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Challenging the Modern SynthesisAdaptation, Development, and Inheritance$
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Philippe Huneman and Denis Walsh

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199377176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199377176.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

Why Would We Call for a New Evolutionary Synthesis?

Why Would We Call for a New Evolutionary Synthesis?

The Variation Issue and the Explanatory Alternatives

(p.68) 2 Why Would We Call for a New Evolutionary Synthesis?
Challenging the Modern Synthesis

Philippe Huneman

Oxford University Press

Considering challenges to the modern synthesis (MS), this chapter reconstructs an explanatory scheme proper to the MS. It contrasts it with the explanatory scheme proper to some alternatives to the MS. It considers which empirical facts should compel us to adopt the alternative scheme, or stand with the MS, or consider a weakly attenuated form of its explanatory scheme. Hence the last section focuses on the form of variation: Given that many findings are accumulating concerning the not purely random nature of variation, it asks which specific patterns of variation would be likely to support an alternative explanatory scheme. It argues that neither biased variation nor random genotypic variation is likely to vindicate a specific explanatory scheme.

Keywords:   explanation, adaptationism, natural selection, variation, constraint, organism, modern synthesis, gene centrism

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