Does Evolution Beg the Question on Survival of the Fittest? - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14836714
quetzalcoatl wrote:RT, guess I'll have to plead nolo contendre. Kaleidoscopic awareness will forever remain outside my grasp. I think I reached my limit failing to understand David Bohm's Implicate Order. But it's okay, I really love surface detail, it's the basis of poetry.
Well, as you may know- I'm quite fond of poetry, it is a fine craft. As my signature states, the world will need more than one note to make beautiful music. Bohm's theory is one note in a fascinating symphony of human intelligence. Furthermore, I'm a Neoist (branch of the international Post-Dogmatist Group), so I'm intellectually flexible. I may study Bohm one week and the standard model of physics next week, but I will not go around saying one theory is more valid/true, because all theories are human stories trying to explain/compress reality. If you want to investigate my on-going human story- I made three videos (search- Beyond One & Zero, youtube) that may help you understand Bohm's Implicate Order and my approach to quantum resonance, human systems, consciousness, evolution, etc. Right now, Bohm's perception is very similar to my perception of reality. If Bohm's theory is flawed, so be it, the world is full of interesting perspectives!


I may seem excited about certain subjects, but I never go out and read a book just so I can make witty comments. I like to read books that help me explore ideas that originate (so I'd like to believe) in my head. 'The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.' -George Orwell. I suppose I'd describe myself as an authentic thinker. Most people are trained to be other people (or as Oscar Wilde stated- “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”), thus people appear to be suspicious when someone like myself has authentic ideas, authentic thinkers threaten their inauthentic thoughts. Sure, intellectual property doesn't exist and we all influence our body of knowledge, but folks can at least rearrange our body of knowledge in a new- thought provoking- way. In-fact, my struggle may revolve around creating something new. Alas, sometimes inventors discover the same thing despite being separated by sea and land... What does that tell you?
#14839308
Potemkin wrote:Some people should be forbidden by law from reading popular books on quantum mechanics. I'm thinking something along the lines of ten lashes for a first offence, and escalating it from there. :eh:



I must be as insecure as Potemkin as I agree with his opinion. Too often misunderstood scientific ideas are popularised and giving different meanings. Sometimes this is done to try to imbue an ideology with scientific credibility. These days it is mostly statistics that are used to shore up the credibility of an argument.

Regarding fitness and evolution:

fitness = relative fecundity

For evolution to occur, there must be variation within a population, fitness differences between that variation, and natural selection operating on those fitness differences.

The result of these three factors will be change in gene frequencies within that population. All kinda dry and boring, really.

I should point out that the fittest don't always survive. A great example was the Permian extinction. Didn't matter how fit genes might have been relative to alternative genes in whichever polpulation. So contingency is a significant factor on the gene frequencies in surviving populations and indeed which entire gene pools (species) survived.

Indeed, some evolution (change in relative gene frequencies) is basically stochastic. But this is basic stuff. It gets interesting when we start asking questions.

Take the term 'reptile'. Is this really a valid group? Presently lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodiles are grouped under this term but birds and mammals are excluded. Note, non-amniote tetrapods (ie: amphibians) are necessary excluded.

Lizards, snakes, crocodiles and birds are all diapsids. Parsimony suggests they share a common ancestor. See, given birds are basically dinosaurs, and thus belong to the Archosaur group, as do crocodiles, then birds should be reptiles since they share a common ancestor with the rest of that group.

Turtles and mammals may or may not share a common ancestor with each other or the diapsids after the evolution of amniotic tetrapods. Or, to put it another way, amniotic tetrapods might have evolved from amphibians more than once.

So 'reptile' might be taken as a synonym for diapsid if either mammals or turtles had a separate origin from amphibian ancestors. Alternatively, 'reptile' might be a synonym for amniotes if all share a common origin from an amphibian ancestor.

So 'reptile' seems redundant as a term to me. Isn't evolutionary biology facinating?
#14839322
So 'reptile' might be taken as a synonym for diapsid if either mammals or turtles had a separate origin from amphibian ancestors. Alternatively, 'reptile' might be a synonym for amniotes if all share a common origin from an amphibian ancestor.

So 'reptile' seems redundant as a term to me. Isn't evolutionary biology facinating?

Cladistic analysis ftw! :up:
#14839325
Of course there is always a problem with deciding one view is consistently correct and another isn't. Shit happens. If the theory is true that humans may have been reduced to as few as 40 couples worldwide then we are accidents that are not the result of natural selection, but that does not say natural selection does not happen. Many things can be true at once in our world.
#14839330
If the theory is true that humans may have been reduced to as few as 40 couples worldwide then we are accidents that are not the result of natural selection, but that does not say natural selection does not happen.

But natural selection is not itself a deterministic process. Natural selection works on the products of random mutations in the genetic code; indeed, whether a given organism survives long enough to have viable offspring is often a matter of chance too. After all, a meteor might hit the Earth and wipe out all animals over 10kg in weight. Which is precisely what happened 66 million years ago. And it could happen again.
#14839336
It still comes down to a theory trying to explain reality, and reality is always more complex than we wish to admit. We attempt to simplify in order to understand, but that only results in a simplistic view.
Natural selection occurs but does it really mean anything?

Edit: That ^ sounded really cool after several pain pills downed with 4 quick beers. :lol: I am not sure what I mean either. :D
Last edited by One Degree on 01 Sep 2017 14:29, edited 1 time in total.
#14839339
One Degree wrote:It still comes down to a theory trying to explain reality, and reality is always more complex than we wish to admit. We attempt to simplify in order to understand, but that only results in a simplistic view.


It is actually the reverse: we begin from simpler models and develop more complex models to capture the majesty of nature.

You are using an electronic. How do you think that thing was designed? Maxwell's Laws are built from...it's iterative.

You don't begin to understand nature by saying "wow, this is so majestic" - I agree, you say "Nature is majestic. If I pick up a rock. it falls. And if I throw it its path looks like that"

The path is affected by wind, friction, whatever. Start there.

Then thousands of years later you have a nuclear power plant.
#14839340
How can we grasp a process as a whole?
Understanding the plant and animal worlds was a major preoccupation of science in Goethe’s day, but he died almost 30 years before the publication of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. In his day Linnaeus ’s taxonomy was how people understood the natural world, by arranging and collecting things together according to common attributes. But Goethe also rejected this approach to grasping of a complex whole. Categorising something was no substitute for understanding it.
...
3. The Archetypal Phenomenon
Goethe’s solution to the problem of how to conceive of the whole was the Urphänomen – or archetypal phenomenon. The Urphänomen was the simplest, in-principle empirically observable thing or relation which displays all the essential properties of a whole complex process – such as an organism or a social phenomenon. Despite all his study of natural forms and their development, Goethe was not able to solve the problem of identifying an Urphänomen. Goethe died in 1832, and it was only in 1838 that microscopes became sufficiently powerful so that the cell could be recognised as the basic unit of all living organisms, and that all the essential characteristics of a living creature were already present in the cell. In the domain of biology, the cell was the Urphänomen which Goethe had been searching for.

Bildungsroman
Goethe also insisted that Nature and every one of its creatures had to be understood as a process, as a process of development; we could make sense of an individual person or phenomenon only by knowing it as moment in a process of development. Goethe invented the Bildungsroman, a form of novel which represents the personal development of the central character. Goethe believed that understanding any complex process meant grasping it as a process of development, not simply as having this or that characteristic which distinguished it from others. Every organism is just a moment in a process of development, and this is the second advice Goethe gave us on how to grasp things as a whole – take them as processes of development not as separate types. It was almost 37 years after Goethe’s death that Darwin revealed the principle which unified our understanding of the natural world, replacing Linnaeus’s taxonomy with a phylogenesis based on natural selection. Goethe knew nothing about natural selection, but Darwin’s discovery together with the cell theory, laid the basis for biology as a unified science, giving striking form to Goethe’s advice to understand creatures, not as types, but as moments in a process of development


Spoiler: show
Marxist Glossary: Ge - Gestalt
Gestalt is a common German word meaning ‘form’ or ‘figure’ as in ‘what a fine figure of a man’, but has special connotations which Goethe explained in this way:

“The Germans have a word for the complex of existence presented by a physical organism: Gestalt. With this expression they exclude what is changeable and assume that an interrelated whole is identified, defined, and fixed in character.
“But if we look at all these Gestalten, especially the organic ones, we will discover that nothing in them is permanent, nothing is at rest or defined – everything is in a flux of continual motion. This is why German frequently and fittingly makes use of the word Bildung to describe the end product and what is in process of production as well.
“Thus in setting forth a morphology we should not speak of Gestalt, or if we use the term we should at least do so only in reference to the idea, the concept, or to an empirical element held fast for a mere moment of time.”

