For traits, about 99.6% of natural selection is entirely wasted due to noise alone 1 (making the signal-to-noise ratio 1:250).
Typically, the “more fit” organisms are not genetically more fit. 2 For instance, one wolf may be slightly stronger than another not because of a mutation, but because it received slightly more nourishment as a pup. This makes natural selection’s job impossible. It makes it typical for bad mutations to “sneak in” without being detected and good mutations drift out without being selected for. 3
Examples of noise:
- Environment-by-genotype interaction
- Gametic sampling
- Non-heritable genetic variation
- Probability selection
- Selection interference
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Sanford, J. C., & Baumgardner, J. (2008). Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (3rd ed.). Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications.
ReMine, W. J. (1993). The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory. Saint Paul, Minn.: St. Paul Science.