Re: Evolution, the central dogma and mutation (was Re:

Timothy Bates (
Sun, 28 Feb 1999 16:08:56 +1100

Adrian do say
> However, I just used a couple of physical laws as metaphors for the type of
> laws that,I believe, will be found to govern emergant properties in complex
> systems as we continue to lokk for them and test them.

that is your belief. There is no evidence for these and, more to the point, they are not needed to explain the data. There simply are no examples of pre-adaptation and guided evolution. What there are untold examples of is failure to reproduce by inferior variants.

> For improving adaptation to work,

what is improving adaptation?

> the surviving offspring would have to have
> enough different alleles of the correct kind that would result in higher
> relative fitness for them.
The surviving offspring, by definition have enough alleles of the correct kind that result in higher relative fitness for them.

> Now if mutation is totally random, the landscape would be totally chaotic and
> there would be no way to tell if the adjacent sequence would lead anywhere,
> much less to higher fitness.
There is no way to tell if the adjacent sequence will lead anywhere - suck it and see - that is all that nature has.

> A correlated landscape, with smooth Mt. Fugi like slopes would only have two
> directions (up and down) and there would thus be a situation where half the
> offspring would be more fit, and half the offspring would be less fit.
> Natural Selection could thus choose between the limited number of options
> presented to it.
That is what happens. That "correlated landscape" is the environment.

> In this model (which seems intuitively more likely than the random, chaotic
> model) the correlated fitness landscape represents the natural, built in order
> that emerges in many complex systems, the physical laws of emergent
> properties, if you will.

your model seems only to be the standard model plus calling the environment a "fitness landscape".

> None-the-less, it should at least show you believers in the Central Dogma
> (which seems much like an Atheist Religion to me, complete with blasphemers to
> be wary of) that this idea that we are lucky garbage that just happened to be
> randomly selected might just be wrong.

Aha: that is a fundamental misinterpretation of evolutionary biology. selection is the exact opposite of random.

The garbage is not "lucky" it is not "randomly selected." It (mutation) is random, but selection is highly regular. All the mutations attempt to reproduce and they are not exactly equal at creating vehicles for this purpose and with hardly an ounce of randomness involved.

> The belief that we are the inevitable result of he laws of this universe and
> (so far) the apothesis of it's creation is at least as likely, and I think
> much more so.
Yes well, we are back to hypothesis 1 - that you will think this no matter what, just like we both see visual illusions no matter what knowledge we gain about them. That is the defining feature of a cognitive module: it is impenetrable by other module's outputs.

> One mans blasphemer is another mans sound meme set.
I do not believe in the concept of blasphemy: all communication are legal as far as I am concerned.

v. best,