The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

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

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davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:43 pm

There is no randomness in evolution, but there is no direction or purpose, either. To say that it must be one or the other is a false dichotomy. Such a claim does not recognize that there are other options.

Biologists themselves say this: Evolution is driven (largely but not wholly) by random mutation acted upon by natural selection. The “random” mutation together with natural selection is not a random process. But it’s not a directed one, either — there is no goal or purpose or telos to the process, which is mindless.

However, as many have noted, even the use of the term “random” with respect to a mutation is unfortunate, producing lots of misconceptions. A better way to put is that a mutation is uncorrelated with the adaptive needs of the organism. This is explained more fully by Stephen Barr, a physicist, an expositor of evolution and (as it happens) a Catholic:
In their college-level textbook Modern Genetics, F. J. Ayala and J. A. Kiger explain three senses in which mutations are said to be random: first, as “rare exceptions to the regularity of the process of DNA replication”; second, because “there is no way of knowing whether a given gene will mutate in a particular cell or in a particular generation”; and third, because “[these mutations] are unoriented with respect to adaptation.” They note that this last meaning “is very important for evolution . . . . Mutations occur independently of whether or not they are adaptive in the environments where the organisms live” (emphasis mine). Mutations are produced by various causes, such as natural radiation or genetic copying errors. The adaptive needs of organisms arise from quite different—and independent—causes, such as changes in climate or food supply. This produces a lack of systematic correlation between when mutations happen and when they are needed, so the former are “unoriented” with respect to the latter.
Earlier I posted the example of the evolution of nylon-eating bacteria. The evolution of the ability to digest nylon was uncorrelated with respect to the state of the environment or the adaptive needs of the organism. An similar mutation may have occurred thousands of times in the past in environments wholly lacking nylon; in such cases, the mutation would either have been neutral or deleterious: It would not have affected the organism, or it would have harmed it.

But in the case of the actual evolution of the nylon-eating bacteria, it just so happened that the mutation arose in a population dwelling in waste water filled with nylon. So then the mutation became beneficial.

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:13 pm

Londoner wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:24 pm
But without that context of understanding, if the question was 'Why is there a universe of any kind (including DNA)?' then any answer would be metaphysical. But it would not be 'random', it would just be unknowable.
Well, you're discourse is all metaphysical indeed. After reading you, I'm not sure about my Euromillions ticket neither whether one may, or not, answer an examination randomly after reading questions first, or not even reading questions.

So evolution remains in the gray zone, as one can't know whether it was random in the first place. Metaphysically it wasn't after reading you, but neither is Euromillions.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:30 pm

PauloL wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:13 pm
Londoner wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:24 pm
But without that context of understanding, if the question was 'Why is there a universe of any kind (including DNA)?' then any answer would be metaphysical. But it would not be 'random', it would just be unknowable.
Well, you're discourse is all metaphysical indeed. After reading you, I'm not sure about my Euromillions ticket neither whether one may, or not, answer an examination randomly after reading questions first, or not even reading questions.

So evolution remains in the gray zone, as one can't know whether it was random in the first place. Metaphysically it wasn't after reading you, but neither is Euromillions.
'You're' = you are.

davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:41 pm

PauloL wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:13 pm

So evolution remains in the gray zone, as one can't know whether it was random in the first place.
Of course one can know this. It's NOT random, and it's NOT directed.

As I and others have explained and demonstrated repeatedly.

Do you enjoy having a thick head? Just see my most recent post!

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:49 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:30 pm
'You're' = you are.
Right. A lapsus calami. I thought English speakers were more tolerant. Latin language speakers are quite intolerant with any mistake, however small, but are getting better.

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:52 pm

davidm wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:41 pm
Do you enjoy having a thick head? Just see my most recent post!
Not understanding your contradictions means thick head?

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:04 pm

PauloL wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:49 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:30 pm
'You're' = you are.
Right. A lapsus calami. I thought English speakers were more tolerant. Latin language speakers are quite intolerant with any mistake, however small, but are getting better.
I am, unless it's yanklish, and that's not genuine mistakes but deliberate bastardisation. Just being helpful.

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:20 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:04 pm
I am, unless it's yanklish, and that's not genuine mistakes but deliberate bastardisation. Just being helpful.
I'm sorry that English is so widely spoken that you lost control of it. We have the same problem with Portuguese. British English is as correct as American English, South African English, or Malaysian English. Dutch suffered even a greater deviation with Afrikaans.

"You're" instead of "Your" is a mistake. It's neither yanklish nor bastardisation and you weren't helpful. We can open a topic to discuss that, this topic is about Evolution.

