Defining evolution
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02-03-2013, 12:51 AM
RE: Defining evolution
Hey, Wood.

Quote:Evolution is a process whereby small changes in the heritiable

characteristics of a population accumulate thru a selective filter over successive

generations. The accumulation of these changes ultimately result in
significant increase in one or more of the following: complexity,
diversity, and knowledge.

-Evolution IS a process.
-Small changes DO occur.
-HEREDITY is an important part of the process.
-Characteristics, IMO, should be referred to as traits.
-The traits don't belong to a population, per se. Traits reside in a given population's pool and have greater or lesser representation within that pool.
-SELECTION is the term of your selective filter.
-Generations only apply to horizontal transfer and not to vertical or omnidirectional transfer. Generations is not a synonym for heredity.
-Your entire last sentence is incorrect. Evolution is NOT a process of amelioration. Complexity, diversity and knowledge CAN increase over time, but they could just as easily decrease.

NOTE: Evolution does NOT describe the future, it chronicles past changes.

Quote:The problem I have with the definition you provided is that it is
limited to biology. I don't believe evolution is exclusive to biology.
For instance why couldn't self replicating robots begin to evolve?

Evolution is not exclusive to biology. The idea of Universal Darwinism was introduced by Richard Dawkins in 1976. Universal Darwinism suggests that evolution by selection is the process that governs ALL replicators in the entire universe.

Two of the big things a replicator requires is information and translation machinery.

The information is the instruction. DNA is not a gene. DNA is a semiochemical that stores genetic information. The information is the gene. That information can be stored in other mediums, like a book or a computer. But genetic information can only be expressed in a cell, because that's where the translation machinery is.

If robots had a robot making replicator (a robotic version of a genome) AND if they had translation machinery, then those robots would absolutely evolve. For the time being, robots evolve as a consequence of human cultural evolution.

Dan Dennett calls the following the evolutionary algorithm.
Dennett Wrote:If you have variation, heredity, and selection, then you must get evolution.

Evolution describes the process through which the most advantageous forever-mutating heritable traits from within a given pool in a given environment are selected for.

How bout that?

Hey, Phaedrus.

IMO, you need to add the word "Biological" to the begining of your definition.

Also, mutation does not have to be random. It could also be deliberate.

DNA replication errors are not the only source of mutation.

Otherwise it's a fine definition.

Hey, Full Circle.

"Knowledge" applies to memetic evolution.

Quote:"the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form".

The second part of that statement is incorrect. Evolution is not a process of amelioration. Complexity can just as easily decrease.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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02-03-2013, 12:54 AM
RE: Defining evolution
(02-03-2013 12:37 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  Oh, give me a break. We all know you're a troll, "hey would 'ja blow me". You've demonstrated that you are intentionally dishonest and willfully ignorant. All you've done is try to redefine concepts that you barely understand so that you can squeeze in your god figure. Whenever anyone addresses an argument you either ignore it or side step it, and as soon as it drops off the page you forget that the argument even existed (hence short term memory loss).

I say there's a fairly solid chance you're a poe, though most likely you're just homeschooled trailer trash who just discovered internet forums...

The only reason people are posting in your threads is as practice for actual debates. If they can put up with bullshit and evasions and dishonesty as thick as yours they can handle any real debater.



So give us some target practice, instead of farting around with your lame redefinition of evolution. My definition of evolution: accept or no?

Evolution is the change of allele frequencies within a population as described by population genetics, driven by natural selection, sexual selection, and genetic drift, with the raw genetic information that these processes act on being provided by random mutation in the organisms' genome through a variety of errors caused in DNA replication in the organisms' gametes during meiosis. The epigenome also provides a source of novelty for evolution to act on.
I've already told you the problem I have with your definition is that it is specific to biology. Instead of being constructive....you just parrot. I don't think I am being unreasonable with the criteria I have outlined for an acceptable definition for evolution.
Further, all you've said is that my definition is lame. You haven't said what is lame about it. At least Fullcircle was specific about his complaints, and I did modify my definition. You...you've been completely disingenious.
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02-03-2013, 01:02 AM
RE: Defining evolution
(02-03-2013 12:54 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(02-03-2013 12:37 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  Oh, give me a break. We all know you're a troll, "hey would 'ja blow me". You've demonstrated that you are intentionally dishonest and willfully ignorant. All you've done is try to redefine concepts that you barely understand so that you can squeeze in your god figure. Whenever anyone addresses an argument you either ignore it or side step it, and as soon as it drops off the page you forget that the argument even existed (hence short term memory loss).

I say there's a fairly solid chance you're a poe, though most likely you're just homeschooled trailer trash who just discovered internet forums...

The only reason people are posting in your threads is as practice for actual debates. If they can put up with bullshit and evasions and dishonesty as thick as yours they can handle any real debater.



So give us some target practice, instead of farting around with your lame redefinition of evolution. My definition of evolution: accept or no?

Evolution is the change of allele frequencies within a population as described by population genetics, driven by natural selection, sexual selection, and genetic drift, with the raw genetic information that these processes act on being provided by random mutation in the organisms' genome through a variety of errors caused in DNA replication in the organisms' gametes during meiosis. The epigenome also provides a source of novelty for evolution to act on.
I've already told you the problem I have with your definition is that it is specific to biology. Instead of being constructive....you just parrot. I don't think I am being unreasonable with the criteria I have outlined for an acceptable definition for evolution.
Further, all you've said is that my definition is lame. You haven't said what is lame about it. At least Fullcircle was specific about his complaints, and I did modify my definition. You...you've been completely disingenious.

I don't think you know what disingenuous means. It means pretending to know less about a subject than you actually know... Which is a pretty good descriptor of you on this forum so far.

Note, I did try to engage in serious debate; but your disingenuity convinced me to not bother. If you want to try being sincere, start acknowledging arguments made against you, not changing subjects whenever you start to lose ground, and stop tossing out red herrings at the first opportunity, then I will also oblige. Are you willing to try that, or are you going to continue being dishonest in your arguments?

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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02-03-2013, 01:10 AM
RE: Defining evolution
(02-03-2013 12:51 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Wood.

Quote:Evolution is a process whereby small changes in the heritiable

characteristics of a population accumulate thru a selective filter over successive

generations. The accumulation of these changes ultimately result in
significant increase in one or more of the following: complexity,
diversity, and knowledge.


-Evolution IS a process.
-Small changes DO occur.
-HEREDITY is an important part of the process.
-Characteristics, IMO, should be referred to as traits.
-The traits don't belong to a population, per se. Traits reside in a given population's pool and have greater or lesser representation within that pool.
-SELECTION is the term of your selective filter.
-Generations only apply to horizontal transfer and not to vertical or omnidirectional transfer. Generations is not a synonym for heredity.
-Your entire last sentence is incorrect. Evolution is NOT a process of amelioration. Complexity, diversity and knowledge CAN increase over time, but they could just as easily decrease.

NOTE: Evolution does NOT describe the future, it chronicles past changes.

Quote:The problem I have with the definition you provided is that it is
limited to biology. I don't believe evolution is exclusive to biology.
For instance why couldn't self replicating robots begin to evolve?

Evolution is not exclusive to biology. The idea of Universal Darwinism was introduced by Richard Dawkins in 1976. Universal Darwinism suggests that evolution by selection is the process that governs ALL replicators in the entire universe.

Two of the big things a replicator requires is information and translation machinery.

The information is the instruction. DNA is not a gene. DNA is a semiochemical that stores genetic information. The information is the gene. That information can be stored in other mediums, like a book or a computer. But genetic information can only be expressed in a cell, because that's where the translation machinery is.

If robots had a robot making replicator (a robotic version of a genome) AND if they had translation machinery, then those robots would absolutely evolve. For the time being, robots evolve as a consequence of human cultural evolution.

Dan Dennett calls the following the evolutionary algorithm.
Dennett Wrote:If you have variation, heredity, and selection, then you must get evolution.

Evolution describes the process through which the most advantageous forever-mutating heritable traits from within a given pool in a given environment are selected for.

How bout that?

Hey, Phaedrus.

IMO, you need to add the word "Biological" to the begining of your definition.

Also, mutation does not have to be random. It could also be deliberate.

DNA replication errors are not the only source of mutation.

Otherwise it's a fine definition.

Hey, Full Circle.

"Knowledge" applies to memetic evolution.

Quote:"the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form".

The second part of that statement is incorrect. Evolution is not a process of amelioration. Complexity can just as easily decrease.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Thanks Ghost. Here is my defintion's third incarnation.

Evolution is a process whereby small changes in the heritiable
traits which reside in a given population's pool accumulate thru a selection mechanism over successive
generations. The accumulation of these changes can result in an increase or decrease in one or more of the following: complexity, diversity, and knowledge.


What else needs to be changed or modified to be a good definition of evolution?
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02-03-2013, 01:13 AM
RE: Defining evolution
Remove the "knowledge" bit, as you have been told four or five times. And as a whole the structure of the entire last sentence is faulty, since evolution is not an increase or decrease of anything, it is adaptation to facilitate reproduction.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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02-03-2013, 01:26 AM
RE: Defining evolution
(02-03-2013 01:13 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  Remove the "knowledge" bit, as you have been told four or five times. And as a whole the structure of the entire last sentence is faulty, since evolution is not an increase or decrease of anything, it is adaptation to facilitate reproduction.
I think you are wrong about evolution not increasing or decreasing anything. Evolution is responsible for the amount diversity we see today(which is an increase from some point in the past). That is a fact that is not in dispute.
I'll have to think about removing "knowledge". Maybe I should change it to "information".
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02-03-2013, 01:30 AM
RE: Defining evolution
Diversity is an effect of evolution, not a part of its core definition. Sometimes it decreases diversity.

