LIFE'S FLUID DYNAMIC INTERCONNECTIONS

LIFE’S FLUID, DYNAMIC, INTERCONNECTIONS
Michael J. Papay, 01 January 2021.

Life is a flowing continuous thing while it lives.
It is ever interesting and beguiling.

Figure 1 provides a very simple, idealized, static depiction of interconnectedness between hypothetical species A, B, C and Z, given as a vertical cross-section through two 3-dimensional bells connected at their bases. The reality of the interconnectedness of living things is more complex than that. It is actually 4-dimensional. However, let us proceed in small steps.

NOTE: Due to formatting of Journal entries in iNaturalist, I had to use dots (periods) as space-fillers in Figure 1 and Figure 2.


Figure 1. Two-dimension, normal, bell-shaped distribution curves depict hypothetical species A, B, C, and Z. Only the distribution curves of species A and B are shown. The tails of the distribution curves of species A and species B flow into the beginning tails of distribution curves for species C and Z.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .AAAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BBBB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . AAAAAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BBBBBB . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . ZAZAAAAACB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ABBBBBBCB . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . AZAZAAAAAABBAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AABABBBBBBCCBC . . . . . . . .
ZZAZABAAZAAAAAABAABBABAZAABBABABABBBBBABBBACBCCBCCCB
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .|-------- introgression---------|
|------- variation of species A --------| |------- variation of species B --------|
. . . . . . . . . . . |-- iconic A --| . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .|-- iconic B --|


“Iconic A” represents what we would perceive as the archetypal representation of that species. With only a single glance you would declare, “That is species A”.

“Introgression” represents individuals whose traits are not specifically what we would tend to think of being obviously one species, or the other. However, individuals of the zones of introgression are exceedingly important in the continued procession of life into the dimension of time (the fourth dimension), for they are the substance of adaptation.

If instead of a view of a vertical cross-section of the two interconnected bells, let us consider an aerial view. See Figure 2.


Figure 2. Aerial view of simple, two-dimensional, normal distributions of hypothetical species A, B, C, and Z. Only the distribution of species A and B are shown. The margins of introgression with species C and Z are not shown.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . AZZABAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BABCBCBC . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . ZAZABAAACBB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ABABABBCBCB . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . AZABAAAAAABBAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AABABBBBBBCCBC . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . ZZAZAAAAAAAABBABB . . . . . . . . . .BAABABBBBBBBBCCBCC . . . . . .
. . . . ZAZZAZAAAAAAAAAABAABBAB BZAAABBABBBBBBBBCBBCBCC . . .
ZAZABAAAAAAAAAAAABABAZAABBABABABBBBBBBBBBBBCCBCBCCC
. . . . ZAZAAZAAAAAAABBABABBBABABBABABABBBBBBBBBCBCBCBCB . . .
. . . . . . . ZZAZAAAAAAAABBABB . . . . . . . . . . . BAABABBBBBBBBCCBCC . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . AZABAAAAAABBAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AABABBBBBBCCBC . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . ZAZABAAACBB. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ABABABBCBCB . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . AZZABAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BABCBCBC . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |------- introgression--------|


I apologize for the non-circular outline of the two “normal” distributions depicted in Figure 2. My artistic skills with mere letters as a medium are not as impressive as one might hope.

What we would perceive as individuals with iconic traits of species A are found in the core of the somewhat circular distribution. The same is true for iconic individuals of species B. However, with this aerial view we see that the numbers of non-iconic individuals of either species is vastly larger than we tend to think. And it is here, at the margins of overlap and introgression, that nature provides novel forms. And this supply of novel forms might be imagined as probing the environment for new opportunities. This action becomes even more dynamic when the dimension of time is applied to the image. Each new generation provides new variation, however subtle it may be.

If the static image depicted in Figure 2 was imagined to be just a single frame in a motion picture, the playing of the motion picture forward, or backward, would show the distributional blob of each species pulsing and probing like an amoeba, or like a Slime Mold, and interacting with other taxa within reach. And the reach may be very far indeed, if one considers the various manners of pollination, and of seed dispersal. That is why life is a flowing continuous thing while it lives, and is ever interesting and beguiling. And it is why the methods of statistics are applicable and necessary in the study of taxonomy.

STATISTICAL PARAMETERS FOR SPECIES: The dynamic nature of life’s fluidity does not defy scientific description. Taxonomy can use the mathematics of statistics for molecular, morphological, behavioral data (et cetera) of species. The “type” of a species would be the datasets and their statistical means, variances, and distribution patterns resultant from detailed scientific studies. Drawings, photos et cetera should accompany the reports to clarify in illustration what the datasets represent.

Via statistical analyses, species (taxa) can be identified and compared mathematically. Too, the changes incurred over the passage of time could be documented in detail. This approach would direct the perception of a species from the narrowly described “Type individual” to the more comprehensive view of a range of variation about a statistical average, inclusive of variants and outliers. There would be consequent benefits to our understanding of the dynamic nature of life at every taxonomic level, accompanied by greater recognition of the importance of areas of connection/interaction

By defining taxa by their statistical averages, the eschelons of taxonomy will be stabilized.

As regards the application of statistics, there are times when the experienced mind must contemplate intervention. The odds of an event occurring may be slim, and the occurrence twice in separate taxa even rarer – that does not mean that such events are impossible. And when the encompassed picture in contemplation suddenly resolves into focus when the improbable is accepted as possible, then learned minds must take heed.

פורסם על-ידי mjpapay mjpapay, ינואר 02, 2021 01:06 לפנה"צ