The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Discussions on general biology and biological evolution, genetics, zoology, ecology, botany, etc.

Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Serpent on February 15th, 2020, 10:21 pm 

Reg_Prescott » February 15th, 2020, 8:40 pm wrote:
Serpent » February 16th, 2020, 10:19 am wrote:If all the wild asses in a herd of thousands have one head and four legs, that is the norm for that herd. Why should a theory be required to establish this observation?


It's something of a commonplace these days to note that all observation is contaminated by theory. In other words, facts (cough) are not simply there to be read. What is read depends on the conceptual apparatus one brings to bear on said observations.

To paraphrase Kant, and to show off: "Theory without observation is empty; Observation without theory is blind"

A non sequitur does not redeem a previous misrepresentation of someone's ele's statement.

Getting back to trilobites.....

I wish you would. Carry on.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3925
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 6:13 am 

Serpent » February 16th, 2020, 11:21 am wrote:A non sequitur does not redeem a previous misrepresentation of someone's ele's statement.



Sorry if I did that. Please restate whatever it is you would like addressed and I'll try to address it (with my usual incompetence).

While we're on the topic of evasion, does anyone have any plans to address my questions:

1. What is the theory of evolution?

and

2. What is the objective probability of it being true?

One good turn deserves another after all, eh chaps?
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Serpent on February 16th, 2020, 9:14 am 

Reg_Prescott » February 16th, 2020, 5:13 am wrote:
Please restate whatever it is you would like addressed and I'll try to address it

Your misrepresentation of Forest_Dump's comment.

While we're on the topic of evasion,

We're not.
You were discussing anomalies in trilobites.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3925
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Forest_Dump on February 16th, 2020, 9:31 am 

I would have thought it pretty clear why I brought up trilobites. In fact I have very little interest in trilobites per se (none in the rock around here) but if and when I run across a decent book about them I just might buy it and read it. My point is that evolutionary theory helps explain the history of life on this planet. Now a bit more to Reg's question...

Reg, if you want some kind of consise theory of evolution, you must have either stumbled upon the answer to your question by now, in far better form than anyone here can or will provide or no answer will suffice for you. I suspect the latter but leave open the hypothesis that yo may not be fully capable of grasping what is necessary either because of some cognitive or emotion challenge (or substance abuse), because you have some a priori or hidden bias or agenda or because you just haven't had the right synapse for whatever reason. So yes I do think the problem is with you and I honestly cannot figure out how to address it. So rather than just give up or give the patronizing "yep you are right so lets move on..." could you please clarify what it is you are looking for and why it is important? For myself right now your questions about some kind of properly formulated theoretical construct and its falsification seem kind of old and trivial, as though you are still fighting some early 20th century battle. So, since you acknowledge Kuhn, Feyerabend, and other philosophers of science that the acknowledgement theory is necessary and also influenced by politics, etc., could you please explain what it is you are looking for and why?
User avatar
Forest_Dump
Resident Member
 
Posts: 8744
Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Location: Great Lakes Region


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 11:08 am 

@ Forest


Same old "Do you have anything better? bs

Well, personally speaking, I find it all fascinating: all we've learned about the history of life on Earth.

As for a general theory of how it all came about... I think you know my thoughts.

Why not just dig up fossils? A general theory? I think not.

Here's something to consider (and I'm stealing this from Gould, haha). Let's suppose the size of a shark's tooth increased by ten centimetres over 10 million years, ok?

Now, in Darwinian gradualistic terms, what does that compute to in the short term? Are we supposed to believe that a 0.0001 millimeter (you do the math) growth in a tooth confers a survival advantage?


P.S. Eldredge is the trilobite man. Read his stuff?
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 11:43 am 

By the way, no one brought up David Berlinski till another David did.

So much for special rules.

Short pants, romance,

Join the army if you fail.

Orders from the DA

Look out, kid.
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby davidm on February 16th, 2020, 11:58 am 

Sigh. So much to rebut, so little time. :-)

While we're on the topic of evasion, does anyone have any plans to address my questions:

1. What is the theory of evolution?[/i]


I already answered this, in the now-locked thread — and specifically denied that there was any such thing as the theory of evolution, in the same way there is no such thing as the scientific method. You did not respond to my response. Others may answer as they like or not answer at all, but I gave my response. So, at least with respect to me, you can take your “evasion” slur and stuff it. Capisce?

2. What is the objective probability of it being true?


I don’t know. The question does not even make sense, so far as I can tell. What are the a priori odds of you existing? Infinitesimal. What are the a posteriori odds? 100 percent.

Moreover, theories are not true or false. They are provisionally useful.

Are we supposed to believe that a 0.0001 millimeter (you do the math) growth in a tooth confers a survival advantage?


For someone so intent on discrediting evolutionary biology, you sure don’t seem to understand it very well. No one — except hard-core adaptationists, who are a minority — argues that all evolutionary change occurs only because such changes always confer a survival advantage. A lot of evolutionary change is just accidental — pure dumb luck — and, as the biochemist Larry Moran has pointed out, even deleterious genes can go to fixation in a population by accident — i.e., drift. He is even writing a book called Evolution by Accident, in which he plays down (but does not reject) natural selection in favor of accidental evolution. At his blog, Moran famously had an argument over this subject with Dawkins.

Phenotypes also display spandrels — accidental byproducts of the physical structure of the organism. There is no survival advantage at all in spandrels.

Sexual selection is frequently destructive for the individual, and does not carry any obvious survival advantage when its results spread through a population.

Your shark tooth example is also inappropriate because it is an example of micro-evolution, and this can happen for no reason except happenstance as noted above. In fact, most mutations are neutral, and only a minority are beneficial or deleterious. And, as again noted above, even deleterious genes can go to fixation.

So, as usual, you have erected a strawman of evolutionary theory, and attacked that instead of the substance of it.

But your biggest howler is to characterize punctuated equilibria as a veritable Copernican Revolution, no less! The claim is ludicrous, and would been disowned by both Eldredge and Gould. I’ll address this later, lacking time at the moment.
davidm
Member
 
Posts: 715
Joined: 05 Feb 2011
Forest_Dump liked this post


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Serpent on February 16th, 2020, 11:59 am 

What I had typed in this space might be construed as transgressing the
Absolutely no personal remarks

rule.
However, this
Same old "Do you have anything better? bs

is the same type of misrepresentation as the previous one I mentioned;
and this
Now, in Darwinian gradualistic terms, what does that compute to in the short term? Are we supposed to believe that a 0.0001 millimeter (you do the math) growth in a tooth confers a survival advantage?

is a misconstruction of the subject regarding which the question purports to seek enlightenment.
I name no names; I plead only for honest and coherent discourse.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3925
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Forest_Dump on February 16th, 2020, 12:21 pm 

A general theory? Okay I will say no. That would immediately be too rigid and dogmatic and such things only belong in the more abstract sciences like highschool math and physics. Maybe a little value in chemistry (my weakest point) but really not much use in biology and definitely no use in anthropology or any of the more "human" focused "sciences". But, as a rule. these days I think most prefer referring to "evidence-based" rather than get into those pointless debates about what science is supposed to be. Maybe it is time to think about whether the term "science" has much meaning anymore.

Abiognesis? Have to admit (as I have before) that this is not a topic of huge interest to me. Ironically I regularly collect of literally hundreds of kilograms of rock that at one time was considered to have fossils that were among the oldest known. But I smash it to bits to make arrowheads and other stone tools. To me it is enough to know there are good hypotheses to explain the origins of life but I will let the lab rats work on that one and wait for one of them to write a good, easy to read book on it all. Or maybe not.

No, never read Eldredge. Truth be told, I didn't know he had written a book all on his own. I only knew him from the paper cowritten with Gould. But I will look for it and probably read it if I find it. I used ot have some pretty good trilobite fossils.

The "same old "Do you have something better" bs"? Sure, why not? Reg you seem to like to fall into the same old pattern of playing a shell game where nothing will satisfy you while you can't seem to make it clear what it is you want? I do find it frustrating at times that you can be reasonably clear and coherent for a while but then revert to something like a monkey jibbering from a tree and throwing feces at random when people can't read your mind. By your own arguments, you seem to demand some broadly applicable general theory while at the same time arguing that such a thing may not be of much use. I will refer to something like a "theory of evolution" but I am not sure something as rigidly formulated as old positivists used to do is really of much value anymore except in some specific debates such as dealing with IDers and other religious people.
User avatar
Forest_Dump
Resident Member
 
Posts: 8744
Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Location: Great Lakes Region


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 12:24 pm 



Why, we're almost paisan.

Better go to bed before special rules are violated.

Just one question, David, how confident are you that your assertions are correct?

Should I have your ouevre carved in stone and lugged around in a tabernacle?

What's your position on healthy skepticism?

No need to answer.

God bless you.
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Forest_Dump on February 16th, 2020, 12:29 pm 

Reg_Prescott wrote:
Just one question, David, how confident are you that your assertions are correct?



His post sure makes a lot of sense to me.
User avatar
Forest_Dump
Resident Member
 
Posts: 8744
Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Location: Great Lakes Region


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 12:30 pm 

Serpent » February 17th, 2020, 12:59 am wrote:
Now, in Darwinian gradualistic terms, what does that compute to in the short term? Are we supposed to believe that a 0.0001 millimeter (you do the math) growth in a tooth confers a survival advantage?

is a misconstruction of the subject regarding which the question purports to seek enlightenment.
I name no names; I plead only for honest and coherent discourse.



It's S J Gould, pal.

I can think of no one who knows more about evolution then he. Can you?
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Serpent on February 16th, 2020, 12:37 pm 

Reg_Prescott » February 16th, 2020, 11:30 am wrote:Now, in Darwinian gradualistic terms, what does that compute to in the short term? Are we supposed to believe that a 0.0001 millimeter (you do the math) growth in a tooth confers a survival advantage?

[is a misconstruction of the subject regarding which the question purports to seek enlightenment.]
It's S J Gould, pal.

Ah, then you can cite the quote where he says, suggests or implies that the growth of a shark's tooth takes place in 0.0001 millimeter increments. Or that a survival advantage has to manifest in minuscule increments over millions of years, rather than preponderance of offspring over generations.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3925
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 12:54 pm 

Serpent » February 17th, 2020, 1:37 am wrote:Ah, then you can cite the quote where he says, suggests or implies that the growth of a shark's tooth takes place in 0.0001 millimeter increments. Or that a survival advantage has to manifest in minuscule increments over millions of years, rather than preponderance of offspring over generations.



Will do. Tomorrow. God bless!
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 12:56 pm 

But of course he doesn't suggest that at all.

He raises it as a reductio ad absurdum of gradualism.

Will post tomorrow.
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Forest_Dump on February 16th, 2020, 1:26 pm 

Reg_Prescott wrote:But of course he doesn't suggest that at all.

He raises it as a reductio ad absurdum of gradualism.

Will post tomorrow.


And he may or may not have been correct. I would like to see what the data actually shows in terms of whether the growth in size was slow and gradual or relatively rapid and then try to come up with various explanations to see what works best. But, of course, at this point in time I am not sure we could pinpoint the origin of the variation in tooth size although that may soon come from lots of experimentation with shark DNA. Pinpointing whether and how natural selection worked on selecting for bigger teeth and against smaller ones is a it more tricky because that seems to be very tricky (or nearly impossible) with fossil populations. But you never know. At least we can pick through a list of possible ways of checking. And to repeat the same old bs as you like to put it, do you have any better ideas on how to explain the growth in shark tooth size?
User avatar
Forest_Dump
Resident Member
 
Posts: 8744
Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Location: Great Lakes Region


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby TheVat on February 16th, 2020, 2:20 pm 

Took out some of the taunts, insults, but left some pointless excursions into certainty levels and other imponderable garbage. Theories aren't true, they are models that may be stronger or weaker, some need corsets to hold them up as new data arrives (general relativity whalebone over Newtonian flab), some fade into irrelevance (epicycles, phlogiston, hidden variables in quantum transactions). As Forest suggests, it's a matter of evidence and going down a list and seeing where the least number of holes can be poked.

Also, re:

It's S J Gould, pal.

I can think of no one who knows more about evolution then he. Can you?


No more naked appeals to authority, OK? If that's not in our ancient forum guidelines I will go fix that right now. Carry on.
User avatar
TheVat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 7406
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby davidm on February 16th, 2020, 2:28 pm 

Reg_Prescott » February 16th, 2020, 10:24 am wrote:
Just one question, David, how confident are you that your assertions are correct?


I answered that, in the post you once again ignored.

Should I have your ouevre carved in stone and lugged around in a tabernacle?


Where have I ever suggested this? Why do you insist on appeals to straw men and red herrings?

What's your position on healthy skepticism?


I've already answered this multiple times. My answers in no way support the straw men you have made of my positions.

No need to answer.


But I have answered. You ignore my answers, and then insist on ,mischaracterizing what I say. Why?

Why don't you address my post jut upthread? In detail?
davidm
Member
 
Posts: 715
Joined: 05 Feb 2011


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 10:17 pm 

davidm » February 17th, 2020, 12:58 am wrote:
Moreover, theories are not true or false. They are provisionally useful.



Once again, with your signature hyperconfidence, you assert this as if it's a universally agreed upon fact. Same old "Ask any scientist and they'll tell you the same thing" bs.

Wanna hear a secret? They won't.

Scientists say all kinds of things about science, and not infrequently, mutually contradictory things. Not at all unlike what they say about evolution, come to think of it.

What do you expect: a homogeneous cabal of clones? They're an epileptic bunch. And why not?


Just one example should suffice to put the quietus to your most recent fairy tale:

"Although natural science is intellectually hegemonic, in the sense that we have a clear idea of what it means for a theory to be true or false, its operations are not socially hegemonic -- authority counts for very little"


-- Steven Weinberg


Oh, and you're not getting off the hook, either, Mr Vat...

TheVat » February 17th, 2020, 3:20 am wrote:Theories aren't true, they are models that . . .



If theories cannot be true or false, why do I hear so much talk about such-and-such a theory (phlogiston, say, or Ptolomaic geocentrism) having been falsified? If a theory has indeed been falsified, then it's, um, false, right?

And why do these poor, woebegotten Creationists keep getting harangued by hard-nose scientists for the (putative) unfalsifiability of their theoretical claims?

"There's no way to demonstrate that your theory is false, you Creationist slimeball" - hard-nosed scientist

"But, but, the wise men tell me theories are not the kinds of things that are true or false" - poor, woebegotten Creationist slimeball
Last edited by Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 11:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 10:52 pm 

Oh, almost forgot, here's that eagerly anticipated shark tooth homily...


"Eldredge and I first raised this point explicitly in 1977, for we had missed this implication in our original formulation of 1972. Here, on this issue, we finally caught the attention of many neontological [a Gould neologism for a non-paleontolost - Reg] colleagues who, before then, had been unmoved by punctuated equilibrium. How can geological gradualism be the extrapolated expression of natural selection within populations? Surely, if a doubling of tooth size (say) requires 2 million years to reach completion, then the process must be providing so small an increment of potential advantage in each generation that natural selection couldn't possibly "see" the effect in terms of reliably enhanced reproductive success on a generational basis. Can a tooth elongated by a tiny fraction of a single millimeter possibly confer any evolutionary advantage in a selective episode during one generation of a population's history? Conversely, if bigger teeth provide such sustained advantages, why stretch the process over millions of years? Neontological studies have amply confirmed that natural selection can be a powerful force--the lesson, after all, of our entire, and burgeoning, literature of measurable change in Darwin's finches, anolid lizards, peppered moths, etc. So why shouldn't such a doubling of tooth length be achieved over the palpable span of a few human generations? Of course we all recognize a host of standard arguments for reining in the speed of selective response: negative consequences through discoordination with other parts of the body, slowing by networks of correlated effects upon other anatomical features. But I doubt that even the summation of all such effects could generate sufficient restraining power to spread the blessings of a moment over 2 million years of plodding achievement.

In other words, gradualism should be viewed as a problem and a potential anomaly, not as an expectation [. . .]

S. J. Gould, "Punctuated Equilibrium", p124


Whoops, don't think he mentions sharks. We're gonna need a bigger boat, chaps.
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 16th, 2020, 11:12 pm 

TheVat » February 17th, 2020, 3:20 am wrote:
No more naked appeals to authority, OK? If that's not in our ancient forum guidelines I will go fix that right now. Carry on.



With all due respect, good sir, I've never understood this complaint. If Gould doesn't count as an authority on the subject of evolution, I've no idea who does. The man's expertise deserves respect.

Now, if, on the other hand, Mr Gould was pontificating on the topic of North Korean culinary techniques, say, I'd be inclined to agree with you: "Put a sock in it, professor!"
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Serpent on February 17th, 2020, 1:15 am 

Reg_Prescott » February 16th, 2020, 9:52 pm wrote:Oh, almost forgot, here's that eagerly anticipated shark tooth homily...


Whoops, don't think he mentions sharks. We're gonna need a bigger boat, chaps.

Right. Whatever the apropos was, whatever he was on about half a century ago, it's not enlightening me now, as regards sharks, anomalies or gradual improvement of populations.
Come to think of it, since you colonized this thread, it's become ever more obscure; a pattern I've been noticing over time. I've provisionally designated it the reg_prescott_effect, but have not yet formulated a theory as to its cause. I doubt I'll learn anything here.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3925
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby TheVat on February 17th, 2020, 10:32 am 

Oh, and you're not getting off the hook, either, Mr Vat...


If theories cannot be true or false, why do I hear so much talk about such-and-such a theory (phlogiston, say, or Ptolomaic geocentrism) having been falsified? If a theory has indeed been falsified, then it's, um, false, right?


Not really. Individual hypothesis may be false, but that's not a theory. At least not in the sense of "evolutionary theory. " A lot of a theory is an explanatory net drawn around a bunch of observations (tested hypotheses). When a key hypothesis is falsified, the integument of theory simply weakens, maybe to where it unravels. I mean, sure, sometimes people speak sloppily and say a whole theoretic model is "false" but it's really a pretty loose way of speaking. Which is why people get into conceptual trouble when they say stuff like "Newtonian theory of gravitation is false. "


The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles...
User avatar
TheVat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 7406
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills
Reg_Prescott liked this post


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby TheVat on February 17th, 2020, 10:40 am 

Reg_Prescott » February 16th, 2020, 8:12 pm wrote:
TheVat » February 17th, 2020, 3:20 am wrote:
No more naked appeals to authority, OK? If that's not in our ancient forum guidelines I will go fix that right now. Carry on.



With all due respect, good sir, I've never understood this complaint. If Gould doesn't count as an authority on the subject of evolution, I've no idea who does. The man's expertise deserves respect.

Now, if, on the other hand, Mr Gould was pontificating on the topic of North Korean culinary techniques, say, I'd be inclined to agree with you: "Put a sock in it, professor!"


Appeals to authority, however solid they seem, don't really have much value when points are being debated. You can certainly quote someone when they themselves make a strong case, based on logic and evidence, but then you're not leaning on their authoritativeness, just their logic and evidence. When you simply point to THEM, however, and suggest any idea has credibility because it came from their oracular orifice, that's the pernicious old argumentum ad verecundiam.
User avatar
TheVat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 7406
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby davidm on February 17th, 2020, 11:17 am 

I see Reg continues to ignore my post from yesterday — no surprise, there. Who’s being evasive, Reg?

He also insists on continuing to strawman my positions, even after being repeatedly corrected by me. I should think that by now, this is skating up against the edge of the rules here.

If he had read my post yesterday, he would realize that I do not disagree with Gould on sharks’ teeth. What I will try to show, further, is that Gould does not agree with Reg at all.

As to falsificationism, I do not think it is a sufficient criterion, and possibly not even a necessary one, to evaluate a theory. So any suggestion that I endorse falsificationism is yet again another dishonest strawman of my positions.

Reg posits that punctuated equilibrium is a “Copernican Revolution for biology.”

It is curious. Just a week ago, on his Sandwalk blog, the biochemist Larry Moran posted this.

Darwin is mostly famous for two things: (1) he described and documented the evidence for evolution and common descent and (2) he provided a plausible scientific explanation of evolution—the theory of natural selection


So, almost fifty years after Eldredge and Gould postulated Punk Eek, Moran makes no mention of them. I invoke Moran in particular because he wrote an article, Why I am Not a Darwinist, and is writing a book called Evolution by Accident. So he is not a Darwinist. And neither am I, nor, more to the point, are the majority of working biologists today. So maybe we should dispose of yet another strawman?

But note that Moran, despite his disavowal of Darwinism, extols Darwin’s key insights: Common descent and natural selection.

If there were a TRUE “Copernican revolution” in biology, then this revolution would overturn at least one, and preferably both, of those foundational insights. Punk Eek doesn’t do that — not even close. Nor would either Eldredge or Gould claim that Punk Eek does so. Indeed, as shall be shown, PE entirely depends upon Darwin’s key insights — which, let us remember, Reg has repeatedly derided as “BS” and “tautologies.”

Copernicus brought about a revolution because he completely overturned the prevailing model of Ptolemy. He replaced geocentrism with heliocentrism

This was no easy task. For more than one thousand years, Ptolemy’s geocentric model was an impeccable calculation device. Then Copernicus came along with a totally different ontology, yet one that fulfilled an identical epistemology — at the time, Ptolemy’s goecentrism, and Copernicus’s heliocentrism, were empirically indistinguishable claims.

As it happens, this was at the heart of the church’s dispute with Galileo: not that he was teaching Copernicanism, but rather that he was teaching it as if it were literally true — the church was fine with him teaching it as an alternate calculation device.

For the “Copernican Revolution” analogy to hold with respect to modern biology, we would need two theories, empirically equivalent, that have different foundational claims. That is, the theory competing with Neo-Darwinism would have to reject either common descent, or natural selection, or both. This state of affairs does not exist.

Eldredge and Gould do not reject the core insights of Darwin — common descent and natural selection. They endorse it. So the “Copernican Revolution” claim fails right out of the box.

What they do take issue with is phyletic gradualism — but PG is not a core tenet of Darwin. It was an inference that Darwin made from common descent and natural selection, but even he, as I have shown from his own writings, was not dogmatically wedded to it. As I have shown, in the very first edition of Origin, he actually anticipated Punk Eek. And he also predicted, again correctly, that it would be discovered that natural selection, in conjunction with reproductive variance, was not the only driver of evolution.

Moreover, as Dawkins noted, phyletic gradualism and Punk Eek are really the same thing — only at different evolutionary rates of speed. Both depend on the core tenets of Darwin.

I think it is obvious that Reg is blatantly contradicting himself. On the one hand he labels evolutionary theory “BS” and derides natural selection and survival of the fittest as empty tautologies. If that were true, then both phyletic gradualism and Punk Eek could not take place, since they both depend on the core tenets that Reg dismisses as “BS.”

But here he, touting Punk Eek — thereby contradicting his own core claim, that the foundation upon which Punk Eek rests is “BS.”

Go figure!
davidm
Member
 
Posts: 715
Joined: 05 Feb 2011


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby TheVat on February 17th, 2020, 2:11 pm 

Reginald:

David makes some valid points above, on core claims of ET, on Darwinist strawmen, and on why PE is not a Copernican revolution. Answer his points, or don't post. I have to cull some of the one-liners and barbed comments, for the health of the word-herd.
User avatar
TheVat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 7406
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills
Reg_Prescott liked this post


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 17th, 2020, 2:45 pm 

TheVat » February 18th, 2020, 3:11 am wrote:Reginald:

David makes some valid points above, on core claims of ET, on Darwinist strawmen, and on why PE is not a Copernican revolution. Answer his points, or don't post. I have to cull some of the one-liners and barbed comments, for the health of the word-herd.



