Considering the Origins of Life from a scientific perspective, Nick Lane

Mechanisms of Evolution

Learning Objective

1. Identify, explain, and recognize the consequences of the other mechanisms of evolution (genetic drift, gene flow, non-random mating, and mutation) in terms of fitness, adaptation, average phenotype, and genetic diversity

Biologists organize their thinking about biological processes using evolution as the framework. **

There are five key mechanisms that cause a population, a group of interacting organisms of a single species, to exhibit a change in allele frequency from one generation to the next.**

These are evolution by: mutation, genetic drift, gene flow, non-random mating, and natural selection (previously discussed [ here ](Biological Principles)).

Each mechanism of evolution can be characterized by how it affects fitness, adaptation, the average phenotype of a trait in a population, and the genetic diversity of the population.


Though keep in mind those are the biological principles.
We also have geology and catastrophic events that drive major upheavals in the world order. :wink:

Evolution is the dynamic interaction between creatures and their environments, cascading down the arrow of time. Cumulative change over time.

I believe that evolution is a mathematical probabilistic algorithm. One of the fundamental logical guiding principles in nature.

It is how the universe organizes patterns on which all of existence rests.
I am really intrigued by CDT (causal dynamical triangulation), a hypothesis that uses fractality as the fundamental mechanism by which spacetime itself unfolds.

That’s cause you’ve chosen to make it so for yourself.

Evolution can be explained with a mathematically probabilistic algorithm.

You’ve placed all your focus within the realm of your mind, and decided that the physical that we actually experience and deal with everything is somehow irrelevant, and not worth wrapping our heads around, because Math is everything, math is perfect, and what else is there of any interest?

This comes from a letter I wrote regarding the missing ingredient to Dennett’s “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” it also sums up the issue I have with this singleminded focus on Math as the answer to everything.

The only problem is that (Daniel Dennett) left out a crucial ingredient early in your introduction that I’d like to ask about. You were transitioning from earlier religious thought into evolving scientific thought and the rest of your story.

I have to wonder why didn’t you stop a moment to review the most fundamental fact of our human condition? A reality that cuts straight to the heart of both our so-called “Hard Problem of Consciousness” and the Origin of God question - namely the “Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide”?

What’s so special about having an appreciation for the “Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide”? Well, for one, it leads to an inevitable understanding that our very existence is proof that our Universe and Earth unfolded down one, internally consistent cascade, and only one. No matter what we self-absorbed human creatures are capable of imagining.

For me, it also brought into focus that Earth herself is my touchstone with reality. { But write, you’re telling me that we need climb inside our minds for a touchstone with reality - that doesn’t make sense to me. In fact, I find it unacceptable, if I can’t make sense of everything through my squishy wet fleshy body, what good is it? - on a humanist, ‘meaning of life’ level? }

This in turn, led to a deep down realization that Earth’s biological processes created creatures and eventually humans along with our human mind.

From there it becomes self-evident that our Gods are created from within our own minds and bodies, driven by biological, evolutionary and cultural experiences, the ebb and flow of life. Each one of our Gods tailored to our own particular personality and circumstance. Ignoring that, leaves us without a benchmark for sorting out our thoughts, as Donald Hoffman’s “Case Against Reality” flailing exemplifies.

The notion of Evolution is given much lip service, but it seems to me that it seldom rises above a post card superficiality. …

How did chaos theory fit in? Infinitismal changes make probabilties impossible

The entire video describes the mathematics of chaotic systems!

As far as probabilities go. Robert Hazen describes the science that deals with :

“Large Number of Rare Events” (LNRE)

Nooo, you are taking this in the wrong direction. And you are placing words in my mouth I have never said!

You accuse me of having decided that “physical is somewhat irrelevant”.

Can you explain to me what the term “physical” means and how that relates to the origins and properties of of the universe and how I have demonstrated that the term “physical” is irrelevant in my mind?

I believe that I have demonstrated that what we call physical is a subjective observation of specific pattern densities, whereas patterns are collections of interactive relational values (potentials). That when you are down enough become less dense and unphysical.

A “cloud” is a “chaotic” collection of atoms arranged in a very dynamic “spacious pattern density, a “mountain” is a “chaotic” collection of atoms arranged in a near static pattern density”.
Getting where I am going with this?

Ultimately all matter consists of self-organized patterns of relational values , i.e. potentials.

potential energy

Definition of potential energy

: the energy that a piece of matter has because of its position or nature or because of the arrangement of parts
Potential energies Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

David Bohm described these states as the Implicate (enfolded) order and the Explicate (unfolded) order.

Okay too much melodrama their, but I’m not the only one. :pensive: :smirk: :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth: I take it back.

Let’s try again.

You asked,

Physical Reality is the physical world of atoms, molecules, universal laws of physics and Earth’s laws of nature. It is Earth’s dance between geology and biology and time and Earth’s evolving creatures, ( and one in particular that learned to contemplate the universe and its short life ), along with everything else around us.

