A Preliminary Investigation into

An Evolutionary Boundary:

 

Testing the Potential for A Change in

Energy Source In Simple Organisms

 

Copyright Jonathan Whitcomb

Introduction

 

Having noticed a possible discrepancy between present-day biological population ratios

and the population ratios that should have arisen according to the most popular theories

of organic evolution, I started constructing simulations to test how populations would

have progressed in a world in which very simple organisms gave rise to more complex

ones in the oceans. In the process of creating these simulations, I came across a concept

which may require a reexamination of a popular tenet of general evolution. This concept,

which I’ve labeled Evolutionary Boundary, seemed important enough to warrant

putting off the original investigation until the newer idea could be explored. Should no

reasonable fault be found in this concept, then the idea that animal life originated from

organisms that obtained energy from sunlight and lived in oceans and/or other bodies of

water, will need to be reexamined. Because of the potential importance of this concept,

it will be examined first, instead of the earlier study on population ratios, which will be

investigated later and covered in a separate paper.

 

This investigation on the subject of an Evolutionary Boundary uses mathematical simu-

lations to test how far populations of simple organisms might increase in biological com-

plexity, in particular, regarding a change in energy source.

 

The great majority of organisms now living are of two types: those that directly use sun-

light as an energy source and those that obtain energy by consuming other organisms.

Is it plausible that all members of the animal kingdom are descended from one-celled

organisms that relied on sunlight for energy? Even without a theory that includes specific

biological details, are there methods that could enable us to evaluate the likelihood that

a major change in energy source occurred in simple one-celled organisms long ago?

This investigation was undertaken with the conviction that for such an evolutionary

change to have taken place, under the influence of the law of “survival of the fittest,

specific population changes must have occurred and that the plausibility of such changes

can be ascertained using mathematical simulations.

 

This simulation is with a hypothetical planet with at least the water content of the earth.

Beginning with simple one-celled organisms (relying on sunlight for energy) as the

only life forms, simulations are made on the growths of sub-populations. These groups

are characterized by several general types of non-harmful mutations. They are catego-

rized by the general effects of those mutations. The progress in size of these sub-popula-

tions are viewed with an eye to a potential for the emergence of an organism that does

not rely entirely on sunlight as a direct energy source.

 

The object of this investigation is to search for an answer to the question: “Is it plausible

for a large population of organisms, which obtain energy from sunlight and live in a

large body of water, to generate, through mutations, an organism that uses an energy

source other than sunlight?” I believe that the best way to approach this question may

be through simulating competition among very similar organisms, especially in a bio-

logically saturated environment. Therefore I have undertaken this search for all reason-

able avenues of potential evolutionary changes that might answer this question in the

affirmative. If no reasonable avenue is found, then I propose a reexamination of the

idea that present-day animal life is descended from organisms that obtained energy

from sunlight.