Theory in Biosciences

, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 41–91 | Cite as

The synthetic theory of evolution: general problems and the German contribution to the synthesis

Article

Summary

A metatheoretical and historiographical re-analysis of the Evolutionary Synthesis (the process) and the Synthetic Theory (the result) leads to the following conclusion: The Synthetic Theory is not a reductionistic, but rather a structuralistic theory with a limited range of relevant hierarchical levels. Historically the Synthesis was not a sudden event but a rational long-term project carried out between 1930 and 1950 by a large number of biologists in several countries. In the second part of our paper the contributions of several German biologists to the Synthesis are analyzed.

Key words

history of biology philosophy of science macroevolution natural selection scientific revolution 

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© Urban & Fischer Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut und Museum für Geologie und PaläontologieTübingen
  2. 2.Lehrstuhl für Ethik in den BiowissenschaftenEberhard-Karls-Universität TübingenTübingen
  3. 3.Institut für Geschichte der Medizin, Naturwissenschaft und Technik, Ernst-Haeckel-HausFriedrich-Schiller-Universität JenaJena

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