(split) Atheism and acceptance of science

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by S.A.M., Jul 10, 2009.

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  1. noodler Banned Banned

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    I would say theism is a metaphor for an 'anti-selfish' gene metaphor (If asked).

    Where's the gene genie? Did the strangers come today, and are they here to stay?
    (oh, you pretty things, don't you know you're drivin' your mamas and papas insane?)

    Mr Bowie was a 'metaphorical biochemist' at the time...
     
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    The gene metaphors are all outdated. With the knowledge of rRNAs and throwing out of the junk DNA paradigm, its more accurate to refer to genetic material. The unit of selection is still under debate with the notion that the genetic material is inseparable from the environmental cues and the entire process should be considered as a unit of natural selection. There are still plenty of kinks to be ironed out in that. We may need more than one model since the above model will be hard to use for reductionist research.
     
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  5. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    You do not appear to understand what a replicator is, or how this concept figures into the interpretation.

    I'd agree that the "-or" suffix wasn't the best choice, but it's not a serious impediment.

    And the fact remains that you do a lot more trolling than most posters here.

    Nor should there be, as they are not serious to begin with.

    It's not the metaphors that become outdated, but the science they express. But this is not a criticism of the metaphors themselves: they're still perfectly good at relating the concepts they were intended to.

    Are you criticizing the gene-centered view of evolution, or the Selfish Gene interpretation thereof?
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Not with me it isn't. I responded with one post to a previous comment, hoping to help by giving my understanding of the difference between "nutritionists" and "dieticians". You haven't told me which of those you are, if you are either of them. I don't really care either way. You commented on my post, diverting the discussion in a way that was unnecessary, given that my post was correct in the first place.

    Essentially, you chose to turn a one-post comment into a 10 post discussion, then you start complaining about it.

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  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    How so?
    Again how so?

    The gene centered view has its own drawbacks, but the selfish gene interpretation is entirely misleading. A replicator is not required for evolution by natural selection.

    Lets see your post again:



    Your "help" is deeply appreciated
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  9. noodler Banned Banned

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    Regarding the theory that genetic information isn't altered before being passed on (inherited); is there any evidence, anywhere (recent studies say) that this theory may be wrong?

    That is, is there any revision of the historical paradigm "genes don't get altered by an organism, inheritance is passed to offspring from a static set of genetic material"? I have a vague recollection of reading something recently about some study.
     
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    No. It's not like saying "random chance did it" either. That entire frame is wrong, according to Dawkins (and Darwin).
    No.
    That's not Dawkins.
    No, off track, and no.
    The only thing whose existence self-justifies in Darwinian evolution, ie is self-reproductive.
    No. They're betting.
    They don't. Survivers survive.
    Progress!
    There isn't.
    Nope.

    You were not mocked, by me, for your bullshit on that topic. But not because you gave me no cause - out of a courtesy, unrequited.

    Upstream/downstream is boating analogy, btw - that's where it comes from, with all the inevitable limitations, in "molbio terminology" and everywhere else. English, a beautiful lingo.
    You are making fundamental, elementary, and increasingly willful mistakes throughout this discussion. If not in ignorance, why?
    You are not. No argument is visible from you as yet.
    I have the same problem with your misuse of words - I seldom seek clarification from you, however. Here's the most recent example that stopped me: "The selfish gene theory is based on a replicator gene.". That's either false, or you are using the words "replicator gene" in some aberrant way. And asking you won't help.
    Exploring ideas is not often begun by insisting that they are some other ideas.
    Sounds like bullshit, depending on what is meant by "entire process" and "unit of selection".
    Reproduction is. Replication is.

    ->
    Yes I notice the persistence with which my "Koran-thumping" theism is an issue in discussions here.

    The cause of your inability to comprehend evolutionary theory is actually a matter of interest. Unlike your attempted revisions of evolutionary theory, it si directly related to the thread topic: it provides suggestions of what some of the advantages of an atheistic upbringing or mindset might be, in accepting science.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Okay, explain how the selfish gene theory not based on a gene replicating itself. I am using the term "replicator" in the sense that Dawkins does i.e. "any entity in the universe of which copies are made"


    Not at the level of the gene, a unit of selection needs to have a direct relationship with rates of reproduction and survival. Genes do not have this relationship and reproduction or replication alone are insufficient to explain it at the level of the gene. Reproduction assumes that parental material is passed on to an offspring [e.g. viral RNA is copied to DNA and back to RNA, there is no stage at which the descendent material is a part of the parent].


    Corrected.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Depending on what you intend by "a gene", and "replicating itself" (how complex a mechanism?), so far so good.

    Snag. What do you mean by "direct"? Reproduction and survival of what?

    . Nope. Not in Darwinian evolution.
     
