Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.

 

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9/7/04
Directed Variation by Victor Niederhoffer

One of the fallacious arguments advanced against the theory of evolution is that natural selection could not account for all the variations between species that are found in the fossil record. On one hand there are too many gaps ( how could there not be considering how unlikely it is for a fossil to survive), and on the other hand there are two few gaps. Things like the rudiments of wings started out without much adaptive value. So how could natural selection, i.e. their differential reproductive value have arranged for so many homologous attributes in so many different species. The theory of directed variation has been put forth to cover this. For example, from Ridley's magnificent book Evolution ,"offspring for some unspecified reason linked with the hereditary mechanism consistently tend to differ from their parents in a certain direction. In the case of wings, the explanation by directed variation would say that the wingless successors of birds somehow tended to produce offspring with proto wings." The evolutionists have an answer for all such examples. For example, partial wings may have been useful for breaking falls or for gliding. (A second explanation is the theory of preadaption whereby by chance an organ that works well in one function turns out to work well in another. For example, fins evolving into legs). But there is a directed variation in markets. A little of this is found in the slightly higher tendency of Fridays to be extremes than would be observed by change. (see Flagition and Fridays). But even more, when we find a market near but not quite at the x day maximum or minimum. I hypothesize it has an inordinate tendency to set the extreme and then bounce back once it has relieved the fixed systemists and the public believers in mysticism and other techniques used by well respected owners of teams, of their hard earned dollars searching for the free lunch.