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Thread: Natural Selection and Genetics

  1. #1 Natural Selection and Genetics 
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    Its been a while since I mentioned the problem of selection
    as applied to genetics. I was corresponding with the leading
    expert in pop genetics, Prof Joe Felsenstein, about it.

    He has been on vacation but is now going to look at my
    simulation of a multilocus model with a mixture of
    beneficial and deleterious alleles.

    At issue is the very credibility of the modern synthesis
    of evolution.

    The results so far are terrible for the Neo-Darwinists
    and could even have them condemned for almost criminal
    negligence.

    Anyone familiar with pop genetics is welcome to
    request a copy of the simulation by emailing me.

    I am convinced that it will mark the beginning of
    the end for Neo-Darwinism.


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictionary
    Delusion
    noun
    1. an act or instance of deluding.
    2. the state of being deluded.
    3. a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur.
    4. Psychiatry. a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.


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  4. #3  
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    Wow. You started a whole thread to say, "Hey! Just reminding you, I'm going to be right, and you're all going to be wrong!" We are plenty aware of your ideas and your opinions about them. Since I doubt that you actually have something new to discuss, I hope the mods move this to the trash.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by Dictionary
    Delusion
    noun
    1. an act or instance of deluding.
    2. the state of being deluded.
    3. a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur.
    4. Psychiatry. a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.

    Neither of the above applies.

    The math don't lie.

    Darwinism is FINISHED.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Darwinism is FINISHED.
    oh so true - long live neodarwinism !
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Darwinism is FINISHED.
    oh so true - long live neodarwinism !
    You see this is the problem.

    We all share a collective blame in politicizing science.

    Still, I am a moderate when talking about Neo-Darwinism
    compared to evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis.

    But I also realize that my simulation proves a very salient
    point: It sharply exposes "reductionism" for the lie that it
    is: it indicates that science should focus on the "holistic"
    property of Nature before all else.

    Reducing matters by focusing on a gene in isolation to the
    rest of the genome ( which is what population genetics
    has done all these years) has been a mistake of epic
    proportions.
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  8. #7 Hm. 
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    I'd just hate to have to go back and sort through a whole mess of experiments just to produce several credible sources that say the exact opposite of what you're saying.

    But.. if you say the
    "very credibility of the modern synthesis of evolution"
    is at stake, I'll just have to bite the bullet I suppose.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Neither of the above applies.

    The math don't lie.

    Darwinism is FINISHED.
    Just the answer we expected :wink:
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  10. #9  
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    So Heliopolis - Did that university chap ever get round to commenting on your simulation?
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  11. #10  
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    math doesn't lie. Unfortunately yours doesn't match reality.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    You see this is the problem.
    We all share a collective blame in politicizing science.
    Still, I am a moderate when talking about Neo-Darwinism
    compared to evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis.
    But I also realize that my simulation proves a very salient
    point: It sharply exposes "reductionism" for the lie that it
    is: it indicates that science should focus on the "holistic"
    property of Nature before all else.
    Reducing matters by focusing on a gene in isolation to the
    rest of the genome ( which is what population genetics
    has done all these years) has been a mistake of epic
    proportions
    .
    It seems you have no wish to be taken seriously. I have suggested to you before that sprinkling your posts with emotional phraseology will turn people off. That is an absolute. That you continue to do so, rather than focusing on the facts, weakens your position even further.

    I was amused by your Appeal to Authority attempt. Perhaps you could share with us examples of Margulis's utter rejection of Neo-Darwinism.
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  13. #12  
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    Didn't she just didn't like the focus on competition that some people put on Neo-Darwinism. Usually the people who have no deep knowledge of evolution?

    She happens to favour the importance of cooperation and symbiosis, which fits perfectly well within the theory of evolution.

    As always, she merely represents a reaction to a form of extremism, and as such she is also rather extreme in her emphasis on symbiosis.

    In a way the truth doesn't even lie in the middle. Cooperation between species merely extends the available ecological niches. Radiation into a new niche prevents competition between species. That doesn't mean there isn't competition between the individuals.

    Moreover, competition doesn't usually imply a direct competition. It is more of a theoretical concept. On the grand scheme of things Ophiolite and I are competing with each other regarding reproductive success. That doesn't mean of course I am planning to look him up and cut off his testicles. Nor does it mean I have to be aware of the competition. The competition part is something that will sort itself out over the passing of generations.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  14. #13  
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    Anyway. I sincerely suggest to submit your paper ASAP to a peer-reviewed journal. A theory of this great importance shouldn't be withheld from the scientific community. I feel that the publication of your great theory by means of emailing the random crackpot on this forum is just too demeaning for you and your theory; a theory that will shake the foundation of biological sciences.

    May I suggest to submit it to Nature?

    Or if you want to publish it quickly: Plos One! They have a very fast peer review process which isn't that strict. That just sounds perfect for your purposes! Moreover, it is an Open Access journal which means that the whole world can read it!

    Why waste your time here? Get that thing out there and enjoy the glory of being the first to disprove Darwin in a peer-reviewed journal of international prestige!

    I know that I wouldn't hesitate for a second.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    So Heliopolis - Did that university chap ever get round to commenting on your simulation?
    Yes, he gave me his own template code which I converted into
    a a multilocus model showing differential viability.

    I had previously been using a differential fertility model which
    was irritating the likes of spurious monkey.

    Anyway, Felsenstein requires that I do a lot of tests before he
    will concede that I am right...but he has accepted that, in
    principle, I appear to have found the flaw.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    math doesn't lie. Unfortunately yours doesn't match reality.
    Rather, your prejudice flies in the face of truth.

    If you want to criticize my simulation go ahead.

    If you can't, would you kindly be a little more "reticent".
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Didn't she just didn't like the focus on competition that some people put on Neo-Darwinism. Usually the people who have no deep knowledge of evolution?

    She happens to favour the importance of cooperation and symbiosis, which fits perfectly well within the theory of evolution.

    As always, she merely represents a reaction to a form of extremism, and as such she is also rather extreme in her emphasis on symbiosis.

    In a way the truth doesn't even lie in the middle. Cooperation between species merely extends the available ecological niches. Radiation into a new niche prevents competition between species. That doesn't mean there isn't competition between the individuals.

    Moreover, competition doesn't usually imply a direct competition. It is more of a theoretical concept. On the grand scheme of things Ophiolite and I are competing with each other regarding reproductive success. That doesn't mean of course I am planning to look him up and cut off his testicles. Nor does it mean I have to be aware of the competition. The competition part is something that will sort itself out over the passing of generations.

    Symbiosis is the very basis of Nature. It is something totally at odds with
    Natural Selection. The central tenet of Neo-Darwinism is that there is a
    struggle to propagate genes at any cost. But Margulis's work has shown
    that animals and plants preserve their ecosystems by denying natural
    selection. They don't try to outcompete each other but limit their
    reproduction to balance the need to procreate with the resources available
    as well as the presence of other organisms. There is, thus, a harmonious
    competition which does not result in a "monopoly" of one genotype.

    If natural selection was the main factor, we would witness the rapid
    deterioration of habitats due to the overuse of resources which is exactly
    what humans are doing. WE are the ones who are applying the "law of
    selection" to ourselves and , in doing so, we are causing many species
    to become extinct and undermining our long-term survival.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    You see this is the problem.
    We all share a collective blame in politicizing science.
    Still, I am a moderate when talking about Neo-Darwinism
    compared to evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis.
    But I also realize that my simulation proves a very salient
    point: It sharply exposes "reductionism" for the lie that it
    is: it indicates that science should focus on the "holistic"
    property of Nature before all else.
    Reducing matters by focusing on a gene in isolation to the
    rest of the genome ( which is what population genetics
    has done all these years) has been a mistake of epic
    proportions
    .
    It seems you have no wish to be taken seriously. I have suggested to you before that sprinkling your posts with emotional phraseology will turn people off. That is an absolute. That you continue to do so, rather than focusing on the facts, weakens your position even further.

    I was amused by your Appeal to Authority attempt. Perhaps you could share with us examples of Margulis's utter rejection of Neo-Darwinism.

    Margulis has said the following of Neo-Darwinism:

    "a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon Biology whose proponents wallow in their zoological, capitalistic, competitive, cost-benefit interpretation- Neo-Darwinism, which insists on (the slow accrual of mutations by gene-level natural selection), is a complete funk."[
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    Heliopolis, before we go back to going around in circles with you, please explain in coherent, simple english, what is wrong with Natural Selection, not on computers or with numbers but fundamentally wrong with field which requires an upheaval of our understanding.

    To give examples please explain how natural selection does not account for reasonably recent discoveries such as nylonase & the development of caecal valves in Italian wall lizards & why our understanding of these events contradicts the theory which we use to explain how these events came about.

    Furthermore, please explain again your alternative, do not throw out terms which other people have used to describe it, please explain concisely your understanding of what your new theory in place of natural selection and how it explains the, to you, obvious short comings and fallacies of natural selection & why this compelled you to rethink the area. Please also explain how your new theory is to be tested, so that we may test & see if it is true, and what applications you feel may emerge from developping this new theory.

    If you make a reasonable attempt at this, you will have our attention, if you descend into calling people Nazis again, this will end up like last time & although I am not a moderator, I suspect you may be blocked.
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  20. #19  
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    I'm incredibly in favour of submitting your advanced theory for publication.

    Have you checked out the links I posted? I suggest Plos One. It seems to fit your needs.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis


    Margulis has said the following of Neo-Darwinism:

    "a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon Biology whose proponents wallow in their zoological, capitalistic, competitive, cost-benefit interpretation- Neo-Darwinism, which insists on (the slow accrual of mutations by gene-level natural selection), is a complete funk."[
    yes, we can read wikipedia for ourselves thank you. And I tried to actually put forward something more original on this topic than a rehash of an old quote out of its context.

    May I remind you that quoting statements from authoruity uttered outside peer-reviewed papers are not really considered to constitute arguments in the field of science. They are merely considered to be the parrotting of other people's opinion out of context.

    As interesting as it may seem in the minds of some, it is actually terribly non-informative.

    As you may well know, you could find many quotes that indicate that Einstein was deeply religious. Similarly you can find quotes that show that he was anti-religion. You may even discover by using the quote out of context that Darwin himself was vehemently opposed to the theory of evolution.

    I can assure you that he wasn't.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    It is more of a theoretical concept. On the grand scheme of things Ophiolite and I are competing with each other regarding reproductive success. That doesn't mean of course I am planning to look him up and cut off his testicles.
    That's a relief. (Only a personal one, since my reproductive cycle is complete.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Symbiosis is the very basis of Nature. It is something totally at odds with Natural Selection.
    I agree wholeheartedly with your first statement. I see cooperation at work at every level from the molecular to the entire biosphere (shades of Gaia). However, your second statement is no way follows from your first. The role of natural selection may have been overstated (I think it has), but that is not at all the same as your claim that neo-Darwinism is a lie. More attention needs to paid to the role of cooperation and of sexual selection, but that certainly does not invalidate the central role of natural selection.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    If you make a reasonable attempt at this, you will have our attention, if you descend into calling people Nazis again, this will end up like last time & although I am not a moderator, I suspect you may be blocked.
    My view, borne out of old age cynicism, is that I find it mildly amusing to watch individuals, who are more a braggadocio than a brain, self destruct. I think it can be illuminating for the rest of us - there, but for the grace of God go I.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I'm incredibly in favour of submitting your advanced theory for publication.

    Have you checked out the links I posted? I suggest Plos One. It seems to fit your needs.
    Who says I am going to publish alone?

    I am doing my best to win over the academic establishment
    starting with Felsenstein.

    Actually, I need help with the math part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Heliopolis, before we go back to going around in circles with you, please explain in coherent, simple english, what is wrong with Natural Selection, not on computers or with numbers but fundamentally wrong with field which requires an upheaval of our understanding.

    To give examples please explain how natural selection does not account for reasonably recent discoveries such as nylonase & the development of caecal valves in Italian wall lizards & why our understanding of these events contradicts the theory which we use to explain how these events came about.

    Furthermore, please explain again your alternative, do not throw out terms which other people have used to describe it, please explain concisely your understanding of what your new theory in place of natural selection and how it explains the, to you, obvious short comings and fallacies of natural selection & why this compelled you to rethink the area. Please also explain how your new theory is to be tested, so that we may test & see if it is true, and what applications you feel may emerge from developping this new theory.

    If you make a reasonable attempt at this, you will have our attention, if you descend into calling people Nazis again, this will end up like last time & although I am not a moderator, I suspect you may be blocked.

    Natural Selection is based more on the flawed population and economic theories
    of Thomas Malthus who inspired Darwin. Darwin was also influenced by racist and sexist thinking of the British Empire and the class structure in England. It has very little to do with Nature and zoology.

    The problem with natural selection is that it depends on increasing levels of FITNESS up the evolutionary tree. But the opposite is true: those at the bottom of the tree: amoebae, bacteria, algae etc are superior in their adaptive and reproductive success to any others. Single-celled lifeforms are much more versatile than their multi-cellular counterparts. Hence, why would anything have evolved by means of natural selection beyond an amoeba/protozoon?
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Anyway, Felsenstein requires that I do a lot of tests before he
    will concede that I am right...but he has accepted that, in
    principle, I appear to have found the flaw.
    Sounds intriguing. Are you able to post his reply to you, here, and have you attempted the tests he suggests?
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    The problem with natural selection is that it depends on increasing levels of FITNESS up the evolutionary tree. But the opposite is true: those at the bottom of the tree: amoebae, bacteria, algae etc are superior in their adaptive and reproductive success to any others.
    what does "up" the evolutionary tree mean ? + what is your definition of "fitness", because i suspect it's different from my understanding of the word
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    You still going on about that, so it just has to be an overall postive trait for the population that is quite obvious am sorry if someone has already said this but, could you just settle down thats not all that revoultionary it isn't a huge hole the theory it just the law of averages and the fact some muations are negtive but keep things alive long enough to reporduce that doesn't really matter if they can do that its only really and issue in populations with extended life spains. Is that enough Heliopolis because if you want I could go on.
    sorry I was gone so long, there are just to many undereducated people here I did not want to add to the problem but I am going to anyway
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Anyway, Felsenstein requires that I do a lot of tests before he
    will concede that I am right...but he has accepted that, in
    principle, I appear to have found the flaw.
    Sounds intriguing. Are you able to post his reply to you, here, and have you attempted the tests he suggests?
    Yes: Here is a reply he gave to me that sums up my position:

    "I gather that this is an effort to examine effects of unlinked deleterious
    mutant alleles in obstructing the spread of advantageous mutations.
    Also, from investigating the effect of advantageous mutations
    that did spread in raising the frequencies of deleterious
    mutations by hitchhiking and (I assume) imposing an unacceptable "load"
    on the population."


    As for the tests: I have done about 60% of them but so far have only
    gone up to 100 loci and not the 1000 I really want to test for.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Symbiosis is the very basis of Nature. It is something totally at odds with
    Natural Selection. The central tenet of Neo-Darwinism is that there is a
    struggle to propagate genes at any cost. But Margulis's work has shown
    that animals and plants preserve their ecosystems by denying natural
    selection. They don't try to outcompete each other but limit their
    reproduction to balance the need to procreate with the resources available
    as well as the presence of other organisms. There is, thus, a harmonious
    competition which does not result in a "monopoly" of one genotype.

    If natural selection was the main factor, we would witness the rapid
    deterioration of habitats due to the overuse of resources which is exactly
    what humans are doing. WE are the ones who are applying the "law of
    selection" to ourselves and , in doing so, we are causing many species
    to become extinct and undermining our long-term survival.
    I don't see how this represents an antithesis to natural selection. Of course organisms limit their procreation within the constraints of their ecosystem. If they didn't, they would consume the available resources too quickly and those individuals with the genes for quick consumption would die. Leaving those individuals with more appropriate adaptations to their environment.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    The problem with natural selection is that it depends on increasing levels of FITNESS up the evolutionary tree. But the opposite is true: those at the bottom of the tree: amoebae, bacteria, algae etc are superior in their adaptive and reproductive success to any others.
    what does "up" the evolutionary tree mean ? + what is your definition of "fitness", because i suspect it's different from my understanding of the word

    Fitness is the measure of an organism's ability to survive and reproduce.
    Bacteria currently hold that distinction.

    Natural selection is the survival of the fittest: in Neo-Darwinism it means
    the gene variant which, when expressed in the phenotype, offers the most
    advantage relative to the others.

    The evolutionary tree describes common descent from a primal ancestor
    all the way up to the present: protozoa to homo sapiens in the case of
    animals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Symbiosis is the very basis of Nature. It is something totally at odds with
    Natural Selection. The central tenet of Neo-Darwinism is that there is a
    struggle to propagate genes at any cost. But Margulis's work has shown
    that animals and plants preserve their ecosystems by denying natural
    selection. They don't try to outcompete each other but limit their
    reproduction to balance the need to procreate with the resources available
    as well as the presence of other organisms. There is, thus, a harmonious
    competition which does not result in a "monopoly" of one genotype.

    If natural selection was the main factor, we would witness the rapid
    deterioration of habitats due to the overuse of resources which is exactly
    what humans are doing. WE are the ones who are applying the "law of
    selection" to ourselves and , in doing so, we are causing many species
    to become extinct and undermining our long-term survival.
    I don't see how this represents an antithesis to natural selection. Of course organisms limit their procreation within the constraints of their ecosystem. If they didn't, they would consume the available resources too quickly and those individuals with the genes for quick consumption would die. Leaving those individuals with more appropriate adaptations to their environment.

    Sorry if I misunderstood, but I think you answered your own question...
    and very well, if I may say so.
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    Why in the world do you think natural selection requires organisms "up" on the evolutionary tree be more fit than those "low"er? It only requires that they be fit enough to successfully survive in their given environment. No more, no less.

    As for answering my own question, all I did was describe natural selection at work. Which is what you described. Which you say is not natural selection. Which only adds to the mountain of proof that you are clearly confused about some of the basic elements of existing evolutionary theory.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    "Evolution is smarter than you are"

    :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Why in the world do you think natural selection requires organisms "up" on the evolutionary tree be more fit than those "low"er? It only requires that they be fit enough to successfully survive in their given environment. No more, no less.

    As for answering my own question, all I did was describe natural selection at work. Which is what you described. Which you say is not natural selection. Which only adds to the mountain of proof that you are clearly confused about some of the basic elements of existing evolutionary theory.
    Well, I thought your comment on symbiosis didn't even mention
    natural selection.

    The point about fitness is that those up on the tree should be more
    FIT than those at the bottom. If there is no fitness advantage there
    can be no transition to another species according to natural selection.
    So sponges must have had a selective advantage over amoebae but
    the trouble is they do NOT.

    There is the case of the "founder effect" whereby a muticellular
    organism arose by accident and then went on to found a new
    species.. but this explanation conspicuously does not mention
    natural selection.
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    Evolution doesn't aim at or require maximum fitness. Evolution aims at what's "good enough" regardless if anything else is more fit. Changes will always happen in the genome and change that works will get selected. As long as it survives it'll continue to live, that's just simple logic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Well, I thought your comment on symbiosis didn't even mention
    natural selection.
    Quote Originally Posted by Paralith
    If they didn't, they would consume the available resources too quickly and those individuals with the genes for quick consumption would die. Leaving those individuals with more appropriate adaptations to their environment.
    That IS natural selection.


    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    If there is no fitness advantage there
    can be no transition to another species according to natural selection.
    Again, you misunderstand.

    Firstly, speciation can occur without natural selection. This is not a new idea. For example, let's say you have a species of rodent living in a forest. Over time, a river forms in the forest, dividing the population of that species in half. The two populations no longer have gene flow between them, and as time passes, their gene pools diverge from each other, possibly from genetic drift alone, to the point where they become different species.

    Secondly, fitness is a RELATIVE value. A given characteristic has a different fitness value in different environments. Let's say you have a species of bird living the forest canopy. Then, some birds are born mutations that make them better able to survive on the ground. Because of this, they begin the to spend more time there, and begin the spacial separation that will contribute to their speciation from the parent population. However, the fitness of these two populations can be equal - as long as they are in the environment they are adapted to. If you take a treetop bird and force it to live on the ground, it will suffer compared to the ground birds, and vice versa.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Exactly, fitness is an inappropriate term and leaves out what is most important, the environment, which is the true selector.

    This may select for longer beak, shorter beak, wider wingspan, lesser wingspan, smaller feet, larger feet etc., the concept of "fitness" is relative and here only means that characteristic suited to the organisms environment. This I think heliopolis, turns your understanding of evolution on its head as you depend on a prepetually deleterious mutation gene flow when no such absolute exists.

    Furthermore in previous debates we suggested you sought further education in the understanding of modern evolutionary theory, as it has been some time now, can we assume you have received some formal training?
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    I'd like to present the three-spined stickleback as a wonderful little example of speciation.

    During our last ice age much land along the British Columbia coast was compressed below sea level by glacial weight. Marine sticklebacks colonized the resulting inlets and tide pools, just 10,000 years ago. Now, those water bodies have since risen and become isolated. Today we find each little pocket of sticklebacks adapted in parallel. They're nothing like their marine ancestors. Also, many lakes support multiple breeding populations, that are specializing into different niches of the same lake. Again, the evolution is parallel e.g. several lakes have identical shallows feeders, deep bottom feeders, etc. indistinguishable from lake to lake.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    The evolutionary tree describes common descent from a primal ancestor all the way up to the present: protozoa to homo sapiens in the case of
    animals.
    is H.sapiens "higher" than a protozoon ? i agree that we are further evolved from the ancestral condition, but does this make us higher ? i sometimes wonder
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis

    The evolutionary tree describes common descent from a primal ancestor
    all the way up to the present: protozoa to homo sapiens in the case of
    animals.
    And that is utter complete bullshit.

    I'm sorry to hear you are trying to disprove your own false understanding of evolution. A common mistake unfortunately.

    Even Darwin used the tree of life analogy not to indicate a progression to the human species. He used the tree analogy as a temporal analogy to explain the existence of fossils and how all species are connected. He didn't indicate that there was a progression towards the human species. All the branches progressed.

    He also explained the existence of living fossils with the tree analogy, albeit probably in an incorrect manner.

    As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station.
    His idea was apparently that they survived because their ecological niche remained free from competition.

    The idea of progression really is a cultural one induced by the meme of human exceptionalism.

    Darwin only reluctantly published his work, and why? Because he saw the implications: humans were merely a branch of evolution. They were not the goal. They were not the crown of evolution. They were just another primate species.

    But here you are, 149 years later, still clinging on to the false idea of human exceptionalism with respect to the species as an evolutionary product.

    I find it amazing people can be so ignorant of the theory they are trying to disprove. In fact it proves how stupid the human species really is. We are in fact nothing more than a very limited primate species.

    Thanks for proving it once again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    The point about fitness is that those up on the tree should be more
    FIT than those at the bottom. If there is no fitness advantage there
    can be no transition to another species according to natural selection.
    So sponges must have had a selective advantage over amoebae but
    the trouble is they do NOT.
    I'm hardly educated yet "up on the tree" seems a rather strained metaphor, where no metaphor is needed. Do you need this abstract device to grasp evolution? I think you'd see better with your own eyes. It's real simple & self evident, honest.

    Transition to new species, I think, is the normal direction of every individual. It doesn't matter if that individual is "more fit". Any offspring it has will also tend toward a new species. Slightly of course. So what stops every individual from spawning infinite species is only this: reproduction. You've got to reproduce with something compatible. That keeps a breeding group more or less consistent. But the moment we divide that group into isolated populations, they are - in practice - separate species, and sure to drift apart genetically. There are plenty of environmental reasons populations might split into different groups. Maybe some fish like very slightly warmer water than some other fish, etc. Jeez I have guppies from a single mating pair that divided themselves that way in a 22 liter tank. Yes in just one generation I had bottom feeders and surface feeders, bubble lovers and stagnant drifters, each less likely to mate with the "other tribes". There it is. Why bring fitness or highness into it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis

    The evolutionary tree describes common descent from a primal ancestor
    all the way up to the present: protozoa to homo sapiens in the case of
    animals.
    And that is utter complete bullshit.

    I'm sorry to hear you are trying to disprove your own false understanding of evolution. A common mistake unfortunately.

    Even Darwin used the tree of life analogy not to indicate a progression to the human species. He used the tree analogy as a temporal analogy to explain the existence of fossils and how all species are connected. He didn't indicate that there was a progression towards the human species. All the branches progressed.

    He also explained the existence of living fossils with the tree analogy, albeit probably in an incorrect manner.



    As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station.
    His idea was apparently that they survived because their ecological niche remained free from competition.

    The idea of progression really is a cultural one induced by the meme of human exceptionalism.

    Darwin only reluctantly published his work, and why? Because he saw the implications: humans were merely a branch of evolution. They were not the goal. They were not the crown of evolution. They were just another primate species.

    But here you are, 149 years later, still clinging on to the false idea of human exceptionalism with respect to the species as an evolutionary product.

    I find it amazing people can be so ignorant of the theory they are trying to disprove. In fact it proves how stupid the human species really is. We are in fact nothing more than a very limited primate species.

    Thanks for proving it once again.
    Funny, then , how most evolutionary biologists refer to the "tree of life"
    except for yourself. The FACT is that there is a common descent which
    can be modelled as a "tree", as is done in numerous sciences. The
    protozoon is the root and the humans are the upper branches.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phylogenetic_tree

    You have just shown your utter contempt of phylogenetics and have
    deliberately misquoted me with this disingenuous "exceptionalism"
    argument which I never referred to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Well, I thought your comment on symbiosis didn't even mention
    natural selection.
    Quote Originally Posted by Paralith
    If they didn't, they would consume the available resources too quickly and those individuals with the genes for quick consumption would die. Leaving those individuals with more appropriate adaptations to their environment.
    That IS natural selection.


    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    If there is no fitness advantage there
    can be no transition to another species according to natural selection.
    Again, you misunderstand.

    Firstly, speciation can occur without natural selection. This is not a new idea. For example, let's say you have a species of rodent living in a forest. Over time, a river forms in the forest, dividing the population of that species in half. The two populations no longer have gene flow between them, and as time passes, their gene pools diverge from each other, possibly from genetic drift alone, to the point where they become different species.

    Secondly, fitness is a RELATIVE value. A given characteristic has a different fitness value in different environments. Let's say you have a species of bird living the forest canopy. Then, some birds are born mutations that make them better able to survive on the ground. Because of this, they begin the to spend more time there, and begin the spacial separation that will contribute to their speciation from the parent population. However, the fitness of these two populations can be equal - as long as they are in the environment they are adapted to. If you take a treetop bird and force it to live on the ground, it will suffer compared to the ground birds, and vice versa.

    No, what you refer to is the opposite of natural selection: You are trying to imply that those who live in harmony with their habitat are in fact the "fittest" whereas those who don't die off. But this is spurious, as if one species tried to dominate at the expense of the others, everyone would be affected and the ecosystem would break down.

    Yes, fitness is relative to the environment. But you are showing a complete ignorance of genetics. A new species does not appear overnight. It is a gradual process and each stage must have a SELECTIVE ADVANTAGE based on FITNESS
    ( according to Darwin). If there is no selective advantage, there will be no evolution.

    Your reference to drift I will take as an admission that natural selection is flawed.
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    Heliopolis you seriously need to get an education in evolution. The metaphor of the tree of life may be a common one - though most serious biologists would prefer to think of it as a bush - but the notion that the 'upper' branches are somehow 'fitter' than the lower is unadulterated bullshit.
    The fact that you entertain such an antediluvian notion merely demonstrates the depth of your ignorance. I recommend you read and attend to the various pointers offered you by other posters in this and other threads; go away and learn about what modern evolutionary theory actually says; then come back with a new name and a revised presentation of your hypothesis - one that presents it as a minor adaptation of evolutionary theory, not the overthrow of your false understanding of what evolutionary theory is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Exactly, fitness is an inappropriate term and leaves out what is most important, the environment, which is the true selector.

    This may select for longer beak, shorter beak, wider wingspan, lesser wingspan, smaller feet, larger feet etc., the concept of "fitness" is relative and here only means that characteristic suited to the organisms environment. This I think heliopolis, turns your understanding of evolution on its head as you depend on a prepetually deleterious mutation gene flow when no such absolute exists.

    Furthermore in previous debates we suggested you sought further education in the understanding of modern evolutionary theory, as it has been some time now, can we assume you have received some formal training?
    As with paralith, you do not understand evolution in terms of a gradual
    process of genetic changes. This is the real problem I have seen here.
    For each change to be preserved it must have a selective advantage
    based on FITNESS ( as in the PRESENT ENVIRONMENT). This is basic
    evolutionary genetics theory: I haven't invented the term, they have.

    With the tranistion from singular to multicellular organisms the
    environment was such that those most suited to adaptation were
    the single celled protozoa and not the sponge-like creatures. This
    is because a single cell is more flexible.

    Sudden changes in selective pressures are also bad as they
    disrupt gradual development. The fact that these pressures are
    variable is another reason to reject any "directional" property of
    natural selection.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Heliopolis you seriously need to get an education in evolution. The metaphor of the tree of life may be a common one - though most serious biologists would prefer to think of it as a bush - but the notion that the 'upper' branches are somehow 'fitter' than the lower is unadulterated bullshit.
    The fact that you entertain such an antediluvian notion merely demonstrates the depth of your ignorance. I recommend you read and attend to the various pointers offered you by other posters in this and other threads; go away and learn about what modern evolutionary theory actually says; then come back with a new name and a revised presentation of your hypothesis - one that presents it as a minor adaptation of evolutionary theory, not the overthrow of your false understanding of what evolutionary theory is.
    I agree it is bullshit but I am not the one arguing the case.

    I am not the one who claims that every evolutionary change
    is an adaptation based on a gain in fitness : THAT IS THE
    THEORY OF NATURAL SELECTION!

    Now, if you wish to suggest that fitness is not the criterion for
    natural selection, be my guest.

    Before we speak of the difference between humans and amoebae,
    kindly explain why amoebae evolved into less adapted jelly-like
    creatures.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Evolution doesn't aim at or require maximum fitness. Evolution aims at what's "good enough" regardless if anything else is more fit. Changes will always happen in the genome and change that works will get selected. As long as it survives it'll continue to live, that's just simple logic.

    No, it doesn't: Natural Selection requires it. This is taken from the
    wikipedia article on the subject:

    "The concept of fitness is central to natural selection. However, as with Natural selection above, there is serious divergence of opinion over the precise meaning of the term, and Richard Dawkins manages in his later books to avoid it entirely. (He devotes a chapter of his The Extended Phenotype to discussing the various senses in which the term is used.) Although fitness is sometimes colloquially understood as a quality that promotes survival of a particular individual - as illustrated in the well-known phrase survival of the fittest - modern evolutionary theory defines fitness in terms of individual reproduction."
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    With the tranistion from singular to multicellular organisms the
    environment was such that those most suited to adaptation were
    the single celled protozoa and not the sponge-like creatures. This
    is because a single cell is more flexible.
    That is totally unsupported speculation on your part: becoming multicellular actually created new niches to be exploited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Sudden changes in selective pressures are also bad as they
    disrupt gradual development. The fact that these pressures are
    variable is another reason to reject any "directional" property of
    natural selection.
    Nobody claims that the 'direction' of natural selection has to be constant.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

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  50. #49  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    No, what you refer to is the opposite of natural selection: You are trying to imply that those who live in harmony with their habitat are in fact the "fittest" whereas those who don't die off. But this is spurious, as if one species tried to dominate at the expense of the others, everyone would be affected and the ecosystem would break down.
    lol. Did I say one species would cause a whole ecosystem to break down? No. And yes, those who live in harmony with their environment ARE the fittest. That is adaptation to the environment. If you try to behave in ways that the environment simply cannot support, then your reproductive success will suffer. That is what that means. Those who do not "live in harmony" suffer at their own expense, those INDIVIDUALS have lowered fitness.

    [/quote]Yes, fitness is relative to the environment. But you are showing a complete ignorance of genetics. A new species does not appear overnight. It is a gradual process and each stage must have a SELECTIVE ADVANTAGE based on FITNESS
    ( according to Darwin). If there is no selective advantage, there will be no evolution.

    Your reference to drift I will take as an admission that natural selection is flawed.[/quote]

    Again, you think I said something I didn't. Did I say a new species appears overnight? I did not. I made many references to the expanse of time. I will also refer again to genetic drift, which in no way or form is a flaw of natural selection. They are two SEPARATE processes. Why on earth would the existence of one indicate a flaw in another?

    Evolution = a change in the gene frequencies of a population's gene pool. That change can be made by MANY mechanisms, of which natural selection is ONLY ONE. It is the only one that can result in specific adaptations to the environment, but it is not the only way by which evolution occurs. Genetic drift IS evolution. Mutation IS evolution. It's pathetic that you're trying to topple a theory whose basic terminology you are confusing every time you post.

    A selective advantage based on fitness is the definition of natural selection, not evolution as a whole.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  51. #50  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    With the tranistion from singular to multicellular organisms the
    environment was such that those most suited to adaptation were
    the single celled protozoa and not the sponge-like creatures. This
    is because a single cell is more flexible.
    That is totally unsupported speculation on your part: becoming multicellular actually created new niches to be exploited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Sudden changes in selective pressures are also bad as they
    disrupt gradual development. The fact that these pressures are
    variable is another reason to reject any "directional" property of
    natural selection.
    Nobody claims that the 'direction' of natural selection has to be constant.

    Actually, there is plenty of evidence that shows that the sponge-like descendants of amoebae have problems regarding reproduction and also are very susceptible to
    changes in the ocean currents which can lessen their chances of feeding. Amoebae
    don't have that problem and can form a protective "cyst" in adverse conditions.

    The concept of ecological niches is spurious: The sponges and jelly creatures may
    live deep down in the sea, unlike amoebae, but that may be because they are
    actually unsuited and thus less fit to live elsewhere. This is not "natural selection".
    This IS adaptation though: But the transition from single-celled to multicellular organisms requires changes that preclude a detrimental impact occuring over
    the intermediate stages: Hence, if you insist on "selection", each stage would
    have to offer an advantage or at least not a disadvantage.
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    Again, you think I said something I didn't. Did I say a new species appears overnight? I did not. I made many references to the expanse of time. I will also refer again to genetic drift, which in no way or form is a flaw of natural selection. They are two SEPARATE processes. Why on earth would the existence of one indicate a flaw in another?

    Evolution = a change in the gene frequencies of a population's gene pool. That change can be made by MANY mechanisms, of which natural selection is ONLY ONE. It is the only one that can result in specific adaptations to the environment, but it is not the only way by which evolution occurs. Genetic drift IS evolution. Mutation IS evolution. It's pathetic that you're trying to topple a theory whose basic terminology you are confusing every time you post.

    A selective advantage based on fitness is the definition of natural selection, not evolution as a whole.
    Well, I beg to differ on the harmony part. I don't think you can easily separate
    the good guys from the bad. Think of an ecosystem as a ship. If everyone works
    for the common good all is well..if someone acts like a selfish idiot, the ship might
    actually sink. You also forget that a central tenet of Neo-Darwinism is the propagation of genes by any means possible and at any cost: "Selfish Gene".

    Let's have a look at these mechanisms for evolution:

    1) Natural Selection
    2) Sexual Selection
    3) Genetic Drift
    4) Founder Effect.

    From what you have described so far, you seem to downplay natural selection
    entirely relying mostly on mutations, actually macromutations, that create a few
    individuals who go off to found a new colony in an unexploited ecological niche.

    Genetic Drift may circumvent selection, but you still have the problem of
    phyletic gradualism whereby changes are slight and happen over a very long
    period of time. The other problem is that drift is a very poor agency
    except in tiny populations ( like under 100). It also has a major downside
    as it can lead to the fixation of deleterious alleles. That said, there are
    people who emphatically believe in genetic drift but only because they
    are not happy with the theory of natural selection which is the reason
    we are having this discussion in the first place.
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  53. #52  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    With the tranistion from singular to multicellular organisms the
    environment was such that those most suited to adaptation were
    the single celled protozoa and not the sponge-like creatures. This
    is because a single cell is more flexible.
    That is totally unsupported speculation on your part: becoming multicellular actually created new niches to be exploited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Sudden changes in selective pressures are also bad as they
    disrupt gradual development. The fact that these pressures are
    variable is another reason to reject any "directional" property of
    natural selection.
    Nobody claims that the 'direction' of natural selection has to be constant.

    Actually, there is plenty of evidence that shows that the sponge-like descendants of amoebae have problems regarding reproduction and also are very susceptible to
    changes in the ocean currents which can lessen their chances of feeding. Amoebae
    don't have that problem and can form a protective "cyst" in adverse conditions.

    The concept of ecological niches is spurious: The sponges and jelly creatures may
    live deep down in the sea, unlike amoebae, but that may be because they are
    actually unsuited and thus less fit to live elsewhere. This is not "natural selection".
    This IS adaptation though: But the transition from single-celled to multicellular organisms requires changes that preclude a detrimental impact occuring over
    the intermediate stages: Hence, if you insist on "selection", each stage would
    have to offer an advantage or at least not a disadvantage.
    you seem to have totally lost it. Your anecdotal reference to sponges having difficulties reproducing has no argumental value in deciding whether single celled organisms are more flexible. In fact, most bacteria and archea were unknown to science because they couldn't be multiplied in lab conditions. That would indicate that the majority of single celled species are completely inflexible. Only recently with the advent of modern genomic techniques has it been possible to assess the diversity of archea in microbial communities. And scientists were amazed by it.

    Hence I suggest you seriously start taking your homework seriously, and do not try to throw around 'gossip' to prove your point.

    -----

    Natural selection drives adaptations. I would think you could pick up something basic like this even from reading on the internet. It seems you are intent on fooling yourself. And for what reason I can't imagine.

    Is it because you think you are brilliant because you managed to put together a false model?
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    you seem to have totally lost it. Your anecdotal reference to sponges having difficulties reproducing has no argumental value in deciding whether single celled organisms are more flexible. In fact, most bacteria and archea were unknown to science because they couldn't be multiplied in lab conditions. That would indicate that the majority of single celled species are completely inflexible. Only recently with the advent of modern genomic techniques has it been possible to assess the diversity of archea in microbial communities. And scientists were amazed by it.

    Hence I suggest you seriously start taking your homework seriously, and do not try to throw around 'gossip' to prove your point.

    -----

    Natural selection drives adaptations. I would think you could pick up something basic like this even from reading on the internet. It seems you are intent on fooling yourself. And for what reason I can't imagine.

    Is it because you think you are brilliant because you managed to put together a false model?

    I suppose "gossip" is the part of science you have no knowledge about.

    The fact that I can find amoebae and bacteria practically everywhere
    is indicative of their superior adaptive and survival abilities.

    You also don't understand that natural selection has to be continuous
    throughout all stages of development. Incipient and intermediate
    stages are likely to be selectively neutral ( Motoo Kimura) or even
    slightly harmful.

    The model I use has nothing to do with the zoology we are discussing

    It is purely centred on genetics and it shows that natural selection is
    DANGEROUS as a whole load of genetic garbage is raised in frequency
    in the process.

    But I don't think you are in any position to understand statistical genetics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Well, I beg to differ on the harmony part. I don't think you can easily separate
    the good guys from the bad. Think of an ecosystem as a ship. If everyone works
    for the common good all is well..if someone acts like a selfish idiot, the ship might
    actually sink. You also forget that a central tenet of Neo-Darwinism is the propagation of genes by any means possible and at any cost: "Selfish Gene".
    It might sink, yes. But not necessarily. Especially not if the selfish idiot's job is somewhat redundant, and other people can fill that spot if the need arises.

    The point about harmony, or cooperation, or anything that seems unselfish, is that they are, ultimately, selfish. A trait will not be consistently selected for unless it promotes the reproductive success of the genes that encode for it. In symbiosis, then, the two species involved in the relationship each have better reproductive success working together than they could if they worked alone.

    From what you have described so far, you seem to downplay natural selection
    entirely relying mostly on mutations, actually macromutations, that create a few
    individuals who go off to found a new colony in an unexploited ecological niche.
    What I described so far were simplified examples, since you clearly have trouble with the most basic concepts. And as you enjoy putting words in my mouth , you took that to mean I was trying to downplay natural selection. Now that, hopefully, you understand that fitness values for species at different "places" in the evolutionary tree can be the same, just in different environments, we can move past such simplicity.

    Genetic Drift may circumvent selection, but you still have the problem of
    phyletic gradualism whereby changes are slight and happen over a very long
    period of time. The other problem is that drift is a very poor agency
    except in tiny populations ( like under 100). It also has a major downside
    as it can lead to the fixation of deleterious alleles. That said, there are
    people who emphatically believe in genetic drift but only because they
    are not happy with the theory of natural selection which is the reason
    we are having this discussion in the first place.
    Why is phyletic gradualism a problem for genetic drift? I would think a weaker mechanism of change, like genetic drift, would be more likely to have a significant effect on a population given longer time to act. And why is the fixation of deletrious alleles (as long as the environment in which those alleles exist does not change, and therefore change their fitness value) a downside of genetic drift? Genetic drift does not yield adaptation. It merely yields change.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  56. #55  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis


    I suppose "gossip" is the part of science you have no knowledge about.

    The fact that I can find amoebae and bacteria practically everywhere
    is indicative of their superior adaptive and survival abilities.
    you seriously seem to have something up your arse since you totally disregard the concept of species here. You can find a certain species of bacteria in locations with very specific conditions, and in other localities with different conditions you find other species of bacteria.

    This isn't really rocket science. bacteria tend to be rather specialized in their requirements. One species lives in your rectum, while another lives in a hydrothermal vent. While both localities can get warm and have a sulphurous atmosphere, they are radically different. I can assure you that the enzyme TAQ polymerase was not sampled from a scientists' arse, but came from a bacterial species that only grows in hot springs and hydrothermal vents. It is aptly named:

    Thermus aquaticus

    Your intestines on the other side are totally deprived of Thermus aquaticus, despite that they show great skill in surviving radical conditions. It is populated by a host of bacterial species, the most famous of which is of course:

    Escherichia coli

    It normally lives in your lower intestine, and not in hot springs and hydrothermal vents. Of course someone can accidentally poop in a hot spring and then temporarily this locality will be colonized by Escherichia coli. I can assure you though that this invasion doesn't last very long. This particual species rather resides in someone's arse and doesn't do well in hot steaming water.

    My apologies to the other readers of this forum for going down an educational level or two, but it seems that our friend heliopolis is particularly keen on ignoring or forgetting the basics when it suits him. This kind of behaviour is commonly found among creationists and pseudoscientists. I only hope that he was just tired or something and made a mistake.


    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    You also don't understand that natural selection has to be continuous
    throughout all stages of development. Incipient and intermediate
    stages are likely to be selectively neutral ( Motoo Kimura) or even
    slightly harmful.

    The model I use has nothing to do with the zoology we are discussing

    It is purely centred on genetics and it shows that natural selection is
    DANGEROUS as a whole load of genetic garbage is raised in frequency
    in the process.

    But I don't think you are in any position to understand statistical genetics.
    I understand perfectly that natural selection does NOT have to be continuous throughout evolution in order to create new form, or new adaptations. In fact the concept that has recently popped up as being instructive in evolutionary adaptation is pre-adaptation. In fact natural selection may well go back and forth as it pleases till the right circumstances are reached for the appearance of a certain adaptation. It wouldn't matter at all for creating the genetic diversity required for the new adaptation. In fact, as I was suspecting and have pointed out many times already, you seem to attack a form of evolution that only resides in your head. A form of evolution that doesn't seem to match the current understanding of evolution by the scientific community.

    Most adaptations did not come about in all probability in a straight line with natural selection pushing in a certain direction of adaptative space. In fact, most adaptations come about with tinkering. A haphazard modification of what is present, that can induce large and small phenotypic changes, but mostly small. Moreover, the nature of the developmenta genetic pathways actually stimulates robustness of micro-change by means of extensive inhibitor-activator feedback loops in the major signalling pathways involved in the developmental biology of the organism. There are many fine papers on books on it, but I am sure my advice to read up on the topic will fall on deaf ears with you. After all, it is easier to disprove your own fantasies than reality.

    The nature of genetic modulation also dictates that changes in form do not have to be straightforward from one point to the other. In fact nature didn't know that it eventually would come up with a grasping hand when it changed the continuous finline of primitive chordates into finlike structures. Nor did it know it was going to do that.

    What did happen was that the changes couldn't come about without the necessary genetic pre-adaptations. Hox clusters needed to be duplicated to be able to assign new functions to them, other signalling factor genes underwent a similar process. New genetic possibilities were created by mutation.

    And for absolutely no good reason whatever. It just happens. yet some of these mutations were maintained in the gene pool, and they were used to modify the existing ontogeny and small phenotypic changes were the result.

    This isn't speculation btw. It is merely a summary of countless scientific papers. Papers who could be read by you. But you will not.

    In fact you are so ignorant on the mechanisms of development that you do not even understand the true function of a gene, and its relationship to changes in form and function.

    You talk about harmful mutations. Shit, do you really think an organism is particularly worried about the duplication of a HOX cluster? So it started off with one FGF gene. And most mammals carry around 22 of them right now. And they don't perform the same function any more. their function has diversified to increase the genetic interaction of the signalling pathways increasing not only the robustness of them, but also gave the organism a way to trying out things (in the metaphorical sense). A blank gene was given that was already functional. All you need to do is change the promotor affinities (easily done with mutations in the promoter region) and sometimes slightly change the target. And whoopla a whole new function was born.

    that's only the tip of the iceberg of course, because nature has added a shitload of inhibitors to developmental processes. it seems like a total waste, because there are shitload of activators, but it actually increases the reliability and at the same time allows for reliable modification of form. It saves from excesses that could be lethal.

    But all we hear here are you one-dimensional ideas of evolution and your constant moaning about how hostile everybody is to your revolutionary ideas.

    The simple fact is that you know shit about anything. And that your theory is a bucket of poop.

    And every time someone corrects you, you just ignore it or put words in their mouth they haven't used.

    It's slightly entertaining what you do, but I wouldn't call your mind scientific in any way: it's more like a bag of salty crisps. Salt and fat enhanced factory flavour.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    I understand perfectly that natural selection does NOT have to be continuous throughout evolution in order to create new form, or new adaptations. In fact the concept that has recently popped up as being instructive in evolutionary adaptation is pre-adaptation. In fact natural selection may well go back and forth as it pleases till the right circumstances are reached for the appearance of a certain adaptation. It wouldn't matter at all for creating the genetic diversity required for the new adaptation. In fact, as I was suspecting and have pointed out many times already, you seem to attack a form of evolution that only resides in your head. A form of evolution that doesn't seem to match the current understanding of evolution by the scientific community.

    Most adaptations did not come about in all probability in a straight line with natural selection pushing in a certain direction of adaptative space. In fact, most adaptations come about with tinkering. A haphazard modification of what is present, that can induce large and small phenotypic changes, but mostly small. Moreover, the nature of the developmenta genetic pathways actually stimulates robustness of micro-change by means of extensive inhibitor-activator feedback loops in the major signalling pathways involved in the developmental biology of the organism. There are many fine papers on books on it, but I am sure my advice to read up on the topic will fall on deaf ears with you. After all, it is easier to disprove your own fantasies than reality.

    The nature of genetic modulation also dictates that changes in form do not have to be straightforward from one point to the other. In fact nature didn't know that it eventually would come up with a grasping hand when it changed the continuous finline of primitive chordates into finlike structures. Nor did it know it was going to do that.

    What did happen was that the changes couldn't come about without the necessary genetic pre-adaptations. Hox clusters needed to be duplicated to be able to assign new functions to them, other signalling factor genes underwent a similar process. New genetic possibilities were created by mutation.

    And for absolutely no good reason whatever. It just happens. yet some of these mutations were maintained in the gene pool, and they were used to modify the existing ontogeny and small phenotypic changes were the result.

    This isn't speculation btw. It is merely a summary of countless scientific papers. Papers who could be read by you. But you will not.

    In fact you are so ignorant on the mechanisms of development that you do not even understand the true function of a gene, and its relationship to changes in form and function.

    You talk about harmful mutations. Shit, do you really think an organism is particularly worried about the duplication of a HOX cluster? So it started off with one FGF gene. And most mammals carry around 22 of them right now. And they don't perform the same function any more. their function has diversified to increase the genetic interaction of the signalling pathways increasing not only the robustness of them, but also gave the organism a way to trying out things (in the metaphorical sense). A blank gene was given that was already functional. All you need to do is change the promotor affinities (easily done with mutations in the promoter region) and sometimes slightly change the target. And whoopla a whole new function was born.

    that's only the tip of the iceberg of course, because nature has added a shitload of inhibitors to developmental processes. it seems like a total waste, because there are shitload of activators, but it actually increases the reliability and at the same time allows for reliable modification of form. It saves from excesses that could be lethal.

    But all we hear here are you one-dimensional ideas of evolution and your constant moaning about how hostile everybody is to your revolutionary ideas.

    The simple fact is that you know shit about anything. And that your theory is a bucket of poop.

    And every time someone corrects you, you just ignore it or put words in their mouth they haven't used.

    It's slightly entertaining what you do, but I wouldn't call your mind scientific in any way: it's more like a bag of salty crisps. Salt and fat enhanced factory flavour.
    That was some rant that had nothing to do with what we are discussing.

    Bacteria are bacteria at the end of the day. They come in different species
    and different strains within the species but their survival and reproductive
    success is dependent on the fact that they are adaptable single-celled
    lifeforms. Enough said.

    As for adaptation: What you refer to is SPECULATION period. I have read
    about "tinkering" and so so: try apply such logic to the development of
    complex organs, especially internal ones. You have deliberately chosen
    to misinterpret the whole concept of signalling and regulator genes to
    score a stupid point. I needn't bother explaining epistasis, polygenic
    relationships and pleiotropy as you are not capable of understanding them.

    You completely refuse to accept that selection means that there has to be a fitness advantage for a selected gene to reach fixation in a population and that the selective pressure must be constant. You aren't insulting me, you are insulting population geneticists the world over.

    There is no point in discussing this with an academic facsist like yourself
    who holds another discipline in contempt because of his own ignorance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I agree it is bullshit but I am not the one arguing the case.
    You claim that biologists view organisms 'higher up' the tree of life as being fitter. If you deny this I shall simply refer to threads and posts where you have stated exactly that. That claim is nonsense. Biologists do not claim that. You are arguing against a point of view that no one with a brain holds.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I am not the one who claims that every evolutionary change
    is an adaptation based on a gain in fitness : THAT IS THE
    THEORY OF NATURAL SELECTION!.
    Again, you are talking codswallop. No biologist claims that all evolutionary changes are adaptations that produce a gain in fitness. Paralith has spoken of gentic drift. Other evolutionary changes may, temporarily, produce organisms that are less fit by a small amount for their current environment. A change in that environment could then render that change beneficial.
    Others have pointed out that you appear to think that fitness is an absolute thing. It is not. Fitness is relative and it is relative to other organisms in a specific environment.
    Before we speak of the difference between humans and amoebae,
    kindly explain why amoebae evolved into less adapted jelly-like
    creatures.
    I shall be happy to do so if you first explain what is 'less adapted' about them. You still seem fixated on this ridiculous notion that, for example, humans are 'more advanced' than bacteria, whatever that means.
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    Why is phyletic gradualism a problem for genetic drift? I would think a weaker mechanism of change, like genetic drift, would be more likely to have a significant effect on a population given longer time to act. And why is the fixation of deletrious alleles (as long as the environment in which those alleles exist does not change, and therefore change their fitness value) a downside of genetic drift? Genetic drift does not yield adaptation. It merely yields change.

    I'll tell you why Genetic Drift alone is inconsequential:

    1) In large populations, the probability of fixation due to neutral drift is
    EXTREMELY unlikey..I don't have the exact figures, but is far too
    small even on an evolutionary scale of time. In my simulations,
    neutral drift only works when there is a "hitchhiking" or strong
    negative/background selection element.

    2) Genetic Drift can also allow the fixation of more numerous slightly deleterious alleles which would undo the good of any neutral variation.

    3) Unlike Natural Selection, Genetic Drift just increases the frequencies of
    often unrelated mutations...thus you get a bit of this, a bit of that. There
    is no mechanism to sort, sift and select. In a complex polygenic relationship
    these unrelated mutations could be very detrimental.

    The point about phyletic gradualism is more centred towards what you
    were talking about with your bird example: You presented a variant that
    was more a "saltation" than anything else. Is that what you had in mind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I agree it is bullshit but I am not the one arguing the case.
    You claim that biologists view organisms 'higher up' the tree of life as being fitter. If you deny this I shall simply refer to threads and posts where you have stated exactly that. That claim is nonsense. Biologists do not claim that. You are arguing against a point of view that no one with a brain holds.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I am not the one who claims that every evolutionary change
    is an adaptation based on a gain in fitness : THAT IS THE
    THEORY OF NATURAL SELECTION!.
    Again, you are talking codswallop. No biologist claims that all evolutionary changes are adaptations that produce a gain in fitness. Paralith has spoken of gentic drift. Other evolutionary changes may, temporarily, produce organisms that are less fit by a small amount for their current environment. A change in that environment could then render that change beneficial.
    Others have pointed out that you appear to think that fitness is an absolute thing. It is not. Fitness is relative and it is relative to other organisms in a specific environment.
    Before we speak of the difference between humans and amoebae,
    kindly explain why amoebae evolved into less adapted jelly-like
    creatures.
    I shall be happy to do so if you first explain what is 'less adapted' about them. You still seem fixated on this ridiculous notion that, for example, humans are 'more advanced' than bacteria, whatever that means.

    We are having a debate about Natural Selection and not drift.

    Its not very hard to understand. Natural Selection is based
    on the assumption that evolutionary change is an adaptation
    due to a gain in fitness.

    My point is what gain of fitness exists for multicellular organisms
    over their more primitive ancestors whose survival and
    reproductive success has been shown to be unsurpassed.

    Your problem and others on this forum has been a complete
    ignorance of population genetics which is where I am coming
    from. A macromutation that produced a sponge out of an amoeba
    would have to have an immediate fitness advantage for
    natural selection to spread the mutant gene through the
    population , enough such that a new group could split off
    and find a new habitat.

    If not, the chance mutation would be lost.
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  61. #60  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I'll tell you why Genetic Drift alone is inconsequential:

    1) In large populations, the probability of fixation due to neutral drift is
    EXTREMELY unlikey..I don't have the exact figures, but is far too
    small even on an evolutionary scale of time. In my simulations,
    neutral drift only works when there is a "hitchhiking" or strong
    negative/background selection element.

    2) Genetic Drift can also allow the fixation of more numerous slightly deleterious alleles which would undo the good of any neutral variation.

    3) Unlike Natural Selection, Genetic Drift just increases the frequencies of
    often unrelated mutations...thus you get a bit of this, a bit of that. There
    is no mechanism to sort, sift and select. In a complex polygenic relationship
    these unrelated mutations could be very detrimental.
    So you are saying that genetic drift is not the same as natural selection. Wow, what a revelation.

    I am not saying that genetic drift is a major cause of adaptations. Of course it isn't. It can be a cause for genetic CHANGE (in any direction, be it beneficial or detrimental or neutral), a creator of variation and divergence upon which natural selection can potentially act. In my simplified rodent example, the changes in the populations on either sides of the river do not have to be adaptations. There just needs to be sufficient genetic CHANGE (in any direction) so that they become separate species. Sometimes the initiating moment of speciation has nothing to do with natural selection. But, most likely natural selection will play a role as the divergence continues.

    The point about phyletic gradualism is more centred towards what you
    were talking about with your bird example: You presented a variant that
    was more a "saltation" than anything else. Is that what you had in mind?
    Please remember my example was simplified, in order to explain a specific point.

    Saltation, to a degree, is not unreasonable. The likelihood of a single mutation or two resulting in a complex behavioral change is extremely low. But perhaps, a single mutation enabled a digestive enzyme of the birds to be more able to break down a certain food, allowing them to take more advantage of that food than other individuals, and those individuals with that mutation who spent more time in areas abundant in that food (say, because the ground niche opened up due to another species' extinction and the population in general expanded to include that area) began to experience a selective advantage. A very slight one, perhaps, but an advantage nonetheless.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  62. #61  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    We are having a debate about Natural Selection and not drift.

    Its not very hard to understand. Natural Selection is based
    on the assumption that evolutionary change is an adaptation
    due to a gain in fitness.
    PLEASE. Get your terms straight. Evolutionary change is ANY change in a population's gene pool. Natural selection ONLY says: some heritable variants have more reproductive success in a given environment than others. THAT'S ALL.

    My point is what gain of fitness exists for multicellular organisms
    over their more primitive ancestors whose survival and
    reproductive success has been shown to be unsurpassed.
    (emphasis mine - paralith)
    In what environment? Utilizing which resources? Filling in which niches? You claim to understand that fitness is not absolute but continue to argue as though it is, making me seriously doubt what you do actually understand.

    Your problem and others on this forum has been a complete
    ignorance of population genetics which is where I am coming
    from. A macromutation that produced a sponge out of an amoeba
    would have to have an immediate fitness advantage for
    natural selection to spread the mutant gene through the
    population , enough such that a new group could split off
    and find a new habitat.
    Do you seriously think that biologists believe a single mutation was responsible for making an amoeba into a sponge? That one instantly became the other, and that there were no gradual steps in between? You're harping at me about gradualism and yet here you are acting like it doesn't exist.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    PLEASE. Get your terms straight. Evolutionary change is ANY change in a population's gene pool. Natural selection ONLY says: some heritable variants have more reproductive success in a given environment than others. THAT'S ALL.

    In what environment? Utilizing which resources? Filling in which niches? You claim to understand that fitness is not absolute but continue to argue as though it is, making me seriously doubt what you do actually understand.

    Do you seriously think that biologists believe a single mutation was responsible for making an amoeba into a sponge? That one instantly became the other, and that there were no gradual steps in between? You're harping at me about gradualism and yet here you are acting like it doesn't exist.

    My terms are right: The Neo-Darwinist position is that natural selection
    is the sole criterion for evolutionary change. They do not mention drift
    ( except as an ancillary process) or the founder effect. Thus, it is correct
    to state that evolutionary change is the result of adaptation according to
    them.

    The concept of a "macromutation" is in fact what Spurious Monkey
    was ranting on about: He claimed that a change in the regulator
    genes could produce a new function which, on a primitve level,
    could even result in a new species.

    But the point is not whether you adhere to saltationist or gradualistic
    models: the point is that any change will be lost unless it confers
    a fitness advantage.

    Remmeber that most beneficial mutations would be LOST to drift
    rather than promoted by it.

    You miss the point about bacteria: Sure, we don't see bacteria
    with wings exploiting the ecological niches of the aether. But do
    they have any need to do so? They have filled enough niches
    to happily survive and reproduce: There is no need for them to
    evolve into a more complex organism as they can adapt very
    easily. Likewise for amoebae.
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    So you are saying that genetic drift is not the same as natural selection. Wow, what a revelation.


    I am not saying that genetic drift is a major cause of adaptations. Of course it isn't. It can be a cause for genetic CHANGE (in any direction, be it beneficial or detrimental or neutral), a creator of variation and divergence upon which natural selection can potentially act. In my simplified rodent example, the changes in the populations on either sides of the river do not have to be adaptations. There just needs to be sufficient genetic CHANGE (in any direction) so that they become separate species. Sometimes the initiating moment of speciation has nothing to do with natural selection. But, most likely natural selection will play a role as the divergence continues.

    I think you are confusing DRIFT with MUTATION.

    Mutation, or indeed recombination, could be a source of variation
    or genetic change.

