Re: who's evolving?

8 Apr 1995 14:36:29 GMT

In article <3m4mvf$>, (Bob Stjohn) writes:
>We have put evolution on hold until a large disaster reduces the
>populaton to a few hundred. We should not expect evolution to be good or
>bad, it just is. Ther is no plan and no goal escept to survive and that
>is a personal goal of every member of humanity not the goal of humanity.

I'm confused as to how you can say we've put evolution on hold? It was my
impression that evolution was simply a change in gene frequency in a population
over a generation. There does not have to be actual speciation occurring to
qualify as evolution. I don't think we can put it on hold. I think it is
a natural process. Certainly drift and gene flow are going on, as well as
mutation. As for natural selection, which is the force most people think of
when they hear "evolution" I don't think we can totally rule out that either.
I would not be surprised to find out that it is happening most often nowadays
on the structure of the brain/mind -- since that is what modern humans rely on
most to cope with their environment.
I agree that there is no ultimate "plan" involved -- what works best in
any given environment is what is selected for (I keep conjuring up the image
of those damn English moths - shifting color as conditions changed, neither
color was "superior" to the other). In the same line of thought, there is
no pattern of "continual improvement" except in the matter of becoming better
adapted to one's environment. So, the old idea of simple celled organisms
moving to multi-celled, etc, and better & better, is flawed. Single-celled
life, like bacteria, is probably the most successful lifeform on this planet.
They have outlasted any other species & most likely will continue on after we
are gone. So, when we are asking questions about, say, the evolution of the
hominids, we need to consider environmental conditions, available resources,

Caroline Cooper