Modern evolutionary synthesis  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The modern evolutionary synthesis is a union of ideas from several biological specialties which forms a sound account of evolution. This synthesis has been generally accepted by most working biologists. The synthesis was produced over about a decade (1936–1947), and the development of population genetics (1918–1932) was the stimulus. This showed that Mendelian genetics was consistent with natural selection and gradual evolution. The synthesis is still, to a large extent, the current paradigm in evolutionary biology.

Julian Huxley invented the term, when he produced his book, Evolution: The Modern Synthesis (1942). Other major figures in the modern synthesis include R. A. Fisher, Theodosius Dobzhansky, J.B.S. Haldane, Sewall Wright, E.B. Ford, Ernst Mayr, Bernhard Rensch, Sergei Chetverikov, George Gaylord Simpson, and G. Ledyard Stebbins.

The modern synthesis solved difficulties and confusions caused by the specialisation and poor communication between biologists in the early years of the twentieth century. Discoveries of early geneticists were difficult to reconcile with gradual evolution and the mechanism of natural selection. The synthesis reconciled the two schools of thought, while providing evidence that studies of populations in the field were crucial to evolutionary theory. It drew together ideas from several branches of biology that had become separated, particularly genetics, cytology, systematics, botany, morphology, ecology and paleontology.

Modern evolutionary synthesis is also referred to as the new synthesis, the modern synthesis, and the evolutionary synthesis.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Modern evolutionary synthesis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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