> Someone needs to explain this to bacteria. They are the predominate
> life form on earth and have been evolving for the longest period of time.
> Yet there is no clear trend that bacteria have increased their complexity
> to fill every available niche.
Instead of explaining it to the bacteria (who already understand it), I'll
explain it to *you.*
I did not say that *every* organism will increase its complexity. I said
that "organisms" will increase their complexity, organisms in general. Some
niches are not suited to complexity beyond a certain level, given the
materials available and the paths to complexity available.
Where do you think *we* came from, if not bacteria or bacteria-like
organisms. We are one of the results of that bacterial increase in
complexity. No one said that an organism would remain the *same* organism
and yet *still* increase in complexity. Part of the increase in complexity
involves an increase in size and other attributes. Perhaps you had not
noticed that the fewer parts a thing has, the more limited it is in
complexity, other things being equal.
I said that organisms would fill every available niche. I did not say that
organisms would fill every available niche and then *abandon* them in favor
of complexity. Bacteria live in niches that are suited to them, so there is
not much pressure to increase complexity, and some to keep it down, because
if they increase their complexity, they will have to increase their size (in
many cases), and the increase in size is too costly.
I was only being partly facetious when I said that the bacteria already
understand this. They don't, of course, actually understand it. But they
"know in their genes" not to get bigger and more complex.
But life in general keeps pushing into every available niche, including the
ones suited only for simplicity.
Finally, I note that in the very paragraph of mine that you quote above, I
include the words:
as long as each increase in complexity also brings
with it a survival advantage for the genes of the organism.
Could it be, Mike, that increasing in complexity does *not* bring a survival
advantage to the genes of the bacteria? Hmm?
Did you perhaps think that I meant that all organisms would increase in
complexity *regardless* of the survival value of doing so? Did you think
that *this* is what I meant when I said, "Indeed, that's pretty much the
*point* of evolutionary theory"? If so, I think you may have a case of the
dreaded "Stephen Jones disease" (the main symptom of which is an inability
or unwillingness to actually understand what one reads while believing
firmly that one *does* understand it).
Now is the time for all good people to come to.