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For example, in whales it is assumed that the nostril has slowly over generations made its way to the top of the head and whales with this mutation are fitter to survice and have greater chance of genetic succession. Surely whales dont look at another whale with a nostril higher than usual and think "I want to prorecreate with you!", so sexual selection may not play a role. Is it possible that as the whale is growing up from birth it is trying to change its genetic structure to adapt to the environment, and passes this information or instruction to genetic offsping (just as instict is passed on to offspring thru DNA).
Yes, but do we 'know' these mutations are random, or do we assume so far?Agreed, DNA is random in the chemical combinations, and that random combinations can occur from the pool of available genes between and male a female. Also, mutation can occur from inter-breeding, radiation etc, but is it possible that biological changes can be passed thru DNA as instict is also passed? For example, if I (and my wife) am born with skinny legs (due to genetics), and we both live a lifestyle that results in our legs having to build large muscle mass, are the genes we pass down thru DNA going to produce offspring with the same skinny legs or slightly more muscular legs? (Sorry, terrible example its late!
DKV, all the bees in a colony carry genes which cause sterility. But they are only turned on in some bees and not others (kings and queens). This trait allows female workers to help raise their fertile siblings (and infertile siblings) while only one female devotes resources to producing offspring. This maximizes the survival of the genes which all the bees in the colony share. The non-reproducing members of the colony are not "unfit": their genes still have the opportunity to spread and survive. You can think of a bee colony as a single body, each bee representing a cell. Most of the cells in the body don't produce the next generation of genes, but they are all involved in the process of survival and reproduction. There is nothing in this that contradicts or defies evolutionary theory.