Alien lifeforms without Darwin

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Alien lifeforms without Darwin

Postby zenten » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:13 pm UTC

Ok, an idea came up on SB.

Imagine that there is a planet with totally alien lifeforms. These lifeforms reproduce, and are not immortal. Could they alter over time through some mechanism besides evolution? If so, what might it be?

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Postby MFHodge » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:31 pm UTC

I would consider "changes over time" to be the definition of evolution. Do you mean without natural selection?
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Postby zenten » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:31 pm UTC

VTHodge wrote:I would consider "changes over time" to be the definition of evolution. Do you mean without natural selection?


Yeah, sorry. Actually, is there any more to it than just the basic concept of natural selection?

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Postby McHell » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:34 pm UTC

The other half is the introduction of variation --- selection must be able to select out of some possibilities, eh.

A lot of intelligent design/ creationism trickery consists of overlooking one of the two and then concluding it's nonsense, it cannot work, so there's an external hand helping it along.

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Postby drosophila » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:01 pm UTC

This is kind of a mindbender, because it's hard for me to conceive of a situation involving living things where there is no selective pressure at all. (This would mean that any mutation no matter what it is would have NO impact on the organism's fitness.) Any variation that would develop in such a situation couldn't gain prevalence without natural selection, so the population of alien organisms wouldn't change in any directed way. However, mutation is inevitable, so the genetic diversity of the organisms would increase.

You'd get some sort of genetically weird diffuse population. It's actually kind of hard to think about. Evolution is one of the three pillars of biology (the other two are inheritance of traits and the cell theory), so having hypothetical living things without evolution is difficult.

EDIT: Spelling

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Postby zenten » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:08 pm UTC

drosophila wrote:This is kind of a mindbender, because it's hard for me to conceive of a situation involving living things where there is no selective pressure at all. (This would mean that any mutation no matter what it is would have NO impact on the organism's fitness.) Any variation that would develop in such a situation couldn't gain prevalence without natural selection, so the population of alien organisms wouldn't change in any directed way. However, mutation is inevitable, so the genetic diversity of the organisms would increase.

You'd get some sort of genetically weird diffuse population. It's actually kind of hard to think about. Evolution is one of the three pillars of biology (the other two are inheritance of traits and the cell theory), so having hypothetical living things without evolution is difficult.

EDIT: Spelling


Well, I can definitely conceive of lifeforms that do not have cells. The inheritance of traits seems to be strongly tied in however, to the point where I don't see why they would be separated from evolution.

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Postby McHell » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:24 pm UTC

The inheritance of traits is part of the `introduction of variation', it is the complement.

If there is no heritable part, you cannot have selection. But then, you need some level of heritability, otherwise a horse will give birth to a dragon, which will beget some dust, and this dust will have some indescribable blob as a child, which then fathers a bible etc etc.

You can only meaningfully speak of variation, if there is an underlying similarity, i.e. heritable character, to be varied upon.

EDIT:
EDIT: drosophila wrote:Evolution is one of the three pillars of biology (the other two are inheritance of traits and the cell theory),

Hm, I don't see how you can split evolution from inheritance. I was trying to find three alternative pillars but I'm not immediately finding a useful trifurcation. Developmental biology, cell stuff, genetics and ecology I'd want to be there but that's not neat divisions.

Edit: sorry for misquote zenten, I used the "quote" and deleted the wrong attribution.
Last edited by McHell on Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:35 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby drosophila » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:26 pm UTC

Lifeforms without cells? Hypothetical or real?

Even if you mean hypothetical, the idea of walling yourself off from the environment or walling parts of your chemistry off from other chemistry is pretty much a requirement for life. Otherwise you'd just diffuse into equilibrium.

As for separating inheritance from evolution, I agree with you. Designating these things as the three pillars is kind of arbitrary by whoever did it.

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Postby zenten » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:33 pm UTC

McHell wrote:
zenten wrote:Evolution is one of the three pillars of biology (the other two are inheritance of traits and the cell theory),

Hm, I don't see how you can split evolution from inheritance. I was trying to find three alternative pillars but I'm not immediately finding a useful trifurcation. Developmental biology, cell stuff, genetics and ecology I'd want to be there but that's not neat divisions.


I didn't write that. I was quoting someone that did.

drosophila wrote:Lifeforms without cells? Hypothetical or real?

Even if you mean hypothetical, the idea of walling yourself off from the environment or walling parts of your chemistry off from other chemistry is pretty much a requirement for life. Otherwise you'd just diffuse into equilibrium.

As for separating inheritance from evolution, I agree with you. Designating these things as the three pillars is kind of arbitrary by whoever did it.


I'm speaking hypothetically, although I thought there were very simple organisms without cells, or at least without any sort of cellular membrane.

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Postby drosophila » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:57 am UTC

Not that I know of. I mean, there are viruses, but they require a cell if they actually want to DO anything. Besides, it's debatable as to whether viruses are even actually alive.

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Postby zenten » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:16 am UTC

drosophila wrote:Not that I know of. I mean, there are viruses, but they require a cell if they actually want to DO anything. Besides, it's debatable as to whether viruses are even actually alive.


What about Syncytium? It's sort of what I'm talking about, kind of.

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Postby Tchebu » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:24 am UTC

These lifeforms reproduce, and are not immortal


If they reproduce they're automatically subject to Darwin's evolution, so you can't have life forms WITHOUT Darwin. As soon as you have replicators that don't make EXACTLY identical copies of themselves, eevn if they are immortal, the population will eventually be taken over by descendants of those variations that are better at replicating. Without death there will always remain the "less efficient" replicators, but their portion of the population will assymptotically approach zero.

However it is possible that there are other mechanisms that work alongside Darwin's natural selection... but for their effects to be noticeable, this mechanism has to be at least as strong as Darwin's evolution. I'm not creative enough to come up with such a mechanism though...

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Postby drosophila » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:28 am UTC

Well, a syncytium is still a cell, it has a cell membrane and everything, it's just that the membrane encloses multiple nuclei. It's still closed off from the outside world. Furthermore, syncytia (plural? I have no clue) have membrane-bound organelles inside them and everything.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's hard to come up with a hypothetical living thing that doesn't respond to selection pressure, doesn't pass on it's own genetic code, or doesn't in some way protect its chemistry from the outside world. I guess that's why your original thought experiment was so fun to think about.

Ironically, the classic example of a syncytium is the embryo of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster....

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Postby zenten » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:49 am UTC

Tchebu wrote:However it is possible that there are other mechanisms that work alongside Darwin's natural selection... but for their effects to be noticeable, this mechanism has to be at least as strong as Darwin's evolution. I'm not creative enough to come up with such a mechanism though...


Intentional selective breeding.

drosophila wrote:
Ironically, the classic example of a syncytium is the embryo of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster....


I'm sorry, I don't get it.

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Postby drosophila » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:58 am UTC

zenten wrote:
Tchebu wrote:However it is possible that there are other mechanisms that work alongside Darwin's natural selection... but for their effects to be noticeable, this mechanism has to be at least as strong as Darwin's evolution. I'm not creative enough to come up with such a mechanism though...


Intentional selective breeding.

drosophila wrote:
Ironically, the classic example of a syncytium is the embryo of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster....


I'm sorry, I don't get it.


Yeah, but selective breeding is so very much like Natural Selection. I think Tchebu is looking for something completely different. Something which I am also at a loss to come up with.

As for the irony, it's not actually funny or anything, it's just my forum name is drosophila too...

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Re: Alien lifeforms without Darwin

Postby Xanthir » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:02 am UTC

zenten wrote:Ok, an idea came up on SB.

Imagine that there is a planet with totally alien lifeforms. These lifeforms reproduce, and are not immortal. Could they alter over time through some mechanism besides evolution? If so, what might it be?

Evolution is a name given to a very general process. Biologists study the evolution of life on earth, but other things which can look quite different still fall under the title of 'evolution'.

The heart of it is just variation + selection. Somehow the organisms have to vary, and then the environment selects those who are better suited for it.

