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Alternative for natural selection

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Natural preprogramming.

 

How would such a mechanism work though? You've simply got complexity 'programmed' in from the start? Yet how did this arise? How would this account for diversity? Natural preprogramming would suggest a "programmer" of sorts? I may just be stuck within the natural selection mindset though so I can't say I've looked at every possibility.

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How would such a mechanism work though? You've simply got complexity 'programmed' in from the start? Yet how did this arise? How would this account for diversity? Natural preprogramming would suggest a "programmer" of sorts? I may just be stuck within the natural selection mindset though so I can't say I've looked at every possibility.

 

I have absolutely no idea.

 

Natural selection is supposed working on individuals.

The new concept would be to consider each individual as part of something bigger, and that this "bigger entity" (specie?) is evoluting. The link between the entity and the individual would be a code (DNA?).

 

A male is nothing without a female. And without children the specie won't last. Without parents there is no individual too. So, considering the individual as the source element on which evolution works may be inadequate.

Just a thought.

No support.

Forget it.

Edited by michel123456

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The new concept would be to consider each individual as part of something bigger, and that this "bigger entity" (specie?) is evoluting. The link between the entity and the individual would be a code (DNA?).

 

This sounds like group selection. In laymen terms the idea of 'for the good of the species' is a good summation of group selection. There has not been any compelling evidence for group selection being a stronger selection force than natural selection. The gene as the selection unit makes this almost impossible. An example of this would be a group of birds portioning all the food they foraged so each bird receives an equal amount, no matter how much they collected as an individual. But there is a mutation, or learned behavior where one bird decides to eat half of his food before returning to have the food portioned out, that bird would have an advantage over all the other birds and would fair better and leave more offspring. This will always happen in a group selection scenario. Do not get this example confused with kin selection, which explains altruism, which is also explained by the selfish gene theory.

 

A male is nothing without a female. And without children the specie won't last. Without parents there is no individual too. So, considering the individual as the source element on which evolution works may be inadequate.

 

This leaves out organisms that can produce by an asexual mechanism. You must also understand that the process of speciation is a continuous process without a clear, distinct line when something becomes a new species. This is true 99.99% of the time, the other 0.01% of the time when speciation is an abrupt process these organisms can reproduce by asexual means.

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Firstly, I'm by no means whatsoever a biologist, so if I make false statements or using words wrongly or whatever, feel free to correct me.

 

Having followed the debate between creationists and scientists lately (and what a circus that is), I've been reading up a little on evolution as well as stalked a bunch of channels on Youtube, discussing the matter. And so, I hope I have at least a basic understanding of evolution and natural selection. One thing I'm curious about, however, is statements such as "natural selection is our best theory for how species evolve". I have no problem with that, whatsoever, and I agree with it. But statements like that begs the question; "ARE there any other theories"?

 

I know there's intelligent design, but I mean scientific theories. Natural selection, that individuals with certain traits more adapted to survive in the area they live in have a higher chance to pass on their genes to the next generation, I believe this to be a very solid theory with enough evidence to back it up ad nauseum, and I don't think there's anyone with an education actually doubting that's how we got to where we are today, on this planet. But let's say we have an alien planet. Of course, we can't know that much about any other planet right now. But speculatively (if that's a word), can we imagine there to be another process of evolution, based on something other than natural selection?

 

I've tried to think of something, but really can't. While my brother suggested selective selection (he explained it by having 2 banana flies and mating them until you get a fly with the traits you want), that requires an external force which controls it all. But it's not something that, to my knowledge, happens "in the wild". So if anyone can think of any such process, I'd be grateful.

 

But then again, I guess the natural in natural selection says it all :)

 

If a gene survives, then there's a chance that that gene will have a mutation, then if that mutation survives, then it can mutate, and so on. This is why its gradual. This could easily happen with alien life forms since some things would be better for surviving a particular environment they are in than other things.

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Firstly, I'm by no means whatsoever a biologist, so if I make false statements or using words wrongly or whatever, feel free to correct me.

 

Having followed the debate between creationists and scientists lately (and what a circus that is), I've been reading up a little on evolution as well as stalked a bunch of channels on Youtube, discussing the matter. And so, I hope I have at least a basic understanding of evolution and natural selection. One thing I'm curious about, however, is statements such as "natural selection is our best theory for how species evolve". I have no problem with that, whatsoever, and I agree with it. But statements like that begs the question; "ARE there any other theories"?

