The combination of the principles of population genetics and Darwinian evolutionary theory is called as modern synthesis. Modern synthesis comes from the study of genetics. It explains why variations exist among individuals. It also explains how they pass to the future generations.
Modern Synthesis Theory of Evolution
Some variations give an advantage to individuals. Therefore, nature selects them through natural selection. Thus, genetic variations are important in evolution. A large number of genetic variations can be produced in population. Even the simple principles of inheritance of Gregor Mendel provide for remarkable variation. Crossing over, multiple alleles, and mutations increase number of variation. Therefore. no two individuals are genetically identical. Chance produces different combinations of genes. Therefore, some individuals are better able to survive and reproduce in a given environment than others.
- Population Genetics: Population genetics was another important turning point in the evolutionary theory. Population genetics emphasizes on the genetic variation within populations. It recognizes the importance of quantitative characters.
- Mendalism: Mendalism and Darwinism were reconciled with the progress in population genetics in the 1930s.
- Modern Synthesis: The genetic basis of variation and natural selection were worked out. Thus, a comprehensive theory of evolution was formed. It is known as the modern synthesis. It was developed in the early 1940s.
Modern Synthesis Theory of Evolution Discoveries
Modern evolution synthesis integrated the discoveries and ideas from many different fields. These fields are paleontology, taxonomy, biogeography, and population genetics. Thus, it is also called a synthesis.
The branch of biology which deals with the study of fossils is called paleontology. And the one who study the fossils is called paleontology.
The branch of science which deals with the study of classification and systematics, especially of organisms is called taxonomy. And the one who study taxonomy is called taxonomist.
The branch of biology which deals with the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geographic space and through geological time is called biogeography.
Population genetics is the study of genetic changes within populations and involves the examination and modelling of changes in the frequencies of alleles and genes in populations over time space.