Author Topic: Selfish Gene  (Read 2964 times)

Offline deoxymoron

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Selfish Gene
« on: April 23, 2010, 07:03:46 PM »
Hi,

How many people have read The Selfish Gene by R. Dawkins?

I was wondering this because this is the book that inspired me to look, and discover this program, only a few days ago. I was actually considering learning to program myself just to make a program like this, but seems i was beaten to it.

I think this book could be very influential to the programmer of dawinbots, numsgil? (i don't know as i just discovered Dawinbots a few days ago) If they haven't read it already. If not, I highly recommend it as it would almost definitely lead to a better 'dawinbots', Even though i'm very impressed with it already- It's a lot better than the rest that i've seen.

Anyway, discuss!

Offline Numsgil

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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 08:43:51 PM »
I consider it a rather simplistic view.  I side more with Stephen Jay Gould (see note 53 for the relevant section):

"Gould and Dawkins also disagreed over the importance of gene selection in evolution. Dawkins argued that evolution is best understood as competition among genes (or replicators), while Gould advocated the importance of multi-level competition, including selection amongst genes, cell lineages, organisms, demes, species, and clades."  So Gould's view Sums up my understanding of evolution exactly.  Actually, I had a brilliant epiphany about this multi level selection some years ago, and was rather annoyed to find it was an existing theory already :/

I'm not generally a fan of Dawkins.  And by not generally a fan, I mean rather hostile towards.  He's a strong leader of a modern militant (for lack of a better word) form of Darwinism that's mostly a reaction to the militant Creationists.  There's actually evidence of this elsewhere in science as well.  With climate science, for instance, there's a large consensus (and a great deal of evidence for) human caused global warming, but if you're a scientist and you even suggest other causes (even contributing causes) for it you become something of a scientific pariah, because the assumption is that you're in the pocket of the oil industry or something like that.  Or that's my lay person understanding.

Offline deoxymoron

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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 10:11:29 PM »
Well, that may be true of what Gould says, (i'm unaware of his ideas, positions btw, but will look him up) but isn't this program about creating life from the absolute, or at least, a very low level, then letting it become more complex as the bots evolve. All these higher level competitions could theoretically start occuring naturally? This is what i was hoping to accomplish anyway- not, design all the complex behaviours/essence of the bots, in the hope that it will just continue in the evolutionary spirit so to speak, and become more fit and complex in it's environment- Though i like the ability to design bots of the program in it's own right.

For example, one thing that may be hampering 'evolution', is the way the gene's are effective in dawinbots. for example, in Dawkin's understanding of a gene, gene's overlap and a reason this could not really be implemented into dawinbots is because, the genes instruction consists of words, not four basic chemical acids. i realise it would be impossible/incredibly difficult in trying to mimic gene's exactly in essence as they behave in reality. lol

My original idea for creating a program, was to start from the very very bottom, and just have 3D atoms, floating around in a large simulated (early earth) environment, making sure all atoms behaved as they do in reality. Then, either allow for amino acids to form or design them, or even design basic RNA replicators and go from there.

I realise this idea was very idealistic/naive and was probably not going to happen as it would take a lot of computer space/programing prowess, of which i lack. but interesting idea, right? perhaps with a supercomputer.

Anyway, I'm still trying to create some genuinely interesting bots, without resorting to creating them myself. Do you know where i can find advice on applying the right settings for creating interesting behaviour? maybe it's already been covered somewhere else; i can't find where though. i've managed some group behaviour but i want my bots to start increasing thier dna length, not slowly decrease and simplify (even with all dna cost off)  And is it possible for venom, poison etc to develop in a bot, without me programming it in originally? would love to see that happen.

Btw, i sort of agree with what you say about dawkin's militant group, though this too could be seen in evolutionary terms? The tendancy for humans to form their views based on majority rules, laced with a splash of rational thinking (seemingly never enough) because this is what worked in the past. And when i say in the past, i mean, way back in the stone age. I'd prefer a bunch of dawin advocates running aroun than creationists telling me earth is 4000 years old, and if i think differently, i'm going to hell. it seems more a fight between ignorance and rationalism. while climate debate has bureaucratize into crap, politically, and most people don't really understand it (including me) but are willing to have such concrete positions. :/

sorry about bulk questions

Offline Houshalter

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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 11:06:11 PM »
Quote from: Numsgil
I'm not generally a fan of Dawkins.  And by not generally a fan, I mean rather hostile towards.  He's a strong leader of a modern militant (for lack of a better word) form of Darwinism that's mostly a reaction to the militant Creationists.
Isn't that the guy that said that parents that teach their children about God should go to prison? Ya...

Quote from: deoxymoron
Anyway, I'm still trying to create some genuinely interesting bots, without resorting to creating them myself. Do you know where i can find advice on applying the right settings for creating interesting behaviour? maybe it's already been covered somewhere else; i can't find where though. i've managed some group behaviour but i want my bots to start increasing thier dna length, not slowly decrease and simplify (even with all dna cost off)  And is it possible for venom, poison etc to develop in a bot, without me programming it in originally? would love to see that happen.
My expirements have been unsuccesful thus far in creating completely new abilities, but I have gotten some really interesting behaviors. One thing thats helpful is change. Once they figure out how to survive, they generally don't change much for a long time. This is a good example of puctuated equilibrium in action. Just figure out the dynamic costs and how the controls work and stuff and you'll be golden. Also, shepard bots might help if you don't mind "cheating". Last, the harder the bots have to fight for food, the better they have to be to get it, so make your sims bigger, your alga stronger, and your bots slightly cannibalistic/territorial. Good luck

Offline Numsgil

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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2010, 01:12:47 AM »
Quote from: Houshalter
Quote from: Numsgil
I'm not generally a fan of Dawkins.  And by not generally a fan, I mean rather hostile towards.  He's a strong leader of a modern militant (for lack of a better word) form of Darwinism that's mostly a reaction to the militant Creationists.
Isn't that the guy that said that parents that teach their children about God should go to prison? Ya...

Fuel for the fire.

Offline Numsgil

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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2010, 01:50:38 AM »
Quote from: deoxymoron
All these higher level competitions could theoretically start occuring naturally?

Yes and no.  If you google search some variation of "haystack" "evolution" "altruism" and "game theory", you should fine some interesting stuff.  I have a link I could post Mondayish, if I remember.

Basically, think of it like this: the complexity of chemistry is not apparent from the simple() rules of quantum mechanics.  Likewise the complexity of genes is not apparent from the rules of chemistry.  Likewise the complexity of selection on larger orders is not apparent from the rules which govern the success/failure of genes.  At each level another level of complexity is created in the hierarchy above it from the interactions at that level.

So we could say that all evolution represents the conflict between genes, but we could also say that it's a natural consequence of the laws of quantum mechanics.  Both are true, but both miss a great deal of the story.  There's a reason physicists aren't licensed to practice medicine.

But these higher levels aren't guaranteed to exist.  The laws of chemistry are a bit immutable, but the laws that govern life is a little more plastic.  Under certain circumstances (this is where game theory comes in), the selection of groups outweighs the selection of individuals.  

So if you want to evolve bots, the question becomes how to form an environment that is able to support additional emergent levels of complexity.  It's a bit like being a gardener.  If I, as a programmer working on the program, just blithely assume that greater and greater complexity will result if I have self replicating entities, I'm either going to be extremely lucky or rather frustrated.

Quote
For example, one thing that may be hampering 'evolution', is the way the gene's are effective in dawinbots. for example, in Dawkin's understanding of a gene, gene's overlap and a reason this could not really be implemented into dawinbots is because, the genes instruction consists of words, not four basic chemical acids. i realise it would be impossible/incredibly difficult in trying to mimic gene's exactly in essence as they behave in reality. lol

Actually, when you really get in to it, DNA is remarkably like a computer program.  It's written for a massively parallel computer, which is different from modern serial computers (and Darwinbots DNA), but at it's core it's a symbol manipulating machine.  It's just a symbol manipulation machine whose source code is absolute spaghetti code, with all variables global.  Imagine a 1 billion line program written by a script kiddie mixing and matching lines of code from all sorts of different programs.

If I had to decide exactly, I'd say that the main differences between DNA and computer code is that:

1.  Life is essentially a quantum computer (things are inherently probabilistic)
2.  Each base pair of DNA is also a processing element, or can spawn a processing element.  So the computational power grows as the complexity of the algorithm does.

Quote
Btw, i sort of agree with what you say about dawkin's militant group, though this too could be seen in evolutionary terms? The tendancy for humans to form their views based on majority rules, laced with a splash of rational thinking (seemingly never enough) because this is what worked in the past. And when i say in the past, i mean, way back in the stone age. I'd prefer a bunch of dawin advocates running aroun than creationists telling me earth is 4000 years old, and if i think differently, i'm going to hell. it seems more a fight between ignorance and rationalism. while climate debate has bureaucratize into crap, politically, and most people don't really understand it (including me) but are willing to have such concrete positions. :/

Actually that's an interesting way to view it.  I was thinking like creationists et al are like an irritant and scientists are having a systemic allergic reaction.  But you could probably view it from an evolutionary stand point as well.

...

For your efforts at getting bots to evolve interesting behavior...  For zerobots, you'll need to play gardener with them.  Shepherd bots, restarting from time to time with promising strains, etc.  There have been some good results done like that.  I've been trying to do a 0 intervention zerobot sim for a few months and tens of millions of cycles but I've gotten nothing so far.

It's actually a good case for a god: without occasional (non-Armageddon) disruption, things stagnate.  Life on Earth was not more complex than bacteria for a billion years.  Along the same vein, this chart makes interesting food for thought.

Offline deoxymoron

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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2010, 05:25:05 AM »
Hm, i think we have roughly the same picture of evolution, i guess. Probably just seeing it differently. i'm sure you have done your research a bit more thoroughly than me though. lol, by the looks of it anyway.

Although, about the absolute reasons for life occurring in nature, I'm strongly leaning towards these main ideas in shaping my thoughts:


1) The universe is deterministic.

I think Plancks quanta just means we can't be certain, not that the universe is actually uncertain to a degree. Although ironically I'm the least certain of this idea as some things about quantum mechanics aren't completely clear to me, yet.


2) Life is just a product of the laws of entropy. (At least a good way to view it)

So most of the time, this law is used to describe simple happenings like hot/cold water becoming warm when mixed. In the case of 'life', it has favoured a completely opposite direction of complexity (insert understanding of evolution here). The sun's rays is the 'hot water' in a way. I think I have a pdf. paper that explains this if you're interested? (should be attached)


3) Evolution favours the gene, always.

Though i understand you're point that altruism and group selection do occur. but often, thinking in terms of groups leads to people thinking that evolution thinks for it's self. This is why i asked if you had read Dawkin's book.. (dw, there's no anti-creationist rants in there)

So for example, a man might save his 3 kids in full knowledge that he will die in the process. no he's not a 'mutant' defective person (speaking in evolutionary terms ). He does this because all his behaviour is only occurring to increase the population of his gene's, at least that particular gene that caused him to save his 3 kids. There are now a 150% (on average) increase of those gene's in the gene pool that caused him to die saving his kids, and thus, they were successful gene's.

This all being said, i'm sure dawinbots hold a lot of promise, even if it's somehow used in the future for something completely different, like developing bahaviours for the enemy in pc/ps3 games?


At the moment i haven't even attempted creating my own bot, i've used I flammas and others with the algae. i've just started using bots from this site. I'm thinking if i can create different environments (with the shapes) in different areas on the map, maybe different species will develop in each area giving them a 'safe zone' then allowing the 'in between' zone to be fought over. constant fighting between two would then lead to favour on complex bot, as simple behaviour could be exploited (not sure, maybe, if they can remember another bots likely bahaviour. probably) The more complex behaviour, met only with even more complex behaviour? well hopefully!

I found a good way to create an environment is to use lots of tall/thin and wide/short shapes crossing each other. Perhaps they will just learn the environment, even so, that would be a good outcome.


BTW thanx Houshalter for the tips!


Quote
It's actually a good case for a god: without occasional (non-Armageddon) disruption, things stagnate. Life on Earth was not more complex than bacteria for a billion years. Along the same vein, this chart makes interesting food for thought.

It would be funny if you did come to this conclusion after all you're work on dawinbots lol

« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 05:26:48 AM by deoxymoron »

Offline ikke

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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2010, 06:10:57 AM »
As stated earlier on this forum I am more a Dawkins adept. On boh counts actually. On evolutionary biology I think Dawkins has a convincing case against group evolution as an independent driver. Basically his argument is that of evolutionary stable strategies. If there is a group where doing the benefit of the group outweighs that of the gene is is open to invasion of a parasitic gene usurping the group, with the group not being able to respond.
The god delusion sums up his stance on religion pretty eloquently. I have seen the dawkins vs lennox debate and he didn't do as good. He is not a debater and he got succerpunched by the set up of the debate:
the mediator would give a quote and ask dawkins to expand and then let Lennox hammer away against it. this left dawkins having to split his time between explaining the quote and lennox attack, where lennox only had to demolish. With dawkins familiarity on game theory he should have looked at the rules. He could have predicted the outcome.

Offline Numsgil

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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2010, 02:39:45 PM »
Quote from: deoxymoron
1) The universe is deterministic.

I think Plancks quanta just means we can't be certain, not that the universe is actually uncertain to a degree. Although ironically I'm the least certain of this idea as some things about quantum mechanics aren't completely clear to me, yet.

Just the opposite in fact.  Or that's the commonly accepted scientific consensus.  On a quantum level things are uncertain (probabilistic).  And the consensus is that this is not a measurement problem, but a fundamental nature of the quantum world.  (See: Copenhagen interpretation).  There is even a hypothesis that there can not be any hidden variables.  Here's the wiki article.

There is an argument to be made for "superdeterminism", but it is not considered probable or even testable, so it can't be theory.

Quote
So for example, a man might save his 3 kids in full knowledge that he will die in the process. no he's not a 'mutant' defective person (speaking in evolutionary terms ). He does this because all his behaviour is only occurring to increase the population of his gene's, at least that particular gene that caused him to save his 3 kids. There are now a 150% (on average) increase of those gene's in the gene pool that caused him to die saving his kids, and thus, they were successful gene's.

Exactly.  Just reasoning it out that should be the outcome.  But there is empirical evidence for local populations of neolithic humans and animals limiting their reproduction to benefit everyone.  This is the selfish gene vs. altruistic group problem.  Just reasoning on the gene level altruism should always die out to selfishness.  Since the selfish individuals will out-compete the altruistic individuals.  And it's actually one of the first things evolution will do, is break altruism.  We can see that in Darwinbots with conspec breaking, as well as in real life, with certain communal slime molds which quickly "devolve" into selfishness.

But we see altruism all the time in the natural world.  We can dismiss it as kin selection and therefore really a form of selfishness by the gene.  But that doesn't explain why altruism develops in the natural world but breaks down under laboratory conditions.  Or why only some animals are altruistic and others aren't.  It in now way helps us form a scientific theory of altruism, with real and testable predictions.  It's just a form of handwavium that says "if it's an observable trait, it benefits the genes".  That would be like saying "if it's an observable result, it's because God said so".  Maybe true, but it doesn't make testable predictions.

Which is where selection on a group level comes in.  This is this aggressive mouse/altruistic mouse in the haystack model for group selection.  In a single haystack, if there are any aggressive mice, they will always win out and the entire haystack will be aggressive mice.  But there are other haystacks.  Maybe ones with just passive mice.  Passive mice will do better and there will be more of them.  Every now and then the haystacks get removed and all the mice scurry around in a mouse orgy then repopulate new haystacks.  Using game theory and a bit of math, it's possible to formulate exact conditions under which aggressive mice will become 100% of the population, and under which altruistic mice will become 100% of the population.

These conditions are dependent on aspects of how individuals interact once the haystacks are removed (whether mating is purely random, that sort of thing).  So while the behavior (and thus these conditions) are controlled by genes, the end result is not immediately clear from that.  It is emergent complexity.  The unit of selection essentially is groups in this model.  Aggressive mice can win out in every single local haystack fight and still lose globally.

See multilevel selection theory.

Offline Houshalter

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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2010, 09:45:10 PM »
First of all, evolution is alot more complicated then a few genes fighting each other. DNA codes for RNA which codes for protiens, which help assemble more complex structures, themselves building more complex structures, and so on untill you get to the individual, and theres no reason it should stop there because, as numsgil pointed out, evolution often acts on the level on an entire population, not just individuals (look at colony insects like bees and ants.) The concept of genes fighting against each other is rediculous because in order to have a gene that could actually do that, it would have to be rediculously complex to the point were its improbable it could have evolved from chance in the first place. There are examples like the T gene in mice, which makes 90 % of the sperm carry its gene, but its not like theres genes which litterally change the way we behave like in your dad saving his kids example. After 16 generations, you are related to 65,536 differirent organisms that lived 16 generations before you. A small population of organisms will very quickly become interrelated, and so the big differences matter more in seperate populations. In order for a single gene to survive the incredible odds of being passed down after 16 generations, it will have to have a significant effect on the organism.

Offline ikke

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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 12:40:38 AM »
Quote from: Numsgil
Exactly.  Just reasoning it out that should be the outcome.  But there is empirical evidence for local populations of neolithic humans and animals limiting their reproduction to benefit everyone.  This is the selfish gene vs. altruistic group problem.  Just reasoning on the gene level altruism should always die out to selfishness.  Since the selfish individuals will out-compete the altruistic individuals.  And it's actually one of the first things evolution will do, is break altruism.
You haven't read the selfish gene, because one of the central themes of the selfish genes is how selfish genes give rise to altruistic inidividuals.
Quote from: Numsgil
But we see altruism all the time in the natural world.  We can dismiss it as kin selection and therefore really a form of selfishness by the gene.  But that doesn't explain why altruism develops in the natural world but breaks down under laboratory conditions.  Or why only some animals are altruistic and others aren't.  It in now way helps us form a scientific theory of altruism, with real and testable predictions.  It's just a form of handwavium that says "if it's an observable trait, it benefits the genes".  That would be like saying "if it's an observable result, it's because God said so".  Maybe true, but it doesn't make testable predictions.
One of the thing I like most about the theory is its ability to predicts sex ratios in social insects based on gene selfishness
Quote from: Numsgil
Which is where selection on a group level comes in.  This is this aggressive mouse/altruistic mouse in the haystack model for group selection.  In a single haystack, if there are any aggressive mice, they will always win out and the entire haystack will be aggressive mice.  But there are other haystacks.  Maybe ones with just passive mice.  Passive mice will do better and there will be more of them.  Every now and then the haystacks get removed and all the mice scurry around in a mouse orgy then repopulate new haystacks.  Using game theory and a bit of math, it's possible to formulate exact conditions under which aggressive mice will become 100% of the population, and under which altruistic mice will become 100% of the population.

These conditions are dependent on aspects of how individuals interact once the haystacks are removed (whether mating is purely random, that sort of thing).  So while the behavior (and thus these conditions) are controlled by genes, the end result is not immediately clear from that.  It is emergent complexity.  The unit of selection essentially is groups in this model.  Aggressive mice can win out in every single local haystack fight and still lose globally.
Nice guys finish first...

Offline Numsgil

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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 02:54:15 PM »
Quote from: ikke
Quote from: Numsgil
Exactly.  Just reasoning it out that should be the outcome.  But there is empirical evidence for local populations of neolithic humans and animals limiting their reproduction to benefit everyone.  This is the selfish gene vs. altruistic group problem.  Just reasoning on the gene level altruism should always die out to selfishness.  Since the selfish individuals will out-compete the altruistic individuals.  And it's actually one of the first things evolution will do, is break altruism.
You haven't read the selfish gene, because one of the central themes of the selfish genes is how selfish genes give rise to altruistic inidividuals.

A.  I have not read the book, no.
B.  It's concepts represent the entire modern, popular (among scientists) interpretation of evolutionary biology.  So it's not exactly a foreign concept to me.
C.  Altruism is said in the book to be expected to arise when rb>c.  But if you read this wiki article section I linked a while ago (if you open it in Chrome, you will need to physically navigate to the multilevel selection theory section), that model is considered, by a growing minority of biologists, to be an incomplete representation because of counter cases (like the naked mole rat apparently).

Since it's Monday, I can now link this interesting article: Evolution of Social Behavior : Individual and Group Selection Models.  It's directly relevant, so it's worth a read (at least the first few pages).

Basically, Dawkin's book is 30 years old.  It's not the final word.  New empirical and theoretical (from game theory) evidence is being gathered which is casting doubt on the simplistic view of gene centric evolution.  There's been progress in evolutionary biology in the mean time.  Progress which has produced a more nuanced view of evolution.  We'll probably have to wait till the old guard (Dawkins et al) die off before the new ideas can fully blossom.

Quote
One of the thing I like most about the theory is its ability to predicts sex ratios in social insects based on gene selfishness

There are certainly species for which a purely gene centric view of altruism and socialism works very well.  But there are others for which it breaks down.  Naked mole rats, apparently (according to wiki on the multilevel selection link I posted last time).  There is a growing body of evidence that the rb>c Hamilton's rule central to kin selection (and thus gene centric evolution) does not adequately describe all empirical evidence.  There is growing evidence that the equation should be something more like rb+g>c, where r is the relatedness, b is the benefit to kin, c is the cost, and g is the benefit to the group against other groups.  So it's theoretically possible for altruism to develop between entirely unrelated individuals if it makes the local group competitive against foreign groups (enemy of my enemy is my friend).

Likewise it's possible for altruistic behavior to break down under laboratory settings if group competition is removed and you essentially just have a single group in isolation.

Instead of naked mole rats, I think a good example would be meerkats.  Individuals within a group are often strongly related, but it is not at all uncommon for members of the group to defect to rival groups, or vice versa.  Likewise, what was once one single cohesive group will often split apart in to separate rival groups after the death of the matriarch.  So while there's a strong element of kin selection, I don't think you can just wave your hands and say all forms of socialism in the animal world are from kin selection.

I think it's probably like Nationalism in humans.  Yes, there's a strong racial component, (both spitefulness towards other races and altruism towards the unifying race), but it's used more as an underlying motivation for a form of group selection (hence the "nation" in Nationalism).
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 07:41:23 PM by Numsgil »

Offline deoxymoron

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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2010, 05:48:23 PM »
Quote
Just the opposite in fact. Or that's the commonly accepted scientific consensus. On a quantum level things are uncertain (probabilistic). And the consensus is that this is not a measurement problem, but a fundamental nature of the quantum world. (See: Copenhagen interpretation). There is even a hypothesis that there can not be any hidden variables. Here's the wiki article.

There is an argument to be made for "superdeterminism", but it is not considered probable or even testable, so it can't be theory.

