Grandes visões extremas da evolução: hasta la vista, Darwin?

segunda-feira, abril 24, 2017

Trends in Ecology and Evolution

Grand Views of Evolution

Harold P. de Vladar, Mauro Santos, Eörs Szathmáry

Publication History

Published online: February 25, 2017


Despite major advances in evolutionary theories, some aspects of evolution remain neglected: whether evolution: would come to a halt without abiotic change; is unbounded and open-ended; or is progressive and something beyond fitness is maximized. Here, we discuss some models of ecology and evolution and argue that ecological change, resulting in Red Queen dynamics, facilitates (but does not ensure) innovation. We distinguish three forms of open-endedness. In weak open-endedness, novel phenotypes can occur indefinitely. Strong open-endedness requires the continual appearance of evolutionary novelties and/or innovations. Ultimate open-endedness entails an indefinite increase in complexity, which requires unlimited heredity. Open-ended innovation needs exaptations that generate novel niches. This can result in new traits and new rules as the dynamics unfolds, suggesting that evolution is not fully algorithmic.


Biological evolution appears to be open-ended, but models of evolution have so far failed to account for this phenomenon.

Open-endedness minimally requires generating novel phenotypes, but stronger forms entail the continual appearance of evolutionary novelties and innovations.

A sensible picture of evolution should describe unfolding of the state space, and not merely its occupancy.

State-space unfolding crucially rests on the appearance of exaptations that are neither prestatable nor orderable. Hence, a predictive theory of open-ended evolution might be impossible.


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Trends in Ecology and Evolution