Natural Selection not only means of modification - Darwin

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Jun 20, 2007, 1:43:40 PM6/20/07
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Darwin quote:
I have now recapitulated the facts and considerations which have
thoroughly convinced me that species have been modified, during a long
course of descent. This has been effected chiefly through the natural
selection of numerous successive, slight, favourable variations; aided
in an important manner by the inherited effects of the use and disuse
of parts; and in an unimportant manner, that is, in relation to
adaptive structures, whether past or present, by the direct action of
external conditions, and by variations which seem to us in our
ignorance to arise spontaneously.

It appears that I formerly underrated the frequency and value of these
latter forms of variation, as leading to permanent modifications of
structure independently of natural selection. But as my conclusions
have lately been much misrepresented, and it has been stated that I
attribute the modification of species exclusively to natural
selection, I may be permitted to remark that in the first edition of
this work, and subsequently, I placed in a most conspicuous position--
namely, at the close of the Introduction--the following words: "I am
convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the
exclusive means of modification."

This has been of no avail. Great is the power of steady
misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately
this power does not long endure.
--------
Darwin:
"....As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight,
successive, favourable variations, it can produce no great or sudden
modifications; it can act only by short and slow steps....."

So Natural Selection "modifies" and "acts" by accumulating slight
favourable variations in slow steps and this this Natural Selection is
not the only means that modification takes place. What other means of
modification are there? We now even have Directional Selection and
Quantum Selection.

So what version of "Natural Selection" was Gould going on about with
his punctuated equilibrium then? He said evolution takes place by
sudden jumps. Dawkins would agree and it seems Darwin as well.

backspace

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Jun 20, 2007, 1:51:21 PM6/20/07
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On Jun 20, 7:43 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> So what version of "Natural Selection" was Gould going on about with
> his punctuated equilibrium then? He said evolution takes place by
> sudden jumps. Dawkins would agree and it seems Darwin as well.

I meant Dawkins would disagree and it seems Darwin as well.


John Harshman

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Jun 20, 2007, 1:59:06 PM6/20/07
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backspace wrote:

> Darwin quote:
> I have now recapitulated the facts and considerations which have
> thoroughly convinced me that species have been modified, during a long
> course of descent. This has been effected chiefly through the natural
> selection of numerous successive, slight, favourable variations; aided
> in an important manner by the inherited effects of the use and disuse
> of parts; and in an unimportant manner, that is, in relation to
> adaptive structures, whether past or present, by the direct action of
> external conditions, and by variations which seem to us in our
> ignorance to arise spontaneously.
>
> It appears that I formerly underrated the frequency and value of these
> latter forms of variation, as leading to permanent modifications of
> structure independently of natural selection. But as my conclusions
> have lately been much misrepresented, and it has been stated that I
> attribute the modification of species exclusively to natural
> selection, I may be permitted to remark that in the first edition of
> this work, and subsequently, I placed in a most conspicuous position--
> namely, at the close of the Introduction--the following words: "I am
> convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the
> exclusive means of modification."
>
> This has been of no avail. Great is the power of steady
> misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately
> this power does not long endure.

That last sentence is ironic, considering your steady misrepresentation
of everything in evolutionary biology.

> --------
> Darwin:
> "....As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight,
> successive, favourable variations, it can produce no great or sudden
> modifications; it can act only by short and slow steps....."
>
> So Natural Selection "modifies" and "acts" by accumulating slight
> favourable variations in slow steps and this this Natural Selection is
> not the only means that modification takes place. What other means of
> modification are there? We now even have Directional Selection and
> Quantum Selection.

I've never heard of Quantum Selection. Directional selection is pretty
simple: it's selection that moves the population mean in some constant
direction away from its previous mean, as opposed to stabilizing
selection, which keeps the mean where it is.

We know there are other means of modification other than natural
selection, of which drift is perhaps the most important. We also know
that most of the other mechanisms considered by Darwin don't actually
exist -- he was thinking of the effects of use and disuse, for example.

> So what version of "Natural Selection" was Gould going on about with
> his punctuated equilibrium then? He said evolution takes place by
> sudden jumps. Dawkins would agree and it seems Darwin as well.

Gould said no such thing, nor would Dawkins or Darwin agree with such a
claim. Gould had occasional flirtations with saltationism and
macromutation, but those had nothing to do with punctuated equilibrium.
How can you presume to lecture on evolutionary biology when it's
apparent from your posts that you know nothing about it?

John Harshman

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Jun 20, 2007, 2:01:03 PM6/20/07
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backspace wrote:

And so would Gould. You are misreading Gould, if indeed you have read
him at all.

backspace

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Jun 20, 2007, 2:56:05 PM6/20/07
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On Jun 20, 7:59 pm, John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net>
wrote:

> That last sentence is ironic, considering your steady misrepresentation
> of everything in evolutionary biology.
What is evolutionary biology?

> I've never heard of Quantum Selection.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_darwinism What would be the
difference between quantum darwinism and quantum selection?

> Directional selection is pretty
> simple: it's selection that moves the population mean in some constant
> direction away from its previous mean, as opposed to stabilizing
> selection, which keeps the mean where it is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directional_selection
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabilizing_selection
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_selection
I will read these articles to see what wikipedia says.

> How can you presume to lecture on evolutionary biology when it's
> apparent from your posts that you know nothing about it?

So help me out by making your intent clear with "selection" and
telling me what was Darwin's pragmatics or intent with "Selection" and
what is the author's intent with "Selection" in Quantum_Darwinism. In
what way would Darwin's usage of "Selection" relate to the way the
author of Quantum Darwinism uses Selection?
What was Darwin's pragmatics and what is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Zurek
pragmatics or intent with
"Selection". What do we mean by "Selection"?

Lorentz

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Jun 20, 2007, 2:57:36 PM6/20/07
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> > So what version of "Natural Selection" was Gould going on about with
> > his punctuated equilibrium then? He said evolution takes place by
> > sudden jumps. Dawkins would agree and it seems Darwin as well.
>
> I meant Dawkins would disagree and it seems Darwin as well.

Gould qualified his statement later, but it was too late. The
"jumps" described by the punctuated equilibrium models are not
saltations. They don't occur in one generation. They are still the
accumulated summation of smaller variations which are mostly random
with respect to function. Dawkins has written an essay specifically
saying this. Darwin most definitely did not think that evolution for
the most part occurred in sudden steps. I have read several books by
Darwin, and he in just about everyone he shows evidence that evolution
occurs gradually. In fact, I think that is still the consensus.

The punctuated equilibrium idea is being misrepresented. It's a
scientifically valid concept, but I'm afraid X-files and Creationists
both got it wrong. Darwin and Dawkins did not.

backspace

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Jun 20, 2007, 3:30:19 PM6/20/07
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On Jun 20, 8:57 pm, Lorentz <drosen0...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > So what version of "Natural Selection" was Gould going on about with
> > > his punctuated equilibrium then? He said evolution takes place by
> > > sudden jumps. Dawkins would agree and it seems Darwin as well.
> > I meant Dawkins would disagree and it seems Darwin as well.

> Gould qualified his statement later, but it was too late. The
> "jumps" described by the punctuated equilibrium models are not
> saltations. They don't occur in one generation. They are still the
> accumulated summation of smaller variations which are mostly random
> with respect to function.

What is your intent with random since nobody knows what "randomness"
means and Darwin never said anything is random. Infact he later
qualified his usage of "Chance" by stating that it is an "....
incorrect expression..." This RM stuff only surfaced around 1910. You
would have to get either the authors pragmatics with RM in 1910 or
state your pragmatics or intent with RM. Until you do you are not even
wrong.

> I have read several books by Darwin, and he in just about everyone he shows evidence that evolution
> occurs gradually. In fact, I think that is still the consensus.

