Several questions on evolution, and mutation (rate)
Oladele A. OGUNSEITAN
oaogunse at UCI.EDU
Fri Aug 30 16:48:41 EST 1996
> There is the lurking suspicion that Darwinian definition of
> evolution and speciation are based on tautological hypotheses (see
> PETERS, R.H. 1991. A CRITIQUE FOR ECOLOGY. Cambridge University Press).
> If the ultimate criterium for a species is interbreeding, then, this
> concept is becoming more and more meaningless in the age of genetic
> engineering. What do you call a laboratory mouse carrying a luciferase
> genes of a firefly ?. Afterall, breeding does mean the ability to "mingle
> the genes". Indeed, in bacteriology, the concept of
> species has been very difficult to pin down. But we have a convenient
> (systematic) phylogenetic arrangement to satisfy our academic curiosities.
> MUTATIONS occur in parallel, and the likelihood of a successful
> mutant is dependent on the population size and the size of the genome.
> It seems to me however that evolution is a linear event because here,
> ENVIRONMENTAL selection is a critical factor. That is why it has been
> possible for natural history to trace the lineage of organisms and to
> construct phylogenetic trees.
> This has been the argument of the "DIALECTICAL BIOLOGISTS" - that the
> strict Darwinians often neglect "environmental evolution" which would
> take place in spite of biological organisms - indeed, in their absence.
> What's missing is rigorous modeling of the coevolution of life and
> environment as it constrains the scalar and vectoral parameters of
> successful mutants.
> - Dele Ogunseitan
> University of California
> Irvine 92697-7070
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