Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1168:218-228 (2009)
AbstractEvolutionary theory is undergoing an intense period of discussion and reevaluation. This, contrary to the misleading claims of creationists and other pseudoscientists, is no harbinger of a crisis but rather the opposite: the field is expanding dramatically in terms of both empirical discoveries and new ideas. In this essay I briefly trace the conceptual history of evolutionary theory from Darwinism to neo-Darwinism, and from the Modern Synthesis to what I refer to as the Extended Synthesis, a more inclusive conceptual framework containing among others evo–devo, an expanded theory of heredity, elements of complexity theory, ideas about evolvability, and a reevaluation of levels of selection. I argue that evolutionary biology has never seen a paradigm shift, in the philosophical sense of the term, except when it moved from natural theology to empirical science in the middle of the 19th century. The Extended Synthesis, accordingly, is an expansion of the Modern Synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s, and one that—like its predecessor—will probably take decades to complete.
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Citations of this work
The Emerging Structure of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Where Does Evo-Devo Fit In?Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2018 - Theory in Biosciences 137.
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Reciprocal Causation and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Andrew Buskell - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (4):267-279.
Explanatory Integration Challenges in Evolutionary Systems Biology.Sara Green, Melinda Fagan & Johannes Jaeger - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (1):18-35.
From Developmental Constraint to Evolvability: How Concepts Figure in Explanation and Disciplinary Identity.Ingo Brigandt - 2015 - In Alan C. Love (ed.), Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 305-325.
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