Is Adaptation the only Driver of Evolution?

Is Adaptation the only Driver of Evolution?

If evolution is driven by something that allows life to change over mere thousands, or even just hundreds, of years why are species not even more diverse than they are now? What eventually restricts the diversity of life on Earth?

Whether sexual preference selection, autonomous genetic change, temporary epigenetic adaptation eventually influencing long-term genetic adaptation, a combination of all these or something else allows species to evolve, what stops them from evolving beyond a certain point?

Fact is, nothing can survive unless its environment allows it. A human cannot live unsupported in the Antarctic or in the bubbling caldera of a volcano; it is not adapted to survive in such environments. In the end, adaptations that allow species to survive in their natural environment is the endgame.

Asking whether there are influences on evolution other than adaptation by natural selection is just tweaking. Darwin was right about the ultimate influence on evolution: it is the natural environment.

Except for one species, as far as we know, unless individuals of a species fit into their natural environment they are destined for failure. Unless a species can adapt to a changing environment it is destined for extinction. In evolution, the environment is king.

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Recycling Chaos Revisited

November 24th came and went and still no green waste collection from Dover District Council. I brought the bag back into the garden that night and put it out the next day (Tuesday). Guess what, still no collection. So, I emailed the council:

To: DDC Waste Collection.

According to our waste collection diary, Dover District Council was
starting a collection of green waste from Brenchley Avenue, Deal, on
Monday 10th November of this year. Having put out green waste on the
10th, and finding that it was not collected, we waited until the next
collection date according to our diary, which was supposed to be
yesterday, 24th November. As of this morning, Tuesday 25th November, our
green waste has still not been collected.

Is the service being discontinued? If it is then we shall take our green
waste to the Southwall Road Recycling Centre as we did before. It's just
that the green waste collection service was advertised and we wished to
show our support by taking advantage of the service.

Yours,

and received this reply by return:

Dear Mr Hart

Thank you for your e-mail and I am sorry to hear that your green waste
was not collected on two occasions.  I will inform the contractor who
will be back to collect it.  Please leave the recycling on the kerbside.

Kind regards

This morning, before 7am, I put one of our two bags outside by the kerb; the other I left in the front garden. Didn’t want to tempt fate, after all. Just after 8.30 my wife noticed both empty bags in the front garden. Not only did the contractor empty the kerbside bag, they also reached into the garden and emptied the other bag, as well!

So, well done, Dover District Council.

The moral of this story must be: if something goes wrong or is not functioning as well as it might, get something done about it! Tell the authorities; after all, no one can rectify a problem if they don’t know there is a problem. And, above all, be polite. Being angry or aggressive only makes people upset and less likely to want to deal with you.

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Recycling Chaos

For years, Dover District Council was run by the Labour group. Relatively recently, Conservatives became the majority party. During the election campaign, the Conservatives issued survey forms asking for voters’ concerns. On top of the list was recycling. Now, recycling was a contentious issue throughout Labour’s terms of office. “Recycle!” people cried, “We want to recycle!”. What did the Lobour group do? They issued rather sad looking, plastic boxes that would not hold the remains of a gnat’s dinner party. Mostly, we took our recyclable waste to the local tip. The Conservatives took heed of the peoples’ demand for better recycling services and issued – bags. One was for cardboard and paper, the black box for tins and plastic, and another bag for green waste from gardens. We were told that our collection would change from a Thursday to a Monday, non-recyclable waste would be collected every Monday, paper, tins and plastic every two weeks and green waste collected on the weeks the other recyclables would not. It sounds confusing but seemed logical. I must say here that we were delighted; Kent County Council started a plastic collection at the local tip but then found it was ‘uneconomical’ so they stopped it again, since when we had to dump plastic with our non-recyclable waste. A terrible waste, as far as we were concerned.

The day of the great changeover, Monday November 3rd, arrived. Dutifully, we put out our black plastic bags of non-recyclables and our blue bags for paper and card together with the black box for tins and plastic. By that evening, our waste was still waiting. Tuesday came and finally our waste, both recyclable and non-recyclable was collected. Never mind, they got there in the end, I said to my wife. We have to expect these little upsets at the beginning.

Monday November 10th arrived and, again, we dutifully put out our non-recyclable waste and our green waste. This is marvellous, we said, now we don’t have to take green waste to the tip. That will save on petrol. Our non-recyclable waste was duly collected.

It is now Thursday November 13th. Our green waste is still waiting to be collected. We’ve moved it back into the garden now. Trouble is, we’ve collected more now so we will have to make a trip to the Kent County Council refuse tip. Maybe they’ll get it sorted out eventually. I won’t hold my breath. Labour, Conservatives … Does it really make a difference?

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