Friday, December 18, 2009
Sexual Selection and the Origin of Species
"Darwin referred to the origin of species as "that mystery of mysteries", and despite decades of study, evolutionary biologists still cannot agree on the underlying processes that have produced the great diversity of life around us. Most contentious of all has been the question of whether speciation can occur within a population (sympatrically). On page [...] van Doorn et al. suggest that mating preferences can halt the movement of genes within a population. Their work gives credibility to the concept of sympatric speciation, which has long been the ugly duckling of evolutionary biology, and suggests that both local adaptation and sexual selection may play a far more important role in speciation than previously thought". Full commentary @ Science Magazine.