    All Drift means is the fluctuation in frequency of a mutation due
    to chance events. That's all.

    You also seem to admit that drift alone can't be much of
    an agent of evolution and, in this respect, I agree with you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    My terms are right: The Neo-Darwinist position is that natural selection is the sole criterion for evolutionary change. They do not mention drift
    ( except as an ancillary process) or the founder effect.
    How many of us have to tell you, how many times, that this is complete, utter, irredeemable garbage? It is not true. You are mistaken. This is not the neo-darwinist position. You have been misinformed. You have misinterpreted. You have misread. You are mistaken. Do you understand?

    Edit: You also don't seem to understand the meaning of criterion, but why does that not surprise me? You have understood the meaning of very few of the polysyllabic words you use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    My terms are right: The Neo-Darwinist position is that natural selection
    is the sole criterion for evolutionary change. They do not mention drift
    ( except as an ancillary process) or the founder effect. Thus, it is correct
    to state that evolutionary change is the result of adaptation according to
    them.
    Then whoever these Neo-Darwinists are, they are themselves confused about existing evolutionary theory. And are undoubtedly in the minority in the scientific community. I'm inclined to agree with Spuriousmonkey that you are battling a version of evolution that is not the actual accepted version in the scientific community.

    The concept of a "macromutation" is in fact what Spurious Monkey
    was ranting on about: He claimed that a change in the regulator
    genes could produce a new function which, on a primitve level,
    could even result in a new species.
    Some changes do instantly result in new species. It happens often in plants where gametes are accidentally created with an extra set of chromosomes, so that the resulting plant cannot create successful progeny with a member of its parent population. However, what Spurious is talking about are small genetic changes that can have relatively large phenotypic effects that can contribute to speciation. However, these changes have a limit, because if they are so vastly different that they can no longer function with the rest of the organism, then the individual will not survive.

    But the point is not whether you adhere to saltationist or gradualistic
    models: the point is that any change will be lost unless it confers
    a fitness advantage.
    Or unless it is a neutral change. Or unless it is only mildly detrimental, and before enough time has passed to remove it from the population entirely, the environmental conditions change in a way that changes that allele's fitness value. Or unless it is neutral or only mildly detrimental and has a strong linkage to a very beneficial allele.

    Remmeber that most beneficial mutations would be LOST to drift
    rather than promoted by it.
    Your point being? Have I said anything to the contrary?

    You miss the point about bacteria: Sure, we don't see bacteria
    with wings exploiting the ecological niches of the aether. But do
    they have any need to do so? They have filled enough niches
    to happily survive and reproduce: There is no need for them to
    evolve into a more complex organism as they can adapt very
    easily. Likewise for amoebae.
    Similarly, multicellular organisms have filled enough niches to happily survive and reproduce. Niches that the single celled organisms left open. And since the niches are different the fitness comparisons that you have consistently been trying to make are useless.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  67. #66  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I think you are confusing DRIFT with MUTATION.

    Mutation, or indeed recombination, could be a source of variation
    or genetic change.

    All Drift means is the fluctuation in frequency of a mutation due
    to chance events. That's all.
    Indeed. Fluctuations in frequencies that can lead to divergences of populations which can then be acted on by natural selection in accordance with their differences. No, drift is not the same as mutation, but it can most certainly contribute to variation.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    My point is what gain of fitness exists for multicellular organisms over their more primitive ancestors whose survival and
    reproductive success has been shown to be unsurpassed.
    .
    And my point (I think also the point of several others) is that this is not about a gain in fitness. It is about an adaptation to a different environment, this change rendering the organism fit for that environment and fitter, on balance, than other organisms in that environment.

    You seem to ignore completely that the great success of the single celled organisms provided a great food source for the multicellular ones. I am not going to repeat the beenfits of multicellularity. These can be found discussed in any elementary text book and in a multitude of research papers. Do you deny what these say?
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Your problem and others on this forum has been a complete
    ignorance of population genetics which is where I am coming
    from. .
    Don't assume we are ignorant of population genetics. So far I have seen no evidence that your grasp of population genetics is any better than mine. The difference between us is that I am not trying to overthrow the Modern Synthesis on the back of my ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    A macromutation that produced a sponge out of an amoeba
    would have to have an immediate fitness advantage for natural selection to spread the mutant gene through the population , enough such that a new group could split off and find a new habitat.
    This is wrong on so many levels I scarcely know where to begin.
    1. I doubt we leap from sponge to amoeba in one mutation!
    2. The longevity of sponges in the geologic record rather suggests that they do have a fitness advantage.
    3. It would not split of and find a new habitat. It would be in a new habitat and that would promote the split. You seem to have difficulty in distinguishing your anterior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    The concept of a "macromutation" is in fact what Spurious Monkey was ranting on about: He claimed that a change in the regulator
    genes could produce a new function which, on a primitve level,
    could even result in a new species.
    There is a world of difference between a mutation that produces a new species and one which transforms an amoeba into a sponge. The fact that you think these two are comparable just reveals, yet again, the depth and persistence of your ignorance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    My terms are right: The Neo-Darwinist position is that natural selection is the sole criterion for evolutionary change. They do not mention drift
    ( except as an ancillary process) or the founder effect.
    How many of us have to tell you, how many times, that this is complete, utter, irredeemable garbage? It is not true. You are mistaken. This is not the neo-darwinist position. You have been misinformed. You have misinterpreted. You have misread. You are mistaken. Do you understand?

    Edit: You also don't seem to understand the meaning of criterion, but why does that not surprise me? You have understood the meaning of very few of the polysyllabic words you use.

    Sorry, but I have to conclude you know NOTHING about the
    Neo-Darwinist position or evolution at all.

    Let's get this clear: WHAT other evolutionary force other
    than selection do the Neo-Darwinists speak of?

    Are you not aware that there is a huge schism between the
    NEUTRALISTS and the SELECTIONISTS ( ie the proponents
    of drift and those for natural selection)?

    Go on, enlighten me about this mysterious alternative
    evolutionary force that NOONE except yourself knows
    about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    My point is what gain of fitness exists for multicellular organisms over their more primitive ancestors whose survival and
    reproductive success has been shown to be unsurpassed.
    .
    And my point (I think also the point of several others) is that this is not about a gain in fitness. It is about an adaptation to a different environment, this change rendering the organism fit for that environment and fitter, on balance, than other organisms in that environment.

    You seem to ignore completely that the great success of the single celled organisms provided a great food source for the multicellular ones. I am not going to repeat the beenfits of multicellularity. These can be found discussed in any elementary text book and in a multitude of research papers. Do you deny what these say?
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Your problem and others on this forum has been a complete
    ignorance of population genetics which is where I am coming
    from. .
    Don't assume we are ignorant of population genetics. So far I have seen no evidence that your grasp of population genetics is any better than mine. The difference between us is that I am not trying to overthrow the Modern Synthesis on the back of my ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    A macromutation that produced a sponge out of an amoeba
    would have to have an immediate fitness advantage for natural selection to spread the mutant gene through the population , enough such that a new group could split off and find a new habitat.
    This is wrong on so many levels I scarcely know where to begin.
    1. I doubt we leap from sponge to amoeba in one mutation!
    2. The longevity of sponges in the geologic record rather suggests that they do have a fitness advantage.
    3. It would not split of and find a new habitat. It would be in a new habitat and that would promote the split. You seem to have difficulty in distinguishing your anterior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    The concept of a "macromutation" is in fact what Spurious Monkey was ranting on about: He claimed that a change in the regulator
    genes could produce a new function which, on a primitve level,
    could even result in a new species.
    There is a world of difference between a mutation that produces a new species and one which transforms an amoeba into a sponge. The fact that you think these two are comparable just reveals, yet again, the depth and persistence of your ignorance.

    Utter nonsense. Sponges are less adaptable than amoebae.

    Any zoologist will tell you that.

    And by claiming that multicellular organisms have an
    advantage over single-celled animals you are
    inadvertently referring to a fitness gain whether you
    like it or not.

    Your argument about the change in environment is ridiculous.

    For a genetic variation to be preserved and not lost to drift
    it has to have a fitness advantage in the [b] PRESENT
    ENVIRONMENT .

    In your simplistic thinking a change occurs in a gene, a
    new variant is born who then colonizes an unexploited
    niche: This is just total crass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I think you are confusing DRIFT with MUTATION.

    Mutation, or indeed recombination, could be a source of variation
    or genetic change.

    All Drift means is the fluctuation in frequency of a mutation due
    to chance events. That's all.
    Indeed. Fluctuations in frequencies that can lead to divergences of populations which can then be acted on by natural selection in accordance with their differences. No, drift is not the same as mutation, but it can most certainly contribute to variation.
    Oh so Natural Selection is the big factor after all?

    Come on, you've completely contradicted yourself.

    You assumed, incorrectly, that drift was a major
    force for evolution but now you admit that without
    natural selection it cannot achieve any kind of
    evolutionary change.

    Argument lost.
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    But the point is not whether you adhere to saltationist or gradualistic
    models: the point is that any change will be lost unless it confers
    a fitness advantage.

    Or unless it is a neutral change. Or unless it is only mildly detrimental, and before enough time has passed to remove it from the population entirely, the environmental conditions change in a way that changes that allele's fitness value. Or unless it is neutral or only mildly detrimental and has a strong linkage to a very beneficial allele.
    Nonsense. A neutral change will also be lost to drift : You are correct
    about linkage but this applies for deleterious as well as neutral alleles.


    Similarly, multicellular organisms have filled enough niches to happily survive and reproduce. Niches that the single celled organisms left open. And since the niches are different the fitness comparisons that you have consistently been trying to make are useless.
    But how did these multicellular organisms arise in the first instance?

    How many times do I have to keep making it clear to you that the
    sequence of genetic changes that produced our primitive sponge
    must have had a selective advantage. Ie that must have increased
    the fitness of the transitional single-celled animals.

    NO FITNESS GAIN = NO ADAPTIVE EVOLUTION ( according to
    Neo-Darwinism).
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    Heliopolis, why are you back here 3 months later, when some time ago you were saying that you & Fenelstein were running the simulations?
    Where are your results, where's your proof?
    We have ours.

    If you have not produced any data supporting your theory then your argument here pretty much reduces to slander of the current theory of evolution; if you are still in the same situation as the previous time you began this debate then again, I must insist it will go nowhere which will not benefit anyone on this forum, including yourself.

    I must ask my question again, have you received any formal training in evolutionary theory since your previous posting on this forum regarding this topic? Many here are expressing doubts as to your interpretation of terms which has been the substance of most of the now 5 pages of thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Heliopolis, why are you back here 3 months later, when some time ago you were saying that you & Fenelstein were running the simulations?
    Where are your results, where's your proof?
    We have ours.

    If you have not produced any data supporting your theory then your argument here pretty much reduces to slander of the current theory of evolution; if you are still in the same situation as the previous time you began this debate then again, I must insist it will go nowhere which will benefit anyone on this forum, including yourself.

    I was held up as I was using a differential fertility model while
    Felsenstein was using a viablity one. So, I had to modify my
    program to suit his perspective: He has only just returned
    from vacation.

    I have lots of results that support my theory. I can go into
    great detail into them. I am aslo presently extending my
    simulation to model a variety of different mutations at
    the same locus ( which is more realistic than just the one).

    But anyway, I have told you all that I am happy to send
    you the source code and the Windows executable so you
    can run your own tests and learn about it for yourself.

    Just email me, and I will send it to you today.
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    neo-Darwinism: Usually used to describe the modern belief that natural selection, acting on randomly generated genetic variation, is a major but not the sole cause of evolution. Properly, the belief, advocated by a few biologists in the late nineteenth century, that natural selection is the sole mechanism of evolution. (emphases mine - paralith)
    This is from Futuyma's glossary of terms related to evolution. In other words, according to the usual sense of the word, you are wrong about what neo-darwinists believe. According to the proper sense of the word, only a few biologists believe what you say they do, which most certainly does not make up the big bad institution that you believe you are fighting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Oh so Natural Selection is the big factor after all?

    Come on, you've completely contradicted yourself.

    You assumed, incorrectly, that drift was a major
    force for evolution but now you admit that without
    natural selection it cannot achieve any kind of
    evolutionary change.