 

I know there's intelligent design, but I mean scientific theories. Natural selection, that individuals with certain traits more adapted to survive in the area they live in have a higher chance to pass on their genes to the next generation, I believe this to be a very solid theory with enough evidence to back it up ad nauseum, and I don't think there's anyone with an education actually doubting that's how we got to where we are today, on this planet. But let's say we have an alien planet. Of course, we can't know that much about any other planet right now. But speculatively (if that's a word), can we imagine there to be another process of evolution, based on something other than natural selection?

 

I've tried to think of something, but really can't. While my brother suggested selective selection (he explained it by having 2 banana flies and mating them until you get a fly with the traits you want), that requires an external force which controls it all. But it's not something that, to my knowledge, happens "in the wild". So if anyone can think of any such process, I'd be grateful.

 

But then again, I guess the natural in natural selection says it all :)

 

If a gene survives, then there's a chance that that gene will have a mutation, then if that mutation survives, then it can mutate, and so on. This is why its gradual. This could easily happen with alien life forms since some things would be better for surviving a particular environment they are in than other things.

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An alternative to Natural Selection would be something along the lines of inheritance of acquired characteristics, otherwise known as Lamarckism. Inheritance of acquired characteristics was disproved early on, but it was one of the first mechanisms for evolutionary change that was hypothesized.

 

Except that epigenetics now shows there is some truth to lamarckism, though i think no one has suggested epigenetics could explain speciation.

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Lamarckism is a way of inheritance, however and as such does not constitute an alternative to natural selection. It can be considered an alternative to Mendelian inheritance, however. Of course epigenetics does support a variation thereof, now, as mentioned above.

But again, it is a mode of inheritance, it does not, as such act as a selective agent.

Edited by CharonY

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Lamarckism is a way of inheritance, however and as such does not constitute an alternative to natural selection. It can be considered an alternative to Mendelian inheritance, however. Of course epigenetics does support a variation thereof, now, as mentioned above.

But again, it is a mode of inheritance, it does not, as such act as a selective agent.

 

 

 

I don't think this is necessarily true. Lemarckism could still occur without a selection pressure from the environment, each member of a species could acquire more characteristics enabling it to be more specialised at exploiting its niche simply by exploiting its niche.

 

 

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Some evolutionary biologists think that convergence is a significant feature of evolution. For example, why do so many metazoan groups develop camera eyes independently?

 

Camera eyes

 

Based upon this (and other examples), is there a fundamental determinism to evolution? Personally I don't think so, but it all depends on your view of variation as a random process and the nature of the selection that acts upon it.

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Natural selection is simply an idea in which nature selects the most advantageous traits. It suggests that whichever phenotypic variations are best suited to utilize resources and overcome catastrophe will usually proliferate. Obviously this is not a law, too many variables may influence whether the "best" genes actually get passed on, so this is more of a general concept, and it's quite relative at that. I don't believe there will ever be one unifying concept that accurately delegates how organisms evolve in every case because of natural disaster, habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, disease, invasive species, etc. .

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<br>Let's be clear here.  Intelligent Design does NOT exist.  ID is a proven attempt to introduce religious teachings into public science classrooms in the US.  Every single claim that ID proponents have made has been thoroughly debunked as creationism.  Every. Single. Claim.<br>
<br><br>Now I'll be clear here. ID cannot be disproven. Anywhere randomness enters the picture, such as with random genetic variations, the possibility for a master controller enters with it. You cannot tell me the Creator isn't creating by deciding those random mutations anymore than I can tell you He is. <br><br>I'm no seven-day creationist, and I don't think randomness is entirely incapable of producing diversity. I am, however, claiming that the existence of ID (or lack thereof) is a question beyond the realms of science.<br><br>

Based upon this (and other examples), is there a fundamental determinism

to evolution? Personally I don't think so, but it all depends on your

view of variation as a random process and the nature of the selection

that acts upon it.

<br><br>I'm no biologist either, but it seems to me like there has to be some sort of fundamental determinism. Consider this: all sciences from math to sociology can be boiled down to increasingly complex series of equations, and it would seem to me that like any equation there will be a few fundamental answers that simply work out. Obviously there's more to it than that, but I figure that some structures should evolve multiple times, simply because they're better suited, and whatever advantages they provide will provide that advantage no matter who evolves them. That is, after all, the whole point of evolution in the first place.<br> Edited by DrakeCennedig

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<br><br>Now I'll be clear here. ID cannot be disproven. Anywhere randomness enters the picture, such as with random genetic variations, the possibility for a master controller enters with it. You cannot tell me the Creator isn't creating by deciding those random mutations anymore than I can tell you He is. <br><br>I'm no seven-day creationist, and I don't think randomness is entirely incapable of producing diversity. I am, however, claiming that the existence of ID (or lack thereof) is a question beyond the realms of science.<br><br>

<br><br>I'm no biologist either, but it seems to me like there has to be some sort of fundamental determinism. Consider this: all sciences from math to sociology can be boiled down to increasingly complex series of equations, and it would seem to me that like any equation there will be a few fundamental answers that simply work out. Obviously there's more to it than that, but I figure that some structures should evolve multiple times, simply because they're better suited, and whatever advantages they provide will provide that advantage no matter who evolves them. That is, after all, the whole point of evolution in the first place.<br>

 

I think the assumption that you're making -- that evolution has a point, and that some structures will provide advantage no matter what-- may be dangerous. Evolution has no point, and no motive--it just happens. Sometimes I think 'natural selection' is a misleading term for the simple phenomenon of some things living and reproducing, and others not. In some instances, there may not be any advantage of some genes over others--it may just be the luck of the draw. Such would be the case with some founder effects or bottlenecking events, as someone mentioned.

 

Natural selection, where adaptive variation persists over deleterious variation, is certainly a mechanism of evolution--but not the only mechanism. To suggest that it is the only mechanism, and that it is determinant, only lends credence to the ID argument, and undercuts the subtlety and complexity of the process.

 

As Stephen Jay Gould said, if we were to replay the tape of life, I'm sure things would come out differently. If evolution were determinant, that would not be the case.

Edited by biologywatcher

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Alternatives to natural selection, The O.P.: How new species are/ can be created:

 

pwagen ....I've tried to think of something, but really can't. While my brother suggested selective selection (he explained it by having 2 banana flies and mating them until you get a fly with the traits you want), that requires an external force which controls it all. But it's not something that, to my knowledge, happens "in the wild". So if anyone can think of any such process, I'd be grateful.

 

But then again, I guess the natural in natural selection says it all...

There are at least two other known players that assist in genetic flow and species determination. The first one involves something called "epi-genetic speciation," also having other names, and the second agent is called "cross genetic flow," also having other names to it. These two are not exactly in competition with natural selection but certainly play some part in genetic flow and speciation in general but ultimately involve natural selection to continue the existence or improvements of new species. I will briefly explain the details of each:

 

Both of these processes are a type of instant speciation. There are several other known and possible agents for speciation (more speculative) that I won't discuss.

 

First concerning epi-genetic speciation: It involves external agents like radiation, many types of chemicals, whether natural or organic via food, ingested, inhaled, puncture wounds, etc., or internal errant excretion processes. All organisms have two systems concerning there genetic character. One is called its gene structure each of which contains long stands of DNA. And secondly their epi-genetic system, which determines which DNA strands of particular genes are active and which are not (turned on or off). For all organisms most DNA strands concerning potentially active strands, are inactive (turned off). Through epi-genetic changes conceivably a new species could be created by a single individual, usually a female (in plants or animals) when sex is involved. Either by radiation or by eating a foreign food/ material for instance or random processes, the ovarian DNA might be changed by foreign or internal agents in rare cases. In such cases if a change in the genes themselves (long stands of DNA where there is a change in turning DNA on or off) occur by chance, some offspring may not be able to breed with the main stock and will only be able to bread with their brothers and sisters which have the same epi-genetic characteristics. This epi-genetic change(s) may also cause an individual to look different so that in one generation speciation has occurred. It is theory in that it has never been observed in nature but it is fact in that such changes have occurred in the lab primarily through radiation. Some epi-genetic speciation is also thought to involve Lemarckism which has been discussed above.

