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What’s wrong with the modern evolutionary synthesis? A critical reply to Welch (2017)

Koen Tanghe (UGent) , Alexis De Tiège (UGent) , Lieven Pauwels (UGent) , Stefaan Blancke (UGent) and Johan Braeckman (UGent)
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Abstract
Welch (Biol Philos 32(2):263–279, 2017) has recently proposed two possible explanations for why the field of evolutionary biology is plagued by a steady stream of claims that it needs urgent reform. It is either seriously deficient and incapable of incorporating ideas that are new, relevant and plausible or it is not seriously deficient at all but is prone to attracting discontent and to the championing of ideas that are not very relevant, plausible and/or not really new. He argues for the second explanation. This paper presents a twofold critique of his analysis: firstly, the main calls for reform do not concern the field of evolutionary biology in general but rather, or more specifically, the modern evolutionary synthesis. Secondly, and most importantly, these calls are not only inspired by the factors, enumerated by Welch, but are also, and even primarily, motivated by four problematic characteristics of the modern synthesis. This point is illustrated through a short analysis of the latest reform challenge to the modern synthesis, the so-called extended evolutionary synthesis. We conclude with the suggestion that the modern synthesis should be amended, rather than replaced.
Keywords
Modern evolutionary synthesis · Extended evolutionary synthesis · Genecentrism · Kuhn · Welch

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Chicago
Tanghe, Koen, Alexis De Tiège, Lieven Pauwels, Stefaan Blancke, and Johan Braeckman. 2018. “What’s Wrong with the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis? A Critical Reply to Welch (2017).” Biology & Philosophy 33 (3-4).
APA
Tanghe, K., De Tiège, A., Pauwels, L., Blancke, S., & Braeckman, J. (2018). What’s wrong with the modern evolutionary synthesis? A critical reply to Welch (2017). BIOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY, 33(3-4).
Vancouver
1.
Tanghe K, De Tiège A, Pauwels L, Blancke S, Braeckman J. What’s wrong with the modern evolutionary synthesis? A critical reply to Welch (2017). BIOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY. Springer Nature; 2018;33(3-4).
MLA
Tanghe, Koen et al. “What’s Wrong with the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis? A Critical Reply to Welch (2017).” BIOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY 33.3-4 (2018): n. pag. Print.
@article{8564920,
  abstract     = {Welch (Biol Philos 32(2):263--279, 2017) has recently proposed two possible explanations for why the field of evolutionary biology is plagued by a steady stream of claims that it needs urgent reform. It is either seriously deficient
and incapable of incorporating ideas that are new, relevant and plausible or it is not seriously deficient at all but is prone to attracting discontent and to the championing of ideas that are not very relevant, plausible and/or not really new. He argues for the second explanation. This paper presents a twofold critique of his analysis: firstly, the main calls for reform do not concern the field of evolutionary biology in general but rather, or more specifically, the modern evolutionary synthesis. Secondly, and most importantly, these calls are not only inspired by the factors, enumerated by Welch, but are also, and even primarily, motivated by four problematic characteristics of the modern synthesis. This point is illustrated through a short analysis of the latest reform challenge to the modern synthesis, the so-called extended evolutionary synthesis. We conclude with the suggestion that the modern synthesis should be amended, rather than replaced.},
  articleno    = {23},
  author       = {Tanghe, Koen and De Ti{\`e}ge, Alexis and Pauwels, Lieven and Blancke, Stefaan and Braeckman, Johan},
  issn         = {0169-3867},
  journal      = {BIOLOGY \& PHILOSOPHY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3-4},
  publisher    = {Springer Nature},
  title        = {What{\textquoteright}s wrong with the modern evolutionary synthesis? A critical reply to Welch (2017)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10539-018-9633-3},
  volume       = {33},
  year         = {2018},
}

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