Daily Archives: March 15, 2010

This Movie Has it All

My Secret Weapon

He obeys my every command.

Neutrality in the Matrix

A few days back, I posted this comment on the BioLogos blog:

Wikipedia describes panselectionism as “the idea that selection is the only force strong enough to explain evolution, relaying random drift and mutations to minor roles.”  So where did this bad idea come from?  Let’s just say that I think one can make a reasonable case that panselectionism emerged naturally from the Modern Synthesis (which some people, even today, equate with the “theory of evolution”).

Second, the rise of non-adaptive hypotheses and the decline of panselectionism helps us see the whole junk DNA debate in a more interesting light than the creationist debates – the existence of junk DNA helps to illustrate that natural selection is not always in play during evolution.  Natural selection, which is the only viable designer-mimic, is not omnipresent.

And that leads to the third, and most interesting, point.  If we step back and consider evolution as function to generate more complex life forms, then it’s becoming more clear that the success of evolution is dependent on selection and neutral forces alternatively working in series.  In fact, this is what scientists have also found to be true when it comes to designing new protein activities by using in vitro evolution.  Paradoxically, this means that that if evolution is to spawn something like mammals, it needs to go through phases which suspend the role/reach of natural selection.  Those non-adapative processes, seen in the context of life’s architecture, may be a very clever (and non-intuitive) aspect of a design strategy.  The intelligent use of chance.

Yesterday, I ran across this:

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