Article ID: CBB922586155

Chance, Variation and Shared Ancestry: Population Genetics After the Synthesis (2019)


Chance has been a focus of attention ever since the beginning of population genetics, but neutrality has not, as natural selection once appeared to be the only worthwhile issue. Neutral change became a major source of interest during the neutralist–selectionist debate, 1970–1980. It retained interest beyond this period for two reasons that contributed to its becoming foundational for evolutionary reasoning. On the one hand, neutral evolution was the first mathematical prediction to emerge from Mendelian inheritance: until then evolution by natural selection was considered the alternative to the fixity of species; now it appears to be the alternative to continuous change. Second, neutral change generated a set of clear predictions on standing variation. These could be used as a reference for detecting more elusive alternative mechanisms of evolution including natural selection. In the wake of the transition from Mendelism to genomics, the combination of coalescent theory, DNA sequence variation, and numerical analysis made it possible to integrate contingent aspects of the history of species into a new null model, thus opening a new dimension in the concept of population that the Modern Synthesis formerly considered as a mere gene pool.

Included in

Article Philippe Huneman (2019) Special Issue Editor’s Introduction: “Revisiting the Modern Synthesis”. Journal of the History of Biology (pp. 509-518). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Anya Plutynski; (2019)
Speciation Post Synthesis: 1960–2000 (/isis/citation/CBB489906012/)

Book Charles H. Pence; (2021)
The Rise of Chance in Evolutionary Theory: A Pompous Parade of Arithmetic (/isis/citation/CBB843376661/)

Book Grant Ramsey; Charles H. Pence; (2016)
Chance in Evolution (/isis/citation/CBB545855239/)

Article Jean-Baptiste Grodwohl; (2019)
Animal Behavior, Population Biology and the Modern Synthesis (1955–1985) (/isis/citation/CBB982680006/)

Article Jean Gayon; Philippe Huneman; (2019)
The Modern Synthesis: Theoretical or Institutional Event? (/isis/citation/CBB935159939/)

Chapter Gissis, Snait B.; Jablonka, Eva; (2011)
The Exclusion of Soft (“Lamarckian”) Inheritance from the Modern Synthesis (/isis/citation/CBB001500089/)

Article Bollinge, Laurel; (2010)
Symbiogenesis, Selfhood, and Science Fiction (/isis/citation/CBB001031068/)

Article Grimoult, Cédric; (2009)
Le débat sur le ponctualisme en France: Le colloque international de Dijon en 1982 (/isis/citation/CBB000954548/)

Thesis Valles, Sean A.; (2010)
Explaining the Evolution of Common Genetic Disease (/isis/citation/CBB001567174/)

Book Merlin, Francesca; (2013)
Mutations et aléas: le hasard dans la théorie de l'évolution (/isis/citation/CBB001510451/)

Article Philippe Huneman; (2019)
How the Modern Synthesis Came to Ecology (/isis/citation/CBB692195212/)

Article Pierre-Olivier Méthot; (2020)
François Jacob et La Logique du vivant: Une histoire des objets de la biologie (/isis/citation/CBB273778809/)

Thesis Burkett, Andrew; (2008)
The Ministry of Chance: British Romanticism, Darwinian Evolutionary Theory and the Aleatory (/isis/citation/CBB001561190/)

Essay Review Ariel Jonathan Roffé; (2018)
Contemporary Perspectives on the Meaning, Roles, and Implications of Chance in Evolution (/isis/citation/CBB603381812/)

Article Yoichi Ishida; (2017)
Sewall Wright, shifting balance theory, and the hardening of the modern synthesis (/isis/citation/CBB492038485/)

Article Kutschera, Ulrich; Niklas, Karl J.; (2004)
The Modern Theory of Biological Evolution: An Expanded Synthesis (/isis/citation/CBB000620122/)

Authors & Contributors
Pence, Charles H.
Huneman, Philippe
Roffé, Ariel Jonathan
Grodwohl, Jean-Baptiste
Merlin, Francesca
Ishida, Yoichi
Journal of the History of Biology
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Science-Fiction Studies
Science and Education
University of California, Riverside
University of Chicago Press
Academic Press
Duke University
Indiana University
Modern Synthesis (biology)
Natural selection
Darwin, Charles Robert
Waddington, Conrad Hal
Monod, Jacques
Müller, Hermann Joseph
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monet de
Jacob, François
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
20th century, early
19th century
21st century
United States
Great Britain
Institut Pasteur, Paris

Be the first to comment!

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

Log in or register to comment