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Thread: Evolution

  1. #1 Evolution 
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    Would evolution take place in the same way on other planets?


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    yes and no... yes evolution would work the same.

    But the environment will be different, producing different results from here on earth. Unless it's an exact replica of earth, then it would be the same.

    Did I really answer this?


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    presumably the question can be rephrased as "would life on other planets also exhibit descent with modification ? and would its mechanisms look anything like natural selection does on earth ?"

    my gut feel says yes, but i have no evidence to back this up
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Stephen gould famously remarked that if you 'replayed the tape of life' things would turn out quite differently. So, if you were asking would anything that looked remotely like a human (i.e. a Star Trek alien) evolve, the answer is proably no. Although, for an alternate view, consider the work of Conway Morris.

    If you were asking if the mechanisms would be the same, I find it difficult to envisage how evolution could be a meaningful phrase unless it was a synonym for descent with modification. The elbow room lies in how that modification might occur: any lifeform that cracks Lamarkism should win the galactic evolutionary stakes nearly every time.
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    At the cellular level, evolution is merely luck. Testing vs the environment, evolution is not merely luck, it's skill and adaptability.

    I googled Lamarkism, and i came up with soft inheritance. Where the parents knowledge, or traits will be passed on to it's offspring and thus it'll be fully educated when growing up, plus experiences etc.

    I disagree this would be superior to natural selection evolution, as with soft inheritance all you gain is an accellerated start. As all your ancestors knew, you also know. This would split up species a lot faster, prejudice, and discrimination would form in a species of higher intellect, and the society would collapse on itself as their collective knowledge would simply be to different from one another. I think our evolution, starting from scratch, with basic survival instincts only, is the best ..
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    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    You seem to be focused on the evolution of intelligent life. That's a rather narrow focus.

    Lamarkian evolution would allow rapid adaptation to changing environments. In what way would that be inferiror to a dependence on random mutations to provide a change.
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    The evolution tree depends on a planet, except an immigrant space-ship. :x
    But We don't know the evolved lives in another planet.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    You seem to be focused on the evolution of intelligent life. That's a rather narrow focus.

    Lamarkian evolution would allow rapid adaptation to changing environments. In what way would that be inferiror to a dependence on random mutations to provide a change.
    On anything other then intelligent life, i doubt this would change anything. A goldfish does not have many uses of knowing it's ancestoral experiences. Neiter does a dog, a wolf might have some advantages, but it learns this when it grows up anyway. The only type of species that has an advantage is intelligent life. But this will, before ascention (space travel) cause distinction between parts of the species, and it'll most likely destroy society. Then if they were also telepatically linked with one another.. maybe then it would be advantageous.

    You may still be right, but at the moment i just don't see the point in a non intelligent being, able to hand out it's intelligence to it's offspring. It knows what foods to eat, it knows what not to, but this is basic instincts, and most animals know this anyway.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Zwolver, you are, I believe, a biology student, or graduate? I don't recall exactly. However, some of your posts cause me to seriously question what you have learned in the field.

    Let's take the classic giraffe's neck. It took many generations for the giraffe's ancestors to benefit from mutations that allowed them to lengthen their necks and thus reach foliage not available to other herbivores. If the tendency to stretch one's neck while feeding could be directly transferred to the germ cells, then that entire process could be short-circuited. It has nothing to do with intelligence, or with organisms knowing what they need.
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    When i read acquired traits, i read experiences. And this makes me think of intelligence, and knowledge of what to eat (in your example). I see that this would shorten evolution span. But i doubt this can actually be stored in cells, let alone be changed intelligently, as i doubt that genes themselves know which ones cause the neck to lengthen. This is theoretically impossible, as this would create a genome to large to handle. Transporting experiences also seems impossible, but this can be stored, in theory, although i foresee a problem in the brain when reading these, but i see there could be a template, like instincts now have.

    I doubt the early, shortnecked giraffe actually stretched its neck, i think it had to stand on it's hind legs to reach it, and thus giving those with a longer neck the advantage of not having to, and being able to eat more. In that experience, the giraffes, would have formed longer legs, or being better able to stand on it's hind legs, maybe they would be able to stand straight like humans.

    If an organism knows what it needs, it shows intelligence to me though. It's simply an opinion of a certain theory. I doubt you could actually prove me wrong that this would not cause intelligence. Not immediately, but very quickly.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  12. #11  
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    We have to watch the space at first to find the reflection by the lives.

    Unknown space is very widely. One or two, or a few hundreds planets which have the intelligent life aren't easy to be discovered. But we have a planet with intelligent life, named Earth. We can consider on the intelligent life in the World.
    Last edited by John Galt; September 17th, 2012 at 05:05 AM.
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  13. #12  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    When i read acquired traits, i read experiences. And this makes me think of intelligence, and knowledge of what to eat (in your example).
    I understand that this is the logic train you are following. However, it is a highly restricted sequence that bears little relation to reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    But i doubt this can actually be stored in cells, let alone be changed intelligently, as i doubt that genes themselves know which ones cause the neck to lengthen. This is theoretically impossible, as this would create a genome to large to handle. .
    Nonsense.
    1. We are discussing alien life forms and alien forms of evolution. What makes you think this has to involve cells?

    2. Nowhere in my posts have I suggested, implicitly or explicitly, that there was any intelligence involved in the process. why are are you introducing this strawman?

