, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 297-299
Date: 24 Oct 2009

Darwinism in the twenty-first century

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Abstract

Darwin (1859) formulated a comprehensive explanation of evolution by natural selection, including a molecular theory of inheritance and the realization that novel adaptive traits could originate by environmental induction. While the twentieth century was the age of the gene in evolutionary biology, the twenty-first century promises to be the age of the environment: developmental genetics, alongside Mendelian transmission genetics, and a growing appreciation of environmental effects on organisms, represents a return to Darwin’s original view of how adaptive evolution works.

This article belongs to a special issue dedicated to the meeting “Il mondo dopo Darwin”, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, 11–12 February 2009.