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Sheldon's picture
It's another of his glib ad

It's another of his glib ad hominem fallacies he thinks are cool put downs, but in fact are hilarious own goals.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Says the believer in an

Says the believer in an unproven deity.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Within Darwininsm, it doesn't

Within Darwininsm, it doesn't matter what natural selection kills off, progression still only comes through "dumb luck." The giraffe with a slightly longer neck in your scenario, gets that neck through blind genetic luck. You skipped that step.

In lamarckism it isn't luck, but interaction, that creates the advantage.

Sheldon's picture
Sun, 09/23/2018 - 23:57

Sun, 09/23/2018 - 23:57 (Reply to #73)
Sheldon "while chance must undoubtedly play a part in the evolution of species,"

John "The giraffe with a slightly longer neck in your scenario, gets that neck through blind genetic luck. You skipped that step."

I skipped nothing as I stated plainly chance plays a part, luck is always blind that's axiomatic. Unless someone deludes themselves it is guided by an imaginary deity using unexplained magic.

"In lamarckism it isn't luck, but interaction, that creates the advantage."

Yes I'm still giggling at the idea a giraffe can learn to have a longer neck, and then pass this on to it's offspring. As opposed to genetic variation of neck length producing a chance advantage in either direction, and this advantage being passed on, as one would expect.

"blind luck"

Is there any other kind of luck then? You really are funny John.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
I'm confused about your

I'm confused about your rambling. All that just to end up agreeing with my initial stance.

Sheldon's picture
Ad hominem fallacy - check.

Ad hominem fallacy - check.
Dishonest misrepresentation of my position - check.

You're an arrogant clown - check.

LogicFTW's picture


I think it is misleading to say it is "luck." Our reproduction cycle bakes in slight variances in our makeup that allows us to adapt to changing conditions. Usually these slight variances can be a bad thing, but every once in a crucial while it can be the critical bit that allows a species to live on.

Fair skinned people, especially red haired can get burned more easily, more prone to skin cancer, but they also can more effectively produce their own vitamin D. If the environment were to suddenly for a long period block out sunlight, the fair colored person, may actually survive long enough to reproduce where the more "genetically gifted" (lucky?) dark skinned person that normally does not get as much skin cancer rates and better suited for long periods of time in the sun begin to die out due to lack of sun.



▮          I am an atheist that always likes a good debate.          ▮
▮   Please include @LogicFTW in responses directed to me.    ▮
▮        Useful list on forum usage. A.R. Member since 2016.      ▮

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture


In line with the OP, I do want to introduce the existence of mirror neurons and canonical neurons.

Most are familiar with mirror neurons, these are cells that exist at the crossroads of visual information and motor behavior. The body is important when it comes to understanding the world, and these neurons seem to allow recognition of another person's actions through self-awareness. In other words, these neurons run a simulation of other people's behavior, as if it were its own. Damage to these neurons have been implicated, once again, with autism and social deficits (Ramachandran, 2012).

Canonical neurons are very similar, except that instead of activating when perceiving an action, it activates at the sight of objects with which you can interact. For example, it might at activated when looking at objects that afford being grasped with the whole hand, and won't activate when looking at small objects that can be grasped between the fingers. These neurons detect action-driven features across the board. It detects the type of interaction that an object allows, irrespective of the object itself. If apples, cups, and baseballs can be grasped, it will activate these neurons at the sight of them.

So, these are neurons specialized to comprehend the organism's body, and the organisms' environment. Although these fall under the general "brain" category when I talk about a balance between the evolution of the brain and eyes, it does help demonstrate the level of detail required in order for an organism to see and behave in its environment.


-Ramachandra, V. S. (2012). The tell-tale brain: A neuroscientist's quest for what makes us human. Boston: W. W. Norton & Company.

-Garbarini, F., & Adenzato, M. (2013). At the root of embodied cognition: Cognitive science meets neurophysiology. Brain and Cognition, 56, 100-106.

chimp3's picture
John: I am.playing catch up

John: I am.playing catch up here. Wondering how a detrimental trait like blurry vision would be selected by nature and gain dominance in a gene pool?

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Are you asking me if I'm

Are you asking me if I'm wondering, or telling me that you are?

Sheldon's picture
Even by your standards John

Even by your standards John that's shameful evasion.

So I'll reiterate the question, how would a detrimental trait, for example blurry vision, be selected by nature and gain dominance in a gene pool?

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
My standard is to ask for

My standard is to ask for clarification, when clarification is needed.

Jayson Goodwin's picture
Then the clarification is

Then the clarification is that something with a detrimental mutation would not survive long enough for it to be passed on in nature

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Neither you nor Sheldon are

Neither you nor Sheldon are Chimp3; why would I accept clarifications from others on his behalf?

Sheldon's picture
I ma asking myself, how a

I am asking myself, how a detrimental trait like blurry vision would be selected by nature and gain dominance in a gene pool?

Keep running away from the question John, it's hilarious after your arrogant showboating in this thread.

Jayson Goodwin's picture
Its a misconception that we

Its a misconception that we are chimps. Its a dumbed down explanation of what we actually are.
We ARE what we evolved from. That is why there is no more of what we came from, but this is branching into Orders and suborders and families and it is WAY too much information to place here.

Sheldon's picture
Your standard is to

Your standard is to shamelessly evade questions you know undermine your verbiage.

However my question was clear enough. As of course was your unabashed dodge.

It's clear natural selection does not favour what is not favourable, a tautology, but nonetheless a fact.

chimp3's picture
I am wondering!

I am wondering!

Cognostic's picture
We need to start a new thread

We need to start a new thread. "Why can't people just tell Breezy he is wrong and leave it at that. " Everyone sees that he is talking complete nonsense. His citations do not even support his positions. How does he wrangle you into these meaningless rambles?

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
My position often stems

My position often stems directly from my citations.

Sheldon's picture
"My position often stems

"My position often stems directly from my citations."

Citations that as cog says, don't support your creationist position.

Alembé's picture
Hi John,

Hi John,

Let's think about color blindness. We have normal people observing in colors and interpreting with their brains. Then we have color blind people (genetic mutations, may be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on the selection pressure) who are interpreting their less colorful visual input with equivalent brains to the non-sighted. The plasticity of the CNS copes with both types of input. This is incremental change.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Well, let me first point out

Well, let me first point out that issues with color come in different degrees. At one end you have the more benign version to which you are referring to, at the other end you have individuals born without any cones needed to see color. The result is not just color blindness, but the inability to see in daylight. The absence of cones forces the light sensitive rods to pick up the slack, which is painful in full daylight, and forces the person to squint constantly.

But focusing on the mild version of color blindness, the key point I want you to think about, are the needs of the organism, and the enviornment it's in. For example, I think it was LogicFTW who brought up an issue with the colors used in stop lights. We've created an enviornment for ourselves where we need to discriminate between these colors, and if it weren't for spatial differences, color blind people couldn't drive without putting themselves and others in danger.

Now consider an organism that needs to discriminate between red apples and green ones for their diet. Color blindness will make them unable to. There's a mismatch between the organism, what it needs from the enviornment, and it's ability to get there. Not all deficits will affect all organisms equally. Losing my sense of smell will be bad for me, but it might be devastating for a wild dog.

You also seem to imply that the plasticity of the nervous system, is simply a matter-of-fact property of it, but it's not. We have some degree of plasticity, but it functions via mechanism that need to evolve just as color vision does.

Jayson Goodwin's picture
What I have noticed from

What I have noticed from skimming over the comments here is with what you say!

First of all, the abilities that the body develops does not need the brain to develop with it. The whole functionality and ability of the brain makes it so that we do not need to be born with all the knowledge of how to use our bodies. The brain adapts to what the body has available, that is what makes it so wonderful.

Secondly, Talking about color blindness and defects in humans is irrelevant to anything really. In Nature, if an animal is born with a defect it usually dies. We survive purely on the evolution of our brain and ability to invent and create things like glasses, medicines etc.

