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Cell Cycle. 2009 Mar 15;8(6):799-800. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Towards a postmodern synthesis of evolutionary biology.

Author information

  • National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. koonin@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Abstract

In 2009, we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin and the 150th jubilee of his masterpiece, the Origin of Species. Darwin developed the first coherent and compelling narrative of biological evolution and thus founded evolutionary biology-and modern biology in general, remembering the famous dictum of Dobzhansky. It is, however, counter-productive, and ultimately, a disservice to Darwin's legacy, to define modern evolutionary biology as neo-Darwinism. The current picture of evolution, informed, in particular, by results of comparative genomics and systems biology, is by far more complex than that presented in the Origin of Species, so that Darwinian principles, including natural selection, are incorporated into the evolving new synthesis as important but certainly not all-embracing tenets. This expansion of evolutionary biology does not denigrate Darwin in the least but rather emphasizes the fertility of his ideas.

PMID:
19242109
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3410441
Free PMC Article
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