On a proposal to make a correction to Wikipedia's definition of "Evolution".

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Faustino Núñez Hernández

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Oct 9, 2007, 7:58:16 PM10/9/07
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Wikipedia page of Evolution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

The following proposal has also been included on that article's
discussion section : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Evolution


Important discussion needed: I propose a very important and necessary
correction to this article's base approach. (A new definition of
Evolution).

I copy and paste literally from the main article (first words of
Wikipedia's article) :


------------------
"In biology, evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a
population from generation to generation"
------------------


All the rest of the article revolves around this idea ; so the article
gives a central importance , for example , to notions such as
inheritance .

I consider that's not a sound definition of Evolution .

I propose here a much more sound definition or pro-definition of
Evolution . I hope you will understand it and accept it . Of course
I'm open to discussion :


------------------
(In biology) Evolution is the fact that living beings (that is,
species, patterns or homogeneous groups) change, transform or mutate,
to re-adapt to new environments, or to environmental changes, or to
new environmental conditions.
------------------


In short: to evolve is to change to re-adapt to a new environment.

So what has this got to do with the simple notion of Wikipedia, of
"change in the inherited traits of a population from generation to
generation". Wikipedia definition is not leaning in a substantive
manner on the idea of an own self change oriented to an environment
change.

The concept of reproduction is not initially necessary for the concept
of Evolution. I think reproduction occurs when living beings have
become so complex, that they need to rebuild theirselves separatedly
up from zero to be able to assume transformations; I think this is
also what made genes necessary.

But, on the other hands, very simple forms of life could use directly
their own internal metabolism, without extending it outside, to assume
self transformations or mutations, before new environmental
conditions.

The important thing of evolution, is the relation between a change of
the living being, and a change of the environment. The emphasis should
be on this, not on things like reproduction or inheritance.

I write some more detailed considerations about this on my blog, in an
article where I experimentally imagine the artificial synthesis of a
living being:

+ http://posteocuandomesaledeloshuevos.blogspot.com/2007/09/read-this-and-youll-be-immortal-nidea.html

r norman

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Oct 9, 2007, 8:04:47 PM10/9/07
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Your proposal may be well meaning but does not agree with what modern
biology has decided to call "evolution" which, indeed, is a change in
the inherited composition of a population. This definition does not
make any reference to adaptation to the environment which is merely
one aspect of evolutionary change. Perhaps the most important
aspects, but still only one aspect.

JTEM

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Oct 9, 2007, 8:18:17 PM10/9/07
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Faustino Núñez Hernández <faus...@gmail.com> wrote:

> ------------------
> (In biology) Evolution is the fact that living beings (that is,
> species, patterns or homogeneous groups) change,
> transform or mutate, to re-adapt to new environments,
> or to environmental changes, or to new environmental
> conditions.
> ------------------

No such thing as extinction, huh?

Mark VandeWettering

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Oct 9, 2007, 9:53:50 PM10/9/07
to

Well, to be honest, I'm not overwhelmed with either version. I'm probably
less so with yours, because it incorrectly conveys the idea that individuals
evolve, and leaves out the "heritable" aspect.

> In short: to evolve is to change to re-adapt to a new environment.
>
> So what has this got to do with the simple notion of Wikipedia, of
> "change in the inherited traits of a population from generation to
> generation". Wikipedia definition is not leaning in a substantive
> manner on the idea of an own self change oriented to an environment
> change.

There you are, implying if not outright claiming that individuals evolve.

> The concept of reproduction is not initially necessary for the concept
> of Evolution.

!!!

> I think reproduction occurs when living beings have
> become so complex, that they need to rebuild theirselves separatedly
> up from zero to be able to assume transformations; I think this is
> also what made genes necessary.

This seems precisely the reverse of what actually happens.

> But, on the other hands, very simple forms of life could use directly
> their own internal metabolism, without extending it outside, to assume
> self transformations or mutations, before new environmental
> conditions.

Uh...

> The important thing of evolution, is the relation between a change of
> the living being, and a change of the environment. The emphasis should
> be on this, not on things like reproduction or inheritance.

