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ContentCarbon Duties: Heat Rising On Developing EconomiesWorld Attention Turns To Asias Carbon EmissionsLong Term Exposure To Air Pollution Decreases Life Expectancy, Uk Report FindsCarbon Duties: Heat Rising On Developing Economies

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Instead evolution moves in the direction of actualizing itself. The process of evolution gathers itself up ceaselessly and remakes itself over and over again in time. With every remaking, evolution becomes a process more able to alter itself. The genius of an evolutionary system is that it is a mechanism for generating perpetual change. wealth generators pyramid scheme Perpetual change does not mean recurrent change, as the kaleidoscope of pedestrian action on a street corner may be said to endure perpetual change. Perpetual change means persistent disequilibrium, the permanent almost-fallen state. The result will be a system that is always on the edge of changing itself out of existence.

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The initial groove sets the course for succeeding forms of genus, family and taxa. In the beginning, where the groove meanders is totally random, but once established, the course of the following canyons are fixed. Even though he admits his metaphor has an initial slope that “does impart a preferred direction to the water dropping on top,” Gould insists that nothing disrupts the sure uncertain course of evolution. In his favorite refrain, if you replay this experiment over and over again, starting with a blank slope each time, you would get a vastly different landscape of valleys and peaks each run. Gazing at this spherical graph, it is hard to imagine how one spot, the humans, could somehow be the apex of the entire globe. Perhaps any of the other 30 million coevolved spots — say, the flamingo, or poison oak — are the whole point of evolution. As life explores new niches, the whole globe expands, increasing the number of coevolved positions.

I mean it in a strong way, that culture produces organisms that are biologically more able to produce, learn, adapt in cultural ways, rather than biological ways. This implies that the reason we have brains that can produce culture is that culture produced brains that could. That is, whatever shred of culture resident in prehuman species was instrumental in molding offspring to produce more culture. Wilson believes that genetic change is a prerequisite for cultural change. Unless the genes are flexible enough to assimilate cultural change, he believes it will not take root for the long term. Only in the lastcouple of years has the exhilarating link between learning, behavior, adaptation, and evolution even begun to be investigated. Most of this exciting work has been performed in computer simulations. It has been more or less ignored by biologists — which is not the stigma it once was. They make a bold claim, which will be heard more and more in biology, that behavior and learning are among the causes of genetic evolution. Waddington said genetic assimilation, or the Baldwin effect, was about converting acquired traits into inherited traits.

For example, a nearly identical homeobox self-control sequence (a master-switch gene which turns hunks of other genes on) is found in every vertebrate. A plausible scenario for internal selection allows cosmic rays to produce supposedly random errors in the DNA code, which are then corrected in cells by a known self-repair apparatus working in a discriminate fashion — correcting some and passing others. There is a high energetic cost to the correction of errors, a cost which must be weighed against the possible benefit of the variations. If the error occurred where it is probably opportune, it stays; if it occurs where it is bothersome, it is corrected. For a hypothetical example, the Krebs cycle is the basic fuel plant in every cell of your body. There is simply too little to gain, and far too much to lose, in fiddling with it now. When a variation is detected in the code for the Krebs cycle, it is quickly extinguished. On the other hand, body size and body proportions might be worth tweaking; let’s leave that area open to variation. If this were how it worked, differential variation would mean that some randomness is “more equal” than others.

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Perhaps evolution could have discovered nucleated cells directly, without symbiosis, but it might have taken another billion years, or five, to do so. Lastly, symbiosis recombines widely diverse know-how separated in life’s divergent genealogy. The picture to keep in mind is the diagrammatic tree of life, with ever dividing, ever spreading branches. Symbiotic alliances, on the other hand, bring divergent branches of the tree of life together again, to intersect. Evolution, charted with symbiosis included, may resemble a briar patch more than a tree — the Thicket of Life. If the Thicket of Life is sufficiently tangled, it may require a rethinking of our past and future. Routine symbiosis on a large scale could drive many of the complexities in nature that seem to require multiple simultaneous innovations. It would provide evolution with several other advantages; for instance, it would exploit the power of cooperation, rather than competition, exclusively.

From the view of books and learning, it looks like self-organization, culture amplifying itself at the expense of biology. Just as life infiltrates matter mercilessly and then hijacks it forever, cultural life hijacks biology. In the strong sense I’m advocating here, culture modifies our genes. Cultural learning rewires biology so that biology becomes susceptible to further culturalization. In the same way that life begets more life and more kinds of life, culture begets more culture and more kinds of culture.

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Life steadily collapses in scope and size until it becomes small, bland, and naked to the elements. In a very boring ending, the last variety of animated things disappear as they melt into a single tiny amorphous blob. If we could replay the epic story of biological life unfolding on Earth, would it progress in a similar story as the one we know? Would life recapitulate any of its familiar stages, or would it stun us with contrary alternatives? Gould spins a masterful narrative of why he thinks we would not recognize life on Earth if evolution could be run again.

If a “freak” should be born in their village, one whose body has a genetically more proficient way to handle the stress of high altitudes — say, a better hemoglobin variety rather than faster heartbeat — then the freak has an advantage. If the freak has children, then this trait could potentially spread through the village over generations because it is an advantage to lower stress on the heart and lungs. By the usual Darwinian dynamics of natural selection, the mutation of altitude acclimation comes to dominate the village gene pool. If nature transmitted informationin both directions within organisms, it would allow the possibility of Lamarckian evolution, which requires two-way communication wealth generators pyramid scheme between gene and its products. When an animal needs faster legs to survive, it could use body-to-gene communication to direct the genes to make faster leg muscles, and then pass that innovation on to its offspring. The science of evolution is no longer valuable only to biologists, but to engineers as well. Artificial evolution arises in our environment; but just as important, the study of evolution rises in our esteem. Alvin Toffler was the first futurist to bring to public consciousness the fact that not only are technological and cultural things changing fast, but the rate of change itself seems to be accelerating. We live in a world of constant change, and we need to understand it.

Increasing Numbers of Individuals.There are also more individual organisms in total living now than a billion years ago, or perhaps even a million years ago. Presumably life originated only once, so there was once only the first living organism of Adamlike oneness. If you count diversity as significant variety, then diversity is shrinking. Some paleontologists are calling this more fundamental diversity of ground plan “disparity” to distinguish it from the ordinary diversity of species. There is more significant difference between a hammer and a saw, than there is between an electric table saw and a power circular saw or all the thousands of baroque electrical appliances manufactured today. For instance, life churns out millions more kinds of insects, in ever more glorious modifications, but no more new kinds of things such as insects. Endless variations of trilobites, but no new classes such as trilobites.

But somatic flexibility is “expensive.” An organism cannot be equally flexible everywhere, and accommodating one stress will decrease its ability to accommodate another. Hardwiring is more efficient, but it takes time; for hardwiring to work, the stress must remain constant over a long period. In a rapidly changing environment, the tradeoff favors keeping the body flexible. An agile body can foreshadow, or more accurately, try out possible genetic adaptations, and then hold a steady line to them, as a hunting dog holds to a grouse. They have moved from the plains into a niche where they are not exactly best suited — the air is thin. For the thousands of years they have lived there, their hearts and lungs — their bodies — have had to work overtime to keep up with the altitude.

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With our recent invention of artificially natural evolution, and its study, we can understand organic evolution better, and we can better manage, inocculate, and anticipate change in our made world. Artificial evolution is the second course in a new biology of creatures, and the first course in a new biology of machines. The mathematics of evolution is not driving it toward more flamingos, more dandelions, or more of any particular entity. Fecundity is a free by-product of evolution — here, have a few million frogs — rather than a goal.

The great lesson which artificial evolution has already imparted is that evolution is not a biological process. It is a technological, mathematical, informational, and biological process rolled into one. It could almost be said it is a law of physics, a principle that reigns over all created multitudes, whether they have genes or not. These fruitful questions about the constitutional laws of evolution are being asked, not in biological terms, but in the language of a new science, the science of complexity. Naturalists have had nothing but scorn for those so willing to simplify nature’s complexity into computer models, and to disregard the conclusions of that most awesome observer of nature, Charles Darwin. Because genes have their own dynamics independent of the organism, they dictate what can be birthed from them. Inside the genome, genes are interconnected to the point that the gene can become grid-locked — A is waiting on B, B is waiting on C, and C is waiting on A. This internal linkage raises a conservative force within the genome that pushes on itself to keep the genome unchanged — regardless of what body it makes. Like a complex system, the genetic circuitry tends to resist perturbations by restricting allowable variations.

His program could model any bunch of agents that interact in a massive simultaneous field. They could be cells, genes, business firms, black boxes, or simple rules — anything that registers input and generates output interpreted as input by a neighbor. The wide variety of swarm systems and net maths got Kauffman to wondering if this kind of weird swarm logic — and the inevitable order he was sure it birthed — were more universal than special. For instance, physicists working with magnetic material confronted a vexing wealth generators pyramid scheme problem. Ordinary ferromagnets — the kind clinging to refrigerator doors and pivoting in compasses — have particles that orient themselves with cultlike uniformity in the same direction, providing a strong magnetic field. Mildly magnetic “spin glasses,” on the other hand, have wishy-washy particles that will magnetically “spin” in a direction that depends in part on which direction their neighbors spin. Their “choice” places more clout on the influence of nearby ones, but pays some attention to distant particles.

Systems built upon values outside this sweet spot tend to stall in two ways. They either repeat patterns in a crystalline fashion, or else space out into white noise. Those values within the range of the lambda sweet spot generate the longest runs of interesting behavior. The art of evolution is the art of managing dynamic complexity. Connecting things is not difficult; the art is finding ways for them to connect in an organized, indirect, and limited way. At the ideal number of connections, the ideal amount of information flowed between agents, and the system as a whole found the optimal solutions consistently. If their environment was changing rapidly, this meant that the network remained stable — persisting as a whole over time. Kauffman found that at the low end, with less than two connections per agent or organism, the whole system wasn’t nimble enough to keep up with change.