    Argument lost.
    There you go again. Making up things I never said. You really do live in your own little world.

    I never said genetic drift is "the big factor" in evolution. Nor did I say that drift can do nothing without natural selection. I just said that it's highly unlikely that natural selection would be completely absent for the entire duration of a speciation event, even though the main starting force of that event may be contributed to drift. After all, populations do not exist in sterile little bubbles. Unless you think that's what I believe, which somehow wouldn't surprise me.

    How many times do I have to keep making it clear to you that the
    sequence of genetic changes that produced our primitive sponge
    must have had a selective advantage. Ie that must have increased
    the fitness of the transitional single-celled animals.
    No, it must not have. It is not 100% necessary that every single genetic change
    must have had a selective advantage. Some of the changes could have been neutral - and no, it is also not necessary that a neutral change will immediately be lost to drift. You act as though any change whatsoever would be immediately lost thanks to drift, that force that you claim is negligible in its effect on populations.

    But a good deal of the changes are adaptive. More adaptive, more fit in a certain niche than the traits held by unicellular organisms. How many times do we have to make THAT clear to YOU? There is no contradiction with the reality of this situation and the tenets of the theory of natural selection as it is accepted by the scientific community. None whatsoever.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    What other mechanisms?

    Here we go again:

    1) Natural Selection
    2) Sexual Selection
    3) Drift
    4) Founder Effect.

    I don't know of anyone who proposes that the organs that make up
    the human body are the result of random drift or the founder effect.

    If they did, they would open up evolutionary theory to sheer
    ridicule.

    If you read Dawkins and Lenski they refer solely to natural selection
    and sexual selection and not to drift or the founder effect.

    But a good deal of the changes are adaptive. More adaptive, more fit in a certain niche than the traits held by unicellular organisms. How many times do we have to make THAT clear to YOU? There is no contradiction with the reality of this situation and the tenets of the theory of natural selection as it is accepted by the scientific community. None whatsoever.
    What niche? Sponges are sessile creatures that live on the bottom of the sea.
    How did they get there by adaptive natural selection? Did a protozoon one day
    take a dive to see what was down there?

    As I keep telling you, the protozoa were perfectly adapted to their environment
    : any variation would have been superfluous and would not have been preserved
    even if it could be useful in another habitat. But natural selection is concerned
    only about the here and now: it is short-sighted and opportunistic.

    You really need to look at this in terms of a gradual sequence of stages: At
    each point Natural Selection would be scrutinizing each mutation to see if it
    was to be selected and preserved or discarded. If there was no fitness gain
    at each stage the mutation would be lost. How is this so hard to understand?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    What other mechanisms?

    Here we go again:

    1) Natural Selection
    2) Sexual Selection
    3) Drift
    4) Founder Effect.

    I don't know of anyone who proposes that the organs that make up
    the human body are the result of random drift or the founder effect.

    If they did, they would open up evolutionary theory to sheer
    ridicule.

    If you read Dawkins and Lenski they refer solely to natural selection
    and sexual selection and not to drift or the founder effect.
    And because two people do not refer to it (not in a single piece of all their published works? Somehow I doubt that), that means the whole of science also thinks they don't exist? Science is not like a cult where all the followers blindly listen to the words of one or two prophets.

    And you still are arguing as though I'm saying drift is the major force in evolution. I won't continue this until you decide to actually listen to what I'm saying, and not what you think I'm saying.

    What niche? Sponges are sessile creatures that live on the bottom of the sea.
    How did they get there by adaptive natural selection? Did a protozoon one day
    take a dive to see what was down there?
    I see ecology is another area where you are ill educated. The sea is not split into two zones - up here and down there. There are gradations in temperature, sunlight penetrance, salinity, nutrient availability, all of which varies depending on where in the ocean you are looking and the behavior of the various currents. And all these different zones will have their own variety of other life to interact with. In other words, there is a huge variety of microenvironmental niches into which a protozoan ancestor can easily move around in, be exposed to, and in which a subpopulation could easily separate itself into. And over time they can separate, some populations moving further away and others staying in the ancestral niche.

    You really need to look at this in terms of a gradual sequence of stages: At
    each point Natural Selection would be scrutinizing each mutation to see if it
    was to be selected and preserved or discarded. If there was no fitness gain
    at each stage the mutation would be lost. How is this so hard to understand?
    Again, a far too simplistic view. There aren't just two fitness values - keep and don't keep. It is a matter of degree. Like I've already said, traits that are only mildly detrimental to fitness can persist in a population for a long time, sometimes long enough until the environment changes to the point where they are no longer detrimental but beneficial. Yes, at each step natural selection can act, but there is a great range in the strength and speed with which it will act.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    [quote]
    I see ecology is another area where you are ill educated. The sea is not split into two zones - up here and down there. There are gradations in temperature, sunlight penetrance, salinity, nutrient availability, all of which varies depending on where in the ocean you are looking and the behavior of the various currents. And all these different zones will have their own variety of other life to interact with. In other words, there is a huge variety of microenvironmental niches into which a protozoan ancestor can easily move around in, be exposed to, and in which a subpopulation could easily separate itself into. And over time they can separate, some populations moving further away and others staying in the ancestral niche.
    [\quote]

    This is just pseudoscientifc speculation: its highly imaginative on your part,
    but you can't explain why a perfectly adapted protozoon would stray into
    a new niche which is was presumably not perfectly adapted to.

    I admit I am no expert on amoebae and sponges but I am fairly sure that
    there is a pretty big difference in their respective habitats and not some
    cline or intermediate gradation between the two. But the fossil record
    should be able to show this if this were not the case.

    Again, a far too simplistic view. There aren't just two fitness values - keep and don't keep. It is a matter of degree. Like I've already said, traits that are only mildly detrimental to fitness can persist in a population for a long time, sometimes long enough until the environment changes to the point where they are no longer detrimental but beneficial. Yes, at each step natural selection can act, but there is a great range in the strength and speed with which it will act.
    They can only persist if the mutation is repeated regularly, else it will be lost
    to drift. The problem with unicellular organisms is that they reproduce asexually:
    As such, they didn't have a pair of chromosomes, one from each parent with one to mask any deleterious allele and so avoid negative selection: Thus the retention of deleterious alleles is much less than for sexual socieites.

    You still don't get it? Say that there were 100 gene variations between
    a protozoon ancestor and the sponge. They would all have to be related
    in some way and build upon each other. They would all have to have
    had a selective advantage with which to have become fixed in the
    population or a subset of the population.

    I am going on about drift because you seem to use it as a mechanism
    not just for allelic frequencies but also on a zoological level: you seem to
    suggest that organisms drift between habitats leaving an adaptive
    variant each time that evolves into a new species.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    This is just pseudoscientifc speculation: its highly imaginative on your part,
    but you can't explain why a perfectly adapted protozoon would stray into
    a new niche which is was presumably not perfectly adapted to.

    I admit I am no expert on amoebae and sponges but I am fairly sure that
    there is a pretty big difference in their respective habitats and not some
    cline or intermediate gradation between the two. But the fossil record
    should be able to show this if this were not the case.
    Why? Because if it contains a few mutations that are neutral in its current environment but by moving into a different niche they are advantageous, it gains a reproductive advantage, and the genes spread. Remember that whole selfish gene idea? There are many ways that protozoans could get tossed around in the sea and find their ways into such a niche.

    And of course there's a cline. If nothing else there is a depth cline, and with changes in depth there will be changes in pressure, temperature, and sunlight penetrance. This is a fact of ocean ecology, which you would know if you were at all versed in oceanography.

    They can only persist if the mutation is repeated regularly, else it will be lost
    to drift. The problem with unicellular organisms is that they reproduce asexually:
    As such, they didn't have a pair of chromosomes, one from each parent with one to mask any deleterious allele and so avoid negative selection: Thus the retention of deleterious alleles is much less than for sexual socieites.

    You still don't get it? Say that there were 100 gene variations between
    a protozoon ancestor and the sponge. They would all have to be related
    in some way and build upon each other. They would all have to have
    had a selective advantage with which to have become fixed in the
    population or a subset of the population.
    No, they all don't. Many of the ones that contribute to actual phenotypic change will be as you say, but not ALL the gene variations HAVE to be. I get what you think. The problem is that you're wrong, and you won't accept it. You're taking it to an absolute that is not representative of reality.

    I am going on about drift because you seem to use it as a mechanism
    not just for allelic frequencies but also on a zoological level: you seem to
    suggest that organisms drift between habitats leaving an adaptive
    variant each time that evolves into a new species.
    Well at least you admit that's what you think I'm saying. This is what I'm saying: drift is capable of contributing to speciation. Natural selection is not the one and ONLY mechanism that can contribute to speciation. Evolutionary biologists know this.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Why? Because if it contains a few mutations that are neutral in its current environment but by moving into a different niche they are advantageous, it gains a reproductive advantage, and the genes spread. Remember that whole selfish gene idea? There are many ways that protozoans could get tossed around in the sea and find their ways into such a niche.
    What gain in reproductive advantage? Unicellular organism can reproduce
    far more easily compared to multicellular ones. I don't know why amoebae
    don't live at the bottom of the sea but maybe the protozoa did.

    You have NOT stated what evolutionary advantage a sponge/jelly has
    over an protozoon : Until you do, all you are talking about is just
    speculative drivel.

    And of course there's a cline. If nothing else there is a depth cline, and with changes in depth there will be changes in pressure, temperature, and sunlight penetrance. This is a fact of ocean ecology, which you would know if you were at all versed in oceanography.
    I am not an oceanographer but I do know that sponges don't float about
    freely through the depths of the oceans and neither do amoebae. But
    perhaps a palaeontologist can explain the fossil record to us.

    No, they all don't. Many of the ones that contribute to actual phenotypic change will be as you say, but not ALL the gene variations HAVE to be. I get what you think. The problem is that you're wrong, and you won't accept it. You're taking it to an absolute that is not representative of reality.
    No, I'm the one who understands genetics and mutations well enough to
    realize that your drift argument doesn't hold up. You are making reference
    to neutral variation having a potential advantage in another environment
    ,which IS natural selection, and I keep asking you what gain in fitness is
    achived in an animal that is already perfectly fit?
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    What do sponges eat?
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    Well Heliopolis you're far better versed than I. Could you explain what is happening to my guppies please? You see my wife and son brought home two, soon after we got a mid-sized tank with all the furniture you'd expect. The female birthed offspring (live birth ), and after some juvenile stage of keeping to the surface this generation began to segregate. They're easy to track because each individual guppy has unique markings, tail length, etc. Some hang out by the bubbles, some keep to the corners, etc. They have these haunts and even some odd characters won't surface during feedings but rather nibble algae off the plastic plants. I'm sure that in a larger tank, they'd segregate farther, and rarely mate outside their group. What is happening? The way you see it, please.
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    Sea sponges have the advantage of division of labour, as one of the simplest animal phylums they only have three cell types, scaffolding, amoeboid, and feeding. The scaffolding cells are able to specialize into protective tissues and form structures that facillitate the filter feeding. Feeding cells have modified flagella that twirl and create currents that bring food to them, the amoeboid cells move around the sponge transporting nutrients to the scaffolding tissue. Also, you underestimate the benefit size alone gives you, the bigger you are, the less likely you are to be eaten. The scaffolding cells are capable of forming tight junctions and form shapes and outer layers that wouldn't be condusive to feeding, but since they are being fed by the amoeboid cells they can afford to be especially unedible and protect the more delicate feeding cells.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    What do sponges eat?
    I think they eat just about anything that comes their way:
    nutrients and bits of plankta and whatever.

    Its a good question but I don't have a definitive answer
    as I am not a marine biologist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Well Heliopolis you're far better versed than I. Could you explain what is happening to my guppies please? You see my wife and son brought home two, soon after we got a mid-sized tank with all the furniture you'd expect. The female birthed offspring (live birth ), and after some juvenile stage of keeping to the surface this generation began to segregate. They're easy to track because each individual guppy has unique markings, tail length, etc. Some hang out by the bubbles, some keep to the corners, etc. They have these haunts and even some odd characters won't surface during feedings but rather nibble algae off the plastic plants. I'm sure that in a larger tank, they'd segregate farther, and rarely mate outside their group. What is happening? The way you see it, please.
    I think this is a classic case of speciation

    POPULATION ISOLATION (segregation) + VARIATION + SELECTION =

    SPECIATION.

