What is the concept of fitness ?

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Jun 28, 2008, 3:22:00 PM6/28/08
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29
>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
to encode their specific concept for us to decode.

>It describes the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of >the individual's genes in all the genes of the next generation.

The abstract authority Mr.Fitness didn't describe anything - who is
this person that has done the actual description of what ?

>If differences in individual genotypes affect fitness, then the frequencies of the genotypes will change over >generations; the genotypes with higher fitness become more common. This process is called natural selection...."

Who has defined what is a genotype? Other than noting that "genotypes"
became more common how was their fitness measured. And who has called
this process "natural selection" ? Darwin didn't know about genes is
the author
referring to him.

Will in New Haven

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Jun 28, 2008, 3:38:00 PM6/28/08
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<crickets chirping>

--
Will in New Haven

Woland

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Jun 28, 2008, 3:43:10 PM6/28/08
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I'm not talking to you until you show us that you're capable of
learning and astract thought, or until I get bored.

Inez

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Jun 28, 2008, 5:19:22 PM6/28/08
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On Jun 28, 12:22 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
>
> Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> to encode their specific concept for us to decode.
>

Incorrect. Fitness is a word that communicates a concept. The
concept is not a code, but a standardized meaning, and you can look it
up in a dictionary. As for the rest of your post, learn to do your
own research.

But hey, keep safe down there in Zimbabwe. The news doesn't look that
good for you guys.

edi...@rcn.com

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Jun 28, 2008, 7:03:10 PM6/28/08
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Ground Hog Day


Cory Albrecht

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Jun 28, 2008, 7:33:29 PM6/28/08
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backspace wrote:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29
>> Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
> Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> to encode their specific concept for us to decode.
>
>> It describes the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of >the individual's genes in all the genes of the next generation.
>
> The abstract authority Mr.Fitness didn't describe anything - who is
> this person that has done the actual description of what ?

Who is the actual person that has done the actual description of what
"red" is? Until you determine that, referring to "red" is useless.

>
>> If differences in individual genotypes affect fitness, then the frequencies of the genotypes will change over >generations; the genotypes with higher fitness become more common. This process is called natural selection...."
>
> Who has defined what is a genotype? Other than noting that "genotypes"
> became more common how was their fitness measured. And who has called
> this process "natural selection" ? Darwin didn't know about genes is
> the author
> referring to him.

"Blah, blah blah blah BLAH blah blah...."

Mark VandeWettering

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Jun 28, 2008, 8:56:37 PM6/28/08
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>>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
> Fitness isn't a concept but a word.

The word "fitness" is a word. Fitness is a concept.

Your argument isn't going to go very far if you can't understand the
relatively obvious distinction.

[ rest of the trainwreck snipped ]

Greg G.

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Jun 28, 2008, 9:11:12 PM6/28/08
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On Jun 28, 3:22 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
>
> Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> to encode their specific concept for us to decode.
>
"Rose" is a word. A rose is the sex organ of a thorny plant. There is
a distinction between the word and the concept.

--
Greg G.

Waiter: Today's Special is 'Beef Tongue'.
Diner: I couldn't eat anything that came out of a cow's mouth.
Just give me a couple of eggs.


Kermit

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Jun 28, 2008, 10:07:00 PM6/28/08
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On Jun 28, 12:22 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
>
> Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> to encode their specific concept for us to decode.
>
> >It describes the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of >the individual's genes in all the genes of the next generation.
>
> The abstract authority Mr.Fitness didn't describe anything - who is
> this person that has done the actual description of what ?
>
> >If differences in individual genotypes affect fitness, then the frequencies of the genotypes will change over >generations; the genotypes with higher fitness become more common. This process is called natural selection...."

<snip>

It is generally agreed that fitness involves multiple characteristics.
These include physical strength, power and speed, flexibility, co-
ordination, and endurance. Even concepts such as endurance can include
muscular endurance, cardio-vascular endurance, and the ability to
focus and practice or perform a movement for prolonged lengths of time
(mental endurance).

Here's a good introduction:
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/WELCOME/treatmentguides/exercise.html

Kermit

Ken Shackleton

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Jun 28, 2008, 10:54:46 PM6/28/08
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On Jun 28, 1:22 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
>
> Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> to encode their specific concept for us to decode.

Religion isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals

David Hare-Scott

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Jun 29, 2008, 3:02:31 AM6/29/08
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"backspace" <sawirel...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1c14bb5e-30c4-4060...@j22g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...

> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29
> >Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central
concept in evolutionary theory.
> Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> to encode their specific concept for us to decode.
>

Please provide examples of concepts that are not represented by words. And
explain just how the two got separated.

> >It describes the capability of an individual of certain genotype to
reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of >the individual's genes
in all the genes of the next generation.
>
> The abstract authority Mr.Fitness didn't describe anything - who is
> this person that has done the actual description of what ?
>

That would be Mrs Dictionary, or if you want the detail Mr Scientist
consulting with Ms Lexicographer.

> >If differences in individual genotypes affect fitness, then the frequencies
of the genotypes will change over >generations; the genotypes with higher
fitness become more common. This process is called natural selection...."
>
> Who has defined what is a genotype? Other than noting that "genotypes"
> became more common how was their fitness measured. And who has called
> this process "natural selection" ? Darwin didn't know about genes is
> the author
> referring to him.
>

Gosh we seem to have been here before, Mr Backspace has a perpetual calendar
that chimes at the end of each month reminding him to post the same word game
as last month and the month before.

David


The Enigmatic One

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Jun 29, 2008, 3:16:24 AM6/29/08
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In article
<1c14bb5e-30c4-4060...@j22g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>,
sawirel...@yahoo.com says...

>
>
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29
>>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept
in evolutionary theory.
>Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
>to encode their specific concept for us to decode.

Holy shit!

You're a fucking dumbass!


-Tim

Rolf

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Jun 29, 2008, 7:59:47 AM6/29/08
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"backspace" <sawirel...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1c14bb5e-30c4-4060...@j22g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29

[snipped nonsense]

Are you fit for fight? Do you think your fitness might be improved, say by
doing some excercise and workout? That might be good for what muscles you
still may have left in your sloppy body. For your brain there is less hope,
unless you consult somebody that may teach you how to use it.


Will in New Haven

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Jun 29, 2008, 9:46:10 AM6/29/08
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On Jun 29, 3:16 am, The Enigmatic One <t...@again.spammers> wrote:
> In article
> <1c14bb5e-30c4-4060-b26f-ae645164d...@j22g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>,
> sawireless2...@yahoo.com says...

>
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29
> >>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept
>
> in evolutionary theory.
>
> >Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> >to encode their specific concept for us to decode.
>
> Holy shit!
>
> You're a fucking dumbass!
>
Not really very enigmatic. But accurate.

Cj

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Jun 29, 2008, 11:18:18 AM6/29/08
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Reproductive fitness. An athletically perfect homosexual isn't
reproductively fit.

backspace

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Jun 29, 2008, 11:54:32 AM6/29/08
to
On Jun 29, 2:56 am, Mark VandeWettering <wetter...@comcast.net> wrote:
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29
> >>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
> > Fitness isn't a concept but a word.

> The word "fitness" is a word. Fitness is a concept.

> Your argument isn't going to go very far if you can't understand the
> relatively obvious distinction.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fitness
"..Also called Darwinian fitness. Biology.
a. the genetic contribution of an individual to the next generation's
gene pool relative to the average for the population, usually measured
by the number of offspring or close kin that survive to reproductive
age.
b. the ability of a population to maintain or increase its numbers in
succeeding generations...."


Rephrase1:
The contribution of an individual to the gene pool relative to the
contribution of the other humans, measured by the number of offspring
that he left.

Rephrase2:
The number of babies an individual contributed more than others,
measured by the number of offspring that he left.

Rephrase3:
If an individual produced more babies than other individuals he
contributed more of his characteristics to the gene pool.

Rephrase4:
The number of babies an individual contributed more than others.

Rephrase5:
The more babies you make the more your characteristics will reflect in
the population.

And this last rephrase is truism - it is true by definition and has
got nothing to do with getting naturaled. And why must a single word
in the English language be hijacked to be associated with this
truism ? The synonym for fitness is "strength", "vigor" etc. All these
are single words that we use to communicate some sort of personal
intent or motive we have. Who has decided that breeding more babies
than other people must now be associated with the word "Fitness"? One
can certainly have a concept of one person breeding more prolific than
another but why must single words by used for such a concept. And lets
not problem description: how does protein space get mapped to gene
space and then to animal space, what are the eigenvalues of the
transition matrix.

backspace

unread,
Jun 29, 2008, 12:25:44 PM6/29/08
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On Jun 28, 11:19 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Jun 28, 12:22 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
>
> > Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> > to encode their specific concept for us to decode.
>
> Incorrect. Fitness is a word that communicates a concept. The
> concept is not a code, but a standardized meaning, and you can look it
> up in a dictionary.

A truism is something which is true by definition hence nobody can
hijack such a truism and eternally associate his name with it.
Language itself is being made undefined by calling "fitness" -
"Darwinian fitness". Darwin stated a truism in the same way that
Howard stated "bacteria don't survive in lava" , another truism.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Darwinian%20fitness isn't
defined.

Inez what would you say is the standardized definition of "darwinian
fitness" and who standardized it ?

Ken Shackleton

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Jun 29, 2008, 1:07:35 PM6/29/08
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The fact that you are able to [and in fact, do] produce more babies
than others is an observable demonstration of reproductive fitness.

The mechanism by which this is able to come about is due, in part, to
Natural Selection.


Tiny Bulcher

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Jun 29, 2008, 4:58:39 PM6/29/08
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Thus cwaeth Ken Shackleton :

What does 'getting naturaled' mean? This phrase does not exist in the
English language.

>>And why must a single word
>> in the English language be hijacked to be associated with this
>> truism ? The synonym for fitness is "strength", "vigor" etc.

No, they are not. This hammer in my hand is absolutely fit for the
purpose of knocking sense into your fat head. What strength or vigour
does this hammer possess?

Has a creature that has produced more offspring than its rivals shown
itself better fitted for the purpose of reproduction, or not? Has it
shown itself better fitted to survive in the prevailing environment, or
not?

How did it get that way?

>>All
>> these are single words that we use to communicate some sort of
>> personal intent or motive we have. Who has decided that breeding
>> more babies than other people must now be associated with the word
>> "Fitness"?

We did. Deal with it.

>>One can certainly have a concept of one person breeding
>> more prolific than another but why must single words by used for
>> such a concept.

Why not? One single word that springs to mind is 'fertile'. But in any
case the phrase associated with natural selection is two words:
reproductive fitness.

>>And lets not problem description:

And let's not verb nouns, either.

>>how does protein
>> space get mapped to gene space and then to animal space,

Read up on genetics for the answers.

>>what are
>> the eigenvalues of the transition matrix.

The what of the what?

> The fact that you are able to [and in fact, do] produce more babies
> than others is an observable demonstration of reproductive fitness.
>
> The mechanism by which this is able to come about is due, in part, to
> Natural Selection.

Or, as I prefer to call it, Differential Death.


Bob Casanova

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Jun 29, 2008, 9:17:36 PM6/29/08
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On Sat, 28 Jun 2008 12:22:00 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com>:

The giraffe, in the bathtub with the aardvark.
--

Bob C.

"Evidence confirming an observation is
evidence that the observation is wrong."
- McNameless

Mark Isaak

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Jun 29, 2008, 9:56:10 PM6/29/08
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On Sun, 29 Jun 2008 08:54:32 -0700, backspace wrote:

> http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fitness
> "..Also called Darwinian fitness. Biology.
> a. the genetic contribution of an individual to the next generation's
> gene pool relative to the average for the population, usually measured
> by the number of offspring or close kin that survive to reproductive
> age.
> b. the ability of a population to maintain or increase its numbers in
> succeeding generations...."
>

> [...[


> Rephrase5:
> The more babies you make the more your characteristics will reflect in
> the population.
>
> And this last rephrase is truism - it is true by definition

No, it is not. Many characteristics -- for example, literacy -- are not
inherited.

And besides, so what?

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) earthlink (dot) net
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
exposing the country to danger." -- Hermann Goering


John Wilkins

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Jun 29, 2008, 10:08:39 PM6/29/08
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Mark Isaak <eci...@earthlink.net> wrote:

> On Sun, 29 Jun 2008 08:54:32 -0700, backspace wrote:
>
> > http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fitness
> > "..Also called Darwinian fitness. Biology.
> > a. the genetic contribution of an individual to the next generation's
> > gene pool relative to the average for the population, usually measured
> > by the number of offspring or close kin that survive to reproductive
> > age.
> > b. the ability of a population to maintain or increase its numbers in
> > succeeding generations...."
> >
> > [...[
> > Rephrase5:
> > The more babies you make the more your characteristics will reflect in
> > the population.
> >
> > And this last rephrase is truism - it is true by definition

Ergo it is true. This is something that I have never seen an
antievolutionist come to terms with. If it is true by definition, why
are you arguing it is false? For a truism to be false, some things that
are incontestible - in this case that favourable traits become more
widely distributed in subsequent generations - have to be false, and
nobody says they are.


>
> No, it is not. Many characteristics -- for example, literacy -- are not
> inherited.
>
> And besides, so what?


--
John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Philosophy
University of Queensland - Blog: scienceblogs.com/evolvingthoughts
"He used... sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor,
bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious."

