New Spin On Origins of Evolvability: Competition to Survive Not Necessary?
Scientists have long observed that species seem to have become increasingly capable of evolving in response to changes in the environment. But computer science researchers now say that the popular explanation of competition to survive in nature may not actually be necessary for evolvability to increase. In a paper published this week inPLOS ONE, the researchers report that evolvability can increase over generations regardless of whether species are competing for food, habitat or other factors. Using a simulated model they designed to mimic how organisms evolve, the researchers saw increasing evolvability even without competitive pressure.