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Neutral theory of molecular evolution

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1 Neutral theory of molecular evolution on Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:55 pm

The neutral theory of molecular evolution states that the vast majority of evolutionary change at the molecular level is caused by random drift of selectively neutral mutants.[1] The theory was introduced by Motoo Kimura in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and although it was received by some as an argument against Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, Kimura maintained (and most evolutionary biologists agree) that the two theories are compatible: "The theory does not deny the role of natural selection in determining the course of adaptive evolution" (Kimura, 1986). However, the theory attributes a large role to genetic drift.

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