(split) Atheism and acceptance of science

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by S.A.M., Jul 10, 2009.

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  1. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Which ones and how? You seem to approach stating your objections, then back away. Why not just come out and lay out your hypothesis so that we can fairly discuss it?

    This at least is a hypothesis of a kind. What "checks and balances" are you referring to? How do they work? What is the level of the "other" you're referring to?

    What do you mean by "recycled" and what is the "system"?

    Are you certain? Are there any examples of this?

    How do you mean this?

    What do you mean by the above statement? Please elaborate.

    Which theory do you see as replacing it?

    This is widely acknowledged, yes.

    ?? What "purpose" are you referring to? I've never heard this referenced in a discussion of evolution.

    I think there are few people that would disagree with this these days. But if the mean effects of a given gene are stable within its environment at the vicious significance thresholds we customarily assign....:shrug:
     
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Okay, now this I am interested in. So lets recap:

    So explain how

    1. Poor people having more children is not measured as greater fitness
    2. Why you need to prove that fecundity is genetic [esp when we use birth control and make choices about producing offspring]
    3. Why "mere" reproduction does not guarantee long term fitness and what does
    4. How genes that promote physiological superiority are relevant if you choose not to reproduce.
     
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  5. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    I'm watching from the link you posted and there is indeed two different versions of Root of Evil. The link I left you is Dawkin's Root of Evil: Faith virus and the one you gave me is Root of Evil: God Delusion. So I will watch yours and you can take a look at the other one.

    I will leave what I think in the documentary thread as it might be off topic here.
     
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not really qualified to offer a hypothesis and I dislike laying out one without taking the trouble to frame it properly [which will be a minimum of 15 pages with explanations]

    I see the "process" of evolution as a system. Ignoring the why of it, I see the entire process as an "entity" where everything is a component of the same "entity". In this system, it doesn't matter if you are a bacterium or a virus or a man or a monkey, because the system does not aim to reach any goal. The checks and balances are reactionary, if you kill all the bees, it will affect everything that bees affect and will alter the system to incorporate a bee-less one.
    e.g. no bees means no pollination, so everything that requires pollination will either be recycled into the system or something else will be recycled to replace the bee. This is not a choice, its like a if x...then y kind of paradigm, to be extremely crude.

    Yeah artificial intelligence.


    I think for some reason Darwins simple elegance has been sacrificed to some kind of religious dogma which attempts to fit the data to conclusions that make no empirical sense.

    Hopefully mine

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    but there are some underground rumblings of a frame theory already in the works. I won't pretend to be an expert, since its based on physics but I see change as inevitable.


    I have heard some discussions where biologists eulogise the perfection of the appearance of design, its like saying how did the water find its level? I think much of what we see as "design" is probably based on how the physical laws work and may be a system based on what I call parsimony of function ie maximum output, minimum investment. Its why I think the system gets more and more efficient. What we call speciation are milestones of this increasing efficiency, which is not linear. [because that would be inefficient]

    But if the gene can function differently simply by changing a dietary component, even if the function is not "passed on" [in fact one can have opposing functions by the same genes when they are present in different organ systems with the same dietary component], then talking about "genetic traits" is really an argument from ignorance. Who knows what else we can do?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Okay, I will watch the other one and comment there as well.
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    If I had a nickel for every Muslim, Christian, or Jew who told me their version of their theism was the real one, I'd have some real money.

    It hardly matters from which particular branch of Abrahamic theism the billion or so Muslims who find evolutionary theory incompatible with Quranic revelation obtained their views, originally. Nor are the effects of dogmatic theistic upbringing confined to details of doctrine.

    The Muslims in my neighborhood would regard your labeling them as dupes of Christians an insult, btw. Their clerical spokesman regards Islam's rejection of what he regards as Christianity-influenced evolutionary theories as a rejection of corruption.
    You don't understand them - either the concepts or the descriptions.

    And your misunderstandings fit a pattern that I have come to associate with dogmatic theistic upbringing. Now I question my association, partly because I know that I haven't met a relevant sample of people raised without dogmatic theistic influence of various kind, and partly because I suspect a common source of these error patterns and dogmatic theistic beliefs, rather than a cause and effect relationship. But the pattern itself remains.
     
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    It is, providing this trend persists. It may not. What if they all die from poor health? You seem to be driving for absolutes, which are rare.

    I'm talking about genes for higher reproduction, as an increase in breeding that is congenital and inherited. Such genes would relate to fitness in any system; my interest is less people (since they partially buck explanations of fitness) and more in natural systems. In the absolute sense, higher reproduction would be more fit, but that isn't the entirety of the story. You have to survive to next reproduction. Multiplicative fitness, essentially.

    See above.

    They aren't. But if all reproduction is equal, then those conferring physiological advantage should promote higher interim survival than those that do not, or allow the exploitation of resources that the original "wild-type" does not allow. Bacteria and citrate would be about the simplest example.
     
  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I see what you mean now. But the resources are limited and those who are more efficient at using them have an advantage over those who use too much [which is why there is a constant requirement for grabbing resources from overseas]. I think based on my fantasy paradigm of parsimony, the poorer nations are able to survive and reproduce on fewer resources while also benefitting from advances that extend mortality and decrease morbidity by exploiting [in a limited fashion, but nevertheless they acquire the knowledge] the resources of the less poorer nations.

    Evolution doesn't really care how marvelous your genes are. Only that you survive long enough to reproduce. If you live longer you are just usinig up resources that the next generation can utilise. Living longer, with fewer children, often late in life vs early and frequent pregnancies, with shorter less consumer-oriented lives. Which is the fitter choice?

    Of course all this assumes a neutron bomb will not wipe out the indesirables. So thats a possibility too
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  12. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Well, then, this discussion is difficult at best.

    Rather, it will kill everything that relies on them and leave the local ecology to persist on the elements that are available? Are you referring to group dynamics and group evolution? I had an opportunity to work in a group evolution lab a few years ago but turned it down, ultimately, for various reasons. Then of course there's inter-individual epistasis (the interaction among genes in different individuals, usually supposed between members of the same species; see J.B. Wolf and E. Brodie: "Epistasis and Evolutionary Processes", I think it was). But if the support for main effects of simple genetic systems is based on a weak Fisherian system (relative to experimental error and/or variability within individuals), then one can only imagine how much weaker such effects would be among individuals.

    Still not clear on what "recycled into the system" means.

    OK: how?

    ? What are you talking about? Darwin's simple elegance is the system. It's Neodarwinianism, but without the math, which he sucked at, to be honest.

    Oh, that's just Gould and his wannabees waxing illogical about the beauty of nature. Pay it no mind; a spandrel is nothing more than fortuitous chance.

    Not in the slightest. That gene, over the majority of its customary exposure - call it the "environmental range", if you like, which includes diet - will exert its effect without complication or conflict. I don't agree with rigid classical theory, but it's simply too far a leap to say that it's all wrong. It isn't - within the appropriate ranges, which may be more than sufficient for the achievement of local adaptive states.
     
  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed, its why I generally avoid discussions on evolution.

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    Is that the empirical observation? There was a great deal of worry about the nonbiodegradable aspects of plastic and then along came the plastic eating bacteria. Was it always there?:shrug:


    I think the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    It means that the number of <insert the smallest indivisibe particle> in the system are probably finite, which is why it cannot "borrow" from elsewhere and needs to refine its use of resources. What I find very tantalising is the possibility of anything being "returned" to the system once it is out. Does any species return? How would we know? Are there any do-overs?

    From what I have read in the origin of species, Darwin was careful to avoid any appearance of cause effect in his explanations.

    Actually I was referring to Dawkins but never mind.

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    But thats what I'm questioning. Is there an effect or is the effect customised by environmental variables? Do we not respond to our environment?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps this makes a good example.

