Mar 29, 2006

New theory of Evolution -- The Struggle for Survival

I was going throught my old notebooks and I found out this... It is an article written by me on 27th march 2004.

The idea of evolution as understood today is based on the Darwin's book "Origin of Species". The salient idea of Neo-Darwinism (as it is known today) happens to be the survival of the fittest. Published way back in 1859, the book still happens to be the centre of the theory of evolution. This theory explains satisfactorily how the organisms evolveed by adapting themselves to the changes in the environment. Now it has been shown that these changes manifest themselves in the form of the mutations in the genes of the organisms. These mutations over many generations give rise to the new species.But all this is applicable in a static environment in the sense that environment undergoes changes which are too slow and hence other organisms which are suited to the change survive by natural selection. The Darwin's theory is based on puree chance that a given population may have a mutant which may have no advantage in normal circumstances but when the environment changes they have a relative advantage and generations later, they form the major part of the population.

But there happens to be certain missling links or fallacies in the Darwin's theory. Consider for example the lion-deer paradox -- "The deer is grazing on the green grass and unknown to the deer the lion is watching it, slowly the lion goes towards it and the deer sensing his presence runs, the lion runs after it. Now the environment has manifested a change in terms of a predator, whose speed is not as good as that of the prey. The prey (deer) has adapted quite well to this change by running away at top speed. But now if we apply Neo-Darwinism, the deer should be naturally selected and survive. Because it fits itself with the environment so well. As we all know this doesnt neccesarily happen. The deer may be killed or may escape. How can Darwin's theory account for this? It happens to be a mere approximation of a more genaral theory that should explain evolution in all kinds of environments, including an environment of this kind which I term as dynamic to distinguish fromt he changes that are too slow and take years to manifest themselves.

This explains the need for a new theory of evolution. Under dynamic environmental conditions it seems that fittest organism may not survive but the one who struggles well (like a deer who tries very hard and escapes the lion) can survive. Thus I propose the "Survival of the one who can struggle hypothesis". Organisms evolve into new species and survive drastic environmental changes but they struggle for living, they struggle to keep the life going. This explains why so many species have been wiped out because they didnt struggle well and could make up. This hypothesis can be applied to the so said dynamic environments which change so rapidly that the Darwin's theory fails completely to describe them. One more important differnce is that the Darwin's theory apparently applies only to the populatoin of community (biotic) as a whole, it cannot be expressed for an individual of a species. On the other hand the theory proposed here is centered on an individual and then takes the sum total of them to express for populations and communities.

It appears that the nature may have a struggle coefficient for a particular species, under the dynamic environment that may help us to predict whether that population will be able to survive under a given environment. Consider for example, a population of N number of organisms of a particular species. We can introduce several dynamic environmental factors and determine their survival. Our idea should be to make them struggle and not to check if they fit in the changed environment. It means though they may not have complete mutations in their genes they may survive. Conduting such experiments with proper control we may determine the struggle coefficient of teh species empirically.

In this article I tried to present the short falls of the Darwin's theory of evolution and gave the "Struggle hypothesis". Only more research and experimentation in truely dynamic environment can put more light on this problem. I would sign off with "I man struggles through out his life so his evolution is never complete..."

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