Universe from Order to DisOrder - Evolutionary Mishaps

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of entropy in physics and its impact on evolution in biology. The question is raised whether the process of going from order to disorder can be connected to the occurrence of mutations and dysfunctional organisms. The experts explain that entropy does not directly cause mutations, but rather they can occur due to various mechanisms. The conversation also touches on the idea of mistakes in nature and how they are defined. It is noted that the universe does not undergo the same type of evolution as biological systems. The conversation also delves into the religious implications of these concepts.
  • #1
bugatti79
794
1
Folks,

According to physics, the universe is expanding with increasing entropy from a state of Order to Disorder.

Can this be connected with the idea of the mishaps/misfiring that occur in evolution ie dysfunctional organsims etc that we see all around us.

Ie the process of going from Order to Disorder causes a transient misfiring until equilibrium is found.

Perhaps there is no connection whatsoever...I am just wondering
 
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  • #2
I'm not sure what you mean by dysfunctional or transient misfiring.

Entropy obviously has a huge effect on biology due to it's relevance in chemical behaviour (i.e. protein folding) but it doesn't mean that biological systems cannot grow in complexity or order. If you are asking if entropy causes mutation I'm afraid the answer is no (mutation is caused by a variety of mechanisms).

The whole order --> disorder thing refers to closed systems. No organism on Earth lives in a closed system therefore order --> disorder does not apply that much in evolutionary biology.
 
  • #3
ryan_m_b said:
If you are asking if entropy causes mutation I'm afraid the answer is no (mutation is caused by a variety of mechanisms).

The whole order --> disorder thing refers to closed systems. No organism on Earth lives in a closed system therefore order --> disorder does not apply that much in evolutionary biology.

Thats pretty much what I was asking...thanks. So what causes these mutations in the first place...why does it go wrong?

This is a laymans questions directed at experts :-)

Thanks
 
  • #4
No problem, if you click on the part of my post where it said "variety of mechanisms" it will take you to the section of a wikipedia page that lists a series of common reasons.

Mutations can happen because of spontaneous effects at the molecular level or it can be induced by chemical, biological and radiation means. All of these can either cause a change in the DNA itself or lead to the molecule that copies DNA making a mistake.

When this occurs in a somatic (body) cell and doesn't get fixed it can either have no effect, it can kill the cell or it can cause cancer. If it happens in a gamete (sex) cell then the mutation can be passed on to the offspring.

This is how mutations arise in a species; natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow will then decide the effects of this mutation.
 
  • #5
ryan_m_b said:
No problem, if you click on the part of my post where it said "variety of mechanisms" it will take you to the section of a wikipedia page that lists a series of common reasons.

Mutations can happen because of spontaneous effects at the molecular level or it can be induced by chemical, biological and radiation means. All of these can either cause a change in the DNA itself or lead to the molecule that copies DNA making a mistake.

When this occurs in a somatic (body) cell and doesn't get fixed it can either have no effect, it can kill the cell or it can cause cancer. If it happens in a gamete (sex) cell then the mutation can be passed on to the offspring.

This is how mutations arise in a species; natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow will then decide the effects of this mutation.

Ok, interesting but above my head...and these 'mistakes' happen becasue nature is not perfect?

Thanks again.
 
  • #6
bugatti79 said:
Ok, interesting but above my head...

It is not that difficult though it might take some time. Reading that wikipedia article on mutations carefully would give you a pretty good idea of what a mutation is and how it works.

bugatti79 said:
...and these 'mistakes' happen becasue nature is not perfect?
Thanks again.

You could say that, although there are many ways through which mutations can happen (refer to Ryan's link).

And remember that not all mutations are mistakes. Somatic hypermutation is an important process through which the immune system adapts and prepares itself for future infections.
 
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  • #7
mishrashubham said:
It is not that difficult though it might take some time. Reading that wikipedia article on mutations carefully would give you a pretty good idea of what a mutation is and how it works.



You could say that, although there are many ways through which mutations can happen (refer to Ryan's link).

And remember that not all mutations are mistakes. Somatic hypermutation is an important process through which the immune system adapts and prepares itself for future infections.

Ok thanks,

I am wondering do we have an equivalent for the universe. How the universe is evolving...do mistakes happen out there ( in the context of my first post)?
 
  • #8
bugatti79 said:
Ok thanks,

I am wondering do we have an equivalent for the universe. How the universe is evolving...do mistakes happen out there ( in the context of my first post)?

How do you define a mistake? The word "mistake" implies intention. If I intend one result and get another, I have made a mistake. Does nature have intention? Does nature "care" about fetal malformations or evolutionary dead ends. If an asteroid hits the Earth and wipes out all life except perhaps microorganisms, is that a mistake?
 
  • #9
bugatti79 said:
Ok thanks,

I am wondering do we have an equivalent for the universe. How the universe is evolving...do mistakes happen out there ( in the context of my first post)?

The universe is not evolving in the same sense. In biology "evolution" means change in "allele frequency within a population over time" or to put it another way "replication with variation under environmental attrition".

In physics the terms stellar evolution and galactic evolution are used. These things use the word http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_(term) in the sense of gradual change, not biological evolution.
 
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  • #10
SW VandeCarr said:
How do you define a mistake? The word "mistake" implies intention. If I intend one result and get another, I have made a mistake. Does nature have intention? Does nature "care" about fetal malformations or evolutionary dead ends. If an asteroid hits the Earth and wipes out all life except perhaps microorganisms, is that a mistake?


Do religious people not see that importance of this? That nature just continues on and the idea of an asteroid hitting Earth is not ludicrous. Just because humans are the most advanced/adaptable species doesn't make us devine...

I think I am goin off topic now.

Thanks
 
  • #11
ryan_m_b said:
The universe is not evolving in the same sense. In biology "evolution" means change in "allele frequency within a population over time" or to put it another way "replication with variation under environmental attrition".

In physics the terms stellar evolution and galactic evolution are used. These things use the word http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_(term) in the sense of gradual change, not biological evolution.

This is interesting.
 
  • #12
bugatti79 said:
This is interesting.

The English language is full of little annoyances like this. I have seen some creationist arguments start with the premise "there are six definitions of evolution..." before discussing cosmic evolution, stellar evolution, chemical evolution etc. But they are making the simplistic mistake of assuming that the word has one meaning.

The other big problem similar to this in science is the common use of the terms "proof", "prove" and "fact". In science we discuss evidence and only use these terms to mean "evidenced beyond reasonable doubt" whereas in the common use they mean "absolutely true".
 

Related to Universe from Order to DisOrder - Evolutionary Mishaps

1. What is the Universe from Order to DisOrder?

The Universe from Order to DisOrder is a theory that explains the process of evolution and how it leads to the creation of complex and diverse life forms from simpler, more ordered forms. It encompasses both biological and physical processes that contribute to the ongoing changes in the universe.

2. What is the role of evolutionary mishaps in this theory?

Evolutionary mishaps are unexpected or unintended changes that occur during the process of evolution. These mishaps can either have a positive or negative impact on an organism's survival and reproduction, and they contribute to the overall diversity and complexity of life on Earth.

3. How do scientists study evolutionary mishaps?

Scientists study evolutionary mishaps through various methods, including fossil records, genetic analysis, and observations of current species. By examining the traits and characteristics of different organisms, scientists can determine which evolutionary mishaps may have occurred and how they have influenced the development of different species.

4. Can evolutionary mishaps result in new species?

Yes, evolutionary mishaps can lead to the formation of new species. When a mishap results in a significant change in an organism's genetic makeup, it can lead to the development of a new species that is better adapted to its environment. This process, known as speciation, is a key mechanism in the theory of evolution.

5. How does the concept of entropy relate to the Universe from Order to DisOrder?

Entropy is a measure of the disorder or randomness in a system. In the Universe from Order to DisOrder, entropy plays a crucial role as it explains how the universe is constantly moving towards a state of higher disorder and lower energy. This process of increasing disorder is a fundamental aspect of the theory and is a driving force behind the evolution of life on Earth.

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