This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Speed Limit To The Pace Of Evolution, Biologists Say

Speed Limit To The Pace Of Evolution, Biologists Say - Comments

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 1 by TIKI AL

Do they have an estimate on when godbots will finally evolve, or will they continue plodding along in the wrong direction?

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:02:00 UTC | #411170

SPS's Avatar Comment 2 by SPS

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:33:00 UTC | #411179

JuJu's Avatar Comment 3 by JuJu

Something seems wrong with the statement that the environment does the selecting. This opens the door for environmental determinism. Which opens doors to such things as the Aquatic Ape idea. Maybe I'm overreacting, but I think it can be taken the wrong way. Maybe I'm just an idiot that doesn't know what He's talking about.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 20:10:00 UTC | #411206

keithapm's Avatar Comment 4 by keithapm

The environment is a big factor in natural selection. From the environment that genes find themselves in within an organism to the environment that that organism finds itself in, including geography, climate, competing species, rivals within it's own species etc.

Thu, 05 Nov 2009 08:50:00 UTC | #411328

Anvil's Avatar Comment 5 by Anvil

3. Comment #429512 by JuJu:

Hi JuJu. Sorry, perhaps I'm misreading you, but what exactly did you imagine was doing the selection?

A genetic mutation has to survive a vast number of collisions with it's environment if it is to increase it's frequency within its gene pool - most don't.

This is the interplay between chance, selection, and time. This is Natural Selection.

As for the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis, no evidence (at any rate, no hard evidence) exists for such suppositions but at least these suppositions are, for the most part, Darwinian suppositions, and shouldn't be discounted until other competing hypotheses are shown to make AAH redundant. There are, whether we like it or not, no hypotheses that presently do this.

As T.H. Huxley puts it:

"science warns me to be careful how I adopt a view which jumps with my preconceptions, and to require stronger evidence for such beliefs than for one to which I was previously hostile."

Again, apologies if I misread you.

[edit]: That said, I'm not too sure what this article is saying? I'm presuming the data under analysis is from the Lenski data? Anyone like to have a shot at explaining this to us idiots?


Thu, 05 Nov 2009 13:10:00 UTC | #411355

JuJu's Avatar Comment 6 by JuJu

I've taken the meaning of environment in the above article a twisted it a little. What some people I've recently spoke with think happens in natural selection is that the environment induces changes. And that these changes are made by the environment to help the organism evolve. I guess this is really just Lamarchism. A surprising number of people believe evolution works that way. They believe that if a primate species migrated close to water that their skin would have changed because of the moisture in the air. And they would pass this down to the next generation. They clearly don't understand how it works. I know I've taken the meaning of environment out of the context it was meant in the article, but someone with the above stated beliefs will most certainly take it out of context. I think a better wording would have been that (nature) does the selecting. I'm sure most of you will say "whats the difference"?. I think it is more accurate and less likely to encourage misunderstanding. After all its called Natural Selection not Environmental Selection.

Tue, 10 Nov 2009 17:35:00 UTC | #412537