Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Modern Darwinism, also known as the “modern synthesis” or “neo-Darwinism,” is a comprehensive theory of evolution that combines Darwin's theory of natural selection with principles of Mendelian genetics. Although the theory was established in the 1920s to 1940s and biology has undergone profound and rapid changes since that time, neo-Darwinism is still considered to be a generally accepted paradigm of biological evolution. A basic idea of neo-Darwinism is that it is a two-step process. The first step is a random generation of genetically determined variance in population of individuals, followed by second step, the selection of those individual variants by environments that are relatively more successful to survive and reproduce. In recent years, we have been witnessing an expansion of neo-Darwinian principles beyond biology: to cosmology, medicine, economics, computing, neurology, psychology, psychiatry, modeling of cultural development, and history of science. Neo-Darwinian algorithm is applicable not only to living organisms but ...