Howard's concept with natural selection Edit


Theory of Evolution Edit

"...........The biological theory of evolution is about organisms changing to adapt to new situations over time by *modifying* pre-existing structures/functions or taking advantage of novel accidents (to pre-existing material) that have some current utility......."

Note in particular his usage the term "novel accidents". Many neo-Aristotelians use the symbol Non-Random but actually mean by this "novel accidents" , "result of accident" or "absolute empire of accident" (Charles Kingsley) in some Multi-Universe theoretic framework.

from thread GeneExpressionNaturalSelection

Design subset of pattern Edit

Design patterns are a subset of the universe of all patterns. Or, more briefly, design is a subset of pattern. I meant what I said. Substituting the very similar word "model", design is a subset of all models or perceptual structures that can be copied.

What did the selecting? Edit IN response to JerryFodor's : Who did the selecting2 we get ".... not who3, but what3 did the selecting3....". Thus a human is a 'what3' and not a 'who2' depending on how they view the PatternOrDesign issue in terms of Naming Conventions.

Howard views the 'what3 human' making decisions3 in terms of "... design3 is subset of pattern3....". A theist views the 'who2 human' making decisions2 to convey the same intent as Augustus 2000 years ago when "selectus2" was used to symbolically represent ideas in terms of the PatternOrDesign dichotomy.

Tautology concept Edit

I suggest you learn the difference between a tautology and something that is true by definition. They are not the same thing. A tautology is when the definition provides no additional information; that is, the term is described by terms that mean the same thing. As in the classic opium causes sleepiness because of its somnambulent properties. In contrast we have defined natural selection in terms of 'differential reproductive success'. Differential reproductive success is measurable independently and must be so measured prior to the determination that natural selection has happened. Measuring the reproductive success of two phenotypically different populations certainly does not guarantee that natural selection has occurred. I have given you examples of natural selection NOT being guaranteed by determining the levels of reproductive success.

Your complaint must be that you disagree with the *direction* of NS, when it happens, that is considered to be 'beneficial'. That is, you want death and sterility to be 'beneficial'. You are a 'death cultist'.

Howard defines NS Edit

Natural selection does not even meet this definition. I have said that NS occurs when and only when |rs1 - rs2| > 0. That is, NS is conditional upon the presence of *particular* values of rs1 and rs2. When rs1 = (approximately) rs2, NS has not happened.

NS Edit

I agree that the tautology objection to the observation that natural selection exists is silly and is largely based on a definition that one rarely uses or even sees anymore in standard texts (except to discuss its defects, starting with its use of the superlative -est ending rather than the comparative -er ending). But so is the denial that natural selection exists as a fact of nature (based on equally silly misunderstandings) that you express regularly and regularly conflate with 'evolution by the mechanism of natural selection'. One does not need to think that evolution happens to recognize that natural selection does. Natural selection was well recognized prior to Darwin.

Natural selection is a frequently observed feature of the *interaction between organisms and their environment*. It is the observation that the *environment* (which is unintelligent) in which organisms live often can, but does not inevitably do so, discriminate (in a stochastic fashion) between *different phenotypes* of an organism living in that environment, favoring one phenotype over the other and specifically favoring phenotypes that are better adapted to life in that particular environment.

NOTES: favoring<=>better adapted - tautology

When it does so, the phenotype which is favored will (in the stochastic sense of 'be more likely to' rather than the inevitable causal sense 'must') have *greater reproductive success* than the alternate phenotype; that is, greater reproductive success is a consequence of being better adapted to a particular local environment.

[Of course, for evolution to be a consequence of natural selection, the phenotypic differences that the environment discriminates between must be a consequence, at least in part, of genetic differences. However, we are talking solely about natural selection at this point. And natural selection occurs just as relentlessly and ruthlessly (and unintelligently) if the phenotypic differences are due to accident or environment or developmental abnormality. The unintelligent environment, as it relates to and interacts with life as a dog, will favor the dog with four good legs and discriminate against the one with none regardless of whether the legless condition is due to genetic defect, accident, or developmental abnormality.]

Note the basic requirements for determining whether natural selection has occurred: There must be *different phenotypes* that are interacting with the *environment* relevant to that organism. Natural selection, when it occurs under these conditions, is an observational consequence of a comparison. Natural selection is a population phenomenon and is a comparison of *phenotypes* and not *individuals*. Thus, one can talk about the fitter *phenotype* but not the fitter *individuals*. The survival of any single individual in a population may be a simple anomoly (the environment only provides a stochastic bias, not a virtual certainty). To declare that one *phenotype* is *fitter than* another, one must be looking at a population average, not an individual.

Although a comparison of *different phenotypes* and their interaction with a particular *environment* is the basic requirement for determining whether natural selection has occurred, merely having two (or more) different phenotypes in an environment does not guarantee that natural selection will occur (or will have occurred). *Natural selection* is only said to occur when one of the two phenotypes has a *statistically significant* difference on the metric of reproductive success. Phenotypes which do not affect nor produce a statistically significant difference in the metric of reproductive success are *selectively* neutral wrt one another.

            • By convention, and in accordance with the common useage of the

term "fitter", the phenotype which has the significantly greater reproductive success is called the *fitter* phenotype in that particular enviroment. That is because reproductive success is the only recognizable universal "goal" of or metric upon which to compare living organisms. [You are, of course, quite free to disagree with the use of this metric and claim that the less reproductively successful organisms should be declared to be 'fitter'.]******

[I emphasized the above paragraph, because it is, in fact, crucial. If one wants to argue against natural selection, one must argue against this point. I am claiming that the only *apparent* or *scientifically detectable* or *empirically useful* universal "goal" of *all* life on earth is, empirically if not theologically, maximal reproductive success. This makes reproductive success the only valid metric for measuring natural selection and defining 'greater reproductive success' as 'fitter' is indeed consistent with common understanding of the term 'fitter'. If one agrees with the validity of using differential reproductive success as the metric for determining whether natural selection occurs (or has occurred), then anytime that one observes differential reproductive success of one phenotype relative to another significantly greater than can be accounted for by random genetic drift, one is observing an event due to natural selection -- that is, a difference due to the local environment discriminating between phenotypes. That means that even if Kettlewell had not done his experiments, industrial melanism in moths would *still* be an example of natural selection.]

So let's summarize: Natural selection is said to have occurred when, in any comparison of two phenotypic variants in an organism in a specific environment, there is a significant average difference in reproductive success of organisms with alternate phenotypes in that environment. By convention, the phenotype which leads to greater reproductive success is called the 'fitter' phenotype.

It is important to realize that observing a phenotypic difference does not, by itself, tell us which, if either, phenotype is 'fitter' in any particular environment. One can certainly use standard engineering reasoning (by recognizing that the goal is greater reproductive success) to make educated guesses, but must be prepared for surpises. [For example, longevity, if it interfers with net reproductive success as is the case in C. elegans and many other organisms, can be less 'fit' than quick burnout due to high reproduction early on.]

OTOH, because of the definition of 'fitter' given above, if one observes a case in nature where one phenotype is observed to have *significantly greater* reproductive success than an alternate phenotype, one can reasonably infer that natural selection is involved in determining the relative numbers of the two phenotypes both now and in the future (so long as the environment remains constant) and look for reasons why the local environment dumbly and unintelligently significantly favors one phenotype over the other.

IOW, the alternative to natural selection are simply cases where there is no selection at all. Those are the only two alternatives that exist in nature*: No selection or selection (in a specific environment). To say that natural selection does not occur, like you seem to, is contrary to observed reality.

  • One could, I guess, make a claim that every example of the environment

discriminating between phenotypes currently ascribed to *natural* selection is actually *artificial* selection guided by some unknown and unobservable intelligent agency other than man. But since all examples of natural selection involve phenotypes that are deleterious (some to the state of being lethal, and all in the sense of affecting reproductive success) and show consistency with engineering principles of better by the metric of reproductive success, I see no reason for unnecessarily multiplying the causitive agencies and explanations here.

One of the many reasons why "Survival of the fittest." is a poor definition of natural selection (and has been recognized as a poor definition since Darwin's time) is that it can be (and often is) falsely interpretable as being a description of an individual property divorced from environment rather than a comparative description of the interaction of a phenotype in a population with a particular environment. That is in addition to 'survival' not being the appropriate metric by which selection is measured.

  • When* natural selection is used as biologists use it, it is an

observational fact about how organisms interact with their environment.

Namely, we say that natural selection occurs when there is a

significant difference in the metric of reproductive success because the local environment discriminates (unintelligently) between two variant phenotypes in an organism.

