Sarah Kats

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Using the physics to determine evolution of microscopic organisms.

The main idea: Can we determine an equation for the changes that an organism will undergo during a period of time by using the principles of physics (potential energy, stability, etc.?)

This is a VERY general outline/idea! I am looking forward to hearing improvements to add onto it if it is at all possible.

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    Dec 1 2011: The problem about predicting what will happen to an organism and what mutations in its genes are needed for it to adapt to a given environment is the immense complexity you are dealing with.

    There are a many, many factors you have to consider - temperature, pressure, density, luminosity, abundance of food, population of predators and preys, level of oxygen, and so many others . The fact is even if you include all the factors, no one knows how these factors will affect the reaction of its genes to the environment.

    However, perhaps it is possible to record empirically what changes in a creature when you put it in different environments. You'll have to make sure it is a completely controlled experiment though, and you most certainly have to do it over millions of years. That's why predicting the evolutionary process is hard (at least for macroscopic creatures).

    Looking at changes to organisms in the fossil record is our best bet for understanding evolution at the moment.