Login

Join for Free!
118489 members


A Monkey's Uncle

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

Moderator: BioTeam

Postby JDavidE » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:40 pm

Darby wrote:
A chicken is an egg's way of making another egg.

I guess I’m just being dense here, Darby, and I apologise. That just seems to border on existentialism and I never understood that either.

It's not an infinite grab-bag of possibilities that would allow a sponge to be a pear tree if only certain ones were expressed.


Hmm. I suppose the gap between sponge and pear tree might be a little unrealistic but otherwise why not, Darby? Many animals undergo rapid and dramatic changes in response to season and breeding cycles. Breeding salmon in particular make a startling change in morphology (presumably atavistic) at the prompting of a hormone. We already know that, in humans, chromosomal abnormalities at certain loci not only produce brain and mental disorders but symptomatic morphological alterations as well (such as Down’s syndrome).

I've got to say, I may not completely understand the basic point you're trying to make here


Well, that’s the problem, Darby: I’m not sure I do either. That’s why I’ve thrown it out here to see if someone can debunk it simply and entirely (using provable concepts). That would let me stop pursuing it.
Life both developed here and burgeoned here in accord with the present diagram or it didn’t. Let’s suppose it didn’t. One reason might be that the formation of life anywhere in the universe is in the realm of Quantum theory (and might just wink out of existence at any moment). Or the formation of life here on earth is subject to Chaos theory and we simply need to change disciplines. There are probably lots more reasons but any I come up with have the same problem as our present model. It is far too open-ended and when something presents itself that doesn’t fit, we hammer it and bend it to make it fit. That doesn’t seem right to me. If a theory really, really works, then it should be elegant and simple and predictable, shouldn’t it?

You (Darby) are a container for many genera of other creatures. If one strain of bacteria in your gastro-intestinal tract, say, (back to the absurd) developed intelligence, how long do you suppose it might take them to figure out just what the living arrangement was?

My only ‘what if’ model that seemed to fit the (my) parameters was that there was only one creature here on earth and we were all just part of it. And if someone came visiting, who would they shake hands with?
JDavidE
Garter
Garter
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:21 pm

Postby JDavidE » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:35 pm

Narrowstaircase wrote:The journey of Earth has always been towards more and more order.


Really? Complexity creates order?

Narrowstaircase wrote:my question here is, what is the alternative to a building up in evolution? A sudden appearance of multicellular organisms?


Maybe not but why not? We accept that a collection of amino acids (that we can produce in lab conditions from early earth atmospheres) spontaneously became able to replicate. We still can’t do that (as of this writing) and may never be able to do it. There is not a lot that is startling in a polyploid organism.




Narrowstaircase wrote:single celled organisms first joined to become a community they needed to communicate and what developed was a rudimentary nervous system called a nerve net. over time parts of the nerve net have joined to form nerve chords and ganglia, never going backwards in this developement, always bigger and more centrated nervous systems, until you get to the mammals with their comparitively enormous brains. this is a uni-directional developement that is never admitted. why? the implications of larger more efficient brains are very important in developement such as more complex behaviour -> complex social structure. the next step in the heirarchy of matter. this is our upward march, this is why we are the pinnicle.


I was going to let this go but I just spilled my coffee and I’m a little bit cranky. NSC, you really have to get off the bandwagon. You are talking manifest destiny crap here. Some of my friends who know a whole lot about dinosaurs will be glad to tell you (try and stop them) that several dinosaurs had very large brain cases and so should have been considered as intelligent as any similar animal today like us and like our friend, Tursiops Truncata, the bottle-nosed dolphin. And speaking of flipper, why the hell, after forty or more years of intensive study, hasn’t he had the courtesy to at least ask us a question so we can justify the amount of money we’ve spent getting him to jump through a hoop and shake our hand? And, NSC, if we are the pinnacle, then the world is in worse shape than the doomsayers predict.



Narrowstaircase wrote:- so beacause DNA persists when one organism or species dies implies the meaning of life is for DNA to persist/survive?


In terms of my argument: Bingo

Narrowstaircase wrote:which is why we dont just reproduce by fragmentation which would be far easier for this selfcontrived DNA you speak of.


Of course this DNA I speak of is self-contrived. Or would you care to offer a theory as to who otherwise might have contrived it? And you are correct. Fragmentation is easier and it was tried rather successfully but that only produces clones. Clones are vulnerable to rapid extinction if a species becomes threatened. You point out several times that DNA tries everything “to know everything”.


Narrowstaircase wrote:- if the only thing that mattered was the persistance of DNA then what we would find (or not find sisnce we wouldnt exist) is that only raw DNA existed. why would a DNA molecule want to traverse the globe within a lifetime? surely it has all the time in the world? why create unique carriers? why create such intricate/complex ecosystems? organisms are active within the ecosystem, changing it, why would DNA have changed earth to such a degree? the atmosphere? the soil? the water? why all these changes towards complexity when all it wants to do is exist? at the birth of life - of DNA - why not just keep all these environments the same?


You’ve answered all that yourself in earlier paragraphs. Let me just make a few amendments or comments here. First up we would exist, because we do exist, nothing would be changed except a different approach to our research. A DNA molecule doesn’t want to traverse the globe in ‘our’ lifetime, you are right, it has all the time in the world. So, do we. Why create unique carriers? Pollen either finds a stigma or it doesn’t and is wasted. If it finds a stigma then it has to be compatible or is wasted. It’s all the luck of the draw. A carrier such as an animal can seek out a partner with desirable heritable attributes. Just consider why you get ‘turned on’. This is not random. This is aiming.
Change is progress even if the change is for the worse. Anything else is stagnation.
Back in the early nineteen-forties a couple of geophysicists (if that’s what they called them in those days) cleared their throats and brazenly suggested that whole continents might just raft around the globe on magma. When the laughter died down and a few decades had passed by, the idea didn’t seem quite so silly. But nothing had changed; just an attitude and a whole lot better understanding in several disciplines.
More than a generation ago some palaeontologists suggested that the histology of a few groups of dinosaur bones indicated that some might have been homeothermic. No one laughed but some rather eminent people seriously debunked the idea. And when these same guys suggested that the bones looked like those of a chicken and that maybe we still had dinosaurs with us today, there were almost shouts of blasphemy. Now that we concur that birds did descend from those terrible lizards, nothing has changed. We are just looking at things a little differently now.

