Survival of the fittest - what does it mean ?

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scienceteacheragain (March 14, 2008, 13:51:48 PM):
I believe that is Cooley's Anemia that is specific to the Mediterranean, right?
scienceteacheragain (March 14, 2008, 14:25:02 PM):
Now, back to the dead horse that is the argument of survival of the fittest is a tautology.
I am not even going to go into explaining how it is not, as it is such a tired argument that has been shown to be false many times. And, from what I have seen from Metari1, I believe he goes around to wacky creationist sites and comes back here and regurgitates what he has read with nothing novel to add. But that is typical of many creationists I've heard, and is expected when reason is the enemy of your faith.

Jason Rosenhouse blogged (long ago now) about how to spot a bad argument, and it most certainly applies here.
If you hear someone say that a well supported theory is invalid, not because of some new evidence, but because of a basic flaw in logic, you should dismiss this argument out of hand.
How likely is it that generations of scientists have used a theory extensively and further developed the theory and produced mountains of experimental evidence for the theory, but somehow missed something very basic. Further, it takes someone as brilliant as Metari 1 (or whoever it is that he is parroting) to point out this flaw to the stupid scientists who weren't clever enough to see it.
The tautological argument is word play. I would say that I can't believe there is still any discussion on it, but the dishonesty of creationists have taught me that some things that should go away sometimes never do.
metari1 (March 15, 2008, 11:11:56 AM):
Now, back to the dead horse that is the argument of survival of the fittest is a tautology.
I am not even going to go into explaining how it is not, as it is such a tired argument that has been shown to be false many times.

Please provide references as to who has showed which individual with his particular intent was false.

The tautological argument is word play. I would say that I can't believe there is still any discussion on it, but the dishonesty of creationists have taught me that some things that should go away sometimes never do.

Other than noting a particular creature survived how was its fitness measured ?
johanvz (March 15, 2008, 23:02:25 PM):
Quote from: metari1
Other than noting a particular creature survived how was its fitness measured ?

Warmlug already provided a good example of sickle cell disease causing resistance to malaria. Therefore, if you live in a malaria area sickle cell disease makes you fitter to survive.

A simpler example. A lion chases 2 bucks, the one buck is fast and gets away, the slow buck is caught. The faster buck was more fit to survive and got away.

So, to answer your question, fitness is measured in terms of the trait or ability that gives an organism the ability to overcome an adverse condition.

Johan
metari1 (March 16, 2008, 20:25:26 PM):
A simpler example. A lion chases 2 bucks, the one buck is fast and gets away, the slow buck is caught. The faster buck was more fit to survive and got away.

So, to answer your question, fitness is measured in terms of the trait or ability that gives an organism the ability to overcome an adverse condition.


Johan weet jy wat is die definisie van a tautologie? Ek gaan vir jou Wikipedia kwoteer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_%28rhetoric%29
"...In colloquial terms a logical tautology can also be defined as a series of statements that comprise an argument, which statements are constructed in such a way that the truth of the proposition is guaranteed. Consequently the statement conveys no useful information regardless of its length or complexity. Thus, for a simple example, the statement "if you can't find something (that you lost), you are not looking in the right place" is tautological. It is also true, but conveys no useful information. As a physical example, to play a game of darts where the dart board was full of bullseyes, could be called a "tautological" game. You can't lose. Any argument containing a tautological statement is thus flawed logically and must be considered erroneous.

A tautological argument is not an argument; a tautological game is not a game. Mathematical equations, such as e = mc2, are not tautologies. The terms on both sides of the equation are defined elsewhere independently, and thus the equal sign does not mean "is defined by" but rather equal to, thus establishing an equivalence...."

So let me ask the question again:

"...fitness is measured in terms of the trait or ability that gives an organism the ability to overcome an adverse condition...."

Other than noting an organism had the ability to overcome an adverse condition, how was its fitness measured ?

Our observation was that an organism indeed had the ability to overcome and adverse condition, how does labeling this "fitness" tell us anything we don't already know.

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