Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection, that the rate of change of fitness is given by the additive genetic variance of fitness, has generated much discussion since its appearance in 1930. Fisher tried to capture in the formula the change in population fitness attributable to changes of allele frequencies, when all else is not included. Lessard's formulation comes closest to Fisher's intention, as well as this can be judged. Additional terms can be added to account for other changes. The “theorem” as stated by Fisher is not exact, and therefore not a theorem, but it does encapsulate a great deal of evolutionary meaning in a simple statement. I also discuss the effectiveness of reproductive-value weighting and the theorem in integrated form. Finally, an optimum principle, analogous to least action and Hamilton's principle in physics, is discussed.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 56 • No. 7