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Versions of Natural Selection

Versions of Natural Selection - The Logic of the Theory of...

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The Logic of the Theory of Natural Selection (Mayr, 1982) Darwin's theory consists of three inferences based on five facts derived in part from population ecology and in part from phenomena of inheritance. Fact 1: All species have such great potential fertility that their population size would increase exponentially if all individuals that are born would again reproduce successfully. Fact 2: Except for minor annual fluctuations and occasional major fluctuations, populations normally display stability. Fact 3: Natural resources are limited. In a stable environment they remain relatively constant. Inference 1: Since more individuals are produced than can be supported by the available resources but population size remains stable, it means that there must be a fierce struggle for existence among individuals of a population, resulting in the survival of a part, often a very small part, of the progeny of each generation.
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