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  #31  
Unread June 17th, 2006, 03:01 AM
Carey N Carey N is offline
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Default Re: Implications of Somatic Behavior Choice

... but you have to read the rest of his post, Fred - there were other important points regarding why the circularity you perceive in natural selection isn't important for the big picture. I still think there's a solid case for the argument that natural selection in practice - the process that actually occurs in the real world - is completely non-circular. The bare-bones, generalistic concept of selection as survival of the fittest has always been circular, as you and many other people in the past have repeatedly pointed out, but as soon as you begin to consider ecological detail, that apparent circularity just isn't important at all.
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  #32  
Unread June 17th, 2006, 10:40 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Implications of Somatic Behavior Choice

Quote:
Carey: I still think there's a solid case for the argument that natural selection in practice - the process that actually occurs in the real world - is completely non-circular.
I’d say that the “process that actually occurs in the real world,” that makes evolution possible, first of all requires a universe with a beginning low entropy. Why beginning entropy was low, while usually taken for granted, remains a profound mystery; and most would agree that the second law of thermodynamics—essentially that entropy only increases—a statistical law, is not circular. And while I’m inclined to agree that evolution does seem to entail various concepts/mechanisms, such as emergence, self-organization, selection, etc., any additional understanding that those concepts actually provide tends to be somewhat superficial and circular, unlike, for example, the understanding and predictability that, say, Einstein’s general relativity provides regarding gravity and space-time.

That shi-tzus evolved from wolves as a result of selection, albeit “artificial” selection, seems to be undeniable, so I can understand why “selection” is so compelling (it certainly persuaded Darwin). Plus natural selection is the current orthodoxy, so it’d be risky behavior for anyone employed in your field to openly entertain possibilities of circularity, unless they had tenure and were willing to endure the abuse that would inevitably follow from the Darwinian establishment. So my advice, Carey, is that when you yourself begin to suspect the circularity of natural selection, and I expect that you eventually will, keep it to yourself, unless you have tenure of some sort and/or plan to marry a rich woman.

Last edited by Fred H.; June 17th, 2006 at 11:06 AM.
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  #33  
Unread June 18th, 2006, 12:13 PM
Carey N Carey N is offline
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Default Re: Implications of Somatic Behavior Choice

Way to avoid the point I made, Fred! Impressive!
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  #34  
Unread June 18th, 2006, 06:55 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Implications of Somatic Behavior Choice

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Carey: Way to avoid the point I made, Fred!
And this from a guy who, just in his previous post, discharged the following rhetoric:
Quote:
I still think there's a solid case for the argument that natural selection in practice - the process that actually occurs in the real world - is completely non-circular. The bare-bones, generalistic concept of selection as survival of the fittest has always been circular, as you and many other people in the past have repeatedly pointed out, but as soon as you begin to consider ecological detail, that apparent circularity just isn't important at all.
OK Carey, I give up, you win: Natural selection’s “apparent circularity just isn't important at all.” Wow, that was painful.

Last edited by Fred H.; June 18th, 2006 at 08:25 PM.
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  #35  
Unread June 19th, 2006, 04:43 PM
Carey N Carey N is offline
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Default Re: Implications of Somatic Behavior Choice

I did not dismiss your point . . . on the contrary, I acknowledged that your perception of natural selection at the most general level possible - namely, as "survival of the fittest" - is indeed circular. I then moved on to point out that your emphasis on this general interpretation is not appropriate, considering that it is the details of ecological interaction that determine reproductive success for each individual species.

So - the phrase "survival of the fittest", where the fittest are those which survive, is obviously circular, but as soon as one considers the natural history of any given example of evolution, it's quickly apparent that there is nothing circular about the process of natural selection in the real world. Todd articulated this point in his post within the circularity thread, but you didn't address it, instead only embracing the part in which he agreed with the over-generalized, "survival of the fittest" conception of selection is circular.
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  #36  
Unread June 19th, 2006, 09:30 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Implications of Somatic Behavior Choice

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Carey: Todd articulated this point in his post within the circularity thread, but you didn't address it, instead only embracing the part in which he agreed with the over-generalized, "survival of the fittest" conception of selection is circular.
Well Carey, having reread Todd’s post several times, I’m not seeing this point being clearly “articulated.” Perhaps you’re referring the paragraph in Todd’s post where he mentioned the, “bizarre notion that centrifugal force is an illusion,” “intuitions,” and where he quoted the Bush view regarding if “scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic.”

But as I noted in my subsequent post in that thread, there is actually an “Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Science,” (and of course w/o mathematics real science would be impossible); and frankly I’m a bit nonplussed by Todd’s centrifugal force is an illusion/intuitions example. Be that as it may, I guess we’re at an impasse, and I suppose we’ve beat this thing to death, so I’ll not disagree that Todd “articulated the point”—perhaps his thumbs-up was just one of his typical nice guy “can’t we all just get along” gambits.

Anyhoo, changing course, regarding TomJ’s “repression module” hypothesis and the article that he thinks proves it (“Freud Returns,” by Mark Solms), as discussed in the Gore’s Inconvenient Truth thread, here— http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/sh...68&postcount=7, and assuming you have a bit of time to kill, I think Tom might benefit from your POV, and of course I’d be interested too.
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