 

The other agent of speciation is called cross genetic flow, which also concerns a one-step process of speciation. In its most common form it involves viruses or bacteria getting into the DNA of animals (or plants) from their blood stream into their ovaries of testes. Accordingly before an animal is born and during the time of their development. If an genetic invasion happens during this formative time then the ovaries or testes will have genetic variations that can be greatly replicated in the animals reproductive organs. The animals themselves most often will be normal physically but its offspring may only be fertile concerning mating with some of its brothers or sisters respectively and may not be able to reproduce with the parent stock of animals. Again in one generation a new species might be created in this way with greatly different characteristics. The new species does not have to be better adapted, it only needs to be able to eat and reproduce with its own kind and then it will survive as a new species. All of these occurrences are rare in nature but we are aware of both viral and bacterial stands of DNA in our own genetics concerning all humans. These DNA strands do not have to be active but they change the folding of our DNA which determines which DNA sequences in our genome are turned on and off -- so without at least some of them, we would not be the same.

 

The same processes described above for animals also apply to plants. There are a great many things about evolution that we still do not know or understand but you can believe that natural selection will probably never be replaced as the dominant player concerning speciation.

Edited by pantheory

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I'm glad to see this old thread of mine still alive and well. I'd like to butt in and thank everyone for their contribution. I think I'm slowly approaching some sense of understanding of the whole thing, but it's a big subject to take in! :)

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Perhaps they live on a planet which is far more abundant in vegetation or whatever. With less scarcity would likely come along less competition and more cooperation (no need to fight over food, assuming they don't eat each other). This might make natural selection play a much less vital role in their evolution perhaps?

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Natural selection is founded on the simple fact that if something is terrible at doing something, it is likely to fail. You could apply that to organisms and their ability to survive, as you do, and you could apply that to astronomical systems and their ability to maintain stability, as you also do. In fact, you can apply that very basic logic to anything and everything. In that sense, you could say everything that exists evolves.

 

It's partially why a lot of creationists are actually starting to believe in evolution and natural selection. There are large followings of Muslims and Christians who believe in theistic evolution.

Edited by Kookas

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It is amazing how these forums change their views in just a couple years. A couple of years ago people on here would have not have considered HGT to cross between prokaryotes to eukaryotes, it was believed that it was not possible but yet today it is indeed occuring. They used to say that changes in morphology was a long and gradual process but today they view that it is possible for offspring to become different from parent in one generation. Your DNA once defined you but now many other mechanisms are known to have a great effect in changing how they are expressed.

 

Expand the possibilites in science which widens the window of allowing new ideas to emerge and expand the theory of evolution to greater heights.

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Firstly, I'm by no means whatsoever a biologist, so if I make false statements or using words wrongly or whatever, feel free to correct me.

 

Having followed the debate between creationists and scientists lately (and what a circus that is), I've been reading up a little on evolution as well as stalked a bunch of channels on Youtube, discussing the matter. And so, I hope I have at least a basic understanding of evolution and natural selection. One thing I'm curious about, however, is statements such as "natural selection is our best theory for how species evolve". I have no problem with that, whatsoever, and I agree with it. But statements like that begs the question; "ARE there any other theories"?

 

I know there's intelligent design, but I mean scientific theories. Natural selection, that individuals with certain traits more adapted to survive in the area they live in have a higher chance to pass on their genes to the next generation, I believe this to be a very solid theory with enough evidence to back it up ad nauseum, and I don't think there's anyone with an education actually doubting that's how we got to where we are today, on this planet. But let's say we have an alien planet. Of course, we can't know that much about any other planet right now. But speculatively (if that's a word), can we imagine there to be another process of evolution, based on something other than natural selection?

 

I've tried to think of something, but really can't. While my brother suggested selective selection (he explained it by having 2 banana flies and mating them until you get a fly with the traits you want), that requires an external force which controls it all. But it's not something that, to my knowledge, happens "in the wild". So if anyone can think of any such process, I'd be grateful.

 

But then again, I guess the natural in natural selection says it all :)

 

If something doesn't have genes, then it probably doesn't operate based on natural selection. The only other types of life forms I could think there possibly being besides DNA are plasma based life-forms, since plasma is very easily manipulative in a magnetic field, and plasma is like 99% of the visible matter in the universe, so if there's only a tiny amount of solid liquid and gas matter and it still made life, then imagine what the chances are form a life form made out of plasma. I'm guessing that since it wouldn't reproduce in any way similar to us, it would just have to be "created", and if it dies, then that's it, plasma based life no longer exists until it pops up again.

Edited by questionposter

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