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Ernst Mayr QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
Acceptance of phyletic gradualism does not require the acceptance of a constant rate of evolutionary change. The rate may accelerate or slow down, but change leads inexorably to the steady transformation of a lineage.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
According to the concept of transformational evolution, first clearly articulated by Lamarck, evolution consists of the gradual transformation of organisms from one condition of existence to another.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
All I claimed was that when a drastic change occurs, it occurs in a relatively small and isolated population.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
As a consequence, geneticists described evolution simply as a change in gene frequencies in populations, totally ignoring the fact that evolution consists of the two simultaneous but quite separate phenomena of adaptation and diversification.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
Evolution is no longer necessarily progressive; it no longer strives toward perfection or any other goal. It is opportunistic, hence unpredictable.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
Evolution thus is merely contingent on certain processes articulated by Darwin: variation and selection.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
I agree with Gould that the frequency of stasis in fossil species revealed by the recent analysis was unexpected by most evolutionary biologists.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
I did not claim that every genetic change in a founder population is a genetic revolution. Evidently it requires a special constellation for the occurrence of a more drastic genetic reorganization.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
I did not claim that speciation occurs only in founder populations.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
I had found again and again that the most aberrant population of a species - often having reached species rank, and occasionally classified even as a separate genus - occurred at a peripheral location, indeed usually at the most isolated peripheral location.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
I have been unable to discover in Darwin's writings any connection between allopatric speciation and change of evolutionary rate.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
In those early years in New York when I was a stranger in a big city, it was the companionship and later friendship which I was offered in the Linnean Society that was the most important thing in my life.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
Indeed, I was unable to find any evidence whatsoever of the occurrence of a drastic evolutionary acceleration and genetic reconstruction in widespread, populous species.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
It seems to me that for Darwin the pulsing of evolutionary rates was a strictly vertical phenomenon.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
Life is simply the reification of the process of living.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
Living in an entirely different physical as well as biotic environment, such a population would have unique opportunities to enter new niches and to select novel adaptive pathways.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
Most modern authors failed to distinguish between two very different phenomena: the production of a new taxon, and the production of a new phenotype.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
Most of them are doomed to rapid extinction, but a few may make evolutionary inventions, such as physiological, ecological, or behavioral innovations that give these species improved competitive potential.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
New gene pools are generated in every generation, and evolution takes place because the successful individuals produced by these gene pools give rise to the next generation.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
No longer is a fixed object transformed, as in transformational evolution, but an entirely new start is, so to speak, made in every generation.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
The major novelty of my theory was its claim that the most rapid evolutionary change does not occur in widespread, populous species, as claimed by Most geneticists, but in small founder populations.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
The only geneticists who showed an interest in the multiplication of species were those who had been educated as taxonomists, like Theodosius Dobzhansky and G. L. Stebbins.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
The transfer from transformational to variational evolution required a conceptual shift that was only imperfectly carried through by most Darwinians.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
Variational evolution at the level of the deme is what the geneticist deals with. It is effected by individual selection and leads minimally to the maintenance of fitness of the population through stabilizing selection.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr
With wisdom of hindsight, we can now (250 years after Buffon) distinguish three very different concepts of evolution: saltational evolution, transformational evolution, and variational evolution.
Quotation of Ernst Mayr