Article: article from journal or magazin.
Simulations in Evolution. III. Randomness as a Generator of Opportunities.
Chemistry and Biodiversity
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish PDF type: Article
In Neo-Darwinism, variation and natural selection are the two evolutionary mechanisms which propel biological evolution. Our previous reports presented a histogram model to simulate the evolution of populations of individuals classified into bins according to an unspecified, quantifiable phenotypic character, and whose number in each bin changed generation after generation under the influence of fitness, while the total population was maintained constant. The histogram model also allowed Shannon entropy (SE) to be monitored continuously as the information content of the total population decreased or increased. Here, a simple Perl (Practical Extraction and Reporting Language) application was developed to carry out these computations, with the critical feature of an added random factor in the percent of individuals whose offspring moved to a vicinal bin. The results of the simulations demonstrate that the random factor mimicking variation increased considerably the range of values covered by Shannon entropy, especially when the percentage of changed offspring was high. This increase in information content is interpreted as facilitated adaptability of the population.
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