Goethe was interested in the perception of Gestalten, and not only as an artist and critic, but as a natural scientist. Goethe saw Nature as a Gestalt (including its human observers) and particular complex phenomena, such as plant life, he also saw as Gestalten, every individual of which was an instance of the whole. The unique and original approach he devised for the conception of a Gestalt, he called the Urphänomen, or archetypal phenomenon.

By Urphänomen, Goethe understood the simplest possible unit of the complex whole, which exhibited all the essential properties of the Gestalt, but lacked any contingent attributes. In this way he could grasp the Gestalt both as a concept and as an appearance, so that the process could be understood viscerally and immediately, rather than by means of some force or principle which lies beyond perception.

Hegel appropriated Goethe’s conception of Gestalten des Bewußtsein, or ‘formation of consciousness’ (social formation for Marx), and transformed it into the Concept (Begriff), the key concept of his philosophy, each circle of the Encyclopaedia beginning from a Concept of its subject matter. Marx also appropriated Goethe’s idea of Urphänomen and Gestalt in his use of the commodity relation as the cell of bourgeois society, and the starting point for his analysis of Capital.

https://kapitalism101.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/abstraction-abstract-labor-and-ilyenkov/
This shows that abstraction can be arbitrary. If we are free to select one general feature over another we can radically change the concept of capital. If we choose only the ahistorical features we can make capital seem eternal. If abstraction is just seen as the identification of general features then we have no choice but to be arbitrary in our abstractions. But if abstraction is seen differently, as identifying the essential nature of an object, as identifying the “relation within which this thing is this thing” as Ilenkov puts it, then we can be scientific about our abstractions.

When we make an abstraction we want to select that aspect of the object which identifies its essence. Since the essence of things is in their relation to other things, we want to identify the essential relations which govern the object, abstracting away other non-essential aspects.
#14839342
The beauty of evolution that it is a result of the simple principles outlined by evolutionary theory. Outside of physics it's probably the most beautiful predictive scientific models in existence. To scoff at it as insufficiently explanatory shows a real lack of understanding of the theory.

Nothing makes sense in biology without it.
#14839343
Lexington wrote:It is actually the reverse: we begin from simpler models and develop more complex models to capture the majesty of nature.

You are using an electronic. How do you think that thing was designed? Maxwell's Laws are built from...it's iterative.

You don't begin to understand nature by saying "wow, this is so majestic" - I agree, you say "Nature is majestic. If I pick up a rock. it falls. And if I throw it its path looks like that"

The path is affected by wind, friction, whatever. Start there.

Then thousands of years later you have a nuclear power plant.


See my edit. We just need to keep aware of how little we know rather than insisting the little we know proves others wrong.
#14839358
I think the defense to being cautious about our knowledge is to not mistake our abstractions about reality as constituting reality itself. Which means we leave room for it being proportionately true about reality, but open to the possibility that we haven't adequately grasped all there is within the limitations of language.
But that doesn't make nonsense of our working models, which do apply to reality, it's just some seem to better explain nature of reality than other ones.
But Darwin's theory blew open a lot in how we viewed ourselves and what we could begin to discover.

To get a sense how the wrongness of previous things isn't in the binary of true/false but is relative, might enjoy Isaac Asimov's essay explaining how over time, we have presumably made increasingly more accurate conceptions about certain things. Which is a nice intuitive bulwark against that which would risk making all models equally valid. So that the flat earther or creationist may be seen as on just a valid terms as the evolutionary biologist and geologist or who ever is the expert about the earth's shape, probably instead an astronomer/physicist or something.
#14839359
Evolutionary theory is one of the few things we can know we know with a deep certainty.
You mean, the tip (like an iceberg) of a human evolutionary theory is something we can 'know' we 'know.' Our evolutionary theory compared to what? We've studied planet Earth (BTW, To date, we have explored less than five percent of the ocean), good job. That's one planet in one galaxy in a massive universe. Pofo likes posting encyclopedia entries, but members rarely engage in critical thinking. They just talk about what other people talk about. Sorry, but that's lame... What are you, a data robot?
You are using an electronic. How do you think that thing was designed? Maxwell's Laws are built from...it's iterative.
Technically, Maxwell's Laws shouldn't be described as 'his laws,' he simply discovered the laws and had an opportunity to share them with the world. We're in a feedback loop with nature, because we're working parts of nature. Humans like to fragment and compartmentalize phenomena because it compresses complex phenomenology. 'Maxwell's Laws,' must be a side-effect of something else. Everything is a dynamic system moving inside space-time. Stop pretending like things are separate just because it's easier for you to grasp. Maxwell's laws will be here without Maxwell, we never invent anything, we simply discover new patterns of perception. Finite sensibility vs infinite potentiality (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/).
The beauty of evolution that it is a result of the simple principles outlined by evolutionary theory. Outside of physics it's probably the most beautiful predictive scientific models in existence. To scoff at it as insufficiently explanatory shows a real lack of understanding of the theory.

