This concept has been proposed by W.M.S. RUSSELL (1961, p.84) and may be resumed as well as generalized in the following fashion:
1. In any population widely scattered in a very diversified environment, new characters may appear at random in many different places;
2. If the environment, while diversified is not fragmented, no splitting of isolated populations will tend to happen and no new species will appear;
3. Thus the global pool of diversified characters will tend to increase;
4. Faced with even wide variations of the environment, the population will be able to adapt. Some characters will become widely represented and others numerically quite reduced. However, probably none will disappear totally.
5. Variety being globally enhanced, the population as a whole will have a greater survival potential.
The concept is related to, and explains polymorphism.
These ideas can be applied in quite a number of very different situations:
- In unstable climatic environments, as for example in West African Sahel, considerable genetic variety in cereals guarantee at least a minimum harvest, be the climate too dry or too rainy, and whatever kinds of pests are present and moreover, without any need for artificial fertilizer, pesticides or irrigation schemes.
- In human populations, according to RUSSELL. "Cultural rigidity… is accompanied by socio-economic decline" (Ibid, p.58). This has probably been one cause of the demise of Soviet Union, and also of numerous archaic human groups and, in another setting, of many businesses stiffled by authoritarian rule.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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