06 setembro 2017

Natural Selection is not Evolution

Ronald A. Fisher

Natural Selection is not Evolution. Yet, ever since the two words have been in common use, the theory of Natural Selection has been employed as a convenient abbreviation for the theory of Evolution by means of Natural Selection, put forward by Darwin and Wallace. This has had the unfortunate consequence that the theory of Natural Selection itself has scarcely ever, if ever, received separate consideration. To draw a physical analogy, the laws of conduction of heat in solids might be deduced from the principles of statistical mechanics, yet it would have been an unfortunate limitation, involving probably a great deal of confusion, if statistical mechanics had only received consideration in connexion with the conduction of heat. In this case it is clear that the particular physical phenomena examined are of little theoretical interest compared to the principle by which they can be elucidated. The overwhelming importance to the biological sciences partly explains why the theory of Natural Slection should have been so fully identified with its role as an evolutionary agency, as to have suffered neglect as an independent principle worthy of scientific study.

Fonte: Fischer, R. A. 1958. The genetical theory of natural selection, 2nd ed. NY, Dover.

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