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The Forum > Article Comments > Lessons for a new paradigm - the dual drivers of evolution > Comments

Lessons for a new paradigm - the dual drivers of evolution : Comments

By Gilbert Holmes, published 19/10/2010

Individual organisms commune with and control their surrounds along with having competitive and co-operative relationships existing side by side.

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There are some good points in Gilbert's article, but they are suppressed by conflating various concepts.

Evolution occurs by a number of mechanisms, the predominant one being natural selection over a number of generations - sometimes a few or several; sometimes many, many generations. Gilbert is right to say co-operation can influence natural selection as much as competition. Mutation is is common at a DNA segment level, but rarely has much effect on populations, and when it does, the effect may be negative as much as or more frequently than a positive effect.

Other mechanisms include 'genetic drift', and 'gene flow'.

It is difficult to see how biological evolution can be projected or extrapolated to modern human psychology or how it can have an effect in a few generations as many seem to want it to. These seem to be anthropological and sociological paradigms, not evolutionary ones.
Posted by McReal, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 9:02:09 AM
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The process described by the author has been going on for countless thousands of years in the case of human beings.

How much human evolution has really occurred in all of that time?

Besides which the process of evolution really occurs at the depth level first -- the invisible pattern that patterns everything.

Plus any changes that occur are already latently there at the depth level. Waiting to be brought out into the Conscious light of day.

These 3 references provide a unique Understanding of how evolution applies to, and works in the case of human beings.

http://www.beezone.com/AdiDa/EWB/EWB_pp416-436.html

http://www.beezone.com/AdiDa/ScientificProof/fiveevolutionarystatesoftrueman.html

http://www.dabase.org/unique.htm
Posted by Ho Hum, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 10:27:21 AM
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Gilbert, it seems to me that much of you are trying to explain,
is already covered in evolutionary biology, called
the evolution of reciprocal altruism. It applies to various
social species.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reciprocal_altruism

.
Posted by Yabby, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 10:44:17 AM
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First page, so far so good.

Second page is a bit of mess really. Conflation of a number of completely different concepts under the umbrella of 'competition' doesn't help, more on this later. Conflation of concepts of human society and biological concepts that use the same term, but have different meanings, eg. 'communities' is confusing.

Eco-systems don't have 'cultural heritage' Gilbert. And 'collective' in ecological terms, would really mean an emergent pattern of individual relationships. Individuals in biology don't conform to a 'collective', the 'collective' emerges from the individuals.

Some of the most important drivers of evolution are those that directly remove individuals from the gene pool. Predation is one of those drivers, it isn't really the same concept as competition as applied to ecology. Adaptation to environmental stress, eg climate, resource scarcity etc is also another concept. 'Competition' between intraspecifics, such as sexual selection and finding mates is another one. You have conflated all these into 'the individual organism competing with itís surrounds'. I feel this is confusing, as there are many factors that drive evolution, to simply focus on two and then put everything else into one category or the other (ie, competition or cooperation) is an error.

If co-operation assists in survival and thus helps an individual in the 'competition with it's surrounds', it really isn't the antithesis of competition is it?

As for "We can see dual motivations within the individual organism: to commune with and to control its surrounds", anthropmorphic much? Biologists would probably think that the 'motivations' within an indivual organism would usually be: Eat, survive, reproduce. Just about everything an organism does is centred around these.

As a treatise for a yin-yang thing and the basis of a personal philosophy, yeah I can see it.

But please don't think it relates to science. Please.
Posted by Bugsy, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 11:04:12 AM
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Gilbert Holmes,

You have delivered us a veritable gallimaufry (always wanted to use that word) of examples - almost too much to take in at once.

Speaking of how we conceptualise and our penchant for cooperation, I think you will find that the desire to connect is instinctual. Therefore, interaction and imitation at the basic level of facial expression such as between a baby and its parents should be defined as cooperation.
This is why a "severely" autistic individual who does not possess this "theory of mind" cannot function in society - he/she lacks a perception and connection of "the other".
A holon is at once a complete system in itself and at the same time part of a wider system.
Man as an individual may be seen biologically as a complete system within himself - but his separateness is totally encompassed within his biological entity. All of his higher consciousness as a human in the psychological sense depends on his interaction and cooperation with fellow beings.
Posted by Poirot, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 11:15:24 AM
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Yabby,

My reading of reciprocal altruism is that it is giving reasons for why essentially self-interested individuals (including humans) might be behaving altruistically. While we can see that altruistic tendencies are confusing the issue, this is still essentially the competition between individual organisms that Darwin saw.

Hi Bugsy,

Just like economics or psychology, evolution theory is more than just science. It is also philosophy. Our beliefs will effect the direction of our study and our practice of the 'science'.

"Some of the most important drivers of evolution are those that directly remove individuals from the gene pool. Predation is one of those drivers, it isn't really the same concept as competition as applied to ecology. Adaptation to environmental stress, eg climate, resource scarcity etc is also another concept. 'Competition' between intraspecifics, such as sexual selection and finding mates is another one. You have conflated all these into 'the individual organism competing with itís surrounds'"

I suggest that you can actually look at all of these (predation, adaptation to stress, sexual selection) from the perspective of the individual organism as well as from the collectivist perspective: The individual being able to succeed in it's environment, or the pattern of the ecosystem determining what will succeed. Evolution theory to date has tended to focus on the former at the expense of the latter.

Poirot,

How people manage to interpret the concept of a holon, to which the paradox of separateness and connectedness is central, to mean that we are all ultimately connected to one another, continues to elude me.

"All of his higher consciousness as a human in the psychological sense depends on his interaction and cooperation with fellow beings."

For me, if I might get a little metaphysical, identity is what defines the space between the paradox of separateness and connectedness. We are not one or the other but both. All consciousness, from the blade of grass to the human being is essentially of the same form, just differing in degree. We are all both motivated to control our surrounds and to commune with them.
Posted by GilbertHolmes, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 2:05:30 PM
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