18 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Falacy of Seeking Too Much Purpose in Evolutionary Adapta...

Darwin’s concept of evolution is centered on natural selection, or survival of the fittest [1]. Although Darwin did realize that organisms possess structures and even entire organs that might not have an extant function, as is the case of rudiments [2], on the whole, selectionist thinking has heavily dominated the biological literature ever since. In its extreme but not uncommon form, the selectionist, or adaptationist, paradigm perceives every trait as an adaptation. Under this view of bio...
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
Folksonomies: evolution meaning
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Genetic Drift is More Important than Natural Selection

[Motoo Kimura] has been the chief advocate of the neutral theory of evolution. The neutral theory says that, through the history of life from beginning to end, random statistical fluctuations have been more important than Darwinian selection in causing species to evolve. Evolution by random statistical fluctuation is called genetic drift. Kimura says that genetic drift drives evolution more powerfully than natural selection.
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Evolution as Cyclical Repetition

If we lapse into thinking of the prebiotic, pre-reproductive world as a sort of featureless chaos of chemicals (like the scattered parts of the notorious jetliner assembled by a windstorm), the problem does look daunting and worse, but if we remind ourselves that the key process in evolution is cyclical repetition (of which genetic replication is just one highly refined and optimized instance), we can begin to see our way to turning the mystery into a puzzle: How did all those seasonal cycles...
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Daniel C. Dennett adds a cognitive tool to help understand how evolution works over time--by recognizing that evolution keeps trying, reproduction is a cycle.

19 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 The Selfish Gene as a New Perspective on an Old Hypothesis

The selfish gene theory is Darwin's theory, expressed in a way that Darwin did not choose but whose aptness, I should like to think, he would instantly have recognized and delighted in. It is in fact a logical outgrowth of orthodox neo-Darwinism, but expressed as a novel image. Rather than focus on the individual organism, it takes a gene's-eye view of nature. It is a different way of seeing, not a different theory. In the opening pages of The Extended Phenotype, I explained this using the me...
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It is Darwin's theory, but a story told from the gene's point of view.