18 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Falacy of Seeking Too Much Purpose in Evolutionary Adapta...

Darwin’s concept of evolution is centered on natural selection, or survival of the fittest [1]. Although Darwin did realize that organisms possess structures and even entire organs that might not have an extant function, as is the case of rudiments [2], on the whole, selectionist thinking has heavily dominated the biological literature ever since. In its extreme but not uncommon form, the selectionist, or adaptationist, paradigm perceives every trait as an adaptation. Under this view of bio...
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
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30 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Humans are Intelligent and Hierarchical

“You have a mismatched pair of genetic characteristics. Either alone would have been useful, would have aided the survival of your species. But the two together are lethal. It was only a matter of time before they destroyed you." [...] Jdahya made a rustling noise that could have been a sigh, but that did not seem to comer from his mouth or throat. "You are intelligent," he said. "That's the newer of the two characteristics, and the one you might have put to work to save yourselves. You a...
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23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Engineering Away Extinction, Ecological Functioning

Or might the threatened animal be just one of several subspecies that all perform approximately the same ecological function? In that case its extinction might be inconsequential. That was the reality when the Galapagos giant tortoise ‘Lonesome George’ died in June 2012 and was mourned worldwide. Dubbed ‘the rarest living creature’, he was (probably) the last of his subspecies. Ecologists shrugged. Taxonomists shrugged. There are 10 more subspecies of Galapagos tortoise. Their populat...
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The American Chestnut is an example of engineering life to thrive and refill its function in the ecosystem. Tortoises are other examples.