    1) More copies extant is only one factor in likelihood of persistence.
    2) Only the genetics persist in the world. Properties of the organism/species/kind disappear with the organism/species/kind.
    3) You have slid from numbers of copies to likelihood of persistence, without even noticing. Back up a step.
    4) The "relevance" of the gene is not dependent on any one organism's reproduction, unless that is the only organism harboring that gene.

    Now the point is not the answers. They are simple (simplistic) and direct. The point is that you are asking very basic, introductory questions from the point of view of someone unfamiliar with the concepts involved. You are new to modern "gene-centric" Darwinian evolutionary theory - it's strange to you, and you are just getting a handle on it.

    At what level of someone's education should that be the case, in the modern world?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    If the number of copies are the relevant criteria for fitness then the organism is irrelevant as are species. The properties of the organism are irrelevant. The long term fitness of the gene is not the same as the long term fitness of the organism. Most "important" genes are conserved from bacteria onwards. Everything else is just window dressing.

    Lifespan, for example is apparently regulated by genes conserved from yeast to humans

    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pgen.0030056
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That is frankly bizarre.

    I admit to bafflement, at this point. If there is any evidence that a specifically theistic upbringing has something to do with producing that kind of reasoning, description of it as a blight is too kind.
     
  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    I can honestly say that I expect the fallout from such an event to be catastrophic in the least. You're confounding long-term pollution with a potentially immediate and virtually complete impact to agriculture and floration.

    Which is fine, but the parts matter. Otherwise, why upgrade the memory on your computer? Surely it shouldn't matter. The same with the video card, or with the starter engine on your car. Surely it's unimportant if it's decrepid?

    By the first part, I'm going to have to conclude you mean "rot". Things do do this.

    But "return"? As a comparative paraphyletic invading a niche, sure. Cichlids, finches, arctic charr, lizards on islands, snails, etc. Sure. But are you asking whether species are reincarnated? Or merely re-invasive? The same evolutionary line or different ones?

    Weeell, actually he does. Intergrades are observed (the effect), and he proposes that the cause is selection - the endless 'sifting and acceptance' of different varieties.

    It's the same phenomenon. I don't take Dawkins as a deity. And I'm horrified to think I once had a crush on Lalla Ward. Eyugh.

    Those are, as you outline them, different questions. The second may be summed up as behavioural response. All sorts of animals do it, and in a sense it's a way of interpreting a very "nichey" coarse-grained environment (temperature, rainfall, and so on) as fine-grained.

    Is there an effect? No, or usually not. Like most things, gene-environment response probably varies in most cases over a multidimensional window with a multivariate distribution, linear over the narrow sense but polynomial over the wider sense. But, within most organisms' environments, the response is probably constant or near-linear, and selection can occur. It can still occur over the more complex system described above, but in ways that are less predictable and require more funding.
     
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Is a behavioural response independent of genes? Anyway thanks for your measured responses. One of these days I'll get past my lassitude and go broke over the theory. Who knows? I may even change my mind.

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    Unfortunately always a decisive factor in determining the direction of research.
     
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Not a problem. The field of all life history is complex.

    Which I shall illustrate without a doubt, when my new theory breaks next year.

    Hehehehehe.
     
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not a believer in hoarding ideas. I had a very good professor who told me ideas are like seeds, they only bear fruit when you let go of them.

    gedanken sind frei

    All yours.

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  21. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Yes but the fruit gets into other people's back yards and then they won't let you have any. Once bitten, twice shy.
     
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I'm Indian.


    "karmanye vadhika raste
    ma phaleshu kadachana
    ma karma phala hetu bhurba
    te sangostav karmani"- Bahagwad Gita 2:47


    Thats my philosophy

    translation:
    You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action.
    Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.

    Its all Qadr, or karma or destiny.

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  23. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm. Not to be crass, but mine at the moment is:

    "Quit stealing my frigging ideas, you miserable bastards."
     
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