Beth (Mary) Morgan-Peter
As an English teacher, I am really struggling with ALL of the terms. However, I am finding discussion and this site helpful. I have also been bothering the science teachers in the lounge during lunch; one discussion resulted in the idea of a tangled bank. I thought this variety was perfect for our discussion of natural selection as it is the diverse result.
The Origin of the Species by discussing the variety that results from complex mixture of reproduction, inheritance, adaptation, fitness, and natural selection. Of natural selection, he says that we get the "divergence of character and the extinction of less-improved forms" (Darwin). He concludes with this description of the "entagled bank" to value the variety that comes from these complex systems and changes over time.
In 1974, Ghiselin theorized that organisms that reproduce sexually will have greater survivability in a complex system because they are more variable and able to exist in systems with many characteristics. See http://www.frozenevolution.com/tangled-bank-hypothesis-advantage-sexuality
A Poetic VersionEdit
I always appreciate another representation of difficult concepts, so here is the phrase in a poem: http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=1245 Darwin's original text is also on this page.