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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: petrus45]
      #6112167 - 10/01/13 10:46 PM

You have got to be kidding. You do not know what social Darwinism is? You cited an example in your previous post. I guess that is the problem. Survival of the fittest is a term coined by Spencer, who was an economic and social theorist. Darwin did not coin that phrase. Your example of "family planning science"is a social construct, and an extension of social Darwinism.
Galapagos turtles and finches did not have externally induced artificial evolutionary pressure that you are confusing for "Darwinism". Big difference. That is a very common misunderstood concept by the general public, and I see it often.


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GregLee1
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/21/13

Loc: Waimanalo, HI
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: petrus45]
      #6112199 - 10/01/13 11:09 PM

Quote:

Who are Spencer and Fisher? And what is social darwinism? I'm talking about reproducing species that mature to reproductive potential, and then produce another generation, propagating their genetic information. There's nothing "social darwinism" about that. It's straight up galapagos turtle snapping, sooty white moth pecking Chuck Darwin.



There are differences of time scale. We observe social changes over 10s or 100s of years, but the biologicsl changes we see in the geological record are over tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, or more. So just because you think you're talking about biological evolution, that doesn't mean we have to believe you.

I suppose we all understand the very bad flavor that speculation about eugenics fell into due to racial bigotry and the holocaust, but just in case you wonder why there is not more discussion about how social policies might affect the biological future of our species, well, that's why.


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: GregLee1]
      #6112979 - 10/02/13 11:39 AM

There is a general and widespread misunderstanding of the evolutionary biology concept of 'fitness'. Simply stated, 'fitness' is the number of viable offspring and individual produces (it can be expressed in absolute or relative terms, and can apply to complete organisms or genes).

Assuming that pre-reproductive death is prevented by some means, the progenitor's fitness would increase.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #6115046 - 10/03/13 12:18 PM

From an evolutionary standpoint, of course, that concept of "fitness" is only valid if the fitter organism has some means of transmitting that fitness to its offspring, some form of heredity. Human populations and societies are evolutionarily unique because our inheritance is not merely genetic, but cultural as well. Our descendents will (hopefully) inherit the technology that adds to our fitness, and (wishfully) the prosperity to afford it and willingness to make use of it.

Otherwise, they're in poor straights.


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GregLee1
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/21/13

Loc: Waimanalo, HI
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6115161 - 10/03/13 01:15 PM

Quote:

Otherwise, they're in poor straights.



And in narrowing nitches.


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #6115247 - 10/03/13 01:53 PM

I'll go back to this: the riff raffs, the imperfects, may actually be better stuff for evolution, while the alphas have no reasons to change. The alphas nay have the most abundant progeny, but this progeny is most likely like them, therefore with no real evolutionary progress done.
For example, 10 000 years ago, imperfect vision, say short sightedness, is a very bad omen for a boy-child whose destiny is to become a hunter.
But maybe this child, instead of going hunting, will survive by inventing herding or agricultural techniques.
So if you consider farming and herding an evolutionary step over hunting, then perhaps this step was made by a short sighted riff raff boy, rather than by the good looking male hunters (with lots of children) of the clan.
'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger' would say the riff raff.

Quote:

There is a general and widespread misunderstanding of the evolutionary biology concept of 'fitness'. Simply stated, 'fitness' is the number of viable offspring and individual produces (it can be expressed in absolute or relative terms, and can apply to complete organisms or genes)



Correct, this means that 'Evolution' and 'Fitness/Survival' are not the same thing.
One can even consider that 'Evolution' is a risky business which may have no great positive impact on the population numbers, at least initially. Then when the evolutionary changes have settle, the population growths again, but this time with no appreciable change (Gould stasis).

One can even goes further. In a model where the fluctuations of the characteristics of a species are just that: the fluctuations around an average and general species stereotype (Gould again, said that), these fluctuations are not considered as 'evolutionary changes' per se. Which means that Natural Selection, which nevertheless never stops acting in this fluctuating population, does not drive evolution anywhere here. Therefore Natural Selection might not be the Deus ex machina of Evolution, at least not as described by the Darwinian supporters.
For anything, Natural Selection should even be a brake to evolutionary change. It's role should be only to keep things fit, but un-changed, that is, Natural selection should stop evolution rather than drive it.
And that's totally consistent with this paper we discussed a few month ago. 'Evolution' was reframed with Information Theory concepts. Natural Selection was just a filter of entropic decay, it was not driving the complexity of the virtual organisms up, properties in the algorithmic complexity of the digital organisms was.
Now if Natural selection is just one filter, then un-natural selection is also a filter. What would be the fate of digital virtual organisms if medicine for the unfit was applied to them?

Darwinian who pose Natural Selection as the required Deus ex machina should predict an evolutionary stall, since Natural Selection is removed. They have to be consistent with their own theory: 'descendant with modification and survival of the fittest', when nobody, or everybody is the fittest, can only increase population numbers, but cannot drive Evolution.
But if Natural Selection is merely a filter, and one that can even slow down the trend in increased complexity, then the relaxation of a very stringent selection will have the opposite effect: accelerated Evolution.


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shawnhar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: Jarad]
      #6115470 - 10/03/13 03:45 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Look on the bright side. Nature will always come up with new and wonderful ways to kill us.




Quote:

...but sharply resurgent in others like antibiotic resistance




Yep.
CDC Antimicrobial Resistance Threat Report

Jarad



YUK!....how can you even open a public door knowing what you know...


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: shawnhar]
      #6120772 - 10/06/13 03:07 PM

Quote:

The abiltiy to digest cow's milk, lighter skin to produce more vitiman C from the Sun...



That's vitamin D. Humans do not produce vitamin C.


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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6120897 - 10/06/13 04:21 PM

we grow oranges!



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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: Mister T]
      #6121289 - 10/06/13 08:56 PM

Good point!

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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6122119 - 10/07/13 10:46 AM

Regarding skin color

1) some populations have lived in more northern latitude than European populations for thousands or years, namely the inuits or eskimos, and still display a darker skin than Europeans. So: living north under low light cannot be the only explanation for having a white skin.
2)the first Europeans settled around 40000 years ago in Europe and they had a darker skin than modern Europeans. The genes for fair/white skin may have appeared only 12 to 6000 years ago, and possibly only as recently as 3000 years ago for some alleles. In any case, that means that people lived in Europe for ~30 000 years without a white skin and they had no trouble with vit.D during all that time.
Again, that means that the link Light exposure-Vit.D-skin color is not enough to explain the very white skin color of Europeans.

The explanation is likely to include sexual selection for neotenic and/or colorfull traits (for eyes and hair colors). Of course this is rarely mentioned in school books because of the political un-correctness of the fact. Indeed, how do you call, in 2013, a behavior that put preference on fair skin? a 'racist behavior'. So it is likely that the first Europeans may have display what would have appeared to us as a racist behavior, circa 2013, this for tenths of thousands of years. And when you repeat a behavior for that long, it is likely to hard wire in some extent.
Understand who want, but to punish somebody who would display this hard wired behavior inherited from the past in 2013 is like punishing dwarves for being dwarves, i.e, totally unfair.

Beside the point mentioned above, neoteny has some consequences in astro-cosmo-biological evolution.
In particular there is the question of what will look like the future martians? say, a few generation post first arrival. Well in almost all books they are described as tall elongated humans. Even KS Robinson made them that way. It's easy to understand why: human muscular and bone developmental program has been set under a 1g load and will produce bigger features under a lighter 0.33g load. Say 7 feet tall humans like in the KSR trilogy, or a John Carter who can jump a mile length.
But when you put the trend for neoteny in the equation, you are more likely to obtain some form of smaller humankind, more childish looking than pygmy looking. That would be consistent with a lighter muscular force requirement. It's also consistent with a smaller environment. Animals sense the size of their environment and grow accordingly to not overstretch the local resources, like dwarf elephant in small islands. So my bet is that martians will be much smaller than us.


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: Mister T]
      #6122180 - 10/07/13 11:14 AM

Quote:

we grow oranges!





Not in my neck of the woods. We grow bindweed and goatheads, instead.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: dickbill]
      #6123813 - 10/07/13 11:25 PM

Quote:

Regarding skin color

1) some populations have lived in more northern latitude than European populations for thousands or years, namely the inuits or eskimos, and still display a darker skin than Europeans. So: living north under low light cannot be the only explanation for having a white skin.
2)the first Europeans settled around 40000 years ago in Europe and they had a darker skin than modern Europeans. The genes for fair/white skin may have appeared only 12 to 6000 years ago, and possibly only as recently as 3000 years ago for some alleles. In any case, that means that people lived in Europe for ~30 000 years without a white skin and they had no trouble with vit.D during all that time.
Again, that means that the link Light exposure-Vit.D-skin color is not enough to explain the very white skin color of Europeans.

The explanation is likely to include sexual selection for neotenic and/or colorfull traits (for eyes and hair colors). Of course this is rarely mentioned in school books because of the political un-correctness of the fact. Indeed, how do you call, in 2013, a behavior that put preference on fair skin? a 'racist behavior'. So it is likely that the first Europeans may have display what would have appeared to us as a racist behavior, circa 2013, this for tenths of thousands of years. And when you repeat a behavior for that long, it is likely to hard wire in some extent.
Understand who want, but to punish somebody who would display this hard wired behavior inherited from the past in 2013 is like punishing dwarves for being dwarves, i.e, totally unfair.

Beside the point mentioned above, neoteny has some consequences in astro-cosmo-biological evolution.
In particular there is the question of what will look like the future martians? say, a few generation post first arrival. Well in almost all books they are described as tall elongated humans. Even KS Robinson made them that way. It's easy to understand why: human muscular and bone developmental program has been set under a 1g load and will produce bigger features under a lighter 0.33g load. Say 7 feet tall humans like in the KSR trilogy, or a John Carter who can jump a mile length.
But when you put the trend for neoteny in the equation, you are more likely to obtain some form of smaller humankind, more childish looking than pygmy looking. That would be consistent with a lighter muscular force requirement. It's also consistent with a smaller environment. Animals sense the size of their environment and grow accordingly to not overstretch the local resources, like dwarf elephant in small islands. So my bet is that martians will be much smaller than us.




It's true that the mutation that led to fair skin in Europeans is relatively recent; it's actually a kind of entertaining irony to know that the common depiction of white-skinned Cro-Magnons appearing in Europe and replacing the more dull-witted Neandertals is wrong on several levels -- one of the most obvious being that we now know that the Cro-Magnons may have been as dark-skinned as any modern African population (and that the Neandertals weren't really dull-witted).

The Wikipedia discussion of skin pigmentation appears relatively comprehensive. Some interesting stuff there.

The Eskimo people are an interesting case, being descended from East Asian populations which did not experience the same mutations as did Europeans*. However, the Eskimo diet is already rich in vitamin D, consisting as it does of abundant oily fish. So there is no necessary selection pressure in their case that would amplify genes for light skin. Also, fish are much poorer sources of folate than are green leafy vegetables, which are in short supply in the Arctic. One of the primary affects of ultraviolet light on skin is the destruction of folate, which melanin protects against. Since the Eskimo diet is relatively low in folate, it would make sense to have some melanin protection for it. And finally, even though arctic winters are long and dark and cold, and bundling head to toe would seem the only option, the summers by contrast are accompanied with abundant sunlight, even more than in the temperate zones. Periods of continuous 24-hour sunlight, even though they may only last a few months of the year, will supply significant ultraviolet light, and the clothing worn during those months is probably not particularly heavy. So all in all, Eskimos have no real evolutionary need for light skin, and they have some biological advantages in retaining pigmentation.

*(Also interestingly, the lighter skinned East Asians are pale due to a different set of genetic mutations than are Europeans, and apparently the Asian version of pale skin does not come with the same genetic pre-disposition to skin cancer that European fairness does.)


