’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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417 thoughts on “’Divergence of Character’ Myth

  1. DNA_Jock: Awkward.
    [Remember, nonlin, this is using your mind-blowingly poor model…]

    So you’re saying trees could grow to the Moon? And that non-linearity (hence nonlin) means nothing to you?
    And all that because you can punch some numbers into a computer? Without thinking?

    Corneel: The process in your simulation will never ever result in a uniform distribution. Don’t believe me? Test it yourself! Simulate as many generations as your computer can handle and look at the resulting distribution! It will be a Guassian!

    DNA_Jock: I was waiting for nonlin to argue that his “natural hard limits” were required for his model to perform as he described it.

    No. Not really. Depends on what happens at the boundary conditions (which I have not simulated) and depending on what other massaging of the data you do (like rounding). With these, I can assure you the perfect, shiny sparkling uniform distribution is within reach if that’s your fetish.

    However, you got stuck in meaningless details. The point is not how perfect that distribution is. The point is that the distribution just doesn’t change as it should if “divergence” were true. Not in 10, not in 1000, and not even in a million generations. It doesn’t spread and it doesn’t narrow. If it did either, we would observe that happening experimentally.

    DNA_Jock: Yes Alan, and (insofar as I can understand nonlin) his point appears to be that we NEVER SEE THIS “divergence” in the real world. Due to a powerful force called “regression to the mean”, which defeats Darwinism. Apparently.

    Does anyone else doubt “regression to the mean” in biology?!?

    And what do you do with Otzi and his buddies? Because they claims you’re arguing for obvious nonsense.

    I mean, if “divergence of character” were a thing, how come you’re just like them 5000 years and much more later? That’s 250 generations at a minimum.
    Even if the distribution were not perfectly uniform, how come it doesn’t budge at all?
    And what about all other living fossils? Some are millions and other billions of years old. How come they never ever diverged?!?

    Can you show at least one organism that diverged in character? This means real life experiments. Not mix-and-match random fossils to fit your story.

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  2. Joe Felsenstein: If nonlin.org does not think that there is such a thing, that’s sad, but I have tried before to talk sense into nonlin.org, to no avail. Maybe someone else can persuade nonlin.org that it is sensible to talk in terms of fitness.

    All you have to do is present and discuss your “fitness” function. Have I asked for the Moon?

    Joe Felsenstein: If fitness does not differ from one genotype to another, or from one phenotype to another, then all of evolutionary biology will be a wasted effort. Hundreds of thousands of scientific papers gone up in smoke, Departments closing, scientists wandering the streets unemployed. Course curricula needing to be changed massively.

    Your consolation is that it happened to others before. The astrologers, the alchemists, the tarot readers have also lost their livelihoods (most of them). Sorry, science is tough but fair. Even Newton spent time on the music of the spheres.

    Joe Felsenstein: Or else possibly nonlin.org is wrong about fitness.

    Could be. But so far, it doesn’t look good for Darwin and followers.

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  3. Alan Fox: So, Nonlin’s mission, should he choose to accept it, is to show us how “regression to the mean” works, what the driving force is – maybe with a spreadsheet model.

    Nope. The mission of this OP is to demolish “divergence of character” and to further damage “evolution”. That will be when all reasonable objections have been addressed. Are we there yet?

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  4. Nonlin.org: Nope. The mission of this OP is to demolish “divergence of character” and to further damage “evolution”. That will be when all reasonable objections have been addressed. Are we there yet?

    What will you do in 10, 20, 30, etc. years when evolutionary biology is still going strong and you’re still being ignored by the scientific community? I bet it’s gonna be a tough pill to swallow for a genius like you, so you better be prepared for that, buddy

    +1
  5. Nonlin.org: So you’re saying trees could grow to the Moon?

    What’s to stop them in your universe where fitness variation does not exist?

    +1
  6. I jested

    I was waiting for nonlin to argue that his “natural hard limits” were required for his model to perform as he described it.
    You have revealed my carefully-laid trap. Mind you, given nonlin’s difficulties with map/territory, he may fall into it yet…

    Sure enough, along comes nonlin, and thwack!.

    Depends on what happens at the boundary conditions

    Yup. So, nonlin, what will happen over time if, instead of “hard natural limits” at the “hard” boundary, there are “soft natural limits”?
    LIke, y’know, selection.
    Without “boundary limits”, your sim will produce an ever-expanding Gaussian distribution, with the variance proportional to the number of generations. Hilariously, the ever-expanding Gaussian distribution of your sim simultaneously shows “regression to the mean”, as Corneel and I have illustrated.
    But add “boundary limits”, whether hard or soft, and the behaviour is completely different.
    You do not understand what “regression to the mean” is. You read somewhere that it was a problem for Darwin, and you’ve been misunderstanding High School stats ever since.
    “Blended inheritance” is what you want to be modeling.

    +1
  7. Nonlin.org: The mission of this OP is to demolish “divergence of character” and to further damage “evolution”.

    Then I do have to wonder why you are posting here when you should be setting out your stall where someone might perhaps take you seriously.

    That will be when all reasonable objections have been addressed.

    By whom? Do you mean when you have addressed reasonable objections to your OP? There seems no sign of that happening.

    Are we there yet?

    Seems not. My days at least of not taking you seriously are definitely drawing to a middle*.

    I’m surprised you are not getting the hint that to have any impact in criticising evolutionary models you need to be dealing with those actual models and not your straw-man caricatures.

    *HTKN

    +1
  8. Alan Fox:
    I’m surprised you are not getting the hint that to have any impact in criticising evolutionary models you need to be dealing with those actual models and not your straw-man caricatures.

    The pattern should get old, but it’s endlessly repeated:
    1) Evolutionary theory says we should see [something preposterous].
    2) We don’t see it.
    3) Therefore evolution is bunk.

    +1
  9. Nonlin.org:

    Joe Felsenstein: Or else possibly nonlin.org is wrong about fitness.

    Could be. But so far, it doesn’t look good for Darwin and followers.

    Clearly nonlin.org is the new dominant figure in biological sciences, the one all the rest of us are in awe of.

    +2
  10. Corneel: What’s to stop them in your universe where fitness variation does not exist?

    What “fitness variation”? Define, exemplify, and show relevance to this analysis. You have yet to reply with your “fitness” function.

    DNA_Jock: Yup. So, nonlin, what will happen over time if, instead of “hard natural limits” at the “hard” boundary, there are “soft natural limits”?
    LIke, y’know, selection.
    Without “boundary limits”, your sim will produce an ever-expanding Gaussian distribution, with the variance proportional to the number of generations. Hilariously, the ever-expanding Gaussian distribution of your sim simultaneously shows “regression to the mean”, as Corneel and I have illustrated.
    But add “boundary limits”, whether hard or soft, and the behaviour is completely different.

    If you read previous comment you didn’t understand anything. Or you scramble to find an adequate answer and meanwhile feel obligated to reply with anything. Even if gibberish. Now go back and read for comprehension.

    DNA_Jock: “Blended inheritance” is what you want to be modeling.

    No one gives a fuck about that retard fail.

    Alan Fox: By whom? Do you mean when you have addressed reasonable objections to your OP? There seems no sign of that happening.

    Exactly what objection do you feel is still standing?

    Joe Felsenstein: Clearly nonlin.org is the new dominant figure in biological sciences, the one all the rest of us are in awe of.

    Let’s cut the crap and discuss the science. Will you?

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  11. Nonlin.org: Exactly what objection do you feel is still standing?

    The objection that you are criticising a version of evolutionary theory that exists only in your imagination.

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  12. Joe Felsenstein: Clearly nonlin.org is the new dominant figure in biological sciences, the one all the rest of us are in awe of.

    Because his “science” is missing something…
    Let me think. What could that be?
    Oh, it just hit me. Nonling.org is missing the famous population genetics hat trick; the ever omnipotent natural selection…

    Problem solved!
    The real science has been saved, again…
    What a relief…

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  13. Allan Miller:
    The first ever paradigm overthrow by someone brandishing the word ‘retard’.

    You don’t have tell us about your retarded ideas…
    Everyone in the right frame of mind, even Byers, knows the evolution of sex doesn’t even look good on paper…

    When, or if, you ever see what a lab coat looks like, hopefully you’d know how retarded your idea is in experimental science…

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  14. J-Mac: You don’t have tell us about your retarded ideas…

    troll-mac you need to stop projecting everyone here knows your ideas are retarded.

    J-Mac: Everyone in the right frame of mind,

    that leaves you out, troll-mac!

    J-Mac: When, or if, you ever see what a lab coat looks like

    says the janitor troll-mac

    J-Mac: hopefully you’d know how retarded your idea is in experimental science…

    troll-mac everyone knows how retarded your ideas are. do we need to revisit your TMZ fiasco where every article you cited supported TMZ treatment.

    Can you provied your CV so we can see all the experiemntal science you’ve accomplished (prediction: more trollish behavior, nothing of substance, no CV, no publication links, zip, nada, not a thing. God damn his kids must be so embarassed for him…

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  15. J-Mac: You don’t have tell us about your retarded ideas…
    Everyone in the right frame of mind, even Byers,knows the evolution of sex doesn’t even look good on paper…

    A very convincing rebuttal, Professor.

    When, or if, you ever see what a lab coat looks like, hopefully you’d know how retarded your idea is in experimental science…

    Haha. I’ve got a degree in biochemistry, I kinda know what a lab coat looks like. But it’s not all done in the lab. As anyone knows.

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  16. J-Mac:
    Oh, it just hit me.

    Drink!

    Nonling.org is missing the famous population genetics hat trick; the ever omnipotent natural selection…

    No, the basic problem is genetics, not population genetics per se. He says ‘Mendel’ like you say ‘Einstein’, with no evidence of comprehension.

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  17. Allan Miller: I’ve got a degree in biochemistry,

    Does this give the right to make wild assumptions that can never be replicated in the lab?
    Try endosymbiosis, and you will be stuck the very first step; the missing genes…

    Maybe, like John Harshman, you can become a “religious man” – believing in miracles of evolution? But, those are hard to replicate in the lab…😉

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  18. Allan Miller: He says ‘Mendel’ like you say ‘Einstein’, with no evidence of comprehension.

    It’s funny how many times I have given you examples of Einstein being wrong, and you still repeat the same thing…

    What else do you want me to do? Replicate the experiments that nobody wants to fund anymore because they have been proven beyond any doubt now?
    Maybe should place you on ignore because you will continue to repeat yourself without substantiation?

    Just say you will continue to repeat yourself no matter what the evidence shows and stop wasting my time…

    Here is another example how Einstein’s theory of relativity blurred cause and effect…
    “In this superpositioned scenario of two ships experiencing time on different timelines, cause and effect could get wonky. For example, say the ships are asked to conduct a training mission in which they fire at each other and dodge each other’s fire, knowing full well the time the missiles will launch and intercept their positions. If there’s no massive planet nearby messing with time’s flow, this is a simple exercise. On the other hand, if that massive planet were present and the ship’s captain didn’t take the slowing of time into account, the crew might dodge too late and be destroyed.

    With the planet in superposition, simultaneously near and far, it would be impossible to know whether the ships would dodge too late and destroy each other or whether they would move aside and survive. What’s more, cause and effect could be reversed, Pikovski said. Imagine two events, A and B, that are causally related.

    “A and B can influence each other, but in one case A is before B, while in the other case B is before A” in a superposition state, Pikovski said. That means that both A and B are simultaneously the cause and effect of each other. Fortunately for the likely-confused crews of these imaginary spacecraft, Pikovski said, they would have a mathematical way to analyze each other’s transmissions to confirm that they were in a superpositioned state.”

    https://www.livescience.com/quantum-gravity-could-scramble-cause-and-effect.html

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  19. Nonlin.org: Corneel: What’s to stop them in your universe where fitness variation does not exist?

    Nonlin: What “fitness variation”? Define, exemplify, and show relevance to this analysis. You have yet to reply with your “fitness” function.

    *takes breath* Difference in survival and reproduction, example: purifying selection against deleterious variants. Potentially relevant, since you failed to tell us what “hard limits” are. Stuff your question about “my” fitness function somewhere dark and warm, please.

    Happy? Good! Now please just answer the question: What’s to stop trees from growing to enormous height in your universe where fitness variation does not exist?

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  20. DNA_Jock: the ever-expanding Gaussian distribution of your sim simultaneously shows “regression to the mean”, as Corneel and I have illustrated.

    To be fair, the parent-offspring regression in the original model has slope ~1 because the parental phenotypes, not just genotypes, are being inherited.
    That is completely inconsistent with how heritability works in real life, but it does ensure that extreme phenotype parents get extreme phenotype offspring.

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  21. Corneel: To be fair, the parent-offspring regression in the original model has slope ~1 because the parental phenotypes, not just genotypes, are being inherited.

    True, that. Hence my emphasizing to nonlin that when you look at gen3 as a function of gen4, you do see regression to the mean…
    His particular unrealism (i.e. zero non-heritable variation) does lead to further goofiness. I have been trying to disabuse him of his notion that “regression to the mean” is some sort of force. Not sure why I bother.

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  22. Alan Fox: The objection that you are criticising a version of evolutionary theory that exists only in your imagination.

    “Sympatric speciation” exists only in my imagination?

    Corneel: Difference in survival and reproduction, example: purifying selection against deleterious variants. Potentially relevant, since you failed to tell us what “hard limits” are.

    You neither defined, exemplified, nor showed relevance to this analysis.

    Corneel: Now please just answer the question: What’s to stop trees from growing to enormous height in your universe where fitness variation does not exist?

    Design limitations. Negative feedback loops (also by design).

    Corneel: To be fair, the parent-offspring regression in the original model has slope ~1 because the parental phenotypes, not just genotypes, are being inherited.

    This is gibberish.

    Corneel: That is completely inconsistent with how heritability works in real life, but it does ensure that extreme phenotype parents get extreme phenotype offspring.

    You think you know how heritability works? Very funny.

    DNA_Jock: Hence my emphasizing to nonlin that when you look at gen3 as a function of gen4, you do see regression to the mean…

    The retarderness of this statement was explained to you.

    DNA_Jock: I have been trying to disabuse him of his notion that “regression to the mean” is some sort of force.

    If not a force, then what?

    Anyway, where are we? With 327 comments, have all REASONABLE concerns/questions finally been addressed?

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  23. Nonlin.org: With 327 comments, have all REASONABLE concerns/questions finally been addressed?

    If you mean have you quoted peope and then said something back, sure. Have those responses of yours been valid or coherent? Not so much.

    Learn genetics please.

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  24. Nonlin.org: Corneel: To be fair, the parent-offspring regression in the original model has slope ~1 because the parental phenotypes, not just genotypes, are being inherited.

    This is gibberish.

    ROFL
    Nope, it is mathematics.
    Corneel is actually arguing in favor of your ‘position’, such as it is, here.
    The fact that you failed to appreciate this tells us all we need to know about your knowledge of statistics.

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  25. Nonlin.org: You neither defined, exemplified, nor showed relevance to this analysis.

    Dude, I did all three.

    Nonlin.org: Design limitations. Negative feedback loops (also by design).

    These limitations exist in addition to “regression to mediocrity”? That sounds interesting.

    Let’s take the example you introduced: Height of vascular land plants. I can think of a single limitation for a resourceful Designer: It has to be greater than zero. What are the other limitations imposed by the Design? What are the feedback loops that are Designed into vascular land plants to prevent them from overgrowing? Also, how do you know all this?

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  26. DNA_Jock,

    Allan Miller,

    It is precisely the argument. You and gpuccio have repeatedly used the current/recent conservation of proteins as evidence of their unevolvability. It is utterly bogus, for reasons that have been explained to you many times.

    It is not the argument in both your cases. This is a massive attempted burden shift on your guys parts. Cant evolve or un evolvability is a rhetorical trick to try and force your opponent to prove a negative.

    What is the strength of your claims if this is what is required to defend them?

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  27. Rumraket: If you mean have you quoted peope and then said something back, sure.

    So you don’t like the answers. Tough. Other than that, if you had anything specific you would have said it… and much sooner than after 330 comments.

    DNA_Jock: Nope, it is mathematics.

    “phenotypes, not just genotypes” is math? Since when?

    Corneel: Dude, I did all three.

    Corneel: Nonlin.org: Corneel: What’s to stop them in your universe where fitness variation does not exist?

    Nonlin: What “fitness variation”? Define, exemplify, and show relevance to this analysis. You have yet to reply with your “fitness” function.

    *takes breath* Difference in survival and reproduction, example: purifying selection against deleterious variants. Potentially relevant, since you failed to tell us what “hard limits” are. Stuff your question about “my” fitness function somewhere dark and warm, please.

    You did something. But not what was asked. “Difference in survival and reproduction” is meaningless. Difference from what to what? We had this discussion before. You can’t just throw back some meaningless words and wash your hands.
    Same for example. More empty words when you should have replied with a REAL LIFE example.
    “Potentially relevant” is not good enough.
    Your problem is that you are stuck in the nonsense labyrinth.

    What would Dr Fraud think of your anger re. disclosing your fitness? Were you abused as a child? Let go of your “fitness” and suppressed memories.

    Corneel: These limitations exist in addition to “regression to mediocrity”?

    No. Regression to the mean is caused by Design limitations and Negative feedback loops (also by design). You know this but are playing dumb. I might believe you if you insist.

    Corneel: Let’s take the example you introduced: Height of vascular land plants. I can think of a single limitation for a resourceful Designer: It has to be greater than zero. What are the other limitations imposed by the Design? What are the feedback loops that are Designed into vascular land plants to prevent them from overgrowing? Also, how do you know all this?

    With a specific cell design, you can support a certain weight. The more you grow, the harder it is to survive winds, drought, etc (negative loops). No different than human construction: one floor on the ground is much easier than one floor on top of 100 others. Again, you’re just playing dumb. Right?

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  28. colewd: This is a massive attempted burden shift on your guys parts. Cant evolve or un evolvability is a rhetorical trick to try and force your opponent to prove a negative.

    Watch them go silent on this trick… only to resurface it elsewhere. The cult of Darwin DOES try to fool all people all the time.

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  29. Nonlin.org: “phenotypes, not just genotypes” is math? Since when?

    I am sorry if Corneel and I confused you, nonlin. We were discussing how your model behaves, and why.
    I had been encouraging you to notice that, even in the absence of “natural limits” ( whether “hard” or “soft”), your model does in fact display the behaviour that statisticians refer to as “regression to the mean”. In particular, I had plotted gen3 as a function of gen4 to illustrate the reality that “regression to the mean” is a statistical truism, and not some sort of magical causative force.
    Corneel came to your defense, and pointed out that, if we instead plot gen(x+1) as a function of gen (x), then the slope of the regression line is ~1, that is, “regression to the mean” is not apparent.
    He wrote:

    To be fair, the parent-offspring regression in the original model has slope ~1 because the parental phenotypes, not just genotypes, are being inherited.
    That is completely inconsistent with how heritability works in real life, but it does ensure that extreme phenotype parents get extreme phenotype offspring.

    Now, the bit about phenotypes and genotypes is a way of describing the fact that your model (in a total departure from anything in the real world) assumes that 100% of the parental phenotype is inherited.
    I replied:

    True, that. Hence my emphasizing to nonlin that when you look at gen3 as a function of gen4, you do see regression to the mean…
    His particular unrealism (i.e. zero non-heritable variation) does lead to further goofiness. I have been trying to disabuse him of his notion that “regression to the mean” is some sort of force. Not sure why I bother.

    Notice the reference to “zero non-heritable variation”: that’s the same as Corneel’s “100% of the parental phenotype is inherited.”
    which does lead to “further goofiness”, such as that silly regression slope ~=1.

    Corneel was trying to help you out.
    You did not pick up on this, apparently.
    If you include any variation that is not inherited (“luck” vs “skill”) then you will observe “regression to the mean” whichever way you plot the successive generations.

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  30. Nonlin.org: With a specific cell design, you can support a certain weight. The more you grow, the harder it is to survive winds, drought, etc (negative loops). No different than human construction: one floor on the ground is much easier than one floor on top of 100 others.

    Yep, looks like we are getting there. One more question: What would happen to trees that exceed the “hard limit”?

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  31. DNA_Jock: I am sorry if Corneel and I confused you, nonlin.

    You are NOT confusing me. Instead, YOU are confused big time. And not due to this analysis. Let’s see:

    DNA_Jock: I had been encouraging you to notice that, even in the absence of “natural limits” ( whether “hard” or “soft”), your model does in fact display the behaviour that statisticians refer to as “regression to the mean”.

    “Natural limits” are not the issue discussed here. What matter is whether the distribution changes from gen to gen. Meaning does it narrow, widen, or stay the same. This corresponds respectively to “CONvergence of character”, “DIvergence of character”, and “neither convergence nor divergence”.

    DNA_Jock: “regression to the mean” is a statistical truism, and not some sort of magical causative force

    What would “statistical truism” even mean? “Regression to the mean” is an outcome of some clear factors. Of course not “magical” like your “truism” suggests. In Galton’s pellets experiment, it is due to the landing position probability due to the design of that experiment. There’s nothing magical about it. Those outcomes are independent of each other which is not the case for biology.

    I CHOSE (only for SIMPLICITY) to model P(gen x|gen x-1) as normal with the full distribution of P(x). This just to illustrate what “divergence of character” would look like. If the distribution eventually reaches uniformity or not is not important if limits (soft, or hard) are considered or not. What matters is that the distribution widens if the original position of the parent in the distribution is ignored. This is indeed how “divergence of character” would look like if true. But we don’t see that experimentally, showing that the position of the parent in the distribution does matter in nature. IOW, that population mean is important CONTRARY to the Darwinist nonsense.

    DNA_Jock: Now, the bit about phenotypes and genotypes is a way of describing the fact that your model (in a total departure from anything in the real world) assumes that 100% of the parental phenotype is inherited.

    FALSE. I do not mention, nor do I imply “phenotype” and/or “genotype”. Not anywhere.

    DNA_Jock: Corneel was trying to help you out.
    You did not pick up on this, apparently.
    If you include any variation that is not inherited (“luck” vs “skill”) then you will observe “regression to the mean” whichever way you plot the successive generations.

    Corneel is as confused as you are if not worse. I already explained to him why “his model” is NOT realistic. Not one bit. From your link:

    Though his mathematical analysis was correct, Galton’s biological explanation for the regression phenomenon he observed is now known to be incorrect. He stated: “A child inherits partly from his parents, partly from his ancestors. Speaking generally, the further his genealogy goes back, the more numerous and varied will his ancestry become, until they cease to differ from any equally numerous sample taken at haphazard from the race at large.”[12] This is incorrect, since a child receives its genetic make-up exclusively from its parents.

    As you see, Corneel is stuck on Galton like an old style broken record.

    Corneel: Yep, looks like we are getting there. One more question: What would happen to trees that exceed the “hard limit”?

    I didn’t say “hard limit”. And you know very well what happens. They fail. Can you make your point (if any) faster? Somehow I doubt it will be earth-shattering.

    On another note but very related: if you only think in terms of the Darwinist nonsense, we can’t communicate. The whole purpose of a discussion is to start from a COMMON understanding and then see where the disagreement is and if it can be breached. IOW, when you “explain” a Darwinist nonsense with other Darwinist nonsense, you’re just having a monologue.

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  32. Nonlin.org:

    On another note but very related: if you only think in terms of the Darwinist nonsense, we can’t communicate. The whole purpose of a discussion is to start from a COMMON understanding and then see where the disagreement is and if it can be breached. IOW, when you “explain” a Darwinist nonsense with other Darwinist nonsense, you’re just having a monologue.

    But surely you can understand that if evolution happens for the reasons so far determined, and you reject these enormous bodies of observation and test as “nonsense” and define “common ground” as rejecting reality, no dialogue is possible.

    It’s like if someone rejects addition as “nonsense”. We can have large numbers of posts carefully trying to explain the properties of commutative (a plus b=b plus a), associative ((a plus b) plus c =(a plus (b plus c)), and distributive (a * (b plus c) = a*b plus a*c), but if “additionism” is outright rejected from the start, all of these properties become instant nonsense.

    Furthermore, anyone who automatically rejects “additionism” CAN NEVER grasp the meaning or importance of these properties, which will forever look like gibberish.

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  33. colewd: Cant evolve or un evolvability is a rhetorical trick to try and force your opponent to prove a negative.

    What is the strength of your claims if this is what is required to defend them?

    But you did exactly this yourself a few days ago . Later today I will find and link but you know it and I know it.

    What is the strength of your claims if this is what is required to defend them?

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  34. Nonlin.org: I didn’t say “hard limit”. And you know very well what happens. They fail.

    Meaning they’d die right?

    Nonlin.org: Can you make your point (if any) faster? Somehow I doubt it will be earth-shattering.

    I don’t think I can without you complaining that I am second-guessing you. You have to get there yourself. The bottom line is that in your comment to Joe (among other places) you deny that there is such a thing as variation in fitness. Yet, the negative feedback loop you describe introduces differences in survival between individuals of different height, which is exactly that: fitness variation.

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  35. I’ve spent a fair amount of time observing fallen trees.

    They’re usually older trees.

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  36. Flint: But surely you can understand that if evolution happens for the reasons so far determined, and you reject these enormous bodies of observation and test as “nonsense” and define “common ground” as rejecting reality, no dialogue is possible.

    Don’t matter if true or not. You can’t take for granted that which is debated. It’s elementary.

    For instance, you and I can take the electron for granted when discussing [say] electricity, but physicists cannot do that when they discuss the electron.

    Btw, your “reality” is fake.

    Flint: We can have large numbers of posts carefully trying to explain the properties of commutative (a plus b=b plus a), associative ((a plus b) plus c =(a plus (b plus c)), and distributive (a * (b plus c) = a*b plus a*c), but if “additionism” is outright rejected from the start, all of these properties become instant nonsense.

    See? NO ONE rejects, hence no one debates addition. Can you see the difference?

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  37. Corneel: Meaning they’d die right?

    Everyone dies.

    Corneel: The bottom line is that in your comment to Joe (among other places) you deny that there is such a thing as variation in fitness.

    Your bomb’s a dud. You conflate ‘failing’ with ‘inheritance’ and ‘survival’. But there’s no link:

    petrushka: I’ve spent a fair amount of time observing fallen trees.

    They’re usually older trees.

    Of course.

    Corneel: Yet, the negative feedback loop you describe introduces differences in survival between individuals of different height, which is exactly that: fitness variation.

    Get that “fitness” out of your head. If different alleles coexist in equilibrium in any given population and if you (the SAME you) can have ten children in one environment yet zero in another and two in yet another, then YOU don’t have any “fitness” to speak of. Hence you will NEVER reply with your “fitness” function. Why is 1 plus 1 equal 2 so hard for you?

    The negative feedback loop is simply due to the DESIGN. Get too far from that design and you die childless or at least your children (if any) will revert to the mean. Hence, the spring model. And this means no “divergence” and no “evolution”.

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  38. Nonlin.org: Don’t matter if true or not. You can’t take for granted that which is debated. It’s elementary.

    Btw, your “reality” is fake.

    See? NO ONE rejects, hence no one debates addition. Can you see the difference?

    No knowledgeable person rejects evolution either. There is no “debate” happening here. You have arbitrarily dictated that the topic under discussion doesn’t exist, and THEN you demand that it be debated on those terms! But what we have instead is many people who know what they’re talking about, trying to penetrate the irrational defenses of someone who REFUSES to know anything.

    In school, I know that if someone gets a good grade they take credit for it, but it they get a bad grade they blame the teacher (“I got an A in this course, but he gave me a D in that course.”) Here you are doing the same thing, blaming others for your unwillingness to learn. We all see the debilitating effects of the mind on religion.

    This is like physicists trying to discuss the electron with someone who denies that electricity exists at all, and that claims that electricity happens are fake! Where should anyone begin, besides shaking their heads and laughing?

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  39. Nonlin.org: Hence you will NEVER reply with your “fitness” function.

    I will tell you my fitness function after you tell me what your regression to the mean is.

    Nonlin.org: Get too far from that design and you die childless

    Sounds like selection to me. Just saying.

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  40. Hey nonlin,
    If you modified your model so that, instead of each offspring receiving 100% of its parent’s value, it only receives 90%, would your model then show
    A) “divergence of character”
    B) regression to the mean
    C) both
    ?
    Also, would this modification make your model more realistic, or less?

    Thanks

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  41. Flint: We all see the debilitating effects of the mind on religion.

    What do you mean, don’t materialists believe that belief in religion is a genetic mutation which has beneficial fitness? Ask Alan.

    Is debilitating another word for fit?

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