RE: Logic (to Vincent)

Date: Sat Jul 28 2001 - 09:56:01 BST

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    On 28 Jul 2001, at 10:44, Philip Jonkers wrote:

    > Philip said:
    > > <Survival might relate to accidental events. A species
    > > >might accidentally survive regardless of its possible
    > > >maladaptative state. The addition of the word `fittest', makes
    > > > sure that survival applies only to the most vigorous and best
    > > > equiped, best
    > adapted and most successful species.
    > > >Even if it's tautological, that still doesn't diminish its
    > > >significance of the success in explaining nature. Let's not
    > > >waste our energy on petty syntactic
    > > > matters, shall we. I say we stay focused on the more
    > > >important issues of semantics instead!>
    > > >
    > Vincent replied by:
    > > Maladaptive behaviours do not, in the long run persist. As
    > > long as a species is adequately equipped to survive it will do so,
    > > it does not need to be the most vigourous, the best equipped, it
    > > just needs to be equipped sufficiently. Like the old creationist
    > > argument about eyes being too perfect to have evolved by chance,
    > > this ignores the gradual slight changes over millions of years that
    > > led up to humans eyes, which are far from perfect (goldfish can see
    > > further into both the infra red and ultraviolet than we can). An
    > > individual may possibly survive by 'accident' but a species will not
    > > prosper based on luck alone.
    > Philip says:
    > First of all, with accidental survival I meant survival
    > related to possible maladaptive but fortunate individuals of a
    > species, not to the entire species per se. With survival of the
    > fittest the maladaptive are precluded from survival, in a
    > statistical sense anyway. Also `fittest' is not to be
    > confused with `perfect', I never pretended (at least never
    > intended) that there is such a thing as a perfect species.
    > As long as the environment changes, and it does constantly,
    > there is work to be done by evolution.
    > Philip said:
    > > <Why there's a myriad of different species and not one dominant?
    > > > Suppose there's only one, to be antropocentric let's say the human
    > > > species. We run into obvious trouble at feeding time: Where
    > > >do we obtain our food? We necessarily have to resort to
    > > >cannibalism then. The point is this: There's enough space on
    > > >earth, enough resources and plenty of positions on the
    > > > food-chain for a multitude of different
    > > > species to thrive. Nature seizes on such possibilities through
    > > > mutability of species via natural selection. Then there's
    > > > symbiotic relationships. Often, one species cannot live without
    > > > the existence of the other. To take it to the extreme, there are
    > > > ample examples (bacteria, shit-flies) around of species living off
    > > > of other species' feces!>
    > Vincent replied by:
    > > But this contradicts your earlier view of superior fit species
    > > shaping their own evolution.
    > Philip says:
    > I'm sorry if this is source of confusion. I hope I can settle
    > this once and for all. With `fittest' I do not
    > mean to denote a species being superior in an absolute sense.
    > More so in a relative sense instead. That is, I refer to
    > the best adapted species compared to other species occupying
    > the same positions in the food chain (better yet `food web'):
    > peer-species, if you like. These are the species that compete
    > one and other for the resources they are designed for to exploit
    > by evolution (not creation!). Species taking no part in this
    > relative struggle are bound to be engaged in other struggles.
    > Each of these struggles, local competitions, has a winner
    > : this is what I meant with the `fittest'.
    > Anyway, hope this will do. I'm off for the weekend:
    > dress warm and don't get a cold in Scotland Vincent!
    There are two possible meanings here:
    1) those that are able to horn in on the most expansive niche, and
    2) those who are able to most securely glue themselves to a
    disputed niche.

    Which is under dispute?

    > Cheers,
    > Philip.
    > ===============================================================
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