Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wikipedia's version of Natural Selection

Several years ago, I tried to help out at wikipedia. It was a waste of time. The article I spend most time on was Natural Selection, and my hand is still visible in the article. Unfortunately, the uneducated masses rule wikipedia, so, wikipedia now tries to let you believe that:
Natural selection is the process by which favorable heritable traits become more common in successive generations of a population of reproducing organisms, and unfavorable heritable traits become less common, due to differential reproduction of genotypes.
Yawn, this is the perfect definition of Evolution by means of Natural Selection, which is NOT the same as Natural Selection. Unfortunately, this is an error even made in some text books, especially those that are interested in the result of Natural Selection.

Natural Selection by itself is a process. And that process has an effect. The process is that individuals that are better adapted to a specific environment survive and/or reproduce more often than individuals that are not as well adapted to the same environment. The result is that gene frequencies in the population changes for the traits under selection, which is exactly the definition of evolution.

By carefully distinguishing the process from the multi-generational effect, a much clearer understanding of how Natural Selection acts can be gained. Unfortunately, wikipedia won't do that, as they are ruled by the ignorant masses.......

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