Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Kimura, Motoo

Japanese biologist; in 1968, Kimura argued that polymorphism in natural populations was too great to be maintained by natural selection acting alone (see Haldane’s dilemma), and that many mutations were neutral with respect to natural selection, that is, the environment plays no role in their fixation or los. Now seen as a significant contribution to evolutionary theory, neutral drift has been shown to operate in some cases not explained by natural selection, and led directly to the application of molecular clocks. Winner of the Royal Society’s Darwin Medal (1992).

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