The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Londoner
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Londoner » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:44 am

PauloL wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:45 pm
I gave you an example where observer's mental status cannot have any role whatsoever, like Euromillions or PowerbBall, but you contradict that and didn't even concede those are random events (in the sense aleatory).
At the time, I thought it would be interesting to discuss lotteries as a side issue, and what 'random' might mean in that context, but it was evidently a mistake. Let's concentrate on the basics.

Assuming we are determinists, the lottery itself is determined in the same way as everything else in the universe. Your buying a ticket, the draw, everything, these are all determined. There is no such thing as a random event.

You may or may not take a determinist view - after all our exchanges I still cannot tell. I think this is an important question.
Universe is written in capital letter in English to the best of my knowledge, like Nature, Biology, Sun, Milky Way, Physics and so on. If I'm wrong, tell me.
You might add a capital letter to distinguish a particular example from a class of things, where both have the same name. 'Sun' to mean the nearest sun to earth, as opposed to the many other suns. You might capitalise 'Biology' if it was the name of a course. But 'Nature' with a capital is something you expect only in poetry.

You wrote:

When Nature adds a codon to an existing DNA chain...

This is capitalising nature because you are treating it as an agent, as if it was a person. Since DNA is part of nature, you are (literally) saying there is an agent: 'Nature' that acts on nature. Likewise:

Some renown scientists also claim that Universe evolved by natural selection.

This again presents 'Universe' as an agent. But the universe is simply 'what is'; it is 'everything'. Whatever state it is in, it is 'the universe'. Natural selection is part of the universe, not something outside it, acting on it.
When did I say evolution, or more exactly natural selection, implies any judgement? And because it doesn't, can't we judge that?
You wrote 'evolution remains in the grey zone'. I have been guessing why you think that; this was one possibility. But I would rather stop guessing and have you explain clearly what you mean.
Semantically speaking, the "right" word I used is an exaggeration of course. It means that reaction will only follow if any reagents likely to are present in the conditions that allow that. We could simply say if the right reagents are there, but you complicate and one must rephrase everything. This together with problems with English version used, which is meaningless for a foreign speaker aiming at communication only, makes things even more complicated.
I do not want to criticise you if you are writing in a language which is not your own; I could not conduct a philosophical discussion in another language. On the other hand, a close analysis of language is important. I think the ambiguities of language can create genuine philosophical problems, and when I say I do not understand exactly where you have a problem with evolution I mean just that.

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:27 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:44 am
Maybe you're right about capitals and I'm confusing that with rules in my own language. I checked a US source, I hope that applies to British English, too.

Even if a random event is deterministic, it's result is random anyway. Can you find a balanced die which, following large numbers theorem, doesn't have a probability of 1/6 for each face? No one could so far prove that a random event like a lottery isn't random because of determinism.

What I mean is whether natural selection acts on beings or not. If it does how on earth can it be non-random? If it's random how could it produce hemoglobin chain DNA?

Belinda
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Belinda » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:38 pm

Paulol wrote:
What I mean is whether natural selection acts on beings or not. If it does how on earth can it be non-random? If it's random how could it produce hemoglobin chain DNA?
This puzzles me. Are the mutations undergone by genes truly random(uncaused) or are they 'random' (inexplicable) ? Can anybody recommend a decent website with this information, please?

Londoner
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Londoner » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:05 pm

PauloL wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:27 pm
Even if a random event is deterministic, it's result is random anyway. Can you find a balanced die which, following large numbers theorem, doesn't have a probability of 1/6 for each face? No one could so far prove that a random event like a lottery isn't random because of determinism.
I do not think any real die could be absolutely balanced, nor could any throw be such that it had no effect on which number came up.

Suppose I simply drop the dice from a few millimeters. It will land showing the same face as before I dropped it. Suppose next time I add a certain degree of spin. Then the dice will still land according to that degree of spin. I add some extra movements... So at what point would the throw become random? If we had enough information about the way it was thrown, and any other circumstances, then we could always calculate how a dice would fall.

To put it another way, suppose I could throw exactly the same dice, exactly the same way, under exactly the same conditions as before. Why won't the dice come up with the same number again number this time?

The calculation of probability would be for a perfect dice, perfect in the sense of an object in geometry. The conditions would have to be completely neutral. But the real problem is that the throw itself would also have to be 'random', but that is impossible since every throw would be specific. I cannot throw the dice in 'no particular way', I can only throw them a particular way. So in any given throw, the probability isn't 1/6 for each number, it is always determined.

