The Natural Selection and Self Organization Theory in Evolution

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The natural selection theory and self-organization theory play an important role in evolution. This article discusses the history of evolutionary theory, natural selection and self-organization in regards to physical systems of evolution and biological systems of evolution.

The history of evolutionary theory is largely based on natural selection. This theory was based on macroscopic levels, and it was founded before molecular biology become popular science. The scope in which this theory applies suggests that it may not be completely appropriate on a molecular scale. Natural selection is based on three characteristics such as the variations among members of a population, differential reproduction, and heritability of traits that are important to survival or reproduction (Johnson & Lam). Self-organization occurs in systems where energy is dissipating; these systems create dissipative structures that will break down if there is not continual input of energy. Some examples of biological self-organization are DNA transcription and repair. It is argued that self-organization may replace the theory of natural selection in regards to biological systems, but this article suggests that self-organization is subservient to natural selection because self-organization is a form of adaptation that evolves because of natural selection.

Natural selection causes self-organization to adapt through evolution, and this means that self-organization is not the cause of evolution but a factor of it. This theory is challenged by deciding if a self-organizing mechanism is an intrinsic property or if selection plays a dominant role. It analysis of the problem indicates that, “w hen a system is actively regulated such that it adaptively creates conditions that invoke self-organizing processes, and then maintains those conditions even in the face of environmental perturbations, then the process can no longer be considered spontaneous” (Johnson & Lam). Therefore, selection has to focus and control the energy needed in self-organization, and natural selection plays the dominant part; this makes self-organization subservient to selection.

Natural selection is a theory that has been around for a long time, and it often comes under scrutiny. Many researchers have considered self-organization as a theory that might trump natural selection, but it in truth appears to be commonly caused by natural selection. Natural selection is an inevitable force in evolution, and self-organization is a consequence of natural selection.


Johnson, Brian R., and Sheung Kwan Lam. “Self-organization, Natural Selection, and Evolution:

Cellular Hardware and Genetic Software.” BioScience 60.11 (2010): 879–885. Academic Search

Complete . EBSCO. Web. 15 May 2011.

Originally published at



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