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The Parking Lot: How close is the resemblance between physical and cultural evolution? 
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Post The Parking Lot: How close is the resemblance between physical and cultural evolution?
The thread name isn't meant to restrict the discussion. We were also talking about the ways in which evolution is or is not a process of movement to greater complexity.



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oblivion
Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:32 am
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Post Re: The Parking Lot: How close is the resemblance between physical and cultural evolution?
Thanks DWill, for creating a space for this discussion to continue without usurping the discussion of The Evolution of God.

I was making the argument that evolution does not necessarily always move in the direction of complexity and gave the example of the changing color of a moth. I believe principle Occam's razor applies as much to evolution as to anything. An organism will not become any more complex than necessary to continue to exist. The change I mentioned in the moth was not an increase in complexity. The pattern of coloration did not change just a darkening. Read the Wikipedia entry below:

Peppered moth evolution
From Wikipedia, This article is about the peppered moth's significance in evolutionary biology. For its evolutionary ancestry, see Insect evolution.

Biston betularia f. typica, the white-bodied peppered moth.
Biston betularia f. carbonaria, the black-bodied peppered moth.The evolution of the peppered moth over the last two hundred years has been studied in detail. Originally, the vast majority of peppered moths had light colouration, which effectively camouflaged them against the light-coloured trees and lichens which they rested upon. However,because of widespread pollution during the Industrial Revolution in England, many of the lichens died out, and the trees that peppered moths rested on became blackened by soot, causing most of the light-coloured moths, or typica, to die off from predation. At the same time, the dark-coloured, or melanic, moths, carbonaria, flourished because of their ability to hide on the darkened trees.[1]

Since then, with improved environmental standards, light-coloured peppered moths have again become common, but the dramatic change in the peppered moth's population has remained a subject of much interest and study, and has led to the coining of the term industrial melanism to refer to the genetic darkening of species in response to pollutants. As a result of the relatively simple and easy-to-understand circumstances of the adaptation, the peppered moth has become a common example used in explaining or demonstrating natural selection.[2]



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Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:01 am
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Post Re: The Parking Lot: How close is the resemblance between physical and cultural evolution?
Saffron wrote:
I believe principle Occam's razor applies as much to evolution as to anything. An organism will not become any more complex than necessary to continue to exist.


I think this was the point my son-in-law's colleague was trying to make as well. Man had reached the level of development necessary in order to survive, and even thrive, in the "Cradle of Civilisation", but when re-settlement, migration, began, new "givens" were necessary for survival in the new environment whereas some of the old stand-bys (the vital importance of being able to run long distances quickly, for instance) were no longer important and were replaced with other "givens".


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Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:01 am
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