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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Summary of thoughts about co-evolution

I just happened to write this summary recently and I decided I might as well post it here. Co-evolution is covered in articles in the "Non-ID criticisms of evolution" and "Non-ID criticisms of evolution (new #1)" post-label groups on this blog (these post-label groups are also listed in the sidebar of the homepage -- the reason for the two groups is that the blog software limits me to a maximum of 20 articles per post label). These articles elaborate on many of my points below.

I first became interested in co-evolution about three years ago. IMO of particular concern are (1) the co-evolution of obligate mutualism -- i.e., total co-dependence between two different kinds of organisms, e.g., bees and flowering plants -- and (2) the co-evolution of extremely complex parasitic relationships. In the co-evolution of obligate mutualism, unlike in evolutionary adaptation to widespread fixed physical and quasi-physical (e.g., forests) features of the environment, e.g., air, land in its different forms (e.g., forests, plains, mountains, deserts), and water in its different forms (fresh, salt, and brackish), there may be nothing to adapt to because the corresponding co-dependent trait in the other organism is likely to be locally absent. A mutant pig with wings that suddenly appears anywhere in the world can fly immediately, but bees appearing in the absence of flowers or flowers appearing in the absence of bees -- or other pollinators -- will die immediately.

The following factors are important:
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(1) The co-evolution of obligate mutualism presents a particular problem because this kind of co-evolution may require simultaneous changes in both kinds of organisms in the same geographical location, because the co-dependent traits in both kinds of organisms may be immediately fatal in the absence of the corresponding co-dependent traits in the other kind of organism. In contrast, in the evolution of parasitism and commensalism, for example, change may be required -- or immediately required -- in only one of the organisms.

(2) Co-evolution is more difficult where the required change is one of kind rather than degree. For example, in buzz pollination, where the pollen is shaken loose by resonance from special vibrations of insects' wings, the pollen is contained in tubes -- it is not just a matter of the pollen adhering more strongly to the plant.

(3) Often the two co-dependent organisms can interact only in large numbers, requiring that large numbers of both kinds of organisms suddenly appear in the same place at the same time.

(4) Co-evolution is more difficult where the adaptations must be very complex and exact -- e.g., orchids' mimicry of female wasps' sex pheromones. One particular species of orchid is pollinated by only one species of wasp.

(5) Even where the co-evolution of obligate mutualism can be gradual, the gradual changes must exist in both kinds of organisms at the same time and place in order to be mutually reinforcing.

(6) Extremely complex parasitic relationships -- including multiple-host relationships -- are also a big problem for co-evolution. In some parasitic relationships, the parasite invades the nervous system of the host and produces drastic changes in the host's behavior.

(7) Co-evolution, unlike Intelligent Design, is a problem for natural selection. It has been assumed that all that is necessary for evolution to occur is to have beneficial mutations and then natural selection will assure that the best beneficial mutations will survive. However, in co-evolution, if the corresponding co-dependent trait in the other kind of organism is absent, natural selection will not occur. Also, co-evolution is a problem for "front-loaded" (pre-programmed) evolution as well as Darwinian evolution, because it may be necessary to trigger the front-loaded mutations in both co-dependent organisms at the exact same time and place.

(8) The problem of co-evolution is what I call a "non-ID" criticism of evolution -- i.e., arguments against co-evolution do not necessarily depend on any of the traits involved being irreducibly complex. However, ID can be used in arguments against co-evolution -- for example, whole sets of co-dependent traits may be irreducibly complex. For example, bees must not only be able to digest nectar, but must also be able to find the flowers. Bees are able to detect the ultraviolet light from flowers and perform a special "dance" which informs other bees where flowers are located.
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4 Comments:

Blogger EvolutionaryKiwi said...

I doubt this will get through, but here's an excellent study on co-evolution.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v450/n7171/abs/nature06291.html

Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:13:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

What do you mean, "I doubt this will get through"? All reasonable comments are published.

That article is about the "Red Queen" effect in "arms races" in predator-prey and parasite-host relationships, and my questions about co-evolution are primarily not concerned with that subject. My main areas of interest in co-evolution are:

(1) -- the co-evolution of obligate mutualism -- i.e., total co-dependence of two different kinds of organisms. In the co-evolution of obligate mutualism (unlike in evolutionary adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., the air, the oceans, mountains, deserts, etc.), there may be nothing to adapt to because the corresponding co-dependent trait in the other organism is likely to be locally absent. If co-dependent traits in both kinds of organism are fatal in the absence of the corresponding trait in the other organism, co-evolution is nearly impossible. Even where the co-evolution of obligate mutualism can be gradual, corresponding mutations in both organisms must be present in the exact same place at the exact same time to produce a benefit. In contrast, in predator-prey and parasite-prey relationships, if one kind of organism has a mutation that gives an advantage, the other kind of organism generally does not generally need to have a corresponding opposing mutation immediately, and might never need to have a corresponding opposing mutation if survival is possible without such a mutation.

(2) -- the co-evolution of extremely specific and complex adaptations to other organisms -- e.g., orchids' mimicry of female wasps' sex pheromones. There is a species of wasp that is pollinated by only one species of wasp. Also, some parasites invade the nervous systems of the host and make drastic changes in the host's behavior, and that is a very complex and specific kind of adaptation.

(3) -- multi-host parasitic relationships.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 9:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A.K.Satsangi

COMPREHENSIVE VIEW OF SCIENCE OF RELIGION (THEOLOGY)
I have written following two papers which may lead to the realization for a higher theory of everything:
(i) Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator,
(1st Int. Conf. on Revival of Traditional Yoga, Lonavla Yoga Institute, Lonavla, January, 2006)
(ii) In Scientific Terminology, Source of Gravitational Wave is God
(2nd World Congress on Vedic Science, BHU, Varanasi, Feb 2007)
I have presented these two papers at the two different International Conferences. I am now submitting some views for being considered for Unified Field Theory
From Scriptures: (Prem Patra by His Holiness Huzur Maharaj)
The Current which manifested in the beginning of the creation is the Current of Sabda (Sound) and of Chaitanya (Consciousness). From whom that Current issued forth is known as Soami (Supreme Being). This Current, by turning back can merge again in the Holy Feet of Supreme Being. The entire creation manifested from this current and is sustained with its energy and when the Current of the Holy Feet is withdrawn, the creation ceases to exist.This Current of the Holy Feet is the Reservoir of all energy, tastes and pleasures, knowledge, skill, shapes, forces and light etc. etc. and of the entire creation, is also the Creator of all of them.
From Science:
Gravitation Force is the cause of manifestation of the creation (birth of planets, stars), its sustenance and when it is withdrawn towards centre or source the entire creation ceases to exist. Photons have originated from gravitons. In black holes photons merge into gravitons. In Black Holes, Gravitational Force is so high that it does not allow even light to escape. What does it mean then? It simply means that the gravitational force at black-holes attracts light towards it with much greater velocity than the speed of light. In fact, all forces including electromagnetic force, material force (strong and weak nuclear force) all merge into gravitational force in black-holes and becomes one force there and when the creational process starts again from a Black-Hole all the forces appear (manifest) again and descends downwards to create billions of stars, planets, satellite, asteroids and various life forms.
Hence it can be assumed that the Current of Chaitanya (Consciousness) and Gravitational Wave are the two names of the same Supreme Essence (Seed) which has brought forth the entire creation.
All cosmological researches should be conducted keeping in view of the following philosophical facts:
It has been stated in Bible (John I-1) “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”
Mohammedans hold that God uttered ‘Kun’ (i.e. ‘Came into being’) and the creation came into being (Holy Quran, Sur. Bakr (II.117).
In Chhandogya Upanishad it is written “Tadaikshat bahu syam prajayeyeti” (VI-2-iii) i.e. “It thought (desired) Would that I were many! Let me procreate myself!” The Aitareya Upanishad says,”Sa ikshat ‘lokannusrija’ iti (I-1-i) i.e. “He bethought himself (desired) – ‘Let me create worlds’, etc. etc.
It is written in Chapter VII of Srimad Bhagavadgita : Sri Bhagwan said, “Arjun, now listen how with the mind attached to Me and practicing Yoga with absolute dependence on Me, you will know Me in entirety and without any shadow of doubt” (1). I shall unfold to you in its entirety this wisdom alongwith the Knowledge of the qualified aspect of God, having known which nothing else remains yet to be known in this world (2). Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, reason and also ego; these constitute My nature eightfold divided. This indeed is My lower (material) nature : the other than this, by which the whole universe is sustained, know it to be My higher nature in the form of Jiva, O Arjuna. (4-5). Arjuna, know that all beings have evolved from this twofold Prakriti, and that I am the source of the entire creation, and into Me again it disappears.(6)
The Radhasoami Religion also tells that, the ‘Word’ mentioned above is in fact Current of Sound or Current of Consciousness or Prime Current of Spirituality which was issued forth from its Source, or Creator or God. This Current has later on produced light and other forces. The scientists are discussing these days about dark energy which constitute about 96% of the entire universe which is not known to us. Only 4% part of the universe is known to us by all scientific means. In fact this 96% invisible portion of the universe is the vast expanse of spirituality which can be designated as field of gravitational waves in scientific terms. Visible portion of the universe (4%) consists of consciousness (gravitational force), mental force (electromagnetic waves) and material force (strong and weak nuclear force).
Body = Nuclear Force (weak as well as strong)
Mind = Electromagnetic Force.
Consciousness = Gravitation Force.
According to Radhasoami Religion the whole Universe can be sub-divided into three grand divisions viz.
1. Region of Pure Spirituality
2. Region of Subtle Maya
3. Region of Gross Maya
Nuclear forces dominate Region of Gross Maya (Gross Material Region), Electro-magnetic forces dominate Region of Subtle Maya (Subtle Material Region) and Gravitational Force dominates Pure Spiritual Region.
This is the only Truth which can be verified scientifically and can be termed as ‘higher theory for everything’. This also supports the statement of Sir Sahabji Maharaj that ‘the goal of science – Truth; the goal of philosophy – Ultimate Reality; and the goal of religion – God’ are the three names of same supreme essence.
Many things are common between Current of Consciousness and Gravitational Wave.
1. Current of consciousness can not be seen by any means and gravitational wave can also not be seen.
2. Current of consciousness is the weakest force on earth. Its strength goes on increasing on higher regions. Gravitational force is also very weak on earth and strong on Sun and even more stronger on black holes.
3 Tendency of both current of consciousness and gravitational waves are towards their source or centre.
4. Current of consciousness and gravitational force are both regarded as the creater of all the celestial and terrestrial bodies of the whole universe. They are also sustainer of these and when they turn back towards their source or centre the whole universe will collapse.
Hence it can be assumed that the source of current of consciousness and gravitational wave is the same i.e. God or ultimate creator.
This theory is based on scientific deduction. In scientific terms it can be said that the ‘gravitons’ are the elementaryparticle which was issued forth in the beginning of the creation accompanying with sound ‘Radha’

Thursday, April 02, 2009 9:36:00 PM  
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Friday, December 18, 2009 12:46:00 AM  

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