Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Straw in the wind? Darwin’s random variation is discredited in a recent paper

arroba Email

From the University of Glasgow. A friend draws our attention to these words in a recent open-access paper: “Although biologists are now moving beyond the idea that random mutation provides the sole source of variation for adaptive evolution, we still assume that variation occurs randomly…” in the Abstract.

Later: “Darwin’s idea that variation is generated randomly has largely been taken for granted rather than tested, representing a fundamental gap in our understanding of evolution.”

They propose “nonrandom variation”:

Abstract: The generation of variation is paramount for the action of natural selection. Although biologists are now moving beyond the idea that random mutation provides the sole source of variation for adaptive evolution, we still assume that variation occurs randomly. In this review, we discuss an alternative view for how phenotypic plasticity, which has become well accepted as a source of phenotypic variation within evolutionary biology, can generate nonrandom variation. Although phenotypic plasticity is often defined as a property of a genotype, we argue that it needs to be considered more explicitly as a property of developmental systems involving more than the genotype. We provide examples of where plasticity could be initiating developmental bias, either through direct active responses to similar stimuli across populations or as the result of programmed variation within developmental systems. Such biased variation can echo past adaptations that reflect the evolutionary history of a lineage but can also serve to initiate evolution when environments change. Such adaptive programs can remain latent for millions of years and allow development to harbor an array of complex adaptations that can initiate new bouts of evolution. Specifically, we address how ideas such as the flexible stem hypothesis and cryptic genetic variation overlap, how modularity among traits can direct the outcomes of plasticity, and how the structure of developmental signaling pathways is limited to a few outcomes. We highlight key questions throughout and conclude by providing suggestions for future research that can address how plasticity initiates and harbors developmental bias. pdf.(open access) – Does phenotypic plasticity initiate developmental bias? Kevin J. Parsons Kirsty McWhinnie Natalie Pilakouta Lynsey Walker Evolution & Development First published: 26 July 2019 https://doi.org/10.1111/ede.12304 More.

Perhaps the researchers will help elucidate some laws that govern development over time.

Darwin, our friend notes, felt much more strongly about the importance of randomness, as he told Lyell: “If I were convinced that I required such additions to the theory of natural selection, I would reject it as rubbish.” (To Charles Lyell 11 October [1859])

See also: So creationism works—but only for genes? So 2/3 of the time, we have “ de novo emergence from ancestral non-genic sequences, such that homologues genuinely do not exist?” Okay. Somebody better go put their arm around the Selfish Gene. It’s tough being the Last Darwinian.
Gene, we did not do this to you. Francis Collins and Craig Venter did this to you. Honest.


Direct experimental falsification of Darwinism? (The Selfish Gene was heard to sob uncontrollably in the background.)

Follow UD News at Twitter!

1997 Dr. Lee Spetner proposed a "non-random evolutionary hypothesis" featuring "built-in responses to environmental cues". Both nylonase and the anti-freeze genes are good examples of it. ET
Is this neo-neo-neo-post-post darwinism? :) gpuccio
It doesn't seem to me that these ideas can go far in "squeezing blood out of a turnip" so to speak, that is, somehow producing intelligent, creative, ingenious and sometimes irreducibly complex solutions to intricate biological design problems, with a blind and purposeless mechanism incorporating no intelligence or foresight. In other words, what according to Neodarwinism has actually somehow rapidly (in an evolutionary sense) happened multiple times in macroevolution. Doing this with just "developmental plasticity" during embryonic growth somehow directly affecting genotype so as to perpetuate the adaptive response, and with "cryptic genetic variation" (stored inactive DNA from past mutations and evolution), and a few other mechanisms. Mechanisms that per the current dogma are still basically blind and purposeless, with no foresight, no intelligence. Evolutionary biologists keep trying to rescue Darwinism without giving up its essential paradigm of blindness, purposelessness and mostly randomness of genetic variation with respect to fitness. They want to have their cake and eat it too, so to speak. A quest no doubt fueled by desperation, but not likely to get them anywhere. doubter
Simple , in the distant past it was random but evo proceses changed it to be non-radom. ; now just say that with fancy sciencey words. es58

Leave a Reply