p² + 2pq + q²= 1
p= frequency of allele ‘A’
q= frequency of allele ‘a’
Conditions: Evolution will not occur if certain conditions exist.
- Mutation is not occurring
- Natural selection is not occurring
- Population is infinitely large
- All members breed
- All mating is random
- Everyone produces the same number of offspring
- No migration in or out of the population
Charles Darwin sailed off on the HMS Beagle in 1831 and into history. Twenty One years later, in 1859, after much goading, he published ‘Origin of Species’. Few books have created such a discussion and controversy. His theory that species derive from other species by a gradual evolutionary process with the fittest among the species surviving raised popular debate to a crescendo. The acceptance of this idea revolutionized the course of science and installed Natural Selection as the sole agency of major evolutionary change. “The book provided a vast and well chosen body of evidence,” says Sir Julian Huxley, commenting on the book itself, “showing that existing animals and plants cannot have been created in their present forms but must have evolved from earlier forms by slow transformation.” It soon became evident that evolution covered the diversity of life as a whole, most certainly including humans, and would one day yield the plan of creation, throwing light on the origin of man and his history. Darwin was prophetic when noting that although later evolving groups are more highly organized not all evolve in a higher direction. This would certainly be applicable to our political and religious tribes.
As I studied the work of this remarkable man I came to the realization that 150 years later our system of government was comprised, at all levels, of many individuals still firmly connected to the creation stories of their respective religions, who relied upon that foundation for achieving their current position. Representatives whose chief qualification, other than their knowledge of the system, was their religious belief. Unfortunately, as all Americans are slowly realizing, these social members of social tribes are not capable or willing to act solely on behalf of their country. Mr. Darwin’s evolution marches on, slowly, having established that man could no longer be regarded as a being separate from the rest of nature but merely one among many Families of the order Primates in the class Mammalia. Nature has no predetermined outcomes. We humans are in the process of finding out exactly what that means. Furthermore, the slowing of social evolution must be genetic, nothing else seem to fit.
Then, of course, there was Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics, who introduced the world to dominant and recessive genes and paved the way for our pursuit of DNA and the Human Genome. Mendel’s work sailed off into uncharted waters, flying as it did directly into the face of the very powerful Catholic Church, whose long history of opposing science as heretical and counter to God’s plan was and is well documented. His work led researchers and writers into uncharted waters and built upon Darwin’s concepts of heredity and the notion of Pangenisis in which acquired traits were passed on to children. Where the book and the world of genetics really came together for me was the day I discovered the Human Pedigree, mutant recessive genes carried on the mothers side, not predictable for expression. When the Pedigree did express, lookout.
What these two men did was brave and terrifying. They challenged the world order and will always be remembered for the jump start they gave to the Earth we live on. Here and now, people do not think of evolutionary extinction, the time frame is unmanageable. The here and now capitulates to the unseen. We live 80 years, some of us more, some less. All of mankind has happened in the last 20 minutes of world time. This vastness can make the staunchest heel and strive for intervention. My feeling is nothing will save us from ourselves, except ourselves.