Is natural selection dead?

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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:32 am

WendyDarling wrote:
Evolution isn't supposed to be about improvement, just perpetuation. Maybe your beef with this is what man ought to do with himself--you know, the moral dimension--not simply the fact of natural selection. But then what counts as an "improved" mankind if not survival and fitness for the environment? This gets us into tricky waters because now we have to debate what passes as improvement and what doesn't, a very subjective matter. This becomes more a discussion for political philosophy than natural/science philosophy.

Okay...let's. Why this is moral is lost on me? Why not rather common sense?
Common sense often leads one to conclude that improvement is about big, strong, smart, etc. Natural selection is, as Gib say, about persisting where small, comparably weak, and even not as smart - save some energy consumption needs on that big brain - may work better for surviving in a certain environment. It is about a relationship or set of relationships not about inherent qualities. The better adapted animal might be the one with flexible joints, a smaller body and no eyes - some underground cave creature where there is no sunlight.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:40 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
WendyDarling wrote:
Evolution isn't supposed to be about improvement, just perpetuation. Maybe your beef with this is what man ought to do with himself--you know, the moral dimension--not simply the fact of natural selection. But then what counts as an "improved" mankind if not survival and fitness for the environment? This gets us into tricky waters because now we have to debate what passes as improvement and what doesn't, a very subjective matter. This becomes more a discussion for political philosophy than natural/science philosophy.

Okay...let's. Why this is moral is lost on me? Why not rather common sense?
Common sense often leads one to conclude that improvement is about big, strong, smart, etc. Natural selection is, as Gib say, about persisting where small, comparably weak, and even not as smart - save some energy consumption needs on that big brain - may work better for surviving in a certain environment. It is about a relationship or set of relationships not about inherent qualities. The better adapted animal might be the one with flexible joints, a smaller body and no eyes - some underground cave creature where there is no sunlight.

"About a relationship or set of relationships not about inherent qualities" I need more explanation here since we're not talking about ourselves as cave dwellers or bizarre environments (unless WWIII starts soon).
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:47 am

WendyDarling wrote:"About a relationship or set of relationships not about inherent qualities" I need more explanation here since we're not talking about ourselves as cave dwellers or bizarre environments (unless WWIII starts soon).
Well, our future seems to potentially be heading in directions where smaller bodies, for example, might be useful and even perhaps smaller brains.

By mentioning relations, I mean to the environment, including other species. When people talk about survival of the fittest they often imagine big, strong, smart. The lion, say. Lions are not doing very well. Given our dominance, rats and raccoons do much better. Cockroashes and fleas. And so on. Because they are better adapted to a human dominated environment. The qualities that are adaptive suit what is around the species. It gets them food. It allows them to procreate. Etc. The qualities that do this may have little to do with our ideals of greatness. We tend to see greatness as inherent. Adaption is about fitting the situation. It is related to the philosophical idea of internal relations.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Ben JS » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:14 pm

Natural selection doesn't have intent. It has no goal. Just as water running downhill doesn't intend to move so. It's a process that occurs given the right circumstances.

There is, however, a pattern to the results the process produces. It's a convenient consequence.

The process of natural selection can stop if you interfere with conditions it arises from - but that does not kill the process, as it can return as soon as those conditions return.

Are we affecting natural selection? Yes.

Are we killing it? No.

-

Another question:

Do we need natural selection to guide us anymore?

I don't think so. We can understand the environment better than a slow blind process that entails countless amounts of death to power it's cogs.

The environment we live in today, is far different than the environment that shaped our ancestors.

Are all our instincts that saved us in the past, relevant and beneficial to us in the present day? Ought we seek to preserve and reinforce them?

These are questions we can answer and respond to far more effectively than something that is blind.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Silhouette » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:13 pm

Ben JS wrote:Do we need natural selection to guide us anymore?

I don't think so.

You can't escape natural selection without 100% reliable eugenics and 100% domination over all other factors that influence who lives and who dies. In short we'd need to be immortal Nazis :lol:

Natural selection is simply a word for what emerges simply by what works. So even as immortal Nazis, we'd still be part of nature - thus natural selection.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Ben JS » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:23 am

Silhouette wrote:
Ben JS wrote:Do we need natural selection to guide us anymore?

