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SpeciesA History of the Idea$
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John Wilkins and Daniel Doak

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260856

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260856.001.0001

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The Synthesis and Species

The Synthesis and Species

(p.181) The Synthesis and Species

John S. Wilkins

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the beginnings of the modern synthesis and modern species debate. Ronald A. Fisher is famous as the founder of the modern synthesis between Mendelian genetics and Darwinian natural selection. His work, Genetical Theory of Natural Selection introduced mathematical models to genetics and selection and addressed questions about species in the context of sexual and asexual reproduction. Theodosius Dobzhansky's essay, “A Critique of the Species Concept in Biology,” marked the beginnings of the modern species debate. Dobzhansky introduced two innovations in the debate: the idea of species as evolutionary players, and the idea that genetic exchange marked out these players.

Keywords:   synthesis, species, Ronald A. Fisher, genetics, natural selection, Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, Theodosius Dobzhansky, species concept

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