Darwinian fitness is assessed not by looking at the "fit" between form and function, but by attempting to determine the contribution to future generations . What about grandchildless mutants in Drosophila: have normal number of offspring, but these offspring are sterile. How many generations ahead do we need to look? Since we can never really look ahead can we really identify fit individuals/genotypes? Another old problem: is Darwinian fitness a tautology? (a statement that is true by virtue of its logical form; needless repetition of an idea), e.g. my father is a man; Brown students are smart; the water is wet. Natural selection was characterized by Huxley as " the survival of the fittest ". The allele with high fitness will increase; allele A has high fitness; thus allele A will increase in frequency. The premise provides for no alternative outcome, therefore it is a useless theory. Survival of the fittest; who are the fittest? those that survive. Thus it reduces to survival of the survivors
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This note was uploaded on 11/05/2011 for the course BIOLOGY MCB2010 taught by Professor Jessicadigirolamo during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.