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: dickbill]
      #6123823 - 10/07/13 11:29 PM

Quote:


Darwinian who pose Natural Selection as the required Deus ex machina should predict an evolutionary stall, since Natural Selection is removed. They have to be consistent with their own theory: 'descendant with modification and survival of the fittest', when nobody, or everybody is the fittest, can only increase population numbers, but cannot drive Evolution.





That can only be the case when the external environment is static. But it rarely is. It's hard to reach an optimal peak when the landscape keeps changing out from under you.


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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: ColoHank]
      #6124246 - 10/08/13 07:45 AM

you need better farmers...



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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6124510 - 10/08/13 10:15 AM

Of course I agree. Just to mention though, that not 'everybody' depicts Cro-Magnons with a fair skin. Kim Stanley Robinson has correctly updated on that and describe them, in his latest book 'Shaman', as rather brown-bronze skinned. So people are getting used to the idea that Europeans were dark skinned for a long time, possibly as long as 30 000 years.
Another remark, since what you say about the Inuits is true, one could also say that for the Europeans too, only to a lesser extent. So Europeans didn't need to become completely fair-skinned as they did. And in addition, with the lactose tolerance mutation that appeared around -9000, and the additional vit.D provided by milk, there was even less selective pressure for a total skin discoloration. So clearly there was something else at work than the Vit.d selective pressure to explain the skin tone.

A word about 'farming' now, which was introduced late in Europe and which could explain a regained pressure for Vit.d, and therefore skin discoloration, because of an exclusive wheat-based diet.
I don't know where people get that idea that farmers were almost vegans. As a farmer's grandchild in Europe, I remember I never ate so much different meats than on the farm: pig, ducks, chicken and eggs, beef or cow (very rarely), rabbit, quails, complemented by a lot of wild animal meat: wild boars, dear, peacock, wild rabbits, often all sort of fishes from the rivers, snails and frogs (rarely) ! and to add to it, my grandfather had cows for milk, so we had lots of whole milk, i.e, Vit.D. To me it looks like more of a hunter-gatherer diet on the boost than what you would expect of a 'vegan' farmer's diet and it is probably the kind of switch that the hunter gatherers experienced when they started to herd cows: more of the same, but plus milk.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: dickbill]
      #6124584 - 10/08/13 10:50 AM

Agriculture didn't mean an immediate or total end to hunting, but eventually the amount of meat eaten by farmers decreased to levels that definitely affected the health of the farmers. The modern view of the general farm as having a large variety of livestock available is, I think, a more recent occurrance.

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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6124666 - 10/08/13 11:29 AM

Quote:

Agriculture didn't mean an immediate or total end to hunting, but eventually the amount of meat eaten by farmers decreased to levels that definitely affected the health of the farmers. The modern view of the general farm as having a large variety of livestock available is, I think, a more recent occurrance.




As I said above, my experience of a farmer's diet was better described as 'sedentarized hunters gatherers'. The big difference with real hunting is that instead to have to run long distances in winter to try to catch some big game, we just had to kill one of our 'animal prisoner' to eat it.
There are probably some studies on prehistoric bones that could precisely indicate how much meat and milk the hunters got when they transitioned to a more sedentarized lifestyle.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: dickbill]
      #6126022 - 10/08/13 10:40 PM

I don't know about precise, that's hard to do in bio-archeology, but there are a lot of indications that, as the population increased after the development of agriculture, the nutritional health of that population decreased significantly compared to previous hunter-gatherer populations. Until recently, agriculture could feed larger populations, but could never feed them well.

Farmers having access to abundant sources of livestock has until recently not been a common occurrence. As late as medieval times the "family cow" was a precious commodity, and not slaughtered lightly. She would be very expensive to replace.


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scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: un-natural evolution new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6130810 - 10/11/13 11:07 AM

dang right...I recall reading about a cow that burnt down a whole city..Chicago wasn't it??,,an utter catastrophe...

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