  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Gene: working subunits of DNA

    replicating itself: having a causal effect on its own copy making

    Direct - one which can be linked to or traced back to

    Reproduction and survival of the gene

    At the level of the gene? Explain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Snag: "causal"?
    OK. So far so good, in a way.
    The mechanism of copying is not specified in Darwinian evolution. All's fair in reproduction.
     
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    But I'm speaking specifically about the level of the gene as described in The Selfish gene, not about Darwinian evolution. Reproduction as described in the selfish gene assumes that parental material is passed on to an offspring. And that reproduction and survival can be directly linked back to the gene
     
  16. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    You did not read that book, how can you comment on it?
     
  17. Dub_ Strange loop Registered Senior Member

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    I'm curious how you think reproduction would be possible without any transfer of genetic material from parent to offspring. Is a stork involved?

    In point of fact, a newly fertilized zygote contains one genome from each parent -- genomes which were physically manufactured inside the body of each parent. From that point, replication takes over. So what is the problem again?

    How is it exactly that genes have no effect on reproduction and survival? In that case, what would be the point of genetic material at all? It seems a bit extraneous in your view.

    The link between a gene and survival/reproduction is direct in the sense that you have defined it ("Can be linked to or traced back to" -- interestingly, you have defined it as nearly synonymous with indirect). For example, many genes are fatal in their homozygous form, e.g., Mexican Hairless Dogs which are conceived with two of the mutant 'hairless' alleles are inviable. I would call that a pretty striking effect on survival and reproduction. As a classic example, genes for large beak size in Darwin's finches allowed their carriers to more successfully survive and reproduce during a severe drought in the 1970s which left large, hard nuts as their primary available source of food.

    Both of these effects on survival and reproduction "can be linked to or traced back to" particular genes. The finches did not learn to grow larger beaks, and Mexican Hairless Dogs do not learn to commit prenatal suicide. And yes, in the case of the dogs the alleles have been isolated and identified.
     
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I gave an example of reproduction where the descendent does not contain parental material. Did you miss it?
    And I am talking about direct link at the level of the gene as a unit of natural selection. Is every gene that "survives" directly linked to the processes that aid its survival? The genes do not even make copies of themselves, the proteins that do it may not arise from that gene and the phenotype that aids natural selection or the genotype that determined their extinction may have nothing to do with them.
     
  19. Dub_ Strange loop Registered Senior Member

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    I misread your virus example as saying something else.

    Anyway I will repeat myself: what is the problem again? In this special case the descendant does not contain material which originated in the parent -- but so what? It's a copy of the parent (assuming mutations haven't occurred). For all intents and purposes, it is the parent. I fail to see how this exception is anything but irrelevant. Please, what are the consequences of this exception for the theory? Or are you just being pedantic?

    Clearly not, although the genes that are linked to said processes will invariably survive. You could say that the others are lucky; but if selection pressures remain the same, their luck will run out in a matter of generations as they fail to be grouped with genes that are aiding reproductive success. And that, folks, is natural selection on the gene level.

    So what? A gene does not have to be directly involved with its own chemical replication in order to be propagated*. The distinction between actively replicating itself and simply being replicated is again a pedantic and inconsequential one. The entire point is that the effects that the genes in question do have on the organism cause it to survive and (more importantly) reproduce more efficiently. Again, natural selection.


    * I should point out that the entire discussion of direct vs. indirect is specious. After all, no gene is directly involved in anything other than RNA transcription. Every gene therefore affects its own replication in a necessarily indirect way; some genes simply do so in more indirect ways than others. In the case of genes which are not involved in chemically facilitating DNA replication, they affect their replication by allowing the organism to survive long enough that the DNA actually gets to be replicated, as well as influencing the reproductive success of the organism and thus how much replication ultimately gets to take place. These indirect functions are no less important than the arbitrarily more direct chemical processes involved in the replication itself.
     
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Voila!

    Hence my argument with the whole model
     
  21. Dub_ Strange loop Registered Senior Member

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    And now we're right back to where we were earlier, with you attacking the (didactic -- I said it! :runaway

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    metaphor of a gene which is actively and consciously concerned with its own replication, and we pointing out that this is not a problem with the theory which the metaphor represents. Look, if you want to say that the metaphor is inadequate or misleading, then fine. To a certain extent I can even agree, although I would respond that this limitation is outweighed by its heuristic utility. But you've been saying that the theory which it intimates is flawed, which simply isn't so. Certainly you have not given us any reason why it's the theory itself, rather than the metaphor, which is flawed.
     
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Probably we have different notions of what the theory says [as I have often been told].

    What is the theory according to you, supported inspite of the above problems?
     
  23. Dub_ Strange loop Registered Senior Member

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    I'll post it for the third time:
     
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