Illustration of Neo-Darwinism

1918 Neo-Darwinism

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Ronald Fisher, John Burdon Sanderson Haldane, Sewall Wright, Theodosius Dobzhansky evolution Illustration of Neo-Darwinism


Darwin’s natural selection was a difficult pill to swallow. The reasons it works weren’t discovered until later. Mendelian genetics, genetic mutation, survivability, sexual preference, and geographic isolation can give reproductive advantages to help a population of creatures compete and adapt and help explain the origin of species.

On being

On being near enough to others. On being able to help your own. On being a little different. On being selective. On being helped. On being lucky. On being numerous. On being sexually active. On being of the same species. On being sensible enough to fit in.


As an individual with a bad long-term memory, I find it difficult to imagine evolution of populations. But evolution works for only populations, isolated ones, over reaches of time too vast for me. Doesn’t one theory of capitalism claim self-interest benefits everyone in the long run? Cutthroats and pickpockets, robber barons and other monopolists, embezzlers, pyramid schemers, pimps and drug dealers, lying salesmen, factory farmers who feed antibiotics to their hogs, and companies that add toxins to baby formulas have taught us that self-interest is often not enlightened. What did Whitman mean in his Song of Myself “every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you”?

Athough it is unrelated to Neo-Darwinism, I highly recommend J. B. S. Haldane’s essay “On Being the Right Size,” which describes relations between the sizes and the biological systems of organisms.

The history of evolution, since it deals with our own origin as well as the origin of all life on Earth, has been subject to much prejudice, and has been confused by many poorly-justified notions, but these scientists—Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Dobzhansky, and others—studied evolution and genetics mathematically and found that Mendel’s laws of inheritance when applied to populations permitted the perpetuation of natural variations and Darwin’s natural selection as a driver of evolution.

See also in The book of science:

Readings in wikipedia: