Natural selection was metaphor for Survival of the fittest

56 views
Skip to first unread message

backspace

unread,
Sep 8, 2011, 4:14:11 PM9/8/11
to
Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
only a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest' which in turn was an
apt short hand for Patrick Matthew's competitive selection process as
creatures adapted via slow imperceptible *differential* small
accumulative changes, transforming into different species over
millions of years. Problem with this story is if the other creature
came to dominate the ecological niche we would be told the exact same
thing making the proposition indisputable and thus unfalsifiable.

It is when Natural selection( a term ) isn't used as a metaphor that
its usage in a sentence results in a meaningless sentence:
http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Meaningless_sentence.

Since sentences have no meaning, no word or term actually means
anything, one is free to use 'natural selection' as a metaphor for
anything as I did with
http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Preferential_decision

If we can agree on this , I think we would have finally answered Jerry
Fodor's question: What then is the intended meaning of natural
selection?

http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/TauTology has been updated.

RAM

unread,
Sep 8, 2011, 4:27:11 PM9/8/11
to
On Sep 8, 3:14 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
> this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
> only  a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest' which in turn was an
> apt short hand for Patrick Matthew's competitive selection process as
> creatures adapted via slow imperceptible *differential* small
> accumulative changes, transforming into different species over
> millions of years. Problem with this story is if the other creature
> came to dominate the ecological niche we would be told the exact same
> thing making the proposition indisputable and thus unfalsifiable.
>
> It is when Natural selection( a term ) isn't used as a metaphor that
> its usage in a sentence results in a meaningless sentence:http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Meaningless_sentence.
>
> Since sentences have no meaning, no word or term actually means
> anything, one is free to use 'natural selection' as a metaphor for
> anything as I did withhttp://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Preferential_decision
>
> If we can agree on this , I think we would have finally answered Jerry
> Fodor's question: What then is the intended meaning of natural
> selection?
>
> http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/TauTology has been updated.

This is silly. Try searching for and killing head lice or bed bugs.
You will be far more productive.

raven1

unread,
Sep 8, 2011, 5:22:11 PM9/8/11
to
On Thu, 8 Sep 2011 13:14:11 -0700 (PDT), backspace
<steph...@gmail.com> wrote:

>Since sentences have no meaning, no word or term actually means
>anything

Speak for yourself. Oh. You were.

David Hare-Scott

unread,
Sep 8, 2011, 7:32:29 PM9/8/11
to
backspace wrote:
> Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
> this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
> only a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest' which in turn was an
> apt short hand for Patrick Matthew's competitive selection process as
> creatures adapted via slow imperceptible *differential* small
> accumulative changes, transforming into different species over
> millions of years. Problem with this story is if the other creature
> came to dominate the ecological niche we would be told the exact same
> thing making the proposition indisputable and thus unfalsifiable.
>
> It is when Natural selection( a term ) isn't used as a metaphor that
> its usage in a sentence results in a meaningless sentence:
> http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Meaningless_sentence.
>
> Since sentences have no meaning, no word or term actually means
> anything,

Absolutely, stop wasting your time and ours using words until you get a
comprehesion transplant.

D


VoiceOfReason

unread,
Sep 8, 2011, 10:05:07 PM9/8/11
to
On Sep 8, 4:14�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
> this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
> only �a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest'

Not really. It might make sense if you would read the original source
document, focusing on things like natural selection, man's selection,
sexual selection, etc.

http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-origin-of-species/

Friar Broccoli

unread,
Sep 8, 2011, 11:15:47 PM9/8/11
to
On Sep 8, 1:14 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Since sentences have no meaning, no word or term actually means
> anything

That explains the lack of communication.

Arkalen

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 5:42:38 AM9/9/11
to
On 08/09/11 21:14, backspace wrote:
> Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
> this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
> only a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest'

Nope; if anything it would be the other way around, except that I don't
think "survival of the fittest" is a metaphor, technically. More like a
different phrasing. "Survival of the fittest" is a meaningless phrase
once you go beyond the superficial level because it requires the
definition of "fit"; moreover it only imperfectly describes what
actually happens, which is about differential reproduction not
differential survival. Unless we're using "survival" to talk about the
subsistence and spread of a given trait in a given population, in which
case it's yet again sloppy word usage.

So it's "survival of the fittest" that's a "meaningless" (more like
"meaning-poor", really) rephrasing of "natural selection", not the other
way around.

> which in turn was an
> apt short hand for Patrick Matthew's competitive selection process as
> creatures adapted via slow imperceptible *differential* small
> accumulative changes, transforming into different species over
> millions of years.

Oh, so "survival of the fittest" can be an "apt short hand" for a
complex process, but "natural selection" is a "meaningless sentence" ?
You're contradicting yourself.

> Problem with this story is if the other creature
> came to dominate the ecological niche we would be told the exact same
> thing making the proposition indisputable and thus unfalsifiable.

By "the other creature" I'll assume you mean "the other variant, in a
scenario where we're considering the frequency of only two variants in a
population".

Well, you are partly correct in that the match between the environment
and which traits are better adapted to what can be complicated, can make
predicting what will spread where difficult and may lead to situations
where something unexpected happens but we still agree natural selection
happened normally... But the fact is we CAN test natural selection.
There ARE cases where one trait is clearly better for one kind of
environment, where we CAN predict what should happen if natural
selection works. And in those cases we see that natural selection DOES work.

>
> It is when Natural selection( a term ) isn't used as a metaphor that
> its usage in a sentence results in a meaningless sentence:
> http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Meaningless_sentence.
>
> Since sentences have no meaning, no word or term actually means
> anything, one is free to use 'natural selection' as a metaphor for
> anything as I did with
> http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Preferential_decision

Actually, language is a form of communication, so while the
correspondence between a symbol and a concept is mostly arbitrary in
absolute terms, as far as the individual goes the correspondence isn't
arbitrary at all; it exists in a cultural and linguistic context where
you use language to communicate with and be understood by other
individuals, so any word you use needs to be close enough to the
consensus meaning in your group so that others can understand it.

Science is slightly complicated by the fact that everyone needs to agree
on concepts very precisely, so instead of deriving their meaning from a
vague consensus and getting used in metaphorical or hyper/hypobolic ways
all the time, words are defined precisely and explicitly by a group of
people and are expected to be used exactly in that way.

So in other words, the terms "natural selection" aren't arbitrary : they
are common words that approximate the scientific concept of "natural
selection" closely enough that people can assimilate its meaning without
too much difficulty. Other terms or combinations of terms might also
work, but "Preferential decision" in particular is an inferior alternative.

Moreover, if you want to find out what scientific concept "natural
selection" actually refers to independently of what the individual terms
mean, you just need to look it up in a biology textbook.

>
> If we can agree on this , I think we would have finally answered Jerry
> Fodor's question: What then is the intended meaning of natural
> selection?

Look it up in a biology textbook.

backspace

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 7:04:14 AM9/9/11
to
On Sep 9, 10:42 am, Arkalen <arka...@inbox.com> wrote:
> So in other words, the terms "natural selection" aren't arbitrary : they
> are common words that approximate the scientific concept of "natural
> selection" closely enough that people can assimilate its meaning without
> too much difficulty. Other terms or combinations of terms might also
> work, but "Preferential decision" in particular is an inferior alternative.

Reduce:
The terms "natural selection" that approximate the scientific concept
of "natural selection" closely enough that people can assimilate its
meaning without too much difficulty.

Reduce:
The terms "natural selection" approximate the concept of "natural
selection" ....

See how your thinking has become tautological to the point where you
are not really thinking anymore . With a metaphor the aim is to call
up a visual image. When these images clash, it can be taken as certain
that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is
naming; in other words he is not really thinking.

Arkalen

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 7:45:44 AM9/9/11
to
On 09/09/11 12:04, backspace wrote:
> On Sep 9, 10:42 am, Arkalen <arka...@inbox.com> wrote:
>> So in other words, the terms "natural selection" aren't arbitrary : they
>> are common words that approximate the scientific concept of "natural
>> selection" closely enough that people can assimilate its meaning without
>> too much difficulty. Other terms or combinations of terms might also
>> work, but "Preferential decision" in particular is an inferior alternative.
>
> Reduce:
> The terms "natural selection" that approximate the scientific concept
> of "natural selection" closely enough that people can assimilate its
> meaning without too much difficulty.
>
> Reduce:
> The terms "natural selection" approximate the concept of "natural
> selection" ....
>
> See how your thinking has become tautological to the point where you
> are not really thinking anymore .

Nope. Can't you see the difference between a symbol and the concept it
symbolises ? The operative words there were THE TERMS "natural
selection" vs THE CONCEPT of "natural selection".

> With a metaphor the aim is to call
> up a visual image.

It doesn't have to be visual.

> When these images clash, it can be taken as certain
> that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is
> naming; in other words he is not really thinking.
>

Nah. I disagree with some people's allergy to "mixed metaphors". I think
they're great for humorous effect, and the fact is when a metaphor
becomes sufficiently common it becomes less of a "metaphor" and more of
a "common alternate phrasing". It's how language evolves.

That said I don't see what mixing metaphors has to see with the object
vs pointer dichotomy.


backspace

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 8:06:24 AM9/9/11
to
Is Natural Selection all Metaphor? (16 February 1899)

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v59/n1529/abs/059369a0.html


THE Duke of Argyll, in his reply to Mr. Herbert Spencer, says “in
the Darwinian theory there is no selector†(NATURE, February 2, p.
317). Though we have not yet discovered a principle or factor which
plays the part of the breeder in nature, it by no means follows that â
€œnatural selection†is “all metaphor,†nor yet, as has been
often stated, an altogether misleading phrase. The rôle of the
breeder or artificial selector is, I believe, often misunderstood. If
we consider what the art of breeding mainly consists in, we may come
to the conclusion that even the phrase “artificial selection†is,
to a considerable extent, misleading and metaphorical.

It seems to me the art of breeding consists mainly in two things, viz.
(1) producing prepotency, and (2) preventing intercrossing. Prepotency
is produced and maintained by inbreeding. The object of preventing
intercrossing is to arrest, as far as possible, variation and
reversion. If it can be shown that in nature prepotency often arises
either as a sport or through inbreeding, and that prepotency by
arresting the “swamping effects of intercrossing†plays the part
of the fences of the breeder and the cages of the fancier, we shall be
justified in looking upon prepotency as a “selector,†and in
finding more than metaphor in the phrase “natural selection.†We
already know that amongst insects a sport may displace the parent
form; and if, instead of searching for evidence of intersterility as
suggested by Romanes, we search diligently for evidence of prepotency,
we may ere long discover the “selector†—the factor that in
nature, under the control of utility, plays the part of the breeder.

backspace

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 8:24:44 AM9/9/11
to
http://human-nature.com/dm/chap4.html

Around 1899 it seems people became aware that SoF was tautological
bafoonery. In 1872 John Tyndall meant SoF in his Belfast address where
he also cited Lucretius. As the realization began to dawn that saying
SoF makes atheists look really stupid an attempt was made to
disassociate natural selection the metaphor from it.

This view needs further citations and review. I think we only fully
grasped the differences between tautological propositions,
assertions(axioms) and expressions(what happens, happens by a friend
after driving into a tree) round about now.

