Over at PhysOrg.com, there’s a new news item about a computer program that was run simulating evolutionary characteristics. What’s interesting about it are two things: (1) who the people are that are running this program, and (2) one of the results—which is being downplayed, it would seem.
First, one of the people associated with this new program is Christoph Adami, who, with others, gave us the touted “Avida” evolutionary algorithm. So, this isn’t just anybody doing this simulation.
Second, here’s what the lead author had to say:
“These fitness landscapes simply could not be traversed with mutations that did not interact.”
This wasn’t a ‘main conclusion’ of the study; however, I don’t know about you, but this sounds to me like any ‘single’ mutation cannot get you across any fitness valley, and, therefore, seems to rule out having a single mutation ‘sweep’ across a population to fixation.
IOW, without epistatic effects, evolution cannot move forward. This is unexpected. It makes simple neo-Darwinian evolution that more complex with more hurdles to get over. And, it is another nail in the coffin of neo-Darwinism. That is: “Another day, another bad day for Darwinism.”