andru235 for evidence, look at the humans.

'evolution', in terms of survival of the fittest, has basically ceased; we keep all people alive. those with 'better' genes do not necessarily reproduce. we now regularily eat genetically engineered foods. cattle ranching has turned to cloning. 'self-terminator' seeds (and variants) are the source of nearly a fifth of the nation's grain supply.

there is nothing particularly intelligent about the design of human systems. entropy abounds, but we brush our awareness of it under the rug. so if 'god' made man in his own image, which i really must doubt, his own image is apparently that of an insensitive clod, proud of his meaningless little space ship like a kindergartner who made a play-do house.

but evolution is merely a theory, and perhaps a misnomer for what is meant; as one can observe by living for a while in the jungle, it isn't always the 'fittest' that survives, nor is it even often. "chance" (call it or rationalize it as you will) always remains operant. the tiger doesn't always catch the fastest rabbit, but it even less often settles for the slowest.

sometimes things with 'superior traits' die before reproducing, due to incidental events. its not infrequent that something with 'inferior traits' outlasts the parallel superior.

indeed, our concept of 'survival of the fittest' is flawed, in that we assume that our definition of 'fittest' is that which is shared by nature. it isn't. what nature deems fit in one circumstance, it deems worthless in another. nature is a relativist. of course, one could say that whatever it is that *does* manage to survive is that which is the most fit, but in that case, why bother making the distinction at all?!? there is no difference between that and merely saying that it is 'survival of the survivors'.

if when we say 'evolution' we mean that things are continually changing, then of course. things are, more or less, continually changing. but if we add the qualifier 'for the better', this becomes less certain. are the planet's life forms today really any 'better' or 'worse' than those that were around in the primordial soup? whatever your response, it is mere opinion. there is no rubric for grading life.

and as i watch the evolutionists and the intelligent design people argue it out, i just think, you are all idiots, just like me. humans, temporarily at the top of the food chain, only flatter themselves with pretentious airs of intelligence.

in nature the survival of the fittest is not always the case, and in this age, is especially not the case. neither the design nor the evolutionary process strike me as being particularily intelligent.
e.g. Secret_code: 2000 051011
p2 if i may speak on behalf of evolutionists

evolution is about
the development of species
over time

so much so that
when compared to its previous form
it can no longer be considered the same species

i think it's darwinism you disagree with
the whole "survival of the fittest" thing
but you seem to be taking it out of context

"fittest" refers to the one most able to survive a given environment
it's about survival
it has nothing to do with "better"

it's not "survival of the survivors"
because the idea is that
the reason for the survival
is a certain set of traits
which make it more "fit"
for that environment

and the example of the tiger leaving the slow rabbit
to go after a faster one
seems dubious at best
but assuming that ever actually happens in nature
darwinism isn't about individuals
it's about the collective species

the typical example of darwinism at work
was a species of moths in merry old england
this species of moth came in 2 colors
a light color and a dark color
the light colored moths were more abundant
because of their ability to blend in
with the light colored trees
after the industrial revolution however
all the soot from the factories began covering the trees
and the light colored moths now stood out against the darkened barks
and began getting easily picked off by predators
while the dark colored moths began to flourish
your example is like saying that
sometimes a bird will miss the light colored one
and eat the dark colored one
and saying that the "fittest" died
so darwinism is incorrect
zeke and lets not forget that fittest is defined as reproductive success. an individual who is sterile or one with a low libido but with other advantageous genes will not contribute as successfully as others might. there is no better, more fit, advanced or more evolved, only reproductively successful. qualitative arguments are an attempt to impose meaning on a chaotic occurrence. as i said in evolutionary_psychology:

evolutionary theory continues to be filled with hierarchical, goal oriented, temporocentric, ideocentric and anthropomorphic language. it is very hard, even in the context of science, to describe things in neutral terms.


the theory of evolution is a description of the past, an observation of the present and has nothing to do with the future.

it seems to be the nature of cognition to try to describe everything in orderly terms. evolution is not a force. it is a system of observation, a human thing that lives in the mind of the observer. it leads nowhere. and yet life continues, albeit in a changed form, creeping through the fire and ice of reality. i do not need it to have meaning, goals, or progress to find it beautiful. life is a very complicated strange attractor with uncountable variables. life is a crystal that grows in unlikely chemical conditions involving hydrocarbons. life is a complex form of oxidization. life is.
andru235 as usual, the serious aspects of my statements are disagreed with while the sardonic undertone of my statements goes unnoticed...

very well. seriousness.

i don't disagree with the ideas about the development of species over time, in and of itself. what i disagree with are attempts to qualify the traits that survive into future generations.

take MP witchitae (an extinct large-mouth bass). the fish had a remarkable capacity and willingness to breed with all other local bass. consequently, it seems to have hybridized itself to extinction; while elements of its genetic survive in its 'cousins', the element that enabled it to spread its genetic did not survive; that is, the hybrids seem to have retained a preference for more immediately related fish. MP witchitae was so well suited to reproducing its traits that it literally eliminated itself by over-hybridization. it's long term survival -both itself and the genetic trait -would have been guarded had it been less suited to the condition of its environments, and less able to reproduce. the trait that enabled it to so effectively reproduce within its environment also led to its disappearance from that environment, in that the fish is no longer to be found, but traces of its genetic remain in the descendents of the hybrids (which proceeded to reproduce only with the familiar).

thus, (in this case) the traits that remained into future generations had less to do with environmental conditions than with the interplay amidst the species itself. is that an environmental condition? if so, we rapidly approach a situation where, given that all operant conditions are part of the 'environment', the latter becomes mere redundance. 'conditions' alone suffices for description.

likewise with what survives. perhaps it is true that often an aptitude for the ecologic-environmental conditions primarily contributes to the traits that get reproduced, but this type of thing was obvious to peoples long, long ago. of *course* that which is more suited to the conditions survives. what was later remarkable was the attachment of this idea to specific genetic traits...

and as we can now see with our sciences, the traits which are reproduced aren't always those which are more suited to the environment. indeed, in some cases, we are apt to keep things alive that are specifically *less* suited (i.e. terminator seeds). sure, one can argue that the larger picture of the enviroment includes the situation that makes this so (profits and corporations, etc.) but once again, this trivializes the significance of the concept in the first place. it isn't, nor was it really ever, a surprise that things thrive in situations to which they are suited, and perish in those to which they aren't. even birds (etc) know, witness mating rituals.

as millions immunize themselves to the [insert disease], in the short term they are more likely to pass on their genetic. later, they when they are all killed off by a superflu, it is, perhaps, those who didn't immunize themselves who proceed to ultimately pass on their traits. it is feasible that someone who may have survived the later disease would fail this, having been immunized to the former, such as the scythians' with their small pox 'immunizations'.

the factors which determine which traits get passed on are not always linked to genetics itself. that is all i am trying to say.
andru235 [[two identical twins go out on their motorcycles. one dies in a freak accident. the other later has ten children.]]]

[[two fraternal twins go out on their motorcycles. one dies in a freak accident. the other later has ten children.]]]
zeke you have aptly illustrated my point. the idea of species, with it's emphasis on observable traits, is arbitrary in the context of inter species reproductive viability. what you cite as the loss via hybridization is actually an observation of the fact that "species" as a distinct group is an artificial concept. your reference to it's loss is (i believe) a matter of definition. we have fetishized classification, using taxonomy (an admirable tool for understanding the particulars of a complex universe) to create artificial thresholds between things that are more readily understood when considered on a continuum. after all, if a fish can breed with another, is inclined to and produces nubile offspring that in turn breed, what is the relevance of the word species. if, however, they produce no progeny or ones who fail to contribute to the gene pool, or indeed ones that can no longer breed with the parents gene group viably then i would argue that the relevance of the term species is obvious.

be careful andru, your argument is often taken up in principle by the ever present defenders of racial purity. they might argue that your reasoning is transferable to human intercourse (excuse the pun). for example, if you insert human traits into your fish story, one can see clearly that it contains reasoning that runs contrary to common rhetoric of progressive ethical thought. racial separatists, homophobes and those inclined to believe that criminals are often born with the propensity to transgress are often delighted to agree with your logic.

i think that viability and reproductive success are really all that counts. what you describe as the loss of a species is roughly analogous of mourning the loss of various varieties of dogs imported to australia that led to the rise of the dingo. admittedly, this example could not have happened without the direct influence of humankind and opens the discussion to the idea of invasive species, but nonetheless illustrates the point that the definition species is largely dependant on context. i assume that dingoes can still breed with other canines descended from the lupine family. are they a distinct species? should we exterminate them? should we quarantine them. if they were gone what is lost?

i suspect that if humans were suddenly gone, terminator seeds, and their genes, would disappear forever. they are more an ethical issue for me; economic really.

evolution is a reconstruction of the past, a description of the present and at best, an indication of what futures are possible. it is a human construct, and as such exists in the minds of human kind. it is not a force of nature such as wind, erosion or thermodynamics.
p2 "A species known scientifically as Micropterus punctulatus wichitae or the Whichita [sic] Spotted Bass is the one thought to be extinct. It may be in fact a sub species of spotted bass, but at one time in the early 1900's it was thought to be a separate species. The last collected specimen was taken in 1928. Several attempts to find this species again in modern times has failed. This bass was native to streams in Oklahoma and is thought to be very isolated in it's range as in only those streams. It is thought that likely the fish has been bred away as stocking of Largemouth and Spotted Bass provided intense competion and either replaced the Whichita bass in it's native waters or bred away the genetics."

it seems to me
they weren't the fittest
after all

also in 1995
larry cofer determined
the mp wichitae
was actually a hybrid
with m. dolomieu
and therefore
not a valid subspecies

pointing out human intervention
in darwinism
is like
pouring sugar into the gas tank
and "proving" the combustion engine
doesn't work

(and i don't get the twins reference)
andru235 zeke, i do agree with the often-absurd tendency toward over classification. i suppose i do tend to operate (perhaps mistakenly) under the impression that such classification is generally endorsed. indeed, it could be argued that every single creature on the planet is its own unique species.

p2, regarding MP wichitae, i'll concede the point. you probably know more about it than i do.

while you both have probably shown me to be incorrect about most of this, i must say that i am not inclined to avoid making this or that argument simply because of what some group of 'racial purists' or homophobes might do with it. the questionable aims and ethics of either of these groups are primary source material for my facetious little theory of unintelligent_design. :(

the twins reference is merely meant as an example of two similar situations in which the connection between the genetic itself and which traits survive into the next generation is blurry. in the case of identical twins, the genetic is (obviously) nearly identical, so if one is killed incidentally but the other goes on to reproduce, can it really be maintained that the genetic traits of one were more fit for its environment? the situation, as evidenced, was incidental. thus, in the case with fraternal twins, the survival of the traits of twin A versus the death of the traits of twin B seems less likely to be the result of environmental aptitude that by chance. perhaps on a macro level, however, such incidence exerts only a trivial influence...

anyway, as i said earlier, i'm not arguing any of this as evidence against the overall process called 'evolution'.

but i am crippled by my biases: i, for one, am much more comforted by the idea of having descended from ancient trilobites than from the idea of being a descendant of some people spontaneously created by a corner-cutting god who wouldn't even condenscend to spend a single *year* on the place getting things in order, who expects us to live like saints for decades on end despite His unwillingness to spend more than a week making the fucking place. the former makes sense to me, whereas the latter makes me incensed.

zeke evolution trades on strokes with a large brush. it is not a process but a description of what has happened. i think you are hampered by unexamined assumptions that have something to do with evolutionary forces, trends and repercussions. none of these things exist. it only exists in retrospect. it can be adequately described as some individuals breed and some do not. change occurs gradually across generations. anything more than that is a human imposition of the intent, progress or hierarchy onto the raw stuff of life. no great meaning will ever exist. it will continue until it stops. then it will be over. 051013
andru235 sounds to me like you sort of agree, then, with the theory of unintelligent design, as originally posited.

the very argument i conclude my intro with is that there is nothing intelligent about the evolutionary process. it is not the result of intelligence. it is not operating according to a dictate of common sense nor of what would be smartest to do. it does not have motives or a 'gameplan'. there is no agenda. perhaps i did not qualify it in the same words that you did: "none of these things exist. it only exists in retrospect.", but surely we are not so polarized against the other in our arguments that we must resort to identical phraseology to agree?!?

so whats with this "unexamined assumptions" business? of course you know by now, our having interacted before, and often amicably enough, that i am going to take such a statement personally. surely we are also not so polarized against the other in our arguments that we must resort to this sort of thing?!?

anyway in your accusation that i am hampered by unexamined assumptions, you commit yourself to the very same; but only in having apparently assumed alternative meanings to what i first wrote.

in my introduction, i offer that evolution is only a theory; that is, it is not a divine edict nor the product of some distinct internal mechanism. of course genes don't wake up in the morning and say, "alright, mr. recessivo, which one of us is it gonna be? 'cuz we've got to evolve! RIGHT NOW!" i feel - perhaps mistakenly - that you find me to be of one of the preceding stances?

as to the connection between the evolution and survival of the fittest, i never said the two were inherently linked. indeed my opening statement was [[['evolution', in terms of survival of the fittest, has basically ceased]]] and should sufficiently indicate that i am aware the evolution can be assessed in different ways. if i thought they were identical, i would not have bothered the terms by which i was addressing evolution. (for the record, - agree with them or not - many people, perhaps laypeople, do think of the two ideas as being one and the same.)

at the outset i stated that nature is a relativist, and is apathetic to our value systems, which roughly (not identically, by its reasonably close) parallels your statement that "anything more than that is a human imposition of the intent, progress or hierarchy onto the raw stuff of life."

perhaps you are speaking about all attempts to inpose meaning upon what is really simply the result of what happens to have transpired. i was saying that what has transpired does so without connection to our our opinions about it one way or the other. not the same, perhaps, but not so very different.

then i say, [[[if when we say 'evolution' we mean that things are continually changing, then of course. ]]] then you correct me with, "change occurs gradually across generations." i agree! at what point did i state otherwise? am i taking this to personally? of course i am. that's what i do best, is take things too personally. back in my grade-school days i was voted "most likely to take things personally at a website called blather" and in my early twenties i won the esteemed Oversensitivity-Cup at the state fair.

and i just don't see where you get the idea that i ascribe to 'evolutionary forces' of any sort, when the crux of my assertion is that there is no real force about the matter. it's unintelligent. likewise with trends; the twins example is meant to illustrate an anomaly to the generally perceived 'trend' that the genetic itself is accountable for what, on the whole, survives. anomaly aside, it is a debateable point. as to the repercussions bit, there are "indirect effects, influences and results produced by" all "events, actions or stimuli". this very conversation is an indirect result of the theory called evolution!!! but now i'm just nitpicking.

as to the great meaning, we really just don't know. i take it that you don't believe there is one. certainly if there is, it hasn't revealed itself directly, or in scientific terms. short of omniscience, however, one cannot be sure either way...but there is no harm in disbelief, i suppose.

i don't really think your assumptions are unexamined, other than your assumption that what we are saying is all that different. you seem to have a neutral disposition - that's good! - but my disposition is, of course, not neutral; whereas for some, their life has taught them to always maintain neutral dispositions, for others, their life has taught them quite the opposite, and i am of the latter, not the former. i can only hope that hundreds of years from now there are still people who choose neutrality and people who choose "polarity"...a lack of diversity on such a front would seem, at best, bland. hopefully our social evolution will retain both traits...although increasingly it seems as though most people want to see one or the other die out. but then, things are never as they seem...
(spell check) Where's Sam Vaiknin? 051014
(spell check) blech 051014
andru235 he's hiding somewhere with your courage to come right out and say what you think. 051015
() (i enjoyed re-reading this.) 160720
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