The evolution of sex through the Baldwin effect

Bull, L. (2017) The evolution of sex through the Baldwin effect. Artificial Life, 23 (4). pp. 481-492. ISSN 1064-5462 Available from:

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This paper suggests that the fundamental haploid-diploid cycle of eukaryotic sex exploits a rudimentary form of the Baldwin effect. With this explanation for the basic cycle, the other associated phenomena can be explained as evolution tuning the amount and frequency of learning experienced by an organism. Using the well-known NK model of fitness landscapes it is shown that varying landscape ruggedness varies the benefit of the haploid-diploid cycle, whether based upon endomitosis or syngamy. The utility of mechanisms such as pre-meiotic doubling and recombination during the cycle are also shown to vary with landscape ruggedness. This view is suggested as underpinning, rather than contradicting, many existing explanations for sex.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This is the accepted version of an article forthcoming in Artificial Life
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies
ID Code:29360
Deposited By: Professor L. Bull
Deposited On:31 May 2017 15:14
Last Modified:20 Nov 2017 11:00

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