Evolution

Posted by: Megalotis

Evolution - 07/14/06 11:17 PM

One of the hardest things to get from a true believer is an account of what evolution actually is, and how evolution occurs.

Everything that I observe in nature tells me that evolution does not occur. Take three examples of birds that were transplanted to the western hemisphere for sporting purposes: ringneck pheasants, gray partridges and chukar partridges. All have been successful pioneers on this new (to their species) continent, but only within the realm of their original habitat. They all look exactly like their ancestors, and none have "evolved" the ability to expand their range into apparently friendly habitats that border their range.

Why have these species not been able to adapt and expand into new range? What prevents their adaptation?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 07/14/06 11:26 PM

True believers? ROFL!

I can easily answer your questions by referring you to everything from the FACT that AIDS is evolving to the fact that everyone is worried that BIRD FLU may evolve. Apparently you flaming hypocrites only complain about evolution when it comes to humans.

Your fine with DNA mutating ... but not fine with the result of that DNA mutation might affect future generations.

What you think adaptation, in a very finite number of years, has to do with evolution is beyond my wildest imagination if I assume you are at least 15 years old and attended middle school in a first world country.

Open minds are rare when they are inside the skulls of the willfully and wantonly ignorant.
Posted by: Megalotis

Re: Evolution - 07/15/06 01:27 AM

This is the sort of response I always get when I ask about evolution. Attacks on maturity, intelligence, education level, etc. are par for the course. Unfortunate.

Can I assume that you have no answers? I thought that perhaps on this forum, there might be a proclivity for open discussion.

I understand that micro-organisms mutate to a degree. But do they actually change from one species to another? I don't know, therefore I ask.

The genetic imperative is that if two parents of a given species mate, their offspring will be of the same species. So how does evolution occur? Most mutations do not help an individual organism to thrive, let alone survive. I'm not aware of any mutations occurring in captive populations of aquarium fish, for example, that would aid in their survival in the wild. Are mutations considered to be the principal cause of evolution? If not, what is?

Informative responses are honestly encouraged.
Posted by: Pragmatist

Re: Evolution - 07/15/06 01:56 AM

Pehaps this will answer your question:
http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060710/full/060710-11.html
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/15/06 09:07 AM

meg, what you are ignoring with your diatribe is that

1)man has not allowed them to expand beyond a certain boundary

2) evolution takes time. it does not occur in one generation (save as the result of something like a major virus attack, which i don't believe has ever happen, or the intentional intervention of a scientist, which is likely still beyond their capacity), or even several. it takes dozens of generations for even small change to affect a large part of the population.

3) moving into a new area is not evolution. its territorial migrations. that usually only occurs when the old territory is too small for the population, which in this case hunters have seen to it not happening, or it becomes to dangerous to remain. since hunting only occurs during a small part of the year, and is only allowed for the hunting of males, its not felt to be that dangerous for the species.
Posted by: Uncle Al

Re: Evolution - 07/15/06 03:53 PM

Quote:
Everything that I observe in nature tells me that evolution does not occur
Darwin's finches if you have patience, methacillin-resistant staphloccous-A if you don't. The French after Napoleon selectively killed tall aggressive Frenchmen while diddling with Moscow. Hand vasculature response to severe cold, Esquimos vs. Europeans. Thalassemia and sickle cell anemia vs. malarial resistance in Mediterranian Whites and Equatorial Blacks, respectively. Corn from teosinte. Melanotic forms' incidence and the Industrial Revolution,

Google
"industrial melanism" 28,300 hits
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/15/06 05:00 PM

point being, if you have not noticed any sign of evolution in nature, then your not looking at nature.
Posted by: Mike Kremer

Re: Evolution - 07/16/06 01:37 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by dehammer:
meg, what you are ignoring with your diatribe is that

2) evolution takes time. it does not occur in one generation (save as the result of something like a major virus attack, which i don't believe has ever happen, or the intentional intervention of a scientist, which is likely still beyond their capacity), or even several. it takes dozens of generations for even small change to affect a large part of the population.

Hi dehammer,
As you state. "Evolution takes time"
Surely that depends upon the form of life involved?

Simple life forms, such as Viruses seem to adapt rather quickly? Or would you say mutate? Or call it evolvement?
Evolvement to me - requires it to be a change into something better, and permanent?

Also the higher up the animal kingdom we go the slower the evolution. Is that true?
If it is, would you say that is because Nature has produced a more stable DNA in the higher life forms? Higher life forms are more perfected?
Since any mutation/evolvement would tend to be less than perfect, even detrimental?
With us Humans, I am really not sure what evolvement, for our long term (good), has ever occured since the beginning of our history?

In fact come to think of it, couples with large Victorian families, theoreticaly, should evolve
faster than couples with small families. Would you agree with that?
Then again, with all the mixings of the human races that is going on today, is'nt that actually preventing our Evolution, per se?
(I'm not considering our final brown/yellow color) Since, would'nt a complete mixing of the human races actually prevent (visible) Evolution?

You mentioned Viruses might cause evolvement.
Interesting. Do you mean we would become resistant to diseases? ie Plague, Ebola, Aids etc
I'd be interested re your comments. Tnx, Mike
Posted by: Megalotis

Re: Evolution - 07/16/06 05:00 AM

Dehammer said:

Quote:
1)man has not allowed them to expand beyond a certain boundary
Not the case at all. This sort of limitation would be impossible to effect. In fact, man has tried with limited success to greatly expand the range of all three species through introduction of both wild-caught and captive-raised individuals. The introductions are either successful or not, based on the ability of the species to adjust to local conditions. In no case has any of the three species been able to colonise territory that is dissimilar to their native range in the eastern hemisphere.

What, for instance, stops the gray (Hungarian) partridge from moving south into central/southern Nebraska and Kansas? For some reason, after dozens of generations, the species has been unable to expand southward. Why no adaptation?

Quote:
2) evolution takes time. it does not occur in one generation (save as the result of something like a major virus attack, which i don't believe has ever happen, or the intentional intervention of a scientist, which is likely still beyond their capacity), or even several. it takes dozens of generations for even small change to affect a large part of the population.
Understood. However, all three species have been here (the western hemisphere) for dozens of generations. In the case of the ringneck, over 100 generations.

Quote:
3) moving into a new area is not evolution. its territorial migrations. that usually only occurs when the old territory is too small for the population, which in this case hunters have seen to it not happening, or it becomes to dangerous to remain. since hunting only occurs during a small part of the year, and is only allowed for the hunting of males, its not felt to be that dangerous for the species.
Right, but my point was that if these species are adapting (why wouldn't they in a world of evolution) why are they unable of themselves to colonize territory over that of their original territorial expansion?

What has happened in the case of all three is that, once released into acceptable habitat, they expand rather quickly to inhabit all of the contiguous territory that meets their habitat needs. Something of a population explosion. Then predation steps up to the challenge, "discovers" the new species, and the population dynamics of all concerned organisms adjust and adapt to the new situation. Eventually, population equilibrium is reached within a few generations, and the new species becomes subject to the regular population swings that we see in nature.

Hunters, by the way, account for a small fraction of the population in any given year. It is true that hunting is limited to males only for ringneck pheasants, but the partridges do not offer the degree of sexual dimorphism that would allow for quick sexual identity as required in a hunting situation. In addition, the partridges are generally monogamous, so hunting males exclusively would be counter-productive.
Posted by: Megalotis

Re: Evolution - 07/16/06 05:12 AM

Uncle Al said:

[quote]Darwin's finches if you have patience, methacillin-resistant staphloccous-A if you don't. The French after Napoleon selectively killed tall aggressive Frenchmen while diddling with Moscow. Hand vasculature response to severe cold, Esquimos vs. Europeans. Thalassemia and sickle cell anemia vs. malarial resistance in Mediterranian Whites and Equatorial Blacks, respectively. Corn from teosinte. Melanotic forms' incidence and the Industrial Revolution [\quote]

So we're left with nothing but short, pacifistic Frenchmen? LOL!

I agree and fully acknowledge that there are some obvious examples of adaptation over generations (survival of the most capable). What I don't see is adaptation that results in new species. And, as in the gamebird example given above, an obvious inability of higher organisms to adapt in many situations.
Posted by: Pragmatist

Re: Evolution - 07/16/06 06:12 AM

" What I don't see is adaptation that results in new species."
And unless you are studying fruit flys or bacteria, you won't.
The theory is that the changes occur slowly.
You don't live long enough to see a species differentiate over many generations.
You can only look closely enough to see the 'tracks` of the process.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/16/06 11:53 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Megalotis:
Not the case at all. This sort of limitation would be impossible to effect. In fact, man has tried with limited success to greatly expand the range of all three species through introduction of both wild-caught and captive-raised individuals. The introductions are either successful or not, based on the ability of the species to adjust to local conditions. In no case has any of the three species been able to colonise territory that is dissimilar to their native range in the eastern hemisphere.

What, for instance, stops the gray (Hungarian) partridge from moving south into central/southern Nebraska and Kansas? For some reason, after dozens of generations, the species has been unable to expand southward. Why no adaptation?
insufficent time, insuffient pressure, other reason, all the above.

Quote:
Understood. However, all three species have been here (the western hemisphere) for dozens of generations. In the case of the ringneck, over 100 generations.
dozens of generation is not enough for major changes. even a slightest reading of evolution will show you that the various species evolve due to a new variation giving it an advantage over the older variation. with sufficent food, and suffecient nesting places, and sufficent things to meet their other needs, what variation would give them and advantage and lead to them moving to another unknown area?

Quote:
Right, but my point was that if these species are adapting (why wouldn't they in a world of evolution) why are they unable of themselves to colonize territory over that of their original territorial expansion?
simple. what adaption would happen that would make them want to colonize another territory. to put it in simple terms, change occurs due to difficulty. man became a wonderer because the area that he was in before became cooler, and thus had less food, and it was harder to live there. as various groups expanded into different areas, they found different conditions that worked and over thousands of generation they adapted to those different conditions.

in the habatats those three species live in, there is plenty of food, plenty of everything they need. new variations would compete for the same food, etc., so would have to have to be better than the old one to show up quickly (100 generations is not that long esp in short lived species that the older generation does not compete for food with the younger one). a variation that would lead to the species changing its location would require that there be a reason for it to before it appeared. that has not happened.


Quote:
An open mind is a rare and precious thing. If you agree with me, you are open-minded.
this is very closed minded. open minded does not mean agreeing with just one person. perhaps you should be open minded and agree with others.
Posted by: Megalotis

Re: Evolution - 07/17/06 01:27 AM

dehammer said:

Quote:
this is very closed minded. open minded does not mean agreeing with just one person. perhaps you should be open minded and agree with others.
Well, yeah! The sig line is of course tongue-in-cheek. I guess I'll remove it, since it's not understood.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/17/06 03:05 PM

"Everything that I observe in nature tells me that evolution does not occur. "

Try reading a book on the subject that has been written by actual scientists - scientists who are active and practicing in their fields and who have made significant contributions to their fields.

Avoid a reading diet consisting solely of creationist materials written by 4th and 5th tier "scientists" who write more for the religious magazines than for scientific journals.

There is plenty of information about how evolution occurs. The only way you could avoid seeing it is not to have looked.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 12:44 AM

Read a book?

What kind of commie pinko running dog paper tiger atheistic anti-christ kind of subversive are you? You monster.

They don't need to read books. They have the truth directly from the source ... the multi-millionaire preacher on TV.
Posted by: DrBarr

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 03:48 AM

I don't really want to get involved in this discussion, but I would like to get some things off my chest.
Please...I beg you...everyone, stop with the lame response "it takes a really long time". You all know this is an unacceptable response. Imagine if physicist said "we know the speed of light is finite but we can't figure out what it is cause it's just so damn fast". Please, there is nothing wrong with not knowing, just admit it, scientist do it all the time.

DA Morgan, AIDS does not evolve, it adapts. Evolution necessitates speciation.

Furthermore, I just can't ignore the fact that several thousand generations of fruit flys have yet to produce a single advantageous mutation.
?It is a striking, but not much mentioned fact that, though geneticists have been breeding fruit-flies for sixty years or more in labs all round the world?flies which produce a new generation every eleven days?they have never yet seen the emergence of a new species or even a new enzyme.? Gordon Rattray Taylor (former Chief Science Advisor, BBC Television), The Great Evolution Mystery (New York: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 48.

On a lighter but still baffling note. I find that pork challenges evolutionary theory. How could an animal evolve to be tastier. wink
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 12:17 PM

what you don't seem to understand is that evolution does not simply occur in a vacuum. evolution occurs due to natural selection overcoming a problem. in order to breed something you have to give it the best environment. with no problems to overcome, there is nothing for a new species to prove its better at, thus being selected over a proven variety.

lets take homosapiens. we were better hunters than are predecessors, thus they died out while we populated the globe. why? because food became more scarce as the climate changed. our predecessors were geared to a wetter, warmer environment, where we were more adjustable.

if a fruit fly shows up that is faster than the others, but is not close enough to get to the food when there are thousands of others closer, it will not have an advantage in a closed environment. in an open environment it would. therefore, breeding them does not encourage evolution, but rather discourages it.

evolution only occurs when a species is no long comfortable in its environment.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 12:26 PM

DrBarr wrote: "Furthermore, I just can't ignore the fact that several thousand generations of fruit flys have yet to produce a single advantageous mutation."

The biggest impediment that people have with evolution is in understanding what the theory actually says. They spend a lot of time and effort refuting what evolution doesn't say. The second biggest impediment is a lack of clear logic.

Evolution does not guarantee that any specific adaptations will occur. We can attempt to try to alter the natural course, but nature is still smarter than we are. We've discussed this tangentially in another thread. "Advantageous" is highly nonspecific term.

That said, we have witnessed advantageous mutations in nature and there are plenty of references already on here that point to that fact.


On another topic, Gordon Rattray Taylor's comments are interesting and he has a right to say them, but he's not a scientist and while it's true that he "studied natural sciences," that's not the same thing as getting a degree in them, much less in practicing science.

His comments disagree with what I read at talkorigins
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

Check out section 5.3.1 - a new species WAS formed in the lab and it was reported in
Dobzhansky, Th., and O. Pavlovsky, 1971. "An experimentally created incipient species of Drosophila", Nature 23:289-292.

Mr Taylor is not a scientist, though, and so I guess we can forgive him for his ignorance.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 12:29 PM

db: "DA Morgan, AIDS does not evolve, it adapts. Evolution necessitates speciation."

No. Evolution does not "necessitate" speciation. Evolution causes speciation. Learn what evolution is. Then you can lecture, Mr. Morgan.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 12:56 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by DrBarr:
Furthermore, I just can't ignore the fact that several thousand generations of fruit flys have yet to produce a single advantageous mutation.
?It is a striking, but not much mentioned fact that, though geneticists have been breeding fruit-flies for sixty years or more in labs all round the world?flies which produce a new generation every eleven days?they have never yet seen the emergence of a new species or even a new enzyme.? Gordon Rattray Taylor (former Chief Science Advisor, BBC Television), The Great Evolution Mystery (New York: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 48.
Dehammer, because there is no shortage of food and no predators, each line of fruit flies is preserved. So it seems to be ideal conditions for mutations to flourish and run their course.

Okay...60 years of breeding...offspring every 11 days...say 1000 different fruit fly ancestral lines being bred across the world (surely a huge underestimation)...gives us 1,968,000 generations. Human equivalent 20 years a generation gives us 39,720,000 years of evolution without a single detectable change. Okay, all very rough but still makes me wonder when I think about the total mutational changes needed to arrive at a creature as incredibly complex as a human.

