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Evolutionary Ideas: The Modern Synthesis

  1. Peter J Bowler

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001694



How to Cite

Bowler, P. J. 2001. Evolutionary Ideas: The Modern Synthesis. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. The Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001


By the middle decades of the twentieth century a synthesis between Mendelian genetics and the Darwinian selection theory had emerged that attracted the support of the majority of evolutionary biologists. The genetical theory of natural selection was applied to field studies and palaeontology, giving rise to disagreements among biologists and historians over the nature and ultimate impact of the synthesis.


  • Darwinism;
  • evolutionary synthesis;
  • natural selection;
  • population genetics;
  • speciation