Information isn't much better than knowledge; evolution works on information, it doesn't create new information. Information is just a re-framing of the variation that evolution works on through selection.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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02-03-2013, 09:28 AM
RE: Defining evolution
What i don't understand about your attempt here is why do you need to reconcile both definitions into one. We have two very seviciable definitions for both biological and non-biological evolution and yet you try to create a third one that explains both.

This is the same as trying to fuse the Legal "Framework" definition with the Programming "Framework" definition. You might find one that seems to work in the surface. But in the end you will have a midiocre definition that will fail to define either in any meaningful way.

Why not just use those definitions as they apply. Instead a building a definition that merges them together and thus introduces concepts of one into the other.
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02-03-2013, 09:29 AM
RE: Defining evolution
Obtuse, the OP is.

between HJ, PJ and Ego its the holy trinity of stupid.
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02-03-2013, 09:46 AM
RE: Defining evolution
Hey, Wood.

You have no reason to remove knowledge in the sense that you're discussing Universal Darwinism and replicators rather than the more narrow biological genetic evolution. But more on that below.

Quote:Evolution is a process whereby small changes in the heritiable

traits which reside in a given population's pool accumulate thru a selection mechanism over successive

generations. The accumulation of these changes can result in an increase
or decrease in one or more of the following: complexity, diversity, and
knowledge.

-Evolution IS a process.
-(I say this with a smidgeon of reservation) Changes are small.
-The changes don't occur at the level of the trait, they occur at the level of the replicator. But the expression of that replicator results in the phenotype, the trait, which is the combination of replicator and environment.
-Given population's replicator pool is fine.
-Not sure how I feel about accumulate.

A SELECTION MECHANISM: Again. There is a term for this. Selection. Selection is a mechanism, like gravity or electromagnetism. No other term should be used. I'm not a dick about your Theism like some of the others in this thread, but my intuition tells me that you're trying to make an end run around selection. Fortunately, you don't have to. If you include "A" selection mechanism in the definition, the implication is that selection is NOT the only cause of evolution. For example, "Massive objects are attracted to one another by A gravitational mechanism," is incorrect because they are attracted by gravity. Full stop. It is the only cause. Even when we're breeding selectively and even when we're genetically engineering (or designing intelligently), selection is at work. If a species of rice survives and flourishes because I engineered it to not droop into the water so much, reducing the amount of rice that rots on the plant, that trait, non-droopiness, is being selected for. Selection is always at work, just like gravity is always at work. NOW, IF there is a God and IF God is designing intelligently or IF he's intervening and altering the universe's replicators in some way, well, that's still selection at work. God is selecting for traits. That is to say, the reason those traits would flourish is because God wants them to; ergo, he is selecting them (unless he uses some incomprehensible form of magic, then all bets are off; however, that too wouldn't be A mechanism, it would be magic; which is inherently non-mechanistic). All of this is to say that selection is ALWAYS at work. There is NO OTHER MECHANISM at work, ever, when it comes to evolution. Darwin was so specific about it that it's in the title of his book: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

-Successive generations is fine; however, it's an artifact of biological-centred evolutionary theory. It's a fine term, but generations, IMO, will one day be replaced by a more broad term.
-Again, I have an unidentified revulsion to your use of accumulation in your final sentence.

FINAL SENTENCE: My personal issue is that it uses a non-exhaustive list but presents it as exhaustive. Furthermore, evolution is about more than just increases and decreases. I really think that you should drop the final sentence.

If I were to re-write your definition.... here's a first try:

Evolution is a process in which adaptive inherited replicator mutations are selected for and maladaptive inherited replicator mutations are selected against at the level of the phenotype within the context of a given population's replicator pool in a given environment. The constant selection of mutations causes an array of changes within that population over time (see "punctuated equilibrium"); changes that influence the evolution of other populations within that given environmental context, as well as other replicator types, and vice versa. When populations become separated by space-time, the accumulation of these changes can lead to a divergence between the separated groups, called drift, that, along with punctuated equilibrium, can result in cladogenesis. Maladaptive mutations
either lead to reductions in their representation in the replicator pool, or to outright extinctions; meaning that maladaptions are self-eliminating.

If Charles Darwin was to re-write your definition, he might say:

Charles Darwin Wrote:Owing to this struggle for life, any variation, however slight and
from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an
individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relationship to
other organic beings and to external nature, will tend to the
preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its
offspring. The offspring, also, will thus have a better chance of
surviving, for, of the many individuals of any species which are
periodically born, but a small number can survive. I have called this
principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by
the term Natural Selection, in order to mark its relation to man's power
of selection.

Or even better; since you want a broader definition:

Evolution is descent with modification over time via selection.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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