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Does evolution actually go for the best?

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posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:10 PM
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Greetings ATS members,

I have a question that just popped in my head while reading another thread.

I was wondering: evolution is a popular idea that explains the process that life goes through, the process that humans went through during millions of years, skip the whole soup bacteria part, fast track to the part where we are an actual entity made of cells. Now, just a trickle of the good traits were kept in the gene pool passed from human to human slowly forming what we are today.

Is it reasonable to assume that evolution always chooses what is best?

I mean, why haven't we evolved to the point that we don't need to eat food anymore? Isn't that the best trait to have?

It seems that evolution is just add-ons to get food from the beginning and nothing else. Bigger arms, capability to run, reasoning, fingers, etc.

It's like nature never addressed the problem of food intake by just modifying itself to not need it. Wouldn't that be the best evolution/solution? Instead, we get reason and ways to get the food. Why just not evolve to not need it?

Has any species ever made that leap? If not then why not?




posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by bitsforbytes
 


Is this a serious question?



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:17 PM
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Plants.

Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the sun, into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the organisms' activities. This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water
edit on 29-1-2014 by wdkirk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:22 PM
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reply to post by wdkirk
 


Well, plants are hardly conscientious as compared to us. They need soil and the mineral contained in it to "eat".



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by MadMax9
 


Serious as famine.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:23 PM
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Evolution always works for the best....I think we've proven that as the most evolved species on the planet.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:24 PM
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All life needs some kind of energy to sustain itself, plants need water, soil, and sunshine; animals need food and water and as is the case with reptiles, the sun as well. Food is an efficient way of getting this energy and probably the most efficient, so not needing food isn't really the best option.
edit on 1/29/2014 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by bitsforbytes
 


Every living organism on earth has to sustain itself from some outside source. Plants need nutrients water and sun. Animals eat the plants.

Wait here s a diagram.


Short answer is no. Nothing has evolved past needing an outside energy source to survive.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


Not needing food isn't the best option? How so?

Let's see not eating and having energy or having to find food all the time?



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:39 PM
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reply to post by bitsforbytes

Is it reasonable to assume that evolution always chooses what is best?

 


Here's the problem, for all that it's called Natural Selection, there's nothing actively selecting anything in the evolutionary model.

Put it this way: we go through an ice age. What survives is things that can keep themselves warm and fed--the rest die. Then comes a hot age, and things that can't survive heat die.

If you're lucky, within a few of these swings, you'd have a creature that is ideal for surviving the extremes of this planet. But it won't be the BEST during the heat, or the cold. So it's failure to thrive against things that are better suited for living in only one extreme could doom it to extinction, when it's the best in overall survival. Now mind you this is only when and if the model works.

What is actually happening with DNA, that we can test, even, is that there's things that can be switched on and off in what we were calling, at one time, "junk DNA". It's why chickens can be caused to grow teeth, although they're not prone to having them or needing them, in the normal course of things. I personally suspect that most things that any given species has in it's unaccessed DNA may already hold the full range of what that given creature could have been.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:45 PM
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Continual Evolution works for those that can adapt to survive.

Best traits isn't exactly the right way to phrase it.

The best traits today will not be the best traits tomorrow.

Its about adapting to survive.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by bitsforbytes
 


Well, food is the most efficient way of getting the energy we need. Everything needs some kind of outside source to keep it alive, ours so happens to be food and water. As far as we know there is no such thing as free energy, everything has to run off of something else as a source of energy.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 08:42 PM
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reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


Very interesting, considering one argument I often hear against the strict evolutionary model is that "something cannot come from nothing". If there is some unused DNA makes a lot of sense. Would this mean that under certain circumstances DNA can make itself useful by replacing any traits that are no longer useful? Would the previous traits be saved for a later date or "discarded"?



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 09:23 PM
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nyny1
reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


Very interesting, considering one argument I often hear against the strict evolutionary model is that "something cannot come from nothing".
Well, I am a creationist and do espouse that quite frequently. But it's not from a lack of understanding the model everyone is so fond of. Think of it this way: creationism doesn't mean "ignore all adaptation" as some of us manage to sound like. No wonder many of us aren't listened to for very long. lol


If there is some unused DNA makes a lot of sense. Would this mean that under certain circumstances DNA can make itself useful by replacing any traits that are no longer useful? Would the previous traits be saved for a later date or "discarded"?

Here's what makes going with this information difficult. We used to call this stuff junk DNA. Most of it has a purpose, it's just not all understood. It would take studying up on what noncoding DNA actually is, for one.

Hrm, let's see, the chickens growing teeth, that I brought up from an old memory of something read back in college.....


The mutant chicken embryos that Harris studied possess a recessive and lethal trait called talpid2. As embryos, they can survive in eggs for as long as 18 days, but they never make it to the hatching stage (chickens normally hatch after 21 days). During their incubation, these mutant embryos begin to grow nascent teeth, like those found in ancient bird fossils. When Harris and his colleagues "turned on" the talpid2 gene in the oral cavity of a normal chicken embryo, they found that the mutation caused the tissues in the embryo's jaw to initiate the formation of teeth, very much like those belonging to the bird's ancestors.


