why does evlution have to be random?

Is there any research pointing to, or more simply, any reason not to believe that evolution occurs not due to random mutation but because of lower level intelligence?

Just as on a macro scale we are supposedly ‘intelligent’ beings, why can intelligence not exist on lower levels? Are there not lots of organisms without brains that exhibit smart behaviors?

Considering how pathetically little science knows about intellience and awareness, surely smart genes are possible?

IANASTG (science type guy), but I’ll go with “No”. Doesn’t sound right to me and you’ve provided no evidence that there might be any such force at work. The random-mutation-that-survives explanation works for me, in that I can see it working in the real world. Plus it nicely explains why we’re still carrying a whole load of crappy genes around as well.

Lower lvl as in size?
Well theres a limit to carbon based organisms on the minimum size required to be able to function as an intelligent being.

Are you trying to say that evolution in designed? Well, its possibility. But thats abt as far as it goes now.

Not sure exactly what the rest of your question is asking.

A large brain, as possessed by humans, is very expensive (in terms of energy consumption) to maintain.

Since the point of life is to propagate DNA through space-time, it is not neccesary to have an intelligent brain to do this. A big brain may be like a staghorn beetles horn - a sort of runaway trait. A big brain has been very helpful for creating and manipulating tools and the environment, but we dont really need to be as smart as we are.

I am not saying “smart” genes cannot exist, it’s up to you to show the world they are.

thank you urban ranger, and show them I will! I’ll show them all…you heard it here first :stuck_out_tongue:

I dunno, just throwing ideas out there, seems so far that my thesis is more than feasible, though it doesn’t particularly mimic traditional thought on the subject.

By ‘lower level’ I guess I was refering to some sort of decentralized system that could resemble what we commonly refer to as intelligence, and as such, work on some basic principles that go beyond survival of the fittest.

I just plain don’t understand for sure what this sentence says. It seems to ask whether evolution happens because of lower level intelligence. It you are trying to say that creatures of “lower” intelligence might evolve toward “higher” intelligence you just haven’t been paying attention or else not understanding many previous posts on this same subject.

If that is your meaning, then you are once again ascribing a direction to, and a purpose behind, evolution.

One more time - as far as anyone can tell phrases like “higher intelligence” and “more advanced” have no place in evolutionary theory. All that seems to be required of living creatures is the ability to survive as a species, not as individual members of the species.

well consider this: many ppl theorize that humans are born with certain instincts and senses, where by the being will respond the same way to particular stimuli. This theory somehow extends into what is known as intelligence. As such, surely its feasible that some other systems aka organisms exist on some tiny scale that could effect larger outcomes?

this to me would be the same as human intelligence, only simpler.

I think I know what you are getting at now LP.

I think you are asking - Do simple organisms have intelligence, because they respond to stimuli and have predictable behaviour, as do humans?

My dictionary definition of intelligence states "ability to understand ". Simple systems are not intelligent just because they move when you poke them or they have a desire for food, shelter and sex. If these little critters can understand simple concepts like algebra, then they would be intelligent.

Or by “lower level intelligence” do you mean a disembodied consciousness which guides organisms? Call it “The Will To Survive”, which makes decisions to propogate itself, as opposed to simply allowing statistical variations to shape populations.

If that’s what we’re talking about, then I’m pretty sure science has very little to say about disembodied consciousnesses.

thanks grumpy, that will be all :slight_smile:


Your premise seems to assume that the success of the surviving organisms, not just the species of which they are members, is somehow the result of some planned action on the part of this lower intelligence you propose. Keep in mind that evolution doesn’t really happen because of the survival of living things, it comes about because of the wholesale deaths of most living things, with the very few survivors remaining as the evolved.

So, you are left with a lower level intelligence that has a suicidal tendency that causes it to die in great numbers. The survivors would be the “beneficiaries” of this intelligence’s selfless act of evolutionary suicide. It all sounds a bit less likely, when you look at it that way. Also, it seems if such a thing did exist, it would necessarily fail to pass on its characteristics, and become extinct.


“We better get back, cause it’ll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night, mostly.” ~ Newt, Aliens ~

I think his question is this:[ul]Is it possible that the smaller components of an organism–cells, DNA, etc.–can each have their own intelligence, and thus consciously alter themselves to adapt the larger organism to evolutionary pressures?[/ul]

“Lower intelligence” seems like an awful lot to invoke when there’s no real conundrums that can’t already be explained by the random processes of mutation and selection. To operate effectively your hidden intelligence would have to know on a molecular level, exactly what genetic changes need to be made to produce any desired phenotypic trait. That’s an awful lot of information to cram into what appears to be a very small space. Even at a density of 1 bit per atom, I’d expect such a database to show up under a microscope.

Anything that doesn’t violate the regularities of nature (the so-called laws) is possible. The speculation of Logical Phallacy is one possible answer because it would appear at first glance to be a way to get an undirected response to an environment. That is, these “intelligent” component parts would somehow sense an environment and adapt the overall organism of which they are parts to a better fit with that environment.

This speculation is less satisfactory, to me, than random mutation because it doesn’t answer the question of why there are so many marginal adaptations to environment. To put it crudely, why aren’t teeth better? An intelligent designer, or intelligent parts doing the design adaptations wouldn’t give us a set of teeth with quite a bit of pain and then have them soon fall out and be replaced by another set of teeth that are great in themselves but aren’t attached all that well to their anchor points.

Random mutation answers that question quite well because if an adaptation is good enough for species survival there is very little evolutionary pressure to make it better.

Hmmm…reminds me of Lamarck (sp?) and the idea that “giraffes evolved from horses that wanted longer necks to be able to reach the leaves up in the trees”. There is no “desire-leads-to-physical-change” aspect in evolution - a lion can’t get stripes to hide better and “become” a tiger just because it might be “wanted”.

I don’t really know where to go with this…seems a little too out of my league to really discuss, so I’ll just leave it at this.