Blacknad.
Posted by: DrBarr

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 01:04 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by TheFallibleFiend:

No. Evolution does not "necessitate" speciation. Evolution causes speciation. Learn what evolution is. Then you can lecture, Mr. Morgan.
Your abosolutely right. Poor choice of words. But it has nothing to do with the point of my comment. Variation is not speciation and not evolution. There is no need to get nasty, I know what evolution proposes to be. Albeit, I am not a geneticist, I think I still have the right to post my opinion here. If not please let me know and I'll take my comments elswhere.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 01:08 PM

"Dehammer, because there is no shortage of food and no predators, each line of fruit flies is preserved. So it seems to be ideal conditions for mutations to flourish and run their course."

Dear Blacknad. These are EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE conditions conducive to evolution. Evolution occurs best where food is scarce and predatation is fierce - resulting in a strong selective pressure. The Amazon is well-known for 2 factors 1) its incredible biodiversity and 2) the poorness of its soil overall.

From http://library.thinkquest.org/21395/textonlyb/deforestation.html

"The Amazon, though it is host to millions of lifeforms, is not full of fertile soil."
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 03:03 PM

"Variation is not speciation and not evolution. "

Variation is a precondition for selection. Variation and selection together constitute evolution. Evolution includes speciation, but it also includes - and even requires - smaller steps than speciation events.

I never said that you don't have the right to state your opinion. But other people have the right to criticize your opinion. It has been my experience after nearly 25 years of studying this subject and arguing about it on the internet that the creationists, parrotting the intellectual garbage they find at places like AiG and ApologeticsPress, take some comic book version of what science is and what evolutionary theory says and puth forth some preposterous, half-truth version of the actual science which "true evilution believers" are dared to defend.

Then they whine about how they're criticized for questioning evolution - which is a blatant lie, because they are criticized for making stupid assertions about evolution, not for "asking questions."

Another tactic is to look up some thing that they think is arcane and that no one will know about - and then start making stupid assertions about how it refutes evolution:

2nd law of thermo, woodpecker tongues, woodpecker necks, lima bean genes, string theory, information theory, and any other abstruse field then can glom onto where they can pretend their erroneous and frequently half-witted jabber can be miscronstrued as a deeply considered argument. But there's always the implicit, "Ah ... well, see here... if you can't answer THIS argument, then you don't understand anything at all! Because this HERE argument refutes all of evilution!"

If you're not going to start in on this sort of crap, then I do apologize to you - sincerely and profusely. If you have honest questions, I'll do what I can to answer them. There's a lot more that I don't know than that I do, so expect to get a lot of "I don't know."

I consider some of evolution to be counter-intuitive. It's only natural therefore that people would have questions about it. Assertions - in particular, false and misleading assertions - are not questions.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 03:35 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by TheFallibleFiend:
Dear Blacknad. These are EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE conditions conducive to evolution. Evolution occurs best where food is scarce and predatation is fierce.
Dear TFF (as we appear to be on such cosy terms). I understand very well how this works in nature and if you are lumping me in with creationists then you don't have to - I am not one.

Are you saying that scarcity of resources and predation is the cause of mutation? Because I was talking about mutation and not selection. All I was saying was that with all of the unbroken lines of fruit flies bred in labs you would maybe expect to see some change. It would not have to be advantageous to survive - it only has to be non-fatal. I just thought that genetic changes were more likely to survive in labs where there is no predator or natural means of ending that strain.

It seems more ideal. How many mutations in the big bad world never saw the light of day because the carrier became food?

Blacknad.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 04:59 PM

"I understand very well how this works in nature and if you are lumping me in with creationists then you don't have to - I am not one."

Dear Blacknad, I don't know for sure whether you are creationist, but I specifically exclude you from the normal flow of creationists even if you are one.

"Are you saying that scarcity of resources and predation is the cause of mutation?"

I'm saying that evolution consists of two things, variation (which can be caused by mutation) and selection. The selection part of this produces more salient effects when the selection pressure is stronger. The selection pressure is stronger when there is a short supply of food and you can't defend yourself against predation.

"Because I was talking about mutation and not selection."

Ah, you *were* talking about mutation, but then you said to dehammer, "because there is no shortage of food and no predators, each line of fruit flies is preserved. So it seems to be ideal conditions for mutations to flourish and run their course."
Regardless of your intent, the food and predation issue mention takes you clearly into the selection part of the process.

"All I was saying was that with all of the unbroken lines of fruit flies bred in labs you would maybe expect to see some change. It would not have to be advantageous to survive - it only has to be non-fatal."

And you are right, but you're missing an important element. There has to be some way of preferring one descendant over the others, i.e. the selection pressure. It doesn't mean that one set of genes is always selected over the others - just that, on average, it has a preferred chance of being selected. Without selection pressure, you just have everybody interbreeding and mixing genes and new variation gets lost in the shuffle or is lost altogether.

And this is EXACTLY what has happened. Contrary to what creationists parrot, fruit fly experiments have produced a new species of fruit fly. I gave a reference to this in my last post to drbarr / anyman.

"I just thought that genetic changes were more likely to survive in labs where there is no predator or natural means of ending that strain."
I understood what you meant. The problem is that unless there is some kind of selection (in this case artificial selection) that variation can become lost.


"It seems more ideal. How many mutations in the big bad world never saw the light of day because the carrier became food?"

No doubt, many. But the selection pressure is favors the guy who is best adapted to find food wear others can't or more likely evade the person trying to eat him.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 06:23 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by TheFallibleFiend:
"Dehammer, because there is no shortage of food and no predators, each line of fruit flies is preserved. So it seems to be ideal conditions for mutations to flourish and run their course."
save for one thing. the biggest obsticle to a new line, is the choising of a mate. if food and lack of preditors does not create the pressure to change, the mating cycle will remain the same. this means that if there is nothing that will give a new line an advantage, say in numbers of male survivors to reach the female when she is laying eggs ect, then there has to be something that enables them to reach the female faster or catch her attension faster depending on how that species makes the choise. the old proven species would normally have the advantage, unless the new one gains some new form of advantage. in the wild, the old one cant compete for food, as well so there is more of the new one than the old one that can mate. or the new one would have to be faster at reaching the female, or it would have to be able to attract her better. on the other hand if it were the female that had changed, she would have to attract the males over the other females better.

the simpler the organism, the faster it lives and the slower it changes, due to having fewer things to change.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 06:35 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Blacknad:
It seems more ideal. How many mutations in the big bad world never saw the light of day because the carrier became food?

Blacknad.
that is the point of evolution. if it gives and advantage, it would not become food, most likely.

let me illustrate the point with a joke i heard.

two hikers were walking thought the plains of africa, when they spotted a single lion on the prowl. it also spotted them, and charged. one hiker began running, while the other stopped and tied his running shoes.

the first holler over his sholders, "you cant think that will make it possible for you to our run the lion do you?"

the second replied, "i dont have to out run HIM."

two variation of a speices are in the field when they are chased by a preditor. the best does not have to be able to our run the preditor. which ever does leaves his mark on the genes pool by reaching the female alive first. if there are no preditors, there is no race. old tried and true will win the race.
Posted by: anyman

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 06:44 PM

Quote:
drbarr said: ...I think I still have the right to post my opinion here. If not please let me know and I'll take my comments elswhere.
you've got the right and it's our pleasure to have...need more of the same

don't mind these guys; they try to run anyone off that doesn't go with the flow (w/ regard to the evolutionary paradigm)

no major prob...they've got a whole lot more bark and decidedly less bite

stick around...join the fun

more soon :-)
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 07:01 PM

"they try to run anyone off that doesn't go with the flow"

Yet another asinine assertion. He isn't being run off. He's being corrected. What you guys want is the right to make foolish assertions without being criticized in return.
Posted by: soilguy

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 08:09 PM

"One of the hardest things to get from a true believer is an account of what evolution actually is, and how evolution occurs."

It can be described in several ways, but change in a population's gene pool through time is as good a definition as any. It occurs through mutation and natural selection.

Why is that a hard thing to get? You could have gotten it from a variety of biology-related websites, and many, many books.

"Everything that I observe in nature tells me that evolution does not occur. Take three examples of birds that were transplanted to the western hemisphere for sporting purposes: ringneck pheasants, gray partridges and chukar partridges. All have been successful pioneers on this new (to their species) continent, but only within the realm of their original habitat."

What pressure is on them to change? And since you didn't have a working definition of evolution in the first place (because it's "hard to get"), how did you decide it doesn't occur?

"They all look exactly like their ancestors, and none have "evolved" the ability to expand their range into apparently friendly habitats that border their range."

Mutations don't proceed with purpose. You have Lamarkian ideas regarding evolution.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 08:14 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by DrBarr:
Your abosolutely right. Poor choice of words. But it has nothing to do with the point of my comment. Variation is not speciation and not evolution. There is no need to get nasty, I know what evolution proposes to be. Albeit, I am not a geneticist, I think I still have the right to post my opinion here. If not please let me know and I'll take my comments elswhere.
1st off, your absolutely right. you have the right to state your opinions here and to state your opinions about other peoples comments.

2ndly, no one has gotten nasty here yet. they have stated their opinions which are contrary to yours. if you cant accept other people making comments that dont agree with you, you might not want to post here. i hope you continue to post though, as you do have some interesting comments. just dont start insulting people who disagree with you and everyone will be fine.
Posted by: soilguy

Re: Evolution - 07/18/06 08:23 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by DrBarr:

Furthermore, I just can't ignore the fact that several thousand generations of fruit flys have yet to produce a single advantageous mutation.
?It is a striking, but not much mentioned fact that, though geneticists have been breeding fruit-flies for sixty years or more in labs all round the world?flies which produce a new generation every eleven days?they have never yet seen the emergence of a new species or even a new enzyme.? Gordon Rattray Taylor (former Chief Science Advisor, BBC Television), The Great Evolution Mystery (New York: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 48.
New fruit fly species HAVE arisen in laboratories, without any sort of genetic engineering, and even without human intent.

I'd look at articles and books published by people who didn't die 25 years ago, for more up-to-date information. Not that fruit fly speciation hadn't been observed before Taylor's death.

See: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

for more information on cases of observed speciation.
Posted by: KryptonianKnight

Re: Evolution - 07/19/06 02:36 AM

I believe in evolution.I mean,even looking at my own 12 year old niece makes me think.She's 6"3 at 12 years old.Evolution has to play some part in that.People are bigger,faster,smarter,and stronger than they were 100 years ago.You even see it on tv.Any olympics fans here?Every olympics someone breaks a record.How is it that athletes have no limits,and is contantly making new records?In my opinion,that is evolution.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 07/19/06 10:28 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by KryptonianKnight:
I believe in evolution.I mean,even looking at my own 12 year old niece makes me think.She's 6"3 at 12 years old.Evolution has to play some part in that.People are bigger,faster,smarter,and stronger than they were 100 years ago.You even see it on tv.Any olympics fans here?Every olympics someone breaks a record.How is it that athletes have no limits,and is contantly making new records?In my opinion,that is evolution.
So what's the selective pressure? Who's eating short people?

This is more about diet and better sports science.

Blacknad
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/19/06 01:52 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Blacknad:
So what's the selective pressure? Who's eating short people?

This is more about diet and better sports science.

Blacknad
competition. stereo types. hiring practices. in other words we are. society rewards the people that are faster, taller, smarter, or in some other form, better than the average. this means they get better rewards, meaning better lives and the shorter, dumber slower people end up with less. its causing more of a stratifying social order than most people realise. you'd be surprised at how many of them don't have children or die young due to depression, drugs, suicide, etc. because they don't fit the idea society has said they need to be. i read somewhere (don't ask for references, I've slept since then and it was not that interesting) that the average person to die from drug over does is under 5'5". the average age for gang related deaths is something like 15 and their average IQ is below 100. that is not to say they all are. just the average is below societies norm. this is a form of selective breading. unintended, but still selecive. the faster, richer, more successful male reaches and attracts the best females. the best looking, most successfull female attracts the most males, thus having the best selection. the best looking most successfull looking worker gets the best jobs, while the ones that are slower, and less successfull seeming, succeed less often. we are driving our own evolution to be even faster than normal.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/19/06 02:10 PM

"I believe in evolution.I mean,even looking at my own 12 year old niece makes me think.She's 6"3 at 12 years old.Evolution has to play some part in that."

That might be an actual problem. I don't know. I hope she gets regular check ups.

"People are bigger,faster,smarter,and stronger than they were 100 years ago."

Better diet. Better living conditions. I don't think this is an example of evolution.

"How is it that athletes have no limits,and is contantly making new records?In my opinion,that is evolution."

Maybe. But it might also be improved understanding of biomechanics and how diet affects body chemistry, as well as improved training techniques.
Posted by: KryptonianKnight

Re: Evolution - 07/20/06 03:28 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by TheFallibleFiend:
"I believe in evolution.I mean,even looking at my own 12 year old niece makes me think.She's 6"3 at 12 years old.Evolution has to play some part in that."

That might be an actual problem. I don't know. I hope she gets regular check ups.

"People are bigger,faster,smarter,and stronger than they were 100 years ago."

Better diet. Better living conditions. I don't think this is an example of evolution.

"How is it that athletes have no limits,and is contantly making new records?In my opinion,that is evolution."

Maybe. But it might also be improved understanding of biomechanics and how diet affects body chemistry, as well as improved training techniques.
Exactly,changing and finding new ways.Change is what evolution is all about,isn't it?And I don't think great athletes become great because of gatorade or their so called improved training.People 1000 years ago would perhaps even see us today as "unlike" them.But my point is training and diet I think has limits.And new world records in athletics are constantly being made.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/20/06 03:25 PM

"... finding new ways.Change is what evolution is all about,isn't it?"

Evolution is about change in genetic populations, not physical changes in individuals.

"And I don't think great athletes become great because of gatorade or their so called improved training."
I think you underestimate the importance of diet and training. It's not just that athletes train hard. Athletes have always trained hard. It's that they are training scientifically. We actually know a lot more about how to exercise now. Specific exercise programs can target specific muscles that are used for strength or for fine motor control.

I used to think that Personal Trainers were a waste of money. That was till I actually tried one. I got a membership at the county rec center and got to meet with a trainer for free. It was amazing the experience and insight I was getting from this guy. I'm now a big believer in PTs. (Unfortunately, not all of them are equally good.)

"But my point is training and diet I think has limits. And new world records in athletics are constantly being made."

It's a good point. Training and diet *do* have limits, but our understanding of these has improved dramatically over the last 50 years - and it looks like it will continue to improve for another decade or so. I doubt we have yet seen the limits that diet and training can produce.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 07/20/06 07:54 PM

KryptonianKnight,

These are the 100M Sprint World Records for the last 100 years or so.

Asafa POWELL........9.77....2006
Justin GATLIN.........9.77....2006
Asafa POWELL........9.77....2005
Maurice GREENE......9.79....1999
Donovan BAILEY......9.84....1996
Leroy BURRELL........9.85....1994
Carl LEWIS.............9.86....1991
Leroy BURRELL........9.90....1991
Carl LEWIS.............9.92....1988
Calvin SMITH..........9.93....1983
Jim HINES..............9.95....1968
Jim HINES..............9.9.....1968
Armin HARY............10.0....1960
Willie WILLIAMS......10.1....1956
Jesse OWENS.........10.2....1936
Percy WILLIAMS......10.3....1930
Charles PADDOCK.....10.4....1921
Donald LIPPINCOTT..10.6....1912
Frank JARVIS..........10.8....1900
Tom BURKE.............11.8....1896

Some of the technological improvements such as running spikes, starting blocks, and all weather polyurethane tracks etc. account for better times.

You can see that times were reduced by large margins at the start of the last century when technology first started to impact the sport. Now we are down to miniscule increases which can easily be explained by improved diet, training techniques and a greater understanding of the type of lifestyle needed to look after and hone the body.

Evolution is playing no part whatsoever. It just cannot have an impact on a hundred year timescale in anything as complex as a human. Or are you willing to say that evolution affected a change over a ten year period, allowing over .1 of a seconds reduction (1991 - 1999)? If not, then why think evolution is the cause for any of the changes?

Blacknad.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 07/20/06 08:31 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by dehammer:
Quote:
Originally posted by Blacknad:
So what's the selective pressure? Who's eating short people?

This is more about diet and better sports science.

Blacknad
competition. stereo types. hiring practices. in other words we are. society rewards the people that are faster, taller, smarter, or in some other form, better than the average. this means they get better rewards, meaning better lives and the shorter, dumber slower people end up with less. its causing more of a stratifying social order than most people realise. you'd be surprised at how many of them don't have children or die young due to depression, drugs, suicide, etc. because they don't fit the idea society has said they need to be. i read somewhere (don't ask for references, I've slept since then and it was not that interesting) that the average person to die from drug over does is under 5'5". the average age for gang related deaths is something like 15 and their average IQ is below 100. that is not to say they all are. just the average is below societies norm. this is a form of selective breading. unintended, but still selecive. the faster, richer, more successful male reaches and attracts the best females. the best looking, most successfull female attracts the most males, thus having the best selection. the best looking most successfull looking worker gets the best jobs, while the ones that are slower, and less successfull seeming, succeed less often. we are driving our own evolution to be even faster than normal.
There is a mish-mash of ideas here. The fact is that in the developed world, successful people sire less progeny than do the lower social orders. Career people put off having children and are far more likely to have a single child.

The number of American women who have only one child has doubled over the last two decades

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Family/story?id=2178396&page=1

Quote:
"Twenty percent of the family population is one child," Newman said. "In the major metropolitan cities, like New York and Los Angeles, that number is 30 percent. People are having children later, which leaves less time for having the second child. Housing is expensive. The divorce rate hovers at 50 percent. Often both parents are working, and child care is a factor."
In the UK, professional people seem to mostly have single children. Anecdotally - at my daughter's nursery almost all of the children have zero siblings. If you want to see who is breeding, then you have to look to those on welfare. Look at council estates where girls start having children at 14 - 16 and just carry on. Some neighbours of my parents are long term claimants of sickness benefit. They have eight children and are expecting another. People who don't work are the only ones who can afford children. At $1189 per month for my three year old's nursery fees I am in no hurry to have another.

So if, as you say, the beautiful people are getting hired, they will probably be the ones contributing less to the gene pool.

Society does not reward the faster, taller or smarter. They are the ones that will pay through their noses to bring their children up (if they do have any at all), whilst those who cannot or will not work can pop them out one after another and the state will pick up the tab.

It's something, but it's certainly not survival of the fittest.

Blacknad.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/20/06 10:22 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Blacknad:
Quote:
Originally posted by dehammer:
Quote:
Originally posted by Blacknad:
So what's the selective pressure? Who's eating short people?

This is more about diet and better sports science.

Blacknad
competition. stereo types. hiring practices. in other words we are. society rewards the people that are faster, taller, smarter, or in some other form, better than the average. this means they get better rewards, meaning better lives and the shorter, dumber slower people end up with less. its causing more of a stratifying social order than most people realise. you'd be surprised at how many of them don't have children or die young due to depression, drugs, suicide, etc. because they don't fit the idea society has said they need to be. i read somewhere (don't ask for references, I've slept since then and it was not that interesting) that the average person to die from drug over does is under 5'5". the average age for gang related deaths is something like 15 and their average IQ is below 100. that is not to say they all are. just the average is below societies norm. this is a form of selective breading. unintended, but still selecive. the faster, richer, more successful male reaches and attracts the best females. the best looking, most successfull female attracts the most males, thus having the best selection. the best looking most successfull looking worker gets the best jobs, while the ones that are slower, and less successfull seeming, succeed less often. we are driving our own evolution to be even faster than normal.
There is a mish-mash of ideas here. The fact is that in the developed world, successful people sire less progeny than do the lower social orders. Career people put off having children and are far more likely to have a single child.

The number of American women who have only one child has doubled over the last two decades

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Family/story?id=2178396&page=1

Quote:
"Twenty percent of the family population is one child," Newman said. "In the major metropolitan cities, like New York and Los Angeles, that number is 30 percent. People are having children later, which leaves less time for having the second child. Housing is expensive. The divorce rate hovers at 50 percent. Often both parents are working, and child care is a factor."
In the UK, professional people seem to mostly have single children. Anecdotally - at my daughter's nursery almost all of the children have zero siblings. If you want to see who is breeding, then you have to look to those on welfare. Look at council estates where girls start having children at 14 - 16 and just carry on. Some neighbours of my parents are long term claimants of sickness benefit. They have eight children and are expecting another. People who don't work are the only ones who can afford children. At $1189 per month for my three year old's nursery fees I am in no hurry to have another.

So if, as you say, the beautiful people are getting hired, they will probably be the ones contributing less to the gene pool.

Society does not reward the faster, taller or smarter. They are the ones that will pay through their noses to bring their children up (if they do have any at all), whilst those who cannot or will not work can pop them out one after another and the state will pick up the tab.

It's something, but it's certainly not survival of the fittest.

Blacknad.
so the average family from a successfull type person is still close to 2.5 kids per family. at least in america. just because they wait to later to have them does not mean they dont have them. just because some only have one does not mean the family size is smaller, becuase there are a large number that have 3 or more kids. it matters less how many the people with the fewest have, its the average that matters. it also matters their life expectance is longer. poorer families are more likely to lose children early, or for them to die from violence or drugs than richer successfull families. they are more likely to die of diseases before having children.
Posted by: KryptonianKnight

Re: Evolution - 07/20/06 10:47 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by TheFallibleFiend:
"... finding new ways.Change is what evolution is all about,isn't it?"

Evolution is about change in genetic populations, not physical changes in individuals.

"And I don't think great athletes become great because of gatorade or their so called improved training."
I think you underestimate the importance of diet and training. It's not just that athletes train hard. Athletes have always trained hard. It's that they are training scientifically. We actually know a lot more about how to exercise now. Specific exercise programs can target specific muscles that are used for strength or for fine motor control.

I used to think that Personal Trainers were a waste of money. That was till I actually tried one. I got a membership at the county rec center and got to meet with a trainer for free. It was amazing the experience and insight I was getting from this guy. I'm now a big believer in PTs. (Unfortunately, not all of them are equally good.)

"But my point is training and diet I think has limits. And new world records in athletics are constantly being made."

It's a good point. Training and diet *do* have limits, but our understanding of these has improved dramatically over the last 50 years - and it looks like it will continue to improve for another decade or so. I doubt we have yet seen the limits that diet and training can produce.
So speed skaters,sprinters,high jumpers,etc became so good through that new bo flex machine or some kind of super science potion?What is the difference if they bench press a tree log or use one of those new exercise machines?Our ancesters may have trained even harder than people today.And on some level great athletes are born with these gifts.And if it is because of sports science and training,to me that is some what evolution it self.As I said before,people get smarter and smarter.Our ancestors may have even seen us as "God like" with the things we can do today.In my opinion any kind of change is a part of evolution,even if it is through science.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 07/20/06 11:49 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by dehammer: [/qb]
so the average family from a successfull type person is still close to 2.5 kids per family. at least in america. just because they wait to later to have them does not mean they dont have them. just because some only have one does not mean the family size is smaller, becuase there are a large number that have 3 or more kids. it matters less how many the people with the fewest have, its the average that matters. it also matters their life expectance is longer. poorer families are more likely to lose children early, or for them to die from violence or drugs than richer successfull families. they are more likely to die of diseases before having children.

Hi Dehammer.

so the average family from a successfull type person is still close to 2.5 kids per family.

Where did you get this figure? The Population Resource Centre says...

"Non-Hispanic whites have the lowest fertility rate of 1.8, about 14 percent below the "replacement rate" of 2.1."

http://www.prcdc.org/summaries/uspopperspec/uspopperspec.html

Are you saying that even though it is so low, successful families are managing 2.5, because as a whole you are managing only 2.1 which is just at the replacement rate? This is bucking a trend in developed nations due to your very high rate of teenage pregnancies (teenagers who become pregnant are much more likely to come from poor families) and your high religious population...

"There are several explanations for this. Much higher fertility among immigrant populations accounts for a large part of the difference. America's religious makeup limits participation in modern sex education and abortion and encourages a family-centered lifestyle. Statistically almost all of the difference between the United States and Europe can be explained by the US's higher rate of teenage pregnancy."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-replacement_fertility

just because they wait to later to have them does not mean they dont have them.

The whole point is that because they leave it so late they often don't have time for a second. Hence the sentence in the ABC News article...

- "People are having children later, which leaves less time for having the second child."

(Meaning they are less likely to have another child).

just because some only have one does not mean the family size is smaller, becuase there are a large number that have 3 or more kids.

Where do these figures come from? Are you sure this balances out? I am saying that educated career people are having less children (by far) than the uneducated. It is very easy to see in Britain - I wouldn't expect it to be so different in America.

it matters less how many the people with the fewest have, its the average that matters.

Yes - and the average fertility amongst career people is lower than that from poorer families.

it also matters their life expectance is longer. poorer families are more likely to lose children early, or for them to die from violence or drugs than richer successfull families. they are more likely to die of diseases before having children.

You make it sound as if you live in Calcutta. The simple fact is that smart people are having less children than other people. They are a diminishing population. As a whole Western Civilisation is probably regressing as opposed to evolving.

Blacknad.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/21/06 12:59 AM

are you saying that only non hispanic whites are successful.

the reality is that there is a lot of successful non whites and hispanic whites that are successful and the are from a part of society that still pushes large families.

Quote:
You make it sound as if you live in Calcutta. The simple fact is that smart people are having less children than other people. They are a diminishing population. As a whole Western Civilisation is probably regressing as opposed to evolving.
you dont have to live in calcutta to see that, all you have to do is live in or near the poor part of any large city any where in the world. every been to the south side of inner Houston Texas. I have. maybe not as bad as calcutta, but there are children that live on the street that will be very lucky if they live long enough to vote. most people dont want to see the runaways, the drug addicts, the 12 year old street walkers. they are there. most people dont every see them. many have been kicked out of homes because their parents could not take care of them or choise to drink instead of feeding another helpless mouth. or perhaps the money for their childrens cloths went to the drug dealer instead. these children are from families too poor to get any attension from the politicians and the bleeding hearts only show up every once in a while. just long enough to make themselves feel good. the people that are there to help are streached too thinly and dont have the resourses to really help everyone. so its a real victory when they can help anyone. the fact is that most of the kids are too scared to get help or too hooked on drugs their pimps got them hooked on too get the help that is available.
from what ive heard Houston does not have near the problem that other cities have.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/21/06 12:20 PM

KK wrote "to me that is some what evolution it self"

Words have many meanings. There is the popular usage and understanding of a word. There is the meaning of a word in a particular community. There is what the word means to individuals.

Your personal understanding of evolution corresponds to the popular notion of the word. When I talk about it, I'm talking about biological evolution.

In lay terms, what you have mentioned is certainly evolution. But in scientific terms, I don't think there's any reason to think that biological evolution accounts for any of it.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 07/21/06 06:54 PM

Different words than I'd have used Falliable but a very accurate expression of reality. I don't know what dehammer is thinking when commenting on science.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/21/06 07:07 PM

did that have anything to do with the topic or just something nonsensical to get your name on the topic. i didnt see anything. topic is evolution. got an opinion on it, post it. otherwise dont bother wasting space.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 07/21/06 07:22 PM

I was complimenting IFF for well chosen words.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 07/21/06 07:24 PM

BTW dehammer. You might want to run your tag line through a spell checker.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/21/06 08:59 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
I don't know what dehammer is thinking when commenting on science. Especially given the claim of being an adult with a college education.
what does that have to do with complementing IFF for anything?
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/21/06 09:01 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
BTW dehammer. You might want to run your tag line through a spell checker.
and you might want to look up the word to see if there are multiple spellings. weve already been though this. guess you were off line those days.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/22/06 09:30 AM

dehammer,
did you understand what I wrote about definitions?
Posted by: DrBarr

Re: Evolution - 07/22/06 10:23 AM

Fallible,
I sincerely hope this isn't one of the issues that torque you off, but I would love to hear your opinion/theory. How could altruism have evolved? The only thing I can think of that fits with the natural selection mechanism, is that it arose out of the nature to protect one's offspring. But it still seems to me that putting yourself at risk to protect someone else would quickly be dissolved in the evolutionary train ride.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 07/22/06 02:50 PM

yes, i did. i did not have any trouble with that, only with the fact that da does little more than attack everything. only on rare occasions does he add something to the discussion. actually i agree with what you said about definitions too.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 07/22/06 07:28 PM

DrBarr asks:
"How could altruism have evolved?"

Altruism, at its root is self serving. Those species that engage in altruistic behaviour are more successful.

Keep in mind that our history is tribal. All of the members of the tribe were very closely related genetically and thus helping a member of the tribe helped the survival of the tribe's DNA. Consider this in light of the willingness to commit genocide when dealing with members of another tribe. A male lion protects its own offspring and willingly murders the offspring of another male not part of the pride.

Our species success relates directly to how individuals define the breathe and scope of the tribe. Some think the tribe is literally their tribe. Others think it is their nation and yet others their religion and yet others those of their culture or skin color.

Some of us consider our tribe to be every person on the planet and are horrified by their behaviour toward other members of "the tribe."
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 07/23/06 03:37 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by DrBarr:
Fallible,
I sincerely hope this isn't one of the issues that torque you off, but I would love to hear your opinion/theory. How could altruism have evolved? The only thing I can think of that fits with the natural selection mechanism, is that it arose out of the nature to protect one's offspring. But it still seems to me that putting yourself at risk to protect someone else would quickly be dissolved in the evolutionary train ride.
Drbarr,

This is not something that torques me off. You asked a question - a real question and you said you didn't understand how this could be.

There has been a lot of research done into this very area with social insects, especially regarding bees, for example.

Evolution does not work at the level of the individual . It works at the level of the population. If some members of a group put themselves at risk for the tribe, they are increasing the chances of success for the group - and also for the chance of passing on SOME of their own genes, those which they share with their siblings and other close relatives.
Posted by: soilguy

Re: Evolution - 07/24/06 03:52 PM

Dr Barr:

There's a thread here called "Evolution of Altruism" which was a short discussion of this news release:

http://currents.ucsc.edu/05-06/05-08/lizards.asp
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Evolution - 07/24/06 11:56 PM

This same article was posted here some time back. I'm sure the thread is still available.

Amaranth
Posted by: dougalbod

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 10:02 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by TheFallibleFiend:


Evolution does not work at the level of the individual . It works at the level of the population. If some members of a group put themselves at risk for the tribe, they are increasing the chances of success for the group - and also for the chance of passing on SOME of their own genes, those which they share with their siblings and other close relatives. [/QB]
Natural selection does work at the level of the individual. Altruism, or apparent altruism can only evolve if the gene or genes which produce the altruistic behaviour are favoured over genes which don't produce the behaviour. Individuals which have the genes would produce more surviving offspring and the gene would increase in frequency in the population.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 03:00 PM

RE: dougalbod ... exactly!

If you are the saber toothed kitty cats breakfast your genetic complement ends there.

If your genes lead to behaviours that protect you, either personally or through the tribal dynamic, your DNA gets another shot.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 03:40 PM

"Natural selection does work at the level of the individual. Altruism, or apparent altruism can only evolve if the gene or genes which produce the altruistic behaviour are favoured over genes which don't produce the behaviour. Individuals which have the genes would produce more surviving offspring and the gene would increase in frequency in the population."

I don't think so. A honey bee that dies for the hive is not passing on the genes from her own body, but those of her mother in the hive and those of her sisters who become queens.

The queen, of course, has those genes, but the queen is not dying for the hive. The bees that die are indeed passing on their genes, but not directly; rather, indirectly.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 05:22 PM

A honey bee is doing what a honey bee is programmed to do. As you acknowledge her genes are her mother's ... the queen: Her queen. Of course the queen doesn't die for the hive. Do you see elder statesmen picking up swords? If the queen dies for the workers the ability to produce another generation dies with her.

Lets take another example IFF. The cooperative behaviour of schooling fish.

When a tuna approaches ... they knot themselves into a ball: Why? They could all just flee in entirely separate directions and decreasing the density of the apparent food source. Is it altruism? Is it self-destructive? Is it a successful strategy? Millions of years of evolution can't be wrong.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 07:04 PM

Dan,

I don't disagree with anything you said. Of course altruism exists. Of course, it is explainable by evolution.

My problem is semantic. The other fellow asserts that Natural Selection works at the level of the individual. He is not alone, as I have heard many others assert the same thing. In fact, I also would agree with that statement in most cases. However, I'm not sure that is a correct characterization of what's happening in the case of the development and propagation of altruism.

I'm not sure the schooling of fish is an example of altruism. This balling probably tends to shock and confuse predators. Individuals who survive will be able to transmit genes through their own gametes and not through a tribal proxy.
Posted by: soilguy

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 08:25 PM

Natural selection does work on the level of the individual, but evolution does not equal natural selection.

Individuals don't evolve (biologically). Populations evolve.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 08:50 PM

IFF ... Soilguy said it better than I could.

The individual is the smallest unit of measure.
The population evolves.

This may be a terrible analogy ... but a single grain of sand on a beach is the smallest unit of measure. Moving the grain of sand does not move the beach. Move the beach and the grains of sand will be in a different location.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 09:10 PM

I understand that natural selection is not the same thing as evolution.

I understand that individuals do not evolve.

I understand that populations do evolve.

I even understand how - in general - we say that selection operates on the individual.

What I don't understand is how correct it is to say that evolution of altruism occurs via selection on individuals.

It could be that if I cogitate on this for a while, it will come to me. Maybe it will be one of those "aha! why didn't I get that before!" type moments. But right now, I'm just not getting it.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 09:13 PM

When we talk about altruism in evolutionary terms are we talking about only the first definition?

1. Instinctive cooperative behavior that is detrimental to the individual but contributes to the survival of the species.

2. Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.

One seems to be an instinctive action, the other is a conscious action.

Am I wrong in thinking there is a difference for the purposes of this debate?

Blacknad.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 09:18 PM

Blacknad,

I think definition 1 is what we're talking about.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 08/04/06 10:29 PM

Thanks TFF.

Is there no link between the two? Is my ability to act with self disinterest or even self sacrificially, on a conscious level, in any way an extention of zoological altruism?

Or is it an emergent property? I only ask because elsewhere there was a debate that seemed to decide that guilt had its origins in the evolutionary process.

Blacknad.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/05/06 12:11 AM

Blacknad,

I just don't know.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/05/06 03:21 AM

TFF states:
"What I don't understand is how correct it is to say that evolution of altruism occurs via selection on individuals."

I'm not sure I agree with the above sentence. Altruism is an inherited trait in humans just as schooling is in fish.

Those that have that trait are more likely to survive and pass on their genes. Those that don't are more likely to be someone else's dinner.
Posted by: soilguy

Re: Evolution - 08/07/06 07:56 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Blacknad:
Thanks TFF.

Is there no link between the two? Is my ability to act with self disinterest or even self sacrificially, on a conscious level, in any way an extention of zoological altruism?

Or is it an emergent property? I only ask because elsewhere there was a debate that seemed to decide that guilt had its origins in the evolutionary process.

Blacknad.
I can't pretend that I know, but I think we tend to justify some of our instincts intellectually. Fear of snakes is one example of that.

In the case of the altruistic lizards, the lizards behave altruistically toward other lizards that are naturally marked as having an altruistic tendency. Humans don't have such markings, but I think we have a tendency to be more altruistic toward other people we view as altruistic, and less altruistic to selfish assholes, which is a highly technical term used by social scientists.

I tend to be altruistic toward all children -- without thought. When I do think about it, it makes sense: kids helped through altruism may be more likley to behave altruistically from then on. However, I have not thought about this until very recently. Weighing the pros and cons of whether I should behave altruistically in a situation does not generally occur -- except in the case of a proven selfish asshole. In those cases, I might consciously stop myself from lending an SA a hand, unless it were a matter of life and death.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Evolution - 08/07/06 08:26 PM

If one of those SA's needed a bone marrow transplant and you were the only match for a possible donor, would you donate?

How far does your altruism go?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/07/06 08:39 PM

With respect to an SA ... I would suddenly become religious and deduce that their plight was the works of a higher being providing a just and well deserved lesson in humility.

I would then not be so presumptuous as to come between the SA and his or her maker?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Evolution - 08/07/06 08:44 PM

Spoken like a true hypocrite!
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/07/06 10:40 PM

Precisely! I do hope the sarcasm came through.

If not ... please mentally include <SARCASM> tags around my previous post. I didn't do it there so as to, hopefully, provide the full impact.
Posted by: dougalbod

Re: Evolution - 08/08/06 07:49 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Blacknad:


1. Instinctive cooperative behavior that is detrimental to the individual but contributes to the survival of the species.

Blacknad.
It's a common misconception, but natural selection and evolution has nothing to do with 'the survival of the species'.

Natural selection and evolution is an entirely passive process. It's worth remembering that of all the species that have ever existed, virtually all of them have become extinct. Only a tiny fraction of species survive. Don't be fooled into thinking that natural selection is a beneficial process!

Altruistic behaviour, that is behaviour which is beneficial to others but has no benefit or is detrimental to the individual displaying the behaviour, can only evolve through natural selection if the individuals which benefit pass on genes which cause the behaviour.

Doug
Posted by: soilguy

Re: Evolution - 08/08/06 01:43 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by dougalbod:
It's a common misconception, but natural selection and evolution has nothing to do with 'the survival of the species'.

Natural selection and evolution is an entirely passive process. It's worth remembering that of all the species that have ever existed, virtually all of them have become extinct. Only a tiny fraction of species survive. Don't be fooled into thinking that natural selection is a beneficial process!

[snip]

Doug
Huh? Evolution is beneficial for sustaining life. Keep in mind that a number of "extinct" species represent ancestral chronospecies of currently living species.

If life failed to adapt to changing environments, would you consider that beneficial?
Posted by: soilguy

Re: Evolution - 08/08/06 01:52 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Amaranth Rose:
If one of those SA's needed a bone marrow transplant and you were the only match for a possible donor, would you donate?

How far does your altruism go?
I would, because I would feel lots of guilt if I did not.

Now if the person was beyond an SA, and I considered him/her evil, that would be a different story. (Take, for instance, an FA.)
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/08/06 05:23 PM

F ... I presume stands for Flaming. ;-)

Next question ... are you registered with a bone marrow donor program?

If not ...
http://www.marrow.org/

Time to step up to the plate and be counted. Not knowing you could save someone's life (ignorance) is not immunization.

There are a lot of people in need of transplants where no matches can be found. And this is not directed just at soilguy. Everyone ... here's an opportunity to show what you really are.
Posted by: soilguy

Re: Evolution - 08/08/06 05:30 PM

Actually no. I've got an organ donor card, but I never thought about this one.

They seem to want $52 along with a swab. I guess that helps weed out the SAs.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/08/06 10:37 PM

From where I sit ... any pro-life prosletyzer that isn't carrying a donor card and hasn't signed up as a marrow donor (~12 latte's at Starbucks) is just a FH.

And I measure them by their deeds ... not their words.
Posted by: Mike Kremer

Re: Evolution - 08/08/06 11:24 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
A honey bee is doing what a honey bee is programmed to do. As you acknowledge her genes are her mother's ... the queen: Her queen. Of course the queen doesn't die for the hive. Do you see elder statesmen picking up swords? If the queen dies for the workers the ability to produce another generation dies with her.

Lets take another example IFF. The cooperative behaviour of schooling fish.

When a tuna approaches ... they knot themselves into a ball: Why? They could all just flee in entirely separate directions and decreasing the density of the apparent food source. Is it altruism? Is it self-destructive? Is it a successful strategy? Millions of years of evolution can't be wrong.
Posted by: Mike Kremer

Re: Evolution - 08/08/06 11:44 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:


Lets take another example IFF. The cooperative behaviour of schooling fish.

When a tuna approaches ... they knot themselves into a ball: Why? They could all just flee in entirely separate directions and decreasing the density of the apparent food source. Is it altruism? Is it self-destructive? Is it a successful strategy? Millions of years of evolution can't be wrong. [/qb]
[/QB][/QUOTE]
Not been following this post, been busy, but I am not sure you are right about that Dan.

The reason that a school of fish 'ball'
Is enrirely due to a group of Dolphin that swim very fast around the fish in ever tighter circles.
The Dolphin also release streams of bubbles, further frightening the fish. When corralled into a tight ball. A single Dolphin to enters the ball and grabs a mouthful of fish. The Dolphins take turns at this.
Now thats evolutionary intelligence.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 12:23 AM

I think the dolphins are taking advantage of the normal tendency of the fish to school, seeing as they do it when approached by tuna, not able to blow bubbles or do other things. The balling of the school of fish is a general respone to any threat, not just dolphins. As a behavior it must have survival value, if it has persisted so long in fish. Maybe the predator becomes confused and can't single out any one fish to grab, somewhat like zebras on the plains of Africa. While it is true that fish ball up in the face of dolphins, the dolphins are not the sole cause of the behavior.
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 01:28 AM

dougalbod wrote:
[/QUOTE] Altruistic behaviour, that is behaviour which is beneficial to others but has no benefit or is detrimental to the individual displaying the behaviour, can only evolve through natural selection if the individuals which benefit pass on genes which cause the behaviour. [QUOTE]
_______________________________________________

Donating organs, giving blood, helping the poor, going to the aid of another - are in no way examples of altruistic behaviour, as they are instead examples of selfishness.

Unlike other animals, human consciousness makes us value the individual self over the tribe. We may agree, or disagree with the mores and morals of the tribe we belong to - either way, the choices we make are wholly dependent on our own egotism.

For example: Soilguy wrote, ?Kids helped through altruism may be more likely to behave altruistically from then on?. Which is the same as saying, ?If I help in any way, or am kind and friendly to this kid, he or she may be less inclined to bash and rob others in the future ? especially not me?. So even though we may feel that our good deeds are purely altruistic, that feeling is actually just part of our own egotism.

Obviously, the concept of altruism, though not true, has been a useful tool in our evolutionary progress, as it has assisted our ability to cooperate in large groups.

-
Sue
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 02:01 AM

Sue,

Can you point to something that confirms what you write? I not, then it is just philosophy and I'm free to disagree.

Are you really saying there is no such thing as an altruistic act and that all actions are mercenery?

Just because there is always a reward for altruistic actions (a positive feeling, for example) it does not automatically follow that the act was self serving.

Is it not possible that we can simply come to a reasoned decision that acting in another's interest is simply the right thing to do?

Are you saying we would not act altruistically if there was no reward for us? I feel that even if there was no reward whatsoever (no gooey feeling etc.) then I could still act in another's interest, even at cost to myself.

At one stroke you rid humans of altruism, goodness, kindness and nobility, and make them all calculated acts designed to do nothing else but benefit the supposed altruist.

I don't go for it - we are better than that.

Blacknad.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 02:03 AM

And again the two following definitions of altruism are being used interchangeably:

1. Instinctive cooperative behavior that is detrimental to the individual but contributes to the survival of the species.

2. Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.

Blacknad.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 03:11 AM

Blacknad wrote:
"The reason that a school of fish 'ball'
Is enrirely due to a group of Dolphin that swim very fast around the fish in ever tighter circles."

Read my example again and you will see that my reference was to tuna: "When a tuna approaches." Tuna don't strategize.

But you do bring up one fascinating aspect of evolution. If the smaller fish didn't form a ball the dolphins would use a different strategy. The reason they do it, and the reason it works, is that the dolphin's understand, and can predict, the behaviour of schooling fishes.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 03:16 AM

Sue Hindmarsh wrote:
"Donating organs, giving blood, helping the poor, going to the aid of another - are in no way examples of altruistic behaviour, as they are instead examples of selfishness."

Hardly. When you donate a kidney you put yourself at risk. In fact you are not allowed to be a donor without having the risks explained to you. This is definitely true with bone marrow.

Sue continues:
"Unlike other animals, human consciousness makes us value the individual self over the tribe."

Not true again. But then I doubt you have any personal experience with living in a tribal society so I wonder upon what basis you would make such an absolutist statement.

And Sue continues with:
"So even though we may feel that our good deeds are purely altruistic, that feeling is actually just part of our own egotism."

Had you read this thread from the beginning you would have seen the statement that altruism, at its heart, is self-serving. Self-serving but not egotism. Few altruistic acts involve sitting back and carefully calculating the celebrity that will come if one rescues a drowning child. And having worked as a lifeguard for a few years I find your comment laughable. The only celebrity I received from 5 or 6 rescues was a sunburn.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 04:02 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
Unlike other animals, human consciousness makes us value the individual self over the tribe. We may agree, or disagree with the mores and morals of the tribe we belong to - either way, the choices we make are wholly dependent on our own egotism.
Sue
the please explain why people join the military. they know they have a good chance of dying, even during peace time. yet they put their lives on the line to protect their nation. soldiers do not value their individual self less than those who do not serve, yet they are more than capable of giving up those lives to protect others.

the same can be said of police, firemen, and others. how many police do you think have given up their lives for the good of the "tribe" they call their city. how many firemen lose their lives running in to fires to save children and adults. this activity is very much non conducive to the health of the individual self. it is vital to the health of the "tribe".
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 05:05 AM

I must confess I started reading this with trepidation given your comments on science topics but you are absolutely correct.

Not one fireman running into the World Trade Center made a calculation about the celebrity that awaited if he got out alive. Not one person on United flight 93 tackled a hijacker out of egotism. I sure as heck didn't become a lifeguard because I expected to be on Shark Week.

Sue's instincts are leading in the right direction but she goes off track and her conclusions are far from the mark.
Posted by: dougalbod

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 08:28 AM

Sue

As you point out apparently altruistic behaviour in humans may be based on a selfish calculation of self interest. I think you are right up to a point, however the development of consciousness puts humans in an unusual position when talking about evolution and I think it's probably true that there are genuine cases of altruistic beaviour among humans. I'm sure we've all heard of individuals who have entered burning houses to rescue complete strangers. Among some groups of people at least there is a culture of altruistic behaviour, it remains to be seen if natural selection will allow this behaviour to survive over millions of years!

Doug
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 08:40 AM

Hi Dougalbod,

What is the "unusual position" that humans are placed in because of "the development of consciousness"?
-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 08:53 AM

Blacknad wrote:
[QUOTE]Can you point to something that confirms what you write? I not, then it is just philosophy and I'm free to disagree.

Are you really saying there is no such thing as an altruistic act and that all actions are mercenery? [QUOTE]

The definition of altruism is ?selflessness?, but because each individual has an ego commanding his every action, the concept of selflessness is thereby rendered absurd.