Uh. No.

> I write some more detailed considerations about this on my blog, in an
> article where I experimentally imagine the artificial synthesis of a
> living being:
>
> + http://posteocuandomesaledeloshuevos.blogspot.com/2007/09/read-this-and-youll-be-immortal-nidea.html

Thanks for playing.

Mark

Bodega

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Oct 9, 2007, 10:33:58 PM10/9/07
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On Oct 9, 4:58 pm, Faustino Núñez Hernández <faus...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Wikipedia page of Evolution:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
>
> [excerpt]

> ------------------
> (In biology) Evolution is the fact that living beings (that is,
> species, patterns or homogeneous groups) change, transform or mutate,
> to re-adapt to new environments, or to environmental changes, or to
> new environmental conditions.
> ------------------

Could be more tidily written; trying to get all of evolutionary theory
in one sentence is bound to leave something out.

Style notes: Omit "the fact" ; living beings are not "patterns"; for
"living beings," I suggest "living organisms," and omit the stuff in
parentheses. Make the definition simple, and go into details later.

Besides, this states that mutations somehow occur because the organism
senses a change in the environment. Mutatations just occur; they are
not an attempt to adapt.


J. J. Lodder

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Oct 10, 2007, 4:10:49 AM10/10/07
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Faustino Núñez Hernández <fau...@gmail.com> wrote:

Any definition which states that 'evolution is a fact' must be wrong,

Jan

wf3h

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Oct 10, 2007, 5:19:43 AM10/10/07
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On Oct 10, 3:10 am, nos...@de-ster.demon.nl (J. J. Lodder) wrote:
> Jan- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

just like any definition of the solar system that states all the
planets rotate around the sun is wrong?


J. J. Lodder

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Oct 10, 2007, 7:02:30 AM10/10/07
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wf3h <wf...@vsswireless.net> wrote:

Indeed, but for a different reason,

Jan

Dustan

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Oct 10, 2007, 8:52:10 AM10/10/07
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On Oct 10, 6:02 am, nos...@de-ster.demon.nl (J. J. Lodder) blathered:
> wf3h <w...@vsswireless.net> rhetorically asked:
> > On Oct 10, 3:10 am, nos...@de-ster.demon.nl (J. J. Lodder) claimed:
> > > [a statement]
> > just like [another statement]?

> Indeed, but for a different reason,

Wha-?

Mr tiktaalik

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Oct 10, 2007, 9:18:06 AM10/10/07
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> > > just like [another statement]?
> > Indeed, but for a different reason,
>
> Wha-?


How come you can get giant geese and the there are still monkeys
around when there are people and what about the dinosaur and human
footprints and that spade handle they found in coal and darwin said he
made it up on his death bed because he was a racist but Hitler liked
it because it was imposible because of the random chance and that
thing about heat in closed systems?

(just thought I would pre empt the creationist posts by a day)

rabidgnome

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Oct 10, 2007, 11:19:36 AM10/10/07
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> +http://posteocuandomesaledeloshuevos.blogspot.com/2007/09/read-this-a...

I would have settled on, "Changes in allele frequencies over time."


Mark VandeWettering

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Oct 10, 2007, 11:28:57 AM10/10/07
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Evolution is a fact. But yes, the rest of the definition is rubbish.

Mark
> Jan

J. J. Lodder

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Oct 10, 2007, 3:14:03 PM10/10/07
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Mark VandeWettering <wett...@attbi.com> wrote:

Sure, I'm a fact too,

Jan

Richard Harter

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Oct 10, 2007, 6:27:20 PM10/10/07
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Evolution is a process. That evolution has occurred and is
occurring is a fact. Be that as it may, definitions that state
that something is a fact are fundamentally flawed.

I've always liked "Evolution is the heritable changes in the
lineages of life over time." The "allele" definition -
"evolution is the change in the allele distributions in a
population over time" - doesn't really work. It is "breeding
population centric". That is, viruses and bacteria don't have
populations and species in the same way that diploid species do.
For that matter, populations are intrinsically fuzzy - there are
all sorts of things that blur the boundaries at any particular
time, and in the fullness of time populations and demes
differentiate and disappear. A further difficulty is that the
population concept doesn't deal with horizontal transfer very
well.

In short, the allele/population definition is useful for people
doing breeding experiments on fruit flies.

Richard Harter, c...@tiac.net
http://home.tiac.net/~cri, http://www.varinoma.com
But the rhetoric of holistic harmony can generate into a kind of
dotty, Prince Charles-style mysticism. -- Richard Dawkins

r norman

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Oct 10, 2007, 6:55:09 PM10/10/07
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On Wed, 10 Oct 2007 22:27:20 GMT, c...@tiac.net (Richard Harter) wrote:


>I've always liked "Evolution is the heritable changes in the
>lineages of life over time." The "allele" definition -
>"evolution is the change in the allele distributions in a
>population over time" - doesn't really work. It is "breeding
>population centric". That is, viruses and bacteria don't have
>populations and species in the same way that diploid species do.
>For that matter, populations are intrinsically fuzzy - there are
>all sorts of things that blur the boundaries at any particular
>time, and in the fullness of time populations and demes
>differentiate and disappear. A further difficulty is that the
>population concept doesn't deal with horizontal transfer very
>well.
>
>In short, the allele/population definition is useful for people
>doing breeding experiments on fruit flies.
>

There are a few other people who do breeding experiments on other
organisms who also find the population concept useful, not to mention
just about every other biologist who is employed by a department other
than microbiology.

Dustan

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Oct 10, 2007, 9:12:38 PM10/10/07
to

I guess I really shouldn't be surprised.

But still, it burns off the tip of my tongue.

No... must... hold... back...

Ah, what the heck? I'll ask.

WTF does your post contribute to my post? (seeing as yours is
responding to mine)

Richard Harter

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Oct 11, 2007, 5:18:35 AM10/11/07
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On Wed, 10 Oct 2007 18:55:09 -0400, r norman
<r_s_norman@_comcast.net> wrote:

>On Wed, 10 Oct 2007 22:27:20 GMT, c...@tiac.net (Richard Harter) wrote:
>
>
>>I've always liked "Evolution is the heritable changes in the
>>lineages of life over time." The "allele" definition -
>>"evolution is the change in the allele distributions in a
>>population over time" - doesn't really work. It is "breeding
>>population centric". That is, viruses and bacteria don't have
>>populations and species in the same way that diploid species do.
>>For that matter, populations are intrinsically fuzzy - there are
>>all sorts of things that blur the boundaries at any particular
>>time, and in the fullness of time populations and demes
>>differentiate and disappear. A further difficulty is that the
>>population concept doesn't deal with horizontal transfer very
>>well.
>>
>>In short, the allele/population definition is useful for people
>>doing breeding experiments on fruit flies.
>>
>
>There are a few other people who do breeding experiments on other
>organisms who also find the population concept useful, not to mention
>just about every other biologist who is employed by a department other
>than microbiology.

I dare say that you could find some precious few who find the
population concept useful - one never knows what one will find in
biology departments - but all that is beside the point. I never
said anything to the contrary. (But then, you knew that.)

Perhaps it would be best if we clarify something. I was talking
about the allele/population definition of evolution and its
defects. I had supposed that that was quite clear. I used the
phrase "the allele/population definition is useful" and you
replaced it with "find the population concept useful" which is
quite a different matter. The allele/population definition
presupposes the population concept but is not the same thing,
even allowing for the difference between definitions and
concepts.

Be all of that as it may, the population concept doesn't scale
up. That is, populations are like species in that the boundaries
are fuzzy. This doesn't matter in the small, i.e., when the
periods of time involved are short and there are fairly clear
boundaries - the concept of delimited populations is a useful
approximation. In the large the neglected terms dominate.

r norman

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Oct 11, 2007, 8:29:10 AM10/11/07
to

You are, of course, quite correct about the limitations of the allele
- population concept of evolution including pointing out how I muddied
the waters about the distinction you make. You are, of course, also
quite correct in reminding us that there are rather large and very
significant groups of organisms to which the concept simply does not
apply. And the concept could not apply for perhaps the first billion
or two years of biological evolution before anybody every thought of
the idea of making a eukaryotic cell which would go on to invent the
bizarre haploid/diploid alternation we call 'sex' which allows us to
define allele frequencies in populations.

