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Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
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Thinking critical
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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Thinking critical » September 4th, 2018, 6:16 am

Although sentient beings do display certain behaviours which could be described as a will to survive, I have to agree with TH that the will to survive definitely plays no significant role in the evolution of species. This position
Without the will to live there could be no natural selection
makes a certain presumption that species with the most will are most likely to survive and reproduce. Where as the fact is, natural selection clearly demonstrates that it is in fact the genetic advantages (stronger, faster, bigger, smaller e.c,t) which plays the vital role in evolution by improving the individuals chances of reproducing and passing down the advantageous genes.
The will to live is no more significant to evolution than the natural instinct to eat and breath, if any of these characteristics weren't present in living creatures then naturally there would be no life, the will to survive claim seems to just state the obvious.
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Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » September 4th, 2018, 7:39 am

The will one has absolutely affects one's success and survivability. How much grit and persistence one has increase income, creativity, success in fields and correlate much more strongly even than IQ.

The question is, is will not part of what natural selection selects for?

To me it seems like a different vocabularies overlapping. One's ability to deal with obstacles would come from a combination of gene's and parenting /milieu. It seems to me that falls under the scope of natural selection, but will being from a non-scientific vocabulary.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 4th, 2018, 8:14 am

Thinking critical wrote:
September 4th, 2018, 6:16 am
Although sentient beings do display certain behaviours which could be described as a will to survive, I have to agree with TH that the will to survive definitely plays no significant role in the evolution of species. This position
Without the will to live there could be no natural selection
makes a certain presumption that species with the most will are most likely to survive and reproduce. Where as the fact is, natural selection clearly demonstrates that it is in fact the genetic advantages (stronger, faster, bigger, smaller e.c,t) which plays the vital role in evolution by improving the individuals chances of reproducing and passing down the advantageous genes.
The will to live is no more significant to evolution than the natural instinct to eat and breath, if any of these characteristics weren't present in living creatures then naturally there would be no life, the will to survive claim seems to just state the obvious.
When I said you need the equipment to have a will - the point I was making is that bacteria and viruses, have no will and have no interest in survival. To say that they do would be unjustifiable anthropomorphisation.
Thus the vast majority of life, of species, of bio-matter on earth is will free, and shows no sign of failing to live.

What TF is "will" anyway? Is it anything more than a human conceit?

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Thinking critical
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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Thinking critical » September 4th, 2018, 8:45 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 4th, 2018, 8:14 am
Thinking critical wrote:
September 4th, 2018, 6:16 am
Although sentient beings do display certain behaviours which could be described as a will to survive, I have to agree with TH that the will to survive definitely plays no significant role in the evolution of species. This position makes a certain presumption that species with the most will are most likely to survive and reproduce. Where as the fact is, natural selection clearly demonstrates that it is in fact the genetic advantages (stronger, faster, bigger, smaller e.c,t) which plays the vital role in evolution by improving the individuals chances of reproducing and passing down the advantageous genes.
The will to live is no more significant to evolution than the natural instinct to eat and breath, if any of these characteristics weren't present in living creatures then naturally there would be no life, the will to survive claim seems to just state the obvious.
When I said you need the equipment to have a will - the point I was making is that bacteria and viruses, have no will and have no interest in survival. To say that they do would be unjustifiable anthropomorphisation.
Thus the vast majority of life, of species, of bio-matter on earth is will free, and shows no sign of failing to live.

What TF is "will" anyway? Is it anything more than a human conceit?
Agreed, good point. Will, as in will to survive, probably best describes the thought in the back of our minds "I don't wanna die today".
All other expressions of will are some sort of determination quality which drives and motivates us to do things.
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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » September 4th, 2018, 8:54 am

Thinking critical wrote:
September 4th, 2018, 8:45 am
Agreed, good point. Will, as in will to survive, probably best describes the thought in the back of our minds "I don't wanna die today".
All other expressions of will are some sort of determination quality which drives and motivates us to do things.
I think most animals have pretty strong wills, using the term as it is generally used. Though even there there will be some animals that will not give up after facing what seems like certain death or obstacles. With humans I think the best synonyms are grit and persistence. And this have huge effects on income and success in all fields. Again, it is not outside natural selection. But our determination despite obstacles, frustration, negative responses and so on make it easier for our genes to get passed on. AND you can teach people to have more grit and perseverence. They likely have genetic components also. With animals these would be more telling, though mammals without nurturing or worse nurture will also have less grit and P.

So there are a couple of points here. I think will gets covered by NS.
I do think however that will makes a difference and a big one. I don't think the conscious unconscious issue is so important. Same strenght, same intelligence, etc., but one animal does not drop to the ground hopelessly after facing X problems. That animal has advantages over other members of its species.

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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Hereandnow » September 4th, 2018, 8:45 pm

ThomasHobbes
Natural Selection is not a force or cause. It is an effect. It's an effect of variation.

When you understand that you will see how no other explanation is necessary.
You don't say. Tell Master Hobbes, why are we born to suffer and die?

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Felix
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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Felix » September 5th, 2018, 1:28 am

I said: Without the will to live there could be no natural selection
Thinking critical: This makes a certain presumption that species with the most will are most likely to survive and reproduce.
All creatures have a will to survive and reproduce, so it would only be an evolutionary advantage to the degree that it is a conscious will to do so.

I suppose it's a matter of perspective, I find it difficult to view life as a mindless mechanical process that is subject to the vagaries of random variation. I don't see why such a process would lead to a progressive evolution, I would think that it would instead produce rather static results. So something more than natural selection is driving it, perhaps some sort of hidden will in nature as I suggested.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Thinking critical
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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Thinking critical » September 5th, 2018, 6:33 am

Felix wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 1:28 am
I said: Without the will to live there could be no natural selection
Thinking critical: This makes a certain presumption that species with the most will are most likely to survive and reproduce.
All creatures have a will to survive and reproduce, so it would only be an evolutionary advantage to the degree that it is a conscious will to do so.

I suppose it's a matter of perspective, I find it difficult to view life as a mindless mechanical process that is subject to the vagaries of random variation. I don't see why such a process would lead to a progressive evolution, I would think that it would instead produce rather static results. So something more than natural selection is driving it, perhaps some sort of hidden will in nature as I suggested.
Reproduction and replication is a chemical driven process which precedes evolution. Evolution may cause changes in the molecular structure of reproductive components, however the innate drive to reproduce is inbeded deep into the genetic code of basic RNA to more complex DNA.

Genetic variations do not necessarily lead to the success of a species, only variations which improve the individuals ability to adapt to environmental changes are likely to reproduce more successfully. In other words individuals with even slight genetic advantages will eventually dominate the gene pool.

The genetic factor which allows for evolution and the diversity is the fact that when genes self replicate there are often slight variations. Variations in genes alter the " gene expression" which means the structure of the organism will be slightly different. The key points to remember are A)Environments change. B) Not all species and individuals will survive in the new environments) C) Genetic variations may or may not improve the individuals chance of surviving in the new environment. D) Those who do survive will pass on there genes which gave them the genetic advantage of surviving.

Summary, will is not necessary for evolution.
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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » September 5th, 2018, 6:40 am

Thinking critical wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 6:33 am
Summary, will is not necessary for evolution.
Since will is one of the traits selected for by evolution it is a part of evolution. On the individual level the animal or human that deals with adversity better stands a better chance of survival to pass on genes and to help its offspring thrive. This would also be true at the species level. It is not a trait that is easy to measure in other species in the wild, but we can sure see this in humans. And animal experiments support that animals with genetic/nurture patterns that reduce grit and perservence do less well, reproduce less.

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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Thinking critical » September 5th, 2018, 6:59 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 6:40 am
Thinking critical wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 6:33 am
Summary, will is not necessary for evolution.
Since will is one of the traits selected for by evolution it is a part of evolution. On the individual level the animal or human that deals with adversity better stands a better chance of survival to pass on genes and to help its offspring thrive. This would also be true at the species level. It is not a trait that is easy to measure in other species in the wild, but we can sure see this in humans. And animal experiments support that animals with genetic/nurture patterns that reduce grit and perservence do less well, reproduce less.
I agree that in sentient beings, will is without a doubt necessary for survival. Without it we would have no real drive to live and yes, would be less likely to reproduce.

I don't however see will as any sort of significant driving force which some how influences the evolution of species as suggested by Felix. To me will is simply another desire, just as hunger is the desire to eat, will is the desire to stay alive.
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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » September 5th, 2018, 3:14 pm

Thinking critical wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 6:59 am
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 6:40 am
Since will is one of the traits selected for by evolution it is a part of evolution. On the individual level the animal or human that deals with adversity better stands a better chance of survival to pass on genes and to help its offspring thrive. This would also be true at the species level. It is not a trait that is easy to measure in other species in the wild, but we can sure see this in humans. And animal experiments support that animals with genetic/nurture patterns that reduce grit and perservence do less well, reproduce less.
I agree that in sentient beings, will is without a doubt necessary for survival. Without it we would have no real drive to live and yes, would be less likely to reproduce.

I don't however see will as any sort of significant driving force which some how influences the evolution of species as suggested by Felix. To me will is simply another desire, just as hunger is the desire to eat, will is the desire to stay alive.
I think that's a limited focus for will. It would be, for me, the ability to continue working through a problem to achieve something one wants. Obviously more limited in animals other than humans, but still we have procreation, protecting young, being dominant in a group, exchanging affection, many mammals have patterns similar to demanding justice, making deals. In lower animals you still need to be able to deal with setbacks. If they have no limbic systems, then will might be more like continuously seeking solutions - to get food, mate, untrap oneself, find water, evade a pretador. If we abstract will, perhaps as Nietsche did, we might be able to incorporate more stuff. And this would be a trait or traits that would get selected for. I know this can seem anthopormorphizing, but heck even bacteria keep trying when a rock just sinks to the bottom of the lake.

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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Greta » September 5th, 2018, 4:58 pm

The will to live is a naturally selected trait.

Those with less will to live survived less than those who had a strong survival urge, and the latter passed on more of their genes. Now desperate survivors are all that's left.

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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 5th, 2018, 6:16 pm

Greta wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 4:58 pm
The will to live is a naturally selected trait.

Those with less will to live survived less than those who had a strong survival urge, and the latter passed on more of their genes. Now desperate survivors are all that's left.

and full circle....

ThomasHobbes » August 29th, 2018, 10:28 am

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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » September 6th, 2018, 12:57 am

Greta wrote:
September 5th, 2018, 4:58 pm
The will to live is a naturally selected trait.
I don't know if this is a response to me, but I have said this several times. But I want say again, we do not need to reduce the will to the will to survive. The will is more general and even pursuing despite obstacles goals that do not seem related to survival have effects on survival and even more so on how much one gets to procreate and the resources the spawn have.

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Re: Is There Another Force Besides Natural Selection?

Post by Mark1955 » September 6th, 2018, 11:56 am

Hereandnow wrote:
September 4th, 2018, 8:45 pm
Why are we born to suffer and die?
There is no why, it just happens, although suffering is of course your view of things.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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