Is the neo-Darwinian view of evolution dead and outdated?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by M. Helsdon, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. M. Helsdon Banned Banned

    Been reading recently many scientific publications which claim neo-Darwinism (modern synthesis) is either outdated, wrong or in some cases "crumbled" or "dead" due to recent discoveries in science. Here are some of these publications, and they all seem to be calling for a totally new evolutionary synthesis beyond neo-Darwinism or an extended synthesis.

    Eugene Koonin

    Eugene Koonin, The Origin at 150: Is a new evolutionary synthesis in sight?" Trends in Genetics, 25(11), November 2009, pp. 473-475 and Eugene Koonin, Darwinian evolution in the light of genomics, Nucleic Acids Research, 37(4), 2009, pp. 1011-1034


    Koonin also states in the above paper "The edifice of the modern synthesis has crumbled, apparently, beyond repair".

    Eugene Koonin, in his research paper, titled "Darwinian evolution in the light of genomics", published 12 Feb 2009, says:

    "Now, 50 years after the consolidation of the Modern Synthesis, evolutionary biology undoubtedly faces a new major challenge and, at the same time, the prospect of a new conceptual breakthrough"....."By contrast, the insistence on adaptation being the primary mode of evolution that is apparent in the Origin, but especially in the Modern Synthesis, became deeply suspicious if not outright obsolete, making room for a new worldview that gives much more prominence to non-adaptive processes"......"Collectively, the developments in evolutionary genomics and systems biology outlined here seem to suggest that, although at present only isolated elements of a new, 'postmodern' synthesis of evolutionary biology are starting to be formulated, such a synthesis is indeed feasible. Moreover, it is likely to assume definitive shape long before Darwin's 250th anniversary"

    His papers can be read here: and

    Michael Rose and Todd Oakley

    Michael R Rose and Todd H Oakley, in their research paper, titled "The new biology: beyond the Modern Synthesis" published on 24 November 2007 wrote:

    "The last third of the 20th Century featured an accumulation of research findings that severely challenged the assumptions of the "Modern Synthesis" which provided the foundations for most biological research during that century. The foundations of that "Modernist" biology had thus largely crumbled by the start of the 21st Century. This in turn raises the question of foundations for biology in the 21st Century".

    See their section in the paper titled "Dead parts of the Modern Synthesis"

    Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb

    Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb have written many papers, one of which was titled "Soft inheritance: Challenging the Modern Synthesis".

    According to the paper:

    Mae-Wan Ho and Peter Saunders

    Mae Wan Ho and Peter Saunders in their paper Beyond neo-Darwinism an epigenetic approach to evolution write:

    We argue that the basic neo-Darwinian framework the natural selection of random mutations is insufficient to account for evolution. The role of natural selection is itself limited: it cannot adequately explain the diversity of populations or of species; nor can it account for the origin of new species or for major evolutionary change. The evidence suggests on the one hand that most genetic changes are irrelevant to evolution; and on the other, that a relative lack of natural selection may be the prerequisite for major evolutionary advance.

    Lynn Margulis

    On the role of natural selection in evolution.

    Question: And you don't believe that natural selection is the answer?

    Margulis: "This is the issue I have with neo-Darwinists: They teach that what is generating novetly is the accumulation of random mutations in DNA, in a direct set by natural selection. If you want bigger eggs, you keep selecting the gens that are laying the biggest eggs, and you get bigger and bigger eggs. But you also get hens with defective feathers and wobbly legs. Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn't create."

    Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee et al.

    Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee, Marcus W. Feldman and Jeremy Kendal on niche construction:

    J. B. Edelmann and M. J. Denton

    J. B. Edelmann and M. J. Denton write in their "The uniqueness of biological self-organization: challenging the Darwinian paradigm" how the neo-Darwinists have ignored self-organization which is an important factor in evolution.

    James A. Shapiro

    James Shapiro in his book Evolution: A View from the 21st Century proposes an important new paradigm for understanding biological evolution, the core organizing principle of biology. Shapiro introduces crucial new molecular evidence that tests the conventional scientific view of evolution based on the neo-Darwinian synthesis, shows why this view is inadequate to today's evidence, and presents a compelling alternative view of the evolutionary process that reflects the shift in life sciences towards a more information- and systems-based approach. Shapiro integrates advances in symbiogenesis, epigenetics, and saltationism into a unified approach that views evolutionary change as an active cell process, regulated epigenetically and capable of making rapid large changes by horizontal DNA transfer, inter-specific hybridization, whole genome doubling, symbiogenesis, or massive genome restructuring.

    Any opinions about any of these scientific publications? Would you agree that neo-Darwinism is outdated, incomplete, crumbled or dead? Are we seeing a totally new synthesis of evolution emerging?
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  3. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    The question you are asking is political and religious in nature, not scientific.

    If you want to explore the science of evolution, then let's apply the scientific method and move forward from there.

    If you want to explore the history of the scientific discovery, then that's a good topic for a history thread.

    If your interest is in ideology then there are forums for politics and religion where the thrashing is best relegated.

    It all depends on what your purpose is.

    What is your purpose?
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  5. M. Helsdon Banned Banned

    How is it political or religious in nature?

    Why have you dodged the question and ignored the papers I cited? We have scientists (all professors of biology or genetics etc) such as Koonin, Oakley, Shapiro et al claiming the neo-Darwinian interpretation of evolution is wrong and that it needs to be replaced with a new synthesis. What is your comments on their papers?

    The purpose of the thread is obvious, we have scientists claiming evolution has moved beyond the neo-Darwinian framework, I was just interested in hearing personal opinions on the matter, and if you disagree or agree or not.
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  7. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    What is "the neo-darwinian framework". Why should I care what some scientist claim rather what evidence and proofs do they have?

    Let me break down what you have presented

    1. Horizontal Gene Transfer: yes we know about that for decades makes trying to determined the evolutionary history of bacteria impossible as they have a genetic "tangle" rather than "tree". But for organism like cats and dogs there is not evidence such a thing happens, yeah sure a viral or bacterial gene might make it into a multicellular plant or animal on occasion (plants in fact regularly allow plasmid uptake in fact), but from complex organism to complex organism horizontal gene transfer is extremely unlikely when organism are not reproductively compatible. For example a strawberry can't utilize the genetics of a fish, or produce half fish, half berry offspring. The chances of a fish gene getting into a berry gamete cell and reproducing into a berry with fish gene are astronomically unlikely... outside a laboratory where we forcibly copied and inserted a fish gene for frost resistance into a strawberry. There is no evidence that Nature generally provides horizontal gene transfer outside specific settings, unless you want to call our biotechnology natural.

    2. Lamarckian and epigenetics: basically stating that any organism can adapt to its environment and then genetically transfer that adaptation to its progeny. For a single cell organism such adaptation has been recorded to limited extent: a bacteria can de-activate and active genes in its progeny (epigenetics), but for complex organism no mechanism has been detected that say an antelope that stretches its neck to get at leaves can somehow modify its progeny genetically to become a giraffe: how does that antelope's neck tissue communicate and modify the genetics of its sperm or ova?

    3. Saltational: Sure massive genetic mutations have happened and been useful for evolution, but generally for single celled organisms, complex organisms generally can't handle such changes without literally falling apart. For example some plants can handle genome duplication even multiple genome hybridizing, but no complex animal has been reported to survive that kind of mutation, in fact no human that suffered a genome duplication survived passed birth. In general most evolution is progressive and gradual building up of mutations: often a single gene might be duplicated and then mutation differentiates it, we have titanic amounts of evidence for the regular occurrence of that. There is no massive mutation that could make an antelope into a giraffe for example in one generation, chances of which are unbelievably unlikely.
  8. M. Helsdon Banned Banned

    You know what is is just look at the definition on wikipedia, let's not play straw man.

    ElectricFetus just be honest, you did not click on one of the papers cited did you? Your post is filled with major misunderstandings and half-truths.

