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Romashka comments on Evolutions Are Stupid (But Work Anyway) - Less Wrong

34 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 November 2007 03:45PM

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Comment author: [deleted] 14 December 2014 02:55:19PM 0 points [-]

Mutations conveying fitness advantage are tricky things in that there's always a trade-off between resources to build self and resources to reproduce (r/K strategies), and before you know what is the specific species' strategy, you can't decide if a (possible) 3% increase in offspring is going to change anything. (How do you measure it, anyway? Increased speed of replication? Increased probability of offspring survival to adulthood? It should be different for, say, always-free-living things and adults-forming-colonies things.)

Do you apply your model to asexually reproducing organisms, too? To parthenogenetic reproduction?

It is also unclear where you say 'gene' and mean 'a new gene', and not 'a different allele of the same gene' (which seems to be easier to do - insert a nucleotide here or cut it there, etc.)

Mutations can be somatic, and only part of the offspring will get them (if pieces of the 'mother' fall off and regrow).

And a gene (allele?) that goes on its merry way through 768 generations might get to be wide-spread through pure accident, if the organisms are sufficiently 'complex' and 'large' - it would take a lot of time, and populations don't usually stay the same size that long.

Also, I don't think why there is any reason to consider 'evolution' an optimizer rather than a simple diversifier. Everything that is not prohibited by thermodinamicc gets a shot.