Total Posts:42|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Selfish genes

Danb6177
Posts: 433
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/7/2016 7:59:36 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior.
I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx.
Just looking for something tangible.


So you want to find tangible, scientific evidence for the idea that altruism follows from the 'Selfish gene' concept?

Well, tough. As you are a stranger, I am not going to help you look for any. I would help a lot if you were my son or daughter, and help a bit if you were my neice of nephew. But as you are not, consider this post an answer to your request.
Danb6177
Posts: 433
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/7/2016 4:56:23 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/7/2016 7:59:36 AM, keithprosser wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior.
I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx.
Just looking for something tangible.


So you want to find tangible, scientific evidence for the idea that altruism follows from the 'Selfish gene' concept?

Well, tough. As you are a stranger, I am not going to help you look for any. I would help a lot if you were my son or daughter, and help a bit if you were my neice of nephew. But as you are not, consider this post an answer to your request.
Clever
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,623
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/7/2016 6:36:40 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

What research have you done yourself and what have you found?
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Danb6177
Posts: 433
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/7/2016 6:49:49 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/7/2016 6:36:40 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

What research have you done yourself and what have you found?

Minimal research really. Im kinda scattering myself around lately. When something pops up that is a side bar to what im studying I write it down for later but have been all over the place as for some reason recently. I first heard of the theory in conversation a while back and read very little about it. Recently watching lectures by Edward Larson it came up again so I looked into it more. Figured this was a good place to talk about it to gain further knowledge.

I do intend to look at it more when I read the book but for now just wanted to see if this was something widely believed in science. I personally dont see scientific evidence for it so far, just looks like a attempt to explain altruistic behavior. But just because I dont see it doesnt mean is doesnt exist.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/7/2016 7:05:03 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/7/2016 4:56:23 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
At 2/7/2016 7:59:36 AM, keithprosser wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior.
I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx.
Just looking for something tangible.


So you want to find tangible, scientific evidence for the idea that altruism follows from the 'Selfish gene' concept?

Well, tough. As you are a stranger, I am not going to help you look for any. I would help a lot if you were my son or daughter, and help a bit if you were my neice of nephew. But as you are not, consider this post an answer to your request.
Clever

I'm glad you got it.

The problem is what you want evidence for, or of. For example there is plenty of evidence that we tend to be more altruistic towards relatives than strangers. Such a pattern of altruism follows from gene selfishness as a logic consequence, so I don't know what 'scientific evidence' might mean for that. What is evidence for a logical inference?
Danb6177
Posts: 433
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/7/2016 7:11:14 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/7/2016 7:05:03 PM, keithprosser wrote:
At 2/7/2016 4:56:23 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
At 2/7/2016 7:59:36 AM, keithprosser wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior.
I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx.
Just looking for something tangible.


So you want to find tangible, scientific evidence for the idea that altruism follows from the 'Selfish gene' concept?

Well, tough. As you are a stranger, I am not going to help you look for any. I would help a lot if you were my son or daughter, and help a bit if you were my neice of nephew. But as you are not, consider this post an answer to your request.
Clever

I'm glad you got it.

The problem is what you want evidence for, or of. For example there is plenty of evidence that we tend to be more altruistic towards relatives than strangers. Such a pattern of altruism follows from gene selfishness as a logic consequence, so I don't know what 'scientific evidence' might mean for that. What is evidence for a logical inference?

Because I make a different logical inference completely. I find altruistic behavior to be something that points to intelligent design. So I want to know if there is a scientific method other than logical inference that was used in this theory.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/7/2016 8:09:12 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
OK - I'm interested. Of course one idea is that a critter behaves altruistically because it has been 'intelligently designed' to be altruistic. The question is whether ID is neccessary or if blind forces could achieve the same effect.

Which, in your opinion, examples of altruism seem to require ID?
Danb6177
Posts: 433
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/8/2016 4:48:36 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/7/2016 8:09:12 PM, keithprosser wrote:
OK - I'm interested. Of course one idea is that a critter behaves altruistically because it has been 'intelligently designed' to be altruistic. The question is whether ID is neccessary or if blind forces could achieve the same effect.