The know-how of one system can be shuttled back and forth between separate species. A new bacteriology views all the bacteria of the world as a single genetically interacting superorganism that rapidly absorbs and broadcasts genetic innovations among its members. Interspecies gene transfer also occurs among more complex species, including humans. Species of every sort are constantly swapping genes, often with naked viruses as the messengers. A number of biologists believe that large chunks of human DNA were inserted viruses.

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Darwin asks that we extend the logic of microchange to cover the grand scale of Earth and Time. Questions like these have prompted the postdarwinians to reconsider alternative theories of evolution — many that existed before Darwin — that were eclipsed by the dominance of Darwinism. In a kind of intellectual survival of the fittest, contemporary biology places very little importance on these “inferior” beaten theories, so they survive only in marginal out-of-print books. But the ideas of these creative theories are suited to a new niche called artificial evolution and are cautiously being resurrected for examination. At the next stage, evolution evolved self-replicating stabilities. Self- reproduction provided the possibility of errors and variation. Evolution then evolved natural selection and unleashed its remarkable search power. To the human body this accelerating evolution towards an information-based system looks like biological atrophy.

Nor do I think it is pure mysticism any more than one would call Carnot’s Law mysticism. Sure, the story is couched in human hope, but the hope I share is to find a falsifiable scientific law. Although there have been theories akin to the rising flow that were outright vehicles for vitalism, a second force doesn’t have to be any less scientific than the laws of probability or Darwin’s force of natural selection. The rising flow uses its short moment of order to snatch whatever dissipating power it can to build a platform upon which to extract the next round of order. It invests all the order it has to amplify the next round of complexity, growth, and order. In Langton’s and Kauffman’s framework, nature begins as a pool of interacting polymers that catalyze themselves into new sets of interacting polymers in such a networked way that maximal evolution can occur.

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In a few decades, all varieties of cells have wormed their way into every nook. Even if it took a hundred years, that is but a nano-blink in geological time. Many, but not all, of the animal creatures begin to shrink in size. Living creatures inhabit fewer roles, and the roles change less and less as the tape proceeds.

  • While the programs sometimes keep running, churning out minor variation, they ascend to no new levels of complexity or surprise after the first spurt (and that includes Tom Ray’s world of Tierra).
  • Once populations bubbled up, directed mutation became important.
  • In the beginning, evolution started as varying self-replication that produced enough of a population to induce natural selection.
  • A summary of evolution’sevolution may be hypothesized as follows.
  • Yet, for whatever reason, computational life based on unadorned natural selection has not seen the miracle of open-ended evolution that its creators, and I, would love to see.
  • Next symbiosis became a major mover and shaker feeding off the change produced by natural selection.

Tracing the looping interdependent fields of this web produces the familiar tangle of circuits in Kauffman’s home image. Spin glasses used a variety of net math to model the material’s nonlinear behavior that was later found to work in other swarm models. Kauffman was certain genetic circuitry was similar in its architecture. Each flavor of net math incorporates the lateral causality of thousands of simultaneous interacting functions. And each type of net math attempts to coordinate massively concurrent events — the kind of nonlinear happenings ubiquitous in the real world of living beings. Net math is in contradistinction to Newtonian math, a classical math so well suited to most physics problems that it had been seen as the only kind of math a careful scientist needed. Net math is almost impossible to use practically without computers. There will be many things that we can imagine in full detail — and that by the laws of both physics and logic should work — that synthetic evolution will not be able to reach because of its constraints. The moment we tried to transfer the dynamics of evolution out of history and into a manufactured medium, the inner nature of evolution was exposed to scrutiny.

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A few even think that it’s a loop — that many human disease viruses are escaped hunks of human DNA. Symbiosis– the merger of two organisms into one — was once thought to occur only in isolated curiosities like lichens. After Lynn Margulis postulated bacterial symbiosis as a central event in the formation of the ancestral cell, biologists found symbiosis popping up frequently in microbial life. Since microbial life is the bulk of all life on Earth, and the primary Gaian workhorse, widespread microbial symbiosis makes symbiosis fundamental, both in the past and in the present. Biologists cannot ruled out the role of other forces at work in nature producing similar effects in evolution. Therefore, until evolution is duplicated under controlled conditions, in the wild, or in a lab, neodarwinism remains a nice “just-so” story — more like history than science. Philosopher of science Karl Popper said bluntly that neodarwinism is not a scientific theory at all, since it cannot be falsified. Imagine, says Darwin, that we extrapolate the tiny microevolutionary changes we see in domesticated breeding — a pea with extra — large pods made larger, or a short horse bred shorter. Imagine if we extend those slight changes caused by selection over millions of years; we add up all the minute differences until we see major change. This is what makes coral reefs and armadillos out of bacteria, Darwin said — accumulated microchange.


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