Re: Natural Selection

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shane

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Mar 22, 2005, 10:26:12 PM3/22/05
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Ray Martinez wrote:

> Hi Evos:
>
> PLEASE define Natural Selection.
>
> Please do it yourself and do not defer to a link.
>
> Someone told me that if you put 10 Darwinists in a room and ask them to
> define NS you will get 13 different answers.
>
> Of course I have a point or two but after a few responses and 13
> different answers I will make my points.
>
> Waiting....
>
> Ray Martinez
>
Not the response you want, but you seem to think that disagreement about
aspects of evolution, somehow negates the whole premise. Have you ever
heard differing Christian denominations lambast each other over
theological points. In fact the gulf between YEC and OEC is far wider
than between any scientists over points of evolution. And my point
proves absolutely nothing about Christianity, YEC or OEC, just as your
implicit point proves nothing about evolution.

--
shane

The truth will set you free.

Ray Martinez

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Mar 22, 2005, 10:10:18 PM3/22/05
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Jason Cortina

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Mar 22, 2005, 11:27:39 PM3/22/05
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Your record shows you to be quite unqualified to judge whether 13 different
answers are given or the same answer phrased 13 different ways.

--
Jason A Cortina

"Reader, suppose you were an idiot... And suppose you were
a member of Congress, but I repeat myself.
-- Mark Twain

R. Dunno

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Mar 23, 2005, 12:09:02 AM3/23/05
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On 22 Mar 2005 19:10:18 -0800, Ray Martinez <pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Here's five, make do.


1. An organism may possess some inheritable trait or character which,
in a given environment, gives that organism a greater chance of passing
on all of its genes to the next generation (compared with those of its
fellows which don't have it). Over succeeding generations that trait
or character has a good chance of becoming more widespread in that
population.

2. Survival of the fittest.

3. Natural selection is simply the effect the natural world has
on living things, selecting out living forms that can survive
from those that can't handle their environment and therefore
perish.

4. Any mutations which enable an organism to leave more self-reproducing
offspring will be passed on through the generations. This 'differential
reproduction' is called natural selection.

5. Natural selection is the obvious fact that some varieties of
creatures are going to be more successful than others, and so
they will contribute more offspring to future generations.

Dana Tweedy

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Mar 22, 2005, 11:48:00 PM3/22/05
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"Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1111547418.0...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

> Hi Evos:
>
> PLEASE define Natural Selection.

Steven J has a good definition:

Natural selection is differential reproductive success within a population
based on inheritable variation among members of the population.

>
> Please do it yourself and do not defer to a link.
>
> Someone told me that if you put 10 Darwinists in a room and ask them to
> define NS you will get 13 different answers.

Ask your average Creationist to define "Kind" as in "created kind", or
"basic kind" of animals.

snip the rest.

DJT

Pip R. Lagenta

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Mar 22, 2005, 11:26:54 PM3/22/05
to
On 22 Mar 2005 19:10:18 -0800, "Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
>Hi Evos:
>
>PLEASE define Natural Selection.
>
>Please do it yourself and do not defer to a link.
[snip]
You mean don't do this?
<http://evolution.mbdojo.com/evolution-for-beginners.html>
<http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/index.shtml>
<http://www.nap.edu/html/creationism/evidence.html>
<http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html>
<http://www.skeptictank.org/hs/factfaq.htm>
<http://www.ebonmusings.org/evolution/evoevidence.html>
<http://www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/evolution.html>
<http://www.evolutionhappens.net/>
<http://home.houston.rr.com/bybayouu/Tenets_of_evolution.html>
<http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/1122science2.html>
<http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/1122science3.html>
<http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/1122science7.html>
<http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/1122sciencedefns.html>
<http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/evo_science.html>
<http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/>
<http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-research.html>
<http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionVCreation/elementaryfaq.msnw>
Why?
Whatcha 'fraid of?

--
內躬偕爻,虜,齯滌`偕爻,虜,齯滌`偕爻,虜,齯滌`偕爻,虜,齯滌`偕爻,
Pip R. Lagenta Pip R. Lagenta Pip R. Lagenta Pip R. Lagenta
�虜,齯滌`偕爻,虜,齯滌`偕爻,虜,齯滌`偕爻,虜,齯滌`偕爻,虜,齯滌

-- Pip R. Lagenta
President for Life
International Organization Of People Named Pip R. Lagenta
(If your name is Pip R. Lagenta, ask about our dues!)
<http://home.comcast.net/~galentripp/pip.html>
(For Email: I'm at home, not work.)

Steven J.

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Mar 22, 2005, 11:20:47 PM3/22/05
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"Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1111547418.0...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Hi Evos:
>
> PLEASE define Natural Selection.
>
Natural selection is differential reproductive success within a population
based on inheritable variation among members of the population.
>
> Please do it yourself and do not defer to a link.
>
Is your mouse broken?

>
> Someone told me that if you put 10 Darwinists in a room and ask them to
> define NS you will get 13 different answers.
>
Big deal. Put one creationist or ID proponent in a room, and you can get at
least three definitions of "Darwinist" (which he won't bother to distinguish
from one another in conversation, although "someone who accepts common
descent," "someone who accepts natural selection as the principle mechanism
of adaption," and "someone who things natural phenomena should have natural
explanations" differ from one another more than any three definitions of
"natural selection" you're likely to get from someone who understands the
concept). Note that differences in phrasing a definition are not
necessarily differences about what "natural selection" means.

>
> Of course I have a point or two but after a few responses and 13
> different answers I will make my points.
>
Populations tend to produce more offspring than are necessary to replace
their numbers in the next generation (think all those hundreds of eggs laid
by sea turtles, or even the handful laid every year by a pair of robins).
So they expand in numbers until their territory can support no more: there
isn't enough room, or food, or whatever, for more. At this point, not all
the offspring can possibly survive to produce offspring of their own; most
must die without reproducing. They may be eaten by predators, or starve, or
die young of disease or parasites, or fail to find a mate, and die old of
one of those causes.

Note that these individuals vary among themselves. Some of this variation
is caused by variation in the environment (e.g. parasites may make one
individual scrawnier and weaker than another, or an attentive parent may
cause one to be stronger and larger than average). But some is caused by
differences in genes, and can be passed on to the individuals' own offspring
(e.g. one's genes may make one more or less susceptible than average to a
particular parasite, or more or less likely to take good care of one's
offspring). A trait that makes one more likely to find food, avoid becoming
food, fight off disease, attract a mate, and so forth, will tend to make one
more likely to leave descendants. Genes that make these traits more likely
to appear, in turn, are likely to become more common in the next generation
(since the individuals with those genes are more likely to have offspring,
to whom they pass those genes on).

Where the environment has been stable for a long time, natural selection is
likely to favor traits that have worked in the past (that is, the population
is likely already well fitted to the environment, and almost all new
variations -- from mutations -- will be harmful if they matter at all), and
work against new traits. Where the environment is changing (or where the
population has colonized a new environment, or where some individuals are
trying a new way of getting resources), different traits will become
advantageous, and mutations that were once neutral or harmful may become
beneficial, and spread through the population. The population then evolves
due to natural selection.
>
> Waiting....
>
> Ray Martinez
>
-- Steven J.


Harlequin

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Mar 23, 2005, 12:07:54 AM3/23/05
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"Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:1111547418.0...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

Without looking at any other source, I will give the following:

Natural selection is the change in a population resulting from
differences between the members of a population which are
inherited and which the phenotypes have different probabilities
sucessful production of offspring capable of sucessful
reproduction themselves.


I am sure you will get many variants of this from knowledgable
people -- some more or less precise, some more or less technical,
some better worded, etc -- but they will all pretty much
come down to the same thing.

I sure hope that you would not conclude that chemistry is bunk if
you got a dozen different answers to the question of what an
element is.

--
Anti-spam: replace "usenet" with "harlequin2"

"Creationists don't want equal time. They want all the time there is."
- Isaac Asimov

Ken Shaw

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Mar 23, 2005, 12:06:13 AM3/23/05
to

Tell you what, you make what ever point you want to make and then
consider that natural selection is still better defined and understood
than gravity. Does that invalidate the Theory of Gravity?

Ken

Fencingsax

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Mar 23, 2005, 1:12:05 AM3/23/05
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You do realize that tiny details change from person to person, and some
are more specific than others, right? And when I mean tiny details, I
mean tiny details. Also some of us are neither eloquent nor do they
ever remember to write down all that they believe evolution is. And
don't forget that many christians still ascribe to science, so they
might have a different version as to the ultimate why. Also, why do you
need to ask us? Can't you read papers on your own?

Bobby D. Bryant

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Mar 23, 2005, 3:09:31 AM3/23/05
to
On Wed, 23 Mar 2005, "Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi Evos:
>
> PLEASE define Natural Selection.

It's the differential success rate of individuals in a specific environment.

The "natural" part presumably stipulates that the environment isn't
being manipulated in order to _deliberately_ favor one kind of individual
over another.

--
Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas

Charles Petzold

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Mar 23, 2005, 7:28:59 AM3/23/05
to

Ray Martinez wrote:
> Hi Evos:
>
> PLEASE define Natural Selection.
>
> Please do it yourself and do not defer to a link.

It's kind of like "American Idol."

Except instead of singing, it's getting enough to eat, surviving to
puperty, selecting good mates, and procreating.

And instead of Simon, Randy, and Paula, it's famine, drought, and the
occasional asteroid.

May the best genes win.

Charles Petzold
www.charlespetzold.com

John Harshman

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Mar 23, 2005, 10:25:34 AM3/23/05
to
Ray Martinez wrote:

Sure, I'll play. Natural selection is differential reproduction of
individuals depending on differences in their genotypes.

Of course this could be stated in many different ways, all roughly
equivalent. So what?

VoiceOfReason

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Mar 23, 2005, 10:50:20 AM3/23/05
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Pip R. Lagenta wrote:
> On 22 Mar 2005 19:10:18 -0800, "Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> >Hi Evos:
> >
> >PLEASE define Natural Selection.
> >
> >Please do it yourself and do not defer to a link.
> [snip]
> You mean don't do this?

<snip links>

> Why?
> Whatcha 'fraid of?

Knowledge, it would seem. :-|

Chris Thompson

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Mar 23, 2005, 10:46:55 AM3/23/05
to

> Hi Evos:

Here's how I teach it:

1. There is natural variation in populations.
2. All populations produce more offspring than can survive. This leads
to competition for resources. 3. If certain individuals possess
heritable variations that allow their offspring to survive and reproduce
more efficiently, those heritable traits will increase in frequency in
that population.

Isn't that easy?

Note that although it's worded differently, it has exactly the same
meaning as Steven J.'s definition, along with several others already
posted.

--
Chris
aa#2186
Black helicopter mind-control-ray door-gunner
=====
"We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and
then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so
as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry
on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that
sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually
on a battlefield." --George Orwell, 1946, "Under Your Nose"


Nivlem

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Mar 23, 2005, 2:52:23 PM3/23/05
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On 22 Mar 2005 19:10:18 -0800, "Ray Martinez"
<pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Natural selection, my version: Differing reproductive
success of individuals bearing various sets of traits,
within a given environment. Now, that would be at least 13
responses, all worded a bit differently. They all say
essentially the same thing, though. As for your points,
don't bother. I think we've all seen everything you could
possibly have to offer, and it's all just abysmally ignorant
or sleazy, dishonest nonsense.

island

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Mar 23, 2005, 3:13:08 PM3/23/05
to

R. Dunno wrote:
> On 22 Mar 2005 19:10:18 -0800, Ray Martinez <pyram...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
> > Hi Evos:
> >
> > PLEASE define Natural Selection.
> >
> > Please do it yourself and do not defer to a link.
> >
> > Someone told me that if you put 10 Darwinists in a room and ask
them to
> > define NS you will get 13 different answers.
> >
> > Of course I have a point or two but after a few responses and 13
> > different answers I will make my points.
> >
> > Waiting....
> >
> > Ray Martinez
> >
>
> Here's five, make do.
>
>
> 1. An organism may possess some inheritable trait or character which,
> in a given environment, gives that organism a greater chance of
passing
> on all of its genes to the next generation (compared with those of
its
> fellows which don't have it). Over succeeding generations that
trait
> or character has a good chance of becoming more widespread in that
> population.
>

.
Is that "given" environment expressing a natural preference to a
"given" trait for any good physical reason?... is the real question.

Maybe the environment is selecting "in" as well as "selecting out", but
what good physical reason could there be for natural environmental
preference?.

*ducking for cover*

John Harshman

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Mar 23, 2005, 3:35:28 PM3/23/05
to
island wrote:

Selecting "in" is the same thing as selecting "out"; the only difference
is what allele you happen to be looking at now. There are many good
physical reasons, so I'm confused at your confusion. In peppered moths,
for example, camouflaged moths are selected over uncamouflaged ones for
the simple physical reason that predators have an easier time finding
the uncamouflaged ones (which variant is camouflaged/uncamouflaged of
course depends on the color of the substrate). Moths that have been
eaten tend not to reproduce.

> *ducking for cover*

I'm going to assume you had a point to make with your questions. What
was it?

island

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Mar 23, 2005, 3:48:57 PM3/23/05
to

> was it?


I'm trying to isolate on why the environment prefers any one group over
another in terms of energy efficiency, that I know is the underlying
mechanism.

I ducked because the implication for a higher level preference toward
any one group isn't usually taken too well, even when you have good
evidence for it.

You did a good job of explaining it.

John Harshman

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Mar 23, 2005, 4:02:09 PM3/23/05
to
island wrote:

This may perhaps be true if you can find a way to express everything, no
matter what, in terms of energy efficiency. I'd be interested to see
your attempt. You could start with moth colors, and not being eaten, if
you like.

> I ducked because the implication for a higher level preference toward
> any one group isn't usually taken too well, even when you have good
> evidence for it.

You didn't mention anything about higher level preference toward any one
group until just now, unless I somehow missed it.

> You did a good job of explaining it.
>

Thanks.

Thomas Faller

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Mar 23, 2005, 4:07:37 PM3/23/05
to
island wrote:

You seem to have read something into the sentence that isn't there. The
environment does not prefer anything. It sets the parameters by which
organisms compete for resources. It is indifferent to which, if any succeed.

Given two ponds, with the same fauna but different environments (such as you
might find seasonally adjacent to major rivers), and in each you have a fish
that does not breathe well out of water and one that does. The one that doesn't
can use in-pond resources better than the one that can breathe out of water.
In a pond that stays well-watered all year, the one which doesn't breathe out
of water leaves more descendants than the other. In a pond that occasionally
dries up, the fish that can flop across the mud to another source of water will
leave progeny.
Whether a pond dries up or not could depend on local rainfall, local topography,
the drainage properties of the soil, the amount of sunlight, and whether beavers live
nearby. They all constitute part of the "environment" which exerts selection
pressure on fish. None of them have a preference, they simply are.

Did you have something else in mind?

Tom Faller

Thomas Faller

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Mar 23, 2005, 4:19:53 PM3/23/05
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Ray Martinez wrote:

Organisms have more descendants than survive to have their own descendants. The
ones which survive are determined by qualities of the individuals as well as
how well they are suited to their immediate environment and whatever life can
throw at them. They will compete for resources with other organisms, and are
themselves competed for as resources. Methods for competition can include
intrinsic structures of the organism and behavioral patterns. Genes pass along
all methods for competition, and variations in genes will result in variation
in fitness for an environment. Neither genes nor environments are typically stable
over geologic time.

Are we up to 13 yet?

Tom Faller


island

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Mar 23, 2005, 4:21:47 PM3/23/05
to

.
My first instinct, (without researching the topic), is to say that the
camo-moth's wouldn't do so well in a different background so they are
performing some ecosystematic task within a specific environment for
which they are naturally enabled.

Figuring that out might be tough, because some bugs are so limited that
their highest contribution can only be fertilizer.

Mark Isaak

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Mar 23, 2005, 4:30:44 PM3/23/05
to
On 22 Mar 2005 19:10:18 -0800, "Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>Hi Evos:
>
>PLEASE define Natural Selection.

There is variation within populations. Natural selection is the
observation that some of this variation affects individuals' chances
of surviving and/or procreating.

>Someone told me that if you put 10 Darwinists in a room and ask them to
>define NS you will get 13 different answers.

Recently, as part of a cultural anthropology class, I asked six people
what moral, religious, physical, and social factors are emphasized or
explained by the story of Noah. Here are the different answers I got.
Numbers in parentheses are the number of people who gave that answer,
if more than one.

The following answers came from three people from one conservative
Christian church:

Emphasizing family
Teaching obedience
Explaining the geologic record
Exemplifying religion
Exemplifying marriage
Teaching that immorality gets punished
Teaching faithfulness (2)
Teaching honesty
Teaching perseverence
Teaching patience
Teaching against violence
Teaching against breakdown of marriage
Expressing God's sovereignty (2)
Expressing God's omniscience
Expressing redemption
Expressing judgment
Expressing the existence of cursed races

The following answers came from three people from one liberal Jewish
synagogue:

Emphasizing family
Teaching obedience to God
Teaching morality in general (2)
Teaching that relationships have boundaries that shouldn't be crossed
Teaching care for animals
Teaching optimism
Teaching that actions have consequences
Expressing that good people will survive
Expressing that God communicates with good people
Expressing a 2-way covenant between people and God
Expressing that God can be trusted
Expressing that humans are not necessarily more important than animals

That's 27 different answers from 6 people, with only 5 answers given
by more than one person. I find it interesting, too, that the
diversity within a single congregation is as great as the diversity
between two quite different religions.

--
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

island

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Mar 23, 2005, 4:35:05 PM3/23/05
to

.
An ecosystematic link that includes contributive affects to some
"layer" of the environment which in-turn enable the system to continue
to survive and evolve.

The specifics have to do with the system's capability for even energy
dissimination and affected layers can be quite broad ranged given
enough degrees of freedom, like humans have.

Please bear in mind that I'm flying by the seat of my pants, right now.
.

John Harshman

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Mar 23, 2005, 4:34:11 PM3/23/05
to
island wrote:

If that ecosystematic task is surviving to have offspring, you are
right. I doubt the ecosystem cares one way or another whether this task
is performed, though. Are you looking for teleology somewhere?

> Figuring that out might be tough, because some bugs are so limited that
> their highest contribution can only be fertilizer.

What makes you think that "contribution" is a useful concept in this case?

[snip]

Glenn

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Mar 23, 2005, 4:53:38 PM3/23/05
to

"Mark Isaak" <eci...@earthlinkNOSPAM.next> wrote in message
news:vgm341t9eud0hufv7...@4ax.com...

> On 22 Mar 2005 19:10:18 -0800, "Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>
> >Hi Evos:
> >
> >PLEASE define Natural Selection.
>
> There is variation within populations. Natural selection is the
> observation that some of this variation affects individuals' chances
> of surviving and/or procreating.
>
> >Someone told me that if you put 10 Darwinists in a room and ask them to
> >define NS you will get 13 different answers.
>
> Recently, as part of a cultural anthropology class, I asked six people
> what moral, religious, physical, and social factors are emphasized or
> explained by the story of Noah. Here are the different answers I got.
> Numbers in parentheses are the number of people who gave that answer,
> if more than one.
>

Comparing religions again, are we.

snip

island

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Mar 23, 2005, 5:03:27 PM3/23/05
to

No, I'm talking about a productive nitch in the ecosystem


>
> > Figuring that out might be tough, because some bugs are so limited
that
> > their highest contribution can only be fertilizer.
>
> What makes you think that "contribution" is a useful concept in this
case?
>
> [snip]

A dung beetle breaks down crap more efficiently than if it were left
stictly to the elements, which accomplsh the very same task, only to a
less efficient degree.

The dung beetle is enabled to survive and perpetuate by the very crap
that he breaks down.

Breaking down crap more efficiently than if left to the elements is
relative to the number of degrees of freedom that a system has in this
game for which there is no free will or choice, since every action in
the universe increases the entropy of the universe.

"The more complex the structure the more effective is the energy
dissemination. Populations are better in this respect than single
individuals; ecosystems even more so, and most effective of all -- so
far -- are human high-tech societies"

-James Kay and Dorian Sagan, as endorsed by Arne Jernelov and Eric
Schneider...

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit/archives/2004/09/30/2003204990

John Harshman

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Mar 23, 2005, 5:38:02 PM3/23/05
to
island wrote:

How do you distinguish a productive niche from an unproductive one?
"Productive" in what sense?

>>>Figuring that out might be tough, because some bugs are so limited
>
> that
>
>>>their highest contribution can only be fertilizer.
>>
>>What makes you think that "contribution" is a useful concept in this
>
> case?
>

> A dung beetle breaks down crap more efficiently than if it were left
> stictly to the elements, which accomplsh the very same task, only to a
> less efficient degree.
>
> The dung beetle is enabled to survive and perpetuate by the very crap
> that he breaks down.

All fine so far. But you imply that efficiency is some goal of the
ecosystem, rather than just the goal of the dung beetle. Why should that
be the case? After all, there are many ecosystems in which things don't
break down as fast as they do in others. Dead trees in a tropical
rainforest may stick around for a matter of months. Dead trees in a
temperate rain forest may stick around for decades.

> Breaking down crap more efficiently than if left to the elements is
> relative to the number of degrees of freedom that a system has in this
> game for which there is no free will or choice, since every action in
> the universe increases the entropy of the universe.

This is the point at which your statement becomes meaningless to me.
Maybe it would mean something to someone else, but not to me. How you
can relate "degrees of freedom" to "free will" to "entropy" is quite
beyond me.

> "The more complex the structure the more effective is the energy
> dissemination. Populations are better in this respect than single
> individuals; ecosystems even more so, and most effective of all -- so
> far -- are human high-tech societies"
>
> -James Kay and Dorian Sagan, as endorsed by Arne Jernelov and Eric
> Schneider...

Why should more effective energy dissemination be a goal of nature? How
is that goal, if it exists, implemented?

> http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit/archives/2004/09/30/2003204990
>

Pip R. Lagenta

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Mar 23, 2005, 5:41:01 PM3/23/05
to
On 22 Mar 2005 19:10:18 -0800, "Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
>Hi Evos:
>
>PLEASE define Natural Selection.
>
>Please do it yourself and do not defer to a link.
>
>Someone told me that if you put 10 Darwinists in a room and ask them to
>define NS you will get 13 different answers.
>
>Of course I have a point or two but after a few responses and 13
>different answers I will make my points.
>
>Waiting....
>
>Ray Martinez

Having read the previous answers, I am ready to give it a shot as
well:

In the phrase
"Evolution is what happens when a population of imperfect replicators
interacts with their environment"
Natural Selection is the "interacts with their environment" part.

Bob Casanova

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Mar 23, 2005, 6:04:18 PM3/23/05
to

Bob Casanova

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Mar 23, 2005, 6:13:36 PM3/23/05
to
On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 14:53:38 -0700, the following appeared
in talk.origins, posted by "Glenn"
<glenns...@SPAMqwest.net>:

No.

Bob Casanova

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 6:12:10 PM3/23/05
to
On 23 Mar 2005 13:35:05 -0800, the following appeared in
talk.origins, posted by "island" <isl...@earthlink.net>:

<snip>

>An ecosystematic link that includes contributive affects to some
>"layer" of the environment which in-turn enable the system to continue
>to survive and evolve.

If I'm reading you correctly, you're heading for some
variant of a "Gaia" concept here. If so, be aware that
you'll *really* have to work, and provide *lots* of
evidence, to justify it.

>The specifics have to do with the system's capability for even energy
>dissimination and affected layers can be quite broad ranged given
>enough degrees of freedom, like humans have.
>
>Please bear in mind that I'm flying by the seat of my pants, right now.

<snip>

Ray Martinez

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 6:31:06 PM3/23/05
to
Mark Isaak: There is variation within populations. Natural selection

is the
observation that some of this variation affects individuals' chances
of surviving and/or procreating.

Ray Martinez: This was your answer to my request to define Natural
Selection.

Then you gave a rather interesting "pre-emptive" response to my
characterization anticpating various answers from Darwinists.

IOW, you agree with me that the definition of NS will vary between
Darwinists. This agreement came via your Noah's Ark analogy that has
many different interpretations to certain questions about the event.

The irony of an atheist Darwinist seeking relief in the Bible to a fair
inquiry about the revolving definition of NS. IOW, "you guys have the
same problem so don't act like we are the only ones."

But the issue is about an alleged scientific mechanism at the core of
evolutionary theory.

If NS is scientific then the myriad number of definitions supports the
claim that it is NOT scientific - but philosophy packaged as scientific
evidence.

Actually I was quite kind when I said if you put 10 Darwinists in a
room and they will produce 13 different definitions of NS.

There is no objective definition of NS anywhere to be found.

Every Darwinist will provide his own subjective take, meaning if there
are 10,000,000 Darwinists in the world they will produce 13,000, 000
different answers.

And you rational Darwinists call this science !

NS predicts nothing but claims it does.

NS is 20/20 hindsight describing from individual perspective that which
already is.

IOW, Darwinists study nature, then relay what they see, and then claim
they predicted it and call it science.

Many Darwinists refer to NS as a mechanism.

Where is the structure ?

How can a mechanism function without a structure ?

Atheist Richard Milton:

"As a theory, natural selection makes no unique predictions but instead
is used retrospectively to explain every outcome: and a theory that
explains everything in this way explains nothing. Natural Selection is
not a mechanism: it is a rationalization after the fact."

Ray Martinez

John Harshman

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 6:37:36 PM3/23/05
to
Bob Casanova wrote:

Well, as a matter of fact, yes. That's exactly what Mark was doing. Now
Glenn was probably trying to make some crack about evolution being a
religion, but the fact that Mark was indeed comparing religions
(different people's responses to the Noah story) gets in the way of that
little joke. (Glenn will probably deny something at this point. Ho hum).

island

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Mar 23, 2005, 7:05:13 PM3/23/05
to

Bob Casanova wrote:
> On 23 Mar 2005 13:35:05 -0800, the following appeared in
> talk.origins, posted by "island" <isl...@earthlink.net>:
>
> <snip>
>
> >An ecosystematic link that includes contributive affects to some
> >"layer" of the environment which in-turn enable the system to
continue
> >to survive and evolve.
>
> If I'm reading you correctly, you're heading for some
> variant of a "Gaia" concept here. If so, be aware that
> you'll *really* have to work, and provide *lots* of
> evidence, to justify it.
>

.
That's why I'm here, but it's more of a "Blue Collar" concept cuz
you'll get weeded out of this garden really quickly if you don't do
your job!!!... ;)

Thanks for recognizing the idea for whatever that's worth.

unrestra...@hotmail.com

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 7:10:52 PM3/23/05
to

Ray Martinez wrote:
> Mark Isaak: There is variation within populations. Natural
selection
> is the
> observation that some of this variation affects individuals' chances
> of surviving and/or procreating.
>
> Ray Martinez: This was your answer to my request to define Natural
> Selection.
>
> Then you gave a rather interesting "pre-emptive" response to my
> characterization anticpating various answers from Darwinists.
>
> IOW, you agree with me that the definition of NS will vary between
> Darwinists. This agreement came via your Noah's Ark analogy that has
> many different interpretations to certain questions about the event.
>
> The irony of an atheist Darwinist seeking relief in the Bible to a
fair
> inquiry about the revolving definition of NS.

Did he say he ws an atheist?
What makes you think he was seeking relief of any kind?
What do you mean by "revolving"?
You seem like a pretty confused fellow. But perhaps you're simply
dishonest. It's hard to tell at times.

> IOW, "you guys have the
> same problem so don't act like we are the only ones."
>
> But the issue is about an alleged scientific mechanism at the core of
> evolutionary theory.

The issue seems to be your understanding of it. You got a couple of
dozen good answers, all saying the same thing. Are you really so dense
that you don't understand that?

Please pick any two and explain how they are different.

>
> If NS is scientific then the myriad number of definitions supports
the
> claim that it is NOT scientific - but philosophy packaged as
scientific
> evidence.
>

They were all one answer, said by many individuals who understand it.

> Actually I was quite kind when I said if you put 10 Darwinists in a
> room and they will produce 13 different definitions of NS.
>
> There is no objective definition of NS anywhere to be found.

<snort>
Visit yout friendly neighborhood natural history museum. If you don't
have one, the next time you are on the campus of your closet
university, visit the geology or biology college.

>
> Every Darwinist will provide his own subjective take, meaning if
there
> are 10,000,000 Darwinists in the world they will produce 13,000, 000
> different answers.
>

Do you really think that these are different answers?

> And you rational Darwinists call this science !

I suppose you think "Science" would be the memorization of some
textbook definition. How sad. People who understand a process descrbe
it in their own words, of course. You could ask folks for their
definitions of "democracy", and you would not get any two the same.
Some of them would be wrong, some more subtle, some more eloquent than
others. But would this mean that "Democracy" doesn't exist?

>
> NS predicts nothing but claims it does.

It predicted, for example, that when the mechanisms for inheritable
traits was discovered, it would mark a nested hierarchy matching
morphology. Which it does, with some clarifications.

It predicts the behavior of mechnisms adapting to poisons in their
environment.

It predicted that more fossil transitions would be discovered linking
current species, families, etc. with their precursors - which has
happened.

It predicted specificall that whales would have left fossil trasitional
links from their land-dwelling tetrapod ancestors to the sea. These
have recently been found.

Darwin predicted that more complex animals, and more recent animals,
would only be found in more recent strata. This has been confirmed so
far.

>
> NS is 20/20 hindsight describing from individual perspective that
which
> already is.
>
> IOW, Darwinists study nature, then relay what they see, and then
claim
> they predicted it and call it science.
>

See above.

> Many Darwinists refer to NS as a mechanism.
>
> Where is the structure ?
>
> How can a mechanism function without a structure ?

You are a very concrete thinker, aren't you?

>
> Atheist Richard Milton:
>
> "As a theory, natural selection makes no unique predictions but
instead
> is used retrospectively to explain every outcome: and a theory that
> explains everything in this way explains nothing. Natural Selection
is
> not a mechanism: it is a rationalization after the fact."
>
> Ray Martinez

Richard Milton is a kook.

http://www.alternativescience.com/

There is no "alternative science". There is only good science and bad
science.

Kermit

John Harshman

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 7:20:52 PM3/23/05
to
Ray Martinez wrote:

> Mark Isaak: There is variation within populations. Natural selection
> is the
> observation that some of this variation affects individuals' chances
> of surviving and/or procreating.
>
> Ray Martinez: This was your answer to my request to define Natural
> Selection.
>
> Then you gave a rather interesting "pre-emptive" response to my
> characterization anticpating various answers from Darwinists.
>
> IOW, you agree with me that the definition of NS will vary between
> Darwinists. This agreement came via your Noah's Ark analogy that has
> many different interpretations to certain questions about the event.
>
> The irony of an atheist Darwinist seeking relief in the Bible to a fair
> inquiry about the revolving definition of NS. IOW, "you guys have the
> same problem so don't act like we are the only ones."
>
> But the issue is about an alleged scientific mechanism at the core of
> evolutionary theory.
>
> If NS is scientific then the myriad number of definitions supports the
> claim that it is NOT scientific - but philosophy packaged as scientific
> evidence.

Nonsense. As was pointed out by many posters, all the various
definitions mean the same thing. You think that in order for it to be
science we all have to repeat word for word? Now that's bizarre.

> Actually I was quite kind when I said if you put 10 Darwinists in a
> room and they will produce 13 different definitions of NS.
>
> There is no objective definition of NS anywhere to be found.
>
> Every Darwinist will provide his own subjective take, meaning if there
> are 10,000,000 Darwinists in the world they will produce 13,000, 000
> different answers.
>
> And you rational Darwinists call this science !

Indeed we do. The precise wordings of definitions don't matter a bit.

> NS predicts nothing but claims it does.
>
> NS is 20/20 hindsight describing from individual perspective that which
> already is.
>
> IOW, Darwinists study nature, then relay what they see, and then claim
> they predicted it and call it science.
>
> Many Darwinists refer to NS as a mechanism.
>
> Where is the structure ?
>
> How can a mechanism function without a structure ?

Tell me. Have you ever in your life read a scientific paper? If so, have
you ever read one on natural selection?

> Atheist Richard Milton:
>
> "As a theory, natural selection makes no unique predictions but instead
> is used retrospectively to explain every outcome: and a theory that
> explains everything in this way explains nothing. Natural Selection is
> not a mechanism: it is a rationalization after the fact."

Milton is wrong. Even being an atheist doesn't stop you from being
wrong, as I'm sure you would agree.

island

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 8:01:34 PM3/23/05
to

.
Well, according to Kay, et. al., the increase in complexity alone,
serves to create systems that enhance the process of energy
dissimination, and my understanding is the same as their for more
universal reasons. Please finish reading everything in this reply for
more clarification on that.
.

> After all, there are many ecosystems in which things don't
> break down as fast as they do in others. Dead trees in a tropical
> rainforest may stick around for a matter of months. Dead trees in a
> temperate rain forest may stick around for decades.

.
Speed isn't what the even distribution of energy is all about, although
it must increase constantly per the second law of thermodynamics.
.

>
> > Breaking down crap more efficiently than if left to the elements is
> > relative to the number of degrees of freedom that a system has in
this
> > game for which there is no free will or choice, since every action
in
> > the universe increases the entropy of the universe.
>
> This is the point at which your statement becomes meaningless to me.
> Maybe it would mean something to someone else, but not to me. How you

> can relate "degrees of freedom" to "free will" to "entropy" is quite
> beyond me.

.
In this context, "Degrees of Freedom" represent comparitive
capabilities for increasing the entropy of the universe as it relates
to survival enabling energy consumption.

Dung beetles can breakdown crap, which gives them a "value" to the
process that's greater than if they weren't there.

Humans can breakdown *ALL* forms of matter, including, but not strictly
limited to, crap, making them more preferred in this respect, since
they can persue more avenues of survival.

Humans have more, (universal), freedom in the effort, but our given
life-perpetuating paths of action are as obvious as the higher-level
effects that our use of them has on the entropy of the universe.
.

>
> > "The more complex the structure the more effective is the energy
> > dissemination. Populations are better in this respect than single
> > individuals; ecosystems even more so, and most effective of all --
so
> > far -- are human high-tech societies"
> >
> > -James Kay and Dorian Sagan, as endorsed by Arne Jernelov and Eric
> > Schneider...
>
> Why should more effective energy dissemination be a goal of nature?

.
Because it increases the entropy of the universe more evenly.
.

> How
> is that goal, if it exists, implemented?

.
That's directly related to how the entropy of the expanding universe
plays out with increasing earnest against stubborn imperfections in the
energy that require "activation energy" in order to break them down.
Increases in complexity and order enable emergent properties that
achieve this function at higher orders of efficiency, and I know that
there are still a million unanswered questions, but thanks for the
help.


>
> > http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit/archives/2004/09/30/2003204990
> >

John Harshman

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 8:23:51 PM3/23/05
to
island wrote:

> John Harshman wrote:
>
>>island wrote:

[snip unreadable crap. why does it do this?]


>>
>>All fine so far. But you imply that efficiency is some goal of the
>>ecosystem, rather than just the goal of the dung beetle. Why should
>>that be the case?
> .
> Well, according to Kay, et. al., the increase in complexity alone,
> serves to create systems that enhance the process of energy
> dissimination, and my understanding is the same as their for more
> universal reasons. Please finish reading everything in this reply for
> more clarification on that.

More clarification in the sense that you couldn't have less
clarification? Because so far that made no sense to me.

>>After all, there are many ecosystems in which things don't
>>break down as fast as they do in others. Dead trees in a tropical
>>rainforest may stick around for a matter of months. Dead trees in a
>>temperate rain forest may stick around for decades.
> .
> Speed isn't what the even distribution of energy is all about, although
> it must increase constantly per the second law of thermodynamics.

Then what are you talking about? Is all you're saying that entropy must
increase? Sure didn't sound like you were.


>
>>>Breaking down crap more efficiently than if left to the elements is
>>>relative to the number of degrees of freedom that a system has in
>
> this
>
>>>game for which there is no free will or choice, since every action
>
> in
>
>>>the universe increases the entropy of the universe.
>>
>>This is the point at which your statement becomes meaningless to me.
>>Maybe it would mean something to someone else, but not to me. How you
>>can relate "degrees of freedom" to "free will" to "entropy" is quite
>>beyond me.
> .
> In this context, "Degrees of Freedom" represent comparitive
> capabilities for increasing the entropy of the universe as it relates
> to survival enabling energy consumption.

I was confused because "degrees of freedom" has quite a specific meaning
in statistics, and this isn't it. Please don't use terms that have quite
different conventional meanings unless you want to be misunderstood.

And if I substitute your new meaning, the statement still means nothing
to me.

> Dung beetles can breakdown crap, which gives them a "value" to the
> process that's greater than if they weren't there.

Why should the process measure value at all? What is this process that's
measuring the value of dung beetles? It doesn't seem to be anything that
actually exists in nature.

> Humans can breakdown *ALL* forms of matter, including, but not strictly
> limited to, crap, making them more preferred in this respect, since
> they can persue more avenues of survival.

Preferred by whom or what? What practical consequences does this
preference have?

> Humans have more, (universal), freedom in the effort, but our given
> life-perpetuating paths of action are as obvious as the higher-level
> effects that our use of them has on the entropy of the universe.

Once again, these words don't seem to cohere so as to form a meaning to me.

>>>"The more complex the structure the more effective is the energy
>>>dissemination. Populations are better in this respect than single
>>>individuals; ecosystems even more so, and most effective of all --
>
> so
>
>>>far -- are human high-tech societies"
>>>
>>>-James Kay and Dorian Sagan, as endorsed by Arne Jernelov and Eric
>>>Schneider...
>>
>>Why should more effective energy dissemination be a goal of nature?
> .
> Because it increases the entropy of the universe more evenly.

Why should increasing the entropy of the universe more evenly be a goal
of nature?

>>How


>>is that goal, if it exists, implemented?
> .
> That's directly related to how the entropy of the expanding universe
> plays out with increasing earnest against stubborn imperfections in the
> energy that require "activation energy" in order to break them down.
> Increases in complexity and order enable emergent properties that
> achieve this function at higher orders of efficiency, and I know that
> there are still a million unanswered questions, but thanks for the
> help.

If only you could say something about this that I could derive meaning
from. It sounds like bureaucrats, politicians, or "educators" to me:
verbiage meant to disguise a lack of meaning. You use real terms, like
"activation energy", but in contexts that make no sense if you're using
their standard meanings. Try to be clear, and use words in their usual
meanings if you want to be understood.

>>>http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit/archives/2004/09/30/2003204990
>>>
>
>

island

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 8:43:18 PM3/23/05
to

John Harshman wrote:
> island wrote:
>
> > John Harshman wrote:
> >
> >>island wrote:
> [snip unreadable crap. why does it do this?]
>
>
> >>
> >>All fine so far. But you imply that efficiency is some goal of the
> >>ecosystem, rather than just the goal of the dung beetle. Why should
> >>that be the case?
> > .
> > Well, according to Kay, et. al., the increase in complexity alone,
> > serves to create systems that enhance the process of energy
> > dissimination, and my understanding is the same as their for more
> > universal reasons. Please finish reading everything in this reply
for
> > more clarification on that.
>
> More clarification in the sense that you couldn't have less
> clarification? Because so far that made no sense to me.

Hey John, the fact that increases in complexity serve to create systems
that enhance energy dissimination is valid enough reason WHY THAT
SHOULD BE THE CASE.

But it's no surprise again that you can't find the answer in the plain
words.

<SNIP>

John Harshman

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 8:54:51 PM3/23/05
to
island wrote:

Perhaps they are plain words only to you. There is no need to get huffy.
It only gets in the way of any communication, if communication is
indeed your goal. Why should what you say be the case? Are you saying
that increases in complexity are thermodynamically favored? Surely
that's not universally true. Sometimes decreases in complexity are favored.

island

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 9:20:14 PM3/23/05
to

.
I got "huffy" when you started telling me that you don't understand
stuff that most people don't have nearly as much trouble grasping,
because that's when I begin to suspect that you aren't making any form
of cooperative effort to understand a damned thing. Rather, this
conveys the impression that you strictly intend to play devil's
advocate in order to find no meaning in meaningful words for a long
enough period of time that the otherwise valid point is lost.

I'm sorry if that wasn't the case, I'm a little gun shy too.
.

> It only gets in the way of any communication, if communication is
> indeed your goal. Why should what you say be the case? Are you saying

> that increases in complexity are thermodynamically favored? Surely
> that's not universally true. Sometimes decreases in complexity are
favored.

.
Increases in complexity are only thermodynamically favored in a
predominantly expansive universe if they represent increases in the
potential for disorder that are compounded by the emergent properties
that serve to enhance the process.

You can't go backwards from the greater expansive impetus of the
universe without aquiring an entropic debt that's greater than the sum
of the entropy of the individual microscopic systems, since expansion
continues for as long as the complex system exists.

Ergo the emergent macroscopic properties that enable the system to keep
up with the ever increasing entropy cost that's required to maintain
this open system.
.

Eros

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 9:44:40 PM3/23/05
to

Does the fact that he's an atheist make him any more believable, or
even correct?

EROS.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Creationists do not need logic, we believe what God tells us to
believe." -- B_Sharp (Talk.Origins 2004-07-09)

R. Dunno

unread,
Mar 23, 2005, 11:00:16 PM3/23/05
to
On 23 Mar 2005 15:31:06 -0800, Ray Martinez <pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> Actually I was quite kind when I said if you put 10 Darwinists in a
> room and they will produce 13 different definitions of NS.
>

Actually, the five I presented are what I thought were some of
the more reasonable ones found on webpages at Answers In Genesis.

The URLs are embedded in the headers of my first post in this
thread.

Do you take issue with all the different wordings of Matthew 6:28-30
that follow? There are 19 different bibles in English at
www.biblegateway.com, they all have different verbage for this
passage.

NIV

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field
grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon
in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God
clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is
thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little
faith?

The Message

All this time and money wasted on fashion--do you think it makes that
much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the
fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have
you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best--dressed men
and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such
attention to the appearance of wildflowers--most of which are never
even seen--don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do
his best for you?


KJV

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the
field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And
yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass
of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?


Steven J.

unread,
Mar 24, 2005, 12:02:25 AM3/24/05
to

"Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1111620666.9...@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

> Mark Isaak: There is variation within populations. Natural selection
> is the
> observation that some of this variation affects individuals' chances
> of surviving and/or procreating.
>
> Ray Martinez: This was your answer to my request to define Natural
> Selection.
>
Hey! *I* was the first person to post an actual response that fit your
request. *I* deserve first reply. On the other hand, I can't help but
notice that you don't actually address either Mark Isaak's actual
definition, or compare it to definitions offered by other posters. You
speak of "myriad" definitions, and don't bother to demonstrate that any two
people offered even two significantly different definitions.

>
> Then you gave a rather interesting "pre-emptive" response to my
> characterization anticpating various answers from Darwinists.
>
Again, I was first, pointing out that antievolutionists can't even agree
(even with themselves!) to what "Darwinist" means. It's rather astonishing
that so many people would set out to refute a theory, or ideology, or
whatever they think it is, without being clear on what it is they're trying
to refute.

>
> IOW, you agree with me that the definition of NS will vary between
> Darwinists. This agreement came via your Noah's Ark analogy that has
> many different interpretations to certain questions about the event.
>
The point, as I see it, is not merely that different believers in the Bible
as Scripture have different interpretations, but also that it is quite
conceivable that multiple interpretations are possible. As Mark Isaak
noted, some people came up with multiple answers, presumably holding that
all of them were correct. By the same token, there are many different
aspects to natural selection. Different "Darwinists" might emphasize
different aspects of natural selection, and all of them might be correct
that this aspect of the phenomenon exists and is important.

>
> The irony of an atheist Darwinist seeking relief in the Bible to a fair
> inquiry about the revolving definition of NS. IOW, "you guys have the
> same problem so don't act like we are the only ones."
>
Strictly speaking, he didn't seek refuge in the Bible, but in
interpretations of the Bible by Bible believers. And he didn't explicitly
say this was a problem. Not everything in life can be boiled down to a
one-liner; sometimes it takes a dozen or more one-liners. And have you
actually established that Mark Isaak is an atheist, or is this simply an
assumption you make about everyone who accepts evolution?

>
> But the issue is about an alleged scientific mechanism at the core of
> evolutionary theory.
>
> If NS is scientific then the myriad number of definitions supports the
> claim that it is NOT scientific - but philosophy packaged as scientific
> evidence.
>
First of all, you have not demonstrated that there are "myriad" definitions.
You have not demonstrated that there is more than one definition. You have
asked for definitions, and then ignored them, and continued your rant as if
they had not been offered to you.

>
> Actually I was quite kind when I said if you put 10 Darwinists in a
> room and they will produce 13 different definitions of NS.
>
Is "kind," here, a euphemism for "discalcic?"

>
> There is no objective definition of NS anywhere to be found.
>
Yet, oddly, there are mathematical formulas which express it, and
measurements for the degree of selective pressure on a gene.

>
> Every Darwinist will provide his own subjective take, meaning if there
> are 10,000,000 Darwinists in the world they will produce 13,000, 000
> different answers.
>
> And you rational Darwinists call this science !
>
At this point, you are not even arguing against a straw man. You are
arguing against a childish sketch of a strawman. Again (since you seem to
have problems with attention) you have been offered several definitions.
You have examined exactly *zero* of these, nor have you compared any of them
to any other definition to see if they agree or disagree, or what the nature
of the disagreements (if any) are.

>
> NS predicts nothing but claims it does.
>
Oddly, this is quite untrue.

>
> NS is 20/20 hindsight describing from individual perspective that which
> already is.
>
You seem to be confusing a definition of natural selection with specific
"just-so stories" about the selective pressures and intermediate stages for
the evolution of particular complex structures (e.g. the "from the trees
down" vs. "from the ground up" explanations of bird flight). Or possibly
you imagine that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are as likely to proliferate
and replace antibiotic-susceptible bacteria in an antibiotic-free
environment as in one laced with antibiotics.

>
> IOW, Darwinists study nature, then relay what they see, and then claim
> they predicted it and call it science.
>
> Many Darwinists refer to NS as a mechanism.
>
> Where is the structure ?
>
> How can a mechanism function without a structure ?
>
Do all creationists have a problem with metaphors? When natural selection
is called a "mechanism," that doesn't imply that it has rivets and gears; it
implies that it operates according to rules to produce results.

>
> Atheist Richard Milton:
>
> "As a theory, natural selection makes no unique predictions but instead
> is used retrospectively to explain every outcome: and a theory that
> explains everything in this way explains nothing. Natural Selection is
> not a mechanism: it is a rationalization after the fact."
>
> Ray Martinez
>
-- Steven J.


Greg G.

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Mar 24, 2005, 5:50:55 AM3/24/05
to

Ray Martinez wrote:
>
> NS is 20/20 hindsight describing from individual perspective that
which
> already is.

If this sentence is referring to the responses to your request for
individual descriptions of NS, then you are right. OTOH, you probably
don't understand the phrase "20/20 hindsight" anymore than anything
else.

--
Greg G.

Sign in a shoe shop:
FREE! One Shoe Shined Absolutely Free.

bro...@noguchi.mimcom.net

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Mar 24, 2005, 6:16:19 AM3/24/05
to

Ray Martinez wrote:
> Mark Isaak: There is variation within populations. Natural
selection
> is the
> observation that some of this variation affects individuals' chances
> of surviving and/or procreating.
>
> Ray Martinez: This was your answer to my request to define Natural
> Selection.
>
<snip>>

> Actually I was quite kind when I said if you put 10 Darwinists in a
> room and they will produce 13 different definitions of NS.
>
> There is no objective definition of NS anywhere to be found.
>
> Every Darwinist will provide his own subjective take, meaning if
there
> are 10,000,000 Darwinists in the world they will produce 13,000, 000
> different answers.
>
> And you rational Darwinists call this science !

Will you do us poor confused Darwinists a favor by showing how the
various posted definitions of natural selection are inconsistent with
one another, or even significantly different. That different people use
different words to describe the same thing is hardly a shock.

>
<snip>>
> Ray Martinez

Thomas Faller

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Mar 24, 2005, 8:12:25 AM3/24/05
to
Ray Martinez wrote:

Ray, speaking honestly here, I don't think your real problem is with
evolution. I think your real problem is with words. You don't seem
to have the concepts quite down yet, and I think that you're going to
have difficulties whether you're trying to figure out evolution or
peanut-butter sandwiches. You're not constructing logical arguments
because you keep getting distracted by alternate meanings for words
and acting as if they were all equivalent. I don't really have any
suggestions for help, as you're probably past the age where most
people internalize this stuff.

Tom Faller


Pithecanthropus Erectus

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Mar 24, 2005, 8:32:02 AM3/24/05
to
Ray Martinez wrote:

Are you trying to tell us that there isn't an EAC guidebook complete
with rote definitions? Are you trying to tell us that people shouldn't
actually incorporate, interpret and reiterate ideas using their own words?

Wait until my English Composition teacher hears about this!!!!