Which, in your opinion, examples of altruism seem to require ID?

No I wouldnt say they require ID but its a logical inference. It doesnt fit as well into natural selection as it does into a creator creating beings that have the capacity to act as we do (altruistically)
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,623
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/8/2016 5:00:37 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/7/2016 6:49:49 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
At 2/7/2016 6:36:40 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

What research have you done yourself and what have you found?

Minimal research really. Im kinda scattering myself around lately. When something pops up that is a side bar to what im studying I write it down for later but have been all over the place as for some reason recently. I first heard of the theory in conversation a while back and read very little about it. Recently watching lectures by Edward Larson it came up again so I looked into it more. Figured this was a good place to talk about it to gain further knowledge.

I do intend to look at it more when I read the book but for now just wanted to see if this was something widely believed in science. I personally dont see scientific evidence for it so far, just looks like a attempt to explain altruistic behavior. But just because I dont see it doesnt mean is doesnt exist.

Okay, how about looking at black widow spiders or praying mantis' as evidence for the selfish gene, in which the genetics of the species will propagate at the expense of the host bodies as the female will kill the male after mating. This is considered altruistic behavior at the genetic level.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,623
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/8/2016 5:03:48 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 4:48:36 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
At 2/7/2016 8:09:12 PM, keithprosser wrote:
OK - I'm interested. Of course one idea is that a critter behaves altruistically because it has been 'intelligently designed' to be altruistic. The question is whether ID is neccessary or if blind forces could achieve the same effect.

Which, in your opinion, examples of altruism seem to require ID?

No I wouldnt say they require ID but its a logical inference. It doesnt fit as well into natural selection as it does into a creator creating beings that have the capacity to act as we do (altruistically)

Humans have the capacity to behave one extreme to the next, having the capacity to act a certain way does not mean humans will act that way.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/8/2016 5:45:26 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 4:48:36 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
At 2/7/2016 8:09:12 PM, keithprosser wrote:
OK - I'm interested. Of course one idea is that a critter behaves altruistically because it has been 'intelligently designed' to be altruistic. The question is whether ID is neccessary or if blind forces could achieve the same effect.

Which, in your opinion, examples of altruism seem to require ID?

No I wouldnt say they require ID but its a logical inference. It doesnt fit as well into natural selection as it does into a creator creating beings that have the capacity to act as we do (altruistically)

Okay, so we have a few aspects of life that don't seem to fit into an evolutionary model.

For most of these aspects, there are plausible evolutionary explanations; such as the selfish gene, statistical models (including game theory) that allow you to understand that "selection" is very complicated statistically because some options that increase chances of death could increase chances of propagating your genetics more than is lost from the odds of death.

However, you seem to argue that such things infer a designer.

Why?

Why does the existence of, say, altruism, infer design? Why would you expect, for example, that designed life would be altruistic, whereas non-designed life would not be?

Now, lets assume that you could infer design from that, and from the fact that life is complex. With that you concede that inferences are valid reasons to conclude something. That's good.

Because, when you actually look at the details of life, a few patterns emerge:

1.) Taxonomic trends indicate a nested hierarchy of life, that as you go back in time descends down that tree. No exceptions are found either in chronology or taxonomy. This is completely incongruent to what you would expect from Common design; and required by Common Descent; therefore one must infer common descent.

2.) Genetic trends indicate a nested hierarchy of genes when compared between organisms, (pretty much the same as taxonomy), with the patterns only explainable as the DNA originating in a common ancestor, diverging and acquiring independent changes on multiple lineages; such patterns are indicated at every level of comparison, from humans to chimps, from fish to yeast. This is completely incongruent to what you would expect from Common design; and required by Common Descent; therefore one must infer common descent.

3.) Embryological trends indicate the same nested hierarchy, and indicate genetic changes affecting embryological development are evident within comparisons of organisms AND can explain the wide spread similarities between species in the evolutionary model. This is completely incongruent to what you would expect from Common design; and required by Common Descent; therefore one must infer common descent.

4.) Other patterns including convergent evolution (same function, massively different structure), weird artifacts in anatomy where any reasonable designer would have likely chosen a different structure; but if viewed in evolutionary terms could not be any other way; vestigiality (where a structure or feature appears to be structurally the same, but either performs no function, or a completely different function in another species), atavisms such as humans born with tails, dolphins and snakes with legs, chickens with teeth, present scenarios indicative of descent. These are completely incongruent to what you would expect from Common design; and required by Common Descent; therefore one must infer common descent.

So given that you believe it's valid to infer a designer from your evidence; it is pretty clear that when looking at all the evidence, the only valid inference is that of common descent; primarily because all the patterns have a causative explanation with evolution, and can only be explained by coincidence by a common designer.

Moreover, all the elements which allow you to infer design; such as general complexity; have a corresponding explanation within Evolution.

So indeed, it's possible for evolution to explain why you can draw the conclusion of ID, but ID cannot explain why you can draw the conclusion of evolution.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/8/2016 7:00:21 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
No I wouldnt say they require ID but its a logical inference. It doesnt fit as well into natural selection as it does into a creator creating beings that have the capacity to act as we do (altruistically)

Regretably, I can't accept that 'they require ID' as a logical inference without seeing what the logic is. If - as I suspect - what you really mean is that it seem to you that X (whatever X it is, you don't say) fits in with ID better than natural selection then all I can say is intuitions are not 100% reliable and it is necessary to work through the logic explicitly and dispassionately to check that reality matches your gut feeling.

If you are right and ID is a logical consequence then - as I am a logical sort of person - will agree with you because you can't argue with a logical inference. If Socrates is a man and men are mortal then Socrates is mortal - there can be no argument about it.
Danb6177
Posts: 433
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 12:28:13 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 5:00:37 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 2/7/2016 6:49:49 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
At 2/7/2016 6:36:40 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

What research have you done yourself and what have you found?

Minimal research really. Im kinda scattering myself around lately. When something pops up that is a side bar to what im studying I write it down for later but have been all over the place as for some reason recently. I first heard of the theory in conversation a while back and read very little about it. Recently watching lectures by Edward Larson it came up again so I looked into it more. Figured this was a good place to talk about it to gain further knowledge.

I do intend to look at it more when I read the book but for now just wanted to see if this was something widely believed in science. I personally dont see scientific evidence for it so far, just looks like a attempt to explain altruistic behavior. But just because I dont see it doesnt mean is doesnt exist.

Okay, how about looking at black widow spiders or praying mantis' as evidence for the selfish gene, in which the genetics of the species will propagate at the expense of the host bodies as the female will kill the male after mating. This is considered altruistic behavior at the genetic level.

So why is this considered at a genetic level?
Danb6177
Posts: 433
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 1:14:15 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 5:45:26 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/8/2016 4:48:36 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
At 2/7/2016 8:09:12 PM, keithprosser wrote:
OK - I'm interested. Of course one idea is that a critter behaves altruistically because it has been 'intelligently designed' to be altruistic. The question is whether ID is neccessary or if blind forces could achieve the same effect.

Which, in your opinion, examples of altruism seem to require ID?

No I wouldnt say they require ID but its a logical inference. It doesnt fit as well into natural selection as it does into a creator creating beings that have the capacity to act as we do (altruistically)

Okay, so we have a few aspects of life that don't seem to fit into an evolutionary model.

For most of these aspects, there are plausible evolutionary explanations; such as the selfish gene, statistical models (including game theory) that allow you to understand that "selection" is very complicated statistically because some options that increase chances of death could increase chances of propagating your genetics more than is lost from the odds of death.

However, you seem to argue that such things infer a designer.

Why?

Why does the existence of, say, altruism, infer design? Why would you expect, for example, that designed life would be altruistic, whereas non-designed life would not be?

Now, lets assume that you could infer design from that, and from the fact that life is complex. With that you concede that inferences are valid reasons to conclude something. That's good.

