In some respects natural selection is a quite simple theory, arrived at through the logical integration of three propositions (the presence of variation within natural populations, an absolutely limited resources base, and procreation capacities exceeding mere replacement numbers) whose individual truths can hardly be denied. Its relation to the larger subject of evolution, however, remains problematic. It is suggested here that a scaling-down of the meaning of natural selection to “the elimination of the unfit,” as originally intended by Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), might ultimately prove a more effective means of relating it to larger-scale, longer-term, evolutionary processes.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Evolution | Life Sciences | Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Recommended Repository Citation
Smith, Charles H.. (2012). Natural Selection: A Concept in Need of Some Evolution?. Complexity, 17 (3), 8-17.
Original Publication URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlps_fac_pub/64