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Origins of life

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Origins of life

Postby deostroll » Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:07 pm

Hello,

I've joined here a few minutes ago. I've no impression to give other people, other than letting you people know that I am NOT A BIO STUDENT. I'm a civil engg undergrad student from India. I've recently been taking an interest in biology.

But you know, for the past one year I've been thinking of survival (as in survival of the fittest). I've come to independently think that every species on this earth tries to satisfy a requirement of survival. Confusing?! Well, in other words, evolution progressed in such a manner so as to NOT kill us, but make us somehow survive (or live), and then increase our chances of further survival (or surviving further). Still confusing?! Well, I think it serves to convey my idea.

I really want some one to comment about this thought seriously. Can this be true?
-arun
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Postby mith » Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:39 pm

Read darwin, and maybe thorndike's law of effect.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
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Hello Deostroll

Postby Aria » Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:28 pm

Hello Deostroll

My name is Aria. I am a 16yr old high school student and I am also very interested in Biology :D . I read your idea about "survival of the fittest" and while it is a popular and understandable theory it's an impossibility. The theory of survival of the fittest suggests that we change as our environments change to help us "survive" as well as body parts or functions found useless in a period of time are eliminated and therefor we evolve. This cannot happen. I would like to explain it all for you but it is very complicated. I recommend you rent or buy the movie "Unlocking The Mystery of Life" It will teach you why your idea is not possible and you will learn alot of new and interesting facts. I have seen it a few times and still everytime I watch it I learn new things.
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Postby Aria » Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:39 pm

Hello again;

This is Aria again.
I just remembered the theory which proves your idea wrong. It is called "Irreducible Complexity". Micheal Behe wrote a book called Darwins Black Box. I haven't read it because i hate reading :roll: but you might find it interesting.
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Postby mith » Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:28 pm

Aria, I believe deostroll was referring more to behavioral changes than biological which is why I recommended that he read about the law of effect.

The theory of survival of the fittest suggests that we change as our environments change to help us "survive" as well as body parts or functions found useless in a period of time are eliminated and therefor we evolve. This cannot happen.


Did your biology teacher tell you this?[/quote]
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
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Postby canalon » Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:03 am

Okay,
First, welcome deostroll. Your question is not real clear, but from what I understand, you seem to take the whole thing upside down.

Well, in other words, evolution progressed in such a manner so as to NOT kill us, but make us somehow survive (or live), and then increase our chances of further survival (or surviving further)


Evolution did not progress or anything. Organisms are evolving, but the set of rules are the same since the first living things appeared on earth. And the organisms indeed evolved trying to survive as long as possible, and if possible to find some time to prepare a next generation. But there is no such thing as an increased facility to survive as the time goes. It may seem so, but this is just because organism evolved to survive and the one which have difficulties in that task disappeared in the last few billions year (along with some other which probably as good at surviving but where unlucky enough to meet circumstances they could not overcome like volcanoes, comet crash etc...) Just to say that our chance of survival do not increase as time goes, evolution is an ongoing process, and chance of survival are challenged all the time (environment changes, increased competition by other species evolving and competing with the other... It's a permanent arms race).

And _at_ Aria:
Behe and friends are creationnists. Irreducible complexity and Intelligent design belong to the set of almost (but not quite) scientific disguise creationnist is trying to take to acquire a varnish of repectability. Now that I am sure that you know that, I do not mind if this is your belief, but be prepared to be rebuffed by real scientists (the one who think that experiments can be carried out, and that ideas that cannot be tested should not be considered as science, but as belief) who dislike the mix of science and creed.

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Some examples relating to my original idea

Postby deostroll » Sun Sep 18, 2005 4:38 pm

Actually I view life from another perspective. It may either be something really cool or somethng down right absurd.

Firstly, to everyone already here, if possible provide links to free resources (like articles etc) on the web. It might help me (and others like me) to get a grasp about this subject, or so I assume :roll: . Anyway, I don't want to talk anymore about how to learn biology.

Secondly, I may be rather vague at how I state things here. I believe in something, I feel, which is really strange. I may be stubborn in my views at the moment, but my main point was in trying to somehow find a rational explanation to life; which was why I stumbled over the idea of survival. I don't really mind if anyone says it is ridiculous; just make me believe I am wrong, ok. So let us have no ego problems on this note.

Like mithrilhack suggested even I believe I am more into behaviour than biology. However, I would not want to comment about it; I am still unsure about what actually I'm interested in. So if you find this annoying - I apologize.

Coming back to the main point. I've tried to answer questions related to certain emotions like fear, love, etc. How does behaviour start? How does an emotion start? How did a species become intelligent about their own feelings?

Okay, consider this example. Take the case of stray dogs. I have not really done this experiment. I'm only predicting outcomes here. If you raise your hand to mimic the gesture of throwing a stone, notice what happens - the dogs takes caution. It runs. Now let me raise your curiosity further: suppose this dog for some reason has not had exposure to humans or other dogs at all since birth. It is some how trying to live, and it is doing rather well at that. Now, out of the blue, let some human being mimic the gesture of throwing the stone at him. What will happen now?

I predict the dog will take to its heels.

Now why don't disprove me and explain this in the context of evolution. It would really help.

One other fact of life. This time consider new born babies. As soon as infants are out of their mother's womb, they are cute silent creatures to look at, until they fall hungry. The mother then gives them their breast.Now IT IS A PERFECTLY NORMAL THING. But strangely they know how to suckle as well. Isn't that food for thought? How do they know?

What is the issue with the idea of survival here? Say that the infant did not have the software to suckle. What then? Would it live? :?:
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Postby MrMistery » Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:33 pm

Ok, i'm nopt sure you understand what survival of the fittest actually means. It basically means that the genes that have more offspring will live more than the genes of those that have less or no offspring.
About your example with the dog: either that or the dog will attack the person. This is simply a reflex, the dog is trying to defend himself, as he can detect that the human is trying to hurt him. Here is a contraexample: if you some strange animal that you have never seen before toss a rock at you, don't you run? :roll:

About the baby.. Again, knowing a little biology will kill this argument from a start. How does a bird know how and when to build a nest? It is an instinct, a sum of unconditioned reflexes. Undonditioned reflexes are characteristic to the species and are basic thing we need to survive and perpetue the species.I remember reading an anatomy book a few months
ago that clasified memory into memory you are born with(and gave exactly your example), short-term and long-term memory. Now, although this is not correct, it may help you understand a bit..


Secondly: NOT BEHE AGAIN!!! That guy and his book haunt me. Can you believe i have actually read the first pages of his book, as everyone from my a maths teacher to a priest told me it will disproove religion some time back? It is totally nonsense and it totally disproves the basic rule of any debate: balancing arguments. If i say bill gates is satan(see my post in off-topic :D ) and comes someone that keeps saying: not true, not true i win the debate. The key mistake that Behe and other "scientists" like him make is that in their endless quest to prove that evolution has little evidence they forget that their BELIEF has absolutely no evidence. It is absuletly ok if you choose to believe that God created the world and not to believe in evolution, it is your choise. But please, do not call it science...
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Postby Tyran » Mon Sep 19, 2005 9:46 am

What is "thorndike's law of effect"?
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Postby iri_black » Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:27 pm

Thorndike law of effect denotes the motivation for individuals who tend to repeat and quickly learn those reactions which are accompanied or followed by a satisfying effect, and he tends not to repeat and, hence, not learn those responses which are accompanied or followed by an annoying state of affairs.
:wink:
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Postby deostroll » Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:42 pm

MrMistery wrote:Ok, i'm nopt sure you understand what survival of the fittest actually means. It basically means that the genes that have more offspring will live more than the genes of those that have less or no offspring.


Survival of the fittest: This is how I register the concept: only those species survive which are able to suitably adapt to changes or pressures in the environment; the rest die out. I hope this is correct. Someone please correct me if it is wrong. I was not meaning to start a conflict. This is an earnest attempt to simply verify my concepts. :lol:

I wasn't talking about survival of the fittest. The key emphasis was on survival - the impulse to stay alive and not simply die or self-destruct or commit suicide.

I figure the infant has the necessary software (to suckle) because that it seems is the only way it would live. Without it, the infant is in danger. I believe this is evolutionary. However, I can't seem to answer why it is so?. I was hoping there would be some answer or some kind of wisdom linked to this.

It is not about survival of the fittest. It is about staying alive. I figure people are most likely to link this with religious thoughts. I'm not keen on that either!
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Postby MrMistery » Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:21 pm

Survival of the fittest refers to individuals, not species. But it is almost Ok.
As our brains evolved, it became engraved in our brain to suck the milk right after birth, because by natural selection the individuals that did that had more off-spring, i was tempted to say. Then i realised what complete rubbish that was- Lamarkism.
How did unconditioned reflexes take birth?
I had a discussion with this a long time ago with my teacher, and today with my girlfriend which probably knows more biology than me. The result we reached: we don't really know. We know they are vital to the survival of the species, we know they are characteristic to the specis and we know we all have them. But how did they appear? My girlfriend's position is by evolution. I say this can not be since it has Jean Baptiste de Lamarck written all over it. Plus weknow that unconditioned reflexes are indispensable to life. I say they appearead along with the organ. How? By a geentic accident? Impossible... Maybe i lack the knlowledge or simply we don't know...
So, sorry, i can't tell you. Caught totally off-guard for this kind of question. I'll do some research
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