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Evolutionary Theory in the 1920s: The Nature of the 'Synthesis'

Sarkar, Sahotra (2002) Evolutionary Theory in the 1920s: The Nature of the 'Synthesis'. [Preprint]

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    This paper analyzes the development of evolutionary theory in the period from 1918 to 1932. It argues that: (i) Fisher's work in 1918 constitutes a not fully satisfactory reduction of biometry to Mendelism; (ii) that there was a synthesis in the 1920s but that this synthesis was mainly one of classical genetics with population genetics, with Haldane's Causes of Evolution being its founding document; (iii) the most important achievement of the models of theoretical population genetics was to show that natural selection sufficed as a mechanism for evolution; (iv) Haldane formulated a prospective evolutionary theory in the 1920s whereas Fisher and Wright formulated retrospective theories of evolutionary history; and (v) in the context of the history of evolutionary biology, the differences between Fisher, Haldane, and Wright are as important as their similarities.

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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: evolutionary theory, Fisher, Haldane, modern synthesis, population genetics, Wright.
    Conferences and Volumes: [2002] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 18th Biennial Mtg - PSA 2002: Contributed Papers (Milwaukee, WI; 2002) > PSA 2002 Symposia
    Depositing User: Sahotra Sarkar
    Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2002
    Last Modified: 13 Sep 2015 11:16
    Item ID: 722

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