Evolution News

Has biology suddenly discovered ecology?

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Not as long as Darwin reigns. Darwin’s trolls can work big magic.

From “Mixed Bacterial Communities Evolve to Share Resources, Not Compete” (ScienceDaily, May 15, 2012), we learn

Predicting how species and ecosystems will respond to new environments is an important task for biology. However, most studies of evolutionary adaptation have considered single species in isolation, despite the fact that all species live in diverse communities alongside many other species. Recent theories have suggested that interactions between species might have a profound effect on how each species evolves, but there has been little experimental support for these ideas.

There would be way more if Darwinism wasn’t the local profbot’s iron rice bowl. Anyway this:

The research team, from Imperial College London, found that bacteria that evolved in a mixed community with other species altered their feeding habits to share resources more effectively amongst themselves and to make use of each other’s waste products in a cooperative manner. In contrast, when grown alone, the same species evolved to use the same resources as each other, thereby competing and impairing each other’s growth.

2 Replies to “Has biology suddenly discovered ecology?

  1. 1
    M. Holcumbrink says:

    Here’s what I think:

    We know that life is composed of algorithmic and logic controlled machinery and mechanisms. We also know that life forms communicate with each other in all manner of ways, even colonies of bacteria and plants. So if life was designed, that means ecosystems were designed as well, and if that is the case, I would expect diverse organisms to be intricately linked in communication for all manner of reasons. So if a particular ecosystem needs a balance adjusted, or whatever, I would expect to see triggers in one form or another communicated from one group of organisms to the next, to the next, to the next, thereby initiating a cascade of changes in any or all of these organisms to maintain or even transform the ecosystem to fit the environment, and based on what we see in the fossil record, I think this can happen extremely rapidly (relatively speaking).

    I think this is Shapiro’s view, sort of, if I understand him correctly, but it is something I have always considered once I learned how sophisticated life is. And the more I learn about biology, the more I think this is the case. I expect it to be confirmed experimentally eventually, and then I expect to hear the Darwin crowd say something like, “oh, see how random mutation and natural selection has stumbled upon such intricate controls even at the ecosystem level, blindly linking all these organisms in communication to govern their evolution”!

    To which I would say: “Ye fools and blind!”.

  2. 2
    M. Holcumbrink says:

    In other words, organisms under stress emit some kind of signal, thereby effecting change in other, seeming disparate organisms. So the stressed populations could stay the same while other populations evolve to meet their needs. I guess that’s not Shapiro’s view. He thinks there is natural genetic engineering, but not necessarily at the ecosystem level. But that’s what I think. For what it’s worth.

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