Acta Biotheoretica 27 (3-4):133-158 (1978)

The theory is presented that the sexual process is a repair mechanism which maintains redundancy within the sub-structure of hierarchical, self-reproducing organisms. In order to keep the problems within mathematically tractable limits , a simple model is introduced: a wheel with 6 spokes, 3 of them vital and 3 redundant, symbolizes the individual . Random accidents destroy spokes; the wheels replicate at regular cycles and engage periodically in pairing and repair phases during which missing spokes are copy-reproduced along the intact spokes of the partner wheel.The hierarchical structure of such a system is analysed and an ‘autonomous unit’ is defined: this is the unit of minimal hierarchical complexity which is capable of perpetuating autonomously all higher and all lower levels of the hierarchy; this is the central unit of selection.Four basic, physical parameters are isolated which determine the essential features of any eucaryotic life cycle: 1. The number of levels of the hierarchy ; 2. the relation between the phases of replication and repair ; 3. the duration of potential repair ; 4. the position of the sexual partners within the hierarchy .The evaluation of fitness components is considered in relation to trends of reproductive patterns in evolution
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DOI 10.1007/BF00115831
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References found in this work BETA

Maxwell's Demon in Biological Systems.I. Walker - 1976 - Acta Biotheoretica 25 (2-3):103-110.
Biological Memory.Ilse Walker - 1972 - Acta Biotheoretica 21 (3-4):203-235.
The Evolution of the Cooperative Group.I. Walker & R. M. Williams - 1976 - Acta Biotheoretica 25 (1):1-43.

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