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  • 8/10/2019 Numerical Testing of Evolution Theories

    1/28

    N U M E R I C L T E S T I N G O F E V O L U T I O N T H E O R I E S

    P a r t I I

    P R E L I M I N A R Y T E S T S O F P E R F O R M A N C E . S Y M B I O G E N E S I S A N D

    T E R R E S T R I A L L I F E . t

    b y

    N I L S L L B R R I C E L L I

    ( D e pa r tm e n t o f B io logy , D iv i s ion o f M ole c u la r B iology )

    ( V a nde r b i l t U n ive r s i t y , N a shv i l l e , T e nne s se e )

    ( R e e . 27 . X I . I 96 i )

    NOTE BY THE UTHOR

    I n t h e l a t t e r p a r t o f t h i s p a p e r t h e n a t u r e o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o r s i m i l a r it i e s b e t w e e n

    l i v i n g b e i n g s a n d o t h e r s y m b ~ o o r g a n i s m s is d i sc u s s ed . S o m e o f t h e c o n c l u s i o n s m a y b e

    s u r p r i s i n g t o t h e r e a d e F . H o w e v e r , i t m u s t b e p o i n t e d o u t t h a t n o t h i n g w h i c h i s p r e s e n t e d

    i n t h i s p a p e r c a n j u s t i f y t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t a n y o t h e r t y p e o f s y m b i o o r g a n i ~ m e x c e p t

    t h e s o c a l le d T e r r e s t r i a l l i f e f o r m s , w h i c h p o p u l a t e t h i s p l a n et , a r e al iv e . A s a m a t t e r

    o f f a c t t h i s q u e s t i o n h a s n o m e a n i n g a s l o n g as t h e r e i s n o a g r e e m e n t o n a d e f i n i t i o n

    o f l i v ~ l g b e i n g . H o w e v e r , t h e re c i p r o c a l q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r t h e o b j e c t s w e a r e u s e d

    t o c al l l i v i n g b e i n g s a r e a p a r t i c u l a r c l a s s o f s y m b i o o r g a n i s m s h a s a m e a n i n g . T h i s i s

    t h e q u e s t i o n w e h a v e b e e n t r y i n g t o a n s w e r i n t h i s p a p e r a n d t h e p r e c e e d i n g p a p e r i n

    t h i s s e r i e s

    BARRICELLI,

    1 9 6 2 ) . I f t h e n a t u r e o f t h e a n s w e r a n d i t s c o n s e q u e n c e s s h o u l d

    m a k e t h e r e a d e r f e e l s o m e w h a t d i s o r ie n t e d a n a d v i se w h i c h m a y p r o v e u s e f u l f o r

    s c ie n c e r e a d e r s a s it i s f o r m o u n t a i n c l i m b e r s i s H o l d o n s o l id g r o u n d . P r o v e n f a c t s

    a n d r i g o r o u s d e d u c t i o n a r e t h e s o l id g r o u n d o n w h i c h s c ie n ti ,f ic k n o w l e d g e c a n b e b a se d .

    F e e l i n g s a n d o p i n i o n s a n d a n y f o r m o f i n s t i n c t i v e re s i s t a n c y t o n e w i d e a s a r e n o t.

    E v e r y t h i n g w h i c h i s s a i d i n t h i s p a p e r s h o u l d b e u n d e r s t o o d , s t a t e m e n t b y s t a t e m e n t ,

    t h e w a y i t i s p re s e n t e d . T h e a u t h o r t a k e s n o r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i n f e r e n c e s a n d i n t e r p r e -

    t a t i o n s w h i c h a r e n o t r i g o r o u s c o n s e q u e n c e s o f t h e f a c t s p r e s e n t e d . A s i n t h e p r e v i o u s

    p a p e r o f t h i s s e r i e s (B A I~ RIC EL LI, I 9 6 2 ) t h e t e r m s u s e d i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h s y m b i o g e n e t i c

    p h e n o m e n a do n o t h a v e t h e s a m e m e a n i n g t h e y h a v e i n bi ol og y . T h e y r e f e r t o m a t h e -

    m a t i c a l c o n c e p t s w h o s e r e l a t i o n t o t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g b i o l o g ic a l c o n c ep t s i s a m a t t e r

    o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n .

    I T h i s i n v e s t ig a t i o n w a s s u p p o r t e d b y r e s e a rc h g r a n t R G - 6 9 8 o f r o m t h e D i v i s i o n o f

    G e n e r a l M e d i c a l S c i e n ce s o f t h e N a t i o n a l I n s t i t u t e s o f H e a l t h , U . S . A . P u b l i c H e a l t h

    S e r v ic e . T h e f i r s t p a r t o f t h i s in v e s t i g a t i o n w a s p e r f o r m e d i n t h e f al l, 1 95 9, w h i l e t h e

    a u t h o r w a s v ~s i to r t o t h e A . E . C . C o m p u t i n g C e n t e r , N . Y . U . T h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n w a s

    c o n t i n u e d i n t h e s u m m e r , I 9 6 O , w h i l e t h e a u t h o r w a s V i s i t i n g R e s e a r c h A s s o c i a t e a t

    B r o o k h a v e n N a t i o n a l L a b o r a t o r y , L . I. N . Y . a n d a f t e r h i s r e t u r n t o V a n d e r b i l t U n i v e r s it y ,

    N a s h v i l l e , T e n n e s s e e

    A c t a B i o t h e o re t ic a , X V I 7

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    IO 0 N A BARRICELLI

    I I N T R O D U C T I O N

    In the first paper of this series

    BARRICELLI,

    1962) the results of numeric

    evolution experiments performed in Princeton, N. J. were presented. In one

    of the experiments, the evolutionary improvement was verified by competition

    tests between symbioorganisms at different stages of evolution. The tests

    clearly showed that symbioorganisms at a more advanced stage of evolution

    with a longer evolution history behind them) easily eliminated more primitive

    organisms belonging to the same or to a different species see fig. 25,

    BARRICELLI,

    1962) . Evidently the ability of the various symbioorganisms to

    perform operations necessary or useful for their survival was improved

    during the evolutionary process.

    A question which arises in this connection is whether it would be possible

    to select symbioorganisms able to perform a specific task assigned to them.

    The task may be any operation permitting a measure of the performance

    reached by the symbioorganisms involved; for example, the task may consist

    in deciding the moves in a game being played against a human or against

    another symbioorganism. Evidently if a measurable improvement in a specific

    performance can be obtained by selection, this would open exciting possibili-

    ties. The evolutionary development of specialized structures with a specific

    function and a specific survival value could be open to investigation.

    The problem of testing the improvement in a specific performance will

    be the primary subject of the first part of this paper.

    A related problem should be mentioned here even though its investigation

    has not yet reached a stage where it can give fruitful results. A peculiar

    characteristic of the symbioorganisms developed so far is that they consist

    exclusively of self reproducing entities, which perform the function of genetic

    material. These selfreproducing entities are permitted to interact exclusively

    with other selfreproducing entities. No other structures formed or modified

    or rearranged by the selfreproducing entities are involved. There is no parallel

    to what may be called somatic or non-genetic structures of living organisms.

    This peculiarity is evidently due to the reproduction and mutation norms

    used. To save labor, computing time, and machine memory, the norms used

    did not involve entities which were not selfreproducing and could be dispensed

    of in the first evolution experiments. In the tests of performance to be

    reported below, the answers or decisions yielded by each symbioorganism will

    be expressed by a set of numbers. This will involve the formation of non-

    genetic numerical patterns characteristic for each symbioorganism. Such

    numerical patterns may present unlimited possibilities for developing

    structure.a and organs of any kind to perform the tasks for which they are

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    NUMERICAL TESTING OF EVOLUTION THEORIES O

    designed. However, since computer time and memory still is a limiting

    factor, the non-genetic patterns of each numeric symbioorganism are con-

    structed only when they are needed and are removed from the memory as

    soon as they have performed their task. This situation is in some respects

    comparable to the one which would arise among living beings if the genetic

    material got into the habit of creating a body or a somatic structure only

    when a situation arises which requires the performance of a specific task (for

    instance a fight with another organism), and assuming that the body would

    be disintegrated as soon as its objective had been fulfilled.

    The experiments are not yet in a stage where the non-genetic patterns

    can be expected to yield important information. Only the results of the

    preliminary tests of performance and its evolutionary improvement will

    be discussed to some extent.

    The last part of this paper will be dedicated to a discussion of the possibili-

    ties of obtaining symbiogenetic evolution processes by using a dif ferent set

    of reproduction and mutation rules (or norm of action ). Particularly the

    use of rules applying the reproduction pattern of DN.//-molecules DNA-

    norm) and the implications this possibility may have with respect to the origin

    and history of terrestrial life are discussed.

    2. PERFORMANCE TESTS

    As already stated in the previous paper of this series BARRICELLI, 1962),

    the genetic pattern of a symbioorganism performs the function of a survival

    strategy program developed during the past evolutionary history of the

    symbioorganism. The specific operations performed to bring the survival

    strategy into act

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