Evolution, survival and adaptation (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 13:17 (266 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: We don't know how many have gone extinct, but it isn't the number I would argue about. What's worth arguing about is WHY they went extinct.

Let's categorize these into three groups: those that went extinct naturally, those that went extinct through natural cataclysm, and those that went extinct due to human activity.

The latter category we can scratch from this discussion entirely, because their extinction was enacted by an intelligent (and I use the word loosely) enemy. We may also scratch catastrophies, as they would bypass the 'evolutionary' mechanism.

That leaves the category of those that went extinct naturally, without unnatural excessive interference. This is generally the province of natural selection with it's survival of the fittest. If we examine each biological niche and role, we could likely determine a biological TODO list of events that must happen for the continuation of life. We would also likely find that those organisms which best fill that todo list are the ones that survive, much as happens to business when exposed to free market forces.

At any rate, the point was, what if we examine organisms through the lens of an ecological roles, and their efficacy at filling that role, instead of looking first at the individual organism.

I’m afraid I’m not quite sure what your point is. In your original post, you suggested that competition engendered harmony which prevented “degradation of the species through laziness and glut”, and it made sense for God to have programmed it because it provided a “multitude of benefits both to the species and the ecosystem”. I pointed out that vast numbers of species have gone extinct, and the ecosystem both local and global has been subjected to constant change. If God exists, I don’t have a problem with him setting up a system of competition – it fits in perfectly with my proposal that he gave organisms the means with which to follow their own evolutionary path. You also seem to be implying that natural extinction (probably through changes in living conditions) and natural catastrophes are not controlled by God, so all in all I can only see your post as supporting my own concept of evolution as a free-for-all. It benefited lots of different species and ecosystems in the past. Clearly the human species are current beneficiaries (while some do their best to wreck it all for others), and bacteria have never stopped benefiting.


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