John Harshman

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Mar 24, 2005, 10:48:02 AM3/24/05
to
island wrote:

Perhaps the proper word here is "paranoid". Please try to control your
impulses. When I say I don't understand something you say, it's because
I don't understand something you say. Very simple. No hidden conspiracy.

>> It only gets in the way of any communication, if communication is
>>indeed your goal. Why should what you say be the case? Are you saying
>
>
>>that increases in complexity are thermodynamically favored? Surely
>>that's not universally true. Sometimes decreases in complexity are
>
> favored.
> .
> Increases in complexity are only thermodynamically favored in a
> predominantly expansive universe if they represent increases in the
> potential for disorder that are compounded by the emergent properties
> that serve to enhance the process.
>
> You can't go backwards from the greater expansive impetus of the
> universe without aquiring an entropic debt that's greater than the sum
> of the entropy of the individual microscopic systems, since expansion
> continues for as long as the complex system exists.
>
> Ergo the emergent macroscopic properties that enable the system to keep
> up with the ever increasing entropy cost that's required to maintain
> this open system.

No idea what you said there either. Perhaps I just don't know enough
physics. Let's go back to biology. What are the testable consequences of
this theory for biology? Are they in fact borne out by biology? Do they,
for example, predict continual increases in complexity of life and of
ecosystems? If so, then that's clearly falsified by history.

VoiceOfReason

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Mar 24, 2005, 10:55:15 AM3/24/05
to
Wow... The levels of ignorance and outright dishonesty this post are
impressive in a way.

Ray Martinez wrote:
> ... you gave a rather interesting "pre-emptive" response to my


> characterization anticpating various answers from Darwinists.

Pardon, what is your definition of "Darwinist?"

<...>

> If NS is scientific then the myriad number of definitions supports
the
> claim that it is NOT scientific - but philosophy packaged as
scientific
> evidence.

A Google on "Science definition" generated 15,300,000 hits. By the
above "reasoning," the plethora of definitions would indicate that
science is not scientific! :D


Man, I've been away from t.o for too long. I've forgotten how much fun
it is, shooting fish in a barrel. :D

VoiceOfReason

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Mar 24, 2005, 11:01:44 AM3/24/05
to
Ode to the Conceptually Challenged:

unrestra...@hotmail.com

unread,
Mar 24, 2005, 11:08:32 AM3/24/05
to

Steven J. wrote:
> "Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1111620666.9...@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> > Mark Isaak: There is variation within populations. Natural
selection
> > is the
> > observation that some of this variation affects individuals'
chances
> > of surviving and/or procreating.
> >
> > Ray Martinez: This was your answer to my request to define Natural
> > Selection.
> >

<snip>

> > Many Darwinists refer to NS as a mechanism.
> >
> > Where is the structure ?
> >
> > How can a mechanism function without a structure ?
> >
> Do all creationists have a problem with metaphors? When natural
selection
> is called a "mechanism," that doesn't imply that it has rivets and
gears; it
> implies that it operates according to rules to produce results.
> >

Yes. I was raised by fundamentalists, and one of their notable
characteristics is a pathological degree of concrete thinking. One of
their oft-repeated claims is that "liberal" Christians "interpret" the
bible, using metaphors and such.

They do not understand, and will not consider the possibility that,
*they interpret the bible. They also do not understand that metaphors
are often the truest way of saying things:
"That's a heavy burden."
"My heart burns for you!"
"Well, *that went over his head."
"It's a hard concept to grasp."

The alleged founder of their religion (it was really Paul, altho they
claim Jesus) said that he spoke in parables, and "those who have ears,
let them hear."

Of course, they can't understand that the bible isn't evidence for most
people, either, not even for Christians if they're doing science at the
time.

<snip>

> > Ray Martinez
> >
> -- Steven J.

Kermit

Thomas Faller

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Mar 24, 2005, 11:28:55 AM3/24/05
to
island wrote:

If the overall "purpose" that the universe is somehow "working towards"
for some reason is to disseminate energy, or to be plainer, hasten the
heat-death of the universe, then working towards life on planets is one
of the least efficient ways I can think of to do so.

The universe could just as easily, if it had some method and motive for
doing so, hold repeated expansion-contraction cycles, continually repeating
most of the Big Bang, but each time involving every particle of the
universe towards the goal of manufacturing irretrievable thermal energy.
That requires no "increase in complexity", yet seems to satisfy your
criteria so far, unless you're hiding yet another agenda from us?

Maybe you're trying to say that the universe designed life to use up
energy? That a universe which seems to use energy on the scale of
megatons per microsecond would find it expedient to populate the
skin of planets in order to waste more? Could you get a little more
specific about what you're trying to say, unless of course, it sounds
too ridiculous when stated plainly?

Tom Faller


Mark Isaak

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Mar 24, 2005, 2:42:49 PM3/24/05
to
On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 22:38:02 GMT, John Harshman
<jharshman....@pacbell.net> wrote:

>island wrote:
>[snip past history]


>
>> "The more complex the structure the more effective is the energy
>> dissemination. Populations are better in this respect than single
>> individuals; ecosystems even more so, and most effective of all -- so
>> far -- are human high-tech societies"
>>
>> -James Kay and Dorian Sagan, as endorsed by Arne Jernelov and Eric
>> Schneider...
>

>Why should more effective energy dissemination be a goal of nature? How

>is that goal, if it exists, implemented?

I think island is confusing you (and perhaps himself) with malapropist
terminology. The point, I think, is that more complex structures are
thermodynamically favored. Just as nature tends towards increased
entropy, there may be a principle that nature also tends towards more
rapid increases in entropy.

--
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

Mark Isaak

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Mar 24, 2005, 3:06:36 PM3/24/05
to
On 23 Mar 2005 15:31:06 -0800, "Ray Martinez" <pyram...@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>Mark Isaak: There is variation within populations. Natural selection


>is the
>observation that some of this variation affects individuals' chances
>of surviving and/or procreating.
>
>Ray Martinez: This was your answer to my request to define Natural
>Selection.

You're welcome.

>Then you gave a rather interesting "pre-emptive" response to my
>characterization anticpating various answers from Darwinists.
>
>IOW, you agree with me that the definition of NS will vary between
>Darwinists.

You are bearing false witness. I said no such thing. I simply wanted
to point out that, *contrary to your claimed example*, extreme
variation of meaning is the norm within religion.

>The irony of an atheist Darwinist seeking relief in the Bible to a fair
>inquiry about the revolving definition of NS.

You are bearing false witness. I am neither an atheist nor a
Darwinist, nor was I seeking releif in the Bible, nor was I reacting
to a "revolving definition of NS," having seen only one definition of
natural selection so far.

>But the issue is about an alleged scientific mechanism at the core of
>evolutionary theory.

Your religious beliefs are not at the core of evolutionary theory.

>Actually I was quite kind when I said if you put 10 Darwinists in a
>room and they will produce 13 different definitions of NS.

I have seen one. Where are the other twelve?

>There is no objective definition of NS anywhere to be found.

You have a very short memory. There is one at the beginning of the
post you are responding to.

>NS predicts nothing but claims it does.

You are bearing false witness. You can find counterexamples in
Weiner's _The Beak of the Finch_ and Nesse & Williams' _Why We Get
Sick_, among other literature.

John Harshman

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Mar 24, 2005, 3:41:24 PM3/24/05