Haldane, Mayr, and Beanbag Genetics

By Krishna Dronamraju | Go to book overview

7
Evolution: The Modern
Synthesis

A leading architect of the “modern synthesis,” Theodosius Dobzhansky, wrote: “The manner of action of selection has been dealt with only theoretically, by means of mathematical analysis. The results of this theoretical work (Haldane, Fisher, and Wright) are however invaluable as a guide for any future experimental attack on the problem” (1937, p. 176). This, indeed, is the answer to the question later posed by Ernst Mayr in his address to the Cold Spring Harbor symposium “Genetics and Twentieth-Century Darwinism” in 1959, which he titled “Where Are We?” (1959).

Another architect of the modern synthesis, Julian Huxley wrote: “Haldane… has made a number of valuable theoretical studies on the rate of evolutionary change to be expected with various given degrees of selective advantage for autosomal dominants and recessives and other types of mutations” (p. 56). Huxley* (1942) acknowledged that both R.A. Fisher (1932) and J.B.S. Haldane (1932a) have shown the enormous power of selection in effecting evolutionary change.

* See biography of Julian Huxley by Dronamraju (1993).

-145-

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Haldane, Mayr, and Beanbag Genetics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - What Is Beanbag Genetics? 3
  • 2 - Foundations of Population Genetics 45
  • 3 - Time Line- J.B.S. Haldane (1892–1964) 88
  • 4 - Time Line- Ernst Walter Mayr (1904–2005) 100
  • 5 - J.B.S. Haldane and Evolutionary Biology 113
  • 6 - Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology 126
  • 7 - Evolution- The Modern Synthesis 145
  • 8 - Summary 171
  • References 187
  • Appendix 199
  • Index 271
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