Origin & Evolution of Life

Does Gaia Play Dice?: Simple Models Of Non-Darwinian Selection

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
November 23, 2023
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Does Gaia Play Dice?: Simple Models Of Non-Darwinian Selection
One possible unfolding of the SBS game with N = 25 and M = 6. At t = 1 we have our initial ensemble, at t = 2 we have removed all the 1s, at t = 3 we remove all the 2s etc. — q-bio.PE

In this paper we introduce some simple models, based on rolling dice, to explore mechanisms proposed to explain planetary habitability.

The idea is to study these selection mechanisms in an analytically tractable setting, isolating their consequences from other details which can confound or obscure their effect in more realistic models. We find that while the observable of interest, the face value shown on the die, `improves’ over time in all models, for two of the more popular ideas: Selection by Survival and Sequential Selection, this is down to sampling effects.

A modified version of Sequential Selection, Sequential Selection with Memory, implies a statistical tendency for systems to improve over time. We discuss the implications of this and its relationship to the ideas of the inhabitance paradox' and theGaian bottleneck’.

Rudy Arthur, Arwen Nicholson

Subjects: Populations and Evolution (q-bio.PE)
Cite as: arXiv:2301.02623 [q-bio.PE] (or arXiv:2301.02623v1 [q-bio.PE] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Rudy Arthur
[v1] Fri, 6 Jan 2023 17:58:36 UTC (753 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