Evolution and Teleology

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Canute, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

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    reply to spookz

    have you read Steele?, because I have (Lamarck's signature and his Science paper) What Steele is proposing (and what he says his data shows) is that acquired immunity can be inherited. He concedes that this must mean that there has to be some reverse to the DNA->RNA->protein in addition to reverse transcriptase, perhaps some reverse translational pathway, AND, that there is some communication between the soma cell line and the germ cell line. This would preclude any acquired behavioral trait from being inherited in this way.
     
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  3. Neville Registered Senior Member

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    Good point Canute.

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    So do I! I was just pointing out some basic Marx theory (I believe)
     
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  5. spookz Banned Banned

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    paul
    i just dabble. i have zero knowledge about this stuff. havent read steele.

    AND, that there is some communication between the soma cell line and the germ cell line.

    which is a breach of the weismann barrier?

    ps: it was you who got me on this epigenetics stuff (aquatic ape thread) and i am not really giving it more significance than it should have. i am merely keeping an open mind.

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    thanks for your patience!

     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2003
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  7. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: paul

    You clearly have no wish to understand what I said. Shame. It was getting interesting.
     
  8. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: reply

    Well, that's a clear and helpful answer if ever I saw one.
     
  9. Neville Registered Senior Member

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    Says who?? Isn't it possible that a creature is not aware that it does something and the offspring picks it up such as a birds hea dbobbing when it walks. If this had some evolutionary edvantage then it could be so.
     
  10. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

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    If they it 'picks it up' then it isn't inherited, but learned.
     
  11. Neville Registered Senior Member

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    But it will still effect evolution! Genetics would have a greater effect on the evolution of a species if the 'species chain' is broken somehow and taken '2 steps back', but as long as the chain stays linked, learnt behaviour that increases the chance of survival means that genes independent of this behaviour will still be passed on! This was what i was trying to say about the rich (and i think someone else was saying somrhing along these lines too).
     
  12. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

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    yes
    when I said,
    it did not pertain to Steele and his work. Steele's thesis requires a cross of the Weismann barrier, the Baldwin effect precludes it.

    that is, the barrier between the soma and the germ cell lines
     
  13. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

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    i say it, and every other evolutionary biologist in existence. learning is not an inherited characteristic. example, you go to school, learn to speak french, can your children speak french? if so, did you teach them?, or did it get passed to them from your genes?
     
  14. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: reply

    well, if you refuse to take help or learn from me, you have to go to some other source, which is why i suggested the reading
     
  15. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

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    if you think this, you should be more explicit in your exposition. first, what is evolution? how is learned behavior going to affect evolution? lead us through your argument step by step. include increased fitness and selection. use examples with literature references to support your argument. if you have a point, convince us!
     
  16. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    I think you are too keen to defend you position. Brains are things that evolve. Thus the ability to learn is evolved. I agree that this does not specifically include the ability to learn to speak French or open milk bottles, but it's a bit anti-Darwinian to state that the ability to learn appears out of thin air.

    Perhaps you would say which of these statements you feel is incorrect.

    1) Brains evolve, including those of birds.
    2) The ability to learn is evolved, and is thus transmitted via genes.
    3) Some people and some birds have a greater ability to learn than others.
    4) Birds with an evolved and better than average ability to learn (for instance those that learn how to open milk bottles where others do not learn) may be expected to reproduce more successfully.
    5) When learnt behaviour bestows increased reproductive success on members of a species an increase in the ability to learn such behaviour is likely to become a trait within that species.
    6)The ability to learn does not in itself bestow any evolutionary advantage on any species or member of that species
    7) If the fitness landscape for a species is such that an ability to learn increases reproductive success then members of the species who actually make use of that ability will enjoy an evolutionary advantage.
    8) Whether an evolved ability to learn affects the evolutionary success of a species, or member of a species, depends on the nature of its fitness landscape (eg whether there are any milk bottles in it).
    9) Every aspect of a species' environment is potentially part of its fitness landscape.
    10) Whether any particular aspect of a species' environment actually does form part of its fitness landscape depends on whether members of the species interact with that aspect in a way that affects their reproductive success.

    None of these seem very contentious to me.




    5)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2003
  17. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    he never said that...he said that ability to learn something specific such as learning french or opening milk bottles is learned from other members of the species.(and not encoded in the genetic information)
     
  18. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    I agree that this is what he should have said. In fact he said "learning is not an inherited characteristic" and has consistently denied that learning (which is of course dependent on a general ability to learn) has any effect on evolution. One has to wonder, in this case, how any species managed to evolve such an ability.

    Further to this the ability to learn is of no use at all unless one learns something particular. Therefore learning something particular can effect evolution.

    I don't understand yet why this view should meet such opposition. Perhaps we are applying the terms differently.
     
  19. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    By the way and in case anyone's interested in it nobody has yet addressed the question at the start of this thread.
     
  20. spookz Banned Banned

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    as long as there is a reverse flow of info b/w the soma and germ, anything is possible. i dont see the need to restrict my speculation to acquired immunity (steele). for me. the key word here is acquired.
     
  21. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Canute: Interesting that you should notice that nobody addressed the original post that started this Thread.

    I think you raised two issues and possibly confused them. The following is from your first post.
    I think the last phrase is a separate issue from your opening paragraph. Current theory clearly claims that evolution is a mindless process with no guiding intelligence directing the action. Genes tending to cause reproductive success get passed on, while others tend not to get passed on. Random mutations occur, providing for the creation of new genes subject to the same reproductive sieving effect. At this level behavior, consciousness, free will, purposeful action, et cetera are irrelevant. Current theory seems to be on pretty solid ground here.

    It seems obvious that human behavior is due to some complex interaction between environment and genetic heritage. Behaviors are also involved in the reproductive sieving effect, and to that extent influence evolution. However, this effect is not really different than the effect due to genes for speed, strength, a good immune system, better visual acuity, et cetera. There is no reason to assign purposefulness to either behavioral characteristics or to physical characteristics. In terms of evolutionary effect, behavior and physical characteristics are subject to the same undirected reproductive sieving. I do not think that evolutionists ignore the effects of behavior, consciousness, et cetera. They just do not consider those characteristics to supply purpose or direction to the evolutionary process.

    The issues raised in your first paragraph seem to me to be distinct from the evolutionary issue of the last paragraph. The claim that consciousness has no causal effect on behavior seems absurd. Does anybody really make this claim? The question of free will seems a controversial philosophical issue.

    I am in fundamental disagreements with mystical positions on the issues of mind and consciousness. The physical brain is definitely responsible for mind, memory, and consciousness (however you define them). They do not exist independently of the physical brain. Those who believe otherwise should be involved with some Thread that addresses astral projection, OBE, clairvoyance, telepathy, the Bermuda Triangle, et cetera.

    The claim that consciousness has no effect on behavior confuses me. This claim seems so weird that I am assuming a semantic problem, and will ignore the statement.

    There was a time when there was almost universal belief in a deterministic universe. This view was consistent with classical physics. Nobody believed that it was possible in practice to predict the future or attain precise knowledge of the past, but it was believed that both past and future were determined (in principle) by analytic equations (some of which were admittedly not yet known). With this world view, a belief in free will is absurd.

    Modern physics has discovered that the laws of physics are probabilistic, not deterministic (this statement might keep this Thread alive forever). This world view does not preclude the notion of free will. However, It does not seem to provide much support for it.

    The issues involving free will, consciousness, et cetera seem to deserve a separate Thread not relating to evolution.
     
  22. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    The interaction between genetic heritage and environment is more complex than most people realize.

    When I was in grade 11 or 12, my biology teacher dismissed Lysenko and Lamarck (? spelling) as cranks. He said that they claimed that acquired traits could be inherited, but provided no further information about their ideas.

    Many years later, I encountered an individual who knew quite about their theories. He did not claim that acquired traits could be passed on genetically. He did claim that few teachers knew anything about the research and experiments done by Lysenko and Lamarck.

    This person claimed that a wild artichoke looks like a ground hugging thistle. Only a botanist would properly identify the wild form. After cultivation, it obtains its familiar appearance. If left untended, it reverts after a few generations. He mentioned various other experimental data which seemed to support inheritance of acquired traits. After speaking to him, I remembered seeing wild asparagus, which is also quite different from the cultivated form It looks like a tree about 3-6 feet high with a green trunk and many branches. My friend did not mention asparagus, which might attain it cultivated shape due to being bound while growing.

    At any rate, my friend claimed that there was some experimental evidence for the inheritance of acquired traits usually ignored by the academic establishment. He mentioned that experts had some reasonable explanations for the Lysenko/Lamarck experimental data, and that there was no good reason to believe in the inheritance of acquired traits.

    I mention the above to suggest the complexity of hereditary and environmental interactions. If experimental data can seem to support inheritance of acquired physical traits, there surely can be confusion about behavioral traits, which are so much more difficult to measure and quantify.
     
  23. spookz Banned Banned

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    i do not think anyone really applies the weismann barrier to plants or bacteria
    that is not the issue. nor is it the issue for fruit flies, hydra or flatworms, directed mutations in these cases appear to be accepted by the sci community.

    somebody, somewhere, at sometime, decided to hold the line. a bunch of neo darwinists got together and made pronouncements conspiracy stylee

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