The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL »

Belinda wrote: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:38 pm 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?
That's a very big question.
Belinda
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Belinda »

davidm wrote: 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.
I am sorry you are done with the thread, because I must have missed or forgotten what you explained about whether or not mutations of genes is uncaused. The thread has not interested me greatly as philosophy, because natural selection is such a main theory. No thinker disputes it. And natural selection is backed by sufficient evidence that is available to everyone. My query is also a simple empirical question which I hope can be answered briefly. My question is not, what Paulol said , a hard question.

Finally, if Paulol does not understand that is the fault of whoever should be explaining to him. There is nobody who does not want to understand. If Paulol is a creationist that is the fault of his teachers.
Londoner
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Londoner »

PauloL wrote: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:08 pm
Me: 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!
That is a very difficult sentence to construe! I honestly cannot tell what you are saying.
Yes, DNA is the most fantastic molecule in universe. Without it, how could there be self-replication?
Do you not see, words like 'fantastic' have no place here? Why is any one aspect of nature more 'fantastic' than another? There is probably no DNA on Pluto. Does that make Pluto less 'fantastic' than Earth? It implies that there is a sort of ranking in physics; 'gravity' is less fantastic than 'electricity', birds more fantastic than fish, solids more fantastic than vacuums... That isn't science.
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.
Once again, by 'natural selection' we are not describing an agency, something 'doing things' to individuals or populations.

Suppose I wrote: Humans die. You would understand I am telling you something about the nature of humans, about the sort of being the word 'human' describes. I am not suggesting there are two separate things, the human and also a force called 'Death' which 'affects' humans, or that humans 'contribute' to.

You seem to be trapped by language here; because 'natural selection' can resemble a noun you want to treat it as if it was a thing, rather than a process.
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.
Determinism relates to this universe, the one we are in, the one we describe through science. Science does not deal with 'possible universes'. It does not say these cannot exist, but whether they do or not is outside science.

But we may have reached a breakthrough. You say of this universe
our reality might be called deterministic, but even in this case I have doubts'
What is it that causes you to have doubts? What is an example of something which we cannot explain through determinism?

If something (like the evolution of species) is not brought about through the mechanisms described by science, how do you think it happens?
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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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Belinda wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:09 am Finally, if Paulol does not understand that is the fault of whoever should be explaining to him. There is nobody who does not want to understand. If Paulol is a creationist that is the fault of his teachers.
I'm not a creationist and you can't substantiate that. The first requisite of science is falsifiability and so any theory can and should be questioned.

As for mutations, of course they are random within the theory of natural selection. There's no way environment may produce a "convenient" mutation.

How random they are is the hard question. If you study Mycobacterium tuberculosis, something I've discussed before, there are mutations that allow for antibiotic resistance and multi-resistance. But after you study that, you realize there's a wild strain and mutations are predictable. They allow for antibiotic resistance, but the agent loses virulence (multi-resistance strains attack immune-suppressed people), so wild strain will prevail as long as environment allows.

Also, a psychogenic trait acquired by male rats could be transmitted several generations after that, and this was published in Nature. That isn't allowed by natural selection, or at least it's highly attacked as it is in accord with Lamarck.

This is why I call it a hard question. You may think question is not so hard, but answers are quite difficult indeed.
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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL »

Londoner wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:02 pm
PauloL wrote: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:08 pm
Me: 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!
That is a very difficult sentence to construe! I honestly cannot tell what you are saying.
I didn't write that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you falsifying quotes?

For the rest, whether you understand it or not, I'm not interested in discussing determinism, as I told you it's a question without answer and we may ignore that for discussion purposes.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Londoner »

Belinda wrote: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:38 pm 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?
DNA is a very complicated and delicate chemical. If you expose DNA to radiation, other chemicals etc. it will react and change, just like anything else. There is a mechanism to repair or replace changed DNA, but that too can be affected by external factors so it may not work properly. Sometimes these changes occur in cells in a way that they can be inherited by our offspring.

It is the same process that makes us grow wrinkly and die.

I do not see that there is any mystery in this.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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PauloL wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:13 pm
I didn't write that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you falsifying quotes?
I beg your pardon, that quote was from davidm. Just a mistake with the editing of my post.
For the rest, whether you understand it or not, I'm not interested in discussing determinism, as I told you it's a question without answer and we may ignore that for discussion purposes.
Unfortunately, the 'theory of evolution' is scientific and science describes a deterministic universe, so you would have no choice.

But if you do not accept a deterministic view of the universe, then that explains why a scientific explanation cannot satisfy you.

So, since you do not want to discuss what you find wrong with determinism, I don't see what more is to be said.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL »

Londoner wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:35 pm So, since you do not want to discuss what you find wrong with determinism, I don't see what more is to be said.
I said determinism is an unanswered question and no one is obliged to accept it.

That's new to me that determinism is scientific. Recently, an article on determinism was published in Scientific American, and scientists didn't have an answer for that, just opinions (same as philosophers). Yet, you have certainties...
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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PauloL wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:39 pm I said determinism is an unanswered question and no one is obliged to accept it.
Do you mean it is an unanswered question because the universe does not appear deterministic? Do you see the universe as unpredictable i.e. that sometimes water boils at 100 degrees, sometimes it freezes, sometimes it turns into gold? That we cannot predict what it will do?

