Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Tu-Anh Vu's picture

can be seen as evolution

In my view, the case of the antibiotic does support Darwin’s theory because one can view the bacteria as “resistant” and not new bacteria.  When one does not finish the course of the prescription, some bacteria are able to resist the amount of vaccine taken for that time duration, which is similar to Spencer’s saying, “the survival of the fittest.”  It can be viewed that the bacteria that are better adapted to the medicine or applied stress will survive and replicate which can be considered a gradual event.  

According to Mayr, mutation is defined as “any inheritable alteration in the genetic material, most commonly an error of replication of an allele by a different one. In addition to such gene mutations, there are also chromosomal mutations.” (page 288).  You can view this situation as a mutation in the general sense as something that departs from the parent type but in Mayr’s definition, I don’t think it can be applicable.  Because the bacteria that does survive has the phenotype that was not selected against, but there was no inheritable alteration in the genetic material.  

On page 135, Mayr gives evidence on why evolution is slow and takes a longer period of time.  His evidence includes scared animals found in pharaoh’s tombs that resembles the domestic cats we have now, thus we have evidence that it takes thousands of years for visible signs of evolution.   Tu


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
16 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.