The Bellinghman (bellinghman) wrote,
The Bellinghman

Evolution is not a process which uses much in the way of feedback.

Well, there certainly is feedback, but it works purely on the basis that if the effect of genes in the organism is to promote the spread of those genes, then those genes are the ones that get spread.

(Yes, it's the oxymoronic 'survival of the fittest' restated. But great truths are often oxymoronic.)

What this means is that there is a very slow feedback process. A new gene may code for a protein that does something. That something may produce a physical effect. But the only way the gene 'learns' is if there is a next generation with lots of members, or no next generation at all. The physical effect itself can have no way of reflecting back to the gene itself. So, for example, brightly coloured flowers can't see their own colours.

And a new example, as mentioned in the BBC article: Deep-sea animal hunts with light. It's a creature that uses light to attract its prey, but is itself blind, and therefore has no concept of light.

  • How many people in the world?

    While on the Canadian, there was a certain amount of mixing: we'd get seated with random other people for the meals, so we ended up talking to people…

  • Almost perfect timing ...

    2009-08-17 07:30 Having completed the project of travelling the entirety of the Vancouver SkyTrain network the previous day, we catch a taxi from our…

  • How much does a Canadian weigh?

    Well, if it's the train, it appears to be 19 cars, at 50 tonnes per car (I assume the 'customary' weight.) 2 engines, at 118 tonnes per engine…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded