Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Anthropogenic Selection

Mode of biological selection in which the agent of differential reproduction or differential mortality is human. Called domestic selection in Darwin’s time in the mid-nineteenth century. The term anthropogenic selection was coined to supplement the older term relaxed selection. Relaxed selection was applied to any cultural buffering of natural selection, whereas anthropogenic selection is suggested for cases in which DNA has undergone domestication, i.e. been manipulated to serve human ends. Aka directed evolution, directed molecular evolution.

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