Red Queen Hypothesis – The Evolution of Sexual …
Aristotle’s research in the sciences included a study of biology. He attempted, with some error, to classify animals into genera based on their similar characteristics. He further classified animals into species based on those that had red blood and those that did not. The animals with red blood were mostly vertebrates, while the “bloodless” animals were labeled cephalopods. Despite the relative inaccuracy of his hypothesis, Aristotle’s classification was regarded as the standard system for hundreds of years.
Red Queen Hypothesis - WikiVisually
Leigh Van Valen (who died last month) is well known for being an original thinker. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that the only way he could publish his most famous idea was to start a journal to print it in. Because of this, the paper is devilishly hard to get hold of: I managed to get a photocopy, with only one page of references missing.
This idea dates back to 1973, and is now called the “Red Queen hypothesis”: that fitness is constant over time because of continual changes in the environment. Although this is the way the hypothesis is stated, it is a subtle mis-representation of the original idea. This is because it has been morphed into something a bit different, when the idea was ripped from its palaeontological roots into the world of population and evolutionary genetics.
The Red Queen does not need changes in the physical environment, although she can accommodate them. Biotic forces provide the basis for a self-driving (at this level) perpetual motion of the effective environment and so of the evolution of the species affected by it.