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The Evolutionary Synthesis

Ernst Mayr and William B. Provine
Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Vol. 34, No. 8 (May, 1981), pp. 17-32
DOI: 10.2307/3823367
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3823367
Page Count: 16
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The Evolutionary Synthesis
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Abstract

Several years ago, the Academy's Committee on the Recent History of Science and Technology organized a two-part conference on the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology and genetics. This conference was attended by many of the actual architects of the synthesis, leading evolutionists of the next generation, and a number of historians of biology and philosophers of science. From papers prepared for the conference and personal accounts provided by contributors to the synthesis, Ernst Mayr and William B. Provine edited The Evolutionary Synthesis: Perspectives on the Unification of Biology, which was published recently by Harvard University Press. The first section of this book contains analyses of the contributions of the various biological disciplines to the evolutionary synthesis; the second major section is devoted to analyses of the synthesis in different countries; a concluding section contains a discussion of general interpretive issues in the synthesis, an epilogue, and biographical essays. The following excerpts include some observations by Mayr on the history of the synthesis, taken from the preface and prologue, and a portion of Provine's epilogue discussing the contributions of the conference to our understanding of the synthesis.

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