Evolution in the Information Age: Rediscovering the Nature of the Organism


Daniel R. Brooks, Department of Zoology, University of Toronto,, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1, Canada



The newest synthesis of evolutionary thought is emerging, and promises to return evolutionary biology to Darwin’s panoramic view of life. The key element is a long-standing dualism in evolutionary theory. This dualism has a long history within evolutionary biology, being manifested under guises such as: (1) the nature of the organism and the nature of the conditions, (2) internal and external, or intrinsic and extrinsic, factors, (3) production and exchanges, (4) boundary and initial conditions, (5) metabolism and replication, (6) energy and information, and (7) costs and benefits, and conflict and resolution. A partially retrospective review suggests that there is now a conceptual coherent framework for resolving the dualism, not by eliminating one component of the dualism but by integrating both.



Keywords: Evolution, Information, Evolutionary Transitions, Natural Selection, Environmental Selection, Sexual Selection.

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