And you are also, of course, quite correct to point out that the large
bulk of scientists working on evolution (whom you cleverly and quite
amusingly referred to as 'people doing breeding experiments with fruit
flies') really don't care about those matters and therefore stick
with the population - sexual reproduction - allele - gene pool concept
of evolution. However, to the victor belongs the spoils, or rather
the privilege of defining the terms.

Richard Harter

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Oct 11, 2007, 12:06:19 PM10/11/07
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 08:29:10 -0400, r norman
<r_s_norman@_comcast.net> wrote:

Your point is well taken, sir, and I cannot help but admire the
cleverness of your strategy, which, if I may be permitted to put
it so baldly, is to concede every point graciously and then walk
off with the prize. I am both disarmed and defeated.

chris thompson

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Oct 11, 2007, 12:18:57 PM10/11/07
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On Oct 10, 4:10 am, nos...@de-ster.demon.nl (J. J. Lodder) wrote:

Are you seriously claiming that there is no change in the genetic
makeup of any population, ever, at all?

Chris


r norman

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Oct 11, 2007, 2:02:15 PM10/11/07
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And, best of all, since I acknowledge you are right about every point,
you don't feel so bad about losing and I don't have to worry about a
revenge attack.

Michael Siemon

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Oct 11, 2007, 2:43:42 PM10/11/07
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In article <07psg3t8urpcvt4bp...@4ax.com>,
r norman <r_s_norman@_comcast.net> wrote:
...

> And, best of all, since I acknowledge you are right about every point,
> you don't feel so bad about losing and I don't have to worry about a
> revenge attack.

Richard is above revenge -- he has much more effective tactics,
polished over the centuries...

Richard Harter

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Oct 11, 2007, 4:46:04 PM10/11/07
to

He's not claiming any such thing - at least not here. He's
claiming (quite rightly, I might add) that assertions of facthood
don't belong in definitions.

backspace

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Oct 11, 2007, 5:09:00 PM10/11/07
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On Oct 10, 2:04 am, r norman <r_s_norman@_comcast.net> wrote:
> Your proposal may be well meaning but does not agree with what modern
> biology has decided to call "evolution" which
> indeed, is a change in the inherited composition of a population.

Modern biology hasn't decided anything - there is no such person.

A change in the composition of a population what?. Who is this
individual that you are quoting that said there are
changes in a population. We need to ask this person what about the
changes and the inherited traits.

"In biology, evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a

population from generation to generation..." I want to know
who says so we can ask about this person, about you know these
"changes".

Richard Harter

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Oct 11, 2007, 5:15:08 PM10/11/07
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Just so. Dining upon a table made of the (polished) bones of
those who have displeased me isn't about revenge - it's about
furniture.

backspace

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Oct 11, 2007, 5:16:19 PM10/11/07
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On Oct 11, 12:27 am, c...@tiac.net (Richard Harter) wrote:
> Evolution is a process.

Says who?

> That evolution has occurred and is occurring is a fact.

What exactly is a fact?

r norman

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Oct 11, 2007, 5:32:46 PM10/11/07
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If you are serious, then you are merely ignorant. If you are not
serious, then you are truly stupid.


r norman

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Oct 11, 2007, 5:33:51 PM10/11/07
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 21:15:08 GMT, c...@tiac.net (Richard Harter) wrote:

>On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 11:43:42 -0700, Michael Siemon
><mlsi...@sonic.net> wrote:
>
>>In article <07psg3t8urpcvt4bp...@4ax.com>,
>> r norman <r_s_norman@_comcast.net> wrote:
>>...
>>> And, best of all, since I acknowledge you are right about every point,
>>> you don't feel so bad about losing and I don't have to worry about a
>>> revenge attack.
>>
>>Richard is above revenge -- he has much more effective tactics,
>>polished over the centuries...
>
>Just so. Dining upon a table made of the (polished) bones of
>those who have displeased me isn't about revenge - it's about
>furniture.
>

The bones are highly polished from gnawing on the delicious meat.

