THE SIZE OF GENETIC PROGRAMS VERSUS THEIR EFFECTIVENESS AND ADAPTABILITY.
CALIFORNIA UNIV BERKELEY DEPT OF MATHEMATICS
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Organisms are programmed by their genes. The size of the genetic program is related to the complexity of the organism. Greater complexity can give a competitive advantage in solving the complex problems of existence and survival. Each inborn capability Precoordinated muscle movements, an innate communications system, an inborn knowledge about the environment, etc., has a genetic cost. The latter is defined as the minimum size of the genetic program that must be provided to organize the capabilities in question. There is a selective pressure towards larger and larger genetic programs. On the other hand, there is a selective pressure for quick adaptability to environmental changes, and it is shown that this adaptability is roughly inversely proportional to the size of the genetic program. Thus a compromise between innate capabilities and adaptability is necessary. Estimates of the genetic cost of various capabilities are given with special attention to muscle control. Imprinting, learning, and self-organization are discussed in the context of reducing the genetic cost. Author
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