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Reviewed at August 26, 2010 - Ver. 2.1

An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear Mr. Sander van Doorn,

I have read the article in the Science Magazine entitled On the Origin of Species by Natural and Sexual Selection (1) and in my opinion it was the best article I ever read about the subject. The greatest thing I find, is the fact that you don’t need the word diversity to explain the value of Sexual Selection, a real breakthrough in the common sense panorama. And more important, it is the transformation of Sexual Selection from a mere appendix of Natural Selection, into its greatest product. Knowing that there are people writing many things about the subject, I will try to contribute to your article following the spirit that I congratulated before, in a simple and easily understanding form. So, there are my critical points:

Complexity In my opinion, speciation cannot be interpreted without sexual selection, and you can easily identify this, trough the great increase of complexity, in the tree of life. The tree of life gives you two main systems of cellular life, the Prokaryotes (bacteria, archaea) and the Eukaryotes. There is no need for extra attention to realize that the Prokaryote organisms had never developed to significant complexity. The Eukaryotes are the category of all complex organisms that you have today, and at the same time, it is contrasting the method of reproduction between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes.

Schematics Because these subjects had to live in the common sense domain, we can say that Natural Selection has its own popular scheme. We listen to many times expressions as “The survival of the fittest”, which works as a metaphor for the Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. The big problem is that there is no good metaphor for Sexual Selection, and the clumsy “Genetic variation” never came to be more than a sound bite! Now I ask. Would not be wonderful to have a good metaphor for Sexual Selection? Like the one for Natural Selection, that simple means continuous adaptation through selection. One that everyone grasps. Why not? Well, the interesting thing is that you don’t need another metaphor! “The survival of the fittest” works for both albeit in a slight different way, because Natural and Sexual Selection are -1-

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection still two different concepts. Speaking in concepts, there is one becoming very popular, named Protocol and well described in the book with the same name written by Alexander R. Galloway (4). Saying this we can build the following scheme: Prokaryotes

Eukaryotes

CONCEPT | | | OBJECT

CONCEPT | PROTOCOL | OBJECT

Analogy

Induction

-

Adaptation or fitness

-

Species

-

Organism

Having this scheme, what it means “The survival of the fittest”? By analogy, it means the survival of the most adapted object to the environment. By induction, it means the survival of the most adapted protocol to the environment induced by its objects. Metaphorically it is like thinking in film cameras and digital cameras. The first ones are like the Prokaryotes, the image reflects a direct representation, without any kind of processing or interpretation required. The second ones are like the Eukaryotes, the image does not reflect a direct representation, and does require processing and interpretation (cognitive process). All of this thanks to sex! Sex in the sense of processing and interpretation, in other words, more about mating and less about genitalia, focused on the protocol and not on the object.

Opportunistic Exploitation From now on, it only makes sense speaking of complex life as groups of protocols. So, from now on, specie means a protocol for any case. I must say that your analyses about speciation in the article it is very clever, because it proves how a specie divides into two other species regarding its assortative mating. I concluded from the article that there is an accumulated fitness in the Gaussian curve working as a threshold between one or two species. It reveals the true source of diversity, as the size of the seeds promoting the split of the specie and not otherwise, explaining why we have the number of species we have, not more or less. However, there is one thing that I think as a wrong presumption. The presumption that the migration rate leads the speciation, because is another example of bad intuition. In the Fig. 3 of your article, where you correlate migration rate with sigma, there is a clear symmetry. This symmetry reveals a correlation between sigma and migration rate, with the first causing the last! Being so, migration rate is the consequence, and not the cause. Allopatric speciation is just another miss intuition, where a species needs to be isolated from other to evolve. There is something that separates all the species in an irrefutable and allopatric way, time. Despite some species have millions of years of existence; they would be -2-

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection able to interbreed with others along any moment of that same time. So, for instance, crocodiles exist for 200 million years, and yet, the crocodile of 200 million years would be able to interbreed with the actual one. This means that the process of speciation does not depend on isolation, it is much more robust and abstract than any intuition could predict. For me, it is hard to believe that facing a great resource to be explored, nature nature will fail to create any specie just because there is a lack of isolation. In this way, the mechanism of speciation will adjust in just a way that the unexplored resource would not be for any longer. We may even ask, how many species would we have today based on the allopatric restriction?

Species vs. Polymorphisms As I write before, species are like protocols (Alexander R. Galloway), ), or to visualize better, species are like languages.. Like in species, languages have little variations depending of multiple factors; however that does not change any language to the point of being considered a new language. Following owing the example before, and having Fig. 1 of your article in mind, I came with a model that defines species’ kernel, polymorphisms and speciation. In Fig. A we have two Opportunistic Exploitations (S1, S2), S2), each one with a specific µ and σ, so we can say that µ and σ are intrinsic to the opportunity and not to the species.

Fig. A – Domain areas derived from two speciation forces (S1, S2)

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection Any species are subject to polymorphisms, promoted by any kind of opportunity. The resultant species due to polymorphisms are characterized by the average of multiple opportunities. For two opportunities we have      until any speciation starts to evolve. In this 

way, a polymorphism is reversible if, for any case, the associated opportunity ceases is effect. On the other hand, a speciation has its own kernel, ending the previous implication, that is, a speciation is not reversible if, for any case, the associated opportunity ceases is effect. This kernel is the intersection of existing speciation forces 1 2.

It makes all the sense, thinking in a threshold line, between polymorphism and speciation, beyond which speciation evolves to be dominant and generate new species. In my model, the threshold line is the one in which accumulated average of multiple opportunities is greater than two times the accumulated Species’ Kernel. This means: 0     1 2 

1 1 1 1 ¡       ¡   2 2 2 2

As I write before, we want the following evolutionary limit, were lim   2 represents a population increase due to speciation: lim   0



lim 



! #$%   1 ¡    2 2

After all these considerations, we add the next iterated formula for the evolutionary speciation: 

 , (  1 ! 1  &  ¡ )  * , ( + 1 2 

01111112  , -.

/

/



 , (  1 !  3  1 &  ¡ ) *,( + 1 2 2 ¡  4 

In Fig. B it is possible to visualize the evolution of the previous equation. As we can see, speciation is a very rapid process through very high mutation rates. And this process evolves independently of the migration rate. The migration rate depends on, and is correlated by, the Species’ Kernel where the triggering force is the opportunity per se. I must remember that, like species, protocols have no conflicts; there is no resistance to change or to any kind of polymorphism. However, protocols are very conservative in relation to them self, to the point of being diversified only by another protocol. “Protocol is a language that regulates flow, directs netspace, codes relationships, and connects life-forms. Protocol does not produce or causally effect objects, but rather is a structuring agent that appears as the result of a set of object dispositions.� – In Protocol: how control exists after decentralization, Alexander R. Galloway

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection

Fig. B – Speciation evolution and associated mutation rate

Cambrian Explosion There are two ways of explaining the Cambrian Explosion, the very complicated and clumsy way, and the very simple and elegant way. The fist way is in n the Wikipedia, and says things like: “Despite Despite the evidence that moderately complex animals (triploblastic bilaterians) existed before and possibly long before the start of the Cambrian, it seems that the pace of evolution was exceptionally exceptionally fast in the early Cambrian. Possible explanations for this fall into three broad categories: environmental, developmental, and ecological changes. Any explanation must explain the timing and magnitude of the explosion. It is also possible that the "explosion" "exp requires no special explanation.” – In Wikipedia In the previous statement protocol it is the no special explanation! Because protocols are naturally explosive. They do not follow the materialist logic, the rich gets richer, richer but instead, the winner takes it all. Materializing what it is not possible to materialize, materialize, we have the following examples: • • • • •

English, Español, Português, Français, Deutsch, etc… Catholicism, Orthodoxy, doxy, Protestantism, Islamism, Institutionalism, etc… Football,, Basketball, Baseball, etc… ISO 9001, ISO 14001, etc… HTTP, HTML, SMB, SMTP, FTP, etc…

Materializing what it is possible to materialize, we have the following examples: • •

Food, Water, Oil,, etc… Electricity, Radiation, etc… (E=mc2); -5-

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection • • •

Health care, Education, Transportation, etc… Instruments, Tools, Shelter, etc… Drugs, Money, etc…

If you think only in the second examples, there is no intrinsic explosive dispersion. There is not an immediate and absolute presence of what before was absent. And where is present, it requires constant investment and is extremely subject to conjecture. Life belongs to the first examples; she is like a Spanish Conquistador, willing to give is culture in exchange of others’ resources. There is an immediate and absolute presence of what before was absent. And where is present, it does not requires constant investment and is extremely resilient to conjecture. Looking at Fig. 2(B) of your article it is easy to see that speciation is a punctual and rapid event. Like simulated before, mutation was extremely high and happened in a very short period of time, like a burst. It is reasonable to conclude, that the Cambrian Explosion correlates with systematic series of speciation associated with the respective increase of population. The only question that remains it is when. For me, the most important fact is that it happens once and for all. The when, can be explained with the required critical complexity associated with the new Eukaryote schematic.

Boltzmann’s Interpretation One of the most important steps on physics was the end of the deterministic philosophy and the beginning of probabilistic philosophy. In this way, mutation it is an entropy phenomenon, described by the second law of thermodynamics, and mutation it is a two faces coin, meaning the following for each one: 1. Endless source of information for speciation and polymorphisms; 2. Physical reality that systematically reduces the replication fidelity. Previously I have focused on the first point, now I will frame Sexual Selection on the second point. “Thus, our results support the notion that the emergence of replication fidelity mechanisms was central to the evolution of complexity in the early history of life.” – In Extremely High Mutation Rate of a Hammerhead Viroid, Science In the following observations we will consider the next scenario: • •

The probabilities of replication fidelity for what constitute an organism are independent and uniform; What constitute an organism are abstractly subdivided in countable parts to represent its complexity.

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection I will analyze the mating ing advantage accordingly to two premises: 1. The number of sexes it is the most value compared to asexual reproduction; 2. The mating process it is the most value compared to asexual reproduction.

Fig. C â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Relation between Replication Fidelity and Complexity â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Populational distribution for x=0 In the case of P0=0,50 of Replication Fidelity for x=0, we got the greatest decrease for x>0. Compared to a Pure Random Replication Fidelity, if we start whit any P0>0,50, the curve will have a less important decrease than for P0=0,50. However, in the case of mating, we will only need one of two to guarantee Replication Fidelity resulting in a P0m=1-(1- P0)2 (Mendelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Second Law). We can formulate those curves in the next manner: 567  1 4 1 4 5<7 :

8567  9 567  567 -;

: :K



=5 4 =$>?(@AB C@B 5%A#A%A@D(CE  &F5 4 G$H =$>?(@AB ?IH 5%A#A%A@D(CE ! 5<7 J 0, 1

 5<7

:K

¡ 2 4 5<7 :K  L@BAMA@BA@H L@BAMA@BA@H QRA@HS

For the Fidelity Bell Curve (Drift) per Generation we have:

PO 

NO  567

K

1 4 NO  8B$MHAB 2

Now we can see that the combination of two sexes it is not by itself of significant difference. It only increases thee complexity achieved for a specific Replication Fidelity bell curve.

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection If we ask, which PCP is needed for a specified APCP, we get the next curve relative to each degree of complexity:

Fig. D â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Individual Replication Fidelity needed for a specific General Replication Fidelity â&#x20AC;&#x153;Evolutionary Evolutionary success of bacteria relies on the constant fine-tuning fine tuning of their mutation rates, which optimizes their adaptability to constantly changing environmental conditions. When adaptation is limited by the mutation supply rate, under some conditions, natural selection favours increased mutation rates by acting on allelic variation of the genetic systems that control fidelity of DNA replication and repair.â&#x20AC;? repair. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in Evolution of mutation ion rates in bacteria, bacteria Erick Denamur and Ivan Matic It is evident, that Entropy strongly limits complexity of any organism exclusively based base on high Replication Fidelity and Natural Selection. So we may conclude that the number of sexes it is not the main issue compared with asexual reproduction. For our second premise, I take the Speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Kernel for granted for any species. This Speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Kernel is the protocol that defines the species specie and regulates the conformity of its i organisms. Being so, we will define Speciation Bell Curve (Blue Print) in the following way:

P 

N  567

1 4 N  8B$MHAB 2

For the Fidelity Bell Curve (Drift) per Generation we have the same as for asexual reproduction: NO  567

K

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection PO 

1 4 NO  8B$MHAB 2

Representing the iteration between mating and reproduction, the next iterated formula reflects the Bell Curve product density (mating) ( ing) and the product with specific Replication Fidelity (Replication): NO 

 &NOX · PO  PO 

N , (  0  NO · PO X  PO X

· NOX , ( + 0

!

N , (  0 1 4 NO 1 4 NO  NOX · Y 2  [ NO · Y 2 X [ ! \  · NOX , ( + 0 V   1 4 NO 1 4 NO U Y 2 [ Y 2 X[ T W U



567 , (  0

  Z567 · ]1 4 NO ^ NO · 1 4 567  

]1 4 NO ^ 1 4 567  PO 



1 4 NO  8B$MHAB 2

· 567 , ( + 0

!

Next we can see the effect of the action of a “Blue Print“ compared with is absence. absence

Fig. E – Effect of Entropy along generations

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection The solutions for the previous equations are:

lim NO  lim 567

0 !  _ lim NO ` NO  NO K



However, the second limit will result in a cubic formula. So we will simplify it in the following way:  567 K NO a NO  567 02 lim NO   QMADHAB E(>(H #$% NO  1 1 4 567  Now is possible to conclude that mating process it is the most value compared to asexual reproduction. Sexual Selection evolved from Natural Selection to become the essence of species. With Sexual Selection it is possible to maintain a protocol that reinforces the sameness of the species for long periods of time regardless the existing entropy in the replication process and regardless its complexity.

