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  Topic: Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 160
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 25 2007,21:54   

Quote (Zachriel @ July 25 2007,06:50)
How therefore does NS select in the direction of higher complexity, when it appears that higher complexity necessitates a reduction in fitness? ... So basically what I’m saying is that even if we grant Darwinists NS and RM the likelihood is that NS would only direct RM in producing traits which further increase fitness. So its doubtful NS would ever go beyond simple, fast reproducing organisms such as bacteria.

Natural Selection doesn't necessarily select for higher complexity, but for the environment, which includes other competing organisms. If there's a rule, it's diversity. In some environments, a non-motile bacteria may do just fine. But in other environments, a motile bacteria may have a significant advantage. And an organism that eats bacteria may very well find a successful niche. Darwin 101.

I remember taking a class in Animal Behavior years and years ago. One of the articles we read had to do with rats. It seems that when the density of rats in a restricted area gets so high, they begin to kill one another. Now, here’s the exercise, if fitness is related to competing species, and, if fitness is essentially reproductive success, then how can a species of rats that has developed the tendency to kill its own (and, therefore, reduce the number of offsprings in the present generation and the ensuing generation as well) be considered more fit? And, if it’s not more fit, then how did it develop?

Rats didn't evolve in cages. When a certain population density is reached, they tend to migrate to establish new communities. If there is only room in the given environment for so many rats, then only the biggest baddest rats live to propagate. Malthusian Logic 101.

Saying the eye evolved — a famously contested claim in itself — does not explain how creatures that depend on eyes are more fitted to survival than creatures that don’t.

An eye, eye-spot or light-sensitivity has obvious advantages to both plants and animals. Plants want to move towards the light (but not too much light). Animals eat other organisms, so eyes tend to be very useful for finding food. Biology 101.

Fitness is a measure of the numbers of surviving offspring (nothing else). Thus you are totally wrong, less complex organisms are orders of magnitude fitter than higher organisms – which brings us back to how NS can direct for higher complexity whilst simultaneously selecting for lower fitness.

Not quite. All organisms can produce more young than necessary for replacement. Fitness is a measure relative to the environment including other organisms competing in that niche resulting in differential reproductive success. Population Dynamics 101.

Making lots of babies does not necessarily result in success in every environment. Birth Control 101.

Put the two issues together and you see the other issue come out: the stasis and suddenness of new types of organisms that is all over the fossil record, the paltry number of celebrated “links” notwithstanding. (I gather they are now fewer than in late C19, contrary to Darwin’s hopes, and contrary to what one would reasonably expect from the “almost unmanageably rich” fossil collections we now have and have had for decades.)

If you have a gap, and fill a point in the gap, you now  have two gaps! Geometry 101.

But that's not quite the claim. Apparently, if you keep adding links, you end up with fewer links. But addition is, well, additive. Arithmetic 101.

Bob O'H    
To be honest, and my apologies for sounding arrogant, I would suggest you go back and learn the basics of evolutionary theory.

That's not arrogance Bob O'H, but a useful suggestion. They haven't a clue about the Theory of Evolution 101.

The more I read this thread:

The more astounded I am at the level of a) ignorance and b) arrogance illustrated by the UD'ers when it comes to evolutionary theory.

Their argument appears to be: "NS must select for fast breeders.  Therefore evolution can't generate complicated structures."

The ignorance comes in when they refuse to even think that their initial argument: "NS has to select for fast breeders, and everything else is garbage to NS" doesn't translate to "Wow, you know, I never considered the fact that there might be two different traits in an organism that lead to increased fitness - 1) simplicity and thus increased reproduction rates, and 2) complexity and thus security in a niche."  

And the arrogance appears at this point: "I am a master genius who has singlehandedly dis-proven the power of natural selection.  No scientists in the past 150 years have considered the implications of my finding that NS may only select for the simplest and fastest breeding strains!"


  29999 replies since Jan. 16 2006,11:43 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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