Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

We are now informed that evolution can go backward


From ScienceDaily:

The study of evolution is revealing new complexities, showing how the traits most beneficial to the fitness of individual plants and animals are not always the ones we see in nature. Instead, new research by behavioral scientists shows that in certain cases evolution works in the opposite direction, reversing individual improvements to benefit related members of the same group.

Wow. They are trying to revive the heresy of a group selection over against the selfish gene. It doesn’t matter whether this is true or not. It isn’t orthodox.

The research appears in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, where lead author David Fisher shows that the increased evolution of selfless traits — such as sharing food and keeping watch for one another — is mathematically equivalent to the decreased evolution of individually beneficial traits.

“They’re two sides of the same coin,” Fisher explains. “On one side, traits evolve that benefit your kin, but don’t benefit you, because you’re helping your siblings or cousins. On the other side, traits that benefit you but cost your neighbours don’t evolve, because you’re causing damage to related individuals.”

The work is part of the ongoing effort to understand the paradox of altruistic behaviour in the wild, explains Fisher, a research fellow in McMaster’s Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour.

Fisher goes on to show that another way evolution can go backwards is through the evolution of an individual’s negative effects on neighbours and group members. For example, a fast-growing tree may take all the sunlight, water and nutrients out of the environment, causing its neighbours to grow slowly. In the next generation, more trees are fast-growing but are also nasty neighbours. As a result, negative social effects are much more prevalent, and so everyone’s growth is reduced.

“That means evolution has gone backwards. Even though growing quickly is beneficial, because of these negative social effects, the population, on average, grows more slowly,” he says. Paper. (paywall) – David N. Fisher, Jonathan N. Pruitt. Opposite responses to selection and where to find them. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/jeb.13432 More.

Of course, they must see evolution as a benevolent deity instead of an impersonal one, if it can act to prevent a bad outcome, as described above. Well, if it’s an established religion, it’s an established religion.

See also: How bacteria use harpoons to speed horizontal gene transfer Well, if that’s a way bacteria evolve, what becomes of common descent and speciation? What do we mean by “bacterial species”?

Devolution: Getting back to the simple life


Could we all get together and evolve as a group?

Follow UD News at Twitter!

Math Guy- evolution by means of intelligent design can stifle entropy. But yes, nature tends towards the more simple solutions. This is evidenced in Spiegelman's Monster- an event that shut's down any RNA world. ET
ET @ 4 "We have known for a long time that evolution doesn’t have a direction as far as complexity goes." Actually Behe, Dembski, Marks, Sewell, et al have told us their is in fact a preferred direction: towards entropy and less complexity as per the 2nd Law. Their arguments are compelling IMHO. math guy
You tell her Bob and weave at 1, if you are going to use natural selection in a just so story at least get your just so story telling right! Next News will be trying to tell Rudyard Kipling how to write his stories! :)
JUST SO STORIES By Rudyard Kipling https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2781/2781-h/2781-h.htm Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection. Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance. https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530 An Early Critique of Darwin Warned of a Lower Grade of Degradation - Cornelius Hunter - December 2012 Excerpt: And as for Darwin’s grand principle, natural selection, (Adam Sedgwick asked Charles Darwin) “what is it but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, primary facts.” Yet Darwin had smuggled in teleological language to avoid the absurdity and make it acceptable. For Darwin had written of natural selection “as if it were done consciously by the selecting agent.” Yet again, this criticism is cogent today. Teleological language is rampant in the evolutionary literature. http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/12/an-early-critique-of-darwin-warned-of.html Why Do We Invoke Darwin? By Philip Skell Excerpt: The efforts mentioned there are not experimental biology; they are attempts to explain already authenticated phenomena in Darwinian terms, things like human nature. Further, Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive – except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed – except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery. http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/16649/title/Why-Do-We-Invoke-Darwin-/ “some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis. Many scientists today see the need for a deeper and more complete exploration of all aspects of the evolutionary process.” - James Shapiro http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/ Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila – 2010 Excerpt of concluding paragraph: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles. This is notable because in wild populations we expect the strength of natural selection to be less intense and the environment unlikely to remain constant for ~600 generations. Consequently, the probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments.” http://www.homepages.ed.ac.uk/aspiliop//2010_2011/Burke%20et%20al%202010.pdf Defending the validity and significance of the new theorem “Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection With Mutations, Part I: Fisher’s Impact – Bill Basener and John Sanford - February 15, 2018 Excerpt: While Fisher’s Theorem is mathematically correct, his Corollary is false. The simple logical fallacy is that Fisher stated that mutations could effectively be treated as not impacting fitness, while it is now known that the vast majority of mutations are deleterious, providing a downward pressure on fitness. Our model and our correction of Fisher’s theorem (The Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection with Mutations), take into account the tension between the upward force of selection with the downward force of mutations.,,, Our paper shows that Fisher’s corollary is clearly false, and that he misunderstood the implications of his own theorem. He (Fisher) incorrectly believed that his theorem was a mathematical proof that showed that natural selection plus mutation will necessarily and always increase fitness. He also believed his theorem was on a par with a natural law (such as entropic dissipation and the second law of thermodynamics). Because Fisher did not understand the actual fitness distribution of new mutations, his belief in the application of his “fundamental theorem of natural selection” was fundamentally and profoundly wrong – having little correspondence to biological reality. Therefore, we have reformulated Fisher’s model and have corrected his errors, thereby have established a new theorem that better describes biological reality, and allows for the specification of those key variables that will determine whether fitness will increase or decrease. http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/defending-the-validity-and-significance-of-the-new-theorem-fundamental-theorem-of-natural-selection-with-mutations-part-i-fishers-impact/
We have known for a long time that evolution doesn't have a direction as far as complexity goes. We have known about organisms who have lost something along the way and yet survived because the environment was indifferent or even conducive to that loss. There is even a heretical notion that prokaryotes actually sprang from the remains of eukaryotic entrails, ie organelles: Scientists suggest cell origins involved a forward and backwards process ET
I've always wondered about the scenario in which a half-adapted marine cow out-breeds a fish. Any fish. Ever. ScuzzaMan
The work is part of the ongoing effort to understand the paradox of altruistic behaviour in the wild,
And by "understand", they mean 'make it fit the Darwinist dogma somehow'. Nonlin.org
Wow. They are trying to revive the heresy of a group selection over against the selfish gene.
Err, no. They are describing straight-up kin selection. Bob O'H

Leave a Reply