From survivors to replicators

evolution by natural selection revisited

Pierrick Bourrat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For evolution by natural selection to occur it is classically admitted that the three ingredients of variation, difference in fitness and heredity are necessary and sufficient. In this paper, I show using simple individual-based models, that evolution by natural selection can occur in populations of entities in which neither heredity nor reproduction are present. Furthermore, I demonstrate by complexifying these models that both reproduction and heredity are predictable Darwinian products (i.e. complex adaptations) of populations initially lacking these two properties but in which new variation is introduced via mutations. Later on, I show that replicators are not necessary for evolution by natural selection, but rather the ultimate product of such processes of adaptation. Finally, I assess the value of these models in three relevant domains for Darwinian evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-538
Number of pages22
JournalBiology and Philosophy
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Evolution by natural selection
  • Replicator
  • Fitness
  • Individual-based models
  • Natural selection
  • Diachronic
  • ORIGIN

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