[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Re[4]: Swimming mammoths and climate change

On Thu, 11 Apr 1996, th81 wrote:

> >>5)Inevitable interbreeding leading to genetic mutation, sterility and 
> >>extinction!

"Interbreeding" is necessary for any sort of sexual reproduction.  It's 
*inbreeding* that you need to worry about.

> This is a common misconception.  Small populations WILL drift from the
> mainstream, true.  However, this does not necessarily lead to sterility and
> extinction.  In many cases (as many as there have been allopatric
> speciations), the small population drifted far enough so that they were no
> longer reproductively compatible with the mainstream.

Right.  A certain amount of inbreeding is necessary for any single 
mutation to be spread throughout a population.  As I sometimes like to 
say (and I like to see the look on people's faces when I do), "Inbreeding 
is the stuff of evolution."

> Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447