I presume you meant Dawkins instead of Darwin and mistyped?
What exactly occurs gradually? Does evolution occur gradually or
Natural Selection.

Ernest Major

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Jun 20, 2007, 3:39:43 PM6/20/07
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In message <1182365765.3...@q75g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>,
backspace <sawirel...@yahoo.com> writes

>On Jun 20, 7:59 pm, John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net>
>wrote:
>> That last sentence is ironic, considering your steady misrepresentation
>> of everything in evolutionary biology.
>What is evolutionary biology?
>
>> I've never heard of Quantum Selection.
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_darwinism What would be the
>difference between quantum darwinism and quantum selection?

Quantum Darwinism is a theory (interpretation?) of Quantum Mechanics,
and as such has little to do directly with biological evolution. If, as
you suggest, Quantum Selection is the same thing, then it also has
little to do directly with biological evolution.


>
>> Directional selection is pretty
>> simple: it's selection that moves the population mean in some constant
>> direction away from its previous mean, as opposed to stabilizing
>> selection, which keeps the mean where it is.
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directional_selection
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabilizing_selection
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_selection
>I will read these articles to see what wikipedia says.
>
>> How can you presume to lecture on evolutionary biology when it's
>> apparent from your posts that you know nothing about it?
>So help me out by making your intent clear with "selection" and
>telling me what was Darwin's pragmatics or intent with "Selection" and
>what is the author's intent with "Selection" in Quantum_Darwinism. In
>what way would Darwin's usage of "Selection" relate to the way the
>author of Quantum Darwinism uses Selection?
>What was Darwin's pragmatics and what is
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Zurek
>pragmatics or intent with
>"Selection". What do we mean by "Selection"?
>

--
alias Ernest Major

Greg Guarino

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Jun 20, 2007, 3:47:05 PM6/20/07
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On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 11:56:05 -0700, backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>> I've never heard of Quantum Selection.
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_darwinism What would be the
>difference between quantum darwinism and quantum selection?

It seems that language and information are all just tools of
obfuscation to you. Whatever the value of the idea of "quantum
darwinism", you do understand that it has nothing to do with biology,
don't you? I got that by skimming the page you linked to.

Greg Guarino

backspace

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Jun 20, 2007, 4:19:15 PM6/20/07
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On Jun 20, 9:47 pm, Greg Guarino <g...@risky-biz.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 11:56:05 -0700, backspace
>
> <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >> I've never heard of Quantum Selection.
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_darwinism What would be the
> >difference between quantum darwinism and quantum selection?
>
> It seems that language and information are all just tools of
> obfuscation to you. Whatever the value of the idea of "quantum
> darwinism", you do understand that it has nothing to do with biology,
> don't you? I got that by skimming the page you linked to.

Well confusion abounds. Somebody around here posted that Darwin
reluctantly adapted "evolution" because the term meant the unrolling
of precreated forms and Darwin objected to the idea of species being
precreated or something to that effect. If the person would repost and
clarify for us all please. In anycase Darwin hijacked a word that had
specific intent as used by authors before him. If we now read a book
containing "evolution" say from 1830 and we don't get the pragmatics
of "evolution" we will completely missunderstand the author.

By the way how long has "evolutoin" the word been in circulation and
how has its meaing or pragmatics changed? Because at present we have
one of the biggest language disasters mankind has ever seen. The
English language itself is now under assualt from language terrorists
with the latest fiasco Quantum Darwinims. Thing are going language
wise from bad to worse. I think as a historical obsersvation we have
never witnessed an entire culture use
words such as "evolution" , "random", "selection" without any form of
pragmatics and thus forming meaningless statement after meaningless
statement. I will post another thread delving into this whole Random
Mutation mess for
example a statement Darwin never made.


Lorentz

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Jun 20, 2007, 4:45:48 PM6/20/07
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> It seems that language and information are all just tools of
> obfuscation to you. Whatever the value of the idea of "quantum
> darwinism", you do understand that it has nothing to do with biology,
> don't you? I got that by skimming the page you linked to.
>
> Greg Guarino

I skimmed it did, too. It's amazing, isn't it? The article has
nothing, I mean nothing, to do with biology, evolution, or origins at
all. Derdag completely misrepresents it. I would be sorry to see
Derdag banned. Suppressing Derdag would be a blow against atheism.

Grandbank

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Jun 20, 2007, 4:48:19 PM6/20/07
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On Jun 20, 1:19 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>


Zzzzzzz Zzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzz (snort) Huh? Wazzat? Zzzzzzzzzz
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


John Harshman

unread,
Jun 20, 2007, 5:12:14 PM6/20/07
to
backspace wrote:

> On Jun 20, 7:59 pm, John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net>
> wrote:
>
>>That last sentence is ironic, considering your steady misrepresentation
>>of everything in evolutionary biology.
>
> What is evolutionary biology?

If you have to ask, what are you doing criticizing it? It's the field of
biology that studies evolution. I would think that would be obvious,
even if you had never encountered the term before.

>>I've never heard of Quantum Selection.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_darwinism What would be the
> difference between quantum darwinism and quantum selection?

I think there would be no difference. Do you understand that this is a
theory about physics and has nothing to do with biological evolution?

>>Directional selection is pretty
>>simple: it's selection that moves the population mean in some constant
>>direction away from its previous mean, as opposed to stabilizing
>>selection, which keeps the mean where it is.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directional_selection
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabilizing_selection
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_selection
> I will read these articles to see what wikipedia says.
>
>
>>How can you presume to lecture on evolutionary biology when it's
>>apparent from your posts that you know nothing about it?
>
> So help me out by making your intent clear with "selection" and
> telling me what was Darwin's pragmatics or intent with "Selection"

Darwin used "selection" as a metaphor. Perhaps you could mentally
replace it with "sorting", or some other neutral word that doesn't imply
consciousness, if for some reason the word disturbs you. Since it's
clear to everyone what Darwin meant by "natural selection", i.e. the
spread within a population of variations that conferred a reproductive
advantage, I don't think we have to delve into the individual words.

> and
> what is the author's intent with "Selection" in Quantum_Darwinism. In
> what way would Darwin's usage of "Selection" relate to the way the
> author of Quantum Darwinism uses Selection?

I could try to explain this, but it seems better to say that any
resemblance or difference between Quantum Darwinism/Selection and
biology has nothing to do with biology. So if biology is what you want
to talk about, there is no point in asking that question. But it looks
as if some physicist has produced an analogy.

> What was Darwin's pragmatics and what is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Zurek
> pragmatics or intent with
> "Selection". What do we mean by "Selection"?

Generally, in biology, we mean "natural selection". Do you understand
what "natural selection" means? It's been explained to you several
times. In modern terms, it's the differential reproduction of
individuals correlated with genotype. What do you mean by "Selection"?
What is it about the biological use of the term that you don't understand?

Rolf

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Jun 20, 2007, 4:43:01 PM6/20/07
to

"John Harshman" <jharshman....@pacbell.net> wrote in message
news:KVdei.15336$2v1....@newssvr14.news.prodigy.net...
I cannot refer to a precise quote right here and now; bu ti know I have read
that Darwin himself actually suggested that evolution did not always have to
be a slow, steady process, but also could make - not saltations, accelerate
at times.
Not good phrasing, but hope some sense there anyway. Too tired to change it.

Lorentz

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Jun 20, 2007, 5:44:45 PM6/20/07
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On Jun 20, 4:19 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 20, 9:47 pm, Greg Guarino <g...@risky-biz.com> wrote:
>
> > On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 11:56:05 -0700, backspace
>
> > <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > >> I've never heard of Quantum Selection.
> > >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_darwinism What would be the
> > >difference between quantum darwinism and quantum selection?
>
> > It seems that language and information are all just tools of
> > obfuscation to you. Whatever the value of the idea of "quantum
> > darwinism", you do understand that it has nothing to do with biology,
> > don't you? I got that by skimming the page you linked to.
>
> Well confusion abounds. Somebody around here posted that Darwin
> reluctantly adapted "evolution" because the term meant the unrolling
> of precreated forms and Darwin objected to the idea of species being
> precreated or something to that effect. If the person would repost and
> clarify for us all please. In anycase Darwin hijacked a word that had
> specific intent as used by authors before him. If we now read a book
> containing "evolution" say from 1830 and we don't get the pragmatics
> of "evolution" we will completely missunderstand the author.
>
> By the way how long has "evolutoin" the word been in circulation and
> how has its meaing or pragmatics changed? Because at present we have
> one of the biggest language disasters mankind has ever seen. The
> English language itself is now under assualt from language terrorists
> with the latest fiasco Quantum Darwinims.

You have a severe problem with synonyms. You probably think that
a "baseball bat" is a mammal that flies around a stadium and feeds on
foul balls. You probably think that "snow birds" are retirees who grow
feathers before they go to live in Florida. You think that the "grand
ball" is a spherical object. You think that when someone is accussed
of "battery," they are being accused of generating electric voltage by
electrolytic means. Or maybe "battery" is acting like a flying mammal
who feeds on foul balls.

When I say that your syntax and grammar suck, I hope you
understand that I am applying both pragmatics and intent to better
describe your own assault on the English language. I really don't want
anyone out there picturing "syntax" and "grammar," blowing
"pragmatics" and "intent." Please, don't picture it. I also like your
the use of the word "assault" as applied to the English language. When
I spoke with the English language just the other day, she said that
she didn't feel assaulted. She felt it was a case of battery.

I am a physicist. I have studied "quantum evolution," "evolutionary
operators," "evolution of the density matrix," and even "molecular
species" without ever confusing them with the dissimilar concepts used
in biology. I frequently apply the word random to complex classical
systems, even though I know that by definition the physics of a
classical system are determined by initial conditions. No, I don't
know what the initial conditions are. That is why I call them random.
One of the reasons that often select batteries over electric
generators is that batteries have smaller random variations than
electric generators.

Although a physicist, I did take the time to read a couple of
Darwin's books. I note that he never used the word evolution in any of
his books, so if anyone hijacked the word it wasn't him. I do like to
visit forts from Darwin's time though, and I really like to examine
their batteries.

I am sorry that you have reading disability. Next time, ask a
fourth grader to skim the entire article for you before you post the
link.

backspace

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Jun 20, 2007, 5:47:57 PM6/20/07
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On Jun 20, 11:12 pm, John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net>
wrote:

> >>How can you presume to lecture on evolutionary biology when it's
> >>apparent from your posts that you know nothing about it?
> > So help me out by making your intent clear with "selection" and
> > telling me what was Darwin's pragmatics or intent with "Selection"

> Darwin used "selection" as a metaphor. Perhaps you could mentally
> replace it with "sorting", or some other neutral word that doesn't imply
> consciousness, if for some reason the word disturbs you. Since it's
> clear to everyone what Darwin meant by "natural selection", i.e. the
> spread within a population of variations that conferred a reproductive
> advantage, I don't think we have to delve into the individual words.

Darwin never said "reproductive advantage" or "reproductive success".
In what way do you relate "reproductive advantage" with any passage in
OriginSpecies. Quote me a passage in Origin.
We don't know what Darwin's intent was with "Natural Selection". He
spoke of "unconscious selection" about 11 tiems. How would you relate
Darwin's "unconsciouss selection by man" with "Natural Selection" in
trying to unearth Darwin's pragmatics with each usage of "selection"?


> > What was Darwin's pragmatics and what ishttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Zurek


> > pragmatics or intent with
> > "Selection". What do we mean by "Selection"?

> It's been explained to you several
> times. In modern terms, it's the differential reproduction of
> individuals correlated with genotype. What do you mean by "Selection"?
> What is it about the biological use of the term that you don't understand?

Darwin never said "Differential reproduction" - what is your intent
with this phrase?


alwaysaskingquestions

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Jun 20, 2007, 6:31:32 PM6/20/07
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"backspace" <sawirel...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1182370755.0...@u2g2000hsc.googlegroups.com...

[...]

>Thing are going language wise from bad to worse.

[...]


Lorentz

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Jun 20, 2007, 6:39:28 PM6/20/07
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> > By the way how long has "evolutoin" the word been in circulation and
> > how has its meaing or pragmatics changed? Because at present we have
> > one of the biggest language disasters mankind has ever seen. The
> > English language itself is now under assualt from language terrorists
> > with the latest fiasco Quantum Darwinims.
>
> You have a severe problem with synonyms.

I meant homonyms, not synonyms. Oh, nnnnnooooooo.....

Well, allow me to correct myself. I meant homonyms. It wasn't
assault or battery against the English language. It was an accident.
My pragmatics and intent was good. My syntax and grammar was way off.
Still, Derdag really doesn't know how to handle homonyms. This is
really a bad problem with many Creationists.

Derdag's use of the word random and selection is also an assault
to all mathematicians. His implication is that even actuaries don't
know how to use the words which are their tools. It sounds almost as
though Derdag has never performed a mathematical calculation, let
alone a mathematical analysis. Derdag's reasoning concerning "random
mutations" appears to me to be mathematically illiterate. Also the way
he uses the word selection appears to me extremely ignorant. How do he
know that the biologists aren't using the word "random" correctly? He
claims to have this pragmatics of the use of words, but I don't think
he really know the pragmatics of mathematical applications. He
distantly refers to them.

The evidence seems to be that Derdag has both a reading and a
mathematics disability. Derdag, how well did you do in trigonometry?

John Harshman

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Jun 20, 2007, 7:17:09 PM6/20/07
to
backspace wrote:

> On Jun 20, 11:12 pm, John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net>
> wrote:
>
>>>>How can you presume to lecture on evolutionary biology when it's
>>>>apparent from your posts that you know nothing about it?
>>>
>>>So help me out by making your intent clear with "selection" and
>>>telling me what was Darwin's pragmatics or intent with "Selection"
>
>
>>Darwin used "selection" as a metaphor. Perhaps you could mentally
>>replace it with "sorting", or some other neutral word that doesn't imply
>>consciousness, if for some reason the word disturbs you. Since it's
>>clear to everyone what Darwin meant by "natural selection", i.e. the
>>spread within a population of variations that conferred a reproductive
>>advantage, I don't think we have to delve into the individual words.
>
> Darwin never said "reproductive advantage" or "reproductive success".
> In what way do you relate "reproductive advantage" with any passage in
> OriginSpecies. Quote me a passage in Origin.

Like many people, I am intelligent enough to discern the same meanings
even when stated in different words. This is a valuable skill which you
should consider picking up.

I won't quote it all, since it's too long, but the first paragraph of
Chapter IV (6th edition) says exactly this. I'll give you one sentence:
"If such do occur [talking about favorable variations], can we doubt
(remembering that many more individuals are born than can possibly
survive) that any individuals having any advantage, however slight, over
others, would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their
kind?" But I would recommend a close reading of all of Chapter IV if you
are confused.

> We don't know what Darwin's intent was with "Natural Selection". He
> spoke of "unconscious selection" about 11 tiems. How would you relate
> Darwin's "unconsciouss selection by man" with "Natural Selection" in
> trying to unearth Darwin's pragmatics with each usage of "selection"?

Your use of language seems intended to obscure any meaning rather than
reveal it. Why? Unconscious selection is certainly a closer approach to
natural selection than is artificial selection. In fact it's merely
referring to humans as agents of natural selection: we constitute a part
of the environment of many species, whether we care or not, whether we
know or not, and we affect, in the same way as other environmental
factors, which variations are advantageous and which are deleterious. As
simple as that.

>>>What was Darwin's pragmatics and what ishttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Zurek
>>>pragmatics or intent with
>>>"Selection". What do we mean by "Selection"?
>>
>>It's been explained to you several
>>times. In modern terms, it's the differential reproduction of
>>individuals correlated with genotype. What do you mean by "Selection"?
>>What is it about the biological use of the term that you don't understand?
>
> Darwin never said "Differential reproduction" - what is your intent
> with this phrase?

My intent is to be pithy, by which I mean simultaneously brief and
clear. Who cares what phrases Darwin used? If so, why? Do you know what
"differential" means? Do you know what "reproduction" means? Can you put
those two words together so as to make some kind of sense? What do you
think "differential reproduction" might mean? I think you are being
deliberately obtuse.

g...@risky-biz.com

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Jun 20, 2007, 9:47:25 PM6/20/07
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On Jun 20, 4:19 pm, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 20, 9:47 pm,Greg Guarino<g...@risky-biz.com> wrote:
>
> > On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 11:56:05 -0700, backspace
>
> > <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > >> I've never heard of Quantum Selection.
> > >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_darwinism What would be the
> > >difference between quantum darwinism and quantum selection?
>
> > It seems that language and information are all just tools of
> > obfuscation to you. Whatever the value of the idea of "quantum
> > darwinism", you do understand that it has nothing to do with biology,
> > don't you? I got that by skimming the page you linked to.
>
> Well confusion abounds.

Not really. I don't believe that anyone is as dense and
uncomprehending as you are pretending to be. You have latched on to a
rather transparent bit of schtick that you think works for you.

>Somebody around here posted that Darwin
> reluctantly adapted "evolution" because the term meant the unrolling
> of precreated forms and Darwin objected to the idea of species being
> precreated or something to that effect. If the person would repost and
> clarify for us all please. In anycase Darwin hijacked a word that had
> specific intent as used by authors before him.

Which is the way language usually works. "Horseless carriage" springs
to mind. Even "automobile" is a combination of older forms. I was in
my twenties before I realized why the black vinyl disks we played
music from were called "albums". My parents still have some of the
actual 78 rpm albums: a dozen or so single-song records in a book of
envelope-like sleeves, much like a photo album.

>If we now read a book
> containing "evolution" say from 1830 and we don't get the pragmatics
> of "evolution" we will completely missunderstand the author.

I very much doubt that most people would, unless perhaps they really
wanted to misunderstand. It is of course true that the further you go
back the more the language and life in general will have changed.
There may be a little bit of confusion. But what you suggest is
entirely artificial; it only exists in the universe of questionable
rhetorical devices. Most of us who read read more than two or three
words at a time. This "secret" is how we manage to decipher the
author's intent, even if he uses words with more than one meaning.

> By the way how long has "evolutoin" the word been in circulation and
> how has its meaing or pragmatics changed? Because at present we have
> one of the biggest language disasters mankind has ever seen.

A bit of hyperbole (hint: it's not a curve), but I agree; those 1400+
posts on whether or not humans can be called apes is a testament to
obstinacy and misapplied zeal.

>The
> English language itself is now under assualt from language terrorists
> with the latest fiasco Quantum Darwinims.

Oh, you meant something else...

> Thing are going language
> wise from bad to worse. I think as a historical obsersvation we have
> never witnessed an entire culture use
> words such as "evolution" , "random", "selection" without any form of
> pragmatics and thus forming meaningless statement after meaningless
> statement.

Your thesis seems to be that every biologist in the world is spewing
out words without their colleagues understanding them, or they
themselves. It's amazing they managed to lick that genome thing, isn't
it?

Greg Guarino


The Enigmatic One

unread,
Jun 20, 2007, 10:00:37 PM6/20/07
to
In article <1182370755.0...@u2g2000hsc.googlegroups.com>,
sawirel...@yahoo.com says...

>By the way how long has "evolutoin" the word been in circulation and
>how has its meaing or pragmatics changed? Because at present we have
>one of the biggest language disasters mankind has ever seen. The
>English language itself is now under assualt from language terrorists
>with the latest fiasco Quantum Darwinims. Thing are going language
>wise from bad to worse. I think as a historical obsersvation we have
>never witnessed an entire culture use
>words such as "evolution" , "random", "selection" without any form of
>pragmatics and thus forming meaningless statement after meaningless
>statement. I will post another thread delving into this whole Random
>Mutation mess for
>example a statement Darwin never made.

Wow.

You are so amazingly stupid.


-Tim

VoiceOfReason

unread,
Jun 20, 2007, 10:50:34 PM6/20/07
to
On Jun 20, 10:00 pm, t...@again.spammers (The Enigmatic One) wrote:
> In article <1182370755.094756.224...@u2g2000hsc.googlegroups.com>,
> sawireless2...@yahoo.com says...

Dunno about stupid, exactly... I think it takes exceptional mental
dexterity to come up with new and creative ways to rationalize
irrational thought.

backspace

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 2:12:10 AM6/21/07
to
On Jun 21, 1:17 am, John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net>
wrote:

> Your use of language seems intended to obscure any meaning rather than
> reveal it. Why? Unconscious selection is certainly a closer approach to
> natural selection than is artificial selection. In fact it's merely
> referring to humans as agents of natural selection: we constitute a part
> of the environment of many species, whether we care or not, whether we
> know or not, and we affect, in the same way as other environmental
> factors, which variations are advantageous and which are deleterious. As
> simple as that.

Slow though the process of selection may be, if feeble man can do much
by
ARTIFICIAL SELECTION, I can see no limit to the amount of change, to
the
beauty and complexity of the coadaptations between all organic beings,
one
with another and with their physical conditions of life, which may
have
been effected in the long course of time through nature's power of
selection, that is by the survival of the fittest.

We don't know what Darwin's intent was with "survival of the fittest".
Some say it is a tautology we will have to ask Darwin oneday. Notice
that AS was only coined by Darwin in 1859. For thousands of years
before he mucked up the English language people have been breeding
animals for their traits without calling themselves "feeble" in
relation to
nature's power of selection...

Now is nature a force or a power? Most around here when I asked "What
naturaled and who did the Selecting" said no, no nobody did the
selecting. And asked according to whom? According to Darwin. Darwin is
dead so we can't ask him what was his intent with Artificial Selection
as a some sort of antonym to Natural Selection.
In other words if nobody did the "selecting" that is according to you
my dear evolutionist. You are say saying so by your reasoning. The
phrase "Natural Selection" depends on each person's intent. Nobody can
tell me who has established that nobody did the "selectingi" and could
anybody have. The phrase "Natural Selection" as used by each person
with his particular intent might or might not be the same intent
Darwin have - Darwin didn't know about genes and his intent wasn't
anything "randomish" as this quote proves.

".....I have hitherto sometimes spoken as if the variations--so common
and multiform with organic beings under domestication, and in a lesser
degree with those under nature--were DUE TO CHANCE. This, of course is
a wholly incorrect expression, but it serves to acknowledge plainly
our ignorance of the cause of each particular variation....."

What we have is the following:
Charles Darwin Theory of Evolution with whatever was his intent, we
don't know.
Dr.Wilkins Theory of Evolution with his intent - ask him.
Jerry Coyne Theory of Evolution with his intent - ask him.
Dembski Theory of Evolution with his intent - ask him.
Ken Ham Theory of Evolution with his intent - ask him.
Richard Dawkins Theory of Evolution with his particular pragmatics -
ask him.

