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an evolutionary doctrine proposed by A. Weismann in the 1880’s and 1890’s, during the initial period of the formulation of genetic science.

Neo-Darwinism is based on two hypotheses: the continuity of the germ plasm and germ selection. The first hypothesis states that there exists a continuous, potentially “immortal” germ plasm that is modified primarily as a result of the combination of parental germ cells. Germ selection extends the principle of natural selection to hypothetical heriditary units, called determinants, within the germ cells. New life forms arise by virtue of the selection of determinants. It is postulated that the uneven distribution of determinants in the offsprings’ germ cells is suggestive of the determinants’ having emerged from a struggle within the parents’ germ cells. Darwinian natural selection is viewed as a check on unfit forms that arise in the process of germ selection.

Correct in its rejection of the inheritance of acquired traits, neo-Darwinism emphasizes the mosaicism of an organism’s tissues and the independent nature of the occurrence of modifications in individual traits over the course of evolution. Weismann’s ideas on the inertness, conservation, and fragmentation of hereditary matter, and on the role of independent hereditary units in the determination of individual traits were subsequently proved to be fruitful working hypotheses that eventually were developed in the science of modern genetics. However, Weismann’s view, an attempt to both link the findings of the new science of genetics with the older theories of evolution and to supplement Darwin’s idea of natural selection, turned out to be for the most part erroneous.

The term “modern Darwinism,” that is, a synthesis of population genetics and classical Darwinism, is sometimes used interchangeably with “neo-Darwinism.” This is a misuse of terms that is unfortunate and incorrect from a historical point of view.


Wallace, A. R. Darvinizm: Izlozhenie teorii estestvennogo podbora, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1911. (Translated from English.)
Weismann, A. Lektsii po evoliutsionnoi teorii. St. Petersburg, 1918. (Translated from German.)
Shmal’gauzen, I. I. Problemy darvinizma, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1969.


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This argument is central to Gould's critique of the neo-Darwinists and lends to be grudgingly conceded.
On that basis, many of today's neo-Darwinists go on to assert that one or more of the statements 7 through 9 is, in fact, true.
I maintain that the narrator's neo-Darwinist beliefs are taken quite seriously by the novel, and there is good reason to find in the novel an implicit endorsement of neo-Darwinism by the author himself.
This is why I particularly object to the way in which Groothuis (like many opponents of evolution) has played the "shell game" by assuming that belief in the "weak" claim of biological evolution and the hypothesis of common descent must also imply belief in neo-Darwinist theory.
Rolnick is in search of the human person, perhaps in a search-and-rescue mission of sorts, to deliver the idea of personality from the neo-Darwinists, postmodernists, and monist neuroscientists who would obliterate the concept in the name of nature, language, or physicalism.
37) Convergence suggests, in contrast to the ideas of some neo-Darwinists, that there may be directions in evolution.
The venerated American philosopher argued that neo-Darwinists can't account for basic elements of existence such as human reasoning and morality.
I've always felt that the Christian faith was a delusion, even as a child; reading Darwin and the Neo-Darwinists later in life confirmed this feeling.
The result is an updated version of Sorokin' s opposition between "sensate" and "idealistic" cultures--represented by, on the one hand, the carbon-based orientation to life espoused by Peter Singer and other Neo-Darwinists, and, on the other, the silicon-based orientation promoted by Ray Kurzweil and his allies in intelligent design, who include many proponents of artificial intelligence.
The philosophical beliefs of neo-Darwinists can be just as important in shaping their views as the philosophical beliefs of creationists and ID proponents are in shaping theirs," (p.
Thus, the very ground is to be taken out from under me and my human existence: by undermining my confidence in my own Socratic sense for the good (naive as this notion might be, I insist on it, as I insist on the notion of human consciousness, no matter what the neo neo-Darwinists tell me about the Selfish Gene and its obtuse intentions).