Experimental tails

Joe wrote:
Keep this in mind: I am not entitled to dissect and puncture the mind-rot below - as a rational mind would (which now makes perfect sense). In this cult, whoever has not broken from reality is deemed broken. To no avail, I begged all to simply read the scientific experiments - which I quoted from and linked to.

The bio-term "preference" means no more (and no less) than the predisposition on the part of living organisms toward some condition rather than another, i.e. pursuing life than death, pursuing sustenance than starvation, pursuing reproductive success than reproductive failure, etc. Sexually reproducing, non-human organisms are wired-up by their genes to pursue reproductive success. An advanced level of consciousness is NOT involved in animating this mate preference. This base-line, bio-term carries no mentalism. Darwin observed these mate preferences on the part of non-human organisms in nature and experiments. He explained in the Origin and the Descent that he picked the term "preference" as the foundation for sexual selection (SS) theory - because it's a synonym for selection.

Lord Norton wrote:
just because the fly loaded more jizz in the chick does not mean that he preferred that. There is no conclusion made other than it is optimal for fertility. There is no planning behind it, it is just inherited behavior like a mechanism. This sounds to me like a case of the jargon being misunderstood in context.
Lord Norton wrote:
Really? Optimal fertilization constitutes preference now? Flies have preferences? Did the fly say I really enjoyed getting more load inside of her rather than rough sex? There is no way to measure preferences in this regard.
Lord Norton wrote:
Insects do not make preference declarations... period. They have preferred conditions which is completely different from making the other statement that they prefer something like how they have sex.
Lord Norton wrote:
Joe wrote:
I do not see any "preference declarations" or "premeditation" presupposed by any biologist in any bit of this research. These sexual selection terms seem universally expressed in all of the papers which I have ever read. Can't we just let those who experiment with organisms define the words as they choose?

Jargon my dear Watson, Jargon it is.


Darwin conducted the first SS experiment - by surgically blinding a control group of peahens. The experimental (non-blinded) peahens, Darwin observed, showed a "preference" for mating with the "more ornamented" cock. He, also, observed that the control group could not, after blinding, "choose" peacocks on the basis of the cocks' tails having "bright plumage" - due to their inability to receive visual stimuli.

Darwin (from the Descent of Man):

"The females are most excited by, or prefer pairing with, the more ornamented males, or those which are the best songsters, or play the best antics; but it is obviously probable that they would at the same time prefer the more vigorous and lively males, and this has in some cases been confirmed by actual observation."

According to Norton - since Darwin coined the anathemized, sexual selection terminology ("choice", "preference", "male ornament", "competition", etc.), his experiment vanishes as de-objectified jargon, and Darwin has been retroactively barred from selecting the terms of his own theory. Under Norton's jargon-banishment-diktat, SS terms, SS experimentation and evolutionary biology all go poof - in one fell swoop - because of his imbecilic equivocations with orthodox bio-terms.

Fundamentalists do a better job of seeking to falsify evolution by quoting Genesis - than by redefining the theory away into "jargon". Even fundamentalists do not reject sexual selection. They accept the evidence that this process (preferences for ornaments) has shifted - over a relatively short period of time (10Kyr) - gene frequencies in populations due to non-random, differential reproductive outcomes. Fundamentalists - however - reject that SS (or any other evo-driver) triggers speciation events.

To be scientifically clear: evolutionary theory is a house of cards constructed on the facts of NS, SS, Mendelian inheritance and genetic drift - which are observed in nature and experiments. SS is built-on the fact that sexually reproducing organisms have mate preferences. If it were shown that no non-human organisms have mate preferences, the SS card would be pulled out and evolutionary theory would collapse into a jumbled-heap of 52 pick-up on the floor. With his self-anointed decrees alone, Norton cannot excise mate preference from any organism nor dislodge SS from evolutionary theory.

Norton's "scientific" pronouncement, concerning Evolutionary Biology is: "Jargon my dear Watson, Jargon it is.". This crack is priceless. It's a characteristic trait of the let's-kill-science-dead cult, and it's the refrain chanted - in unison - by this Myspace choir.