Nothing makes sense in biology without it.
You can call it physics, and you can call it biology, but we label such things so we can study fragments of the whole, we're cognitively incapable of understanding the whole and experiencing what I call 'kaleidoscopic awareness.' Luckily, computers can calculate more information than the human mind, thus we can break away from mechanical, casual, linear thought. Hence research into non-locality, it's a different school of thought, and it will augment everything we know. :roll: . No one is 'scoffing' at our rudimentary theory of evolution, but I know it is far from complete as one body of knowledge. You can post a bunch of archaic literature and pretend you're saying something extremely important/novel, but you're simply regurgitating someone elses experience. You're not thinking, you're miming. That's boring and too easy. Take some intellectual risks, you may surprise yourself. Most of you will never discover anything new in your lifetime because you're satisfied with the pinnacle of NOW.

There is no proof of ignorance more common than conceit of knowledge

One thing I've learned about POFO (in particular), I can post something credible and scientifically significant, in my own words, and most of you ignore it because a forum image known as RT wrote it. Most of you lack discernment, and wouldn't be able to point out what is true or false unless I give you a quote from a dead person with a link attached to it. In other words, most of you seem to be incapable of thinking about thinking (aka critical thought).
Last edited by RhetoricThug on 01 Sep 2017 21:25, edited 2 times in total.
#14839468
Potemkin wrote:Cladistic analysis ftw! :up:


Shocks! Thanks for the thumbs up.

Actually, molecular evidence indicates turtles are closely related to archosaurs. The term diapsid refers to openings in the skull. Turtles are anapsids. So analysis of other traits, in this case molecular traits, shows the anapsid condition is derived.

Sauropsida might be the term to run with for all amniotic tetrapods except synapsids (mammals and extinct relatives) in place of 'reptile'. This is a highly successful group. Mammals are the odd one out.

As mammals ourselves, we like to think that we and our evolutionary lineage is special but in reality the mammals have been the 'also ran' of tetrapod evolutionary history. A lot of the results of evolution that we observe are due to dumb luck. We don't exist because our linage is superior, we exist because our ancestoral species got lucky.


mikema63 wrote:I'll also point out that population bottlenecks and other random processes like genetic drift are well understood and described in evolutionary theory. It's hardly some weird thing that counters natural selection as a driving force of evolution.


Yes, of course. But it is not widely recognised in layman understanding and I feel it needs to be explained to the general public.
#14839493
foxdemon wrote:Actually, molecular evidence indicates turtles are closely related to archosaurs.

Being closely related does not mean evolved and in no way proves the theory of evolution. They also say man is closely related to Chimpanzees, but that does not mean man evolved from Chimpanzees or the Chimpanzees evolved from Man. It is all a silly notion to begin with. Any person with common sense would not believe such nonsense. Only those that are stupid enough to allow themselves to be brainwashed and propagandize would even think such crap.
#14839498
Surely we're not going to refight the Scopes Monkey trial in this thread?




Dubayoo wrote:Evolution is not necessarily a process that amounts to the fittest organisms in an ecosystem surviving.


This is correct. Survival of the fittest is really survival of the least ill-fitted. Obviously evolutionary science is filled fascinating concepts such as the Red Queen theory and sexual selection all of which go into the mix to define how evolution produces change.

RhetoricThug wrote:Humans can intelligently guide ecosystems, thus we have the ability to transcend natural selection.


Yes, technology has basically annihilated space and time in so far as they were operating concepts that function on natural selection. This does not mean the theory is obsolete however, it would certainly continue to function on non-human planets and will presumably continue here long after we'e destroyed ourselves.

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