It is possible to conceive the existence of a cognitive and semantic vector that does not suffer from the physical entropy, a language that an organism heritage not from its progenitors, but from the species itself. As a result, the existing organisms will heritage a mating cognitive willing, the speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; force of will.

Final Notes The main issue about interpreting Sexual Selection is that it is not about the organism. Questions like, how male characteristics evolve, or how female choosiness influence any other characteristic is misleading, because focuses the analyses on the object. An object cannot be conservative and dynamic at the same time; it is a nonsense that undermines any general explanation for Sexual Selection focused on the organism. Mutation is the resource of information for any species, however, it as to be amplified by an Opportunistic Exploitation to be convergent at a Species level. It is this convergence that makes some mutations truly exceptional, because the rule is mutational drift based on Entropy. I must stress, that an Opportunistic Exploitation does not need to be physical, not even competitive; it can be a new ability, or an offset of an existing Opportunistic Exploitation. To materialize this Entropic Drift, we can think in a genetic disease that is frequent and well documented. The mechanism is not the important question, but the fact that its source is a mutation, a very basic one, but still, a mutation.

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection Next we have a table with the incidence of Down Syndrome in newborn infants. MATERNAL AGE (YEARS) 20-24 25-29 30-34 35 37 39 41 43 45+

INCIDENCE 1:1400 1:1100 1:700 1:350 1:225 1:140 1:85 1:50 1:25

This is a recurrent genetic disease, disease and as many others, it significantly decreases the fitness of the newborn. And we may ask, what characterizes incidence of genetic diseases disease (De novo mutations)?

Fig. F – Age vs. Incidence From the previous graph, exponential function has a better fit that the power function. For a manually guessed power function, I come with the next function: b  2,9573Q 4 17 ·  g 6,7858Q 4 04

Now is possible to answer, that what characterizes incidence of genetic diseases is Entropic incidence. If we easily can connect this with the sexual attractiveness for youngness, we may give the step forward to connect it to the limit of age itself. Thinking on the organisms’ conformity, does not make sense to maintain mating able organisms at ages that significantly increase Entropic Drift.

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection We may extrapolate the adjusted functions to forecast the hypothetic incidence.

Fig. G – Age vs. Incidence extrapolated The Fig. G is just a caricature that serves to have an idea that age may be regulated at Specie Sp level relatively to the conformity of its i Organisms. To conclude, it must be remembered that cognition plays a fundamental rule in mating process, making brains as is fundamental tool.

Bibliography 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

On the Origin off Species by Natural and Sexual Selection, G. Sander van Doorn, Pim Edelaar, Franz J. Weissing; Weissing Extremely High Mutation Rate of a Hammerhead Viroid, Selma Gago, Santiago F. Elena, Ricardo Flores, Rafael Sanjuán; Sanjuán Evolution of mutation rates in bacteria, bacteria Erick Denamur, Ivan Matic; PROTOCOL — How Control Exists After Decentralization, Decentralization Alexander R. Galloway; Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects, Defects Keith Moore, T. V. N. Persaud..

I hope having contributed to enrich your article, which is a fresh interpretation outside from the Natural Selection exclusivity that relegates Sexual Selection to a secondary place. I call your attention for the schematic characteristic of my model, for instance, it is not a deterministic one, and neither supports optimization as its i main issue, so it only says to you if a specific trait represents a speciation,, a polymorphism or an entropic drift, if you project it to the species layer to make possible any disambiguation.

Respectfully yours, Rui Seixas Monteiro - 12 -

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- ERRATA -


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ERRATA As I write before, we want the following evolutionary limit, were lim   2 represents a population increase due to speciation:

lim   0



lim   2



! #$%   1 ¡    2

After all this considerations, we add the next iterated formula for the evolutionary speciation: 

 , (  1 ! 2 ¡  &  ¡ ,( + 1 

01111112  , -.

/

/

  &

2¡)

 , (  1

!   3  *,( + 1 2 ¡  4 

In Fig. B it is possible to visualize the evolution of the previous equation. As we can see, speciation is a very rapid process through very high mutation rates. And And this process evolves independently of the migration rate. The migration rate depends on, and is correlated by, the Speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Kernel where the triggering force is the opportunity per se. I must remember that, like species, protocols have no conflicts; there is no resistance to change or to any kind of polymorphism. However, protocols are very conservative in relation to them self, to the point of being diversified only by another protocol. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Protocol Protocol is a language that regulates flow, directs netspace, codes codes relationships, and connects life-forms. forms. Protocol does not produce or causally effect objects, but rather is a structuring agent that appears as the result of a set of object dispositions.â&#x20AC;? dispositions. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; In Protocol: how control exists after decentralization, Alexander R. Galloway

Fig. B â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Speciation evolution and associated mutation rate

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An Open Letter about Natural and Sexual Selection