The things that catch my attention:

1. A mutation that kills embryos triggered a very recessive trait in chickens. Like ancestrally recessive. It gives us the idea that most "throwbacks" are not viable, in nature.
2. This is a loss of information, specifically. Or more accurately, a loss of access to information. It doesn't represent a move forward, at all. But it would be touted as a "missing link between reptiles and birds". Which points to how many times these supposed leaps forward may not be such a great thing--and shows that many things are not always necessary for long-term survival.

And the only reason I was remembering this, recently, is that not all birds have lost the ability to grow teeth-like things: Penguins. Go look at a picture of the inside of their mouths, some time. A Cracked article (mindless fun) put it as the 3rd most scary mouth in the animal kingom.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by bitsforbytes
 


Evolution is pretty simple. Taking environment into consideration, evolution is a rather long process of trial and error that allows species to adapt and thrive in said environment. It is still occurring now, as people of different areas of the world have slight physical differences. For example, civilizations who have settled in mountainous areas tend to have short, stout people because that kind of body is most able to survive with levels of reduced oxygen due to high altitude. The skin tone of people south of the equator is also testament to this, as their skin has to be much more resilient to the sun's rays otherwise they would be perpetually sunburned.

There are less obvious differences, such as how diet affects teeth and so on. Ultimately, evolution does not care about what is best, as there is no objective best. The only thing that matters is the survival of a species in its intended environment, and that is what evolution seeks to do. Many traits that we have developed throughout millions of years via evolution are actually detrimental to us today. Stress, for example, is a terrible thing to have in regards to non-life threatening situations, i.e. work. Too much stress leads to many health problems down the line, but given that we are stupid animals we cannot tell the difference between when stress is a necessity and when it is harmful. In the past, we'd only really get stressed if our lives were in danger. Now we become stressed over everything.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 09:53 PM
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amazing
Evolution always works for the best....I think we've proven that as the most evolved species on the planet.



I did not detect even the merest hint of sarcasm in that statement. You must be joking, right?
Let me put it to you another way: If dolphins, somewhere along the evolutionary arc, developed hands instead of flippers...I do believe they would create a far more empathetic and peaceable kingdom than the one us monkeys have conjured up out of the muck.
"So long, and thanks for all the fish."

Evolution does not always work out for the best, and nor should we confine the parameters of evolution to those merely physical or physiological additions or sublimations that occur throughout the ages. The evolution of ideas, once the species so concerned has reached a seemingly penultimate level of biological suitability, is just as important. And that opens up a whole other can of worms...
edit on 29-1-2014 by Milleresque because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 09:57 PM
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reply to post by Milleresque
 


Are you sure? Dolphins are more sex obsessed than monkeys, and a lot of violence erupts over it. Remember Killer Whales are technically not much more than a Dolphin, and some of those are, well, killer.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 10:02 PM
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CynicalDrivel
reply to post by Milleresque
 


Are you sure? Dolphins are more sex obsessed than monkeys, and a lot of violence erupts over it. Remember Killer Whales are technically not much more than a Dolphin, and some of those are, well, killer.


Yes, but as with both species, they only kill for food, friend. There is yet to be any evidence of dolphins killing one another, although squabbles doubtless break out from time to time during an inter-tribal orgy. Good times.



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 10:09 PM
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bitsforbytes
Greetings ATS members,

I have a question that just popped in my head while reading another thread.

I was wondering: evolution is a popular idea that explains the process that life goes through, the process that humans went through during millions of years, skip the whole soup bacteria part, fast track to the part where we are an actual entity made of cells. Now, just a trickle of the good traits were kept in the gene pool passed from human to human slowly forming what we are today.

Is it reasonable to assume that evolution always chooses what is best?

I mean, why haven't we evolved to the point that we don't need to eat food anymore? Isn't that the best trait to have?

It seems that evolution is just add-ons to get food from the beginning and nothing else. Bigger arms, capability to run, reasoning, fingers, etc.

It's like nature never addressed the problem of food intake by just modifying itself to not need it. Wouldn't that be the best evolution/solution? Instead, we get reason and ways to get the food. Why just not evolve to not need it?

Has any species ever made that leap? If not then why not?



Evolution goes for what survives and populates...period. You act like it is a conscious thing... Humans in the past were extremely vicious and cunning, so we now rule the planet. This doesn't mean that intelligence is a good trait, it got us this far, but we can't even live 3 days in the wilderness now. It can end up being a bad one that does us in, in the end. Typically I would say the more simple a life form is the better for survival, complex ones get about 2 million years or so and they disappear, and we are about as complex as they come....
edit on 29-1-2014 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2014 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by Milleresque
 


You don't live on the coast and have dolphin obsessed people who willingly work with the mammals for the summer, do you? (Not as a "I'm superior" thing, but as in having to hear about the things all the time and I see them often enough, I pay a bit more attention to news with them in it.)

1 One dolphin species killing another: here

Scientists do not know why the highly intelligent species made famous by the 1960s television show "Flipper" would suddenly start battering its ocean brethren, but scientists said the perpetrators are probably young, sexually frustrated toughs defending their turf.


Things like this is why I was questioning it.

edit on 29-1-2014 by CynicalDrivel because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-1-2014 by CynicalDrivel because: (no reason given)




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