[QUOTE]Just because there is always a reward for altruistic actions (a positive feeling, for example) it does not automatically follow that the act was self serving.[QUOTE]

As you say, ?there is always a reward? ? therefore the concept of altruism is a fantasy.

[QUOTE]Is it not possible that we can simply come to a reasoned decision that acting in another's interest is simply the right thing to do?[QUOTE]

Choosing to ?do the right thing? over ?not doing the right thing? comes down to how attached we are to things.

[QUOTE]Are you saying we would not act altruistically if there was no reward for us? I feel that even if there was no reward whatsoever (no gooey feeling etc.) then I could still act in another's interest, even at cost to myself.[QUOTE]

Unless you are egoless, you are selfish. Any act by the ego is to serve itself. We may place ourselves in harms way, but we do so because to do otherwise would not give us the self-satisfaction we desire.

[QUOTE]At one stroke you rid humans of altruism, goodness, kindness and nobility, and make them all calculated acts designed to do nothing else but benefit the supposed altruist.[QUOTE]

Yes. But as I said in my earlier post, the fantasy that is altruism has been of great service for our bonding.

[QUOTE]I don't go for it - we are better than that.[QUOTE]

Yes we are better than that, but whilst we live lives based on fantasies, we will remain as we are.
-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 08:57 AM

Blacknad wrote:
[QUOTE]And again the two following definitions of altruism are being used interchangeably:

1. Instinctive cooperative behavior that is detrimental to the individual but contributes to the survival of the species.

2. Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.[QUOTE]

As an animal, humans herd together for protection, food and sex. To get those things, some individuals are forced to place their lives on the line to prove their value to the herd. Risking death ensures acceptance and appreciation from the herd.
-
Sue
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 09:09 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Blacknad wrote:
"The reason that a school of fish 'ball'
Is ...
Hey.. Blacknad did not write that.

Blacknad
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 09:09 AM

I wrote: "Donating organs, giving blood, helping the poor, going to the aid of another - are in no way examples of altruistic behaviour, as they are instead examples of selfishness."

DA Morgan replied:
[QUOTE]Hardly. When you donate a kidney you put yourself at risk. In fact you are not allowed to be a donor without having the risks explained to you. This is definitely true with bone marrow. [QUOTE]

Yet to refuse to donate organs, or give bone marrow may bring more ?risks? than if you had. For example: if you live in a culture, family or couple where the other member/s value donating a kidney, etc, and you decide you don?t want to take the risk of becoming ill or dying; you may find yourself shunned by your culture, disowned by your family, lose the love and respect of your partner ? and all because you went against their values.

Most people would prefer to risk death, than to risk losing the love and respect of their loved ones.

[QUOTE]But then I doubt you have any personal experience with living in a tribal society so I wonder upon what basis you would make such an absolutist statement.[QUOTE]

The ?tribe? I was referring to was ?Society?.

[QUOTE]Had you read this thread from the beginning you would have seen the statement that altruism, at its heart, is self-serving. Self-serving but not egotism. Few altruistic acts involve sitting back and carefully calculating the celebrity that will come if one rescues a drowning child. And having worked as a lifeguard for a few years I find your comment laughable. The only celebrity I received from 5 or 6 rescues was a sunburn. [QUOTE]

Egotism, which depends entirely on the emotions for its existence, is so tightly and intricately woven into the fabric of Society that most people consider it as ?normal behaviour?.

People serving the community in ways that Society values, rarely get public acclaim. What they do get is the deep emotional satisfaction that comes from also holding these same values. Some people find emotional pleasure in raging against the values of their community. By doing this they gain happiness from being ?different? and ?individualistic?. Either way, both are acting according to their egos.
-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 09:20 AM

Dehammer wrote:
[QUOTE]the please explain why people join the military. they know they have a good chance of dying, even during peace time. yet they put their lives on the line to protect their nation. soldiers do not value their individual self less than those who do not serve, yet they are more than capable of giving up those lives to protect others.

the same can be said of police, firemen, and others. how many police do you think have given up their lives for the good of the "tribe" they call their city. how many firemen lose their lives running in to fires to save children and adults. this activity is very much non conducive to the health of the individual self. it is vital to the health of the "tribe".[QUOTE]

Yes soldiers, firemen, police and other people who serve the community are much valued by society because they do the jobs that others aren't prepared to take on.

If it wasn't for these people, who find their greatest happiness in these sorts of high-danger jobs, we'd never have evolved the way we have.
-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 09:30 AM

DA Morgan wrote:
[QUOTE]Not one fireman running into the World Trade Center made a calculation about the celebrity that awaited if he got out alive. Not one person on United flight 93 tackled a hijacker out of egotism. I sure as heck didn't become a lifeguard because I expected to be on Shark Week. [QUOTE]

All of the above once again shows how easily we accept the fantasy of altruism. The firemen called to the World Trade Center didn?t have to think about whether or not they should do their job ? they just did it. Years before, they had already made the decision to take on the job of ?fireman?, knowing full well the risks and dangers. So, years before, they had already weighted up all the pros and cons, and had decided that their greatest satisfaction and happiness lay in this job.

The people who did tackle the hijackers on United Flight 93 also acted on deeply rooted instincts ? and yes, those instincts were egotistical.

When people feel threatened, some people fight back, whilst others surrender - fight or flight. You see this everyday, in all walks of life. Whichever way you end up acting, depends on your emotional attachments.

The people that fought back did so, because their greatest emotional satisfaction was to try to change what was happening, or to die in the trying. There would have been other people on that flight that did nothing to alter the situation, as they didn?t possess the same egotism as the ones that did act. If the plane had been saved, the ones who acted would have been pronounced heroes. And the ones that did not act would have been mostly ignored. As you can see, this is an entirely unfair situation, as both groups could only act from their different egotistical positions: that is, from their different emotional attachments. And these emotional attachments are as old as our species itself, and very hard to alter in any way.

[QUOTE]Sue's instincts are leading in the right direction but she goes off track and her conclusions are far from the mark.[QUOTE]

In what way do you think I've gone ?off track??

How are my conclusions ?far from the mark??

-
Sue
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 09:43 AM

Sue,

Can you prove that there are no selfless altruistic acts?

You Said - "because each individual has an ego commanding his every action, the concept of selflessness is thereby rendered absurd."

REP: You are stepping on very subjective ground here. You state that an individual HAS an ego governing actions. I would subscribe to Bundle Theory, as would many others, and reject the idea of an Ego as a seperate entity sitting in command. The brain is much more complex and fluid than that.

We cannot say that the brain does not have the ability to decide to act in another's favour even if there is no reward.

The idea that the concept of selflessness is rendered absurd comes at the end of assumptions and value judgements.

Prove to me that I am not capable of selflessness.

And the idea that there is always a reward so there is no selflessness makes an unwarranted logical leap:

Because there is always a reward therefore all acts are selfish assumes that our thinking always factors in the reward before acting. Prove it.

You write - "Unless you are egoless, you are selfish. Any act by the ego is to serve itself. We may place ourselves in harms way, but we do so because to do otherwise would not give us the self-satisfaction we desire."

REP: "There are many example of people giving their lives for another. Where is the satisfaction in self-annihilation?

You write - "Any act by the ego is to serve itself.!"

Again, can you prove it. It seems to be one of those arguments that is impossible to argue either way. Like the Shrink who tells you:

"You're in denial".

"No I'm not".

"Ah! See, you're in denial".


If we really follow your conclusions to their logical end then instead of rewarding soldiers or firemen with medals for bravery we could just as sensibly pillory them for being selfish b'stards. Big fan of Sartre are you?

Blacknad.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 12:58 PM

The altruism debate seems related to the freewill debate. It's something that I just don't think we have enough knowledge to definitely answer right now.

Just because something can reasonbly be explained by X doesn't mean that X is the explanation.
Posted by: soilguy

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 04:28 PM

Sue:

You quoted me out of context, changing the meaning of my post. I said I help kids without conscious thought, but when I do think about it, it can make rational sense.

It's rare when I help someone because I expect dividends in return.

In one way I can recognize "selfishness" in my acts of helping others: it makes me feel good to do it, and I sometimes feel bad if I pass up a good opportunity to help someone. I don't think that's the classic definition of selfishness, though.
Posted by: esin

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 04:53 PM

The real question being asked (imo) is are qualities such as virtue or altruism intrinsic to man or are they acquired for this lifes' circumstance (i.e. are they learned). The answer is, simply, that all expression is a mixture of both~
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 07:24 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
Yes soldiers, firemen, police and other people who serve the community are much valued by society because they do the jobs that others aren't prepared to take on.

If it wasn't for these people, who find their greatest happiness in these sorts of high-danger jobs, we'd never have evolved the way we have.
-
Sue
you obviously were not around after the vietnam war. the soldiers comeing home and even those who served in other areas were dispised and taunted. there were no parades then, no one showering them with the 'value' of their sacrifice.

you obviously have never served. few if any serve for the "greatest happiness in these sorts of high-danger jobs", mainly because its not the danger that makes them happy. I did not go to the military because i wanted glory. i went because of my sister, who could not even read the oil stick in her car, nor figure out how to take care of it. i went because of my brother, who great as i believed he was, could never live outside of a small farm town. i went because of a friend that wanted to be a rock singer. i went because of a cousin that wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. do you think these people would have had the choise to be what they wanted under communism, under a dictator, nor could hundreds of other people's sisters, cousins, brothers or friends. My father is a farmer. he choises what crops to plant. would he have that ability under many of the regimes that have announced they were going to rule us. Did these people know why i went, no. it was never mentioned. they did not know. many did not care, nor would they if i had told them. my wife went for simular reasons. Did she go for the glory. what glory? a 2 inch picture stuck between the weddings announcements and the obits? who but here family would even notice? many of here family did not even care to notice. there is no "happyness in the danger" of repairing cameras. there is no "happyness in the dangerous job" of repairing an aircraft. My wife died flying from one air field to another, something that could have happened in civilian life. there was no more danger than to be happy about than in civilian life. people do not volenteer for service out of happyness in dangerous professions. nor do they do it for glory. they do it to serve and protect those who cant protect themselves. If my brother had to, he would have jumped off the tractor and picked up a gun, but it was not something he choise to do. i chose to do so, so that he would not have to, so that others would not have to. most others that i know that made that choice did so for simular reasons. is this altrusism, ill leave that for others to decide. all i can tell you is i had to go and that this is why.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 09:03 PM

Sue wrote:
"Yet to refuse to donate organs, or give bone marrow may bring more ?risks? than if you had. For example: if you live in a culture, family or couple where the other member/s value donating a kidney, etc,"

I'll grant that if you'll grant that it is not true for most the the inhabitants of the planet. And certainly not for those in first-world countries.

You seem to misuse the word "ego" in what you've written. If you want people to understand some pseudo-Freudian usage you need to explain your intent.

Sue further wrote:
"All of the above once again shows how easily we accept the fantasy of altruism. The firemen called to the World Trade Center didn?t have to think about whether or not they should do their job ? they just did it."

You seem awfully determined to be RIGHT. They just did it equates in the real-world with intrinsic behaviour ... we call it instinct. And it is altruistic. You are mincing words at the expense of intellectual integrity.

Blacknad challenged you to provide a reference and you didn't. I know it is terribly unfriendly to do so and often gets in the way of people who wish to pontificate. But this IS a science forum and you really do NEED to provide some supporting material other than torturing the English language to support your point-of-view. Can you?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/09/06 09:19 PM

dehammer wrote:
"is this altrusism, ill leave that for others to decide. all i can tell you is i had to go and that this is why."

Yes it is!

Been there.
Done that.
Got the T-shirt too.

We have a country with leadership that not only never served but intentionally dodged telling us about the noble sacrifice in Iraq. We have Sue, who has apparently never done an altruistic act in her life, pontificating on altruism.

Welcome to the new world where reality = reality show. If it is staged ... it must be true.

Tell you what Sue ... someday when you are out swimming in the ocean ... and you see a shark approaching a child ... you make a decision as to whether to swim toward the child or scramble back to the beach with your tail between your legs. And by all means make that decision based upon the opportunity for fluffing your ego.
Posted by: anyman

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 09:15 AM

Quote:
Just because something can reasonbly be explained by X doesn't mean that X is the explanation.
hmm...

that is very interesting coming from an evolutionary guy in a thread on evolution

of course, evolution is not a reasonable explanation for the living world around us, but you guys claim it is

keep the evolutionary faith alive
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 09:31 AM

actually it is the only one that does. that is because evolution is the only theory that fits all the known fact. if there are more than one explination that fits all the facts then one of them must be wrong, and it could be that both are. in cases like these, science looks for more facts to determine which is right or that will fix the theories. faith will ignore anything that does not fit. show me a theory that fits all the known fact that does not include the theory of evolution and will discuss it. case in point is the idea that dinosars were all wiped out by the flood. this ignores the fact that their remains are a lot older than man and the fact that they are buried (in some cases) in tar pits that would not have existed during the flood. most of all it ignores the fact there is no evidence of a world wide flood.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 02:43 PM

TFF wrote:
"Just because something can reasonbly be explained by X doesn't mean that X is the explanation."

In a failed attempt at being clever, anyman wrote:
"that is very interesting coming from an evolutionary guy in a thread on evolution"

Creationists just can't keep things in context.
No educated person claims that evolution is the explanation just because it's reasonable.

My statement above is consistent with what I have said innumerable times in this forum; namely, that unless something produces hypotheses that are testable, then it isn't addressable by science.

We can debate all day about the reality of altruism (or free will), but as of this moment, neither has been fully answered by science. I say this in ignorance, actually. I haven't actually been looking at the evidence here. And this is something that marks a significant difference between myself and you, anyman - I actually admit that the reason I may be unaware of any evidence that decides the issue of altruism is that I haven't actually looked.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 05:08 PM

In response to:
"ust because something can reasonbly be explained by X doesn't mean that X is the explanation."

Anyman wrote:
"that is very interesting coming from an evolutionary guy in a thread on evolution"

What, pray tell, is interesting about the restatement of the obvious? We don't have an "evolutionary faith" ... we have proof. Change your tag line to: "keep the ignorance alive."
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 10:14 PM

Blacknad questioned:

[QUOTE]
Can you prove that there are no selfless altruistic acts?

Prove to me that I am not capable of selflessness.

REP: "There are many example of people giving their lives for another. Where is the satisfaction in self-annihilation?

I wrote - "Any act by the ego is to serve itself.!"

Again, can you prove it. It seems to be one of those arguments that is impossible to argue either way.

I ? reject the idea of an Ego as a seperate entity sitting in command. The brain is much more complex and fluid than that.[QUOTE]

-
The self = emotional attachments. These attachments colour our relationship with the universe, and set us apart from each other - so that no two people are exactly alike. These attachments arise from our different environments, different genetics, different relationships, different values, different hormones, etc. This explains why we do the things we do, instead of doing other things. Our attachments cause us to discriminate between everything from what fruit we like to eat, the colour we admire, the people we love, the people we hate, the values we have, the jobs we do, etc.

Shared attachments allow us to bond together into groups. This has obviously benefited our survival; as to have an infant reach maturity takes a lot of hard work. Bonding together has made this job a lot easier.

Individuals bonding together, united by shared attachments and values, find that their needs and wants are met better by the group than if they had to act entirely independently. But; this also means that some attachments held by an individual may need to be suppressed, so as to not cause unrest or disorder in the group. For example: say a group comprises of three females and one male - with all the females depending on the male for food and protection. And say one of the females falls in deep water and is drowning. The male has to consider the possibility that, if he dives in to rescue her, he too might drown. This would mean that the other two females would be left alone and in peril. If he does decide to dive in to save her, it shows that he has either a greater attachment to her than to the other two females, or he is attached to his own abilities and strengths ? enough so to make him believe that he will succeed in saving her without falling victim himself. (From experience, we know that people who ?believe? they can do something often find out the hard way that they cannot.) No matter which way the story ends, what is clear here is that the male is at the mercy of his attachments.

This is also true for all people. They cannot escape their attachments, unless they are attached to do just that ? and that is rare indeed - usually left for the Great Philosophers to try for: people such as, Buddha, Jesus, Socrates, Chuang Tzu, Kierkegaard, Solway and Hakuin.

At base, altruism is a pleasant fantasy we have constructed to make us feel that we are more than just a herd animal. But as I?ve shown, our attachments cause us to remain just that.

-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 10:21 PM

Blacknad wrote:

[QUOTE]
If we really follow your conclusions to their logical end then instead of rewarding soldiers or firemen with medals for bravery we could just as sensibly pillory them for being selfish b'stards. Big fan of Sartre are you?[QUOTE]

Your "logical end" is a very skew-whiff idea indeed. How did you come to such a conclusion?

What has ?Sartre? got to do with this discussion?
-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 10:32 PM

TheFallibleFiend wrote:

[QUOTE]
The altruism debate seems related to the freewill debate. It's something that I just don't think we have enough knowledge to definitely answer right now.[QUOTE]

So that is your "definite answer" on the issue?

[QUOTE]
Just because something can reasonbly be explained by X doesn't mean that X is the explanation. [QUOTE]

What about reason and logic - are you saying that it is absolutely impossible for us to use those tools to uncover the truth about things?
-
Sue
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 10:56 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:


What about reason and logic - are you saying that it is absolutely impossible for us to use those tools to uncover the truth about things?
-
Sue
Reason and logic can certainly get to the bottom of things, but it is also true that conclusions that we have reasonably come to have been proven false by empirical research.

So the question is, how do you know that your reasoning is accurate? There is nothing in what you post that would lead me to believe that it is anything other than your very strongly held opinion, and the degree of strength with which we adhere to an opinion is no indicator of its veracity.

You can state these opinions without anything objective to support them, mainly because they are beyond argument. I cannot prove we are capable of altruism, and you cannot prove we are not. You BELIEVE that all of our decisions are based purely upon self interest, and I do not.

Impasse. Just like free-will/determinism. Maybe you have a definitive answer for that one too wink

Interesting debate, but you will have to present some evidence of your conclusions if you wish to be taken seriously on this site.

Blacknad.
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 11:13 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
Blacknad wrote:

[QUOTE]
What has ?Sartre? got to do with this discussion?
-
Sue
Sartre tried to free us from the fantasy that life had any objective meaning. You, on a smaller scale, are trying to free us from the fantasy that we can act selflessly - so out goes kindness and sacrificial love etc. Like Sartre, it strips things bare and is a very bleak view of life.

Blacknad.
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/10/06 11:58 PM

Blacknad wrote:

[QUOTE]
Reason and logic can certainly get to the bottom of things, but it is also true that conclusions that we have reasonably come to have been proven false by empirical research.

So the question is, how do you know that your reasoning is accurate? There is nothing in what you post that would lead me to believe that it is anything other than your very strongly held opinion, and the degree of strength with which we adhere to an opinion is no indicator of its veracity.

You can state these opinions without anything objective to support them, mainly because they are beyond argument. I cannot prove we are capable of altruism, and you cannot prove we are not. You BELIEVE that all of our decisions are based purely upon self interest, and I do not.

Impasse. Just like free-will/determinism. Maybe you have a definitive answer for that one too

Interesting debate, but you will have to present some evidence of your conclusions if you wish to be taken seriously on this site.[QUOTE]

Going by what you have written, your reason tells you that ?reason can certainly get to the bottom of things? but is always subject to new evidence coming to light which could cause it to be ?proven false?. Which boils down to the idea that there are no certainties ? except, of course, your idea that there are no certainties.

As you can see, your point is poorly thought out. Perhaps your use of reason needs more practice.

I also thought it very funny indeed, you stating that you could not show evidence of the existence of altruism, and that that was to be accepted as good enough, but continue on by telling me that without my showing any evidence of the non-existence of altruism, my thinking on this subject will be rejected outright.

Are you trying to be funny?

Is this your idea of a joke?

I have spent post after post giving detailed evidence of the truth about this topic. So far, not one person has brought anything to the table that was anything more than their whimsical feelings on this issue.

How about you use the little reason you possess to figure out the truth about this issue. I would welcome the debate.

-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 12:05 AM

soilguy wrote:

[QUOTE]
You quoted me out of context, changing the meaning of my post. I said I help kids without conscious thought, but when I do think about it, it can make rational sense.

It's rare when I help someone because I expect dividends in return.

In one way I can recognize "selfishness" in my acts of helping others: it makes me feel good to do it, and I sometimes feel bad if I pass up a good opportunity to help someone. I don't think that's the classic definition of selfishness, though.[QUOTE]

-
My point is that we have evolved to have attachments, and that these attachments drive our lives. The fact that you feel ?good? and ?bad? about your actions, only goes to highlight how deep rooted these attachments are.

We live in a species that, for the most part, considers acts of selfishness unpalatable. We like to think that people would want to do the right thing by each other because ?we are all human?, or because ?doing the right thing by others is just the fair thing to do?. Of course, most people may feel this way, but they surely do not act it. Every day, in all walks of life, people are trying to make their mark on the world by: winning that job contract, getting that parking space, putting prices up to make an extra dollar, getting that girl of your dreams to go out on a date with you, winning that soccer match, and on and on and on. To achieve these things, one has to be selfish - because if you did stop and consider the needs of the other competing contractor, the other driver, the consumer, the other guy who also wants to date the same girl, the other team ? you may indeed decide that their needs and wants were greater than yours, and stop yourself from striving to win these things.

Of course, most people never consider the consequences of their actions and just blunder on through making ?the best of life?. For the most part, people just turn a blind eye to acts of selfishness which doesn?t affect them too directly, or too harshly. Every now and then they may kick up a storm about the issue, but they quickly fall back into the comfort of their own selfish lives ? just like the rest of their family, their neighbours, their community?

-
Sue
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 12:06 AM

Blacknad asked:
"Can you prove that there are no selfless altruistic acts?

Prove to me that I am not capable of selflessness."

Sue replied:
"Where is the satisfaction in self-annihilation?"

You were asked to provide a reference. Not to pontificate and further torture the English language. It would appear that you are expressing a personal opinion shared by no one else. Did you forget this is a science forum?

And, further, please don't reference Socrates and others in a vain attempt to at being authoritative. Not one person you named was an expert in mammalian behaviour and you carefully ignored my question so I will put it to you yet again:

"If you observe a shark swimming toward a child in the water ... do you swim toward the child or away?"

The question really isn't that hard to answer.

And here are a couple more for you Sue:

1. Are you an organ donor?
2. Are you registered as a marrow donor?
3. What non-profits do you donate time helping?
4. Have you ever helped an elderly person you didn't know by holding a door for them?
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 12:09 AM

esin wrote:

[QUOTE]
The real question being asked (imo) is are qualities such as virtue or altruism intrinsic to man or are they acquired for this lifes' circumstance (i.e. are they learned). The answer is, simply, that all expression is a mixture of both~[QUOTE]

What do you think caused the concepts of ?virtue? and ?altruism? to arise in man?

-
Sue
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 12:45 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
Individuals bonding together, united by shared attachments and values, find that their needs and wants are met better by the group than if they had to act entirely independently. But; this also means that some attachments held by an individual may need to be suppressed, so as to not cause unrest or disorder in the group. For example: say a group comprises of three females and one male - with all the females depending on the male for food and protection. And say one of the females falls in deep water and is drowning. The male has to consider the possibility that, if he dives in to rescue her, he too might drown. This would mean that the other two females would be left alone and in peril. If he does decide to dive in to save her, it shows that he has either a greater attachment to her than to the other two females, or he is attached to his own abilities and strengths ? enough so to make him believe that he will succeed in saving her without falling victim himself. (From experience, we know that people who ?believe? they can do something often find out the hard way that they cannot.) No matter which way the story ends, what is clear here is that the male is at the mercy of his attachments.
the problem with this arguement is that it predisposes that the persons stops and thinks about the dangers and consequences of that act. as has been proven many times, such as proven by your comment that "From experience, we know that people who ?believe? they can do something often find out the hard way that they cannot", it is rare for someone to stop to think in these cases. people react from gut reactions. either their fear stops them from acting, or their desire to aid is strong enough to overcome the all too human fear. this is why people go out into danger to save a total stranger. this is why a mother will throw away her life to protect a child. this is why men battle beast that have, at least in the past, had a great chance of killing them or their families. people dont rush into a burning building to save another persons life because they want rewards. they do it because the other person will die if they do not act and act quickly. people dont rush out to save a person drowning because they want to get their name in the papers. they do it because the other person is in peril.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 01:33 AM

I don't know Sue. What do you think causeed the concept of waffling, weaving, spin-doctoring, disembling, and obfuscating?

Everyone that comes to this forum comes as a stranger. We form opinions of them based upon what they post and whether they can put forward a cogent argument. Right now, my evaluation, is that you:

avoid answering direct questions
avoid providing references
express personal opinions as fact at the level of "Why?" ... "Well because I say so"
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 01:36 AM

Well said dehammer. So far Sue has provided not a single reference to support her statements and has done everything possible to ignore answering a direct question.

Perhaps we should remind her of the whites that participated in ending slavery in the US or the Germans that helped smuggle Jews out of Germany.

But why bother. She'd probably make some oblique reference to Pliny or Zeus or Gatoraide.
Posted by: esin

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 03:35 AM

Quote:
What do you think caused the concepts of ?virtue? and ?altruism? to arise in man?

-
Sue
imo, the confluence of time and Nature...survival/be survived~


dehammer wrote:
"is this altrusism, ill leave that for others to decide. all i can tell you is i had to go and that this is why."

DA Morgan wrote:
Yes it is!

Yes it is! ~regards
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 04:39 AM

dehammer wrote:

[QUOTE]you obviously were not around after the vietnam war. the soldiers comeing home and even those who served in other areas were dispised and taunted. there were no parades then, no one showering them with the 'value' of their sacrifice.[QUOTE]
-
Yes they did ? they showed that they did not value their sacrifice.

As you experienced, humans can be quite contrary. One minute you?re the greatest; next you?re the scum of the earth. It all depends on the circumstances at the time.
-
[QUOTE]you obviously have never served. few if any serve for the "greatest happiness in these sorts of high-danger jobs", mainly because its not the danger that makes them happy. I did not go to the military because i wanted glory. i went because of my sister, who could not even read the oil stick in her car, nor figure out how to take care of it. i went because of my brother, who great as i believed he was, could never live outside of a small farm town. i went because of a friend that wanted to be a rock singer. i went because of a cousin that wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. do you think these people would have had the choise to be what they wanted under communism, under a dictator, nor could hundreds of other people's sisters, cousins, brothers or friends. My father is a farmer. he choises what crops to plant. would he have that ability under many of the regimes that have announced they were going to rule us. Did these people know why i went, no. it was never mentioned. they did not know. many did not care, nor would they if i had told them. my wife went for simular reasons. Did she go for the glory. what glory? a 2 inch picture stuck between the weddings announcements and the obits? who but here family would even notice? many of here family did not even care to notice. there is no "happyness in the danger" of repairing cameras. there is no "happyness in the dangerous job" of repairing an aircraft. My wife died flying from one air field to another, something that could have happened in civilian life. there was no more danger than to be happy about than in civilian life. people do not volenteer for service out of happyness in dangerous professions. nor do they do it for glory. they do it to serve and protect those who cant protect themselves. If my brother had to, he would have jumped off the tractor and picked up a gun, but it was not something he choise to do. i chose to do so, so that he would not have to, so that others would not have to. most others that i know that made that choice did so for simular reasons. is this altrusism, ill leave that for others to decide. all i can tell you is i had to go and that this is why.[QUOTE]
-
People make decisions based on their attachments. Go to war, or go to jail. Go to war for my family and friends, or stay at home and suffer guilt and shame.

Attachments carry people along on a roller coaster ride of happiness and sorrow.
-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 04:54 AM

DA Morgan wrote:

Sue wrote:
"Yet to refuse to donate organs, or give bone marrow may bring more ?risks? than if you had. For example: if you live in a culture, family or couple where the other member/s value donating a kidney, etc,"

[QUOTE]
I'll grant that if you'll grant that it is not true for most the the inhabitants of the planet. And certainly not for those in first-world countries.[QUOTE]

-
The example I gave could easily be turned the other way round: that is, if you did agree to donate organs and your culture, family, etc, didn?t want you to, and threatened to disown you, or not respect you anymore ? you may then feel that your desire (whatever it may be) is not worth losing your loved ones for.

It all comes down to how strong your attachment is.
-

[QUOTE]
You seem to misuse the word "ego" in what you've written. If you want people to understand some pseudo-Freudian usage you need to explain your intent.[QUOTE]

-
Ego = Attachments.
-

[QUOTE]You seem awfully determined to be RIGHT. They just did it equates in the real-world with intrinsic behaviour ... we call it instinct. And it is altruistic. You are mincing words at the expense of intellectual integrity.[QUOTE]

-
Are you suggesting that ?intrinsic behaviour/instinct? is not subject to cause and effect?
-

[QUOTE]
Blacknad challenged you to provide a reference and you didn't. I know it is terribly unfriendly to do so and often gets in the way of people who wish to pontificate. But this IS a science forum and you really do NEED to provide some supporting material other than torturing the English language to support your point-of-view. Can you?[QUOTE]

-
Are you saying that an individual must always have his or her intellectual authority acknowledged by others before YOU can establish for yourself if what they are saying is true or not?

If that is the case ? where is your reference?

Not that it would influence me one iota ? as I judge people by their minds ? not by what others think of them.

-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 05:02 AM

DA Morgan wrote:

[QUOTE]
Been there.
Done that.
Got the T-shirt too.[QUOTE]

-
Do you reduce life down to these few sentences because you feel jaded?

What about this forum? If you are not at all curious about life, the universe and everything ? why then write to a forum which strives to explore these things?

-
Sue
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 05:27 AM

What's wrong Sue? Why can't you answer the question about the shark and the child?

Did you not understand the question?

Do you not understand how it relates directly to the topic we have been discussing which is altruism?

Do you fail to realize that it is a situation faced in the real world, from time-to-time, by real people?

Which is it Sue? Are you going to swim toward the child or the beach?

Perhaps you could just respond with a single keystroke: "B" for "BEACH" or "C" for "CHILD".
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 05:45 AM

dehammer wrote:

[QUOTE]the problem with this arguement is that it predisposes that the persons stops and thinks about the dangers and consequences of that act. as has been proven many times, such as proven by your comment that "From experience, we know that people who ?believe? they can do something often find out the hard way that they cannot", it is rare for someone to stop to think in these cases. people react from gut reactions. either their fear stops them from acting, or their desire to aid is strong enough to overcome the all too human fear. this is why people go out into danger to save a total stranger. this is why a mother will throw away her life to protect a child. this is why men battle beast that have, at least in the past, had a great chance of killing them or their families. people dont rush into a burning building to save another persons life because they want rewards. they do it because the other person will die if they do not act and act quickly. people dont rush out to save a person drowning because they want to get their name in the papers. they do it because the other person is in peril.[QUOTE]

-
As I?ve said already ? our attachments are deeply rooted in us ? so much so, that we do not have to ?think? before we act. That is why some people do the most horrible things to each other in the name of love, peace and kindness.

For example: a woman tells her husband that she will love him forever, but then meets someone who she finds more attractive, and runs off with him. The husband reminds her that she had said that she would love him forever. She replies that that was then, and this is now.

