’Divergence of Character’ Myth

As shown repeatedly, “Nothing in Evolution Makes Sense. Period.” Not natural selection, gradualism, human evolution, UCD, tree of life, etc. And just to confirm, let’s look at another one of the nonsensical concepts of “evolution”.

  1. ‘Divergence of character’ (character displacement or sympatric speciation) postulates: “during the incessant struggle of all species to increase in numbers, the more diversified these descendants become, the better will be their chance of succeeding in the battle of life. Thus the small differences distinguishing varieties of the same species, will steadily tend to increase till they come to equal the greater differences between species of the same genus, or even of distinct genera” (Darwin 1859). Sympatric speciation is hypothesized as “the evolution of a new species from a surviving ancestral species while both continue to inhabit the same geographic region”.
  2. ‘Regression to the mean’ is the biological law that overrules passive ‘Divergence of Character’. Any homogeneous population can be sorted statistically on various biologic metrics, usually resulting in a Gaussian (normal) distribution that is conserved over time in the absence of major environmental changes (as Mendel first showed; Fig 1&2). ‘Regression to the mean’ is thus the rule that causes the progeny of extreme individuals to be less extreme than their parents. Two outstanding tall parents will have statistically shorter children, and the progeny of the most and least intelligent/strong/aggressive/attractive/etc. will be more average than the parent. Many of the extremes have no descendants at all due to their limitations, and thus their “contribution” to the next generation is simply the average individual.
  3. In stable environments, population variability is extremely well conserved from generation to generation (Fig 3) as documented by the fossil and many other records. ‘Regression to the mean’ is thus a mathematical necessity without which a passive ‘divergence of character’ would be observed in very few generations (Fig 4). ‘Regression to the mean’ mechanism is incredibly accurate and allows for conservation of traits over thousands upon thousands of generations as observed. Scientists were rightfully surprised that ancient bacteria and many other fossils as well as mummified organisms including cats and monkeys are indistinguishable from their contemporary descendants. At a minimum, the number of organisms that show remarkable stability over long periods (living fossils) invalidate the ‘General Divergence’ theory. Does a limited, ‘Special Divergence’ hypothesis still make sense?
  4. Observed long term regression is highly unexpected and contrary to ‘divergence of character’ and ‘drift’ hypotheses. ‘Regression to the mean’ operates in the longest term observed, whenever environmental conditions are restored following significant changes that led to adaptive mutations. Most – if not all – organisms are endowed with a limited ‘plasticity’ trait that allows them to retain adaptive characteristics for generations. And yet, when the stimulus that caused the adaptation disappears, these organisms regress rather than maintaining those adaptive traits or accumulating even more diverging ones. Darwin’s finches, the peppered moth, antibiotic resistant bacteria and the domesticated plants & animals – all these and more have been observed to regress to the old mean when the adaptive stressor is removed, thus disproving even the limited, ‘Special Divergence’ hypothesis. These are not coincidences! The regression can happen over a few generations as in most epigenetic changes, many generations, and even the indefinite future if the adaptive stimulus is maintained (such as in domestication). Biologic variability can be compared to a loaded spring – the more it stretches, the harder the pull back (regression to the mean) and the more fragile is the extreme variant population. Domesticated plants and animals show that crossbreeds are resilient, while pure breeds are fragile showing that extinction of the extremes is the default outcome that promotes the ‘regression to the mean’ of the extended population.
  5. Adaptation neither demands not implies divergence in any way. What about the ‘adaptive radiation’ seen in Darwin’s finches, the cichlids of the African Great Lakes, and others? Is this not ‘divergence of character’? No. The driving force in all these and more is adaptation, not divergence even if “evolution” were true. Organisms just seek survival and, if their built-in yet limited plasticity matches the environmental challenges, these populations survive as variants. Otherwise, they simply go extinct like many others before. The new traits are not ‘divergent’ as shown by all known cases of reversals (as discussed) and none of further divergence when the adaptive stressor is removed. If ‘divergence of character’ were true, adaptive plasticity traits would be cumulative and sticky even after the adaptive stressor was removed, and the more extreme variants would be at least as resilient as the mean. Furthermore, experiments would show increasing variability over time in all research organisms and even more so in the short lived ones like bacteria. There would not be any distinct “species” and organisms would freely undergo metamorphosis (transmutation) into one another. Differential survival and randomness would eliminate all but the “best adapted” allele, therefore the Mendelian conservation of alleles would not be observed. Yet none of these are happening, thus falsifying the ‘divergence of character’ hypothesis.
  6. Adaptation is “fast and done”, “do or die” by necessity, unlike the supposed “slow and ongoing” ‘divergence of character’. If adaptation is not fast enough, the population simply goes extinct as many others did. The cichlids of Lake Victoria had less than 15,000 years to adapt and are as diverse if not more so than the cichlids in the other, much older African Great Lakes. But they do not need even that much time as the newer aquarium varieties obtained in a few generations show. Most likely, cichlids variants have come and gone throughout the history of all African Great Lakes in short cycles of adaptation. And that is why the cichlid biodiversity difference between a few years (Lake Victoria) and millions of years (other African Great Lakes) is unremarkable. The only remarkable fact is that cichlids have a predominantly Gondwanan distribution showing that in 180+ mil years, they did not adapt to ocean living despite their otherwise high adaptability. This clearly shows the limitations of adaptability and makes it an unlikely substitute to ‘divergence of character’. Darwin’s finches, peppered moths, bacteria, and many other also adapt fast or die as observed. And when the stimulus disappears, they revert just as quickly, and later readapt to whatever new stimulus they face or simply die out trying as confirmed. It is a very good thing ‘divergence of character’ is false, or else antibiotic resistant bacteria and other superbugs would have killed mankind by now as “evolution” falsely predicted.
  7. Statistical evidence refutes ‘divergence of character’. According to the theory, “when organisms compete for scarce resources, natural selection should favor those individuals that are least like their competitors”. And since organisms always “compete for scarce resources”, the least average members of a homogenous population should always be favored by “natural selection”. If so, the well known normal distribution of any organism dimension (length, height, weight, etc.) should always be under pressure to change. We should see groups of “least like” the average form second, third, and so on normal distributions of their own, thus reshaping the original normal distribution into a composite distribution with several peaks and valleys as in Fig 5. And even that should not be adequate, as any concentration of similar individuals would be disadvantaged according to the ‘Divergence of character’ hypothesis, thus leading to uniform distributions as in Fig 4. However, neither Fig 5 nor uniform distributions are seen in homogeneous populations. Instead, we always see normal distributions. And since we see the normal distribution maintained over arbitrary number of generations and no hint of transitioning to a uniform distribution, the ‘Divergence of character’ hypothesis must be discarded. A trend not supported by several period observations must be discarded as noise artifact. This is the case for all examples considered including Darwin’s finches, the peppered moth, antibiotic resistant bacteria, cichlids, etc. All seem somewhat supportive of the divergence hypothesis over carefully chosen periods, yet the divergence is clearly illusory over longer periods.
  8. Are the bear of North America not like Fig 5? Yes, but they occupy different geographic regions. They are not homogenous. Indeed, we do encounter subfamilies of organisms, that have normally distributed metrics within the subgroup yet clearly distinct from those of other subgroups. However, where these subgroups overlap, the blend is always geographic and never biologic, meaning we see fewer of one kind and more of the other when moving from one’s territory to the others’ instead of blended characteristics as ‘divergence of character’ would predict. Humans are not different “species” although various subgroups are exclusively vegan/carnivorous, white/black, extra small/large. And domesticated organisms including canids are even more diverse than humans. Are the wild cichlids, finches, mice, and others qualitatively different than humans and canids? No. Then why the different “species”, many of which, ironically, are threatened by hybridization? The unwarranted inflation of “species” that do not even meet the loosest definition of reproductive isolation has the sole purpose of perpetuating the myth of ‘divergence of character’.
  9. Multimodal distributions in homogenous populations are not due to ‘divergence of character’. Indeed, bimodal distributions (Fig 2) and multimodal distributions are not uncommon in homogenous populations. However, these are due to the discreteness of physics in general and biology in particular, not due to ‘divergence of character’. Male and female populations are not diverging from one another and various alleles are in long term cyclical equilibrium as shown (spring model). ‘Drift’ is often invoked as a mechanism of ‘divergence of character’. This is wrong because ‘drift’ explains nothing as it is either aimless noise or due to adaptation and environmental change. Yet, as shown, adaptation is in no way ‘divergence of character’. In addition, the stable coexistence of several distinct variants within a homogenous population shows “gradualism”, “survival of the fittest”, and “natural selection” to be false because the alleles responsible are themselves distinct (no “gradualism”), they all “survive”, and neither is “selected” for or against. 
  10. Darwin worried about regression to the mean for the wrong reasons. Namely, if blending inheritance (Darwin laid an egg) was true, then natural selection could not be true. Darwin puzzled over this a lot, but ended up with nothing satisfactory. Then Mendel showed that inheritance is discrete, not blended. Mendelian Inheritance Tables (see Punnett squares / Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium) show “probabilistic traits conservation” and thus disproving ‘divergence of character’ (at least as byproduct of reproduction) as well as dismissing “gradualism” (another one of Darwin’s unsupported claims).
  11. When entire populations split, do subgroups diverge from one another? This is not how ‘divergence of character’ is supposed to work.Descendants are supposed to diversify within the homogenous population. Furthermore, populations split by environmental conditions simply adapt to the new environment and for as long as those conditions allow. Adaptation is the driving force with no ‘divergence of character’ anywhere in sight. Island biology is the most diverse because islands are isolated and have many microenvironments. However, island variants are close descendants of their original colonists, showing that no divergence ever happened. Their risk of hybridization is high, disproving the “speciation” claim. They are also fragile examples of the extreme stretched biological spring model discussed, and will likely go extinct if at all stressed and when interacting with mainland.

Summary:

1. ‘Regression to the mean’ is the biological law that overrules passive ‘Divergence of Character’

2. In stable environments, population variability is extremely well conserved from generation to generation

3. Observed long term regression is highly unexpected and contrary to ‘divergence of character’ and ‘drift’ hypotheses

4. Adaptation neither demands not implies ‘divergence of character’ in any way

5. Adaptation is “fast and done”, “do or die” by necessity, unlike the supposed “slow and ongoing” ‘divergence of character’

6. Adaptation has limited powers and is thus not a substitute for ‘divergence of character’

7. ‘Divergence of character’ hypothesis would lead to uniform rather than normal (Gaussian) distributions as observed in homogenous populations

8. A trend not supported by several period observations must be discarded as noise artifact

9. The unwarranted inflation of “species” that do not even meet the loosest definition of reproductive isolation has the sole purpose of perpetuating the myth of ‘divergence of character’

10. Multimodal distributions in homogenous populations are not due to ‘divergence of character’

11. Mendelian tables show “probabilistic traits conservation”, disproving ‘divergence of character’ (at least as byproduct of reproduction), as well as dismissing ‘gradualism’

12. Island biology proves adaptation and the biologic spring model while disproving ‘divergence of character’

13. What’s in, what’s out? IN: ‘regression to the mean’, ‘adaptation’, coexisting variants, long term stability, spring model, normal distributions. OUT: ‘divergence of character’, gradualism, drift, speciation, uniform distributions, “natural selection”, “survival of the fittest”, “evolution”.

Links:

https://ucmp.berkeley.edu/bacteria/bacteriafr.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191018112136.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3285564/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3352989/

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/cannibalistic-tadpoles-and-matricidal-worms-point-powerful-new-helper-evolution

http://www.galton.org/essays/1880-1889/galton-1886-jaigi-regression-stature.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_displacement

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sympatric_speciation

https://www.bionity.com/en/encyclopedia/Character_displacement.html

https://biologydictionary.net/divergent-evolution/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cichlid

https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/41982/regression-to-the-mean-and-evolution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_parrot_cichlid

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235 thoughts on “’Divergence of Character’ Myth

  1. I see you are having stimulating discussions again.

    I do have another question about your model:

    Nonlin.org: 3. All descendants are centered around their parent, not just those whose parents are closer to the mean. IOW, if Fig 3 had all the little curves centered, and not just the middle one.

    Do I read correctly that all offspring have ONE parent, that the expected trait value of the offspring equals that of their parent, but that there is still trait variation among the offspring of a single parent?

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  2. Nonlin.org: Actually, a lot of people see insurmountable problems with “evolution”. Even atheists like Hoyle and Fodor.

    Sure. An astrophysicist and a philosopher. Two more people I’d imagine to be equally hazy on genetics. Atheism doesn’t come into it. Either you understand genetics or you don’t.

    That skepticism is over-represented among nonspecialists is no surprise. See the specialisms in the Dissent from Darwinism vs Project Steve.

    Quit playing imbecile & ineffective mind games and actually say: “exactly where you are going wrong” if indeed you have something intelligent to say as claimed.

    Since you ask so nicely … no. I can’t penetrate your beautiful mind. I will content myself with smirking at your foolishness.

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  3. Nonlin.org: Meanwhile I proved mathematically that without regression to the mean, we would not have even TEN generations of resembling distributions on any metric,

    Sounds similar to proving bumblebees can’t fly. We observe reality and bumblebees flying.

    Where is your mathematical proof, by the way?

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  4. Alan Fox: Where is your mathematical proof, by the way?

    Not sure whether it was “mathematically proven”, but that at least is true:
    Observe Figure 3. Assume that all individuals under the distribution have offspring. Imagine the trait distribution of each family is symmetric and centered on the parent mean. If this scenario were real, then the distribution would flatten out each generation, and the variance would keep increasing, just like in Figure 4. Regression to the mean is preventing this from happening.

    The tricky part is getting Nonlin to understand that regression to the mean is a statistical property of traits that are not 100% heritable, without using statistics OR genetics.

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  5. Nonlin.org:

    Absolutely FALSE. As shown.

    Then please tell us why species look different from each other if it isn’t due to differences in the DNA sequences of their genomes.

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  6. To those interested: The wikipedia lemma on “regression towards the mean” has a pretty clear paragraph on the conceptual background. If you read “genotypic value” and “environmental effect” instead of “skill” and “luck”, you’ll understand why, once the population mean shifts during evolution, ensuing generations will regress to the new population mean.

    A little further down is the story how sir Francis Galton coined the term, and single-handedly started the field of statistics.

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  7. Nonlin.org:

    DNA_Jock: In the absence of males, nematodes will self, producing only hermaphrodites, who will self. Driving individual lines to homozygosity. That’s one of the reasons why Sydney chose them.

    And what has this to do with anything in this OP?

    Nothing at all, I’m afraid. Unless you count “Demonstrations of nonlin’s profound ignorance of biology.”
    This OP is based on a premise that is hopelessly wrong, a painful misunderstanding of both statistics and genetics. And your statements about inbreeding — “Outside of select labs, this ain’t happening. ” — show a similarly awesome level of ignorance.

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  8. Corneel: Do I read correctly that all offspring have ONE parent, that the expected trait value of the offspring equals that of their parent, but that there is still trait variation among the offspring of a single parent?

    Not literally. “One parent” also stands for an average of the two parents. Beyond that, your question is not clear.

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  9. Allan Miller: An astrophysicist and a philosopher. Two more people I’d imagine to be equally hazy on genetics. Atheism doesn’t come into it. Either you understand genetics or you don’t.

    Ad hominem? Well done as expected. And what makes you think you understand genetics? And what exactly is the relation between genetics and “evolution”? I see none whatsoever.

    Allan Miller: Since you ask so nicely … no. I can’t penetrate your beautiful mind.

    Not about mind reading. Here’s a clear and concise disproof of “divergence of character”. If you don’t have any intelligent questions or comments about it, then move on to something you understand.

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  10. Alan Fox: All of them! 😉

    Then you can’t support your claim. Perhaps refrain in the future.

    Alan Fox: Sounds similar to proving bumblebees can’t fly. We observe reality and bumblebees flying.

    Wrong analogy and role reversion. We observe quasi-identical generations (regression to the mean) as shown. We do not observe “divergence of character”.

    T_aquaticus: Then please tell us why species look different from each other if it isn’t due to differences in the DNA sequences of their genomes.

    What was FALSE was your claim that “Mutations cause divergence”. There is no “divergence” whatsoever as proved by the OP.

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  11. Corneel: The tricky part is getting Nonlin to understand that regression to the mean is a statistical property of traits that are not 100% heritable, without using statistics OR genetics.

    What do you mean?

    Corneel: If you read “genotypic value” and “environmental effect” instead of “skill” and “luck”, you’ll understand why, once the population mean shifts during evolution, ensuing generations will regress to the new population mean.

    Too bad your “evolution” scenario is not what we observe as discussed extensively in the OP.

    Also, why do I know your “evolution” better than you do? “Divergence of character” is NOT a shifting of the mean – see first paragraph.

    Corneel: A little further down is the story how sir Francis Galton coined the term, and single-handedly started the field of statistics.

    Pascal, Fermat and others, not Galton are known for statistics. Instead, Galton is synonymous with eugenics – a failed offshoot of the failed “evolution”.

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  12. DNA_Jock: This OP is based on a premise that is hopelessly wrong, a painful misunderstanding of both statistics and genetics.

    Such as? Don’t you see your claim is laughable without proof?

    DNA_Jock: And your statements about inbreeding — “Outside of select labs, this ain’t happening. ” — show a similarly awesome level of ignorance.

    FALSE and mountain out of a molehill:

    “Inbreeding is the production of offspring from the mating or breeding of individuals or organisms that are closely related genetically.”

    Clearly, ‘inbreeding’ refers to sexual reproduction, and as such it’s indeed uncommon outside of select labs.

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  13. dazz: Why don’t you do a quick simulation, if you can code? That would prove you’re wrong in a heartbeat

    This whole essay is partially based on a simulation that proves me RIGHT. It’s up to you – the “skeptics” – to do or at least design a REALISTIC simulation that will prove me wrong.

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  14. Nonlin.org: This whole essay is partially based on a simulation that proves me RIGHT. It’s up to you – the “skeptics” – to do or at least design a REALISTIC simulation that will prove me wrong.

    Would you care to share the code?

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  15. Nonlin.org: This whole essay is partially based on a simulation that proves me RIGHT.

    Where is this simulation? Describe your model! Show the math!

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  16. Nonlin.org: will prove me wrong.

    There’s no “proof” in science. You are confusing scientific evidence with mathematical or logical proof. In science, hypotheses are proposed and tested by observing the fit with reality, performing controlled experiments and testing predictions. Hypotheses that pass these tests become theories that can be considered provisionally accurate but always open to improvement or falsification.

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  17. Nonlin.org: We observe quasi-identical generations (regression to the mean) as shown. We do not observe “divergence of character”.

    Do we? What we observe is hugely diverse species occupying and specialising in every available niche. But evolution is a slow process, whilst selection can be brutally fast, new variation takes time to accumulate and spread. There’s a fine line between radiation and extinction.

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  18. Nonlin.org: Then you can’t support your claim.

    You’re the one making grandiose claims, my friend. So far, I’ve seen nothing that supports them. 15 all!

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  19. Nonlin.org: DNA_Jock: This OP is based on a premise that is hopelessly wrong, a painful misunderstanding of both statistics and genetics.

    Such as? Don’t you see your claim is laughable without proof?

    Well, the I.A. York quote that I copied from the penultimate link in the OP is sufficient.
    Well, it would be if you understood it. As Corneel, notes, there is no indication you have the vaguest clue about either statistics or genetics. I look forward to your providing the code of your simulation: that might help allay our doubts…

    DNA_Jock: And your statements about inbreeding — “Outside of select labs, this ain’t happening. ” — show a similarly awesome level of ignorance.

    FALSE and mountain out of a molehill:

    “Inbreeding is the production of offspring from the mating or breeding of individuals or organisms that are closely related genetically.”

    Clearly, ‘inbreeding’ refers to sexual reproduction, and as such it’s indeed uncommon outside of select labs.

    Huh?
    So if it’s far enough away from humans, in terms of sex life, then it doesn’t count?
    Remember, your original claim was the delightfully condescending

    Also, learn how sexual reproduction works and that it cannot produce clones even theoretically.

    Here goes:

    Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction that involves a complex life cycle with alternation of generations between a haploid phase composed of cells with a single set of chromosomes and a diploid phase composed of cells with a double set of chromosomes

    So nematodes count, whether males (or females, heh) are around or not. That’s why the fem and tra genes are called “sex determination genes“.
    By the same token (and boy are you going to hate this example…) S.cerevisiae reproduce sexually, and homothallic strains drive to homozygosity really fast. Clonally, too…

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  20. Nonlin.org: Not literally. “One parent” also stands for an average of the two parents.

    No matter. One parent works as well.

    Nonlin.org: Beyond that, your question is not clear.

    Yes, I was afraid of that. Your “simulation” relies on certain implicit assumptions that do not comport well with what we know about genetics. It is lacking a model for heritability. I’ll give it a shot trying to explain:

    Scenario 1: First, imagine what would happen if NONE of the phenotypic variation were heritable, but all of it were caused by differences in environmental exposures (diet, developmental factors, etc). Then all parents, both of high and low trait values, would have the same expected trait value for their offspring. The offspring distribution would be identical to that of the parents. Please note that we have extreme regression to the mean in this scenario.

    Scenario 2: Now, imagine what would happen if ALL of the phenotypic variation were heritable. Then offspring would be exact phenotypic copies of their parents. There would be no regression to the mean, but we would still end up with the exact same distribution.

    Most real-world scenario’s are in-between these two extremes, and it should be clear now that the regression to the mean is a consequence of the non-heritable part of the phenotypic variation. That also should make clear why evolution, which is fueled by the heritable part, cannot be stopped or undone by regression to the mean.

    You haven’t explained how heritability works in your “simulation”, but it shows strange things. For example, consider your figure 4, where your mysterious reified regression force (“the loaded spring”) is considered to be absent. In that scenario, the phenotypic variance is increasing. Moreover, this new variation is heritable since parents are able to pass it on to their offspring. I can’t imagine what is causing that.

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  21. Nonlin.org: Ad hominem? Well done as expected.

    Well, not quite ad hominem, but at least you didn’t use it as a synonym for ‘insult’ like most do. The point is that nonspecialist opinions in any field should not carry more weight than specialist. You name those people because ‘they’re clever’, which carries more weight than the guy at the hardware store. But they are no more likely to have an informed opinion on a subject outside their area of expertise than him. Hence Project Steve, mocking this pitiful credential mongering.

    And what makes you think you understand genetics?

    I clearly understand it better than you. Lookee here:

    And what exactly is the relation between genetics and “evolution”? I see none whatsoever.

    You see, that’s the problem. That’s about the most profoundly ignorant thing a critic of evolution could say.

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  22. Nonlin.org: Too bad your “evolution” scenario is not what we observe as discussed extensively in the OP.

    All of your examples of character reversals involve natural selection (differential reproduction and survival). I bet you can’t demonstrate one single case where this isn’t true.

    Nonlin.org: Also, why do I know your “evolution” better than you do?

    YOU DON’T! 😀

    Nonlin.org: “Divergence of character” is NOT a shifting of the mean – see first paragraph.

    It is quite obvious that you are trying to rig the game by excluding allopatric speciation. Not falling for that, Nonlin. Divergence of reproductively isolated populations does count.

    Nonlin.org: Instead, Galton is synonymous with eugenics – a failed offshoot of the failed “evolution”.

    All failed, whereas the highly successful Intelligent Design Creationism has become the new scientific consensus.

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  23. Alan Fox: Where is this simulation? Describe your model! Show the math!

    See discussion with Corneel.

    Alan Fox: Nonlin.org: will prove me wrong.

    There’s no “proof” in science

    Yet I prove you wrong over and over.

    Alan Fox: What we observe is hugely diverse species occupying and specialising in every available niche. But evolution is a slow process, whilst selection can be brutally fast, new variation takes time to accumulate and spread. There’s a fine line between radiation and extinction.

    Here you go again with unsupported nonsense.

    Alan Fox: You’re the one making grandiose claims, my friend. So far, I’ve seen nothing that supports them.

    Because you’re blind to logic and reality. Regardless, we were talking about ONE specific FALSE claim you made. Either support it or admit fault?

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  24. DNA_Jock: Well, it would be if you understood it. As Corneel, notes, there is no indication you have the vaguest clue about either statistics or genetics.

    Cut out the BS. You have yet to show any fault with this essay. Because you can’t.

    DNA_Jock: Remember, your original claim was the delightfully condescending

    Also, learn how sexual reproduction works and that it cannot produce clones even theoretically.

    Here goes:

    Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction that involves a complex life cycle with alternation of generations between a haploid phase composed of cells with a single set of chromosomes and a diploid phase composed of cells with a double set of chromosomes

    Here’s another, shorter and to the point definition:
    “the production of new living organisms by combining genetic information from two individuals of different types (sexes).”
    The whole point of sexual reproduction is to not produce clones.

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  25. Corneel: That also should make clear why evolution, which is fueled by the heritable part, cannot be stopped or undone by regression to the mean.

    Imagine your BS story makes no sense.
    We know what happens because we observe it rather than “imagine”. And ‘regression’ we observe while ‘divergence’ we DO NOT.

    “Fueled by the heritable part” gives you the Mendelian tables that ALWAYS show STASIS. Never “evolution”!

    Corneel: For example, consider your figure 4, where your mysterious reified regression force (“the loaded spring”) is considered to be absent. In that scenario, the phenotypic variance is increasing. Moreover, this new variation is heritable since parents are able to pass it on to their offspring. I can’t imagine what is causing that.

    That’s what WOULD happen in the absence of ‘regression’ but DOESN’T in nature. Hence no ‘divergence’.

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  26. Corneel: Nonlin.org: Clearly, ‘inbreeding’ refers to sexual reproduction, and as such it’s indeed uncommon outside of select labs.

    Selfing

    inbreeding
    [ˈinbrēdiNG]
    NOUN
    the breeding of closely related people or animals, especially over many generations.
    selfing
    [ˈselfiNG]
    NOUN
    botany
    fertilization by means of pollen from the same plant; self-pollination.

    “Closely related” is not “the same”.

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  27. Regarding the OP, why don’t you show us your code?

    Nonlin.org: Here’s another, shorter and to the point definition:
    “the production of new living organisms by combining genetic information from two individuals of different types (sexes).”
    The whole point of sexual reproduction is to not produce clones.

    If you prefer…
    Although you would have been better served if you had paused to consider why your preferred definition uses the term “types”, rather than sexes.
    Like I said, you really aren’t going to like S cerevisiae: they switch mating type so that they can conduct a filthy brother-on-sister and grandpa-on-granddaughter double mating. Either way, the end result is two genetically identical diploids. Oooops.
    You really need to get out more.

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  28. Allan Miller: You name those people because ‘they’re clever’, which carries more weight than the guy at the hardware store. But they are no more likely to have an informed opinion on a subject outside their area of expertise than him.

    Religious beliefs like “evolution” are within everyone’s “area of expertise”.

    Allan Miller: That’s about the most profoundly ignorant thing a critic of evolution could say.

    Prove it or shut up.

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  29. Nonlin.org:
    What was FALSE was your claim that “Mutations cause divergence”. There is no “divergence” whatsoever as proved by the OP.

    Then what do you call the physical differences between humans, chimps, bears, and fish if it isn’t divergence in physical characteristics?

    Physical differences between species is due to differences in the DNA sequences of their genomes. Mutations change the DNA sequence of genomes. How can you say that divergence can not be caused by mutations?

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  30. Corneel: All of your examples of character reversals involve natural selection (differential reproduction and survival). I bet you can’t demonstrate one single case where this isn’t true.

    I demonstrated elsewhere there’s no such thing as “natural selection”. You can’t claim one BS based on another BS.
    Also, you say “natural selection”? Then burden of proof is on you.
    Also, “evolution” is not supposed to reverse. Yet they (and all examples you can find) all reverse. How come nothing “diverges” ever? Think.

    Corneel: It is quite obvious that you are trying to rig the game by excluding allopatric speciation. Not falling for that, Nonlin. Divergence of reproductively isolated populations does count.

    This has been discussed in the OP. Go read.

    Corneel: All failed, whereas the highly successful Intelligent Design Creationism has become the new scientific consensus.

    Not “new”. As old as smart people have existed on this earth. The whole of science is built on it.

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  31. DNA_Jock: Regarding the OP, why don’t you show us your code?

    I explained and Corneel got it. He can explain to slow pokes.
    Besides, it’s only one small and obvious part of the whole analysis.

    DNA_Jock: Like I said, you really aren’t going to like S cerevisiae: they switch mating type so that they can conduct a filthy brother-on-sister and grandpa-on-granddaughter double mating. Either way, the end result is two genetically identical diploids.

    Nope. Normally, you’d be only 50% of your sister and 25% of your grandparent. Probably more after repeat inbreeding. Still, not 100%. Drop it.
    Food for thought: organisms are not their DNA.

    T_aquaticus: Then what do you call the physical differences between humans, chimps, bears, and fish if it isn’t divergence in physical characteristics?

    Whatever you want. Just not “divergence”.

    T_aquaticus: Mutations change the DNA sequence of genomes. How can you say that divergence can not be caused by mutations?

    It’s all in the OP. Why insist on asking already answered questions.

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  32. Nonlin.org: I explained and Corneel got it. He can explain to slow pokes.
    Besides, it’s only one small and obvious part of the whole analysis.

    Well Corneel spotted one error. I am confident that there are more. Why so shy providing the code? Surely you want to prove me wrong? Are you bluffing, perhaps?

    DNA_Jock:
    Like I said, you really aren’t going to like S cerevisiae: they switch mating type so that they can conduct a filthy brother-on-sister and grandpa-on-granddaughter double mating. Either way, the end result is two genetically identical diploids.

    Nope. Normally, you’d be only 50% of your sister and 25% of your grandparent. Probably more after repeat inbreeding. Still, not 100%. Drop it.
    Food for thought: organisms are not their DNA.

    Oh dear. Your percentages are wrong. Read up about cerevisiae before making yourself look even more foolish. These are replicating haploids that fuse to create replicating diploids.
    So, “Nope”, everything that I wrote is correct.
    And it meets your preferred definition of sexual reproduction as “the production of new living organisms by combining genetic information from two individuals of different types”.
    I told you you should get out more.

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  33. Nonlin.org: Religious beliefs like “evolution” are within everyone’s “area of expertise”.

    That’s probably the second most ignorant thing a critic could say. Why not quote Chad down the hardware store as your authority? Why Hoyle and Fodor? Because you hope their opinions might carry more weight through their other achievements. So you are being disingenuous.

    To critique something, you need to understand it. If you don’t – and clearly you don’t – you’re just growling at strawmen. I’m quite sure I’m not the first person to say ‘Dunning-Kruger’ to, you, and I won’t be the last, but you are a prime example. Equally, I know it will just bounce off your hide – the last thing an example of Dunning-Kruger is likely to comprehend is why they fit the bill.

    Prove it or shut up.

    I don’t need to prove it – to you. Anyone knowledgeable would know why I say it. Chad, not so much. I mean, you could just Google ‘evolution and genetics’, but I know that wouldn’t be enough.

    But, your entire thesis is shot through with this same lack of comprehension.

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  34. Nonlin.org: [Sex is]“the production of new living organisms by combining genetic information from two individuals of different types (sexes).
    The whole point of sexual reproduction is to not produce clones.

    How did the parents get to be different?

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  35. Nonlin.org: We know what happens because we observe it rather than “imagine”.

    You observe it, but can’t explain what causes it. On the other hand, it’s trivial to demonstrate regression to the mean in a very basic model using nothing but a distinction of the genetic and environmental component of phenotypic variation. This clearly shows that regression to the mean is a consequence of the environmental (non-heritable) part.

    Now it’s your move: please show how you “simulated” the population in figure 4 (In Excel?)

    Nonlin.org: “Closely related” is not “the same”.

    I click the link *click* and read:

    Selfing or self-fertilization is the union of male and female gametes and/or nuclei from same haploid, diploid, or polyploid organism. It is an extreme degree of inbreeding.

    Trust me, nobody is more closely related to you than yourself.

    Nonlin.org: You can’t claim one BS based on another BS.

    *blink*

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  36. What this OP proves is that Nonlin easily mistakes mathematical abstractions for reality.

    This is also evident when Nonlin insists that some phenomena “fails its definition,” when it’s obvious that if someone’s definition fails to describe some aspect of a phenomenon, then it’s the definition that fails, not the phenomenon.

    Anyway. The reality is that scientists have observed that populations separated geographically do not keep their original distributions of characters. They do not tend to go back to a past distribution of characters either.

    Not only that, this is expected from some basic understanding of the meaning of concepts such as “alleles,” and “random segregation” in genetics, and then of random distributions. In the end, character distributions do diverge, and are expected to diverge, even in the absence of selection. All of this can be easily understood from basic probability theory and the proper understanding of the biological phenomena.

    However, here Nonlin read something about regression to the mean and thought it was some kind of law in biology (it isn’t, it’s an abstraction about random sampling from a larger population). Even worse, the wikipedia page on this thing mentions some confusion, about tall parents having short kinds, imagining that to be due to “regression to the mean.” The same page explains that regression to the mean doesn’t apply and why. The part about it starts so:

    Galton’s biological explanation for the regression phenomenon he observed is now known to be incorrect. [goes on explaining]

    Anyway, the main problem here is that Nonlin misunderstands the nature of inheritance, and prefers to make of some abstraction his preferred method of “understanding,” rather than checking first if such abstractions apply the way (s)he pretends them to apply.

    Mathematical models are often inspired by real phenomena. We have to remember that the results of the models, when contradictory to reality, mean that the models are wrong, not the reality.

    ETA: I won’t continue discussing this with Nonlin, since, in my experience, Nonlin is very resistant to correction and mentally immature. If Nonlin gets to care later in life, (s)he has that wikipedia page to start getting an idea as to why (s)he’s wrong.

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  37. Entropy,

    Also, based entirely on quantitative traits. That has answers too, but it’s hard to see what ‘mean’ applies to discrete character states – such as, to pull an example from the air: genotypes.

    1+
  38. DNA_Jock: Well Corneel spotted one error.

    What “error” would that be?

    DNA_Jock: Read up about cerevisiae before making yourself look even more foolish. These are replicating haploids that fuse to create replicating diploids.
    So, “Nope”, everything that I wrote is correct.
    And it meets your preferred definition of sexual reproduction as “the production of new living organisms by combining genetic information from two individuals of different types”.

    Nonsensical BS as always. PROVE that two different individuals have the same 100% genome and mate with each other to form yet another identical individual on a regular basis AND in nature (no more theoretical BS). Who knows? Maybe you will [mission impossible music] disprove the purpose of sexual reproduction as we understand it, in which case we’ll write a book together.

    Don’t you see? Descent “with modification” is and always was nonsensical crap from a guy that knew nothing about anything. And not just because he was a “pioneer”, but because he was a real life inbred retard.

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  39. Nonlin.org: What “error” would that be?

    Not modeling heritability of the variation. It’s a bit of a doozy, given what you are claiming…
    I encourage you to try modeling this with discrete alleles of multiple genes that contribute (in the manner of your choice) to a phenotypic variation. You will either have to model allopatry or a bimodal fitness function to test your concept. If you share your code, we can help you out in this regard.

    Nonlin.org: Stupid BS as always. PROVE that two different individuals have the same 100% genome and mate with each other to form yet another identical individual on a regular basis AND in nature (not theoretical nonsense).

    Well they don’t have 100% the same genome. They’ve under gone a directed gene conversion event at the MAT locus. That’s how they are able to mate, FFS!
    Otherwise, they are genetically identical. So that’s 99.994% identical. And the grandpa-granddaughter mating produces a diploid that is 100% IDENTICAL to the one simultaneously produced by the brother-sister mating. More often that not, this is how yeast go through their sex cycle in the wild.
    Why are you so resistant to educating yourself?

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  40. Nonlin.org: See discussion with Corneel.

    What discussion? I see Corneel incisively taking your diagrams apart and you failing to respond, as you have failed to respond to points raised by others. The Dunning-Kruger hypothesis is a good fit to the evidence you present.

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  41. Nonlin.org: Who knows? Maybe you will [mission impossible music] disprove the purpose of sexual reproduction as we understand it, in which case we’ll write a book together.

    Oh-err, you added this bit while I was typing my reply. I don’t think we’ll be writing a book together — if you read the wikipedia link I already gave you you’ll see that the idea that

    The relative rarity in nature of meiotic events that result from out-crossing appears to be inconsistent with the idea that production of genetic variation is the primary selective force maintaining mating capability in this organism. However this finding is consistent with the alternative idea that the primary selective force maintaining mating capability is enhanced recombinational repair of DNA damage during meiosis,[8] since this benefit is realized during each meiosis subsequent to a mating, whether or not out-crossing occurs.

    has been around for over 17 years.
    I am not responsible for your ignorance.

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  42. Corneel: You observe it, but can’t explain what causes it. On the other hand, it’s trivial to demonstrate regression to the mean in a very basic model using nothing but a distinction of the genetic and environmental component of phenotypic variation. This clearly shows that regression to the mean is a consequence of the environmental (non-heritable) part.

    I COULD explain “regression to the mean” as a design constraint, although unlike evolutionistas I won’t do it because I don’t have all the facts. Also, explaining regression is not the purpose of this OP. Shutting down the imaginary divergence is.

    And “Divergence of character” is supposed to happen in homogeneous populations in constant environment. That’s why your “allopatric speciation” should be indeed outside the scope (but I discuss it anyway anticipating your complaint).

    Let’s have fun seeing you explain regression to the mean as a “consequence of the environmental (non-heritable) part”.

    Corneel: Now it’s your move: please show how you “simulated” the population in figure 4 (In Excel?)

    I will soon enough. You seemed to have understand it. Are you backtracking?

    Corneel: Selfing or self-fertilization is the union of male and female gametes and/or nuclei from same haploid, diploid, or polyploid organism. It is an extreme degree of inbreeding.

    Now I get it! You and DNA_Jock can’t understand what you read:
    “the production of new living organisms by combining genetic information from two individuals of different types (sexes).”
    Does ‘selfing’ involve two individuals of different types (sexes)? No, of course not.

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  43. DNA_Jock: Nonlin.org: What “error” would that be?

    Not modeling heritability of the variation. It’s a bit of a doozy, given what you are claiming…

    Not modeling something is NOT an error… on this planet.

    DNA_Jock: You will either have to model allopatry or a bimodal fitness function to test your concept. If you share your code, we can help you out in this regard.

    This is plain dumb. “Allopatry”? “Fitness”? Both these PRESUPPOSE “evolution”. You know? The thing I am disproving. Sheesh.

    DNA_Jock: Well they don’t have 100% the same genome.

    Then you fail. Round of applause for trying.
    Education is fun, but I don’t have infinite time to read random facts about irrelevant things. I’m sure you will understand.

    DNA_Jock: I don’t think we’ll be writing a book together — if you read the wikipedia link I already gave you you’ll see that the idea that

    The relative rarity in nature of meiotic events that result from out-crossing appears to be inconsistent with the idea that production of genetic variation is the primary selective force maintaining mating capability in this organism.

    So sad. Anyway, I didn’t claim sex is for “production of genetic variation”. Did you?

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  44. DNA_Jock: not theoretical nonsense

    Hahahahahaaaa! This is hilariously ironic from Nonlin. The OP is nothing but theoretical nonsense. Nonlin is just mistaking misinformed theoretical musings for reality.

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  45. I’m not yet convinced that observation presupposes the thing being observed. Granted, some of us are really good at seeing what we expect and being unable to see what we don’t believe in. But on occasion, observation works – it sees something that actually exists. Some observations actually surprise the observer, so that’s possible in practice as well as theory.

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