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Modern synthesis

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The modern synthesis or neo-Darwinian synthesis unites the theories of Charles Darwin with Gregor Mendel's genetics, producing our contemporary theory of evolution. The modern synthesis was set in motion in 1918 by Ronald Fisher and William Bateson, and by the end of the 1940s genetics and the gene had been fully accepted by evolutionary biology.

The modern synthesis established mutation and recombination as the main sources of variation within populations, and introduced genetic drift as an evolutionary process.

The modern synthesis was revised by the Williams revolution of the 1960s, which established gene selection as the leading theory of selection.

Principal architects of the modern synthesis were Ronald Fisher, Theodosius Dobzhansky, J.B.S. Haldane, Sewall Wright, Julian Huxley, Ernst Mayr, and George Gaylord Simpson.

The term neo-Darwinism was coined before the modern synthesis by George John Romanes to describe Alfred Russel Wallace's theory of evolution. Wallace rejected inheritance of acquired characteristics, something Darwin never ruled out.

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