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 Curious
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Jan
7
comment What are we missing about the real workings of the evolutionary process?
@AMR "I may be entirely wrong, but I don't hear Evolutionary or Paleo Biologist saying that we need computer simulations to understand the subject" - actually there are quite a number of very senior and influential evolutionary theorists who use simulation extensively. Szathmáry and Nowak both come to mind straight away, though there are many others.
Jan
6
comment What are we missing about the real workings of the evolutionary process?
Deutsch's "doubt that any 'artificial evolution' has ever created knowledge" seems unfounded to me, since there are a moderate number of well-documented examples of exactly that, in the form of electric circuits that work in ways no human ever designed, and that sort of thing. (But I have not read Deutsch's paper and perhaps he addresses those.)
Jan
6
comment What are we missing about the real workings of the evolutionary process?
In my opinion it's mostly due to the constraints of computing power, which was very limited throughout most of the field's history, and is even now not quite enough. Because of this, we tend to use the smallest population we can get away with, and very strong selection pressure, because otherwise we would be waiting too long for anything to happen at all. But with small populations and strong selection you should not really expect anything other than strong convergence to a local optimum.
Jan
6
comment What are we missing about the real workings of the evolutionary process?
This is known in Artificial Life circles as "the problem of open-ended evolution." It is (still) an area of active research (e.g. there was a workshop on it at the last ALife conference in York, UK last year) but nobody believes with certainty that they know the answer at this stage.
Mar
26
awarded  Curious
Mar
25
comment Mathematical models of lineage selection
@Remi.b I'm pretty aware of that argument (not sure which side I fall on), but lineage selection in the sense I intend it is not the same as either of them - it's not about adaptations that benefit relatives, it's purely about adaptations that benefit your descendants, several (or many) generations later.
Mar
25
comment Mathematical models of lineage selection
Thank you, these references look extremely useful.
Mar
25
asked Mathematical models of lineage selection
Jan
5
comment Are there known examples where an evolved mechanism “echoes” one originally provided by the environment?
Great, thanks, I will certainly look into this in detail. (I might accept this answer but let's see if anything else comes up first.)
Jan
5
comment General time reversible model of evolution and Felsenstein model
You can find some information, with references to the original papers, on this Wikpedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… (I won't try to offer a summary, because it's not by field.)
Jan
5
revised Are there known examples where an evolved mechanism “echoes” one originally provided by the environment?
added 34 characters in body
Jan
5
comment Are there known examples where an evolved mechanism “echoes” one originally provided by the environment?
I've re-written the question, and I hope it's clearer now.
Jan
5
revised Are there known examples where an evolved mechanism “echoes” one originally provided by the environment?
added 2452 characters in body; edited title
Jan
5
comment Are there known examples where an evolved mechanism “echoes” one originally provided by the environment?
(Though I guess your examples are somewhat lacking in the "echoing the environment" property, because the 'complicated anatomical mechanisms' they use don't resemble the original environmental mechanism. I do need to clarify what I mean by that, and I hope to find the time today or this week.)
Jan
5
comment Are there known examples where an evolved mechanism “echoes” one originally provided by the environment?
Thank you for the answer. The examples are indeed relevant. I do intend to make the requested improvements to the question, including references, its just a little hard to find the time and enthusiasm at the moment. I also don't understand why evolved solutions should echo those provided by the environment, yet hypotheses of this form are common in the origins of life, hence the question. (I hope my future edits will make it clearer what I mean by that.)
Jan
4
awarded  Quorum
Jan
2
suggested rejected edit on What do we know about the cellular structure, processes, environment, and immediate ancestors of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA)?
Dec
31
comment Are there known examples where an evolved mechanism “echoes” one originally provided by the environment?
@user137 yes, if there's a known example of that it would make a very good example. (Of course I know that there are many known examples where a species has lost the ability to make an amino acid, but this is the point I eventually want to make - if the environment provides a species with something, there's no pressure for the species to evolve that thing for itself, and so it doesn't tend to happen.)
Dec
30
comment Are there known examples where an evolved mechanism “echoes” one originally provided by the environment?
You're answering a different question from the one I'm asking. As I said, this is my fault for not being clear enough, and I will have to think more about how to improve the question.
Dec
30
comment Are there known examples where an evolved mechanism “echoes” one originally provided by the environment?
I'm very sorry that I wasn't able to make my question clear. I'm not just asking for examples of the evolution of metabolic pathways. I'm asking for examples (if they exist, which they may well not) of metabolic functions which at one time were provided by the environment but which are now performed by the organism using a similar molecular mechanism. Examples would likely come from phylogenetics, rather than direct experimental observation.