A self-organized critical model for evolution

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A simple mathematical model of biological macroevolution is presented. It describes an ecology of adapting, interacting species. Species evolve to maximize their individual fitness in their environment. The environment of any given species is affected by other evolving species; hence it is not constant in time. The ecology evolves to a ``self-organized critical`` state where periods of stasis alternate with avalanches of causally connected evolutionary changes. This characteristic intermittent behaviour of natural history, known as ``punctuated equilibrium,`` thus finds a theoretical explanation as a selforganized critical phenomenon. In particular, large bursts of apparently simultaneous evolutionary activity require no external cause. ... continued below

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Flyvbjerg, H.; Bak, P.; Jensen, M.H. & Sneppen, K. January 1, 1996.

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Description

A simple mathematical model of biological macroevolution is presented. It describes an ecology of adapting, interacting species. Species evolve to maximize their individual fitness in their environment. The environment of any given species is affected by other evolving species; hence it is not constant in time. The ecology evolves to a ``self-organized critical`` state where periods of stasis alternate with avalanches of causally connected evolutionary changes. This characteristic intermittent behaviour of natural history, known as ``punctuated equilibrium,`` thus finds a theoretical explanation as a selforganized critical phenomenon. In particular, large bursts of apparently simultaneous evolutionary activity require no external cause. They occur as the less frequent result of the very same dynamics that governs the more frequent small-scale evolutionary activity. Our results are compared with data from the fossil record collected by J. Sepkoski, Jr., and others.

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OSTI as DE96006930

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  • Other Information: PBD: [1996]

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  • Report No.: BNL--61441-Rev.01/96
  • Grant Number: AC02-76CH00016
  • DOI: 10.2172/204682 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 204682
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc665912

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  • January 1, 1996

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • June 24, 2016, 1:40 p.m.

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Flyvbjerg, H.; Bak, P.; Jensen, M.H. & Sneppen, K. A self-organized critical model for evolution, report, January 1, 1996; Upton, New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc665912/: accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.