Considering that we are limited to are ability to observe. Has anyone ever considered ...other than microbal or fungal....that new animal or plant species may be emerging as we speak. The thoery of evolution is wonderful and all but can we say this has not or does not happen? We may never stop discovering new species. In this line of thinking has anyone ever considered that there may be an average general rate of evolution based on the level of complexity of the specie evolving. Environmental factors are an obvious push but does a less complex organism have a better chance of adapting than a more complex one? Is biological complexity itself an advantage or disadvantage? Of course the question of how complex something is, must be strickly biological. No tooting our own horn...we are too full of ourselves. lol
What really matters is diversity. If there are a lot of different alleles in the population, the more chance the population has to adapt to changing environment. Sexual reproduction spreads genes around significantly, so sexual reproduction might be a characterstic for a fast evolving organism.
I am asuming alleles evolve. New alleles must emerge correct? If so what effects the rate of devergence. What effects which new ones will emerge and thier purpose? There must be some governing factor or life would develope into the equivalent of an abstract art painting no? So weather or not a species will have adaptability at this time appears to be a crap shoot. Or do species possess as a whole, all the genetic blueprints they will ever have and it appears they become active or dormant depending on stimulation? I have looked on the web from time to time but seldom see direct questions like this addressed. If I do run across something I might not recognise it for what it is.
Biological complexity isn't really a characteristic unfortunately, as you have anticipated. The merit a set of genes has for building a machine slightly more advanced than its rivals is that gene may be able to take advantage of a niche that is unoccupied, which means those genes are free to replicate with no competition (short term). We have to look at these things as short term goals...to reproduce successfully. So, in the short term, complexity is advantageous. However, like any arms race, it may well have been more efficient had the escalation never happened and everything just remained single-celled.
Has anyone hypothesized why life took a general move toward the more complex in the first place? Then one could think of insects and animals as just a macro of single cells. We have membrains and cilia of a fashion and our insides are divided into differnt parts that work together as a whole. So in your line of thinking we are likely a short lived phenomenon in the big biological picture? We are quite young as species go. The anology I have heard before is that if the evolution of life on earth were represented as a calender year. Man would show up during the last second of the last day in the year. Perhaps like the exotic elememt that exhibits amazing properties but decays most rapidly. Are we but a brain fart in the biological bowel movement? lol
Without a governing factor, you are right. The governing factor is natural selection. The new effects are ones which provide a positive effect on reproductive success.
Natural selection has yet to be properly defined let alone fully understood by us. It is a very general idea that I can generally accept. As far as we are able to assertain..is natures bag of genetic tricks finite or does it also evolve? So the thinking is that nature evolves random instructions....many that are not useful and some just happen to be? There seems to be something lacking in any conclusions drawn. The fact that it all works when thinking of it in those terms makes it look like a trillion to one shot. Has anyone ever done a statistical analysis of the evolution of the genetic code in relation to life's viability? So many questions a guy could piss away his life just asking let alone looking...lol Ah...the spring opener of fishing....time to do something constructive for the...soul? lol
I just want to understand this as it is bandied about and seems to be discussed in a more general sense most times.
Natural selection has been well defined for a long time. Darwin did an amazing job of discussing selection and the contrast of deliberate selection and non-delibirate selection (selection in nature, or natural selection). As long as there is differential reproductive success there is, by definition, natural selection.
So natural selection puts all it's marbles on reproductive success? This is still a very generic understanding of a process. Factors in reproductive success could very widely. Can one say for sure that reproductive success is not the outcome of some other factors instead of reproduction allways being the definer? A prefference in our case. If one does look at it soley from a reproductive standpoint then edjucation will likely lose out. Statistics show that the more edjucated you are....the less likely you are to have children. Natural selection favors the ignorant and the horny. Intelectuals are a dying breed? Become the recessive gene if you will.
This message has been edited by 2ice_baked_taters, 04-30-2006 09:07 PM