The modern evolutionary synthesis is a school of evolutionary thought which incorporates the concepts of natural selection, de Vries’ mutations, and studies in population genetics.[1]

The creation scientist Dr. Ariel A. Roth, who holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan, wrote concerning the modern evolution synthesis school of evolutionary thought:

In the middle of the 20th century, leading evolutionists proposed the “modern synthesis.” Hailed as the final evolutionary model, it incorporated Darwin’s natural selection, de Vries’ mutations and studies in population genetics. At the same time, other evolutionists were calling for much larger sudden changes than those noted for mutations.

These larger changes were needed because of major gaps between groups of organisms in assumed evolutionary lineages, as seen in the fossil record, and also because of the inadequacy of the survival value of small evolutionary changes while developing complex systems with interdependent parts.5 The term “hopeful monster” was suggested for these proposed suddenly appearing new forms. But they would need matching mates to be able to breed with, and as one critic commented, “Who will breed with a monster, hopeful or otherwise?”

The modern synthesis did not remain as the dominant evolutionary mechanism for very long, although a number of leading evolutionists still defend the model. One evolutionist comments, “And today the modern synthesis—neo-Darwinism—is not a theory, but a range of opinions which, each in its own way, tries to overcome the difficulties presented by the world of facts.”[2]

Recent clamour to revise the modern evolutionary synthesis

See also: Recent clamour to revise the modern evolutionary synthesis and Theory of evolution and little consensus

In 2005, Massimo Pigliucci, in a book review for the prestigious science journal Nature, wrote: "The clamour to revise neo-darwinism is becoming so loud that hopefully most practising evolutionary biologists will begin to pay attention. It has been said that science often makes progress not because people change their minds, but because the old ones die off and the new generation is more open to novel ideas."[3] In July of 2008, Elizabeth Pennisi wrote in the prestigous science journal Science: "Seventy years ago, evolutionary biologists hammered out the modern synthesis to bring Darwin's ideas in line with current insights into how organisms change through time. Some say it's time for Modern Synthesis 2.0."[4]

See also


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