Kermit

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Jun 29, 2008, 10:24:35 PM6/29/08
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On Jun 29, 9:25 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 28, 11:19 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jun 28, 12:22 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
>
> > > Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> > > to encode their specific concept for us to decode.
>
> > Incorrect.  Fitness is a word that communicates a concept.  The
> > concept is not a code, but a standardized meaning, and you can look it
> > up in a dictionary.
>
> A truism is something which is true by definition hence nobody can
> hijack such a truism and eternally associate his name with it.
> Language itself is being made undefined by calling "fitness" -
> "Darwinian fitness". Darwin stated a truism in the same way that
> Howard stated "bacteria don't survive in lava" , another truism.http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Darwinian%20fitnessisn't

> defined.
>
> Inez what would you say is the standardized definition of "darwinian
> fitness" and who standardized it ?

Nearly every native speaker of English can communicate with others
just fine. Your bizarre religious notions of the nature of language
has made you incapable of communicating anything intelligible to
others, and you are forced to pretend that you don't know what we are
saying. You are as seriously crippled as anyone who has had a stroke
leading to language dysfunction, but it is entirely of your own
making.

A word means what those folks who typically use it mean by it.

Dictionaries cover most of them, but I recommend using a technical
dictionary for technical terms.

Kermit

Kermit

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Jun 29, 2008, 10:29:36 PM6/29/08
to

<snort>

Yeah, I know. But since backspace is pretending to be clueless, I
thought I'd be totally irrelevant. Doesn't seem to matter to him if
our responses are spot on or not, does it?

Kermit

William Morse

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Jun 29, 2008, 10:50:14 PM6/29/08
to

Actually there are a number of different ways to create a metric for the
term fitness. Most of us have a good idea of what it means in the
general parlance, but formalizing this idea allows of interpretation. If
you are seriously interested, see the chapter "An agony in five fits" in
Dawkins' _The Extended Phenotype_ as a good starting point.

Yours,

Bill Morse

John Wilkins

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Jun 29, 2008, 11:05:27 PM6/29/08
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William Morse <wdNOSP...@verizonOSPAM.net> wrote:

Then do some recent reading:

Abrams, Marshall. 2007. Fitness and Propensity's Annulment? Biology and
Philosophy 22 (1): 115-130.

Ariew, Andre, and R. C. Lewontin. 2004. The Confusions of Fitness. Br J
Philos Sci 55 (2): 347-363.

Bouchard, Frédéric, and Alex Rosenberg. 2004. Fitness, Probability and
the Principles of Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy
of Science 55 (4): 693-712.

Krimbas, Costas B. 2004. On fitness. Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):
185-203.

Walsh, D. M. 1996. Fitness and Function. Br J Philos Sci 47 (4):
553-574.

Weber, Marcel. 1996. Fitness made physical: the supervenience of
biological concepts revisited. Philosophy of Science v 63 Sept 1996. p.

"Fitness" is actually a complex topic. My own resolution is that it is a
placeholder (variable) in models that gets filled out with physical
properties and assigned on the basis of post hoc observation. Hence I
agree with Weber that it is a supervening property (a point made by
Sober back in 1984), but I go one step further and make the property
purely a property of models.

In English:

If two organisms - say a fungus and a toad - have an identical fitness,
they have no necessary physical properties in common, just an identical
rate of increase in the number of descendents at an instant. The fungus
might have fitness A because it is toxic to the fungus eaters in the
vicinity, while the toad might have fitness A because it is camouflaged
from a single predator, or can outmate other morphs in its population.
So "fitness" is a highly abstract property, a number in a mathematical
description. [And as such it isn't true by definition - it's a variable
waiting for a value.]

This means, in my view, that selectionist explanations are in fact
promissory notes towards an explanation; an explanatory IOU as it were.
To say that organism O has fitness A is just to say that it has an
instantaneous rate of reproduction relative to the background, which
will be given a full physical explanation later on if the researchers
get the funding.

William Morse

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Jun 29, 2008, 11:17:07 PM6/29/08
to
John Wilkins wrote:
> Mark Isaak <eci...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>> On Sun, 29 Jun 2008 08:54:32 -0700, backspace wrote:
>>
>>> http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fitness
>>> "..Also called Darwinian fitness. Biology.
>>> a. the genetic contribution of an individual to the next generation's
>>> gene pool relative to the average for the population, usually measured
>>> by the number of offspring or close kin that survive to reproductive
>>> age.
>>> b. the ability of a population to maintain or increase its numbers in
>>> succeeding generations...."
>>>
>>> [...[
>>> Rephrase5:
>>> The more babies you make the more your characteristics will reflect in
>>> the population.
>>>
>>> And this last rephrase is truism - it is true by definition
>
> Ergo it is true. This is something that I have never seen an
> antievolutionist come to terms with. If it is true by definition, why
> are you arguing it is false? For a truism to be false, some things that
> are incontestible - in this case that favourable traits become more
> widely distributed in subsequent generations - have to be false, and
> nobody says they are.

Exactly. Part of the genius of Wallace and Darwin was in recognizing the
necessary, despite accepted dogma. I have not heard anyone argue that
every offspring of an organism survives - all agree that more offspring
are produced than survive. I have not heard anyone argue that offspring
do not differ from their parents in some regards. I have not heard
anyone argue that the difference is not to some extent heritable.

So is anyone willing to argue that differential survival is completely
random, i.e. is unrelated to the characteristics of the individual
organism? If not, natural selection must occur. This is not a theory, it
is a simple mathematical consequence.

Yours,

Bill Morse

backspace

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Jun 30, 2008, 5:45:30 AM6/30/08
to
On Jun 30, 5:05 am, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:
> If two organisms - say a fungus and a toad - have an identical fitness,
> they have no necessary physical properties in common, just an identical
> rate of increase in the number of descendents at an instant. The fungus
> might have fitness A because it is toxic to the fungus eaters in the
> vicinity, while the toad might have fitness A because it is camouflaged
> from a single predator, or can outmate other morphs in its population.

> So "fitness" is a highly abstract property, a number in a mathematical
> description.

No, you have a concept which you view as highly abstract , what has
this yet to be defined property got to do with the word "fitness"?
What concept are you trying to encode and transmit over the internet
using the some protocol with "fitness" in it that we must decode. To
decode your concept we need more background information and a single
word such as vigor, strength, fitness won't be able to do this. For
example I would need to know wether you agree that vigor and strength
can be used as synonyms in our attempt at decoding your pragmatics.

>[And as such it isn't true by definition - it's a variable
> waiting for a value.]

There is no language without a motive. Fitness is semantics, not
pragmatics you have some abstract concept which you haven't defined
which you say isn't a truism, this concept you encode using the word
"Fitness" for us to decode.
Fitness isn't a "variable waiting for a definition" it is merely part
of our semantic lexicon used to encode our pragmatics using some sort
of agreed on protocol for others to decode. If signal sender uses
Ethernet and signal receiver tries to decode the message using ATM
then no communication takes place. Shannon's information theorem
can't measure the intent behind a message. If not even a human can
figure out what "you are playing with your mouse" means then how can a
Turing machine ?

And Dr.Wilkins please would you be so kind as to reply to me directly
and not indirectly.

backspace

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Jun 30, 2008, 6:00:08 AM6/30/08
to
On Jun 30, 4:08 am, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:
> > > The more babies you make the more your characteristics will reflect in
> > > the population.

> > > And this last rephrase is truism - it is true by definition

> For a truism to be false, some things that


> are incontestible - in this case that favourable traits become more
> widely distributed in subsequent generations - have to be false, and
> nobody says they are.

Other than noting the traits become more widely distributed how was
their favoribility measured ?

Sapient Fridge

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Jun 30, 2008, 8:17:21 AM6/30/08
to
In message <r0dg64tegndsr791h...@4ax.com>, Bob Casanova
<nos...@buzz.off> writes

>The giraffe, in the bathtub with the aardvark.

That's a seriously warped game of Cluedo you are playing there.
--
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John Harshman

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 8:50:41 AM6/30/08
to
backspace wrote:
> On Jun 30, 5:05 am, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:
>> If two organisms - say a fungus and a toad - have an identical fitness,
>> they have no necessary physical properties in common, just an identical
>> rate of increase in the number of descendents at an instant. The fungus
>> might have fitness A because it is toxic to the fungus eaters in the
>> vicinity, while the toad might have fitness A because it is camouflaged
>> from a single predator, or can outmate other morphs in its population.
>
>> So "fitness" is a highly abstract property, a number in a mathematical
>> description.
>
> No, you have a concept which you view as highly abstract , what has
> this yet to be defined property got to do with the word "fitness"?
> What concept are you trying to encode and transmit over the internet
> using the some protocol with "fitness" in it that we must decode. To
> decode your concept we need more background information and a single
> word such as vigor, strength, fitness won't be able to do this. For
> example I would need to know wether you agree that vigor and strength
> can be used as synonyms in our attempt at decoding your pragmatics.

What, is your tapeworm trying to figure this out too? If so, maybe he
can explain it to you. Because everyone else here knows what "fitness"
means. You never will, because you've decided it's a meaningless term
and don't pay attention to explanations.

[snip gibberish]

> And Dr.Wilkins please would you be so kind as to reply to me directly
> and not indirectly.

I believe he has you killfiled. He can't see your posts. And there is of
course no point in replying to you. I really don't know why anyone does
it. I don't even know why I did this.

John Wilkins

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 9:33:27 AM6/30/08
to
John Harshman <jharshman....@pacbell.net> wrote:

> backspace wrote:
...


>
> [snip gibberish]
>
> > And Dr.Wilkins please would you be so kind as to reply to me directly
> > and not indirectly.
>
> I believe he has you killfiled. He can't see your posts. And there is of
> course no point in replying to you. I really don't know why anyone does
> it. I don't even know why I did this.

I don't do this. I wouldn't respond to backspace again even if I could
see him.

Inez

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 12:12:59 PM6/30/08
to
On Jun 29, 9:25 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 28, 11:19 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jun 28, 12:22 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29>Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory.
>
> > > Fitness isn't a concept but a word. This word is used by individuals
> > > to encode their specific concept for us to decode.
>
> > Incorrect.  Fitness is a word that communicates a concept.  The
> > concept is not a code, but a standardized meaning, and you can look it
> > up in a dictionary.
>
> A truism is something which is true by definition hence nobody can
> hijack such a truism and eternally associate his name with it.

a) What does that have to do with what I wrote?
b) Yes they can. Why couldn't someone associate their name with a
truism?

> Language itself is being made undefined by calling "fitness" -
> "Darwinian fitness". Darwin stated a truism in the same way that
> Howard stated "bacteria don't survive in lava" , another truism.http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Darwinian%20fitnessisn't
> defined.

You have your concepts in a jumble here. You seem to think that
truisms are undefined, and/or that stating a truism means you are
wrong or something. Neither is true. In order to reach the status of
truism, a statement must be defined, otherwise it would be meaningless
and therefore not a truism or anything else. Similarly, truisms are
true by their very nature.

Rather than repeating your same tired argument over and over, you need
to come to grips with the basic fact that your argument is that
evolution is true, you just think it's trivially obvious.


>
> Inez what would you say is the standardized definition of "darwinian
> fitness" and who standardized it ?

There is no point in playing this game with you. Were I to answer,
you'd either demand to know who definied the term that way and where
it was published, or pretend to be confused about the "intent" of
several of the words I used. It's just not interesting.

It's long past time for you to get a new argument. This garbage you
repeat over and over is just silly. People know what words mean,
people know what fitness means as it pertains to evolution. The fact
that natural selection can be reduced to simple parts does not
invalidate it.

Inez

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 12:15:33 PM6/30/08
to

You're in his killfile, he can't see your posts.

backspace

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 2:19:29 PM6/30/08
to
On Jun 30, 6:12 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> It's long past time for you to get a new argument. This garbage you
> repeat over and over is just silly. People know what words mean,
> people know what fitness means as it pertains to evolution. The fact
> that natural selection can be reduced to simple parts does not
> invalidate it.

I would beg to differ. On 29 June 2008 here in South Africa (Dr.Jurie
van den Heever) an evolutionist from Stellenbosch University debated a
creationist on http://www.rsg.co.za radio station. He insisted that
we didn't come from an ape and that such a notion is "simplistic".
This is not our position on this forum, we all basically agree that
the thing was an ape/monkey/simian or whatever vernacular you choose
to use that makes you feel less stupid. He further said that Michael
Ruse is an expert of the ToE, yet Ruse said on CNN during the Dobbs,
Morris, Wells debate that "...Darwinism is the mechanism...", but PZ
Myers objects to the word 'Darwinism' and neither JH nor Wilkins have
said that '...Darwinism is the mechanism...." nor can I imagine they
would say something like that. Around 1915 in articles such as the New
York times evolutionists were referred to and referred to themselves
as "Darwinists", it is only lately that the materialists are trying to
get away from Darwin as people actually start discovering what Darwin
really said, like for example that chance is an "...incorrect
expression....". People are confusing the abstract concept surrounding
"chance" that they personally have with the concept Darwin had with it
given the constraints on his background knowledge, its all about your
personal intent with these undefined words.

Dr.Heever further defined natural selection as: ".... Lewe verander
oor tyd is natuurlike seleksie...." or translated:
".... Life changing over time is natural selection..." And my
question is, who established this and where ?
He also defined a mutations as: ".... mutations are small changes in
the gene either positive, neutral or negative...."
Again who says so and in what journal was this defined ? Of course
"...life changes over time.." everything in existence has to change
like the orbit of electrons around atoms. The truism:"... Life changes
over time..." has got nothing to do with getting naturaled.

John Vreeland

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 3:09:54 PM6/30/08
to
On Jun 30, 9:33 am, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:

> John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net> wrote:
> > backspace wrote:
> ...
>
> > [snip gibberish]
>
> > > And Dr.Wilkins please  would you be so kind as to reply to me directly
> > > and not indirectly.
>
> > I believe he has you killfiled. He can't see your posts. And there is of
> > course no point in replying to you. I really don't know why anyone does
> > it. I don't even know why I did this.
>
> I don't do this. I wouldn't respond to backspace again even if I could
> see him.

He's not a troll; I am sure of it. He really seems to think he has a
point. Can obtuseness be pathological?

backspace

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 3:13:26 PM6/30/08
to
On Jun 30, 6:12 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> People know what words mean, people know what fitness means as it pertains to evolution. The fact
> that natural selection can be reduced to simple parts does not invalidate it.

That depends who says "natural selection". Dr.Harshman don't consider
McPherson Smith a good interpreter of evolutionary wisdom:
http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/tree/browse_frm/thread/b72c8b73fceb1130/d82dc25f5c3368b4?rnum=191&_done=%2Fgroup%2Ftalk.origins%2Fbrowse_frm%2Fthread%2Fb72c8b73fceb1130%2F91fc3eb0db3b2a10%3Flnk%3Dst%26q%3D%26#doc_45b60d3966a12303

"...Hard to say, since what MacPherson Smith (and Sullivan) said was
largely gibberish. He said a lot of things, some of them mutually
contradictory...."

"...I have to apologize to backspace on behalf of these two bozos.
MacPherson Smith is said to be an anthropologist; if so, that just
points out the poor quality of scholarship in anthropology. Sullivan
is "a writer" so perhaps can't be blamed for scientific errors...."

Yet Smith and Harshman both use "natural selection" a term which is a
logical impossibility. If they can't agree on what type of monkey
humans came from what else should we consider doubtful ?

The thread was referring to this article: http://www.toptenmyths.com/playboy.pdf

Inez

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 3:14:26 PM6/30/08
to
On Jun 30, 11:19 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 30, 6:12 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > It's long past time for you to get a new argument.  This garbage you
> > repeat over and over is just silly.  People know what words mean,
> > people know what fitness means as it pertains to evolution.  The fact
> > that natural selection can be reduced to simple parts does not
> > invalidate it.
>
> I would beg to differ. On 29 June 2008 here in South Africa (Dr.Jurie
> van den Heever) an evolutionist from Stellenbosch University debated a
> creationist onhttp://www.rsg.co.za radio station. He insisted that

> we didn't come from an ape and that such a notion is "simplistic".

And how is that relevant to what I said?

> This is not our position on this forum, we all basically agree that
> the thing was an ape/monkey/simian or whatever vernacular you choose
> to use that makes you feel less stupid.

My personal feelings about my own intelligence are not tied to the
label of my ancestor species.

> He further said that Michael
> Ruse is an expert of the ToE, yet Ruse said on CNN during the Dobbs,
> Morris, Wells debate that "...Darwinism is the mechanism...", but PZ
> Myers objects to the word 'Darwinism' and neither JH nor Wilkins have
> said that '...Darwinism is the mechanism...." nor can I imagine they
> would say something like that.

I'm not sure what to tell you here. The fact you can dig up someone
who uses confusing terminology about the ToE is not especially
indicative of anything. If, given all the vast array of information
on the internet, in school, and at your local library, you are unable
to figure out what the ToE is, the fault is almost certainly with
you. If you want my advice you'd do well to stop fixating on specific
words and specific people's statements, and see if you can't divine an
overall trend between what everyone is telling you.

> Around 1915 in articles such as the New
> York times evolutionists were referred to and referred to themselves
> as "Darwinists", it is only lately that the materialists are trying to
> get away from Darwin as people actually start discovering what Darwin
> really said, like for example that chance is an "...incorrect
> expression....".

What does that have to do with anything?

> People are confusing the abstract concept surrounding
> "chance" that they personally have with the concept Darwin had with it
> given the constraints on his background knowledge, its all about your
> personal intent with these undefined words.

You are just wrong. The words have definitions, and your confusion is
manufactored so that you can pretend the theory which you feel
contradicts your religious believes is not rational.

I do not mind if you want to do this, but I really don't see why
you're bothering other people with it. If you don't understand the
ToE why don't you go away and learn about it and come back when you're
ready?


Bob Casanova

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 5:55:55 PM6/30/08
to
On Mon, 30 Jun 2008 03:00:08 -0700 (PDT), the following

appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com>:

>On Jun 30, 4:08 am, j.wilki...@uq.edu.au (John Wilkins) wrote:

Other than noting that questions such as this one indicate
you have the mental acuity of a bag of rocks, how is your
idiocy measured?

Bob Casanova

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 5:56:47 PM6/30/08
to
On Mon, 30 Jun 2008 13:17:21 +0100, the following appeared
in talk.origins, posted by Sapient Fridge
<use_repl...@spamsights.org>:

>In message <r0dg64tegndsr791h...@4ax.com>, Bob Casanova
><nos...@buzz.off> writes
>>The giraffe, in the bathtub with the aardvark.
>
>That's a seriously warped game of Cluedo you are playing there.

Yep, and that's even before the whipped cream and Vaseline
are added.

Bob Casanova

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 5:59:44 PM6/30/08
to
On Mon, 30 Jun 2008 11:19:29 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com>:

>On Jun 30, 6:12 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> It's long past time for you to get a new argument. This garbage you
>> repeat over and over is just silly. People know what words mean,
>> people know what fitness means as it pertains to evolution. The fact
>> that natural selection can be reduced to simple parts does not
>> invalidate it.

>I would beg to differ.

Differ with statements of fact all you want; it merely
reinforces the conclusion that you're an idiot who is
incapable of learning.

<snip references to comments he doesn't understand and
therefore doesn't accept>

June

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 6:51:22 PM6/30/08
to
John Vreeland <vree...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Yes! obviously.

--
My 2¢ ß-}

June
To email me replace 'go' with 'ville' and remove the .spam.jam

Rupert Morrish

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 9:39:40 PM6/30/08
to
backspace wrote:
> On Jun 30, 6:12 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> People know what words mean, people know what fitness means as it pertains to evolution. The fact
>> that natural selection can be reduced to simple parts does not invalidate it.
>
> That depends who says "natural selection". Dr.Harshman don't consider
> McPherson Smith a good interpreter of evolutionary wisdom:
> http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/tree/browse_frm/thread/b72c8b73fceb1130/d82dc25f5c3368b4?rnum=191&_done=%2Fgroup%2Ftalk.origins%2Fbrowse_frm%2Fthread%2Fb72c8b73fceb1130%2F91fc3eb0db3b2a10%3Flnk%3Dst%26q%3D%26#doc_45b60d3966a12303
>
> "...Hard to say, since what MacPherson Smith (and Sullivan) said was
> largely gibberish. He said a lot of things, some of them mutually
> contradictory...."
>
> "...I have to apologize to backspace on behalf of these two bozos.
> MacPherson Smith is said to be an anthropologist; if so, that just
> points out the poor quality of scholarship in anthropology. Sullivan
> is "a writer" so perhaps can't be blamed for scientific errors...."
>
> Yet Smith and Harshman both use "natural selection" a term which is a
> logical impossibility.

It's also said to be logically impossible for bumblebees to fly. Yet fly
they do. If you observe something happening that you believe to be
logically impossible, the problem is with your logic.

> If they can't agree on what type of monkey
> humans came from what else should we consider doubtful ?

Why should I care what you consider doubtful?

>
> The thread was referring to this article: http://www.toptenmyths.com/playboy.pdf

Playboy is not the best magazine to read if you are interested in
learning about natural selection. It's not even the best source for
information on sexual selection.

>

Rupert Morrish

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 9:46:29 PM6/30/08
to
Kermit wrote:
[snip]

> Yeah, I know. But since backspace is pretending to be clueless, I
> thought I'd be totally irrelevant. Doesn't seem to matter to him if
> our responses are spot on or not, does it?

I don't think he's pretending.

>
> Kermit
>

Rupert Morrish

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 9:45:25 PM6/30/08
to

Other than weighing it, how is the weight of an object determined?

Why do you think this question deserves an answer?

>

Inez

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 9:56:04 PM6/30/08
to
On Jun 30, 12:13 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 30, 6:12 pm, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > People know what words mean,  people know what fitness means as it pertains to evolution.  The fact
> > that natural selection can be reduced to simple parts does not  invalidate it.
>
> That depends who says "natural selection". Dr.Harshman don't consider
> McPherson Smith a good interpreter of evolutionary wisdom:http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/tree/browse_frm/thread/b7...

>
> "...Hard to say, since what MacPherson Smith (and Sullivan) said was
> largely gibberish. He said a lot of things, some of them mutually
> contradictory...."
>
> "...I have to apologize to backspace on behalf of these two bozos.
> MacPherson Smith is said to be an anthropologist; if so, that just
> points out the poor quality of scholarship in anthropology. Sullivan
> is "a writer" so perhaps can't be blamed for scientific errors...."

So what? The word is full of people, and some of them get things
wrong. The fact that you can find two people who disagree doesn't
actually mean much. Why don't you find two modern textbooks that
disagree, then write back.

> Yet Smith and Harshman both use "natural selection" a term which is a
> logical impossibility. If they can't agree on what type of monkey
> humans came from what else should we consider doubtful ?
>
> The thread was referring to this article:http://www.toptenmyths.com/playboy.pdf

If you want to have some fun, why don't you look at all the different
ways people define "Christianity." Shall we conclude that there's no
such thing?

Inez

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 9:59:35 PM6/30/08
to
On Jun 30, 3:00 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:

If you're admitting that traits become widely distributed, you're
admitting that evolution happens, right?

chris thompson

unread,
Jun 30, 2008, 10:23:54 PM6/30/08
to

By your inability to comprehend it, doofus.

backspace

unread,
Jul 1, 2008, 6:45:28 AM7/1/08
to
On Jun 30, 11:55 pm, Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:
> >> For a truism to be false, some things that
> >> are incontestible - in this case that favourable traits become more
> >> widely distributed in subsequent generations - have to be false, and
> >> nobody says they are.

> >Other than noting the traits become more widely distributed how was
> >their favoribility measured ?

> Other than noting that questions such as this one indicate
> you have the mental acuity of a bag of rocks, how is your
> idiocy measured?

Why is it so difficult to spot the tautology by Wilkins ? Lets go
through this slowly. He says that there were traits that became
common. Sure, the question is why did they become more common. He says
because they were "favorable" , well obviously because if they weren't
favorable they wouldn't have become common! Telling us that traits
became common implicitly implies that they had to be favorable, how
could they possibly not be favorable? Telling us that because traits
are common therefore they are favorable doesn't tell us independently
the actual reason they became more common. This needs to be derived
elsewhere. Why did polar bears became more common in the arctic ?
Because they had "favorable" traits, well obviously otherwise they
would be dead now wouldn't they.

chris thompson

unread,
Jul 1, 2008, 8:32:07 AM7/1/08
to

You are completely wrong.

Traits can become common, even fixed, in a population for any number
of reasons. Brown eyes, for example, are not favorable in any way, yet
they are more common than blue eyes. And polydactyly is not favored,
but in some populations (the Amish, for example) it is fairly common,
because of drift and nonrandom mating. Likewise, not even you would
consider breast cancer or Tay-Sachs disease to be favorable, but the
genes for those traits are common in the Ashkenazi Jewish population
in Brooklyn, New York, for the exact same reasons.

Chris

backspace

unread,
Jul 1, 2008, 12:17:29 PM7/1/08
to
On Jul 1, 2:32 pm, chris thompson <chris.linthomp...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > the actual reason they became more common. This needs to be derived
> > elsewhere. Why did polar bears became more common in the arctic ?
> > Because they had "favorable" traits, well obviously otherwise they
> > would be dead now wouldn't they.

> You are completely wrong.

> Traits can become common, even fixed, in a population for any number
> of reasons. Brown eyes, for example, are not favorable in any way, yet
> they are more common than blue eyes. And polydactyly is not favored,
> but in some populations (the Amish, for example) it is fairly common,
> because of drift and nonrandom mating. Likewise, not even you would
> consider breast cancer or Tay-Sachs disease to be favorable, but the
> genes for those traits are common in the Ashkenazi Jewish population
> in Brooklyn, New York, for the exact same reasons.


Lets look at another truism/tautology combination, this time from 1
July 2008 The Star newspaper South Africa.
Letter writer Douglas Laing says:
".. We have all evolved to the same extent at the same time precisely
because we are all here at the same time - the present.."

rephrase1:
We are all here because we obviously are, I mean here we are all of us
and therefore we have evolved.

Question:
Other than noting we all are in fact here on this planet right now in
time, how was our evolvability measured ?
And you will note if your read the letter Laing uses ToE many times,
yet he never gives us the formal definition of the ToE nor who defined
it.