    But in all seriousness, I suspect you are seeing some sort
    of social grouping phenomenon: you have to wait longer
    to see what is really happening.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Sea sponges have the advantage of division of labour, as one of the simplest animal phylums they only have three cell types, scaffolding, amoeboid, and feeding. The scaffolding cells are able to specialize into protective tissues and form structures that facillitate the filter feeding. Feeding cells have modified flagella that twirl and create currents that bring food to them, the amoeboid cells move around the sponge transporting nutrients to the scaffolding tissue. Also, you underestimate the benefit size alone gives you, the bigger you are, the less likely you are to be eaten. The scaffolding cells are capable of forming tight junctions and form shapes and outer layers that wouldn't be condusive to feeding, but since they are being fed by the amoeboid cells they can afford to be especially unedible and protect the more delicate feeding cells.
    Very interesting and informed.

    I think, however, that reproductive ability is the test of fitness
    in an evolutionary sense.

    You may not survive very long but your success is not measured
    in terms of yourself but in terms of the number of your offspring.

    And this is true for the evolutionary tree: The higher you go
    the less the reproductive capacity but the higher the survival capacity
    and the generation span.

    However, multicellular organisms are inherently complex and less
    able to adapt to new environments than the more simple but more
    flexible unicellular ones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I think they eat just about anything that comes their way:
    nutrients and bits of plankta and whatever.

    Its a good question but I don't have a definitive answer
    as I am not a marine biologist.
    I asked that to make a small, but perhaps vital point.

    They eat just about anything that comes their way, yeah. Bacteria, plankton and various other unicellular organisms and organic matter as well (depends on the specie I guess). That must be a selectional advantage, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I think this is a classic case of speciation

    POPULATION ISOLATION (segregation) + VARIATION + SELECTION =

    SPECIATION.

    But in all seriousness, I suspect you are seeing some sort
    of social grouping phenomenon: you have to wait longer
    to see what is really happening.
    That make sense to me and I'm satisfied. Because at the end of the day, all this science is really for, is to explain "what is happening to my guppies".

    See it through any lens you like, if it works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis

    The concept of a "macromutation" is in fact what Spurious Monkey
    was ranting on about: He claimed that a change in the regulator
    genes could produce a new function which, on a primitve level,
    could even result in a new species.
    Duplication of genes is a very common event, and this is what I was talking about. In fact I mentioned many times that the duplication of genes facilitates microevolution. I'm amazed you came to the conclusion that I was talking about macroevolution when my argument showed it facilitates microevolution. So once again, it isn't an example of macroevolution at all. It is merely an example of how new genetic information can be created out of existing information.

    New species are in fact generated by this. This isn't really surprising because new species are created all the time by other mechanisms as well.

    Duplication of genetic information was most likely very important for major events in evolution, such as the occurrence of multicellular life.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis

    What niche? Sponges are sessile creatures that live on the bottom of the sea.
    How did they get there by adaptive natural selection? Did a protozoon one day
    take a dive to see what was down there?

    As I keep telling you, the protozoa were perfectly adapted to their environment
    : any variation would have been superfluous and would not have been preserved
    even if it could be useful in another habitat. But natural selection is concerned
    only about the here and now: it is short-sighted and opportunistic.

    You really need to look at this in terms of a gradual sequence of stages: At
    each point Natural Selection would be scrutinizing each mutation to see if it
    was to be selected and preserved or discarded. If there was no fitness gain
    at each stage the mutation would be lost. How is this so hard to understand?
    You seem to have trouble understanding the concept of niche. Any niche that is unoccupied is free game for evolution. The bacteria do not occupy the niche currently filled by sponges, because they simply can't. Sponges are highly complex organisms which by forming a structured colonial organization created their own little niche of filterfeeding on a massive scale. They do not sit passively on their ass in a microbial film. They form a massive structure that actively pushes water through itself and subsequently filters it for food particles.

    No microbe could ever fill this niche.

    I'm amazed you could think that a bacterium could fill the niche of a tiger. I have never seen a bacterium bring down a dear, drag it up a tree and eat it there.

    Sponges didn't start off by being sponges. The were derived from some choanaflagellate ancestor, a simple hollow multicellular metazoan. Already a highly complex organism. A complex giant compared to any bacterium. Still there was a niche for them as well. And there was a niche for the eukaryote cell, once again, complex giants compared to the average bacterium.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  92. #91  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    I am not an oceanographer but I do know that sponges don't float about
    freely through the depths of the oceans and neither do amoebae. But
    perhaps a palaeontologist can explain the fossil record to us.
    Sponges do not float freely through the depths of the oceans.

    They do swim freely through the oceans and fresh water bodies. (Indeed, sponges are not restricted to the oceans. But it is easy to make these kind of mistakes when you are uninformed and not interested in learning.)

    The sexual reproduction of the sponge is quite atypical compared to other metazoans. In fact there is only one sponge described so far that has external fertilization. In most sponge species the sperm is free swimming and enters the target sponge because it is engulfed by a choanocyte. This create an embryo that follows a quite uneventful form of radial cleavage resulting in a larval stage displaying various stages of differentiation in different species of sponge.

    This parenchymella larva (excuse me for the fancy words) exists the parent's canal system and is in fact enjoying a brief free-swimming period.

    Hence the sponge is free swimming albeit not for very long.

    Subsequent gastrulation takes place and the definite shape is formed.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  93. #92  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis

    However, multicellular organisms are inherently complex and less
    able to adapt to new environments than the more simple but more
    flexible unicellular ones.
    Is that why the human species can be found all over the planet and even outside it?
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  94. #93  
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    This parenchymella larva (excuse me for the fancy words) exists the parent's canal system and is in fact enjoying a brief free-swimming period.

    Hence the sponge is free swimming albeit not for very long.

    Subsequent gastrulation takes place and the definite shape is formed.
    Is this evidence for secondary simplification, or is the evidence only genetic?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Sorry, but I have to conclude you know NOTHING about the
    Neo-Darwinist position or evolution at all.
    I value this conclusion much as I do the others you have reached.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Let's get this clear: WHAT[b] other evolutionary force other
    than selection do the Neo-Darwinists speak of?
    You've been told several times. You have even listed them yourself. Your problem, as clearly demonstrated by paralith, is that you are using a century old defintion for neo-Darwinist. You are fighting a strawman, resurected by yourself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    Are you not aware that there is a huge schism between the
    NEUTRALISTS and the SELECTIONISTS ( ie the proponents of drift and those for natural selection)?
    Well, if I were the editor of a tabloid newspaper I suppose I might think in terms of huge schism. You seem to think in terms of black and white, yes and no, right and wrong. Binary is a neat idea for computers, it is less satisfactory for advanced thought. Yes, some researchers see a larger role for drift. You imply there are those who dismiss selection almost entirely. Perhaps you can enlighten me with a list of citations from this suite of researchers. Since there must be many hundreds, if not thousands of these individuals, it should not be too troublesome to come up with a dozen references. Can you do this?
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    They do swim freely through the oceans and fresh water bodies. (Indeed, sponges are not restricted to the oceans. But it is easy to make these kind of mistakes when you are uninformed and not interested in learning.)
    What utter nonsense! Any school kid knows that sponges are
    SESSILE creatures that CAN move, but only a little.

    The idea that they can swim right the way through the depths
    of the ocean is SO STUPID it makes me reconsider any respect
    I had for you as an "evolutionary scientist".

    You have obviously looked this up somewhere and completely
    misunderstood. Its really pathetic.

    The sexual reproduction of the sponge is quite atypical compared to other metazoans. In fact there is only one sponge described so far that has external fertilization. In most sponge species the sperm is free swimming and enters the target sponge because it is engulfed by a choanocyte. This create an embryo that follows a quite uneventful form of radial cleavage resulting in a larval stage displaying various stages of differentiation in different species of sponge.
    This parenchymella larva (excuse me for the fancy words) exists the parent's canal system and is in fact enjoying a brief free-swimming period.
    Which is exactly why amoeba reproduction is more effective.
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    For the last time, Neo-Darwinism, as espoused by the likes
    of Dawkins and Lenski is of the belief that natural selection
    , and sexual selection are the only criteria of evolutionary change.

    Just go and read the "Blind Watchmaker" if you don't believe me.

    I suggest you look up MOTOO KIMURA and the NEUTRAL
    DRIFT Theory if you want to learn about the proponents
    of Genetic Drift. They believe that variation is selectively
    neutral and that mutant alelles just "drift" to fixation in
    populations

    The only other evolutionary force is the FOUNDER EFFECT.
    This is actually what many of you have been suggesting.

    It is the belief that you don't need to wait for a particular
    variation to reach fixation in the whole population. Just
    a few variants can migrate and found their own colony.

    The reason why this is not so popular is because all
    populations that have been founded in this way, have
    high levels of genetic diseases due to inbreeding which
    can put them at a higher risk of extinction.
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  98. #97  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    They do swim freely through the oceans and fresh water bodies. (Indeed, sponges are not restricted to the oceans. But it is easy to make these kind of mistakes when you are uninformed and not interested in learning.)
    What utter nonsense! Any school kid knows that sponges are
    SESSILE creatures that CAN move, but only a little.

    The idea that they can swim right the way through the depths
    of the ocean is SO STUPID it makes me reconsider any respect
    I had for you as an "evolutionary scientist".
    I must admit that the standard textbook on invertebrate zoology, aptly named 'Invertebrate Zoology', by Rupert Barnes (6th edition) is rather unreliable compared to the stuff they teach to school kids.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis

    However, multicellular organisms are inherently complex and less
    able to adapt to new environments than the more simple but more
    flexible unicellular ones.
    Is that why the human species can be found all over the planet and even outside it?
    Compared to bacteria we are far from ubiquitous Human habitation
    is actually restrcited to a very small part of the planet.

    Moreover, humans have only recently gained a big increase in
    fitness due to the technological revolution.

    But this raises a good point about Natural Selection. Humans ARE
    living the law of selection and the result is that we are increasing
    in numbers while many animal species become extinct as a result.

    Two things can be concluded:

    1) Natural Selection REDUCES diversity on life : ie it is a destructive
    force.

    2) By overconsuming and overpopulating, the human species is
    undermining its own long-term survival.

    So anyone who seriously thinks that Natural Selection is
    a "creative force" needs his head examined.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliopolis
    They do swim freely through the oceans and fresh water bodies. (Indeed, sponges are not restricted to the oceans. But it is easy to make these kind of mistakes when you are uninformed and not interested in learning.)
    What utter nonsense! Any school kid knows that sponges are
    SESSILE creatures that CAN move, but only a little.

    The idea that they can swim right the way through the depths
    of the ocean is SO STUPID it makes me reconsider any respect
    I had for you as an "evolutionary scientist".
    I must admit that the standard textbook on invertebrate zoology, aptly named 'Invertebrate Zoology', by Rupert Barnes (6th edition) is rather unreliable compared to the stuff they teach to school kids.
    Fine, quote me the part which says that sponges can move freely
    through the DEPTHS of the ocean which is what Paralith and I
    were talking about. The reason for this was that at different
    depths Paralith claimed that the temperature, pressure, salinity,
    luminance and so on would represent an ecological niche that
    a multicellular organism could exploit.

    Clearly sponges have exploited a niche at the bottom of the sea
    but the problem is how they evolved from protozoa by way of
    natural selection when the protozoa were already adapted and
    secure in their own environment. If anything the protozoa should
    have evolved into even fitter protozoa but not multicellular sponges
    far removed from the habitat of the protozoa.

    That is not to say that the evolution did not occur, but the mechanism
    used to describe it is completely flawed.
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  101. #100  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I don't know why you assume sponges evolved in the sea. They could just have well evolved in fresh water.

    And clearly the microbial community never evolved to take up the niche of sponges, since obviously, there aren't any microbial sponge analogues. So I really don't know what kind of medication you are on.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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