By Alfred J. Lotka
In the 50 years that experience handed when you consider that Alfred Latka's loss of life in 1949 his place because the father of mathematical demography has been safe. along with his first demographic papers in 1907 and 1911 (the latter co authored with F. R. Sharpe) he laid the principles for reliable inhabitants idea, and over the following many years either principally accomplished it and located handy mathematical approximations that gave it sensible applica tions. considering the fact that his time, the sector has moved in different instructions he didn't foresee, yet broadly speaking it's nonetheless his. regardless of Latka's stature, even though, the reader nonetheless must hunt during the previous journals to find his significant works. As but no exten sive collections of his papers are in print, and for his half he by no means as sembled his contributions right into a unmarried quantity in English. He did so in French, within the half Theorie Analytique des institutions Biologiques (1934, 1939). Drawing on his parts of actual Biology (1925) and such a lot of his mathematical papers, Latka provided French readers insights into his organic idea and a concise and mathematically available precis of what he known as fresh contributions in demographic analy sis. we might be exact in additionally calling it Latka's contributions in demographic analysis.
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Extra info for Analytical Theory of Biological Populations
Our entire system of agriculture, mines, manufactures and transport is nothing other than a vast device to assure to each a sufficient concentration, in his immediate vicinity, of the materials and energy that are indispensable or advantageous to him. Here we have an indication of the direction in which the energetics of systems in organic evolution should develop. Like ourselves of the human race, all biological organisms are transformers of energy possessing properties that permit them to direct the energy they collect in ways serving to maintain them in their living state or to augment them in that state.
Parasitic species are often adapted to their overly comfortable milieu by modifications which to us appear decidedly retrograde. " The idea of progress itself implies another more basic idea, namely, the idea of the passage of time in a certain uniquely characterized direction, the direction from the past to the future. When we seek an objective basis for this characterization, we find ourselves confronting unexpected and bizarre difficulties. In classical mechanics a certain variable t, which it is convenient to identify with time, enters in calculations in such a manner that nothing is changed in the laws of motion if in place oft we write -t.
In this discussion it is necessary to guard against an error. It is true that the action of biological organisms often has the character of introducing order where disorder reigned, while inorganic actions generally tend to destroy order and to replace it by chaos, as should happen in conformity with the law of dissipation. But this establishment of order by living agents in no way demands an infraction of the law. As long as the earth receives an energy flux from the sun in a useable form (that is, a level above that of terrestrial energy) it is possible, without violating the second law, for certain parts of the terrestrial system to undergo changes tending to establish order, or organization.
Analytical Theory of Biological Populations by Alfred J. Lotka