Mechanism to allow for evolution. How did this mechanism come to be?

  • Thread starter vectorcube
  • Start date
  • #51
299
0

Nucleotides are the fundamental molecules that combine in series to form RNA .... RNA is made of long stretches of specific nucleotides arranged so that their sequence of bases carries information. The RNA world hypothesis holds that in the primordial soup/primordial sandwich, there existed free-floating nucleotides. These nucleotides regularly formed bonds with one another, which often broke because the change in energy was so low. However, certain sequences of base pairs have catalytic properties that lower the energy of their chain being created, causing them to stay together for longer periods of time. As each chain grew longer, it attracted more matching nucleotides faster, causing chains to now form faster than they were breaking down.

These chains are proposed as the first, primitive forms of life.

&

The RNA World hypothesis is supported by RNA's ability to store, transmit, and duplicate genetic information, as DNA does.

Just what i am looking for, thanks

The answer is:

1. The original necessary condition( ie: mechanism) for natural selection is the RNA( or pre-RNA).

2. RNA come to be what it is by the chaining of many Nucleotides where each Nucleotides interact according to the rules of chemistry.


Does anyone have anything to add to 1 and 2?
 
Last edited:
  • #52
chemisttree
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,434
463
Only http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron-sulfur_world_theory" [Broken]

As of 2009, no one has yet synthesized a "protocell" using basic components which would have the necessary properties of life (the so-called "bottom-up-approach"). Without such a proof-of-principle, explanations have tended to be short on specifics. However, some researchers are working in this field, notably Steen Rasmussen at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Jack Szostak at Harvard University. Others have argued that a "top-down approach" is more feasible. One such approach, attempted by Craig Venter and others at The Institute for Genomic Research, involves engineering existing prokaryotic cells with progressively fewer genes, attempting to discern at which point the most minimal requirements for life were reached. The biologist John Desmond Bernal, coined the term Biopoesis for this process, and suggested that there were a number of clearly defined "stages" that could be recognised in explaining the origin of life.

Stage 1: The origin of biological monomers
Stage 2: The origin of biological polymers
Stage 3: The evolution from molecules to cell
Bernal suggested that evolution may have commenced early, some time between Stage 1 and 2.
Does that sound like the direction you want to go?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #53
289
0
I have trouble accepting a 'chance-event' theory for the origin of life and even this 'errors in DNA and inheritance through NS' one to explain the evolution of complex organs like eye. Clumping of amino acids, formation of nucleic acids.., ah hell! Do these explain the beauties in life like humor, mad love for rain, music or other forms of art? I guess an explanation, an evolutionist would give me is "Those are to increase your chance of survival". Pathetic one, if he does say so.


P.S: No. I don't intend to bring in God here; so don't make that face!
P.P.S: Is it just me or is there anyone among you guys who feel the same way? (religious fanatics need not apply for membership! )
 
  • #54
Borek
Mentor
28,478
2,875
P.P.S: Is it just me or is there anyone among you guys who feel the same way? (religious fanatics need not apply for membership! )
As long as you have not provided alternate explanation, Ockham's razor keeps us on the evolutionary path.
 
  • #55
289
0
I don't have one. But i do, for sure, know there is a better and beautiful one waiting to replace this. And Ockham's razor cannot come into picture this soon as we don't know the degree of simplicity of the competing theory, non-existent as yet.
 
  • #56
chemisttree
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,434
463
If you are asking about the origin of life, you should know that evolution is a SEPARATE discussion from that. Evolution deals with the natural or artificial variation within a complex system selected for survival by some "advantage".

Life from non life is not evolution.
 
  • #57
166
1
I don't have one. But i do, for sure, know there is a better and beautiful one waiting to replace this.
:rofl:

Evolution theory will continue to be refined/detailed (as it has over the last century) as more is learned of the details of complex biological systems, but I find it hard to believe it would ever be "replaced" by anything. The only competing theory it has is religion...

There is nothing "better" or more "beautiful"...
 
  • #58
289
0
Galilean transformation was slightly refined by Lorentz's. But we have a new theory called SR bringing in lot of implications. I think a similar modification of a postulate of the theory of evolution will come in the future.

"There is nothing better or more beautiful"
A mad fight for survival,off spring production and species propagation, proposed by evolution, is what you call beautiful? Fine then.
 
  • #59
42
0
Whichever organism is better as something, will win over those inferior. That works even for non-organisms - when you have two competing chemical reactions, whichever is faster will consume more reagents and will have a better yield. That's the same.


I don't think it is about what is better in all cases. For example blue eyes and blonde hair in northern climates I am not convinced is because of it being better for sunlight. Otherwise people in Greenland would be blonde with blue eyes since those people up there would choose partners with lighter skin and lighter eyes. Similarly, a man doesn't choose a woman with medium breasts because those medium breasts will be better at breastfeeding than smaller ones, he chooses it because of... a human made up in the mind psychological biased stupidity. Nature is not about what is better - it's more about whatever something chose, for whatever reasons.. not necessarily best reasons. If dark skin and brown eyes were truly harmful in northern climates, then the greenlanders with dark skin (nearly all of them) would have all sorts of diseases due to them not being able to handle sunlight, and they would not be breeding for the better since their country is full of dark skin.

As for something having the best chemical reaction - the whole universe could easily blow up and continually blow up like an atomic bomb, with the "Best" reaction. Why are there points of great stability all around us.

It depends what you define as "best" or "Better" too - and subjective things are not really scientific. If best and better are defined by personal opinions and man made ideas, that is quackery. Nature would not know of any "better" or "best" or even "worst" for that matter. If a human found that a curvy body looked better and therefore chose it for replicating more children, this does not actually make it true that it's "better" for the environment. It is just our man made idea that it's better, which could very well be wrong. Possibly a large square body is actually better statistically than a curvy body, for having children, as an example. Our man made idea of "better" might help us "think" we are better, in our mind, but if nature doesn't differentiate between better or worse (an asteroid hits the earth - is this better for nature or worse?) then how is "Better" even relevant. So if humans are choosing partners based on assumptions and speculations, and since humans are an example of nature "selecting", and since humans make choices for partners that are not actually better choices, how can natural selection always be about what is better and what is superior? Often it's just about "what the organism chose for silly convenient reasons" but not "Better" ones.
 
Last edited:
  • #60
Borek
Mentor
28,478
2,875
I don't think it is about what is better in all cases. For example blue eyes and blonde hair in northern climates I am not convinced is because of it being better for sunlight. Otherwise people in Greenland would be blonde with blue eyes
If you have not noticed - people living north are blondes with light skin. That's not accidental, that's adaptation to the lack of Sun necessary for Vit D metabolism.

Similarly, a man doesn't choose a woman with medium breasts because those medium breasts will be better at breastfeeding than smaller ones, he chooses it because of... a human made up in the mind psychological biased stupidity.
I don't remember correct name, but some traits are effect of what can be classified as cultural preferences. It doesn't require culture per se, as it happen in animals as well.

Nature is not about what is better - it's more about whatever something chose, for whatever reasons.. not necessarily best reasons.
In most cases choice is done automatically - if you are slow cheetah, you will starve to death. If you are slow antelope, you will be eaten by lame cheetah. In both cases you will not leave any progeny and you will be automatically eliminated. Same happens if you can run fast, but chose to run slowly for whatever reason.

If dark skin and brown eyes were truly harmful in northern climates, then the greenlanders with dark skin (nearly all of them) would have all sorts of diseases due to them not being able to handle sunlight, and they would not be breeding for the better since their country is full of dark skin.
AFAIR kids of dark skin people living far to the north have rickets much more often than those blonde greenlanders. I think black kids in Swedish kindergartens ar treated in some special way - more Vit D, more UV baths - just to avoid problems.

As for something having the best chemical reaction - the whole universe could easily blow up and continually blow up like an atomic bomb, with the "Best" reaction. Why are there points of great stability all around us.
Because there is never enough resources.

It depends what you define as "best" or "Better" too - and subjective things are not really scientific. If best and better are defined by personal opinions and man made ideas, that is quackery. Nature would not know of any "better" or "best" or even "worst" for that matter.
Perhaps better is not the best word, perhaps "best fitted" will be better. But the mechanism is still the same - those having an advantage win over those without and replace them in population.
 
