Friday, August 11, 2006
Davidson and Erwin (Science Reviews, 10 February 2006, p. 796) argued that known microevolutionary processes cannot explain the evolution of large differences in development that characterize phyla. Instead, they proposed that phyla arise from novel evolutionary processes involving large mutations acting on conserved core pathways of development. I question some of their assumptions and show that natural selection adequately explains the origin of new phyla.
(Jerry A. Coyne, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, 1101 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA)