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Randomness in Evolution$
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John Tyler Bonner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157016

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157016.001.0001

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(p.118) Chapter 7 Envoi
Randomness in Evolution

John Tyler Bonner

Princeton University Press

This chapter summarizes key themes and presents some final thoughts. It argues that randomness is necessary to counteract the tremendous power of natural selection. There could be no natural selection without randomness, for it is the foundation upon which natural selection is built. The most interesting aspects of biological randomness is the effect size has on it. Small organisms are more likely to be involved in randomness than large ones. Because internal selection will play little or no role in their short development, they will produce adult morphological variants in large numbers, and there will be an increased chance that some of them are untouched by natural selection. The big problem is that their neutrality cannot be proved, a difficulty that ignites the passions of many committed adaptationists.

Keywords:   evolutionary biology, biological randomness, size, evolution, natural selection

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