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

Posts: 159
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 27 2007,09:58   

Quote (Zachriel @ July 27 2007,07:28)
Chapter Review: Malthusian Logic 101

(Apparently, some of the class weren't paying attention when we covered this material previously.)

Acquiesce: What ‘other’ effects (i.e. apart from numbers of surviving offspring) are important for NS? In other words, what ‘other’ effects can NS ‘see’ and ‘select’ if they do not impact on the numbers of surviving offspring? What are you talking about?

All organisms can reproduce exponentially. The question is access to resources.

Motility or the ability to digest new food sources could represent a substantial advantage for an organism. The symbiosis of two different organisms, such as a prokaryote and chloroplast could be a substantial advantage. A stalk on a plant can leave its competitors in the shadows. So while Acquiesce's organism just sits there having eaten everything in the area, a mutant could be moving to greener pastures, or sending out spores, or even eating its competitors for lunch.

(Let me add that this argument concerning evolution of bacteria is faulty. Modern bacteria are highly optimized for their current niche, the result of billions of years of evolution. Primordial cells may very well have been more complex and ad hoc.)

Indeed, the confusion at UD about basic facts of evolution continues:



9:28 am
  Ditto, Bob?

Wherein the underlying problem appears to be that UDers do not realize that the number of offspring generated is only one factor in the expected number of offspring that will survive to reproduce - i.e. fitness is only partially coupled to raw number of offspring produced.  If I have 4000 babies, but only 1 survives, I am no better off (evolutionarily speaking) than someone who produces 2 offspring and 1 survives to reproduce.

i.e. E(# reproducing offspring) != E(# of offspring)

But I must have forgotten - PaV has "studied quantum mechanics and knows what an expected value is".

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

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