What is evolution?
Francis A. Chiafari
chiafari at umbc4.umbc.edu
Fri Sep 20 09:22:07 EST 1991
I would describe the cytochrome C polymorphisms as genetic variation, not
evolution. Evolution would involve the constriction of that polymophism by
Founders effect or selection such that a particular type became indicative
of the species...in other words, a genotype became most prevalent when selected
for in that population. Not until then has evolution occurred. Before that,
you have a pool of polymorphism and nothing more.
I remember reading (somewhere!) that aligators have stopped evolving. Assuming
this is true for some species, does that represent the lack of polymorphism
within the population of that organism or a lack of selective pressure...or
both. If the amount of polymorphism is reduced in reference to other species,
does that relate to a reduced mutation rate?
It seems that we are trying to define the difference between polymorphism,
gradual evolution and punctual evolution. I believe they are all different,
and not gradations of the same phenomenon.
New insights in these areas would be welcome.
Science and engineering must be linked, or science degrades into philosophy...
Francis A. Chiafari -Molecular Biologist- Balt. Rh Typing Lab
w (301)225-9595 h (301)719-9007
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