Natural selection like triangular circles can't exist

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ArgumentumAdHominem (October 15, 2007, 17:51:41 PM):
"Natural" has a meaning dependent on the surrounding sentences and "selection" has a specific meaning and intent all on its own and that one can't combine the two words

For an example of the flaw in your word game, consider these examples:

"Aerial" has a meaning dependant on the surrounding sentences and "invasion" has a specific meaning and intent all on its own and that one can't combine the two words ...
???

Okay, so maybe "aerial invasion" is a fluke - I mean, how can aerials invade? Ummm ...

"Electric" has a meaning dependant on the surrounding sentences and "passion" has a specific meaning and intent all on its own and that one can't combine the two words ...
??? ... errm, someone should inform Mills & Boon.


The point is that adjectives can be combined with nouns - even "intent-carrying" nouns (which in some cases are really verbs which are transformed into nouns: select -> selection and invade -> invasion). This does not elevate the adjective to a proper noun, "electric passion" does not make "electric" personify all electricity or become Mother Electricity. That is why we don't get disappointed that our electricity isn't being as passionate as the Italians' electricity.



Before you start this all over again by playing word games, take note of this (which you have conveniently ignored) ...

Remember that much earlier in the discussion I mentioned that the process in no way is related to the words used to label it? The process of evolution is not summarised by the title that Darwin chose.

I see that this argument is going to go through another cycle of repeating the same thing again and again because you chose to ignore it the first time.

*sigh*

I'm curious if you are interested in also having a dead horse to flog or is this argument sufficient for now?
metari1 (October 15, 2007, 19:54:01 PM):
Remember that much earlier in the discussion I mentioned that the process in no way is related to the words used to label it?
What process are you talking about, give me examples so I can understand your intent with "process".

The process of evolution is not summarised by the title that Darwin chose.

You are begging the question with "process of evolution". Evolution and its sidekick natural selection are the terms under dispute. Everything pivots on this term natural selection. You would also need to define for me the difference between "evolution" and "Theory of Evolution", since
evolution and natural selection are used interchangeably.
metari1 (October 15, 2007, 20:01:48 PM):

I didn't say that the common ancestor was not an ape. I said that the common ancestor was not a Chimpanzee.


Was the common ancestor an ape then?
ArgumentumAdHominem (October 15, 2007, 21:54:07 PM):
Was the common ancestor an ape then?

Yes, one of the common ancestors (the one we share with chimps and the one we have been talking about) was 100% ape. Maybe you didn't read the earlier posts ...

Of course the common ancestor of man and chimpanzees was an ape. At no point did anyone on this thread or the IRC thread say otherwise (except for a creationist who was putting words into someone else's mouth). Richard said this on the same thread but he didn't say "chimp" or "monkey" once.

It has been explained to you over and over again that the common ancestor of men and other apes was an ape.

And even when I drew a picture to show you that the common ancestor between humans and chimps is an ape you seemed to ignore me ...

I have attached a homemade diagram [...]

I have included the common ancestor (our common ancestor with chimps) in the ape section on purpose. I have also included another common ancestor, the one we share with monkeys


:) Thank you for addressing this (following) point, I am happy to know that you are not just glancing-over the words on the page and actually considering my argument.

Remember that much earlier in the discussion I mentioned that the process in no way is related to the words used to label it?
What process are you talking about, give me examples so I can understand your intent with "process".

Happy to oblige ... way back in the beginning I mentioned that the term "selection" has a specific meaning in biology which is separate form the day-to-day meaning of "selection". Here is a definition of the process that biology labels as "selection"...

Quote from: dictionary.com
4. Biology. any natural or artificial process that results in differential reproduction among the members of a population so that the inheritable traits of only certain individuals are passed on, or are passed on in greater proportion, to succeeding generations.

and more specifically natural selection ...

Quote from: The American Heritage Science Dictionary
natural selection
The process by which organisms that are better suited to their environment than others produce more offspring. As a result of natural selection, the proportion of organisms in a species with characteristics that are adaptive to a given environment increases with each generation. Therefore, natural selection modifies the originally random variation of genetic traits in a species so that alleles that are beneficial for survival predominate, while alleles that are not beneficial decrease. Originally proposed by Charles Darwin, natural selection forms the basis of the process of evolution


You are begging the question with "process of evolution".

Okay, I will accept that point, perhaps I was a bit hasty having not formally explained why I am using "evolution", "the theory of evolution" and "natural selection" at different points in my argument.

Evolution and its sidekick natural selection are the terms under dispute. Everything pivots on this term natural selection. You would also need to define for me the difference between "evolution" and "Theory of Evolution", since evolution and natural selection are used interchangeably.

The word evolution refers to the theory of evolution. I am using it as short-hand (as most people do) instead of typing-out the whole term again and again. This is common practice. Very seldom do you hear people refer to gravity as "the theory of gravitation" or people referring to planetary orbits as "the theory of planetary motion".

So "evolution" = "the theory of evolution" and can be interchanged.

"Natural selection", on the other hand, does not describe the entire process of evolution. Evolution comprises three main processes; natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow. The process of natural selection was the entirety of Darwin's theory of evolution because in those days there was no knowledge of DNA.

Natural selection is by no means a "sidekick" of evolution, it is part and parcel of the theory of evolution.

Evolution and its sidekick natural selection are the terms under dispute.

If, as you state, "evolution" and "natural selection" are the terms under dispute then why are you objecting to me using both? At no point has the meaning of "evolution" been incorrectly used when "natural selection" should have been used.
Mefiante (October 16, 2007, 10:40:38 AM):
By your line of reasoning, metari1, and by a similar token, a recent term much beloved by creationists of the intelligent design school (!) should be disallowed for being something of a tautology. The term in question is "irreducible complexity."

Ignoring the grave difficulties of providing a proper functional definition of the term, consider as follows: For something to qualify as having "complexity," there is a threshold, perhaps in the form of a grey area, that needs to be crossed between the "complex" and its antithesis. In other words, if one was in some way to reduce sufficiently the amount (or quality) of "complexity" that inheres in a thing that is already close to this threshold, it could no longer rightfully be said to be "complex." Thus, "complexity" already carries with it an idea of "irreducibility." Yet, when faced with this term, everyone has at least some intuitive grasp of what sense "irreducible complexity" aims to impart.

But never mind that. Suppose just for argument's sake that you do manage to convince the entire biological sciences fraternity of the error of their semantic ways. You convince them to repent and revise their terminology. They now say "natural filtering" – you will, I hope, not insist that the word "filtering" necessarily entails conscious intent or agency – instead of the offending "natural selection." What have you actually achieved, and what's next on your agenda regarding the biological sciences?

The reason I ask the above is that, taken on its own, it strikes me as a most trivial axe you're wanting to grind over mere specialist jargon, and I suspect there's more to it that you're not (yet) saying.

'Luthon64

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