Does evolution happen by chance?

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Wandapec (March 31, 2009, 21:06:41 PM):
Does evolution happen by chance ?

I agree with bluegray V, good answer 'Luthon64. I would like to suggest an alternative answer - No. ;)

This is what Richard Dawkins said in an interview -
You said in a recent speech that design was not the only alternative to chance. A lot of people think that evolution is all about random chance.

That's ludicrous. That's ridiculous. Mutation is random in the sense that it's not anticipatory of what's needed. Natural selection is anything but random. Natural selection is a guided process, guided not by any higher power, but simply by which genes survive and which genes don't survive. That's a non-random process. The animals that are best at whatever they do-hunting, flying, fishing, swimming, digging-whatever the species does, the individuals that are best at it are the ones that pass on the genes. It's because of this non-random process that lions are so good at hunting, antelopes so good at running away from lions, and fish are so good at swimming.
mentari (March 31, 2009, 21:16:45 PM):
There is no need to add to Luthon's excellent description :)
However, I would like to point out a discrepency between the title of this post and the description. The most simple answer to the question: "Does evolution happen by chance" is no, but it does not follow that it is "directed" either. There is no dichotomy there, not even a false one.

Again it depends what concept you as signal sender is sending to me signal receiver using the symbol string 'evolution' - what protocol are you using.
scienceteacheragain (March 31, 2009, 22:01:50 PM):
Since the question is yours, what do you mean by evolution?
Using the simple definition you offered above, the answer is still "no". Additionally, I can't think of any variation or nuance of the definition of evolution in Biology that would change my contention that "by chance" and "directed" do not establish a dichotomy.
The definition of "directed" possibly could, but that is a seperate issue and would depend on why someone takes issue with it (I only picked up on it when I re-read my post, but I suspect Luthon would have called me on it if she were online) ;D.
Mefiante (March 31, 2009, 22:32:11 PM):
Depends what you define as "evolution". I understand it to mean the transmutation of species.
Have you actually read my reply? It includes a definition of what evolution is. And the phrase “transmutation of species” is a dead giveaway. Speciation is, considered from the gene/allele frequency perspective, actually incidental, a mere by-product of the influence of the environment on genetic interactions. It is why Richard Dawkins wrote of The Selfish Gene.

Again it depends what concept you as signal sender is sending to me signal receiver using the symbol string 'evolution' - what protocol are you using.
You’re dodging the issue here, especially considering that you have given your understanding of evolution in the post immediately before the one cited above.

You’ve been here before using a slightly different name, haven’t you? And before? And before?

mentari (April 01, 2009, 10:39:34 AM):

Strictly speaking, evolution is the study of gene and allele frequencies. This means that evolution concerns itself with how certain genes (or alleles) become abundant or scarce, and the factors that play a role.

In biology, evolution is change in the genetic material of a population of organisms from one generation to the next. Though the changes produced in any one generation are small, differences accumulate with each subsequent generation and can, over time, cause substantial changes in the organisms.

== rephrase ==
The concept that Gould had in 2002 with the word evolution is change in the genes of an organisms.

But Darwin didn't know about genes, who is Gould interpreting, the wikipedia nr.1 reference doesn't tell us. Who is this person that decided that "genes" must be associated with the word evolution ? Because theories are always formally defined.
The concept Darwin had with "evolution" was the unrolling of pre-fabricated beings by God , this is how a reader read OoS in 1859. Is this the same concept Gould had in 2002 and what is the relation to Genes, how did Darwin solve a problem he couldn't define.

I am the old mentari but lost my user name and password.


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