Genetics, paleontology, and macroevolution by Jeffrey S. Levinton

By Jeffrey S. Levinton

This multiplied and up to date moment variation deals a finished examine macroevolution and its underpinnings, with a major emphasis on animal evolution. From a Neodarwinian standpoint, the ebook integrates evolutionary approaches in any respect degrees to provide an explanation for the variety of animal existence. It examines a variety of issues together with genetics, speciation, improvement, evolution, constructional and useful points of shape, fossil lineages, and systematics, and --in an enormous new chapter--takes a difficult examine the Cambrian explosion. the writer delves into the age of molecular technological know-how and integrates very important contemporary contributions made to our knowing of evolution.

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397). He argued that “there is no such category as incipient species. , p. 396). The first part of the book, entitled “Microevolution,” described the nature of geographic and within-population variations in a species. The second part denied that this was the stuff of transspecific evolution. His adherence to this strong point of view is exemplified in his endorsement of the contemporary work of the paleontologist Otto Schindewolf (1936), who had proclaimed that the first bird had hatched from a reptile’s egg.

In sum, Goldschmidt’s characterizations of the neo-Darwinian movement were inaccurate caricatures. Goldschmidt felt that the population geneticists of the day were too faithful to the notion that genes were independently acting entities. Some discoveries, such as the notion of position effects of genes, strengthened his suspicion of the genic theory. This feeling might have stemmed from his training, which emphasized development and physiological function, as opposed to transmission genetics (G.

He is best remembered for hopeful monsters (Goldschmidt 1933, 1940), those few monstrosities that he claimed to be the stuff of major species-level saltations in evolution. He relied on hypothetical chromosomal mutations that accumulated cryptically in populations until a threshold was breached, propelling the phenotype across an unbridgeable gap. Most of these new phenotypes 20 GENETICS, PALEONTOLOGY, AND MACROEVOLUTION were hopeless, but the rare success was the progenitor of a new species. This work has not withstood the test of time and was at variance with the fact and theory contemporary with its proposal and all that we have learned since.

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