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Truly Natural Selection (Part 3) The Myth of Random Chance Changes

SERIES: Truly Natural Selection
AUTHOR: Jim Schofield


This series of papers extends Natural Selection beyond the Living World into Reality in general. It sees all “complication” not just as a summation of Parts, or even laws, but as a necessary development of things, involving the emergence of wholly new features, when it is usually, and correctly, encapsulated by the term Evolution.

Where with Life we have the mechanisms of qualitative change as variation based on mutation, plus selection via competition, this more general form drives change via selection between competing chemical processes, and the transformation of both context and potentiality.

Fitness to survive, reproduce and prosper in the form which drives Evolution, is replaced in the more basic form by advantage to conducive, complementary processes and the successive transformation of the underlying situations entirely without Life being either present or necessary.

This view of Reality runs entirely counter to the famed Second Law of Thermodynamics, and therefore, of course, requires justification. It is explained in terms of context, wherein the Second Law is a product of interludes of maximally constrained stability, while competitive advances in order occur in quite different situations of unconstrained, maximum opportunities for change. And these alternating phases turn out to be natural features of systems driven in cycles of any kind. The pattern involving longer periods of relative stability, interspersed with short interludes of radical, qualitative change, is, in fact, the norm in the trajectories of change in such systems.

And the Key Events in these processes are the eruptions into revolutionary episodes, which we call Emergences. Clearly, the most significant and undeniable of these has to be that which produced the very first Living Things. And this Event alone confirms that Selection in some form must have preceded Life! It was, in fact, the Source of Life on Earth.

Many important fallacies are addressed in these papers, including the usual mathematical definition of Probability, and its false use as a Cause(?) of Life. And, most crucially, we address the concept of Competition involving mutually conducive and mutually contending chemical processes, which are the necessary agents of Selection in these circumstances. The crux has to be the revolutionary Events called Emergences, which had clearly already occurred many times throughout the long history of Reality, prior to the Emergence of Life, and which are generally ignored by most current Science.

1. But we must more detail, how probability as applied to a sequence of random change events, as is normally assumed in the usual theoretical approach. Taking a perfect die as the means of considering a sequence of 10 successive throws, we will get a probability of (1/6)10 = 1:60,466,176 as the chance of a particular given sequence occurring in the order in which they did.

2. These are long, long odds and the required “throws” between the non-living state and Life will have been assumed to be many, many billions for the “right” one to have occurred by chance. With the continuing vast number of such choices in sequence, and the equally vast number of options at each stage the mathematical probability of Life occurring becomes ZERO!

3. But, of course, the real World is NOT like that! The assumed indistinguishability of the elements would make such selection go nowhere. No, in the real World, it is precisely that the elements are different that both causes and directs selection.

4. The other essential factor is that in the real World the changes which occur in entities, also change the context! Each “throw” modifies its own ground.

5. Now, we must distinguish between the currently being addressed steps in development, from limited, totally non-changing sub-systems. In cases of the latter (e.g. The Gas Laws) probabilistic assumptions can hold to an extent, and allow “summed laws” to be extracted. But this is NOT the case in development.

6. And, such probabilistic ideas can also be used as an alternative(?) to explanation in Sub- Atomic Physics, and certain reproducible situations using these ideas are possible. But can anyone say that the used methodology is totally natural, and constitutes a “causality”? The Large Hadron Collider is no natural “toy” is it?

7. In most of Reality, and quite definitely in its development processes, these ideas are useless and misleading. The World is clearly holistic and develops. So the arguments against the Theory of Evolution based on probability are valid. Though their alternatives are not!

8. What is happening in all development, including the Origin of Life and its subsequent Evolution is Selection. And we must address how the “fictitious odds” of probability in these contexts have actually been considerably shortened to actually allow real development.

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