We don't have one Theory of Evolution , no we have thousands of
versions where people use the prhase
Theory of Evolution and until they tell you what is their intent with
the phrase they are not even wrong.
And the same goes for "Natural Selection" there are thousands of
versions each person with his own particular intent. Just the look at
the thread "common ancestor between man and ape" hijacked by UC which
shows that evolutionists each has his own theory. They just all try to
provide some sort of united front in their usage of "Natural
Selection" by using it as though Darwin had the same intent each
evolutionist has today.

Lorentz

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 2:21:36 AM6/21/07
to
> Dunno about stupid, exactly... I think it takes exceptional mental
> dexterity to come up with new and creative ways to rationalize
> irrational thought.

I know. And it takes exceptional neurosis to keep on trying to
convince someone who obviously won't be convinced. Well, I'll keep on
trying...

Lorentz

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 2:18:21 AM6/21/07
to

> What is your intent with random since nobody knows what "randomness"
> means and Darwin never said anything is random. Infact he later
> qualified his usage of "Chance" by stating that it is an "....
> incorrect expression..."
You are not a mathematician or a physicist. I am both. I know
what randomness means, thank you. I may occassionally slip with
regards to synonyms and homonyms, but randomness I know.
Random means being uncorrelated with regards to a particular
quantity. In the systems that I study, the quantity is usually a
independent variable like time or space. However, the independent
variable doesn't have to be either. As far as chance, I think I can
deduce it after reading biologists like Darwin and Dawkins. Chance is
similar to random, with a specific type of independent variable.
Chance, as used by Darwin, means that the hereditary variation is not
correlated with regards to the function of the variation.
Example (=pragmatic): Regardless of how daddy uses his long
neck, the chances of the child inheriting the long neck are exactly
the same. The Mendelian laws don't change, and the distribution of
mutations don't change, if the long neck is or is not used. That is
chance.
Selection is when survival and reproduction are correlated with
regards to the function of the variation.
Example (=pragmatic): If there are no tall trees with nice
leaves to eat, daddy can't use the long neck for eating. The long neck
if not used for eating will cause daddy to die. The chances of junior
inheriting the long neck after daddy dies has greatly diminished. That
is natural selection.

>This RM stuff only surfaced around 1910. You
> would have to get either the authors pragmatics with RM in 1910 or
> state your pragmatics or intent with RM. Until you do you are not even
> wrong.

Interesting. 1910 is about the time that Callender introduced the
idea that "heat" was a form of energy rather than entropy. That was a
little mess up in the language of thermodynamics. However, I didn't
think it had an impact on statistical physics. This issue is physics
not biology, so it may be irrelevant to the discussion. But still...
Yes, I am quite aware that there is a history to the use of
scientific words. I just gave my "pragmatics" on the words random,
chance, and selection.


>
> > I have read several books by Darwin, and he in just about everyone he shows evidence that evolution
> > occurs gradually. In fact, I think that is still the consensus.>
> I presume you meant Dawkins instead of Darwin and mistyped?

No, I really, really meant Darwin. You will never let me forget
mistaking "synonym" for "homonym," will you?

> What exactly occurs gradually? Does evolution occur gradually or
> Natural Selection.

Maybe what is confusing you is that he uses saltations as
illustrative examples of hereditary variation. He uses saltations in
demonstrating the "chance" aspects. These monsterous variations,
although they do not have a useful function, occur all the time.
Monsterous variations occur, whether or not a variation has a useful
function. He describes small variations as well, but the reader can
never be sure that the small variations have a useful function or not.
Although they illustrate "chance", these saltations do not illustrate
"natural selection." When Darwin describes "natural selection," he
always describes the slow accumulation of small variations. I can't
think of an exception in what he wrote, maybe you can help.
So to Darwin the "natural selection" is what occurs gradually.
Chance variations, whether they are saltations or slight increments,
always occur on a generation by generation basis. By definition. So I
guess the "chance" does not occur gradually.
Evolution I don't know. Darwin never used the word "evolution"
to my knowledge. I was thinking of "natural selection" when I wrote
"evolution." But there is the "chance variation" to, isn't there?
It occurs to me that maybe a punctuated equilibrium refers to the
occassional periods where a lot "natural selection" really does happen
in one generation. The mass extinction. This is a situation never
described by Darwin, but which Gould refers to as occurring
occassionally. The examples of "natural selection" that Darwin refers
to are always gradual.


backspace

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 2:48:42 AM6/21/07
to
On Jun 20, 10:43 pm, "Rolf" <r...@tele2.no> wrote:
> > > So what version of "Natural Selection" was Gould going on about with
> > > his punctuated equilibrium then? He said evolution takes place by
> > > sudden jumps. Dawkins would agree and it seems Darwin as well.
>
> > Gould said no such thing, nor would Dawkins or Darwin agree with such a
> > claim. Gould had occasional flirtations with saltationism and
> > macromutation, but those had nothing to do with punctuated equilibrium.
> > How can you presume to lecture on evolutionary biology when it's
> > apparent from your posts that you know nothing about it?
>
> I cannot refer to a precise quote right here and now; bu ti know I have read
> that Darwin himself actually suggested that evolution did not always have to
> be a slow, steady process, but also could make - not saltations, accelerate
> at times.
> Not good phrasing, but hope some sense there anyway. Too tired to change it.

No, he didn't he specifically stressed that species change by slow
gradual steps into other species and used the
fossil record (note not evidence, record) for his conjecture. I say
conjecture because it is not a theory just a conjecture. Gould looked
at the Fossil RECORD and came to the obvious conclusion that either
Darwin's conjecture had to go or the fossils had to go.

But Gould's intent with Natural Selection and Evolution etc is not the
same intent as Darwin, Gould just hijacked Darwin's phrases the same
way Darwin hijacked "evolution" which was used with a different intent
than the way Darwin used it.

As we delve into the pragmatics of these words it becomes clearer why
we are having these never ending debates: Nobody ever states their
intent. For example Coyne speaks of Non-Random Natural Selection. But
Darwin never had any intent surrounding Natural Selection being
random. Thus Non-random Natural Selection a phrase he used in
reviewing Behe's book is Coyne's version of Natural Selection with
Coyne's particular pragmatics, not Darwin's pragmatics.

Lorentz

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 3:04:10 AM6/21/07
to
I am a physicist. We are know for being picky and obtuse with regards
to scientific words. We are famous for using equations instead of
words. So if a biologist can make something clear to me, using words
alone, it is probably clear to any educated person.


>I am
> convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the
> exclusive means of modification."

The quotation here shows that Darwin later decided that some
inherited variations were not chance and not random variation. In
other words, hereditary variation sometimes is correlated with the
function of variation, although it usually isn't.
He is probably right here. His first impression, that all
hereditary variation is chance, was wrong. He admits it. It is still a
scientific hypothesis.
It still looks like "chance variation" has the necessary
pragmatics and intent. The language to me is clear. I see an
interesting hypothesis being raised, but I see no assault on the
English language.

>"....As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight,


> successive, favourable variations, it can produce no great or sudden
> modifications; it can act only by short and slow steps....."

