Life on planet Earth appeared just over 3.5 billion years ago. Despite the fact that the process of its emergence stretched for many thousands and millions of years, the appearance of the first living organisms became a real miracle for the Universe. Trying to comprehend the events preceding such a large-scale phenomenon, man during his entire history of existence has already expressed a huge number of different assumptions regarding the appearance and development of life on Earth. A new study by scientists from the University of Arizona develops a general theory about the origin and evolution of living things on the planet, using simple signs common to all species. Such an unusual approach can help open the veil of secrecy over the riddle that has haunted humanity for many thousands of years.
Where did man come from?
Theories about how, where and why man originated occupied the minds of thinkers from the most ancient times. One of the most recent insights into human origins comes from research by Joseph Robbie Berger, a postdoctoral fellow in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona's Environmental Institute. The scientist believes that the analysis of the specific features of the living organisms of the planet is able to reveal the general properties and qualities that evolution is constantly working to improve. These specific traits, including the timing of reproduction and death of an organism, are called the life history of the organism.
Absolutely all species on Earth have evolved in order to reproduce, grow, survive and replace their specific biological niche on the planet within the framework of universal biophysical constraints. According to Berger, if you try to impose such restrictions on a mathematical model, then some unifying patterns will fall out of the general framework. Demographics is one such limitation, according to an article published on phys.org. Regardless of the total number of offspring produced in a lifetime, on average, only two individuals are able to survive in order to replace their parents one day. Another limitation is the balance of mass and energy. Living beings on the planet emit energy to maintain the body, growth and reproduction, which must constantly be balanced during the life cycle.
On average, only two of all the offspring of living organisms are able to survive, once replacing their parents.
The imposition of constraints in the development of living organisms on the planet explains two fundamental trade-offs in the way organisms reproduce: a compromise between the number and size of offspring, and also between parental investment in offspring and its growth.
In order to arrive at a new understanding of how organisms release energy for growth, reproduction and survival, Berger and his colleagues collected published data on the life history of a variety of wild animals in stable populations. The new theory of the origin and evolution of life on the planet, created by scientists, clarifies the old ideas about compromises in the history of the life of this or that organism. If earlier such assumptions were that the size and number of offspring increases or decreases at the same rate, then in Berger's theory such relationships are not at all as simple as it might seem. By including data on the demographic processes occurring within a particular population in the equations compiled by the researcher, scientists will be able to develop convenient tools for predicting the number of living organisms, clarifying the existing models of ecosystems and their possible changes in physical manifestations.