S'ok, dude. Jesus loves you. And so do I.

I'll refute all his shite tomorrow if he pays for the beer.

But you know how these things tend to go. "I'm right about everything and you're wrong about everything - yours sincerely Davidm"

It's not a lot of fun.

Try to see things my way.

I'd rather talk to you.

Ok, a serious (attempted) rebuttal tomorrow. Can't even remember what he wrote. But I'll rebut it anyway. So there.

And, as a final word of wisdom (cough), why can't we do these things with a little more humor and a little less acrimony?

C'mon chaps. It's not that important.


P.S. I could save a great deal of effort by taking a leaf out of his book and just typing, "Hey dude. You are ridiculous and uneducated and thick as a brick and have never been right about anything. Even though I haven't read any of the material under discussion here"

Would that be unsporting? Or violate any special rules?

Oh, never mind, see you around noon for a brainy response :)

Keep up the good bowdlerism, Mr Vat.

Yours sincerely

Your #1 fan

James Bond
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby davidm on February 17th, 2020, 3:25 pm 

Reg_Prescott » February 17th, 2020, 12:45 pm wrote:

P.S. I could save a great deal of effort by taking a leaf out of his book and just typing, "Hey dude. You are ridiculous and uneducated and thick as a brick and have never been right about anything.


Except that IS what you do. That is EXACTLY what you do. That is ALL that you do.

And yes, I have read the material under discussion. Have YOU? Because anyone claiming Eldredge and Gould proposed a Copernican Revolution in evolution either have not read, or have not understood, either -- as I have demonstrated.

As for asking of less acrimony ... now I have to get a new irony meter.
davidm
Member
 
Posts: 715
Joined: 05 Feb 2011


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby davidm on February 17th, 2020, 3:45 pm 

While we await with bated breath Reg's promised refutations of my well-argued posts, which he says he can't even remember, I submit, for your reading pleasure, from the Moran blog: Dawkins, Darwin, Drift, and Neutral Theory

Observe Moran’s invocation of Gould. Note to Reg: I AGREE with Gould. I just object to your mischaracterization of his views (and of mine).

The fireworks between Moran and Richard Dawkins begin in the comments section. :-)
davidm
Member
 
Posts: 715
Joined: 05 Feb 2011


Re: The relation between micro- and macroevolution

Postby Reg_Prescott on February 17th, 2020, 10:40 pm 

Oh, how I dread this. Give me strength, sweet Jesus.

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote:I see Reg continues to ignore my post from yesterday — no surprise, there. Who’s being evasive, Reg?


You have my full attention now, sir. Anything for a little peace and quiet.

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: So any suggestion that I endorse falsificationism is yet again another dishonest strawman of my positions.


Would you puh-lease point to the place where I imputed an endorsement of falsificationism to you? Be a good chap and do that right now. If you can't, an apology or a Lamborghini will be just fine.

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: blah blah blah... Copernican revolution ... blah blah blah


Here's exactly what I wrote (page 1): "punctuated equilibria, assuming it is indeed as prevalent as its proponents would have us believe, rather than a somewhat trivial exercise in mopping up minutiae, as you see things, seems to me instead to usher in something of a Copernican revolution for our entire evolutionary zeitgeist."

One man's fish is another man's poisson, and one dictator's revolution is another's tea party. You say to-may-to and I say to-mah-to. PE strikes me as fairly revolutionary. If it doesn't strike you, Larry Moran, or James Cagney that way, so be it. Shirley, I'm entitled to my opinion.

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: So he is not a Darwinist. And neither am I, nor, more to the point, are the majority of working biologists today. So maybe we should dispose of yet another strawman?


Hmm, seems a little speculative to me. Got any stats on that?

Jerry Fodor (with some other dude) wrote a book a few years ago entitled "What Darwin Got Wrong". Gosh, it was love at first sight. Now, you know what these sneaky biologists are like: one response from Fodor's critics took the form of (and I paraphrase): "Pfft and meh. Get a life, dude. No one is that kind of Darwinian these days!"

Fodor proceeds with a lengthy litany of quotes from distinguished biologists demonstrating that an awful lot of them are that kind of Darwinian.

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: Nor would either Eldredge or Gould claim that Punk Eek does so [claim a Copernican revolution]


And I, for one, never suggested that they did or would. Now, what's all this talk about strawmen again?

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: Then Copernicus came along with a totally different ontology


Oh yeah? Pretty sure his ontology still had planets. And a sun. Even a few atavistic epicycles, I believe. Might we be exaggerating a wee bit?

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: Eldredge and Gould do not reject the core insights of Darwin — common descent and natural selection. They endorse it. So the “Copernican Revolution” claim fails right out of the box.


Can you point us to the section in Origin where Darwin lists his "core insights", please? Oh wait, I don't think he does. Who gets to decide what his core insights were, then? No prizes for guessing, folks.

The "insight" that evolution (by and large) happens in the manner of slow, smooth, insensible transitions seems pretty "core" to me, dude. You're perfectly entitled to demur.

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: What they do take issue with is phyletic gradualism — but PG is not a core tenet of Darwin.


Here we go round the mulberry bush.

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: As I have shown, in the very first edition of Origin, he [Darwin] actually anticipated Punk Eek.


He didn't anticipate that macroevolution is not simply an extrapolation of micro; that individual organismic selection is insufficient to account for macroevolutionary patterns. And that, dare I say, is the "revolutionary core insight" of PE.

Yay! Looks like we're back on topic!

davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: Moreover, as Dawkins noted, phyletic gradualism and Punk Eek are really the same thing — only at different evolutionary rates of speed. Both depend on the core tenets of Darwin.


Oh, why do I bother? Dude, have you been texting in class again when you should have been paying attention?

You'll find this Gould quote on page 1...

Rather, punctuated equilibrium refutes the third and most general meaning of Darwinian gradualism, designated in Chapter 2 of SET (see pp. 152-155) as "slowness and smoothness (but not constancy) of rate." Natural selection does not require or imply this degree of geological sloth and smoothness, though Darwin frequently, and falsely, linked the two concepts--as Huxley tried so forcefully to advise him , though in vain, with his famous warning: "you have loaded yourself with an unnecessary difficulty in adopting Natura non facit saltum so unreservedly." The crucial error of Dawkins (1986) and several other critics lies in their failure to recognize the theoretical importance of this third meaning, the domain that punctuated equilibrium does challenge. Dawkins correctly notes that we do not question the second meaning of insensible intermediacy. But since his extrapolationist view leads him to regard only this second meaning as vital to the role of natural selection, he dismisses the third meaning--which we do confute--as trivial. Since Dawkins rejects the hierarchical model of selection, he does not grant himself the conceptual space for weighing the claim that punctuated equilibrium's critique of the third meaning undermines the crucial Darwinian strategy for rendering all scales of evolution by smooth extrapolation from the organismic level. For this refutation of extrapolation by punctuated equilibrium validates the treatment of species as evolutionary individuals, and establishes the level of species selection as a potentially important contributor to the macroevolutionary pattern.


davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: I think it is obvious that Reg is blatantly contradicting himself.


Yes and no. I am he as you are he as you are me. And we are all together.


davidm » February 18th, 2020, 12:17 am wrote: he [moi] labels evolutionary theory “BS” and derides natural selection and survival of the fittest as empty tautologies. If that were true, then both phyletic gradualism and Punk Eek could not take place


They couldn't take place because I deride them? Or because they are tautologies? Happens all the time, pal. Que sera sera. Whatever will be will be. What happens happens. If you have any doubts, try to stop what will happen from happening. It's just not very informative, that's all.



Not till my heart stops thumping.
User avatar
Reg_Prescott
Member
 
Posts: 419
Joined: 10 May 2018


PreviousNext

Return to Biology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests