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 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:45 pm

Belinda wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:21 pm
Belinda, many thanks. It's correct, aleatório and não causado as my keyboard allows for diacritics.

I understand random as aleatório only.

Random comes from Anglo-French through Middle English meaning to run, while aleatório comes from Latin alea, aleae meaning chance, risk, gambling, dice (like alea jact est, the die is cast).

If someone understands random as not causal that is enough for a great confusion here indeed, as I understand it as probability only.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:34 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
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


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.
I know exactly where the word "the" was placed, you silly, semiliterate troll. And I've read your past idiotic posts on the subject of the English language. You have no idea what you are talking about, whereas I know exactly what I am talking about.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:36 pm

Actually, the evolution of the English language has some commonalities with biological evolution, making the subject relevant to this thread. Critically, English is constantly changing over time; but like biological evolution, these changes are neither random nor directed.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:02 pm

Here is the opening to the Canterbury Tales, in the original Middle English along with the modern English translation. You can see they are very different but not SO different that the heritability and common ancestry of the latter words and grammar and syntax cannot be inferred from the former. How did these changes occur? Does anyone think these changes to English occurred randomly? But if the changes were random, ancestry could not be detected — the latter constructions would bear no resemblance to the former. But were the changes directed? By who? An Intelligent Wordsmith? A God of English? Of course the changes were not directed or planned, either. So the evolution of English has been neither random nor teleological — in the same way biological evolution is neither random nor teleological.


1         Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
                  When April with its sweet-smelling showers
2         The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
                 Has pierced the drought of March to the root,
3         And bathed every veyne in swich licour
                 And bathed every vein (of the plants) in such liquid
4         Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
                 By which power the flower is created;
5         Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
                 When the West Wind also with its sweet breath,
6         Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
                 In every wood and field has breathed life into
7         The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
                 The tender new leaves, and the young sun
8         Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne,
                 Has run half its course in Aries,
9         And smale foweles maken melodye,
                 And small fowls make melody,
10         That slepen al the nyght with open ye
                 Those that sleep all the night with open eyes
11         (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages),
                 (So Nature incites them in their hearts),
12         Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
                 Then folk long to go on pilgrimages,
13         And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
                 And professional pilgrims to seek foreign shores,
14         To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
                 To distant shrines, known in various lands;
15         And specially from every shires ende
                 And specially from every shire's end
16         Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,
                 Of England to Canterbury they travel,
17         The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
                 To seek the holy blessed martyr,
18         That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.
                 Who helped them when they were sick.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:10 pm

In the evolution of languages (and of species) it should be pointed out that "evolution" does not mean progress; the modern version of the Canterbury Tales is not better than the Middle English, nor is it worse; it's just different. Same thing with biological species.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:41 pm

I'd risk to say that linguists already knew about natural selection well ahead of Darwin.

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

A chemical reaction is natural selection, too. Only the right reagents will do.

I hope this won't become another "Everything" thread.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:18 pm

.
Last edited by vegetariantaxidermy on Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by davidm » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:55 pm

Here are some analogies between the evolution of biological species and the evolution of language. Like all analogies, these are not precise, but merely suggestive and therefore interesting.

Natural Selection:

Word: Gay

A few generations ago, “gay” meant “lighthearted and carefree.” Now it clearly and mainly means a homosexual man. It still bears the first meaning technically, but virtually no one uses it this way any longer. The “natural selection” analogue here is that the word “gay” for homosexual men got “selected” because it was catchy and positive and memorable, and so it caught on.

Genetic drift:

Word: Enormity

“Enormity” means “vast evil.” But somehow over the last several decades it has come to be synonymous with “enormousness,” which means something that is very large. I am inclined to deplore the loss of the distinction between the two words, but then I remind myself that language is always changing. If enormity comes to displace enormousness in meaning, some other word will evolve to mean “vast evil.”

In biology, genetic drift is the concept that some alleles go to fixation not because of selection, but purely by accident. In this language analogy, I see no popular selection pressure for “enormity” to displace “enormousness”; it’s pure sloppy happenstance, though of course also because the words sound alike.

Purifying selection:

Word: Niggard, or niggardly

Niggard or niggardly bear no relation at all to the N word. Yet the word, already a bit arcane, has been protested as suggesting the N word. Thus it is being driven from the gene pool of words by negative selection, also known as purifying selection, in which deleterious alleles are purged.

Speciation:

Word: Bluetiful

Bluetiful is a word recently invented by Crayola for a new shade of blue crayon. It has descended from the word species “blue” and “beautiful.” It represents a language speciation event, the arising of a new word “species” from ancestral word species.

Interestingly, the word provoked an outcry from language authoritarians like Vegdipshit, who lamented how making up a non-existent word was likely to confuse and even traumatize our poor little chirren, at whom crayons are aimed. These idiots fail to realize that language is changing all the time, and indeed there are at last two words that describe the inventing of a word like bluetiful: “neologism” and “portmanteau.”

Far from being a source of confusion for kids, the new word “bluetiful” can be used as a teaching moment, to explain to kids the elasticity and plasticity of language, and how like biological species language "species" are ever evolving for reasons quite similar to natural selection, genetic drift, purifying selection and speciation.

There are tons of words that exist in standard dictionaries today that did not exist 50 years ago. I could well imagine the word “bluetiful” evolving to mean, not just a pretty shade of crayon, but something like, “someone who is sublime in their sadness.” But who knows? That could happen, but if it does, it won’t be a goal of word evolution, but nor will it be random.

But then, I am an “illiterate Yank” so what do I know, right? :lol:

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:01 pm

davidm wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:55 pm
Here are some analogies between the evolution of biological species and the evolution of language. Like all analogies, these are not precise, but merely suggestive and therefore interesting.

Natural Selection:

Word: Gay

A few generations ago, “gay” meant “lighthearted and carefree.” Now it clearly and mainly means a homosexual man. It still bears the first meaning technically, but virtually no one uses it this way any longer. The “natural selection” analogue here is that the word “gay” for homosexual men got “selected” because it was catchy and positive and memorable, and so it caught on.

Genetic drift:

Word: Enormity

“Enormity” means “vast evil.” But somehow over the last several decades it has come to be synonymous with “enormousness,” which means something that is very large. I am inclined to deplore the loss of the distinction between the two words, but then I remind myself that language is always changing. If enormity comes to displace enormousness in meaning, some other word will evolve to mean “vast evil.”

In biology, genetic drift is the concept that some alleles go to fixation not because of selection, but purely by accident. In this language analogy, I see no popular selection pressure for “enormity” to displace “enormousness”; it’s pure sloppy happenstance, though of course also because the words sound alike.

Purifying selection:

Word: Niggard, or niggardly

Niggard or niggardly bear no relation at all to the N word. Yet the word, already a bit arcane, has been protested as suggesting the N word. Thus it is being driven from the gene pool of words by negative selection, also known as purifying selection, in which deleterious alleles are purged.

Speciation:

Word: Bluetiful

Bluetiful is a word recently invented by Crayola for a new shade of blue crayon. It has descended from the word species “blue” and “beautiful.” It represents a language speciation event, the arising of a new word “species” from ancestral word species.

Interestingly, the word provoked an outcry from language authoritarians like Vegdipshit, who lamented how making up a non-existent word was likely to confuse and even traumatize our poor little chirren, at whom crayons are aimed. These idiots fail to realize that language is changing all the time, and indeed there are at last two words that describe the inventing of a word like bluetiful: “neologism” and “portmanteau.”

Far from being a source of confusion for kids, the new word “bluetiful” can be used as a teaching moment, to explain to kids the elasticity and plasticity of language, and how like biological species language "species" are ever evolving for reasons quite similar to natural selection, genetic drift, purifying selection and speciation.

There are tons of words that exist in standard dictionaries today that did not exist 50 years ago. I could well imagine the word “bluetiful” evolving to mean, not just a pretty shade of crayon, but something like, “someone who is sublime in their sadness.” But who knows? That could happen, but if it does, it won’t be a goal of word evolution, but nor will it be random.

