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  #11  
Unread January 23rd, 2009, 10:56 AM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
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Default Re: Matt Ridley: Darwin Everywhere but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H. View Post
Bingo. That’s the beauty of a circular truism or tautology like natural selection/survival of the fittest----it’s a notion that’ll be compatible with pretty much anything. Nothing will ever disprove NS in the eyes of the typical neo-Darwinian. It's not falsifiable.
Nonsense. Utter nonsense.

If you have a better theory, let's say magic, all you have to do is conjure up some and prove that evolution through natural selection did not cause speciation. Simple as that.

If you're of a mind that a god created man from scratch, all you have to do is have him come down, call a press conference, produce some more men out of thin air, and tell us that he did this 3000 or so years ago to Adam and Eve, and thereby prove to me that evolution through natural selection is false. He can also mention how he deliberately produced geological strata and fossils of shellfish on top of mountains just as practical joke.

For anyone who relies on magic to falsify what's REAL, all they have to do is produce the magic.

What's your theory, Fred?
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  #12  
Unread January 24th, 2009, 09:40 AM
ToddStark ToddStark is offline
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Default Re: Matt Ridley: Darwin Everywhere but...

I agree that Bill Provine's argument is fascinating, Fred. He argues for different ways of thinking about a number of different concepts such as natural selection and genetic drift. He is a proponent for multiple things happening at different levels, which are not described by a single overarching causal theory. It should be noted that he is not an opponent of evolutionary biology, that is, he is certainly not arguing that "Darwin was wrong" in general.

As I understand it, Provine's main point regarding natural selection is that it isn't itself a mechanism, but is our description of the end result of other natural mechanisms happening at different levels. He says that natural selection is a shorthand description that does not itself actually *cause* things to happen (very reminiscent to me of my point about entropy in our previous discussion).

To put his argument into context, Provine once (at a September 14,2005 lecture at Cornell) said that Kimura’s neutral theory, Ohta’s nearly neutral theory, and Darwin’s theory of natural selection all have their place within the framework of evolutionary biology: (1) the neutral theory describes almost all DNA sequence evolution; (2) the "nearly neutral" theory takes care of protein evolution; and (3) natural selection provides an explanation for phenotypic evolution.

Thank you very much!

Todd

Last edited by ToddStark; January 24th, 2009 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Added Sept 14 2005 quote for additional context
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  #13  
Unread January 31st, 2009, 05:28 PM
ToddStark ToddStark is offline
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Default Re: Matt Ridley: Darwin Everywhere but...

This might well turn out to be nail in the coffin of natural selection:



From: http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientis...you_to_155.php

Last edited by ToddStark; January 31st, 2009 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Fix the image link.
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  #14  
Unread February 1st, 2009, 08:45 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Matt Ridley: Darwin Everywhere but...

Funny pic, but I’d say that the shih tzu has already cast considerable doubt on NS, perhaps adding credence to the sentiment that shit happens, and suggesting a new theory of evolution-----evolution by random mutations and shit happening.
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  #15  
Unread February 3rd, 2009, 10:56 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Matt Ridley: Darwin Everywhere but...

FWIW, from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0126203207.htm ---- Natural Selection Not The Only Process That Drives Evolution?
Quote:
The researchers identified fast evolving human genes by comparing our genome with those of other primates. However, surprisingly, the patterns of molecular evolution in many of the genes they found did not contain signals of natural selection. Instead, their evidence suggests that a separate process known as BGC (biased gene conversion) has speeded up the rate of evolution in certain genes. This process increases the rate at which certain mutations spread through a population, regardless of whether they are beneficial or harmful.
Hmmm, “signals of natural selection”? Is there really such a thing that can be objectively defined and identified? I’m dubious. I’d say that “signals of NS” are little more than yet another subjective Darwinian construct. Nevertheless, it’s good to see Darwinians are at least questioning their NS notions, albeit with still more unquantifiable, unscientific notions like “signals of NS.”
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