View Single Post
Old 10-13-2015, 10:20 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 14,839
Originally Posted by Ornery Bob View Post
Most of the time, evolution tries to balance survival by using the minimum amount of equipment required.

Sorry, but this is utter nonsense. Evolution doesn't have an agenda and isn't trying to do anything. Random mutations simply happen. Some get passed along and some don't. Some have survival advantages and some don't. There's no "balance" that is some sort of goal. Evolution simply happens, there's no destination.
No, it's not entirely nonsense. Random mutations tend to behave like a form of entropy: They tend to de-evolve from more elaborate structures toward more simple structures, UNLESS there is some adaptive preference toward the more elaborate structure.

For example: Certain species of mammals live in places where there is little or no light, and in these species, their eyes have tended to de-evolve and become vestigial. Bats, living in caves and coming out only at night, are famously blind. There are some species of dolphins that live in muddy river waters, and some of these species are nearly blind. Whales and dolphins, at some point in their history, had legs, but these have de-evolved. Some cetaceans have a vestigial pelvis and vestigial leg bones.

Yes, it's all in random mutations. But random mutations are as likely to add or subtract some structure. Absent some evolutionary pressure favoring the more elaborate structure, you tend to get regression.