Can biological evolution comsummate?

In biological evolution, living organisms continues to change. However, is there a point wherein evolution stops due to an organism not needing change anymore? This would be a state like that of perfection (completion of all necessary biological function in a species, making it sufficient to survive). For instance, in a highly advanced human being who had evolved into immortality. At this stage, the species is immune to degeneration and is in a continuous perfect state of good health.

  1. In this state, a perfect environment is a given. For instance, a man-made ecological niche, engineered to be in perfect or continuous normal climate, ecological condition etc. To sustain immortal species).

  2. At least, in this theory the closure of evolution could not prove to be long term unless perfect conditions remain to sustain immortal species as there still exists uncertainty (part of nature) due to genetic drift, wherein even beneficial genetic variation can become extinct.

Is there a possibility that such a perfect species in a perfect environment could evolve? Does nature allow such an evolution?


This question , though they said was interesting, was not accepted at Biology page of stackexchange due to its answers being subjective, not objective. I guess the question is appropriate here at Philosophy stackexchange.

  • 1
    If the environment remains static, yes, see evolutionarily stable state. However, it is not a "perfection" in any meaningful sense, one might as well call it "stagnation". Both are human evaluative concepts that evolution is indifferent to, this might be why Biology SE declined the question. Degeneration can be adaptive and part of ESS, "good health" is not required either. Humans no longer primarily evolve by natural selection, cultural evolution is much more prominent and follows different rules, so this does not apply to them.
    – Conifold
    Jul 3 '20 at 3:53
  • Opinion-based questions are off-topic on all stackexchange sites I believe, due to no answer being possibly "correct".
    – tkruse
    Jul 3 '20 at 4:32
  • The question seems to be based on flawed understanding on evolution. Evolution does not improve any species, and thus perfection also is not happening. There is no quality involved, the words "improvement", "advanced" and "perfection" are inappropriate for biological evolution. Also immortality is not a perfect state, objectively.
    – tkruse
    Jul 3 '20 at 4:38
  • Also "continuous good health" is not a perfect state, objectively. Also "Does nature allow such an evolution?" is not a philosophical question, unless the question describes the agency and will of "nature".
    – tkruse
    Jul 3 '20 at 4:57
  • The question should likely be rephrased to be less subjective, and re-asked in biology forum.
    – tkruse
    Jul 3 '20 at 5:02

You are suggesting that the evolutionary process follows causal reasoning[1]. The evolutionary process does not think(1), and evolution has not a goal(2).

(1) Causal reasoning is proper to human mind. It is us that think that the acquisition of an attribute (cause) increases the probabilities of survival(consequence). The evolutionary process is just our understanding of the reasons that allow surviving, but such idea exists only in our heads. Evolution is just a bunch of elementary interactions. We do interpret such phenomenon as a causal chain of events (Hawking's information).

(2) Your interpretation of the evolutionary process is that it is trying to create immortal creatures. That is arbitrary. When you say that something is good, you are essentially telling that it is good for your own survival. But that does not mean it is good for the rest of the universe. How can you know that the intention of the evolutionary process is to create immortal creatures? Thermodynamics show the opposite.

Moreover, following your reasoning, an immortal creature would survive in a perfectly balanced environment. Given that most evolution instances are negative for the species, and only few increase the probabilities of survival, in such environment, any evolution would be destructive and natural selection would cease to be. You are suggesting that the goal of all living entities, or the goal of nature is to create a Garden of Eden [2].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causal_reasoning

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_Eden

  • Thermodynamics show the opposite. Biologically speaking, yes, but humans have ability to produce technology different from what is natural. That surpassess nature per se. If this is applied to biology, it is similar to prophylaxis or medicine that sustains survival. Immortality is this at a greater level.
    – Radz Brown
    Jul 3 '20 at 8:44
  • +1 for "How can you know that the intention of the evolutionary process is to create immortal creatures?" i only know by theory. Since immortality is better than death, in the same way as , normally, life is better than death. Life itself is what makes evolution possible. Without living organisms, there would not be evolving species. Immortality is just survival at the highest level. Also, in thermodynamics energy is immortal (it cannot be destroyed) and we know that every thing is literally made up of this energy (quanta).
    – Radz Brown
    Jul 3 '20 at 8:49

Evolution requires mutation and selection. As long as reproduction and mutation is present, changes are always possible (so a species that stops reproducing also reliably stops evolving).

The only guaranteed way of preventing changes to the genome while reproducing is to have a breeding program to keep a species pure. This means preventing offspring that is not genetically pure.

Else various selection forces can still shift a gene pool, such as sexual selection.

A species of immortal individuals that does not reproduce also has a stable gene pool, but that is likely an irrelevant case to the theory of evolution.

It is a common misconception that "perfection" has anything to do with it. A species that keeps the same genepool over many generations is more likely to be a "primitive" bacteria rather than an "immortal human". The concept that evolution make humanity "better" or "perfect" is close to racism, and has no place in either biology or philosophy.

  • i don't know the answer is correct, but it seems correct
    – user46524
    Jul 3 '20 at 6:49
  • +1 for "A species of immortal individuals that does not reproduce also has a stable gene pool."
    – Radz Brown
    Jul 3 '20 at 8:37

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