Tempo and Mode in Evolution: Punctuated Equilibria and the Modern Synthetic Theory

Philosophy of Science 50 (3):432 - 452 (1983)
Several paleontologists have recently challenged the explanatory adequacy of the modern synthetic theory of evolution. Their position is that, contrary to the prevailing view that evolutionary change is gradual, the fossil record manifests long periods of species stasis (equilibrium) punctuated by periods of rapid species formation. And, they argue, this punctuated equilibria pattern challenges the gradualist, adaptationist and extrapolationist assumptions of the modern synthetic theory of evolution and supports a hierarchical, non-extrapolationist (non-reductionist) view of evolution. In this paper I argue that the challenge rests on an inadequate characterization of the modern synthetic theory and that, even accepting punctuated equilibria and an irreducible evolutionary hierarchy, the modern synthetic theory is adequate to explain evolutionary change at all levels of the hierarchy.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/289128
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Bradley E. Wilson (1996). Changing Conceptions of Species. Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):405-420.
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.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

4 ( #434,173 of 1,727,148 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #354,178 of 1,727,148 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.