On Some Fundamental Concepts of Darwinian Biology

  • Theodosius Dobzhansky


There are two approaches to the study of the structures, functions, and interrelations of living beings—the Cartesian or reductionist and the Darwinian or compositionist. This does not mean that some biological sciences are reductionist and others compositionist, or that there are Cartesian and Darwinian phenomena. Biological phenomena do have, however, Cartesian and Darwinian aspects. Some biologists view their subject more from the reductionist and others from the compositionist side, and some are more adept at using Cartesian and others Darwinian methodologies.


Natural Selection Fundamental Concept Adaptive Radiation Genetic Load Selection Coefficient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amadon, D. 1964. The evolution of low reproductive rates in birds. Evolution, 18: 105–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrewartha, H. G., and L. C. Birch. 1954. The Distribution and Abundance of Animals. Chicago, Univ. Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Asimov, I. 1960. Intelligent Man’s Guide to Science. New York, Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Beardmore, J. A., Th. Dobzhansky, and O. Pavlovsky. 1960. An attempt to com pare the fitness of polymorphic and monomorphic experimental populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura. Heredity, (London), 14: 19–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beckner, M. 1959. The Biological Way of Thought. New York, Columbia Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  6. Birch, L. C., Th. Dobzhansky, P. O. Elliott, and R. C. Lewontin. 1963. Relative fitness of geographic races of Drosophila serrata. Evolution, 17: 72–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bock, W. J., and G. V. Wahlert. 1965. Adaptation and the form-function complex. Evolution, 19: 269–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bradshaw, A. D. 1965. Evolutionary significance of phenotypic plasticity in plants. Advances Genet., 13: 115–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brues, A. M., and G. H. Sacher, eds. 1965. Aging and Levels of Biological Organization. Chicago and London, Univ. Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  10. Cannon, W. B. 1932. The Wisdom of the Body. New York, Norton.Google Scholar
  11. Cody, M. L. 1966. A general theory of clutch size. Evolution, 20: 174–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Comfort, A. 1956. The Biology of Senescence. New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.Google Scholar
  13. Darwin, C. 1964 (1859). On the Origin of Species. (A facsimile of the 1st edition, introduction by Ernst Mayr.) Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  14. Dobzhansky, Th. 1956. What is an adaptive trait? Amer. Naturalist, 90: 337–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dobzhansky, Th. 1962. Mankind Evolving. New Haven, Yale Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  16. Dobzhansky, Th. 1964. Biology, molecular and organismic. Amer. Zool., 4:443. 452.Google Scholar
  17. Dobzhansky, Th., and H. Levene. 1955. Development homeostasis in natural populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura. Genetics, 40: 797–808.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Dobzhansky, Th., R. C. Lewontin, and O. Pavlovsky. 1964. The capacity for increase in chromosomally polymorphic and monomorphic populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura. Heredity (London), 19: 597–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dubos, R. 1965. Man Adapting. New Haven, Yale Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  20. Dunn, L. C. 1956. Analysis of a complex gene in the house mouse. Sympos. Quant. Biol., 21: 187–195.Google Scholar
  21. Dunn, L. C. 1960. Variations in the transmission ratios of alleles through egg and sperm in Mus musculus. Amer. Naturalist, 94: 385–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Eiseley, L. 1959. Charles Darwin, Edward Blyth, and the theory of natural selection. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc., 103: 94–158.Google Scholar
  23. Falconer, D. S. 1960. Introduction to Quantitative Genetics. New York, Ronald Press.Google Scholar
  24. Fisher, R. A. 1930. The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. Oxford, Clarendon. FOSBERG, F. R., ed. 1963. Man’s Place in the Island Ecosystems. Honolulu, Bishop Museum Press.Google Scholar
  25. Grant, V. 1963. The Origin of Adaptations. New York, Columbia Univ. Press. GRENE, M. 1958. Two evolutionary theories. Brit. J. Philos. Sci., 9:110–127, 185–193.Google Scholar
  26. Grant, V. 1961. Statistics and selection. Brit. J. Philos. Sci., 12: 25–42.Google Scholar
  27. Goudge, Th. A. 1961. The Ascent of Life. London, Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  28. Hardy, G. H. 1908. Mendelian proportions in a mixed population. Science, 28: 49–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hurley, J. S. 1942. Evolution, the Modern Synthesis. New York, Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  30. Lack, D. 1954. The evolution of reproductive rates. InHuxley, J. S., A. C. Hardy, and E. B. Ford, eds., Evolution as a Process, London, Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  31. Lerner, I. M. 1958. The Genetic Basis of Selection. New York, John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  32. Levins, R. 1962. Theory of fitness in a heterogeneous environment. I. The fitness set and adaptive function. Amer. Naturalist, 96: 361–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Levins, R. 1963. Developmental flexibility and niche selection. Amer. Naturalist, 97: 75–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Levins, R. 1964. The theory of fitness in a heterogeneous environment. IV. The adaptive significance of gene flow. Evolution, 18: 635–638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lewontin, R. C. 1961. Evolution and the theory of games. J. Theor. Biol., 1: 382–403.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lewontin, R. C. and L. C. Dunn. 1960. The evolutionary dynamics of a polymorphism in the house mouse. Genetics, 45: 705–722.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Lotka, A. J. 1925. Elements of Physical Biology. Baltimore, Williams and Wilkins.Google Scholar
  38. Manier, E. 1965. Genetics and the philosophy of biology. Proc. Amer. Catholic Philos. Ass., 124–133.Google Scholar
  39. Mayr, E. 1963. Animal Species and Evolution. Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  40. Muller, H. J. 1950. Our load of mutations. Amer. J. Hum. Genet., 2: 111–176.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Nagel, E. 1961. The Structure of Science. New York, Harcourt, Brace.Google Scholar
  42. Ohba, S. 1967. Chromosomal polymorphism and capacity for increase under near optimal conditions. Heredity (London), 22: 169–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rensch, B. 1960. Evolution Above the Species Level. New York, Columbia Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  44. Robinson, J. T. 1967. Variation and the taxonomy of early hominids. InDobzhansky, Th., M. K. Hecht, and Wm. C. Steere, eds., Evolutionary Biol., vol. 1, pp. 69100, New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  45. Roszkowski, A. P., G. I. Poos, and R. J. Mohrbacher. 1964. Selective rat toxicant. Science, 144: 412–413.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schmalhauben, I. I. 1949. Factors of Evolution. Philadelphia, Blakiston.Google Scholar
  47. Scriven, M. 1959. Explanation and prediction in evolutionary theory. Science, 130: 477–482.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Simpson, G. G. 1949. The Meaning of Evolution. New Haven, Yale Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  49. Simpson, G. G.. 1953. The Major Features of Evolution. New York, Columbia Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  50. Simpson, G. G. 1960. The history of life. InTax, S., ed., Evolution after Darwin, vol. 1, 117–180, Chicago, Univ. Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  51. Simpson, G. G. 1964. This View of Life. New York, Harcourt, Brace and World.Google Scholar
  52. Sinnott, E. W. 1953. The Biology of the Spirit. New York, Viking.Google Scholar
  53. Sinnott, E. W. 1963. The Problem of Organic Form. New Haven, Yale Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  54. Sinnott, E. W. 1966. The Bridge of Life. New York, Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  55. Slobodkin, L. B. 1964. The strategy of evolution. Amer. Sci., 52: 342–357.Google Scholar
  56. Smart, J. C. 1963. Physics and biology. In Philosophy and Scientific Realism. New York, Humanities Press.Google Scholar
  57. Stebbins, G. L. 1966. Processes of Organic Evolution. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  58. Teilhard de Chardin, P. 1959. The Phenomenon of Man. New York, Harper.Google Scholar
  59. Thoday, J. M. 1953. Components of fitness. Sympos. Soc. Exp. Biol., 7: 96–113.Google Scholar
  60. Thoday, J. M. 1958. Natural selection and biological progress. InBarnett, S. A. ed., A Century of Darwin, London, HeinemannGoogle Scholar
  61. Thoday, J. M.. 1959. Effects of disruptive selection. I. Genetic flexibility. Heredity (London), 13: 187–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Thoday, J. M.. 1965. Effects of selection for genetic diversity. InGoerts, S. J., ed., Genetics Today, vol. 3, 533–540, Oxford, Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  63. Thoday, J. M., J. B. Gibson, and S. G. Spickett. 1963. Regular responses to selection. Genet. Res., 5: 1–19.Google Scholar
  64. Wallace, B. 1948. Studies on “sex-ratio” in Drosophila pseudoobscura. Evolution, 2: 189–217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wallace, B., and Th. Dobzhansky. 1953. The genetics of homeostasis in Drosophila. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 39: 162–171.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wallace, B., and A. M. Srb. 1964. Adaptation. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  67. Weaver, W. 1964. Scientific explanation. Science, 143: 1297–1300.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Weinberg, W. 1908. Über den Nachweis der Vererbung bei Menschen. Jahresh. Ver. vaterl. Naturk. Württemberg, 64: 368–392.Google Scholar
  69. Williams, G. C. 1966. Adaptation and Natural Selection. Princeton, N.J., Princeton Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  70. Zimmerman, E. C. 1948. Insects of Hawaii. Honolulu, Univ. Hawaii Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodosius Dobzhansky
    • 1
  1. 1.The Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations