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The Missing Two-Thirds of Evolutionary Theory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 February 2020

Robert N. Brandon
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
Daniel W. McShea
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina

Summary

In this Element, we extend our earlier treatment of biology's first law. The law says that in any evolutionary system in which there is variation and heredity, there is a tendency for diversity and complexity to increase. The law plays the same role in biology that Newton's first law plays in physics, explaining what biological systems are expected to do when no forces act, in other words, what happens when nothing happens. Here we offer a deeper explanation of certain features of the law, develop a quantitative version of it, and explore its consequences for our understanding of diversity and complexity.
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Online ISBN: 9781108591508
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication: 26 March 2020

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