Narrowstaircase wrote:- and?? yes we are different to chimps. you chose the right things to highlight our differences. This is an example of us not knowing everything, not an example of everything we've learnt about our animal heritage being wrong.


Why would I choose the wrong things to highlight our differences?
Look, whether a chimpanzee is my half-sister or totally unrelated is of no consequence to either my argument or to the consequences IF my argument is substantive. That we are not related is my, me, the one writing this, personal belief. I am entitled to one of those am I not? I am not asking you to believe it nor am I asking you to drop your personal beliefs and adopt mine. I am simply giving you my reasons (right, wrong, stupid) for casually mentioning why I don’t personally choose to believe it. It’s up to you to prove my argument wrong or stupid: Not just tell me that you believe it to be different and because you believe it to be different it must therefore, be different.
If you argue that chimp and man are close relatives, then, if it is also true that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, there should be some point where both embryos are identical. Is there? (I withdraw that; it isn’t really a fair assertion. But you can perhaps see that if A is correct then B should also be correct. They seldom seem to be. And that is my dilemma).

Two people have had a go at me because I mentioned Selfish Gene theory. It’s not a religion it’s a theory. You can only refute the theory with the guy that proposed it, not the guy that happens to think it works. That’s like shooting the messenger. You should see some of the books I have here on my shelf with some pretty stupid theories by some pretty brainy and authoritative people. I have one book here, quite a few years old now, (as you would guess) that states…with authority, mind you, that the reason we find fossil marine animals high on mountains is because they were left there by Noah’s flood. That was the high-water mark.

Narrowstaircase wrote:- this is not fact. how do you know our current sexual preoccupancy is not because of other factors, such as psychological, since that is the main springboard for action in conscious creatures like ourselves?


I suppose very few of us ‘know’ anything clinical. But it would appear that people with very serious psychological problems causing them not to function rationally (and institutionalised because of it) still manifest sexual desires. Hormones are responsible for sexual desire, not the workings of the ego; and those hormones are produced on demand by DNA. (And speak for yourself; I don’t believe that I am sexually preoccupied)

Narrowstaircase wrote:- i would like to see the reference for this comment plz.


I would expect a simple search of the web to turn up several reports. If you can’t find one or two to support my comment, then let me know and I will dig through mine and cite the authority for it.

Narrowstaircase wrote:what you have here is a new classification system that sheds no new knowledge. which is what people are trying to tell you. i can make one up too on levels higher or lower than that of DNA.


No it isn’t. Nothing I am writing is about classification changes. You can classify anything you want anyway that you want so long as it helps you sleep at night.

Anyway, how about just one response or argument at a time? I am prepared to attempt an answer on most things and would really like to be able to do so, but I get tired of reading pages and pages that present no new refutation of my argument.


Narrowstaircase wrote:- also alot of the information (almost all of it) you give provides no evidence to support your argument. like dead end developement in animal evolution. just because these species have become extinct and others have not doesnt mean DNA is using organisms as shuttling devices.
- also you points are based on points are based on points that are unsubstantiated. i can imagine this whole thing sprouting from the mind of someone reading about selfish gene theory...


I have finally gotten this far and you really are becoming tiresome. An argument, by definition, is not evidential. Why would you expect otherwise? However, directly after having chastised me for not supporting my comments, you have the audacity to declare, “just because these species have become extinct and others have not doesnt mean DNA is using organisms as shuttling devices.” Where, oh where, is your supporting evidence?
And finally, and I mean very finally, if you do not read everyone’s argument and theory (though Selfish Gene theory is apparently heretical to you) then how can you know what is the truth? I think you should change your username to Narrow-Minded Staircase.
JDavidE
Garter
Garter
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:21 pm

Postby JDavidE » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:00 pm

AstusAleator wrote:I'll take the high-road on your first comments, and not be mean. "predation rate" means the ratio of individuals killed by predators. Yes, more predators show up for these swarms, but the predator to prey ratio (and thus the predation rate) is still lower than if they were spread out over a large area and time.


I would presume that you have done the research (or seen it). I haven’t so I will defer to you in this instance. But I must admit it still seems very counter-intuitive to me. You are suggesting that a million (birds) in one large massed group loses fewer individuals than would happen in a million birds spread out say country wide (defining country wide as their eco-habitat)? My only experience is with shoaling baitfish. Predators act in concert, not only within a species but also across species, to ball these creatures into a dense mass where the predators can simply swim open-gaped through the swarm and Hoover them up. The loss of individuals is staggering.
Does it then follow (though we have few predators) that human populations in metropolitan areas suffer fewer mortalities than a similar population figure spread over sparsely settled areas? (all other things being equal)


AstusAleater wrote:I'm not going to try to go into the ethics of conservation with you, as you obviously seem to have your mind made up



No, not really, AA, I can’t even make up my mind about what to have for lunch. But I am by any definition a conservationist. I’m just not a greenie. I think the loss of the Passenger pigeon was tragic only in that it was a result of human greed and cupidity and ignorance. I abhor the pointless death of any life form such as all the untargeted fish caught in trawl nets (as well as the quantity of the target species). I detest the use of such fish being used for fertilizers or pet food. I can give you a litany of all such things that I abhor. You just won’t find me out on the street-corner haranguing passers-by or trying to ram a Japanese whaling ship because I want publicity enough to rent very large offices and employ lots of people earning salaries. I just find that such things as mass extinctions leave me wondering if we really have a handle on the mechanics of it all.
I mentioned breeding salmon in another reply somewhere else on this page. I find it incomprehensible that these fish face the rigours of the upstream journey and arrive at the headwaters, exhausted. Then, with the last few scraps of what energy they have left, they are forced to make massive morphological changes, pass on their genes and die. The poor females also had to do all the sweeping of the gravel bed. Typical. But why? I know we can hammer out some kind of a theory that will fit (this one instance) but don’t you think that at least one strategy would be for some of the fish not to waste all their energy in such grotesque alteration. Then just maybe, after laying their eggs or releasing their milt, they could make their way downstream again and back to the ocean to come back a second time the following year?
Yes, I know all of the consequences of this strange cycle. I know that the phosphorous in the decomposing fish is a nutrient that feeds other organisms that feed the fry. I know that the spring floodwaters wash the fish onto land where they decompose further to fertilize the forest. I just think this is all simply consequence and doesn’t explain how such a complicated strategy ever had a hope of forming. It must lie within the DNA. Hence my argument that maybe we aren’t looking at this whole thing from the right perspective.

I hope this doesn't get lost as a later edit to this particular discussion.
I must have become lost in the maze of quotes and pages of reply from respondents that I missed your other questions and did not address them. I apologise for that and assure you I did not just dismiss them out of hand. However, I would like to address them all with one reply for I feel that I did not make the thrust of my argument plain. And I may have implied (in your reading of it) a totally incorrect basis to my argument.

Let me make it quite clear that I do not refute any of present day theory. In particular I am an evolutionist and champion of Darwin (although he certainly doesn’t need my help). Nor am I seeking to change anything within the realm of the biological sciences. My argument is that we seem not to be able to agree on determinations where, if we are talking science, we should be in agreement. And if we are not in agreement, then there is something wrong.

Let’s define science. The following is an excerpt from the Oxford English Dictionary so that you can direct any disagreement to them and not to me:
Science: A branch of study that deals either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified and more or less comprehended by general laws, and which includes reliable methods for the discovery of new truth in its own domain; spec., any of the natural sciences.

Suppose I take a thermometer outdoors and I determine by the use of the thermometer that the temperature of the air is 2 degrees below zero. Then suppose that you take an identical thermometer outdoors, stand in the same spot, and your determination is that the temperature is 2 degrees above zero. There can only be two (reasonable) conclusions. Either, one of us has a faulty thermometer, or the theory upon which the thermometer is based is flawed.

There are many examples in biological science where scientific group A uses a set of rules or a specific tool to make a determination on a specific datum or data. Then scientific group B uses the exact same rules or tool to make a determination that is quite different. (I will not quote here instances for fear of polarising the debate into different arenas.) When the discrepancy is queried, the general excuse seems to be that it is open to interpretation. Think about that for a moment. That says that the scientists deliberately defined a set of rules or built a tool designed to purposely misinterpret data. That isn’t science, that’s guesswork. Otherwise you might as well include such things as tealeaf reading, horoscopes, tarot cards, palmistry and the reading of entrails and knucklebones as sciences.

A theory should not only be able to explain the observable, but to predict results. Whilst I appreciate that we do not have all of the evidence and fully understand that we may likely not ever have it all, I still suggest that we should be able to use theory to predict. We are not futurists and so can’t lay down an evolutionary trail into tomorrow. But we should be able to use the theories to predict what should have happened an eon ago and then go and look for the supporting evidence. We have done this many times. The problem is, whenever we do, it seems that Groups A and B have different determinations.

Every so often someone stumbles across some irrefutable evidence that changes many of our preconceived notions. When it happens we all look startled. But we shouldn’t be, for if our theory was valid, it should have predicted something like that. My argument is that if there is nothing wrong with our thermometers, then just maybe we should be re-evaluating the theory. Because, to my mind, something is amiss.

I just happen to think that maybe all life on this planet (now and up to now) is simply one single organism. I can’t prove it and I doubt if it is possible to prove it. But let’s hear your argument to disprove it. If you can, then I will be ever so happy to discard it.

The forum member, Darby (who appears rather thoughtful and insightful) joined the argument and was most likely correct in his dismissal of the idea as vapid and unprovable, hence of no value as a foundation to more knowledge. I am eager to concur but I really would like it if someone could put a stake through its heart.
Last edited by JDavidE on Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
JDavidE
Garter
Garter
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:21 pm


Postby Darby » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:21 pm

The more I read, the less this makes any kind of coherent sense. In a response to me, you seem to see the whole biosphere as one organism; just below, you seem to be claiming that chimps and humans aren't closely related.

I'll try to make some responses, and although it would make some sense to do quote boxes, I'm just going to wing it -

The range of gene expression seen in a salmon (or even more dramatic cases) isn't comparable to the range found across the Kingdoms. That everything is genetically "the same," with just expression differences, seems to underly your entire idea, but it's not even close to being a true premise.

From some of the other response boxes:

Complexity can create order, if there's usable energy around. That's the problem with wanting simple straightforward and elegant theories: biology is a messy business. If you don't like fuzzy parameters and lots of exceptions, there's always physics (but stay away from the quantum stuff).

The prevailing theory right now is that amino acids never self-replicated, but were tied to a template, probably RNA, that itself might have used clays as a template. Once you stop thinking in individual molecule terms and start thinking in complexes from the earliest steps, it kinda sorta works (but there's still lots to figure out yet). DNA becomes a stabler form of RNA, and proteins become a more chemically active form, both reachable from an RNA starting point. But the system is never DNA in and of itself. To use your own comparison, selfish DNA is more like an intestinal bacterium - much more dependent on the system than vice versa, but capable of doing some "independent" evolving within some very limited parameters.

I hate this evolution = progress stuff that never goes away, too, but there is a general movement toward complexity, if only because genomes tend to evolve additively - the most important process might be the one that produces extra copies of genes.

"Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" hasn't been an accepted concept for a very long time. Ontogeny is suggestive of phylogeny, but we don't replay our history; like any organism in a largely stable environment, there has been less obvious evolution for embryos than adults, whose environments aren't as comparable. But take it from someone who taught vertebrate embryology for several years, there are points where it's close to impossible to tell a human, bird, or reptile embryo apart, much less a human and ape. Those are the areas where the "in common" genes are at work.

Your examples of animal behavior border on the logic of the Intelligent Design crowd: if it's too complicated for you to grasp the rationale, there must be something unnatural about it. Schooling behavior is countered by corralling behavior, but there is still a definite advantage to schooling; if the evolutionary arms race had been that good at countering it, you wouldn't see schooling behaviors. But since it does exist, of course you will see some predatory behaviors specifically aimed at it.

Salmon behavior may not be a reflection of the rigors of upstream reproduction, but the advantages of spending adolescence as a marine fish, making the return to origin energetically feasible. Those stream certainly couldn't support that salmon population if they all stayed there...

To me, that's a much more reasonable line of thought than some mystical aspect of DNA being responsible. And it really does sound magical - what you are suggesting apparently somehow ties to the selfish gene, but certainly not in any way Dawkins (in my opinion) envisioned it.
Darby
Viper
Viper
 
Posts: 1262
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:29 pm
Location: New York, USA

Postby narrowstaircase » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:46 pm

JDavidE wrote:Really? Complexity creates order?


i didn't say that. plz read carefully before you reply. complexity and order go hand in hand, they develop together, neither one creates the other. Science has found this to be a physical law on earth. its called The Second Path to The Second Law of Thermodynamics.

JDavidE wrote:Maybe not but why not? We accept that a collection of amino acids (that we can produce in lab conditions from early earth atmospheres) spontaneously became able to replicate. We still can’t do that (as of this writing) and may never be able to do it. There is not a lot that is startling in a polyploid organism.


i find it strange that you are willing to accept a sudden appearance of multicellular organisms on earthand then in the same breath admit to evolution as a process. its also strange that there is evidence all around you (that you can see and touch) of a heirarchy of matter and yet you are unwilling to admit to this fact.

JDavidE wrote:I was going to let this go but I just spilled my coffee and I’m a little bit cranky. NSC, you really have to get off the bandwagon. You are talking manifest destiny crap here. Some of my friends who know a whole lot about dinosaurs will be glad to tell you (try and stop them) that several dinosaurs had very large brain cases and so should have been considered as intelligent as any similar animal today like us and like our friend, Tursiops Truncata, the bottle-nosed dolphin. And speaking of flipper, why the hell, after forty or more years of intensive study, hasn’t he had the courtesy to at least ask us a question so we can justify the amount of money we’ve spent getting him to jump through a hoop and shake our hand? And, NSC, if we are the pinnacle, then the world is in worse shape than the doomsayers predict.


- [firstly, i have no idea what NSC means.] i dont refute that several dinosuars had large brain cases. you didnt adress my point. my point is that nervous system development is linear. and the pinnicle of this development is mammals and humans at the tip. another point, comparative brain size = brain size compared to the body size of the organism. if you say several dinosaur brains were large, my reply is ok, but how big was this organisms body? and then if the body/brain ratio was small, then i say ok, has that development gone backwards from that point? ie. this includes brain size/efficiency, centration of nerves to form ganglia/chords. also, because i said mamals have comparitively enormous brains doesnt mean every mammal is concious to mans level. you know very well why chimps and dolphins cant talk or rationalise. why play this game?
- the world is in bad shape, because people like to transfer responsibility from conscious humans to DNA.

JDavidE wrote:"so beacause DNA persists when one organism or species dies implies the meaning of life is for DNA to persist/survive?"
In terms of my argument: Bingo


implicit in this statement is a misunderstanding or a manipulation of understanding of DNA. why don't you address other points like those provided before you commit to this statement?, "You're anthropomorphizing DNA, and at the same time, pidgeon-holing it as a catch-all entity, rather than what it really is. There are variations on DNA. Disagree? compare viral dna to bacterial, or bacterial to mitochondrial, or mitochondrial to nucleic mammal." (AstusAleator) and "It really doesn't matter. What matters is that organisms, NOT DNA, are what interact with the environment and each-other, and thus any and all value judgements are based on those interactions, not the mute contributions of the underlying DNA." (AstusAleator)

JDavidE wrote:Of course this DNA I speak of is self-contrived. Or would you care to offer a theory as to who otherwise might have contrived it? And you are correct. Fragmentation is easier and it was tried rather successfully but that only produces clones. Clones are vulnerable to rapid extinction if a species becomes threatened. You point out several times that DNA tries everything “to know everything”.


the chemistry of early earth didnt change on its own. life changed it. my question was. if the meaning of life (as youve declared) is for DNA to persist, why did life change the earth to such a degree? why not try to keep it simple?

JDavidE wrote:You’ve answered all that yourself in earlier paragraphs. Let me just make a few amendments or comments here. First up we would exist, because we do exist, nothing would be changed except a different approach to our research. A DNA molecule doesn’t want to traverse the globe in ‘our’ lifetime, you are right, it has all the time in the world. So, do we.