[snip stuff based on the poorest of definitions of NS]

synonys for ns Edit

> As I have posted we > can't seperate SoF and artificial selection from natural selection if > by NS we are communicating Darwin's intent.

SoF is an older and not particularly useful description of NS. It is only (mis)used by creationists today. The term artificial, as opposed to natural, refers to "intelligent designed" selection (artifice refers to man-made things) as opposed to selection by the dumb unintelligent sieving action of the environment. Both involve "selection" or "discrimination" or "differential consequences", to use some related words you might choose to try to understand (as opposed to the terms you are willfully not understanding). Your refusal to even consider the above as a meaningful answer is evidence of your dimness and post-modernist wishful thinking

asdf Edit {{{ On Jun 23, 11:36 am, backspace <> wrote:

- Hide quoted text - - Show quoted text - > On Jun 23, 4:50 pm, wrote:

> > On Jun 23, 3:02 am, backspace <> wrote:

> > > On Jun 23, 6:44 am,GregGuarino<> wrote:

> > > > On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 08:02:56 -0700, backspace

> > > > <> wrote: [snip]

> > "Can it, then, be thought improbable, seeing that variations useful to > > man have undoubtedly occurred, that other variations useful in some > > way to each being in the great and complex battle of life, should > > occur in the course of many successive generations? If such do occur, > > can we doubt (remembering that many more individuals are born than can > > possibly survive) that individuals having any advantage, however > > slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and of > > procreating their kind? On the other hand, we may feel sure that any > > variation in the least degree injurious would be rigidly destroyed. > > This preservation of favourable individual differences and variations, > > and the destruction of those which are injurious, I have called > > Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest. Variations neither > > useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and > > would be left either a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in > > certain polymorphic species, or would ultimately become fixed, owing > > to the nature of the organism and the nature of the conditions."

> > I think that sums up Darwin's "intent" quite nicely, and, as if it was > > necessary, neatly destroys any claim that he himself didn't know what > > he meant. You have also had these concepts explained to with > > kindergarten simplicity any number of times on this group, including > > at least two attempts by me that you have ignored:

> >

> > In short, we get it. You won't be convinced. Your particular method of > > willful blindness has a few new twists to it, but that's all.

> In short the paragraph you quoted states:"Some survived , some didn't > those that did survive are here, those that didn't are dead."

No. It says that some survived *because* in that particular environment that particular variant is favored or disfavored. In order for survival to be due to "natural selection" the differential reproductive success must be a consequence of a *causal* effect of the local environment. Differential survival that is due to chance alone is NOT natural selection; it is neutral drift.

> Is this > Natural Selection , Theory of Natural Selection, Theory of gradual > evolution, Theory of Evolution and Theory of Survival of the Fittest > the same thing?

No. Natural Selection is what happens. The Theory of Natural Selection explains what happens. The theory of 'gradual' evolution is sometimes counterposed to the theory of punctuated equilibrium; both are about the *rates* at which evolution occurs. The theory of evolution includes both evolution by natural selection and evolution by neutral changes. There is no "Theory of Survival of the Fittest". That phrase is merely shorthand for what happens during natural selection. It is rarely used today because of its inadequacy as a shorthand description. "Differential reproductive success" is a better shorthand that overcomes some of the obvious misconceptions that "survival of the fittest" produces in the small and limited minds that willfully try to misinterpret it as a tautology or take it too literally.

> Did Darwin have three theory's Theory of Natural > Selection, Theory of Evolution and Theory of Survival of the fittest.

> What was Darwin's intent with Theory of Natural Selection and Natural > Selection how do they differ?

Darwin and the creationist biologists of his and earlier times all recognized that natural selection happens. They differed in that Darwin recognized that natural selection could be a process for adapting an organism's biology to changes in local environments whereas the creationist biologists saw natural selection as a purely negative removal of defectives.

> And how do you relate his pragmatics with "chance" where he stated it > is an ".... incorrect expression" with the > modern day expression of Random Natural Selection and the Coyne > version of Non-Random Natural Selection.

If it qualifies as "natural selection" it must be non-random. That is the differential reproductive success must be *causally* linked to environmental discrimination for alternative variants. Random or chance differences in reproductive success result in neutral drift, not natural selection. Neither possibility (selection or drift), however, can result in absolute stasis.

