Manapat, Michael L.
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CitationManapat Michael L., Hisashi Ohtsuki, Reinhard Bürger, and Martin A. Nowak. 2009. Originator dynamics. Journal of Theoretical Biology 256(4): 586–595.
AbstractWe study the origin of evolution. Evolution is based on replication, mutation, and selection. But how does evolution begin? When do chemical kinetics turn into evolutionary dynamics? We propose “prelife” and “prevolution” as the logical precursors of life and evolution. Prelife generates sequences of variable length. Prelife is a generative chemistry that proliferates information and produces diversity without replication. The resulting “prevolutionary dynamics” have mutation and selection. We propose an equation that allows us to investigate the origin of evolution. In one limit, this “originator equation” gives the classical selection equation. In the other limit, we obtain “prelife.” There is competition between life and prelife and there can be selection for or against replication. Simple prelife equations with uniform rate constants have the property that longer sequences are exponentially less frequent than shorter ones. But replication can reverse such an ordering. As the replication rate increases, some longer sequences can become more frequent than shorter ones. Thus, replication can lead to “reversals” in the equilibrium portraits. We study these reversals, which mark the transition from prelife to life in our model. If the replication potential exceeds a critical value, then life replicates into existence.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4686795
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