Survival of the fittest - what does it mean ?

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metari1 (March 19, 2008, 18:31:33 PM):

It is bidirectional because wherever a particular organism is seen to thrive, that organism is .... well-suited to its environment, and vice versa.

Other than noting the organism thrived how was its suitability to the environment derived ? Let me help you out here. Your argument rests on a truism:The organism exists or The organism is suited to its environment. And this is the essence of your statement which of course is just truism. So in order to disguise your truism you turn it into a tautology. You tell me the organism "thrived", obviously how else could it have thrived if it wasn't well suited to its environment? Telling me it "thrived" doesn't tell me anything more that what is implied with:" .... well-suited..."

The phrase is shorthand for a formally defined established theory (actually, a collection thereof), namely Evolution with Natural Selection.

Where can I read this formally defined and established theory which you label "Natural Selection". Is the term "natural selection" in an of itself the actual theory or is it a label for some yet to be defined theory that will explain how an egg turns into a chicken?
ArgumentumAdHominem (March 19, 2008, 20:00:44 PM):
What has the word "change" or "evolution" got to do with making inquiries ?

Quote from: Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1), Inquiry
1. a seeking [...] for truth, information, or knowledge.

[...]

4. a question; query.

You are limiting your understanding of the word to the forth definition, and ignoring the first definition. This definition allows for the special definition of scientific inquiry which described the processes of undertaking scientific investigations - details at Wiki. It is obvious to any reader familiar with the English language that 'Luthon's intent in using the phrase "think [...] of [the term "Evolution"] as a term denoting [an] area of [...] scientific inquiry" was to indicate that "Evolution" has a meaning beyond simply "change" and that meaning is the subject, the target, the focus of many diverse areas of scientific investigation from a variety of fields which all point to the same thing, the same theory of Evolution. Remember in the distant past that I said that Evolution has it's own meaning in the field of biology? Any dictionary will list this biological definition separately from the "change" definition that you are clinging to.

Would you mind showing me where is formally established Theory of Natural Selection on Wikipedia or anywhere else for that matter?

We did this for you on the previous thread about Natural Selection and triangular circles. Here we go again. Just ignoring what was posted there does not mean that it wasn't sufficient evidence.

Here are some ones which may have been posted already (if they were, you haven't commented on them)...

The definition of Evolution at the Talk Origins Archive.
The definition of Darwinism at the Talk Origins Archive includes the following on Natural Selection (but read that article before you ask what this has to do with Evolution)..
Quote from: Ernst Mayr, One Long Argument, Chapter 4
In both scholarly and popular literature one frequently finds references to "Darwin's theory of evolution", as though it were a unitary entity. In reality, Darwin's "theory" of evolution was a whole bundle of theories, and it is impossible to discuss Darwin's evolutionary thought constructively if one does not distinguish its various components.

[...]

1. Evolution [...]
2. Common Descent [...]
3. Multiplication of species [...]
4. Gradualism [...]
5. Natural selection. According to this theory, evolutionary change comes about throught [sic] the abundant production of genetic variation in every generation. The relatively few individuals who survive, owing to a particularly well-adapted combination of inheritable characters, give rise to the next generation.


In your latest post ...

Other than noting the organism thrived how was its suitability to the environment derived ? Let me help you out here. Your argument rests on a truism:The organism exists or The organism is suited to its environment. And this is the essence of your statement which of course is just truism. So in order to disguise your truism you turn it into a tautology.


No. As I stated previously, "Survival of the Fittest" is not a theory, it is a pop-marketing phrase for the theory of Natural Selection. In my example of the antelope with deformed blood cells I showed that it is not always the fittest that survive and will continue to guarantee the survival of the species. I also said that we don't say that the elephant is fit because it is here and alive, no, we say that it is fitter than the mammoth because Natural Selection acted on these particular traits which the mammoth didn't have, or the mammoth had these particular adverse traits.

Here comes the most important link of this post - even if you don't follow any of the other links that I have provided - go to this document at the Talk Origins Archive and tell us what about this article you do not understand.

More reading on the same topic was provided by bluegrayV in this previous discussion.

Is the term "natural selection" in an of itself the actual theory or is it a label for some yet to be defined theory that will explain how an egg turns into a chicken?

We have theories for that, in case you didn't know, biologists have studied Fertilisation and Embryology for centuries. If you think that Natural Selection is supposed to replace these theories then you are very misguided.
Mefiante (March 19, 2008, 21:14:29 PM):
What has the word "change" or "evolution" got to do with making inquiries ?
In view of ArgumentumAdHominem’s detailed elucidation which strongly suggests that I was hardly being obscure, I am forced to wonder whether you are being deliberately provocative because it seems nigh impossible that anyone really, really could mimic the spectacular density of a neutron star.



Other than noting the organism thrived how was its suitability to the environment derived ?
Other than noting that you keep asking the same silly question over and over, how is your inability to comprehend fairly simple abstract principles to be detected? Your question is meaningless because it rests on the false assumption that “thriving” and “suitability to the environment” are statically equivalent to one other. Neither the environment nor the organisms in it remain static in any sense of that word for any length of time.



Let me help you out here. Your argument rests on a truism:The organism exists or The organism is suited to its environment. And this is the essence of your statement which of course is just truism.
Please don’t help me, I implore you. Of course it’s a truism if you implicitly assume that “thriving” is idempotent to “suited to the environment!” This implicit assumption is probably the result of it being quite obvious to us today that there is an ongoing dynamic and competitive interplay between organisms and their environment, and forgetting – conveniently, I suspect – that this interdependence was not at all obvious in the past.

So you can insist on calling “tautology” and “truism” all you want because it’ll only show up your profound ignorance for what it really is. And if you do, then you must necessarily also concede that “E = m∙c2” is a truism and a tautology because it has always been true and there is no reason to doubt that it will continue to be true.



So in order to disguise your truism you turn it into a tautology. You tell me the organism "thrived", obviously how else could it have thrived if it wasn't well suited to its environment?
The environment changed to be even more conducive to the proliferation of that organism, for example if a natural enemy went extinct. Two words for you: “rabbits” and “Australia”.



Telling me it "thrived" doesn't tell me anything more that what is implied with:" .... well-suited..."
Rubbish. See above.



Where can I read this formally defined and established theory which you label "Natural Selection".
Richard Dawkins’ book The Blind Watchmaker is just one of an almost endless list of places where good information is to be had. If you’re really interested, there are many links to resources in this very forum. You could even attend a reputable university if you want the nitty-gritty low-down.



Is the term "natural selection" in an of itself the actual theory or is it a label for some yet to be defined theory that will explain how an egg turns into a chicken?
Neither. Think about it, unless you’re being either silly or disingenuous.

'Luthon64
metari1 (March 20, 2008, 12:14:54 PM):
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darwinism.html

"...Natural selection. According to this theory, evolutionary change comes about through the abundant production of genetic variation in every generation. The relatively few individuals who survive, owing to a particularly well-adapted combination of inheritable characters, give rise to the next generation...."

Other than noting that the individuals were well-adapted how was it determined that they survived ?

ArgumentumAdHominem (March 20, 2008, 14:09:56 PM):
Other than noting that the individuals were well-adapted how was it determined that they survived ?
I think that this sentence demonstrates that your grasp of English is nearly as loose as your grasp on reality.

Would you like to try that again? Perhaps ...
Quote
Other than noting that the individuals [survived] how was it determined that they [were well-adapted] ?
Is this the question you wanted to ask?

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