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How do animals evolve?

enhancementenhancement Banned by Admin PExer
Have you ever wondered how certain animals develop their defense mechanisms or physical attributes enabling them to survive and thrive in their environments? Take the walking stick and the thorn bug for example, how did they evolve into their present state? Were their physical states different before but through the power of their minds each successive offspring changed and eventually became such in order to camouflage themselves from predators (or prey)? What causes some species of deep sea fish to have lights or no eyes? Can their minds and experiences with their environments trigger changes in the genetic make-up of their successive generations of offspring? Can their "wishes" come true through the power of their minds and provide their species with better means of survival? Would the animals man use and abuse one day develop intelligence equal to ours and eventually prevent us from doing so for the good of their species?

(No simplistic theological mumbo-jumbo please.)

Comments

  • DunedainDunedain NINJAneer gone Indie! PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Do a search on Charles Darwin and his theory of Natural Selection.
  • enhancementenhancement Banned by Admin PExer
    I have read volumes of Charles Darwin stuff already. Any original thoughts from the people here? How do the species transform themselves and develop those physical attributes? Is it simply natural selection or can their minds alter their genetic program in an elaborate scheme to give the species a better life? Does the specie have a collective thought that enables it to inadvertently "invent" bodily devices (skunk, swordfish) or "reinvent" it's biological make-up because the lifeform "thinks" that it would be better? An interesting case is the Tiger Moth.

    "Tiger moths, in general, are a distasteful insect and are primarily hunted by bats which using sonar to locate their prey. These Tiger moths are capable of emitting a supersonic sound of their own which warns the bats, that have the experience, that this is coming from a potential distasteful meal and thereby avoiding being eating by the bat."
    From: http://home.cogeco.ca/~lunker/mothmimicry.htm

    One would think that Military Engineers have thought of that but how did these seemingly unintelligent insects develop a device like that? Do they not think as individual animals but have a collective thought as a specie which triggers these developments?
  • ilpadrinoilpadrino The "Family" Man PExer
    Evolution's all about recycling the trash of other creatures (people), and thus emerges the "Butt Monkey".
  • Lucca YamazakiLucca Yamazaki die boy abunda die! PExer
    This is how it goes...

    First you got to know how critters reproduce. Well, currently, they have sex and the females spawn babies. The babies are formed from a combination of the parents' genetic traits. Thus we have two black rats would get black baby rats. A black rat and a white rat would have some black some white and some black and white (or grey, sometimes). Easy enough.

    But sometimes the genes screw up, and freaks get spawned. Most of the time it's a bad thing... like say, savannah creatures who are born with a non-savanna creature color..... say you get bright red antelopes, that'd be bad because you'd always be seen by predators and stuff. Now say something in the environment changed the background making bright red critters harder to spot in the background, it'd be awfully nice for a freaky antelope. It'd have a good time living off and mating and stuff while its "normal" cousins become easy pickings for predators. This freak, now able to live longer, will certainly be able to mate more often than it would use to. Thus producing more bright red critters who will produce their own bright red offspring until they become the more dominant breed with the formerly "normal" critters totally wiped out to extinction.

    Some critter designs get to be worked at a lot of times. We've seen this all the time... like Darwin's finches... each island in the Galapagos has a specialist finch beak for specific types of food that the island provides for them birds, which somehow evolved because those birds that were born with those beaks in that island are more successful in surviving there. Now there are those with designs that are too cool to evolve. Sharks have been pretty much always like that since the first shark appeared, same with crocs. They were so successful they never needed to adapt (well, maybe they became smaller for a more compact/agile body, but the shape of their body's pretty much the same).

    So there, that's what evolution's pretty much all about. It's more of guessing who's the lucky winning freak of the day, really.
  • better read Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution
  • enhancementenhancement Banned by Admin PExer
    Originally posted by Lucca Yamazaki
    This is how it goes...

    First you got to know how critters reproduce. Well, currently, they have sex and the females spawn babies. The babies are formed from a combination of the parents' genetic traits. Thus we have two black rats would get black baby rats. A black rat and a white rat would have some black some white and some black and white (or grey, sometimes). Easy enough.

    But sometimes the genes screw up, and freaks get spawned. Most of the time it's a bad thing... like say, savannah creatures who are born with a non-savanna creature color..... say you get bright red antelopes, that'd be bad because you'd always be seen by predators and stuff. Now say something in the environment changed the background making bright red critters harder to spot in the background, it'd be awfully nice for a freaky antelope. It'd have a good time living off and mating and stuff while its "normal" cousins become easy pickings for predators. This freak, now able to live longer, will certainly be able to mate more often than it would use to. Thus producing more bright red critters who will produce their own bright red offspring until they become the more dominant breed with the formerly "normal" critters totally wiped out to extinction.

    Some critter designs get to be worked at a lot of times. We've seen this all the time... like Darwin's finches... each island in the Galapagos has a specialist finch beak for specific types of food that the island provides for them birds, which somehow evolved because those birds that were born with those beaks in that island are more successful in surviving there. Now there are those with designs that are too cool to evolve. Sharks have been pretty much always like that since the first shark appeared, same with crocs. They were so successful they never needed to adapt (well, maybe they became smaller for a more compact/agile body, but the shape of their body's pretty much the same).

    So there, that's what evolution's pretty much all about. It's more of guessing who's the lucky winning freak of the day, really.
    Thanks for the good input in your own words! But do you think the shape of the "thorn bug" which perfectly mimics the thorn in its environment or the butterfly that almost perfectly resembles another one that is "distasteful" to predators are mere products of genetic glitches? Or are they deliberately conceptualized by the specie and gradually evolved into what they are now? We all know of Darwin's writings and species do change, the real question here is how? Is it their minds that gradually alter their genetic program? Is there a higher intelligence that exists in the species that is unknown to man and isn't consciously known even by the species themselves that enables them to design their next generations?
  • Lucca YamazakiLucca Yamazaki die boy abunda die! PExer
    You know, my friend, when a species evolves, it does so very slowly through many generations. The features build up gradually into what we see in critters right now. So a thorn bug from several thousand years ago isn't exactly what a thorn bug right now looks like. Maybe it's already got the thorn feature but the mimic function hasn't deveoloped fully yet. Like I said, it's in who mates with which that determines the shape of a critter in the coming generation. But it's not a glitch, it's a feature. For some reason it's the "freak-producing" method of reproduction that works in this world.

    The animal mind is not what exactly tells the future generations to improve on their designs. Instead it focuses on surviving as best as it could and to have sex and have lots of offspring as much as possible. Remember, a mating critter is a live critter. This will ultimately cause the critter's species to survive. And if a species survives the more chances for it to have freaks in its bloodline. If the freaks were lucky enough they would be able to repeat the cycle and continue their ancient bloodline for their own freakier descendants to perpetuate. So us humans are actually perpetuating our ancient tree-dwelling-monkey-like-creature bloodline (the same with orangs, chimps, gorillas, and other primates), and birds are perpetuating their ancient dinosaur bloodline, and so on.

    If you want to feature a higher intelligence in this system, then probably that high-tiered entity would be more in the macro part of it. You know, instead of willing individual creatures to look like this and that, our Mr. Big Boss would be more concerned with what would happen if the sun grew up a little bigger causing its planets to heat up a bit and thus on Earth causing a slight reconfiguration of its environment and thusmore forcing some of its unluckier critters to go extinct.

    Not much of a noble role for a higher entity, isn't it? But I don't think I'd really consider a micro-manager as a god, now.
  • enhancementenhancement Banned by Admin PExer
    Yes, your first paragraph is elementary and correct. You mentioned the "freak producing" method in its last sentence and the question is not if it exists or not or how long it takes but what makes it happen? What produces the concepts behind the "freaks?" Of course not the animal's conscious mind (which focuses on survival) but hypothetically, the animal may be thinking "it would be better if I had a larger beak, or if I was shaped like a thorn or looked like that other moth who isn't being chased by that bat" and the thought becomes embedded in the subconscious and gradually alters the genetic program resulting in the spawning of so-called "freaks."
  • Lucca YamazakiLucca Yamazaki die boy abunda die! PExer
    Yeah, maybe hypothetically, that might be what they're thinking... maybe unconsciously. We can only hypothesize, for now.

    For one (trying to stay on-topic but this is a bit interesting), the early European human wasn't that much thinking "it would be better if my body could tolerate alcohol much better" which eventually made Europeans actually more tolerable to alcoholic beverages than, say, us Asians. Early mountain-dwelling humans aren't exactly thinking to themselves "it would be better if our chest cavities are bigger" and thus gradually altering their genetic program which then produced people with chest cavities which are a bit larger than their closer-to-sea-level buddies.
  • IscharamoochieIscharamoochie Moderator PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    it's basically an endless loop of environmental change -> adaptation -> mutation -> natural selection -> replication -> environmental change...

    interestingly enough, evolution in the strictest sense of the theory is not even related to being "better" per se, but merely being "better suited" to a particular environment. for every "advancement" of an organism, there is a corresponding sacrifice of a previous attribute which may prove fatal to a species when the original environment is abruptly restored.

    an organism's evolution is not as clear-cut as it is thought to be by many. it does not progress through linear development, which involves a direct transition of one species to another. rather, evolution involves a huge percentage of wasted species in the process of natural selection, where only the fittest survive and the rest become fodder. others, because of competition for resources, are forced to do with alternative lifestyles and branch off to become subpecies which are capable of coexisting with the main strain.

    the logical result of such a process is a virtually endless variety of species which are capable of existing in the current environment, adapting to most gradual changes, and having an occasional mutation which almost ensures a species' survival and diversification in the long run.
  • mac_bolan00mac_bolan00 Banned by Admin PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    ask caramel, pol-pol, michaela and bulahan.

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