Our inability to see evolution working in every instance of biological reproduction causes our perspective on evolutionary change to be relative. This means that claims about trends within the evolution of species -how it’s evolving- are relative to the measurement standards used.
However this only applies to species that are reproducing in a uniform manner. When a species dies off we are unable to measure the effect of mutations due to natural selection in the last generations: any benefits of new mutations are overshadowed by the overall failure of the species. Likewise, if a species is beginning to dominate an ecosystem, then any new mutations within that species cannot be measured upon the same scale as the old mutations: the old mutations allowed for the proliferation and any new mutation that occurs while the species is proliferating may not necessarily provide any benefit. Therefore mutations are unmeasurable according to relativistic standards during times of expansion or contraction of a species.
Insofar as the current relativistic standards do not apply to biology under non-uniform reproduction we are left to understand times of proliferation and extinction in some way other than by the theory of relativity previously proposed. Hence it is important to investigate whether relativity theory can be extended to when a species is undergoing non-uniform change, i.e. when either proliferating or dieing off.
There is a fundamental equivalence of evolutionary biology that has yet to be interpreted: the concepts of ‘the struggle for survival’ and ‘natural selection’ yield the exact same results. How can the struggle for survival equal the overall selection of nature, especially if we consider that nature is at least chaotic?
To answer this we need to consider action at a distance. Action at a distance means that one thing can cause something else to happen without any medium connecting the two. In Newton’s theory of gravitation, the answer to ‘Why does a stone fall to the ground’ was ‘The Earth attracted it.’ No intervening medium was appealed to in order to cause one to attract the other; the earth simply attracted objects. Einstein disliked action at a distance and successfully argued that the Earth creates a gravitational field such that the stone would interact with the field, causing it to accelerate towards the ground.
We believe an answer to ‘Why did this species survive?’ is ‘Nature selected that species.’ But how does natural selection select? Initially we may try to appeal to the struggle for survival: ‘struggle’ inherently implies some local interaction. However, this returns us to the above question of why the struggle for survival and natural selection are equivalent. To answer how natural selection selects, we may think that the overall ecosystem that an organism/species lives in has a force associated with it that causes some organisms to flourish and others to die off. However, this situation appeals to some mysterious force – an action at a distance – to describe what happens to a species.
Instead I suggest that we think of natural selection as a field that acts upon organisms and species. Interpreting natural selection as a field removes the action at a distance of the ‘selection.’ With a field theory of natural selection, any given situation may be viewed from the perspective of struggle or selection.
Now the equivalence of the struggle for survival and natural selection can be understood by use of the principle of relativity. Each and every action of an organism or species can be viewed as a struggle or a local selection field interaction depending upon a relative perspective regardless if the species is proliferating or becoming extinct. Therefore at any given point biology is governed by the general theory of relativity.
A note on natural selection fields:
Fitness creates the natural selection field and each organism has a natural selection field based proportionally to its fitness (think gravitational field for an organism). The fitness of a species creates a larger natural selection field and the fitness of an ecosystem creates a much larger natural selection field.
Ecosystems have very large natural selection fields which have the power to alter the evolution of a species, i.e. to accelerate that species in particular directions. By living in a particular ecosystem a species will evolve to survive in that particular ecosystem.
We may consider ourselves to have a significantly sized natural selection field as certain organisms, like domesticated dogs, have evolved to live only with humans. Their species ‘orbits’ ours; our fitness has created species that only (now) exist because we breed them. Organisms that live in symbiosis with another organism orbit each other, like dual star systems.
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