Inez

unread,
Jul 1, 2008, 12:18:35 PM7/1/08
to
On Jul 1, 3:45 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 30, 11:55 pm, Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:
>
> > >> For a truism to be false, some things that
> > >> are incontestible - in this case that favourable traits become more
> > >> widely distributed in subsequent generations - have to be false, and
> > >> nobody says they are.
> > >Other than noting the traits become more widely distributed how was
> > >their favoribility measured ?
> > Other than noting that questions such as this one indicate
> > you have the mental acuity of a bag of rocks, how is your
> > idiocy measured?
>
> Why is it so difficult to spot the tautology by Wilkins ?

The bigger question, and the one that you continually avoid, is why
you think that evolution being tautological somehow invalidates it.
Tautologies are *true.* So if evolution is a tautology, it is true.

> Lets go
> through this slowly. He says that there were traits that became
> common. Sure, the question is why did they become more common. He says
> because they were "favorable" , well obviously because if they weren't
> favorable they wouldn't have become common!

But the creationist line is that species are at stasis and do not
change, so apparently this isn't so obvious to everyone.

> Telling us that traits
> became common implicitly implies that they had to be favorable, how
> could they possibly not be favorable? Telling us that because traits
> are common therefore they are favorable doesn't tell us independently
> the actual reason they became more common. This needs to be derived
> elsewhere. Why did polar bears became more common in the arctic ?
> Because they had "favorable" traits, well obviously otherwise they
> would be dead now wouldn't they.

You are overly fixated on the concept of "favorable." The focus of
the ToE is on change over time, not the exact degree of "favorability"
of traits that become common in a population. The important thing is
that certain traits become common and other's do not, which is what
leads to an overall change in populations. If all traits were equally
common there would be no overall change. As Mr. Thompson noted in
another post, there are other mechanisms of evolution than Natural
Selection, and not all traits that spread in a population are
favorable.

Inez

unread,
Jul 1, 2008, 12:40:44 PM7/1/08
to
On Jul 1, 9:17 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jul 1, 2:32 pm, chris thompson <chris.linthomp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > the actual reason they became more common. This needs to be derived
> > > elsewhere. Why did polar bears became more common in the arctic ?
> > > Because they had "favorable" traits, well obviously otherwise they
> > > would be dead now wouldn't they.
> > You are completely wrong.
> > Traits can become common, even fixed, in a population for any number
> > of reasons. Brown eyes, for example, are not favorable in any way, yet
> > they are more common than blue eyes.  And polydactyly is not favored,
> > but in some populations (the Amish, for example) it is fairly common,
> > because of drift and nonrandom mating. Likewise, not even you would
> > consider breast cancer or Tay-Sachs disease to be favorable, but the
> > genes for those traits are common in the Ashkenazi Jewish population
> > in Brooklyn, New York, for the exact same reasons.
>
> Lets look at another truism/tautology combination, this time from 1
> July 2008 The Star newspaper South Africa.
> Letter writer Douglas Laing says:
> ".. We have all evolved to the same extent at the same time precisely
> because we are all here at the same time - the present.."
>
> rephrase1:
> We are all here because we obviously are, I mean here we are all of us
> and therefore we have evolved.

Rephrase2: I either don't understand the statement or else I am
dishonest since I am changing the meaning.

> Question:
> Other than noting we all are in fact here on this planet right now in
> time, how was our evolvability measured ?

He wasn't talking about "evolvability."

> And you will note if your read the letter Laing uses ToE many times,
> yet he never gives us the formal definition of the ToE nor who defined
> it.

If you read any scientific writting you will note that people
virtually never give the "formal definition" of widely understood
theories, nor who defined it.

You should go get yourself naturaled or something.

Greg Guarino

unread,
Jul 1, 2008, 1:23:58 PM7/1/08
to
On Tue, 1 Jul 2008 09:40:44 -0700 (PDT), Inez
<savagem...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>You should go get yourself naturaled or something.

Is that what the kids are calling it these days? If so, I concur that
a some good old-fashioned "naturaling" might do our friend Backspace a
world of good.

Greg Guarino

TomS

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Jul 1, 2008, 1:52:57 PM7/1/08
to
"On Tue, 1 Jul 2008 09:18:35 -0700 (PDT), in article
<f776363b-3da7-4541...@z32g2000prh.googlegroups.com>, Inez
stated..."

>
>On Jul 1, 3:45 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> On Jun 30, 11:55 pm, Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:
>>
>> > >> For a truism to be false, some things that
>> > >> are incontestible - in this case that favourable traits become more
>> > >> widely distributed in subsequent generations - have to be false, and
>> > >> nobody says they are.
>> > >Other than noting the traits become more widely distributed how was
>> > >their favoribility measured ?
>> > Other than noting that questions such as this one indicate
>> > you have the mental acuity of a bag of rocks, how is your
>> > idiocy measured?
>>
>> Why is it so difficult to spot the tautology by Wilkins ?
>
>The bigger question, and the one that you continually avoid, is why
>you think that evolution being tautological somehow invalidates it.
>Tautologies are *true.* So if evolution is a tautology, it is true.

"The old 'it's a tautology' trick."

Long ago, someone once suggested that Newton's laws of
motion were tautologies. How does one measure force?
By the amount of acceleration that it produces in a
given mass. How does one measure mass? By the amount
of acceleration that it undergoes with a given force.

Tautologies can be useful. Something as obvious as the
"Pigeonhole principle". From the Wikipedia article:

"Although the pigeonhole principle may seem to be intuitive,
it can be used to demonstrate possibly unexpected results.
For example, there must be at least two people in London
with the same number of hairs on their heads. Demonstration:
a typical head of hair has around 150,000 hairs. It is
reasonable to assume that no one has more than 1,000,000
hairs on their head (m = 1 million holes). There are more
than 1,000,000 people in London (n is bigger than 1 million
objects). If we assign a pigeonhole for each number of hairs
on a head, and assign people to the pigeonhole with their
number of hairs on it, there must be at least two people with
the same number of hairs on their heads."

