Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, directional selection, and the evolutionary sciences today

@article{Kutschera2009CharlesDO,
  title={Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, directional selection, and the evolutionary sciences today},
  author={Ulrich Kutschera},
  journal={Naturwissenschaften},
  year={2009},
  volume={96},
  pages={1247-1263}
}
  • U. Kutschera
  • Published 16 September 2009
  • Biology
  • Naturwissenschaften
The book On the Origin of Species, published in November 1859, is an “abstract” without references, compiled by Charles Darwin from a much longer manuscript entitled “Natural Selection.” Here, I summarize the five theories that can be extracted from Darwin’s monograph, explain the true meaning of the phrase “struggle for life” (i.e., competition and cooperation), and outline Darwin’s original concept of natural selection in populations of animals and plants. Since neither Darwin nor Alfred R… 

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913): the forgotten co-founder of the Neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution

The British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913), who had to leave school aged 14 and never attended university, did extensive fieldwork, and after reading the corresponding scientific literature, Wallace postulated that species were not created, but are modified descendants of pre-existing varieties.

Beyond Darwinism’s Eclipse: Functional Evolution, Biochemical Recapitulation and Spencerian Emergence in the 1920s and 1930s

While Needham did not reject Darwinian theory, Spencerian and Haeckelian frameworks happened to better fit his findings and their evolutionary relevance, and this is demonstrated through reconstruction of the evolutionary theory of Joseph Needham.

Evolutionary plant physiology: Charles Darwin’s forgotten synthesis

This article deduces the existence of a Darwinian (evolutionary) approach to plant physiology and defines this emerging scientific discipline as the experimental study and theoretical analysis of the functions of green, sessile organisms from a phylogenetic perspective.

From the scala naturae to the symbiogenetic and dynamic tree of life

It is argued that Darwin was still influenced by "ladder thinking", a theological view that prevailed throughout the 19th century and is also part of Ernst Haeckel's famous Oak tree (of Life) of 1866, which is, like Darwin's scheme, static.

Charles Darwin, beetles and phylogenetics

Charles Darwin’s relation to beetles and developments in coleopteran systematics in the last two centuries are reviewed to develop a well-founded phylogeny, which truly reflects the evolution of this immensely species rich group of organisms.

Amphimixis and the individual in evolving populations: does Weismann’s Doctrine apply to all, most or a few organisms?

It is argued that bacteria, the dominant organisms of the biosphere, exist in super-cellular biofilms but rarely as single (planktonic) microbes.

Darwin’s warm little pond revisited: from molecules to the origin of life

In this review, this review has concentrated on experimental and theoretical research published over the last two decades, which has added a wealth of new details and helped to close gaps in previous understanding of this multifaceted field.

The predictability of evolution: glimpses into a post-Darwinian world

It is argued that in sharp contradistinction to an orthodox Darwinian view, not only is evolution much more predictable than generally assumed but also investigation of its organizational substrates, including those of sensory systems, indicates that it is possible to identify a predictability to the process and outcomes of evolution.

Symbiogenesis and Cell Evolution: An Anti-Darwinian Research Agenda?

Evidence is summarized indicating that symbiogenesis, natural selection, and the dynamic Earth (plate tectonics) represent key processes that caused major macro-evolutionary transitions during the 3500-million-year-long history of life on Earth.

Illuminating Our World: An Essay on the Unraveling of the Species Problem, with Assistance from a Barnacle and a Goose

This paper investigates the manner in which both naturalists and the wider community view one of the most intriguing of all questions: what makes a species special, and the vehicles used are the barnacle goose and the goose barnacle.

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 119 REFERENCES

The modern theory of biological evolution: an expanded synthesis

It is concluded that the basic tenets of the synthetic theory have survived, but in modified form, and require continued elaboration, particularly in light of molecular biology, to answer open-ended questions concerning the mechanisms of evolution in all five kingdoms of life.

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: Or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

Charles Darwin's seminal formulation of the theory of evolution, "On the Origin of Species" continues to be as controversial today as when it was first published. This "Penguin Classics" edition

A comparative analysis of the Darwin-Wallace papers and the development of the concept of natural selection

It is concluded that natural selection’s lesser known co-discoverer should be regarded as one of the most important pioneers of evolutionary biology, whose original contributions are underestimated by most contemporary scientists.

Don’t Call it “Darwinism”

The term “Darwinism” should be abandoned as a synonym for evolutionary biology because it reinforces a misleading portrayal of evolution and hinders efforts to present the scientific standing of evolution accurately.

One Long Argument. Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought

  • P. Bondy
  • Biology
    The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
  • 1992
Despite its limitations, the thoroughness of the book still shines, and both clinicians and researchers will benefit from having this concise volume, written by one of the outstanding thinkers in this area.

The competitive Darwin

Abstract Although Darwin was not the first to conceive directional selection as a mechanism of phenotypic change, it is his ideas that were received, and that have shaped population biology to this

Darwin's Hypotheses on the Origin of Domestic Animals and the History of German Shepherd Dogs

It is shown that Darwin's analogy between artificial and natural selection was correct: domestication involves large, heritable phenotypic changes in an animal species over many subsequent generations and hence represents a rapid evolutionary process.

Darwin's greatest discovery: Design without designer

  • F. Ayala
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2007
Darwin's greatest contribution to science is that he completed the Copernican Revolution by drawing out for biology the notion of nature as a system of matter in motion governed by natural laws. With

Evolutionary plant physiology: Charles Darwin’s forgotten synthesis

This article deduces the existence of a Darwinian (evolutionary) approach to plant physiology and defines this emerging scientific discipline as the experimental study and theoretical analysis of the functions of green, sessile organisms from a phylogenetic perspective.
...