10:25-10:45 Carlos Mariscal Universality in/of Evolution
10:27:28 From Carlos Mariscal to Everyone : The underlying mechanisms may make a difference to the pattern. But even if it doesn’t, there’s a conceptual question about what unifies a general pattern if the underlying mechanisms differ
10:29:39 From Carlos Mariscal to Everyone : Relevant: Bagg, S. (2017). When will a Darwinian approach be useful for the study of society?. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 16(3), 259-281. He argues that when intentional decisions are involved, the evolutionary explanation will tend to be less useful.
10:30:01 From John Malloy to Everyone : @Carlos that’s when things get particularly interesting - if there are different mechanisms resulting in the same patterns, is the pattern ultimately something universal? And what are the (possible) similarities between the mechanisms?
10:30:35 From William Alba to Everyone : Recent result: bone art that survived 100,000 years -- https://www.newscientist.com/article/ 2210461-oldest-denisovan-art-discovered-on-100000-year-old-bone-fragments/
10:31:34 From Carlos Mariscal to Everyone : @John – Right. Do you know the example of Jade? The ancients thought that green rocks of a certain hardness were all the same rock, but now we distinguish Jadeite and Nephrite. They happen to look nearly identical, but which one is the ancient jade, if either? (Nephrite is 90% of the jade, which sometimes matters to people when I pose the question.)
10:32:48 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : What Tomislav said
10:33:15 From Erik Persson to Everyone : Yes
10:33:32 From firstname.lastname@example.org to Everyone : Thanks Nathalie! I generally agree. I was thinking about this kind of analysis of the Acheulian: https://paleoanthro.org/static/journal/content/PA20130061.pdf
10:34:12 From Lucas Mix to Everyone : I'm more in the "Darwinist" Camp, obviously, but along with Peter Godfrey Smith and David Haig, I think we can have a pragmatic hierarchy without a metaphysical ontology.
10:34:31 From Carlos Mariscal to Everyone : Can levels evolve without units? Are units formed by evolution at levels that don’t exist yet?
10:35:11 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : Interactors and replicators seems more clear, but then I am old
10:36:19 From Lucas Mix to Everyone : I think there is a linguistic issue in Astrobiology, where stellar evolution and biological evolution are both common terms. I'd be keen to maintain a clear distinction.
10:36:33 From Carlos Mariscal to Everyone : There’s Lloyd’s four questions here. What benefits, what bears adaptations, etc.: https://
10:36:35 From email@example.com to Everyone : Excellent point, Lucas.
10:36:49 From David DeGraff (he/him) to Everyone : And Pokeman evolve
10:38:24 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : Lumpers rule!
10:38:25 From Eric Hughes to Everyone : To add to usage: Mathematicians that study "integrable system" have a standard object called the "evolutionary vector field". This describe the change of a system with time neutrally.
10:38:48 From Jim Schwartz to Everyone : Well, I'm a pluralist elsewhere, so does that make me a splimper?
10:38:51 From Eric Hughes to Everyone : ... (also: I hate the zoom text editor)
10:39:27 From Ted Peters to Everyone : I prefer the sharp distinction between biological evolution and cosmic evolution too. The cosmos has a history, but it does not evolve in terms that fit the biological model. I think it's unfortunate that the word "evolution" is used so broadly. Now, what will Carlos say?
10:40:07 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : He will agree, no doubt. There are parallels, but in many ways they are very different processes
10:40:58 From John Malloy to Everyone : One more usage add: information theory allows for a direct comparison between systems/ levels. This can potentially allow a way to distinguish levels in a way that takes the human bias out
10:41:02 From Ted Peters to Everyone : Yep.
10:42:05 From Eric Hughes to Everyone : Information theory is sensitive the symbolic encoding used. What it does is isolate the human bias to encoding. In order to make it useful, you have to study these encodings as well
10:42:06 From Nathalie Gontier to Everyone : @ Kelly, interactors and replicators are both units, so the term unit is a container for both
10:42:34 From Nathalie Gontier to Everyone : @ John, I agree, systems theory forms the basis for hierarchy theory
10:43:31 From Nathalie Gontier to Everyone : @ Lucas, I don't think pragmatics rules out metaphysics
10:43:44 From John Malloy to Everyone : @Eric absolutely agreed. The mechanisms of the system have to be clearly defined in order for this to be useful
10:43:49 From Linda Billings to Everyone : @Ted @Lucas I agree with the need to distinguish between bio and cosmo evolution.
10:45:37 From Ted Peters to Everyone : Do physicists really ignore initial conditions? Mmmmm? I thought physicists give a great deal of attention to initial conditions, leading to debates over the multiverse and such.
10:46:41 From Lucas Mix to Everyone : @Nathalie, I'm arguing for a pragmatic nominalism. It's based on the work you're doing immediately and not based on any external claim about the naturalness of categories. I think there are multiple, mutually exclusive, fully realizable, useful pragmatic categories (units, levels,...).
10:46:54 From Eric Hughes to Everyone : What physicist don't do is to view the space of initial conditions as a single object and analyze all possible evolutions simultanteously. That a mathematical endeavor
10:46:59 From Lucas Mix to Everyone : I think the problem arises when we want exclusive ontologies.
10:47:40 From Robert.Kennedy to Everyone : 6K years. You said "records"
10:48:02 From Robert.Kennedy to Everyone : The Ur-language is thought to be 80K years old
10:48:20 From Andrew Kennedy to Everyone : languages evolve. don’t children of pidgin speakers create creoles
10:48:27 From Nick Nielsen to Everyone : based on the FOXP2 gene, human grammatically structured language is about 80K as noted above
10:48:29 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : It’s not obviously the case that vervet alarms are more complex than microbial signaling, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t. The basic problem is that we don’t have the right way to measure complexity
10:49:18 From Nathalie Gontier to Everyone : @ Lucas, yeah, i agree, there are multiple hierarchies, one is not superior to the other
10:49:27 From Robert.Kennedy to Everyone : syntax/grammar tends to get less complicated/more simple with time, but vocabulary gets a lot richer
10:49:47 From Carlos Santana to Everyone : @Nick: The FOXP2 stuff is mostly debunked
10:50:18 From Nick Nielsen to Everyone : I would say that the syntax of natural language get streamlined, but the syntax of artificial languages -- mathematics, logic, formalized sciences -- becomes more complex.
10:50:19 From Carlos Santana to Everyone : @Robert: Syntax as simplifying over time is not generally accepted as a general pattern 10:50:57 From Carlos Santana to Everyone : Grammaticalization and horizontal transfer are effective at complexifying syntax
10:51:28 From Carlos Santana to Everyone : And lexicons grow as measured by dictionaries, but not necessarily as measured by the language used by individual speakers
10:51:40 From Dr Sheri Wells-Jensen to Everyone : Right: You would not get linguists to agree that languages' structure is getting more complicated: It's always changing, but not complexifying.
10:52:02 From Eric Hughes to Everyone : From what I recall, phonic distinctions also tend to increase over time. There are surveys of consonant phonemes out there to look at.
10:52:20 From Robert.Kennedy to Everyone : "streamlined" is a better word, thanks
10:53:09 From Nick Nielsen to Everyone : to go back to analogies between biological and non-biological evolution, there seems to also
have been steamlining of the CNS
10:53:27 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : @ sherri Hmmmm. Is it true that, in general, languages increase their ability to describe specific situations over time? That seems intuitive, since if nothing else we are aware of more situations that need to be described now than we were 200 years ago. Of course, I suppose it’s also the case that some situation we used to need to describe we no longer need to (I dunno - the delicious lethargy that overcomes one after a good bleeding, etc.)
10:53:44 From Nick Nielsen to Everyone : a couple of papers came out studying the CNS of preserved soft tissue fossils from the Cambrian 10:53:52 From Andrew Kennedy to Everyone: there s a study down in university of Lyon that suggests less complex languages are spoke more quickly to get the information throughout
10:54:16 From Carlos Santana to Everyone : @Kelly: the standard line is that all human languages are fully expressive
10:54:40 From Carlos Santana to Everyone : We can describe the leech thing, an ancient Greek could describe spaceflight,
10:54:45 From Dr Sheri Wells-Jensen to Everyone : Same goes for phonology (I mean we don't have great data very far back) but I have never read convincing evidence for complexification at that level either. Lots of give and take, but no clear direction.
10:55:06 From Nathalie Gontier to Everyone : @ Carlos Marsical, great talk! we should co-author one day on universal selection!
10:55:23 From Carlos Santana to Everyone : @Sheri, that's my impression too
10:55:56 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : @ Carlos. Sorry, I don’t think
I buy that. Of course, a Greek could describe space flight in a very crude sense, but he would lack concepts and language that are needed to do it well (inertia, chemistry, fluid dynamics)
10:55:59 From Andrew Kennedy to Everyone : I think we develop sophistication in implied meanings. just like art techniques
10:56:42 From Andrew Kennedy to Everyone : even without obvious syntactical change
10:58:37 From Andrew Kennedy to Everyone : think of the added meaning to the word into. He’s into football. that’s a complexity not appearing in empirical transformations of phonemes for example.
11:01:45 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : Hmmmm
11:02:03 From Sarah Reynolds to Everyone : @Kelly It’s unclear that there’s an objective, non-embedded way to gauge what constitutes “describing well.”
11:04:21 From Carlos Mariscal to Everyone : So, what led to this linguistics discussion was the claim I repeated, of Gould’s, that evolution involved a passive diffusion away from simplicity (c.f. Lucas’ talk). If elephants colonized Mars, that would no longer hold.
Similarly, if language popped up, fully formed, from the head of Zeus, then that universal claim would not apply to language.
11:06:06 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : @ Carlos sounds right to me, but then I am also Brandon’s student...:)
11:06:31 From Andrew Kennedy to Everyone : just to add, the language used here is more complex than day today. depends on the need. you have a need to express which fails if the sufficient complexity is not ergo language and complexity are connected
11:08:26 From Dr Sheri Wells-Jensen to Everyone : The linguistic argument is basically Chomsky vs. the cognitivists.
11:11:29 From Andrew Kennedy to Everyone : having raised a trilingual child my experience tells me there’s lots to language linguists miss
11:12:56 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : It’s seems obvious that language has evolved f you take a long enough point of view. Clearly, the first language had to be relatively simple in pretty much any way you want to measure it. Now perhaps once we get to the stage of “modern language” (whatever that means) complexification is more subtle and harder to find, but the long-term trend may still hold. It’s a bit like complexification arguments in biology where people look for evidence in very specific ways (e.g., are there more vertebra in this snake lineage over this time period?) But failure to find that specific kind of complexification doesn’t say much about complexification trends in biology in general.
11:17:38 From Andrew Kennedy to Everyone : there’s the pirahā in the Amazon who actively resist complexification of their language and as a result imagination is thought of as spirits in the world. they don’t count or have recursion and live entirely in the present. the fact that they to resist complexification suggests they hate probability and change and doubt in meanings.
11:22:11 From Kelly Smith to Everyone : Interesting…