John jones notes Edit
Because scientists know that "survival of the fittest" is a tautology (they are not stupid you know) they came up with a new formulation of the phrase that gave us an independent criterion of fitness - the environment. Success in survival is now tick-boxed as: "better adapted for the immediate, local environment".
But this is a tautology too. An environment, like a destination, isn't a geographical place. A description of an environment is cast in terms of a creature's attributes. As my environment is already described by my attributes I can't be adapted TO my environment. And even less can I be "better adapted" to my environment. What am I saying then?
"Survival of the fittest" There is only one thing being considered here. "Survival" describes the "fittest" as the scientists know.
Adaption/environment There is STILL only one thing on offer here, as adaption describes an environment, as the scientists have failed to notice.
An environment is a description of a habitat. And a habitat is creature-specific. It isn't a geographical place. For example, the geographical place "the top of mount Everest and the kitchen sink" is not a habitat because a creature doesn't fulfil the requirements to exist in such a large physical place. Also, the clutter on my desk isn't a habitat as it offers an insufficient description of a creature's attributes/habitat.
notes 1 Edit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survival_of_the_fittest is a bog-standard tautology. It falsely leads us to consider "survival of the fitest" as a fact. But it isn't a fact. Survival is necessarily of the fittest. No matter what survives.
The fittest, by definition, are those that survive. So survival of the fittest indicates that there are other sorts of survival that don't depend on being fit. Hardly.
We determine whether evolutionary theories are tautological or not by examining grammar.
[quote:c333f5dad6]They are theoretical and based upon probabilities. [/quote:c333f5dad6] No, they are base on grammar, not existential considerations.
Fitness isn't a measurable quality. A creature is, by being an existing creature, fit. The creature doesn't "have" fit parts or alleles. If parts and alleles constitute the creature, then they don't also require a property called "fitness" that helps it exist.
I don't see the significance of saying that evolution is about populations. Like the term "fit" can't apply to individuals, the term "evolve" can't apply to populations. There aren't properties and processes (fit, evolve,) above and beyond the individual and the population.
An environment is, at the same time, logically entails, a description of a set of attributes.
Matt Silberstein replies to Jones Edit
- Silberstein defines natural selection: it is observed that the distribution of alleles in a population changes over generations depending, at least in part, on the morphological characteristics affected by those alleles. That is a far better summary (and still a summary) of the theory of Natural Selection.
Jones replies: The morphological characteristics are, nevertheless, fit if they survive. And they survive because they are the fittest. That's a tautology.
Silbers wrote: [quote:7dd0e3fc5d]It isn't a geographical place. Yes. You seem to be the only one confused about this. For example, the geographical place "the top of mount Everest and the kitchen sink" is not a habitat because a creature doesn't fulfil the requirements to exist in such a large physical place. That is a stupid example because there is no organism that lives on the top of Everest and in the kitchen sink and no where else. There are certainly organisms that have enormous habitats (gray whales, for example). A geographical place is not a habitat because there is more to a habitat than location (weather, etc.). [/quote:7dd0e3fc5d]
JOnes: That's what I said.
JOnes:[quote:7dd0e3fc5d]Also, the clutter on my desk isn't a habitat as it offers an insufficient description of a creature's attributes/habitat.
Silber: Really? How do you know this? I suspect that there is plenty of life on your desk. But it is true that there are places in the world that don't have any life. Remarkably few though, like evolves to survive pretty much everywhere. [/quote:7dd0e3fc5d]
Silber replies: I know, but it is still an insufficient description. We need to know about the factors that involve life, and these factors aren't merely geographical places.
Silber wrote: [quote:7dd0e3fc5d]Your "attributes" do not give sufficient information to describe the environment. Multiple organisms can survive/thrive in the same environment and most organisms can survive/thrive in a variety of environments. [/quote:7dd0e3fc5d]
- Jones replies: You are confusing an environment with a geographical place. An environment entails the description of what allows an animal to survive, and this description logically entails a creature's attributes.
Silberstein defines fitness Edit
Fitness is a relationship that depends on both the organism and the environment.
Then learn. Evolution is *defined* in biology to mean the change in allele frequencies in a population of living organisms over generations. Individuals do not, for the most part, experience genetic change during their lifetime. What we are interested in when studying evolution is that change in the inherited characteristics over time.