Common Descent by ID?

Further to the OP Munging ID it seems that there is still a significant amount of confusion as to whether ID could be, or even is, compatible with common descent… Moreover, Mike Behe has been quoted by Paul Nelson here at TSZ as one of the very few from among the Discovery Institute (DI) who “supports” common descent, common ancestry or descent with modification…

While I doubt we would be able to get Mike Behe to post at TSZ, for the reasons I have already mentioned in the moderation issues in the past, unless his book critics decide to post here and he would be provoked to respond, let’s just watch some of the videos where elaborates on those very issues:


Intelligent Design and Common Ancestry – Michael J. Behe, PhD

Another issue related to common ancestry is the that some members of DI, including Mike Behe and Ann Gauger apparently accept the possibility of “guided evolution”… which in my view would be an oxymoron…I must stress however that I have not seen any real details about that coming from either of them, so I don’t really know what they mean by “guided evolution”…Perhaps Behe’s upcoming book will provide us with some insight on the theme…Have they come to a similar conclusion Jonathan Wells has with the embryo development (cell differentiation) where the information beyond DNA would have to be added in the process? I don’t know at this point…

I have also mentioned it in the past that ID supporters, as well as logically thinking creationists, must accept some sort of “micro-evolution” or descent with modification within “kinds”…

The example of that type of evolution, or rather devolution, is the “evolution” of dogs from wolves by the breaking genes or the decreasing gene functions…

Other possible “evolutionary changes” leading to dog evolution from wolves could be compared to the antibiotic resistance evolution that had already existed in the some genomes before the antibiotics were even developed…

406 Replies to “Common Descent by ID?”

  1. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    DNA_Jock: It was explained to you, in the thread at PS that you cite, that John’s quote carries an implicit “for”.

    John had every opportunity to say what he meant. Instead he attacked me. I would have agreed that deleterious alleles are selected for removal.

  2. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: No, fitness relates to the ability to have offspring. If you are born with a mutation that kills you within a few hours, then the fact that you lived for a few hours is irrelevant, your reproductive success is zero. How can you have been here so long and still not grasped the simplest concepts?

    Yea, yea, I have heard you make this claim before, and then I have shown you why it doesn’t work. How can you have been here so long, and still not see this?

    A mother has six offspring, all of them die in the first hour. Is she fit, she had offspring?

    Oh, she is not fit, because her offspring didn’t have offspring. So when do we start counting, do we wait until her offspring grow to old age, then decide if she is fit? What if her offspring never have offspring, because they get eaten, or because they choose not to, or because they are killed in a fire, does the mother lose her fitness tag?

    And then what of her offspring, they never had offspring, so they are not fit, so the “fit” mother gave birth to six “unfit” offspring, because they never had offspring. So then fit means having unfit offspring. Ha.

    And what if half of the offspring were male, and they are able to have offspring, but the females they are with can not, are the males fit or not fit?

    And the problems continue, on, and on, and on…

    No, no, instead, all we count is what is there. Fit is what exists.

    And you still don’t get it.

  3. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: John had every opportunity to say what he meant. Instead he attacked me. I would have agreedthat deleterious alleles are selected for removal.

    I wouldn’t.

    How do you select something for removal? By not selecting it?

  4. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh, she is not fit, because her offspring didn’t have offspring.So when do we start counting, do we wait until her offspring grow to old age, then decide if she is fit?

    The earliest we can determine fitness is the 2nd generation, exactly for the reasons you describe.

  5. DNA_Jock
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: John had every opportunity to say what he meant. Instead he attacked me. I would have agreed that deleterious alleles are selected for removal.

    This is obviously false.

    John wrote

    “Selected” is perhaps the wrong word. By definition, deleterious alleles can’t be selected; neutral alleles can’t be selected. But they can be fixed by drift.

    You attacked him, referring to this absolutely correct and perfectly understandable (by everyone but you) post as “Yet more misinformation“.
    Mulitple other posters pointed out the implicit “for” in John’s original statement. Then John responded:

    Is it that you didn’t understand what I said, don’t understand what Wikipedia says, or just don’t care if it means you can score a point? Winning again!

    which, given the way you were trolling, was pretty kind. Not an attack.
    What puzzles me is that you are willing to write things that are SOOO obviously wrong.
    In particular characterizing his statement as “According to John Harshman deleterious alleles are not selected against.after your idiocy had been explained to you at PS, is pretty lame trolling. Please be more creative in the future.

  6. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: John had every opportunity to say what he meant. Instead he attacked me. I would have agreedthat deleterious alleles are selected for removal.

    Oh my fucking god Mung. My point is that evolutionary theory is why we expect important features to be highly conserved, and that such thing is easily understood if you understand the notion of purifying selection. So, if you understand the notion then you understand the expectation. Whether you like the wording of the notion, or not, is inconsequential. It’s understanding what it refers to that matters.

  7. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Yea, yea, I have heard you make this claim before, and then I have shown you why it doesn’t work. How can you have been here so long, and still not see this?

    A mother has six offspring, all of them die in the first hour. Is she fit, she had offspring?

    Hahaha oh my goodness. Top. ID. Thought.

    There is no such thing as “fit”. That’s like asking if someone is “fast”. Fitness can be understood as a relative measure between individuals of a population carrying particular genotypes. If carriers of a particular allele have more offspring on average, than carriers of a different allele, then they are “more fit” than non-carriers.

    So when do we start counting, do we wait until her offspring grow to old age, then decide if she is fit?

    What we do is we compare the average fitness of all carries of the allele to the average fitness of all non-carriers over some period of time. Those of her children who inherited the allele will factor into that average, yes.

    What if her offspring never have offspring, because they get eaten, or because they choose not to, or because they are killed in a fire, does the mother lose her fitness tag?

    As explained nobody gets a “fit” or “not fit” tag. It doesn’t matter what the causes of the deaths of carriers are, what matters is whether or not they die before they have children, and how many they have if they do.

    And then what of her offspring, they never had offspring, so they are not fit, so the “fit” mother gave birth to six “unfit” offspring, because they never had offspring. So then fit means having unfit offspring. Ha.

    Did someone once say something to you about you not being “fit” for something, and this has bugged you to no end ever since? In a way your posts only seem to make sense if we postulate they came from some person who’s just really sour he never got that medal he wanted.

    And what if half of the offspring were male, and they are able to have offspring, but the females they are with can not, are the males fit or not fit?

    That would also factor into the calculation of the average reproductive success of carriers, yes. And that would bring the number down a bit.

    And the problems continue, on, and on, and on…

    What problems? You haven’t pointed out any problems. You’ve asked questions the answers to which you apparently couldn’t be bothered figuring out for yourself.

    No, no, instead, all we count is what is there. Fit is what exists.

    And you still don’t get it.

    I’m not the one who thinks organisms get a “fit” tag. But you really want one, don’t you? The wait is finally over…

  8. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket,

    Yea, alleles don’t have offspring, I don’t know if anyone ever told you that. Organisms do.

  9. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    DNA_Jock: which, given the way you were trolling, was pretty kind.

    Ha…

  10. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Yea, alleles don’t have offspring

    The carriers of those alleles do. And they pass them on to their offspring, who then also are carriers.

    Somehow all your “problems” keep having solutions.

  11. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: The earliest we can determine fitness is the 2nd generation, exactly for the reasons you describe.

    And if the entire lineage dies out on the third generation, then the genes were very fit, then sort of fit, then totally deleterious….

    Sure. You sound like Evolution’s leading light, Rumraket.

  12. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: The carriers of those alleles do

    Which alleles, all of them? Ha, Preacher Rumraket.

    What time is your sermon?

  13. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: You sound like Evolution’s leading light, Rumraket.

    I can’t take much credit, with the kind of opposition around here I have to admit that if I’ve seen further that most it’s been by crawling over the corpses of midgets.

  14. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Which alleles, all of them? Ha, Preacher Rumraket.

    What time is your sermon?

    I accept your tacit concession that preaching and sermons are not a reliable guide to truth.

  15. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: There is no such thing as “fit”.

    You don’t say!

  16. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: You don’t say!

    So why do you keep attacking a position you already know nobody actually advocates? Is there no end to your own goals?

  17. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: So why do you keep attacking a position you already know nobody actually advocates? Is there no end to your own goals?

    I know no one believes it, I didn’t say no one advocates it.

  18. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: If you are born with a mutation that kills you within a few hours, then the fact that you lived for a few hours is irrelevant, your reproductive success is zero.

    And here we see another problem with the concept of fitness. Evolutionary biology doesn’t separate the specific cause of death or the cause of less reproduction, based on some specific mutation.

    You state the case of a mutation that kills an offspring. But in the evolutionists world, EVERYTHING that kills you is a result of a mutation. If you are eaten by a lion, its because you had the wrong mutation for running away. Or having the right eyesight to see the lion coming at you. If you die from cancer, its a mutation. If you die in a fire, its still your genes that killed you-so you couldn’t pass along your non-fire-avoidance genes. Just the same as if you were born with a hole in your heart.

    So when you say a mutation that kills you, you are creating a false dichotomy. All things that kill you are a result of your genes, at least according to evolutionists. Luck, circumstances, randomness, those are not calculated. because if they were, how would you know if its survival of the fittest, or just survival of the lucky?

    You wouldn’t. And that’s why you can’t prove survival of the fittest. Unless, of course you define the fittest as those that survive. Which is what you do.

  19. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    petrushka:
    I would think the word deleterious implies something that results in reduced fecundity. But perhaps there are things that affect health without affecting the number of offspring produced.

    Yes, and this is the evolutionists definitional problem. Because the word fit doesn’t really mean fit for evolutionary theory. Strong or weak or healthy or unhealthy are concepts which are overridden by birth rates.

    Unfit doesn’t mean unfit, it means not promiscuous.

    There is no guarantee that the most healthy produce the most children. Because fit doesn’t mean healthy, it means the one who has the most children.

    So who has the most children, the healthiest? Nope, the one who has the most children is the one who has the most children. So they try to sneak in the definition for fit, as in fit=health. Which of course it doesn’t mean that.

    When fit only means that which survives, then the question of do the fittest survive becomes a meaningless question.

    And the only deleterious mutation can be the mutations that never happened-because they were so unfit, they never arrived.

  20. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh dear.

  21. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    @phoodoo

  22. DNA_Jock
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Luck, circumstances, randomness, those are not calculated. because if they were, how would you know if its survival of the fittest, or just survival of the lucky?

    Well phoodoo, “luck, circumstances, and randomness” are taken into account (that’s what ‘drift’ is, silly), but over the long haul and on average they will cancel out, leaving us with just the effect of the alleles in question on survival and fecundity.

    Rumraket — “crawling over the corpses of midgets” 😀

  23. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    DNA_Jock: but over the long haul and on average they will cancel out,

    Based on what? There is no way to measure drift.

    So any assumptions about what is drift, what is advantageous, what is deleterious, ..its all meaningless, you have no way to know.

  24. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    @ phoodoo

    Here’s a bit of background reading. It might give you some answers or at least help you ask better questions.

  25. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Congratulations phoodoo!

  26. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    DNA_Jock: This is obviously false.

    Please stop attacking me, it’s against the rules.

  27. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    Here’s John Maynard Smith from his 1998 textbook Evolutionary Genetics:

    1. Fitness is a property, not of an individual, but of a class of individuals – for example, of individuals homozygous for allele A at a particular locus. Thus the phrase ‘expected number of offspring’ means the average number, not the number produced by some one individual. If the first human infant with a gene for levitation were struck by lightning in its pram, this would not prove the new genotype to have low fitness, but only that the particular child was unlucky. […]

    2. Fitness is specific to an environment. Thus in my lifetime, myopic individuals have had higher fitness, because they were less likely to be put in military uniform and shot at. […]

  28. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller: Thus in my lifetime, myopic individuals have had higher fitness, because they were less likely to be put in military uniform and shot at. […]

    Maynard Smith was quite myopic. He used to say that this was an advantage in WW2 as he was ineligible for the draft.

