Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwinism?

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Renee
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Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwinism?

Post by Renee » November 28th, 2016, 8:20 am

... and I mean any sort of genetic engineering, not only esoteric stoff like gene splicing and such.

Neo-Darwinism's three tenets are: mutations occur by random changes in the DNA; species form from old species by mutational changes that make the "old" species and the "new species" biologically unable to reproduce together; and "new" species form by their random luck of better suiting themselves to the environment than "dying out".

Now. There are tea-roses, that are species but were only formed by human intervention in the genetic formation process. NOT BY RANDOM MUTATION OF THE GENES, but by planned crossing of breeds.

So... neo-Darwinism is not the only theory that can describe the formation of new species????

Can you name some other new-species formations that are not worked according to the Neo-Darwinist model?

(Thank you, LuckyR, for helping me come up with this topic.)
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Alan Masterman » April 24th, 2017, 7:09 am

I think there is a useful distinction to be made between genetic engineering as a modern phenomenon, meaning direct manipulation of the genome in a laboratory environment, and selective breeding as a traditional skill which has been developed over centuries. Tea roses, like Chihuahuas and Poodles, are the result of selective breeding, not genetic engineering. And in both cases, we are talking about new varieties, not new species.

But in either case, Darwin's theory of Natural Selection is confirmed, not compromised. It is actually irrelevant whether the external pressures which favour certain mutations occur naturally, or as a result of human intervention; in either case, environmental pressures are dictating the outcome. Our successes in breeding new varieties of dogs and roses merely help to confirm the validity of Darwinian evolution theory.

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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Felix » April 24th, 2017, 5:28 pm

Alan Masterman: It is actually irrelevant whether the external pressures which favour certain mutations occur naturally, or as a result of human intervention; in either case, environmental pressures are dictating the outcome.

It is certainly not irrelevant to Neo-Darwinian theory whether the changes were due to random or willed environmental influences, as they posit that evolution developed as the result of random mutation.
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Dolphin42 » April 25th, 2017, 5:22 am

Since human beings evolved by a process of natural selection and, therefore, all our actions are, in principle, a result of that natural selection, then (arguably) the action of artificial selection of other species in which we indulge is part of natural selection.

Another thought: Since there are more chickens on Earth than humans, the chicken genome has been very successful in making chickens tasty and nutritious to eat and thereby ensuring its survival by making us breed loads of chickens. That selfish old gene doesn't care about the welfare of individual chickens.

-- Updated April 25th, 2017, 10:29 am to add the following --

I guess one of the problems with symbiotic relationships is that it creates dependency. The more successful the symbiosis, the greater the dependency. So if one of the species in the relationship is taken away the other might go extinct. I wonder how much that would be true of our symbiotic relationship with wheat or chickens. I've read that wheat has been so selectively bred by us over the millennia that it can't reproduce by itself. So it's dependent on us for its survival. I guess the same would go for those 50 billion chickens in cages.

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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Felix » April 25th, 2017, 5:04 pm

I imagine the little dinosaurs, i.e. chickens, would do alright, but cows would be in deep doodoo (cowpie).
Since human beings evolved by a process of natural selection and, therefore, all our actions are, in principle, a result of that natural selection, then (arguably) the action of artificial selection of other species in which we indulge is part of natural selection.
Haven't you heard? Humans are the result of selective breeding experiments by extra terrestrials.
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by LuckyR » April 27th, 2017, 11:59 am

Dolphin42 wrote:Since human beings evolved by a process of natural selection and, therefore, all our actions are, in principle, a result of that natural selection, then (arguably) the action of artificial selection of other species in which we indulge is part of natural selection.

Another thought: Since there are more chickens on Earth than humans, the chicken genome has been very successful in making chickens tasty and nutritious to eat and thereby ensuring its survival by making us breed loads of chickens. That selfish old gene doesn't care about the welfare of individual chickens.

-- Updated April 25th, 2017, 10:29 am to add the following --

I guess one of the problems with symbiotic relationships is that it creates dependency. The more successful the symbiosis, the greater the dependency. So if one of the species in the relationship is taken away the other might go extinct. I wonder how much that would be true of our symbiotic relationship with wheat or chickens. I've read that wheat has been so selectively bred by us over the millennia that it can't reproduce by itself. So it's dependent on us for its survival. I guess the same would go for those 50 billion chickens in cages.
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Moreno » May 2nd, 2017, 9:18 am

Renee wrote: So... neo-Darwinism is not the only theory that can describe the formation of new species????
Humans have developed a way to create new species that is not based on random mutation and natural selection. But this is not a spit in the face of Darwinism or neo-Darwinism, since ti does not contradict those as explanations for how species have come into existence. Just as the invention of the car does not spit in the face of explanations of bird flight or horse movements.

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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Papus79 » May 16th, 2017, 10:54 pm

My problem already, the way you described the three pillars, is there's a lot that has little or nothing to do with human tampering that already spits in the face of neo-Darwinism if its really this mutation-centered. Group and sexual selection are devastating to it. Epigenetics also seem to do a fair amount of damage and its even possible that if they're radical enough they in a sense could be the mutation they were looking for.

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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Atreyu » June 21st, 2017, 2:46 pm

As other posters already stated, Man's intervention in the 'natural' process in no way disproves any of Darwin's ideas. However, I find it interesting that genetic mutations which ultimately would lead to a new species are said to be "random". That is a completely arbitrary statement, without any scientific foundation whatsoever. A reasonable man would conclude that there must be some force or forces leading the changes in a certain direction, because there is no survival value whatever in the results of genetic mutations until a new function is manifest and practical. While a species is transitioning to a new function there is no advantage whatever. For example, as wings are beginning to form there is no survival value, in spite of science's ridiculous explanations such as 'well, they might be able to jump a bit better, or glide a bit, while the wings are beginning to form'. In actuality there would be no advantage in the formation of wings until they become functional and the species can actually fly. And there is no way that random genetic mutations would happen to lead to the formation of new wings because the mathematical probability is so infinitely remote. Think of how unlikely it would be that random mutations would just happen to go in a certain direction until a selective advantage actually existed (the species can really use the wings). Random mutations apparently lead nowhere, and only serve to eliminate functions which are no longer useful, as in penguins still having wings. We don't see random mutations in nature leading to any new functionality in any species, and that is a fact.

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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by -1- » June 21st, 2017, 6:46 pm

Atreyu wrote:We don't see random mutations in nature leading to any new functionality in any species, and that is a fact.
Appardon.

All mutations are random. Good ones and bad ones.

And the good ones are, by definition, the ones that help an individual of a species (new or old) survive. The bad ones decrease the chances of survival.

There are no directed mutations. They are too complex for any living being to psyche out, and anyway, no living being is in control how his offspring's (or his own while an embrio) DNA ought to change.

Except from now on it is not impossible.

I think renee has something there.
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Londoner » June 25th, 2017, 10:25 am

Atreyu wrote:As other posters already stated, Man's intervention in the 'natural' process in no way disproves any of Darwin's ideas. However, I find it interesting that genetic mutations which ultimately would lead to a new species are said to be "random". That is a completely arbitrary statement, without any scientific foundation whatsoever. A reasonable man would conclude that there must be some force or forces leading the changes in a certain direction...
The mutations (variations) are happening all the time, but unless there is selective pressure that doesn't matter. The selection is the important bit. It isn't the variation, it is the removal of all those individuals that don't have the variation

If a disease of humans arose that killed them before they were able to produce viable offspring - all except for those with green eyes - then we would say that those green eyed humans had evolved to be resistant to the disease. But it wouldn't be because they had had a 'beneficial mutation'. Green eyes only became 'beneficial' because of the disease. So if there was a 'force' leading the changes, it was the disease, the selective pressure.
While a species is transitioning to a new function there is no advantage whatever. For example, as wings are beginning to form there is no survival value, in spite of science's ridiculous explanations such as 'well, they might be able to jump a bit better, or glide a bit, while the wings are beginning to form'. In actuality there would be no advantage in the formation of wings until they become functional and the species can actually fly.
You may say it is ridiculous but it is the case. Lots of creatures only have the ability to jump and to glide, but not fly, they can do this because it was selected for.
...Think of how unlikely it would be that random mutations would just happen to go in a certain direction...
Once again, it is the selection that provides the direction. It might be that there might occur a further selective process which favours those who can fly better, but equally it might select the least able fliers. There are plenty of birds that have stopped flying.
Random mutations apparently lead nowhere, and only serve to eliminate functions which are no longer useful, as in penguins still having wings
But they don't get eliminated. Bodies are full of the relics of previous forms. Once again, as long as the species can reproduce then there is no evolutionary pressure.
We don't see random mutations in nature leading to any new functionality in any species, and that is a fact
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Eduk » June 28th, 2017, 11:04 am

I am a fan of modern Biology. I personally can't imagine having the gall to sit here eating the food I do, having the medical care I do, understanding the world as I do and at the same time to think I know better than the people who helped provide all that.
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by -1- » June 29th, 2017, 5:55 pm

Eduk wrote:I am a fan of modern Biology. I personally can't imagine having the gall to sit here eating the food I do, having the medical care I do, understanding the world as I do and at the same time to think I know better than the people who helped provide all that.
Meaning? Is this an off-topic post? Or what. If it relates to the main topic, then you are using an ad hominem type of argument of some kind; an appeal to guilt.

You make no argument, other than supposing that nobody is as smart or as capable of using or understanding a tool or theory that someone else invented or thought up. Much like you did not support that, I also, without a supporting argument, make the assertion that I do not believe that your proposition of claiming an absolute and categorical inability to surpass the understanding of an invention by someone else, is true (if that was what you indeed implied to say).

In fact, I do provide an argument, as follows. Suppose that it was impossible to understand the workings of an invention (culinary, medical, to name two from your list). If that were true, then there would have been no more inventions in these two fields than the first soup ever created by a human, and the first healing practice every performed by a human.

But recipes are a thousandfold in kinds, and healing practices are more and more numerous and more and more complex than in previous times. So there ARE people who knew better than the people who provided them with previous knowledge.

This was the proof that your opinion is not correct.

If you are not one of those who can surpass original inventors, so be it; if you meant your post literally to be just about yourself, so be it; I won't argue against that.

But if you meant to post your opinion as a lesson to us, others on the forums, that we ought not to get "ahead" of ourselves or of others, then I patently say to you, that you are creating and propagating a false prescription for individuals' belief about their own abilities, and possibly, as a corollary, a false prescription for behaviour stemming from a poorer than necessary opinion of knowledge encompassed by us, each individually.
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by Eduk » June 30th, 2017, 6:50 am

If you take one person who has never so much as boiled an egg and Michel Roux Jr. You then ask them both to make a pie who do you think will make the better pie?
1. Imagine both are working from the same detailed recipe (which they are allowed to change however they see fit) and given the ingredients and provided a kitchen.
2. Imagine both have a kitchen and ingredients but only a simplistic recipe. As in make puff pasty, but no steps on how to do this.
3. Imagine both are given a kitchen and ingredients but no recipe at all (and no internet access, no cheating).
4. Imagine both are given a kitchen but nothing else.
5. Imagine both are given nothing.

Now imagine the person in scenario 5 thinks they can make a better pie. What would you estimate the chances are that they are right? I would say it was roughly 0%.

In reality if you are going to make a better pie than Michel then you are going to have to train very hard. You will need to fully understand all the many techniques used. Then potentially at this point you could indeed make a better pie. Perhaps Michel is making a mistake, or you simply find a better way, which through your understanding of the pie making process you are able to identify and isolate and prove, then voila you become the most famous pie making person in the world, publish your book and hopefully make some money.

The same is possible if you wish to become a Nobel prize winning biologist who disproved biology. You will need to start with understanding the current science. You will then need to prove that your theory is correct. If you can do this biology will change and you will have engaged in what is commonly called the scientific process. Scientists after all do this on a daily basis. Scientists are not magicians they are simply people who have spent their life studying science.

However if you are in step 5. of the above then the chances that you will change biology and understand biology better than biologists is vanishingly small. Argument from personal incredulity is weak in the face of the advances of modern biology.
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Re: Is Genetic Engineering a spit in the face of Neo-Darwini

Post by -1- » June 30th, 2017, 8:25 am

Dear Eduk,

Thanks for calling me, in so many other word, stupid, incapable and good-for-nothing.

Why... do you think you can do it better than Wittgenstein or Kant? Don't you think those great minds who had gone before you could have done a MUCH better job at it?

Don't you think that instead of talking about the issue at hand, it is a great disfavour to me and to the site to belittle my abilities in so many other words, and to dismiss everything I say, with the reasoning that I can't be as good as anyone or someone else?

If you are willing to apply that argument agaisnt me, why don't you apply the same argument to yourself and to everyone else on the site?

Whelllll... turn it against yourself, my good ole' buddy. Apply your own logic first to your own self, then spread the word that you think we should close down this site, since all topics we discuss here have been touched by minds much greater than ours, and therefore with our small minds it is completely pointless to keep this site.

I personally do NOT agree with your apparent personal policy of decrying other's statements using Ad Hominem fallacies, and I don't agree with your apparent personal policy of not talking about the issues meritfully.

In fact, I am convinced that you used this tactic EXACTLY because your position in the philosophical thought has been destroyed, by others' logic, and you can't but retaliate with an ad hominem argument. You are emotionally attached to your wrong logic, wrong argument, wrong proposition, and when you saw it threatened in this case, the best you could do to appease your troubled mind was to attack me and call me, in so many other words, and in a comparative fashion, stupid, ignorant, incapable, and someone whose opinions ought to be discounted immediately and without question by all others.

This is your emotion speaking, Eduk, because you are certainly not wiling to apply this policy to yourself or to your buddies on this site. By "your buddies" I meant those who agree with your wrong positions.

Well, I don't take your suggestion or criticism, at all seriously-- you are not being logical, you are attacking me and my abilities groundlessly, and you are apparently supported in this by the moderators.

In fact, this whole thing is unfair, but I have learned to let this sort of thing ride -- let it be on the record, though, that we know now that if you have no arguments to supply, you will retaliate for your own ego-preserving emotional reasons with an ad hominem argument of a very elaborate kind.

Thanks for nothing, Eduk.

-- Updated 2017 June 30th, 8:32 am to add the following --

CORRECTION:

At end of the third paragraph from the end this:

" and you are apparently supported in this by the moderators."

should be replaced by this:

" and you are apparently supported in this by one of the moderators."
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