43. The natural selection of Brassica rapa

Claims are all very well but it is a little different to see them in action. We therefore begin by discussing Brassica rapa’s biological potential as it is evidenced on the individual entities over its generation length, and which is its given display of Darwin’s natural selection.

When Brassica rapa first germinates, its average individual biological potential, µ̅—i.e. the way in which each B. rapa plant interacts with the environment and apportions its energies—emerges from its net stock of biological matter, U, at the average rate µ̅ = 3.276 x 10-5 watts, or joules per second over the population. At this germinating stage, the way B. rapa has its biological matter configured, it is allocating its Gibbs energy between its mechanical and its nonmechanical work such that its measured energy flux maintains = 0.00117 grams of components as an average over the population; whilst its chosen configuration of chemical bonds maintains an average individual energy of = 1.017 joules of chemical bonds.

Due to its continuing apportionments of energy, when Brassica rapa reaches its full leaf stage its individual energy flux has grown by a factor of 13 to µ̅ = 4.151 x 10-4 watts. But we can also conclude, from this biological potential we have discovered, and which is the measurable power of natural selection, that B. rapa has changed its behaviour and its apportionment ratios over the interval. The energy flux has not only increased, but the apportionment ratios have also changed. The net result is that each B. rapa plant can now (a) take on more mass more rapidly if necessary, but can also reverse this whether it be because of lack of resources in the environment or else to reproduce; and/or (b) take on more energy more rapidly and/or again reverse; and/or (c) simply reconfigure itself more or less rapidly by amending its ability to select amongst its available paths. This will change its configurations and its increases or decreases both in mass and energy density, and its overall energy throughput. B. rapa can distribute its biological activities amongst all available paths, and it did in fact switch amongst them over this measured interval between its germination and full leaf stages and in the various generations we grew to determine its age equilibrium distribution population. The relative rapidity and timing of such changes in biological potential must be—and can now be—recorded.

Brassica rapa has increased its biological potential and energy flux by a factor of 13 between the germination and full leaf stages, but it also increased its average individual mass by 43 times to approximately = 0.05 grams of biological matter. This is its mechanical chemical work over the period. However, over that same interval its energy content has increased by only 6.90 times to = 7.02 joules. This change in its nonmechanical chemical energy is only 16% of the apportionments made, over that same interval, to mass. We can therefore deduce that B. rapa has consistently repartitioned its power usage, over this period, so it expends most of its available wattage on mechanical chemical energy and on growth.

Biological potential is thus a way of recording the instantaneous changes a biological population can undertake as it changes its apportionings in mass, in energy, and also in the relativity of those apportionments … which must also use energy. All of this is now eminently measurable in an entity’s energy flux, which is a manifestation of its biological potential, µ. This is: the natural selection of paths. But we of course need to know how those apportionments changed in response to dn/dt, the changes in numbers.