Not supernatural intelligence - ours.

Mel kindly alerted me to Fisherian Runaway recently and it struck me that a lot of evolution could driven by methods outside the classic "survival of the best adapted [to the environment]".

I'm floating an idea here, so please bear with me: I guess we can co-opt animal intelligence into the survival paradigm, but a more intelligent discussion (and refutation of the supernatural!) could perhaps be had if we allow for the separation of purely natural biological effects (of which there are many) and other effects which are directed by other forms of selection.

I can't find any sensible biologist suggesting that plants have intelligence - they just didn't need any so they're evolving in a classic undirected chaotic line. Higher animals, however, are quite capable of making "informed" decisions; and the highest of all (us, arhem) are really messing it all up.

I'm don't want to argue the rights and wrongs of this, just accept that we do.


It struck me one of the problems extolling evolution to an evolution denier is they see [supernatural] design in everything - even though it's clear to us that the designer is only nature "herself". A better examination of the sentient affects on evolution could, perhaps, better explain the ludicrous theses proposed by Perry Marshall and others.

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If one per cent survive the said plague, they had better be non-theists and not doomladen religious fundamentalists.
Mind you, I'd have been one of those who would have been left behind to die... so medicine does help everyone.

I believe I've said before that we're out to kill ourselves off in another self-correction.

Right, back to me sick bed.
Laughter...The FunDummies, depending on God to protect or rapture them, will probably die off in greater numbers. I can't confirm it however I am quite sure that more FunDummies get hit by busses and taxis than non-believers. Too busy watching out for demons, 666 and lustful thoughts...laughter.
Not widely voiced, but probably shared more than you imagine
The Pope-led catholics and the Muslims intend severely overpopulating all the areas they currently occupy before any such control starts being seriously debated, let alone instigated. They will say "Goddidit" or "God's Will".
@ Larry and Phil
I can't help but think that these things will solve themselves. Once the food of the working class is cut to the point that they are also starving worldwide, then people are probably going to take what they need from those who have it and yep, it'll probably be bloody. Maybe even worse than revelations is supposed to be. I'll tell you what, I don't want to be rich or involved with government when that day comes.
@ Everyone
I wonder how many (or few) of all people are actually what would be considered a viable evolutionary candidate? 1/3? 1/8? 1/1000? Do you have to possess all of the best survival characteristics to be considered viable? Being healthy and strong make you less susceptable to disease and gives you a better chance to kill or defend yourself. How much does this matter when firearms and medicine are added to the mix? Would not someone like Stephen Hawking have the worst chance to survive anything- yet have the best chance of predicting and planning the survival of a cosmic catastrophe. Seems to me that each person we can keep alive gives us a chance at a new technology or philosophy that could mean the difference between ending our civilization early and obtaining the unimaginable.
You're questions re candidates reminds me that when talking about evolution, we are not talking about any kind of directed, individual path. We are talking about the directions that the survival and propagation of gene factories take.

If we had enough smarts to really know what we're doing with this, you would think that more progress would have been made on the N-body problem. From what I can tell, there are no general solutions for 3 or more bodies that act according to Newtonian physics, let alone Einsteinian physics. Trying to solve for a country-size-population that is governed by social and biological systems we hardly even know, let alone understand, seems quixotic.

This is not to say, however, that we shouldn't try to understand what we can with the best tools that we have at the moment. We should be aware of the postive and negatives of vaccination (to use a current ferfluffle.) Or sanitation. Or agricultural production. Or strip mining. Or deforestation. They all will impact the evolution of something somehow. Including us.
Precisely my point! I have the unusual stance that such individuals are extremely important to our general understanding and social evolution. I see them as serving the purpose of flagging bad ideologies such as reminding people that they need to think of troubling things like facts over easy things like faith. While I would certainly agree that it's senseless to await one or even ten particular "types" of people, it is completely logical to believe that with higher numbers of people that we'll (by happenstance) bear more gifted people. Of course this causes problems of our own but I also feel that such a trait is human and not strongly related to population. Finally you're right that I find any plan to quickly reduce population to be morally flawed and maybe I'm not the right person to make any such determination.
From the OP: I can't find any sensible biologist suggesting that plants have intelligence - they just didn't need any so they're evolving in a classic undirected chaotic line.

Some possible counter-evidence: Can a Plant Be Altruistic?
"This is the first instance where researchers demonstrated that a plant's response to an aboveground cue is dependent upon the presence of a belowground cue. This study demonstrates that plants are social organisms. It shows that altruism is possible among plants and that response to both kin and strangers depend on the ecology of the plant species."

I'll grant that this is a l-o-n-g way from what we usually call intelligence but I think it does move the goalposts in a way that requires us to be more inclusive in our thinking.
Darn! That really is stretching it...

Mind you, intelligence is almost as difficult to pin down as the definition of "life".
So a plant is reacting without a reasoned response just like people do. Where's the stretch?
We all reason - all sentient beings reason - even if it's at a subconscious, primitive level.




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