sustained through challenging environmental changes. That is the major problem with it. A Creative Evolution model that stresses a much higher and purposeful rate of allele creation while conserving fundamentally necessary parts of the DNA (eg through methylation) seems much more plausible.

    Back to Lemark for a short second- we briefly mentioned him the other day. It has just occurred to me that a Creative Evolutionary model seems to favour a Lemarkian interpretation that experiences throughout a lifetime can affect heritable DNA. We have found life everywhere in all sorts of extreme environments, but for simplicity's sake we will go back to our pond bacteria near a volcanic vent.

    Even given a massive mutation and replicative rate, to wait for a blind mutation in some section of the DNA to provide the adaptive advantages required for life to survive and thrive in hostile environments seems like an unnecessary stretch. Much less of a stretch seems to be (through promoter control for example), that the cell loosens constraint on conservative regions of DNA associated with some region causing problems for the cell (eg metabolism or cell wall structure etc), thereby increasing creativity in these regions. To me, this makes a lot of sense. What are your thoughts?
  • MikeL
    644
    Hi Rich,
    I take your point on the corruption of science. When private companies are make a fortune selling a product that science says is needed, they are not going to listen to anyone who tries to tell them different. Especially if it means reporting to shareholders that their 500 dollar a pill wonderdrug is not required

    I am sure everybody is familiar with the helicobater plori bacteria which is responsible for stomach ulcers. How the pharmaceutical companies didn't want to know about his discover because they were making an absolute fortune of selling all sorts of anti-stress medications and treatments. It wasn't until he actually drank the bacteria, gave himself stomach ulcers and then took routine antibiotics to cure himself that the scientific community were forced to sit and look.

    The cost blow out on drugs that cost less than two dollars to make and are sold at ridiculous prices is shameful.

    This behaviour though, appears relatively isolated to Big Pharmaceutical I think, although you may know differently.

    The scientific community in the main are just like us and love to argue the hell out of everything. I was once in the room when a German scientist presented his findings and data to a Research School. I was impressed. He was very confident and self-assured. Then, when he was done, they picked him apart. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Huge heated arguments flaring up and quietening down, people standing up out of their seats to proclaim differences and demand evidence. At the end he was bumping into things as he was walking about justifying his position. But it was all good. Science is still rigorous, it's just the inflexible dogmatic narrow minded scientists like Dawkins that I personally want to rail against.
  • MikeL
    644
    Hi StreetlightX,
    I haven't read your paper in a lot of detail yet, I will save that for the weekend, but on the face of it calling Natural Selection 'baggy' is really just saying that Survival of the Fittest didn't really fit isn't it? You have had to invoke creativity to make up the shortfall?

    Do you know of any studies that have looked at predictive models of conservative vs non-conservative expression of alleles in isolated populations such as occurred in Australia?
  • StreetlightX
    4.3k
    I haven't read your paper in a lot of detail yet, I will save that for the weekend, but on the face of it calling Natural Selection 'baggy' is really just saying that Survival of the Fittest didn't really fit isn't it?MikeL

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'didn't really fit' - fit what? For what purpose? Just remember that 'survival of the of the fittest' is just a phrase used to nominally designate a theory. It isn't the theory itself. For the most part it isn't even a very good nomination in my opinion, precisely because it misleads so easily (an undergrad friend of mine just told me the other day in fact that the first thing she was told by her biology professor was that 'natural selection is not survival of the fittest'). Furthermore, the baggyness of natural selection isn't a bug, but a feature: it works to drive evolution because of it's looseness, not in spite of it.

    Can't speak for the studies you're looking for, unfortunately. Also, Re: the paper, just read the Introduction and the Discussion, unless math is your thing.
  • BlueBanana
    917
    right, you are suggesting conservation of the allele diversity in the population, which I am arguing we should expect to see in the survival of the fittest model.MikeL

    Should we? This is what we're seeing but the survival of the fittest model alone does not imply that.

    So, how does that fit into divergent evolution where this 'approaching optimal form' says: 'You know what, stuff being a possum, I want to be a kangaroo.'MikeL

    The kangaroo, for some reason, must be the fittest possibility for this to happen - probably because of existing space for it.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    But it was all good. Science is still rigorous,MikeL

    Study the field and what is really going on vs. what you might have been taught. You are in for a big surprise. Prepare for illusions to be shattered. It is rampant and manifests in all sorts of ways including funding biases, experimenter biases, publication biases, and inability to replicate results under most situations. You are currently operating under the science illusion. Anyone who studies the field knows about this but won't say anything. Science protects its own just like all other professions. There is no rigor.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    The kangaroo, for some reason, must be the fittest possibility for this to happenBlueBanana

    This is how goal oriented science operates. First the desired conclusion and then "it happens" to fulfill the conclusion. Zero rigor. This is why we need more philosophers like Bergson to challenge what has become a money seeking industry.
  • MikeL
    644
    Well, I can confirm that the argument was over an inability to replicate the results. The Research School had been working on the same question. You could have something there Rich, but it would be happening at a level above the scientists. Outside influences could affect the research directions, but scientists wouldn't allow it to change not the findings.
  • MikeL
    644
    The kangaroo, for some reason, must be the fittest possibility for this to happen - probably because of existing space for it.BlueBanana

    Then why the wombat?
  • Rich
    3.2k


    One other aspect of the science industry that is relevant to understand. The industry is self-selecting. There are dogmas, just as in religion (Sheldrake wasn't being simply metaphorical in his video), and if someone does not have complete faith in the dogmas, they can't find a career in the industry. You wouldn't expect to find someone who doesn't believe in Jesus in the Catholic Church would you?

    BTW, I admire your curiosity about philosophical and scientific inquiry. It is rare.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Then why the wombat?MikeL

    Or the tens of thousands other forms of life? Natural selection is a big fail which is why scientific evolutionary theory is a hodgepodge of theories which is ever growing and evolving. A better approach would be to simply acknowledge a non-material creative mind that is continuously adapting within constraints. Of course, the brick wall is that it is non-material.
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