> We have a single word occuring over and over again. I believe Coyne > used "Natural Selection" 50 times in his review of Behe's book. What > is your pragmatics with NS , what is Coyne's what a 7-year old kid's > pragmatics with NS?

> Natural, natural , natural everything got naturaled and nobody can > tell me what is their particular intent with "natural".

Natural as opposed to designed or 'artificed' (artificial) selection. 'Intelligent design' evolution is also called eugenics or animal/plant breeding.

> Is Natural Selection a cause or an effect. Colby says it is an effect, > but never tells us what is the cause then.

Local environments cause (result in) selection, if and when selection happens. Selection does not *need* to be present. There are many variants that are selectively neutral.

> Show me any dicipline in science where you can state some phenomena is > an effect but refuse to tell us what then is the cause - only language > coo-coo-clock land of brainwashed "naturaled" evolutionists and IDsts.

> The fundamental question you are not answering is: > Is NS a cause or an effect?

NS is *caused by* the differential effect that local environments have on different variants. If the local environment has no causal effect on the different variants, change is due to neutral drift rather than NS. Neutral drift is the absence of detectable selection.

> What is your pragmatics with Random Mutations + Natural Selection if > Darwin never had any "randomish" pragmatics and never used the word > random?

He never used the word 'gene' or 'mutation' either. He made no claim that the "variants" he talked about arose "randomly". It was the geneticists of the 1930s and later who ultimately determined that mutations (and the variants due to these changes) arose randomly. }}}

Evolution is not random Edit
   "...There is probably no other statement which is a better indication
   that the arguer doesn't understand evolution. Chance certainly plays a
   large part in evolution, but this argument completely ignores the
   fundamental role of natural selection, and selection is the very
   opposite of chance..."
   Howard here Mark Isaak seems to say that "selection" can only be used
   in the design sense

No he isn't. He is using the word in the sense that the process of NS produces a non-chance consequence. That is no different than saying that the process of the physical chemistry of freezing produces a non- random result in crystal formation.

   but of course we can use any word in either the
   pattern or the design sense, it depends what is your intent with the
   word, the word alone can't have some sort of universal immovable

Get this through your skull. Pattern and design are not opposites. There is "design pattern" and "non-design pattern". The distinction between them is that the former requires an animate agent. To properly identify whether an observed "pattern" is a "design pattern" or a "non-design pattern", the only reliable method is empirical observation of the designer or his/her/its/their empirical non- presence. One simply cannot distinguish between "designed" and "non- designed" patterns merely by looking at the patterns in the absence of other outside evidence. Too many false positives and false negatives in the absence of outside knowledge of manufacturing or non- manufacturing processes.

   Selection in the pattern sense is almost always used in the poetic
   sense or in outright poetry, we are dealing with "science" (whatever
   that is supposed to mean) and not poetry, thus "selection" given the
   context of our discussion must always be in the design sense and
   another word must be used if you are communicating an intent in the
   pattern sense.

Yawn. I know you don't like the term "selection" when used in the phrase "natural selection". So use another term. Just don't be such a post-modernist that you think that the empirical reality of NS will disappear in a puff of post-modernist smoke if one doesn't use the word "selection". That would be like pretending that you can walk out the 23rd story window without consequence if only we magically make the word "gravity" disappear.

Howards explains NS Edit

On Aug 11, 12:37 pm, backspace <> wrote:

> On Aug 11, 6:25 pm, hersheyh <> wrote:


> > I take it your thought process, such as it is, was interrupted here. > > But you may continue to present the rest of this with appropriate > > citation as to when, where, and who and how it fits into whatever > > argument you have (if any) with the *modern* scientific understanding > > of NS.

> What would this be?