Armies fighting on different sides of the battle field both feel that they are fighting for what is right.

A man runs into a burning house to save his neighbour, only to perish himself, whilst his neighbour survives. His heroic deed leaves behind a wife and two small children, who end up losing their home and lifestyle because they have lost their sole breadwinner. The neighbour helps out for as long as he can, but he too has a mortgage to pay, and small children to feed and educate.

As we can see, the combination of attachments and circumstances is what comprises our existence. If we did take our lives more seriously and consider our attachments, we would then be able to understand our actions better and thereby deal more wisely with circumstances as they arose.

-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 09:59 AM

DA Morgan wrote:

[QUOTE]
What's wrong Sue? Why can't you answer the question about the shark and the child?

Did you not understand the question?

Do you not understand how it relates directly to the topic we have been discussing which is altruism?[QUOTE]

-
Could you explain how it relates to this topic?
-

[QUOTE]
Do you fail to realize that it is a situation faced in the real world, from time-to-time, by real people?

Which is it Sue? Are you going to swim toward the child or the beach?

Perhaps you could just respond with a single keystroke: "B" for "BEACH" or "C" for "CHILD".[QUOTE]

-
I never bothered to respond to that paragraph because I've made clear in all of my posts what the answer is. But to stop your nagging, here is my answer.

"Child or Beach"? It of course would depend on my attachments at that time. Having lived on an Island when I was younger, I've spent a lot of time in the ocean swimming, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, etc, and therefore have run into quite a few sharks. Perhaps because of this experience, I might go the child?s rescue. The fact that I?m now middle-aged and unfit would make any rescue attempt more difficult, but I still might give it a go.

As I keep saying: our attachments are always changing due to changing circumstances. Because of this fact, it is impossible to predict what will happen in the future.
-
Sue
Posted by: Blacknad

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 10:12 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
As I?ve said already ? our attachments are deeply rooted in us ? so much so, that we do not have to ?think? before we act. That is why some people do the most horrible things to each other in the name of love, peace and kindness.

For example: a woman tells her husband that she will love him forever, but then meets someone who she finds more attractive, and runs off with him. The husband reminds her that she had said that she would love him forever. She replies that that was then, and this is now.

Armies fighting on different sides of the battle field both feel that they are fighting for what is right.

A man runs into a burning house to save his neighbour, only to perish himself, whilst his neighbour survives. His heroic deed leaves behind a wife and two small children, who end up losing their home and lifestyle because they have lost their sole breadwinner. The neighbour helps out for as long as he can, but he too has a mortgage to pay, and small children to feed and educate.

As we can see, the combination of attachments and circumstances is what comprises our existence. If we did take our lives more seriously and consider our attachments, we would then be able to understand our actions better and thereby deal more wisely with circumstances as they arose.

-
Sue
Sue,

There is no content here.

You write - 'As we can see...'

I wouldn't take that forgranted. I don't see that your points coherently bring us to 'see' anything.

Is there anything you can point to that backs up your position besides your own 'infallible' logic - or did you just have a eureka moment in the bath one day?

This may be acceptable in high school but you can't get away with it here. I direct you to:

www.psychomumbojumboagogo.com

Blacknad.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 02:44 PM

TheFallibleFiend wrote:

tff: "The altruism debate seems related to the freewill debate. It's something that I just don't think we have enough knowledge to definitely answer right now."

SH: "So that is your "definite answer" on the issue?"

TFF: "That is my answer until I stumble on to a stronger conclusion that has some consensus in the scientific community."

tff: "Just because something can reasonbly be explained by X doesn't mean that X is the explanation."

sh: "What about reason and logic - are you saying that it is absolutely impossible for us to use those tools to uncover the truth about things? "

What about reason and logic? It takes more to be reasonable and logical than merely to invoke the words. A thing can sound reasonable and be logically consistent and yet have no discernable correspondence with physical reality. That's why science exists - a scientific theory has to produce testable hypotheses which would disprove it, if it were wrong. This is the central point that separates modern science from religion.

I'm not asserting that altruism is more than illusory, nor am I asserting that the question is inherently unanswerable. Right now you have explanations - that's a good start. Are there experiments you might devise that could disprove a generalized statement of these explanations, if it they are wrong?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 05:34 PM

I wrote:
"What's wrong Sue? Why can't you answer the question about the shark and the child?"

Sue responded:
"Could you explain how it relates to this topic?"

No I can't Sue. It is just a question you seem wholly incapable of confronting and answering so I will ask it yet again.

If you look out into the water and see a child swimming and a shark's fin in the area do you swim toward the child or the beach.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 09:50 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
DA Morgan wrote:

[QUOTE]
Been there.
Done that.
Got the T-shirt too.[QUOTE]

-
Do you reduce life down to these few sentences because you feel jaded?

What about this forum? If you are not at all curious about life, the universe and everything ? why then write to a forum which strives to explore these things?

-
Sue
he used those words to indicate to me that he had been in the same place as i and understood where i was coming from. there was no need for more.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 09:59 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
Yes they did ? they showed that they did not value their sacrifice.
so where did they get satisfaction from the value of their sacrifice being showered on them. you claimed this was the reason they went. If this was the reason, why did those who saw this think they would get it instead when they returned.

Quote:
People make decisions based on their attachments. Go to war, or go to jail. Go to war for my family and friends, or stay at home and suffer guilt and shame.

Attachments carry people along on a roller coaster ride of happiness and sorrow.
-
Sue
what jail. that is only for those who are avoiding the draft. there are ways to do it even during the draft that does not involve having to "suffer guilt and shame". during peace time when there is no draft, there is do discussion of avoiding jail. during these times it is a choice of where to go and when. just because there are connections that make you want to go, IE, family and friends, does not mean that you have to go. few people feel any guilt or shame from not going to the military during peace time. Is it any less altruistic to join the military to safeguard your family and friends during peace time, just because you have friends and family. My family would have been much happier if i had stayed on the farm and helped the family rather than risking my life to go where i needed to be to protect them.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 10:14 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
As I?ve said already ? our attachments are deeply rooted in us ? so much so, that we do not have to ?think? before we act. That is why some people do the most horrible things to each other in the name of love, peace and kindness.

For example: a woman tells her husband that she will love him forever, but then meets someone who she finds more attractive, and runs off with him. The husband reminds her that she had said that she would love him forever. She replies that that was then, and this is now.

Armies fighting on different sides of the battle field both feel that they are fighting for what is right.

A man runs into a burning house to save his neighbour, only to perish himself, whilst his neighbour survives. His heroic deed leaves behind a wife and two small children, who end up losing their home and lifestyle because they have lost their sole breadwinner. The neighbour helps out for as long as he can, but he too has a mortgage to pay, and small children to feed and educate.

As we can see, the combination of attachments and circumstances is what comprises our existence. If we did take our lives more seriously and consider our attachments, we would then be able to understand our actions better and thereby deal more wisely with circumstances as they arose.

-
Sue
it appears to me you are arguing against yourself. the man that runs into the burning house does not take the time to consider that he will leave his wife and child without a husband and father who brings home the bacon. according to you, he would never go in because of the high possibility that he would leave them without food and shelter.

the wife that leaves her husband after telling him that she loves him, either never did (she lied possibly to herself) or something happen (wife beating husband?) to make her change her feelings for him. what does that have to do with altruism.

the armies fight for what they believe, and what they believe the enemy believes. I once heard a story of a German pow during ww2 who was very depressed. a guard tried to cheer him up saying that the pow might be home by Christmas. the pow was shocked to find out that the people he had been fighting for 5 years believed in Christ, something he had been told only Germans did. a large number of the Nazi soldiers were fighting a holy war to take christianity to the rest of the world. a large number of Japaneses believe that their emperor was from god (or a god) and that he would bring the world to peace. does these facts mean that they were less altruistic than the allies? some of the leaders may have been criminals but the soldiers were not.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/11/06 11:11 PM

dehammer wrote:
"here are ways to do it even during the draft that does not involve having to "suffer guilt and shame"."

Yeah. And if you did them well you could some day grow up to be the President, Vice President, or Secretary of Defense of the United States.

Does anyone see them expressing sincere regret?

dehammer asks:
"Is it any less altruistic to join the military to safeguard your family and friends during peace time"

No it is not. Many of those currently in Iraq joined during peace time: Probably almost all of them. Life doesn't come with guarantees

Now Sue about the child and the shark. Can you answer a simple question? Swim for the child at some personal risk or the safety of the beach?

And while you are contemplating this incredibly difficult problem of ethics, morality, personal value system, bravery, and cowardice ... tell us about how it is all about ego again.

And a few quotes, Sue, to contemplate while facing the most difficult question of your life:

?Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.?
~ General Omar Bradley

?Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.?
~ Chief Edward F. Croker
Chief of Dept. NYFD

Oh and Aristotle who you dared to reference:
?Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.?
You should read him sometime.

And here's one for you in honor of your fear of a simple question:

?The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.?
~ Meg Cabot
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 01:28 AM

Blacknad wrote:

[quote]
There is no content here.

You write - 'As we can see...'

I wouldn't take that forgranted. I don't see that your points coherently bring us to 'see' anything.

Is there anything you can point to that backs up your position besides your own 'infallible' logic - or did you just have a eureka moment in the bath one day?

This may be acceptable in high school but you can't get away with it here.[quote]

-
But you do agree to allow each other to ?get away with? sitting in your little sewing circle and gossiping amongst yourselves. What you will not allow here, is serious debate.

You continue to ask me to ?back up? my argument when not once has anyone presented an argument for the true existence of altruism ? unless you expect me to accept your wishy-washy sentiments instead of a rational argument. That, I can not do; as I value rationality, and not sentiment.

I?ve present examples of the logical truth that altruism doesn?t exist time and time again. Now it is up to you to do the same.

Come on guys ? surely having a deep interest in getting to the roots of all life, has meant that you don?t take anything as truth unless you first push reason to its very extreme, and in so doing, ensure that any tenets you live by, accord with reason and logic. No one wants to live a lie ? do they?

-
Sue
Posted by: Sue Hindmarsh

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 01:43 AM

TheFallibleFiend wrote:

[quote]
That is my answer until I stumble on to a stronger conclusion that has some consensus in the scientific community.

Just because something can reasonbly be explained by X doesn't mean that X is the explanation.[quote]

I wrote:
[quote]What about reason and logic - are you saying that it is absolutely impossible for us to use those tools to uncover the truth about things?[quote]

TFF replied:
[quote]What about reason and logic? It takes more to be reasonable and logical than merely to invoke the words. A thing can sound reasonable and be logically consistent and yet have no discernable correspondence with physical reality. That's why science exists - a scientific theory has to produce testable hypotheses which would disprove it, if it were wrong. This is the central point that separates modern science from religion.[quote]

-
Well you guys are doing a good job of masquerading as religious fundamentalist with all your sentimental irrational posturing.

Why can?t you stand by your own thinking on this matter? You?re prepared to trust some other people?s opinions on topics, but not your own?

Why not try? Construct a ?logically consistent? argument for the existence of altruism, and we?ll debate it.

I?ve done it by showing that altruism doesn?t exist due to all human action being caused by our attachments. I?ve explain very clearly that it is impossible for us to do things unselfishly whilst we have an ego. This is a logical statement, based on the Law of Identity: A=A. That is: on the one side we have the non-existence of altruism equallingthe fact that each and every one of us has an ego, which causes us always to act in self interest. It can?t get any simpler than that.
-

TFF continued:
[quote]I'm not asserting that altruism is more than illusory, nor am I asserting that the question is inherently unanswerable. Right now you have explanations - that's a good start. Are there experiments you might devise that could disprove a generalized statement of these explanations, if it they are wrong?[quote]

-
Well, how about you think about it for a while, and then come back when you are ready to put forth an argument on this matter.

-
Sue
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 01:52 AM

Again Sue about the child and the shark. Can you answer a simple question? Swim for the child at some personal risk or the safety of the beach?

What is it about this question that you can't face?

Anyone over 6 years old could answer it with ease? I say that because I had the opportunity, today, to ask a 6 year old what the right thing to do was. She didn't seem nearly as paralyzed with fear about it as you are.

So again Sue about the child and the shark.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 03:22 AM

Sue H wrote: "Well you guys are doing a good job of masquerading as religious fundamentalist with all your sentimental irrational posturing."

First, I'm an individual. I do not agree with every point that every one else is attempting to make. I have disagreed strongly with others on this forum in the past and probably will in the future.

Second, you're a perfect example of the "give the kid a nail" phenomenon. What I've asked you for is an experiment that could concievably disprove your thesis. This is not "irrational posturing." This is what science requires - actual science, and not just the pop sci stuff that apparently "informs" your thinking on the subject.

Check out Karl Popper's "Objective Knowledge" or review a few of Stephen Gould's essays.

sh: "Why can?t you stand by your own thinking on this matter? You?re prepared to trust some other people?s opinions on topics, but not your own? "
Whose opinion do you suggest I am trusting over my own? I'm fallible. Other people are fallible. This is why we have the scientific method - so we can overcome this limitation. I think you're spouting nonsense you heard or read somewhere else - and you're deluded into thinking that being obnoxious is the same thing as being logical or making an argument.

sh: "Why not try? Construct a ?logically consistent? argument for the existence of altruism, and we?ll debate it."

tff: That's what religions do. You're missing the point. Something has to be more than just logically consistent to be scientific. A scientific theory has to generate hypotheses which could potentially disprove the theory, if it is wrong.

sh: "Well, how about you think about it for a while, and then come back when you are ready to put forth an argument on this matter."

Why don't you go read Popper - carefully - and come back when you actually understand what you're talking about? You have a story that potentially explains altruism. Science is more than just stories that explain things.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 04:28 AM

Sue wrote:
"Well you guys are doing a good job of masquerading as religious fundamentalist with all your sentimental irrational posturing.

Why can?t you stand by your own thinking on this matter? You?re prepared to trust some other people?s opinions on topics, but not your own?"

ROFL!

This will be new material for you so if you have any questions please ask:

http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html

Now why don't you stop playing games and trying to divert attention and answer the question about the child and the shark?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 04:31 AM

Note to other forum participants.

At the time Sue showed up (that isn't you Kate is it?) we were discussing altruism.

Since Sue proposed the preposterous she has done everything possible to divert attention and focus from that subject.

I suggest she be dragged back to that topic so as not to invite another to troll here at SAGG.

How about it Sue? We'd like to have another member of the group but your behaviour is pure anti-science. Can you address the questions raised about your posts or does that not coincide with your agenda?
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 06:20 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Yeah. And if you did them well you could some day grow up to be the President, Vice President, or Secretary of Defense of the United States.

Does anyone see them expressing sincere regret?
unfortunately extreamly true. people that do that often make great politicians because they are such good liers that they can lie to themselfs and believe it.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 06:33 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
But you do agree to allow each other to ?get away with? sitting in your little sewing circle and gossiping amongst yourselves. What you will not allow here, is serious debate.
it appears what you call serious debate is simply agreement with you. what you don't accept is people not understanding where you are and not seeing what you see. that is not serious debate.

Quote:
You continue to ask me to ?back up? my argument when not once has anyone presented an argument for the true existence of altruism ? unless you expect me to accept your swishy-washy sentiments instead of a rational argument. That, I can not do; as I value rationality, and not sentiment.
we have presented arguments, which you ignore. you are trying to claim that the "swishy-washy sentiments" have no power over people, yet those save sentiments are what send people to the rescue time after time. your claim that pointing to them is not a rational argument is the same thing as saying that we don't have feeling, that we are nothing more than machines programmed a long time ago. that is not rational, just another sentiment.