- no, what ive answered is why there is a trend towards complexity and order in physical matter. not why the point of life if for DNA to persist as its own self-involved entity. why would you use my evidence for development of order and complexity to justify your own idea with its premise of non-development from simple to complex?

JDavidE wrote:Why create unique carriers? Pollen either finds a stigma or it doesn’t and is wasted. If it finds a stigma then it has to be compatible or is wasted. It’s all the luck of the draw. A carrier such as an animal can seek out a partner with desirable heritable attributes. Just consider why you get ‘turned on’. This is not random. This is aiming.
Change is progress even if the change is for the worse. Anything else is stagnation.


- as i recall i was the one describing sexual reproduction to you. we know the reason sexual reproduction is usefull. the link between this fact and that which states DNA is the all encompasing self involved organism is where most people get lost.

JDavidE wrote:Back in the early nineteen-forties a couple of geophysicists (if that’s what they called them in those days) cleared their throats and brazenly suggested that whole continents might just raft around the globe on magma. When the laughter died down and a few decades had passed by, the idea didn’t seem quite so silly. But nothing had changed; just an attitude and a whole lot better understanding in several disciplines.


- you are confusing techtonic plate theory with continental drift theory. also refer to my next comment plz.

JDavidE wrote:More than a generation ago some palaeontologists suggested that the histology of a few groups of dinosaur bones indicated that some might have been homeothermic. No one laughed but some rather eminent people seriously debunked the idea. And when these same guys suggested that the bones looked like those of a chicken and that maybe we still had dinosaurs with us today, there were almost shouts of blasphemy. Now that we concur that birds did descend from those terrible lizards, nothing has changed. We are just looking at things a little differently now.


- the rest of the paragraph is evidence you are being unsubstantially and wrongfully picked on?
- youre 'evidence' is essentially saying, these people were right but no one believed them, therefore i am right because no one believes me. ugh

JDavidE wrote:Why would I choose the wrong things to highlight our differences?
Look, whether a chimpanzee is my half-sister or totally unrelated is of no consequence to either my argument or to the consequences IF my argument is substantive. That we are not related is my, me, the one writing this, personal belief. I am entitled to one of those am I not? I am not asking you to believe it nor am I asking you to drop your personal beliefs and adopt mine. I am simply giving you my reasons (right, wrong, stupid) for casually mentioning why I don’t personally choose to believe it. It’s up to you to prove my argument wrong or stupid: Not just tell me that you believe it to be different and because you believe it to be different it must therefore, be different. If you argue that chimp and man are close relatives, then, if it is also true that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, there should be some point where both embryos are identical. Is there? (I withdraw that; it isn’t really a fair assertion. But you can perhaps see that if A is correct then B should also be correct. They seldom seem to be. And that is my dilemma).


why do you say this is your own personal belief then say we have to prove your argumant wrong? when A you have no argumant? B they are your beliefs. and C youve ignored your own advice by not disproving many facts that your idea simply overlooks.

JDavidE wrote:Two people have had a go at me because I mentioned Selfish Gene theory. It’s not a religion it’s a theory. You can only refute the theory with the guy that proposed it, not the guy that happens to think it works. That’s like shooting the messenger.


no its not like shooting the messenger. i have not had a go at you. because you agree with that idea, and my aims are to disprove it, you feel i am actually attacking you. its your ideas that are unfounded that are being subjected to scrutiny. you must have an ego investment in them to not see what other people write about your ideas, choose to ignore what peopel write about your ideas, and manipulate information to back up your ideas.

JDavidE wrote:I suppose very few of us ‘know’ anything clinical. But it would appear that people with very serious psychological problems causing them not to function rationally (and institutionalised because of it) still manifest sexual desires. Hormones are responsible for sexual desire, not the workings of the ego; and those hormones are produced on demand by DNA.


- hormones are responsible for sexual desire in animals as well as humans. ego is also responsible for sexual desires in humans, there is clear and easily understood reasoning behind that statement. refer to Jeremy Griffith.

JDavidE wrote:(And speak for yourself; I don’t believe that I am sexually preoccupied)


- an example, having sex or thinking about sex without the intention of procreation is a common behaviour. but why does it happen? and why does this imply preoccupation and not simply a genetic mechanism? becasue we are conscious. its a choice. but then why are we practicing sex if not for preocreation if its not a genetically induced drive? this brings us to the Human Condition. a really interesting and enlightening subject. once again, i reference Jeremy Griffith.

JDavidE wrote:I would expect a simple search of the web to turn up several reports. If you can’t find one or two to support my comment, then let me know and I will dig through mine and cite the authority for it.


its not my responsibility to refernce your material. the one line i ask for a reference for and its like shitting bricks for you. just give me your reference.

JDavidE wrote:No it isn’t. Nothing I am writing is about classification changes. You can classify anything you want anyway that you want so long as it helps you sleep at night.


couple this statement with your previous statements of "nothing has changed. We are just looking at things a little differently now."

JDavidE wrote:I have finally gotten this far and you really are becoming tiresome. An argument, by definition, is not evidential. Why would you expect otherwise?


i love that line.

JDavidE wrote:However, directly after having chastised me for not supporting my comments, you have the audacity to declare, “just because these species have become extinct and others have not doesnt mean DNA is using organisms as shuttling devices.” Where, oh where, is your supporting evidence?


- you might recall the first paragraph of my post. no wait what am i talking about. go back. look.
- and the point of that statement was, youve privided no link between the occurance of extinction and your idea of DNA using organisms as shuttling devices. no evidence at all.

JDavidE wrote:And finally, and I mean very finally, if you do not read everyone’s argument and theory (though Selfish Gene theory is apparently heretical to you) then how can you know what is the truth? I think you should change your username to Narrow-Minded Staircase.