Natural selection, as always in Darwins work, is still a
gradual process. Natural selection has not changed in this quote.
It is still a gradual process, and I think fairly well defined. There
is absolutely no indication here that he has changed his mind about
"natural selection" being gradual.
Some recent work says that "natural selection" is not always
gradual. The words "punctuated equilibrium" come to mind. Here Darwin
hasn't admitted that there can be other types of natural selection.
Still, it is a scientific hypothesis. To me it is clear.
Again, it seems to me the concept is clear. There has been no
assault on the English language. Just an interesting hypothesis, which
has turned out to be true most of the time.

richardal...@googlemail.com

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 4:50:17 AM6/21/07
to
On Jun 21, 7:48 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 20, 10:43 pm, "Rolf" <r...@tele2.no> wrote:
>
> > > > So what version of "Natural Selection" was Gould going on about with
> > > > his punctuated equilibrium then? He said evolution takes place by
> > > > sudden jumps. Dawkins would agree and it seems Darwin as well.
>
> > > Gould said no such thing, nor would Dawkins or Darwin agree with such a
> > > claim. Gould had occasional flirtations with saltationism and
> > > macromutation, but those had nothing to do with punctuated equilibrium.
> > > How can you presume to lecture on evolutionary biology when it's
> > > apparent from your posts that you know nothing about it?
>
> > I cannot refer to a precise quote right here and now; bu ti know I have read
> > that Darwin himself actually suggested that evolution did not always have to
> > be a slow, steady process, but also could make - not saltations, accelerate
> > at times.
> > Not good phrasing, but hope some sense there anyway. Too tired to change it.
>
> No, he didn't he specifically stressed that species change by slow
> gradual steps into other species and used the
> fossil record (note not evidence, record) for his conjecture.

Evidently you have never read "The Origin of Species" for
comprehension.
Doing this will provide some of the "pragmatics" you insist are
lacking.

> I say
> conjecture because it is not a theory just a conjecture. Gould looked
> at the Fossil RECORD and came to the obvious conclusion that either
> Darwin's conjecture had to go or the fossils had to go.

No he didn't, and if you read what Gould wrote for comprehension, you
will find that he was broadly in agreement with Darwin over
evolutionary rates.
Doing this will provide some of the "pragmatics" you insist are
lacking.

>
> But Gould's intent with Natural Selection and Evolution etc is not the
> same intent as Darwin, Gould just hijacked Darwin's phrases the same
> way Darwin hijacked "evolution" which was used with a different intent
> than the way Darwin used it.

If you read about the development of evolutionary theory you will find
that there is no real change in meaning of either evolution or natural
selection. The meaning is modified to incorporate findings such as
genetics, but the general sense of both remains the same.

If you want to learn about this I can provide you with a reading list
of books which, if you read them for comprehension, will provide the
"pragmatics" you claim are lacking. It's a process called "learning".

>
> As we delve into the pragmatics of these words it becomes clearer why
> we are having these never ending debates: Nobody ever states their
> intent.

What utter nonsense! Every scientific source states clearly the
meaning of the terms they use. For example, Douglas Futuyama defines
evolution as follows in his book "Evolutionary Biology"

"In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-
pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve.
Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of
organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The
ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual
organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are
considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic
material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be
slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in
the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those
determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from
the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."

You have been provided with this information several times, but have
yet to explain what is wrong with it or which parts you understand.
You complain about lack of "pragmatics". How can you gain insight into
what an author means - i.e. the author's "pragmatics" - unless you
read what the author has written and try to understand it?

> For example Coyne speaks of Non-Random Natural Selection. But
> Darwin never had any intent surrounding Natural Selection being
> random. Thus Non-random Natural Selection a phrase he used in
> reviewing Behe's book is Coyne's version of Natural Selection with
> Coyne's particular pragmatics, not Darwin's pragmatics.

So the meaning becomes modified over time as new findings throw more
light into its operation.
Why does this pose such a problem for you?

You seem to be expecting others to provide the pragmatic basis for
understanding what is written on the subject without making any
attempt to learn about it - something which would provide you with the
knowledge of the subject needed to understand the pragmatic intent of
the authors to whom you refer. All this blustering about "pragmatics"
is no more than you making a lot of fuss about your lack of knowledge
in the subject, and implying that your ignorance poses a serious
problem for evolutionary biology.

RF

wf...@comcast.net

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 5:08:07 AM6/21/07
to
On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 23:12:10 -0700, backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>
>Now is nature a force or a power? Most around here when I asked "What
>naturaled and who did the Selecting" said no, no nobody did the
>selecting.

seems our little friend has never heard of differential reproduction.
seems he's never heard of 'death' or 'sex' or 'reproduction'

he is, after all, a creationist...


>. Nobody can
>tell me

nobody can tell you anything since you don't listen.


>
>We don't have one Theory of Evolution , no we have thousands of
>versions where people use the prhase
>Theory of Evolution and until they tell you what is their intent with
>the phrase they are not even wrong.

as i said, he doesn't read. doesn't understand...won't even educate
himself in the basics...insists his version has meaning while others
dont....

and above all insists 'god' has a meaning that is crystal clear while
'science' is vague...

wf...@comcast.net

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 5:11:39 AM6/21/07
to
On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 23:48:42 -0700, backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>On Jun 20, 10:43 pm, "Rolf" <r...@tele2.no> wrote:
>> > > So what version of "Natural Selection" was Gould going on about with
>> > > his punctuated equilibrium then? He said evolution takes place by
>> > > sudden jumps. Dawkins would agree and it seems Darwin as well.
>>
>> > Gould said no such thing, nor would Dawkins or Darwin agree with such a
>> > claim. Gould had occasional flirtations with saltationism and
>> > macromutation, but those had nothing to do with punctuated equilibrium.
>> > How can you presume to lecture on evolutionary biology when it's
>> > apparent from your posts that you know nothing about it?
>>
>> I cannot refer to a precise quote right here and now; bu ti know I have read
>> that Darwin himself actually suggested that evolution did not always have to
>> be a slow, steady process, but also could make - not saltations, accelerate
>> at times.
>> Not good phrasing, but hope some sense there anyway. Too tired to change it.
>
>No, he didn't he specifically stressed that species change by slow
>gradual steps into other species and used the
>fossil record (note not evidence, record) for his conjecture. I say
>conjecture because it is not a theory just a conjecture. Gould looked
>at the Fossil RECORD and came to the obvious conclusion that either
>Darwin's conjecture had to go or the fossils had to go.

ROFLMAO!! seems our uneducated friend doesn't know the difference
between the SPEED of evolutionary change and evolution itself!!

gould, of course, said no such thing at all and the creationist has
defined himself into a corner with his distortions.

what's remarkable is he thinks 'god did it' is the answer...while no
one...least of all him...can even define god...let alone how 'god did
it'.

>
>As we delve into the pragmatics of these words it becomes clearer why
>we are having these never ending debates: Nobody ever states their
>intent. For example Coyne speaks of Non-Random Natural Selection. But
>Darwin never had any intent surrounding Natural Selection being
>random. Thus Non-random Natural Selection a phrase he used in
>reviewing Behe's book is Coyne's version of Natural Selection with
>Coyne's particular pragmatics, not Darwin's pragmatics.

?? since when does selection have to be EITHER random or non-random in
all cases?

the creationist, apparently, can't wrap his bible around the
diversities inherent in the natural world...

no surprise there...

backspace

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 6:47:39 AM6/21/07
to
On Jun 21, 10:50 am, richardalanforr...@googlemail.com wrote:
> What utter nonsense! Every scientific source states clearly the
> meaning of the terms they use. For example, Douglas Futuyama defines
> evolution as follows in his book "Evolutionary Biology"

> "In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-
> pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve.
> Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of
> organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The
> ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual
> organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are
> considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic
> material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be
> slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in
> the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those
> determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from
> the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."

You have change all systems change - this in an observation. You can
call this anything you want even Evolution
as long as you make clear your intent. Neither you nor Futuyama has
done so. Why do you insist on calling "changes" evolution?

