Part of the Universitext book series (UTX)
Biological evolution is about getting an advantage by becoming better than others. That is, optimization problems arise and should be solved. A key problem is the best allocation of finite resources to different tasks. We develop this in a simple setting. As an application, we can explain why sexual reproduction is prevalent inspite of its apparent shortcomings. We also introduce the calculus of variations as the mathematical theory for the optimization of functional relationships.
How do we best distribute our finite resources among different tasks?
Isn’t sexual reproduction wasteful? Why are there males?
What are the criteria for the optimality of a functional relationship?
KeywordsManifold Recombination Expense Hermaphroditism
© Springer-Verlag London 2014