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Acacia Ants and Acacia Trees: An Irreducibly Complex Symbiotic Relationship?

Symbiosis has been called “the most relevant and enduring biological theme in the history of our planet.” It can safely be said that symbiotic relationships quite often resist Darwinian explanation. According to Maureen A. O’Malley, “There is a long history of researchers who have theorized about symbiosis and evolution, and many of them have aligned themselves against Darwinian evolutionary theory.” One article puts it this way: “Mutualism among species is ubiquitous in nature but its evolution is not well understood.” Or, in the words of Doebeli and Knowlton: “Interspecific mutualisms are widespread, but how they evolved is not clear.” Thus, symbiotic relationships are problematic for evolutionary theory. In a previous article, I proposed the use of power-sets for determining irreducible complexity. Read More ›