And where did Darwin have any intent that changes in political systems
had something to do with his pragmatics in using the word Evolution?
Futuyama has his specific pragmatics and Darwin had his. Why is
Futuyama hijacking Darwin's word "evolution". Correct me on this but I
believe Darwin didn't use "evolve" in some of his previous editions?
Where can I read the previous editions to find out what was Darwin's
pragmatics with "evolution" in the 6th edition? How did Darwin's
pragmatics change with "Natural Selection" in the first edition to the
6th edition where he said that Survival of the Fittest is a "better
expression"? Intent, intent what was Darwin's pragmatics? Do you
realise
that we will never fully know since he is dead.

backspace

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 6:49:51 AM6/21/07
to
On Jun 21, 11:11 am, w...@comcast.net wrote:
> >As we delve into the pragmatics of these words it becomes clearer why
> >we are having these never ending debates: Nobody ever states their
> >intent. For example Coyne speaks of Non-Random Natural Selection. But
> >Darwin never had any intent surrounding Natural Selection being
> >random. Thus Non-random Natural Selection a phrase he used in
> >reviewing Behe's book is Coyne's version of Natural Selection with
> >Coyne's particular pragmatics, not Darwin's pragmatics.
>
> ?? since when does selection have to be EITHER random or non-random in
> all cases?

Depends what is your pragmatics with the word "selection"?

richardal...@googlemail.com

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 7:09:06 AM6/21/07
to
On Jun 21, 11:47 am, backspace <sawireless2...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 21, 10:50 am, richardalanforr...@googlemail.com wrote:
>
> > What utter nonsense! Every scientific source states clearly the
> > meaning of the terms they use. For example, Douglas Futuyama defines
> > evolution as follows in his book "Evolutionary Biology"
> > "In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-
> > pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve.
> > Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of
> > organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The
> > ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual
> > organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are
> > considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic
> > material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be
> > slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in
> > the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those
> > determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from
> > the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."
>
> You have change all systems change - this in an observation. You can
> call this anything you want even Evolution
> as long as you make clear your intent. Neither you nor Futuyama has
> done so.

In what way is specifying exactly what he means by "evolution" in a
book about evolution *not* specifying intent?

Let's restore the part of my post which you dishonesty snipped without
marking.

You have been provided with this information several times, but have
yet to explain what is wrong with it or which parts you understand.
You complain about lack of "pragmatics". How can you gain insight into
what an author means - i.e. the author's "pragmatics" - unless you
read what the author has written and try to understand it?

> Why do you insist on calling "changes" evolution?

No, I call changes of the sort which are described here by Futuyama
evolution. Evolution does not mean change, and I have explained this
to you in a previous post in which you attempted to misrepresent my
views as you do here.

Why do you have to resort to the dishonest tactic of misrepresentation
to support your argument?

>
> And where did Darwin have any intent that changes in political systems
> had something to do with his pragmatics in using the word Evolution?

He didn't. What on earth gave you the impression that he did? He was a
biologist, not a politician.

> Futuyama has his specific pragmatics and Darwin had his. Why is
> Futuyama hijacking Darwin's word "evolution".

He's not. He is referring to exactly the same phenomenon. We have
learned a lot about the processes involved since Darwin's time, so the
detail of meaning changes.

> Correct me on this but I
> believe Darwin didn't use "evolve" in some of his previous editions?

So what? He was referring to the phenomenon of the morphology of
populations of organisms changing over time. It doesn't matter what
label is applied to it.

> Where can I read the previous editions to find out what was Darwin's
> pragmatics with "evolution" in the 6th edition?

You can download them from Project Gutenberg if you want. They have
little relevance to modern evolutionary theory, however.

> How did Darwin's
> pragmatics change with "Natural Selection" in the first edition to the
> 6th edition where he said that Survival of the Fittest is a "better
> expression"? Intent, intent what was Darwin's pragmatics? Do you
> realise
> that we will never fully know since he is dead.

So freaking what?

Now let's restore the parts of my post you snipped without marking,
something which is generally considered to be dishonest, especially
when you do so in the pretence that your questions have not been
addressed.

So the meaning becomes modified over time as new findings throw more
light into its operation.
Why does this pose such a problem for you?

You seem to be expecting others to provide the pragmatic basis for
understanding what is written on the subject without making any
attempt to learn about it - something which would provide you with the
knowledge of the subject needed to understand the pragmatic intent of
the authors to whom you refer. All this blustering about "pragmatics"
is no more than you making a lot of fuss about your lack of knowledge
in the subject, and implying that your ignorance poses a serious
problem for evolutionary biology.


Why do you need to be persistently dishonest to promote your argument?

Does it not occur to you that if you have to resort to such dishonesty
it shows that you have not argument to offer?

RF


John Harshman

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 9:08:10 AM6/21/07
to
backspace wrote:

> On Jun 21, 1:17 am, John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net>
> wrote:
>
>>Your use of language seems intended to obscure any meaning rather than
>>reveal it. Why? Unconscious selection is certainly a closer approach to
>>natural selection than is artificial selection. In fact it's merely
>>referring to humans as agents of natural selection: we constitute a part
>>of the environment of many species, whether we care or not, whether we
>>know or not, and we affect, in the same way as other environmental
>>factors, which variations are advantageous and which are deleterious. As
>>simple as that.
>
> Slow though the process of selection may be, if feeble man can do
> much by ARTIFICIAL SELECTION, I can see no limit to the amount of
> change, to the beauty and complexity of the coadaptations between all
> organic beings, one with another and with their physical conditions
> of life, which may have been effected in the long course of time
> through nature's power of selection, that is by the survival of the
> fittest.
>
> We don't know what Darwin's intent was with "survival of the fittest".

That's not even Darwin's phrase, but Spencer's. And of course we know,
at least those of us who can read. It's just an intended synonym for
natural selection. I see you are changing the subject from natural
selection and unconscious selection to artificial selection.

> Some say it is a tautology we will have to ask Darwin oneday.

Those who say that are wrong.

> Notice
> that AS was only coined by Darwin in 1859. For thousands of years
> before he mucked up the English language people have been breeding
> animals for their traits without calling themselves "feeble" in
> relation to nature's power of selection...

So?

> Now is nature a force or a power?

I don't know what it is about creationists and metaphor. But you seem
incapable of understanding metaphorical language. Is that why you all
believe the earth is 6000 years old? Of course nature is, literally,
neither. There is no such thing as "nature". Darwin is talking about
"the physical conditions of life", which we would call the environment.
Change the conditions, and different variations will be advantageous.
That's all.

> Most around here when I asked "What
> naturaled and who did the Selecting" said no, no nobody did the
> selecting. And asked according to whom? According to Darwin. Darwin is
> dead so we can't ask him what was his intent with Artificial Selection
> as a some sort of antonym to Natural Selection.
> In other words if nobody did the "selecting" that is according to you
> my dear evolutionist. You are say saying so by your reasoning. The
> phrase "Natural Selection" depends on each person's intent. Nobody can
> tell me who has established that nobody did the "selectingi" and could
> anybody have. The phrase "Natural Selection" as used by each person
> with his particular intent might or might not be the same intent
> Darwin have

This appears to be free-association gibberish. There's nothing even to
answer. Nothing in Darwin is as unclear as you seem intent on making it.
Please don't project your lack of understanding onto anyone else.

> - Darwin didn't know about genes and his intent wasn't
> anything "randomish" as this quote proves.

> ".....I have hitherto sometimes spoken as if the variations--so common
> and multiform with organic beings under domestication, and in a lesser
> degree with those under nature--were DUE TO CHANCE. This, of course is
> a wholly incorrect expression, but it serves to acknowledge plainly
> our ignorance of the cause of each particular variation....."

It isn't necessary for Darwin's case that variation be due to chance,
only that it be distributed in many directions, which he observed to be
true.

> What we have is the following:
> Charles Darwin Theory of Evolution with whatever was his intent, we
> don't know.

Yes, we know. You don't know.

> Dr.Wilkins Theory of Evolution with his intent - ask him.
> Jerry Coyne Theory of Evolution with his intent - ask him.
> Dembski Theory of Evolution with his intent - ask him.
> Ken Ham Theory of Evolution with his intent - ask him.
> Richard Dawkins Theory of Evolution with his particular pragmatics -
> ask him.