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PauloL
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:24 pm

Londoner wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:24 pm
But without that context of understanding, if the question was 'Why is there a universe of any kind (including DNA)?' then any answer would be metaphysical. But it would not be 'random', it would just be unknowable.
Londoner's concept of randomness is so confused I already asked my money back from yesterday's Euromillions bets and told them they're running a metaphysical scheme disguised as random lottery.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:46 pm

PauloL wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:20 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:04 pm
I am, unless it's yanklish, and that's not genuine mistakes but deliberate bastardisation. Just being helpful.
I'm sorry that English is so widely spoken that you lost control of it. We have the same problem with Portuguese. British English is as correct as American English, South African English, or Malaysian English. Dutch suffered even a greater deviation with Afrikaans.

"You're" instead of "Your" is a mistake. It's neither yanklish nor bastardisation and you weren't helpful. We can open a topic to discuss that, this topic is about Evolution.
There is no such thing as any of them. The language is English.

davidm
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:16 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:46 pm
PauloL wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:20 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:04 pm
I am, unless it's yanklish, and that's not genuine mistakes but deliberate bastardisation. Just being helpful.
I'm sorry that English is so widely spoken that you lost control of it. We have the same problem with Portuguese. British English is as correct as American English, South African English, or Malaysian English. Dutch suffered even a greater deviation with Afrikaans.

"You're" instead of "Your" is a mistake. It's neither yanklish nor bastardisation and you weren't helpful. We can open a topic to discuss that, this topic is about Evolution.
There is no such thing as any of them. The language is English.
There is no such thing as THE English language. :roll: For once I agree with PauloL; start a different thread on English.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:14 am

davidm wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:16 am
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:46 pm
PauloL wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:20 pm


I'm sorry that English is so widely spoken that you lost control of it. We have the same problem with Portuguese. British English is as correct as American English, South African English, or Malaysian English. Dutch suffered even a greater deviation with Afrikaans.

"You're" instead of "Your" is a mistake. It's neither yanklish nor bastardisation and you weren't helpful. We can open a topic to discuss that, this topic is about Evolution.
There is no such thing as any of them. The language is English.
There is no such thing as THE English language. :roll: For once I agree with PauloL; start a different thread on English.
'THE' was THE beginning of THE sentence you stupid prik. And as you are an illiterate yank your 'opinion' is irrelevant anyway. Now go back to feeding the creationarse troll.

thedoc
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by thedoc » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:43 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:14 am
And as you are an illiterate yank your 'opinion' is irrelevant anyway. Now go back to feeding the creationarse troll.
Since VT is anti-American everything, we can safely disregard any thing she says about Americans.

Londoner
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Londoner » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:11 am

PauloL wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:13 pm
Londoner wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:24 pm
But without that context of understanding, if the question was 'Why is there a universe of any kind (including DNA)?' then any answer would be metaphysical. But it would not be 'random', it would just be unknowable.
Well, you're discourse is all metaphysical indeed. After reading you, I'm not sure about my Euromillions ticket neither whether one may, or not, answer an examination randomly after reading questions first, or not even reading questions.

So evolution remains in the gray zone, as one can't know whether it was random in the first place. Metaphysically it wasn't after reading you, but neither is Euromillions.
Well, I'm sorry I have not made myself clear. I think essentially the confusion is because you are not distinguishing what the word 'random' is supposed to refer to. A pure guess about something may be called 'a random guess' - but it doesn't follow that the subject that guess was about was determined randomly.

If we think the universe is deterministic, then it would never be the case that the subject was determined randomly. If that is so, then the only meanings of 'random' would relate to our own knowledge, or purpose i.e. our limited ability to comprehend and describe that deterministic universe.

Metaphysical questions are those which cannot be determined by looking at the physics. For example, we can observe that the universe appears to be deterministic, but no observations can tell us why it is.

So when you write 'evolution remains in the gray zone' I cannot work out why you think this. Is it simply 'in the gray zone' because an observer is not practically able to predict every individual event? Or is it because all events are necessarily unpredictable, because you think the universe is not deterministic? Or some metaphysical problem?

Yet if it was any of these, then I do not understand why the problem would only apply to evolution. Why isn't chemistry, or physics equally in the 'gray zone'? Or perhaps you believe it is?

But there is no point in my making 'random guesses' about your meaning! If you could be clearer about where you think the problem is, then perhaps others could be clearer with their replies.

Belinda
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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Belinda » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:21 pm

For Paulol

In English, the word 'random' has two meanings.
In Portuguese there is a separate word for each of the two meanings:

1.aleatorio

2. nao causado

(My keyboard seems to have no key for the acute accent or the tilde sign that the Portuguese words have.)

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