Thomas Waters twaters at panix.com
Wed Aug 4 15:13:13 PDT 1999

> ken wrote:

> > ?? Only if you measure success in regards to some arbitrary
> > aim. Reproduction is an arbitrary goal.

And then on Wed, 4 Aug 1999, Sam Pawlett wrote:

> Only if you think that the distinction between life and death, between
> survival and extinction is arbitrary. Saying a species is "successful"
> just means that it has been able to survive over time.

Yes, but any particular measure of success or fitness is arbitrary. Individual survival, rate of reproduction, number of descendant in generation 3, or in generation 4, or generation 5... Evolutionary biologists have to pick a measure to use in empirical work based on the requirements of their particular research question and the exigencies of the moment.


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