Mahlon G. Kelly mgk at darwin.clas.Virginia.EDU
Fri Apr 14 02:13:37 EST 1995

Patrick O'Neil  writes:
> On 12 Apr 1995, Lawrence Pierce wrote:
> >        Just one quick question for any one with some experience in the 
> > field of evolution. Does adaptation occur at the individual level or at 
> > the population. I recently began achapter on evolution and am a little 
> > uncertain about the answer to this question. Any qualified answers 
> > welcome
> Evolution acts at the level of individual organisms, not species, though 
> in general, what is beneficial to an individual of a species, if 
> genetically transmissible, will end up benefiting the species.  Adaption 
> is an individual state.  
> In some cases, you can argue that evolution takes place at the level of 
> the gene.
> Patrick

Rubbish. Evolution via natural selection only occurs as it
selects certain genomes in large numbers of organisms, i.e.
populations. The loss of a gene or trait in a single individual
is unimportant except in the small populations in which genetic
drift occurs. 
Associate Professor (Emeritus)
University of Virginia
mgk at darwin.clas.virginia.edu

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