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Evolution

smartyskirt
Posts: 44
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10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.
It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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10/24/2011 3:29:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It is a little bit more complicated than that, but luckily not too much more complicated.

Basically, what directs evolution has more to do with a gene's ability to be passed on. It just so happens that genes that allow an organism to survive make it easier for those genes to be passed on, but in the end, it is about how many babies are being made.

As a very bad example, a creature could be the only one of its kind to be born with a horn sticking out of its butt. Now, while you might think that would be an inconvenience, it turns out that the members of the opposite sex find this horn to be insanely attractive. The creature ends up getting more action, and babies result.. Most of the babies are born with this horn, and the horny butted baby creatures get more action than their non-horned brethren when they grow up. The horned butts end up passing their genes more than the creatures without the horned butts.

By survival, it isn't about whether or not a trait is useful.. It is more about whether or not a trait can be passed on successfully.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/24/2011 3:30:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Also, this should be in the science forum, not the religious forum.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Rusty
Posts: 2,109
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10/24/2011 3:40:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:30:19 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Also, this should be in the science forum, not the religious forum.

I'm pretty sure that she's trying to touch on some EAAN-type thing, so this might not be as out-of-place as you would think.
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/24/2011 3:49:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Also to be honest, I think it is very clear that abstract thinking is very beneficial to survival.

Certainly, the human race would not be nearly as prolific and adaptable to the environment if it wasn't for abstract thinking.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Kethen
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10/24/2011 5:20:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Abstract thinking and problem solving are different. I agree with smartyskirt though. I do believe evolution has to be somewhat true but it is still a theory for a reason. If it were true that a useless trait would be passed on then so would be other less useful trait. If humans did evolve then why is there not some other form of human walking around? Races are not different species. There are no humans walking around with wings, or gills which would stay beneficial. We don't have anything relating us to fish but some fish parts would be beneficial...I want gills. If we came from reptiles we would have got something beneficial. I want armor like skin. If we came from birds we should have something beneficial. I want sharp finger nails, wings, light bone structure or feathers. If we evolved from a single celled organism how did one cell become two separate beings and then become one. If A flu virus and AIDS Virus can't fuse into one or a pig and a cow can't fuse into one why do we assume cells can.
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/24/2011 5:44:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:20:08 PM, Kethen wrote:
Abstract thinking and problem solving are different. I agree with smartyskirt though.

Our problem solving ability is augmented by our ability to use abstract thinking. Language itself makes use of abstract thinking.

I do believe evolution has to be somewhat true but it is still a theory for a reason. If it were true that a useless trait would be passed on then so would be other less useful trait.

Evolution is a very well supported theory.

As for useless traits being passed on, a first page google search will get you something like this...

http://www.decimation.com...

If you look into it more, I'm sure you'll find other things.

If humans did evolve then why is there not some other form of human walking around? Races are not different species.

There were, but they are extinct now. They have either been integrated with modern humans, or wiped out.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

But there is something rather important that needs to be grasped in order to understand evolution on a deeper level. The labels that we put on various creatures and species are not completely accurate representations of an organism. We categorize things because it makes them easier to work with, but these are oversimplifications.

There are no humans walking around with wings, or gills which would stay beneficial. We don't have anything relating us to fish but some fish parts would be beneficial...I want gills. If we came from reptiles we would have got something beneficial. I want armor like skin. If we came from birds we should have something beneficial. I want sharp finger nails, wings, light bone structure or feathers.

Well, just as traits are passed on, certain other traits do not get past on. Like I said before, certain traits are beneficial in ways that are not obvious. What it comes down to is how long an organism can survive and how many kids it can have. If you have an organism that is effective at staying alive, and has many offspring, traits are going to be passed on.

It doesn't really matter what you want, this is just how it turned out. If you want armor like skin and gills, I suggest working towards a career in genetic engineering.

If we evolved from a single celled organism how did one cell become two separate beings and then become one. If A flu virus and AIDS Virus can't fuse into one or a pig and a cow can't fuse into one why do we assume cells can.

I'm not entirely sure what you are saying, but certain micro-organisms do effect the DNA that is transferred during reproduction. We still have ancient viruses in our DNA.

Evolution isn't as ridiculous as you might think at first. Study it a bit more, I think you'll be surprised.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/24/2011 6:39:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.
It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.

Conclusions about the world include conclusions which, if correct (more often than not) will increase our ability to survive.
If the conclusions we make are unreliable and not beneficial to survival, then recognizing that is, conversely, beneficial to survival.
The above is an example of abstract thinking.
Ergo, abstract thinking is beneficial to survival.
JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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10/24/2011 7:12:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.

This is surely incorrect...

How would you design a weapon or a trap without engaging in abstract thinking? For example, suppose you want to kill a deer. First you have to abstract the deer individually, because you have not trapped it yet, and thus cannot think of the specific animal that you don't know. Second, you have to abstract deer in general unless you already have one right in front of you. Doing this abstraction lets you identify its strengths and weaknesses... long neck, slim legs, fast running, poor eyesight, good jumper, excellent hearing and smelling capacity, etc... So perhaps you think about digging a pit. Maybe it could jump out. A trip wire? Dubious to succeed - it would get up and run. So it needs to be disabled... Can't get close enough to club it... Perhaps a thrown weapon to tangle its legs. But it's got kind of long legs... such a weapon might fall off. Injure it then... some kind of projectile. A spear perhaps. Where to throw it from? Deer live on the ground and might smell you on the wind - a tree then...

And now that we've done some abstract thinking, it's time to go hunting.

Do you think this individual is more or less likely to kill a deer than someone who did not engage in any abstract thought?

It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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10/24/2011 7:16:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.
It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.

This is a very common fallacy, the assumption that evolution is a precise mechanism and that every trait fulfills some maximal requirement of survival.

Does abstract thinking prevent you from breeding? No, therefore it is not a trait that is removed by natural selection.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
rogue
Posts: 2,325
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10/24/2011 10:18:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.
It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.

How is abstract thinking not beneficial to survival? I can certainly think of ways in which it is. Plus philosophy is a rather fallible field of study.
smartyskirt
Posts: 44
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10/24/2011 10:23:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 7:16:59 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.
It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.

This is a very common fallacy, the assumption that evolution is a precise mechanism and that every trait fulfills some maximal requirement of survival.

Does abstract thinking prevent you from breeding? No, therefore it is not a trait that is removed by natural selection.

But how did it get in, in the first place?
Tarzan may be on to something.
JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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10/24/2011 10:33:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 10:23:40 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/24/2011 7:16:59 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.
It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.

This is a very common fallacy, the assumption that evolution is a precise mechanism and that every trait fulfills some maximal requirement of survival.

Does abstract thinking prevent you from breeding? No, therefore it is not a trait that is removed by natural selection.

But how did it get in, in the first place?
Tarzan may be on to something.

I agree =)

I mean, the clear nub of contention is whether abstraction is beneficial to survival. "Higher" types of abstraction (i.e. spirituality, philosophy) might not be beneficial to survival, but "lower" types (i.e. problem-solving) are likely intimately tied to survival.

I haven't fully thought it through, but I'm curious how one could have problem-solving capacity without abstract thinking.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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10/25/2011 11:32:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 10:23:40 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/24/2011 7:16:59 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.
It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.

This is a very common fallacy, the assumption that evolution is a precise mechanism and that every trait fulfills some maximal requirement of survival.

Does abstract thinking prevent you from breeding? No, therefore it is not a trait that is removed by natural selection.

But how did it get in, in the first place?
Tarzan may be on to something.

I actually believe that the ability for abstract thinking is very useful for survival but I just thought that I had a better rebuttal.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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10/25/2011 11:34:06 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 10:33:47 PM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
At 10/24/2011 10:23:40 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
At 10/24/2011 7:16:59 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.
It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.

This is a very common fallacy, the assumption that evolution is a precise mechanism and that every trait fulfills some maximal requirement of survival.

Does abstract thinking prevent you from breeding? No, therefore it is not a trait that is removed by natural selection.

But how did it get in, in the first place?
Tarzan may be on to something.

I agree =)

I mean, the clear nub of contention is whether abstraction is beneficial to survival. "Higher" types of abstraction (i.e. spirituality, philosophy) might not be beneficial to survival, but "lower" types (i.e. problem-solving) are likely intimately tied to survival.

I haven't fully thought it through, but I'm curious how one could have problem-solving capacity without abstract thinking.

Recourse to memory?
Imagine a slave caste that can learn certain tasks and examples but can't actually independently develop new ideas or can't 'think outside the box'. The Izbo-Chimp.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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10/25/2011 4:42:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 11:34:06 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 10/24/2011 10:33:47 PM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:

I haven't fully thought it through, but I'm curious how one could have problem-solving capacity without abstract thinking.

Recourse to memory?
Imagine a slave caste that can learn certain tasks and examples but can't actually independently develop new ideas or can't 'think outside the box'. The Izbo-Chimp.

Nah, cause that wouldn't be problem solving - someone else would have taught them the tasks to do in a certain situation. The Izbo-Chimp isn't capable of problem solving OR abstraction in that example.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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10/25/2011 6:13:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 5:36:07 PM, GodSands wrote:
Anyone wish to try and explain how life came from none life? I would like to know how it could happen.

Evolution doesn't deal with this issue. The Theory of Evolution specifically deals with how life changes once it is there.

There are a few theories about how life began, but none of them have the kind of support that evolution has.

Evolution is a very well supported theory. The only people who really seem to have a problem with it are the people who don't really know the details of it.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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10/25/2011 6:31:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:18:46 PM, smartyskirt wrote:
Here is an interesting idea, I recently heard from a philosophy professor, regarding evolution.
According to evolution, we began as single celled organisms, and developed characteristics which are beneficial to survival.
The ability to do abstract thinking, is not beneficial for survival.
Thus, when we do abstract thinking, there is no reason to rely on our conclusion.
It could be I haven't made this clear, it is a deep concept that I am still chewing on.

Careful about imposing concepts from psychology and biology.

For instance, would you call it abstract thinking to plan out how to become the alpha-male of a group using political favors from others?

Because baboons can do that.

Would you call it abstract thinking to spend time predicting the results of an action before the action is taken?

Because nearly all animals with a forebrain do that including mice.

Would it be abstract thinking to incorporate concepts of "fairness" into your thought process, thus effecting how you will in the future deal with others? Chimps can do that.
GodSands
Posts: 2,843
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10/25/2011 6:45:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 6:13:13 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 10/25/2011 5:36:07 PM, GodSands wrote:
Anyone wish to try and explain how life came from none life? I would like to know how it could happen.

Evolution doesn't deal with this issue. The Theory of Evolution specifically deals with how life changes once it is there.

There are a few theories about how life began, but none of them have the kind of support that evolution has.

Evolution is a very well supported theory. The only people who really seem to have a problem with it are the people who don't really know the details of it.

Stop avoiding my question, for goodness sake. I didn't ask whether evolution deals with how life came about, however I believe it has much to do with evolution. It is the foundation of theory. Then typically people like your self go on to say that evolution is a well supported theory. Bored!
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/25/2011 7:09:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 5:36:07 PM, GodSands wrote:
Anyone wish to try and explain how life came from none life? I would like to know how it could happen.

That has nothing to do with evolution, and should have its own thread.
JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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10/25/2011 8:01:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 6:31:04 PM, Wnope wrote:

Careful about imposing concepts from psychology and biology.

For instance, would you call it abstract thinking to plan out how to become the alpha-male of a group using political favors from others?

Because baboons can do that.

Would you call it abstract thinking to spend time predicting the results of an action before the action is taken?

Because nearly all animals with a forebrain do that including mice.

Would it be abstract thinking to incorporate concepts of "fairness" into your thought process, thus effecting how you will in the future deal with others? Chimps can do that.

This gave me some pause... I think it's perfectly defensible to say that baboons and mice are capable of abstraction in the weak sense I discussed before... but then I thought of plants. Clearly a sun-seeking vine has no capacity for problem-solving behavior.

But perhaps plants and animals share a common-ish trait here. Could it be the case that the same survival benefits from sun-seeking growth in simple organisms can lead to abstract reasoning behavior in complex organisms?
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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10/25/2011 8:44:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 6:45:32 PM, GodSands wrote:
At 10/25/2011 6:13:13 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
At 10/25/2011 5:36:07 PM, GodSands wrote:
Anyone wish to try and explain how life came from none life? I would like to know how it could happen.

Evolution doesn't deal with this issue. The Theory of Evolution specifically deals with how life changes once it is there.

There are a few theories about how life began, but none of them have the kind of support that evolution has.

Evolution is a very well supported theory. The only people who really seem to have a problem with it are the people who don't really know the details of it.

Stop avoiding my question, for goodness sake. I didn't ask whether evolution deals with how life came about, however I believe it has much to do with evolution. It is the foundation of theory. Then typically people like your self go on to say that evolution is a well supported theory. Bored!

A wizard did it. Now are we going ghost hunting or not?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.