Quarterly (winter, spring, summer, fall)
128 pp. per issue
7 x 10, illustrated
ISSN
1064-5462
E-ISSN
1530-9185
2014 Impact factor:
1.39

Artificial Life

Fall 2005, Vol. 11, No. 4, Pages 427-443
(doi: 10.1162/106454605774270633)
© 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Evolvability Suppression to Stabilize Far-Sighted Adaptations
Article PDF (247.49 KB)
Abstract

The opportunistic character of adaptation through natural selection can lead to evolutionary pathologies —situations in which traits evolve that promote the extinction of the population. Such pathologies include imprudent predation and other forms of habitat overexploitation, or the tragedy of the commons, adaptation to temporally unreliable resources, cheating and other antisocial behavior, infectious pathogen carrier states, parthenogenesis, and cancer, an intraorganismal evolutionary pathology. It is known that hierarchical population dynamics can protect a population from invasion by pathological genes. Can it also alter the genotype so as to prevent the generation of such genes in the first place, that is, suppress the evolvability of evolutionary pathologies? A model is constructed in which one locus controls the expression of the pathological trait, and a series of modifier loci exist that can prevent the expression of this trait. It is found that multiple evolvability checkpoint genes can evolve to prevent the generation of variants that cause evolutionary pathologies. The consequences of this finding are discussed.