BEEP! BEEP! IT'S ME.

"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.

"DIFFICILE EST SATURAM NON SCRIBERE"

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Natural Selection VS Artificial Selection


Many people seem to have difficulty in understanding the differences in these terms. These terms are NOT interchangeable in meaning. They are NOT synonymous.

  • 1. Evolution
  • 2. Natural selection
  • 3. Artifical selection
  • 4. Selective breeding
  • 5.Survival of the fittest
  • 6. Eugenics
  • 7. Social darwinism



1. Evolution describes a biological process where change in the heritable traits of a population over successive generations, is determined by shifts in the allele frequencies of genes. Over time, this process can result in speciation, the development of new species from existing ones. All contemporary organisms are related to each other through common descent, the products of cumulative evolutionary changes over billions of years.

2. Natural selection describes a biological process by which individual organisms with unfavorable traits are less likely to survive and reproduce than those with favorable traits. Natural selection works on the whole individual, but only the heritable component of a trait will be passed on to the offspring, with the result that favorable, heritable traits become more common in the next generation. Given enough time, this passive process can result in adaptations and speciation. Natural selection is the "engine" of evolution.

3. Artificial selection describes the deliberate human manipulation of a biological process. It is driven by a human agenda. It is the process where intentional or unintentional modification of a species through human actions will encourage the breeding of certain traits over others. It was originally defined by Charles Darwin in contrast to the process of natural selection, in which the differential reproduction of organisms with certain traits is attributed to improved survival and reproductive ability in the natural habitat of the organism. Artifial selection is the OPPOSITE of natural selection.

4. Selective breeding also describes a biological process with a human agenda where the process of intentional or unintentional modification of a species through human actions will encourage the breeding of certain traits over others. Selective breeding is a form of artifical selection. It is a process where human beings use their knowledge of bloodline, strain and inbreeding to facilitate the weeding-out of undesired characteristics and the fixation of desired traits in domesticated animals. Inbreeding and linebreeding are controversial aspects of artificial selection, but have been practiced for centuries.

5. "Survival of the fittest" describes a social philosophy which attempts to explain human social progress. It was coined by Herbert Spencer. Spencer tried to draw parallels to his ideas of economics, politics and sociology with Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. "Survival of the fittest" used in this way, is not a biological term describing the process of natural selection, but a sociological term used in an attempt to explain social, political and cultural changes.

6. Eugenics describes a social philosophy which advocates the improvement of human hereditary traits through various forms of human intervention. The purported goals have variously been to create healthier, more intelligent people, save society's resources, and lessen human suffering. Earlier proposed means of achieving these goals focused on selective breeding, while modern ones focus on prenatal testing and screening, genetic counseling, birth control, in vitro fertilization, and genetic engineering.

7. Social Darwinism describes a social philosophy which claims that just as competition between individual organisms drives biological evolutionary change (speciation), competition between individuals or groups in human societies drives social evolution. "Survival of the fittest" is the "engine" of Social Darwinism.

Artifical selection, selective breeding, eugenics and social darwinism are models of human political, social, economic or cultural intentionality. Human beings have opinions on what constitute favourable genetic traits and sometimes they use scientific knowledge in order to create outcomes which suit their political, social or cultural desires. In other words, they attempt to predetermine according to their own prejudices or biases traits or behaviours which they deem to be favourable.

Natural selection does not have a predetermined human opinion concerning that which is a favourable trait. Mutations may be favourable or unfavourable depending on the environment. Nor does natural selection have a predetermined human opinion about what constitutes a favourable or an unfavourable trait, or a moral or an immoral trait, characteristic or behaviour. Natural selection occurs without a human preconceived idea of the end result. In other words, natural selection does not occur because humans wish or will it to occur. It occurs outside of human intentionality. It occurs in the same way that the planets rotate regardless of our intentionality, gravity occurs outside of our intentionality, and photosynthesis occurs outside of our intentionality.

Scientific processes, like natural selection, are morally, politically, culturally and economically neutral. Human beings are not. No one assumes that gravity occurs because of human intent. It is evidenced regardless of our intent. Likewise, the description of a natural process like natural selection, does NOT include a human moral, political, social, economic or cultural opinion about that process NOR about the result of that process.

For example: - The scientific description of the process of photosynthesis does not include the human opinion that green plants are better, so therefore we should wipe out all the plants which are not green. Photosynthesis merely describes the process whereby sugar is synthesized in the presence of light, carbon dioxide and water, with oxygen as a waste product. It takes a human driven agenda to decide that by interfering with the process of photosynthesis, we could kill off all the green plants.

Similarly, the scientific decription of the process of natural selection, does not include the human opinion that Aryans are better, so therefore we should wipe out all the people who are not Aryan. It takes a human driven agenda based in a political, social, cultural, or religious intention to do that. Artificial selection is the engine of human intention; not natural selection.

Natural selection is NOT eugenics, artifical selection, or selective breeding. It is the process described by darwin which is demonstrated by the change in the heritable traits of a population over successive generations, as determined by shifts in the allele frequencies of genes.

Mankind deliberately tinkering with genetic information is not an example of natural selection as described by Darwin. It is an example of artificial selection, whereby genes are selected for characteristics not based upon a naturally occuring selection process. Certainly, neither eugenics, nor artifical selection, fit the description of evolution and natural selection espoused by Darwin.

That mankind can produce a cloned animal, is NOT an example of natural selection. It is an example of man using genetic knowledge to predetermine a desired result. That mankind can use a system of eugenics against those who they arbitarily consider "unfit"; is also NOT an example of natural selection. It is an example of the use of genetic knowledge in order to prejudicially determine "fitness."

These observed natural processes, like natural selection and photosynthesis are impartial or neutral to human needs, desires and wants. Observed natural processes have no human agenda unless human beings attempt to ascribe, or create one for it.

How human beings interpret, apply and use information is controversial and is potentially much more controversial than the information itself.

"Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed." ~Thomas Henry Huxley

LINKS:

Social Darwinism

The Complete Works Of Charles Darwin Online

Genetic Inheritance By Paramutation



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Link

11 Comments:

Anonymous BlackWyrm said...

Greetings from Spain. Nice template :)

5/11/06 9:03 am  
Anonymous ted said...

More brilliance...:)

unless human beings attempt to ascribe, or create one for it.

And of course, the one that some create for it and ascribe to it, is called God.

5/11/06 1:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick, mobilise the genetic engineers quickly before we destroy ourselves! Who needs a world full of nasty savages?

5/11/06 2:16 pm  
Blogger L>T said...

very nice! I enjoyed reading about the terms you described. someone had posted on my blog about using science our own selish ends. this is the proof right here.

6/11/06 11:05 am  
Anonymous Adam said...

Beautiful summary Beep - this one's going in the bookmarks for a quick draw on the next twit who deliberately or ignorantly confuses these terms.

I wasn't aware of the history of "survival of the fittest." From what I remember reading, it was simply a term invented by a journalist to describe Darwin's theory in a nutshell. It's amazing how often this term is misinterpreted as survival of the strongest and seen to imply some form of eugenics.

7/11/06 7:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beepbeep.

1) ‘Evolution describes a biological process where change in the heritable traits of a population over successive generations, is determined by shifts in the allele frequencies of genes. Over time, this process can result in speciation, the development of new species from existing ones. All contemporary organisms are related to each other through common descent, the products of cumulative evolutionary changes over billions of years.’

Dogs changing into dogs. I understand and can agree with that. Monkeys turning into people? Riiight. Give me one current example of evolution. Even if you could add information to the genes (which is impossible) it would take longer than the earth has been around.

2) ‘Natural selection describes a biological process by which individual organisms with unfavourable traits are less likely to survive and reproduce than those with favourable traits. Natural selection works on the whole individual, but only the heritable component of a trait will be passed on to the offspring, with the result that favourable, heritable traits become more common in the next generation. Given enough time, this passive process can result in adaptations and speciation. Natural selection is the "engine" of evolution.’

Nothing wrong with that one except ‘Given enough time, this passive process can result in adaptations and speciation.’ Natural selection has never been observed to change one species into another; it has only produced variables within various species.

3) ‘Artificial selection describes the deliberate human manipulation of a biological process. It is driven by a human agenda. It is the process where intentional or unintentional modification of a species through human actions will encourage the breeding of certain traits over others. It was originally defined by Charles Darwin in contrast to the process of natural selection, in which the differential reproduction of organisms with certain traits is attributed to improved survival and reproductive ability in the natural habitat of the organism. Artificial selection is the OPPOSITE of natural selection.’

More commonly called breeding. No problems there.

4) Selective breeding also describes a biological process with a human agenda where the process of intentional or unintentional modification of a species through human actions will encourage the breeding of certain traits over others. Selective breeding is a form of artificial selection. It is a process where human beings use their knowledge of bloodline, strain and inbreeding to facilitate the weeding-out of undesired characteristics and the fixation of desired traits in domesticated animals. Inbreeding and linebreeding are controversial aspects of artificial selection, but have been practiced for centuries.

Same as # 3.

5) "Survival of the fittest" describes a social philosophy which attempts to explain human social progress. It was coined by Herbert Spencer. Spencer tried to draw parallels to his ideas of economics, politics and sociology with Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. "Survival of the fittest" used in this way, is not a biological term describing the process of natural selection, but a sociological term used in an attempt to explain social, political and cultural changes.

‘Attempts’ was a good word to use.

6) Eugenics describes a social philosophy which advocates the improvement of human hereditary traits through various forms of human intervention. The purported goals have variously been to create healthier, more intelligent people, save society's resources, and lessen human suffering. Earlier proposed means of achieving these goals focused on selective breeding, while modern ones focus on prenatal testing and screening, genetic counseling, birth control, in vitro fertilization, and genetic engineering.

I can summon it up in a word, ‘genocide.’

7) ‘Social Darwinism describes a social philosophy which claims that just as competition between individual organisms drives biological evolutionary change (speciation), competition between individuals or groups in human societies drives social evolution. "Survival of the fittest" is the "engine" of Social Darwinism.’

Hitler vs. Jews, Hitler vs. blacks. Very nice.

‘Artificial selection, selective breeding, eugenics and social darwinism are models of human political, social, economic or cultural intentionality. Human beings have opinions on what constitute favourable genetic traits and sometimes they use scientific knowledge in order to create outcomes which suit their political, social or cultural desires. In other words, they attempt to predetermine according to their own prejudices or biases traits or behaviours which they deem to be favourable.’

Hey, without absolutes, you can do whatever you want.

‘Natural selection does not have a predetermined human opinion concerning that which is a favourable trait. Mutations may be favourable or unfavourable depending on the environment. Nor does natural selection have a predetermined human opinion about what constitutes a favourable or an unfavourable trait, or a moral or an immoral trait, characteristic or behaviour. Natural selection occurs without a human preconceived idea of the end result. In other words, natural selection does not occur because humans wish or will it to occur. It occurs outside of human intentionality. It occurs in the same way that the planets rotate regardless of our intentionality, gravity occurs outside of our intentionality, and photosynthesis occurs outside of our intentionality.’


Natural selection selects genes that are already in an organism’s gene pool, and gives preference to that gene, sometimes to the extent that the original dominate gene is lost. But no new information.

‘Scientific processes, like natural selection, are morally, politically, culturally and economically neutral. Human beings are not. No one assumes that gravity occurs because of human intent. It is evidenced regardless of our intent. Likewise, the description of a natural process like natural selection, does NOT include a human moral, political, social, economic or cultural opinion about that process NOR about the result of that process.’

A quick question, without absolutes, what is and who determines morality?

‘Similarly, the scientific description of the process of natural selection, does not include the human opinion that Aryans are better, so therefore we should wipe out all the people who are not Aryan. It takes a human driven agenda based in a political, social, cultural, or religious intention to do that. Artificial selection is the engine of human intention; not natural selection.’

Tell Hitler that.

‘Natural selection is NOT eugenics, artificial selection, or selective breeding. It is the process described by Darwin which is demonstrated by the change in the heritable traits of a population over successive generations, as determined by shifts in the allele frequencies of genes.’

Like I said, dogs turning into other kinds of dogs, I agree with that.

‘That mankind can produce a cloned animal, is NOT an example of natural selection. It is an example of man using genetic knowledge to predetermine a desired result. That mankind can use a system of eugenics against those who they arbitrarily consider "unfit"; is also NOT an example of natural selection. It is an example of the use of genetic knowledge in order to prejudicially determine "fitness."’

Euthanasia, abortion, etc, bad stuff.

‘These observed natural processes, like natural selection and photosynthesis are impartial or neutral to human needs, desires and wants. Observed natural processes have no human agenda unless human beings attempt to ascribe, or
create one for it.
How human beings interpret, apply and use information is controversial and is potentially much more controversial than the information itself.’

You can say that again.

Once more I am going to claim that evolution is a religion. A religion seeks to answer four questions. Here they are.

1) Who are we (and what are we worth)?

2) Where did we come from?

3) Why are we here?

4) Where are we going?

Both Christianity and evolution seek to answer these four questions.

#1 Evolution says that we are all animals, just advanced amoebas that got washed up on some beach, and we are worth nothing to any one. Christianity says that we were created by Almighty God, and thus we are worth more than anything else in this universe.

#2 Evolution says (if you believe the big bang) that we are the result of a cosmic explosion. I’m not sure what the latest hypothesis is, but I’m sure that it is just as full of holes as all the others were. Creation says that God made everything at a word.

Just a side note here. Did you know that the word ‘universe’ comes from two Latin words, ‘uni’ (one), and ‘verse’ (spoken sentence)? So ‘universe’ literally means a single spoken sentence. And in Genesis it says ‘And God said….’ Interesting isn’t it?

#3 Evolution says that we have no purpose, and we might as well have fun and do whatever we want. “If it feels good, do it.” And why not, if there are no absolutes, than morality is relative. Creation says that we were created to glorify God. And everyone from Hitler to Stalin to you beepbeep, will bring God glory.

#4 Evolution says that when we die, we will be buried and get recycled into an earthworm or a plant. Creation says that we have eternal souls, and that we will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Believe it or not beepbeep, I do NOT want you or anyone else to spend one minute in hell, let alone eternity.

Daniel

8/11/06 3:01 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE anonymous daniel:

When you have rebutted the definitions, instead of just wombling on about your personal opinion of them, let me know.

But thanks for reposting them. I like the extra advertisement.

8/11/06 3:15 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

And while you are at it, here is a list of creationist claims that answering genesis says it is inadvisable to use.

Arguments we think creationists should NOT use

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp

8/11/06 3:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said not to post anything from AiG, so I haven't bothered to look at the site in a while.

Daniel

9/11/06 3:16 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE anonymous daniel:

It is best that you look at the page suggested as even AIG recommends that you do not use some arguments as they are flawed.

10/11/06 1:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very very cool page.
CD Darlington said that it was the jingoistic racial win lose result of Social Darwinism that made Heredity the Third Forbidden subject in science. To talk about human genetics, you must come up with an alternative to Social Darwinism that is win win for all.
I solved that problem... took me 25 years. It showed a path that so many people seek. A niche that humans can survive in long term. The genetic and behavioral adaptation would be easdy enough and it is a comfortable niche that would allow humans to grow... It would be very familiar and comfortable to our moral sense.
Then my friend got me to look further. I went to the edge. Yah, I stood and looked down. Then I jumped and found what the potentials are. It is beyond the dreams of SciFi and would even fulfill the heights of the aspirations of religions.
And I ain't fooling.......
a1swdeveloper@google.com

10/6/08 2:41 pm  

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