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What is the meaning of a selection regime in this context?

What is the meaning of a selection regime in this context?


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"Our second approach was based on modeling adaptive regimes across a phylogeny for each of the groups in our study using an OU model. We especially focused on the lineage leading to humans, and tested whether a shift in the selection regime was inferred on this branch. Under the OU model, species evolve through various selection regimes that map to branches on the phylogeny. The goal is to characterize the regimes across the tree, and to assess whether a shift in selection regime occurred on the branch connecting Homo to the other primates."

taken from: Nunn, Charles L., and David R. Samson. “Sleep in a Comparative Context: Investigating How Human Sleep Differs from Sleep in Other Primates.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 14 Feb. 2018, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ajpa.23427.


I'm an evolutionary biologist. When someone says "selection regime" they simply mean the general conditions (environmental, ecological, etc.) that could have produced a particular evolutionary outcome. For instance, in the example that you mention, they seem to imply that they are interested in knowing if these condtions (i.e. the "selection regime") in the branch that lead to the evolution of humans were somehow different than these of other primates. So, it is a hypothesis, in this case. Unless they state elsewhere in the paper what exactly is this "selection regime", they are simply referring to this idea.


I haven't dug into the paper in too much depth, but I think that it is a little hard to give a precise definition of what they mean by this term in this paper, because it is used in the context of a complex phylogenetic statistical model that they analyze using MCMC simulation sampling or Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (OU) modeling.

For MCMC they appear to be estimating ancestral states (of REM sleep proportion for instance) along the nodes of the phylogeny based on the estimated values of the character for each tip (living organism) of the tree. This is probabilistic and they run the MCMC model until it converges at a reasonable set of parameter values for the overall phylogenetic model, and then they sample reconstructions of these ancestral states. You could view each of these reconstructed states as having its own "selection regime"; however they are not directly describing those regimes. Instead, they are noting only "shifts" in the selection regime, which they are defining as MCMC reconstructions that show a change on the human branch that is larger than that for the rest of the tree of primates. So, it's kind of a black box, because we only know the selection regime in terms of it being "different" between humans and the rest of the tree, as inferred by seeing a large shift in the state of the character (REM or whatever) in humans. That itself is a bit of a stretch of course, because large shifts can also happen without selection. But they're doing their best.

For the OU model, this model itself contains definitions of selection regimes, I recommend looking more into how OU models work to get more information about that. But according to my limited understanding, the OU process is trying to directly model changes in selection regime across the tree. So in looking at the black balls in Figure 2, those are direct OU estimates of the probability of such a shift. Again in this case, what exactly the selective regime is cannot be known from the paper, it is instead inferred to "shift" by the OU model based on changes in values of the character across the tree.


Misunderstanding Darwin

Natural selection&rsquos secular critics get it wrong.

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Natural selection&rsquos secular critics get it wrong.

What Darwin Got Wrong
Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26 (cloth)

In On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, Charles Darwin made two remarkable scientific contributions. First, he presented an overwhelming case for the relatedness of all living things. Biological diversity, he argued, results from a process of &ldquotransmutation&rdquo of species&mdashvia &ldquodescent with modification.&rdquo Second, he recognized that the basic mechanism of such change is natural selection: a combination of variations in traits and a selective retention of the variations that contribute to reproductive success.

Descent with modification was accepted quickly. As early as 1872, Thomas Henry Huxley described Darwin as having achieved a revolution comparable to that brought about by Newton&rsquos Principia. Natural selection, by contrast, remained controversial until the 1930s, when Darwin&rsquos ideas were integrated with the genetics of Gregor Mendel and Thomas Hunt Morgan, creating the &ldquoModern Synthesis.&rdquo More than 70 years later, thanks to a proliferation of evolutionary explanations and significant new theoretical contributions, the fundamentals of evolutionary biology are reasonably well settled.

To be sure, religiously inspired opposition to evolution persists. Although religious opponents seem to have accepted&mdashat least officially&mdashthe relatedness of organisms, proponents of &ldquointelligent design&rdquo continue to insist that natural selection is unable to explain some prominent instances of evolutionary change. Their skepticism is based on alleged examples of &ldquoirreducible complexity&rdquo&mdashan intricate interdependence in the features of organisms that supposedly cannot be explained by Darwinian mechanisms of step-by-step improvement.

Other critics&mdashmore sophisticated and scientifically informed&mdashwonder whether natural selection explains as much about evolution as biologists commonly assert. They urge, for example, that causes other than natural selection (such as genetic drift) are important in explaining evolution. Or they argue&mdashoveremphasizing something all evolutionary biologists agree with&mdashthat natural selection operates against a background of constraints, perhaps stemming from features of genomes. Darwin himself was aware of these complexities about the role of natural selection, and throughout the Origin laments his own ignorance about the extent of that role and what alternative causes of evolutionary change there are. His awareness of how much he did not know led him to cautious formulations: for example, he writes, &ldquoNatural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification.&rdquo

As in other areas of science, then, lively debate continues, and an interest in deeper and more comprehensive understanding moves the field forward. But even as some scientists suggest that natural selection may be limited in ways Darwin could not envisage, they accept his basic insights and work to improve our biological understanding within the framework he set forth.

In their controversial new book, What Darwin Got Wrong, Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini set out to dismantle that framework. They argue that standard evolutionary thinking&mdashwhat they call Darwinism&mdashis guilty of a basic logical error, not a mistake in biology but an &ldquointensional fallacy.&rdquo That fallacy, they say, undermines the entire enterprise. To be clear, the authors preface their demolition with a disclaimer: in attacking Darwin, they are not supporting any religious view of &ldquoorigins&rdquo thoroughgoing materialists, they do not think that biological patterns require an intelligent designer. But their criticisms are intended to knock evolutionary theory from its scientific pedestal by demolishing the scientific credentials of natural selection.

Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini are not biologists. Fodor is a leading philosopher of mind and cognitive scientist, best known for his ideas about the modularity of mind and language of thought Piattelli-Palmarini is a cognitive scientist. They do not have new data, new theory, close acquaintance with the everyday practice of evolutionary investigations, or any interest in supplying alternative explanations of evolutionary phenomena. Instead, they wield philosophical tools to locate a &ldquoconceptual fault line&rdquo in contemporary Darwinism. Apparently unshaken by withering criticism of Fodor&rsquos earlier writings about evolutionary theory, they write with complete assurance, confident that their limited understanding of biology suffices for their critical purpose. The resulting argument is doubly flawed: it is biologically irrelevant and philosophically confused. We start with the biology.

In 1979 evolutionary biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin published an influential article, criticizing what they called the &ldquoadaptationist programme&rdquo in evolutionary theory. Some of their contemporaries, they lamented, were much too quick to accept stories about the adaptive advantage of every trait of an organism. According to Gould and Lewontin, adaptationists suppose that every trait contributes to an organism&rsquos reproductive success (its fitness), and exists because of that contribution.

