The Elements of Evolution (49-6) Optimality continued 1


Convergent evolution is often indicative of adaptation toward optimal solutions given certain trade-offs, whether at the quantum, molecular, or ambient scale (or a combination thereof).

Cell differentiation, such as embryonic development, unfolds with a precision that is practically perfect. The intricate interplay of complexity in the growth process of any organism, egenetically steered while incorporating environmental inputs, unfolds with atomic precision.

Cell competition – the sensing and elimination of less fit ‘loser’ cells by neighbouring ‘winner’ cells – optimizes tissue and organ development. A tissue dynamically adjusts cell competition strategies to preserve fitness as its architectural complexity increases during morphogenesis. ~ American cytologist Elaine Fuchs et al

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Mental processing tolerates considerable noise in determining a signal, using a canny averaging of signals to determine what’s going on. Sense receptors are redundant for that purpose, as well as being fault-tolerant to partial failure, which happens regularly with interim spot downtime during receptor cell replacement.

Olfaction works by granule cells molecularly locking onto smelly molecules, requiring frequent granule cell replacement. Numerous olfactory sense cells connect to a single periglomerular neuron. Smell works by detecting vibrational wavefronts emanating from the captured molecules, not via molecular structure per se. This technique yields superior reception to the possible alternate of molecular lock-and-key.