The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Beyond Selection

The opposite kind of anti-Darwinist critique was advanced by John Cairns who discovered "adaptive evolution" (“The origin of mutants”, 1988): some bacteria can mutate very quickly, way too quickly for Darwin's theory to be true. If all genes mutated at that pace, they would mostly produce mutations that cannot survive. What drives evolution is natural selection, which prunes each generation of mutations. But natural selection does not have the time to operate on the very rapid mutations of these bacteria. There must be another force at work that "selects" only the mutations that are useful for survival. Cairns speculated that bacteria must be somehow able to choose which mutations to undergo in order to adapt to challenging environments. The idea of evolution driven by “directed mass mutations” had been pioneered in the 1920s by the Russian geographer Lev Berg, a fierce  anti-Darwinian.


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