I attempt to simplify my studies of life because only in doing so, I believe, can ones nature be truly understood and improved (if desired). In these endeavors, I have once again discovered another form of variation in evolution, which was basically me throwing a ball of black paint at my near pristine white canvas. because each new discovery is like another branch whose length, width, depth needs to be physically defined to be able to find its rightful connection to the mother tree.
And this process takes a lot of time. (Hence the "DAMMIT" part)
Variation is an incredibly important part of the progressive state of anything. Without a variety to choose from, adopt, and try out, ones options and therefore potential progress is limited.
This is natural. Variation is unavoidable. The fuel for the furnace that forges change.
In terms of evolution, variation is the reason we are Human, they are dogs, it is a bacteria. So to better understand our future and past as organisms, understanding how we vary helps us piece together our past, and potentially predict our future.
so far I am aware of a couple of forms variation takes to shape our plasticity. the most widely understood is the best one. The one kings kill for, and husbands destroy. The one love yearns for, and love dies from. It is SEX.
A baby conceived from Sex is a brand new organism. meaning the DNA makeup of the baby is completely unique and one of a kind. variety can't get more defined than one of a kind.
Then there are other less known and even less understood but nevertheless more important forms of variety than sex because factually Sex as we perform it is a novelty in the variety show. A blip in the timeline of evolution. There are other forms of variation that are still in practice today that have been in action AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! billion years before "Oh YEA RIGHT THERE!!!!!" "UH UH UH im...im....im...IM COMING!!!!!!" was ever conceived.
There is reversion: where chunks of DNA just "willy nilly" flip themselves in place. (I use "willy nilly" very lightly because there has got to be a reason behind it.) Sometimes coils of DNA trade places with other coils, like a version of strip poker where the clothes are traded instead of just taken off.
Then there is my baby of a theory. The original form of variation. The instigator of the replicator. The shuffler of life. The redefining form of life. The black sheep in our herd of organisms. The Virus. They are just DNA, but they have the power to latch onto another organism and tattoo their DNA onto the hosts makeup. They are Dr Frankenstein and we are all their monsters. Since all they are is DNA, they must have been around since before DNA, which is why they can freely play with it. Every time a virus enters us (us being one of their creations) it messes around with our DNA and our DNA is now of a different variety from before it entered us.
But this isn't even the new form of variation I have vowed to introduce with this article.
The new form is new in a very unique way. It uses the concept of time to cause a chain of events that inevitably end up with a product distinctly unique. This variation is the time certain inheritable traits show themselves in our physical development.
Let me explain. you have two babies, during embryonic development, one of them starts forming it's brain sooner than the other, it is logical to deduct that it would then learn how to use it sooner, which would then allow it to acquire more information quicker and become "smarter" first in whatever context the environment dictated, which in the end allows that individual to excel and be successful (in said environment).
But what about our other baby whose brain developed later. Because of the late start, it is also late in every other step an organism needs to take for success in said environment. So what happens to this "lesser" evolved organism. If the object of the environment were to become a lawyer, it would have no chance because of its slow start.
Possibly there would be a few generations penalized for this. But eventually this diversity would be favored and the less evolved being will find its way of survival. perhaps it will become a ballerina and find success in using its body, not it's brain. Or maybe a painter, and find success in using a different part of its brain. The point is that there is variation, and it can be traced back to a simple difference in when the brain started developing in the embryo.
Other examples how time can lead to very visible variation:
- A caterpillar starting the cocoon process too soon thus transforming into a not as big or vibrant butterfly.
- A bull developing horns sooner than usual, thus becoming more intimating before any other bull which then rewards him the most cows to mate with and the most calves to continue its progeny.
- A baby coming out of the placenta too soon and dying as a result.
As you can see there are good and bad results of timing, but regardless to that objective criticism, there is always variation. What may appear to be a bad effect of timing could eventually lead into something good as shown in my brain example. But if there was no variation in the first place, there would be no differences to choose from and no room for improvement.
Our very own species is proof that nature favors variation, and it will gobble it up every chance it gets.