Friday, October 15, 2010
This World is as Tenuous as a Dream
- Lin Chi (d 867)
"The natural selection of phenotypes cannot in itself produce cumulative change, because phenotypes are extremely temporary manifestations...Socrates...may have been very successful in the evolutionary sense of leaving numerous offspring. His phenotype, nevertheless, was utterly destroyed by the hemlock and has never since been duplicated...The same argument also holds for genotypes. With Socrates' death, not only did his phenotype disappear but also his genotype...because meiosis and recombination destroy genotypes as surely as death...It is only the meiotically dissociated fragments of the genotype that are transmitted in sexual reproduction, and these fragments are further fragmented by meiosis in the next generation. If there is an ultimate indivisible fragment it is, by definition, ‘the gene’ that is treated in the abstract discussions of population genetics."
George C. Williams (1926-2010)
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