Of course, the theoretical dice and real dice are approximations of each other, so the sequence of numbers will approximate the theoretical odds, but they will not be identical.
What I mean is whether natural selection acts on beings or not. If it does how on earth can it be non-random? If it's random how could it produce hemoglobin chain DNA?
Natural selection is non-random in the sense that it is one aspect of a deterministic universe.

If we are interested in biology, then we select out one aspect of that universe - living things. We then draw attention to those aspects of the universe that relate to the thing we have selected, for example the conditions that determine whether living things can successfully reproduce or not. But these distinctions are created by us; in reality the whole universe is all one thing.

Suppose I was a geomorphologist, I might draw attention to the role of 'erosion' in creating land forms. But I do not think of 'erosion' as a thing distinct from physics or chemistry etc., such that it needs a special explanation for how it comes about. Similarly, 'natural selection' is not some metaphysical force that acts within the universe, it is just our name for one aspect of what the universe is.

Similarly, as it happens our universe contains DNA. If we are biologists we will be specially interested in DNA, but the existence of DNA is no more remarkable than anything else that exists in the universe. It came about through the same mechanism that governs everything else in the universe.

To revert to the dice, we do not ask for a special explanation if a '5' is thrown. We do not ask how such an event could occur if the dice was 'random'. We understand that the nature of dice is that sometimes the number will be '5', for the same reason it is sometimes '2', or '6'.

davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:06 pm

Belinda wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:38 pm
Paulol wrote:
What I mean is whether natural selection acts on beings or not. If it does how on earth can it be non-random? If it's random how could it produce hemoglobin chain DNA?
This puzzles me. Are the mutations undergone by genes truly random(uncaused) or are they 'random' (inexplicable) ? Can anybody recommend a decent website with this information, please?
But I've already addressed this -- and everything else here to a fare-thee-well. Did you read my post on mutations uncorrelated to the environment, or to the adaptive needs of organisms? THAT is what is meant by the "random" part of evolution.

As to PauloL's latest drivel, first: Natural selection does not act on beings. It acts on populations. Natural selection acting on mutations uncorrelated with the environment is the very definition of a non-random process. This has been explained to you so many times, in great detail. I'm well and truly done with this idiotic thread.

davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:08 pm

Londoner wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:05 pm


Natural selection is non-random in the sense that it is one aspect of a deterministic universe.
No, it's non-radom in the clear sense that whether the universe is deterministic or, natural selection culling genetic variation is not, not, NOT random!

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:45 pm

davidm wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:08 pm
Londoner wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:05 pm


Natural selection is non-random in the sense that it is one aspect of a deterministic universe.
No, it's non-radom in the clear sense that whether the universe is deterministic or, natural selection culling genetic variation is not, not, NOT random!
Yes evolution is far more about NOT surviving than it is surviving. An organism can carry many negative and neutral traits, as long as they pass on viable progeny. It's the organisms that fail to do so through weakness that drive fitness. This view helps understand why there is so much that NS seems not to explain, such as the appendix, male nipples, and psychopathy.

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:08 pm

Things are getting so metaphysical one can't even trust dice any longer.

Yes, DNA is the most fantastic molecule in universe. Without it, how could there be self-replication?

Whether natural selection applies to individuals or populations, it doesn't change much. Individuals are within populations and they're affected or contribute to natural selection.

Determinism is quite a philosophical puzzle, a typical question without answer.

How could you answer that? I can't devise a way. The only thing that happens to me is multiverse theory. According to this theory it's possible that there's an infinite number of universes in which everything that's possible to happen, however improbable it is, will happen an infinite number of times. In this sense, our reality might be called deterministic, but even in this case I have doubts.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:11 pm

PauloL wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:08 pm
Things are getting so metaphysical one can't even trust dice any longer.

Yes, DNA is the most fantastic molecule in universe. Without it, how could there be self-replication?

Whether natural selection applies to individuals or populations, it doesn't change much. Individuals are within populations and they're affected or contribute to natural selection.
You are really confused aren't you?

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:20 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:45 pm
[...] there is so much that NS seems not to explain, such as the appendix, male nipples, and psychopathy.
Those are soft questions for NS. The appendix is now believe to be a reservoir of intestinal flora, and probably has other roles not yet found (but not vital roles for sure as people can live without appendix, but they can also live without spleen). Male nipples are simple nature parsimony in which the same structure works for both sexes, one of which without further development (simpler than 2 different structures). Psychopathy is simply a variation. It's pathological in our view, but it's widely known that many psychopathology variations thrive well in our society, like psychopaths, and Asperger for instance, because people can't recognize them intuitively, not even after receiving education, unlike recognizing people with unlawful behaviors. We won't trust a thief but we'll trust a psychopath, at least as long as they don't commit a major crime, which they seldom do (contrary to popular belief).

