Evolution or De-evolution?
Tagged: Evolution direction
October 18, 2011 at 4:53 am #15551
I would like to start by clarifying the terminology for this post so that everyone is on the same page…
1. Molecular evolution – refers to molecular changes over time (ex. Genetic mutations, lateral gene transfer, etc.) that have been proven to be able to affect phenotype changes (ex. Diseases, deformities, trait variations, etc.)
2. Natural selection – refers to survivor of the fittest phenomenon, a negative selection process that eliminates/limits reproduction of the “unfit” individuals.
3. Positive selection – a process of stimulating reproduction of individuals with particular trait over others.
What I would like to discuss is the idea of evolution as it commonly refers to evolution of human kind (along with other species). Evolution as such is used to describe the process of change from simple to more complex organisms. Evolution of all life forms from bacteria as represented by the phylogenic tree of life.
I, however, have a fundamental problem with this idea. This theory at its core has an implied assumption that was (to my knowledge) ever discussed. The assumption is that we (and any other species of today) are MORE advanced than our predecessors. And I don’t believe that that is the case.
First fact that points toward the idea of our superiority is that our brain is larger than that of our ancestors. However, we should know by now that it’s not quantity but quality that matters. Now that larger than normal brains have been linked to autism, I think it’s time to rethink this conclusion. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16151044).
My second problem is the idea of genome duplication. At first the genome duplication was said to be the driving force of evolution by providing the genetic material for mutations leading to additional function development. Now they are saying that idea could not be substantiated and opted to conclude that genome duplication prevented extinction (http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/2 … l.pdf+html). That is actually more consistent with the observed genome deterioration over time (take Y chromosome as an example). But does it mean that new polyploid species are superior when compared to their predecessors PRIOR to genome deterioration over time??? OR was it more like recouping the original vigor???
Lastly, selective breeding and domestication of animals for a single trait via positive selection process can bring about variety of other changes by allowing other recessive traits (traits that natural selection process would have eliminated). Thus, we, humans, are primarily responsible for variation in domestic animals and not nature.(https://johnwade.ca/attachments/article … mstudy.pdf). This raises the question of how can we eliminate evidence of evolution that results of our efforts from natural changes in plants and animals on this planet?
So, evolution or de-evolution? Are we moving toward perfection or away from it?
What do you think?
October 18, 2011 at 11:18 am #106995
I think humans are not unnatural.
October 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm #106996quote Cat:
Who said that it’s the other way?
October 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm #107003quote JackBean:
People who use "evolution" of domestic animals to ascribe positive selection to nature (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/20).
I think when we are using positive selection for one trait other traits related to survival start deteriorating quickly. For example, when antibiotic resistant transgenic plants grow in absence of antibiotic, they lose function of antibiotic resistant genes on a few generations (http://www.gmo-safety.eu/database/884.h … nisms.html). If unneeded, it’s discarded. And so are survival related traits of domesticated animals…
October 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm #107005quote :
..but hasn’t …
October 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm #107007
It hasn’t because we prevented it from doing so. I don’t think that many domestic dog or cat breeds would be able to survive long in abscence of humans…
But getting back to my original question:quote Cat:
October 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm #107008quote Cat:
1/ If it was a hidden recessive ( as seemed to be the implication ) which was exposed through domestication and breeding, then it was there, Nature had not eliminated it – you just didn’t ever get to see it.
2/ Black fur in wolves is thought to be a trait from domesticated dog.