  29. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller: this would not prove the new genotype to have low fitness, but only that the particular child was unlucky. […]

    This made me laugh. Right up phoodoo’s alley. The science of the unlucky.

  30. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: And if the entire lineage dies out on the third generation, then the genes were very fit, then sort of fit, then totally deleterious….

    Sure.You sound like Evolution’s leading light, Rumraket.

    I take it you reject the concept of natural selection?

  31. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: This made me laugh. Right up phoodoo’s alley. The science of the unlucky.

    Much of science is based on modeling probabilities. Fitness is modeled as a heritable increase in the probability of having offspring.

  32. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: Maynard Smith was quite myopic.He used to say that this was an advantage in WW2 as he was ineligible for the draft.

    I was -4.50, drafted, and wound up in Vietnam. They pointed out that I would get two pairs of glasses.

  33. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    John Maynard Smith used to give rides to people in his car. What with John barely able to see where he was going, and doing a lot of talking as he drove, they usually ended up regarding the ride as a Near Death Experience. (I never got a ride from him, so can’t say myself).

  34. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: Much of science is based on modeling probabilities.

    It’s random chance, you say? 😃

  35. BruceS
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller:
    Here’s John Maynard Smith from his 1998 textbook Evolutionary Genetics:
    2. Fitness is specific to an environment.
    1. Fitness is a property, not of an individual, but of a class of individuals – for example, of individuals homozygous for allele A at a particular locus.

    Just to continue my streak, here is my philosophical interjection of the day:

    2. Is philosophically called a disposition: roughy a property which varies/depends on the context. Brittleness of glass being an example.

    1. Sober has a paper on fitness of traits versus individuals. The title gives the conclusion.

    Trait fitness is not a propensity, but fitness variation is

    My point is that Smith’s points continue to be discussed when philosophers of biology debate the metaphysical nature of fitness.

    So like the guy speaking in prose, IMHO the banter here on fitness is philosophy, not biology.

    In biology, fitness is defined by its role in the mathematics of the model/theory.

  36. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    BruceS,

    In biology, fitness is defined by its role in the mathematics of the model/theory

    If you like. However, it seems hard to avoid the conclusion that differential rates of increase will have a causal effect on population composition, even if detailed underlying causality is elusive.

    The problem is in part that people mistake the concept of fitness for a perennial attempt to prove the truth of ‘survival of the fittest’ – something you don’t get in discussing simple ecological contests, even though that’s all these are.

  37. BruceS
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller:
    BruceS,

    If you like. However, it seems hard to avoid the conclusion that differential rates of increase will have a causal effect on population composition, even if detailed underlying causality is elusive.

    My point is that ‘fitness’ is a parameter in a theory as far as the science goes. If you want to contemplate what fitness really is, (and who doesn’t?), then you are doing philosophy.

    In other words, science alone is not saying anything about the world as it is. That is why one can do perfectly good science and still being an instrumentalist. Or even get a PhD in geology while still being a Young Earth Creationist, for that matter.

    The nature of causation is another one of those philosophical issues. Science alone detects regularities and makes predictions.

    I will stipulate that I am simplifying by making some black and white distinctions between science and philosophy to make my point

    ETA: But the distinction is important. SEP has a long article on the philosophical issues with the concept fitness that I pointed out in an earlier post. Phoodoo then used that philosophical controversy to attack the science of biology, That criticism was a confusion. The same sorts of issues arise when Erik and Joe argue about causality in biological evolution.

  38. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller: If you like. However, it seems hard to avoid the conclusion that differential rates of increase will have a causal effect on population composition,

    Its is not hard however to argue that in each successive generation, the cause of reproduction may well be a totally different reason than the previous generations cause. And the next after then still another reason. Thus we can not conclude that the balance has shifted in any particular direction. It could well just turn out on average to be a wash. With one cause being just as valid as another and another, so the net affect is no cause-just luck.

    Each time you select for one reason, you deselect for another, so no side wins. Its as if one generation you select 90% purple, then next generation 65% green, the next 93% red, and the next 42% black, and the next all white, and the next 2% purple. The is no reason to think you will get to all purple, and stay that way.

  39. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    BruceS,

    What do you think the underlying difference is between the concept of fitness and, say, ecological competition? I rather fancy that I wouldn’t be seeing lengthy philosophical tracts on the latter, or demarcation disputes. Someone comes up with an operational measure that enables them to investigate the effect of different parameters, maybe even cooks up a few mathematical models off the back of it, and philosophers just let them get on with it, I suspect. There’s something elusively different about fitness, it seems.

  40. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    Its is not hard however to argue that in each successive generation, the cause of reproduction may well be a totally different reason than the previous generations cause. And the next after then still another reason.

    In which case selection would be ineffective, in that instance. It has nothing to chomp on in a capricious environment. But why should that be the rule?

  41. BruceS
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller:
    BruceS,

    What do you think the underlying difference is between the concept of fitness and, say, ecological competition? I rather fancy that I wouldn’t be seeing lengthy philosophical tracts on the latter, or demarcation disputes. Someone comes up with an operational measure that enables them to investigate the effect of different parameters, maybe even cooks up a few mathematical models off the back of it, and philosophers just let them get on with it, I suspect. There’s something elusively different about fitness, it seems.

    I don’t really have a problem with your points. I think that scientists are human beings and as humans we don’t make the artificial distinction between science and philosophy. I just think that distinction is helpful to avoid arguing at cross-purposes with some critics/language hair-splitters who post here.

    Here is SEP on ecological fitness.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fitness/#EcoFitProEvoDri

    If you search for ‘fitness’ at SEP, you will find dozens of articles, mainly from a philosophy of biology standpoint. Almost all of these philosophers (and all the ones that matter IMHO) first let the scientists get on with it, and then philosophize on the resulting theories and models, which they first take the time to understand by reviewing the primary scientific literature.

    While I have your attention, I have a question that got lost in one of my upthread ramblings: do biologists use GA models of biological evolution to do research? Or are GAs used mainly for populatizations and teaching when we restrict them to biology.

  42. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Each time you select for one reason, you deselect for another, so no side wins. Its as if one generation you select 90% purple, then next generation 65% green, the next 93% red, and the next 42% black, and the next all white, and the next 2% purple. The is no reason to think you will get to all purple, and stay that way.

    Assuming no dominance or epistasis are at play, you will end up with all white, since you fixed that in generation 5.

    It will stay that way until mutation regenerates some variation again.

  43. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    BruceS:

    While I have your attention, I have a question that got lost in one of my upthread ramblings:do biologists use GA models of biological evolution to do research?Or are GAs used mainly for populatizations and teaching when we restrict them tobiology.

    Like this?

    It’s presentation slides rather than a paper, but this is using GA as one possible approach to rapidly finding stable configurations in de novo protein design (Life’s too bleedin’ slow, and needs a chivvy-up!).

    This application has a satisfying ring to it, given the source of the notion of GAs in the first place.

  44. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Its is not hard however to argue that in each successive generation, the cause of reproduction may well be a totally different reason than the previous generations cause. And the next after then still another reason. Thus we can not conclude that the balance has shifted in any particular direction. It could well just turn out on average to be a wash. With one cause being just as valid as another and another, so the net affect is no cause-just luck.

    Each time you select for one reason, you deselect for another, so no side wins. Its as if one generation you select 90% purple, then next generation 65% green, the next 93% red, and the next 42% black, and the next all white, and the next 2% purple. The is no reason to think you will get to all purple, and stay that way.

    For some reason that is nevertheless what happens consistently. The peppered moth population became mostly the dark variant during the indistrial revolution, and then when soot pollutants came under control, the population gradually got mostly the white variant again.

    In the rock pocket mouse population, the darker variants consistently had greater chance of avoiding predators on dark solidified lava flows. The brighter variants consistently had greater chance of avoiding predators in bright desert sands, leading to the dominance of each variant in their respective environments.

    And so on and so forth. This phenomenon has been recorded for all sorts of species. Why does it work consistently? Could you not actually be wrong about the magnitude of the affects you invoke? Maybe, despite there being a random component to survival and reproducting, some traits still give strong biasing effect against certain environmental threats or towards certain opportunities?

    It also makes perfect sense of course, because if what you were really saying here was true, it would mean there could not be any such thing as a survival advantage. One wonders why so many animals are camouflaged if it doesn’t help them survive. Why are so many animals that live in snow covered environments white? Go to google, search “camouflaged animals”, click on pictures and look at them. Then turn on your brain and wonder, why? Just for fun?
    Then google “snow camouflaged animal”
    Then google “desert camouflaged animal”
    Then google “forest camouflaged animal”
    Then google “camouflaged fish”, “camouflaged octopus”
    etc. etc.

    The mysterious invisible designer is a bit of an artist, creating animals that look like things in their surroundings just for the heck of it?

  45. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller:
    phoodoo,

    In which case selection would be ineffective, in that instance. It has nothing to chomp on in a capricious environment. But why should that be the rule?

    For one, because there are an infinite number for strategies for surviving and reproducing. For another, just look around at humans for example. Do you really think there is a correlation between any physical trait, and reproduction?

    Everyone and anyone can reproduce, there is no linear direction, or preference for who has the most babies. Smart, dumb, thin, fat, slow, fast, symmetrical face, lopsided face, good teeth, bad teeth, there is no trend.

    Probably the biggest factor is the street you were born on, or the area code you grow up. That will determine how many kids you have.

  46. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    BruceS: do biologists use GA models of biological evolution to do research? Or are GAs used mainly for populatizations and teaching when we restrict them to biology.

    Theoretical biologists will sometimes resort to individual-based simulations of evolutionary scenario’s that are hard to solve mathematically. I guess they fit the bill, although I do not recall anyone ever calling them genetic algorithms.

  47. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: For some reason that is nevertheless what happens consistently. The peppered moth population became mostly the dark variant during the indistrial revolution, and then when soot pollutants came under control, the population gradually got mostly the white variant again.

    Haha, so of course you think this is an example of evolution.That figures.

    For a while there were white and brown moths, then for a while there were more brown ones (maybe, that’s not even certain) then later there were both brown and white ones again.

    Oh, the power of natural selection in action!

    Oh how the peppered moths have evolved. Once there were two colors. Now there are two colors, imagine what it will be like in 1 million years!

  48. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel: It will stay that way until mutation regenerates some variation again.

    Right, in other words it won’t stay that way. See?

  49. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    For one, because there are an infinite number for strategies for surviving and reproducing.

    Even if there were an ‘infinite number’, there aren’t an infinite number that work. Is the best strategy for eating grass sitting on it? The best way to deal with predators to jump in their mouths?

    For another, just look around at humans for example. Do you really think there is a correlation between any physical trait, and reproduction?

    Everyone and anyone can reproduce, there is no linear direction, or preference for who has the most babies. Smart, dumb, thin, fat, slow, fast, symmetrical face, lopsided face, good teeth, bad teeth, there is no trend.

    I don’t think humans are a great example to extrapolate to the rest of the natural world, though, and trends may be hard to spot simply by peering about you. The very fact you had to emphasise ‘despite what I might expect’ shows you too think they are a special case.

    Do we find that there is no difference in the natural world between organisms, in reproductive success? The myopic, the lame, the bent-beaked, broken-winged, disease-prone, and toothless? All survive equally well (because the environment is capricious!)?

    Makes you wonder why the Designer bothers optimising, if everything works equally well.

  50. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    Haha, so of course you think this is an example of evolution.That figures.

    It’s an example of changing frequency through differential reproductive success.

    “There are no consistent differences in reproductive success”
    “Here’s an example of a consistent differential in reproductive success”
    “Hahahaha”

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