Darwinian Thought Experiment – Nature versus Nurture

Sulfur bacteria was discovered that has not evolved in 2.3 billion years. That is about as half as long as the Earth has existed as of this writing. It is also a very, very long time not to change. A rare instance in which the maxim, the only constant is change, is suspended or made irrelevant. Scientists in the article says this certifies Darwin’s ideas on evolution.

The article summarizes how an unchanged environment requires a suspension of adaptation. Life it seems does not encourage change when the environment is suitably good for the life in it. We know life changes and triggers change. This discovery is an example of when that does not happen. I see a larger lesson here.

A person’s nature may not have adapted to a circumstance and they perform poorly. Other persons in similar circumstances may have a nature well adapted to those circumstances and they perform well. Circumstances do change in life and we see examples of where the previously less adapted find their nature more suited to the times and do well as the previously prosperous stagnate or decline in performance.

People are not exempt from the laws of nature. We simply have the intellectual ability to alter some its effects. The underlying mechanisms at work in a circumstance that untold generations of a form of life could persist for 2.3 billion years in relative stability may hold a clue for people.

The structure of the total environment impacts the majority more than anything. Only the nature of persons who function beyond the implied limits of the environment create exceptions for those persons. Environment rules the nature of most. Sets the general parameters in which potential is exercised. Defines the extent of potential.

As hypothesis go, it may be a useful tool in navigating policy, life, and circumstances. Choose your environments wisely. Like the sulfur bacteria it may be the difference between useful turmoil and benign bliss. The right environment is the gateway to higher potential.


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