Evolutionary Drift, revisited yet again

With my recent paper on Measuring Fitness I realize that my previous responses to evolutionary drift, though not incorrect, may have not stated the solution particularly clearly. When fitness is defined and measured as described in the aforementioned article, evolutionary drift is irrelevant. The method of measuring the fitness of an organism or species makes no reference to any mutations whatsoever. Therefore evolutionary drift is no problem for the theory of fitness described here. If […]

Measuring Fitness

The basic premise is to measure fitness in a conceptually similar way to how we measure mass.  To measure mass we can use a scale to compare the effect of gravity on a test object to an object with an agreed upon mass, or we can compare the test object’s resistance to acceleration as compared to an object with an agreed upon mass.  These methods measure the ‘gravitational’ mass and ‘inertial mass’ respectively. Gravitational Mass […]

Watson Out as Unit of Biological Mass

I guess ‘Watson’ is out as a name for the unit of biological mass with James’ comments that people of African decent are intellectually inferior to people of European decent. It always amazes me exactly how idiotic smart people can be. Pride is the devil’s favorite sin and it is my suspicion that people like James Watson and the old president of Harvard Larry Summers are guilty of it. It seems that they believe since […]

Blogged by The Philosophers’ Carnival #55, Sweet!

The Philosopher’s Carnival picked up my Relativity in Evolutionary Biology! Completely cool. And I won the shortest description contest- take that all you people who write things that can be summarized. And hyphenation to boot. Props to the editor who used an archaic device to help me out in lieu of delving into unruly philosophy of science sure to scare people. It’s all relative Noah Greenstein has written a well-worth-a-peek post on ‘Relativity in Evolutionary […]

General Relativity in Evolutionary Biology DRAFT

EDIT, July 2015: See the full draft at the phil-sci archive: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/11557/ Also check out my other Research. Below are old notes: —- I’ve discussed relativity in evolutionary biology with regards to uniform change but, as with the Special Theory of Relativity in physics, we want a theory that covers all change. This means that insofar as relativity applies to biology under uniform motion, i.e. when a species is reproducing in a regular fashion, we […]

Nagging Questions about Evolutionary Drift and Preferred Reference Systems

Usually when I think I’ve gotten something right I stop thinking about it. So it was irritating to start wondering if I had said enough about evolutionary drift. Oh well. Evolutionary drift is what we call it when a trait seemingly (and to the best of our knowledge, randomly) just ‘drifts’ into prominence. So can we tell what has happened due to natural selection and what is just drift? If we think that the trait […]

Biological Space (Biospace) Travel

Yesterday I was walking though Chinatown and as I usually do when I am over there I stop by the Buddhist Temple and buy a fortune (and by the way, I am soooo happy that Fall has finally come to NY) . Now the fortunes that you buy in the Buddhist Temple are not your fortune cookie fortunes: Buddhist Temple Fortunes are 4-5 lines long, usually rhyme, give a probability of success or failure, and […]

Unit of Biological Mass Name Suggestions?

Since I have argued for an independent standard of measure for fitness, similar to the standard block of platinum iridium that is the kilogram, this has led me to wonder what to call the new measurement. In my mind whenever I had been thinking about fitness I just thought ‘massb‘ or ‘biological mass’. But this really isn’t the unit of measure, this is a description of what we are measuring. So what is needed is […]