Article ID: CBB001510220

William Keith Brooks and the Naturalist's Defense of Darwinism in the Late-Nineteenth Century (2015)

unapi

William Keith Brooks was an American zoologist at Johns Hopkins University from 1876 until his death in 1908. Over the course of his career, Brooks staunchly defended Darwinism, arguing for the centrality of natural selection in evolutionary theory at a time when alternative theories, such as neo-Lamarckism, grew prominent in American biology. In his book The Law of Heredity (1883), Brooks addressed problems raised by Darwin's theory of pangenesis. In modifying and developing Darwin's pangenesis, Brooks proposed a new theory of heredity that sought to avoid the pitfalls of Darwin's hypothesis. In so doing he strengthened Darwin's theory of natural selection by undermining arguments for the inheritance of acquired characteristics. In later attacks on neo-Lamarckism, Brooks consistently defended Darwin's theory of natural selection on logical grounds, continued to challenge the idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics, and argued that natural selection best explained a wide range of adaptations. Finally, he critiqued Galton's statistical view of heredity and argued that Galton had resurrected an outmoded typological concept of species, one which Darwin and other naturalists had shown to be incorrect. Brooks's ideas resemble the “biological species concept” of the twentieth century, as developed by evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr and others. The late-nineteenth century was not a period of total “eclipse” of Darwinism, as biologists and historians have hitherto seen it. Although the “Modern Synthesis” refers to the reconciliation of post-Mendelian genetics with evolution by natural selection, we might adjust our understanding of how the synthesis developed by seeing it as the culmination of a longer discussion that extends back to the late-nineteenth century.

...More
Citation URI
http://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB001510220/

Similar Citations

Chapter Massimo Bernardi; Adriana Bellati; Michele Menegon; (2015)
La specie tra evoluzione e conservazione (/isis/citation/CBB690125746/) unapi

Article Mallet, James; (2010)
Why Was Darwin's View of Species Rejected by Twentieth Century Biologists? (/isis/citation/CBB001252809/) unapi

Thesis Pearce, Trevor Richard; (2010)
“A Perfect Chaos”: Organism-Environment Interaction and the Causal Factors of Evolution (/isis/citation/CBB001562740/) unapi

Book Jones, Jeannette Eileen; Sharp, Patrick B.; (2010)
Darwin in Atlantic Cultures: Evolutionary Visions of Race, Gender, and Sexuality (/isis/citation/CBB001033825/) unapi

Article Richards, Robert J.; (2012)
Darwin's Principles of Divergence and Natural Selection: Why Fodor Was Almost Right (/isis/citation/CBB001221609/) unapi

Article Bowler, Peter J.; (2014)
Francis Galton's Saltationism and the Ambiguities of Selection (/isis/citation/CBB001421642/) unapi

Article Haufe, Chris; (2012)
Darwin's Laws (/isis/citation/CBB001221610/) unapi

Book Brzezinski Prestes, Maria Elice; Martins, Lilian Al-Chueyr Pereira; Stefano, Waldir; (2006)
Filosofia e História da Biologia 1 (/isis/citation/CBB000820181/) unapi

Book Ruse, Michael; Travis, Joseph; (2009)
Evolution: The First Four Billion Years (/isis/citation/CBB001232307/) unapi

Chapter Engels, Eve-Marie; (2009)
Charles Darwins geheimnisvolle Revolution (/isis/citation/CBB001023713/) unapi

Book Stott, Rebecca; (2003)
Darwin and the Barnacle (/isis/citation/CBB000320242/) unapi

Book Gardiner, Brian; Milner, Richard; Morris, Mary; (2008)
Survival of the Fittest: A Special Issue of the Linnean Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Darwin-Wallace Theory of Evolution (/isis/citation/CBB001035140/) unapi

Article John Beatty; (2019)
The Creativity of Natural Selection? Part II: The Synthesis and Since (/isis/citation/CBB067118452/) unapi

Article Daniel J. Molter; (2022)
Bivalent Selection and Graded Darwinian Individuality (/isis/citation/CBB094549170/) unapi

Article Adam Krashniak; Ehud Lamm; (2021)
Francis Galton’s Regression Towards Mediocrity and the Stability of Types (/isis/citation/CBB928770929/) unapi

Book Michael A. Flannery; (2018)
Nature's Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology (/isis/citation/CBB900090701/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Waizbort, Ricardo
Martins, Lilian Al-Chueyer Pereira
Brzezinski Prestes, María Elice de
Stefano, Waldir
Hall, Brian K.
Stott, Rebecca
Journals
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution
American Quarterly
Biology and Philosophy
Journal of the History of Biology
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Publishers
W. W. Norton & Co.
Fundo Mackenzie de Pesquisa
American Philosophical Society
Routledge
Linnean Society of London
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Concepts
Evolution
Darwinism
Natural selection
Biology
Genetics
Species concept (biology)
People
Darwin, Charles Robert
Mayr, Ernst
Dobzhansky, Theodosius
Wallace, Alfred Russel
Gulick, John Thomas
Galton, Francis
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century
21st century
Places
Great Britain
United States
South America
Ukraine
Germany
England
Comments

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment