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Romanes

  • Donald Forsdyke
Chapter

‘We accept natural selection,’ … [Weismann] says, ‘because we must – because it is the only possible explanation that we can conceive.’ As a politician, I know that argument very well. … But such a line of reasoning is utterly out of place in science. We are under no obligation to find a theory if the facts will not provide a sound one.

Marquis of Salisbury (1894)

In the 1870s and 1880s, Romanes, and an American missionary in Hawaii, John Gulick, independently questioned Darwin's emphasis on natural selection. As set out in my earlier book [1], they began corresponding with each other in the 1880s and formed an alliance against the “ultra-Darwinians” – Alfred Wallace and August Weismann. The issue was not so much that adaptation to environment as required by Darwin did not seem to be universally present, but that evolutionary mechanisms other than natural selection needed to be identified. The existence of such mechanisms was postulated in 1886 by Romanes in his theory of...

Keywords

Natural Selection Reproductive System Reproductive Isolation Hybrid Sterility Linnean Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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  • Donald Forsdyke

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