Because, when you actually look at the details of life, a few patterns emerge:

1.) Taxonomic trends indicate a nested hierarchy of life, that as you go back in time descends down that tree. No exceptions are found either in chronology or taxonomy. This is completely incongruent to what you would expect from Common design; and required by Common Descent; therefore one must infer common descent.

2.) Genetic trends indicate a nested hierarchy of genes when compared between organisms, (pretty much the same as taxonomy), with the patterns only explainable as the DNA originating in a common ancestor, diverging and acquiring independent changes on multiple lineages; such patterns are indicated at every level of comparison, from humans to chimps, from fish to yeast. This is completely incongruent to what you would expect from Common design; and required by Common Descent; therefore one must infer common descent.

3.) Embryological trends indicate the same nested hierarchy, and indicate genetic changes affecting embryological development are evident within comparisons of organisms AND can explain the wide spread similarities between species in the evolutionary model. This is completely incongruent to what you would expect from Common design; and required by Common Descent; therefore one must infer common descent.

4.) Other patterns including convergent evolution (same function, massively different structure), weird artifacts in anatomy where any reasonable designer would have likely chosen a different structure; but if viewed in evolutionary terms could not be any other way; vestigiality (where a structure or feature appears to be structurally the same, but either performs no function, or a completely different function in another species), atavisms such as humans born with tails, dolphins and snakes with legs, chickens with teeth, present scenarios indicative of descent. These are completely incongruent to what you would expect from Common design; and required by Common Descent; therefore one must infer common descent.


So given that you believe it's valid to infer a designer from your evidence; it is pretty clear that when looking at all the evidence, the only valid inference is that of common descent; primarily because all the patterns have a causative explanation with evolution, and can only be explained by coincidence by a common designer.

Moreover, all the elements which allow you to infer design; such as general complexity; have a corresponding explanation within Evolution.

So indeed, it's possible for evolution to explain why you can draw the conclusion of ID, but ID cannot explain why you can draw the conclusion of evolution.

I appreciate you taking the time to write all that out. I have never heard of the game theory. I will look at that. I was just trying to learn the processes involved with certain scientific theories, Not really looking for a ID vs evo debate, although I realize bringing up selfish genes will naturally progress into that debate. Your points are good ones but it seems that science when making its inferences doesnt even consider a designer. Therefore its inferences can only move in one direction. Everything will be explained to support non design.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,494
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 1:28:08 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

It's another place where the argument has to be that evolution can produce the illusion of altruism. It can produce something that acts like altruism. Genes can't be selfish or altruistic, they are collections of molecules that obey the deterministic laws of nature.

A close corollary: If you argue that altruism turns out to be good for the species, then altruism isn't altruism, it's self interest.

So how it is that we humans can talk about altruism when there can't really be such a thing as altruism - well, I don't think your average evolutionist has much use for philosophy. For that matter, if there can be a genuine "love of knowledge" then I guess that's a case against evolution right there.
This space for rent.
Danb6177
Posts: 433
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 2:04:44 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/9/2016 1:28:08 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

It's another place where the argument has to be that evolution can produce the illusion of altruism. It can produce something that acts like altruism. Genes can't be selfish or altruistic, they are collections of molecules that obey the deterministic laws of nature.

A close corollary: If you argue that altruism turns out to be good for the species, then altruism isn't altruism, it's self interest.

So how it is that we humans can talk about altruism when there can't really be such a thing as altruism - well, I don't think your average evolutionist has much use for philosophy. For that matter, if there can be a genuine "love of knowledge" then I guess that's a case against evolution right there.

Yeah this is why I was wondering how the theory came to be. I cant understand a gene being selfless, or selfish. I can imagine a gene being anything other than like you said a group of molecules. But when the goal is to explain something to go against a designer...I think thats how stuff like this comes about.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 2:12:26 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/9/2016 1:14:15 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Your points are good ones but it seems that science when making its inferences doesnt even consider a designer. Therefore its inferences can only move in one direction. Everything will be explained to support non design.

When the only inferences you can reasonably make are that life was not designed; it would give that appearances.

The items I listed, are examples where you cannot reasonably or rationally infer design, nor can they be explained by design.