Human Mindscape is all that goes on inside of our minds. The landscape of your thoughts and desires and impulses and those various voices and personalities who inhabit our thoughts. The ineffable ideas that our hands can turn into physical creations, that changed our planet.

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Here is another interesting perspective from Tecumseh Fitch

Thanks, that was a fascinating talk. I wasn’t familiar with him or that line of study, and Hoover the talking seal was a trip.

Here’s another example of the expectation of surprises and further unanticipated discoveries and complexities.

… In recent decades, though, accumulating evidence has shown that glia are not just minor players that keep the show running. They actually play starring roles in many of the brain’s most important acts, such as remembering, learning and thinking.

And the latest research points to a surprising new setting for the story of glia: outside the brain. Mysterious populations of glia reside in the heart, spleen, lungs and various other organs. But no one knows how they’ll fit into the plot. Early hints suggest the story is going to be riveting.

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Here’s another example of the expectation of surprises and further unanticipated discoveries and complexities.

Science News – 2 Jun 22

Glial cells may take on big jobs in unexpected parts of the body

Scientists are finding mysterious glia in the heart, spleen and lungs and wonder what they’re doing there.

They are being controlled by microtubules!

Radial glial cells organize the central nervous system via microtubule dependent processes

Jessica Nulty


The correct cytokinesis and polarization of radial glial cells are essential for populating and patterning the central nervous system. The microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton is central to regulating glial and neuronal functions during development and in the adult, providing the dynamic ability to extend processes, migrate, establish synaptic connections and transmit information.

MT biogenesis disorders result in a spectrum of neurological deficits resulting from abnormal neuronal proliferation, migration and aberrant white matter formation. In the present review, we place a spotlight on the roles MTs play in orchestrating radial glial cell activities during interkinetic nuclear migration and neuronal translocation to cortical destinations along pia-directed processes.

We also outline the consequences of MT dysfunction in the polarization and establishment of the radial glial cell scaffold.

Most organelles like glial cells produce enzymes and hormones

Microtubules provide the transport mechanism of these chemicals inside cells via MT in the cytoplasm, between cells via the MT cytoskeleton, over long distances via MT in the neurons, and in the brain via MT in the brain.

Your Complex Brain

  1. The brain is the body’s most complex organ.
  2. There are around 86 billion neurons in the human brain, all of which are in use.
  3. Each neuron communicates with many other neurons to form circuits and share information.
  4. Proper nervous system function involves coordinated action of neurons in many brain regions.
  5. The nervous system influences and is influenced by all other body systems (e.g., cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal and immune systems).
  6. Humans have a complex nervous system that evolved from a simpler one.
  7. This complex organ can malfunction in many ways, leading to disorders that have an enormous social and economic impact.

It is all connected by microtubules. That is why I believe the MT network generates the emergence of consciousness, a super-evolved sensory ability that allows the brain to “imagine” the patterns it is processing via the MT network.

Nick Lane has put out another talk, a rather pash affair this time, fine wine with a good lecture, doesn’t get better than that. :thinking: :clinking_glasses:
Still for those who have been keeping up, you’ll find this fascinating, for other.
If you’re new, and want to make a serious effort I suggest looking up videos by Nick Lane; or Robert Hazen; & Sean Carroll for a broad spectrum tour.
Start with the older lectures, which will give you a chance to get up to speed before tackling the updates. Each has also authored excellent readable books, check out the library.

Nick Lane: The electrical origins of life

NCCR Molecular Systems E - Dec 4, 2023

It contains another cosmic revelation kind of a lesson, that I’ve tried sharing, it’s nice having this hard copy evidence:

And it follows through all aspects of life’s evolution, sort of like some primal fractal.

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This may be an addition to the knowledge of origins and evolution:

About the book

Inanimate Life is an open textbook covering a very traditional biological topic, botany, in a non-traditional way. Rather than a phylogenetic approach, going group by group, the book considers what defines organisms and examines four general areas of their biology: structure (size, shape, composition and how it comes to be);
reproduction (including sex when present); energy and material needs, acquisition and manipulations; and finally their interactions with conditions and with other organisms including agricultural interactions between plants and people.

Although much of the text is devoted to vascular plants, the book comparatively considers ‘EBA = everything but animals’ (hence the title): plants, photosynthetic organisms that are not plants (‘algae’, as well as some bacteria and archaebacteria), fungi, and ‘fungal-like’ organisms. The book includes brief ‘fact sheets’ of fifty-nine organisms/groups that biologists should be aware of, ranging from the very familiar (corn, yeast, pines) to the unfamiliar (cryptophytes, diatoms, late-blight of potato). These groups reflect the diversity of inanimate life.

This updated edition was published in July 2022 and includes corrections, revisions, additional figures, and fact-sheets for several more groups.

and downloadable pdf @