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Genetics and the Origin of Species (The Columbia Classics in Evolution) Paperback – October 15, 1982

ISBN-13: 978-0231054751 ISBN-10: 0231054750

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Genetics and the Origin of Species (The Columbia Classics in Evolution) + The Causes of Evolution (Princeton Science Library) + Tempo and Mode in Evolution (The Columbia Classics in Evolution)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Columbia Classics in Evolution
  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (October 15, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231054750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231054751
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

In 1936, nearly ten years after his Russian emigration, Theodosius Dobzhansky attempted the first synthesis of evolutionary semantics and experimental genetics. His lectures at Columbia University from that time became Genetics and the Origin of Species- a long argument for a general attitude toward nature and a specific approach that unified the disparate elements of evolutionary theory.


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975) was a famous geneticist and evolutionary biologist. This book (originally written in 1937, and revised in 1941 and 1951) was one of the more famous statements of the Neo-Darwinian or "synthetic" theory of evolution.

Dobzhansky says that "The greatest achievement of biological science to date is the demonstration that the diversity (of organisms) is not fortuitous. It has not arisen from a whim or caprice of some deity. It is a product of evolution, an outcome of a long historical process of development...." He adds, "Biology can not fathom whether life may be part of some Cosmic Design. But biology does show that the evolution of life on earth is governed by causes that can be understood by human reason."

He asserts that The terms "microevolution" and "macroevolution" have "only descriptive meaning; they imply no difference in underlying causal agencies." "Gene mutation and chromosome changes are the sources of variation ... there can be no reasonable doubt that the same agencies have supplied the materials for the actual historical process of evolution."

Mutations are the source of evolution, notwithstanding that mutations are most often harmful to the organism, since "Mutations which are unfavorable in a given environment may be valuable in a changed environment," and "Since natural selection augments the adaptive value of the genotype as a whole, neutral, and even slightly deleterious, traits may be promoted by selection if they happen to be connected with useful ones." He minimizes laboratory experiments intended to create mutations, since in corn experiments, "mutations produced by X rays are different from the spontaneous ones, the former being chiefly minute deficiencies due to destruction of genes.
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From my perspective he starts rather late in the Origin.
Biologists do not seem to realize that what they take as
a starting point has many features which they accept that
need explanation.
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