These aren't even sentences.

> We don't have one Theory of Evolution , no we have thousands of
> versions where people use the prhase
> Theory of Evolution and until they tell you what is their intent with
> the phrase they are not even wrong.
> And the same goes for "Natural Selection" there are thousands of
> versions each person with his own particular intent. Just the look at
> the thread "common ancestor between man and ape" hijacked by UC which
> shows that evolutionists each has his own theory.

No it doesn't. That thread isn't about evolution at all, but about
language. Everyone in that thread agrees on what happened. UC is arguing
with everyone else about what to call it. To you this looks like an
argument about something real because to you, apparently, only words are
real. But to others, there is a real world that is merely being described.

> They just all try to
> provide some sort of united front in their usage of "Natural
> Selection" by using it as though Darwin had the same intent each
> evolutionist has today.

But he did. I know you're dishonest because you snipped without comment
the parts where I explained Darwin's intent in his own words. If you had
any integrity you wouldn't have deleted most of my post. Shame on you.

Usenet Nym

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 9:17:02 AM6/21/07
to
On Jun 21, 9:08 am, John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net>
wrote:
> backspace wrote:

> Is that why you all
> believe the earth is 6000 years old?

Hey backspace!

Do you believe the Earth is 6,000 years old?

Greg Guarino

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 9:17:29 AM6/21/07
to
On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 21:12:14 GMT, John Harshman
<jharshman....@pacbell.net> wrote:

>Darwin used "selection" as a metaphor. Perhaps you could mentally
>replace it with "sorting", or some other neutral word that doesn't imply
>consciousness,

I think the word "filtering" has merit also. When an actor on stage is
bathed in a deep blue spotlight, it's not done by a process that
produces only blue wavelengths of light. The incandescent light source
produces a continuous spectrum of random wavelengths (within a range)
which approximates white. We use a filter gel to absorb some
wavelengths and allow others to pass through, in this case the blue
ones.

We can even refine the analogy. Suppose a deep blue is what we want,
but we only have gentler blue filters. that allow more of the non-blue
wavelengths to pass through. We can use several filters sandwiched
together to get the effect we want. (I'm sure some lighting
aficionado will tell me why this is a bad idea, but it's not really
about lighting) Each removes a little more of the non-blue
wavelengths. This approximates the effect of natural selection over
several generations.

Greg Guarino

richardal...@googlemail.com

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 10:55:59 AM6/21/07
to

So what do you not understand about the way in which Coyne uses the
term? He explains what he means. That's how you find out his
"pragmatics".

Why do you think that a dogmatic refusal to learn makes your argument
anything other than fatuous?

RF

backspace

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 11:10:43 AM6/21/07
to
On Jun 21, 3:17 pm, Greg Guarino <g...@risky-biz.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 21:12:14 GMT, John Harshman
>
Natural Selection, Natural Sorting or Natural Filtering - what is
your intent? Who did the filtering, sorting and selecting? I know,
nobody did in your pragmatics with Natural Selection. But how do we
know Darwin wasn't a closet pantheist. Pantheists also talk about
"Natures power" they have a specific intent. Now if you aren't a
pantheist then why are you using words that gives that impression?

John Harshman

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 11:24:35 AM6/21/07
to
backspace wrote:

Because he wrote a book explaining what he meant. Anyone with an ounce
of comprehension can read that book and figure out what he meant.
Personification of Nature is a rhetorical trope, nothing more. And
that's obvious to anyone who actually reads the damn book.

> Pantheists also talk about
> "Natures power" they have a specific intent. Now if you aren't a
> pantheist then why are you using words that gives that impression?

Have you ever heard the word "metaphor"? Ordinary human language makes a
great deal of use of this. So does scientific language. Rather than
invent a new word, say "spilfik", Darwin adapted some old words and
slightly readjusted their meanings. Everyone I know of is capable of
understanding this with the sole exception of you. Why?

backspace

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 11:53:53 AM6/21/07
to
On Jun 21, 5:24 pm, John Harshman <jharshman.diespam...@pacbell.net>
wrote:

Metaphor for what? In literary analysis, a metaphor (from the Greek:
metapherin) is a rhetorical trope defined as a direct comparison
between two or more seemingly unrelated subjects. Natural Selection is
a metaphor for what?

Greg Guarino

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 1:43:52 PM6/21/07
to
On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 08:10:43 -0700, backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Natural Selection, Natural Sorting or Natural Filtering - what is
>your intent? Who did the filtering, sorting and selecting? I know,
>nobody did in your pragmatics with Natural Selection.

So finally you admit to "knowing" what is meant by Natural Selection?
Good. That is exactly right; "no one" did the selection.

Maybe the drought "did" it, by killing off the thirstier strains of
grass

Maybe the females "did" it, by rejecting the males with the dull
plumage.

Maybe one buck "did" it to another by winning the head-butting
contest.

Maybe Mt. Pinatubo "did" it by cooling down the world for a while.

Maybe the lions "did" it by eating the slower wildebeest.

Maybe El Nino did it by changing the water temperature.

Any of those things, and millions of other factors, help determine
which organisms will reproduce and in what numbers according to their
particular combinations of traits. Over generations some traits will
become more common and some more rare as a result.

For efficiency, all human languages will attach a name to such
concepts; a shorthand that everyone understands rather than repeat the
explanation each time. And most of the time, in most languages, the
name will be cobbled together from already familiar words. This is
also for efficiency and practicality. Making up an entirely new and
unfamiliar word each time a new object or concept came along would
make for a clumsy language that was nearly impossible to learn.

Most people are familiar with the long loaf of French bread known as a
"baguette". I happened to find out in two separate incidents that
baguettes is also the word for drumsticks and chopsticks. I just
looked it up. It can also be used to mean ramrod, divining rod, magic
wand and welding rod. You would have us believe that this is an
untenable situation; that Frenchmen everywhere are getting welding
rods at the bakery, conjuring rabbits from hats with chopsticks,
playing drums with bread and searching for Noah's ark with musket
tools. :)

>But how do we
>know Darwin wasn't a closet pantheist.

For one, he wrote a rather comprehensive book that suggests otherwise.
But more importantly, Darwin is dead. It really doesn't matter a whit
of he was a pantheist, a pan flutist or a pan-fried steak. Had he
been pecked to death by finches before he got a chance to formulate
his theories the objective reality would be the same. You seem to
beilieve you can make the real world go away by arguing about the
names we use to describe it.

>Pantheists also talk about
>"Natures power" they have a specific intent. Now if you aren't a
>pantheist then why are you using words that gives that impression?

Communication requires a sender and a receiver. If the receiver is
busted badly enough it really doesn't matter how clear the
transmission is.

Greg Guarino

John Harshman

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 2:32:04 PM6/21/07
to
backspace wrote:

For what Darwin was talking about, and spent a book explaining, if you
would just read it. The comparison is between what Darwin called
"artificial selection", the action of breeders in picking which
domesticated organisms would contribute to the next generation, and
"natural selection", the action of "conditions of life" -- i.e. the
environment -- in determining the probabilities that particular
genotypes will have particular numbers of offspring. In short,
advantageous varieties will increase in frequency in a population at the
expense of other ones. The reason it's metaphorical is that in the
latter case nobody is choosing anything, but the effect is the same.

Again, this is all something one could gain merely from reading the
Origin and making a real effort to understand it. Instead, all your
effort is bent toward incomphrehension.

<<<9

wf...@comcast.net

unread,
Jun 21, 2007, 10:44:53 PM6/21/07
to

uh...selection?

go figure. seems pretty straightforward to those raised in the
tradition of logic...

which pretty much excludes those who think 'god did it' has a meaning.

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