But then, I am an “illiterate Yank” so what do I know, right? :lol:
We have already been over this you ignorant yank twat. You are obviously a very slow learner. I'm well aware that language evolves. American English usage isn't evolved English, it's a hideous pidgin mutation that should have been killed and put out of its misery straight after Noah Webster gave birth to it!
ps What exactly do you think proofreaders do? If 'anything goes' and there is 'no such thing as English' as you say, then newspapers and books would be unreadable.
And thank you for posting that lovely passage from the Canterbury Tales. We can contrast it with the sloppy, lazy, 'dumbed-down' crap that English usage by Americans has devolved into (and which is poisoning the language globally).
pss As an American you have some nerve trying to argue English language.
There should also be a world-wide ban on Americans EVER teaching spoken English to foreigners. Those filipino call centre operators so 'beloved' by the world (another wonderful American 'gift' to the planet--off-shore call centres) can literally drive a person insane with irreparable hearing damage if listened to for more than a few seconds.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:21 pm

Will you please resume "The Theory of Evolution - perfect?".

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:24 pm

PauloL wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:21 pm
Will you please resume "The Theory of Evolution - perfect?".
I will leave the troll feeding to davidm.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by PauloL » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:28 pm

DaVIdm fails a lot explaining cogently natural selection, so he's now trying language instead. I think he has talent here, but he's making the thread quite off-topic.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Londoner » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:15 am

PauloL wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:41 pm
I'd risk to say that linguists already knew about natural selection well ahead of Darwin.

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

A chemical reaction is natural selection, too. Only the right reagents will do.

I hope this won't become another "Everything" thread.
Those are not examples of 'natural selection'. The language example addressed the way you were using the word 'random'.

I think you are still stuck on not being able to distinguish the role of us as observers, or agents, from what is being observed. You write:

A chemical reaction is natural selection, too. Only the right reagents will do.

Where do you get the notion of 'right' from? All chemical reactions are equally chemical reactions, they are not trying to get a particular result. That a particular reaction might be called 'right' is a judgement by an observer, who wants or expected a particular result, but the mental state of an observer is not part of the reaction.

Again:

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

Here the observer is replaced by giving a capital letter to 'Universe', such that there is again an agent; 'The Universe' that is doing something, making itself from the (lower case) universe. (This has been done before with 'Nature').

Is this because you think of the word 'evolution' as containing some sort of judgement? That when we talk of 'evolution' we must be implying improvement? Things progressing towards a goal? Because, in the case of 'Theory of Evolution' that is not the implied meaning at all.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Belinda » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:42 am

Paulol wrote:
I'd risk to say that linguists already knew about natural selection well ahead of Darwin.
Who are they?
Some renown scientists also claim that Universe evolved by natural selection.
But the Universe is not a species and cannot be a species because it is not a species of something larger than itself. The Universe does not exist in an environment as do species.(N.B. 'species' is both singular and plural)
A chemical reaction is natural selection, too. Only the right reagents will do.
But a chemical reaction does not involve the reagents in choices based upon struggle to survive in a chaotic environment. A chemical reaction is fully determined by the variables which the person doing the experiment has selected, or alternatively the variables which the observer has selected.
I hope this won't become another "Everything" thread.
We have all been trying to understand what natural selection is and what it is not, and these are relevant.

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Re: The Theory of Evolution - perfect?

Post by Belinda » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:52 am

Vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
American English usage isn't evolved English, it's a hideous pidgin mutation that should have been killed and put out of its misery straight after Noah Webster gave birth to it!
Your usage of 'evolved' is wrong because evolved does not imply better.

Your main point is that American English is a pidgin. What is the linguistic definition of a pidgin? I must look it up. Before I do so I admit to bias that American English is not pidgin , because modern American English has been in the making for centuries. And also modern American English is creative in its popular forms . And also modern American spelling while losing some of the interesting etymological connections of modern English spelling(which I personally enjoy) modern American English spelling is more rational than the original spelling.
Pidgin language (origin in Engl. word `business'?) is nobody's native language; may arise when two speakers of different languages with no common language try to have a makeshift conversation. Lexicon usually comes from one language, structure often from the other. Because of colonialism, slavery etc. the prestige of Pidgin languages is very low. Many pidgins are `contact vernaculars', may only exist for one speech event.


Creole (orig. person of European descent born and raised in a tropical colony) is a language that was originally a pidgin but has become nativized, i.e. a community of speakers claims it as their first language. Next used to designate the language(s) of people of Caribbean and African descent in colonial and ex-colonial countries (Jamaica, Haiti, Mauritius, Réunion, Hawaii, Pitcairn, etc.)


Relexification The process of substituting new vocabulary for old. Pidgins may get relexified with new English vocabulary to replace the previous Portuguese vocabulary, etc.

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