Now, on earth the variation comes about with reproduction. The baby gets a uniquely mutated genetic code separate from the parent (or parents, if it's a sexual species). It's likely that your aliens would do something similar, because that's simply the best time to do some recombination.

However, there are a few ways you could change it up so as to create a very different-looking evolution. For one, you could have all the recombination occur within the mature beings, and have babies be exact clones. This isn't likely to occur, because a lot of recomb is bad and kills the host (thus all the natural miscarriages that happen in our world). Basically, everything would have cancer automatically. As well, most of the effects of genetic changes occur during development, so the mature individuals might not even feel a bad recomb (except that they might get a particularly bad rash of cancer?). But the clone babies would die, of course.

For another, if you had immortal individuals, you could have an 'evolution organ' that controls the genome of the individual (it can force other cells to accept a new genetic code). If they are well-fed and happy and such, the organ is pretty quiescent - they're doing things right. But if they're stressed/hungry/damaged/whatever, the organ goes into overdrive and starts mutating them to try and find a better solution.

I doubt that either of these would really exist in real life, but they're easy enough to implement in code. That answer your question?

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Postby Zake » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:57 am UTC

Greetings, folks. Nice forum you have here.

Well, it may be that "evolution" is an essential element of what we would consider life, just by definition (and/or intuition.) Given populations of organisms and reproduction of these organisms, evolution seems to be inherent; some degree of mutation must happen simply due to physics, as I understand it, and even without an external force of natural selection the environment would be dominated by those organisms which lived longer and were better at replicating.

On the other hand, now that I've listed two basic elements of life which lead to evolution (populations, reproduction), one can imagine situations where they wouldn't apply- though they sort of stretch the imagination:

- For the first, imagine an alien environment in which exists only one lone organism, which does not reproduce (goodness knows where it came from.) It may mutate within itself (may even have the capacity to survive harmful mutations) somehow, but even this wouldn't constitute "evolution" as we define the term. Problem with the scenario, as mentioned, is of course how such an organism would come to exist- but its a thought experiment.

- For the second, imagine an alien environment in which multiple organisms exist, but which also don't reproduce- instead, they are all produced by some other source, perhaps a bizarrely fecund primordial ooze or some pre-existent "mother organism." Perhaps this source would produce a diverse array of organisms, or even "learn" (figuratively or actually) how to produce progressively more complex and successful organisms... but this still wouldn't constitute evolution as we generally consider the term.

Both of these would be unlikely to actually happen, obviously, to say the least- which is the other reason why evolution is essentially inherent in life; it produces life.

Incidentally, to the initial question in the thread; yes, I suppose, as I mentioned in thought-experiment-two, with the "mother organism" learning how to make more and more sophisticated progeny. But thats intelligent design, so perhaps it shouldn't count :roll: .

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Postby Gelsamel » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:50 am UTC

Without any type of selection evolution is effectively blind. It is possible that that some particular people/families may speciate but probably extremely unlikely.
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Postby po2141 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:55 am UTC

I have a proposal.

Life without natural selection.

A species where each creature (at this point sexes would complicate my idea, but I think would fit somewhere) immediately produces 1 or 2 offspring upon death. Variation is introduced through concious control, some process of thought throughout their lifespan has an effect on the genome of the final offspring.

An un-fit creature, with a short lifespan, would reproduce more often, allowing for more chances for the un-fit creature to become fit. A creature fit enough to live a long time may choose not to alter the genome of the offspring at all.

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Postby evilbeanfiend » Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:22 am UTC

surely if you have no natural selection then all creature are, by definition, equally fit. i also have trouble with the idea that a conscious selection is not, somehow, a natural selection, it's certainly still a selection so id say the process is still evolution.
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Postby Xanthir » Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:41 am UTC

Conscious selection is also known as artificial selection. We practice it every day with our pets and our food animals. It operates on the same principles as anything else, it's just that *we* set the fitness criterion (such as, "maximally delicious") rather than having it just be, "survive and multiply the best".

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Postby Bondolon » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:08 am UTC

Presume, first, that a population is telepsychic (e.g. that it can communicate mentally, a form of telekinesis). If said population were, then, able to actually consciously alter its transmitted genomes (again, a loose proposition, since it could possibly not even have DNA-based genomes, but let's assume it does, for thought experiment purposes), said population would control whether or not it was fit, as such a determination would be stupid v. smart, rather than fit vs. unfit. Any population able to do this would then be able to purposefully change its offspring, instead of randomly. Though this would, in a very abstract definition, be natural selection, it would ignore one of the fundamental principles, which is that the mutations that take place are random and that, over time, said mutations either "prove" or "disprove" their usefulness. Since this would be, again, purposeful, the current model of evolution would only work loosely, since purpose doesn't really factor in. In a sense, said hypothetical specie would ACTUALLY evolve (as in, get "better") instead of randomly changing with questionable results. Were this the way that any Earth species evolved, the theory of evolution would be thrown into complete question, though some of the basic tenets (selection, propagation) would remain.

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Postby po2141 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:45 am UTC

It would appear that evolution may be included within the definition of life itself. If it dosn't evolve, it's not alive.

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Postby Bondolon » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:46 am UTC

po2141 wrote:It would appear that evolution may be included within the definition of life itself. If it dosn't evolve, it's not alive.


That's fairly unjustified, and highly contextual. I'm fairly unconvinced, as I'm sure many other likely will be.

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Postby hermaj » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:10 pm UTC

Tell that to a paramecium, hey.

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Postby po2141 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:43 pm UTC

I'm not saying I'm convinced either, I'm just putting forward the idea.

But name a form of life that dosn't evolve? This whole forum seems to be looking for one, but all come down to some sort of selection and variation, which could easily be termed "evolution".

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Postby McHell » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:06 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:artificial selection. We practice it every day with our pets and our food animals. It operates on the same principles as anything else, it's just that *we* set the fitness criterion (such as, "maximally delicious")


It's not either/or, it's and. The deaf five-legged dog race the mad breeder prefers will still die out if the mutation also means has no stomach.
What I mean is that you now have `natural selection' by an unnatural world/hand, but still gravity pushes you down and a lot of practical, physiological boundary conditions still hold. And you want a good immune system.

BTW there are big problems with intuitive versions of what `fitness' means. It is meaningless if it is an attribute of an individual or type; it needs a context (`environment') in which to benchmark it. Driving on the left hand side of the road is pretty much lethal in continental europe, but take that tunnel over to the UK and it's pretty much a necessity suddenly --- thus the `drive left' strategy is not inherently fit or not. It needs an environment specified. Thus the "short life=unfit" statement in [EDIT] one of the preceding [/edit] posts was simply wrong.

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Postby Quantum Potatoid » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:27 pm UTC

We have to remember all evolution really is, is a change in a population's distribution of alleles.
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Postby Bondolon » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:29 pm UTC

po2141 wrote:I'm not saying I'm convinced either, I'm just putting forward the idea.

But name a form of life that dosn't evolve? This whole forum seems to be looking for one, but all come down to some sort of selection and variation, which could easily be termed "evolution".


bondolon wrote:Presume, first, that a population is telepsychic (e.g. that it can communicate mentally, a form of telekinesis). If said population were, then, able to actually consciously alter its transmitted genomes (again, a loose proposition, since it could possibly not even have DNA-based genomes, but let's assume it does, for thought experiment purposes), said population would control whether or not it was fit, as such a determination would be stupid v. smart, rather than fit vs. unfit. Any population able to do this would then be able to purposefully change its offspring, instead of randomly. Though this would, in a very abstract definition, be natural selection, it would ignore one of the fundamental principles, which is that the mutations that take place are random and that, over time, said mutations either "prove" or "disprove" their usefulness. Since this would be, again, purposeful, the current model of evolution would only work loosely, since purpose doesn't really factor in. In a sense, said hypothetical specie would ACTUALLY evolve (as in, get "better") instead of randomly changing with questionable results. Were this the way that any Earth species evolved, the theory of evolution would be thrown into complete question, though some of the basic tenets (selection, propagation) would remain.


I posted this one just four posts up from yours. This one uses paranatural selection, which means it's not darwinian evolution. It's still evolution, if by evolution you mean "change over time", but the thread is specifically about darwinian evolution. Also, that opens up another possibility. What about an organism that doesn't change over time? From its form at neogenesis, it has remained the same exact organism for as long as it exists, it has no predators, and no significant dangers.

