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More discussion on evolution and abiogenesis

  1. Feb 1, 2007 #1
    Science has no idea of the mechanism. All that will be said is that it just happened and because it did there was life, which continued. There is no explaination beyond that. Of course there are other explainations outside science which account for this issue, which I believe, but I cannot talk about those here.


    Moderator note: This thread is a split from another thread that had gone too far off topic, hence the abrupt start.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2007 #2
    Yes, there is actually quite broad knowledge on the mechanisms behind evolution as well as how different traits emerge as a result of mutation for instance.

    Introduction to Evolutionary Biology

    Pay special attention to the sections on Genetic Variation and Mechanisms that Increase Genetic Variation (mutation and recombination especially well). According to the scientific model, creationism does not provide any explanation whatsoever. Also note that this has nothing to do with abiogenesis, that is, how the first living organisms appeared.
  4. Feb 2, 2007 #3
    The traits he is talking about are survival, reproduction. Since these traits are present in all life, the question has everything to do with abiogenesis. Evolution may offer an explanation of how these traits change over time, but does not offer an explanation for the actual origin.
  5. Feb 2, 2007 #4


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    No, his question has nothing to do with abiogenesis. The question was about survival instincts. This has nothing to do with how life originally formed.
  6. Feb 2, 2007 #5
    These are the defining characteristics of all life (and evolution does not exist without them, or prior to them) evolution itself cannot be the origin. Its the other way around: evolution is a consequence of the survival instincts.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  7. Feb 2, 2007 #6
    The theory of how the first living organisms appeared is called abiogenesis. None is claiming that abiogenesis is evolution.

    Evolution can operate just fine without survival instincts. In fact, survival is only one component of selection. Males may differ little in their ability to survive, but greatly in their ability to attract mates the difference in reproductive success stems mainly from the latter consideration. A male can live during a short period of time and still produce a vast number of offspring, whether or not it has a strong survival instinct or not.

    Evolution demands a genetic diversity, and the individuals that did not have survival instincts were selected against over time, since individuals who did not have it also had a disadvantage towards the others who did.

    What evidence do you have to support your claims?

  8. Feb 2, 2007 #7


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    1] Proteins evolved, though they did not have survival instincts; they weren't even alive. The simple ability to chemically reproduce a copy of itself is enough for evolution to occur.

    2] Evolution occurs quite nicely without any survival instincts thankyouverymuch. An albino lion on the African savanna will be pretty effective at NOT passing along its genes, regardless of how sophisticated its survival instincts are. It will starve.

    Evolution dramatically predates survival instincts.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  9. Feb 2, 2007 #8
    How do they reproduce?

    Btw i meant evolution as in evolution theory.
  10. Feb 2, 2007 #9


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    I don't really know - but we certainly know they did.

    I'm not suggesting they evolved floating around all by their lonesome in the primordial soup, there were other mechanisms in place, such as semi-permeable membranes, but you cannot expect that a drop of organic goop can have anything called a survival instinct.

    Is there any other meaning?
  11. Feb 2, 2007 #10
    Selection is eliminative. It, by definition, does not deal with the production of traits.

    Now, since the very first living organism must have had survival instincts (otherwise, it would not be considered alive), that places the origin of these survival instincts prior to the origin of evolution theory, because evolution theory only applies to living beings.

    What claims?

  12. Feb 2, 2007 #11
    But they do now only through the aid of living cells?

    I dont expect that the drops of goop have survival instincts, but i do expect the first living organism to have them.

    Well, since proteins arent alive and u say they evolve, u must have some other meaning of 'evolution'. Perhaps u meant 'change'?
  13. Feb 2, 2007 #12


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    "Selection is eliminative. It, by definition, does not deal with the production of traits."

    Your definitions are mixed up.

    "Now, since the very first living organism must have had survival instincts "
    Why do you say that?

    "(otherwise, it would not be considered alive), "
    Why not?

    "Well, since proteins arent alive and u say they evolve, u must have some other meaning of 'evolution'. Perhaps u meant 'change'?"
    No, you have some other meaning of evolution.

    1] Evolution only requires an ability to make a copy of itself, a method for changing the resultant copies and process that will select for further reproduction. There is actually no "requirement" for life.

    2] Selection, whether positive or negative, does not require any form of instinct of even brain activity or even nervous system.

    "Instincts" are the privilege only of the more sophisticated organisms - they're merely gravy.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  14. Feb 2, 2007 #13
    Incorrect. Natural Selection can be both.1

    Do not think for a second that it is some kind of conscious choice or that it requires some kind of nervous system to survive. All you have to do is simply not get killed. I doubt that the first living biological entity on earth had the ability to make a conscious decision or the metabolic pathways and biochemistry needed to be able to 'feel' hunger.

    Also, using Wikipedia as a source for your claims is a bad idea - especially one that has been tagged as frequently abused.

    You need to separate the different uses of evolution and evolve. There are more than one linguistic meaning, more or less scientific. The same goes for other words such as force, theory, energy and so on.


    1"Overview of Evolution within a Lineage" Introduction to Evolutionary Biology
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  15. Feb 2, 2007 #14
    His paragraph about organisms that do not have surival instincts being wiped out.

    On wikipedia it says:

    I was taught that evolution theory does not extend into the area of abiogenesis. U were talking about protein evolution in the primordial soup.

    Then we disagree on what an instinct is. I think it is inherent behaviour of an organism. I also think microbes are quite sophisticated btw.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  16. Feb 2, 2007 #15


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    Inherent behaviour such as, say, an arctic hare physically being able to run at 20mph? Is that a "survival instinct"? Or is that an evolved program, that has nothing to do with the hare's instincts? Do you think that its powerful legs did not help the arctic hare survive?

    As do I. But evolution doesn't start there. It starts in much simpler processes.

    You seem to feel that evolution is limited ONLY to behavioral actions that can be attributed to instincts. That represents about .0001% of all processes that keep life going.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  17. Feb 2, 2007 #16
    The following is from the Introduction to Evolutionary Biology. I have posted the link several times through this thread:

    By selecting against harmful alleles, it is selecting for helpful alleles. There is no need for a specific example - this happens all the time.

    Note that those 'requirements of live' of you stated does not tell the entire story - there are animals such as bastards or hybrids that cannot reproduce and are born sterile. However, you cannot possibly claim that they are dead because of it.

    It is not a philosophical issue at all. If you do not have a (central) nervous system, you cannot consciously do anything. It is just actions brought on by outside interference, such as levels of chemicals and so on. However, there is no actual reasoning within the organism that allows it to think "Oh, here comes something bad, I better move or else I will die". Organisms that small and basic cannot consciously understand their motives. This is a result of currently accepted definitions.

    Articles on Wikipedia can be changed by anyone at anytime. The information on the articles you linked to can change drastically over a short period of time. That is why it is not that professional to use as a source of information in these situations.

    Since this conversation has not been about the evolution of the Universe or other linguistic definitions, it is logical to assume that by evolution, I am referring to the biologic definitions of it.
  18. Feb 2, 2007 #17
    Yes, the helpful alleles were obviously there, since evolution demands an initial genetic diversion. You want an example of something general? Sure. By making people with a certain condition less able to successfully reproduce, that condition is selected against. Examples could be neurological conditions that can be inherited. According to this there are over 200.

    Cells in a multicellular organism differentiate. A single cell organism reproduce. Some creatures make use of asexual reproduction. It is not like a sterile mule will be able to clone itself just because its cells differentiate.

    I've made my point about consciousness, the links to credible websites I have provided have supported the facts that I have presented and you do not seem to have any valid counterarguments. I also agree that this is a done deal.
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