Evolution by Selfreference

Author: Zbigniew Lisiecki,     1.3       (former versions) 
  1.0             15.02.2009
1.1             19.02.2009
1.2             23.02.2009
1.3             24.02.2009

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  1. Status of this document

    This document is not a strict scientific work. Even if the author is not a professional in biology the ideas presented in this article may contribute to the understanding of evolution. Therefore I propose a new class of articles, which I call a scientific speculation (SS). The theory is SS if it:
    1. sticks to the general paradigma of science e.g. logic,
    2. is well formed, which allows strict science to judge if it's correct or wrong
    3. it may lack some scientific knowlegde in the field it touches or generally does not refere the proper literature.
    SS may contribute to proper science supplying vivid ideas and suggesting new syntheses. Yet the proper scienfic work is indispensable to judge about the value of the concrete case.

    1. Status of this document

    2. The engine of evolution
      1. Why is the contemporary understanding insufficient
      2. The feedback model
      3. The natural spectrum
      4. Sudden sytheses

    3. Examples
      1. Paaring behaviour
      2. The hypothesis of god and the emergence of language
      3. Evolving planet - What comes next after humans ?

    4. Apendices
      1. FAQ - frequently asked questions
      2. References
      3. Epilog

  2. The engine of evolution

    In this document I will present a new theory explaining evolution (EbS), which overwhelms the contemporary Theory of Evolution (ToE) build on the work by C.Darwin. The proposed extension seems to be trivial and even well known, yet the new formulation is capable to answere questions which ToE answers only partially or cannot answere at all.
    1. Why is the contemporary understanding insufficient

      The contemporary standard (ToE) is claimed to be insufficient in importand cases and a vivid discussion still holds on. Here I list phenomena which in my opinion are not explained by ToE, which on the other hand the theory presented below is capable to explain easier.
      1. Paaring behaviour in biology

        The diversity evolved around paaring behaviour seems to be denied by the urge of efficiency stemming from natural selection. No one knows for sure why a deer carries horns. The choice made by the female proposed as an explanation lacks a logical cause. Also the homosexuality most probably belongs to this cathegory  (1) 
          The ToE suggests to explain homosexuality with the benefit provided by the common upbringing children. Yet this way it only explains friendship and not the erotical charm.  
      2. Sudden jumps of evolution and long periods without change

        The evolution of species shows long periods it time in which species live well without significant change and abrupt changes in which new species emerge. Changes in climat has been proposed as a cause, but a true link has not been proved.
      3. The origin of the DNA-machinery

        The evolution due to ToE can take place when it's subject (here a DNA-machinery) do exists. Yet why did it emerged at all ? Appearing of some primary cycles seems not to be explained by ToE well.
      4. Social systems, the evolution of culture

        The mechanism based on the natural selection proposed by ToE should be applicable also to the evolution of a human culture, of social and economical systems, etc., but ToE seems to fail to explain these processes sufficently.
      5. Evolution with no competition at all

        There are examples, in which even without any competiting counterpart a new complexity suddenly emerges. Examples from the points above fall into this cathegory. Other examples are erobering new environments were the pure number of ressources excludes any selection pressure. Yet even without competiting partners such systems do evolve. These cases are traditionally explained with competition between it's parts and thus their evolution. Yet this seems to be somehow insufficient and neglecting the true cause of change.

        As another example the hypothesis of Gaia suggests that the complexity and the evolution of the biosphere as a whole cannot be reduced to nor explained by it's parts. Obviously the development takes place on earth as a whole even without another competiting planet !  (2) 
          It's important to stress that we neglect the developement of individual species here. Why ? - There is no mechanism explained by ToE with which the evolution of individial species might cause the emergence and the evolution of an embracing system, like the biosphere as a whole.  

      The ToE surely touches these objections, but the solutions proposed seem at least not to be stright, efficient and very convincing.
    2. The feedback model

      As stated above the nature shows tendency to evolve towards more complexity even beyond the aplicability of natural selection mechanism. How does to come about ?

      In this article the natural feedback is proposed to be the true engine of evolution. In living organisms the natural feedback is realised by the generation thread successing and aplifying functionalities stored in DNA. Parents bring up children, which are similar to themselves. This engine is supplied by the negative enthropy from the sun.

      The natural selection, while still important is ascribed only a shaping influence. It curves the individual species out of the stream of generation cycles. The natural selection is not a neccessary condition for the evolution to work. Without it the evolution simply fills all possibilities spreading around so far as it reaches selections.
    3. The natural spectrum

      To demonstrate how a feedback engine works let us consider an electric amplifier fed back through the microphone by the sound the loud speaker is producing. Obviously some high tone emerges. The control theory distingushes between a positive and a negative feedback. The expotential growth (explosion) is the consequence of the first one, while the steady vibration is the consequence of the second. Considering the whole biosphere as a feedback engine is much more complex, but I'd like to suggest that the spectrum of some distinct "tones" (called species) with only small information transfere (gene transfere) beteewn them must come about. Why is it so ?

      Without giving the strict proof I'd suggest that in any given initial distribution some "minima" and "maxima" appear, which must further contract to individial species just because they posess fixpoints  (3) 
        See also Banachs' fix point theorem.  
      by definition.

      The computational methods can in principle be applied to judge about it what species spectrum will emerge. Some astronomical data like the day-night rythmus, the negative enthropy flux, etc. could be the bundary conditions. Yet the true "mystery" appears when:
      1. different abstraction levels are considerd. i.e. organisms consists one of the others
      2. the biosphere is astronomically stabile, which waekens the outer influence (of these boundary conitions).
    4. Sudden sytheses

      The feedback model easily explains sudden jumps in past evolution of living organisms, which the paleonthology is suggesting. The cause, why such jumps take place is closing of a new feedback link, which naturally occurs suddenly and after a longer period of building subsystems.

      At this point it is worth to consider why and how the complexity of subsystems contribute to a new system (new feedback link). Truely the sudden emergence of a synthesizing system may appear as a miracle if the former growth of it's part is disregarded. Even then yet the human reasoning suggests some "purpose of the evolution". The cause of this mistake will be described deeper in chapter 2.2.
  3. Examples

    This chapter is providing examples, in which EbS explanation seems to be more successfull than the ToE.
    1. Paaring behaviour

      Let us demonstrate how the EbS explains the diversity of paaring behaviour. The fertilisation poses obviously a bottleneck in the generation cycle: A small amount of DNA is transfered which has vast conseqences to the expression of the next cycle (new organism). A huge pressure at least from the whole cycle concentrates at this point. Yet a grown up male and female posess enought ressources to realise and to amplify the behaviour which ever appears. As a consequence nearly all possiblities are realised. To carry horns is just not difficult enought to stand this preassure. In a more pictorial metapher I like to compare this situation with meandering of a river
    2. The hypothesis of god and the emergence of language

      This chapter is hypothetical. It describes a possible mechanism, which has not yet been proved.

      Let us imagige a group of hominids as a social entiety, bound together by exchanging social signals regarding individuals like signals refering bringing up children, hierachy in a group, common threats, etc. Let us as a simplification imagige these signals regard only social issues and are realised by some instance in each individual psychic.

      Let us imagine this system posesses enough complexity to be one day (possibly by some collapse in the psychics) used beneth its' proper applicability to describe issues beyond social themes like the outside physical world. It appears that threes, mountains and lakes aquire personal features now. They are "he", "she" or "it" now ! Such hominids begun to hear, what mountains "are saying". Obviously its' just a misuse of a social competence.

      It is crucial to undestand that this false application closes a strong feedback. What follows is an explosion of language and a human culture. As a reminder of this developement some "ghosts" stay back. People hear even to still life the way the did to their parents.

      It's no competition, nor natural selection, but only a pure strong feedback which caused new complexity to evolve.
    3. Evolving planet - What comes next after humans ?

      Let us consider the possible evolution of the biosphere as a whole. It seems crucial to notice that an important link of a feedback has been closed in the last decades with the emergence of global control systems like the mass media  (4) 
        In contemporary society the information transfere realised by mass media might be compared with a bottleneck described in the first section of this chapter, which makes the common violence-metapher more stressing. Ideologies like fasism and stalinism are examples.  
      the internet, the weather control, the global trade, etc. This can be understood by humans as witnessing the birth of some new global organism.

      Yet an important element of it's self reference is still lacking. This system does not know itself well enought to provide stability. Without such self-knowledge it will decay by itself while destroying our environment and possibly us too. Unfortunately left alone this system seems aquiring the knowledge of human sociology by testing. Why so ? - Just because it's the next possible closing loop.

      Still we have the possibility to influence this birth. How can we do it ?
      - It's crucial to identify possible selfreferences and to actively construct them acording to stability demands.
  4. Apendices

    1. FAQ - frequently asked questions

      1. What is wrong in saying that the natural selection is the "engine of evolution" ?
        It has a more metatphorical value, but taken literally it resambles as if one says a car's motor consists of miles the car passes. It does not explain where the "energy" comes from aldow it suggests to explain it.

Copyright © by the author, evot.org 2009