1 big thing that I feel is missing from all these pointless arguments about the eye and evolution is that these are subtle changes that take place over an un-graspable time-frame. Not a few hundred or thousand years. Is the eye complex? Sure.... Is it amazing? of course it is.... is it possible to be produced via evolution.... most differently, especially when you are dealing with the time frame we are talking about. To understand science when you have already restricted your own borders of understanding and belief is a futile attempt.

That's like trying to learn to swim when you don't believe water exists.

The way evolution works requires an understanding of so many variables and aspects that you cant just take 1 thing, like the eyes, and say see, its impossible because of xyz.....

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Carolusclen

@ Carolusclen

Mate you have it in ione. Welcome...The way evolution works requires an understanding of so many variables and aspects that you cant just take 1 thing, like the eyes, and say see, its impossible because of xyz.....

We have all tried to explain that to Breezy ...many many times. He just don't get it...but there's hope, hes only a very minor postgrad student....

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Sure, we don't literally need

@ Carolusclen

Sure, we don't literally need to be born with the complete knowledge of our bodies, many of these things are learned through development. However, they are learnable because everything that happens during development still funnels back to what we inherited at birth. If you are not born with the mechanisms that allow for language, then language won't develop, regardless of language being a learned behavior. The ability of the brain to adapt to its particular human body has to evolve, without those mechanisms, no adaptations occurs. Things like mirror neurons, canonical neurons, need to be present.

To your second point, if I can improve on it, a valid hypotheses would be this: When there is an imbalance between an organism and its environment, the organism can create balance through the use of tools, as opposed to waiting for its genetics to catch up. Stated in this way, talking about humans is fairly important. It shows how tools are a good way to overcome the obstacles in my OP. We aren't the only ones that use tools of course. If you're a bird that eats berries that are too strong to digest, you can swallow some small stones to help you in the process as opposed to starving while you wait for a stronger digestive system to evolve.

"The way evolution works requires an understanding of so many variables..."

Then think of my OP as adding one more variable that you now need to understand.

Edit: Here's a paper on the co-evolution of tools and minds that I read for one of my classes, if you're interested:

Jayson Goodwin's picture
your first point;

your first point;
I strongly disagree with this. You don't need to be born with the mechanisms to be able to develop them. Again, this is the wonders of what the brain is capable of. It is a template. We are not, for example, born with the mechanism for language. The brain does not have "and i say this lightly" mechanisms for predetermined things. The brain is just capable of, among other aspects of the body, to create something repeatedly that we have classified as language. The way the brain works is like a glorified computer. it does what it needs to do or what it is programmed to do. It is a blank piece of paper so to speak. a very LARGE piece of paper. We add to it through experience and learning. If what you say was true, then we would be incapable of using something that extends the human function like machinery, additional limbs through robotics etc because we are not born with the mechanic.

As far as the mirror and canonical neurons go, to say that they need to be present is false. There are a large number of species that do not have these present in the F5 area of the brain like primates and still learn and function in unison. Not to mention the several papers I read about them show that it has not been proven that they are needed either as damage to this area of the brain does not effect the mirror system.

to your second point;
This is not really a true statement. There are a lot of species that do not use tools. Evolution is not the evolution of the use of tools, it is the change in an organism to suite its surroundings. There are discussions around human evolution as of late that rather than evolving, we are changing our environment to suite ourselves. This also causes defects because where most throwbacks would die out, we are making them survive and tainting our gene-pool. There are a very select few living things that can make use of tools in the grand scheme of things. This is most likely due to there brains too. Our brains are more complex. An example would be, you cant program your calculator to play the latest Call of Duty game. Even though the calculator works the same as a PC in the sense that it has a chip that processes commands, it is just not complex enough to handle such large amounts of information.

I think the common mistake is when these conversation come up, everyone tries to take the 20+ billion variables involved in our day to day lives and pic out about 5 and then question it. The brain is not that simple and evolution is not that simple to go "A is impossible because B cant happen without C" in doing this the person already throws away there base understanding and limits it to something they understand. When it comes to mapping the brain and seeing how it works and how it functions, we use some of the most advanced computing power invented to date and even then it struggles. If the human brain was that simple, then we would have replicated it artificially a long time ago. HOWEVER...... the function OF the brain is easy to understand. MOST people know how to use a computer extremely well, but that does not mean they know how it works under the hood.

In humans as you mention, we use tools to overcome obstacles..... this is debatable as to it being good though. It limits our bodies need to evolve. We don't need to evolve an ability to withstand cold as we just create air-conditioning. We don't need to evolve the ability for sharper vision or better hearing as we can just create machines for that. For me, technology is both good and bad. There is a study that you can dig around on the net for that explained that humans did not evolve sharper senses due to the domestication of dogs,wolves or whatever because we used them in place of our senses.

As for the article.... it doesn't really explain anything beyond someones opinion about a situation. When I read it, i just though "and your point is?"

The issue here is overthinking simple things, and simplifying complicated things...

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Hmm, I find it interesting

Hmm, I find it interesting that we've developed fields like human factors and ergonomics, whose job it is to sort of accommodate machinery, robotics, and technology, to our particular abilities. These are machines designed by us, and for us. We are not going beyond our inherited capabilities when we use a computer for example. The layout of the keyboard is designed for human fingers, and the RGB layout of pixels is designed for human vision. Dogs have brains too, but clearly, the extent to which their brains can adapt to our technology is limited; they are not born with the mechanisms needed to interact with our technology.

My argument has never been that things like mirror neurons need to be present across all species. To the contrary, I'm raising up walls against cross-species comparisons. What I need to survive is based on my body, how it functions, and the environment I'm in. A beetle differs from us in all three of these areas, so it'll require different things from us.

If you're able to find the study of the effects of dog domestication on vision, I'd like to look at it. I do agree that simplifying complicated things is an issue. That, is in essence what this thread is about.

Jayson Goodwin's picture
It is interesting that while

It is interesting that while yes, we have adapted our tools to our needs, ergonomics etc, this is not limited to this. My mother is doing a degree in writing and publishing and some of the work she has come across mentioned that the keyboard for example today is not actually ergonomic for us. It was just developed so long ago that changing it now would be difficult and a waste of time and money.

This was my point too, you cant just limit or corner off one aspect of evolution to make a point. You cant learn to drive without knowing that there are different types of vehicles for different needs. You want to a car across the ocean or a boat down the road the same as a beetle will not use a computer and we will not scurry out of sight when someone turns the light on (nerds not included).

The RGB and even other designs is not designed merely for our capabilities, they are designed to function as a part of us and to our limitations, but in saying that, we have computers that can see beyond the RGB for us, robots that extend the human capability's past our physical self like robotics, controlling machines with our mind that are not directly attached to us. We do not need to evolve or be born with the know-how for these, the brains capability gives us the functionality to be able to work out and calculate the things we need to do. And as for dogs, yes, they are not born with the mechanisms to interact with our technology, but they can, they do and they have the ability to learn and adapt, just on a simpler level than us due to design.

It still renders the OP null. They eye, as an example, can fully develop independent to the brain or whatever other aspect of the body its associated to. That is the wonders of evolution, what changes is random.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Well, what I'm trying to

Well, what I'm trying to illustrate with the human/dog comparison, is that both have brains that do different things. They do different things because brains aren't all-purpose machines. In order to have a flexible and adaptive behavior, you need a flexible and adaptive brain, which needs to evolve somehow.

Humans are a very strange outlier, our cognitive abilities far surpass our environmental needs. I mean, we even went to the moon, and we have no evolutionary reason being there.

Yet, as strange as it sounds we are all born with the ability to go to the moon, otherwise we wouldn't have gone. Behavior can be treated as an organ no different from your lungs or pancreas. In order for a behavior to exist, there have to be genes that facilitate or even produce it. And those need to evolve.


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