Saturday, 11 February 2017
Snow Vole Upsets Darwinian Expectations
Natural selection is a greatly overused explanation for almost any trait in living organisms.
However, Darwinian expectations seldom match facts. A paper published in PLOS BIOLOGY begins with the sentence: “In natural populations, quantitative trait dynamics often do not appear to follow evolutionary predictions.”
That’s right. The research is on the size of snow voles (Chionomys nivalis).
Timothée Bonnet and his colleagues at the University of Zurich observed the tiny rodents for ten years and found out that while bigger voles had more offspring, this did not lead to an increase in body size in the next generation.
It seems that environmental factors and perhaps epigenetics are running the show.
In recent years, natural selection has taken a lot of flak from both evolutionists and dissenters. (See details here, here, here and here.)
So, this might be a good time to dump Darwin altogether.
Bonnet, Timothée et al. 2017. Bigger Is Fitter? Quantitative Genetic Decomposition of Selection Reveals an Adaptive Evolutionary Decline of Body Mass in a Wild Rodent Population. PLOS BIOLOGY 15.