- ive read selfish gene theory, i think it is awesome when it comes to explaining animal behaviour, it is totally out of context when it comes to human behaviour. ive already given refernces to why i think that as well as expamples in other posts.
- ive read your idea and asked questions pertaining to it. youve totally ignored valid points made by myself and other posters. your interpretation of reality is being scrutinised, if you thought people would come here and fawn over your idea without disecting it you were wrong. deal with it.
- narrow-minded staircase?? its soo easy to take a personal swipe at people on the net.. did it feel good to write that eh? the only thing i can think of is that you have some personal investment in this idea, some ego saticfaction riding on it. whatever. i dont care. just try to make more sense when you are writing your ideas. if someone says hey i dont have a clue what you are writing about and other people are also having trouble understanding you its not everyone else. its you. its the way you are communicating your idea or it may simply be that the rationalisation of your idea is wholey crippled.

JDavidE wrote:Anyway, how about just one response or argument at a time? I am prepared to attempt an answer on most things and would really like to be able to do so, but I get tired of reading pages and pages that present no new refutation of my argument.


some things that have been ignored by you. plz address these before pushing your argument further.
- "You're anthropomorphizing DNA, and at the same time, pidgeon-holing it as a catch-all entity, rather than what it really is. There are variations on DNA. Disagree? compare viral dna to bacterial, or bacterial to mitochondrial, or mitochondrial to nucleic mammal." (AstusAleator)
- "It really doesn't matter. What matters is that organisms, NOT DNA, are what interact with the environment and each-other, and thus any and all value judgements are based on those interactions, not the mute contributions of the underlying DNA." (AstusAleator)
- "You still need to show evidence for scrapping the idea that Pan and Homo are related." (45561)
"Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity! Borne under one law, to another bound: Vainley begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created sicke, commanded to be sound: What meaneth nature by these diverse lawes? Passion and Reason, selfe-division cause."
narrowstaircase
Death Adder
Death Adder
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:53 am
Location: gold coast, Australia

Postby AstusAleator » Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:36 am

JDavidE wrote:
narrowstaircase wrote:- so beacause DNA persists when one organism or species dies implies the meaning of life is for DNA to persist/survive?



In terms of my argument: Bingo


FINALLY! A THESIS!

Honestly, aside from its relevancy, I don't really see a problem with that statement, except of course the use of the word meaning. I wouldn't agree that there is "meaning" or "purpose" to life, but I would accept that all life is the chance result of proto-DNA's ability to replicate itself and evolve.

I know that JDavidE said something like this to begin with, but he attached the sense of DNA being cognizant, and having a will. Furthermore, there was a lot of additional rigamarole attached to whatever attempt at a thesis there was.

If the above is the crux of what JDavidE is trying to get at, then I don't think much of this discussion has even had a point...

Finally: The relevance issue: DNA-based life is all we know. We realize the importance of DNA in heredity, and in defining biodiversity. Perhaps keeping in mind that all life is a form of DNA-expression can remind us the intrinsic value each species, virus, etc carries. A thesis such as JDavidE's can serve to humble us, but I don't see how much good or bad it really does in the long run. Like I said before, it seems kind of like a moot point.

I suppose it might help people to change their frame of reference, which is always good when conducting science.



-JDavidE: In response to your bit about predator-prey behavior. Predator-prey relationships are ever changing. Predators adapt to prey behaviors. There are cases similar to the one you cited, in which dolphins will create cylinders of bubbles that trap anchovies in ever smaller bunches, so that the dolphins have a higher success rate when they swim through.
This is an example of predators innovating or adapting ways to take advantage of previously effective prey survival strategies. Another very good example is the passenger pidgeon itself (although to compare technology/society/language/etc to basic adaptations is a rough analogy indeed). Though the mass-swarm behavior had served the pidgeons well in the past, a new predator arrived that they were not adapted to, which also happened to be able to innovate ways to capitalize on the pidgeons behavior.

It's funny, as a side-note, that humans seem to have come up with ways to conquer pretty much every adaptive strategy ever developed by any species, except maybe humans themselves...
What did the parasitic Candiru fish say when it finally found a host? - - "Urethra!!"
User avatar
AstusAleator
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:51 pm
Location: Oregon, USA

Postby AstusAleator » Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:51 am

Oh, sorry to be a pain but
narrowstaircase wrote:single celled organisms first joined to become a community they needed to communicate and what developed was a rudimentary nervous system called a nerve net. over time parts of the nerve net have joined to form nerve chords and ganglia, never going backwards in this developement, always bigger and more centrated nervous systems, until you get to the mammals with their comparitively enormous brains. this is a uni-directional developement that is never admitted. why? the implications of larger more efficient brains are very important in developement such as more complex behaviour -> complex social structure. the next step in the heirarchy of matter. this is our upward march, this is why we are the pinnicle.


I wouldn't go so far as to call humans a pinnacle. That indicates purpose. You can't deny that evolution occurs in more than just a linear fashion. From what you say, I take you to mean by pinnacle that we are the most complex, physically and behaviorally. I'm sure there are plenty of organisms out there who's physiology far-surpasses ours in complexity. And I know I see plenty of animals on the Discovery Channel whos behavior boggles my mind.

Some dinosaurs were the biggest and/or most socially developed (pinnacle) of their time, but as far as we can tell, have no extant progeny.

Oh and dolphins have gigantic brains, but it's mostly insulation. They're not really that smart. Dogs are smarter...

As for this "hierarchy of matter" I'm not sure what you're getting at there... If I have you right, eventually we'll have something akin to the "brain-bug" in Starship Troopers. I say meh. double meh.

*points to his sig*
What did the parasitic Candiru fish say when it finally found a host? - - "Urethra!!"
User avatar
AstusAleator
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:51 pm
Location: Oregon, USA

Postby narrowstaircase » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:02 am

I wouldn't go so far as to call humans a pinnacle. That indicates purpose.

- ye thats my point. i do think there is purpose in evolution and i also think science is our tool to find truth, and we will prove purpose using science.

You can't deny that evolution occurs in more than just a linear fashion. From what you say, I take you to mean by pinnacle that we are the most complex, physically and behaviorally. I'm sure there are plenty of organisms out there who's physiology far-surpasses ours in complexity. And I know I see plenty of animals on the Discovery Channel whos behavior boggles my mind.
Some dinosaurs were the biggest and/or most socially developed (pinnacle) of their time, but as far as we can tell, have no extant progeny.


- thats not what i meant by pinnacle. and i havent denied evolution occurs in more than just a linear fashion. here is my opinion on complexity (that i posted in my second post in this thread) and how it doesnt equate to being 'better' than another organism. note the emphasis.

- the physical adaptations of animals correlate to their environment. it is irrelevant to say that one species is better than another because of its physiology when both are adapted perfectly to their own individual environments and niches. we know this. its also irrelevent to say that one species is better than another because of the complexity, or lack there of, of its physiology when both may support the same ecosystem yet at different levels. we know this. on this level of understanding i agree that life has spread and changed and covered earth in a wholey lateral way.

Oh and dolphins have gigantic brains, but it's mostly insulation. They're not really that smart. Dogs are smarter...

- when i try to emphasise a linear physiological developement occuring with the nervous system im talking in millions and millions of years. im also not refering to specific animals being 'smarter' than other animals. im not refering to all mammals being conscious even close to our degree. im simply saying that over the biological history of earth there is a linear development as it relates to the nervous system. it has always become better. ie. more centrated and efficient.

As for this "hierarchy of matter" I'm not sure what you're getting at there... If I have you right, eventually we'll have something akin to the "brain-bug" in Starship Troopers. I say meh. double meh.

- why i originally brought the heirarchy of matter up is because the OP denied negative entropy, developemnt from simple to complex, chaos to order.

*points to his sig*

- i would enterpret that as a tongue in cheek remark.
"Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity! Borne under one law, to another bound: Vainley begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created sicke, commanded to be sound: What meaneth nature by these diverse lawes? Passion and Reason, selfe-division cause."
narrowstaircase
Death Adder
Death Adder
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:53 am
Location: gold coast, Australia

Postby narrowstaircase » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:27 am

Behaviour and Complexity

(if at any point you disagree or dont understand pls address that specific point so that i can clear it up and we can reach a mutual concensus.)

- as far as behaviour and complexity is concerned, i think that most behaviours we take note of are anomolies (eg. sexual behaviours, i dont include interspecies interaction for now either). that is, you can class it pretty much the same way as i classed physical complexity in my previous point. the way behavioural anomolies are divided from behaviour as it relates to a development or a linear progression is in how the behaviour effects the grouping of organisms within a species.

- an eg. of behavioural anomolies. which human culture around the world is the best? well that doesnt make sense - (except in the case where a cultural practice may inhibit the health of a society) - because they are just different. why is this cultures' dance or celebration sequence better than another? it isn't. they are behavioural anomilies. there is no scale from bad to good as it relates to complexity.

- behaviour that results in groupings of organisms, that were once independant, can be seen to correlate to negative entropy. which is linear. negentropy states that in an open system (earth) where there is energy coming in (from the sun) matter tends to form larger and more stable associations over time. this can be seen in the heirarchy of matter.

fundamental particle > simple nuclei > complex nuclei > atoms > molecules > compounds > virus-like organisms > single-celled organisms > multicellular organisms.

- each step involves the association of the previous stage of matter to form larger and new wholes. new plataus of associations. the next thing to consider is what is the next state of stable associations of matter after multicellular organisms? we can extrapolate quite easily to determine the next step in the physical ordering of matter on earth is stable groups of multicellular organisms, or specie societies. not just any groupings, they must be stable and ordered. groupings we find on earth at the moment can be categorised in scale or even ordinaly.

- the grouping of multicellular organisms directly relates to their behaviour, which is why it was so important for the organisms on earth to develop a nervous system and brain that could associate information coming from its surroundings and develop behaviours.

- when it comes to specie societies which are utterly stable and are the next platau or step in the ordering of matter on earth it must be emphasised that they must consist of parts that work entirely toward the same ends. they are ultrustic/selfless. like the cells in your body that all work entirely for the health of the entire system.

- humans as a specie society? not really. humans as we know do not display this same singular vision that is required to make a new level of ordered association. our society is not stable although it is quite ordered, which is one of the reasons we are the most advanced. there is a lot to talk about at this point in the discussion about why humans are the way they are. our history and how it relates to human organisation, instincts, development of consciousness, why humans act selfishly when we intrinsically know we should act selflessly, development of ultruism and so on. which i couldn't explain so simply.

- but do you get the line of reasoning ive taken? can you follow that point by point?
Last edited by narrowstaircase on Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity! Borne under one law, to another bound: Vainley begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created sicke, commanded to be sound: What meaneth nature by these diverse lawes? Passion and Reason, selfe-division cause."
narrowstaircase
Death Adder
Death Adder
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:53 am
Location: gold coast, Australia

Postby narrowstaircase » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:39 am

dbl post sry


:(
"Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity! Borne under one law, to another bound: Vainley begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created sicke, commanded to be sound: What meaneth nature by these diverse lawes? Passion and Reason, selfe-division cause."
narrowstaircase
Death Adder
Death Adder
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:53 am
Location: gold coast, Australia

Postby AstusAleator » Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:26 am

narrowstaircase wrote:- ye thats my point. i do think there is purpose in evolution and i also think science is our tool to find truth, and we will prove purpose using science.


For some evolutionary lines, in certain ecological conditions, it has been advantageous to develop larger, more complex nervous systems. For others, such as archeobacteria... it was never necessary, and they're still around. Some disaster could occur tomorrow, wiping out all terrestrial life, and most marine life, leaving nothing but bacteria and protists. Or, for that matter, simply wipe out all life on earth. Where is your "purpose" then?

Just because evolution has occured to the point where a glorified ape can start asking existential questions doesn't mean that there is a point or purpose to the process of evolution itself.

Evolution as a scientific model has no attached values of purpose or direction of intent.


As for your second post:
Because we can observe a trend in evolution, of organisms progressing from unicellular->multicellular->gastric->etc does not necessarily indicate that there is purpose, or an ultimate goal.

Personally, you may take it to mean whatever you want. Scientifically, there can be no assumption of a guiding force, or purpose.
What did the parasitic Candiru fish say when it finally found a host? - - "Urethra!!"
User avatar
AstusAleator
King Cobra
King Cobra
 
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:51 pm
Location: Oregon, USA

Postby narrowstaircase » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:14 am

AstusAleator wrote:
narrowstaircase wrote:- ye thats my point. i do think there is purpose in evolution and i also think science is our tool to find truth, and we will prove purpose using science.


For some evolutionary lines, in certain ecological conditions, it has been advantageous to develop larger, more complex nervous systems. For others, such as archeobacteria... it was never necessary, and they're still around.


- i knew i shouldn't have put that in since it is such an easy target. Why out of everything to reply to you chose that idk. i say purpose and you say boo. what has been achieved? nothing.

- id like to change your statement above to a more truthful and scientific observation that doesnt imply anything. this sentence:

"For some evolutionary lines, in certain ecological conditions, it has been advantageous to develop larger, more complex nervous systems."

this statement includes some value judgment in the phrase "it has been advantageous" and so doesn't simply state what we see. Where you say “for some evolutionary lines” and “in certain ecological conditions” i can see you imply randomness. And i dont deny randomness (chaos) as a part of our universe. But what if it is “only for those evolutionary lines” and “only in those specific ecological conditions,” that those changes can actually occur?

i would like to change the statement to:

"larger and more complex nervous systems can only develop if certain ecological conditions exist and hense only in some evolutionary lines."

this describes what we see occuring. there is no value judgment involved. It also reiterates what we know about evolution and how interactions drive certain changes. Do you agree with this statement? It also reiterates negetive entropy in that you can only end up with a certain thing if some conditions are met prior. ie. You can only have a multicellular organism if molecules joined to form compounds, compounds joined to form virus like organisms and virus like organisms joined to form single celled organisms in the first place. With out those interactions occuring prior you cannot end up with a multicellular organism.

the new statement also addresses your next point about archeobacteria. they are single celled organisms and hence cant develop a nervous system. they have no need for it because they dont need to function as a whole, their certain ecological condition doesnt allow for that development.

“...and they're still around...” : i dont ever recall saying that purpose implies different associations of matter can't coexist. I dont know where people get this idea from.

AstusAleator wrote:Some disaster could occur tomorrow, wiping out all terrestrial life, and most marine life, leaving nothing but bacteria and protists. Or, for that matter, simply wipe out all life on earth. Where is your "purpose" then?


that is akin to me saying, “some wonderful enlightenment could occur tomorrow, wiping out all your doubts and negativity on purpose. Where is your 'non-purpose' then?” i thought we were having a scientific discussion here. Maybe it reflects our views on life. I think they are called feelings... omg i said the f word.


AstusAleator wrote:Just because evolution has occured to the point where a glorified ape can start asking existential questions doesn't mean that there is a point or purpose to the process of evolution itself.


I havent used consciousness in humans as evidence for purpose. This statement confuses me, is it directed to anything specific that ive said or is it a general attack on the idea of purpose? Or are you saying humans should simply stop asking questions about purpose?

AstusAleator wrote:Evolution as a scientific model AS IT EXISTS TODAY has no attached values of purpose or direction of intent.


yar i know this.

AstusAleator wrote:As for your second post:
Because we can observe a trend in evolution, of organisms progressing from unicellular->multicellular->gastric->etc does not necessarily indicate that there is purpose, or an ultimate goal.


so because we observe a continual ordering of matter into larger, more complex, more stable associations throughout the history of Earth we can't extrapolate that to mean there could be an end point of complete order and stability?

AstusAleator wrote:Personally, you may take it to mean whatever you want. Scientifically, there can be no assumption of a guiding force, or purpose.


I have made no assumption. I have given negative entropy as scientific evidence for the trend in evolution. Evolution is simply change in associations of living matter using DNA as the information processor. You can say thats all there is to it but you must remember that evolution - DNA - exists within the parametres of fundemental laws of physics. The second law and its second path of thermodynamics have been proven and they effect all the matter and energy that make up Earth.

Also i think you would take offense to someone if they gave you permission to understand things in only a certain way. ie. Their way. I know science doesn't involve assumptions. In fact thats the opposite of science. Science is truth. Which is why i give you scientific evidence for a trend in evolution. I havent even explained how this relates to humans but you include your interpretation of this anyway. I've only explained how this trend relates to different associations of matter.
"Oh wearisome Condition of Humanity! Borne under one law, to another bound: Vainley begot, and yet forbidden vanity, Created sicke, commanded to be sound: What meaneth nature by these diverse lawes? Passion and Reason, selfe-division cause."
narrowstaircase
Death Adder
Death Adder
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:53 am
Location: gold coast, Australia

PreviousNext

Return to Evolution

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests