Darwinian Agriculture

Corrections, commentary, and links pertaining to:

Darwinian Agriculture: When can humans find solutions beyond
the reach of natural selection? Quarterly Review of Biology 78:145-168.

Related talks

Commentary on Darwinian Agriculture from other web sites

A GMO discussion on metafilter.com says Darwinian Agriculture makes a "persuasive argument that little can be gained, certainly within the next 20 years, in terms of overall food production by genetic modification..." and summarizes some of the other points in the first half of the paper. A good summary, if a bit pessimistic. It's at least possible that there are still some significant unexploited tradeoffs between competitiveness and yield.  If so, biotech methods (including those that use DNA-based methods to identify promising materials for conventional breeding, producing a nontransgenic product) could speed the development of higher-yielding (but less competitive) cultivars.

Agriculture -Related Science and Technology Priorities for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development in Developing Countries to 2020

"...there is a need to establish a sound conceptual framework to guide further investments in this area (see Denison, 2003 for such a framework)." -- Ken Cassman

New Directions for Agriculture in Reducing Poverty
"even with biotechnology, there is only so much that research can accomplish... There are limits, which are nicely spelled out in a recent article by R. Ford
Denison, et al. titled "Darwinian Agriculture; When Can Humans Find Solutions Beyond the Reach of Natural Selection?" in the QUARTERLY
REVIEW OF BIOLOGY, June 2003. And we cannot take current yield levels for granted: an increasing amount of maintenance research will be needed
to hold on to current levels, let alone productivity-increasing research to meet the needs of an expanding, wealthier, and increasingly
urbanized population." -- Dana Dalrymple

General comments and papers we missed

If you would like to post a short comment (or a link to more extensive material)
please email:  rfdenison@ucdavis.edu

Biomimetics and human-directed evolution

Ingenious humans mimicking the products of individual selection or using individual- or group-selection in creative ways.