Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Gaps in Darwin’s Initial Theory

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1385-1



Shortcomings in and criticisms of the theory Origin of Species related to Darwin’s/Wallace’s theory of natural selection and how those gaps were filled.


This entry focuses on gaps in the initial theory of Charles Darwin in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life and its six subsequent revisions. This work can be summarized as two major arguments (Bowler 1989): First, it argued that species evolved via a process of “descent with modification.” Second, it argued that this process was driven by natural selection, an evolutionary mechanism co-discovered with Alfred Russel Wallace that required a struggle for existence, variation with fitness consequences, and inheritance of that variation. This work remains standing as a...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Archaeology and AnthropologyThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farid Pazhoohi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada