, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 511-524

The cost of natural selection

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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.