Or unanswered in that although it is predictable, although it behaves as if it was deterministic, we don't know why? If it is the second, that is a metaphysical question and is not addressed by the Theory of Evolution.
That's new to me that determinism is scientific. Recently, an article on determinism was published in Scientific American, and scientists didn't have an answer for that, just opinions (same as philosophers). Yet, you have certainties...
You are right, determinism is not scientific in the sense of being an object within science.

Science assumes determinism, because that is the nature of observed phenomena. As I say above, it cannot answer why the universe is deterministic. It might be that water always boils at 100% because God always wills it, or because a demon is sending us hallucinations to that effect. Science cannot answer that sort of question.

If your problem with Evolution and other scientific theories is that they cannot answer such metaphysical questions then I can only say that they are not attempting to do so.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Belinda »

Paulol, are you in fact a creationist?

If not, why don't you read and study a description of natural selection in Portuguese?
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Harbal »

Belinda wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:13 pm Paulol, are you in fact a creationist?
Not yet he isn't. I think his plan is that we should all arrive there together.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Belinda »

PauloL wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:10 pm
Belinda wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:09 am Finally, if Paulol does not understand that is the fault of whoever should be explaining to him. There is nobody who does not want to understand. If Paulol is a creationist that is the fault of his teachers.
I'm not a creationist and you can't substantiate that. The first requisite of science is falsifiability and so any theory can and should be questioned.

As for mutations, of course they are random within the theory of natural selection. There's no way environment may produce a "convenient" mutation.

How random they are is the hard question. If you study Mycobacterium tuberculosis, something I've discussed before, there are mutations that allow for antibiotic resistance and multi-resistance. But after you study that, you realize there's a wild strain and mutations are predictable. They allow for antibiotic resistance, but the agent loses virulence (multi-resistance strains attack immune-suppressed people), so wild strain will prevail as long as environment allows.

Also, a psychogenic trait acquired by male rats could be transmitted several generations after that, and this was published in Nature. That isn't allowed by natural selection, or at least it's highly attacked as it is in accord with Lamarck.

This is why I call it a hard question. You may think question is not so hard, but answers are quite difficult indeed.
I am sorry I missed this from you that you are not a creationist. Of course I believe you if only because there is no reason for you to tell a lie about it.You wrote "There's no way environment may produce a "convenient" mutation." and this is certainly not the claim of a creationist.

Because the English word 'random' is ambiguous it may be a good idea if we entered in brackets the Portuguese for whichever meaning of 'random' we refer to; Portuguese does, as I believe we have established, have a different word for each meaning. Perhaps Paulol would remind us of those words and their applications to English. After all it's not unusual for foreign words to be added to any language.

I gather that the reason you call natural selection a hard question is because some learned behaviour seems to some people to be Lamarckian, metamorphosing into genetic behaviour. (Ref. the male rats story. I am sorry that I could not understand the TB bacillus story). I cannot add to either story as I have not read the reports. I don't know how relevant to the TB bacillus story this is, but besides acquired specific immunity to the TB bacillus there is also among host populations natural general immunity to all manner of infections especially to the more opportunistic ones such as tuberculosis, and this is a variable that must be taken into account when we look at any specified epidemiology.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Belinda »

Londoner wrote: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:25 pm
Belinda wrote: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:38 pm 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?
DNA is a very complicated and delicate chemical. If you expose DNA to radiation, other chemicals etc. it will react and change, just like anything else. There is a mechanism to repair or replace changed DNA, but that too can be affected by external factors so it may not work properly. Sometimes these changes occur in cells in a way that they can be inherited by our offspring.

It is the same process that makes us grow wrinkly and die.

I do not see that there is any mystery in this.
Indeed as you explain, Londoner, there's no mystery , and mutations of genes are effects which are determined by causes albeit complex causes. I accept that gene mutation is random (aleatorio but not nao causado.(Port.))
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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Belinda wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:27 am
Thanks for your words. As random I always mean "aleatório" for which there is an equivalent word in English, aleatory. A lottery is random to me in this sense.

Well, the male rat story published in Nature was impressive to scientific community because it showed a character may be acquired and transmitted according to Lamarck. This experiments aren't easy to devise as you must make it the only possible explanation to be Lamarck. Perhaps some behavioral traces are acquired by parents and transmitted to sons, but if you recognize one you'll say that was genetic, of course. You must make it Sherlockian like "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

If that is exclusive for behavior or may apply also to physical traits remains unanswered so far, but it's quite interesting.

The TB example perhaps isn't that easy to understand, but basically, what I mean is that some mutations are predictable while others don't happen or happen very seldom.

So, your question "Are the mutations undergone by genes truly random(uncaused) or are they 'random' (inexplicable)?" remains unanswered.

Anyway, for a mutation to pass to the next generation, it must occur in a gamete, of course. IMO, it's easier for it to pass if it happens in a female gamete, because males produces millions and millions of gametes all the time while female produce just a few dozens. Assuming this, one might calculate the probability of a mutation under some scenarios. However, that mutation rate rate would apply to any cell (both in males and females of course) and how much that affect survival could be discussed, as many mutations, if not most, are deleterious and could lead to cancer notably.

I don't have any kind of preconceptions and accept anything that's clear to me. Creationism is nonsense to me, but people here insist calling me creationist, mormon, theist, and so on just because I question natural selection, which has many Achilles tendons, like Cambrian explosion and hemoglobin production (amongst many others).
Last edited by PauloL on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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PauloL wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:53 pm the male rat story published
You've written your autobiography?
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