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Evolution by Principle of Giving and Receiving

Hover fly pollinating

Academic reveals how it is not survival of the fittest that drives evolution, but the universal principle of giving and receiving

Dr. Andrew Wilson on giving and receiving
Dr. Andrew Wilson. Photo: HJI

Part 4 of “Evolutionary Creationism: A New Perspective on Purpose and Human Origins”, a presentation by Dr. Andrew Wilson, Professor of Scriptural Studies at HJ International Graduate School for Peace and Public Leadership (HJI), New York, USA, given on a special online program 23rd April 2024 hosted by HJI and the Higher Purpose Forum (HPF).

See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 5

Another aspect of the principles of creation that we see in evolution is giving and receiving.

As I said, Darwin looked from the perspective of individual species and saw evolution and survival of fittest.

But if we look at the whole ecosystem, species exist in harmony with one another. Predators and prey are in balance. And these species, whether they’re predator species or prey species, evolve together.

If we only look at the individual level, we see survival fittest. But if we look at the whole of life, we see ecosystems in which predators and prey are evolving in some kind of balance. There’s giving and receiving going on.

Lichens on a branch
Lichens on a branch. Photo: Mathieu Landretti / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC ASA 4.0 Int. Cropped

For example, we can talk about symbiosis where lichens are the example. A classic, textbook example is a symbiosis of fungi and algae. So, there’s a fungus, and the algae is living inside the fungus.

The fungus provides protection to the algae. The algae provide the energy for the fungus through photosynthesis. There’s giving and receiving, and both benefit.

Beetle pollination
Beetle pollination: Trichiotinus lunulatus, the Emerald Flower Scarab beetle on Redring Milkweed (Asclepias variegata). Pollinia can be seen attached to the right rear tarsus. Photo: James Leon Young / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC ASA 4.0 Int

This is how life evolved, actually. For example, insects and flowering plants developed in a symbiotic relationship, where the insects consume pollen and nectar from the plants. The insects spread the plant seeds, and the plants developed flowers with colors and scent to attract insects.

And the insects, in turn, evolved mouthparts and digestive systems to be able to feed on flowers.

Every type of flower is connected to a different type of insect, whether a fly a beetle, a rodent, a moth, or a bee. And this development occurred simultaneously within a larger symbiotic relationship.

Comparison of eukaryotes vs. prokaryotes. Illustration: Science Primer (National Center for Biotechnology Information). Vectorized by Mortadelo2005. / Wikimedia Commons. Public domain image

Or going back even further, the development of all life began from prokaryotes, that is, cells without nuclei, like bacteria. And these bacteria then join together to form eukaryotic cells, which are cells that have a nucleus, mitochondria – and if they are plant cells – they have chloroplasts for photosynthesis. And this was a symbiotic process.

Aerobic bacteria
This SEM (scanning electron microscope) depicts a couple of clusters of aerobic Gram-negative, non-motile Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria as seen under a magnification of 12,739x. Photo: Janice Carr / Wikimedia Commons. Public domain image. Cropped

You had aerobic bacteria, which means bacteria that can breathe oxygen. And they entered and developed a symbiotic relationship with cells which had a more primitive metabolism that was anaerobic.

I’m using big words here. Anaerobic metabolism means energy-producing chemical reactions without air. For example, when you start running, your muscles can’t get enough oxygen to keep up, so they generate energy by converting sugar into lactic acid, which accumulates in the blood and makes you feel tired. That’s anaerobic metabolism because it doesn’t involve air.

But then, as your breathing gets stronger and you inhale more oxygen, your body can clear the lactic acid and your muscles can generate much more energy by the aerobic process of burning sugar with oxygen – aerobic metabolism. That aerobic process requires mitochondria.

The primitive chemical reactions of the anaerobic cells that could not burn oxygen were very inefficient in terms of producing energy, but once those cells joined with the aerobic bacteria, the prokaryotes that burned oxygen, they benefited tremendously. The aerobic bacteria became mitochondria, an organelle within the cell. The bacteria also benefited by the protection they received from the cell. That symbiotic relationship between the primitive cell and the formerly aerobic bacteria – now mitochondria – is a feature of all eukaryotes, the basic form of all animal cells.

A phase-contrast micrograph of a ciliate (Frontonia sp.) digesting blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). The cytostome (the “mouth” of the cell) is seen on the right side down. Photo: Wiedehopf20 / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC ASA 4.0 Int. Cropped

And the same with chloroplasts. There were independent cyanobacteria that mastered photosynthesis; they  could grow and get energy by metabolizing carbon dioxide and sunlight. These cyanobacteria were incorporated into primitive plant cells and became chloroplasts. They endowed the plant cell with the ability of photosynthesis. At the same time, the host cell provided the bacteria, now chloroplast, with protection and nutrients. So, both the host cell and the bacteria benefitted from the arrangement.

Thus, symbiosis was fundamental to establishing higher life forms. These big steps in the evolution of animals and plants occurred by give and receive action, by the Principle.

So, both the host cell and the primitive bacteria benefited from this arrangement. And this was fundamental to establishing higher life forms. It happened by give and receive action, by symbiosis.

Even in the evolution of the brain symbiosis is involved. We have these retroviruses in the environment, which join into our DNA and become fixated in the DNA and are passed down through the generations.

And it turns out that a lot of human cells have retrovirus DNA in them. And some of the retrovirus DNA and nerve cells were essential for the production of myelin, which is like an insulating material in nerves.

And this is all very new. This is from a Neuroscience article from February 2024. It said,

Neuroscience News“Ancient viruses played a pivotal role in the development of myelin, crucial for complex vertebrate brains. The discovery of ‘RetroMyelin’, a retrovirus-derived element [in the DNA] essential for myelin production across mammals, amphibians, and fish, underscores the impact of viral genes on vertebrate evolution.” (Neuroscience News, Feb. 15, 2024)

So, we even should be grateful to viruses, because we would not exist if it wasn’t for some primitive creature, you know, primitive fish or something, that ingested these retroviruses, that produce myelin, that help to develop the structures of the modern vertebrate brain and spinal cord and nerves and so on, that allow these life forms to take the shape that they have.

Another form of give and receive action is sex. Sex is very inefficient. When creatures engage in sex, they become vulnerable to be eaten by predators, and they have to spend a lot of time, energy, to attract mates. So, why not just divide like yeast and not even worry about sex? Yeast reproduces asexually, by budding, producing daughter cells.

But from the point of view of the Principle of creation, it’s to manifest God‘s form of duality, of giving and receiving. Thereby they share the best genes.

Peacock wooing peahen
Peacock trying to woo peahen at Warwick Castle, England in 2003. Photo: ToastyKen / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC Attr 3.0 Unp. Cropped

So, in science, we talk about sex as a way of selecting the best genes. Males, like a male peacock here, display fitness by having a glorious display to attract the best females.

Females value the males with the greatest fitness. They invest in caring for his valuable progeny. And thus, we have the evolution of beauty in the animal world as a result of giving and receiving, manifesting God‘s form.

So, giving and receiving according to the Principle of creation drives evolution. That’s my conclusion.

Giving and receiving by the Principle of creation is the primary driver of evolution, far more important than survival of the fittest.

Survival of the fittest is just for cleanup in evolution, because it is giving and receiving by the Principle of creation that manifests the three stages of growth of the Principle of creation.

Continued in part 5

See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 5

Featured image above: Hover fly pollinating. Photo: Steve Colwell, Channel City Camera Club, Santa Barbara, USA / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC Attr 2.0 Gen

Related to principle of giving and receivingNew Insight on Evolution – a Feature of Creation

Also related to principle of giving and receiving: Anthropic Principle – Universe Made for Us

Also related to principle of giving and receiving: Evolutionary Creationism – Fine-Tuned Universe

More, related to principle of giving and receiving: Existence of God

Yet more, related to principle of giving and receiving: Arguments for God

Still more, related to principle of giving and receiving: Essence of God

Even more, related to principle of giving and receiving: God and Human Beings

And even more, related to principle of giving and receiving: Relationships of Giving and Receiving



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