The Theory of Evolution: Principles, Concepts, and Assumptions

November 1, 2020
The Theory of Evolution: Principles, Concepts, and Assumptions

Darwin's nineteenth-century writings laid the foundations formodern studies of evolution, and theoretical developments in themid-twentieth century fostered the Modern Synthesis. Since thattime, a great deal of new biological knowledge has been generated,including details of the genetic code, lateral gene transfer, anddevelopmental constraints. Our improved understanding of these andmany other phenomena have been working their way into evolutionarytheory, changing it and improving its correspondence with evolutionin nature. And while the study of evolution is thriving both as abasic science to understand the world and in its applications inagriculture, medicine, and public health, the broad scope ofevolution—operating across genes, whole organisms, clades, andecosystems—presents a significant challenge for researchers seekingto integrate abundant new data and content into a general theory ofevolution. This book gives us that framework and synthesis for thetwenty-first century. The Theory of Evolution presents a series ofchapters by experts seeking this integration by addressing thecurrent state of affairs across numerous fields within evolutionarybiology, ranging from biogeography to multilevel selection,speciation, and macroevolutionary theory. By presenting currentsyntheses of evolution's theoretical foundations and their growthin light of new datasets and analyses, this collection will enhancefuture research and understanding.