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First Lab Demonstration That the Ability To Evolve Can Itself Evolve

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the turn-their-evolvificating-up-to-11 dept.

Science 72

ananyo writes "Research on Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, shows that the capacity to evolve can itself be the target of natural selection. B. burgdorferi can cause a chronic infection even if its animal host mounts a strong immune response — evading those defenses by tweaking the shape and expression of its main surface antigen, VIsE. A series of unexpressed genetic sequences organized into 'cassettes' recombine with the VIsE gene, changing the resulting protein such that it escapes detection by the host's immune system. The researchers studied the molecular evolution of the cassettes' genetic sequences in 12 strains of B. burgdorferi. They found that natural selection seemed to favor bacteria with more genetic variability within their cassettes, and hence a greater capacity to generate different versions of the antigen. 'Greater diversity among the cassettes in itself shouldn't be a selective advantage considering they aren't expressed and don't do anything else,' says lead author Dustin Brisson. 'But we did find evidence of selection, so the question is: what else could it be for besides evolvability?'"

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All I know is... (3, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#45435267)

My cassettes all migrated to CD's, and then from there to digital audio.

So extrapolating from that it seems the end game for all evolution is becoming beings of pure energy, DRM optional.

evolution has no goal (2)

peter303 (12292) | about 9 months ago | (#45435305)

According to the scientiific dogma. Given enough time it fills all ecologic niches, inlcuding intelligence and outer space space.

Re:All I know is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435317)

Just take it from here [youtube.com]

Re:All I know is... (3, Funny)

Megane (129182) | about 9 months ago | (#45435677)

My viruses are totally retro. They use 8-track tapes.

Re:All I know is... (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45435909)

Matter-energy conversion principle says that you already are pure energy, just that some of that energy is expressed as mass.

Re:All I know is... (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about 9 months ago | (#45436243)

Best post on /. in weeks!!

Re:All I know is... (1)

asliarun (636603) | about 9 months ago | (#45436921)

My cassettes all migrated to CD's, and then from there to digital audio.

So extrapolating from that it seems the end game for all evolution is becoming beings of pure energy, DRM optional.

Not trying to do the "one up" thing here, but IMHO, the end game for evolution would be to become beings of pure information. Energy and matter are merely vehicles to store and transfer information content. We would probably get equally frustrated with the limitations of existing as energy beings as we currently do with the flaccid biological bags that we exist in.

And your DRM comment is indeed something to ponder on - the artificial copy protection mechanisms that we have slapped on top of our existence - not just at physical levels but even in our minds.

Re:All I know is... (1)

as.kdjrfh sxcjvs (2872465) | about 9 months ago | (#45437561)

Its from bits [wikipedia.org] - - we already are beings of pure information. It's information all the way down and all the way up, even us lumpy bags of dirty water.

This study is flawed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435347)

due to selection bias

Common sense (3, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | about 9 months ago | (#45435361)

It just seems common sense to me that if evolution can/does affect every mechanism in a living organism, then the mechanism governing the ability to evolve must itself be included.

Re:Common sense (5, Insightful)

abroadwin (1273704) | about 9 months ago | (#45435441)

You're right, it is common sense. My initial reaction to this was the same as yours. That said, it's very useful to verify common sense scientifically, because it's amazing how often common sense proves to be wrong when formally tested. Take nothing on faith, not even (and perhaps especially) the obvious.

Re:Common sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45437001)

Take nothing on faith, not even (and perhaps especially) the obvious.

Except intelligent design. Because "evolution" is only a theory.

Re:Common sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45439659)

Penguin evolution is a fib.

And the Earth isn't round, either - nope, it's shaped like a burrito!

exactly_research 'begs the question' (3, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45435483)

if evolution can/does affect every mechanism in a living organism, then the mechanism governing the ability to evolve must itself be included.

yes.

these researchers created a *false distinction* in their research question

They took what you call 'the mechanism governing the ability to evolve' and found a behavior in nature that they could drive a false dichotomy wedge into to create a *factor* where none exists. Here is where they invent the distinction out of *thin air* based on their personal opinion:

'Greater diversity among the cassettes in itself shouldn't be a selective advantage considering they aren't expressed and don't do anything else,' says lead author Dustin Brisson.

highlighted portion is **pure speculation** and forms the leverage for their whole experiment...if that ***opinion*** by the research is wrong the whole thing sinks...and it is just that one dude's opinion...which is not how a scientific research question is formed

bottom line: the process they describe, the bacteria being selected b/c some are more likely to survive is absolutely 100% main line accepted theory...their work does not in any way represent a new or different behavior in life

disclaimer: I am not a creation science supporter...i hate it...but I also hate equally the notion that **science can prove God does or does not exist**...looking at bacteria to somehow 'prove' evolution makes 'god' a delusion is itself a delusion.

science cannot prove **OR** disprove something abstract like a supernatural 'god'

Re:exactly_research 'begs the question' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435627)

science cannot prove **OR** disprove something abstract like a supernatural 'god'

Uhm. It seems it was you who brought "god" into this.

trolls bring it... (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45438349)

I made a ****disclaimer**** to head off common trolling subjects...

seems like I need to adapt my anti-troll comment strategy a bit considering your comment

Re:trolls bring it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45442501)

seems like I need to adapt my anti-troll comment strategy

You don't have one, to begin with. I'd rather suggest that you adapt your entire posting strategy a bit. Most of your posts in this thread come off as quite irate. Really, re-read them yourself and ponder how other people might view them, from their perspective. (Assuming you care, that is.)

Just an advice. I'm fairly sure you won't take it, but I thought I could at least try.

Re:trolls bring it... (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45443349)

Most of your posts in this thread come off as quite irate

only to people who hold beliefs irrationally...the 'irate' feeling they have is the cognitive dissonance from the reality of my words intruding on their expertly constucted fanatsy

for rational people, my tone is cathartic

Re:exactly_research 'begs the question' (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45435653)

It certainly is the way science is done. It's called an hypothesis.

And yes, this research isn't seeking to overturn current dogma. It's seeking to support it.

You are completely missing the basis and point of this research. It's not all that controversial or unusual. God may or may not still exist and TFA isn't anywhere near trying to bring up that question.

piss in a jar with Richard Dawkins (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45438453)

I can piss in a jar and call it a "hypothesis"....

That...doesn't...necessarily...make...it...so....

It certainly is the way science is done. It's called an hypothesis.

The hypothesis is just one glaring area where the **false distinction** error is evident.

It is an error in logic....based on a false distinction that invents a factor to test where none should logically exist in an area of a theory that has been proven.

Another way to say this is, proving that 'the ability to evolve' itself has the ability to evolve is a logical contradiction.

the 'ability to evolve' has never been in question **scientifically**....so why create an illogical false distinction to prove it?

ability to evolve is the same as 'change over time'...its the same conceptually...essentially these researchers were really just testing if the bacteria 'changed over time' then added the academia **hype language** to get a book deal

these guys are Richard Dawkins wannabes!

Re:piss in a jar with Richard Dawkins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45441483)

I can piss in a jar and call it a "hypothesis"....

That...doesn't...necessarily...make...it...so....

This... isn't... how... ellipses... work....

That's a lot of long random pauses between words.

that was my point (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45443727)

That's a lot of long random pauses between words.

you know what else there's 'a lot' of?

random bullshit masquerading as scientific research

the way you felt when you read those '...'s is exactly the same frustration I feel when I have to read about another bullshit 'research' study

Re:exactly_research 'begs the question' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435885)

The FSM mocks your puny God.

Re:exactly_research 'begs the question' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45436241)

Free likes and followers for your facebook page and profile, free twitter followers and youtube subscribers at www.likesfast.com

Re:exactly_research 'begs the question' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45438713)

"science cannot prove **OR** disprove something abstract like a supernatural 'god'"

This is bullshit, since most people who believe in a supernatural god make CLAIMS about the real world. All claimed evidence for the most relevant gods are from books written by human beings. Hence any book that claims to be from a supernatural god should have qualities like not making false statements about reality which are of course testable. The whole bit that 'supernatural god is outside of science' is a comforting myth because the word supernatural is itself undefinable.

If a god exists then by definition god is *natural*. Once anything exists by definition it is natural for it to exist. The problem is the language human beings conveniently invent nonsense words with nonsense definitions that have no reality.

When's the last time you've had a demon exorcised out of your kid? This was a real medical practice in times past whether you like it or not, so we can safely say science has disproved the practice and anyone who claims to be divine while doing it cannot by definition be divine.

Matthew 8:30-34 New International Version (NIV)

30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region."

your arguments will never work or not work (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45438991)

here's why:

since most people who believe in a supernatural god make CLAIMS about the real world.

the definition of 'god' changes in indescribable ways depending on **which person you ask**...and of course **when you ask that person**

any 'CLAIMS' made by religious people about what a **supernatural** god does are not provable or disprovable by any **natural** means...if X religious nutjob says 'god makes it rain' and you prove them wrong by explaining the natural process of rainfall, the religious nutjob can just say, "but god made nature to do that"....it's a ****never ending argument**** the only way to win is not to play!

the arguments you bat around...about how philosophers have **tried** to prove god exists....**they are all bullshit** so stop arguing against them!

neither *you* nor *anyone* can ever prove or disprove that a *supernatural* god exists with a methodology by definition base on the natural world

it's not a scientific question!!!!!

Re:your arguments will never work or not work (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 9 months ago | (#45441507)

I agree with you, and try to explain it as two questions normally. "Is there a God" and "Is there a Theology". Numerous atheists mix the two arguments to claim that there is no God. Numerous Religious people mix the two arguments to claim that there is a God. Philosophers don't delve very deep into the Theology portion until they have a reasonable answer for having a God.

I almost laugh at times at how an atheist appears to be as much of an evangelist as the Jehovah's Witness you can't get to leave your porch. It's difficult to get either to listen to rational points on the subject. Most of the time my explanations fail even when I ask them to break it into two questions. The biases we learn are incredibly strong.

interesting distinction (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#45443333)

I like how you break it down to two identifiable concepts and go from there.

That's a good way not to alienate them while you fix their illogical way of thinking ;)

Re:exactly_research 'begs the question' (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 9 months ago | (#45441487)

I realize that this is perhaps difficult, but belief in Theology requires the belief in a God first. The latter is a Philosophical question which can not be answered by science as the person mentioned. They never mentioned a Theology, and your bringing that up distorts the point.

If a person comes to a philosophical conclusion that there is a "God", "Creator" or what ever they wish to call it, then belief in a Theology will normally follow. You don't have to agree with their conclusion of having a God, but you can't prove them wrong any more than you can prove to them that there is no creator.

Where you, and so many others, fail (in critical thinking, explaining your position, and addressing someone that believes in a creator) is that you combine the two questions into a single thought. Is there a God becomes "is there Theology" and they are absolutely _not_ the same question.

Re:exactly_research 'begs the question' (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 9 months ago | (#45441493)

Gah, reverse the last half of my 2nd sentence in the 2nd paragraph. Simplified "Neither of you can 'prove' the other to be incorrect.

Re:Common sense (1)

krovisser (1056294) | about 9 months ago | (#45436233)

Yeah, this isn't new. Dawkins talked about this his book: The Greatest Show On Earth

Article Simply Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45439823)

The authors make two fundamental logical errors in reaching their conclusion. The fact that variability is there upon which selection may act alone is of no consequence. Selection only takes place when some mechanism of selection initiates (a drought, a flood, a new predator, etc) a new selective regime that differentially sorts and filters existing variability. Since this can result in any of an infinite number of potential outcomes there is no reason to suppose that a special configuration will be optimal in the future, whether expressed in a parent or not, will be preadapted to the correct and final outcome since until fixation occurs one doesn't have selection that drives differentiation. Rather, producing offspring that are variable is in principle more beneficial, since its likely that at least some of the variability will be favorable in any of the most probable futures. It is simply a logical fallacy to conclude as do the authors that because they have found "evidence of selection", when then hadn't anticipated it, that implies selection for "evolvability".

