The Modern Synthesis: Its Scope and Limits

This paper locates the contributions of Kauffman and Ayala to this symposium in the context of recent discussions of the adequacy of the Modern Synthesis. The neglect of morphology and development described by Kauffman is understandable in view of the belief that selection is the most powerful evolutionary force. His idea that properties of order may be explained by nonselective mechanisms is also examined. The paper subsequently takes up Ayala's criticism of S.J. Gould's view that macroevolution is a process "decoupled" from microevolution. It is argued that the idea of species selection makes Gould's antireductionism ontological in character; this contrasts with Ayala's contention that the decoupling is merely epistemological.
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    Francisco J. Ayala (1982). Beyond Darwinism? The Challenge of Macroevolution to the Synthetic Theory of Evolution. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:275 - 291.
    Massimo Pigliucci (2009). An Extended Synthesis for Evolutionary Biology. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1168:218-228.

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