A while ago over at AtBC I had the notion of using dice to try and show how fitness and luck combine during the selection process. I (with the Help of Wes Elsberry) thought that using dice might be a good way to explore this and other concepts such as mutation, sexual selection etc.
So.. here we go.
Imagine a die. It has 6 sides. Let’s call these [A,B,C,D,E,F]. In the dice we all know and love each side has a number associated with it, let’s write that as [1,2,3,4,5,6]. So far so good? – so the “B” face is 2. The “E” face is 5.
Now let’s imagine the life of dice is gladiatorial and to “win” a die must roll higher than another competing die on a single trial of one on one dice combat. If he (I think of them like little people, I can’t write “it” any more) rolls a high number, his odds are better, so fitness clearly scales with numbers. So for our normal die, We’ll call him Norm, his fitness (total) is 1+2+3+4+5+6=21 and his average fitness is 21/6 sides = 3.5. Let’s imagine the Lord of the Dice is a nerdy dungeonmaster called KeithS. He hasn’t decided what happens if two dice roll “The dreaded tie” yet. Maybe dice purgatory? I just really wanted KeithS in this.
Now there’s no reason why a dice has to be [1,2,3,4,5,6]. Norm is, but let’s compare him to the other challengers:
Uptight BiPolar [1,1,1,6,6,6]
Low SD [3,3,3,4,4,4]
They all have the same average fitness (3.5) as I described above. How do you think they fair in head to head match ups? I’ll reveal the answers via the power of EXHAUSTIVE ENUMERATION in a while. If no one cares then You’ll never know and KeithS wins. No-one wants that!