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Re: Rapid Lizard Evo
Good points both (tho one we will leave alone.) Lynn Caporale's work on
Darwinism in the genome seems to imply that genes have evolved for
"evolvability", thus allowing - if not actively accelerating - mutation
in some parts of genes when an organism faces environmental stresses.
With all that we are learning about epigenetics and how a mother can
"prime" gene switches in her children, and what that implies for the
Baldwin effect's rapidity in "fixing" new behaviours, well... evolution
is a lot more than mere passive change of gene frequencies. But I guess
we kind of knew that all along.
Dann Pigdon wrote:
Dan Chure writes:
Of course, the argument to be made from this, in some circles, will
be that evolution does not take millions of years to occur and this
is in line with a young Earth. Phenotypic plasticity is meaningless
to the general public and will sound like a scientific coverup.
One of the worst generalisations about evolution is that it mostly
involves random genetic mutations over long periods of time. I suspect
that random mutation plays only a very small part in the evolutionary
process, and that other processes (recombination, RNA interferance,
learned behaviour, to name a few) provide far more fodder for natural
selection to act on, and on a much smaller time scale.
Relying on random mutation is fine, as long as those mutations are
actually beneficial (which most aren't), and as long as your
environment doesn't change faster than *beneficial* random mutation
can keep up with (which it almost certainly will). Otherwise you'd
better have some short-term backup plans just in case.