Stable laws in a changing world The structure of evolutionary theories over the centuries

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Liz Pásztor, Géza Meszéna


Successful fundamental theories are built on verifiable principles that include measurable variables. This paper shows that Darwin’s inclusive theory is built on such principles and follows their rocky road into modern operational theories. Besides reproduction, variation, and heredity, Darwin’s conditions of diversification also include the potential for exponential (geometric) population growth and its necessarily limited nature. The Struggle for Existence (Malthus Doctrine), the Principles of Natural Selection, Competitive Exclusion (Rule of Similar Checks), and Divergence are mere deductions from these conditions. The dynamic system theory of robust coexistence, the theory of adaptive dynamics, and the extended theory of evolution all assume Darwin’s inclusive principles as essentials. Incorporating the feedbacks controlling population growth and the tradeoffs between fitness components into the core of evolutionary theory leads to the conclusion that diversification is a fundamental, inherent feature of life and provides laws that support the determination of the expected direction of evolution in any particular case.



Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


evolutionary theory, History, principle, robust coexistence, theory-based ecology


Published: 2022-09-27 22:24

Last Updated: 2023-03-18 20:33

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