Article ID: CBB922586155

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

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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.

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

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Authors & Contributors
Huneman, Philippe
Jablonka, Eva
Wade, Michael J.
Allen, Colin
Gliboff, Sander
Echeverria, Begona
Journals
Journal of the History of Biology
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Science-Fiction Studies
Biology and Philosophy
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Publishers
Hermann
Indiana University
University of California, Riverside
University of Chicago Press
Oxford University Press
Concepts
Evolution
Modern Synthesis (biology)
Genetics
Biology
Controversies and disputes
Natural selection
People
Darwin, Charles Robert
Waddington, Conrad Hal
Gould, Stephen Jay
Eldredge, Niles
Dobzhansky, Theodosius
Mayr, Ernst
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
19th century
Places
France
Great Britain
Ukraine
Germany
United States
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