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  • Author or Editor: O. Leimar x
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Models of adaptive evolution often have the property that change is guided by, but not fully determined by fitness. In a given situation many different mutant phenotypes may have a fitness advantage over the residents, and are thus potential invaders, implying that the mutational process plays an important role in deciding which particular invasion will take place. By introducing an imaginary 'Darwinian demon' in charge of mutations, one can examine the maximal role that mutation could play in determining evolutionary change. Taking into account pleiotropic mutations and shifting fitness landscapes, it seems likely that a Darwinian demon could exert considerable influence and most likely would be able to produce any viable form of organism. This kind of perspective can be helpful in clarifying concepts of evolutionary stability.

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