"Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points." ~D.T. Suzuki

Friday, February 14, 2014

Romance with the Red Queen

and by romance I mean sex...

with the 
Red Queen
'Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.'
The Red Queen - Through the Looking-Glass - Lewis Carroll 
The Red Queen Hypothesis,
also referred to as
The Red Queen's Race or The Red Queen Effect,
is an evolutionary hypothesis which proposes that organisms must constantly adapt, evolve, and proliferate not merely to gain reproductive advantage, but also simply to survive while pitted against ever-evolving opposing organisms in an ever-changing environment.

The Red Queen, like The Struggle for Life, points to constant change as the only permanent condition.
appears to provide added variability
from some of the conditions
the parents were living in.
Epigenetic changes the DNA
of the individual in a subtle way.
While it doesn't change
the DNA sequence,
it has, by methylationchanged 
how these genes become expressed
It seems at least some of these changes can be passed on
through from the parents DNA
to the next generations of offspring.

What Does This Have To Do With Sex?

Creatures could just reproduce asexually. Bacteria have been "doing it" that way for a very long and by count, a successful time. Basically cloning themselves, with mutations and methylations providing the necessary adaptations. This appears to work extremely well for some beings, single celled entities as an abundant example, but some life forms may have succeeded with, what was for them, well, let's just say... a better way.

Very Close Friends... With Benefits
Sex provides variability.
It does this simply by
making the offspring unique. 
Varied offspring may be better adapted to current conditions. This can also confer a faster response to natural selection. 

Sex Is Better When...
In the case of  asexuals, (offspring produced by inheriting the DNA of their single parent), any parasites adapted to infect the parent should also be capable of infecting the offspring.

Sex allows parents to combine and recombine DNA thus producing offspring that are diverse and genetically different from either one of their parents. Parasites or diseases that have adapted to infect one generation may have difficulty infecting the next. So sex is a pretty good evolutionary adaptation.

Sexual Reproduction & Genetic Variability (PBS)
There are even business applications to this... ahem... proposition
can be of great profit to business.

shouldn't be a neglected science
when it comes to economics.

"Applied to a business context, the Red Queen can be seen as a contest in which each firm’s performance depends on the firm’s matching or exceeding the actions of rivals. In these contests, performance increases gained by one firm as a result of innovative actions tend to lead to a performance decrease in other firms. The only way rival firms in such competitive races can maintain their performance relative to others is by taking actions of their own. Each firm is forced by the others in an industry to participate in continuous and escalating actions and development that are such that all the firms end up racing as fast as they can just to standstill relative to competitors. This self-escalating, coevolving system of Red Queen competition has been empirically shown to affect founding rates(Barnett & Sorenson, 2002), failure rates (Barnett &Hansen, 1996), and competitiveness (Barnett &McKendrick, 2004). Indeed, Baumol (2004) suggested that the Red Queen effect is the most powerful mechanism driving economic development in capitalistic society."

Academy of Management Journal 2008,
Vol. 51, No. 1, 61–80.
You know, we're not getting anywhere like this!
Baby, you sure we're doing it the right way?
© 2014 MU-Peter Shimon

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