Hello Chris ~ When one factors in group dynamics in addition to the
individual ones at play it is as you suggest more nuanced. I have heard this
survival of the community dynamics being used to suggest why for example we
still have behaviors such as altruism still quite common amongst members of
our species when from a simple game theory perspective altruistic behavior
is a handicap, as the cheater always comes out ahead. However when one
factors in social transaction costs into the larger equation and compares
between groups with a high degree of altruism and those lacking any altruism
the difference in this cost for each social transaction is so large that the
groups that behave altruistically - at least amongst themselves - have a
significant survival advantage over similar groups that instead have very
low levels of altruism. To make it more colorful imagine how high the
transaction cost for a simple business deal is amongst two rival drug gangs.
how many men with guns on each side need to show up and how when things
don't work out things can suddenly go horribly wrong. the high transaction
cost scenario versus a deal between two good friends that is just based on a
handshake and maybe sharing a beer or something. 

It is certainly also true that information - i.e. DNA - is exchanged
laterally between individuals and sometimes jumping from species to species,
and that this would have been more the norm in the early epochs of life on
earth before highly differentiated and specialized multicellular communities
of animals and plants began to appear. In the case of horizontal transfer of
DNA, if one looks at it from an abstract point of view this becomes another
mode or vector by which the phenotype of the resulting organism will mutated
or changed. 

It is a pathway for the introduction of alteration of the code but in itself
is not the entire process of evolution. For that we need natural selection -
driven by whatever environmental pressures are the most limiting - i.e. the
gating factors.

You raise a good point by pointing out group or community dynamics that are
also probably influencing the whole selection outcome. It makes things more
complex which some find irksome, perhaps, but which, I think, rather more
reflects the messy fuzzy noisy nature of reality, life and consciousness.

I would not be surprised to find that there is evidence of cross species
conglomerates of organisms that have evolved to survive together, in other
words that the Darwinian selection mechanism could potentially be extended
to take into account both group survival dynamics within one species and in
the larger meta-groups of two or more species that get through life together
by cooperating across species lines. For example I wonder if there is any
statistically discoverable evidence of this kind of process going on amongst
those tropical forest monkeys of several different species and niches that
travel the forest together in multi-species bands that apparently also
include some bird species as well. Apparently these closely linked species
have learned each other's specific call sounds for the various predators -
say leopard, snake, harpy and shout out for each other's shared benefit. On
one level this seems culturally evolved, but I wonder if perhaps
evolutionary adaptions could be discovered say for example in brain
evolution favoring individuals with increased (albeit rudimentary) language
abilities that the monkeys individuals who more closely tune into the calls
of other types of monkeys and of the birds as well and can make sense of
their meaning are more likely to be alerted in time of impending danger than
the individuals that do not or are not able to listen in on the languages of
other species - i.e. to multi-lingual monkeys. Over many generations of
these unfortunate linguistically challenged monkeys being taken out of the
evolutionary equation by becoming leopard food or a digesting bulge in an
twelve foot boa would not language abilities be selected for?

As always a fascinating subject.

Cheers,

-Chris

 

From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of chris peck
Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2013 5:44 PM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: Serious proof of why the theory of evolution is wrong

 

Hi Chris and John


The paper I linked to describes a evolutionary dynamic which emphasizes
horizontal over vertical genetic transfer. I think it is described in the
paper as Lamarckian because changes to the coding mechanism can occur in
their model within a single generation of organisms rather than over the
course of many. I understand (perhaps incorrectly?) that horizontal transfer
is not uncommon within bacteria and other 'simple' organisms. And of course
in the evolutionary epoch they discuss organisms were far simpler again. I
suspect also that their model goes against the neo-Darwinian grain insofar
as it possibly emphasizes group selection over genetic selection. They
suggest that in this very early period it was in fact communities of
organisms that were being selected for or against rather than individual
genes. But, that might be a misread. They say:

" The key element in this dynamic is innovation-sharing, an evolutionary
protocol whereby descent with variation from one ''generation'' to the next
is not genealogically traceable but is a descent of a cellular community as
a whole"

Ofcourse, it might be the case that this kind of adaptation sits happily
under the umbrella of Darwinism even neo-Darwinism. In fact as a layman I am
(perhaps naively?) unconcerned about the taxonomy of their model within
evolutionary theory. 

What really interests me isn't even the plausibility of their model but
rather the bare possibility that it might offer an argument against
Statham's in this thread's original post.

All the best.

  _____  

From: cdemorse...@yahoo.com
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: Serious proof of why the theory of evolution is wrong
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2013 17:15:13 -0700

John, Russell ~ Speaking from the perspective of information science, one
can abstract out the underlying information encoding scheme(s), actually
employed by life & by conscious self-aware life as well, which could be any
number of suitable candidates. We know of three known currently employed
encoding schemes DNA, RNA (RNA viruses for example)  and epigenetic coding
of how this DNA is expressed  that can cross generational boundaries and
mutate or change the resulting phenotype expressed in progeny.

As Russell pointed out there is the matter of memes acting as a kind of
encoded piece of cultural DNA that can culturally form individuals even
after many generations have past. In some senses, in more advanced cultural
creatures such as our species -- though some would argue that last statement
J -- ideas transmit and evolve in a Darwinian manner.

If we abstract away the details of how information is encoded, preserved,
transmitted etc. and deal instead in the abstract, we can avoid a whole mess
of confusion and focus in on the essential common characteristics that are
shared.

>From this perspective what is required in order for evolution to occur is
the following sequence: 

1)      A new abstract information entity or a mutation on an existing one
is introduced into an individual organism or a population of individual
organisms through some process. This process may be hereditary, in the
special case of a mutated or new information entity that has been introduced
in some earlier generation and is going through a new generation of natural
selection.

2)      This new information must be remembered by one or more individuals
in the initial population set and be able to be encoded and preserved in a
durable and high fidelity manner in those individuals.

3)      It must also be able to be transmissible across generational
boundaries and through some abstract hereditary process (again leaving out
all details) and durable high quality copies of the original must exist and
also be able to be expressed in the individuals in these successive
generations - e.g. the process of heredity stated in an abstract way.
Copying flaws and mutations are of course allowed and considered integral to
the way things actually work.

4)      Crucially, in each succeeding generation, it must undergo and
survive a process of Darwinian selection being driven by the given
environmental pressures in its world. Only the abstract information entities
that make it through each generational selection obstacle course survive -
amongst some individual members in the population of the succeeding
generation - to be passed on to the next generation in the evolutionary
chain.

5)      Many generations of natural selection must occur - i.e. loop through
steps 1,2,3,4 - in order to enable the bubbling up of beneficial mutations
and the weeding out of harmful mutations. How many generations does it take?
No easy answer for that but certainly more than say two or three. 

 

Only when new abstract information entities satisfy and survive through
(step number 4) repeated over many generations (step 5) can evolution be
said to have occurred.

-Chris

 

 

 

From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of John Clark
Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2013 9:21 AM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Serious proof of why the theory of evolution is wrong

 

On Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM, Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com>
wrote:

 

>> It's not news that some chemicals increase the rate of mutation.

 

> Epigenetic changes that effect what is transcribed is not mutation - at
least in the classic sense of changing - i.e. mutating - the underlying DNA.
The DNA is not mutated; the underlying sequence of bases remains unaltered. 


It's true that  epigenetic changes don't effect the underlying DNA, but that
is a distinction of little or no importance to Evolution because all it's
interested in is the resulting phenotype and how well the animal does in
getting its inheritance factors (regardless of if those factors are made of
DNA base pairs or methylation) into the next generation. Perhaps on a
distant planet there is a ecosystem that doesn't use DNA or methylation at
all, but it must have some mechanism of inheritance and that mechanism must
be very reliable but not perfectly so because there must be some way to
generate random changes. And on that distant planet Darwinian natural
selection would still be needed to separate the good changes from the bad. 

> it seems to me - that life dances on the knife edge between order and
chaos. Stray too far towards either chaos or order and life very quickly
stops living.


Yes, I agree.

  John K Clark

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