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Postby drosophila » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:55 pm UTC

Bondolon wrote:Also, that opens up another possibility. What about an organism that doesn't change over time? From its form at neogenesis, it has remained the same exact organism for as long as it exists, it has no predators, and no significant dangers.


Are you saying that it's not subject to evolution? I would suggest that this organism, despite the fact that it does not change, is still subject to Darwinian evolution. That's because mutation is inevitable. No organism has perfect replication (thankfully). Thus, in order to stay the same generation after generation, the specie must be responding to some sort of selective pressure , even if it's not from a predator or danger (sexual maybe), that keeps it exactly in this form. This static phenotype can only result if every variation that arises is immediately selected against.

Now, a creature with an infallible system of replication would be a different story, but I think that we can agree that infallibility is not consistent with biological life.

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Postby iop » Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:02 pm UTC

For Darwinian evolution, you need
- living organisms, that
- reproduce, passing
- random mutations to their offspring, in an environment with
- limited resources, so that there will be competition between organisms, i.e.
- selection pressure

You thus get non-Darwinian evolution, if there are no living organisms (say, robots, that just maintain themselves), no reproduction (see previous posts), non-random mutations (see previous posts, also: Lamarckism), unlimited resources (very unlikely to ever come up in this universe b/c of finite space), and no selection pressure (in case of a lone organism in an unchanging environment).

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Postby McHell » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:15 pm UTC

Iop, as pointed out before, you also need something heritable. I know it's tacitly there, otherwise you cannot vary/mutate, etc, but you have to list it or you get tangled thoughts as happened higher up.

Also realize there's sometimes a lot of variation around without so much mutation, because selection pressure is low near an optimum (as everybody is quite optimal, little drawback/advantage to changes): you need strong selection to keep everything on the straight and narrow.
If the environment (climate change, yay!) then changes a bit, it can very quickly `evolve' your species by selecting out of the standing variation [in unnatural selection: so it can be quick to select from a general `housedog/mutt' into several races/breeds, or D. melanogaster wildtype into all kinds of lines], then you switch to the generally slower process of mutation-limited evolution [to `purify' your breed or whatever .. for Drosophila time is of course very fast].

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Postby Zake » Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:38 am UTC

Quantum Potatoid wrote:We have to remember all evolution really is, is a change in a population's distribution of alleles.


Not true; evolution includes mutations, which can form new genes and alleles.

In response to iop, also; even with unlimited resources, evolution (of sorts) would occur. Imagine organisms made of pure space-time replicating in a universe so large no two will ever meet; even though theres no competition between organisms, and thus all basically viable organisms will survive and reproduce as they are capable, those more capable of reproduction will reproduce more. More fit organisms will thus still eventually dominate the population, even though less fit ones aren't "pruned off"; an ecologist in this universe would be much more likely to encounter fit organisms than unfit ones.

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Postby shinybaby » Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:47 am UTC

just to throw another question into the fray:

could epigenetics come into play here? say, if you have an organism capable of perfect replication (no underlying changes to its DNA), could the potential for transgenerational inheritance of cells that differentiate *without* that DNA change constitute evolution?

caveat: i'm an enviro-chem girl, so take my questions/input into evolution with as much salt as necessary!! :)
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Postby Xanthir » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:34 am UTC

Not true; evolution includes mutations, which can form new genes and alleles.

A change from zero to a non-zero quantity (or the reverse) is certainly a change in the allele distribution.

could epigenetics come into play here? say, if you have an organism capable of perfect replication (no underlying changes to its DNA), could the potential for transgenerational inheritance of cells that differentiate *without* that DNA change constitute evolution?

Yep, that's still evolution. You're essentially just expanding the definition of what the 'genetic code' is. If something determines how you develop, it's part of the code.

The issue, of course, is that epigenetics can change during your lifetime, and even with your diet! That makes it different from naive darwinian evolution.

