That’s the sound you should hear when Joe Felsenstein takes on an idiotic claim by Sal Cordova. Would you believe that Cordova claims that Kimura and Ohta’s classic 1971 paper “shatters the modern synthesis”? That’s what he claims, on the basis of his poor understanding of the mathematics of population genetics, which is ridiculous on the face of it. So it’s very satisfying to see one of the big guns of population genetics take him down with one brief explanation: contrary to Cordova, the principle he’s describing confirms the effectiveness of natural selection.
Just to help everyone follow along, here’s the simple explanation. As Kimura and Ohta explained, most mutations, even advantageous ones, do not go to fixation in a population, and are lost. Slimy Sal just reports only that much, and declares the end of evolution, to huzzahs from his equally ignorant cronies. What he ignores, and what Felsenstein explains, is that 1) the frequency of fixation of advantageous alleles will be much, much greater than for neutral or deleterious alleles, and 2) that there are many mutations being generated — so natural selection is an effective filter.
It’s a kind of mathematical quote mine, where Cordova only tells a tiny part of the story and leaves out the important bit that destroys his thesis.