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    Wallace, A.R. The colours of animals and plants. I. The colours of animals. Macmillan's Mag 1877, 36, 384408, on p 405. Considerably earlier, in an 1866 letter to Darwin, he wrote: “Natural Selection . . . does not so much select special variations as exterminate the most unfavourable ones” (Alfred Russel Wallace Letters and Reminiscences); Marchant, J., Ed.; Harper: New York, 1916; on p 141.
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    Wallace, A.R. Human selection. Fortnightly Rev 1890, 48,on p 337.
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    On page 62 of Wallace's original natural selection essay of 1858 (On the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type. J Proc Linn Soc: Zool 1858, 3, 53–62), he describes the action of natural selection through a now famous analogy: “The action of this principle is exactly like that of the centrifugal governor of the steam engine, which checks and corrects any irregularities almost before they become evident; and in like manner no unbalanced deficiency in the animal kingdom can ever reach any conspicuous magnitude, because it would make itself felt at the very first step, by rendering existence difficult and extinction almost sure soon to follow.” In 1972 Gregory Bateson suggested that with these words Wallace had become the first cybernetician: “. . . The steam engine with a governor is simply a circular train of causal events, with somewhere a link in that chain such that the more of something, the less of the next thing in the circuit . . . If causal chains with that general characteristic are provided with energy, the result will be . . . a self-corrective system. Wallace, in fact, proposed the first cybernetic model . . . Wallace saw the matter correctly, and natural selection acts primarily to keep the species unvarying . . .” (Steps to an Ecology of Mind; Chandler Publishing Co.: San Francisco, 1972, on p 435). For a recent perspective see: Bell, G. Fluctuating selection: the perpetual renewal of adaptation in variable environments. Phil Trans Roy Soc B 2010, 365, 8797.
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    In a recent paper (Links between global taxonomic diversity, ecological diversity and the expansion of vertebrates on land. Biol Letters 2010, 6, 544–547) S. Sahney, M.J. Benton, and P.A. Ferry have made related arguments in trying to understand dinosaur diversification as a function not of competition, but of occupying new environments.
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