Quote: Dobzhansky on the tropics

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Theodosius Dobzhansky, concluding a paper titled, “Evolution in the Tropics”, which considered the role of physical environment versus other factors as evolutionary pressures:

The effectiveness of natural selection is by no means proportional to the severity of the struggle for existence, as has so often been implied, especially by some early Darwinists. On the contrary, selection is most effective when, instead of more or less random destruction of masses of organisms, the survival and elimination acquire a differential character. Individuals that survive and reproduce are mostly those that possess combinations of traits which make them attuned to the manifold reciprocal dependences in the organic community. Natural selection becomes a creative process which may lead to emergence of new modes of life and of more advanced types of organization.