Skip to Content

Book: The Red Queen

  • In evolution, competition and co-operation are two sides of the same coin.

  • Legs of mammals evolved out of fins of fish

  • The germ line is kept away from accumulating errors during the life of the organism.

    • This allows an organism to have a fresh copy of genes to copy from vs the error accumulated cells of it’s body
  • Species remain without evolving significantly for long periods of time

  • This is because they’re suited to their environment and they’re selecting for survival against their parasites

  • If they evolve a defense, their parasites catch up within a few generations

  • This often leads to a variety of genes existing in a population to offer resistance against parasites.

    • Genes alternate between being rare and common in a population depending on their usefulness against parasites
    • If parasites attack one type of gene, that gene becomes rarer while the parasites lose their capability against the older, rarer genes
    • Thus the red queen hypothesis where living beings have to run to remain in the same place
  • In an evolutionary arms race, it’s the specialists who win as they have more downside

  • In all life forms, parasites seem to be inevitable