Molecular evolution as predicted by natural selection
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- Van Valen, L. J Mol Evol (1974) 3: 89. doi:10.1007/BF01796554
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The major difficulty with selectionist explanations of molecular evolution has been their lack of a prediction of roughly constant evolutionary rates. A new selectionist theory (the Red Queen's Hypothesis), motivated by paleontology and derivable ecologically, makes such a prediction directly. Not all its other predictions are now verified. The counter-intuitive theory presupposes that an increase in momentary fitness by one species causes an equal total decline in momentary fitness among ecologically interacting species. Although some arguments for the selectionist approach seem invalid, this general approach remains plausible.