Theory of biological evolution by natural selection based on the insights of Charles Darwin.
Darwin observed that individuals in any population are variable, and this variation can be inherited. But because organisms have the potential to increase in numbers far in excess of the environment's capacity to support all of them, those individuals with traits that increase their chances of survival and reproduction will leave more offspring. Natural selection thus determines which individuals successfully leave offspring for the next generation ("Survival of the Fittest"). Over thousands of generations these small changes can produce very large changes, and this can account not only for the advent of new species but ultimately for entirely new major clades, up to and including whole kingdoms of life, so that a single self-replicating organism can, given enough time, give rise to the diversity of a natural biosphere.
During the early Atomic Age and onwards Darwinism (also called Neodarwinism and the Modern Synthesis) incorporated the Mendelian theory of inheritance, and, later, genetic mutation (De Vries). Random mutation causes subtle, occasionally dramatic, variations in genes, hence greater genetic diversity. Some members of these diverse populations are better able to survive and reproduce, thus passing on their genes and the traits that follow from them and changing the nature of the population. The Modern Synthesis, based on advances in statistics, and a better understanding of the modes of inheritance than was available in Darwin's day, expanded the original insights of Darwin, and has remained a cornerstone of biology.
- Artificial Evolution - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Directed evolution, evolution guided by artificial selection, controlled environments, gengineering, bionano, or other such means, as opposed to evolution left to natural selection.
- Autoevolution - Text by Anders Sandberg
Evolution directed by intelligent beings instead of natural selection.
Autoevolutionist: Someone who regards autoevolution as desirable; the opposite of a biological fundamentalist.
- Coevolution - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Two or more organisms experiencing evolution in response to one another. This may result in a biological arms race, or it could produce a symbiotic relationship.
- Convergent Evolution - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
When a trait develops independently in two or more evolutionary sequences or groups of organisms; e.g. the development of skin-flap wings in pterodactyls and bats. Mathematically, this refers to dynamic systems settling into an attractor.
- Darwin (Delta Pavonis IV)
- Darwin, Charles - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Industrial age Old Earth scientist; founder and populariser of the theory of evolution by natural selection.
- Darwin, Clade
- Darwingoo - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Bionano that will rewrite the genome of biological organisms, causing them to evolve into completely new subspecies or species. Particularily popular among Disarchy, Zoeific and TRHN biohackers. Most darwingoo needs a host to replicate (like an ordinary virus), or vectors may include biomodverts, but the more virulent forms are self replicating. The majority is directed to a few species or host types only, but some will infect all terragen organic life. Only very few types of darwingoo can infect both terragen and alien carbon-based life, and most of these are easily detected. Outbreaks of darwingoo can be a particular problem in some unregulated regions
- Darwinia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Planet in NuiHibbert Sector, Zoeific Biopolity.
- Darwinian AI - Text by Peter Kisner
AIs that follow a darwinian route of evolution or self-evolution. Darwinian AI have usually small (in some cases large) probably random changes from generation to generation and "improve" or specialize to fit their environment over many generations. Contrast this with Lamarkian AI.
- Evolution (biology)
- Evolution (esoterics)
- Evolution (philosophy)
- Evolution (sophontology)
- Evolutionarily Stable Strategy - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhumanist Terminology
Strategy which remains the most optimal even when there are a small number of individuals using other strategies in the population.
- Evolutionary Track - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
The change in location of a star on the Hertzsprung - Russell (H-R) Diagram. As a star ages and evolves, you can trace out its history on the H-R diagram.
- Evolutionary Tree - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Phylogenetic or cladistic diagram tracing ancestry-descent, branching, cross-links of genetic/informational and morphotypic exchange, and other factors in order to provide a complete and usually multi-parameter diagram of the evolutionary history of any taxon. A beautiful collection of evolutionary trees can be seen in the great Phylogeny Orbitals of Darwinia (NuiHibbert Sector, Zoeific Biopolity).
- Lamarckian Evolution - Text by Peter Kisner
Evolution through acquired characteristics. The concept was named after the early Industrial Age Old Earth scientist and evolutionist Jean Baptiste Lamarck, who explored the idea in detail, although the fundmental idea is not original to him. He thought to explain long term evolutionary change through this mechanism; a process where characteristics acquired by the parent are passed on to the child (i.e. giraffe ancestors stretched their necks more and more, passing on their long necks to their children). It was subsequently shown (Middle Industrial to Atomic Age Old Earth) shown that the mainspring of Terragen biotic evolution was actually the result of Darwinian selection and Mendelian inheritance; even though some traits are inherited in a Lamarckian fashion through epigenetic effects and have an effect from generation to generation they do not account for speciation.
Lamarckian Evolution in the case of AIs and even some highly reactive neogen biont clades is a valid description of their modes of longer term generational change.
- Megaevolution - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Dramatic evolutionary change, for example the appearance of new phyla or even kingdoms of organisms. An example is the Cambrian explosion on old Earth. Natural megaevolution only occurs infrequently (often no more than once or several times on a Garden World), but gengineers and biosculptors frequently create radical new organisms by biotech and bionano means.
- Microevolution - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Morphologic change through natural selection within a species, leading eventually to the evolution of a new species. Most common through genetic drift of small populations on individual habitats. Wild bionano can also encourage microevolution, even among large population pools. Microevolution eventually results in macroevolution.