Gould and Lewontin&rsquos critique of adaptationism begins with the observation that the characteristics of organisms are often correlated with one another. Because of those correlations, they argued, evolutionary biologists need to explore the possibility that an allegedly favorable characteristic might be a side effect of something else (a &ldquocorrelation of growth,&rdquo Darwin said). Entering the basilica of San Marco, you might marvel at the wonderful use of spandrels&mdashthe tapering triangular spaces filled with mosaics where the dome adjoins the columns. (Too much ink has already been spilled about whether the term &ldquospandrels,&rdquo usually confined to two-dimensional spaces, should be used to cover the three-dimensional pendentives in San Marco. We will spill no more.) Struck by the spandrels, you might conclude that the architect designed those spaces so that they could contain mosaics showing the four evangelists.

The basic problem, according to Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini, is that the distinction between free-riders and what they ride on is &lsquoinvisible to natural selection.&rsquo

As Gould and Lewontin observed, however, spandrels are not the result of a design: if you have arches supporting a dome, you also have spandrels. Spandrels are hitchhikers on arches-plus-dome. Or, to take one of Gould and Lewontin&rsquos biological examples, consider the diminutive front legs of the tyrannosaurus. Instead of inventing an adaptive story (&ldquothe legs promoted the skill of tyrannosaurus males in sexual foreplay&rdquo), the reduction of size may simply be a byproduct of increased growth rates elsewhere. The problem for adaptationism is that it can be hard to know which trait was selected for and which was the free-rider: maybe architects wanted spandrels in order to display mosaics, and built arches-plus-dome as a solution maybe the tiny legs are for mating, and produce huge hind limbs and an impressive tail as byproducts.

In the architectural case, we can be fairly sure of the intentions of the builders, and so conclude that the use of the spandrels for mosaics was an afterthought. But in a natural case we would need to know how differences in reproductive success were brought about before we could distinguish the selected-for traits from the free-riders. Gould and Lewontin think that we can sometimes figure out the answer, and urged evolutionary biologists to do so by remaining mindful of all the tools provided by Darwin and his successors rather than falling back on an easy adaptationism.

Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini believe that the spandrels problem is much deeper. While Gould and Lewontin had a nice insight about &ldquocorrelations of growth,&rdquo they ultimately affirmed a &ldquovery sophisticated kind of adaptationism&rdquo because they took for granted that there can be a genuine fact about which of two correlated properties&mdashsay, large hind-quarters and tiny forelimbs&mdashis selected for and which is a free-rider.

The basic problem, according to Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini, is that the distinction between free-riders and what they ride on is &ldquoinvisible to natural selection.&rdquo Thus stated, their objection is obscure because it relies on an unfortunate metaphor, introduced by Darwin. In explaining natural selection, the Origin frequently resorts to personification: &ldquonatural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest&rdquo (emphasis added). When they talk of distinctions that are &ldquoinvisible&rdquo to selection, they continue this personification, treating selection as if it were an observer able to choose among finely graded possibilities. Central to their case is the thesis that Darwinian evolutionary theory must suppose that natural selection can make the same finely graded discriminations available to a human (or divine?) observer.

Neither Darwin, nor any of his successors, believes in the literal scrutiny of variations. Natural selection, soberly presented, is about differential success in leaving descendants. If a variant trait (say, a long neck or reduced forelimbs) causes its bearer to have a greater number of offspring, and if the variant is heritable, then the proportion of organisms with the variant trait will increase in subsequent generations. To say that there is &ldquoselection for&rdquo a trait is thus to make a causal claim: having the trait causes greater reproductive success.

Causal claims are of course familiar in all sorts of fields. Doctors discover that obesity causes increased risk of cardiac disease atmospheric scientists find out that various types of pollutants cause higher rates of global warming political scientists argue that party identification is an important cause of voting behavior. In each of these fields, the causes have correlates: that is why causation is so hard to pin down. If Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini believe that this sort of causal talk is &ldquoconceptually flawed&rdquo or &ldquoincoherent,&rdquo then they have a much larger opponent then Darwinism: their critique will sweep away much empirical inquiry.

We can clarify their criticism of what natural selection can see by translating it into causal language that avoids personification. Their specific charge is that, with respect to correlated traits in organisms&mdashtraits that come packaged together&mdashthere is no fact of the matter about which of the correlated traits causes increased reproductive success. In other words they appear to be making the very ambitious claim that whenever there are correlated traits there is no fact of the matter about which of the traits causes any effect.

Consider the famous case of industrially induced melanism in the peppered moth. Supposedly, in landscapes where pollution has destroyed the lichens on the trunks of trees, melanic (black) variants of the moth are better camouflaged when they rest on tree trunks than their lighter, speckled relatives. With improved camouflage, birds and other predators are less likely to pick the moths off the tree trunks. In polluted environments, then, melanic moths are more likely to survive, and hence to leave descendants in later generations. So far, so familiar.

Enter Gould and Lewontin. Maybe moth coloration is a spandrel, and some other property of the moths is both relevant to their proliferation and correlated with their color. For example, evolutionary biologists have observed that moths usually rest by day on the undersides of branches rather than on the trunks of trees. So is the familiar black-as-camouflage story really true? Perhaps a characteristic of the larvae of melanic moths makes them more likely to survive. Or perhaps melanic moths have a tendency to move around less at night, which makes them less vulnerable to being eaten by bats (who care nothing for color). These are interesting alternatives to the familiar story, and the causal hypotheses they introduce can be tested in obvious ways: by examining the rates of larvae survival or by investigating nocturnal motions of moths. And this is what biologists have done. Concerned that an apparent adaptation (a camouflaging color) may be a side effect, they have looked for correlated traits that might figure in some alternative process that would culminate in greater representation of the melanic moths. Despite some controversy in the 1990s, the traditional story seems to be standing up well.

If Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini acknowledge the evidence that favors the camouflaging-color hypothesis over the moth-larvae and moth-mobility hypotheses, they will have to say that the biologists have not been imaginative enough&mdashthat they have overlooked some other correlated trait for which there could be no fact of the matter about whether it, or the black coloration, caused the reproductive success.

What exactly could this trait be? One possibility, suggested by remarks in some of Fodor&rsquos previous writings, would be that there are two different properties: being black, on the one hand, and matching the environment on the other. Is there a fact of the matter as to which of these causes the reproductive success?

There are two ways to interpret the question, and each one has a good answer. The first focuses on the specific environments in which melanic moths are selected: the woods that have suffered from industrial pollution. In these environments, being-well-camouflaged and being-black come to more or less the same thing. In a polluted environment, a black moth matches the surroundings better than a lightly speckled moth. The result is less predation and hence increased survival and procreation. Biology focuses on the process, and biologists are quite willing to identify how selection is acting by picking out any feature of the organisms that is central to the process. So if you are focused on this specific environment, then it is a matter of indifference whether you talk of selection for black color or for camouflage or for decreased predation. Among these options, you can talk as you like. Any of them will distinguish the selection process of the traditional industrial-pollution story from the potential rivals, such as larval resilience, or lower nocturnal mobility.

A second interpretation would consider all the woody settings in which the moths can be found. Speckled moths will be at a disadvantage if they rest on polluted trees (they will be picked off more easily), and melanic moths will be similarly vulnerable in unpolluted surroundings. Biologists can test and confirm these causal facts, and can report their conclusions by finding that, across the whole spectrum of environments, matching the color of the trees causes increased reproductive success. Of course, saying that accords perfectly with, and generalizes in a particular direction, the thought that, in the polluted woods, being black causes a moth to match its environment better. There are no great mysteries, no inscrutable distinctions between spandrels and properties selected, no general troubles about distinguishing between the causal powers of correlates.

Why then do Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini think that problems about selection-for are omnipresent? Because they envisage a vast space of properties and expect proponents of natural selection to discriminate among all the rivals. Not only is there a property of being-a-melanic-moth, there is also a property of being-a-melanic-moth-and-smaller-than-Manhattan. These properties are not only correlated in the world&rsquos actual moth populations, they are correlated universally. Maybe it is impossible, even with the most rarefied genomic technology, to build a moth bigger than Manhattan. If so, the correlation between these properties could not be broken. How then could there be a sense in which one of the properties&mdashbeing-a-melanic-moth&mdashrather than the other&mdashbeing-a-melanic-moth-and-smaller-than-Manhattan&mdashcaused the increased reproductive success?

We suggest that the question deserves a shrug. Serious evolutionary biology is concerned with comparative causal claims among interestingly different alternatives. Is it the black coloration rather than the larval resilience or the nighttime lethargy? Good question. Is it the coloration rather than coloration-and-being-smaller-than-Manhattan? Silly question. Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini create the idea that natural selection is a fine-grained discriminatory enterprise that distinguishes among all the properties philosophers can discover (or invent?) precisely so they can demolish it. The authors&rsquo error is to note correctly that there is some indeterminacy and then to conclude that indeterminacy is total: that there can be no matter of fact with respect to causal efficacy as between any of a set of correlated properties. Evolutionary theory, Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini say, contains, at its core, a causal notion&mdashselection-for&mdashthat picks out the properties that cause increased reproductive success. They then declare that there is no fact of the matter about what causes increase reproductive success when the candidate properties are correlated with others. But correlation is omnipresent, so evolutionary biology totters.

This critique makes no contact with the practice of evolutionary biology, where the focus is on the causal processes (for example, camouflage) that lead to reproductive success, the salient properties (say, melanism) that play a role in them, and whether other causal processes (say, stillness at night) might have been at work.

A different example (due to the philosopher Elliott Sober) can offer further clues to the ways in which the authors inflate the position they attack. Sieves are very simple selection devices. Imagine a sieve with a mesh that will allow balls with radii of one inch to fall through, but that will retain those that are even a tiny bit larger. Suppose that balls with several different radii&mdashone inch, two inches, three inches, and four inches&mdashare placed in the sieve. The one inch balls are blue, while the larger ones have different colors. The blue balls fall through, and the others remain. In one sense the sieve has &ldquoselected&rdquo the blue balls, although it has not &ldquoselected for&rdquo being blue. That is because size not color is what matters to the transmission. Using the language Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini employ, we might say that the property of having a particular color (blue) is a spandrel or free-rider.

Yet we might divide the properties up more finely. The balls with radius one inch have a diameter of two inches, a circumference of 2&pi inches, a cross-sectional area at the equator of &pi square-inches, a volume of 4&pi/3 cubic inches, etc., etc. Lots of geometrical properties are correlated&mdashindeed perfectly so. Which of these properties caused the balls to fall through? The question is idle. A person could select for radius rather than diameter, but the sieve cannot. Yet that makes absolutely no difference to the judgment originally made: the sieve selects for size, rather than for color. To recur to the language of indeterminacy, there is a determinate matter of fact as between color and size but not as between radius and diameter.

If Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini&rsquos criticism is taken seriously, then there are no facts of the matter about causal claims in any field of inquiry.

Just as ordinary people recognize that sieves select for size and not color, evolutionary biologists work hard to discover the mechanisms at work in producing increased frequency of types of organisms. They are happy if they can trace the prevalence of melanic moths to coloration, camouflage, and decreased predation rather than to superior survival of larvae. They remain unperturbed when asked if it is coloration rather than camouflage, or rather than lowered predation, or rather than being-melanic-and-smaller-than-Manhattan.

We can know the fact that the sieve selects for size rather than color without the presence of any actual environments in which size and color are not correlated because we understand the causal mechanisms: we know what would have happened if size and color were de-correlated in this device, namely, there would still be selection for size rather than color. A real causal difference is a feature of the world that can be investigated in different ways, for example, by looking at mechanisms by considering real cases of de-correlation or by looking at cases where the selection pressures are slightly different, such as unpolluted environments in which light moths are at a disadvantage. The way evolutionary biologists think about causation allows for the discussion of causal process in any of a number of ways&mdasheven those strange ways that invent peculiar properties. Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini almost grasp this point where they discuss the &ldquoprima facie&rdquo plausibility that polar bear color is a result of selection for matching the environment rather than selection for whiteness, a difference that, as we saw in the analogous case of the moths, can be real and can be investigated.

Have we dismissed the questions the authors would foist on evolutionary biology too quickly? We think not. As already noted, if their concerns are taken seriously, correlated properties pose a general problem. For example, since human beings are smaller than Manhattan, the properties being-obese and being-obese-and-smaller-than-Manhattan are perfectly correlated in the human population. So there are no facts of the matter about causal claims in epidemiology. And the same goes for atmospheric science, geology, engineering . . . and, indeed, everything else.

Despite the powerful claims of evolutionary biologists and all other scientific investigators, suspicion might linger that these insightful outsiders have identified commitments the practitioners have missed, that they have exposed presuppositions that have gone unrecognized because of the fuzziness of everyday reflections. To address such suspicions, we need to treat Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini&rsquos critique in its own terms. Setting the scientific practice to one side, let&rsquos see if they have the philosophy straight.

They allege that Darwinism is guilty of an &ldquointensional fallacy.&rdquo To explain what they have in mind, we need to introduce two ideas: intensionality and coextensive properties.

The authors introduce intensionality by considering the substitution of terms for one another in sentences. There are some sentences in which, if you substitute one name for another, and both are names for the same thing or person, you always go from a true sentence to a true sentence, or from a false sentence to a false sentence. &ldquoMadonna&rdquo and &ldquoLouise Ciccone&rdquo name the same person. The sentence &ldquoMadonna is a woman&rdquo is true. If you substitute &ldquoLouise Ciccone&rdquo for &ldquoMadonna,&rdquo you obtain the sentence &ldquoLouise Ciccone is a woman,&rdquo which is also true. Not all sentences work this way. Our world is full of people who do not know that Madonna is Louise Ciccone. If Bert is one of these people, then the sentence &ldquoBert believes that Madonna is a star&rdquo may well be true, even though &ldquoBert believes that Louise Ciccone is a star&rdquo is false.

This phenomenon is not a trivial linguistic matter but actually reveals something deep about something real. Thinking that someone is a star always works via some specific way of thinking of the person you may think of the person under another guise as well, and under that guise you may not think the person is a star. An important feature of our thought&mdashthat we can think about the very same things under very different guises&mdashis expressed by the linguistic facts. There are some contexts, such as &ldquo is a woman,&rdquo in which substitution of names that name the same entity preserves truth (or falsehood) these contexts are said to be extensional. Other contexts, such as &ldquoBert thinks that is a star,&rdquo allow for changes from truth to falsehood under similar substitutions these are intensional.

