"select for"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 25 14:48:20 UTC 2011

Dig it: OED has no def. for this universally used Darwinian phrase.
I've always found it to be rather opaque: why are biological
characteristics selected "for" instead of "selected" or "selected for
preservation"?  Whenever I read it, I feel I'm missing something
crucial and subtle.

A cursory GB search for ["select for" + evolution] seems to turn up no
19th C. exx.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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