Friday, August 15, 2014

My Year of Darwin: 8/15/2014 Natural selection needs heritable variation

 Charles Darwin

"These individual differences are of the highest importance for us, for they are often inherited, as they must be familiar to every one; and they thus afford materials for natural selection to act on and accumulate" Darwin, Origin of Species 2nd edition

Darwin remarks that small variations have been considered "trifling" by systematists. I'm wondering if this is part of Aristotle's intellectual legacy of iedos - that species are a concept and that small differences are unimportant for being that thing. Here Darwin rejects that concept of species and points out the importance of variation. 

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