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Postby McHell » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:07 am UTC

Indeed the epigenetics is part of it, hence I keep saying "something heritable". Part genome (which is hypothetically 100% correctly inheritable) part other stuff (say methylation --- identical twins are nearly the same at birth, but over the years that methylation keeps increasing their difference in a demonstrable way: totally different genes `turned on/off' after a while).

People are too much stuck in a populist, dawkinsian myth: DNA=sourcecode.

EDIT: what I meant, enviro-girl, was that it's not perfect replication if the genome's the same but the thing is different.

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Postby shinybaby » Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:14 am UTC

McHell wrote:Indeed the epigenetics is part of it, hence I keep saying "something heritable". Part genome (which is hypothetically 100% correctly inheritable) part other stuff (say methylation --- identical twins are nearly the same at birth, but over the years that methylation keeps increasing their difference in a demonstrable way: totally different genes `turned on/off' after a while).

People are too much stuck in a populist, dawkinsian myth: DNA=sourcecode.

EDIT: what I meant, enviro-girl, was that it's not perfect replication if the genome's the same but the thing is different.


good point! i was being very narrow in my definition of 'perfect replication' so as to pose the question. someone had mentioned in an earlier post the concept of an unchanging organism (my impression being both within its lifetime and self-replicating) and i wanted to hear the evolutionarily-educated masses discuss epigenetics in that context... i think it's a fascinating topic but i don't know enough about it!

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Postby Ptera » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:57 pm UTC

drosophila wrote:Now, a creature with an infallible system of replication would be a different story, but I think that we can agree that infallibility is not consistent with biological life.



The cool thing about this idea is that 1) an infallible replication system would be so energy intense, the organism would soon starve (if food is finite), and 2) in any changing environment, infallibility is selected against. In fact, E. coli one of the superstars of the bacterial world, has a higher mutation rate than anyone realized until just recently:
http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070806/full/070806-12.html

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Postby Quantumsingularity_89 » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:00 pm UTC

I'd like to introduce a parallel from a computer game, Creatures that simulates artificial life in a complex environment.
Through the years one of the favorite experiments was to leave the "Norns" alone to breed for themselves, the of the 2D environment provides relatively infinite space, and the genetic code lets the creatures become immune to all toxins and need no food at all. the final result was creatures that aged to sexual maturity a few seconds after being born, who's only drive was the sexual, an who, to put it plainly, spent it's life producing eggs.(and was in every sense immortal, excepting death by piranhas/airlock)((and lagged your computer to death))

so, the removing of natural selection from an already existing species favors those creatures who can reproduce more rapidly. This makes sense.

to throw in an interesting extra, as the game does not cover sexual attraction: Lorenz(probably) mentioned the deleterious effect that internal competition can have on a poplation, creating birds with huge decorative tails to appeal to possible partners, that however seriously impede their flight. This is another effect of lack of evolutionary pressure on an existing population.

Let's turn to a yet evolving "primordial sludge" situation. and let's assume the first "pressure", the need for food, does not, for whatever reason, influence the population. no carnivores evolve. let's also assume there are no climatic changes or catastrophes to which our evolving particles had to adapt. Between our little bubbles of self replicating material (assuming variation, thus little changes once in a while every new generation) the only numerical superiority is due to replication speed. I think any one celled organism can replicate faster the simpler it is. if the space at the disposition of our little Bubbles was infinite, I see the result as a exponentially expanding (that sounds nice) shapeless blob of foam.
I'd like though to imagine this blob on the surface of a planet, coming to envelop it until the space started to get scarce. Possibly one Bubble species would than win over the others, given there are no different conditions or "niches" that would each give advantage to a different variation.
Our planet is now covered with lots of identical bubbles, that replicate only when their neighbors die. It's a stable situation. it's now that a different sort of push might influence our Living Ball of Sludge. is it not true that life opposes entropy? I wonder if patterns might begin to emerge, perhaps at first some slow currents, then more complex formations. I wonder if the Sludge might not become a single organism, slow, and complex. I wonder, might it even begin to THINK?

p.s. have you ever read Solaris?

(I apologize for the long and probably confused post, I justify myself because English is not my first language, and I'm not completely sane. thankyou.)


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