Evolution

I’ve been reading Darwin recently. I am trying to clarify the answer to this question: In the most advanced scientific understanding today, are evolution’s mutations thought to occur randomly, or is DNA influenced by an organism’s environment and/or experiences to mutate in a specific way needed for optimum survivablility? Does anyone have knowledge on this?

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2 thoughts on “Evolution

  1. justin

    DNA mutating with direction would imply some sort of meta-consciousness or meta-intelligence directing it along. Absolutely absolutely there is no one that believes that!! The idea is that random mutations in the vast majority of cases have no effect positive or negative. Meanwhile the few that lead to an organism less adapted to survive will cause those having it to die off, and anything that gives a benefit will spread eventually as it enables superior ability to survive.

    I strongly strongly recommend any of Richard Dawkin’s books — they’re really clear things up for you.

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  2. Jeff

    The short answer is no, but that is a hell of a good question. We first thought DNA was cast in iron or something equally firm. However, there is some evidence DNA can change. When exposed to radiation for example. I once heard of a man being bitten by a rattlesnake. He survived with a distinctive scare on his leg. All his children after that encounter were born with the same mark. Hardly scientific, but it is good evidence of something that needs followup. You may not need a nuclear explosion to change DNA.

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