Hi Stephen and John:

I believe I absorbed the "evolution is a random walk with a lower bound but
no upper bound"  from my readings of Stephen Gould.  I have no memory of
where and when and the memory may be false.  In any event I do not see that
it excludes selection.  I think there was an illustration something like: A
staggering drunk is walking down a city street on a sidewalk bounded on one
side by a solid row of locked buildings and on the other by the street.
Given a long enough walk the drunk will always end up in the gutter - the
"gutter" in this case representing either a new player on the field or a
pruning.    

This discussion is important to where I want to take my posts.

Thanks

Hal

-----Original Message-----
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Stephen P. King
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 12:09 PM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Life: origin, purpose, and qualia spectrum

On 11/4/2012 12:09 AM, John Mikes wrote:

> snip

> ## to 9 I have objections. I cannot imagine (maybe my mistake) 
> evolution without a goal, a final aim which would require an 
> intelligent design to approach it. (I may have one: the 
> re-distribution into the Plenitude). My way (as of yesterday) is the 
> ease-and-potential path of changes allowed by the available 
> configurations (relations) when a change occurs.
> NO RANDOM, it would make a grits out of nature. Even authors with high 
> preference on random treatises withdrew into a "conditional random"
> when I attacked the term. Conditionality kills random of course.
> So in my terms: NO random mutations, (especially not FOR survival) I 
> call 'evolution' the HISTORY of our universe. The unsuccessful mutants 
> die, the successful go on - science detects them in its snapshots 
> taken and explains them religiously. (Survival of the fittest - the 
> Dinosaur was fit when it got extinct by the change in circumstances).
> I accept ONE random (in mathematical puzzles): "take ANY number..."
>
> Your "lower, but not upper bound" is highly appreciable. Thanks.
>
> I apologize for my haphazard remarks upon prima vista reading. The 
> list-discussion is not a well-founded scientific discourse upon new 
> ideas. Most people tell what they formulated over years. A reply is 
> many times instantaneous.
>
snip
> [HR] 9) Now add in evolution which is a random walk with a lower but 
> no upper bound.
snip

Dear John,

     I wanted to make a remark on just this part of your post as I need to
ask a question. Why is the Selective aspect of evolution almost completely
ignored? It is easy to talk about mutations and models of them, such as
random walks - which I favor!, but what about the selection aspect? what
about how the Tree of Life is almost constantly pruned by events that kill
off or otherwise blunt growth in some directions as opposed to others?

     My question to you is specific. How do polymers mold themselves to
local parameters that influence their molecules? What determines their
shape? Is there a deterministic explanation of the shape of a polymer? 
Would this explanation work for, say, DNA or peptite molecules?

--
Onward!

Stephen


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