Journal of Genetics

, 55:511

The cost of natural selection


  • J. B. S. Haldane
    • University College
    • Indian Statistical Institute

DOI: 10.1007/BF02984069

Cite this article as:
Haldane, J.B.S. J Genet (1957) 55: 511. doi:10.1007/BF02984069


Unless selection is very intense, the number of deaths needed to secure the substitution, by natural selection, of one gene for another at a locus, is independent of the intensity of selection. It is often about 30 times the number of organisms in a generation. It is suggested that, in horotelic evolution, the mean time taken for each gene substitution is . about 300 generations. This accords with the observed slowness of evolution.

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© Indian Academy of Sciences 1957