    3. Why would the genes know which ones had to change? I have know idea. I am stating that if there was a mechanism by which Lamarkian inheritance were possible then it would be a consequence of that mechanism that the appropriate genes would be directed to behave in the appropriate manner. I am interested in the consequences for evolution of a Lamarkian mechanism, since that helps address the query in the OP.

    4. Why should the genome be any larger? (Assuming we are working with genes.) Let's say a giraffe's neck length is determined by four genes. Why would it require more than four genes in a Lamrkian setting? Sure, let's imagine we need a subset of genes which manage the transfer of somatic data to the germ cells, but that is hardly going to create a genome too large to handle.

    I doubt the early, shortnecked giraffe actually stretched its neck, i think it had to stand on it's hind legs to reach it, and thus giving those with a longer neck the advantage of not having to, and being able to eat more. In that experience, the giraffes, would have formed longer legs, or being better able to stand on it's hind legs, maybe they would be able to stand straight like humans.
    Standing on the hind legs and stretching the neck places more emphasis on the neck than on the legs. Alternatively, and in my view more likely, the proto-giraffes might split into two variants, one with long legs and one with long necks. (Or a third, with both.) Each type would still be faced with natural selection of the acquired characteristic.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Nonsense.
    1. We are discussing alien life forms and alien forms of evolution. What makes you think this has to involve cells?

    2. Nowhere in my posts have I suggested, implicitly or explicitly, that there was any intelligence involved in the process. why are are you introducing this strawman?

    3. Why would the genes know which ones had to change? I have know idea. I am stating that if there was a mechanism by which Lamarkian inheritance were possible then it would be a consequence of that mechanism that the appropriate genes would be directed to behave in the appropriate manner. I am interested in the consequences for evolution of a Lamarkian mechanism, since that helps address the query in the OP.

    4. Why should the genome be any larger? (Assuming we are working with genes.) Let's say a giraffe's neck length is determined by four genes. Why would it require more than four genes in a Lamrkian setting? Sure, let's imagine we need a subset of genes which manage the transfer of somatic data to the germ cells, but that is hardly going to create a genome too large to handle.
    1: Well, as all evolution on earth involves cells, and its pretty obvious that most possible lifeforms involve cells. (virus/prion does not, but are not technically alive)

    2: I introduced intelligence because this would be the case almost immediately. If the need of the creature would involve the continuous evolution, then intelligence will show a better way to express it's need, and thus it'll be exponentially intelligent with every generation. This would make it impossible to comprehend in a few generations, as it's intelligence will reach the limits very soon.

    3: I get it, and you are right. It's probably not possible, and i might have understated that fact..

    4: The genome would probably be larger, because a system would need more genes to introduce a "concious" reproductive system on where these cells are connected to the whole. Lets just state this. It's probably possible for a tree to grow banana's, and apples individually. The problem there is just that the genome will be larger, there has to be a method of selection, eiter you will have banapples (or something). Same thing with this way of reproduction. The cells are unable to chose anything, whatsoever, to gain this ability, they will need extra proteins, or more complicated proteins. If the genome would be smaller, and the whole proces easier then this, i bet it would have been the preferred way to go with evolution.

    It's pretty hard to explain myself. And no this is not my field, i simply like to theorise these stuff. If you like me to keep it to myself, then tell me.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  15. #14  
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    I wanted to know if it would take longer than 6,000 and would humans still look the same. Thanks for the helpful answers.
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  16. #15  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Take longer than 6,000 what?
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    I don't know 6,000 years, decades, centuries, millenium or million years.
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    Even an identical Earth of 4 billion years ago, would likely have developed quite differently--and wouldn't have led to humans. Complex systems take unpredictable paths. If, however life got started, it seems it would work similarly to how it does on Earth, by natural selection--there's just no telling where it would have led.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Even an identical Earth of 4 billion years ago, would likely have developed quite differently--and wouldn't have led to humans. Complex systems take unpredictable paths. If, however life got started, it seems it would work similarly to how it does on Earth, by natural selection--there's just no telling where it would have led.
    Hmm, undoubtly, there would have been a genetic difference, but not really a functional difference.

    I'll think i need an explanation for this assumption so i'll take the apex predator of madagascar. The Fossa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossa_(animal) which is formed out of something close to a ferret, but because of the lack of any real predator there, it still looks similar to a puma http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puma_(genus) despite is't DNA shows more difference then between a mouse and an elephant (not really but sort of speak). It shows to me that whenever there is a certain genetic backbone, which is that of mammals, and the task of an apex predator, will in most cases look like a giant cat. Though i am sure that the genetic selection will have been different, and that the chances to find floating jellyfish in the sky increase. The mass extinctions did not seem like pure luck, and more about adaptability, sheer size, and dieët. Omnivores reign supreme after any mass extinction.

    Some laws will differ, but some will not, when given the exact circomstances, and reboot earth. Humans on the other hand, i agree we are one of the exceptions, that we were actually bound to go extinct, as we do not fit in to the ecosystem. We are slow, weak, need huge amounts of energy, our infants take YEARS to develop, no defensive abilities, no camouflage, no offensive capabilities. All we have is our brain. Undoubtly in the early stages were nothing was teached to us, but all had to be experiences and thought ourselves, we would have a very hard time surviving.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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