So, I didn’t take a lot of biology in college, and what I did I can’t remember. Now that @swamidass has introduced me to the Neutral Theory of Evolution I have some questions (pardon my ignorance). From the article quoted below:
Now imagine that, by genetic drift, one allele reproduces enough to replace another in the population. When it does so, any mutations in its neighboring regions will tag along. This is a strategy that allows neutral changes to accumulate very rapidly, but it is one not generally available to beneficial mutations.
- How does an allele “reproduce”? Does that mean that once a mutation occurs it will be carried on to future generations (is that subject to passing on of only half the genetic code? it could be missed?)
- How exactly does one allele replace another in the population? It seems like if they are random and non-selected then you would always end up with roughly even mixture of alleles.
- Related to question 2, how could that happen so rapidly when it’s neutral and random?
I’m sure I’ll have more questions later. I’ll try to add them to this thread.
P.S. I think this the first thread I’ve ever created, yay me!