Arkalen

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 8:53:54 AM9/9/11
to
If you're going to snip everything I said why do you bother posting this
nonsense as a reply to me ?

backspace

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 9:54:31 AM9/9/11
to

Greg Guarino

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 9:53:07 AM9/9/11
to
On 9/8/2011 4:14 PM, backspace wrote:
> Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
> this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
> only a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest'

It really is a shame that Darwin simply wrote "Natural Selection" and
left it at that. If only he had thought to explain himself further,
perhaps in a book.

Greg Guarino

backspace

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 10:11:31 AM9/9/11
to
He was in a flap over the term, hence the letter from Wallace to him.
In his letters he stated he should have used 'natural preservation'
which like natural survival can also be used as a metaphor.

The following is relevant for IC ;

http://measureofdoubt.com/2011/04/06/the-perils-of-metaphorical-thinking/

So far I’ve been discussing implicit metaphors, but explicit metaphors
can also lead us astray without us realizing it. We use one thing to
metaphorically stand in for another because they share some important
property, but then we assume that additional properties of the first
thing must also be shared by the second thing. For example, here’s a
scientist explaining why complex organisms were traditionally assumed
to be more vulnerable to genetic mutations, compared to simpler
organisms: “Think of a hammer and a microscope… One is complex, one is
simple. If you change the length of an arbitrary component of the
system by an inch, for example, you’re more likely to break the
microscope than the hammer.”
That’s true, but the vulnerable complexity of a microscope isn’t the
only kind of complexity. Some systems become more robust to failure as
they become more complex, because of the redundancies that accrue — if
one part fails, there are others to compensate. Power grids, for
example, are built with more power lines than strictly necessary, so
that if one line breaks or becomes overloaded, the power gets rerouted
through other lines. Vulnerability isn’t a function of complexity per
se, but of redundancy. And just because an organism and a microscope
are both complex, doesn’t mean the organism shares the microscope’s
low redundancy.

Bob Casanova

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 1:33:14 PM9/9/11
to
On Thu, 8 Sep 2011 13:14:11 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<steph...@gmail.com>:

>Can't understand...sentences have no meaning, no word or term actually means
>anything...

I think that may explain the content of your posts...

You're welcome.
--

Bob C.

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

Bob Casanova

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 1:38:15 PM9/9/11
to
On Fri, 9 Sep 2011 05:06:24 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<steph...@gmail.com>:

>Is Natural Selection all Metaphor? (16 February 1899)

It wasn't 112 years ago, and it still isn't.

<snip irrelevantia>

Greg Guarino

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 2:02:42 PM9/9/11
to
On 9/9/2011 10:11 AM, backspace wrote:
> On Sep 9, 2:53 pm, Greg Guarino<gdguar...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 9/8/2011 4:14 PM, backspace wrote:
>>
>>> Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
>>> this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
>>> only a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest'
>>
>> It really is a shame that Darwin simply wrote "Natural Selection" and
>> left it at that. If only he had thought to explain himself further,
>> perhaps in a book.
>>
>> Greg Guarino
>
> He was in a flap over the term, hence the letter from Wallace to him.
> In his letters he stated he should have used 'natural preservation'
> which like natural survival can also be used as a metaphor.
>
Irrelevant. He explained what he meant, clearly and eloquently, in a
book that anyone may read for himself. I really do believe that you
occupy your time with "research" into this, which could hardly be more
baffling, or sad.

> The following is relevant for IC ;

It's as relevant as any of your other stuff, at least.

Kermit

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 2:11:51 PM9/9/11
to
I'd be surprised if any of them called it a tautology. But even if so,
what does that have to do with modern science? You really must
drop this idea that ideas do not evolve, and that language is dead,
and we must refrain from straying past the limits of ancient
authorities who are somehow divinely authorized to define new words.

> In 1872 John Tyndall meant SoF in his Belfast address where
> he also cited Lucretius. As the realization began to dawn that saying
> SoF makes atheists look really stupid

Please provide evidence other than your own fantasies that he came
to this idea, or anything similar. What does it have to do with
atheism?

> an attempt was made to
> disassociate natural selection the metaphor from it.

The problem wasn't that it was a metaphor, but that "survival of the
fittest" doesn't cover the same nuances. As has already been
explained to you, natural selection is all about differential
reproduction,
not survival. This has in fact, been explained to you in pretty
nearly
every one of the many hundreds of boring threads you have started.
They are boring because you seem immune to learning, and give
no indication of reading the responses.

>
> This view

Surely "view" is a metaphor.

> needs further citations and review. I think we only fully
> grasped

How can you grasp an idea? It is insubstantial. Unless you're using
it metaphorically. (Your ideas are metaphorically insubstantial as
well.)

> the differences between tautological propositions,
> assertions(axioms) and expressions(what happens, happens by a friend
> after driving into a tree) round about now.

Typo?

Kermit


Arkalen

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 2:29:35 PM9/9/11
to
(2011/09/09 22:54), backspace wrote:
> http://measureofdoubt.com/2011/04/06/the-perils-of-metaphorical-thinking/
>
Yet another reply that snips all that went before and that seems only
distantly related to what it's replying to if at all. Not that it's easy
to tell, what with the snipping.

(yeah, and I don't dignify single links with a click through. Have at
least the courtesy to explain why I should spend time and attention
reading whatever's there)

Care to actually address what people say in a logical fashion ?

backspace

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 2:33:28 PM9/9/11
to
On Sep 9, 7:11 pm, Kermit <unrestrained_h...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > an attempt was made to
> > disassociate natural selection the metaphor from it.

> The problem wasn't that it was a metaphor, but that "survival of the
> fittest" doesn't cover the same nuances. As has already been
> explained to you, natural selection is all about differential
> reproduction, > not survival.

All those that reproduce must per definition survive. Survival <=>
reproduction.



http://www.complexsystems.org/HolDarwin.html
''...............In recent years, evolutionary theorists have come to
recognize that the reductionists, individualists, gene-centered
approach to evolution cannot sufficiently account for the emergence of
complex biological systems over time. Peter A. Corning has been at the
forefront of a new generation of complexity theorists who have been
working to reshape the foundations of evolutionary theory. Well known
for his Synergism Hypothesis- a theory of complexity in evolution that
assigns a key casual role to various forms of functional synergy -
Corning puts this theory into a much broader framework in Holistic
Darwinism, addressing many of the issues and concepts associated with
the evolution of
complex systems.

Corning's paradigm embraces and integrates many related theoretical
developments of recent years, from multilevel selection theory to
niche construction theory, gene-culture coevolution theory, and
theories of self-organization. Offering new approaches to
thermodynamics, information theory, and economic
analysis, Corning suggests how all of these domains can be brought
firmly with in what he characterizes as a post-neo-Darwinism
evolutionary synthesis.


NOTES:
Is complexity used by the author as a metaphor for functionality? You
might have a very complex system that isn't functional. Added
complexity could decrease functionality but increase redundancy.

Any engineering system will be a trade-off between complexity,
functionality and redundancy.

backspace

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 3:13:42 PM9/9/11
to
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/may/27/not-so-natural-selection/

Nothing creates more misunderstanding of the results of scientific
research than scientists’ use of metaphors. It is not only the general
public that they confuse, but their own understanding of nature that
is led astray. The most famous and influential example is Darwin’s
invention of the term “natural selection,” which, he wrote in On the
Origin of Species,

is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every
variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving
and adding up all that is good….

Darwin, quite explicitly, derived this understanding of the motivating
force underlying evolution from the actions of plant and animal
breeders who consciously choose variant individuals with desirable
properties to breed for future generations. “Natural” selection is
human selection writ large. But of course, whatever “nature” may be,
it is not a sentient creature with a will, and any attempt to
understand the actual operation of evolutionary processes must be
freed of its metaphorical baggage.

Unfortunately, even modern evolutionary biologists, as well as
theorists of human social and psychological phenomena who have used
organic evolution as a model for general theories of their own
subjects, are not always conscious of the dangers of the metaphor.
Alfred Russel Wallace, the coinventor of our understanding of
evolution, wrote to Darwin in July 1866 warning him that even
“intelligent persons” were taking the metaphor literally.

Burkhard

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 4:56:32 PM9/9/11
to
On Sep 9, 7:33 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 9, 7:11 pm, Kermit <unrestrained_h...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > an attempt was made to
> > > disassociate natural selection the metaphor from it.
> > The problem wasn't that it was a metaphor, but that "survival of the
> > fittest" doesn't cover the same nuances. As has already been
> > explained to you, natural selection is all about differential
> > reproduction, > not survival.
>
> All those that reproduce must per definition survive. Survival <=>
> reproduction.

Really? So when exactly in your world do childless couples die?
and how can the terms be equivalent if beings can more or less
reproduce
(have 1 child or 10000), but not more or less survive?

David Hare-Scott

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 6:22:04 PM9/9/11
to
Arkalen wrote:
> If you're going to snip everything I said why do you bother posting
> this nonsense as a reply to me ?

Because he is a monomaniac. He can't help himself. Every thread he ever
starts is just a way to hook some new starters into playing interlocutor for
his survival of the fittest tautology schtick. No matter what you say that
will be topic.

David

Steven L.

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 7:03:33 PM9/9/11
to
"backspace" <steph...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:d3873a50-425d-4549...@m18g2000vbe.googlegroups.com:

> Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
> this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
> only a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest' which in turn was an
> apt short hand for Patrick Matthew's competitive selection process as
> creatures adapted via slow imperceptible *differential* small
> accumulative changes, transforming into different species over
> millions of years. Problem with this story is if the other creature
> came to dominate the ecological niche we would be told the exact same
> thing making the proposition indisputable and thus unfalsifiable.

You do realize why today's creationists would not like your "tautology"
argument?

A tautology is defined as a proposition that's vacuously true (its
logical inverse is unsatisfiable). Creationists like to claim that
intelligent creation is the null hypothesis for evolution--its inverse.

If evolution is a tautology, then intelligent creation is unsatisfiable,
meaning that creationists' entire theory can't have any supporting data.



-- Steven L.


Arkalen

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 7:15:36 PM9/9/11
to
It's pretty rich to see you lecturing people on the misuse of metaphors,
when it doesn't appear you even know what a conversation is.

Arkalen

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 7:17:18 PM9/9/11
to
Yeah. I have managed to have some limited back-and-forth once or twice
though. In the past. He seems to be deteriorating.

RAM

unread,
Sep 9, 2011, 7:12:11 PM9/9/11
to
On Sep 9, 3:56 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> On Sep 9, 7:33 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Sep 9, 7:11 pm, Kermit <unrestrained_h...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > > an attempt was made to
> > > > disassociate natural selection the metaphor from it.
> > > The problem wasn't that it was a metaphor, but that "survival of the
> > > fittest" doesn't cover the same nuances. As has already been
> > > explained to you, natural selection is all about differential
> > > reproduction, > not survival.
>
> > All those that reproduce must per definition survive. Survival <=>
> > reproduction.
>
> Really? So when exactly in your world do childless couples die?
> and how can the terms be equivalent if beings can more or less
> reproduce
>  (have 1 child or 10000), but not more or less survive?
>
>
Some points.

1. You are not corresponding with a rational person.

2. He really doesn't understand the empirical side of science.

3. He also does not understand the relationship between scientific
theory/concepts/metaphors and empirical processes that demonstrate
their scientific "raison d'être."

4. His is a mule-headed, a priori religious rejection of evolutionary
science and thus he remains blood thirsty for revenge but he is empty
of real scientific knowledge to do any harm; and as such he much
prefers to suck from the ignorant piss pool of creationism and engage
in rambling empirically illiterate posts about presumed flaws to
evolution.

5. Which of course leads to point #1.

snip

backspace

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 3:34:52 AM9/10/11
to
On Sep 10, 12:03 am, "Steven L." <sdlit...@earthlink.net> wrote:
> "backspace" <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote in message
Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability. We use unfalsifiable
tautological assertions or axioms , they are merely assumed. Godel
showed that in any logical system there will always be something you
must assume and will never be able to prove.

Mike Painter

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 4:14:32 AM9/10/11
to
Not so. As with many other things the phrase has a different meaning in
science then it does in the general public.

"Theory" as in "The theory of evolution." is completely different from
"My theory of who killed the butler is..."

As for survival of the fittest, survival of the just good enough is a
far better term.

backspace

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 6:39:25 AM9/10/11
to
Show me the formally defined Theory of evolution on wikipedia - it
doesn't exist. The page evolution exists, but evolution is a term not
a theory.

backspace

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 7:08:07 AM9/10/11
to

If God could be reduced to a falsifiable construct, He won't be God,
since by definition God is outside of the Godelian wall that hems in
our knowledge. In other words the only way you will have an experience
with God himself is if you unreservedly believe what he tells you as
He thrust his hand through the Godelian wall.


Burkhard

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 7:12:23 AM9/10/11
to
On Sep 10, 8:34�am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 10, 12:03�am, "Steven L." <sdlit...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>
>
> > "backspace" <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> >news:d3873a50-425d-4549...@m18g2000vbe.googlegroups.com:
>
> > > Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
> > > this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
> > > only �a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest' which in turn was an
> > > apt short hand for Patrick Matthew's competitive selection process as
> > > creatures adapted via slow imperceptible *differential* small
> > > accumulative changes, transforming into different species over
> > > millions of years. Problem with this story is if the other creature
> > > came to dominate the ecological niche we would be told the exact same
> > > thing making the proposition indisputable and thus unfalsifiable.
>
> > You do realize why today's creationists would not like your "tautology"
> > argument?
>
> > A tautology is defined as a proposition that's vacuously true (its
> > logical inverse is unsatisfiable). �Creationists like to claim that
> > intelligent creation is the null hypothesis for evolution--its inverse. �
>
> > If evolution is a tautology, then intelligent creation is unsatisfiable,
> > meaning that creationists' entire theory can't have any supporting data.
>
> > -- Steven L.
>
> Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability

Eh, no? The set of falsifiable statements and the set of unfalsifiable
statements are disjunct

>. We use unfalsifiable
> tautological assertions or axioms , they are merely assumed. Godel
> showed that in any logical system there will always be something you
> must assume and will never be able to prove.

As before, wrong as stated and only true for systems of a certain
strength. Nor are Goedel sentences something that we "have to assume"
in order to do logic or logical inferences. they just happen to be
true statements not provable in a certain system X (but typically
provable in a system X+, which then has its won goedel sentence

backspace

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 7:57:49 AM9/10/11
to

Physics equations are a subset of mathematical equations which in turn
use unfalsifiable assertions. Unfalsifiability isn't an absolute
principle. Physics equations are falsifiable, not so with axioms.

backspace

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 8:34:04 AM9/10/11
to
I meant that all math equations use unfalsifiable assertions such as
axioms.

Burkhard

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 9:21:25 AM9/10/11
to

Don't think that makes any sense. Physics equations are a subset of
equations, as a mathematical equations.
That does not make physics equations a subset of mathematical
equations, even if they use mathematical
vocabulary to express certain contingent facts.

VoiceOfReason

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 10:41:04 AM9/10/11
to

Well, if you've actually read that page on Wikipedia, then you realize
that there isn't a single theory of evolution, but that there are a
number of theories involved.

"Evolutionary biologists document the fact that evolution occurs, and
also develop and test theories that explain its causes."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

Free Lunch

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 10:56:01 AM9/10/11
to
On Sat, 10 Sep 2011 04:57:49 -0700 (PDT), backspace
<steph...@gmail.com> wrote in talk.origins:

Do you understand how mathematics works?

backspace

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 12:35:20 PM9/10/11
to

Which makes it unfalsifiable.

backspace

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 12:40:47 PM9/10/11
to
Physics equations as falsifiable constructs must assume unfalsifiable
tautological assertions(axioms). This is consistent with Godel in that
a logical system will assume things it will never be able to prove.
Since we consider ourselves as logical beings and our descriptions as
logical, there will always be something hidden or assumed about our
descriptions.

http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Physics_equations_aren%27t_tautologies

http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Godel%27s_incompleteness_theorem



Mark Isaak

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 1:01:18 PM9/10/11
to
Chez Watt nomination, "black is white (partly)" category:

> Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability.


--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) curioustaxonomy (dot) net
"It is certain, from experience, that the smallest grain of natural
honesty and benevolence has more effect on men's conduct, than the most
pompous views suggested by theological theories and systems." - D. Hume

VoiceOfReason

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 2:05:02 PM9/10/11
to
On Sep 10, 1:01 pm, Mark Isaak <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net>
wrote:
> Chez Watt nomination, "black is white (partly)" category:
>
> > Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability.
>

Seconded, whether it needs it or not.
.

VoiceOfReason

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 2:04:01 PM9/10/11
to
Wrong again. There are many ways to falsify evolution. If a dog
gives birth to a cat, that would falsify evolution as we know it.


Ron O

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 2:40:16 PM9/10/11
to
On Sep 8, 3:27�pm, RAM <ramather...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sep 8, 3:14�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
> > this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
> > only �a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest' which in turn was an
> > apt short hand for Patrick Matthew's competitive selection process as
> > creatures adapted via slow imperceptible *differential* small
> > accumulative changes, transforming into different species over
> > millions of years. Problem with this story is if the other creature
> > came to dominate the ecological niche we would be told the exact same
> > thing making the proposition indisputable and thus unfalsifiable.
>
> > It is when Natural selection( a term ) isn't used as a metaphor that
> > its usage in a sentence results in a meaningless sentence:http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Meaningless_sentence.
>
> > Since sentences have no meaning, no word or term actually means
> > anything, one is free to use 'natural selection' as a metaphor for
> > anything as I did withhttp://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Preferential_decision
>
> > If we can agree on this , I think we would have finally answered Jerry
> > Fodor's question: What then is the intended meaning of natural
> > selection?
>
> >http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/TauTology�has been updated.
>
> This is silly. �Try searching for and killing head lice or bed bugs.
> You will be far more productive.

Backspace has spent years of mental toil to blow it again. You can't
make this junk up.

"Are you sure it isn't time for a colorful metaphor?"

For Backspace the time was likely more than 4 years ago.

Ron Okimoto

Burkhard

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 4:49:26 PM9/10/11
to
I have no idea what you mean by this. If you mean that physics needs
mathematics, that would be true (and Goedel, as an arch-platonist,
would probably have considered mathematical statements non-
tautological and falsifiable anyway)
But unless you follow this line of reasoning, non-falsifiable
mathematical statements and falsifiable physical ones are still
distinct. You can identify the latter simply by looking for non-
logical constants.


> This is consistent with Godel in that
> a logical system will assume things it will never be able to prove.

You seem to confuse two totally different issues. One is whether we
can in a non trivial way prove the axioms of a formal theory in that
theory. The answer is no, but that has nothing to do with Goedel and
was known long before him - you find it in every treatise of the
formalist programme, e.g. David Hilbert's 1918 book "Axiomatic
thought".

The other is if all true statements of mathematics can be proven
within any formal system. The answer is no, that is Goedel's theorem.
There will always be a set of (equivalent) Goedel sentences that are
not provable in a system X - but the Goedel sentences are not the
Axioms of X, nor are they "assumed" when working within X

SortingItOut

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 5:26:09 PM9/10/11
to
On Sep 8, 3:14�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Can't understand why it took me 4 years of research to finally grasp
> this: the wordy term and grammatical gargoyle 'natural selection' was
> only �a metaphor for 'survival of the fittest' which in turn was an
> apt short hand for Patrick Matthew's competitive selection process as
> creatures adapted via slow imperceptible *differential* small
> accumulative changes, transforming into different species over
> millions of years. Problem with this story is if the other creature
> came to dominate the ecological niche we would be told the exact same
> thing making the proposition indisputable and thus unfalsifiable.

There is no problem with the story, and it is not unfalsifiable.
You're still focused on the wrong part of the problem. For some
reason, you think it's necessary to analyze the traits of the
different variants and accurately predict which will be selected over
subsequent generations. But this also requires accurately predicting
how the environment will change (weather conditions, availability of
food, presence and type of predators, etc.). This is extraordinarily
difficult, if not impossible, to do. There are far too many
variables. Yet you seem to think the game is rigged unless we do just
that, that if the "other creature" survives we still claim selection
took place. You're making the logical error of concluding that if this
prediction can't be done, then natural selection is not actually
taking place.

That's like saying that if you can't accurately predict which football
team will win, then player ability and conditioning, and offensive and
defensive strategy have no impact on the outcome of the game. Or that
if you can't predict which company among competing companies will
survive, then business strategy and the economic environment have no
influence on which company will survive. Accurate prediction is
absolutely not necessary. It's irrelevant.

If you want to falsify natural selection, all you have to do is
either:
1) Show that variants do not (or cannot) arise in populations, or
2) Show that the environment does not (or cannot) have an influence on
which variant survives over many generations.

A possible alternative might be to show that natural selection cannot
be observed and analyzed either while it's happening or after the fact
to determine why a variant survived or died out. But this would
probably require that you also claim that a game can't be analyzed to
determine why the winner won, or that businesses and their environment
can't be analyzed to show why a given business survived or failed.

Bob Casanova

unread,
Sep 10, 2011, 8:19:37 PM9/10/11
to
On Sat, 10 Sep 2011 00:34:52 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<steph...@gmail.com>:

<snip>

>Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability.

Like true is a subset of false?

Where *do* you dredge up this nonsense?
--

Bob C.

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

backspace

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 3:23:32 AM9/11/11
to
> >http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/TauTologyhas been updated.

As a metaphor for what did you use natural selection?

backspace

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 3:36:13 AM9/11/11
to
On Sep 10, 7:01�pm, Mark Isaak <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net>
wrote:

tarski showed that truth itself can,t be defined or reduced to a
logical costruct which means that Jesus(truth) can not be reduced to a
logical construct

backspace

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 3:53:56 AM9/11/11
to
On Sep 10, 7:01 pm, Mark Isaak <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net>
wrote:
We are informed that evolution us a fact, so is the axiom: what
happens,happens.
if it is a fact then it is not falsifiable and thus not in the same
league as newton's equations

J. J. Lodder

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 4:39:10 AM9/11/11
to
backspace <steph...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sep 10, 3:41 pm, VoiceOfReason <papa_...@cybertown.com> wrote:
> > On Sep 10, 6:39 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > On Sep 10, 9:14 am, Mike Painter <md.pain...@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> >
> > > > On 9/9/2011 4:04 AM, backspace wrote:
> >
> > > > > On Sep 9, 10:42 am, Arkalen<arka...@inbox.com> wrote:
> > > > >> So in other words, the terms "natural selection" aren't arbitrary
> > > > >> : they are common words that approximate the scientific concept
> > > > >> of "natural selection" closely enough that people can assimilate
> > > > >> its meaning without too much difficulty. Other terms or
> > > > >> combinations of terms might also work, but "Preferential
> > > > >> decision" in particular is an inferior alternative.
> > > > > Reduce:
> > > > > The terms "natural selection" that approximate the scientific concept
> > > > > of "natural selection" closely enough that people can assimilate its
> > > > > meaning without too much difficulty.
> >
> > > > > Reduce:
> > > > > The terms "natural selection" approximate the concept of "natural
> > > > > selection" ..
> >

> > > > > See how your thinking has become tautological to the point where you
> > > > > are not really thinking anymore . With a metaphor the aim is to call
> > > > > up a visual image. When these images clash, it can be taken as certain
> > > > > that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is
> > > > > naming; in other words he is not really thinking.
> >
> > > > Not so. As with many other things the phrase has a different meaning in
> > > > science then it does in the general public.
> >
> > > > "Theory" as in "The theory of evolution." is completely different from
> > > > "My theory of who killed the butler is..."
> >
> > > > As for survival of the fittest, survival of the just good enough is a
> > > > far better term.
> >
> > > Show me the formally defined Theory of evolution on wikipedia - it
> > > doesn't exist. The page evolution exists, but evolution is a term not
> > > a theory.
> >
> > Well, if you've actually read that page on Wikipedia, then you realize
> > that there isn't a single theory of evolution, but that there are a
> > number of theories involved.
>
> Which makes it unfalsifiable.

"So much the worse for falsificationism."

Jan

Burkhard

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 5:23:22 AM9/11/11
to
So God is unfalisfiable (odd expression anyway, sentences or theories,
tat is linguistic entities, are falsifiable, objects)
Doesn't that mean in your own approach that he is a tautology (and
there is some biblical support for this idea, Exodus 3:14 e.g.), and
hence,m in _your own_ analysis, meaningless?

Bob Casanova

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 1:37:21 PM9/11/11
to
On Sun, 11 Sep 2011 00:53:56 -0700 (PDT), the following

appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<steph...@gmail.com>:

>On Sep 10, 7:01�pm, Mark Isaak <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net>
>wrote:

>> Chez Watt nomination, "black is white (partly)" category:

>> > Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability.

>We are informed that evolution us a fact, so is the axiom: what
>happens,happens.

Yes, that which is observed is assumed to happen.

>if it is a fact then it is not falsifiable and thus not in the same
>league as newton's equations

Correct; observations, as contrasted with hypotheses and
theories (which are generalized explanations of
observations) are not usually falsifiable. So?

And what has this to do with your idiotic assertion that
"Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability"? I'm
beginning to believe that you're a bit fuzzy on the meaning
of "subset".

Bob Casanova

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 1:47:16 PM9/11/11
to
On Sun, 11 Sep 2011 00:36:13 -0700 (PDT), the following

appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<steph...@gmail.com>:

>On Sep 10, 7:01�pm, Mark Isaak <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net>
>wrote:

>> Chez Watt nomination, "black is white (partly)" category:

>> > Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability.

>tarski showed that truth itself can,t be defined or reduced to a


>logical costruct which means that Jesus(truth) can not be reduced to a
>logical construct

Do you always respond to comments regarding your incorrect
assertions by posting irrelevancies?

backspace

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 2:13:49 PM9/11/11
to
On Sep 11, 6:37�pm, Bob Casanova <nos...@buzz.off> wrote:
> On Sun, 11 Sep 2011 00:53:56 -0700 (PDT), the following
> appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
> <stephan...@gmail.com>:

>
> >On Sep 10, 7:01 pm, Mark Isaak <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net>
> >wrote:
> >> Chez Watt nomination, "black is white (partly)" category:
> >> > Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability.
> >We are informed that evolution us a fact, so is the axiom: what
> >happens,happens.
>
> Yes, that which is observed is assumed to happen.
>
> >if it is a fact then it is not falsifiable and thus not in the same
> >league as newton's equations
>
> Correct; observations, as contrasted with hypotheses and
> theories (which are generalized explanations of
> observations) are not usually falsifiable. So?
>
> And what has this to do with your idiotic assertion that
> "Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability"? I'm
> beginning to believe that you're a bit fuzzy on the meaning
> of "subset".
> --
>
> Bob C.
>
> "Evidence confirming an observation is
> evidence that the observation is wrong."
> � � � � � � � � � � � � � - McNameless

Best way to view Darwin, matthew, etc usage of selection is as a
metaphor for survival. Thus patrick matthew's 'natural means of
competitive selection' should be ' natural means of competitive
survival'

The English language is one huge metaphorical mess , allowing to
construct Sokal hoax type meaningless sentences:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/04/15/hoax_paper_accepted/
"....We are trying to relate the analytic thinking required in focused
conference sessions, to the synthetic thinking, required for analogies
generation, which calls for multi-focus domain and divergent thinking.
We are trying to promote a synergic relation between analytically and
synthetically oriented minds, as it is found between left and right
brain hemispheres, by means of the corpus callosum....."

Stribling's paper consisted of randomly generated buzzwords munged
into complete English sentences by a madlib-like program, so they were
grammatically correct but meaningless: much like one of Jonathan
Schwartz's weblog entries, or a Cory Doctorow novel.

backspace

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 4:22:55 PM9/11/11
to
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html

''........Selection is not a force in the sense that gravity or the
strong nuclear force is. However, for the sake of brevity, biologists
sometimes refer to it that way. This often leads to some confusion
when biologists speak of selection "pressures." This implies that the
environment "pushes" a population to more adapted state. This is not
the case. Selection merely favors beneficial genetic changes when they
occur by chance -- it does not contribute to their appearance. The
potential for selection to act may long precede the appearance of
selectable genetic variation. When selection is spoken of as a force,
it often seems that it is has a mind of its own; or as if it was
nature personified. This most often occurs when biologists are waxing
poetic about selection. This has no place in scientific discussions of
evolution. Selection is not a guided or cognizant entity; it is simply
an effect.........''

This is wrong, because authors from Matthew, Darwin, Gould , Wilkins,
Dawkins etc. used 'selection' metaphorically - metaphor for what
exactly is the question that is raised.

The object 'selection' is no more an effect, than green is the color
green. Only if we use 'selection' as a metaphor for some effect, does
saying selection is an effect escape being a meaningless sentence. The
question is: metaphor for what? Selection is the metaphor for what
entity that is this actual effect?

backspace

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 2:32:13 PM9/11/11
to
If nobody did the selecting then selection must be a metaphor. If
Selection is used as it is in evolution and the author does not use
selection as a metaphor, it immediately raises the question: who did
the selecting?

With the semantic object selection there isn't any requirement , much
like Green could be used as a metaphor for immature, a point many miss
with Chomsky's Colorless green ideas sleep...

What Chomsky demonstrated is that it is very easy to construct a
meaningless sentence if the an author uses a term such a Green or
Selection in a non metaphorical way.

It is in fact possible to turn Chomsky's sentence into a meaningful
one by invoking the power of metaphor.

1) You have a green light. Could be a physical light, or go ahead with
project
2) The person is green. Could be immature or color green.

Natural Selection does not escape such *metaphorical ambiguity*.
Natural Selection was used by me as a metaphor for
http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Preferential_decision and Howard
agreed that this was allowable.

Remember that no word, sentence or term has an actual meaning. Only
ideas and metaphors as a subset or idea construct has an actual
meaning.

Arkalen

unread,
Sep 11, 2011, 6:51:53 PM9/11/11
to
If you want to see it that way.

> If
> Selection is used as it is in evolution and the author does not use
> selection as a metaphor,

Well, given that selection as it is used in evolution is an impersonal
process with nobody doing the selecting, by the definition you used a
sentence ago the author IS using selection as a metaphor. So your
hypothetical situation never happens.

> it immediately raises the question: who did
> the selecting?

...question which is answered immediately by knowing what natural
selection is. If you don't know what "natural selection" means in
evolutionary biology then you really ought to read an introductory
biology textbook before reading actual scientific papers that use that
word, because believe me it isn't the only vocabulary term you'll have a
problem with.

>
> With the semantic object selection there isn't any requirement , much
> like Green could be used as a metaphor for immature, a point many miss
> with Chomsky's Colorless green ideas sleep...
>
> What Chomsky demonstrated is that it is very easy to construct a
> meaningless sentence if the an author uses a term such a Green or
> Selection in a non metaphorical way.
>
> It is in fact possible to turn Chomsky's sentence into a meaningful
> one by invoking the power of metaphor.
>
> 1) You have a green light. Could be a physical light, or go ahead with
> project
> 2) The person is green. Could be immature or color green.
>
> Natural Selection does not escape such *metaphorical ambiguity*.

Actually it does. It escapes this by being a scientific term with a
precise, pre-defined meaning. Unlike "green", whose literal and
metaphorical meanings are determined by consensus and will thus vary
with time, space and sub-culture, "natural selection" is a term of
professional jargon, and the textbooks and dictionaries that explain its
scientific meaning are prescriptive, not descriptive.

> Natural Selection was used by me as a metaphor for
> http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Preferential_decision and Howard
> agreed that this was allowable.

If you're using it in a non-scientific context I'm sure you can do
whatever you want.

>
> Remember that no word, sentence or term has an actual meaning. Only
> ideas and metaphors as a subset or idea construct has an actual
> meaning.
>

Indeed. So why are you bugging us about the word, sentence or term
"natural selection" instead of addressing the actual meaning of the IDEA
involved ?


backspace

unread,
Sep 12, 2011, 12:38:15 AM9/12/11
to
> >http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Preferential_decisionand Howard
> > agreed that this was allowable.
>
> If you're using it in a non-scientific context I'm sure you can do
> whatever you want.
>
>
>
> > Remember that no word, sentence or term has an actual meaning. Only
> > ideas and metaphors as a subset or idea construct has an actual
> > meaning.
>
> Indeed. So why are you bugging us about the word, sentence or term
> "natural selection" instead of addressing the actual meaning of the IDEA
> involved ?

Wikipedia tells us that ns is the non-random process by which things
become more or less common. Which means that by the process of
natural(undirected) competitive survival(selection) creatures become
more or less common, dominating en ecological niche.

In previous revisions that formulated it tautologically:
Those creature that are more competitive become more common and those
less competitive less common
(more competitive <=> more common). Now follows the non-sequitur:
those that became more common transformed into new species. Also note
that the latest wikipedia ns revision is an arbitrary revision by an
unknown arbitrary author. It isn't Dawkins or Wilkins that wrote
that.

There are no citations for the historical context and knowledge
background to the opening paragraph. I am continually told how stupid
I am for not understanding ns(metaphorically or otherwize). May I
suggest that if one actually thinks he as has clue as to what is meant
with the opening paragraph, he might be less enlightened.


Bob Casanova

unread,
Sep 12, 2011, 5:14:57 PM9/12/11
to
On Sun, 11 Sep 2011 11:32:13 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<steph...@gmail.com>:
"Falsifiability is a subset of unfalsifiability"? I'm now
certain that you don't know the meaning of "subset".

Since this seems to perpetually elude you, Sparky, let me
make it crystal clear: Nothing can be a subset of its
diametric opposite.

Bob Casanova

unread,
Sep 12, 2011, 5:16:47 PM9/12/11