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Incredible book critiquing materialism and evolution

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Ego Tripping
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Dreamfortehwinz wrote:
I agree that the unidentified force that drives evolution can seem mysterious and almost intelligent. However, the mystery of this force diminishes greatly if the theory of microevolution leading to macroevolution is accepted.

Even if we reject the latter it would be fallacious thinking to assume that the seemingly mysterious and intelligent force is related to something outside of the physical.


I see it strengthening, not diminishing. Then again, that particular force that drives Evolution is the same force holding my atoms together, so its all the same imo.


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Neo
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Ego, I can't really see why you don't think natural selection makes sense. I understand entropy but I don't think it really applies here, could you explain your view a bit more?

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Ego Tripping
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

They aren't directly linked, I was speaking a bit off-topic when mentioning Entropy.

I would elaborate, but unfortunately I'm far too lazy, so I'll slowly creep out of this convo. Carry on.


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Neo
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Hehe ^^

EDIT: Perhaps this edit will make this post a bit more interesting... it looked so blank smile


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Dreamfortehwinz
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Ego Tripping wrote:
I see it strengthening, not diminishing. Then again, that particular force that drives Evolution is the same force holding my atoms together, so its all the same imo.


I'm not sure what you mean.

From my pov, accepting microevolution as a precursor to macroevolution makes the whole thing much less mysterious. Micro to macro basically says that you have all of these micro adaptations adding up until you cross a threshold. Once that threshhold is crossed, a new species is born by the power of some unidentified mechanism.

Yikes, I gotta get movin. I'll finish up this post later.


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1984
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

There is no 'unidentified mechanism': as you said, lots of adaptations, or variations in the genetic code, add up until one population possessing those variations ceases to be able to reproduce with another population (of a previously similar species) that doesn't possess the genetic variations. If you accept that variations in the genetic code can occur, through mutations/genetic drift/sexual variation through meiosis etc, then you surely must accept that eventually they will lead to a new species.

By the way there are other possible routes to speciation such as hybridisation, but this is thought to have only played a role in about 15% or so of plant species.


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Dreamfortehwinz
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

1984 wrote:
There is no 'unidentified mechanism': as you said, lots of adaptations, or variations in the genetic code, add up until one population possessing those variations ceases to be able to reproduce with another population (of a previously similar species) that doesn't possess the genetic variations. If you accept that variations in the genetic code can occur, through mutations/genetic drift/sexual variation through meiosis etc, then you surely must accept that eventually they will lead to a new species.

By the way there are other possible routes to speciation such as hybridisation, but this is thought to have only played a role in about 15% or so of plant species.


Microevolution != macroevolution. A bunch of instances of microevolution in a species does not make it a new species. It makes sense that macroevolution follows microevolution, but they are not the same. The mechanism that triggers the creation of a new species has not been identified.

IMO, macroevolution should follow microevolution, from a natural selection point of view.
Example: You have a species of animal living together. The population of this species becomes divided through whatever means and one of the groups is living in a different, new environment. Microevoltion starts doing its thing and the species in the new enviroment now has a bunch of traits in its gene pool that allow them to survive where they are, more readily.

Now, once you've accumulated adaptations that add up to a certain degree it would make sense that something happens(this is where that unidentified mechanism comes into play) to protect them - macroevolution. A new species is born that, while possibly able to still reproduce with the species it was separated from, has a formidable amount of protection against the deterioration of the traits that help it survive where it is.

This is why I think evolution becomes, perceptively, more logical.


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1984
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Quote:
Microevolution != macroevolution. A bunch of instances of microevolution in a species does not make it a new species.


I never said that it did, exactly. I said that eventually lots of changes to a population's gene pool, through microevolution, could lead to the population becoming a new species. This is logical: eventually the genetic changes will get so large that the population will become reproductively isolated from a population that used to be of the same species. And by the biological definition of a species once the two populations are unable to produce fertile offspring they are two seperate species.

Quote:
It makes sense that macroevolution follows microevolution, but they are not the same. The mechanism that triggers the creation of a new species has not been identified.


I agree they are not the same. But I think we might be using the terms in different ways, because I have always taken macroevolution to be the large scale patterns of evolution across higher taxa: the patterns of species richness across different latitudes, the frequency of distribution of body sizes etc.

Quote:
IMO, macroevolution should follow microevolution, from a natural selection point of view.
Example: You have a species of animal living together. The population of this species becomes divided through whatever means and one of the groups is living in a different, new environment. Microevoltion starts doing its thing and the species in the new enviroment now has a bunch of traits in its gene pool that allow them to survive where they are, more readily.

Now, once you've accumulated adaptations that add up to a certain degree it would make sense that something happens(this is where that unidentified mechanism comes into play) to protect them - macroevolution. A new species is born that, while possibly able to still reproduce with the species it was separated from, has a formidable amount of protection against the deterioration of the traits that help it survive where it is.

This is why I think evolution becomes, perceptively, more logical.


However, the mechanism that leads to a new species being formed is the progressive changes in a population's genetic code (through various mechanisms), that eventually lead to reproductive isolation, call it what you will. There doesn't need to be some unidentified mechanism, in theory there are plenty of possible mutations that could lead to reproductive isolation, it is just a matter of developing a set of chromosomes that are sexually (if you are a sexual organism obviously) incompatible with another organism's set of chromosomes.

I don't see why you don't accept this, because you are in effect saying something like 'I accept that small changes in the shape of a key alter it's characteristics, but there is some unknown mechanism that makes it change from a key that can open a specific lock to one that can't', when surely that mechanism is the one you just amditted to accepting???

By the way, you talk about a new species being formed which is still able to reproduce with it ancestoral species, but this is a fundamental error. No biologist considers a species to be seperate from another species if it can produce fertile offspring with that species. Take Donkeys and Horses, they can breed to produce Mules, but Mules cannot reproduce themselves, hence Donkeys and Horses are seperate species. Whereas many seperate subspecies, geographic races and varieties can interbreed, and these are therefore not seperate species, consider all the types of dog that can successfully interbreed to produce fertile offspring.


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Dreamfortehwinz
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Donkeys and horses can produce fertile offspring - it is, however, very rare. Similarly, polar bears and brown bears can produce fertile offspring.

There is more than one way to classify species. Genetic distinctions are the best, IMO.

EDIT: I got to the bottom of this. I've been informed of the workings of the random mutation. I retract my statements about the "mechanism" in question.


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Xetrov
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Ego Tripping wrote:
The Universe is assumed to be a Closed System. Evolution states that things change and grow seemingly more complex (this applies to Cosmic Evolution as well) but there's no explanation of where all this extra information is coming from to change something from a Protezoa to Human Being, no matter how much time is allowed for it to 'evolve.'


As I have understood it, the total chaos in closed system always increases, which does not mean decreasing chaos in a small part of it is impossible, just that chaos in other parts always grows more big as a result of it (if you get what i mean). Also, the question of where information comes from is alltogether a different one, I dont think the laws of thermodynamics explains this, only that overall chaos increases. This does leave space for such ideas as "God" etc, imo.


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mystic
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Ego Tripping wrote:
I think Evolution is very accurate. I think Natural Selection is a bunch of bullshit. At least, it is until they figure out what 'drives' the processes behind the functions of Natural Selection.


There's nothing strange about the processes behind natural selection. It's the automatic result of three simple facts everyone probably agrees on:

1. Every organism on this planet is able to produce more descendents than the amount who's able to survive (otherwise every population will die out in no time).
2. Within the same species there's a lot of individual variation.
3. At least a part of those variations is inherited by the next generation. Why? Because those organisms who have inherited the beneficial mutation will have a better growth and competition in comparison with others, so equally they will multiply faster and/or more than those who lack the beneficial mutation.

The logical result of those three points is the emergence of natural selection. A simple example of this is the fact that the amount of people who carry a specific gene for sickle cell disease is bigger in countries where malaria is thriving. Why? Because malaria caused a bigger selection pressure on our species in those countries. As a result of this external influence, natural selection did its work and favorable mutations who were otherwise cancelled out, were transfered to the next generations. These mutations then caused sickle cell disease which prevents malaria disease (through its carrier, plasmodium) from using the human red blood cells to become active in the human body. In those countries, sickle cell disease is a natural defense mechanism against malaria.


Quote:
A bunch of instances of microevolution in a species does not make it a new species. It makes sense that macroevolution follows microevolution, but they are not the same. The mechanism that triggers the creation of a new species has not been identified.


You're wrong on that. Microevolution is mainly about fenotypical differences which emerge after variability through positive mutations, selection and isolation. However, the different races and subspecies which arise from this mainly fenotypical evolution can still multiply by genotypical exchange. This is because they haven't evolved that much yet in order to develop different genotypes. However, if those microevolutionary circumstances continue (for instance with the Darwin finches on the Galapagos Isles), than in the end even the genotypes are different, and no intercourse with their relative organisms will give fertile descendents. As soon as the differences are also visible on the molecular genetical level of the genotype, then a new species has evolved.

Quote:
The Universe is assumed to be a Closed System. Evolution states that things change and grow seemingly more complex (this applies to Cosmic Evolution as well) but there's no explanation of where all this extra information is coming from to change something from a Protezoa to Human Being, no matter how much time is allowed for it to 'evolve.'


Three parameters: variability, selection and isolation. Those three, combined with a strong interplay with the physical and biological environment catalyzed the development of biodiversity. The basis of evolution are always positive random mutations who improve the fitness of the organism in correlation with the physical and biological environment. The fact that they're truly random mutations is strengthened by a long-term experiment which proved evolution is absolutely not repeatable because the adaptations resulting from the mutations are always different, even within the same circumstances.
So the extra information you're mentioning, is coming from the evergoing reorganisation, readaptation and fine-tuning of the interactions between the organism and its complete environment. All this is driven by mutations and natural selection. I don't see what's wrong with that picture..




Last edited by mystic on Sat 29 Jan, 2005; edited 1 time in total
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1984
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PostPosted: Sat 29 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

It's nice to see someone who doesn't fall under the sway of trendy non-rational/mystical thinking. Just because science might yet kill us all doesn't mean that it is always wrong about certain stories that it tells us about how the world works, at least to an approximation.

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mystic
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Well.. I don't want to disappoint you, but I was only referring to the physical manifestations of evolution, not about it's genuine cause. I don't think science has the authority to examine that cause, in the same way as mysticism hasn't got the authority to say physical evolution is completely rubbish. Both have their values, and science can only say something about the evolution of physical manifestation, not about the true cause of those manifestations themselves. In that sense I think science is doing a great job smile

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1984
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

That's a very reasonable view.

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Lebowsk1
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Jan, 2005  Reply with quote

Ahem..

Mystic:
Quote:
in the same way as mysticism hasn't got the authority to say physical evolution is completely rubbish.


If 'science' claims "physical" evolution can accuont for living beings in their entirety then I have a right to say "rubbish!" because I am not just a physical entity. There are other forces at work too, and some of these are of a 'higher' nature than the physical. For example, the intelligence that governs the growth and development of the physical form of an organism, the "genuine cause" as you put it.

I have no problem with science as long as it stays in its territory. In this age it has stepped into philosophical areas and made a mess. Unfortunately religion and 'philosophy' (which actually just became analytical linguistics) made such a mess before science that you can't really blame scientists too much... and yet the truth has always been there for those who care to look.


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