Quote:
I?ve present examples of the logical truth that altruism doesn?t exist time and time again. Now it is up to you to do the same.
sorry, i must have missed them with all the diatribes against people being nothing but biological machines with no feeling. please show me where you had logical truths. I'm afraid that in rereading your remarks all i found was personal opinions with no evidence or logic to back them up. if i were in the guessing game, id bet that you were hurt by someone failing to do something altruistic or by the lose of someone who did something you considered foolish.

Quote:
Come on guys ? surely having a deep interest in getting to the roots of all life, has meant that you don?t take anything as truth unless you first push reason to its very extreme, and in so doing, ensure that any tenets you live by, accord with reason and logic. No one wants to live a lie ? do they?

-
Sue
first id have to find the reason logically followable. then i would have to wonder why it needed to be question. if its a lie, then there must be a reason that everyone on the planet save you believes it. perhaps you can enlighten us on why no one else sees it your way.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 06:44 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sue Hindmarsh:
Why can?t you stand by your own thinking on this matter? You?re prepared to trust some other people?s opinions on topics, but not your own?
actually, i question everyone opinions, my own included. any opinion that is not question is not complete. you have to know why you have that opinion or it is just as likely to be someone else's instead of yours.

Quote:
Why not try? Construct a ?logically consistent? argument for the existence of altruism, and we?ll debate it.
i believe we have, but you just keep claiming that they are neither logical nor acceptable. who are you to decided if they are logical or acceptable. who are you to decide if we are offering you real questions or to expect us to accept your opinion without anything to back it up.

Quote:
I?ve done it by showing that altruism doesn?t exist due to all human action being caused by our attachments. I?ve explain very clearly that it is impossible for us to do things unselfishly whilst we have an ego.
no what you have done is make a statement based on your opinion and then claimed everything that was contrary to it was wishy-washy

Quote:
This is a logical statement, based on the Law of Identity: A=A. That is: on the one side we have the non-existence of altruism equallingthe fact that each and every one of us has an ego, which causes us always to act in self interest. It can?t get any simpler than that.
perhaps you should explain how you decided that there was a non-existance of altrusim on one side before you claim it proves that there is none on the other side of the equation. perhaps you could show us where you got your Law of Identity equation from in the first place.

Quote:
Well, how about you think about it for a while, and then come back when you are ready to put forth an argument on this matter.
or you could think about it and actually read the arguements with your eyes and mind open. then come back when your ready to discuss the arguements already offered rather than dismissing them as meaningless.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/12/06 05:17 PM

As dehammer points out Sue wrote:
"I?ve done it by showing that altruism doesn?t exist due to all human action being caused by our attachments."

Do you believe what you wrote Sue?

Then demonstrate some ethical and moral values and answer the question about the child and the shark.

And no this will never ever go away until you either answer the question or leave.
Posted by: Danismyname

Re: Evolution - 08/14/06 06:38 AM

Definition of altruism : Regard for others, both natural and moral; devotion to the interests of others.

Seems to me to be doing something for others (anyone) without expecting to be rewarded. Yes it might make you feel good (and thus technically be a 'reward') and that is what doing something selfless should do.

These "attachments" to others of doing stuff because of attachments to these others still falls under the characteristic of altruism... but they are not the only form of altruism. And if someone thinks they are, well, that is just sad, because doing stuff for others unconditionally is quite nice.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/14/06 04:20 PM

Lifeguards, the example I have used with Sue, never know who they are rescuing and never have contact with them again after the rescue (except in the rarest of cases). Sue's thesis looks like Swiss cheese after the mouse had a go at it.

And she's neither the moral nor the ethical backbone required to step up to this obvious fact and acknowledge that she is incorrect.

How about it Sue? How about the child and the shark?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Evolution - 08/15/06 12:10 AM

In the main I object to Sue's coming in here and spouting off opinions as though they were researched facts. Everything she's written has been little more than unsubstantiated opinion, unsupported by any other source than her own imagination. IF and until she could come up with some professional backing for her statements, they remain opinions, not facts. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, they ought to be honest enough to label it as such, IMHO.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/15/06 02:00 AM

I think it is really rather clear. We all have opinios about things. There are opinions we have not supported by science such as my opinion about there being a timeless dimension or the invisible purple rhinoceros. And there is nothing wrong with stating them and labelling them, as you say, as such.

But if someone wishes to claim something as FACT then the onus is upon them to invest at least five minutes at google or fazzle and provide some support for the statement. If they can't find support ... then it IS just personal opinion.

Thank you Rose.
Posted by: larfor

Re: Evolution - 08/17/06 02:48 PM

If evolution is a series of mutations or changes that occur in order for a species to adapt, why aren't there millions and millions of fossils that contain mutations that didn't work. The survival of the fittest theory would lead one to conclude that the overwhelming majority of mutations would be failures until the exact right mutation or combination thereof finally came along. Failed mutation fossils should be strewn throughout the world like fallen leaves.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/17/06 03:03 PM

most of the mutations would not show up as a difference in the fossils. an example would be a slightly different color of the eyes of a dinosaur. can you tell what the norm was? no, there is no indications of this in the fossils. therefore and change in them would not show up either. same with changes in the color of the skin.

the vast majority of bones crumple without ever leaving a trace. since the vast majority of bones would not leave a trace in the bones and the vast majority of bones are destroyed, there is very little likelyhood of us finding one.

on the other hand, there are many different species that only have a few partial examples of. perhaps one of these is actually a mutation and we have never found the evidence of the normal of that speices.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/17/06 03:06 PM

"If evolution is a series of mutations or changes that occur in order for a species to adapt, why aren't there millions and millions of fossils that contain mutations that didn't work. "

1) The probability of any particularly dead animal being fossilized is extremely small. The only way we see ANY fossils is because the animals represented were so numerous at one point.

2) It's not clear how you would recognize a mutation that didn't work even if you saw it.
Posted by: larfor

Re: Evolution - 08/17/06 03:12 PM

"the more man learns, the more he realises, he really does not know anything"

Agreed. So evolution is still just an unproven theory? Especially with the mystery of how an eye would evolve if the organism or animal had never seen light before, right? Or did light sensitive cells just happen with no known need?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/17/06 05:08 PM

larfor asks:
"If evolution is a series of mutations or changes that occur in order for a species to adapt, why aren't there millions and millions of fossils that contain mutations that didn't work."

The other answers you received are good but there are another reasons I think far more important.

1. The chances of a mutation be positive are substantially lower than being negative. Most mutations large enough to be noticed will result in an embryo that never implants or come to term.

2. If the mutation is large enough to be noticeable in a fossil it may also result in a deformity that will cause a parent to disown it.

3. If a mutation is in the soft tissues likely it won't be recorded in the fossil record but might well result in an increase in susceptibility to illness or be noticeable to a predator as it is well known that predators single out animals that are different. There is not much left to fossilize after a lion has eaten the meat and the rest of the fauna has chewed on the bones.

Look around you at humans with genetic mutations. Take sickle cell anemia for example? What record will there be in the fossil record? None.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/17/06 05:33 PM

"Agreed. So evolution is still just an unproven theory?"

Non sequitur. Evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. No fact is 100% certain. No fact is unquestionable. This is a false dilemma manufactured by creationists. Nobody has ever seen a hydrogen atom, but we don't insist that their existence be taught as anything other than fact to high school students.

"Especially with the mystery of how an eye would evolve if the organism or animal had never seen light before, right?"
No.

"Or did light sensitive cells just happen with no known need?"
It's not about "need." It's about advantage.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/17/06 08:32 PM

What comes through from these trolls is their ignorance of what science is.

They are coming from a theological background where some self-annointed expert: Doctorate in divinity discussing astrophysics or genetics or biology tells them that if they don't have all the answers ... he or she does. Here they are. Concrete. Black or white. And if you don't buy this bag of hammers you are going straight to heck for an eternity of pain and suffering.

Science, on the other hand, has nothing to sell. Doesn't threaten eternal damnation. Doesn't call other scientists heathens. And is mature and wise enough to say things such as: "Einstein was correct but we know there is a better theory."

What the religious zealots lack is integrity. The integrity to acknowledge that they don't have all of the answers.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/17/06 08:39 PM

B - I - N - G - 0 !
B - I - N - G - 0 !
B - I - N - G - 0 !

And BINGO was his name-o!
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/18/06 04:43 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by larfor:
So evolution is still just an unproven theory? Especially with the mystery of how an eye would evolve if the organism or animal had never seen light before, right? Or did light sensitive cells just happen with no known need?
they did not just evolve into eyes. they started out with various types of sensoring abilities. some were usefull, others not. plants can sense sunlight. just put a plant near a window and watch as the leaves gradually turn towards that window. plants that did not have this ability were soon overshadowed by ones that could this was one of the first step on the way to creating eyes.
Posted by: Johnny Boy

Re: Evolution - 08/18/06 09:03 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Science, on the other hand, has nothing to sell. Doesn't threaten eternal damnation. Doesn't call other scientists heathens. And is mature and wise enough to say things such as: "Einstein was correct but we know there is a better theory."

What the religious zealots lack is integrity. The integrity to acknowledge that they don't have all of the answers.
Some of the "scientists" on this BB surely act like zealots when mainstream science is critisized. I am looking forward to the "maturity" in science you are talking about. It rarely manifests in practise. Instead of calling people "heathens", scientists have their own name for people they want to denigrade: "cranks".
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/18/06 06:59 PM

You mean like people that call editors of peer reviewed journals idiots?

Yeah we are all-to-human.

At least we don't burn them at the stake.
Posted by: Johnny Boy

Re: Evolution - 08/19/06 09:10 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
You mean like people that call editors of peer reviewed journals idiots?

Yeah we are all-to-human.

At least we don't burn them at the stake.
I have not called all editors idiots. When a person acts like an idiot then there is no reason not to point it out to him/her. As you say "at least we do not burn them at the stake"; however, there are other means to inflict pain and these have become highly developed within the scientific community. The "system" needs an urgent overhaul. Judgments should be made on scientific content and not on the probability that a new idea is unlikely when it is not in line with previous Nobel Prizes.
Posted by: Oli Jon

Re: Evolution - 08/19/06 04:18 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by DrBarr:

Please...I beg you...everyone, stop with the lame response "it takes a really long time". You all know this is an unacceptable response.
I guess its impossible to win in the lottery then, since I have never won ;-)
Quote:

DA Morgan, AIDS does not evolve, it adapts. Evolution necessitates speciation.
2 families of the same species "adapt" to a diffrent environments, they can become so diffrent from each other that they become diffrent species by definition, they become incapable of interbreeding. This takes time because the genes change randomly ( not always for the better)

Quote:

Furthermore, I just can't ignore the fact that several thousand generations of fruit flys have yet to produce a single advantageous mutation.
Its impossible to win in lotto ;-)
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/19/06 09:16 PM

JB wrote:
"I have not called all editors idiots."

And I didn't say you did ... please don't misquote me. Go back and reread the sentence.

Hey I've never won the lottery so it must be impossible. Case and mind closed!
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Evolution - 08/20/06 03:19 AM

"Furthermore, I just can't ignore the fact that several thousand generations of fruit flys have yet to produce a single advantageous mutation."

That's not relevant even if it were possible to judge it clearly. What is true is that it has produced a new species of fruit fly, as per

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910_1.html
Posted by: TwoSheds

Re: Evolution - 08/20/06 12:32 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by larfor:

Agreed. So evolution is still just an unproven theory? Especially with the mystery of how an eye would evolve if the organism or animal had never seen light before, right? Or did light sensitive cells just happen with no known need?
All theories are unproven to a certain extent, but all good theories have a lot of experimental evidence to support them. Newton's theory of gravity is still just an unproven theory, but we can use it to send Astronauts to the moon.

Your questions are all good questions, but do you think we should simply answer them with "God did it" and leave it at that?
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Evolution - 08/21/06 04:45 AM

Twosheds, you've summed the whole thing up brilliantly. Let's hope we never find out how gravity works or someone will patent it and we'll have to pay a gravity acount. Imagine having your gravity cut off.
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/21/06 11:32 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by terrytnewzealand:
Twosheds, you've summed the whole thing up brilliantly. Let's hope we never find out how gravity works or someone will patent it and we'll have to pay a gravity acount. Imagine having your gravity cut off.
it would not be possible to turn off gravity on a planet or something, other wise the planet would come apart. on the other hand, understanding gravity would allow artificial gravity to be created and perhaps antigravity.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Evolution - 08/22/06 01:50 AM

I'm sorry dehammer. It was a joke. We've had a long history in New Zealand of privatizing essential services. It hasn't always been to the advantage of the bulk of the people, just to the already wealthy.
Posted by: TwoSheds

Re: Evolution - 08/22/06 02:16 AM

joke read, understood...laughter
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Evolution - 08/22/06 02:47 AM

Terry in New Zealand:
You have to understand Der Hammer; when someone asks him how he's doin', his standard answer is that he is "functioning within normal parameters."

Incidentally, we're neighbors - I live in Samoa.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Evolution - 08/23/06 07:34 AM

Great Wolfman. Western or American?
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/23/06 04:11 PM

Heading for Australia and New Zealand in November if all goes according to plan.
Posted by: terrytnewzealand

Re: Evolution - 08/24/06 08:20 AM

DA Morgan, Get in touch. I'm not sure if we're allowed to leave private email addresses here. Let me know. I live way north of Auckland if it's possible for someone from a huge country to imagine it as being possible. I lived in australia for a while. Been to the Southern United States. Music you know. Sorry we're getting off the subject of evolution here.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/24/06 04:57 PM

click on "directory" (upper right)
click on "member number" (upper left)
scroll down to my name
click on "more"
click on the envelope
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/24/06 08:04 PM

or just click on the envelope above one of his posts.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Evolution - 08/30/06 07:55 PM

DA- I just got back from a week in the Fiji Islands; Dude, YOU CAN DIVE WITH SHARKS!! They have a feeding program where they (Grey Reef Sharks) come from all over. If you don't Scuba dive, they also have a set-up for Hookah diving. What an adrenaline rush! Try to fit it into your itinerary.

Evolution? Oh, yeah. Sharks have remained unchanged for millions of years.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/30/06 08:12 PM

I'm a diver and most recently swam with a Whale Shark off the coast of Belize. Well I swam. It effortlessly left me gasping for breath.

I may just come your way ... but not until 2007 at the earliest. My only remaining major travels this year are to the UK and/or Australia-New Zealand.

Be careful about feeding gray reef sharks ... they have been known to find divers rather tasty. ;-)
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/30/06 10:11 PM

hmm, maybe we can send some bible thumpers for a little grey reef scuba adventure.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/30/06 11:47 PM

Sort of like the ones that from time-to-time jump zoo fences to prove that lions are smarter than they are?
Posted by: dehammer

Re: Evolution - 08/31/06 02:24 AM

yea, maybe they can show how much their faith can protect them from the sharks.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Evolution - 08/31/06 05:09 AM

DA: We came upon a sleeping Whale Shark two Decembers ago while fishing. They're supposed to be fairly common here, but that's the only one I've ever seen. Was the WS you saw purple? I couldn't get over how beautiful, and how uniform, the spots were. It was between 20 and 25 feet long. There were two remoras in front of it that were close to two feet long.
Posted by: DA Morgan

Re: Evolution - 08/31/06 05:35 AM

Wolfman asks:
"Was the WS you saw purple?"

I don't think so but due to the lighting it could have been just about any color it wanted and the only thing I would have seen was "WOW!"

On another dive I had to make it past about a 7 ft. bull shark patrolling the surf for dinner and the only color I saw on that dive was yellow. First time I ever hurt myself squeezing the handle of a dive knife. My hand ached for almost two days.