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Challenging the Modern Synthesis – Adaptation, Development, and Inheritance - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Challenging the Modern Synthesis: Adaptation, Development, and Inheritance

Philippe Huneman and Denis Walsh


Since its origin in the early 20th century, the modern synthesis theory of evolution has grown to represent the orthodox view on the process of organic evolution. It is a powerful and successful theory. Its defining features include the prominence it accords to genes in the explanation of development and inheritance, and the role of natural selection as the cause of adaptation. Since the advent of the 21st century, however, the modern synthesis has been subject to repeated and sustained challenges. In the last two decades, evolutionary biology has witnessed unprecedented growth in the understa ... More

Keywords: modern synthesis, inheritance, development, adaptation, natural selection, gene, organism, epigenetics, theory change

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780199377176
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199377176.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philippe Huneman, editor
CNRS Research Professor and Professor of Philosophy, LInstitut dHistoire et de Philosophie des Science et des Technique

Denis Walsh, editor
Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Biology in the Department of Philosophy, the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

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