evolution of 'atomic' instincts

Eric Silber silber at orfeo.Eng.Sun.COM
Mon Sep 23 16:00:59 EST 1991


In article <1991Sep20.211233.3532 at husc3.harvard.edu> rice at husc9.harvard.edu (Ken Rice) writes:
>
>3. Exaptation -- A trait that *isn't* adaptive is seized by selection
>   for another purpose.  Example:  Over time, one of a pair of 
>   duplicated genes acquires a new function owing to natural selection.  
>   Duplicates of the cytoskeletal actin gene became the genes for 
>   cardiac and striated muscle actins.  Your bee can cough up as 
>   much utterly useless wax as she likes, so long as her reproductive 
>   success (co-constituted with that of her queen, remember) is not 
>   thereby decreased.
>   
>I think of George Williams as the person who first wrestled with
>this question in a sophisticated way, although as Alan Rogers 
>points out, the problem is much older.  E. Vrba and S. Gould 
>more or less invented the idea of exaptation.
>
 Ultimately these 'atomic instincts' are incorporated into the 
 genome as part of the 'wiring diagram' for the nervous system. 
 Maybe we shouldn't be doing a GEnome project, but rather a 
 BEEnome project, since bees have a simpler nervous system,
 mayve we could actually locate the genetic loci which encode 
 hive-building????? 
 
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-----^BEEHIVE Behaviour locus for Bees (29K basepairs)-----------
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---^--Human Higher Reasoning Engine Locus (127 pairs)



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