Saturday, March 18, 2006
On tuesday Waddington's "The Evolution of adaptations" (link goes to the paper itself) appeared on the Main Blog and since then 3 commentaries have been added to the Personal Posts category:
The reigning modern view is that, in nature, the direction of mutational change is entirely at random, and that adaptation results solely from the natural selection of mutations which happen to give rise to individuals with suitable characteristics. I want to argue that this theory is an extremist one
Brief comments on the intellectual strategy used to reduce an initially 'incredible' possibility (derived from the above quote) to a far more 'credible' one.
Describes how ostrich callosities could have become hereditary from the perspective of the proposed internal evolutionary mechanism.
Waddington only refers to the callosities found "fore and aft" on the underside of the body.
The ostrich also has callosities on the ankle and the proposed mechanism shows why these have 'persisted' even though they "are of no use" (further indicating the proposed mechanism has no connection with such outmoded concepts as "The Law of Use and Disuse).