The modern scientific understanding of NS? I have already described it. Let me repeat:

      • repost****

Rather than use examples unrelated to the biological meaning of the phrases "natural selection", "artificial selection", and "selective neutrality", let's use examples that clearly point out their meaning. I will give you an opportunity to make simple replies, but you will

  • also* have to justify those replies. I will justify what I say by

always giving a "because" explanation of why I made the choice of terms I did. Remember that "natural selection" involves a comparison of two alternative features in an organism on some metric of "differential reproductive success". I will use the metric of "differential survival until reproductive maturity" in my examples, but remember that there are other possible ways of measuring 'reproductive success'. We will be looking at an imaginary organism (but one that has features 
like many real ones), the Lake Monroe Oysters. The oysters have two 
alternative features: some are red and taste like shit, others are 
blue and taste like ambrosia. Once a year, the oysters, about a 
thousand strong, put out their little legs and walk to a small pond 
owned by Gene Poole, where they dump in all their gametes (sperm and 
eggs) and then die without ever going back to Lake Monroe. But, 10 
days later, all the little oyster babies (about 10,000 strong) walk 
from Gene Poole Pond back to Lake Monroe, where they either grow up 
over the course of the next year or die. The survivors then repeat 
the process to make the next generation. And so on.

Example One 
The adults that go to Gene Poole Pond are 30% red/shit and 70% blue/ 
ambrosia. They empty their gametes into the Gene Poole Pond and, 
because fusion to produce zygotes is a random process according to 
Mendelian genetics and according to the rules of Hardy- Weinberg, we 
get just about 30% red and 70% blue progeny in the pond that will 
travel back to Lake Monroe. Quite a number of these progeny (about 
90%) will die over the course of the year (see Malthus for an 
explanation). But, when we look at the progeny that survive their 
year in Lake Monroe and go back to the Gene Poole Pond for the next 
oyster orgy, we observe that 30% are red and 70% are blue. What this 
means is that there has been no "*differential* survival until reproductive maturity" with respect to the two alternative features (phenotypes) we are following: red or blue. That is, all the death that has occurred was due either to chance alone or to features unlinked to the color/taste of the 
oysters. The key feature to look at is the % of red versus blue in 
the parent generation at birth (actually, at zygote fusion) and in 
the adult breeders. Now, of course, the actual %s will probably not 
be *exactly* 30/70 for the same reason you would not expect to get 
*exactly* 50 heads: 50 tails every time you flipped an honest coin 100 
times. But there are statistical ways to estimate whether the 
observed result is

  • significantly* different from such a random 
expectation. Observing a

31% to 69% ratio would not be a surprising 
result if the numbers are small enough in the population or in a 
random sample from the population. In this case, we would observe 310 
red to 690 blue in the adult breeders. A deviation from expectation this large or smaller 
than the expected 300 and 700 would happen by chance about half the 
time, so I would consider this to be merely a chance deviation and not 
a significant deviation. [I am using a simple chi- square test and 
regard any deviation that could occur by chance 95% of the time to be 
non-significant.] A second minor point, but an evolutionarily important one, is that, as 
many a gambler has found out, "chance has no memory". If the new % 
entering the Gene Poole Pond is 31%/69%, the expectation of chance is 
that that (rather 
than 30/70) would be the expected %s entering Lake Monroe and exiting 
it the next year. This is the reason why selective neutrality leads 
to neutral drift and eventual fixation of one or the other 
phenotypes. A third minor point. I am ignoring the diploid genetics of this case, so I am not examining specific *genotypes*. If I did, I might find that this is an example of "stabilizing selection" like that seen in sickle cell anemia. That would only be observable over a number of generations (by deviation from the expectations of random drift) or by 
examining the ratios of homozygotes and heterozygotes in the genes. This is an example of the *absence* of "significant differential selection". Or, if you prefer, an example where neither color had any 
*differential* effect on survival. In biology, this pure chance process is NOT called "natural selection" precisely because there is no *differential* selection related to the features. This example is (tentatively) called "selective neutrality" and leads to "neutral drift". Again, this is NOT considered "natural selection". However, the random walk that occurs by "neutral drift" does lead to evolution (genetic change) over time to the extent that these features are genetic. [And this would also lead to the discovery of "stabilizing selection" if that were the reason for the apparent absence of change.] To summarize: In the absence of evidence for *selection*, there is no 
"natural selection"; there is "selective neutrality" leading to "neutral drift". IOW, pure chance and only chance is NOT "natural selection". It is "selective neutrality" and only selective neutrality that represents pure chance. There is no *differential selection* at all in the case of selective neutrality, 
unless it was done by a designer who was trying and succeeding in 
mimicking a completely random process (which is very difficult for 
humans to do without using a random number generator of some kind), 
there is no way to call such a result a product of "design". So 
"selective neutrality" is almost always a "pattern" and *specifically* 
is always 
a "random pattern" wrt the measured metric of "differential reproductive success between the two alternative features". The only way such a result can ever be a "design" is when a "designer"