Well, this is why i'm still open minded and uncertain that everything is certain. i have still got some research to do with quantum theory, but i have read 'briefer history of time' and other bits here and there about it. i just find it hard to imagine that everything on our level is essentially predictable, then you get down to a certain level and you can't really go any further predicting things. it doesn't make sense for something to just randomly happen; even for pro-god (not necessarily religious god beleivers), they might attribute this randomness to a source- god. or in other words, give the randomness a reason thus meaning it's not random any more. it makes it even harder when  seemingly never changing qualities of the universe like time come into question, and string theory with its 11 dimensions isn't helping lol. but i'm always open minded, just leaning towards determinism however.

also, in the world of genes and behaviours of living things, the world is effectively deterministic i think. quantum randomness doesn't really change anything.

anyway, not quite biology any more, so Dawkin eh..

i think his view is most definitely simplistic, i agree. and multi selection theory, as far as i can tell, is an elaboration so they're not mutually exclusive (i need to read up on multi selection theory). though i think some times its better to see it one way, and some times the other; for DBs, probably Dawkins. i suppose the man saving his kids using dawkins view was not really the best way to see it, but it still holds that dawkins view is still valid. And its a good way to remember it comes down to the genes (unless you claim its not?), however misleading this view can be in other ways (btw, yes probably thousands of genes, not just one).

as for the case given in evolution of social behaviour. the case about populations of humans thousands of years ago purposely limiting their population, perhaps this is because a well feed group is healthier and stronger overall than a group that, while at first may be 'more successful' in terms of genes because they have produced more of themselves. the other healthier groups would win out if conflict ever occured between the two groups, dispite the fact, the other group would have more people, because those people would be less able to over due to thier group habits (not limiting thier pop)

so following the gene based view, Dawkins would easily explain this. but viewing it group-wise, and keeping genes in mind, also does. just mutually acceptable theories i think. the genes for making people choose to limit their population would flourish, even if not so in a 'reproduce like mad' group... suppose this is just a variant of the haystack model lol. so all in all i agree. (i havent read the whole article yet)

the main thing is, it holds that it always comes down to the gene. it's an important thing to remember i think because it just wouldn't make sense that there are genes in a population, without their own survival in mind. it would be like finding a city with flourishing businesses which are all losing money, surely they'd all go bankrupt. no matter how complex their dealings are with other companies and customers (other species and food) their bottom line profit should be priority.

anyway it's a complex issue so it's best focus on perspective.

Also my link didn't go through about 'Life is just a product of the laws of entropy', so it should be attached now. it's also worth a read. (i cant figure out how to attach it here with a 'link')

Offline deoxymoron

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Selfish Gene
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2010, 09:33:55 PM »
actually i retract that about the gene being the only thing that matters... :/ change of thoughts. i suppose groups can be seen as reproducing entities themselves... even of its a gradual constant reproducing, evolutionary forces could act primarily on them rather than gene. but still a perspective change in a way.

this should probably be in biology forum now.

but bringing it back to DBs dna. i think it's unlikely to see interesting group behaviour if bot pop is under 200ish. or atleast what needs to happen is you have to create several stable populations of bots, then allow them to become adapted to their environment; seperate from the other populations (also their environment should be different, maybe different shapes) then i think some group selection may occur. i realise this can be hard.

another way would be to have one group and two environments in the hope that they evolve into two groups.

also, i can seem to have more than one stable group because either one or the other eats all their food, then stave. (i usually have veg pop dependant on how much the bots can eat. so if their pop gets too small, harder for bots to find. then they repop. if too big, easier to find, thus die out a little)

Offline Numsgil

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Selfish Gene
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 12:46:04 AM »
Quote from: deoxymoron
but bringing it back to DBs dna. i think it's unlikely to see interesting group behaviour if bot pop is under 200ish. or atleast what needs to happen is you have to create several stable populations of bots, then allow them to become adapted to their environment; seperate from the other populations (also their environment should be different, maybe different shapes) then i think some group selection may occur. i realise this can be hard.

My thought as well.  I think that's what made internet mode so interesting in its heyday.