The authors&rsquo entire argument depends on their claim about the intensionality of selection-for. Are they right about this?

Now for the second piece of terminology: two properties are said to be coextensive if and only if they apply to exactly the same objects. Such properties are (in the more familiar terminology we used earlier) correlated. Being-a-melanic-moth-and-smaller-than-Manhattan is coextensive with being-a-melanic-moth being a sphere whose radius is less than one inch is coextensive with being a sphere whose diameter is less than two inches.

Turning from terminology to substance, Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini&rsquos central thesis is that selection-for is intensional:

The idea is that natural selection will favor individual organisms which carry both of two coextensive properties: having large hind-quarters and having diminutive front legs. Since all individuals who have one of the two coextensive properties must have the other as well, their reproductive success will not distinguish the two properties. But selection-for requires distinguishing such coextensive properties: the large hind legs and tail are selected-for, the tiny front legs are not. That is what the authors mean when they say that selection-for is an intensional context.

Here, then, is the problem restated: the causal processes at work in evolution cannot distinguish between coextensive properties, but selection-for requires that they be distinguished. In cases of selective breeding (or church architecture), the breeder (or architect) knows what he is selecting for, and that distinguishes the two coextensive properties. In natural selection, however, there are no intentions of a breeder to appeal to, no intelligent designer, no architect who is aiming to build a dome and happily creating spandrels as necessary byproducts. We cannot appeal to the intentions of Mother Nature, so the intensionality must come from something else: Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini suggest that the only possibilities are to suppose that there are laws of nature or facts about how things would have been under somewhat different circumstances that determine that one, but not the other, of the coextensive properties is the property selected for.

Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini take this intensionality of selection-for to be central to Darwinian theorizing:

The upshot is that intensionality sinks the whole apparatus of evolutionary theorizing: &ldquoDarwinists have a crux about free-riding because they haven&rsquot noticed the intensionality of selection-for and the like and when it is brought to their attention, they haven&rsquot the slightest idea what to do about it.&rdquo

Describing the issues this way simply restates in technical philosophical terms the basic charge: in the face of spandrels, evolutionary theory requires that there be a process that makes discriminations that natural selection cannot make. So the entire argument depends on the authors&rsquo claim about the intensionality of selection-for. Are they right about this?

In a word, no. In the only way that matters for evolutionary biology, selection-for is extensional rather than intensional&mdashand this suffices for making sense of the use made in evolutionary thinking of the notion of selection-for and correlative notions such as adaptation and biological function.

To see why, consider the notion of causation. If decreasing temperature causes freezing and decreasing temperature is the same property as decreasing mean molecular kinetic energy, then decreasing mean molecular kinetic energy causes freezing. The causal powers of a property&mdashtemperature, say&mdashdo not depend on how we refer to it or think about it. In that respect, causation is extensional.

But if causation is extensional, then so is selection-for, since selection-for is a causal idea. Consider, once again, the sieve and the balls. The balls that are blue and small fall through, leaving the larger (and differently colored) spheres in the sieve. What is causally responsible for the blue balls passing through the sieve is that they are small, not that they are blue what is selected for is smallness, not blueness. In sum: being small is the cause, just as being black is the cause of the moths&rsquo reproductive success rather than (say) correlated nighttime lethargy.

Why, then, do Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini think selection-for is intensional? Perhaps because they are drawing the line between intensional and extensional in a way different from ours, and on their way of drawing the distinction both causation and selection-for come out as intensional. Suppose having-a-heart is coextensive with having-a-kidney: every animal with a heart is also an animal with a kidney and vice versa. Consider &ldquoErnie has a heart, and that caused the blood to flow through his veins. Substituting &ldquohas a kidney&rdquo for &ldquohas a heart&rdquo in that context would yield a falsehood: Ernie&rsquos blood does not flow through his veins because he has a kidney. Because of this failure of substitution, we might describe causation as intensional (in a different sense from the one we originally explained). But this kind of failure of substitution is of no significance for evolutionary theory, as we will now see.

When we introduced the notions of intensionality and extensionality, we did so by talking about substitutions of terms that name the same entity. If the substitution of a term leads from truth to falsehood (or from falsehood to truth), even though the term substituted names the very same thing as the term it replaces (as with Bert&rsquos musings on Madonna), that fact is significant because it reveals something important about our thought: that we think about things under guises. It is a quite different matter to consider contexts in which you cannot always replace one term associated with a property with another term associated with a different property that applies to exactly the same things, with preservation of truth and falsity. Different properties&mdashhaving-a-heart, having-a-kidney&mdashcan apply to exactly the same objects. When you are interested in causation, however, you are not concerned about guises. What is of concern is the identity of the causing property. Having a heart but not having a kidney is causally efficacious in pumping blood, no matter how you describe having a heart. What we have are not two guises for the same thing, thus not intensionality in our sense, but two distinct properties that apply to the same things.

If the authors want to mind their neighbors&rsquo business, they should spend a little time discovering just what those neighbors do.

The authors are entitled to pick how they want to use the term &ldquointensional.&rdquo Maybe they will suppose (as we do) that intensionality is marked by the failure to preserve truth (or falsehood) when terms are replaced by other terms that name the same thing&mdashwhen one guise is substituted for another. Or perhaps they will prefer a different notion, signaled by failure to preserve truth (or falsehood) when terms that are associated with distinct but coextensive properties are substituted. The essential point is that however they choose, causation and selection-for always travel together. If they take the first approach, both will be extensional if they opt for the second, both will be intensional. Their argument turns on mixing criteria, taking one version in one place and a different one elsewhere.

We can explain the notion of selection-for in evolutionary reasoning so that both selection-for and causation are extensional. Further, on this way of reconstructing both notions, there can be a fact about which of two correlated properties is selected for and which is a free-rider. Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini&rsquos argument collapses.

As mentioned earlier, they think that because of the extensionality of causation and the intensionality of selection-for, causation alone cannot be the basis of selection-for, so appeal must be made to something else&mdashthe intentions of a breeder or claims about what might have been or laws of nature. As a result, their book is filled with discussions of philosophical issues about contrary-to-fact claims and scientific laws. But all of these discussions&mdashlengthy and obscure&mdashexplore ways out of a false impasse. They are needed only because of the authors&rsquo misunderstandings of the basic issue: that selection-for is a causal notion, and, since causation is extensional, so is selection-for.

That said, however, one final detail bears notice: although contexts of causation and selection-for are extensional in the respect mentioned, contexts of explanation are notoriously intensional. Does that mean that there can&rsquot be evolutionary explanations? Not at all. Nature determines which properties are causally efficacious, and hence what is selected for. Then we theorists can find out about this and give explanations based on what is selected for. Thus if nature tells us that it is melanic color rather than larval resilience or nightime lethargy that was selected for, then we thinking beings can give (intensional) explanations in terms of melanic color rather than the other properties. In giving the explanation, we (thinking beings) describe the property in our preferred way.

Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini take the role of philosophy to consist in part in minding other people&rsquos business. We agree with the spirit behind this self-conception. Philosophy can sometimes help other areas of inquiry. Yet those who wish to help their neighbors are well advised to spend a little time discovering just what it is that those neighbors do, and those who wish to illuminate should be sensitive to charges that they are kicking up dust and spreading confusion. What Darwin Got Wrong shows no detailed engagement with the practice of evolutionary biology, nor does it respond to the many criticisms that have been leveled against earlier versions of its central ideas. In this latter respect, the authors resemble the creationist debaters who assert that evolution is incompatible with the second law of thermodynamics, hear detailed refutations of their charge, and repeat their patter in the next forum.

We admire the work that both Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini have produced over many decades. We regret that two such distinguished authors have decided to publish a book so cavalier in its treatment of a serious science, so full of apparently scholarly discussions that rest on mistakes and confusions&mdashand so predictably ripe for making mischief.

Help fund the next generation of Black journalists, editors, and publishers.

Boston Review&rsquos Black Voices in the Public Sphere Fellowship is designed to address the profound lack of diversity in the media by providing aspiring Black media professionals with training, mentorship, networking opportunities, and career development workshops. The program is being funded with the generous support of Derek Schrier, chair of Boston Review&rsquos board of advisors, the Ford Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, but we still have $50,000 left to raise to fully fund the fellowship for the next two years. To help reach that goal, if you make a tax-deductible donation to our fellowship fund through August 31 it will be matched 1:1, up to $25,000&mdashso please act now to double your impact. To learn more about the program and our 2021-2022 fellows, click here.


Introduction

In December 2019, an outbreak of pneumonia cases in the city of Wuhan, China, was linked to a novel coronavirus. Evolutionary analysis identified this new virus to humans as a severe acute respiratory syndrome-related virus [1], in the Sarbecovirus subgenus of the Betacoronavirus genus, sister lineage to the original SARS virus subsequently named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to reflect this relationship to SARS-CoV [2]. This novel lineage represents the seventh known human-infecting member of the Coronaviridae. The initial outbreak of human cases of the virus was connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan [3], and while related viruses have been found in horseshoe bats [4] and pangolins [5], their divergence represents decades of evolution [6] leaving the direct origin of the pandemic unknown. In addition to elucidating the transmission route from animals to humans, key questions for assessing future risk of emergence are: (i) what is the extent of evolution, if any, required for a bat virus to transmit to humans, and (ii) what subsequent evolution will occur once the virus is established within the human population?

The first SARS virus outbreak in 2002/2003, causing approximately 8,000 infections, and its reemergence in late 2003, causing 4 infections, were linked to Himalayan palm civets and raccoon dogs in marketplaces in Guangdong Province [7,8]. Later, it became clear that while these animals may have been conduits for spillover to humans, they were not true viral reservoirs [9]. Extensive surveillance work subsequently identified related viruses circulating in horseshoe bats in China, some of which can replicate in human cells [10,11]. The bat viruses most closely related to SARS-CoV (hereafter referred to as SARS-CoV-1 for clarity), can bind to human angiotensin-converting enzyme (hACE2, the receptor SARS-CoV-2 also uses for cell entry), while the addition of a host protease is required to cleave the Spike protein before it can bind hACE2 for the more divergent bat viruses tested (S1 Fig) [12]. Two of the key changes which appear to have been required to generate this highly capable pathogen, the specific receptor binding domain sequence and the inserted furin cleavage site, can all be traced to bat coronaviruses [6,13–15]. Collectively, these results demonstrate that, unlike most other RNA viruses which acquire adaptations after switching to a new host species [16,17] for efficient replication and spreading as successfully as exhibited by SARS-CoV-2, the Sarbecoviruses—which already transmit frequently among bat species [18]—can exploit the generalist properties of their ACE2 binding ability, facilitating successful infection of non-bat species, including humans. A main difference between SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 is the increased binding affinity for hACE2 in the latter [19] permitting more efficient use of human cells and the upper respiratory tract, and on average lower severity but, paradoxically—due to the higher number of infections—higher disease burden.

There is intense interest in the mutations emerging in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic [20–22]. Although the vast majority of observed genomic change is expected to be “neutral” [23,24], mutations with functional significance to the virus will likely arise, as they have in many other viral epidemics and pandemics [25]. In SARS-CoV-2, amino acid replacements in the Spike protein may reduce the efficacy of vaccines, replacements in proteases and polymerases will result in acquired drug resistance, and other mutations could change the biology of the virus, e.g., enhancing its transmissibility as demonstrated for the replacement D614G [26], contributing to adaption to humans, a new host species.

A main way to begin to understand the functional impact of mutations is to characterise the selective regime they are under. Mutations which are under positive selection are of particular interest as they are more likely to reflect a functional change. However, identifying mutations under positive selection from frequency data alone can be misleading, as allele frequencies in viral pandemics are significantly driven by biased sampling, founder effects, and superspreading events [22]. Exponentially growing populations can increase in average fitness [27] however, they are also expected to exhibit elevated genetic drift, with deleterious mutations “surfing” expansion waves [28].

Here, we investigate the evolutionary history of bat Sarbecoviruses that shaped the emergence and rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 by contrasting results from comprehensive searches for signatures of positive selection (a measure of molecular adaptation) in the virus circulating in humans since the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak began, to signatures of historic selection acting on related bat viruses. We use an array of selection detection methods (summarised in S2 Fig) on a set of (i) 133,741 SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled from December 2019 to October 2020 and on (ii) 69 Sarbecovirus genomes (including a representative of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 sequences) separated into phylogenetically congruent regions based on detected recombination patterns [6]. Finally, we detect a shift in CpG representation on the Sarbecovirus tree, associated with the phylogenetic clade SARS-CoV-2 is found in.


Consequences of Different Tree Topologies on the Nomenclature of Major Reptilian Clades

If the hypothesis that turtles are diapsid reptiles becomes the consensus view among systematists, it creates problems for the nomenclature of the reptilian side of the amniote tree. Gauthier et al. (1988a: 142) defined Reptilia as “the most recent common ancestor of extant turtles and saurians, and all its descendents.” This has been interpreted to mean Reptilia can be regarded to be a crown group ( Laurin and Reisz, 1995). However, if a diapsid identity for turtles is accepted, the Gauthier et al. (1988a) definition renders Reptilia and Sauria (sensu Gauthier, 1984) as competing names for the exact same clade. According to priority by date of first publication of a name, the former nomen should be recognized as the senior synonym, although the phylogenetic definition of Sauria has priority over that of Reptilia. It seems apparent to us that no systematist would regard the name “Sauria” to have priority over the older, more widely used name “Reptilia.” Of greater concern is the fact that, if turtles are saurians, Gauthier et al.'s (1988a) definition for Reptilia is redundant, because it uses Sauria and a saurian group (turtles) as specifiers. Questions of historical continuity aside, the definition for Reptilia must be emended because of its now circular construction. Unfortunately, definitions of Reptilia published subsequent to Gauthier et al. (1988a) offer no viable alternative. The definition provided by Laurin and Reisz (1995: 183, “the most common ancestor of testudines and diapsids, and all its descendents”) and deBraga and Rieppel (1997: 228, “the most common ancestor of diapsids and all its descendents”), renders Reptilia synonymous with Diapsida if turtles are nested within Diapsida. The deBraga and Rieppel (1997) definition is clearly a lapsus calami, because the content outlined in the definition is not consonant with the placement of Reptilia on their tree their definition of Reptilia can be rejected for this reason. The definition of Laurin and Reisz (1995) suffers the problem of internested specifiers if it is applied to phylogenies in which turtles are diapsids this includes most recent studies of reptile interrelationships ( deBraga and Rieppel, 1997 Zardoya and Meyer, 1998 Hedges and Poling, 1999 Kumazawa and Nishida, 1999 Rieppel and Reisz, 1999). Lee (2001) is the only recent worker who espouses a parareptilian origin for turtles. Given the lack of consensus on the phylogenetic position of turtles, a phylogenetic definition of Reptilia that is not sensitive to the lability of this specifier taxon is clearly desirable.

A corollary problem caused by a diapsid origin for turtles is that Anapsida (sensu Gauthier et al., 1988: “all amniotes closer to turtles than to diapsids”) also becomes a recursive (and therefore problematic) definition requiring amendment or abandonment. Gauthier's (1994: 138) updated definition for Anapsida (“chelonians (turtles) and all other amniotes more closely related to them than they are to saurians”) connotes the same meaning as Gauthier et al.'s (1988a) definition. Despite its phylogenetic reconception by Gauthier et al. (1988a), it is probably best that Anapsida is abandoned as a formal name in light of its long precladistic usage as the name of a paraphyletic group of amniotes, and our observation that most workers associate the taxonomic term “anapsid” with its morphological connotation (the absence of temporal fenestrae e.g., Lee, 2001: Fig. 2). Our reasoning with Anapsida does not necessarily translate to other taxonomic entities that have been recognized as paraphyletic in traditional classifications, such as Amphibia, Osteichthyes, and even Reptilia, because it is only with Anapsida that a single primitive morphological structure is strongly associated with the name.

Amniote phylogeny illustrating revised nomenclature assuming the diapsid identity of Testudines as hypothesized by Zardoya and Meyer (1998), Hedges and Poling (1999), and Rieppel and Reisz (1999), and employing strict priority for phylogenetic definitions. The use of Reptilia here assumes the original crown group definition for the nomen (Gauthier et al., 1998a), not the definition provided by Laurin and Reisz (1995).

Amniote phylogeny illustrating revised nomenclature assuming the diapsid identity of Testudines as hypothesized by Zardoya and Meyer (1998), Hedges and Poling (1999), and Rieppel and Reisz (1999), and employing strict priority for phylogenetic definitions. The use of Reptilia here assumes the original crown group definition for the nomen (Gauthier et al., 1998a), not the definition provided by Laurin and Reisz (1995).


Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): Definition, Process and Importance

Environmental Impact Assessment is defined as an activity designed to identify the impact on the biogeophysical environment, on man and well-being of legislative proposals, projects, policies, operational procedures and to interpret and communicate information.

EIA is a systematic process of identifying future consequences of a current or proposed action.

Objective of EIA:

The objective of EIA is (i) to identify, predict and evaluate the economic, environmental and social impact of development activities (ii) to provide information on the environmental consequences for decision making and (iii) to promote environmentally sound and sustainable development through the identification of appropriate alternatives and mitigation measures.

EIA is widely accepted as a tool to ensure sustained development with minimum environmental degradation.

First Environmental Legislation:

The first comprehensive environmental legislation (Section 102) in United States came into force on 1st January 1970 in the form of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In India, the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a Notification on 27th January, 1994 making EIA statutory for 29 specified activities falling under sectors such as industries, mining, irrigation, power and transport etc.

This Notification was amended on 4th May, 1994 and the amended version includes a self-explanatory note detailing the procedure for obtaining environmental clearance, technical information, documents required to be submitted for getting environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

EIS Contents:

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should contain the following information’s/data:

1. Description of proposed action (construction, operation and shut down phase) and selection of alternatives to the proposed action.

2. Nature and magnitude of the likely environmental effects.

3. Possibility of earthquakes and cyclones.

4. Possible effects on surface and ground water quality, soil and air quality.

5. Effects on vegetation, wild life and endangered species.

6. Economic and demographic factors.

7. Identification of relevant human concerns.

8. Noise pollution. Efficient use of inputs.

9. Recycling and reduction of waste.

10. Risk analysis and disaster management.

EIA Methodology:

Whenever a new development project is planned which is likely to affect environmental quality, it is necessary to carry out EIA.

1. The first step in EIA method is to determine whether the project under consideration follows the jurisdiction of the relevant acts and regulations and if so, whether it is likely to create a significant environmental disruption.

2. If so, an EIA is undertaken and the environmental impact statement (EIS) is prepared.

3. In many countries, EIS is open to public scrutiny and is reviewed at public hearings.

4. Finally, a political decision is taken. The development project may be (i) accepted or (ii) accepted with amendments or (iii) an alternative proposal is accepted or (iv) rejected.

Environment Impact Assessment Process:

In EIA system, there are sequence of activities implemented in a project in logical manner termed as EIA process.

Guiding Principles:

The entire process of EIA is governed by eight guiding principles.

1. Participation:

An appropriate and timely access to the process for all interested parties.

All assessment decisions and their basis should be open and accessible.

The process and timing of the assessment should be agreed by all participants in advance.

4. Accountability:

The decision makers of all parties are responsible for their action and decisions under the assessment process.

Assessment is undertaken with professionalism and objectivity.

6. Cost effectiveness:

The assessment process and its outcomes will ensure environmental protection at the least cost to the society.

The assessment process should be able to deal efficiently with any proposal and decision making situation.

The information and outputs provided by the assessment process are readily usable in decision making and planning.

Participants in EIA Process:

Government or Private Agency which initiates the project.

2. Decision maker:

Designated individual or group.

Agency responsible for the preparation of EIS.

5. Expert advisers, Media and Public, Environmental organisations etc.

EIA Process in Sequence of Application:

1. Stakeholder’s Involvement:

Stakeholders’ involvement occurs in various stages of EIA to ensure quality, efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Project Screening and Scoping:

(i) Determine necessity for EIA requirement.

(ii) Describe various screening criteria.

(iii) Scoping determines coverage or scope of EIA.

3. Project Design and Construction:

(i) Type of project under consideration.

(ii) Physical dimensions of the area being considered.

(iii) Whether the resources will be used optically?

(iv) Whether there is an irretrievable commitment of land?

(v) Whether the project is a critical phase of a larger development?

(vi) Whether there will be serious environmental disruptions during construction?

(vii) What are the long-term plans of the proponent?

4. Project Operation:

(i) What provisions have been made to check the safety equipment regularly?

(ii) How will the hazardous waste products be handled?

(iii) What are the contingency plans developed to cope up with the possible accidents?

(iv) What provisions have been made for training the employees for environmental protection?

(v) What plans have been made for environmental monitoring?

5. Site Characteristics:

(i) Whether the site is susceptible to floods, earth quakes and other natural disasters?

(ii) Whether the terrain is creating problems in predicting ground water characteristics and air pollution etc.?

(iii) Whether the local environment is conductive for the success of the project?

(iv) How many people are likely to be displaced because of the project?

(v) What are the main attributes (e.g., protein content, calorie content, weed or pest status, carnivorousness, rarity of species, etc.) of the local fauna and flora?

(vi) Whether the project will interfere with the movements of fish population and important migratory animals?

(vii) Whether historic sites are likely to be endangered because of the project?

6. Possible Environmental Impacts:

(i) What are the possible short-term and long-term environmental impacts from the projects during construction and after construction?

(ii) Who would be effected because of these impacts?

7. Mitigation Measures:

(i) Design system to avoid, reduce and minimize adverse impacts.

(ii) Enhance beneficial outcomes.

8. Monitoring and auditing measures:

(i) Identify impacts that require monitoring and auditing.

9. Socio-Economic Factors:

(i) Who are the expected gainers and losers by the projects?

(ii) Where are the expected trade-offs?

(iii) Will the project interfere (blend, increase or reduce) with the existing inequalities between occupational, ethnic and age groups?

(iv) Will it effect the patterns of local/regional/national culture?

10. Availability of Information and Resources:

(i) Whether local and outside experts are available to consult specific impacts of the project?

(ii) Whether the relevant guidelines, technical information and other publications are available to identify the possible impacts of similar projects?

(iii) Whether relevant environmental standards, by-laws etc. are considered?

(iv) Whether the sources of relevant environmental data are identified and whether they are accessible?

(v) Whether the views of the specialist groups and general public regarding the project have been considered?

(vi) Whether the competent technical manpower is available to handle the project?

11. EIA Report and Review:

Complete information in report including non-technical summary, methodologies used, results, interpretation and conclusions. Review assesses adequacy of issues and facilitate decision making process.

12. Decision Making:

The project may be accepted, accepted with alterations or rejected.

Importance of EIA:

1. EIA is potentially a useful component of good environmental management.

2. It is the Government policy that any industrial project has to obtain EIA clearance from the Ministry of Environment before approval by the planning commission.


What are the pedagogical approaches?

The different pedagogical approaches could be broken down into four categories: behaviourism, constructivism, social constructivism, and liberationist.

1. Behaviourism

A behaviourist pedagogy uses the theory of behaviourism to inform its approach. A behaviourist pedagogical approach would say learning is teacher centred. It would advocate the use of direct instruction, and lecture based lessons.

What does a behaviourism pedagogical approach look like in a classroom?

The theory of Behaviourism in a classroom setting came from pedagogical research by Thorndike (1911), Pavlov (1927) and Skinner (1957). Behaviourist pedagogy is the theory that the teacher should be the sole authority figure, and leads the lesson. Knowledge should be delivered in a curriculum where each subject is taught discretely (as opposed to topic based learning, for example).

In a lesson using a behaviourist pedagogical approach, you could expect to see a mixture of lecturing, modelling and demonstration, rote learning, and choral repetition. All of these activities are ‘visible’ and structured, as well as being led by the teacher. However, during the course of the lesson, the shift may come where the student is the centre of the activity, and demonstrates their learning.

Behaviourism is also sometimes described as a traditional teaching style.

2. Constructivism

Constructivism is a theory that people learn through experiences and reflection. A Constructivist pedagogy puts the child at the centre of the learning, and is sometimes called ‘invisible pedagogy’. A constructivist approach would incorporate project work, inquiry based learning, and might adopt a Montessori or Steiner method.

What does a constructivism pedagogical approach look like in a classroom?

Constructivism is based on the pedagogical research of Piaget (1896-1890). Piaget wrote extensively about ‘schemas’, an idea that learners come ready to learn, and the teacher must build activities to facilitate their learning. Younger children work things through physically, whereas older children tackle symbolic and abstract ideas.

A lesson might include individualisation, a slower pace, hidden outcomes, the mantle of the expert, and less teacher talk. Some adopters of this pedagogy would also place emphasis on being outdoors, and engaging with nature.

Constructivism is also sometimes described as a progressive teaching style.

3. Social constructivism

A Social constructivism pedagogy could be considered to be a blend of two priorities: teacher guided, and student centred. Cognitive psychologist, Lev Vygotsky developed social constructivism, building on the work of Piaget, but argued against the ideas of Piaget that learning could only happen in its social context, and believed that learning was a collaborative process between student and teacher.

What would a social constructivism approach look like in a lesson?

The teacher would use group work elements, but would use smaller group sizes, and limit the choice in topics. The teacher might also use teacher modelling, questioning, and a mixture of individual, pair, and whole class instruction.

4. Liberationism

Liberationism is a critical pedagogy developed by the Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire. Freire was the Director of the Department of Education, and developed an approach of teaching where he was able to teach illiterate adults to read in just 45 days. Freire focussed on removing the two barriers to learning: poverty and hunger. Freire was then imprisoned following a military coup. Once he was released, he wrote a book called 'Pedagogy of the Oppressed' where Freire wrote about the dehumanisation of students in schools, and argued for cooperation and unity. A liberationist approach is one where the student voice is placed at the centre, and a democracy is put into the classroom. Value is placed on having the teacher as a learner, and the class discovering subjects together.

What would a social constructivist approach look like in a lesson?

The teacher might use examples of literature that contain non-standard constructions, such as hip-hop, or graffiti. Students may take on the role of the teacher, and decide upon the topic of the lesson. The teacher should provide space and opportunity for the students to showcase their learning, and this can take the form of a performance, speech, or dance.


What is the Definition of Holistic Care?

The definition of holistic care can vary from person to person. As a fairly new concept in health care, it is not fully understood by many. So let’s discuss this in more depth by answering the following question I received from a site visitor.

Hi, I’m studying nursing and I’m very interested in the holistic side to giving care. However could you please help get a full understanding of the term holistic care. I currently think it to be to think of the “whole picture” for the patient. For instance, if someone is suffering from stress, look at whether there any money issues, diet, sleep issues etc. Thank you, Zac.

Yes, you are on the right track. Looking at the whole picture is the basic underlying tenet in holistic health care. However, it’s a little more comprehensive than that.

The term holistic can have different meanings to various people, so to some degree, it depends on the interpretation of the individual you are talking to on the definition you will get. Here is how I see it.

Holistic health care addresses the body, mind, and spirit (by spirit, I mean the non-physical essence of who we are). For example, if someone has a medical health condition, we look at how it impacts them emotionally and spiritually and vice versa. In order to function most optimally, all three aspects of the physical, emotional, and spiritual should be addressed because they are interconnected.

Additionally, it encompasses all other aspects that are entwined to create an individual, like personality, behavior, environment, socialization, and conditioning. For example, when we help someone design a healthy diet plan we don’t just give them a list of foods to avoid, we must also give them tips and support for adhering to their restrictions and help them let go of socialization and conditioning. And any good healthcare practitioner is aware that environmental toxins from common everyday chemicals and even our social environment can play a role in all health conditions.

The healing path or health care plan in a holistic approach will be different for each individual even if they share the same diagnosis with others. Dosages, diets, methods of treatment, etc. will vary for each person depending on other health conditions they may face, the overall level of health, their unique biochemistry, sensitivities, and needs on all levels.

Each person and situation is unique, even those with the same health condition do not have the same experience. Each person may be impacted differently and not everyone responds to a particular treatment the exact same way. Even though you may share the same health condition with someone else, each of you has a unique body chemistry and genetics and the same disease can have a different process or impact from person to person. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another. For example, one person with migraines may need to avoid one list of foods while another person needs to avoid a different list of foods.

To this point, in my holistic approach to health, I help you individualize your diet according to your unique biochemical needs. At the core of my approach is the belief that the foundation for healing is built first and foremost with the foods that you eat and your dietary needs will be influenced by any health condition you may be facing or what you are aiming to achieve, and therefore, the diet should be personalized to address these aspects as well.

A primary factor that differentiates holistic care from traditional care is that it focuses heavily on self-care. The patient or client is heavily involved in the whole process of the health care plan from diagnosis to treatment. They are encouraged to be an active participant in research, education, treatment options, and on-going care. Responsibility for your healing lies in your hands, not your doctor’s.

Holistic healthcare practitioners tend to believe that the most powerful tool each of us has for healing is knowledge. The more informed an individual is about their own condition and body the better it is all around on all levels. It helps the client feel empowered and less dependent on the system. In mainstream medicine, the practitioner knows best, but in holistic care, the body of the individual is the one with the most knowledge. The patient is encouraged to learn how to be in tune with and listen to their body.

Unlike modern medicine, we look for the underlying causes of a condition instead of just treating symptoms and individualize the healing plan for each person’s unique needs. For example, someone with depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, or cravings for sugar and carbs may have adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, Candida overgrowth, and/or neurotransmitter imbalances. All these avenues must be explored and ruled in or out. When the underlying issues are addressed then symptoms improve.

A holistic approach to health does not necessarily completely exclude the use of pharmaceuticals. However, they are chosen only as a last resort and used in addition to the natural methods, not instead of. In most cases, synthetic medication does not heal or address the roots of any health problems, they only work as temporary band-aids that ultimately cause more deterioration in health or new and more complicated health issues in the long run. However, there may be circumstances when a pharmaceutical may be called for and the best course of action, particularly if we are dealing with microbes.

In holistic care, it’s important to remember that achieving optimal health does not always mean that we are “cured.” It may also stand for living and functioning as optimally as possible with your condition, managing it as best as possible. Attaining peace and harmony in the midst of the storm, while striving for more optimal health.

Let me guide you along your holistic health path. Regardless of what health condition you are facing, I can help you move toward a higher level of health and optimize your physical, emotional/mental, cognitive, social, and spiritual health by discovering the underlying contributors to your symptoms, individualizing your diet, and exploring a variety of self-care strategies that enable you to take control of your own healthcare plan.


What is the meaning of a selection regime in this context? - Biology

OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines .

A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting .

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a method of secure communication that prevents third parties from accessing data while it's .

A proxy firewall is a network security system that protects network resources by filtering messages at the application layer.

Security for information technology (IT) refers to the methods, tools and personnel used to defend an organization's digital .

Protected health information (PHI), also referred to as personal health information, is the demographic information, medical .

Digital health, or digital healthcare, is a broad, multidisciplinary concept that includes concepts from an intersection between .

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security .

Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

Bare-metal cloud is a public cloud service that offers dedicated hardware resources without any installed operating systems or .

A race condition is an undesirable situation that occurs when a device or system attempts to perform two or more operations at .

Storage security is the group of parameters and settings that make storage resources available to authorized users and trusted .


Historical Context in Literature

No work of literature can be fully appreciated or understood without historical context. What may seem nonsensical or even offensive to contemporary sensibilities, might actually be interpreted in a completely different manner by considering the era it is from.

A good example is Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," published in 1885. It is considered an enduring work of American literature and a biting social satire. But it is also criticized by modern critics for its casual use of a racial epithet to describe Huck's friend Jim, a freedom-seeking enslaved person. Such language is shocking and offensive to many readers today, but in the context of the day, it was​ the commonplace language for many.

Back in the mid-1880s, when attitudes toward newly liberated enslaved African Americans were often indifferent at best and hostile at worst, the casual use of such racial epithets wouldn't have been considered unusual. In fact, what is actually more surprising, given the historical context of when the novel was written, is Huck's treating Jim not as his inferior but as his equal—something rarely portrayed in the literature of the time.

Similarly, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" cannot be fully appreciated by a reader who is unaware of the Romantic movement that took place in art and literature in the early 19th century. It was a time of rapid social and political upheaval in Europe when lives were transformed by the technological disruptions of the Industrial Age.

The Romantics captured the public's sense of isolation and fear that many experienced as a result of these social changes. "Frankenstein" becomes more than a good monster story, it becomes an allegory for how technology can destroy us.


Development as an emergent property of an economic, social and political system

One of the key lessons from complexity theory is that complex adaptive systems can have system-wide properties which do not correspond to the properties of individual components. (This is only possible in non-linear systems, since linear systems are by definition a weighted sum of their parts.) For example, we think of consciousness as a characteristic of a human brain but it makes no sense to say that a particular brain cell or synapse is conscious. A thunderstorm is a characteristic of the weather, but we cannot say that a particular molecule in the air is, or is not, stormy. These phenomena &ndash which are called &lsquoemergent properties&rsquo &ndash are not the sum of characteristics of individual parts of the system: they are consequences of the way that the different parts of the system interact with each other. In the talk, I argue that development is an emergent property of the economic and social system, in much the same way that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. This seems obvious, and yet it is a surprising departure from the way most economists have normally described development as the sum of economic output of all the firms in the economy, or the sum of human well-being of the citizens of a nation. Development is not the sum of well-being of people in the economy and we cannot bring it about simply by making enough people in the economy better off. Development is instead a system-wide manifestation of the way that people, firms, technologies and institutions interact with each other within the economic, social and political system. Specifically, development is the capacity of those systems to provide self-organising complexity. Self-organising complexity in an adaptive system is never designed or deliberately built: it comes about from a process of adaptation and evolution. It follows that if we want to accelerate and shape development, we should focus especially on how the environment can be made most conducive for self-organising complexity to evolve.

This view of development as an emergent property of a system fits with the common-sense definition of development described earlier. Development is more than improvements in people&rsquos well-being: it also describes the capacity of the system to provide the circumstances for that continued well-being. Development is a characteristic of the system sustained improvements in individual well-being are a yardstick by which it is judged. This has important implications for development policy, both for developing countries themselves wishing to put their economy and society onto a path of faster development, and for outsiders who want to help that process. We are at an early stage of exploring those implications. In my next blog post I will look at one particular implication of the application of complexity theory to development: it has both positive and negative implications for the UK Government&rsquos emphasis on a &lsquogolden thread&rsquo of institutions which they claim runs through all successful economies.


Watch the video: Intensional vs Extensional Contexts Philosophical Distinctions (October 2022).