You can't escape natural selection without 100% reliable eugenics and 100% domination over all other factors that influence who lives and who dies. In short we'd need to be immortal Nazis :lol:

Guide - To direct the course of + One who shows the way by leading, directing, or advising.

We don't need natural selection to guide the direction of our evolution today. Also, we don't need to reinforce everything that natural selection has endowed us with.

Artificial selection is quite easy. As soon as the direction of evolution is guided by intent, it becomes artificial.

We've been artificially selecting for other animals for a very long time.

Ethics aside, all you need to do is control who breeds or kill those with whatever arbitrary trait you don't value.
(this is not what I'm suggesting, there's more ethical and sophisticated ways to approach the situation.)

Silhouette wrote:Natural selection is simply a word for what emerges simply by what works.

If that working something emerges via intent, it is not natural - by definition.

Silhouette wrote:So even as immortal Nazis, we'd still be part of nature - thus natural selection.

We're talking natural selection as opposed to artificial selection. The terms would be useless if there was no alternative concept.

I've said for a long time I believe everything we do is natural, that man-made is a subcategory of natural phenomenon. But we're talking about the difference between what happens with man's influence, and what happens without man's influence. Without = Natural selection. With = Artificial. It's relevant to distinguish these and recognize the differences.

The products of natural selection will be inhibited by the environment that they inhabit. There are many things in the long term that may be relevant to an organism, but the steps to get there will not occur and be reinforced because those individual steps offer no immediate return. Natural selection demands immediate return - if whatever change happens has no bearing on the reproductive success of the species, it wont be selected for and wont remain long enough to evolve into whatever is relevant.

Natural selection is slow and crude. The results only revolve around a single bottom line. It has no foresight.

We can do better than that for ourselves. Natural selection has given us the capacity to surpass it's shortfalls.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Serendipper » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:52 am

Ben JS wrote:Artificial selection is quite easy. As soon as the direction of evolution is guided by intent, it becomes artificial.

What is intent and where does it originate?
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Pandora » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:39 am

It reminds me of this recent article about animal life evolving and adopting to in city environments.
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/20 ... fries.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y0iBNEWbRc

Although, at the core, the process itself is natural, it is adopting to a man-made environment (which, at the present so-called Anthropocene era, is almost inescapable), so it’s not really a natural selection, per se, because the process is heavily biased and influenced by humans and their interests. Whereas some species (like bacteria or insects that have very short lifespans) may have a faster adaptation rate, human survival now is heavily dependent on its technology, and although it may give humans an advantaged position now, it may also put us at a disadvantage if technology were to fail.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby gib » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:02 am

WendyDarling wrote:Okay...let's. Why this is moral is lost on me?


idunno... I'm just trying to take a stab at what your beef is.

WendyDarling wrote:Why not rather common sense?


What's common sense? That natural selection doesn't improve mankind? That medical intervention breeds weakness?

And if it's not a moral matter, what is it? Is it an appeal to what mankind wants on the whole? To what you want? To how things work?
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:07 am

Silhouette wrote:Natural selection when you're at the top of the food chain and so utterly dominating of threats (such as humans are) is mostly just sexual selection.

Is sexual selection dead? Absolutely not.

^
This

When out-group competition is won (humans versus animals, predators), then a specie turns on itself to infighting, in-group competition (human vs human).

Males compete against other males for mating-rites. Females compete against other females for social-positioning, class, caste, status, privileges, etc.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:11 am

War can be understood properly as a group of males, using and asserting violence, as a means to subdue other males, and takeover their mating-rites.

The group of top males, 'alpha' males, have mating-rites with any woman. This applies to societies at large. When one country conquers and invades another country, then the males are emasculated.

Look at Japan as an example, after being conquered by Anglo-Saxons (US white males).

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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Serendipper » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:35 am

gib wrote:
WendyDarling wrote:Why not rather common sense?


What's common sense? That natural selection doesn't improve mankind? That medical intervention breeds weakness?

Is man's activities a part of natural selection or a force working against natural selection which gives it a hurdle to overcome? That's true since evolution can only function if it is being resisted like antibiotic-resistant bacteria or herbicide-resistant weeds which found a way to overcome the goal post we set for them.

If I pull weeds thinking that I'm selecting against a variety of weed, I'm actually selecting for the variety that leaves little bits of roots left in the ground in order to grow back again and again and keep pissing me off. Whatever I do, nature is working against me or otherwise I wouldn't do it as it would be provided already by nature, so that's why nature is often overcoming my endeavors to tame it; I'm selecting for stronger varieties of it by being a resistance to it.

So, that means that practically everything humans are doing is selecting for stronger varieties of whatever it is they are fighting. That seems dire, ominous.

Imagine if we suddenly lost our ability to fight pathogenic disease with our medicines. I suppose there are only a few ways to kill bacteria that won't also kill the patient and if the bacteria find ways around those means, then what's left to discover by way of technology? Nano bots to hunt down each bacterium?

Now the race is on and here comes pride up the back stretch

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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:05 am

gib wrote: That medical intervention breeds weakness?
I thought perhaps that this was the kind of thing being an undercurrent in the thread. First, I want to point out that this kind of thing is not restricted to humans. Social mammals in general help each other, including weaker members of the pack or herd, etc. This could be seen as allowing some genes to survive that should not. Weaker or injured water buffalo or elephants or wolves will still get food, at least often. But this group strategy is part of the success, for however long it lasts, of these animals, including us.

I think the trick with humans is to figure out how to have as many of the benefits of these kinds of patterns with as few of the drawbacks.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby gib » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:30 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I thought perhaps that this was the kind of thing being an undercurrent in the thread. First, I want to point out that this kind of thing is not restricted to humans. Social mammals in general help each other, including weaker members of the pack or herd, etc. This could be seen as allowing some genes to survive that should not. Weaker or injured water buffalo or elephants or wolves will still get food, at least often. But this group strategy is part of the success, for however long it lasts, of these animals, including us.

I think the trick with humans is to figure out how to have as many of the benefits of these kinds of patterns with as few of the drawbacks.


The main advantage to this method is that when the so-called "weak" are helped to survive, they also bring with them their strengths. That is to say, there is no such thing as an organism that is overall weak, but rather weak at something, which implies possibly being strong at something else. So medical intervention might be brought in to help someone who is genetically crippled but that person might be super smart and be able to contribute great things to humanity.

Also, most medical deffects aren't genetic. Tuberculosis for example is a strain of bacteria that anyone can catch. Unless the entire human race all at once becomes inundated with tuberculosis and no medical intervention is applied, letting people die of tuberculosis isn't going to create a stronger, superior, tuberculosis resistant strain of human beings.

And just in general, everybody wants to survive; the weak and the sick are no exception. They will strive to get their medical intervention just as the strong and healthy strive to get food. If they succeed, I don't see this as any different than any other species striving for survival and succeeding. If it's just a matter of the sick having to live with their sickness rather than dying, that's their choice; letting them die seems like such a contradictory solution to the problem: if you think sickness is such a bad thing, why isn't death on your radar?
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby iambiguous » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:04 pm

Serendipper wrote:
iambiguous wrote:But that's the tricky thing about evolution when it becomes embedded in "minds". Unlike any other matter before us, we can actually express these conflicted points of view.

What then does it say about matter of this sort? And how, using the tools of philosophy, can minds figure out which point of view is the one that all rational men and women are obligated to respect as true necessarily?


Well, I guess we can't abandon all logic simply because there is no truth. We have to stand for something or we'll fall for anything. Once we admit there is no absolute, then we can't say anything, so if we desire to claim any solid ground, we have to make some postulates.


Still, how is human logic to be understood as a component of evolution? How is it to be understood "absolutely"?

Also, is it no less wholly determined? And the random mutations that came to evolve into human consciousness -- what precipitated them? Were they too wholly determined by whatever is "behind" the immutable laws of matter?

Which brings us to the biggest mystery of all: teleology.

Is there one here?

How is that one particular fact of evolution --- that human minds are able to ask the question "what is the meaning of life?" --- to be wholly understood?

And then maybe -- maybe -- if that can be determined/demonstrated, the part about human identity, conflicting value judgments and political economy [the components of my own "thing" here], will all fall into place.

Just not at all likely in our own lifetimes.

But what about after we die? What of evolution then?
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby iambiguous » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:27 pm

WendyDarling wrote:Biggie, explain the soul please.


Until a soul, the soul, my soul is able to be demonstrated [to me] to be an existing entity, I'll have to note that any explanation from me here and now is little more than just another existential contraption.

And I suspect the same with the souls of everyone else.

On the other hand, if it can be demonstrated that a human soul does in fact exist [as described by one or another narrator] that's a whole other ballgame.

From my frame of mind, when I speak of my own particular self here and now, there are things that can in fact be demonstrated to be true objectively. For example, I live in Baltimore. I was born in Wilkes Barre. I am an army veteran. I participate in discussions at ILP. I drive a VW Beetle. I am a white male. I am 5'9" tall. I was once married and have a daughter.

Facts about me.

Now, is it a fact that I either have or do not have a soul? Is it a fact that my moral philosphy [nihilism] is the optimal or the only rational frame of mind?

We either draw the line between what we can demonstrate to in fact be true about oursleves and the world around us, or it is argued that anything and everything that we claim to know or believe is true [about the soul or anything else], is as far as we need to go.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Dan~ » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:13 pm

Sexual selection still happens all the time.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu May 17, 2018 6:15 pm

WendyDarling wrote:If its occurring, where has it gotten the human race beyond simple survival? The whole concept of DnA confuses me especially when recessive traits can spoil the stew. Looking around...how has the health of humanity improved through natural selection without all the medical interventions?

What constitutes a superior human specimen?

Nothing that the right environment can't breed.

We work on man through changing he environment

To at once make the human more hardy and more subtle. This has been the challenge of cultivation for millennia.

Mr R is right that humanity is doing a lot more than surviving, nature also ways does a lot more than surviving, because this excess is required for procreation, for being selected.

The health and vigor of a specimen is hard to establish without seeing it in action contexts less and more friendly to its natural term-setting. So chid-rearing should both include hardships and glories. This was the aristocracies ways, to expose the human to extremities, to an extent, so as to maximize its scope of being.

In this day and age it is not at all impossible or even unlikely to live both glories and hardships - so we might say this is a good time for mankind, even though in all the masses, you have to make an effort to spot the virtues -- but once you do it is hard to unsee how magnificent the current breed of humanity is in countless manifestations.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu May 17, 2018 6:17 pm

Dan~ wrote:Sexual selection still happens all the time.

Yes, and that was always the most arduous part.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby WendyDarling » Thu May 17, 2018 11:37 pm

We work on man through changing he environment

To at once make the human more hardy and more subtle. This has been the challenge of cultivation for millennia.

Hardy how? How is this subtly witnessed?

I agree with Urwrong that man seems more specialized (excelling at one thing) and I find less capable overall.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Fixed Cross » Fri May 18, 2018 11:50 am

I believe these qualities have always been desirable, hardiness and subtlety. Like with wood. Also, fragrancy.
Whereas much hardness has left the west, the difficult psychological fact of the death of god, and our survival of this fact, has made us more subtle and hardy in ways perhaps too fresh to identify.

Of course I am speaking about elite strands of our genetic and cultural pools. But all starts with elites.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby MagsJ » Fri May 18, 2018 1:45 pm

Natural selection has become modernised by current migration patterns.. pairings, now being brought-about by Brexit-induced needs, from a desperate place of abandonment and upheaval - would pairings based on that, be a stable and durable one? I doubt it!

...so, what would qualify as/make for a, stable and durable pairing? or force the independents into one?
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Pneumatic-Coma » Sat May 19, 2018 2:30 pm

gib wrote:Superiority and inferiority is all relative. Many people talk about the ability to survive as a superior trait, but that's only because we tend to be viviocentric (valuing life). But who is to say what counts as superior? Surviving or dying? A hardcore Buddhist might say death is superior to life since it represents the ultimate state of rest. Christians might say the same since death, so long as one plays his cards right in life, represents salvation.


Okay, and I'm just going to throw out this question. What in the hell is viviocentric?

Okay...let's. Why this is moral is lost on me? Why not rather common sense?


