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A Seldom Mentioned Problem With Evolution


Twighlight
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Never mind 'irreducable complexity', or arguments against the 'randomness' of evolution. To me, here is the single biggest counter-evolution argument there is :-

 

Let's take flight as an example. OK, so we suppose that some critter developed a few pre-flight potentials....maybe glided from tree to tree. Or whatever. How it happened is not as important as this factor :- The creature's brain had to evolve AS WELL in order to deal with any bodily changes or new appendages.

 

Now that does indeed pose a problem, because I do not see a single example in the whole of evolution for which a creature exists for which it is not apparent that there must have been a brain at work that controlled the entire body. Pleisiosaurs had flippers. It is quite evident that they must have also had a brain that knew they had flippers.

 

In other words, one has the inescapable conclusion that every time a creature's body changes by some mutation.....ANOTHER mutation has to occur that links the brain to that change. This makes evolution vastly more complex than just the honing of individual random mutations. It means that evolution has to occur in body/brain mutational pairs. For every body change, there has to be a seperate but corresponding brain change.

 

But one then has to ask.....why should there be an exact synchronicity ? Howcome we do not see, anywhere in the whole of nature, a single example of a creature that has developed some bodily function or appendage or whatever.....for which there is not a corresponding brain function as well ?

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

worms have algorithms that tell them when to eat, dig, surface, and [censored]. I am not a worm, but I don't think they think about those things anymore than you think about breathing, or ducking if bullet is coming at you. Instinct, I think is the word. Birds fly on instinct.

 

 

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Birds may fly on instinct..but it's all controlled by a brain. So the brain has to 'know' that the critter has wings.

 

My problem is I just don't see how the brain and the wings evolve together. If a mutation creates a bit of wing...then fine. But you then need ANOTHER mutation to link up that wing to the brain and for the critter to figure out what to do with this new appendage !

 

That is why I hate it when people like Prof Richard Dawkins come across so smuggly about 'random' evolution and natural selection. Really, it is like having a modern 'fly by wire' plane evolve randomly.....with half a ton of software and ciruitry somehow miraculously 'knowing' that its an Airbus 320......and not a space shuttle or a Ferrari F40.

 

Nobody has ever explained how the **** the brain knows that the critter evolved wings. Nobody has ever explained why the brain doesn't just say ' hmm....what are these flappy things...what do I DO with them ?'.

 

And I don't see any examples in nature of animals wandering about with appendages hanging limply that their brain hasn't control over.

 

When Dawkins has explained that.....THEN he can be smug.

 

 

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Now that does indeed pose a problem, because I do not see a single example in the whole of evolution for which a creature exists for which it is not apparent that there must have been a brain at work that controlled the entire body. Pleisiosaurs had flippers. It is quite evident that they must have also had a brain that knew they had flippers.

A sperm cell has a monoflagellate "flipper", no brain, a definite structure and is composed of a single cell. It swims and navigates on a very particular course.
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The more I read your guys post in all seriousness, I'm taking a fascination in nature's nanotech lol.

 

If you compare biology to mechanics, computing etc...

 

Insects are overlooked I think in terms of some research?

 

...the smaller the more fascinating.

 

Would it ever be possible to combine nanotech and insect biology?

 

Don't alot of insects have alot of very sensitive receptors/detectors for lack of better terminology to detect changes in environmental conditions? Could this be used as a "remote control" if finely tuned variables were put in place?

 

(Waves, etc?).

 

Think about it - in terms of nanotech and biology etc...

 

This gets rid of a major issue...

 

What?

 

ETHICS !

 

There's no pandora's box to the limit of manipulation.

 

(IE., Some research at the University of Reading on a micro scale).

 

LOL

 

Cyborg insects - would make for a good Sci-Fi novel if nothing else huh?

 

Controlled by a Quantum computer, etc... :)

 

(Would have been a good method to infiltrate and take out the 'Borg for all you Trek fans ;) ).

 

This has alot of interesting facets I'd love to see others input or ideas, expansions, limitations on...if you don't mind I'm moving it to it's own thread.

 

 

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The Proto-Bird is living up in a tree with his funny arms and some creature comes and attacks it and it falls out of the tree and discovers it can use these funny arms to not hit the ground as fast. It thinks "That's pretty nifty" and goes on with its life, having little funny armed babies. A couple of the Proto-Bird babies discover they can glide also, except this time one of the Proto-Bird babies grows up and demonstrates the gliding to its Protobird babies, who in turn show there babies and so on and so forth until there is enough Funny arms around to get rid of the inbreeding problem and let evolution begin, where all the funny armed Proto-Birds eventually become Winged Proto-Bird who repeat the cycle of the funny armed Proto-Birds until they are diverse enough to evovle into Birds. A living brain isnt born withe information it will always have, So the brain doesn't need to "evolve" the ability to fly, it has to learn to fly. Your brain didnt evolve to write with a pencil, but you still can.

 

What interests me however, is how instinct is evovled?

 

 

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twilight, some birds did evolve a wing, and their brains didn;t know what to do with it. Others had brains that learned to fly, but did get the wings to do so. Eventually, the two met and because the combination was superior and allowed such to propagate, it has spread and lasted through millions of years.

 

I would suggest you do a little playing with random number generators on a computer, fractal algorithm programs, computer neural net structures, etc. You will likely crash computers and may kill a harddrive as i did once. But not before you see with your own eyes the results of learnt computer. Evolution can work in similar manners. Both a learnt computer and a human possess reason; the difference is freewill.

 

Angel of Chaos, your fascination with the micro and the macro is based in solid reason. If I could figure out a quick and easy way to post an image I would, or if someone messages me an email I can send the image too, I'd like for this audience to see it. I have compiled a simple side by side image that shows about 7 or 8 really small things and 7 or 8 really big things. The similarities are not coincidence and the image starts to write the story of a universal theory in which our physical world is cyclical.

 

 

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twilight, some birds did evolve a wing, and their brains didn;t know what to do with it. Others had brains that learned to fly, but did get the wings to do so. Eventually, the two met and because the combination was superior and allowed such to propagate, it has spread and lasted through millions of years.

I would suggest you do a little playing with random number generators on a computer, fractal algorithm programs, computer neural net structures, etc. You will likely crash computers and may kill a harddrive as i did once. But not before you see with your own eyes the results of learnt computer. Evolution can work in similar manners. Both a learnt computer and a human possess reason; the difference is freewill.

Hmm.....no, that doesn't really answer the issue. I'm fully familiar with 'evolution' programmes....such as Framsticks, which I played with a long time ago. However, such programs are pre-coded with certain algorithms that link 'brain' activity to whatever 'body' emerges.It's a totally different ball game with real evolution. There's no preset rule that links a randon mutation in the body to a control function in the brain. Even though there almost certainly must be some 'mapping' process that links body to brain ( for senses such as touch, heat, cold, etc ).....that is just basic wiring.

 

Flying, for example, involes a good deal more than just flapping wings. There's precise control function areas of the brain. This has to in turn be linked in with visual information.....as it's pointless knowing how to fly if the brain can't figure that you are actually flying.

 

The point being that the brain and body have to evolve, in parallel, yet totally randomly.

 

Now that is a bit like my computer...AND it's entire operating system....evolving by chance ! So the computer one day finds it has a 500gb disk drive attached. It has no idea what it even is....let alone what to do with it. Even if it works out that it's a handy device for storing information....that's a far cry from a full operating system with directories and indexing and file types and so on. Sort of like Windows 7 being created totally randomly by changing 0s and 1s. Might happen given an exceedingly long time........but my whole point is that I simply DON'T see any examples in nature of form without function.

 

I don't see any examples at all, in nature, of bits having evolved which are then waiting 100,000 or a million years for the brain to randomly evolve a control function. Look around you, anywhere in nature, and you see creatures that have complete control of their faculties NOW. I don't see a single example of any delay......indeed any such delay would likely be disadvantageous.

 

That is the issue posed here. Two systems co-evolving OUGHT to have lots of common examples in nature of a mismatch between form and funtion and control. They don't.....not a single example.

 

 

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Angel of Chaos, your fascination with the micro and the macro is based in solid reason. If I could figure out a quick and easy way to post an image I would, or if someone messages me an email I can send the image too, I'd like for this audience to see it. I have compiled a simple side by side image that shows about 7 or 8 really small things and 7 or 8 really big things. The similarities are not coincidence and the image starts to write the story of a universal theory in which our physical world is cyclical.

So, I'm not alone in seeing an atom/s spinning in the universe on a massive grandeur scale?(metaphorcially of course).

 

I've heard life mimics art...

 

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I am not familiar with framesticks. When I say play with computer evolution I am talking about splicing random number generators and biological algorythms. Some algorythms, such as those for a worm brain have been coded to 1's and 0's. And for a random num,ber generator on a computer to truely be "random", you need an uncontrolled source for the base code. In my situation I had a pentium chip that used minor fluctuations in the elctrical grid (monitored on chipset) to produce a random number, that in turn was used for some sort of monitoring of the registry. I forget what version of the pentium chip did that, I am not sure if they still do that or not. Maybe some mouse jockey can answer that. In my expieiments, I was able to create a neural net on the harddrive using small biological algorthyms and a random number genertaor too. Many many versions did nothing, made the computer slower, crashed the computer, and once killed the harddrive. One result, however created a neural network on harddrive that allowed increadibly fast access and processing of information. One of my benchmarks was a 200MB Tiff image. Where the out of box computer may have taken 5 minutes to open image, my best result was about 15 seconds. I played with that setup for about a week or two, but after coming off 4-5 weeks of trying different neural nets with negative or mild positive results, I was anxious to increase speed even further and push the limits. I never again was able to produce a framework that worked as well. After destroying a HD on a subsequent build, I was reluctant to go further and started getting real busy with my thesis work, which was unreleated. Evolution can be had within a computers world, but it will lack freewill.

 

 

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Have a look at Framsticks. I think it was developed by some Polish university. Hasn't been updated since 2005 by the looks of it......but I used to have great fun with it. Loads of adjustable parameters..and all quite complex to truly get running properly. Probably one of the better 'evolution generator' software programs.....and it's free.

 

http://www.framsticks.com/

 

 

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