Technical Ben wrote:
the link you provided on equilibrium is decades above my head. I don't speak that language, but that does not mean I could not understand the concepts if explained. Thanks.
In the previous thread on evolution, I suggested you look into programs that simulate variability. Many of them do that by playing with the parameters of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. They do this by grossly simplifying what we're looking at, and calculate the probability of allelic frequency in a population if you assign the starting frequencies (ratio of AA, Aa, aa), and the fitness of each genotype (e.g., AA - 1, Aa - .8 aa - .75). The reason I provided the link that explains Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, is because YOU made a comment about equilibrium of life, and I asked you what you were asking about. Which you still haven't answered.
Technical Ben wrote:Does the link suggest each generation is the "same", or that there is variation within a specific bounds (but "stable")? I guess I could look at the maths involved, but if it starts at that level, I'd be a bit stuck on my own with it.
No, see above; also, do you know 'where' evolution is taking place? Because I thought we've been over this; it's not taking place at the individual, or at a given generation. It takes place at reproduction, particularly, at the survival of the subsequent generation. Individuals do not evolve. Current generations do not evolve. And you don't need to understand the math, truthfully; it's just a way of looking at the allelic frequency in a population. If you don't know what 'allele' means, please look it up before responding.
Technical Ben wrote:Either an individual and/or the group changes the environment around them. Either there are other individuals/groups in the environment or there are not.
These two sentences don't have anything to do with one another, and I'm not sure what you're getting at with 'change the environment'. I'm changing the environment right now sitting on my couch breathing and perspiring; what's your point?
Technical Ben wrote:Or is there an argument for a trend to simplicity? I can imagine that life takes the simplest solution. But that does not seem to be a constant trend, as it has a specific lower bound to it's limit. Besides, we don't see life getting simpler, do we?
Why are you asking this? We've been talking now for about 4 pages about how 'simple' and 'complex' are very poor terms to use to describe life. Have you ignored the entire discussion?
Technical Ben wrote:Thanks. This is all I'm asking. As a theory without limits is rather hard to apply, prove, disprove or accept. Seeing bacteria become sponges, or sponges become starfish is the thing I've not yet seen. This is not a "macro versus micro" this is a "one person winning the lottery versus everyone winning". Each step is a low probability, but considered reasonable as "one person winning". However those asking me to understand evolution are asking for "the ancestor winning each time", what are the chances of subsequent lottery winners ancestors also winnowing a draw in their lifetime?
We went over this; it is feasible that a cat will eventually evolve into a hagfishes 'jawless eel body plan', but calling it, at that point, a hagfish, would be a misnomer. And you are forgetting the fact that the vast majority of mutations, individuals, and indeed, species, fail. We're not asking you to accept that all ancestors throughout all of time succeeded, we're pointing out that for everything alive today, it had an ancestor that succeeded.
Technical Ben wrote:The reason I ask, is because if those arguing for evolution cannot describe complexity and how it's required/trending upwards, then how can they ask me to accept larger claims? Especially when I'm handing them a possible proof on a plate from my own understating...
Again, no one is saying you CANNOT describe complexity, we are simply saying you should try and do so before you throw it around as a term. And please, again, stop assuming that you've handed anyone a possible proof of anything.
Technical Ben wrote:
Can we define complexity as the amount of uncompressable data? Like you would in software? If it can be compressed into a 64kb zip file, it's not a "complex" program?
I brought up viruses earlier because they do some pretty cool stuff with 'compressing' their genome, insofar as having overlap of gene functions. Recombination is a thing too; a gene may be subunits A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, and protein 1, 2, and 3 is A, B, D/E, E/F, while protein 4 and 5 is A, D/F, and protein 6 is A, C/D, F. That's pretty complicated. So yeah, you could say some general things about genomic complexity, but it's still a kind of iffy metric.
I guess the ultimate point that we need to agree on is that 'complexity' is a multivariable term.
Technical Ben wrote:There are examples of cave fish, but as mentioned above, I'm not certain if they loose the functions completely on the gene level, or if given selective pressure, can regain them. An animal that can adapt in such a way, but regain the functions when needed later (say a population migrates out of the caves and selection reactivates the eye genes), would be more complex or less complex?
Cave fish are an interesting point; what happens is that because you remove the disadvantage of dysfunction in vision, over time, mutations that affect vision pop up, and simultaneously, reduce the energy development requirement of the animal so actually become selected FOR, instead of against. You can imagine that blindness outside a cave is quickly selected against. In a cave, what is occurring is that mutations that disrupt vision development occur, and because the animal spends less resources developing eyes, they persist.
AFAIK, they haven't LOST the genetic material for developing vision, those materials have simply accumulated a bunch of errors. If you could fix those errors, the fish would possibly/probably develop vision normally.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.