Daily Archives: 21/03/2011

The Demise of the Random?

I’ve just come across this overview paper by James Shapiro. If the evidence he gives is as presented, it really does seem to me to present a potentially fruitful 21st century view of evolution. The weak point of Neodarwinism has always been its reliance on random mutation as the ultimate source of variation. Indeed, for many decades after it was first suggested, mutation was downplayed as a better mechanism was sought for – that’s because all the experiments with mutation showed a zero rate of positive return (here is an amusing illustration of those results). Mutation really won the Neodarwinian day, it seems, mainly by default – and maybe by … Continue reading

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