Understand evolution ?
March 13 1999, to PalPsych.
1. Try to look at biological evolution without any prior information/concepts/readings.
2. Accept some base suggestions, without further detailed elaboration yet :
– That each and every cell on Earth is inhabited by living creatures and that some cells cluster together to form polycellular organisms.
– That in each cell or polycell system there is an organized "purposeful" hierarchical chain of control, drive, work organization etc.,for both in-cell and out-of-cell tasks, even though we are not yet capable of pointing out the Master Controller but we suspect that in many polycelled organisms IT may be discerned in their stem cell(s).
– That ALL traits of ALL polycelled organisms stem from the traits and from the biological drives of their constituent mercells (mer, from meros, constituent part, like in polymer).
– That the obvious biological drive of the inhabitants of all cells is neatly to survive and proliferate.
3. Now imagine that the polycell's or mercell's or single-cell's survival and proliferation is at risk, and that this information reaches their Base Controll(s). Now the Controll(s) drive/instruct mutation(s), since by billions-of-years of experience one or some of the mutated versions may survive the threatening circumstances.
Don't yet allow "rational" or "educational" details creep into your imagination. Don't ask yet what makes some of the inhabitants of the cells more "creatures" than the many functional polynucleotides which they produce and utilise to carry out their activities.
And also accept that what we learn about the furthest back in universe time or in the deepest basics in biological phenomena we are yet unable to discern and understand more than the above re the origin of life and its nature.
We are still very far from understanding things, if we will ever understand.