- Series: Genetic & Biometric Foundations
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; New edition edition (June 15, 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226910385
- ISBN-13: 978-0226910383
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,154,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Evolution and the Genetics of Populations: Genetics and Biometric Foundations Vol. 1 New edition Edition
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From the Back Cover
Sewall Wright opens this first volume of his monumental Evolution and the Genetics of Populations with a brief account of the ideas on the origin and evolution of the species that had been proposed up to the rediscovery of the Mendelian mechanism in 1900. He then takes up modes of inheritance, types of reproductive cycles, the nature of the gene, and the relation of genes to the usually remote characters that are the objects of selection.
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Wright states, "Too frequently, evolution is treated as a mere succession of favorable mutations rather than as a continual remolding of interaction systems in which the component genes cannot be treated as favorable or unfavorable in themselves," and notes that "It is possible to calculate the exact probabilities of any set of frequencies in the four cells of the 2 x 2 table from elementary probability theory."
Wright says that "natural selective value is a function of the system of genes as a whole rather than something that can be assigned individual genes," that "The ultimate character with which population genetics is concerned is selective value itself," and observes that "Darwin made extensive experiments with many species of plants but did not achieve any substantial advance." Wright asserts that "Such evolutionary processes as mutation, immigration, selection, and inbreeding ... may, however, be brought under a common viewpoint by measuring each by its effect on gene frequency...."
He admits the difficulty in formulating such an approach, however: "It is evident that any attempt at complete mathematical formulation must ordinarily lead to extreme complexity and that simplifying assumptions are necessary in order to obtain an understanding of the essential effects of each complication," that "It is obvious that some sort of abstraction must always be made from crude enumerations to obtain the most significant population number from the standpoint of effects of inbreeding," and that "These are, of course, highly idealized situations, never full realized in nature."
He also notes that "It is by no means certain that even a rather strongly favorable individual mutation will be fixed. It is indeed much more likely that it will be lost...."
He concludes by stating, "This volume has been concerned with the theory of the genetic composition of populations in terms of gene frequencies, and of the immediate changes to be expected under various conditions.
This is an important work for those interested in the development of evolutionary theory.