22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Exchange is to cultural evolution as sex is to biological...

If culture consisted simply of learning habits from others, it would soon stagnate. For culture to turn cumulative, ideas needed to meet and mate. The ‘cross-fertilisation of ideas’ is a cliché, but one with unintentional fecundity. ‘To create is to recombine’ said the molecular biologist François Jacob. Imagine if the man who invented the railway and the man who invented the locomotive could never meet or speak to each other, even through third parties. Paper and the printing press...
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18 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Falacy of Seeking Too Much Purpose in Evolutionary Adapta...

Darwin’s concept of evolution is centered on natural selection, or survival of the fittest [1]. Although Darwin did realize that organisms possess structures and even entire organs that might not have an extant function, as is the case of rudiments [2], on the whole, selectionist thinking has heavily dominated the biological literature ever since. In its extreme but not uncommon form, the selectionist, or adaptationist, paradigm perceives every trait as an adaptation. Under this view of bio...
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
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24 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Natural Selection Resembles Bayesian Inference

The analogy is mathematically precise, and fascinating. In rough terms, it says that the process of natural selection resembles the process of Bayesian inference. A population of organisms can be thought of as having various 'hypotheses' about how to survive—each hypothesis corresponding to a different allele. (Roughly, an allele is one of several alternative versions of a gene.) In each successive generation, the process of natural selection modifies the proportion of organisms having each...
Folksonomies: evolution biology bayesian
Folksonomies: evolution biology bayesian
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15 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 The Noosphere

Under the impact of this passage from simple to squared numbers, we all become aware that the entrance is open for the hominised consciousness into a new inner world: the world of the Universe as thought. But do we sufficiently notice that simultaneously, in the realm of the measurable and tangible, another form of ' generalisation '—also as the result of reflexion — becomes possible and outlines itself: no longer simply for our knowledge, the systematised perception of total time and tot...
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15 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 The Singularity of the Human Species

The singularity of the human species, 1 the study and defence of which form the plan of this work, stands out principally in the actual characteristics of what we shall call in these pages the Noosphere (or thinking envelope) of the earth. But just because, forming a true singularity (and not a simple irregularity) in evolutionary matter, humanity is born not by an accident but from the prolonged play of the forces of cosmogenesis, its roots must theoretically be recognisable (as in fact they...
Folksonomies: evolution science culture
Folksonomies: evolution science culture
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12 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Humans as Self-Domesticating Animals

at the end of the Pleistocene, certain human groups and their animal associates began progressively to show parallel reductions in size and stature, cranial gracilization, changes in post-cranial robusticity, shortening of the face and jaws, tooth crowding and malocclusion, and tooth-size reduction and simplification. There has been no recent attempt to explain the parallelism, although numerous explanations exist for the changes as they affect one or other of the parties. Some of the explana...
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Restrictive environments, artificially constructed give us many of the traits shared with the animals we domesticate.

12 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Attributes of Domesticated Animals

The study of domesticated animals since Darwin’s influential work (1868) has culminated in the formation of a set of changes that are claimed to distinguish domestic populations from wild species (for recent outlines of these see Price 1984, 1999; Hemmer 1990; Tchernov and Horwitz 1991; Hall 1993; Teichert 1993; Smith 1995; Zohary, Tchernov, and Horwitz 1998; Clutton-Brock 1999; Trut 1999). Although not uniformly present in all domesticated species, those affecting the skeleton may include ...
Folksonomies: evolution domestication
Folksonomies: evolution domestication
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05 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Dawkin's Concept of Life

My vision of life is that everything extends from replicators, which are in practice DNA molecules on this planet. The replicators reach out into the world to influence their own probability of being passed on. Mostly they don't reach further than the individual body in which they sit, but that's a matter of practice, not a matter of principle. The individual organism can be defined as that set of phenotypic products which have a single route of exit of the genes into the future. That's not t...
Folksonomies: evolution replication life
Folksonomies: evolution replication life
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07 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Taking Adaptation into Consideration of the Anthropocene

It took hundreds of millions of years to produce the life that now inhabits the earth—eons of time in which that developing and evolving and diversifying life reached a state of adjustment and balance with its surroundings. The environment, rigorously shaping and directing the life it supported, contained elements that were hostile as well as supporting. Certain rocks gave out dangerous radiation, even within the light of the sun, from which all life draws its energy, there were short-wave ...
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18 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Human Self-Domestication

...the hypothesis of human self-domestication has recently been revived as a possible explanation of changes of human physical traits since the late Pleistocene. These changes include the reduction of body size and decrease in skeletal robusticity, modifications in cranial and dental features including reduction in cranial capacity, shortening of the facial region of the skull and maleruption of teeth, and reduction in sexual dimorphism. In contrast to earlier biological writings, other domes...
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