, 20:297

First online:

Darwinism in the twenty-first century

  • Mary Jane West-EberhardAffiliated withSmithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Escuela de Biologia, Universidad de Costa Rica, Ciudad Universitaria “Rodrigo Facio” Email author 

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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.


Genetics Gene expression Adaptive evolution Genetic accommodation Novel traits Environmental change