Synthetic Theory and Punctuated Equilibrium

The Modern Synthetic Theory of evolution or Evolutionary Synthesis and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium or Punctualism as Modern Neo-Darwinism

Book front cover of the Conditional Evolution of Life. Seahorse and goldfish.



Author: José Tiberius




9.d.1. Neo-Darwinism

The Neo-Darwinism is just a theory incorporating current scientific advances in science related to evolution and biology, such as Mendel’s laws. It continues to deny the influence of the environment or the internal development of living beings a load of genetic information.

Other theories of evolution and human origin are Synthetic Theory (Dobzhansky, Mayr, and Simpson), Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (Eldredge and Gould), and Neutralism Theory.

See chapter III about criticism of Neo-Darwinism





9.d.2. Modern Synthetic Theory of evolution and Punctualism

The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis has incorporated the latest advances of science in biology and genetics. While Neo-Darwinism contained random mutations within the population, The Synthetic Theory integrates them within genetic information and accepts this mechanism as part of the evolution that, together with the natural selection mechanism, produces development as a whole.

Pequeño Senegal (Teresa Pérez Barrasa)
A village with trees. Little Senegal by T.P. Barrasa.

The Synthetic Theory or Modern Synthetic emerged around the middle of the 20th century from the ideas of three authors specialized in different branches of evolution: Theodosius Dobzhansky in genetics, Ernst Mayr in the species of living beings, and George G. Simpson in the vast categories of the organisms.

The diversification emerges slowly, usually through gradual changes, and originates in the specialization. Therefore, it is part of the Gradualism trend as the initial Theory of Darwin.

We can summarize the essential differences between the Modern Synthetic Theory with the Theory of Darwin in the following:

  • It incorporates Mendel's Laws.
  • Variations in the population due to genetic variability
  • It assumes the specialization due to the genetic information's cumulative changes and the mechanism of natural selection.

In short, the synthetic theory significantly moved the evolution of a living being to its internal components while maintaining the same emergentism.

Concerning the evolutionary leaps and Modern Synthetic Theory, the controversy is currently present because of the fossil registry, about which there is not a precise position within the scientific community.

The opposite movement would be Saltationism.

It consists of the old attitudes defended by the geneticist Richard Goldschmidt and the paleontologist Otto Schindewolf of evolution in leaps. On the same line, more recently, the Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium or Punctualism appeared due to the contributions from the paleontology of Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould in 1972; the latter incorporates the selection between species to the Darwinian selection between individuals.

Although Darwin’s Theory is close to gradualism, it could be compatible with Saltationism; both Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium and Modern Synthetic Theory belong to Neo-Darwinism.

See chapter III about criticism of Synthetic Theory





9.e) Conditional Evolution of Life

The CEL is a thoroughly scientific theory based on the assumptions that all life has an intrinsic tendency to widen the sphere of freedom using evolution within environmental and logical conditions, which indirectly imply the presence of willpower. It means something “little” it working since the origin of life.

Definition, characteristics, and principal conclusions of the CEL are in title V of this book.

Regarding Saltationism and Gradualism, the CEL accepts small and gradual changes while explaining the evolutionary jumps as quick and significant changes of the genetic structure due to the combination of different evolutionary lines to allow a much larger development, like the origin of new species. In other words, evolutionary leaps are a logical consequence of the evolution of vital impulse systems.



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When Goblin finished writing the book,
Mª José told him:

–It seems that you have a phobia about genius;
you’ve bumped Einstein and Darwin off.–

And Goblin answered:

–Oh, come on! I would have preferred
to bang a couple of witches.
I really think Darwin and I would agree that:
It’s funny to see how some animals
deny the intelligence of other animals
” –