October 18, 2011 at 11:46 pm #107014
1. Based on the evidence available and until proven otherwise, I would say that associated recessive phenotypes are NOT due to variety of genetic changes. You have to remember that there is no “aggression gene”. So far, only mutations in the serotonin 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptor genes were implicated in aggressive behavior (http://jhered.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/3/185.full). Considering that receptor is part of the cascade signaling mechanism there is good possibility of recessive allele activating/deactivating a totally different subset of downstream genes that would otherwise. If the other recessive phenotypes that emerged (coat color, tail shape, etc.) were due to direct genetic differences, you would expect to see them crop up in the aggressive population as well, but they don’t… (http://www.terrierman.com/russianfoxfarmstudy.pdf)
2. Based on this study (above) I would conclude three things:
a) Tame (along with other phenotypes) is recessive
b) Aggressive is incomplete dominant
c) Heterozygous is preferable in nature as the middle ground
3. I wonder if this is actually a nature’s way to prevent tame phenotype. Would those tame individuals exhibiting new coat colors, etc. be shunned by their wild type counterparts as ugly ducklings???
October 18, 2011 at 11:56 pm #107015quote Cat:
1/ My replyquote :
was a reply to what you were sayingquote :
which seemed to be indicating that recessive traits are just showing up with domestication as they are not eliminated as would be in nature. So I replied that they actually had not been eliminated, if it was that they were there, only hidden until domestication allowed them to be found by humans.
2/ I disagree with your assessment in the post above, as well. When they selected for tameness , they selected for lower stress hormone levels, when under stress.
Whatever controls development of the animal that translates into lower adrenaline levels when stressed, also translates into developmental shifts so that patterns and many other things are affected. Just some change in timing, is enough to make major changes in appearance or behaviour.
October 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm #107035quote :
Actually we have a misunderstanding. You actually agree with my assessment that genes are eliminated overtime NOT created…
When I talk about “traits”, I mean “hereditary characteristics” present in the population. For example coat colors in tame animals do not appear in the wild type population, so they are new. However, the GENES responsible for new traits ARE there. If I had to explain this scenario, I would say that those genes (let’s call them reserve genes) are being actively suppressed in wild type population by epigenetic mechanism (which is a wild type hereditary characteristic). Hypothetically, the loss of key genes responsible for significant survival characteristic triggers new hereditary characteristic – the loss of suppression of the reserve genes to increase variety of traits to insure survival of the species. If one of those genes was accidently activated out of turn, the individual would probably be selected against by nature (there is no knowing for sure of cause)…quote :
I doesn’t really matter what you select for or the exact mechanism of the process. But it stands to reason that there is a large reserve of unused genetic information…
October 20, 2011 at 1:55 am #107038quote Cat:
No, I do not say genes are not created.quote :
NO, it doesn’t take all that much to do this kind of major effect. Just a shift in timing during development can do all this.quote :
It may not take much or even any of unused genetic information, to make all those changes.
October 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm #107062
Please, elaborate. I would like to hear your detailed explanation of the events (as opposed to just few sentences of general ideas). Keep in mind that possibility of “developmental shifts” and “shift in timing” are genetically predetermined.
Also, I would like a possible explanation of the fact that “in 40 years, no offspring of an extraseasonal mating has survived to adulthood” (http://www.terrierman.com/russianfoxfarmstudy.pdf). Could you offer one?
October 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm #107066quote Cat:
That’s of course, possible and does occur…but is it necessarily so ? I don’t think you’ve shown that to be true.quote :
Sure. Some of what is needed to have 2 good cycles per year is not there yet. One hormone not at the right level, could do that.
October 21, 2011 at 11:34 pm #107102
Could you, please, elaborate???
October 22, 2011 at 5:23 am #107109
Genetically PRE-determined shifts in timing would be like with different kinds of zebra…different striping patterns emerge.
…but are all shifts in development genetically predetermined ?
Apparently not. Some are environmentally determined.
October 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm #107118
Perhaps a help to understanding how this 2 estrus cycles per year instead of one…could occur.
Suppose there are a bunch of kinds of organisms in an environment where a drought is occurring.
Suppose the genes that do something in kidney cells do something different in reproductive organ cells ( e.g. wrt to estrus )
Suppose dehydration triggers a "signal", that to kidney cells makes them respond with a change. The signal also goes to other organs including reproductive organ cells – and they respond in a different way ( because they are different kinds of cells ).
Suppose a good strategy for reproduction is to breed right after the dry season ends and the rains begin…
Some organisms will end up in a situation where it APPEARS that they time their egg-laying perfectly for the wet season…but they are actually responding to the "dehydration" signal.
A good strategy is to lay eggs or encapsulate, as drought kills the population off.
So having these genetic "means and methods" of accomplishing an "end", built in…is one thing.
The thing which triggers it, which makes it happen… can be environmental ( dehydration ).
It needn’t take a change in genetics to change the cycles a bit.
October 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm #107169
I wasn’t asking how to regulate reproduction to just once a year. Vernalization is the greatest example of such mechanism. I was asking why “out of season” offspring die…
October 24, 2011 at 5:46 am #107205
because they evolved to survive particular season and if they are born into other season, it’s not good for them?
October 24, 2011 at 5:50 am #107206
Somewhere, probably in other thread, you wrote that evolution has no direction (and I agree), so how can you askquote Cat:
? If evolution has no direction, there’s nothing like de-evolution
October 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm #107233
It might help if the cause of death was known.
If it’s something like a genetic incompatibility within the group for extra-seasonal reproduction, I’d suspect that it would be in one or two forms; every individual having a weakness in varying amounts, but all so far have been under the threshold for living…or that the weakness is in some individuals only ( the ones being bred all show it so far ).
By these two ways, in time some living pups might be produced ..when some pups are above the threshold, or when parents that have more compatible genetics are found to breed successfully.
If one or more extra- seasonal pups ever do survive, they probably will have systems more or more likely to be compatible with producing extra-seasonal pups.
If a pair of parents is found that can produce extra seasonal pups, problem ( for farmer-breeders) is solved that way.
October 24, 2011 at 6:29 pm #107244quote JackBean:
But in domestic conditions there is no "season", so why do they still die?
October 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm #107246quote JackBean:
Good point. Not very accurate on my part. What I meant here is popular view of evolution = from simple single cell to complex multicellular organism, from bacteria to human if you will. De-evolution is just an antonym …
Force of evolution is blind just as you said. Here, however, I was trying to judge the outcome of our evolution…
October 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm #107251
like humans evolving into bacteria? 😆
I guess I understand your point 🙂
October 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm #107327quote Crucible:
Crucible, you are making everything too complicated with vague ideas and slippery explanations. I had to read your post several times to be able to understand what you were saying. Please, make sure to present your future ideas more clearly.
The easiest way to address the problem is decide how it could be done. In my opinion, the answer is in epigenetics. When ovulation takes place out of cycle, an assortment of lethal genes are active; when ovulation takes place on time, those genes are epigenetically silenced. Depending on how far from normal cycle ovulation takes place; ultimate effect will vary from miscarriage to death at some point after birth to (possibly in the future) progeny able to reach adulthood but suffering from infertility.
As I said before, I imagine the mechanism is very similar to that of vernalization…
October 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm #107422wpseofriendlyParticipantquote Crucible:
Humans are not unnatural, they live in an unnatural way.
November 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm #107766
Indeed, why should we believe the dogma that life is improved by 3.5 billion years of "evolution of the primary replicators", and just now miracle happened – there was a homo sapiens-sapiens-…etc?! This is obviously a – a religion. A variety of creationism!
Even now live on the ocean floor giant protozoa that leave the same traces as their ancestors did in the Wende.
http://translate.google.com/translate?h … izmov.html
But it is at the bottom of the ocean where no light, because they seem to have no vision. But the vision has a different protozoa – Euglena!
http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos- … 6995_n.jpg
So, at the beginning of Vendian to live like, even larger protozoa with developed intracellular eye where the lens was a vacuole, may have had the iris, akomodation…, and, of course, was the visual analyzer of information! Joining together in multi-cellular "firm", the protozoa did not invent the eye, they just built in a large observatory under a known sample.
http://richarddawkins.net/articles/6433 … ge=2#page5
September 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm #112274quote Cat:
Any new thoughts on the subject?
