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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 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.