The So-Called Extended Synthesis and Population Genetics

Biological Theory 5 (2):117-123 (2010)
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Abstract

In recent years, several prominent biologists have pointed to the relatively new field of evolutionary developmental biology as evidence of an Extended Synthesis in evolutionary biology. More particularly, these biologists claim that theoretical and empirical EvoDevo research is extending the Modern Synthesis framework of evolutionary theory through investigation of evolutionarily important concepts that are not part of the framework developed during the 20th century. To describe the current changes in evolutionary biology as an Extended Synthesis, however, is incorrect. Through review of Extended Synthesis arguments and analysis of the same biological concepts used to support these arguments, I argue that the foundation of the Modern Synthesis framework, theoretical population genetics, faces significant, perhaps insurmountable challenges from the concepts highlighted by EvoDevo research. As the foundation of the Modern Synthesis framework will require considerable remodeling—if possible—in light of the concepts emphasized by EvoDevo, it is incorrect to describe the ongoing changes in evolutionary biology as an Extended Synthesis

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Lindsay Craig
Temple University

References found in this work

The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change. R. C. Lewontin.Michael Ruse - 1976 - Philosophy of Science 43 (2):302-304.
Evolution: The Modern Synthesis.Julian Huxley - 1944 - Philosophy 19 (73):166-170.
Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Manfred D. Laubichler - 2007 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.

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