Phenotypic plasticity comes to the Quandary Den!
life finds a way out
In science, sometimes the result of an experiment is realizing a better way to answer the same question. Last week we found a neutral road to complexity, and also a possible way in which we might have tilted the scales away from simplicity. This week we see how to correct for that bias and find yet another scenario in which complexity increases.
Having traveled the adaptive road to complexity, we wanted to see if any other routes are possible. This week we find one, known in biology as constructive neutral evolution. Then we explore whether our simple model can be made more biologically plausible, illustrating the iterative and self-critical nature of the scientific process.
Last week, we introduced gene duplication to the Quandary Den. As a result, we evolved complex solutions that required multiple distinct contributions. We found an adaptive pathway to complexity. But is that the only road we can take? And what happens when you’re last on the bus to complexity?
Last week, we talked about gene duplication and looked at some simulation results for random walks. Now, let’s take a look at what happens when we add players to our Quandary Den game via gene duplication. Is the game really better with friends?