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Evolutionary Synthesis / Edition 1

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Overview

Biology was forged into a single, coherent science only within living memory. In this volume the thinkers responsible for the "modern synthesis" of evolutionary biology and genetics come together to analyze that remarkable event.

In a new Preface, Ernst Mayr calls attention to the fact that scientists in different biological disciplines varied considerably in their degree of acceptance of Darwin's theories. Mayr shows us that these differences were played out in four separate periods: 1859 to 1899, 1900 to 1915, 1916 to 1936, and 1937 to 1947. He thus enables us to understand fully why the synthesis was necessary and why Darwin's original theory—that evolutionary change is due to the combination of variation and selection—is as solid at the end of the twentieth century as it was in 1859.

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Editorial Reviews

New Scientist [UK]
If you want to know how genetics and evolutionary biology were forged into a monolithic Darwinian whole, then read The Evolutionary Synthesis.
New England Journal of Medicine

Praise for the first edition:

[This] book will appeal to anyone, evolutionist or not, who is interested in the history and philosophy of science.
— Matt Cartmill

Nature
Classic essays by key players in the 'modern synthesis' of evolutionary biology.
Auk

This book provides not only a good history of the evolutionary synthesis, but many new scientific insights and ideas. I found myself rethinking a number of subtle and some not-so-subtle points of evolutionary theory while reading this historical work...The Evolutionary Synthesisis a major contribution to the history of biology, and for the specialist in evolutionary biology it is an important scientific work.
— Walter J. Bock

New England Journal of Medicine - Matt Cartmill

Praise for the first edition:

[This] book will appeal to anyone, evolutionist or not, who is interested in the history and philosophy of science.

Auk - Walter J. Bock
This book provides not only a good history of the evolutionary synthesis, but many new scientific insights and ideas. I found myself rethinking a number of subtle and some not-so-subtle points of evolutionary theory while reading this historical work...The Evolutionary Synthesisis a major contribution to the history of biology, and for the specialist in evolutionary biology it is an important scientific work.
New England Journal of Medicine
Praise for the first edition:

[This] book will appeal to anyone, evolutionist or not, who is interested in the history and philosophy of science.
— Matt Cartmill

Auk
This book provides not only a good history of the evolutionary synthesis, but many new scientific insights and ideas. I found myself rethinking a number of subtle and some not-so-subtle points of evolutionary theory while reading this historical work...The Evolutionary Synthesisis a major contribution to the history of biology, and for the specialist in evolutionary biology it is an important scientific work.
— Walter J. Bock
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674272262
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 1.03 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Ernst Mayr was Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, at Harvard University. He was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Crafoord Prize for Biology, the National Medal of Science, the Balzan Prize, and the Japan Prize.
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Table of Contents

Preface, 1998

Preface to the Original Edition

Prologue: Some Thoughts on the History of the Evolutionary Synthesis

Ernst Mayr

Part One: Different Biological Disciplines and the Synthesis

Genetics


Introduction

William B. Provine

Theoretical Population Genetics in the Evolutionary Synthesis

Richard C. Lewontin


Cytology

Introduction

William B. Provine

The Evolution of Genetic Systems: Contributions of Cytology to Evolutionary Theory

C.D. Darlington

Cytology in the T.H. Morgan School

Alexander Weinstein

Cytogenetics and the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis

Hampton L. Carson


Embryology

Introduction

William B. Provine

Embryology and the Modern Synthesis in Evolutionary Theory

Viktor Hamburger

The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis and the Biogenetic Law

Frederick B. Churchill


Systematics

The Role of Systematics in the Evolutionary Synthesis

Ernst Mayr


Botany

Introduction

Ernst Mayr

Botany and the Synthetic Theory of Evolution

G. Ledyard Stebbins


Paleontology

Introduction

Ernst Mayr

G.G. Simpson, Paleontology, and the Modern Synthesis

Stephen Jay Gould


Morphology

Introduction

Ernst Mayr

Morphology in the Evolutionary Synthesis

William Coleman

The Failure of Morphology to Assimilate Darwinism

Michael T. Ghiselin

Severtsov and Schmalhausen: Russian Morphology and the Evolutionary Synthesis

Mark B. Adams


Part Two: The Synthesis in Different Countries

Soviet Union


The Birth of the Genetic Theory of Evolution in the Soviet Union in the 1920s

Theodosius Dobzhansky

Sergei Chetverikov, the Kol'tsov Institute, and the Evolutionary Synthesis

Mark B. Adams


Germany

Introduction

Ernst Mayr

Historical Development of the Present Synthetic Neo-Darwinism in Germany

Bernhard Rensch

Evolutionary Theory in Germany: A Comment

Viktor Hamburger


France

Introduction

Ernst Mayr

Evolutionary Biology in France at the Time of the Evolutionary Synthesis

Ernest Boesiger

The Arrival of Neo-Darwinism in France

Ernst Mayr

A Second Glance at Evolutionary Biology in France

Camille Limoges


England

Introduction

William B. Provine

Some Recollections Pertaining to the Evolutionary Synthesis

E.B. Ford

Lamarckism in Britain and the United States

Richard W. Burkhardt, Jr.

A Note on W.L. Tower's Leptinotarsa Work

Alexander Weinstein


United States

Introduction

William B. Provine

The Evolutionary Synthesis: Morgan and Natural Selection Revisited

Garland E. Allen

Hypotheses That Blur and Grow

Hampton L. Carson


Part Three: Final Considerations

Interpretive Issues in the Evolutionary Synthesis


Introduction

William B. Provine

The Meaning of the Evolutionary Synthesis

Dudley Shapere

Epilogue

William B. Provine


Biographical Essays

How I Became a Darwinian

Ernst Mayr

Curt Stem

Ernst Mayr

J.B.S. Haldane, R.A. Fisher, and William Bateson

C.D. Darlington

Morgan and the Theory of Natural Selection

Alexander Weinstein

Morgan and His School in the 1930s

Theodosius Dobzhansky

G.G. Simpson

Ernst Mayr


Contributors

Conference Participants

Index

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