Stathis asked: (last lines)
"What more to it than that is there? Sure, the details are infinitely variable, but basically living things are around because they managed to stay around and propagate themselves"
 
That would call for my 'opinion in my narrative' about mutation and natural selection, as one from a non-evolutionist.  To the 'infinitely variable' I asked a friend (teaches special math domain on a name-univ) if he could express mathematically (!) something with unrestricted variables and unidentified functional effects (referring to the wholeness) and hi replied with a smile: "That would be steep".
 
"My" mutation story is based on interactive responses to the ceaseless changes of  "the rest of the world" producing variations in offsprings. Some more compatible than others.
The variations with more 'fitness'(?) will proliferate more abundantly so they are the "successful" ones. Scientists consider most variations still as "the same" species and in their intermittent snapshots realize "changes" as mutation - towards a better adapted fitness for survival. The reverse way to how it happened. But it looks like that. No creature realizes a 'better way to survive' and has a wing or fin let grow out for that purpose.
The variants of the species "select" themselves for a better proliferation in the ever changing circumstances of the environment. The '[unsuccessful do not even show up (e.g. the calf with 5 feet: it was eaten by the wolf before copulating age).
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2006 10:35 PM
Subject: Re: Fermi's Paradox

John Mikes writes:
 
> > Destroying your species runs counter to evolution.
>
> Stathis,
> 'evolution' does not follow good manners and may not
> be chisled in stone, I for one identified it (in my
> narrative) as the entire history of the unioverse from
> its appearance till its demise (let me skip now the
> detailed definitions). Destroying one's own species
> may be beneficial to others in the biosphere...

Yes, you're right, evolution doesn't about or want anything.
 
> > I'll rephrase that: everything that happens in
> > nature is by definition in accordance with
> > evolution, but those species that destroy themselves
> > will die out, while those species that don't destroy
> > themselves will thrive. 
>
> Did the dinosaurs destroy 'themselves'? No way! they
> were destroyed by the temporary exclusion of sunlight
> after the planetesimal-impact's dustclouding. (At
> least according to a widely publicised story). They
> were well equipped for the circumstances on the planet
> that changed abruptly. No self-destruct, just
> extinction.
> Nobody is exempt from changes in the wholeness.

Yes, but we were talking about self-destruction as a subtype of extinction.
 
> >Therefore, there will be
> > selection for the species that don't destroy
> > themselves, and eventually those species will come
> > to predominate. When you think about it, the theory
> > of evolution is essentially a tautology: those
> > species which succeed, succeed.
>
> I like to think that there is more to that.

What more to it than that is there? Sure, the details are infinitely variable, but basically living things are around because they managed to stay around and propagate themselves.
 
Stathis Papaioannou


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