  • successfully* mimics a random, pure chance result. The only way

to know that is by knowledge of the existence and intent of the "designer". It would be impossible to tell by examination of the "pattern" alone. And, initially, it is not possible (if the genetics are unknown) to distinguish between "stabilizing selection" due to heterozygote vigor and "selective neutrality". The difference between them would only become obvious as the pattern deviates over many generations from the probability expectations of neutral drift. Now, it is your turn. Does the above *random* *non-selective* described process that biologists call "selective neutrality" produce "pattern" or "design". Explain why you think so, if your thinking differs from mine.

Example Two 
The adults that go to Gene Poole Pond are 30% red/shit and 70% blue/ 
ambrosia and produce just about 30% red and 70% blue progeny in the 
pond that will travel back to Lake Monroe. Quite a number of these 
progeny will die over the course of the year (see Malthus for an 
explanation). But, when we look at the progeny that survive their 
year in Lake Monroe and go back to the Gene Poole Pond for the next 
oyster orgy, we observe that *now* 80% are red and 20% are blue. Humans had been forbidden anywhere in the Lake Monroe watershed for this entire year because of a toxic (to humans) algae bloom. The lake 
was also much warmer than usual. But this *is* a case where there has been a significant

  • differential* 
impact on the metric of "*differential* survival until

maturity" that is clearly strongly correlated with the color of the 
oysters. Red oysters have increased in frequency from 30% to 80%, 
with a concommitant decrease in blue oysters. All in the absence of 
human intervention. Completely in the absence of any known conscious 
"designer" or intent. This *is* an example of what Darwin meant by "natural 
selection". And, not surprisingly, it also meets the requirement of 
"differential reproductive success due to alternative phenotype" seen in 
the modern definition of NS. A simple chi square test shows the probability 
of such a *difference* occurring by chance to be much less than 
0.01%. That is, the

  • difference* in the "differential reproductive 
success" (as measured

by differential survival to reproductive age) is 
statistically significant. A biologist might hypothesize that this example of "natural selection" 
might be due to the red oysters being more resistant to the toxin of 
the algae or to a temperature effect (directly or indirectly), but 
identifying or even correctly identifying the cause is not necessary 
in declaring that this meets the requirement of being "natural 
selection" ala the *idea* described by Darwin when he used that term. 
All that is needed is evidence to support that this is *significantly* 
different from the expectations of chance alone (that being described 
in Example 1) and not known to be the intentional product of a conscious agent. To summarize: This is an example of "natural selection", that is, significant differential reproductive success of one phenotype rather than the alternative in the absence of human intervention in a specified environment (Lake Monroe that year). It is the absence of conscious human intervention that makes this "selection" "natural" rather than "artificial" in Darwin's terminology. Because there was no observable "designer" involved that had the intent or consciousness 
of selectively changing the ratio from the expectations of a "random 
pattern", one cannot call this example of "natural selection" 
"design". The result due to this "natural selection" is a "pattern" 
and *specifically* a "non-random pattern" 
*because* of the differential selection and the absence of a 
designer. Your turn: Do *you* agree that the above example is an example of "natural selection" as that term was used by Darwin?, both because it involves *selection* and because it does not involve humans (and thus is not "artificial" by his usage). Do you agree that it is NS as defined and ideated by modern biological scientists? Do you agree that this is an example of a "pattern" rather than "design" because of 
the absence of a human or other designer's involvement and also that 
it represents a "non-random pattern." Explain.

Example 3. 
Start out with the same 30/70 red/blue ratio. But now we introduce 
humans who love the blue oysters and, in fact, are part of a Blue 
Oyster Cult. The Blue Oyster Cult has observed the life cycle of 
oysters, and consciously recognize that if they go to the Gene Poole 
Pond and prevent the shit-tasting red oysters from reaching the pond, 
that they will have more of the delicious blue kind. So they frantically remove red oysters (and compost them). Only 1/6th of the starting 30% red oysters still manage to reach the pool. That is, the 
ratio of new oysters in the pool is now 5 to 70 (7% to 93%) red to 
blue. The next 
generation to reach the pool is now also 7%/93% (indicating that, in 
the absence of the human intervention, the traits were 
indistinguishable from being selectively neutral wrt each other; in 
this case we can rule out "stabilizing selection" by heterozygote 
advantage). This is an example of what Darwin meant by "artificial 
selection" and represents a significant conscious change in frequency 
due to the conscious actions of humans to *selectively* favor the blue 
feature over the red. This would be an example of "design", as would any example of conscious "artificial selection". Your turn. Do you agree that this is an example of "design" by your understanding of that term and "artificial selection" as it was used by Darwin? Do you agree that the *defining* feature of "design" requires the involvement of humans or other animate design agents (at minimum, although I would add that the design agent perform its selection via conscious action)? Explain, especially if you have some 
other way of consistently identifying design that does not require 
knowledge of a designer.

