EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS
The main claims of stabilization theory, which distinguish it from neo-Darwinian theory, can be summarized as follows:
|Darwin's picture of evolution|
(From The Origin of Species)
Only a few words of difference, but the implications are huge. Consider how extensively Darwinian theory has influenced not only biology, but also society at large and you will see that the stakes here are incredibly high — what if the axioms of Darwin's theory actually are erroneous? — and subsequent discussion will provide excellent reasons for believing they actually are — Then the theory itself is wrong and the entire Weltanschauung based upon it is mistaken. For example, under stabilization theory we select and shape our environment. The neo-Darwinian outlook, of course, is just the opposite: Under that view, the environment selects and shapes us.
As we shall see, the relative merits of these two hypotheses can in fact be evaluated by considering which of the two is more consistent with available data. But first, let's look at some examples of stabilization processes.
Most shared on Macroevolution.net: