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Basketball games a form of evolution?

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coach-free self-organization?/Malingering

From Eurekalert:

Behind the apparent randomness of a basketball game, a process of self-organisation is actually taking place amid the teams. The interactions between team mates and opponents are constantly influencing each other while the game itself allows for creative behaviours to emerge. This phenomenon, detected by Spanish researchers after analysing over 6,000 NBA games, resembles the way in which living things must continually evolve in order to survive in nature. More.

Hmmm. If the basketball players are evolving as a result of their strategies, they are keeping it a secret.

In a predator-prey system, for instance, or in a natural changing environment with limited resources, species evolve in their arms race by adapting. They continuously fight and give it their all just to survive, not to ensure their triumph. In such cases, a small adaptive advantage can go a long way.

It’s never been clear that small adaptive advantages, by themselves, lead to any significant amount of evolution. That’s claimed (and widely believed), but not demonstrated. See Darwin’s finches, for example.

The article seems written as if the organization of the game happens without any intentional mental input from the players (who, unlike life forms in nature, do not need to play basketball at all, just to survive). Until the very end, where we learn:

Just as in natural systems, the teams which are best able to adapt to any situation that may arise will have a better chance of winning. This phenomenon can also be understood from a more philosophical point of view where what is important is the group not the ego. As Phil Jackson -the former coach of the Chicago Bulls- said: “basketball puts the ‘me’ in service of the ‘we’.” In other words, basketball means cooperating and evolving without reciprocity, without expecting anything in return, only for the good of the team.

Does whoever wrote this really believe that team members are evolving or that they expect nothing for themselves?

This is a classic in cultural Darwinthink. It needn’t make sense or be sifted by experience; it only needs to be culturally accepted noise.

Evolution? What the fossils told us in their own words

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Basketball is not evolution in action. Its entirely a creature of thinking beings. Its not random but has great boundaries of options within boundaries of beings motivations. Basketball is all about intelligence. Thats why the most intelligent people who studied the sport as kids become the the best. If evolving and randomness was a factor there would be no status of superiority. the game never evolves while its played. its just intelligence changing die to details. Robert Byers
Greatest moments in NBA Finals history were the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Miami Heat. Yeah baby! Mung

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