Microbial communities don't follow Darwinism?

Doug Caldwell caldwell at SASK.USASK.CA
Fri Jan 24 14:59:46 EST 1997


Dear enigl at aol.com,

Natural selection theory is not flawed, it does work under a limited range
of conditions and can even explain altruism (unselfish genes) if you
convolute it sufficiently by making it more complex.   However, it is
limited in scope as well as being unnecessarily complex.  It should
probably be rejected in favor of more general and efficient concepts if
life as a whole is to be studied and understood.

"Survival of the fittest" gene, organism, or community doesn't take you
nearly as far as "proliferation through association".  Reproductive
strategies emerge at all levels of biological organization - the
recombination of organisms within communities, and words within sentences,
lines within computer code etc. etc. being just as important as the
recombination of genes within a genome.  You may want to visit the
biological information theory newsgroup - the discussion there often goes
beyond Dawkins and Darwin.


http://www.bio.net/hypermail/BIOLOGICAL-INFORMATION-THEORY/




>In article <01bc05b1$112ddd60$dac5a9c6 at dschmid.wbm.ca>, "Dirk Schmid"
><dschmid at eagle.wbm.ca> writes:
>
>>Come to think of it, Darwin's principle of natural selection appears to
>be
>>flawed. Natural selection can not account for the evolution of microbial
>>communities, and it can not account for the close association of
>>microorganisms within a microbial community.
>>
>>
>
>Sure it can.  It's not flawed at all.  Read Richard Dawkins _The Selfish
>Gene_  for an explaination of this.
>
>He explains the changes in a community are not for individual survival but
>survival of the genes.  A biofilm acts as an organism for survival of the
>community or if you like, the biofilm organism its self.
>
><<
>If there is such a close association within a biofilm or community, then
>competition simply can not exist.>>
>
>And, the survivial of the biofilm community acts like a whole organism
>survival, so the community will tend to compete with the non-associated
>members.  Your brain cells are not in competition with your blood cells.
>
><<Well, that sure throws Darwin out the window, doesn't it?>>
>
>Non sequitur.
>
>______________________________
><<Dirk Schmid
>dfs846 at mail.usask.ca
>University of Saskatchewan
>Canada>>






>In article <01bc05b1$112ddd60$dac5a9c6 at dschmid.wbm.ca>, "Dirk Schmid"
><dschmid at eagle.wbm.ca> writes:
>
>>Come to think of it, Darwin's principle of natural selection appears to
>be
>>flawed. Natural selection can not account for the evolution of microbial
>>communities, and it can not account for the close association of
>>microorganisms within a microbial community.
>>
>>
>
>Sure it can.  It's not flawed at all.  Read Richard Dawkins _The Selfish
>Gene_  for an explaination of this.
>
>He explains the changes in a community are not for individual survival but
>survival of the genes.  A biofilm acts as an organism for survival of the
>community or if you like, the biofilm organism its self.
>
><<
>If there is such a close association within a biofilm or community, then
>competition simply can not exist.>>
>
>And, the survivial of the biofilm community acts like a whole organism
>survival, so the community will tend to compete with the non-associated
>members.  Your brain cells are not in competition with your blood cells.
>
><<Well, that sure throws Darwin out the window, doesn't it?>>
>
>Non sequitur.
>
>______________________________
><<Dirk Schmid
>dfs846 at mail.usask.ca
>University of Saskatchewan
>Canada>>


Doug Caldwell
Microbial Colonization Laboratory
Department of Applied Microbiology and Food Science
51 Campus Drive, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5A8, Canada
Voice: (306) 966-5026 (office), -5042 (colonization lab), -7704 (laser
imaging facility), 934-0711 (home)
Fax:  966-8898
Email:  caldwell at sask.usask.ca
WebSite:  http://zebra.usask.ca


Life is the process by which wisdom arises spontaneously, transcends any
specific individual or group of individuals, and resides within and among
all living things. - Doug Caldwell - Email signature - Nov. 6, 1996 - for
further information see:

Caldwell, D. E. and J. W. Costerton, 1996. Are bacterial biofilms
constrained to Darwin's concept of evolution through natural selection?
Microbiologia SEM 12:347-358.

Caldwell, D. E. R. M. Wolfaardt, D. R. Korber, and J. R. Lawrence. 1996.
Do bacterial communities transcend Darwinism?  In Advances in Microbial
Ecology.  Edited by: J. Gwynfryn Jones.  Published by Plenum Press. New
York.   In Press.








More information about the Biofilms mailing list