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  Topic: Evolutionary Computation, Stuff that drives AEs nuts< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Zachriel



Posts: 2717
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2009,11:52   

Quote (midwifetoad @ July 02 2009,11:22)
I'm still a bit confused. It is commonly argued, and has been for many decades, that low population numbers lead to extinction, even if the remaining members are protected.

But I fail to get the relevance for TOE. Extinction seems to be a rather common event at geological time scales, so what's the problem for the theory?

The claim is that genetic meltdown affects even normal-size populations. Of course, Mendel's Accountant ignores many factors that mitigate against the claim.

 
Quote (midwifetoad @ July 02 2009,11:22)
I'm thinking the definition of deleterious is rather arbitrary unless it is exposed to selection. What prevents us from defining all niche specializations as deleterious at geological time scales, since specialization puts a population at risk for extinction.

You're right in general.

Presumably, Mendel's Accountant is considering absolute fitness, meaning populations can precipitously degrade if the fecundity drops below a certain level. If they were serious, they would investigate under which circumstances they would not see meltdown, and explore this boundary in more detail. But their purpose is apologetics dressed up as science. I certainly wouldn't consider any such simulation to be anything more than qualitatative unless carefully matched to a biological situation. It doesn't even account for sexual selection; and without empirical verification, it is subject to simple mistakes such as the calculation of "working fitness" noted above. They see what they want to see.

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You never step on the same tard twice—for it's not the same tard and you're not the same person.

   
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