How Do Colony-Type Organisims Evolve?
2 replies to this topic
Posted 03 October 2011 - 10:55 AM
A number of animals such as ants, jellyfish, sponges, slime mold slugs and even we humans are multicellular colonies or live as social groups.
Is that explained through genetic evolution?
Is that explained through genetic evolution?
Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:44 PM
Take a look at this link:
Thanks for the URL. Written in 1932 and updated at last as recently as 2000, it takes the subject foreward, For anyone really interested in the answer to the OP, I have carried it still further. What had been missing is a way to make a clear distinction between the two oft-used concepts of innate behavior and "culture." I clear that up real well:
" The question of how small group social animals evolved in a natural selection-dominated world has been asked often and for generations, but so far, not well explained. Basic to human hunting/gthering size small groups has been a complex of innate behavioral characteristics. The majority and perhaps even most of these oft-observed behavioral traits are common to most if not all mammals. In more primitive life forms, behavior is usually not conditioned but in most higher forms, behavioral traits are condition by group needs in dealing with the environment. That human social behavior is nevertheless innate group and environmental conditioning only shapes how it is expressed. Our innate social behavior is genetic even though we have little proof of that. In most cases, it cannot be demonstrated either neurologically or physiologically. Nevertheless distinct behavioral patterns have been observed by animal behavioralists that are basic to both human and, for example, other primate behavior.
For example, primatological observations indicate the chimpanzee who extends a favor to another expecting a favor to be returned will turn on the receipient if the favor is not returned when and as it is needed. We condition this same nature into our justice and legal system and explains why society is discredited when justice is not available. When combined with our small group territorial nature, it is conditioned by us into our private property capitalistic system.
It is important to understanding group evolution is to be able to clearly distinguish what is innate and what conditions it. In reference to the innate part, it is important to avoid the awkward and misleading explanation of our social behavor as being “hard wired.” A better way to make the innate/conditioning distinction clear is to use, instead, the term instinct as long as it is understood that it is distinct from, but shaped by, social/environmental conditioning.
That, then, leads to the next step, that is the conditioning process, a process than needs to be better understood. In a few words, it is simply everything the people believe. For a half century or so, it has all been lumped together under the term “culture.” The problem with that the term has no meaning beyond that. In order to understrand human social change or social evolution, it is essential to understand the natural selection process involved.
Of course, this runs counter to “meme” theory and, as well, assumptions that the process is somehow “spiritual.” It is perhaps in defense of such views that suggestions there is a social evolutionary process is met with such exaggerating terminology as “brutal” or “ tooth and claw” “survival of the fittest.” The actual process is far more mundane than that.
Turning again to the two distinct phenonoma we have clearly delineated, e.g., instinct and ideology, mention of the “favor” instinct is one of the former (the economic and justice system). The alpha male defence-of-”his”-group instinct is another (military, police, political power, etc.). Also to be included is sub-alpha competition (the levels of individual status in society) and even homosexual non-competition (an evolved animal/human trait that limits competition for the females and hence minimizes dissention) as well as mother love of her offspring, the polygamous system and inter group antagonism. There is also grooming (the service industry) and looking to the alphas for cues (the reason why people listen to speeches). Finally, there is the male hunting team bonding (as in military squads and sports teams) and the female status or “pecking order.”
Regarding the conditioning instinct factor, the next step is to define it. “Ideology” is too vague. A term that gives a clearer picture of it is “religion.” However, it also fails to describe what is essentially the whole process of conditioning instinct. Every society has ideology but not all have “religion.” Ancestor worship and East Asian Marxism (China and North Korea as well as Vietnam and Laos but including Cuba outside of Asia) are not defined as “religions” even though they serve the same function (operate the same). It would be more accurate to refer to them as world-view (and way-of-thinking) systems.
One might be led to believe that they are thus nothing more than philosophical system, but that departs from the nature that so distinctly describes them. They are held in common by people and the people hold them with the confiction that theirs alone is “the truth.”
So, what do they have in common that causes people to adopt them in unison and view them as “the “whole/final truth” and with such conviction?
Let it be proposed that what is esstential to the success of any and all world-view systems is that they are shaped or evolved in a way that enables their adherents to believe their ideology provides the to them logical explanation of “the mysteries of life.” They do that by providing what is regarded as logical answers to four questions: “what is our origin, what are our goal(s), what means (moral standards) must we follow to achieve them, and what stands on our common way?” All effective world view systems provide what their believers believe are the answers to those four questions."