September 19, 2012 at 5:19 am #112394
With regards to evolution, I think that terms like "perfection," "advanced," "primitive," and "superior" are meaningless.
You don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than your slowest friend.
September 26, 2012 at 11:50 am #112465
September 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm #112495quote Luxorien:
I can use other terms if you like… Let me rephrase my question:
Are we more genetically robust, more mentally agile, better adapted to environment, more physiologically efficient than our ancestors?
October 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm #112561
You can change the wording, but you are still asking if humans now are "better" in some fashion. The answer is the same: it depends. Everything is relative.
October 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm #112565quote Luxorien:
I am not asking for definitive answer. I am asking for opinions/arguments.
For example, we are less adapted to our environment than our ancestors because if you were to take away a single thing, like electricity, I would estimate at least half of the human population of earth would die within 6 month or so…
October 6, 2012 at 1:43 am #112572DarbyParticipant
But electricity is part of our environment…
October 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm #112577quote Darby:
Yes, an artificial part.
October 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm #112599jinx25Participant
Cool post. I see this message board is ok with questioning dogma. Cool. John Sanford has a talk on youtube where he modeled mutation rate and shows mankind is DECAYING. It is based off evolutionary population geneticists analysis, their papers can be found on google. He has a good book also ‘Genetic entropy and the mystery of the genome’.
October 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm #112637quote Cat:
And if you take shell off the crab he will die. If will you take off the horns of a deer, it would die. If you took away claws from lion he would die in a week. Even humans without electricity would survive longer. That’s just how we evolved. It is part of our environment just as are buildings part of beavers life. And you cannot say they are natural.
October 9, 2012 at 12:14 am #112646quote JackBean:
Shell of the crab is PART of the crab. Same as horns, claws, ect. are parts of other animals. Can you take away part of environment and make them die? Of course you can. My point is our environment is essentially artificial. We are too dependent on it by now to be capable of easy transition into natural environment should something happen to our artificial one.
October 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm #112710
"Man is a singular creature. He has a set of gifts which make him unique among the animals: so that, unlike them, he is not a figure in the landscape – he is a shaper of the landscape."
-Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man
October 16, 2012 at 6:43 am #112712
So would do the beavers. And nobody wants to force beavers to leave their buildings, because they are part of nature. So what’s your point?
November 20, 2012 at 2:03 am #113009
My point is that Molecular Evolution (proven part) = genetic deterioration over time. Therefore, extrapolating that to organisms should mean starting with nearly immortal and highly adaptable (=more genetically robust) organisms and ending with organism of a relatively short lifespan with highly limited ability to adapt. I am talking about humans and our evolution.
November 21, 2012 at 10:03 am #113022
This report, which I did on the IV INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE "ideological basis and scientific evidence for intelligent design in the genesis of life and the universe"
Life: the active situational model on the cell membrane, equipped with a polypeptide-nucleic technology
(https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … =1&theater – ) 🙂
December 1, 2012 at 1:20 am #113146
Whatever this is, your link does not work.
December 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm #113184
Sorry, this pictures on Facebook, must register to see them.
December 26, 2012 at 10:13 am #113301
This presentation is already visible.
Happy New Year!
July 8, 2013 at 8:48 pm #114061quote Cat:
Any new thoughts anyone?
July 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm #114107RabbitPhilosopherParticipantquote Cat:
Evolution is not teleological.
August 14, 2013 at 11:42 am #114185
The theory of evolution, as we currently understand it, is the development of the primary replicator in the primordial soup in a very short period of time since the initial cooling of the ocean (less than 4 billion years ago) until which date back to the most ancient remains of bacteria (about 3, 5 billion years ago) powerful, incredibly efficient Polypeptide-Nucleniic technology in that huge technological database – genes on DNA carrier through RNA input-output device is implemented in a polypeptide (protein) interface. Later, at the same time or in the process system appeared and user-developer – the consciousness that, in accordance with the idea of evolution gradually evolved to Homo Sapiens and continues to evolve to Homo Super Sapiens, which according to its hypothetical capabilities equivalent to GOD. thus, we have a typical religion. Scientific alternative – the theory of macro-de-evolution: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … =1&theater
September 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm #114305RabbitPhilosopherParticipantquote LeoPol:
Your conclusion that biological evolution (which you didn’t quite properly explain) leads to a "typical religion" is a non sequitur. What would follow at best is a finite quasi-theism (it doesn’t) and even if it did lead to classical theism it still wouldn’t follow it’s a religion.
September 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm #114321animartcoParticipantquote Cat:
Cat, I can’t think of any evidence that suggests that survival traits are lost in genes. In the case you mention of plants bred to be resistant, their reversal to an older type in the absence of the threat is a simple reversion to a ‘setting’ which is quite recent. If we carried antibodies to every disease that has ever existed we wouldn’t have room for our blood to function properly. So the genes only pass a trait on for a few generations if it has no current survival value.
As to the behaviour of domestic animals that is nurture not nature. We have bred traits into domestic animals which make them less likely to survive in the wild, things like loss of cryptic colouration, and shortening of the skeleton, and it has been proven that in feral populations these traits quickly disappear due to natural selection, but there is no evidence that there is a permanent deterioration in behaviour once the necessary survival skills have been relearned. There is sometimes alteration in behaviour, but behaviour is altering all the time in wild populations too.
September 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm #114374
Animartco, in part you are right. However, no amount of learned survival skills would help Teacup Chiwawa survive in absence of humans. Also, when you say that traits of domestic animals that disappear in wild population, they disappear due to infusion of genes from interbreeding with other wild populations. Thus, the "feral" population is not genetically the same as domestic.
Besides, you cannot judge the wild dog survival skills as long as there is a constant source of food – human trash. They do not need to hunt the prey to survive. So, your guess is as good as mine how many of them will survive if they have to compete with wolves for the rabbits…
February 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm #115041
February 19, 2014 at 10:18 am #115065
So now mathematicians are bigger experts on evolution than biologists are?
I really don’t think he presented anything new (I haven’t watched the video, but I guess it’s about the same he wrote, why would he put it there otherwise, right?).
Of course the fossils records do not contain the missing links. Because simply whenever we discover something new, some so-far-missing link, it becomes new species and creates two new missing links. The amount of fossils is limited, thus we cannot expect to detect all species that ever lived on the planet.
As of the useless increments, I’d suggest to watch this video:
Further, you should study the frozen evolution, if you have problem with that.
Living organisms always break the second thermodynamic law! What is the point anyway? That we were created because otherwise the second thermodynamics law would not work?
February 21, 2014 at 1:47 am #115071
I am a molecular biologist. I am not a creationist. I have a problem with "evolution" from single cell microbe to multicellular organism for several reasons:
1. First there is no direct experimental molecular evidence of gene gain in bacteria.
2. From biochemical standpoint, survival of the species is better optimized in bacteria. Being multicellular is an evolutionary disadvantage when it comes to survival.
3. Most archeological "knowledge" related to evolution is based on opinions and interpretations of incomplete and partially calculated data. Thus, the data is only as good as the algorithms used by the program and its creator…
I am not here to promote any defined alternative theory. I just want others to THINK about the flaws of the current one.
April 25, 2020 at 3:58 pm #117036
Consider the current COVID-19 pandemic from the evolutionary perspective:
1. Are viruses natures tool of “culling the herd” process of natural selection?
2. How many humans are likely to agree to go through the process of natural selection and reject medication?
3. Are we letting our genetic code degenerate using health interventions designed to keep afflicted from dying and allowing them to reproduce?
In my opinion, none of us will reject the COVID-19 treatment. Thus we opt out of natural selection as humans.
June 19, 2021 at 8:25 pm #118230bretodsaParticipant
I think humans are not unnatural.
July 10, 2021 at 12:36 am #118258
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