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The dog as rat

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanAugust 25, 2009 6:58 PM


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Speaking of Richard Dawkins, he's back to science, in this case an excerpt from his new book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution:

The evolution of the dog, then, if Coppinger is right, was not just a matter of artificial selection, but a complicated mixture of natural selection (which predominated in the early stages of domestication) and artificial selection (which came to the fore more recently). The transition would have been seamless, which again goes to emphasise the similarity -- as Darwin recognised -- between artificial and natural selection.

Nothing new in the article, which summarizes a lot of the fascinating new research on the evolution & genetics of domestication, particularly in the context of wolves & dogs. But Dawkins is a fluid writer who can weave in scientific data and theory to generate effortless narrative flow. Here lay his comparative advantage.

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