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. Abstract

    The contemporary standard theory explaining the evolution of species with natural selection between competiting forms and with random drift of DNA is not complete. A proposed sythesis describes the feedback mechanism provided by the loop closed with the generation change as the main engine of the evolution. The phenotype is still shaped by the natural selection.

    1. Abstract

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

    3. Examples
      1. Paaring behaviour
      2. Sudden jumps and the speciation
      3. The hypothesis of god and the emergence of language
      4. Regaining control over social systems
      5. Evolving planet - What comes next after humans ?

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

  2. The engine of evolution

    The Theory of Evolution build on the work by Charles Darwin explains the evolution as aggregation of small changes, which appeared more efficient in the competition between many organisms. It's modern synthesis unified the work of many scientists up to late 40-ties. Mid 60-ties after the DNA discovery a gene-centric view has been added. This text substitutes the main engine of evolution (now undestood to be the natural selection) by the selfreferencing feedback provided by the generation order. The natural selection remains the main mechanism shaping a concrete phenotype.
    1. Why is the contemporary understanding insufficient

      The contemporary standard (ToE) has been claimed to be insufficient in importand cases. A vivid discussion in science and in the society generally still holds on. To explain phenomena, which the natural selection was not quite capable to cope with, a genetic drift has been adopted as as mechanism alternative to the natural selection. It is questionable yet if they can both be considered as alternatives to each other as they overlap with the cause by which they are driven. The genetic drift lacks the explicite explanation of it's persistence. Below I list phenomena which are not explained by ToE well and strightforward, which on the other hand the model presented here claims to explain much easier.
      1. Pairing behaviour in biology

        The diversity evolved around pairing 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 and the gene drift alone does not explain why these appearences are so strong and important in almost every specie. Also the homosexuality 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 also new species emerge. Changes in the environment (e.g. climat) has been proposed as a cause, but a true link has not been demonstrated.
      3. The origin of the DNA-machinery

        The evolution due to ToE can take place when it's subject (here a DNA-machinery) already exists. Yet why did it emerged at all ? Appearing of some primary chemical cycles seems not to be explained by ToE in convincing way.  (2) 
          Which is often pointed out as a objection by creationists.  
      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 organisms 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.


      The ToE surely touches these objections, but the solutions proposed seem at least not to be stright, efficient and very convincing: These cases are traditionally explained with:

      1. competition between it's subsystems and thus their evolution

      2. the genetic drift


      Unfortunately this seems to be somehow neglecting the true cause of change. At a more abstract level this cause yet do exists !

      Adding to this 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 the earth as a whole even without another competiting planet !

      It's important to stress that we neglect the developement of individual species at this level. 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 ecosystem, like the biosphere as a whole. We only notice that ecosytems are drifting in some direction without explaining the reason for this direction nor it's velocity.
    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 this 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 order successing and amplifying functionalities stored in DNA (inheritance). Parents bring up children, which can be considered copies similar to themselves.

      This feedback "engine" is supplied by the negative enthropy from the sun. It stores it for some time in form of circles preventing from immediate spread in cosmos.

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

      Aldow the ineritance plays in the evolution of organisms undeniably the central role traditionally a genetic drift has been considered as the counterpart to the natural selection. This omitted the the selfamplification, which the model presented here stresses. As a consequence the whole theory was widely half-undestood in the society and importand phenomena has been half-explained by the science.
    3. The natural spectrum

      The selfreference (or feedback) model on the other hand demonstrates more clear, what has partially already been known that:

      1. The power of evolution comes from the sun supplying the inheritance circles with a negative enthropy and without it no evolution (even with the best selection conditions) is ever possible.

      2. The evolution is even without a natural selection possible. (genetic drift)

      3. It shows toward extensions capable to explain social phenomena and the possible next evolution period of our planet as a whole.

      4. It suggests mathematical means to cope with evolution of a species pool filling a chosen ecosystem.


      To demonstrate how a feedback engine works let us consider an electric amplifier fed back through the microphone by the sound that 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 a feedback engine of a chosen ecosystem is much more complex, but some clues are seen immediately. One can argue 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 this article suggests that in any given initial distribution some "minima" and "maxima" appear just by definition of a distrubution variety. They must further contract and posess thus fixpoints  (3) 
        See also Banachs' fix point theorem.  
      identified in the biology as individual species.

      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 makes the developement direction and complexity less dependand on the outer influence, while still takeing the energy to supply it from outside.
    4. Why sytheses come about

      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 parts is disregarded. Yet even if subsystems are known the emergence of a new feedback link appears for a human mysterious. This is:

      1. partially due to the time scale of such a link creation, which compared with a steady functioning inheritance circle resembles naturally a jump.

      2. due to the human tendency to search for reasons, which observing the mechanism only partially suggests some "purpose of the evolution".  (4) 
          The cause of this mistake is suggested deeper in chapter 2.2.  


      3. Yet some unexplained rest still remains for future syntheses. A selfreference promoted by the negative enthropy can in principle be considered as copying of some possible general unity connecting enthropy, time and innersion, which is the subject of physics.
  3. Examples

    This chapter is providing examples, in which explanation offered by the evolution by selfreference (EbS) seems to be more successfull than the standard theory (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 one can compare this situation with the meandering of a river

      As an example also the homosexuality has a simple explanation: There are enough ressources (also of erotic charm) collected at this point near the reproduction means. The pressure of a feedback alone without outer cause nor benefit shows here it's power.
    2. Sudden jumps and the speciation

      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 the closing of a new feedback link, which naturally occurs suddenly compared with a longer period of building subsystems.

      Let us see what consequences the mathematical model has on speciation. From the described contractions in the spiecies spectrum one may follow, that individual species will be more and more distinct from each other. Practically this means, that a gen flow between species will be weaker and weaker. This explaines why the gen flow in microworld is significantly smaller than in the macroscale - the microworld is simply much elder.

      In the standard model speciation appears as if it were the consequence of erobering new environments. On the other hand in the model presented in this article this is not neccesssary so. The speciation will take place also in a constant and filled environment just by closing a new selfreference. With each new selfreference a specie aquires new abilities, whereas a new specie emerges if a selfreference closes in significant parts through the outer environment.
    3. The hypothesis of god and the emergence of language

      This chapter is highly speculative. It is included here to demonstrate the power, which the new theory offers. The justifying research and a scientific proof, which must follow may show that the picture drawn here is a oversimplification.

      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 imagine that these signals regard only social issues and are realised by some instance in each individual psychic.

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

      It is crucial to notice yet that this false application closes a strong feedback loop. A hominid group suddenly acquires (abstract) means to handle it's environment in a new way, which on the other hand drives the redefinition of the psychical instance mensioned above. 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, nor any genetic drift, but only a pure strong feedback which causes new complexity to appear. It is even not neccessary that the psychics of such hominids is the most skilled (the biggest) between neighbouring species. Rather a weakness, which made a wrong use of posessed skills was crucial, which yet closed the feedback.  (5) 
        An interesting question arises when asking if such a developement was necessary and could be foreseen. It is for example known that elefants show the simmilar affinity to this type of error. They consider dead relatives as if they were not dead.  
    4. Regaining control over social systems

      Undeniably sudden social changes challenge the humanity. New important feedback links has been closed even in the last decades with the mass media  (6) 
        Consider ideologies like racism, communism and ill undestood religion as the consequence of. The comparison with the bottleneck mechanism described in first example makes the violence-metapher even more stressing.  
      the global trade, the internet. The emergence of new formal systems posessing abstract structures of information exchange one can experience as awakeings beasts, or does not notice them at all, like children not noticing the danger, because it's too difficult. One of such beasts is the monetary system claiming to map human values to natural numbers, while in the reality this mapping is getting more and more one-directional.

      Where does it all evolves to and what are our chances to regain control ?

      The EbS model has an abstract, but simple answere: The feedbacks are crucial ! To regain control we must strengthen or weaken some of them and contruct new ones, possibly ones, which enclose human sociology.

      The EbS entails in the natural way the human selfconsciousnes as wehicle for our culture.
    5. Evolving planet - What comes next after humans ?

      Let us consider the possible evolution of the biosphere as a whole. If it sucesses (possibly with a human help as a mediator) to stabilise the clima we could truely be witnessing the birth of some new (global) organism.

      Yet an important element of it's selfreference is still lacking. This system does not know itself well enought to provide stability. Without such self-knowledge no true feedback link seem to be possible and it will decay by itself while destroying our environment and possibly us humans too. The challenge to the humanity stresses the fact that left alone this system seems aquiring the knowledge of human sociology by testing now. Why ? - Just because it's the next possible closing loop.
  4. Apendices

    1. FAQ - frequently asked questions

      1. Is the Darwins' Theory of Evolution false now ?

        It is not false, but incomplete. It stresses natural selection, while the importand part - the selfreference is rather grasped as obvious than stated properly.

      2. 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.

      3. Do you say the selfreference is more important than the natural selection ? But which of the both takes the stronger influence ?

        Natural selection and the selfreference are complementary. The selfreference is "supplying the power" and the selection is "providing the shape".

      4. What does your selfreferencing feedback consists of ? Why do you claim a new generation of individuals refere somehow the former one ? They live their own life and may forget ancestors ! There is also no DNA transfer back from an individual to it's parent, so how could any feedback loop be closed here ?

        The loop is closed with the ability of an organism to produce an organism simmilar to itself. This cycle induces amplification of forms. The selfreference refers not an individual, but rather it's abstraction - a traith (a form).

      5. Why do you think the genetic drift is not sufficient to explain all phenomena, which are not explained by the natural selection ?

        The genetic drift is rather the correct statement of facts than their explanation. In this sense it covers most facts, which I listed as unexplained by the current theory. The genetic drift alone does not explain why the drifting direction receives amplification. The explanation of the former is obvious, but never stated properly, which the sythesis presented here offers.

      6. Why do you refer wikipedia instaed of the proper scientific publications ?

        The significant objection against the contemporary theory is that misunderstaendigs and discussions still hold on in the society. The cause of this is the lack of proper synthesis, which the contemporary theory failed to supply, even if all facts and partial sytheses where well known. In this sense this text may refer the "school book knowlegde" as well.

      7. Your theory is simply messy.

        It is messy from it's nature as contradicting of the canon of thinking about evolution. Specifying more details and justifications will do make this article even more messy. The only way out is to undestand it.

Copyright © by the author, evot.org 2009