Letter | Published:

Probability of Life

Naturevolume 207page668 (1965) | Download Citation

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Abstract

DR. FREMLIN'S analogy to probabilities of bridge hands seems far from applicable to evolutionary processes of the kind considered in my article. Before dealing a bridge hand the pack is thoroughly shuffled to avoid retention of patterns of arrangement of the cards. In evolution each step is predicated on an existing pattern which has been formulated in the course of previous evolutionary steps, the pattern being copied (by one means or another) and so retained between steps. Thus, the probability of a given step is to be reckoned in terms of existing pattern, not in terms of a shuffled arrangement as for a bridge hand. The analogy to computer operation used in my article seems more suitable and leads to a very different point of view.

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Author notes

    • HAROLD F. BLUM

    Present address: Princeton University, P.O. Box 704, Princeton, New Jersey

Affiliations

  1. National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare

    • HAROLD F. BLUM

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https://doi.org/10.1038/207668b0

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