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Customer Review

on October 23, 2010
Perhaps the most important book ever published on natural selection since Darwin, this book is essential reading for anyone who wants a to study the original texts from the Neo-Darwinian synthesis. The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection took time to make an impact in it's field due to it's heavy mathematical nature but it has since become a classic, often cited evolutionary theory. The book was originally published in the 1930s and a revised edition was released by Dover in 1958. This new Oxford edition is complete with a collection of letters between Fisher & various correspondences related to the publication of this work. Don't buy a badly published version of this, get the Oxford one if you can.

At the time this book was first published, Natural selection was considered a controversial theory, believed to be incomptaible with the discovery of Mendelian inheritance. Fisher sets out in this book to mathematically demonstrate that slow gradual evolution and Mendelian inheritance are complementary, this book helped restores natural selection to it's rightful place as being fundamental to our understanding of modern biology.

The book begins by analysing the nature of heredity, rejecting blending theory in favour of particulate inheritance. In the next chapter Fisher develops his Fundamental Theorm of Natural Selection. Other issues explored in the book include the evolution of dominance, mutation and selection, sexual selection and the sex ratio and mimicry in butterflies. The final 5 chapters of the book include Fisher's views on Eugenics.
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