Common sense often leads one to conclude that improvement is about big, strong, smart, etc. Natural selection is, as Gib say, about persisting where small, comparably weak, and even not as smart - save some energy consumption needs on that big brain - may work better for surviving in a certain environment. It is about a relationship or set of relationships not about inherent qualities. The better adapted animal might be the one with flexible joints, a smaller body and no eyes - some underground cave creature where there is no sunlight.


I'm flat out agreeing to this. I believe it was more an adaptation to our surrounding environment originally explained forthright by Gib.

Going about it like this though. I don't know. I feel as though we missed the point of natural selection here.

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Just as the idea of evolution sets in I think of the froggy adaptation. It had totally evolve before my eyes.

WendyDarling wrote:If its occurring, where has it gotten the human race beyond simple survival? The whole concept of DnA confuses me especially when recessive traits can spoil the stew. Looking around...how has the health of humanity improved through natural selection without all the medical interventions?

What constitutes a superior human specimen?


Again I feel there needs to be more clarification with this topic. Our entire race of humans have gotten up to this point in history which says a whole lot for it's superiority and again. Not as if it i.e. (big, strong, smart, etc., small, comparably weak, and even not as smart)

Quality of man/women depend on how much they use their mind. Say somebody was much stronger and brawn. Now this other person had science knowledge of certain physics/chemistry. They both have their weaknesses/their advantages. For the human race it was always naturalistic of us to survive. To protect, and secure our loved ones and neighbors. Although come to think of it. In nature we find there's a predator and prey. The wolf hunts the sheep and the sheep eat only grass. You live off of what is intended to provide. Instincts and survival have to kick in. Sorta like what Urwrongx1000 was saying.

When out-group competition is won (humans versus animals, predators), then a specie turns on itself to infighting, in-group competition (human vs human).

Males compete against other males for mating-rites. Females compete against other females for social-positioning, class, caste, status, privileges, etc.


As much as I love to say it. I believe life isn't going anywhere even long after we're dead. But even so, if there were like some sorta annihilation of earth again, the world would just pick up where it left off. Possibly until another complete disaster.
(Our object of desire isn't to change current belief systems or complicate already convoluted streams of information; we're not trying to even prove ourselves in anyway. We're just human beings similar to yourself. Not superior, the same. Ancestors of the lost world. The conflicts of beliefs you face in your world, are not only the conflict of self yet life, we cannot compel such conflicts to other's will for any self-benefit. The true goal reached here is there is nothing we can say nor do that can convince anyone else of what they don't know for themselves already. And, when the time calls, and you are ready, the barriers of awareness will expand and such confirmed information will be easily perceived, and known to them! Allow them to seek and find out when they are prepared. All will arrive to light in no time.) Ego sum via veritas et vita;Amesha Spenta;Vohu Mano; Allow all things measurable, microbial and astronomical to remain infinite, unchanged and arrive to light.
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby gib » Sat May 19, 2018 8:44 pm

Pneumatic-Coma wrote:Okay, and I'm just going to throw out this question. What in the hell is viviocentric?


Valuing life (like I said).
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Re: Is natural selection dead?

Postby Pneumatic-Coma » Tue May 22, 2018 12:39 am

gib wrote:
Pneumatic-Coma wrote:Okay, and I'm just going to throw out this question. What in the hell is viviocentric?


Valuing life (like I said).


Okay, just, you know, had to make sure. :mrgreen:

Thought we were making words up.
(Our object of desire isn't to change current belief systems or complicate already convoluted streams of information; we're not trying to even prove ourselves in anyway. We're just human beings similar to yourself. Not superior, the same. Ancestors of the lost world. The conflicts of beliefs you face in your world, are not only the conflict of self yet life, we cannot compel such conflicts to other's will for any self-benefit. The true goal reached here is there is nothing we can say nor do that can convince anyone else of what they don't know for themselves already. And, when the time calls, and you are ready, the barriers of awareness will expand and such confirmed information will be easily perceived, and known to them! Allow them to seek and find out when they are prepared. All will arrive to light in no time.) Ego sum via veritas et vita;Amesha Spenta;Vohu Mano; Allow all things measurable, microbial and astronomical to remain infinite, unchanged and arrive to light.
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