The way I understand it is that Neo-Darwinism suggests that the accumulation of small changes over long periods of time is sufficient to explain all evolutionary processes. I, like Tangle, feel that is a vast over-simplification that leaves much to be desired and, I feel makes for "just-so" stories. When we simply talk about random mutations + natural selection + time = evolution, it just leaves so many holes in our understanding of the processes involved. We are finding that the reality of evolution is much more complicated than we had previously imagined.
I only wish I'd kept studying it - now it's all so advanced that I'd have to devote far too much of my life to understand it.
It seems to me this was more his point than evo-devo contradicting the neo-darwinian synthesis. Its my point too, that the modern understanding of evolutionary processes are way beyond RS + NS.
I was recently introduced to the term Meta-Darwinism by this book (which I have not read, just glanced through). The concept of Meta(beyond)-Darwinism was intriguing though. I don't think this is a universally recognized school of thought yet, but seems to be growing.
quote:These new biologists are perhaps best called "meta-Darwinists," as they encompass Darwinian and neo-Darwinian evolutionary insights yet also refuse to ignore the broad evidence for what is often called "convergent evolution" seen in life's evolutionary developmental record. Examples of convergence can be found at all scales, from biochemistry to plant and animal forms to life cycles to human culture ...
quote:In other words, the emergence of "homoplasy" (convergent function via independent evolutionary pathways) is best seen as a process of not simply evolution but evolutionary development, occurring multilocally throughout the universe.
quote:Putting together the insights of modern evo-devo and meta-Darwinian biologists like those described above, and positing that the same process of evo-devo is going on at universal scales (the most parsimonious assumption, if the universe is just another complex adaptive system)
It seems to me to tie together all the evolutionary concepts and frame them in the context of development, which is where the critical evolutionary processes actually occur.
So ... say good bye to neo-darwinism??? :shrug:
Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for. But until the end of the present exile has come and terminated this our imperfection by which "we know in part," I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca
"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.