I hope my English is not too bad here, or it will be even more confusing.

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:21 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:11 pm
You are really confused aren't you?
Perhaps not as much as you are.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:03 pm

PauloL wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:20 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:45 pm
[...] there is so much that NS seems not to explain, such as the appendix, male nipples, and psychopathy.
Those are soft questions for NS. The appendix is now believe to be a reservoir of intestinal flora, and probably has other roles not yet found (but not vital roles for sure as people can live without appendix, but they can also live without spleen). Male nipples are simple nature parsimony in which the same structure works for both sexes, one of which without further development (simpler than 2 different structures). Psychopathy is simply a variation. It's pathological in our view, but it's widely known that many psychopathology variations thrive well in our society, like psychopaths, and Asperger for instance, because people can't recognize them intuitively, not even after receiving education, unlike recognizing people with unlawful behaviors. We won't trust a thief but we'll trust a psychopath, at least as long as they don't commit a major crime, which they seldom do (contrary to popular belief).

I hope my English is not too bad here, or it will be even more confusing.
That's the most sense you have ever made. Unlike many people I like learning something new. It's refreshing. I knew that about so-called 'psychopathy' though, and suspect it's far mor common that people think. It might even be the default human condition, with empathy and compassion being a matter of education, shared ideas, and copied behaviour. As for male nipples, I thought that was because male and female embroyos are basicall the same in the first stages of development, with male gender developing post nipple development.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:22 pm

PauloL wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:20 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:45 pm
[...] there is so much that NS seems not to explain, such as the appendix, male nipples, and psychopathy.
Those are soft questions for NS. The appendix is now believe to be a reservoir of intestinal flora, and probably has other roles not yet found (but not vital roles for sure as people can live without appendix, but they can also live without spleen). Male nipples are simple nature parsimony in which the same structure works for both sexes, one of which without further development (simpler than 2 different structures). Psychopathy is simply a variation. It's pathological in our view, but it's widely known that many psychopathology variations thrive well in our society, like psychopaths, and Asperger for instance, because people can't recognize them intuitively, not even after receiving education, unlike recognizing people with unlawful behaviors. We won't trust a thief but we'll trust a psychopath, at least as long as they don't commit a major crime, which they seldom do (contrary to popular belief).

I hope my English is not too bad here, or it will be even more confusing.
You are so far off the point it is embarrassing.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:27 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:22 pm
PauloL wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:20 pm
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:45 pm
[...] there is so much that NS seems not to explain, such as the appendix, male nipples, and psychopathy.
Those are soft questions for NS. The appendix is now believe to be a reservoir of intestinal flora, and probably has other roles not yet found (but not vital roles for sure as people can live without appendix, but they can also live without spleen). Male nipples are simple nature parsimony in which the same structure works for both sexes, one of which without further development (simpler than 2 different structures). Psychopathy is simply a variation. It's pathological in our view, but it's widely known that many psychopathology variations thrive well in our society, like psychopaths, and Asperger for instance, because people can't recognize them intuitively, not even after receiving education, unlike recognizing people with unlawful behaviors. We won't trust a thief but we'll trust a psychopath, at least as long as they don't commit a major crime, which they seldom do (contrary to popular belief).

I hope my English is not too bad here, or it will be even more confusing.
You are so far off the point it is embarrassing.
Hence the 'seems'... :oops:

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:02 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:03 pm
That's the most sense you have ever made. Unlike many people I like learning something new. It's refreshing. I knew that about so-called 'psychopathy' though, and suspect it's far mor common that people think. It might even be the default human condition, with empathy and compassion being a matter of education, shared ideas, and copied behaviour.
Thanks for the compliment, something new.

They say psychopaths are 4% in western world. Some are beggars, others are criminals, but some (not that few) occupy important charges. These are in advantage for 2 simple reasons: people don't recognize them (try telling someone you think a CEO is Asperger or psychopath) and they don't care for anything except their aims (no family, no jobs, nothing will disturb their aims). A society of psychopaths wouldn't work, but they're only 4%. Just enough.
As for male nipples, I thought that was because male and female embroyos are basicall the same in the first stages of development, with male gender developing post nipple development.
That's basically what I said. Parsimony. Share as much as possible is economy.

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