It's a case of looking at the evidence then deciding what that evidence shows, not a case of choosing your position then interpreting the evidence; although it is for Creationism. I know this, because the majority of Creationists say that's exactly what they're doing.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 2:14:58 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/9/2016 1:28:08 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

It's another place where the argument has to be that evolution can produce the illusion of altruism. It can produce something that acts like altruism. Genes can't be selfish or altruistic, they are collections of molecules that obey the deterministic laws of nature.

A close corollary: If you argue that altruism turns out to be good for the species, then altruism isn't altruism, it's self interest.

So how it is that we humans can talk about altruism when there can't really be such a thing as altruism - well, I don't think your average evolutionist has much use for philosophy. For that matter, if there can be a genuine "love of knowledge" then I guess that's a case against evolution right there.

Is your argument really that if altruism evolved, it can't be real altruism, and yet we call it altruism so it can't have evolved?
v3nesl
Posts: 4,494
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 5:15:41 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/9/2016 2:14:58 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/9/2016 1:28:08 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

It's another place where the argument has to be that evolution can produce the illusion of altruism. It can produce something that acts like altruism. Genes can't be selfish or altruistic, they are collections of molecules that obey the deterministic laws of nature.

A close corollary: If you argue that altruism turns out to be good for the species, then altruism isn't altruism, it's self interest.

So how it is that we humans can talk about altruism when there can't really be such a thing as altruism - well, I don't think your average evolutionist has much use for philosophy. For that matter, if there can be a genuine "love of knowledge" then I guess that's a case against evolution right there.

Is your argument really that if altruism evolved, it can't be real altruism, and yet we call it altruism so it can't have evolved?

Right. It's not really an evolution issue per se, any kind of naturalism would have the same problem.

The scientific issue is to note how evolution needs to borrow concepts from the meaning world to explain a meaningless process. Nobody talks about selfish gravity or altruistic heat pumps - equations are sufficient to explain the hard sciences.
This space for rent.
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 5:34:24 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/9/2016 5:15:41 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/9/2016 2:14:58 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/9/2016 1:28:08 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

It's another place where the argument has to be that evolution can produce the illusion of altruism. It can produce something that acts like altruism. Genes can't be selfish or altruistic, they are collections of molecules that obey the deterministic laws of nature.

A close corollary: If you argue that altruism turns out to be good for the species, then altruism isn't altruism, it's self interest.

So how it is that we humans can talk about altruism when there can't really be such a thing as altruism - well, I don't think your average evolutionist has much use for philosophy. For that matter, if there can be a genuine "love of knowledge" then I guess that's a case against evolution right there.

Is your argument really that if altruism evolved, it can't be real altruism, and yet we call it altruism so it can't have evolved?

Right. It's not really an evolution issue per se, any kind of naturalism would have the same problem.

The scientific issue is to note how evolution needs to borrow concepts from the meaning world to explain a meaningless process. Nobody talks about selfish gravity or altruistic heat pumps - equations are sufficient to explain the hard sciences.

You do realize that what you call something doesn't change what it actually is, right?
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,623
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 5:44:26 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/9/2016 12:28:13 AM, Danb6177 wrote:
At 2/8/2016 5:00:37 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 2/7/2016 6:49:49 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
At 2/7/2016 6:36:40 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 2/6/2016 8:52:02 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Dawkins theory of selfish genes to explain altruistic behavior. I was looking for scientific evidence of how this happens. Thanx

What research have you done yourself and what have you found?

Minimal research really. Im kinda scattering myself around lately. When something pops up that is a side bar to what im studying I write it down for later but have been all over the place as for some reason recently. I first heard of the theory in conversation a while back and read very little about it. Recently watching lectures by Edward Larson it came up again so I looked into it more. Figured this was a good place to talk about it to gain further knowledge.

I do intend to look at it more when I read the book but for now just wanted to see if this was something widely believed in science. I personally dont see scientific evidence for it so far, just looks like a attempt to explain altruistic behavior. But just because I dont see it doesnt mean is doesnt exist.

Okay, how about looking at black widow spiders or praying mantis' as evidence for the selfish gene, in which the genetics of the species will propagate at the expense of the host bodies as the female will kill the male after mating. This is considered altruistic behavior at the genetic level.

So why is this considered at a genetic level?

Because, it is at this level we observe replication of the organism and how it represents itself in future generations, regardless of whether or not the organism or the entire species survives.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Danb6177
Posts: 433
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 5:45:40 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/9/2016 2:12:26 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/9/2016 1:14:15 PM, Danb6177 wrote:
Your points are good ones but it seems that science when making its inferences doesnt even consider a designer. Therefore its inferences can only move in one direction. Everything will be explained to support non design.

When the only inferences you can reasonably make are that life was not designed; it would give that appearances.

The items I listed, are examples where you cannot reasonably or rationally infer design, nor can they be explained by design.

It's a case of looking at the evidence then deciding what that evidence shows, not a case of choosing your position then interpreting the evidence; although it is for Creationism. I know this, because the majority of Creationists say that's exactly what they're doing.

Ok so lets look at the points you have made.

1.) Taxonomic trends indicate a nested hierarchy of life, that as you go back in time descends down that tree. No exceptions are found either in chronology or taxonomy. This is completely incongruent to what you would expect from Common design; and required by Common Descent; therefore one must infer common descent.

Taxonomy is what science calls classifying species correct? Why does this indicate a nested hierarchy, and what do you mean when you say no exceptions are found?
v3nesl
Posts: 4,494
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/9/2016 6:07:46 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/9/2016 5:44:26 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
...

So why is this considered at a genetic level?

Because, it is at this level we observe replication of the organism and how it represents itself in future generations, regardless of whether or not the organism or the entire species survives.

"How it represents itself" - ? But no, we do NOT observe replication of the organism at the gene level, only a series of chemical reactions.

There is no "it" at the molecular level, there are only chemical reactions. And since there is no "it", "it" is not "representing itself" (whatever that means). And there is certainly no organism, because that's a matter of many cells. And there is no "species", because that is a matter of many organisms. There are no generations, no future, no "survival". Just chemical reactions.

And who detects these patterns, of "it" and "organism", and "species" - ? Certainly not the molecules in the gene. Where does knowing come from, anyway?
This space for rent.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/10/2016 12:59:52 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
How can a gene (a bunch of chemicals) be selfish?

Of course a gene has no conscious desires - it doesn't want to be rich and famous.

The selfish gene idea is based on the idea that genes are selfish in the sense they evolve to maximise the number of their descendants. Note that doesn't necessarily mean simply maximising the number of organisms carrying that gene, although the number of hosts is a major factor in calculating the number of genes. The selfish gene concept means viewing evolution in terms of genes maximising copies, not whole organisms maximising offspring.

If that gene-centred view of evolution is more correct than the the more intuitive organism centred-view, then we can expect to see instances where the gene's interests override the intersts of the of the organism containing it.

Altruistic behavious is seemingly anomalous because it means an organism forgoes or reduces opportunities to reproduce. It seems to make no sense for an animal to sacrifice itself to defend or rescue another individual - a gene for self-sacrifice should be removed from the gene-pool.

But it can make sense to rescue or defend relatives. Siblings share half your genes, so if you die defendin or rescuing 2 siblings, the gene-count breaks even. If you don't die then the gene-count is well ahead, as it will be if you rescue a single sibling with a 50:50 chance of dying in the attempt.

In other words taking a 'hit' on your chances of personal reproduction can still make sense from the point of view of gene-count.

That is a very cursory introduction to the concept of selfish genes, but I thought I'd try to get it down because it is often misunderstood and taken to mean something more or something less than it is.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,494
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/10/2016 1:47:26 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 12:59:52 AM, keithprosser wrote:
How can a gene (a bunch of chemicals) be selfish?

Of course a gene has no conscious desires - it doesn't want to be rich and famous.

The selfish gene idea is based on the idea that genes are selfish in the sense they evolve to maximise the number of their descendants.

Which is equally nonsensical, is the point I'm making.


If that gene-centred view of evolution is more correct than the the more intuitive organism centred-view, then we can expect to see instances where the gene's interests override the intersts of the of the organism containing it.


And you're immediately back into full-on anthropomorphizing chemistry. Molecules don't have 'interests'. They have physics. Period.

Altruistic behavious is seemingly anomalous because it means an organism forgoes or reduces opportunities to reproduce. It seems to make no sense for an animal to sacrifice itself to defend or rescue another individual - a gene for self-sacrifice should be removed from the gene-pool.

But it can make sense to rescue or defend relatives.

In which case it's not really altruism. I addressed this option already.

This is one of the things you evo faithful have to be willing to admit to: Your theory is constantly diminishing our humanity. "Oh no, we're not *really* altruistic" It is, in a delightful pun, a self defeating argument.


That is a very cursory introduction to the concept of selfish genes, but I thought I'd try to get it down because it is often misunderstood

Yeah, lol, if you disagree it can only mean 'misunderstood'. Maybe it's just wrong. Have you ever considered that, or is Dawkins some kind of oracle in your view?
This space for rent.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,019
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/10/2016 8:49:00 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
And you're immediately back into full-on anthropomorphizing chemistry. Molecules don't have 'interests'. They have physics. Period.


Sometimes I have to wonder if what people post is due to genuine misunderstanding or wilful rhetorical posturing. If you were making any effort to understand rather than scoring cheap points I wouldn't have to point out that the 'interests' of a gene in the selfish gene theory is to maximise the number of copies of itself, as opposed to the number of hosts in the more conventional 'organism' level concept of evolution.

I don't understand 'Not really altruism'. In the context of genetic theory, selfishness and altruism take on definite technical meaning. A gene is selfish in that it maximised the number of copies of itself and altruism refers to a willing reduction in personal reproduction. The selfish gene theory is not an ethical system. It describes the mechanism behind such things as the emergence of sterile castes in ant and bee colonies, not how to live your life.

Evolution has been going on for billions of years, and for the vast majority of that time it as been under the sole influence of mechanical process like gene selfishness and kin-selection and genetic drift. But it is self-evident that our genes play a tiny part in human beaviour which is under conscious control. Selfish genes explains the structure of naked mole rat society very well but it has very little to say about human society.

But perhaps that was your point?
v3nesl
Posts: 4,494
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/10/2016 9:03:44 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 8:49:00 PM, keithprosser wrote:
And you're immediately back into full-on anthropomorphizing chemistry. Molecules don't have 'interests'. They have physics. Period.


Sometimes I have to wonder if what people post is due to genuine misunderstanding or wilful rhetorical posturing. If you were making any effort to understand rather than scoring cheap points I wouldn't have to point out that the 'interests' of a gene in the selfish gene theory is to maximise the number of copies of itself, as opposed to the number of hosts in the more conventional 'organism' level concept of evolution.


And, lol, I'm still claiming this is nonsense. Are you making an effort to understand this point of view, or simply assuming I'm stupid and/or uneducated because I don't run with the pack? It is still an unwarranted level of abstraction.

I don't understand 'Not really altruism'. In the context of genetic theory, selfishness and altruism take on definite technical meaning. A gene is selfish in that it maximised the number of copies of itself and altruism refers to a willing reduction in personal reproduction.

Can you say this without any anthropomorphizing whatsoever? A 'willing reduction', for instance. See if this can be said in pure physics terms, pure f=ma kind of thing.

The selfish gene theory is not an ethical system. It describes the mechanism behind such things as the emergence of sterile castes in ant and bee colonies, not how to live your life.


Yes, I get that. But genes aren't ants and bees - those are patterns applied to collections of genes by sentient observers. They may be perfectly obvious and indisputable patterns, but they are still patterns observed by humans and not molecules. It is like talking about transistors working together to make a better computer. Transistors don't do that, and I don't see how genes can do the things that evolution claims for them.

Evolution has been going on for billions of years,

Well, that's the claim, yes. Part of evaluating that claim is being very clear about the alleged mechanisms of evolution. If you're claiming it's pure natural law, then you better be able to describe it using only the equations of natural phenomena.
This space for rent.