>
>> Lets go
>> through this slowly. He says that there were traits that became
>> common. Sure, the question is why did they become more common. He says
>> because they were "favorable" , well obviously because if they weren't
>> favorable they wouldn't have become common!
>
>But the creationist line is that species are at stasis and do not
>change, so apparently this isn't so obvious to everyone.
>
>> Telling us that traits
>> became common implicitly implies that they had to be favorable, how
>> could they possibly not be favorable? Telling us that because traits
>> are common therefore they are favorable doesn't tell us independently
>> the actual reason they became more common. This needs to be derived
>> elsewhere. Why did polar bears became more common in the arctic ?
>> Because they had "favorable" traits, well obviously otherwise they
>> would be dead now wouldn't they.
>
>You are overly fixated on the concept of "favorable." The focus of
>the ToE is on change over time, not the exact degree of "favorability"
>of traits that become common in a population. The important thing is
>that certain traits become common and other's do not, which is what
>leads to an overall change in populations. If all traits were equally
>common there would be no overall change. As Mr. Thompson noted in
>another post, there are other mechanisms of evolution than Natural
>Selection, and not all traits that spread in a population are
>favorable.
>


--
---Tom S.
"As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand."
attributed to Josh Billings

chris thompson

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Jul 1, 2008, 4:29:32 PM7/1/08
to
On Jul 1, 12:17 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jul 1, 2:32 pm, chris thompson <chris.linthomp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > the actual reason they became more common. This needs to be derived
> > > elsewhere. Why did polar bears became more common in the arctic ?
> > > Because they had "favorable" traits, well obviously otherwise they
> > > would be dead now wouldn't they.
> > You are completely wrong.
> > Traits can become common, even fixed, in a population for any number
> > of reasons. Brown eyes, for example, are not favorable in any way, yet
> > they are more common than blue eyes. And polydactyly is not favored,
> > but in some populations (the Amish, for example) it is fairly common,
> > because of drift and nonrandom mating. Likewise, not even you would
> > consider breast cancer or Tay-Sachs disease to be favorable, but the
> > genes for those traits are common in the Ashkenazi Jewish population
> > in Brooklyn, New York, for the exact same reasons.
>
> Lets look at another truism/tautology combination,

No, let's not.

Don't change the subject, and don't move on. Just because you click
your heels three times and say, "There's no evolution! There's no
evolution!", it doesn't go away.

Not addressing the points I made is the height of intellectual
dishonesty. You were shown to be wrong, so you tried to run away. Now
that's not usual for you, and I expect you'll keep doing it no matter
what, and that's OK. Because that way everyone knows you for the
coward you are.

Chris

Kermit

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Jul 1, 2008, 5:40:05 PM7/1/08
to
On Jul 1, 9:18 am, Inez <savagemouse...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 1, 3:45 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jun 30, 11:55 pm, Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:
>
> > > >> For a truism to be false, some things that
> > > >> are incontestible - in this case that favourable traits become more
> > > >> widely distributed in subsequent generations - have to be false, and
> > > >> nobody says they are.
> > > >Other than noting the traits become more widely distributed how was
> > > >their favoribility measured ?
> > > Other than noting that questions such as this one indicate
> > > you have the mental acuity of a bag of rocks, how is your
> > > idiocy measured?
>
> > Why is it so difficult to spot the tautology by Wilkins ?
>
> The bigger question, and the one that you continually avoid, is why
> you think that evolution being tautological somehow invalidates it.
> Tautologies are *true.*  So if evolution is a tautology, it is true.

Somebody told him once that tautologies are bad logic (they sometimes
are used in bad arguments), so if evolution is some kind of bad logic,
it must be wrong. Or something like that; he remembers the conclusion,
anyway, and that's what's important.

>
> > Lets go
> > through this slowly. He says that there were traits that became
> > common. Sure, the question is why did they become more common. He says
> > because they were "favorable" , well obviously because if they weren't
> > favorable they wouldn't have become common!
>
> But the creationist line is that species are at stasis and do not
> change, so apparently this isn't so obvious to everyone.

Well, sometimes they tell us that species evolved very fast, so that a
few thousand kinds on Noah's flood became tens of millions of species
in a few dozen centuries. Except when they're telling us that nobody
has ever seen a species evolve.

>
> > Telling us that traits
> > became common implicitly implies that they had to be favorable, how
> > could they possibly not be favorable? Telling us that because traits
> > are common therefore they are favorable doesn't tell us independently
> > the actual reason they became more common. This needs to be derived
> > elsewhere. Why did polar bears became more common in the arctic ?
> > Because they had "favorable" traits, well obviously otherwise they
> > would be dead now wouldn't they.
>
> You are overly fixated on the concept of "favorable."  The focus of
> the ToE is on change over time, not the exact degree of "favorability"
> of traits that become common in a population.  The important thing is
> that certain traits become common and other's do not, which is what
> leads to an overall change in populations.  If all traits were equally
> common there would be no overall change.  As Mr. Thompson noted in
> another post, there are other mechanisms of evolution than Natural
> Selection, and not all traits that spread in a population are
> favorable.

Kermit


Kermit

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Jul 1, 2008, 5:30:32 PM7/1/08
to
On Jul 1, 3:45 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:

No, polars didn't just walk north and become more common in the
Arctic. Certain traits became more prevalent in the Alaskan brown bear
population that lived in the colder climates. Those traits included
size, camouflaged fur (white), swimming ability, etc. Altho still very
closely related, the Brown Alaskan Bear and the polar bear do not
normally interbreed, and the neither does as well in the other's
environment. As the polar bears adapted to the environment, they
became more prevalent by moving into the niche they were now adapted
to. As a population becomes adapted to an environment, it becomes able
to exploit resources from the more extreme range of that environment.
Or, it adapts as the environment changes. We humans are changing the
Arctic very quickly now, and the polar bears cannot adapt quickly
enough. People like you, who are ignorant of science and fight against
learning, will get to see a magnificent species go extinct because our
species finds thinking to be incompatible with warm fuzzy feelings. Or
something.

Kermit

Bob Casanova

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Jul 1, 2008, 7:28:24 PM7/1/08
to
On Tue, 1 Jul 2008 03:45:28 -0700 (PDT), the following

appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com>:

>On Jun 30, 11:55 pm, Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:


>> >> For a truism to be false, some things that
>> >> are incontestible - in this case that favourable traits become more
>> >> widely distributed in subsequent generations - have to be false, and
>> >> nobody says they are.
>
>> >Other than noting the traits become more widely distributed how was
>> >their favoribility measured ?
>
>> Other than noting that questions such as this one indicate
>> you have the mental acuity of a bag of rocks, how is your
>> idiocy measured?
>
>Why is it so difficult to spot the tautology by Wilkins ?

Because it's not a tautology. If traits are favorable they
will increase in occurrence in a population. It was observed
that these traits increased in occurrence in the population,
leading to the conclusion that these traits are favorable.
Where's the tautology?

> Lets go
>through this slowly. He says that there were traits that became
>common. Sure, the question is why did they become more common. He says
>because they were "favorable" , well obviously because if they weren't
>favorable they wouldn't have become common! Telling us that traits
>became common implicitly implies that they had to be favorable, how
>could they possibly not be favorable? Telling us that because traits
>are common therefore they are favorable doesn't tell us independently
>the actual reason they became more common. This needs to be derived
>elsewhere. Why did polar bears became more common in the arctic ?
>Because they had "favorable" traits, well obviously otherwise they
>would be dead now wouldn't they.

OK, so what's the problem? Are you contending that any
explanation for an observation (which is what this is) is
tautologous?

Cj

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Jul 1, 2008, 8:33:25 PM7/1/08