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First post - and I was never good at science.

by kennyb78
Tags: evolution, moths
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Proggle
#19
May24-09, 12:59 PM
P: 84
Let me give you an analogy of how evolution and selection could work in finance, then.

Suppose you want to design an automated strategy for trading stocks in a way that maximizes profit. You can define several numerical parameters (when to buy, when to sell, when to take a loss, when to be safe and just take your current earnings, etc.).

To start, you could generate 100 different trading strategies with completely random values for these parameters. Then, you let each of your strategies trade stocks for, say, 5 years. At the end of that period, you look at your strategies and select the "best" 20 (i.e., those that you gave you maximum profit).

Now comes the critical part. You once again generate 100 strategies randomly, but you restrict your parameter values such that they are similar to those of the "best 20" in your previous trials. Therefore, your new generation of 100 strategies will tend to do better than the previous one, because it is similar to the best ancestors.

Imagine you repeat this process 1,000 times. Although each generation is generated randomly, you are selecting the best strategies at every turn and using them to "breed" the next generation. So after the process has been going on for a long time, your strategies will be much, much better than your initial generation. This is how natural selection works, except that the agent of selection is the environment, and the most successful organisms are the ones that reproduce the most.

Notice that all your strategies were always generated randomly, but a selection process filtered out the randomness and your strategies were able to become better with every generation. This is the essential concept behind evolution.
Kushal
#20
May24-09, 01:53 PM
P: 440
and i would like to point out all those siamese babies and the rare cases of abnormally born babies, these are concrete examples!

When an indian baby girl was born with four arms and four legs!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,308439,00.html

now this is not something favourable today. we would call that a genetic error! But these errors are what give rise to evolution!
atyy
#21
May24-09, 02:30 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 8,547
Quote Quote by kennyb78 View Post
I'm done with school!! no way will I ever go back! I went the finance route.

One more thing....with randomness being so huge with evolution does it ever amaze anyone that the randomness has got us to where we are today. it seems this randomness always chooses progression as the route to go. why do we not see this randomness take another course? One that would lead to the destruction of mankind, plants, animals, etc?? If it's all random, then we sure are lucky folks!! would you agree??
Evolution is not fundamentally random, because it can be explained by classical or semi-classical physics, which is deterministic. Evolution is random in the sense that a gas of particles is random. The particles' motion is deterministic, being governed by Newton's equations, but we are usually only interested in pressure, volume, temperature, etc, which we imagine to be the probabilistic motion of the gas particles. We introduce probability because we cannot keep track of all the underlying variables.

As a whole however, a standard view in physics is that we are very lucky. Is the second law of thermodynamics a fundamental law? Well, for all practical purposes, you will never see it violated at the macroscopic level. Yet, a common view is that the second law of thermodynamics is not fundamental, and has to do with the initial conditions that started the universe. There is no law that governs the initial conditions, and one could say that it is luck (or god or whatever) that determined the initial conditions. Even if string theory or whatever theory of everything turns out to be correct, there will still be no explanation of why those particular laws instead of some other.
atyy
#22
May24-09, 02:53 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 8,547
Quote Quote by kennyb78 View Post
I'm done with school!! no way will I ever go back! I went the finance route.

One more thing....with randomness being so huge with evolution does it ever amaze anyone that the randomness has got us to where we are today. it seems this randomness always chooses progression as the route to go. why do we not see this randomness take another course? One that would lead to the destruction of mankind, plants, animals, etc?? If it's all random, then we sure are lucky folks!! would you agree??
See the discussion on the "coincidence problem" for another piece of "good luck".
http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/...gical_constant
kennyb78
#23
May26-09, 12:47 PM
P: 5
so there is room for some sort of god??!! I haven't clicked on the link yet but from your first response it sounds like there is room. it seems science is much like religion in this way. Christians claim to believe in one God, one bible, one truth, etc. Yet you have thousands of churches that teach different things. If there's one truth, then why so many churches that have all these differences, whether their small or large differences. those that are involved with educating themselves in science are similar in that there is one truth when it comes to science yet people have different ideas on the exact details of how everything actually works.
Evo
#24
May26-09, 01:12 PM
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P: 26,527
This has turned into nothing but a discussion of religion.

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