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Re: primers

Dann Pigdon (dannj@alphalink.com.au) wrote:

<Again - term like 'out in the wild' and 'naturally', as if what humans
do and what the rest of 'nature' does is in direct opposition. Humans
are a species like any other - anything they do to other species or the
environment is just as natural as anything any other species does.>

The reason I separate human-dominated evolution is because it is, in every
sense of the word, engineered. We are making concious descisions to select
which breeding partners for which without any other factors than for
behavioral or physical characteristics that are pleasing to "us," not
neccessarily to the animals. They are not forming natural populations, but
we are making their groups and anatomy selective by preventing their
breeding otherwise, or at least get unhappy when they do manage to select
their own mates. Thus, this "evolution" is NOT in the same framework as
non-human-interfered selection, aka "natural" selection. Botanists naming
supspecies or variants or breeds as breeding groups are on a similar
"no-no" for examples of breeding, since it is entirely likely such plants
would not form breeding complexes on their own, given the variability of
their flowers, host organisms, symbiosis, pollinators, geography, etc.
Human-driven selection is NOT natural, and its engineering makes it
distinctive from what is natural. Thus, I use the dichotomy of artificial
as a real boundary to selection, and that breeds of dogs, pigeons, cats,
and lilies have no "real" selective advantage in nature unless allowed to
interact genetically without human interference.

<Pugs arose in a symbiotic relationship with humans who find their form
appealing. Hence they are now well adapted to their particular
ecological niche. For a pug to leave said niche (ie. human habitation)
to go live elsewhere away from humans would be like a polar bear
attempting to take up residence in the tropics, or a fig wasp trying to
make a living without fig trees.>

  Pugs arose not through symbiosis, but through selective breeding and,
most recently, selective breeding programs, to keep their blood-lines
pure, or to find particularly "pleasant" traits one would like one's
family to possess. A shaggier coat? It can be done. Give me two
generations, and your kids will have a shaggier pug. This is not
symbiosis, as I see it. I'm sure, however, that niche description is both
right, and wrong, but pugs have no selective benefit to living with
humans, since their continued breeding and family life is dependant on us
and our whims, but still, there is that: niche advantage in living with
humans ... it's just that it was wolves that made that selective
advantage, and since then, all other breeds were entirely born within, so
lacked "choice" or any allopatric availability.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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