Why is this suprising? (4, Insightful)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 9 months ago | (#45435383)

Maybe I'm overlooking the significance of this discovery but why is it surprising that a bacteria strain with a greater "genetic variability" would fall under natural selection? Wouldn't such a strain naturally survive others considering it allows the bacteria to rearrange antigens and thus the ability to evade detection and destruction by the host's immune system, even if those latent facilities aren't immediately apparent to an observer who doesn't know the full evolutionary history of the strain?

Re:Why is this suprising? (2)

robot_love (1089921) | about 9 months ago | (#45435451)

I always thought this was the acknowledged importance of sexual reproduction as well: It increases the variability.

Re:Why is this suprising? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45437637)

Damn, and here I thought the point of sexual reproduction was the sex.

Re:Why is this suprising? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435551)

I'm also surprised about the surprise. After all, the evolutionary success concerns not the individual, but the whole set of descendants. A higher mutation rate (as long as it is low enough to not threaten the reproduction at all) means that the organism will be able to move more quickly adapt to the environment (and the immune system of the host is actively changing, therefore being able to adapt quickly would be a major advantage). On the other hand, organisms which are already well-adapted to an essentially unchanging environment would experience an evolutionary pressure to reduce their mutation rate, so less of their offspring leave the optimum which is already reached.

Re:Why is this suprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45436007)

The advantage of variation is vastly overstated. We're ultimately rather constrained at the end of the day, and for good reason. You don't see too many people born with additional eyes or brains the size of a walnut, because much/most variation is indeed maladaptive. That's not to say all variation is bad, and indeed some variation is absolutely necessary in order to overcome changing environments, coevolving competitors, etc. In the context of the evolving pathogen, it can't just go generating host-evading variation willy-nilly; instead, it needs to strike a balance between immune system evasion and maintaining its well-honed but potentially fragile toolbox that lets it successfully survive and reproduce.

That said, I don't think this is at all surprising. Neither is it new. Back at least as far as 1970 experiments with E. coli showed selection for rapidly-evolving "mutator" strains in response to environmental challenges. Like many of the studies splashed across the media these days, this is old news in a new dress.

Re:Why is this suprising? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 9 months ago | (#45438459)

I think it's more that the evolutionary pressure is not currently present, so what you're seeing is a genetic holdover from past generations. Imagine you're witnessing the evolution of the giraffe, in years of drought the tallest survive as they can reach leaves higher up on trees than others. What do you see in rainy years when there's plenty food lower down, do you expect giraffes to keep getting taller? Why not, because even though it may seem pointless and irrational in this generation maybe in three generations there'll be an extreme drought that only the tallest survive and the genes that selected for it, despite the lack of advantage and need will come out as winners in the end. In the same way this bacteria selects for greater variability because history has given it reason to and it'll keep selecting for it until there's a stronger selection pressure to the contrary.

Re:Why is this suprising? (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 9 months ago | (#45438999)

because history has given it reason to and it'll keep selecting for it until there's a stronger selection pressure to the contrary.

No, that's not how evolution works.

In rainy years, they all live. They all reproduce. And taller giraffes will not reproductively fare any better than shorter ones, everything else being equal.

"Selection" is not a concious effort, nor even a subconcious effort, nor even an instinctual biological response at a cellular level. There is no "selection in anticipation" of some future.

Really the organism does not "select" at all. Nature "selects" by literally killing off the less fit, inhibiting them from reproducing.

Re:Why is this suprising? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 9 months ago | (#45441443)

Glad I read your summary before TFA. Reading a claim that "Evolution can evolve" is like a claim of "movement can move", or "changes can change". I'm guessing that the article is nonsense like the summary, so I'm sure not racing to read it. I could be wrong, but your summation increases my reluctance.

Lab (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435385)

Wasn't Lyme disease created in a lab by humans, in Lyme, CT? I'm not sure this is the best example.

Re:Lab (3, Informative)

HiChris! (999553) | about 9 months ago | (#45435479)

Wasn't Lyme disease created in a lab by humans, in Lyme, CT? I'm not sure this is the best example.

Um No. The area of Lyme/Old Lyme, CT is where is was identified. They didn't originally even know that it was a tick-born bacterial infection.

Re:Lab (4, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | about 9 months ago | (#45436211)

Obama's Social Security Number begins 042, a which is only issued to Connecticut residents.
This Social Security Number was issued in the late 1970's.
Lyme Disease was first identified in Connecticut in.... you guess it... the late 1970's.

Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

Obviously Obama created Lyme Disease in a lab in the 1970's, as part of his plan to manufacture fake evidence of evolution, to turn Americans away from God, to ensure he'd be able to usurp the Presidency of the United States after the new Millennium arrived.

-

Re:Lab (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#45439565)

Foxnews has immediately offered you a job

Re:Lab (1)

Alsee (515537) | about 9 months ago | (#45440847)

Foxnews has immediately offered you a job

Screw that, no way in hell I'd take a job working for the Liberal Mainstream Media.

-

God wrote the rule book (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435467)

There are no variances. The law is the law, and it is impossible to violate.

Natural Selection or Evolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435495)

When I read the summary of this article I see..

"The process of evolution itself evolved into existence. The proof is that some bacteria with MORE DNA variability are more adaptable and tend to survive natural selection more effectively."

So, it sounds like we're talking about why some strains of bacteria don't make it (natural selection) as opposed to processes that make bacteria more complex (evolution).

Re:Natural Selection or Evolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45436085)

Natural selection is a part of evolution, the other part is variability. This study proves that evolution favors traits with whose only purpose is producing more variability. The study talks about evolution, and evolution can make an organism more complex or simpler, whatever makes it fitter to its environment, that's the point.

So (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435593)

This is like pokemon mega-evolution right? Science bitch!

Evolution is a lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435675)

A godless lie

Meta objective functions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435719)

From my perch atop Mt. ignorance have always believed if you want to evolve cool things somewhere along the line ability to judge and communicate improvements to what you spawn had to evolve from the primary objective function at some early point along the way. I just don't think we are currently smart enough to see it.

Well yeah. Why wouldn't it? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 9 months ago | (#45435751)

Any and all inherited traits can evolve, including the capacity for evolution, itself.

Re:Well yeah. Why wouldn't it? (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 9 months ago | (#45437671)

Any and all inherited traits can evolve, including the capacity for evolution, itself.

Wouldn't that imply that there could possibly be creatures that don't have the capacity for evolution? That does not seem correct to me as even a clone can evolve through cosmic rays hitting the DNA directly. Still counts as evolution.

Re:Well yeah. Why wouldn't it? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 9 months ago | (#45437939)

Individual organisms don't evolve. Only species and populations evolve. You're talking about mutation.

Re:Well yeah. Why wouldn't it? (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 9 months ago | (#45438065)

Actually I'm talking about a cosmic ray hitting the DNA in the egg or sperm cell of the individual. Or if it was a pure cloning species, then the clone formed from the mutated cells. Both of these would still be considered evolution. Mutation is a cause of evolution isn't it? Evolution just needs changes in the individuals and a selection pressure.

I just think it is crazy to say that evolution can evolve. That's like saying change can change. It's meaningless. The rate that the species can evolve might vary depending on different factors. But it is always evolving to some extant. Unless it's the sole individual in the species and no clones or copies are ever made. Then it would not be evolving and only be mutating.

