The Logic of Evolution

oo much is written about evolution as though there were a purpose to its action or even a goal (though biologists who write or speak in these terms would deny any such aspect in their subject). What can be said about evolution without affecting conscious intention? Is it ever appropriate to use a word such as "because ... " in the context of speciation?

Here is a diagram of fundamental influences on the development of life on any planet.

A (black) represents the laws of physics, chemistry, i.e. those rules which cannot be affected by the development of life. Hence, there is no change in the outline black-page.
B (red) represents the environment of the planet which is determined by physics and is altered gradually by geologic forces.Therefore, the border black-red is altered moderately.
C (blue) represents the effect that life has on the environment, e.g. a coral reef, an atmosphere of oxygen,etc. The border red-blue is alterable to a greater extent.
D (yellow) is the degree to which life is affected, in turn, by it own influence on the environment, e.g. the development of air breathing animals after plants created oxygen. Therefore, the border blue-yellow is altered significanty.
E (green) represents life itself whose shape (green) is altered by other life, e.g. they eat one another. Hence, the shape of green is wildly variable within the nested context of

[black(red{blue|yellow[green] | } ) ]

And concerning overall logic
there is also a nested hierarchy of :
1) That which is conceivable
2) That which is physically possible
3) That which is allowable (within
    other environmental constraints)
4) That which IS

The reason that life does not regress back to or toward single cell life is

simple diffusion
As in the case of a gas which escapes into a closed room from a small can, it could be that all the gas might go back into the can but the probability is unlikely in the extreme. Hence, it is never seen to happen.

Thus, there may be an infinitude of life forms possible and they will occupy every possible position in the given domain in as many variations as can be physically supported. And the time taken to occupy all positions is as the time taken for the gas to disperse. And the types of animals found in the domain will be, in their variety, as the placement of those gas molecules.

There is a difference in the dispersion of animals from that of molecules in a gas

A dispersion of gas has no hierarchy in the relationship of its constituents as does a living system. Its constituents are different in size, shape and abilities. There is a "pecking" order ... of size, of shape and of ability.

So that our gas dispersal analogy must take place under hierarchical constraints which do not occur in the world of physics. First come the viruses then bigger, better, smarter toward the top. And in quantity more at the bottom and very few at the top.

Few in the natural development of things ... in the case of man (unnatural), we are many and large. We are unnatural because we are no longer bound by any hypothetical rules of evolution and can do as we please. And could we PLEASE stop it with the reproduction thing? ... enough already.

And now ... to the heart of the matter

Just how is it that new species evolve? Not variations ... New species. This is the present bone of contention.

We are all aware that cats, dogs, human beings and all sorts of farm animals are bred into new varieties over just a few generations. Selective breeding. But all individuals of these breeds can mate with another of a different variety. How can it be that a new species arrives on the scene? [One which can't mate with another species.]

Where does it come from?

We have these possibilities:

  • Divine intervention
  • Alien intervention
  • Successive Variation
  • Genes changed by acquired characteristics
  • Mutation
  • It's just one of those things ...
  • Now, divine intervention is out by my standards because it clearly is a case of insulting God by way of accusing incompetence. That is, we are in effect saying that God is an idiot who can't figure the thing out at the start and must "make corrections" along the way (like NASA ... they're good, but God should be perfect).

    Similarly with the aliens. Advanced beings such as these would follow a general rule - "If it ain't broke ... don't fix it.". And it would not be ethical to interfer except perhaps in the background so as to prevent a fetal planet disaster.

    Successive variations was the method adopted by Darwin. This is entirely reasonable at first look. Obviously, a new species must be born. Ergo, by definition, its mother must not be of the same species. Ergo, all new species must become different by degrees. They just vary bit by bit until, at length, they can no longer mate with ... hmmmm ... wait a minute ... If they can't mate with the mother's species ... with whom do they mate to reproduce the new line. If they don't mate, the new species (of which they are the only member) dies with them.
    Well then, ... ahhh ... this must be it ... Two groups of the same species, separate. After many small variations within each group, the members of the each group can no longer mate with the members of the other group. Yahhhh ... that works.
    This idea has been somewhat discredited for reasons of continuity in the fossil record, i.e. just where is the smooth succession of changes from one species into another?
    "Where 'da bone be?"

    That genetic information can be changed by acquired characteristics is another idea I would personally employ (if I were God). Thus, if you strive mightily during your life, your efforts are continued, generally, in the next generation. So if you learn to play the harp, your daughter will pick it up like a dog picks up fleas. Unfortunately, there is no evidence of genetic alteration later in life (at least none in higher animals that I know of). Nuts.

    Mutation, mutation where forth art thou? let down your hair. This idea suffers from the above trouble of mating. If you've been wildly fortunate to have acquired a beneficial trait through mutation, with whom do you mate? With this idea, you can't separate two groups and have them mutate gradually. The odds are of getting just the right string of beneficial mutations to construct a new species must be so bad as to be equivalent to divine intervention. If a mutated offspring can mate with its mother's species ... then it would be a variation wouldn't it? What difference does it make if the genetic difference is caused by a random thermal event, radiation ... or ... accident of ... what? The difference between mutation and variation may be more semantic than anything else.

    Lastly, it may be this. My best guess at "one of those things" is ... Mutate a single cell's genetic information and split that then fertilized cell into male and female identical twins (I mean identical except for sex). Then, there is someone to mate with to carry on the new species. Impossible? Yup ... you bet. As far as is known.

    Of the above, I favor the gradual change of separated groups. I see no other presently viable alternative to basic Darwinism.

    On the scale of mutation ...

    There is a hierarchy of information in the genetic code. Whether it is from placement in a given gene or from redundant copies in the gene ... I don't know. You can see this hierarchy in the fetuses of higher animals. They all look the same or roughly the same in the early stages of development.

    It has to do with what "life" problem was solved first and that has to do with the hierarchical nature of existence itself.

    Like this:
    If an entity is to move in 3-space, the head (main sensory input devices) will be at the front where new information is encountered. Then, you distinguish between left and right because animals generally live on a gas-solid interface or gas-liquid interface or a liquid-solid interface. Few animals (if any) live in the ground only ... earthworms are tied to the surface as much as we, it's just kinda' upside down ... or in the water only ... fish are tied to the surface as well because that's where the food is -from the sun- and if they are bottom dwellers, they are tied to the bottom surface to get the "rain" of food comin' down.

    And, of course, birds can't stay in the air (except one albatross which has been aloft for 43 years). So everybody is stuck on a gravitational equipotential whether he can pronounce it or not. This defines left and right and therefore ... the need for bilateral symmetry.

    Do you see where I'm going with this?

    When an advanced species is developing, it goes through all the fundamental stages which it has in common with all other animals. Now then, we might conceivably have a mutation near the top of the hierarchy causing some very gross deformation and rendering the fetus unviable. However, there are less possibilities at the top of the hierarchy than at the bottom. So that, a beneficial alteration nearer the top would tend to result in two extremes - namely, death or a new species (for everything below the point of mutation may be a viable format). Like ... hmmmm ... mutate your hand so that the left is on the right and vice versa. It would be awkward and totally stupid ... but each hand would be viable (qua hand). Or, swap your ear for a "gill formation" which is latent in your genetic makeup.

    Now it should at least be apparent to anyone reading this why there is much squabbling about this point ... the origin of species. It's still

    Evolution (some type of gradual development)
    (some type of instantaneous change)

    No one yet knows


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