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Evolution is bigger than biology

Eric Cabot ecec at quads.uchicago.edu
Mon Nov 4 20:42:06 EST 1991

In article <1991Oct31.233448.7698 at convex.com> petelev at convex.com (Pete Levinthal) writes:

>I remember seeing a very interesting presentation at the 1990 BioMatrix 
>conference on meteorlogical influences on evolution.  The focus wasn't on 
>the genetics involved, but rather on the migration patterns of species 
>according to weather patterns.  The speaker showed how major climactic 
>changes could "run" a species off the edge of a continent. 
>Also, if we're thinking big (though this may be too much for bionet.molbio), 
>let's think about describing human driven evolution such as that of 
>economic and political systems.

 Another example of non-biological evolution is the evolution of 
computer systems under the contraints of market forces. One could easily
come up with examples of systems being driven out of existence by factors
that are the functional equivalent of the climatic changes that you cite.

 Properly speaking, evolution as change need not be concerned with 
either speciation or other forms of biological evolution.  Evolution
occurs in  religions, cultures, music, art, automobile styles and many
other non-biological systems. It's still evolution. I even know of 
philosophers who study the evolution of memes (and talk about selfish memes).

However,  this is after all a biologically focused news group so
I think it's appropriate to confine our evolutionary discussions to
biology except in the case of citations of wonderfully analagous examples 
from  the non-biological world that can help in the conceptualization
of a point. (And also when trying to be cute :-)

E. Cabot

Eric Cabot                              |    ecec at midway.uchicago.edu
      "Non Nobis Nati Solum"            |    NOTE: New address!

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