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Understanding Evolution


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A very complicated field to grasp, it combines DNA with history and look what little we know on history. Easiest to explain evolution is like language which changes slowly over time, but slower? If a visus can change as fast as we've seen, while infecting new hosts, the size of species is related to the ease of evolution.

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2 hours ago, craigtempe said:

A very complicated field to grasp, it combines DNA with history and look what little we know on history.

The basics of evolution are really quite simple.  In Darwin's time it was not even known that DNA existed and the age of the earth was thought to be no more than 400 million years old and the basics of evolution were discovered by him.  The basics are that the fittest (best adapted to their current environment) animals survive and reproduce.  Variations in a species means the variation that is best adapted will reproduce, favoring that variation in future populations.

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The basics are simple, but don't let that deceive you into believing you are an expert in the field.  If there's one thing I've learned from being in a university department where my millisecond-level neuronal events are considered just as intensely as deep time, it's not to make claims stronger than I can support. We can talk theory, but the details inevitably get complicated.

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11 hours ago, CPG said:

If there's one thing I've learned from being in a university department where my millisecond-level neuronal events are considered just as intensely as deep time

Just out of curiosity, what is that supposed to mean?

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  • 5 weeks later...

Evolution was widely postulated before Darwin. Darwins great insight was the mechanism, of natural selection. And not knowing anything about genes, he was greatly bothered by the question of why different characteristics persisted, instead of being instantly diluted by cross breeding. 

If only he had met Gregor Mendel, he would have saved himself thousands of sleepless nights. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/7/2021 at 7:35 PM, craigtempe said:

A very complicated field to grasp, it combines DNA with history and look what little we know on history. Easiest to explain evolution is like language which changes slowly over time, but slower? If a visus can change as fast as we've seen, while infecting new hosts, the size of species is related to the ease of evolution.

It's not the size of the virus that facilitates their evolution, it's their sheer number and reproductive rate that allows the chance of many more mutations to occur in a shorter space of time.

Edited by StringJunky
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