Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Modern Synthesis

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_203-1



The modern synthetic theory of evolution describes the evolution in terms of genetic variations in a population that leads to the formation of a new species.


Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, founded a strong ground for evolutionary theories that favored the idea that all the organisms have descended from a common ancestor. Darwin proposed natural selection as a mechanism of evolution. Then came the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution that explained the significance of mutations and variations within a population, as a driver factor of evolution. This perspective was followed for many decades.

Ronald Fisher and his colleagues set Darwin’s concept of natural selection on a new foundation of genetics. They left an equally major project open for later biologists: to explain in the language of genes what species are and how they originate. While the Darwin’s theory largely demonstrated the “facts” of...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular & Human GeneticsBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Akash Gautam
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, School of Medical SciencesUniversity of HyderabadHyderabadIndia