Post #4Parasitology is a descriptive and experimental field. However, enough information has been accumulated to enhance it with a theoretical component. So I present here nine hypotheses for testing.
1. Most of the species on Earth are parasites.
2. Parasitism is an inherent property of life.
3. Parasites harm their individual hosts but can benefit their hosts at the species level.
4. Parasites can transfer genetic and epigenetic material between host species, even between hosts in different kingdoms.
5. Sex evolved from parasitism.
6. Parasites are drivers of speciation.
7. Parasites are drivers of biodiversity.
8. Parasites are drivers of ecosystems.
9. Parasites are drivers of evolution.
I suspect that there are more hypotheses, but I will deal with these for now.