By George Christopher Williams
This is often my favourite publication at the subject, and if you are interpreting this then you definitely may still most likely get it.
It's now not rather as available as Richard Dawkins' books, yet i locate this booklet to be extra a extra entire and compelling learn than TSG or TBW.
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Extra resources for Adaptation and Natural Selection
Should we therefore call the causal activities of the earthworm a soil-improvement mechanism? Apparently Allee (1940) believed that some such designation is warranted by the fact that soil improvement is indeed a result of the earthworm's activities. However, if we were to examine the digestive system and feeding behavior of an earthworm, I assume that we would find it adequately explained on the assumption of design for individual nutrition. The additional assumption of design for soil improvement would explain nothing that is not also explainable as a nutritional adaptation.
Fuller discussions of this point are provided by Haldane (1931), Birch (1957), Mather (1961), and Milne (1961). Thus natural selection may be operative in the complete absence of competition in the usual sense. In most animal populations there is no competition for oxygen. The fact that dog A gets enough oxygen in no way influences dog B's efforts to get his share. Only very indirectly, by contributing to other functions, such as food-getting, would respiration relate to ecological competition.
The child or the man lives in a complex and frequently hostile environment. In these stages the emphasis is on precise sensory, motor, immunological, and other ecological adaptations. The morphogenetic preparations are much less fundamental in scope and much slower than those of the foetus. But suppose the human foetus lived, not in a pro44 NATURAL SELECTION, ADAPTATION & PROGRESS tective and solicitous uterus, but in an environment like that of a tadpole. Suppose that man's "larval" development, like that of a frog, took place in an environment different from that of the adult and as complex and dangerous as that of an amphibian larva.