Malthusian Relativityι**=7/3ψ
The unfolding of life from self-replication

Integrating diverse evolutionary concepts

Malthusian Relativity is the first theory of evolution to predict the major lifeforms on Earth from the natural selection that unfolds from the origin of replicating molecules.

I am grateful to all the hard-working people that collected biological data over time; I would never have been able to construct my theory in the absence of data. And I am thankful for the diverse set of evolutionary concepts that were developed relatively independently of one another in the past, and included as sub-components in my theory. These include:

  • That metabolism is a proxy for the rate at which organisms assimilate, transform and expend energy (e.g. Calder, 1984; Brown et al., 2004; Humphries and McCann, 2014).
  • That each species has a biological time-scale of its own, that is given by the inverse of mass specific metabolism (e.g. Pearl, 1928; Brody, 1945).
  • That an advanced metabolism is dependent upon a cell where the molecules of the metabolic pathways can concentrate (e.g. Oparin, 1957; Miller and Orgel, 1974; Maynard Smith and Szathmary, 1995).
  • That natural selection is driven by the biochemical energetics of self-replication (e.g. Lotka, 1922; Van Valen, 1976; Brown et al., 1993).
  • That natural selection is constrained by physiological trade-offs and constraints (e.g. Charlesworth, 1980; Roff, 1992; Stearns, 1992), including a mass specific metabolism that depends on mass in self-replicators with almost no mass (DeLong et al., 2010).
  • That natural selection is dependent upon the feed-back ecology of density dependence (e.g. Anderson, 1971; Heino et al., 1998; Rankin, 2007), including the density dependence of interactive competition (e.g. Abrams and Matsuda, 1994; Witting, 1997) that makes arms race models (e.g. Dawkins and Krebs, 1979; Parker, 1979; Maynard Smith and Brown, 1986) realistic.
  • That natural selection proceeds towards attractors like Continuously Stable Strategies (e.g. Maynard Smith and Price, 1973; Eshel and Motro, 1981; Taylor, 1989; Christiansen, 1991).
  • That short-term evolution is contingent upon the current state of biology and the available mutations.
  • That long-term evolution is more like a deterministic path (Witting, 1997, 2008) that is laid down by the selection attractors that unfold from the origin of the zero-energy replicator.
  • That the phenotype can be described as an allometric function of mass (e.g. Rubner, 1883; Kleiber, 1932; Fenchel, 1974; Peters, 1983; Calder, 1984).
  • That it is the optimisation of density regulation that selects the exponents of the body mass allometries (Witting, 1995).
  • That the two-fold cost of the male (Maynard Smith, 1968) and the two-fold cost of meiosis (Williams, 1975) are essential for the selection of sexual and asexual reproduction.
  • That the selection of sex ratios, ploidy levels and mating patterns are interrelated (Fisher, 1930; Hamilton, 1967).
  • That the selection of senescence is related to the selection of a soma (e.g. Weismann, 1889; Medawar, 1952; Williams, 1957; Hamilton, 1966).
  • That population dynamics is influenced by natural selection (e.g. Voipio, 1950; Chitty, 1960).
  • That Fisher's (1930) fundamental theorem of natural selection is essential as a limit theorem of hyper-exponential population growth.
  • That it is the acceleration of the population dynamic growth rate, and not the growth rate itself, that is a function of the density dependent environment (Ginzburg, 1972).
  • References

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    • Anderson, W.W. 1971. Genetic equilibrium and population growth under density-regulated selection. The American Naturalist 105:489--498.
    • Brody, S. 1945. Bioenergetics and growth. Hafner, New York.
    • Brown, J.H., A.P. Gillooly, V.M. Allen and G.B. Savage 2004. Towards a metabolic theory of ecology. Ecology 85:1771--1789.
    • Brown, J.H., P.A. Marquet and M.L. Taper 1993. Evolution of body size: Consequences of an energetic definition of fitness. The American Naturalist 142:573--584.
    • Calder, W. A.I. 1984. Size, function, and life history. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
    • Charlesworth, B. 1980. Evolution in age-structured populations. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    • Chitty, D. 1960. Population processes in the voles and their relevance to general theory. Canadian Journal of Zoology 38:99--113.
    • Christiansen, F.B. 1991. On conditions for evolutionary stability for a continuously varying character. The American Naturalist 138:37--50.
    • Dawkins, R., and J.R. Krebs 1979. Arms races between and within species. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences 205:489--511.
    • DeLong, J.P., J.G. Okie, M.E. Moses, R.M. Sibly and J.H. Brown 2010. Shifts in metabolic scaling, production, and efficiency across major evolutionary transitions of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107:12941--12945.
    • Eshel, I., and U.Motro 1981. Kin selection and strong evolutionary stability of mutual help. Theoretical Population Biology 19:420--433.
    • Fenchel, T. 1974. Intrinsic rate of natural increase: The relationship with body size. Oecologia 14:317--326.
    • Fisher, R.A. 1930. The genetical theory of natural selection. Clarendon, Oxford.
    • Ginzburg, L.R. 1972. The analogies of the ``free motion'' and ``force'' concept in population theory (in Russian). pp. 65--85, In: V. A. Ratnar (ed.) Studies on theoretical genetics. Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Novosibirsk.
    • Hamilton, W.D. 1966. The moulding of senescence by natural selection. Journal of Theoretical Biology 12:12--45.
    • Hamilton, W.D. 1967. Extraordinary sex ratios. Science 156:477--488.
    • Heino, M., J.A.J. Metz and V.Kaitala 1998. The enigma of frequency-dependent selection. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13:367--370.
    • Humphries, M.M., and K.S. McCann 2014. Metabolic constraints and currencies in animal ecology. Metabolic ecology.. Journal of Animal Ecology 83:7--19.
    • Kleiber, M. 1932. Body and size and metabolism. Hilgardia 6:315--353.
    • Lotka, A.J. 1922. Contribution to the energetics of evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 8:147--151.
    • MaynardSmith, J. 1968. Evolution in sexual and asexual populations. The American Naturalist 102:469--473.
    • MaynardSmith, J., and R.L.W. Brown 1986. Competition and body size. Theoretical Population Biology 30:166--179.
    • MaynardSmith, J., and G.R. Price 1973. The logic of animal conflict. Nature 246:15--18.
    • MaynardSmith, J., and E.Szathmary 1995. The major transitions in evolution. W.H. Freeman Spektrum, Oxford.
    • Medawar, P.B. 1952. An unsolved problem of biology. Lewis, London.
    • Miller, S.L., and L.E. Orgel 1974. The origins of life on the Earth. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
    • Oparin, A.I. 1957. The origin of life on Earth. Academic Press, New York.
    • Parker, G.A. 1979. Sexual selection and sexual conflict. pp. 123--166, In: M. S. Blum and N. A. Blum (eds.) Sexual selection and reproductive competition in insects. Academic Press, New York.
    • Pearl, R. 1928. The rate of living. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.
    • Peters, R.H. 1983. The ecological implication of body size. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    • Rankin, D.J. 2007. Resolving the tragedy of the commons: the feedback between intraspecific conflict and population density. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20:173--180.
    • Roff, D.A. 1992. The evolution of life histories. Theory and analysis. University of Chicago Press, New York.
    • Rubner, M. 1883. Uber den einfluss der korper grosse auf stoff-und kraft-wechsel. Z. Biol. 19:535--562.
    • Stearns, S.C. 1992. The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
    • Taylor, P.D. 1989. Evolutionary stability in one-parameter models under weak selection. Theoretical Population Biology 36:125--143.
    • VanValen, L. 1976. Energy and evolution. Evolutionary Theory 1:179--229.
    • Weismann, A. 1889. Essays upon heredity and kindred biological problems. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
    • Williams, G.C. 1957. Pleiotropy, natural selection and the evolution of senescence. Evolution 11:398--411.
    • Williams, G.C. 1975. Sex and evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
    • Witting, L. 1995. The body mass allometries as evolutionarily determined by the foraging of mobile organisms. Journal of Theoretical Biology 177:129--137.
    • Witting, L. 1997. A general theory of evolution. By means of selection by density dependent competitive interactions. Peregrine Publisher, Århus, 330 pp, URL http://mrLife.org.
    • Witting, L. 2008. Inevitable evolution: back to The Origin and beyond the 20th Century paradigm of contingent evolution by historical natural selection. Biological Reviews 83:259--294.