  • #61
D H
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
15,393
683
I don't think it is about what is better in all cases. For example blue eyes and blonde hair in northern climates I am not convinced is because of it being better for sunlight. Otherwise people in Greenland would be blonde with blue eyes since those people up there would choose partners with lighter skin and lighter eyes.
Blonde hair and blue eyes does not engender any significant biological advantage. Light skin does however, and the gene that makes Northern Europeans have lighter skin also happens to make them have blonde hair and blue eyes. Note very well: Just because their are some advantages for someone far from the equator to have lighter colored skin does not mean that having lighter colored skin is essential for life in the North. It is just biologically advantageous. This gene also happens to be a regressive gene.

In saying "Otherwise people in Greenland would be blonde with blue eyes since those people up there would choose partners with lighter skin and lighter eyes" you are implicitly making several assumptions
  1. You are assuming that the gene is present, period. If it isn't present it will not express itself. This gene happens to be present to some extent throughout Caucasian populations. It is extremely rare among those of Asian descent.
  2. You are assuming that the gene not only is present, but that its presence is statistically significant. This gene happens to be recessive. Genetic drift has a tendency to wipe out recessive genes, even advantageous ones. This tendency can be overcome if the gene is statistically dominant -- for example, by going through a population bottleneck.
  3. You are assuming that life without this gene is impossible. Just because it is advantageous does not mean it is necessary.
  4. You are ignoring that there are other ways to get Vitamin D. Fish, for example, is an excellent source of Vitamin D. Eskimos happen to have a diet very high in fish. Sans fish, various parts of animals such as the liver are fairly high in Vitamin D.
 
  • #62
alxm
Science Advisor
1,842
9
I have trouble accepting a 'chance-event' theory for the origin of life
It's not a 'chance-event' theory. Pick a random card from a deck. If it's not a king, put it back. Repeat that 1000 times. Is it a 'chance event' if you're left with four kings? It's not. If you apply a rule, such as a selection rule, to a random process, then the result is not random.

You should probably begin by reading up on common http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html" [Broken] about evolution.

the evolution of complex organs like eye
The idea that the eye would somehow be specifically difficult to explain is a myth perpetuated by creationists by http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA113_1.html" [Broken].
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #63
D H
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
15,393
683
Galilean transformation was slightly refined by Lorentz's. But we have a new theory called SR bringing in lot of implications. I think a similar modification of a postulate of the theory of evolution will come in the future.
That's already happened twice since Darwin's time. The modern synthesis combined Darwin's ideas with the basic concepts of genetics. Then there was that twisty little chemical discovered by Crick, Franklin, Watson, and Wilkins.
 
  • #64
418
0
I'd like to strickly address the subject "mechanism" as posed by the OP. I think this might be helpful.

Mechanisms: The Processes of Evolution

Evolution is the process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient ancestors. Evolution is responsible for both the remarkable similarities we see across all life and the amazing diversity of that life—but exactly how does it work?

Fundamental to the process is genetic variation upon which selective forces can act in order for evolution to occur. This section examines the mechanisms of evolution focusing on:

Descent and the genetic differences that are heritable and passed on to the next generation;

Mutation, migration (gene flow), genetic drift, and natural selection as mechanisms of change;

The importance of genetic variation;

The random nature of genetic drift and the effects of a reduction in genetic variation;

How variation, differential reproduction, and heredity result in evolution by natural selection; and

How different species can affect each other’s evolution through coevolution.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIIMechanisms.shtml [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #65
99
0
Projection.

Where does it say the two are mutually exclusive?
 
  • #66
alxm
Science Advisor
1,842
9
In saying "Otherwise people in Greenland would be blonde with blue eyes since those people up there would choose partners with lighter skin and lighter eyes" you are implicitly making several assumptions [...]
Nice list. If I may I add one, more general observation:
People tend to have an extremely superficial view of human differences. Hardly a surprise since we can't see inside the body. Even today, we don't fully know what's going on. So in history we've had racial theories, and phrenology, and ideas that your eye color says something about your character, and all kinds of ideas that link superficial human traits to other ones.

Add to that, we also tend to think of things as independent traits when we have no real reason to do so.

Until one knows exactly what a gene codes for, and all the consequences of a mutation, we simply don't know. We don't know how things are actually connected 'under the hood', but they're often not at all connected the way we tend to think they'd be.

Example: East Asians tend to have dry, crumbly ear wax. What possible use is that?
Well, it turns out that is all due to a single point mutation. The same mutation causes people to sweat less. So there's a link between the amount you perspire and the consistency of your earwax. That's not obvious. (it has to do with cortisols IIRC).

The evolutionary reason here is believed to be that the ancestors of East Asians migrated from Siberia. Living in a harsh cold climate, sweating less is a survival advantage.

It's a common misconception. If genes only did exactly one thing, how could genetic diseases survive? Because they're ususally not connected to one thing.

Some people think that homosexuality can't be genetic -"they don't reproduce!" What those folks don't get is that until we actually know what the 'gay gene' does, we can't say. For all we know, it could be completely necessary for sexuality in general! It's superficial to think that the only biological options would be our anthropocentric view, that of gay-vs-straight. It could well be that the 'genetic choice' wasn't between gay and straight, but between a gene that made 5% of people gay and one that made people dramatically less interested in sex. Obviously the former would propagate better.
 
  • #67
166
1
Until one knows exactly what a gene codes for, and all the consequences of a mutation, we simply don't know. We don't know how things are actually connected 'under the hood', but they're often not at all connected the way we tend to think they'd be.
Good point, in fact, there is probably no such thing as a single gene that is responsible for any phenotypical trait. An expressed gene can have hundreds, if not thousands, of interactions that result in different outcomes.

I think when many (lay)people think of evolution, they tend to really over-simplify and gloss over the complexity of the intricate biological processes involved and only see the "big picture" while neglecting the details of what is really going on.
 
  • #68
418
0
Earlier on there was a discussion about the *eye*. This article is helpful.

Squid Pax-6 and eye  development

Stanislav I. Tomarev * , †, Patrick Callaerts ‡, Lidia Kos §, Rina Zinovieva , Georg Halder ‡, Walter Gehring ‡, and Joram Piatigorsky *
*Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-2730; ‡Department of Cell Biology, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland, Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland; and §Laboratory of Genetic Disease Research, National Center for Human Genome Research, Bethesda, MD 20892-2730

Abstract:
"Pax-6 in vertebrates and its homolog eyeless in Drosophila are known to be essential for eye development. Here we investigate the role of Pax-6 in eye development in another major systematic group, molluscs. We demonstrate that alternatively spliced RNAs derived from a single Pax-6 gene in the squid (Loligo opalescens) are expressed in the embryonic eye, olfactory organ, brain, and arms. Despite significant sequence differences between squid Pax-6 and Drosophila eyeless in the region outside the paired- and homeodomains, squid Pax-6 is able to induce the formation of ectopic eyes in Drosophila. Our results support the idea that Pax-6 related genes are necessary for eye and olfactory system formation throughout the animal kingdom."

You can read the entire article from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
http://www.pnas.org/content/94/6/2421.full?sid=496d4157-46f1-457f-825e-7aeca380c9dc
###

Also, I hope newcomers will take the time to explore the link I provided on the previous page. There's a lot of valuable information. Thanks.

I hope everyone has a superb weekend. I'm off to the ocean for fun and relaxation.:biggrin:
 
  • #69
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
Good point, in fact, there is probably no such thing as a single gene that is responsible for any phenotypical trait.
Well, there's an oversimplification. You can have an allele of a gene that causes a very specific phenotypical trait, just look at genetic disorders for many examples.
 
  • #70
166
1
You can have an allele of a gene that causes a very specific phenotypical trait, just look at genetic disorders for many examples.
Most genetic markers as they relate to disease association involve statistical probablilities (if you have such and such allele, you have such and such probablility of contracting such and such disorder). But that said, sure you could have a certain mutation, duplication, or deletion that may result in some disorder, but that gene is most likely just a part of a larger interaction with other genes and probably has multiple functions and forms.
 
  • #71
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
Most genetic markers as they relate to disease association involve statistical probablilities (if you have such and such allele, you have such and such probablility of contracting such and such disorder). But that said, sure you could have a certain mutation, duplication, or deletion that may result in some disorder, but that gene is most likely just a part of a larger interaction with other genes and probably has multiple functions and forms.
Sure there are multifactorial or polygenic disorders, but there are also mendelian disorders where a single gene is responsible for a specific disease (or trait). Look at Mendel's work on peas or Brenner's work on nematodes for examples of mendelian genetics.
 
Last edited:
  • #72
99
0
Thanks for clearing that up.
 
  • #73
418
0
Here’s something worthy to note from the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Volume 22 Issue 1, Pages 192 – 200, Nov 11, 2008.

The evolution of sex-determining mechanisms: lessons from temperature-sensitive mutations in sex determination genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

C. H. CHANDLER*, P. C. PHILLIPS† & F. J. JANZEN*
*Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
†Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA
Abstract:"Sexual reproduction is one of the most taxonomically conserved traits, yet sex-determining mechanisms (SDMs) are quite diverse. For instance, there are numerous forms of environmental sex determination (ESD), in which an organism's sex is determined not by genotype, but by environmental factors during development. Important questions remain regarding transitions between SDMs, in part because the organisms exhibiting unique mechanisms often make difficult study organisms. One potential solution is to utilize mutant strains in model organisms better suited to answering these questions. We have characterized two such strains of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. These strains harbour temperature-sensitive mutations in key sex-determining genes. We show that they display a sex ratio reaction norm in response to rearing temperature similar to other organisms with ESD. Next, we show that these mutations also cause deleterious pleiotropic effects on overall fitness. Finally, we show that these mutations are fundamentally different at the genetic sequence level. These strains will be a useful complement to naturally occurring taxa with ESD in future research examining the molecular basis of and the selective forces driving evolutionary transitions between sex determination mechanisms.”
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121510645/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

This also peeked my interest.

Title: Evolution and mechanisms of plant tolerance to flooding stress.
Author: Jackson, Michael B.
Ishizawa, Kimiharu
Ito, Osamu

Found In: Annals of botany. Oxford University Press 2009 Jan., v. 103, no. 2p. 137-142.

Abstract: "BACKGROUND: In recognition of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, this short article on flooding stress acknowledges not only Darwin’s great contribution to the concept of evolution but also to the study of plant physiology. In modern biology, Darwin-inspired reductionist physiology continues to shed light on mechanisms that confer competitive advantage in many varied and challenging environments, including those where flooding is prevalent. SCOPE: Mild flooding is experienced by most land plants but as its severity increases, fewer species are able to grow and survive. At the extreme, a highly exclusive aquatic lifestyle appears to have evolved numerous times over the past 120 million years. Although only 1-2% of angiosperms are aquatics, some of their adaptive characteristics are also seen in those adopting an amphibious lifestyle where flooding is less frequent. Lowland rice, the staple cereal for much of tropical Asia falls into this category. But, even amongst dry-land dwellers, or certain of their sub-populations, modest tolerance to occasional flooding is to be found, for example in wheat. The collection of papers summarized in this article describes advances to the understanding of mechanisms that explain flooding tolerance in aquatic, amphibious and dry-land plants. Work to develop more tolerant crops or manage flood-prone environments more effectively is also included. The experimental approaches range from molecular analyses, through biochemistry and metabolomics to whole-plant physiology, plant breeding and ecology."
http://agricola.nal.usda.gov/cgi-bi...=20090923120352&SID=1&DB=local&STARTDB=AGRIDB

I'm in the process of comparing the last one to an antique book I picked up entitled AN EVOLUTIONARY SURVEY OF THE PLANT KINGDOM by Robert F. Scagel, Robert J. Bandoni, Glenn E. Rouse, W.B. Scholfield, Janet R. Stein, and T.M.C. Taylor, Wadswroth Publishing Company, Inc. , 1968.
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on Mechanism to allow for evolution. How did this mechanism come to be?

  • Last Post
2
Replies
26
Views
18K
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
9
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
4K
Replies
23
Views
16K
Replies
8
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
16K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
5K
Replies
16
Views
6K
Top