Evolvability theory 'competition to survive' may not be correct
Washington : Evolvability can increase over generations regardless of whether species are competing for food, habitat or other factors, researchers have claimed.
Using a simulated model that the computer science researchers designed to mimic how organisms evolve, they saw increasing evolvability even without competitive pressure.
Kenneth O. Stanley, an associate professor at the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida said that the explanation is that evolvable organisms separate themselves naturally from less evolvable organisms over time simply by becoming increasingly diverse.
Stanley co-wrote the paper with lead author Joel Lehman , a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin.
Lehman said that when new species appear in the future, they are most likely descendants of those that were evolvable in the past.
He said that the result is that evolvable species accumulate over time even without selective pressure.
During the simulations based on a conceptual algorithm, their simulated organisms became more evolvable without any pressure from other organisms out-competing them.
The story has been published in PLOS ONE.