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YemSalat

A question about evolution

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Thanks for your clarifications! It all makes much more sense now.

iNow, not sure why you had to switch it to my family tree instead of cows :)

 

No more than you know where to develop your arm.

Well, I did not mean myself in that case, but my genes store information about the exact location where my arm needs to be developed.

So does it mean that all the adaptation, for example when species are introduced to a new habitat is based on completely random mutations which will then be sorted out by natural selection?

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Well, I did not mean myself in that case, but my genes store information about the exact location where my arm needs to be developed.

 

Exactly. There is no knowledge in place, it is a regulated biological function. Mutations and things can cause changes to those functions which may result in new phenotypes.

 

So does it mean that all the adaptation, for example when species are introduced to a new habitat is based on completely random mutations which will then be sorted out by natural selection?

 

No. There are a lot of ways adaptations can happen, I've just stayed with mutations because it's what all the cool kids are doing (actually because it's usually the easiest to explain). I'm not going to get into all the ways genetic modifications can take place because it would just confuse the issue without having background knowledge of heredity, meiosis, genetics, etc.

 

Mutation is the easiest example of how phenotypic traits may become variable but is not the sole driving force of evolution. Natural selection has acts on those phenotypic variations and also has quite a few driving forces (e.g. sexual selection, intra/interspecies competition, etc.). The only thing that is really sorted out is which individuals with what phenotypic traits mate and produce offspring which is anything but random.

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Wow. I really stirred the hornets nest. didn'tI !

 

seeing as this is still one of my first posts(first impressions and all), I will now go through and respond in detail to allof your queries/points.

 

NIF, yourunderstanding of fitness is flawed. (More accurately, it is wrong.)

 

Fitness is not about strength, or health,which your post #5 implies it is, but about suitability for its environment.Change the environment and you change what is suitable, what is fit.

Correction: fitness is not Only about strength, or health.

if you were to look up "define: fitness" you would recive the following results:

1.The condition of being physically fit and healthy.

2.The quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.

 

So being healthy IS a requirement for fitness. and although being big and being physically fit is not necessarily mutually inclusive, size is generally a good 'rule-of-thumb' for measuring ones physical fitness.

And even under definition 2. (which I believe to be the one you would prefer to use) size does play a role in the suitability for many of the lions roles inlife. ie: longer reach/more weight for fighting other potental males. looking bigger = looking more scary (a common trait in the animal kingdom)

 

You argue that it isthe biggest lion which gets to procreate. Do you have citations to back thatup?
do I have a citation for the lion? no

do I have a citation for other animals where size = more mates? yes. undersub-title "age" , under sub-title"size" , a ten page report.

 

Are you sure it isn't the one with the shaggiest mane, or the higher proportion of fast twitchmuscles, or the more aggressive perosnality? You have made an assertion basedon an assumption. I'd like to see the data that supports that assumption.
if you could please reread my post, you will clearly see that myargument was not focused on "strength/size = more mates". this was simply a small section of the overall post. in fact it was only One sentence within 2 paragraphs dedicatedto my response (highlighted in BOLD).

 

Also you use "shaggiest mane" as an alternative trait that increases propogation. This is funny because I too used hair color as an alternative. Not just an alternative, but I actually used itas a counterpoint to my 'large lion' example (highlighted in Italics)

building on what Ringer and iNow said:

evolution happens by chance. each time there is an offspring born (well, formedin the womb), it has the chance to have its genes altered in a manner that isdifferent from either of its parents genes. aka: it has a mutation.

Unlike in the movies, a single mutation will not turn a human into a lizardhulk (but how we wish it were so). most mutations are so small and suttle that they go completely un-noticed. such as immunity genes. that being said, thereare some mutations that can cause a domino effect within the body resulting invery noticeable changes in the offspring, such as Dwarfisim.

 

the mutations themselves happen completely by chance. (not including outsidefactors such as radiation)

However, deciding what mutations to keep is not random. instead it is controledby the very compex system that is commonly dulled down to "survival of the fittest".

most of the time the survival of this mutation IS based of fittness. its the Biggest lion that gets to propogate his genetic code.

But sometimes it is based on other factors. an example is the red head. once apon a time there were NO redheads,then one day a pretty young lass is born with red hair. She grows up, and has lots of babies because lots of people are attracted to this strange new hair color. and this totally over looks the fact that she will burn to a crisp on a clowdy day. so although redheads are "less fit" they havesurvived and propogated simply because they can.

 

And just for the record. No, I do not think that my understanding on fitness is flawed

 

 

 

 

 

Viewpoint 2 is not an explanation. It is merely a dismissal of view point 1. So thequestion as to what is your explanation is, is still unanswered.
the requested explanation was concerning a given view point that rested on a particular assumption. If said assumption is inaccurate (and I understand you may not necessarily agree on this fact) , then the requested explanation is entitled to counter the given assumption.

I hope that made sence…

 

What is it which you specifically disagree with about thetheory of evolution? you posted in the current human evolutionary pressuresthread which I find a little odd. Does this mean that you think naturalselection is likely? but you disagree with the evolution of complex traitswhich you criticize due to irreducible complexity? Do you disagree with theconcept of speciation as well?
the viewpoint I hold has been around forquite a while and held by many other (but not all) Creationists. The main pointof conflict between my viewpoint and the theory of evolution stems from whathas been categorized as "the difference between Macro and Micro Evolution".

 

So as a word ofadvice, there are some very crazy people out there calling themselvesChristians. If you want to get anywhere with me in these forums then it is bestnot to categorize me with any of them. Instead take my posts at face value.

And I do believe in specialization.

 

 

 

NIF,I agree that is probably not the best place (this topic)to discuss other points of view because the topic is based on the theory ofevolution. However just out of curiosity I would like to ask, does your pointinvolve a creation of some sort in any way?

Only as an alternative. Butas stated above, it's best not to categorize me with them.

 

…I find it really hard to believe that the mutations are completely random.
the mutations ARE random. The natural selection process isn't.

 

 

 

Ithink that there should be some mechanism (entirely natural, no transcendentbeing involved) that 'tells' the cells of the creature how and where to grow.For example - if cells on a certain region of the creature's body are appliedwith pressure on a continuous basis - those cells will eventually get harder toresist it, and the creature will get a sort of a 'shield' in that area.

I suppose something similar might happen to the eye.

Nope.

 

If an area gets compressed regularly (lets say the bottom of the foot). Then those with the random mutation of tough skin survive and propagate, while those with the random mutation for soft skin get saw feet. Thus they can't run, can't catch food and die of starvation. This is as close as you will get to a guiding mechanism.

In other words. The giraffe didn't get a long neck because it really, REALLY wanted to eat the leafs on top of the tree.

 

 

 

 

 

@iNow

I am aware of such theories. In fact I personally could go into even greater detail on how the eye was thought to evolve than they did in the video (all thanks to other forums like this one)

 

 

 

 

 

No, not really. There is a random component, i.e. mutations, but the outcomesafter natural selection is added are not random.
thanks for this piece ofinsite. Here is a quote where I said the same thing:

the mutations themselves happen completely by chance. (not includingoutside factors such as radiation)

However, deciding what mutations to keep is not random. instead it is controled by the very compex system that is commonly dulled down to "survival of thefittest".

 

 

 

 

 

@YemSalat

in a nutshell, it (the creature or its genes) does not know to make it transparent, but the creatures that comprise the gene pool do know to keep it once the random mutation has occurred.

I believe this canfall under "viewpoint 2" I gave in response 5.

 

And about the cow.Definitely no…. but that has been covered

 

 

 

 

 

@Ringer ref. YemSalat's quote

I believe heredityconditions fall under natural selection based on pre-existing mutations. Thereforeit still can be said that it is "random mutations which will then be sorted out bynatural selection"

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the requested explanation was concerning a given view point that rested on a particular assumption. If said assumption is inaccurate (and I understand you may not necessarily agree on this fact) , then the requested explanation is entitled to counter the given assumption.

I hope that made sence…

the viewpoint I hold has been around forquite a while and held by many other (but not all) Creationists. The main pointof conflict between my viewpoint and the theory of evolution stems from whathas been categorized as "the difference between Macro and Micro Evolution".

 

So as a word ofadvice, there are some very crazy people out there calling themselvesChristians. If you want to get anywhere with me in these forums then it is bestnot to categorize me with any of them. Instead take my posts at face value.

And I do believe in specialization.

 

You still have not answered the question. What is your explanation? View point 2 is merely a rejection of the view point 1, which is an explanation. So if you reject that explanation, how do you explain it? What assumption?

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You still have not answered the question. What is your explanation?

I believe I have made it clear that I am a creationist (more or less). as such I believe in the theory of creationisim.

so to answer the question in more direct terms: my explanation is that the eye lens never 'evolved', it was 'created'.

 

View point 2 is merely a rejection of the view point 1, which is an explanation.
point 1 is a simple explanation of evolution. point 2 is a rejection of evolution. thus, according to point 2, the answer to the question "how did the eye know to evolve a lens?" is "it didn't evolve, so the 'how' is irrelevent"

 

What assumption?
the assumption that they lens evolved to begin with.

 

I can see now that not attaching the creationist explanation to point 2 meant that I was not providing an alternative explanation the the lens' existance. But I hope that after reading this post you can see that point 2 was still an alternative answer to the question.

 

 

 

 

 

@YemSalat

am I correct in thinking that the last few posts on this thread have answered your original question?

Edited by NIF

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What would you offer as evidence for a creation explanation for the eye structure?

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Yep, all my questions have been answered, thanks everybody! Plus I got some keywords from Ringer's post for later study on the subject.

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Correction: fitness is not Only about strength, or health.

if you were to look up "define: fitness" you would recive the following results:

1.The condition of being physically fit and healthy.

2.The quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.

 

 

In the context of evolution by natural selection, the term "fitness" has a very precise meaning - that is the ability to pass ones genes to the next generation.

 

The generalized definition is not applicable to the specific scientific usage of the term in the context of evolution. In many cases, there is a trade off between the maximization of evolutionary fitness at the expense of traits which increase survivorship i.e. things you would generally consider to make an individual "fit and healthy" e.g. A trade off between reproductive output and how effectively the immune system functions in mice http://onlinelibrary...09.00820.x/full

or the hypothesized trade off between longevity and the number of offspring in human populations http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3273900/

 

That means the "fitter" individuals in a population in terms of evolutionary fitness might not be able to fight off disease, or might not live as long as the less evolutionarily fit individuals, who you would probably consider fitter in the general definition of fitness (as they don't get sick as often/live longer).

Edited by Arete

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What would you offer as evidence for a creation explanation for the eye structure?

I would offer counter arguments on how evolution is flawed. and only offer Creationisim as an alternative beliefe, for that is how I see it.

 

and as a reminder, I will be offline for 2 weeks starting monday, so those counter arguments will have to wait.

 

 

 

The generalized definition is not applicable to the specific scientific usage of the term in the context of evolution. In many cases, there is a trade off between the maximization of evolutionary fitness at the expense of traits which increase survivorship
just like my example of the red head?

so then I wasn't wrong. and you saying that I was would then put you in the wrong...

extra smug smile -> ^_^

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I would offer counter arguments on how evolution is flawed. and only offer Creationisim as an alternative beliefe, for that is how I see it.

Which means you are not to be taken seriously, as you appear to suggest that counter arguments to one theory somehow serve as evidence for another. That is plainly untrue, and creationism is an alternative belief only in the same way that thinking the tooth fairy is real is an alternative belief. Supplementing this, your counter arguments are nearly certain to be flawed, misguided, or downright dishonest.

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Which means you are not to be taken seriously, as you appear to suggest that counter arguments to one theory somehow serve as evidence for another.

I never said they would be evidence for a new theory.

Thus for you to claim I did so and then your subsequent arguments against it are nothing more than a strawman argument.

 

your counter arguments are nearly certain to be flawed, misguided, or downright dishonest.
This is an attack against the opposition, and not the opposing argument. And what is this statement even based on? your personal opinion perhaps?

