Re: * makes hubey

Bill Burnett (
Mon, 27 Nov 1995 10:26:39

H. M. Hubey gains some credit for having read something when he writes:

>OK, here is a very simple idea. Look at Roughgarden's book (or
>Kojima's). In the population genetics sections, there are DE's
>for geneflows. Most of what you see is one-dimensional because
>it's easier (i.e. it's for a single gene). The equations are
>DE's and therefore have derivatives. They are hence velocities.
>Now for the whole organism there are many genes. That means
>that the complete equations have many dimensions. That means
>that in this n-dimensional space (where n is really large)
>the motion of a many many points is something like the flow
>of a fluid (don't forget that this is a stochastic problem).
>You can think of a representative point, maybe something
>like an average and follow its motion in this space. This
>motion (in this space is evolution).

>Now I said that these particles (or the representative
>point) moves and hence posseses a well-defined velocity
>in this space. Velocity in n-space has a direction.

>That is the direction of evolution.

That is THE direction of evolution?
And is THE direction the same in every organism in every phylum (oops, sorry,
a latin word, I mean large group of related organisms that share some
characters but not all of them because then they'd be all be members of a
single randomly reproducing group of life forms with no barriers to the
transmission of genetic material between them) in every kingdom? (can I have
If so, how did we get here so much faster than the slugs? I know,
it's because they move so slowly :).

>1) Do you have a problem with this like the others who've been
>pestering me for the past month of two?

Pester: trouble, annoy, importune (OED).

I'm sorry if you consider those of us who dare to disagree with you to be
troublesome or annoying. I'm sure that's how Louis XVI felt about the
peasants. Your arrogance is comparable.

>2) Not knowing which way something moves is not the same
>thing as saying that it doesn't have a direction.

Does this mean you admit you don't know what the direction of evolution is?
I'm so disappointed. What happened to our rocket ships?

>3) If you still have a problem with the above you are
>not fighting against me, but your own colleagues going
>back decades (Haldane, Kimura, Wright, Karlin, etc).

The dead ones are spinning in their graves at your assertions.

>Now, what exactly is all this shit about evolution not
>having a direction?

Ahhh, are we making you insecure?

>I want a public apology from all those who've been pestering
>me over this and an admission that they do not or did not
>understand what evolution is about. I think their diplomas
>should be taken away for incompetence.

I'm laughing so hard I can hardly type... Us? Apologise to you? When I start
making breathtaking assertions in _your_ field I'll consider apologising.

Bill Burnett -
Scottish Association for Marine Science
P.O. Box 3, Oban, Argyll PA34 4AD, UK