Journal of the History of Biology 19 (1):79-130 (1986)

Abstract
Six schools of thought can be detected in the development of evolutionary theory in German paleontology between 1859 and World War II. Most paleontologists were hardly affected in their research by Darwin's Origin of Species. The traditionalists accepted evolution within lower taxa but not for organisms in general. They also rejected Darwin's theory of selection. The early Darwinians accepted Darwin's theory of transmutation and theory of selection as axioms and applied them fruitfully to the fossil record, thereby laying the foundation for the new research areas of phylogeny and paleo-biology. The enthusiasm of the early Darwinians faded when the fossil record and the problems of its interpretion became more widely known. The pluralists of the turn of the century invented and adopted a wealth of hypothetical mechanisms in order to explain individual features of the fossil record. They failed, however, to provide one coherent theory. Dissatisfaction with this situation led to adoption of a dogmatic neo-Lamarckism, which was regarded as a coherent theory providing a fruitful research program. The rejection of the Lamarckian mechanism early in this century left paleontologists with only one kind of evolutionary mechanism: inner causes.Like many neo-Lamarckians several orthogeneticists were highly interested in adaptation and did not see any contradiction between the inner causes of evolution and adaptation. The dominance of stratigraphical research programs in paleontology led in the 1930s and 1940s to a decrease in interest in adaptation. Stratigraphical records of taxa were accepted as meaningful in the context of evolutionary theory. Orthogenesis and the new concepts of saltation and cyclicism were amalgamated into one theory : typostrophism. This theory dominated German paleontology for decades after the war and only recently has the synthetic theory been seriously considered.Evolution was never very intensively discussed in German paleontology in the hundred years after Darwin's book. Most information used here comes from textbooks or from papers given on special occasions. It has been impossible to summarize how members of one school defended their views or discussed the ideas of competing schools.
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DOI 10.1007/bf00346618
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References found in this work BETA

Ontogeny and Phylogeny.Stephen Jay Gould - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (4):652-653.
Punctuated Equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism.Niles Eldredge & Stephen Jay Gould - 1972 - In Thomas J. M. Schopf (ed.), Models in Paleobiology. Freeman Cooper. pp. 82-115.
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The Reception of Darwin in Late Nineteenth-Century German Paleontology as a Case of Pyrrhic Victory.Marco Tamborini - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 66:37-45.

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