The Dynamics of Adaptation in Living Systems

  • F. Eugene Yates
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 16)


The topic of this essay is adaptation of a mature, adult organism to a challenging, sustained change in its environment. I do not consider here the evolutionary aspects of adaptation at the species level of organization, (As I pointed out in my companion Chapter — “Biological Views of Adaptation — Some Historical Accounts” — the ontogenetic adaptive capabilities of individuals need to be distinguished from the phylogenetic adaptations of species.) The approach I shall use is that of the branch of nonlinear mechanics coming to be known as general bifurcation theory, a splendid introductory account of which can be found in Abraham and Shaw (1982). It is an extended stability theory that claims to apply to the dynamics of complex, nonlinear systems. To general bifurcation theory, I shall add ideas from the physics of complex systems, that has been called “homeokinetics” (Soodak and Iberall, 1978).


Phase Space Living System Viscosity Ratio Orbital Stability Stability Regime 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Eugene Yates
    • 1
  1. 1.Crump Institute for Medical EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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