What is the predictive power of natural selection if we can simply say a posteriori that all the existing organisms are naturally selected?

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  • CRR
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    We can predict that organisms will adapt but not necessarily how.

    • Bulldog redux
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Your statement is too general.  Sometimes, if the selective forces are known, it is possible to predict how organisms will adapt.

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  • 1 month ago

    It was predicted on the basis of natural selection that a form intermediate between fish and amphibians, i.e., a fish with legs, would eventually be found.  And sure enough, in 2004 Neil Shubin discovered Tiktaalic roseae, a fossil fish with legs.  I'd say that you're allowing your posteriori to do your thinking for you.  Next time try using your brain instead and see what happens.

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  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    zilch. We have no way of predicting where natural selection will lead. A simple new virus appearing could kill people who happen to not have enough immunity against it.

    In parts of Africa malaria is maintaining the sickle-cell

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  • 1 month ago

    But we don't say that. Haven't you heard of genetic drift? Sometimes prediction is difficult. The important thing is to test predictions against observations where possible, not to be able to predict or observe everything.

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  • 1 month ago

    You're going to need a new flu shot next year.

    I would add "have a nice day" but getting a shot is a day-spoiling event.

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  • oyubir
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Well, I use that everyday.

    Including, right now, on a very fashionable subject: evolution of coronavirus.

    Or, before that, to compute best strategy for AIDS therapy (when to give which treatments? All at once, or one after each other? etc.). All those are predictive models based on a simulation of mutation + natural selection 

    Or a more macroscopic level (the one most people think about, even if, because of volume and speed, natural selection is far more predictive in a microscopic level), I guess it is quite obvious, at least from a qualitative point of view.

    Fishing nets, create smaller fishes. Or, "unnatural" selection (which is just human trying to tamper with what is a survival+reproductive advantage, and predicting what will happen then). Farmer are doing this since before Darwin: creating new varieties by selection.

    Maybe none of this is predictive enough for you. But, if that was the question, it is still more predictive that intelligent design (which explains everything, but predicts nothing)

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