Adaptive Individuals in Evolving Populations: Models and Algorithms

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Richard K. Belew, Melanie Mitchell
Westview Press, May 22, 1996 - Science - 533 pages
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The theory of evolution has been most successful explaining the emergence of new species in terms of their morphological traits. Ethologists teach that behaviors, too, qualify as first-class phenotypic features, but evolutionary accounts of behaviors have been much less satisfactory. In part this is because maturational ”programs” transforming genotype to phenotype are ”open” to environmental influences affected by behaviors. Further, many organisms are able to continue to modify their behavior, i.e., learn, even after fully mature. This creates an even more complex relationship between the genotypic features underlying the mechanisms of maturation and learning and the adapted behaviors ultimately selected.A meeting held at the Santa Fe Institute during the summer of 1993 brought together a small group of biologists, psychologists, and computer scientists with shared interests in questions such as these. This volume consists of papers that explore interacting adaptive systems from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives. About half of the articles are classic, seminal references on the subject, ranging from biologists like Lamarck and Waddington to psychologists like Piaget and Skinner. The other half represent new work by the workshop participants. The role played by mathematical and computational tools, both as models of natural phenomena and as algorithms useful in their own right, is particularly emphasized in these new papers. In all cases, the prefaces help to put the older papers in a modern context. For the new papers, the prefaces have been written by colleagues from a discipline other than the paper’s authors, and highlight, for example, what a computer scientist can learn from a biologist’s model, or vice versa. Through these cross-disciplinary ”dialogues” and a glossary collecting multidisciplinary connotations of pivotal terms, the process of interdisciplinary investigation itself becomes a central theme.

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Reprinted Classics
Preface to Chapters 15 and
Adaptive Computation in Ecology and Evolution
The Classics in Their Context and in Ours
Of the Influence of the Environment on
A New Factor In Evolution
On Modification and Variation
Canalization of Development and the Inheritance
P G GodfreySmith
William James and the Broader Implications of
Excerpts from The Phytogeny and Ontogeny
Preface to Chapter 19
Preface to Chapter 20
Preface to Chapter 21
Preface to Chapter 22

The Baldwin Effect
The Role of Somatic Change in Evolution
Preface to Chapter 10
Preface to Chapter 11
Preface to Chapter 12
Appendix to Chapter 12
Latent Energy Environments
W E Hart
Preface to Chapter 25
When Learning Guides Evolution
Preface to Chapter 26
Preface to Chapter 27

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Page 257 - Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select — doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.
Page 250 - I commit this crime? choose that profession ? accept that office, or marry this fortune ? — his choice really lies between one of several equally possible future Characters. What he shall become is fixed by the conduct of this moment. Schopenhauer, who enforces his determinism by the argument that with a given fixed character only one reaction is possible under given circumstances, forgets that, in these critical ethical moments, what consciously seems to be in question is the complexion of the...
Page 249 - The mind selects again. It chooses certain of the sensations to represent the thing most truly, and considers the rest as its appearances, modified by the conditions of the moment. Thus my table-top is named square, after but one of an infinite number of retinal sensations which it yields, the rest of them being sensations of two acute and two obtuse angles ; but I call the latter perspective views, and the four right angles the true form of the table, and erect the attribute squareness into the...
Page 241 - ... experiences received during the evolution of life, or, rather, during the evolution of that series of organisms through which the human organism has been reached. The effects of the most uniform and frequent of these experiences have been successively bequeathed, principal and interest ; and have slowly...
Page 16 - Thus it happens that faculties, as of music, which scarcely exist in some inferior races, become congenital in superior ones. Thus it happens that out of savages unable to count up to the number of their fingers, and speaking a language containing only nouns and verbs, arise at length our Newtons and Shakespeares.
Page 251 - We may, if we like, by our reasonings unwind things back to that black and jointless continuity of space and moving clouds of swarming atoms which science calls the only real world. But all the while the world we feel and live in will be that which our ancestors and we, by slowly cumulative strokes of choice, have extricated out of this, like sculptors, by simply rejecting certain portions of the given stuff. Other sculptors, other statues from the same stone ! Other minds, other worlds from the...
Page 253 - And just as we are co-conscious with our own momentary margin, may not we ourselves form the margin of some more really central self in things which is co-conscious with the whole of us ? May not you and I be confluent in a higher consciousness, and confluently active there, tho we now know it not...
Page 251 - The mind, in short, works on the data it receives very much as a sculptor works on his block of stone. In a sense the statue stood there from eternity. But there were a thousand different ones beside it, and the sculptor alone is to thank for having extricated this one from the rest.
Page 41 - ... of animals. But great alterations in the environment of animals lead to great alterations in their needs, and these alterations in their needs necessarily lead to others in their activities. Now if the new needs become permanent, the animals then adopt new habits which last as long as the needs that evoked them. This is easy to demonstrate, and indeed requires no amplification. It is then obvious that a great and permanent alteration in the environment of any race of animals induces new habits...
Page 248 - Out of what is in itself an undistinguishable, swarming continuum, devoid of distinction or emphasis, our senses make for us, by attending to this motion and ignoring that, a world full of contrasts, of sharp accents, of abrupt changes, of picturesque light and shade. If the sensations we receive from a given organ have their causes thus picked out for us by the conformation of the organ's termination, Attention, on the other hand, out of all the sensations yielded, picks out certain ones as worthy...

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About the author (1996)

Richard K. Belew received a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota and a Masters and a Ph.D. in Computer and Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan. He is an associate professor of computer science and Engineering at the University of California at San Diego, where he is also part of the interdisciplinary faculty of the Cognitive Science department and a member of the Institute of Neural Computation. Melanie Mitchell received a B.A. in Mathematics from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Computer and Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan. She is currently research professor and director of the Adaptive Computation Program at the Santa Fe Institute, and is also on the research faculty of the Computer Science Department at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

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