The above 3 examples are rather clear cut. And they cover the typical 
examples of NS, AS, and selective neutrality. Of course, as in all of 
science and science based on induction and statistics, all conclusions 
of randomness and non-randomness are tentative and one can have 
marginal cases where one is not sure if the result is due to 
randomness (aka selective neutrality), natural selection (non- random 
and without a designer), or artificial selection (non-random due to 
the conscious action of a designer agent). We have already mentioned the possibility of a designer consciously trying to mimic a non-selective result, and pointed out that that is difficult for humans to acheive. And pointed out one possible "selective" mechanism (heterozygote advantage) that might mimic "selective neutrality" temporarily if one did not know the genetics of 
the system. That is part of the reason why scientific explanations 
are always tentative and subject to change in light of further 
evidence. Similarly, we might reconsider an example of "natural 
selection" if *empirical* evidence presented itself of a likely 
designer. But there is at least one other example that is ambiguous. Namely selection by a designer agent who is unconscious or unaware that he is 
producing a non-random result. And this example has been seen in the 
real world wrt the size of fish at maturity.

Example 4 
 As in the other examples, the starting population is 30%red and 
70%blue oysters and that is also the %s of the offspring that enter 
Lake Monroe to mature. But now humans, who dearly love the blue 
oyster taste have, instead of doing selection to increase the 
frequency of blue oysters as in Example 3, harvested mature blue oysters in 
Lake Monroe just before the time of year in which the oysters walk to 
the Gene Poole Pond to mate. They put the blue oysters in their pots, 
stewily, and toss the red oysters back because they love to eat the 
blue ones and are disgusted by the red ones. The humans ignore the 
oysters after they leave Lake Monroe and walk to Gene Poole Pond. Not 
surprisingly, the % that reach the pond 
now are changed, to a *significantly different* 50% red and 50% blue, because of the *selective* harvesting of blue oysters by humans. Thus the next generation of oysters is now 50:50 red:blue instead of 30:70 and there are fewer and fewer blue oysters and more and more red 
ones in Lake Monroe, greatly increasing the value and cost of blue 
oysters. This is pretty obviously not the conscious intent of the (rather ignorant) 
humans harvesting the oysters, since it means that there will be fewer 
and fewer of the desirable blue oysters. But it superficially is 
"artificial selection" both because it is due to human involvement 
and represents differential non-random selection of the alternative 
types of oyster. So is this an example of "pattern" rather than 
"design" because the selection was not

  • consciously* done to produce 
the result but the result was an

inadvertent consequence of selective 
predation done without thought or intelligent foresight as to the consequences (which are 
opposite those a sentient human would want)? Or is this an example of "design" because it is a non-random result produced by a active designer agent, even if that result was not the intent of the designer? Perhaps "artificial selection" should be restricted to those that humans do consciously for their own purposes, like making toy poodles because they are cute and sheep dogs because they are useful to shepherds. Unconscious selection by differential predation without intent to selectively breed, might better be considered "natural" even 
though done by humans, just as it would be if done by wolves. Unlike 
the other examples, which are pretty clear cut, this one is more ambiguous and I could support calling this either "design" or "pattern" depending on the particular definition of those terms one is 
using. If you limit "design" to those patterns consciously produced 
with that pattern as the intent of the designer, then this is not 
"design". It also means that anthills and aphid slaves are not 
"design" because the organisms that design those do not have consciousness, but only instinct. But feel free to make an argument for one or the other. All I ask is that you be consistent, if you can.

Example 5 
Invent an invisible undetectable superintelligent and omnipotent agent 
that can produce whatever it wants and whatever can be observed 
without itself being observed. Explain all or any random subset of 
the other examples as being due to the actions of this invisible and undetectable agent; thus 
everything is due to the actions of this unobservable agent. Is 
everything then "design"? Or are there still some results that are 
only "pattern"? Which are they?

And tell me why Example 2 ("natural selection") is a tautology?

******end repost*****

Notes Edit

On Jul 4, 3:19 pm, hersheyh <> wrote: > > But nothing is every adapted to its environment, it only expresses its > > attributes as explained elsewhere. > But those that have "attributes" that are a better fit to the local > environment have a higher probability of transmitting their attributes > to the future relative to those that don't.

reduce: Those with attributes that are a better fit to the environment have a higher probability of transmitting their attributes to the future relative to those that don't.

reduce: Those with attributes that are a better fit to the environment have a higher probability of transmitting their attributes to the future relative to those that don't.

'better fit' and 'higher probability' are dissimilar terms that alludes to the same fact, saying the same thing twice,making it a rhetorical tautology

reduce: Those that are better have a higher probability of propagation then those that aren't better.


  • The good ones propagate and the bad ones don't.

Notes 2 Edit

On Jul 5, 12:38 am, hersheyh <> wrote: > On Jul 4, 12:43 pm, backspace <> wrote: > > > > > > > > > > > On Jul 4, 3:19 pm, hersheyh <> wrote: > > > > > But nothing is every adapted to its environment, it only expresses its > > > > attributes as explained elsewhere. > > > But those that have "attributes" that are a better fit to the local > > > environment have a higher probability of transmitting their attributes > > > to the future relative to those that don't. > > > reduce: > > Those with attributes that are a better fit to the environment have a > > higher probability of transmitting their attributes > > to the future relative to those that don't. > > > reduce: > > Those with attributes that are a better fit to the environment have a > > higher probability of transmitting their attributes > > to the future relative to those that don't. > > > 'better fit' and 'higher probability' are dissimilar terms that > > alludes to the same fact, > > No they don't. There is no _a priori_ reason, based on the meaning of > those terms, that organisms with a better fit to their environment > would necessarily have a "higher probability" of transmitting their > attributes to the future. It certainly is true that, in our genetic > systems, that is the case. But I could certainly artificially > propagate individuals that have a poorer fit to their environment > (minus my diabolic interference) and that, absent my meddling, would > have a poor probability of transmitting their attributes to the > future. Modern maize is an example. > > > saying the same thing twice,making it a > > rhetorical tautology > > > reduce: > > Those that are better have a higher probability of propagation then > > those that aren't better. > > > reduce: > > The good ones propagate and the bad ones don't. > > I never used and intentionally did not use the terms "good" and > "bad". But if you have some problem with labeling the more > reproductively fit individuals as being, from the perspective of the > organism, "better", feel free to argue that early death and > infertility are really "good" for a species. And that the best > species is thus the one that goes extinct because it favors its least > fit members for reproductive success. "Good" and "bad" are such > relativistic terms.

You reformulated Democritus Atomism, the good atom surviving over the bad atom deprecating. This tautology masks the circular reasoning, his premise that the universe had no beginning(will have to get citation for this, I am not sure exactly what Democritus believed about the origins of the universe and am too busy now to look it up on wikipedia, if I am wrong, correct me).

Because if the good atom triumphed over the bad atom where did both the good and bad atom come from in the first place?

Howard wrote:

> > > But those that have "attributes" that are a better fit to the local > > > environment have a higher probability of transmitting their attributes > > > to the future relative to those that don't.

To reformulate what your wrote in terms of Democritus Atomism: The *better* fit atom has a *higher* probability of propagation then the less fit atom . This is of course indisputable and thus not a Popper falsifiable theory.

  • Better* and *higher* are the key dissimilar words that refer to the same fact,saying the same thing twice, making any conclusion a non-sequitur

Spencer used 'equilibrium' and fitness as dissimilar terms to refer to the same concept. We can change fit to 'equilibrium' :

  • > The atom with better equilibrium has a *higher* probability of propagation then
  • > the atom with less 'equilibrium'.

ON the wikipedia fitness page we see the confusion as authors try and impress a meaning on the object fitness - it has no meaning, only the ideas of Spencer had meaning, not the objects 'equilibrium' or 'fitness' he used to represent such meaning.

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