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  Topic: Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 160
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2007,08:47

PaV has made the discovery that organisms themselves can change the evolutionary fitness landscape.  Mind blowing.

He opines:
 I know there are population geneticists out there, so, if you can, how would you explain NS being able to virtually decide that it is “best” to conserve both forms, rather than to single out one of the two forms?

But he misses the point - NS in this case doesn't "decide" anything.  The fitness landscape is changed by the presence and/or absence of certain phenotypes.  As one increases in density the other becomes more fit.

Or, does this mean that there really is no such thing as “fixation” and “extinction”, thus rendering neo-Darwinism null and void?

But this question misses the whole point - in certain circumstances the effect of natural selection and population phenotypes on the fitness landscape may be oscillatory - i.e. in the fruit flies the presence of one phenotype increases the fitness of the other and vice versa.  In many other instances this will not be the case - the presence of faster antelope does not improve the fitness of slower ones.

  29999 replies since Jan. 16 2006,11:43 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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