Variation, variability and evolution

M. F. Kovtun


Introductio Variation was the object for investigation by researches from ancient times. Charles Darwin developed an idea about variation according to the concept of natural selection. Based on research Vertebrate’s variation new results were received on the end of XX century. Current analyze of the concepts of variation and variability and of the interrelations between variation and natural selection are actual.PurposeThe aim of the present study were theoretical analysis of the concepts of variation and variability as seen by general biology, and of the interrelations between variation and natural selection, variation and norm, variation and variability, and the role of variation in the genesis of biodiversity.MethodsWe used results of our investigation about anatomy and evolution of some mammals’ structures and theoretical analysis.Results From the considered standpoint, on one hand the natural selection works under the constraints of current energy flow and material cycles, on the other hand there is a certain spectrum of variation and the components of the mentioned flow and cycles. The variation is then represented as quantitative changes of characters or parameters of structures, objects, phenomena within the framework of a certain quality or level. Assuming that the variation exceeds this framework, it then changes into the category of biodiversity. The norm is a state of homological organs, their systems, organisms, and supraorganismal systems that differ in some quantitative characteristics but retain and exercise their respective functions in the organisms, supraorganismal systems, and energy flows and material cycles. It should be also considered that apart from the "structural norm" there also is "functional norm", and that the variation is norm of the Nature that abhors not only the vacuum but sameness too. If the variation at least sometimes did not cause variability of biological objects, it would not make any biological significance.ConclusioThe main aim for the next research is a creation of the theory variation and variability based on variability as phenomenon and property of matter.


variation; norm; variability; energy flow; material cycle; natural selection


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