Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Year of Darwin: 8/13/2014 You think corn just popped into existence?

 Charles Darwin

"We cannot suppose that all the breeds were suddenly produced as perfect and as useful as we now see them; indeed, in several cases, we know that this is has not been their history. The key is man's power of accumulative selection: nature gives successive variations; man adds them up in certain directions useful to him. In this sense he may be said to make for himself useful breeds" Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

Yesterday's quote addresses the concept of accumulating small changes between races to equal large differences. Here he's adding the twist that this is done by man with each small change favored by the breeder. One does not need corn to suddenly appear as it does today - any improvement from the ancestral population would be an improvement. Still, we see the argument pop up "what good is half a wing"  and that is depressing. 

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