Video of Unsettling Evolution in Action (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 12:43 (819 days ago) @ David Turell

BBella: Speaking of evolution and immunity:
The footage depicts a strain of the gut bacterium E. coli evolving to be 1,000 times more resistant to an antibiotic in a matter of 11 days, starkly visualizing the speed with which diseases can adapt to the drugs we throw their way

DAVID: Another larger version of the same story. I've been following it for a couple days because it is an extremely important point about antibiotic resistance.

Stunning indeed! You could hardly have a more vivid example of organisms responding to changes in the environment by changing their own structure. Some die, but others work out a solution and move on. Preprogrammed by God? God popping into the lab to do a dabble? (A bit mean of him to help them against us, but perhaps he likes to set us such problems.) Or could it be that these organisms work it out for themselves? In fairness, however, we must emphasize that this is an example of adaptation and not innovation. The bacteria have not evolved into something else. But if they have the intelligence to change their own structure in order to adapt to a changed environment, maybe some of them had the intelligence to exploit new opportunities offered by the major environmental changes that characterized the Earth's earlier history. Innovation would then be an inventive way of using the same self-organizing intelligence that is used in adaptation.

Many thanks, BBella.

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