I know of Maxwell's, Descartes' and Laplace's demons but I recently found out that there is Darwinian one. I do not think that this demon appears in the works of Charles Darwin. Do you know who may have coined the term (Darwin's/Darwinian demon)?

This article: U. Kutschera & K. J. Niklas Darwin-Wallace Demons: survival of the fastest in populations of duckweeds and the evolutionary history of an enigmatic group of angiosperms (2014) says it was R. Law Optimal life histories under age-specific predation The American Naturalist (1979). But I have found various earlier sources.

The earliest English source I could find is Colin S. Pittendrigh's On temporal organization in living systems - Harvey lectures, 1961, in relation to the works of German E. Bünning. So maybe it appears first in another language? Also I am suspicious that such a concept was invented for a lecture.

  • $\begingroup$ This idea seems to be related to Anaximander's evolution in which he proposed that god-like beings would arise out of the Apeiron. This probably doesn't help you much, but it's another "demon" for you to think about which is identical. $\endgroup$
    – 0-1
    Oct 17, 2023 at 18:50


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