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Thread: Evolution has moved beyond the neo-Darwinian synthesis?!

  1. #1 Evolution has moved beyond the neo-Darwinian synthesis?! 
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    American biologist James A. Shapiro in his book Evolution: A View from the 21st Century (2011) has written that evolutionary mechanisms such as horizontal gene transfer, symbiogenesis, whole genome doubling and natural genetic engineering are all non-Darwinian and can not be fitted into the modern evolutionary synthesis as the modern synthesis is still working in a Darwinian framework. Shapiro believes many of these mechanisms fit better with a saltationist school rather than Darwin's strict advocacy of gradualism via "numerous, successive, slight variations".

    Non-Darwinian evolution - RationalWiki

    Eugene Koonin has said that the neo-Darwinian synthesis is outdated and wrong.

    See his papers Eugene Koonin, The Origin at 150: Is a new evolutionary synthesis in sight?" Trends in Genetics, 25(11), November 2009, pp. 473-475 and Eugene Koonin, Darwinian evolution in the light of genomics, Nucleic Acids Research, 37(4), 2009, pp. 1011-1034

    He says in these papers:

    In the post-genomic era, all the major tenets of the modern synthesis have been, if not outright overturned, replaced by a new and incomparably more complex vision of the key aspects of evolution.
    The discovery of pervasive HGT and the overall dynamics
    of the genetic universe destroys not only the tree of life as we
    knew it but also another central tenet of the modern synthesis
    inherited from Darwin, namely gradualism. In a
    world dominated by HGT, gene duplication, gene loss and
    such momentous events as endosymbiosis, the idea of evolution
    being driven primarily by infinitesimal heritable
    changes in the Darwinian tradition has become untenable.
    Equally outdated is the (neo-) Darwinian notion of the
    adaptive nature of evolution; clearly, genomes show very
    little if any signs of optimal design, and random drift
    constrained by purifying in all likelihood contributes
    (much) more to genome evolution than Darwinian selection.


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    If I was researching in a field that has been evolving for well over a century and had contributed to that evolution I might wish to emphasise the novelty of my contribution.

    If I was the personality type that enjoyed, even required, battling authority I might wish to challenge the validity of the current consensus view.

    If I had a philosophical bent and was a fan of Khun I might wish to think I was in the midst of a paradigm shift.

    If I was a pedant who thought what we called things was more important than what they actually were, I might try to artificially classify recent advances in the field with a new name.

    If we were a group of individuals with these viewpoints and predilictions, providing mutual support and encouragement, pretty soon we might find disciples willing to promote these concepts on science forums with posts that had titles such as Evolution has moved beyond the neo-Darwinian synthesis?!. But that's all hypothetical, far-fetched and unlikely to happen.


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    that had titles such as Evolution has moved beyond the neo-Darwinian synthesis?!. But that's all hypothetical, far-fetched and unlikely to happen.
    dude theres a whole bunch of scientific papers and books claiming evolution has moved beyond the neo-Darwinian synthesis of the 1940s.... are you a scientist? Perhaps we could have some scientists from the field actual opinions. So you think the conclusions of Eugene Koonin are far-fetched? not argument from authority but that dude is a professor... so clearly something is going on within evolution at the moment. science aint static u know...
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Evolution evolves, dude.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsbm ranger View Post
    dude theres a whole bunch of scientific papers and books claiming evolution has moved beyond the neo-Darwinian synthesis of the 1940s....
    Well, I would be very disappointed if evolutionary biology hadn't made progress in the last 70 years. I'm still not sure what your point is. None of this proves Darwin was "wrong"; just that we know a lot more now.

    p.s. is that you, forest? Back under a new name?
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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