Why I don't believe in Natural Select...

Why I don't believe in Natural Selection: An alternative idea

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Level 1

Since: Jul 13

Spring, TX

#1 Jul 5, 2013
I do not believe in the theory of evolution as guided by natural selection. I have remained a skeptic of Darwinian evolution my entire life because it seems to be so fraught with scientific nonsense and a catch-bucket-reason for every ridiculous biological observation without due scientific rigor to support it. I have heard evolution quoted as the underlying mechanism for everything from moth wing color to bird beak length to attached earlobes to wrinkled fingers. I'm not buying it because it's ridiculously improbable ...at least in its current accepted form.

This is how it has been put forth to me:

Firstly, evolution teaches us that there is an environment that contains living organisms within it. These organisms mutate over millions of years and some eventually develop anomalies that grant them distinct advantages over their peers. They of course, are able to hunt more efficiently, or breed more offspring, or somehow otherwise prosper more than the others. In this mode of thinking, the animals are adapting to their environment. The key here is that people assume animals adapt to their environments, and call this "natural selection".

Here's the problem with "natural selection" as I see it. There is some statistically enormous probability of being born with a mutation. Let's call this P. Then there is another statistically enormous probability that whatever random mutation happens is actually good, and offers a distinct advantage. Let's call this Q. So then the probability of an animal being born with a mutation AND also being lucky enough to get a just the right mutation it needs is P*Q. Just think of all the weird mutations that happen and how many of them are actually good. Almost all mutations are bad, or worse...even lethal.
So there is the slim chance of getting a mutation and at the same time the slim chance of getting a good one that doesn't kill you or make you lame. The chance is essentially "highly unlikely squared". This is the difference between "Once in a million years" and "Once in a trillion years"--The former being highly improbable but possible, the second, being near impossible.

So no, I don't believe animals adapt to their environments at all. In my view, the environment does not change the animals at all, but it is the animals that change their environment. Let me explain:

My view is quite simple. You have animals that are occasionally born with mutations, and these "outcasts from the herd" so-to-speak leave and seek out new environments that suit whatever advantage they happen to be born with. They settle there, and prosper.

So in the end, I don't think it's "natural selection" at all. It's free-will of the animals. It's the animals that seek out the right environments to exploit their new traits, where their "weirdness" becomes a distinct advantage.

In this way, the animal does not necessarily need a "good mutation" that helps it where it is...It just needs any mutation that makes it different enough where the herd rejects it, or it finds or it can exploit it's unique abilities just over the hill or on the next island over.
FREE SERVANT

Ashburn, VA

#2 Jul 6, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
I do not believe in the theory of evolution as guided by natural selection. I have remained a skeptic of Darwinian evolution my entire life because it seems to be so fraught with scientific nonsense and a catch-bucket-reason for every ridiculous biological observation without due scientific rigor to support it. I have heard evolution quoted as the underlying mechanism for everything from moth wing color to bird beak length to attached earlobes to wrinkled fingers. I'm not buying it because it's ridiculously improbable ...at least in its current accepted form.
This is how it has been put forth to me:
Firstly, evolution teaches us that there is an environment that contains living organisms within it. These organisms mutate over millions of years and some eventually develop anomalies that grant them distinct advantages over their peers. They of course, are able to hunt more efficiently, or breed more offspring, or somehow otherwise prosper more than the others. In this mode of thinking, the animals are adapting to their environment. The key here is that people assume animals adapt to their environments, and call this "natural selection".
Here's the problem with "natural selection" as I see it. There is some statistically enormous probability of being born with a mutation. Let's call this P. Then there is another statistically enormous probability that whatever random mutation happens is actually good, and offers a distinct advantage. Let's call this Q. So then the probability of an animal being born with a mutation AND also being lucky enough to get a just the right mutation it needs is P*Q. Just think of all the weird mutations that happen and how many of them are actually good. Almost all mutations are bad, or worse...even lethal.
So there is the slim chance of getting a mutation and at the same time the slim chance of getting a good one that doesn't kill you or make you lame. The chance is essentially "highly unlikely squared". This is the difference between "Once in a million years" and "Once in a trillion years"--The former being highly improbable but possible, the second, being near impossible.
So no, I don't believe animals adapt to their environments at all. In my view, the environment does not change the animals at all, but it is the animals that change their environment. Let me explain:
My view is quite simple. You have animals that are occasionally born with mutations, and these "outcasts from the herd" so-to-speak leave and seek out new environments that suit whatever advantage they happen to be born with. They settle there, and prosper.
So in the end, I don't think it's "natural selection" at all. It's free-will of the animals. It's the animals that seek out the right environments to exploit their new traits, where their "weirdness" becomes a distinct advantage.
In this way, the animal does not necessarily need a "good mutation" that helps it where it is...It just needs any mutation that makes it different enough where the herd rejects it, or it finds or it can exploit it's unique abilities just over the hill or on the next island over.
Do you think what the animal finds to eat may also be a facter?
FREE SERVANT

Ashburn, VA

#3 Jul 6, 2013
Food and climate may be factors in my view.
LowellGuy

Lowell, MA

#4 Jul 6, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
I do not believe in the theory of evolution as guided by natural selection. I have remained a skeptic of Darwinian evolution my entire life because it seems to be so fraught with scientific nonsense and a catch-bucket-reason for every ridiculous biological observation without due scientific rigor to support it. I have heard evolution quoted as the underlying mechanism for everything from moth wing color to bird beak length to attached earlobes to wrinkled fingers. I'm not buying it because it's ridiculously improbable ...at least in its current accepted form.
This is how it has been put forth to me:
Firstly, evolution teaches us that there is an environment that contains living organisms within it. These organisms mutate over millions of years and some eventually develop anomalies that grant them distinct advantages over their peers. They of course, are able to hunt more efficiently, or breed more offspring, or somehow otherwise prosper more than the others. In this mode of thinking, the animals are adapting to their environment. The key here is that people assume animals adapt to their environments, and call this "natural selection".
Here's the problem with "natural selection" as I see it. There is some statistically enormous probability of being born with a mutation. Let's call this P. Then there is another statistically enormous probability that whatever random mutation happens is actually good, and offers a distinct advantage. Let's call this Q. So then the probability of an animal being born with a mutation AND also being lucky enough to get a just the right mutation it needs is P*Q. Just think of all the weird mutations that happen and how many of them are actually good. Almost all mutations are bad, or worse...even lethal.
This is where you fail. Most mutations are NEUTRAL. Otherwise, life would be pretty much impossible at all. Your understanding of genetics is fundamentally flawed, and you try to blame the theory of evolution for a problem that is rooted in your ignorance. The theory of evolution is not obliged to conform to your ignorance.

Level 1

Since: Jul 13

Spring, TX

#5 Jul 6, 2013
This is where you fail. Most mutations are NEUTRAL.
--
Well to be more specific, good, bad, or NEUTRAL are kind of subjective. I'm wondering exactly what one would classify as neutral if anything. Mutations will (in the extreme unlikely case) benefit you in some way that makes you more likely to survive, or (in the more likely case) cause you to be stillborn, cause you to be born with (or at least highly susceptible to) any one or more of a long long list of diseases or disorders. I could post an insanely long list of "bad mutations" that cause everything from Down Syndrome to lactose intolerance to male pattern baldness and color blindness but I'm not sure it bolsters my case, which is that "Natural Selection" and/or "survival of the fittest", not only require a mutation to happen but one that at the same time confers some evolutionary advantage within your environment. The bad ones, or even neutral ones won't help you out in that case.
Again, I disagree with "Natural Selection" and "survival of the fittest" in favor of "free will" and "survival of the misfits". From my view, it's the genetic misfits that turn their random (neutral or even bad) mutations into advantages by slightly switching their environment to one that suits their gifts. Take the finch born with the long beak. This might be considered a "neutral mutation", given that it wasn't born with a dysfunctional beak or no beak...that doesn't really help it out much, until it discovers the next island over that has flowers that it can use it's long beak to extract nectar from. It moves there and has more babies than the finches with shorter beaks.

Hence my view doesn't require winning the genetic lottery twice (once to have a mutation, and then again to have a beneficial one). It only requires winning the lottery once...to be born with a mutation and then by good sense, or being outcast, find some environment that your uniqueness becomes your advantage.

SO yes, FREE SERVANT, the food and climate are hugely important...and the ability of misfit animals to get to where the food and climate allow them to use their "weirdness".--Surviv al of the misfits

“Do not bend, fold, staple or”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

mutilate. Point down range.

#6 Jul 6, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
This is where you fail. Most mutations are NEUTRAL.
--
Edited for Space.

Hence my view doesn't require winning the genetic lottery twice (once to have a mutation, and then again to have a beneficial one). It only requires winning the lottery once...to be born with a mutation and then by good sense, or being outcast, find some environment that your uniqueness becomes your advantage.
SO yes, FREE SERVANT, the food and climate are hugely important...and the ability of misfit animals to get to where the food and climate allow them to use their "weirdness".--Surviv al of the misfits
Neutral means no positive or negative benefit on fitness. It will not give an advantage to the organism possessing the mutation and it will not remove the organism from the gene pool. In other words, all things being equal, the mutation confers no greater or lesser chance for the organism to reproduce as would be expected.

Natural selection can work on a population without benefit of mutation by working on the natural variability within the population. It does not work on some sort of abnormally intelligent animal that can exercise free will. If the mutation confers a selective benefit, then the organism with the benefit will have a increased fitness. This means that the probability that the mutation will pass to a larger number of surviving offspring is greater. The mutation isn't likely to be some sort of macromutation that confers some radically different expression of a trait or traits. It isn't likely that the animal will have multiple limbs or eyes in its mouth. These mutations often aren't beneficial in any event. If for instance the trait allows the organism to tolerate heat a bit more than the other members of its species, it might have a few more offspring if the environment gets hotter. If further mutations occur along with an increase in temperature, then over time a new species may emerge that is tolerant of higher temperatures. This would take a long time and a significant change in the environment. The changes don't have to be global. They can be local in scale. It is also possible that no change in the environment would take place and so there would be no selection pressure on the mutation and it is possible the mutation could be lost from the population.

In general, mutations don't cause an organism to seek out an environment where the mutation can flurish. It could happen, it just isn't part of the mechanism. Any movement is not based on a "free will" decision. At least I know of no data that supports that idea. Organisms do not move to a new location because they have changed. The move to a new location and if a mutation occurs they change.

The finches of the Galapagos Islands did not change on the mainland and then fly to the Galapagos. A small breeding population of a finch ended up there from storms or some other reason. The mutations that occurred in this population as they radiated out to take over unoccupied niches on the different islands. The result is several different species all related with a single common ancestor.

The mechanism you propose would in a fashion be natural selection, just not a model supported by any evidence. Survival of the fittest is an antiquated and not very descriptive term no longer used in science. As you can see those with the mutation can have survivors just like the organisms without the mutation, it is just under the right conditions, the mutation can confer greater fitness.

“ad victoriam”

Level 8

Since: Dec 10

arte et marte

#7 Jul 7, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
I do not believe in the theory of evolution as guided by natural selection..

*So in the end, I don't think it's "natural selection" at all. It's free-will of the animals. It's the animals that seek out the right environments to exploit their new traits, where their "weirdness" becomes a distinct advantage.

+In this way, the animal does not necessarily need a "good mutation" that helps it where it is...It just needs any mutation that makes it different enough where the herd rejects it, or it finds or it can exploit it's unique abilities just over the hill or on the next island over.
*Here you are describing what would be considered a normal parameter of natural selection.

$Example
Thicker beaked bird is able to crack thicker nuts than the other birds, since there is no competition for the thicker nuts , the thick beaks exploit this advantage and thrive.

+ Here you are modifying into a separate breeding population which is a part of evolution and speciation. This does happen and the animals do not even have to have a physical barrier. But when they become truly separated such as the animals of Australia , they end up on unique evolutionary paths.

You are only trying to redefine what is already known.

Level 7

Since: Sep 07

Los Angeles, CA

#8 Jul 7, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
Here's the problem with "natural selection" as I see it. There is some statistically enormous probability of being born with a mutation. Let's call this P. Then there is another statistically enormous probability that whatever random mutation happens is actually good, and offers a distinct advantage. Let's call this Q. So then the probability of an animal being born with a mutation AND also being lucky enough to get a just the right mutation it needs is P*Q.
Your math/thinking is shoddy.

The "odds" of you having a mutation are GREATER than 100%. YOU personally have DOZENS of mutations. As does EVERY SINGLE PERSON you have EVER met. Mutations are _COMMON_.

So your "P" value is something like "3600%".

It is true that the _majority_ of mutations have no effect positive or negative.

It is also true, therefore, that mutations which have an effect are in the minority.

So what? If only 1 mutation in 10,000 were positive, then that would mean that every 10th person or so would have a positive mutation. That's 700,000,000 positive mutations in the Human population which is alive right now.

You know how many positive mutations are needed in order for 1 to be passed onto the next generation? 1.
Just think of all the weird mutations that happen and how many of them are actually good. Almost all mutations are bad, or worse...even lethal.
Wrong. The VAST VAST VAST majority of mutations are neutral.

You are _SEEING_ negative mutations because they are profound. That doesn't mean they are the majority.
So no, I don't believe animals adapt to their environments at all.
See a lot of wild cows do you? Domestication is selective breeding to fit a specific environment.
In my view, the environment does not change the animals at all, but it is the animals that change their environment. Let me explain:
My view is quite simple. You have animals that are occasionally born with mutations, and these "outcasts from the herd" so-to-speak leave and seek out new environments that suit whatever advantage they happen to be born with. They settle there, and prosper.
How is that the animal changing the environment?
So in the end, I don't think it's "natural selection" at all. It's free-will of the animals. It's the animals that seek out the right environments to exploit their new traits, where their "weirdness" becomes a distinct advantage.hill or on the next island over.
Alright, try to follow along...

There is a school of fish swimming in the ocean. They live in salt water.

A mutation occurs that allows one of the female fish to swim in salt or fresh water.

She swims up a river to a lake where she has her offspring. They stay in the lake.

Because they never go back to the ocean, they eventually lose the ability to swim in both.

You now have two species. A salt water fish and a fresh water fish.

The ocean has not changed.
The river has not changed.
The lake has not changed.

The only thing that changed is that one of the fish had a mutation that allowed it to exploit a new resource.

THAT is evolution.

There was previously 1 species.
There are now 2 species.

At one point one of these species did not exist.
At another point they do.
Evolution.
Primeval

Brisbane, Australia

#9 Jul 7, 2013
evouloution is fake

“Maccullochella macquariensis”

Since: May 08

Melbourne, Australia

#10 Jul 8, 2013
Primeval wrote:
evouloution is fake
No doubt. However,_this_ discussion is about evolution.

“I am the great an powerful Ny!”

Since: Dec 06

Lebanon, PA

#11 Jul 8, 2013
Primeval wrote:
evouloution is fake
So is Australia since I can't see it from my window. That makes you not real.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#12 Jul 8, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
I do not believe in the theory of evolution as guided by natural selection.
Ah, I see you're one of those people who think reality is dictated by their personal beliefs.
ShawnBob wrote:
I have remained a skeptic of Darwinian evolution my entire life because it seems to be so fraught with scientific nonsense and a catch-bucket-reason for every ridiculous biological observation without due scientific rigor to support it.
Which is why it has literally hundreds of thousands of published science papers and is accepted by every single major science institution in the world. You have a better alternative?
ShawnBob wrote:
There is some statistically enormous probability of being born with a mutation. Let's call this
100%

Therefore evolution occurs.
ShawnBob wrote:
Then there is another statistically enormous probability that whatever random mutation happens is actually good, and offers a distinct advantage. Let's call this Q. So then the probability of an animal being born with a mutation AND also being lucky enough to get a just the right mutation it needs is P*Q.
Wrong. It does not need the "right" mutation because there could be countless potential beneficial ones (and detrimental too). However combine this with the fact that we are all born with mutations period then the chances of benefits are fair.
ShawnBob wrote:
Just think of all the weird mutations that happen and how many of them are actually good. Almost all mutations are bad, or worse...even lethal.
Which is why we're all born with over 100 mutations which are all bad so the population has serious breeding problems.

Oh wait - that's wrong.
ShawnBob wrote:
So there is the slim chance of getting a mutation and at the same time the slim chance of getting a good one that doesn't kill you or make you lame. The chance is essentially "highly unlikely squared".
Only if your model is correct. It's not. Ergo you have never understood natural selection and do not have the capacity for a valid critique.
ShawnBob wrote:
In my view, the environment does not change the animals at all
Not evolution's view either.
ShawnBob wrote:
animals change the environment.
Only to a certain extent. The environment CERTAINLY an effect on life reproduction. For instance a sudden ice age will definitely select much life out of the population if they are not able to cope.
ShawnBob wrote:
So in the end, I don't think it's "natural selection" at all. It's free-will of the animals.
Which is but a tiny subset of natural selection.
ShawnBob wrote:
It just needs any mutation that makes it different enough where the herd rejects it, or it finds or it can exploit it's unique abilities just over the hill or on the next island over.
It is FAR more common for herds NOT to reject others due to mutations since most mutations are NOT visually noticeable, and of those that are, they tend not to get rejected by social species in general (humans perhaps being on of the exceptions. Now also take into account that beneficial mutations spread through populations faster than detrimental ones for obvious reasons, hence that helps to drive change. You are correct that "good" and "bad" are subjective terms, but the proper terms: beneficial, detrimental and neutral are NOT subjective. And they are what are applied to mutations. You personally may dispute the mechanism of natural selection but it's also combined with many others - ultimately what isn't controversial in any way is common ancestry.

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Level 8

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#13 Jul 8, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
So no, I don't believe animals adapt to their environments at all. In my view, the environment does not change the animals at all, but it is the animals that change their environment. Let me explain:
OK. How about you explain extinction.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#14 Jul 8, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
I do not believe in the theory of evolution as guided by natural selection. I have remained a skeptic of Darwinian evolution my entire life because it seems to be so fraught with scientific nonsense and a catch-bucket-reason for every ridiculous biological observation without due scientific rigor to support it. I have heard evolution quoted as the underlying mechanism for everything from moth wing color to bird beak length to attached earlobes to wrinkled fingers. I'm not buying it because it's ridiculously improbable ...at least in its current accepted form.
This is how it has been put forth to me:
Firstly, evolution teaches us that there is an environment that contains living organisms within it. These organisms mutate over millions of years and some eventually develop anomalies that grant them distinct advantages over their peers. They of course, are able to hunt more efficiently, or breed more offspring, or somehow otherwise prosper more than the others. In this mode of thinking, the animals are adapting to their environment. The key here is that people assume animals adapt to their environments, and call this "natural selection".
Here's the problem with "natural selection" as I see it. There is some statistically enormous probability of being born with a mutation. Let's call this P. Then there is another statistically enormous probability that whatever random mutation happens is actually good, and offers a distinct advantage. Let's call this Q. So then the probability of an animal being born with a mutation AND also being lucky enough to get a just the right mutation it needs is P*Q. Just think of all the weird mutations that happen and how many of them are actually good. Almost all mutations are bad, or worse...even lethal.
So there is the slim chance of getting a mutation and at the same time the slim chance of getting a good one that doesn't kill you or make you lame. The chance is essentially "highly unlikely squared". This is the difference between "Once in a million years" and "Once in a trillion years"--The former being highly improbable but possible, the second, being near impossible.
So no, I don't believe animals adapt to their environments at all. In my view, the environment does not change the animals at all, but it is the animals that change their environment. Let me explain:
My view is quite simple. You have animals that are occasionally born with mutations, and these "outcasts from the herd" so-to-speak leave and seek out new environments that suit whatever advantage they happen to be born with. They settle there, and prosper.
So in the end, I don't think it's "natural selection" at all. It's free-will of the animals. It's the animals that seek out the right environments to exploit their new traits, where their "weirdness" becomes a distinct advantage.
In this way, the animal does not necessarily need a "good mutation" that helps it where it is...It just needs any mutation that makes it different enough where the herd rejects it, or it finds or it can exploit it's unique abilities just over the hill or on the next island over.
Shawn Bob, thats a bloody interesting idea.

I think there might be truth in it.

However, why make an either/or out of it?

How about this? In many cases, a mutation makes a creature fitter for its environment (classical evolution) and in other cases a mutation might force it to exploit a new niche (your take).

I can see both as fitting within the framework of evolution. We all know short men have to make more money :-) Stands to reason.

Level 1

Since: Jul 13

Spring, TX

#15 Jul 8, 2013
Thanks everyone for their thoughtful comments!

I should clarify a few things. Firstly as several people have pointed out, I realize now I wrongly wrote "Almost all mutations are bad, or worse...even lethal." Better, would have been "Almost all mutations are NEUTRAL, bad, or worse...even lethal." --That is to say, that almost all mutations are "not good" mutations in that they won't confer any special ability to survive more than your peers in your environment.

Now, to bolster the main point. Different species do in fact live in different environments. Why is it so far fetched that I think this happens the moment they become new species?

Imagine all bears have always been black, and suddenly you are born a white bear. This mutation isn't a "good mutation". Being white won't help you out much in your environment. So it's probably a "neutral mutation" in our discussion, or perhaps even a "bad mutation"...making you stand out like a sore thumb in the herd of black bears, or not able to lurk in the shadows and pounce onto prey. It won't take you long to find the first snow drift you come across and realize that you can hid in it and hunt more effectively than your counterparts. So you take the first breeding partner you find and wander off never to return.

In some other way this also accounts for why unique mutations don't just get diluted back into the gene pool...the white bear just staying put with the herd and breeding itself back into the normal bear gene pool. Separate species are likely in my view because they move away and separated the moment they became their own species capable of finding their own niche environment.

I know it's a radical idea because that's not the way it's been taught or understood, yet it's not so different really. People always speak of "animals adapting to their environments". This requires a "good mutation" where-as the other way just requires any mutation that allows you to find and establish a separate breeding population in a better environment suited to your particular traits.

Now, this can be done by freewill (like the hypothetical bear aforementioned, or by virtue of being ostracized by the herd.) We all know that metaphorically speaking, birds of a feather flock together. The moment you are born some other bird, you're usually not part of the flock anymore.

We as humans are not much different. We view genetic weirdos as just that. You're not going to fit in in the human social network if you're born different. The animal kingdom is often more cruel (although I can think of a few exceptions). This would be the X-men factor I think...where you get some new genetic trait, and then get beat up for it by the rest of your kind, until you go off on your own.

@Chimney1: I honest don't think it's an either/or thing. It's more of a blend probably in my view, but a lot heavier to the side that doesn't require necessarily good mutations...that makes the bad genetic hand in to a good one, by wandering off somewhere.

So yeah, my problem with evolution is not that I don't understand it, it's that I challenge it, like people should challenge all science, and perhaps we all learn something along the way.

Level 1

Since: Jul 13

Spring, TX

#16 Jul 8, 2013
So no, I don't believe animals adapt to their environments at all. In my view, the environment does not change the animals at all, but it is the animals that change their environment. Let me explain:
MikeF wrote:
<quoted text>
OK. How about you explain extinction.
I explain extinction precisely because animals are NOT adapting to their environment in my view. Their environment changes, while they do not, so they become extinct. At least one could classically argue that the environment changes faster than the animals are capable of adapting to it.

Better would have been:
"So no, I don't believe it is the usual mode of evolution whereby animals actively adapt to their environments. In my view, the environment does not cause the animals to adapt to it necessarily. It is the animals that are able change environments as they themselves change--as needed to survive or prosper."

I hope that's clearer, and not worse ;p

“Do not bend, fold, staple or”

Level 9

Since: Jan 11

mutilate. Point down range.

#17 Jul 8, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
Thanks everyone for their thoughtful comments!

Removed for space!
You keep referring to mutations as something you can see or that can be detected. While there are some that you can see, you are anthropomorphizing human behavioral responses onto other organisms as if they consciously are thinking, analyzing and deciding to ostracize some member of their species for being different. There is no evidence that detection of a mutation and active segregation results as a general rule. I don't know what else to tell you about the free will idea other than that animals tend to act on instinct.

You don't have a grasp of species concepts based on what I read here. A single mutation that changes the color of your coat does not make you a new species.

Mutations are either beneficial, neutral or detrimental. Most are neutral. The beneficial mutations will not mean that you are a new species and they won't mean that you are driven out of your population. You might get driven out, but it isn't a general mechanism. Beneficial mutations can be lost from a population or they can become fixed in the population. If you are a white bear in a population of black bears, you could be at a disadvantage and not get layed that much. So your genes are not passed on to as many offspring. If this continues the mutation can become lost from the population. If the climate of your home range drops and you get a lot of snow, you may get more food, live longer and get layed more often. If more of your offspring reproduce over the generations the mutation can become fixed in the population. If you expand your range into colder climates, you may establish a population that is mostly white. Are you a new species. No, not yet. After many, many generations, further mutations and adaptations you might be a new species. If you can't breed with the original species, you are. How long will this take. It depends on the organism and the environment. It has been shown to occur in as little as 15,000 years for some fish.

Populations can adapt with the natural variability in their gene pool. Mutations are not necessary for all adaptation.

“ad victoriam”

Level 8

Since: Dec 10

arte et marte

#18 Jul 8, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
So no, I don't believe animals adapt to their environments at all. In my view, the environment does not change the animals at all, but it is the animals that change their environment. Let me explain:
<quoted text>
I explain extinction precisely because animals are NOT adapting to their environment in my view. Their environment changes, while they do not, so they become extinct. At least one could classically argue that the environment changes faster than the animals are capable of adapting to it.
Better would have been:
"So no, I don't believe it is the usual mode of evolution whereby animals actively adapt to their environments. In my view, the environment does not cause the animals to adapt to it necessarily. It is the animals that are able change environments as they themselves change--as needed to survive or prosper."
I hope that's clearer, and not worse ;p
You are still re-describing known evolutionary methodology, here.

"Their environment changes, while they do not, so they become extinct. At least one could classically argue that the environment changes faster than the animals are capable of adapting to it."

This is a known value, the difference and where selection plays a role is that sometimes a few are born or already existed with traits better suited to survive the change, them by this selection have offspring with this trait, and the main body dies away leaving the "selected" few who now become a distinct species, and when we see them in the fossil record we see a change in and record it as evolution.

Of course this does not preclude the possibility that some animals escape to find a less hostile environment and find a niche suited to them, but the effect is the same a speciation occurs after some time and we see it as evolution. Also that a few that survive in the original environment leaving us with two slightly different species or sub species and eventually after time may emerge as two separate species. And we see this as evolution

The difference is it explains both ways why a speciation event happened, and the result of extinction leading to change thus evidence compelling us as to why evolutionary theory is regarded as close to the truth we can find.

Level 7

Since: Sep 07

Los Angeles, CA

#19 Jul 8, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
Now, to bolster the main point. Different species do in fact live in different environments. Why is it so far fetched that I think this happens the moment they become new species?
Your premise is wrong. Not all new species live in different environments. All arctic terns live around the arctic circle, they are just distant from one another.

If you could capture all the terns that live in Eastern Canada and all the ones that live in Northern Europe and swap them, the two populations would each survive quite nicely in the previous home of the other.

They are, in all ways except one, the same. However, the one way they are different is that _THEY CAN NOT INTERBREED_

Ditto the hundreds (thousands?) of species of jumping spider. They'd all do nicely in each others habitats with few exceptions. Yet no two spiders from different groups can interbreed (literally their naughty bits don't fit together).

Clearly it's not the environment that is the issue.
Imagine all bears have always been black, and suddenly you are born a white bear....It won't take you long to find the first snow drift you come across and realize that you can hid in it and hunt more effectively than your counterparts. So you take the first breeding partner you find and wander off never to return.
There are COUNTLESS examples of white animals born into populations who do not "wander off". Pick _ANY_ animal and google "White X" and you'll see. White moose? White turkey? White kangaroo? I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding them.

The problem is that is _NOT_ how things work. A bear born in Souther California does not wander north until it finds snow simply because it's white.

And trees CERTAINLY don't move to better fit their environments.
I know it's a radical idea
It's NOT a radical idea.

Speciation occurs PRIMARILY in cases of niche exploitation. We've known this FOR 150 years!

You have a population of fish that feed on bugs. One fish is born that can eat both bugs and leeches. There is a TON of competition for the bugs, but no one else is eating the leeches. That fish does VERY well. It has children which can also eat leeches. Pretty soon you have two popualations off fish. The bug eaters and the leech eaters.

If the bug eaters stay near the surface and the leech eaters stay near the bottom, these two groups are going to split so much that they become different species.

NOT a new idea.

You're should learn something about evolution before you try and pitch (NOT A NEW VERSION) of evolution

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#20 Jul 9, 2013
ShawnBob wrote:
So no, I don't believe animals adapt to their environments at all.
Yet we have seen animals change, adapting to their environment. The lizards of Pod Mcaru are one example.

So how about a bit less "I believe, Don't believe" and a little more accommodation to the facts?

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