    Interesting comment considering your own comment is just personal opinion not backed up with any scientific sources. When I wrote "claim" you know what I meant, see the scientific papers for the proofs. But you did not read any of them.

    Again interesting considering the cited papers/publications are talking about how endosymbiosis and epigenetic inheritance is evidence for saltational evolution, nothing to do with mutations. You didn't read the papers did you?

    Once again if you have read the papers or looked up the cited publications you would see what the mechanism is!

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    You have misunderstood what has been presented. Either way, it is certainly more than HGT or just epigenetics. The papers cite many other factors such as niche construction, self-organization and endosymbiosis.

    :shrug: Is that what you really think? Sorry but you really have no idea at all about the evidence for HGT do you? Where have you been? Do you read scientific publications? Let's not get into any kind of argument about this or get side tracked with this issue. Perhaps we can do another thread on HGT. I like to read peoples opinions but only if you read the papers and publications that I cite otherwise you will misunderstand and that is exactly what has happened.
  9. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    No I didn't read it, but if it cites irrefutable cases of of salutation, lamarckianism, endosymbiosis, etc, amongst complex organism: please point this out as I would certainly read it then, if not then its not stating anything that changes evolutionary theory for animals and humans, and is not worth looking at as its semantic drivel.

    Just show me one case of horizontal gene transfer in multicellular animals for example, just one. Even if such cases exist they are outstandingly rare, an not a common mechanism for evolution in higher life.
  10. Neverfly Banned Banned

    In other words, all of the above is not 'science' but apologetics for attempting to support Young Earth Creation. If you can reduce the amount of time needed for evolution, you can call the theory into question. In the end, it has no scientific support and is more a matter of deception than study.
  11. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Not really, horizontal gene transfer and endosymbiosis has been going on for billions of years in microrganisms, lick of good it did them to evolve "faster".

    the real problem is semantics: "neo-darwinain","salutation", blah, blah! Things evolved, they did so by non-conscious forces and over billions of years from something probably pre-bacterial to things a complex as us, they did so by many many different events and generations, then we come along and try to categorize and label how it happened and argue over the categories and labels, doesn't change what happened. Now then some dicks come along and think that if they can give it a new name then they can change what happened make it new and different, no, what happened happened, doesn't change with a new fucking name.
  12. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    By its lack of science. I suppose I could have asked you whether your agenda is to discuss pseudoscience with scientists. You posted in a science forum. The expectation would be that you would apply the scientific method. Otherwise the pseudoscience radar detector locks on and a little light goes off in our heads.

    Because they aren't entered into evidence until a predicate has been established. At this point you seem to me to be out of order.

    First things first. Again, if your intent is to pursue a scientific discussion, you need only commit to following protocol. You didn't answer my question, so I'm left assuming that you meant to post this in another forum.

    Any question regarding Darwin's theory of evolution needs an expository introduction. If science is your purpose, then lay the predicate for the antagonists. You need to introduce the premises of Darwin's original theory. This is where the door to the the science forum opens.

    That doesn't appear to be a question of science.

    I'd be glad to give you my opinion: you should state the premises of Darwin's theory. You should go from there into a brief outline of the advances in science since Darwin, leading to the present state of evolutionary biology. That's my opinion.
  13. Neverfly Banned Banned

    I probably should have specified my argument against Lamarckianism... but thanks for the correction.

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  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    M. Helsdon,

    This is outside my field of expertise, but it certainly sounds interesting.

    Could you possibly summarise what the main arguments are, in layman's terms? If that's not too hard to do, of course.
  15. M. Helsdon Banned Banned

    What the hell are you talking about? This thread has nothing to do with creationism. :shrug:

    I don't have a clue what the above user is talking about or why he is bringing in religion and pseudoscience into the discussion. He has refused to look at any of the scientific papers cited and this is anti-scientific behaviour. Theres no point in coming onto an internet forum if you are not even going to read others posts. This user is also confused, hes unware that at the moment there is a large debate about the mechanisms in evolution. That is exactly what this thread discusses. This thread is not anti-evolution, it is trying to improve our knowledge about evolution. Evolution is a fact, but the mechanisms involved are far from solved.

    The entire introduction to this subject can be found in the Eugene Koonin papers. Hint the title of his papers are a give away. They are a serious introduction to the subject, but you do not read them. Either way this thread is not about "Darwin's theory of evolution", it is about how evolution has moved beyond neo-Darwinism (an interpretation of evolution which was presented in the 1940's). Neo-Darwinism should not be confused with evolution, it is just an interpretation of evolution via limited mechanisms. The new synthesis is not limited in evolutionary mechanisms.

    Everyone knows what neo-Darwinism is - mendelian genetics merged with natural selection into a synthesis working in a strict gradualistic framework (see the wiki page for more info). That is over 70 years ago. We have in science since discovered things about evolution which do not fit into that limited framework ie. niche construction, endosymbiosis, epigenetics some of which show evolution working in saltational events etc etc (we will get round to citing papers on this later). So what these recent papers are doing is calling for a new synthesis beyond that limited neo-Darwinian framework.

    This new synthesis of evolution incoperates new mechanisms which were ignored by the neo-Darwinian synthesis or were unknown back then. It is not hard to understand. We are not in the 1940's any longer, we have come a long way since then.

    The current situation in evolutionary biology looks like this:

    1. Neo-Darwinism (also known as the modern synthesis) advocated by Julian Huxley and Ernst Mayr and later (Jerry Coyne, PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins et al).
    2. Extended evolutionary synthesis advocated by Stephen Jay Gould and later (Massimo Pigliucci, Stuart Newman, Gerd B. Muller et al).
    3. The new synthesis (James Shapiro, Eugene Koonin, Eva Jablonka et al).

    Group number 1. Deny that saltational events in evolution can occur, they write that evolution works only in a gradualistic framework and that natural selection has primary role. This group also denies any neo-Lamarckian type feedback and also denies epigenetics and things like niche construction as this group claims they are not important in evolution.

    Group number 2. It started with scientists like Stephen Jay Gould who pointed out strict gradualism is wrong and that microevolution and macroevolution may operate via different processes, Gould also talked about natural selection working above the gene level which is denied by group number 1.
    Proponents of group number 2 are not "anti-Darwinian", they do not deny natural selection but they write that it is not the only exclusive shaper of evolutionary change, other factors may be just as important as natural selection.

    Group number 3. Known as the "new synthesis" or "post-Darwinian school" or in some cases "non-Darwinian evolution" it says that natural selection only has a minor role in evolution, that other evolutionary mechanisms are more important, that saltational events in evolution do occur etc etc.

    Group 1 =

    Group 2 =

    Group 3 =

    For an overview (A DECENT introduction) Please read:

    After you have read the above link/s there should be no confusion and you should understand what is exactly going on in evolutionary biology at the moment. Once again none of this is anti-evolution, it is just a discussion and debate about the mechanisms of evolution. Evolution is certainly more complex than many originally believed it was. It is certainly much more than just the neo-Darwinian synthesis and of course other scientific papers can be cited to prove this claim. Please read the above links. If you have criticism then please attack the evidence in the scientific papers not the scientists themselves.
  16. Neverfly Banned Banned

    Perhaps my error- those claims ARE used by YEC's. Heavily. However, that doesn't mean that is your intention.

    Please carry on...
  17. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    If you have evidence of "neo-Lamarckian type feedback" and "other evolutionary mechanisms", please present it, I don't care who says it, all that matters is the evidence its self.

    And what is meant by other then natural selection: do you mean some kind of conscious force?

    Sure there are many mutational mechanism, but salutations events like genome duplication and horizontal gene transfer are more rare even in simple organism verse more mundane single base pair and duplicated sequence mutations. And what ever the mutation is there is if it provide present benefit it propagates progeny, if it provides detriment is dies off, and that there is no evidence of anything else selecting successors.
  18. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    M. Helsdon

    Yes, the authors are awfully hyperbolic about the importance of what they have written. Evolution is a fact, the theories explaining the fact that evolution occurs may change as new information and understanding is acquired, but that does not change the fact that Darwinian Evolution(or something very like it, whatever it is called is just semantics)has occurred throughout the history of life on Earth. It has not been displaced, it has not crumbled, it has no viable replacement. I've read extensively from Shapiro, he's a hack not really worth consideration as a serious scientist. Some of the rest of your cites have interesting points, but if you are interpreting minutia about theories explaining the myriad processes of evolution means the whole edifice is collapsing I have bad news for you, it isn't. Gradualism was a theory, Punctuated Equilibrium is a theory, Saltations are a theory, gene transfers are well known in single celled biota, virtually impossible and unknown in sexually reproducing creatures. It is probable that all occur and all of them SUPPORT the Modern Synthesis, they in no way replace it. Lamarckian theories are just ignorant crap. There is no new Synthesis, what these people say that is true is well within and accepted by the Modern Synthesis, what they claim otherwise is hyperbole, self-aggrandizement and outright kookery, especially Shapiro.

    Incomplete? Maybe, all science is by definition incomplete.

    Outdated? Hardly, our evolutionary understanding is incomplete(and probably always will be), but it is always up to date(give or take a few months). Nothing in biology makes any sense without evolution, that's just a fact.

    Crumbled? Ridiculous hyperbole, usually by third rate pseudo-scientists.

    Dead? Evolution? When the last lifeform breaths it's last, then you can say evolution is dead. And when the last scientist dies you can say that we can learn nothing else about how the fact of evolution occurred. None of the cites you posted do anything to "kill" the Modern Synthesis, just like nothing any YEC can say will change the fact that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old according to theories in physics.

    No. Not even close.


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  19. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Excluding subjects like history, the bridge from science to religion is made of pseudoscience. You have at least one foot on that bridge, and appear to me to be headed that way. I simply asked you where you were heading.

    I suppose that's an aside since it put me in the 3rd person. But I'll answer anyway.

    We haven't established what I have and have not looked at, and we haven't gotten into the rules for scientific behavior, other than my suggestion that you begin with laying out a scientific approach for surveying evolutionary biology.

    That appears to be directed at me but doesn't provide me anything tangible to respond to.

    I am certain beyond a reasonable doubt that the debate is either relegated to religion, or on the pseudoscience bridge that heads that way, or else it has one foot on the bridge and the other in the air, headed that way.

    Most casual readers don't recall what it was Darwin actually said. Hence my suggestion that you begin there, not only to improve our education, but to get a foothold on the shore of science before you pick your compass heading.

    State the mechanisms of evolution first, then let's go into what's not solved.

    We haven't established what I have or have not read. I'm immaterial. You're positing a thesis. You always want to begin with a summary. I suggested you first summarize what Darwin said, not what Koonin or any other writer says Darwin says. This will help clarify the various positions different writers have taken.

    If this thread is not about Darwin's theory, then it's hardly about science. We can't address the neo-Darwin school without asking what they began with, what innovations they found, and where they left the theory. This would be an essential background to expose first before addressing the ways various writers oppose Darwin's theory.

    This is the first you've mentioned Mendel, genetics and natural selection. These are all linchpins of the science.

    Gradualism may be where you're headed. That's a topic unto itself, and we can treat that scientifically, if science is your heading.

    Now you diverge into politics. Substitute which do not fit into that limited framework with which add new information and your muddy boots pounce from that slippery bridge back onto good squishy earth.

    Citing the opposition before citing the status quo leaves this in the political arena.

    More politics. In a scientific treatment, you don't get to jump factual predicates. You must first establish limited neo-Darwinian framework which is not in the lexicon of science. Here, muddy boot tracks are seen on the bridge trailing off into the fog.

    Politics. Establish predicates before positing claims.

    What was not known, and when? Develop this.

    talkorigins is a guide for debating creationism. Hence my initial question, whether you were headed there.

    No, these cites don't tell me exactly what is going on. That sounds more like religion than politics. But if I want to know about current developments, I would go to science news outlets, journals and texts.

    Apparently not. If we were discussing the science of evolution, you'd simply cite any academic text, and we'd be off and running, stomping all over that squishy ground.

    You haven't established what they believed. At this point, I'm concluding that you haven't read Darwin.

    At this point I think there is a legitimate teaching opportunity. Since you haven't given us the foundations for connecting your claims to the science, let me instead insert what Darwin actually said and then this can go in the direction of history, to reassemble the steps leading up to the present state of evolutionary biology. I will open with this as the initial teaching segment, and you can take it from there and teach us what happened next. Note these are not Darwin's exact words, which span hundreds of pages but a summary. His own words are far more interesting and informative, and loaded with facts and evidence.

    Summary of Darwin's Theory of Evolution

    • A species is a population of organisms that interbreeds and has fertile offspring.
    • Living organisms have descended with modifications from species that lived before them.
    • Natural selection explains how this evolution has happened:
    — More organisms are produced than can survive because of limited resources.
    — Organisms struggle for the necessities of life; there is competition for resources.
    — Individuals within a population vary in their traits; some of these traits are heritable -- passed on to offspring.
    — Some variants are better adapted to survive and reproduce under local conditions than others.
    — Better-adapted individuals (the "fit enough") are more likely to survive and reproduce, thereby passing on copies of their genes to the next generation.
    — Species whose individuals are best adapted survive; others become extinct.

    Now, if you like, you can tell us what innovations have been added to the theory, and it might be helpful to understand how and why these innovations came about.
  20. M. Helsdon Banned Banned

    Aqueous Id if this thread is to go forward then you are going to have to give cituations (scientific references eg. books/papers/websites), to back up your claims, so far and we get nothing. Drop this stupid political thing it makes you seem stupid and it ruins the thread. Grumpy has given his personal opinion that evolution has not moved beyond neo-Darwinism but has given no scientific references to back this up. The burden of proof is for you guys to show evidence now why you think evolution has not moved beyond neo-Darwinism becuase I have already cited over 6 scientific papers filled with evidence claiming it has written by professors of biology.

    You rightly ask for a summary of the ideas of Koonin etc, of course it would be much easier if you actually read the scientific publications I cited, see their summary section, but yes I will do a summary (that will have to be for tomorrow now) but the main thesis is how evolution is not strictly gradual and that it can operate above, beyond, or without the gene level. And course how natural selection is not the only primary factor in evolution. Going back to your questions about Darwin:

    I don't know where you lifted that from, what scientific source? Can you please cite your references and if possible peer-reviewed papers or stuff written by qualified evolutionary biologists?

    This talk origins article was written by John Wilkins an evolutionary biologist back in the 90s, it is slightly outdated but much of it still on target:

    Ok so you asked for what Darwin said, here it is (adapted from Wilkins, 1998):

    Theses of Darwinism

    1. Transmutationism - that species change form to become other species.

    2. Common descent - that similar species have common ancestors; the alternative is a view I can only call Parallel descent (a view held by Lamarck).

    3. Struggle for existence - that more are born than can survive; the alternate view is sometimes called Commensualism.

    4. Natural selection - that the relatively better adapted have more offspring, sometimes called Malthusianism.

    (I would point out that in the 3rd edition of Origin of Species Darwin came to equate "Survival of Fittest" with "Natural Selection".

    5. Sexual selection - that the more "attractive" organisms of sexual species mate more (and have more offspring), causing unfit traits to spread.

    6. Biogeographic distribution - that species occur close by related species, explaining the distributions of various genera.

    7. Heredity -

    a. Darwin's own theory was called "pangenesis" and is no longer accepted.

    b. Weismannism - the more modern view that genes don't record information about the life of organisms.

    Neo-Darwinism (in the 1940's-1970's) added the following:

    1. Random mutation - the notion that changes in genes aren't directed towards "better" alternatives; in other words, that mutations are blind to the needs imposed by the ecology in which organisms find themselves.

    2. Genetic drift/neutralism - the view that some changes in genes are due to chance or the so-called "sampling error" of small populations of organisms. Molecular neutralism is the view that the very structure of genes changes in purely random ways.


    Each of these "Darwinian" theories can be, and have been at some time in the past 150 years, challenged, and the end result called "anti-Darwinian". Anti-Darwinisms include:

    Orthogenesis (linear evolution, aka Great Chain of Being thinking, the view that evolution proceeds in direct lines to goals, also sometimes called teleological evolution or progressionism): challenges 8 and 9. Examples: Lamarck, Nägeli, Eimer, Osborn, Severtsov, Teilhard. Often found as vague statements in more orthodox biology (in terms like "primitive" and "advanced" forms instead of the usual meanings in biology of older and derived.

    Neo-Lamarckism (aka Instructionism, the view that the environment instructs the genome, and/or the view that changes occur to anticipate the needs of the organism): challenges 7b, 8 and 9. Examples: Haeckel, ED Cope, S Butler, Kropotkin, GBS Shaw, Kammerer, Koestler, E Steele, Goldschmidt.

    Process Structuralism (aka Formalism, aka Laws of growth tradition, also called Naturphilosophie, deriving from Goethe and Oken - the view that there are deep laws of change that determine some or all of the features of organisms): challenges 3 to 5 and 10. Examples: Goethe, Geoffroy, D'Arcy Thompson, Goodwin, Salthe, Gould, Løvtrup.

    Saltationism (in texts before about 1940 also called "Mutationism" or "Mutation Theory", the view that changes between forms occur all-at-once or not at all): challenges 11, and sometimes 2. Examples: Galton, TH Huxley, De Vries, TH Morgan, Johannsen, Goldschmidt (note however saltational evolution can describe events from epigenetics (Eva Jablonka et al), endosymbiosis (Margulis et al) or other evolutionary processes (Shapiro et al).

    Further reading

    Please see:

    Outlines for a Post-Darwinian Biology by Kalevi Kull

    Kull K. 1999. Outlines for a post-Darwinian biology. - Folia Baeriana 7, 129-142

  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    This is not part of neo-Darwinian theory - new species arise from older ones, but the older ones are not necessarily changed - if they are well fitted, there is no particular reason they would have to disappear, or even change, at all.

    Not quite: all species have common ancestors, in the current best established viewpoint.

    You have mistaken the meaning of Commensalism. It is not an "alternative" view, but a name for a particular common mode of relationship that fits into Darwinian theory perfectly.

    No one I ever read called natural selection "Malthusianism". Who uses that term for Darwinian natural selection?

    So? That would contradict point 4, if it refers to individuals, and point 1 if it refers to species. But it is irrelevant, in the first place - we are discussing Darwinian theory, and Darwin is not an arbiter of what is permitted or prohibited in our theories. .

    They are not "unfit", those traits that spread.

    That is not a part of Darwinian theory, but a predicted probability or pattern among closely related species. Also, the theory predicts geographical isolation to be common between closely related species - it all but mandates some form of isolation, of some kind, for speciation to occur by Darwinian mechanism.
  22. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    So is there any evidence for "Orthogenesis","Neo-Lamarckism" and "Process Structuralism", anything besides of course some fucker said it, like say if you could cite a study of an organism that one day said, on record: "you know what I want a bigger dick" and it just grows a huge penis via will alone, and all its children were so endowed by there ancestor's stupendous decision. I would believe in neo-lamarckism then, heck I would totally believe it if I could replicate the results!

    As for Saltation, that is pure semantics over if a mutation was big or small, nature does not care mutations happen, species form, each via individual circumstances that we humans refuses to not generalize. Most genomic studies show single base pair "point" mutations, gene duplications as the most common, with chromosome and genome duplication far more rarely, horizontal gene transfer, etc, rarer still.
  23. M. Helsdon Banned Banned

    IceAura I have not mistaken anything, the above points in my posts on Darwinism (written in red) were NOT written by me. They were written by evolutionary biologist John Wilkins. If you have beef it is not with me, but with a professional scientist in the field. Your entire post is just filled with personal opinion please back it up with some kind of evidence. Please cite references if you want to claim Wilkins is wrong.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012

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