Re:Well yeah. Why wouldn't it? (1)

Kahlandad (1999936) | about 9 months ago | (#45438625)

That's like saying change can change. It's meaningless.

That's exactly what I told my calculus prof.

Darwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435821)

This is very implied in Darwin's work. He points out that species that have more children at once tend to have greater variance among those children (and thus, "capacity to evolve") than those that have fewer children at a time. Meaning, at some point, the amount of variance had to vary.

yo dawg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45435939)

I heard you like evolution
so I put evolution in evolution...

Simon G. Powell (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 9 months ago | (#45435943)

There's a book called "Darwin's Unfinished Business" written by a guy named Simon G. Powell. He goes into depth on evolution, and how it's inherently intelligent, and self-improving. I'm not going to go all in here explaining more about it, read that book if you're interested. But he nails it, in my opinion. The fact that a seed has embedded into it the instructions to not only build another tree, but another fruit, and another seed - and not just a seed, but a seed that is able to continue on carrying the intelligence torch as it were, in order to continue evolving in a manner that continuously becomes more and more intelligent, or more and more able to make sense of it's surroundings.

Re:Simon G. Powell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45436617)

"He goes into depth on evolution, and how it's inherently intelligent"

That's about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. At the core of it all we have nothing but elements and chemical compounds. I can't fathom why so many people buy into this junk.

Re:Simon G. Powell (1)

Kahlandad (1999936) | about 9 months ago | (#45438485)

"He goes into depth on evolution, and how it's inherently intelligent"

I can't fathom why so many people buy into this junk.

Because it's an easy intellectual compromise to make.

division by zero (1)

Msdose (867833) | about 9 months ago | (#45436023)

There is infinitely more evidence that god is the name of the initial experiences of the newly awakened fetal brain than there is evidence that god is the name of a bearded old guy in the sky.

Heretics, all of them (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 9 months ago | (#45436147)

This flies in the face of all that is good and natural -- the ability to evolve was clearly put in place by some kind of intelligent designer. This is blasphemy, I tell you.

Re:Heretics, all of them (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#45439553)

This is blasphemy, I tell you.

Not anymore. G0d evolved.

Soon in the news (1)

mstefanro (1965558) | about 9 months ago | (#45436469)

The ability to evolve of the ability to evolve may actually evolve.

Evolveablity could be a disadvantage! (1)

anwyn (266338) | about 9 months ago | (#45436917)

It is easy to imagine a scenario where evolveablity is a long term selective disadvantage. Imagine a species with certain traits that allow it to survive a catastrophe that occurs infrequently. However these traits are dead weight during the good times (=most of the time). If the creature evolves to fast, it will lose all its catastrophe surviving traits during the good times and and get wiped out during a catastrophe. However if it evolves slowly these traits will survive the catastrophe and culling during the catastrophes will insure it keeps its catastrophe surviving traits. And perhaps the characteristic of slow evolution.

Re:Evolveablity could be a disadvantage! (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 9 months ago | (#45443163)

Sounds like other things related to rates of change:
velocity
acceleration
jerk
jounce

For A Better World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45437829)

Now if only we could get some of those fundamentalist Christians in a lab and prove their thinking can evolve...

Re:For A Better World (2)

Kahlandad (1999936) | about 9 months ago | (#45438497)

Paradoxically, that would require a miracle.

Well... Sex exists (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 9 months ago | (#45439667)

And it didn't at once time. But when it was developed there was an explosion in the rate of evolution. Because sexual recombination is a superior form of evolution to simple mutation.

That said... I'd like to think that genetic engineering is the next step after sex in the evolution of evolution.

That is... intelligent design. Organisms making themselves into what they want to be... deliberately.

I implemented this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45440421)

I implemented an evolutionary system in software (for generating fractals). Some of the parameters that were allowed to evolve were meta-parameters about mutation rates and mate selection. These converged to non 0 values, thus proving the same thing as done in this research. I don't see how any other outcome could be mathematically possible.

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