 

I look forward to hearing more capable rebuttals in the future.

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just like my example of the red head?

so then I wasn't wrong. and you saying that I was would then put you in the wrong...

extra smug smile -> ^_^

 

That's an extremely convoluted piece of logic - your usage of evolutionary fitness to mean "fit and healthy" is a common misconception (i.e. wrong). On that particular point, your post was incorrect and needed clarification.

 

A friendly tip: creationism is not mainstream science and therefore doesn't belong in the biology forums. If you or iNow wish to further discuss the tangent this thread has taken, open your own thread in the speculations or religion subsection. Getting to OP's thread closed with an off topic discussion wouldn't really be fair.

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I have no interest in discussing the idiocy and childishness which is creationism. I was merely trying to highlight in no uncertain terms for our OP that NIF is a moron not to be listened to on this subject since his stance is roughly equivalent to thinking that Puff the Magic Dragon is the source of all hurricanes.

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@Ringer ref. YemSalat's quote

I believe heredityconditions fall under natural selection based on pre-existing mutations. Thereforeit still can be said that it is "random mutations which will then be sorted out bynatural selection"

 

It doesn't matter what you believe, not all things that are sorted by natural selection originate by random mutation. Unless, of course, you want to be unnecessarily obtuse.

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If you or iNow wish to further discuss the tangent this thread has taken

 

 

The discussion is still related to the evolution of the eye. NIF is just expressing his opinion, that evolution is flawed and cannot explain the formation of the eye structure.

 

I would offer counter arguments on how evolution is flawed. and only offer Creationisim as an alternative beliefe, for that is how I see it.

 

I look forward to hearing more capable rebuttals in the future.

 

 

My take on your point of view is that you are not to be taken seriously, but not for the same reason as iNow. You seem to think that evolution is flawed and can't explain the formation of the eye. So in your eyes, evolution is a belief. To you, there are two theories which have just as much liklihood of being true as each other. So, why do you choose to place more value in one than the other? Are they not just as likely as each other? This reasoning leads me to believe that you are biased. There is no point discussing the counter arguments with you in 2 weeks time because of this. Your argument for evolution being unable to explain eye evolution can also be ignored.

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G-day everyone

it would seem that I have become the subject of a bit of ill will.

But that is fine. I am used to the pettiness of evolutionary debaters.

 

I shall now point out how each of your negative points about me are either inaccurate, or how they can also be applied to you.

it is my hope that after this post we can base all of our disagreements on scientific merit, and not personal opinion of an individual's views.

 

your usage of evolutionary fitness to mean "fit and healthy" is a common misconception (i.e. wrong).
I'm sorry to clump this in with the following points. it is probibly the only argument that was based against my argument. well, a miss read and miss represented version of my argument (a stickman in other words).

you are claiming that I portrayed the term 'survival of the fittest' to mean something like 'survival of the biggest, strongest, and most healthy'.

it is true that I used an example where the big lion got the most cubs. However you need to take note that this was an example and was Not my entire argument.

another example I gave was the red head example. this example fits in perfectly with how your saying 'evolutionary fitness' should be explained. the funny thing here is that I wrote more than 3 Times as much about my red head example than I did with my lion example. And I used it as a direct counterpoint to my lion example. actually I already said this, perhaps you missed it:

Also you use "shaggiest mane" as an alternative trait that increases propagation. This is funny because I too used hair color as an alternative. Not just an alternative, but I actually used it as a counterpoint to my 'large lion' example

and just to top it off, I also gave 3 citations were bigger IS better for 'evolutionary fitness' (Although my main point here is still that bigger is not the only variable)

 

 

 

 

A friendly tip: creationism is not mainstream science and therefore doesn't belong in the biology forums.
if you would read over my posts again you will notice 2 things.

1) my first post placed the 'creationists' answer along side the 'evolutionists' answer. and all subsequent referrals to Creationism were based against direct questions/points given by other members.

2) I have on multiple occasions requested that all counter arguments against me be based against my points directly, and not on personal opinions of concerning my belief system

So as a word of advice, there are some very crazy people out there calling themselves Christians. If you want to get anywhere with me in these forums then it is best not to categorize me with any of them. Instead take my posts at face value.

...

Only as an alternative. But as stated above, it's best not to categorize me with them.

...

I would offer counter arguments on how evolution is flawed. and only offer Creationism as an alternative belief, for that is how I see it.

...

This is an attack against the opposition, and not the opposing argument. And what is this statement even based on? your personal opinion perhaps?

 

so, I will gladly stop all referenced, quotes, points, arguments, etc about Creationism (not that I have really been doing that to begin with) if it means that we can debate evolution purely on its scientific merits.

and the fact I will be the one providing arguments against evolution will be the only reminder that I am a Creationist.

 

 

 

 

not all things that are sorted by natural selection originate by random mutation. Unless, of course, you want to be unnecessarily obtuse
If I can't say I was right based on a technicality, then you shouldn't be allowed to say I was wrong based on a generalization.

 

 

 

My take on your point of view is that you are not to be taken seriously, but not for the same reason as iNow. You seem to think that evolution is flawed and can't explain the formation of the eye. So in your eyes, evolution is a belief. To you, there are two theories which have just as much likelihood of being true as each other. So, why do you choose to place more value in one than the other? Are they not just as likely as each other? This reasoning leads me to believe that you are biased. There is no point discussing the counter arguments with you in 2 weeks time because of this. Your argument for evolution being unable to explain eye evolution can also be ignored.
this is a honest and level headed response. I will acknowledge that. However it is also hypocritical.

You have already decided my counter arguments will be not worth discussion. And that my 'argument for evolution being unable to explain eye evolution' can also be ignored. These are based on your preconceived notions about creationists. in other words You are biased against creationists.

 

Your view can't be based on how I answered the question "why do you choose to place more value in one than the other?". Because I Haven't answered the question yet. I never even got the chance. your Bias viewpoint is based on your preconceived idea That I place more value in one than the other.

 

Your view can't be based on my 'counter arguments against evolution', because I simple haven't given any yet (and I have been very clear as to why)

 

Your view can't be based on my 'argument for evolution being unable to explain eye evolution', because all I gave was my opinion. (see above)

 

 

 

 

 

 

and now we get to the petty post:

I have no interest in discussing the idiocy and childishness which is creationism.
childishness? like, say, calling names?
I was merely trying to highlight in no uncertain terms for our OP that NIF is a moron not to be listened to on this subject
I'm not going to waste my time pointing out the irony here.

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If I can't say I was right based on a technicality, then you shouldn't be allowed to say I was wrong based on a generalization.

 

 

I didn't make a generalization, I was merely saying you could be unnecessarily obtuse by reducing all variation to an original mutation of some sort. My statement was referring to things such as sexual selection of a trait which could select for a combination of alleles increasing fitness without the need for mutation. It would also include things immigration/emigration, epigenetics, hybridizations, etc. Like I said before you could make the argument that all these things had to start with a mutation of some sort, but then the conversation then just becomes useless. In the end I was answering a question to a satisfactory degree, so what was the point you were trying to make? It seems like you were not trying to answer the question or add on to what I was saying. Nor does it seem like you were correcting anything I had said that you found to be factually inaccurate.

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this is a honest and level headed response. I will acknowledge that. However it is also hypocritical.

You have already decided my counter arguments will be not worth discussion. And that my 'argument for evolution being unable to explain eye evolution' can also be ignored. These are based on your preconceived notions about creationists. in other words You are biased against creationists.

 

Your view can't be based on how I answered the question "why do you choose to place more value in one than the other?". Because I Haven't answered the question yet. I never even got the chance. your Bias viewpoint is based on your preconceived idea That I place more value in one than the other.

 

 

It is not hypocritical because you already stated your opinion in the quote below (taken from an earlier page). You made the statement saying that you see creationism as the explanation. You also replied to my question when I asked about the evidence you would offer for creationism as an explanation, which had no evidence in it ( I realise you know this too as you did refer to creationism as a "belief"). You are biased towards a creationist explanation because the alternative explanation (that the eye evolved), even when considered a belief (as it is in your eyes), should be equally as likely as your own explanation. However, this is not the case as shown by the quote below. That is how I came to the conclusion that you are biased. I simply used rhetorical questions for effect, but you did answer some of them anyway.

 

I'm not really biased against creationist's, that would be quite petty. Anyone is free to believe anything they like and why should I care what beliefs others choose to adopt? Many people are crazy and weird. I was, however, interested to see what evidence would be offered in support of creationism and I gave my overall opinion of your posts in this thread so far.

 

Finally. Would you not agree that there is little point in trying to debate with someone who is biased? and that the points that a biased person makes are pretty much worthless?

 

I would offer counter arguments on how evolution is flawed. and only offer Creationisim as an alternative beliefe, for that is how I see it.

Edited by jp255

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you are claiming that I portrayed the term 'survival of the fittest' to mean something like 'survival of the biggest, strongest, and most healthy'.

 

You explicitly defined "fitness" in that context. Your statement verbatim:

 

if you were to look up "define: fitness" you would recive the following results:

1.The condition of being physically fit and healthy.

2.The quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task."

 

I simply clarified that the definition you provided is not what is meant by the term fitness when used in the context of evolutionary biology. It is baffling that when simply being corrected on a specific, very basic definition in evolutionary theory, you've decided that the person doing the clarification is somehow actually wrong, and also somehow strawmanning you when addressing things you actually explicitly stated.

 

Sure, in some circumstances being larger/etc might confer an increase in evolutionary fitness but it does not follow that therefore being bigger always does and in some cases it is detrimental. Here's an example of selection for smaller body size in Darwin's finches http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408698.

 

As such, it is incorrect to use the term fitness in the context of evolution to mean anything other than the ability to pass one's genes to the next generation. This is a very basic definition, and it is critical to understand the context of fitness to build any sort of meaningful understanding of evolutionary theory. If you're going to define basic terms incorrectly, then rally against the clarification of those definitions in order to appear somehow "right", I can't see much hope for productive discussion.

 

so, I will gladly stop all referenced, quotes, points, arguments, etc about Creationism (not that I have really been doing that to begin with) if it means that we can debate evolution purely on its scientific merits.

 

I was simply providing you with a friendly tip that discussion of creationist ideologies are inappropriate in the mainstream science forums. SFN has a place for those discussions in the speculations and religion sub-forums. As a new member you might not have known the posting etiquette and I was hoping friendly tip might prevent the mods having to a bunch of thread closing, moving and assorted annoying tasks.

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G-day everyone

it would seem that I have become the subject of a bit of ill will.

But that is fine. I am used to the pettiness of evolutionary debaters.

 

I think you may be oversensitive. As has been pointed out by several posters, myself included, and most recently by arete, you do not understand what fitness means in an evolutionary context. Now ignorance is not an offence, it is a normal human condition. When someone corrects a small portion of my ignorance I welcome their intervention. I don't object to it. No one, that I could see, was attacking you, they were correcting your misunderstanding.

 

Of course, you are free to continue to insist that your misunderstanding actually represents the truth, however that would be counterproductive for yourself. You are free to continue with your impression that evolutionary debaters are petty. If insisiting upon consistent, concise, commonly held definitions is petty, then I'll vote for pettiness at every opportunity.

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Any suggestions to a video that would be appropriate for high school or college students that covers evolution, natural selection, and fitness?

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[sigh] this is the silly thing, when biologists try to explain "fitness" to someone

they forget one vital point; its a mathematical term used in the statistical analysis of gene frequencies in a population

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_%28biology%29

read that

 

to summarize its comparison of the current allele frequency in the population to what is was before a selection event

or a comparison of the number of surviving offspring of 2 individuals of the same species with different alleles

 

its really not that difficult to understand, its just math (basic division really...)

 

 

 

 

natural selection is a summarized as the law of the jungle, survival of whoever survives (not the best, not the strongest, not the biggest, not the best adapted(a lot of people forget that), just the one that survived, ie the survivor)

 

evolution is the gradual change in a species genome over generations (completely blind, directionless, and is dictated by natural selection)

 

 

 

 

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