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Biology: Evolution: General selection rules?

  1. Jul 19, 2017 #1


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    In evolution, the archetype rule is the "natural selection" rule. Are the other selection rules? (technological selection rules, cultural rules, etc)

    Thank you for your time.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2017 #2
    Natural selection has always been around. The other forms of selection you seem to be reffering to can be derived from natural selection, since through evolution humans have become intelligent enough to advance to the age of technology(for example) and it(natural selection) is an ongoing process since we continue to improve technology and improve cultural conditions( e.g. end of segregation) to not only improve our way of life but BETTER OUR CHANCES OF SURVIVAL.
  4. Jul 19, 2017 #3


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    I am not fully clear on the meaning of your question. I am guessing it amounts to what are the major drivers of evolution.

    Natural selection is the natural environment's affect upon a population's collective genome(s), molding it to be its most adaptive in that environment.
    (Adaptive meaning reproducing to generate reproductive offspring.)

    Besides natural selection there are similar selections under the control or influenced by people (artificial selection). Not all the effects of human selection are the result of human intent.
    Some traits can arise when something else is under selection (see fox domestication). Foxes were basically selected for tameness (being "friendly" to humans). It resulted in foxes with more juvenile traits and neurochemical changes, among other things.
    Other selections can be unplanned but very useful (see wheat domestication). It is thought that repeated cycle of ancient people harvesting and then sowing new crops of pre-wheat resulted in a selection for plants and seeds that were better suited to being a domesticated crop (larger seed, seeds stay on plant until harvested).

    The biggie in my mind however is genetic drift which works generally in opposition to various kinds of selection. Because it changes genomes, it is considered an evolutionary process. Drift causes sequences not under strong selection to maintain some function to change randomly over time.
    Both drift and selection can operate at the same time. In larger populations, selection will have stronger effects. In smaller populations the effects of drift will be increased. Very small breeding populations (such as in research labs or in small breeder establishments) drift can often have inadvertent adverse effects.

    Other evolutionary influences might include mutation, migration/isolation, and indirectly environmental disturbances. These could be natural, human caused or human influenced.

    There are also drivers internal to the genetic system like selfish genes and molecular drive which can result in the amplification of particular genetic elements.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  5. Jul 19, 2017 #4

    jim mcnamara

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    There is a whole field of study - Sociobiology is the scientific study of the ecological and evolutionary effects of social behavior in animals and humans.
    Humans are hypersocial -and so are very much the result of these behaviors interacting with the environment -> altering the human genome.

    I think this is what you mean, correct me if not the case.
  6. Jul 21, 2017 #5


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    Thank you all, specially @jim mcnamara :)

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