Ye Old One

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Oct 11, 2007, 5:37:14 PM10/11/07
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 14:16:19 -0700, backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com> enriched this group when s/he wrote:

>On Oct 11, 12:27 am, c...@tiac.net (Richard Harter) wrote:
>> Evolution is a process.
>
>Says who?

The overwhelming majority of the worlds scientists and educators.


>
>> That evolution has occurred and is occurring is a fact.
>
>What exactly is a fact?

fact
n noun a thing that is indisputably the case. Ř(facts)
information used as evidence or as part of a report. Řchiefly Law the
truth about events as opposed to interpretation.
--
Bob.

backspace

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Oct 11, 2007, 5:46:48 PM10/11/07
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On Oct 11, 11:32 pm, r norman <r_s_norman@_comcast.net> wrote:
> If you are serious, then you are merely ignorant. If you are not
> serious, then you are truly stupid.

"In biology, evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a


population from generation to generation..."

This sentence didn't write itself on Wikipedia - a human put it there.
I need to know who is this person in order to ask him for his intent,
only the individual who wrote this will be able to tell me his intent.
We certainly have changes in populations but what has this got to do
with Darwin's conjecture? His conjecture was that them dead bones will
show a slow gradual transformation of one species into another. Them
dead bones don't show this - Darwin's conjecture is falsified.

Is the author of this sentence implying that changes in a population
will make that ape thing they call a "common ancestor" transform or
morph into a human? We simply don't know we must ask the person for
his intent.

r norman

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Oct 11, 2007, 6:03:36 PM10/11/07
to

I suggest you get any good introductory biology book and look up
"evolution" in the glossary at the end.

You might also try googling "evolution definition". The first thing
you find is the talk.origins archive entry
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html

Darwin talked about "descent with modification" but it is essential
that the modifications be heritable.

Who wrote the Wikipedia entry is entirely irrelevant.

And, yes, I am the spokesperson to on behalf of all biologists as
selected by the Great Council of All Biologists at their last
International Plenary Session of the Conference to Decide the Ultimate
Definition of Evolution.

Cory Albrecht

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Oct 11, 2007, 8:32:40 PM10/11/07
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Say, backspace, wen are you going to ask who defined what 'blue' is?
'Cause until then, you can't even tell us what colour the sky in your
world is.

Richard Harter

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Oct 12, 2007, 1:01:54 AM10/12/07
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 14:16:19 -0700, backspace
<sawirel...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>On Oct 11, 12:27 am, c...@tiac.net (Richard Harter) wrote:
>> Evolution is a process.
>
>Says who?

Cest Moi.

>> That evolution has occurred and is occurring is a fact.
>
>What exactly is a fact?

Why do you suppose that your question makes sense, i.e., why do
you suppose that the term "fact" can be circumscribed exactly?

backspace

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Oct 12, 2007, 1:45:28 AM10/12/07
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On Oct 12, 12:03 am, r norman <r_s_norman@_comcast.net> wrote:
> Who wrote the Wikipedia entry is entirely irrelevant.

Exactly it is irrelevant because you are arguing from authority. You
simply decreed it to be so by your authority as
materialist priest controlling the media, council of Europe and the
Universities. But you know the truth is not subject
unto your authority. Newton didn't establish his law of gravity by his
authority but by giving us a means to falsify it.

Let me ask you a question. What does the following sentence mean:
"....You have a green light....."

a) A person is holding a green light bulb.
b) You can go ahead with the project
c) You can drive your car.

If it is irrelevant who wrote the sentence then would we ever be able
to determine the intent the "green light"?

J. J. Lodder

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Oct 12, 2007, 3:44:09 AM10/12/07
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chris thompson <chris.li...@gmail.com> wrote:

Theories are never facts.

Why is that so hard for Americans to understand?

Jan

Woland

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Oct 12, 2007, 7:58:07 AM10/12/07
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Context, context, context

Douchebag.

Faustino Núñez Hernández

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Oct 12, 2007, 9:23:44 AM10/12/07
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I know that environmental conditions don't have a direct impact on
variation or mutation, which in certain sense have a randomness
component.

In this sense, it is appropriate that we wonder about mutating ,
varying or changing capacity of living organisms itself , as a
specific biological capacity regardless the environment , and
regardless the fact that environment will have the last word and will
select only some mutations .

A classical conception would lean on the idea that environment causes
variations or mutations , insofar as it leans on the idea that
variations or mutations are oriented to environmental
(re)adaptation .

But , without denying this , we know it's not that simple , because we
don't see a simple connection between environment and mutations or
variations . There must be a way how environment influences
variations , but it is truly complex and indirect . Perhaps it would
be also appropriate here to wonder : how should we define
"environment" ? But this is only one of many necessary questions.

When I see how primates have developed their extremities for grabbing
the branches and adapting to arboreal life, how dolphings have
adjusted the shape of their bodies for optimal movement in water , or
how cheetah have developed their extremities for optimal movements on
terrestrial surface , I see there's a clear connection with the
environment . It is also true that the causes why a form of life
could reach certain new environmental conditions can be very random ,
such as changes of the environment by itself , or demographic
expansions towards new places . But this observation does not reveal
us too much about connections between environment and biological
variations .

In short : there's a clear relation between environment and living
organism characteristics , but we don't know all the little details of
this relation .

It looks like things happen this way : the environment demands to
living organisms something like a general essential biological pattern
that all living organisms have to obey ; but , around this minimun
pattern , the environments admits certain variability . It is this
environmentally permitted variability that justifies the current
existence of different biological species .

And maybe in this case a certain randomness is also allowed .

I insist I acknowledge that we know very little about the details of
the connection between environment and biological variation ; although
we know that , in general , living organisms need to adapt to the
place where they live .

I suggested one new definition of evolution , but now I suggest that
maybe it would be better to admit TWO DEFINITIONS OF EVOLUTION , or a
doubled sensed definition of Evolution :

> Evolution , in the sense of biological capacity itself of living organisms for transforming , varying or mutating , maybe in some cases due to external factors but in general regardless environmental conditions .

> And Evolution , in the sense of living organisms transformation , change or mutation for (re)adapting to new environmental conditions ( this would be rather the classic sense ) .


Faustino Núñez Hernández

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Oct 12, 2007, 9:24:25 AM10/12/07
to

UC

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Oct 12, 2007, 9:46:45 AM10/12/07
to
On Oct 9, 8:04 pm, r norman <r_s_norman@_comcast.net> wrote:
> On Tue, 09 Oct 2007 16:58:16 -0700, Faustino Núñez Hernández
> >In short: to evolve is to change to re-adapt to a new environment.
>
> >So what has this got to do with the simple notion of Wikipedia, of

> >"change in the inherited traits of a population from generation to
> >generation". Wikipedia definition is not leaning in a substantive
> >manner on the idea of an own self change oriented to an environment
> >change.
>
> >The concept of reproduction is not initially necessary for the concept
> >of Evolution. I think reproduction occurs when living beings have
> >become so complex, that they need to rebuild theirselves separatedly
> >up from zero to be able to assume transformations; I think this is
> >also what made genes necessary.
>
> >But, on the other hands, very simple forms of life could use directly
> >their own internal metabolism, without extending it outside, to assume
> >self transformations or mutations, before new environmental
> >conditions.
>
> >The important thing of evolution, is the relation between a change of
> >the living being, and a change of the environment. The emphasis should
> >be on this, not on things like reproduction or inheritance.
>
> >I write some more detailed considerations about this on my blog, in an
> >article where I experimentally imagine the artificial synthesis of a
> >living being:
>
> >+http://posteocuandomesaledeloshuevos.blogspot.com/2007/09/read-this-a...

>
> Your proposal may be well meaning but does not agree with what modern
> biology has decided to call "evolution" which, indeed, is a change in
> the inherited composition of a population. This definition does not
> make any reference to adaptation to the environment which is merely
> one aspect of evolutionary change. Perhaps the most important
> aspects, but still only one aspect.

Yes, the population may change in a way that is not necessarily better-
suited to the environment. It may in fact be the result of a lack of
selection pressure. Consider the dodo, for instance.


stew dean

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Oct 12, 2007, 9:54:42 AM10/12/07
to
On 12 Oct, 14:23, Faustino Núñez Hernández <faus...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I know that environmental conditions don't have a direct impact on
> variation or mutation, which in certain sense have a randomness
> component.
>
> In this sense, it is appropriate that we wonder about mutating ,
> varying or changing capacity of living organisms itself , as a
> specific biological capacity regardless the environment , and
> regardless the fact that environment will have the last word and will
> select only some mutations .

You have to be careful here. The liiving oranism does not mutate or
change. Evolution does not happen on the individual level but on the
population level.


> A classical conception would lean on the idea that environment causes
> variations or mutations , insofar as it leans on the idea that
> variations or mutations are oriented to environmental
> (re)adaptation .

The variation and mutation are not oreintated at anything. Adaption
happens through natuaral selection carried out by the environment.

> But , without denying this , we know it's not that simple , because we
> don't see a simple connection between environment and mutations or
> variations .

What do you mean by connection? What variations are successful is down
to environment. The actual alterations themselves are controlled in
terms of level to some degree (after all too much mutation or too
little and a population would ever be overly diverse or not be able to
adapt) but other than that it needs to be 'random' to be effective.


> There must be a way how environment influences
> variations , but it is truly complex and indirect .

If you are saying the environment dictates what mutations happen then
you only need to consider the mechanism needed for that to see it's
not a viable idea. There would need to be a mechanism that could
understand what gene to change to trigger off a certain result and do
it in such a way as not to upset all the other values of future
generations. You'd have to have a kind of super computer involved with
the process.

A much better way is for the changes to be random and then the
environment change this noise into signal over several generations.
Remember an individual does not mutate, the mutation happens on a very
very low level at the time of reproduction. Although you appear to
want to happen in a way more akin to a science fiction novel where
evolution is some kind of mystical force. It's not. It's a very simple
and practical process.


> Perhaps it would
> be also appropriate here to wonder : how should we define
> "environment" ? But this is only one of many necessary questions.

Envrionment is all that an individual comes incontact with. This
includes other species and members of the same species. Environment is
a well understood aspect of evolution.


> When I see how primates have developed their extremities for grabbing
> the branches and adapting to arboreal life, how dolphings have
> adjusted the shape of their bodies for optimal movement in water , or
> how cheetah have developed their extremities for optimal movements on
> terrestrial surface , I see there's a clear connection with the
> environment .

There is - but a creature does not adapt to the environment - a
population does. Each generation of primates has variation in it and
that variation, when pitted agasinst the world around the primates,
leads to variations in reproductive success. So a monkey better at
climbing trees because a mutation lead to a better grip is likely to
do better than it's peers.

If evolution was guided it would be a much much quicker process but
also prone to lead to far more dead ends as each species trues to
double guess what other species are doing. You end with much more
change and potential more chaotic evolution.

> It is also true that the causes why a form of life
> could reach certain new environmental conditions can be very random ,
> such as changes of the environment by itself , or demographic
> expansions towards new places . But this observation does not reveal
> us too much about connections between environment and biological
> variations .

It does, it's just you don't want to accept random change filtered by
the environment. It works, it's used for pragmatic processes. The
right degree or randomeness is much better than a bad guess.


> In short : there's a clear relation between environment and living
> organism characteristics , but we don't know all the little details of
> this relation .

There is relationship, it's standard in evolution.

> It looks like things happen this way : the environment demands to
> living organisms something like a general essential biological pattern
> that all living organisms have to obey ; but , around this minimun
> pattern , the environments admits certain variability . It is this
> environmentally permitted variability that justifies the current
> existence of different biological species .

Sorry but the environment demands nothing as it's not a human. It is
what it is. If it's cold, it's cold, there is no intent involved.
Don't confuse human concepts with cold hard reality.

> And maybe in this case a certain randomness is also allowed .

Mutations are random, the degree of mutation appears to be controlled
by nature but it's still random and arguably needs to be to be
effective. Must genetic change is about recombining existing elements
from the genetic pool.


> I suggested one new definition of evolution , but now I suggest that
> maybe it would be better to admit TWO DEFINITIONS OF EVOLUTION , or a
> doubled sensed definition of Evolution :

Unless you have some support for you concept, which appears to be
rather undefined and more wishful thinking than anything, the existing
definition works well.

Stew Dean


backspace

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Oct 12, 2007, 10:43:57 AM10/12/07
to

A selection is a choice. The dodo is dead what had this got to do
with anybody making decisions. What casual relationship is there
between the word "death" and "choice"?


SeppoP

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Oct 12, 2007, 11:06:59 AM10/12/07
to

Once you're dead you don't have a choice.


--
Seppo P.
What's wrong with Theocracy? (a Finnish Taliban, Oct 1, 2005)

Faustino Núñez Hernández

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Oct 12, 2007, 3:58:31 PM10/12/07
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Sorry for the repetition , I thought the first send went bad

Mark Isaak

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Oct 12, 2007, 3:57:10 PM10/12/07
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On Fri, 12 Oct 2007 07:43:57 -0700, backspace wrote:

> On Oct 12, 3:46 pm, UC <uraniumcommit...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> On Oct 9, 8:04 pm, r norman <r_s_norman@_comcast.net> wrote:

>>[...]


>> > Your proposal may be well meaning but does not agree with what modern
>> > biology has decided to call "evolution" which, indeed, is a change in
>> > the inherited composition of a population. This definition does not
>> > make any reference to adaptation to the environment which is merely
>> > one aspect of evolutionary change. Perhaps the most important
>> > aspects, but still only one aspect.
>
>> Yes, the population may change in a way that is not necessarily better-
>> suited to the environment.
>
>> It may in fact be the result of a lack of
>> selection pressure. Consider the dodo, for instance.
>
> A selection is a choice. The dodo is dead what had this got to do
> with anybody making decisions. What casual relationship is there
> between the word "death" and "choice"?

In biology, a selection is NOT a choice. Learn that.

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


Mark Isaak

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Oct 12, 2007, 4:01:51 PM10/12/07
to
On Fri, 12 Oct 2007 09:44:09 +0200, J. J. Lodder wrote:

> chris thompson <chris.li...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Oct 10, 4:10 am, nos...@de-ster.demon.nl (J. J. Lodder) wrote:

>> > [...]


>> > Any definition which states that 'evolution is a fact' must be wrong,
>>

>> Are you seriously claiming that there is no change in the genetic
>> makeup of any population, ever, at all?
>
> Theories are never facts.
>
> Why is that so hard for Americans to understand?

Probably because it is not true. "Theory" and "fact" are both defined
fuzzily enough that there is substantial overlap.

Noelie S. Alito

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Oct 12, 2007, 5:57:50 PM10/12/07
to

Well sure, theories are explanations.

Evolution is a fact. The Theory of Evolution is a theory.

The ToE explains the observed fact of evolution.


> Why is that so hard for Americans to understand?

We's is jus' too dumb, I suppose.


Noelie

--
Theories and models and facts--oh my!

Richard Harter

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Oct 12, 2007, 6:04:47 PM10/12/07
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On Fri, 12 Oct 2007 09:44:09 +0200, nos...@de-ster.demon.nl (J.
J. Lodder) wrote:

On the contrary. All facts are theories; ergo some theories are
facts.

Michael R. James

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Oct 15, 2007, 3:02:35 PM10/15/07
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> Says who?

That would depend on what your definition of the word "is" is.

mike

--
mrj...@swcp.com http://www.swcp.com/~mrjames/
"When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it
in numbers you know something about it; but when you cannot express
it in numbers your knowledge is a meagre and unsatisfactory kind"
- Lord Kelvin

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