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Re: [Evolutionary_Psychology] Response

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  • Carmi Turchick
    Tom, I am trying to be patient, I know this is not a professional level venue. However, please Tom, could you just try to learn a little bit before you form,
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 27, 2004
      I am trying to be patient, I know this is not a professional level venue. However, please Tom, could you just try to learn a little bit before you form, and express, your opinions?  I will go through and show your problems below.
      "Behavior does not influence genes.  At least not directly; You keep the genes you are born with for life."
      >>If a behavior influences a genetic change in a hereditary lineage, as well proven in the theories of physical archeology in the area of adaptive radiation then there logically has to be some measurable effect on the existing structure.<<
      Nope. This is completely disproven. What happens is that existing variation is selected for or against, becoming more or less frequent in the population for the next generation. But each individual maintains the genes they were born with for the full time they are alive. There is pretty much no question about that, and evolutionary theory would be completely false if your assertion here was true. We have a very large pile of available empirical evidence that supports the theory of evolution, so right now we must begin from a position of rejecting your assertion unless you have some new evidence, which you dont.
        >>I am not current on recent studies since the late 70's but the basic theory has probably been well accepted by now.  Adaptive radiation is a fact of man and beast.<<
      >>One human genetic change can be noted when Pilgrims came to this country and started drinking milk, they were allergic too, but it was better than starving. Within a very short time in history America became the Milk drinking capitol of the world. This has to have been a measurable genetic change as you need one to produce an offspring that is able, not just learns to, be able to digest milk past the age of puberty.  Most of the adult humans in the world are allergic to milk.<<
      OK, this adaptation occured in European populations well before the Pilgrims. Cows were not native to the Americas. If they had been, then Native Americans would likely have the ability to digest milk, and in general they do not. Milk being a major calorie and protien and fat source in cold European environments, the population naturally selected for an ability to digest it. The ability to digest milk was adaptive. This means that those who could digest milk had an advantage in terms of fitness (they were more likely to have more genetic descendants in future generations) than those who did not have the fortunate mutation and could not digest milk well. Small numbers of individuals in most populations can digest milk. Europeans have a much higher percentage of individuals with this ability because over thousands of years, 7,000 to 10,000 or so, those who could do so had an advantage. It remained rare in other populations because it was neither an advantage nor a disadvantage; those with this ability fared no better or worse than anyone else. So frequency remained the same in most cases. (We could get into genetic drift here, and also the random loss of genetic variation within isolated populations, but I dont think you are ready. Let us stick with the basics until you get a grip on them)
      "If it were to be shown that this was happening
      consistently so that the genes that predisposed any particular
      behaviour were being gradually being removed from the gene pool then
      there is a word for that it is "evolution".  Whoever could show this
      to be happening would be able to prove that mankind is still

      >>Man is still evolving and while we converse old Chimps and primates in language studies going back to when I was in San Diego State, taught generations of their gene (language) pools, Sign. Generations learned 'monkey talk.'  I am again not current. I did not learn their language.
      Now. behavior is not just a matter of genes.<<
      Quick, give us one example of a behavior that can be done by humans or any other species without some genetic foundation. You cant. Granted that we are not robots with no free will; but still whatever choices we make are limited to those within the pool of possibilities defined by our genes. This computer cannot decide to wash my clothes any more than I can decide to live on the bottom of the ocean and eat sulfur from vents. Genes determine the possibilites, individuals and the environment determine which of the possibilities become reality.  
      >>There are gene pools and language pools, and in the same zone of study they are science, Genetics and Sociolinguistics.  B.F. Skinner's work made it possible to show the capacity of primates to master language. Human behavior and genes has to be looked at from both the social effect on the social gene pool, and the effect of a force on the individual's genetics.<<
      Again, there is no effect on the individual's genetics. There is no way to seperate out some sort of "social gene pool" from the genetic mass. Social behavior depends on the brain, which about 18,000 genes help to build, and on other gentically endowed abilities like speech, hearing, sight, etc. If you are attempting to talk about group selection, let's not until we can get the individual level in some semblance of comprehension. 
      >>Human is animal. We are not apart from the generations of white bugs who were noted genetically to changing to darker bugs to preserve the species.<<
      Species level selection is pretty much completely disproven as a concept in the scientific world. Selection can work on the genetic, individual, and in rare cases group level. That is all though, no species level.
      >> Clement of Alexandrea's description of a carnal spirit and a ruling faculty is my favorite.  Those bugs and you are hooked to a paradigm like Clement's model. Those bugs and you are hooked up to the natural law that effects behavior in the Skinnerian sense.<<
      Whatever. Who the hell are these yahoos? Sounds like philosphical psuedo-religious jabbering to me. "Carnal spirit?" "Ruling faculty?" EP is in the realm of science. You want to participate in an EP forum, use scientific terms that are carefully defined. These terms are not. 
      >>When B. F. Skinner took me on his knee at five days old, it was out of the Skinner air crib my father built.  He was informed that I could detect a temperature change within three degrees. His own daughter could only detect a five degree change.  There could be a lot of reasons for that behavior.  There might be a genetic link with the ability.  But there might have been a differential in the equipment.
      Look at the baby as the psyche (carnal spirit).  Look at the air crib as the universe.  Look at the temperature control as the force of nature and look at the person at the control as a Cosmogony. Without these elements you can't see whether the human corpus is evolving or not. What you can see with these elements are changes on a level of individual, social/environmental, and pleromic ( pleromic means, 'the all.")<<
      Here are a bunch more funny terms. "Cosmogony?" I think here you are confused about a pretty basic term, evolution. EP and science in general do not use this term like the New Age cults and self-helpers do, they use it in a scientific way to discuss changes in the genetic make up of a population of living creatures over multiple generations. A person may become an expert violin player or master quantum physics, but that does not constitute evolution. They may develop or be born with an accute sensitivity to temperature, but that is not evolution. They may become "enlightened," but that is not evolution. But, if an individuals genetic ability to detect small changes in temperature causes positive selection, if it enables that individual to leave more descendants than those without this ability, then that is evolution.
      Tom, it has been a long time since you were in college, and there are still many in the social sciences who are deeply confused about these issues. I dont want you to think I blame you for having the ideas you do. However, I spent the last three years trying to get up to speed on EP in a self-taught crash course and I learned a few things. First, it is possible with dilligence and hard work to get to a level where you can debate and discuss with professors and experts in the field. Second, it is a huge field and covers many disciplines. Third, one absolutely must have a firm grip on evolutionary theory and evolutionary biology to have any chance of understanding EP and contributing to it.
      Please go to the HBES site I have mentioned before and spend at least a few weeks reading what is available there before you respond with a bunch of novel terms and old disproven notions. It is not productive for me to respond at length and to start from the very beginning, Darwin, and work through 140 years of knowledge. Do some work yourself and then you will be able to ask relevant questions and know the terms and communicate using them properly.
      Carmi Turchick
      Tom Saunders
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