Adaptive landscapes and drift Was Re: Ears under pressure.

Bill Burnett (
Sun, 22 Oct 1995 11:25:18

Alex Duncan <> writes:

>In article <468c9q$> Thomas Clarke,
> writes:

>>I guess I am very much a follower of Dawkins and those who use
>>the concept of a phylogenetic landscape. By "adaptive", I, of course,
>>mean reproductively fit. Thus while variations are random, only
>>those that lead to increased reproduction (adaption) increase in
>>frequency so that the population tends to evolve in the direction of
>>those traits.

>Ever heard of genetic drift? It's real. It happens frequently. Try a
>basic biology text.

Quite so. In fact the whole concept of an adaptive landscape works much
better when you include genetic drift, and Wright's 'Shifting Balance'
hypothesis is heavily dependent upon it.

Try Hartl and Clark (1988) 'Principles of population genetics' as a good
tertiary level but easy to read text.


Wright, S. (1977) Evolution and the genetics of populations Vol. 3:
Experimental results and evolutionary deductions.

Which is considerably harder going.