O neodarwinismo ainda ronda com frequência a teoria da evolução!!!

sexta-feira, maio 21, 2021

Neo-darwinism still haunts evolutionary theory: A modern perspective on Charlesworth, Lande, and Slatkin (1982)

Zachary B. Hancock, Emma S. Lehmberg, Gideon S. Bradburd

First published: 17 May 2021 https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.14268

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.14268


The Modern Synthesis (or “Neo-Darwinism”), which arose out of the reconciliation of Darwin's theory of natural selection and Mendel's research on genetics, remains the foundation of evolutionary theory. However, since its inception, it has been a lightning rod for criticism, which has ranged from minor quibbles to complete dismissal. Among the most famous of the critics was Stephen Jay Gould, who, in 1980, proclaimed that the Modern Synthesis was “effectively dead.” Gould and others claimed that the action of natural selection on random mutations was insufficient on its own to explain patterns of macroevolutionary diversity and divergence, and that new processes were required to explain findings from the fossil record. In 1982, Charlesworth, Lande, and Slatkin published a response to this critique in Evolution, in which they argued that Neo-Darwinism was indeed sufficient to explain macroevolutionary patterns. In this Perspective for the 75th Anniversary of the Society for the Study of Evolution, we review Charlesworth et al. (1982) in its historical context and provide modern support for their arguments. We emphasize the importance of microevolutionary processes in the study of macroevolutionary patterns. Ultimately, we conclude that punctuated equilibrium did not represent a major revolution in evolutionary biology – although debate on this point stimulated significant research and furthered the field – and that Neo-Darwinism is alive and well.


Evolutionary theory Gould macroevolution microevolution punctuated equilibrium species selection

Publication History

Accepted manuscript online:

17 May 2021

Manuscript accepted:

14 May 2021

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