Evolution of complexity – Introduction

You sit in Nature and observe how it changes. You forget all what they told you about it. Simply observe how nature changes. Some call this state  mindfulness. You will notice the appearance of different structures, or species,  and realize that despite an  immense variability many attributes of life are conserved among the different species, e.g. number of limbs, or some basic metabolic pathways.

You exist in the Now, and yet wonder whether these structures have a history. You turn to the sages, and listen to their stories (theories) on evolution:

1. Genesis chapter 1 (Creationism)
2. Intelligent design (ID)
3. Neo-Darwinism
4. Lamarckism  
5. Gaia

Once you turn to history you face some difficult questions. Evolution of what? Is it an evolution from the smallest to the biggest? Or do evolving entities become more complex? None of that. You  lack a yardstick for measuring evolution.  Not all species participated in evolution, like bacteria which never bothered to evolve. Or cockroaches and ants that stopped evolving eons ago. So what is the exact meaning of the current buzzword, “Survival of the fittest”? Are bacteria more fit than us, or the cockroaches? The only independent indicator that  life evolved is fossil evidence.  Geological layers may serve as  crude time estimates into the past and they indicate that life in different epochs varied. Yet what drives this change is still unknown.

Our ancestor was a primordial microorganism which evolved   into three phyla (kingdoms): archea, bacteria, and eukaria. We evolved from the latter.   Actually we are fortunate that the other two phyla did not evolve further since they keep us alive. They initiate the complex food chain in which we participate. They are its initial state, and if eliminated the entire food chain including us would disappear.

Nobody observed evolution in action and the theories lack any predictive value. They are no more than just so stories with some convincing arguments. To me the most interesting is the evolving Gaia.

Further reading:

Evolution theory from a new perspective
Decline of Darwinism
Darwinism: A crude model of Life driven by Randomness
The hypocrisy of Neo-darwinism
Intelligent design and complexity
Intelligent design and swarm intelligence
The hierarchy of living complexity
Facilitated variation
Facilitated variation and intelligent design
The evolution of Gaia

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