Non-Adaptive Characters


A REPLY to Prof. Graham Cannon's letter seems scarcely needed, for it is only necessary to read the statement in Nature, 164, 882 (1949), to which it refers, not as detached half-sentences but as a whole, in order to ascertain the meaning of the two passages he cites. Prof. Cannon quotes, “genes … must very seldom be of neutral survival value”. It looks as if he had not fully read my letter, since he adds, “This can only mean that sometimes a gene can have a neutral survival value”. Had he passed to the next sentence, he would have seen the words: “That is by no means to say that they [the genes] are never so, …” from which it could scarcely be in doubt that I do envisage the possibility that genes may occasionally be of effectively neutral survival value.

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FORD, E. Non-Adaptive Characters. Nature 165, 575 (1950) doi:10.1038/165575b0

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