How Neutral Theory Altered Ideas About Biodiversity

If you had braved the jungles of China’s Fujian province in the early 20th century, various accounts say you could have witnessed a stunningly unexpected animal: a blue tiger. These tigers were described as “marvelously beautiful” with bodies “a deep shade of Maltese, changing into almost deep blue on the under parts.” As late as the 1950s, hunters reported spotting their blue hairs alongside the traditional orange fur of other South China tigers on trails.


From the Quanta article:

That is one of the more important points to be made. Without a firm rooting in hypothesis testing we are susceptible to false just-so stories of how selection is responsible for certain characteristics.


These were a helpful explainer of neutral theory, and also how confused everyone is.

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