Evolutionary Synthesis What was the value, and influence, of the +quot;evolutionary synthe

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Evolutionary Synthesis What was the value, and influence, of the "evolutionary synthesis," the theory (or theories) of evolution which dominated biology from the late 1930's until recently? Here are the views of Janis Antonovics (Botany, Duke), in his 1986 Presidential Address to the American Society of Naturalists: [M]y thesis is that the Evolutionary Synthesis failed in many serious and insidious ways. I propose that the Synthesis had little direct effect on the progress of evolutionary biology as a discipline and that, at the conceptual level, it may even have hindered rather than furthered our understanding of evolution. Many of the negative effects of the Synthesis have lasted to this day in terms of the institutional and conceptual structure of the field. I suggest that it is probably time that, rather than trying to finish the Synthesis as Eldredge...has exhorted, we instead earnestly work to dismantle it. Similar interesting and startling opinions are included in Antonovics's recent paper, "The Evolutionary Dys-Synthesis: Which Bottle for Which Wine?" American Naturalist , Vol. 129: 321-331, March 1987.


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