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date: 28 June 2022

p. 926. Genes in evolutionlocked

p. 926. Genes in evolutionlocked

  • Jonathan Slack


‘Genes in evolution’ illustrates that a great deal of change in the primary sequence of DNA was not adaptive at all. It was not natural selection, but ‘neutral evolution’, consisting of an accumulation of mutations of no selective consequence that spread through the population by the effects of random sampling of variants from one generation to the next. In natural selection, generally what is good for the organism is good for the propagation of the gene variants it carries. But sometimes, as for sex and altruism, maximizing inheritance of gene variants that bring them about seems at first sight to be of advantage to the group, but of disadvantage for the individual.

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