Modern Evolutionary Synthesis
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Basic Information

The modern evolutionary synthesis is a common name for the current theory of evolution, which is based in part on the work of Charles Darwin, so it is sometimes known as Darwinian, or NeoDarwinian Evolution. Darwin's theory has adapted and grown to reflect more recent research and concepts such as genes which were poorly understood in Darwin's time, and DNA which wasn't discovered till after he died. The term Modern Evolutionary Synthesis was coined in 1942 by Julian Huxley.

In addition to updating Darwin and incorporating Mendelian Genetics, the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis has also replaced various obsolete theories of the mechanism of evolution, such as Orthogenesis, Lamarckism, and Transmutation of Species.

Mechanisms of Evolution


2. Non-Fiction Book: Evolution for Everyone by David Sloan Wilson
3. Non-Fiction Book: Only a Theory by Kenneth R. Miller

Game and Story Use

  • Evolution happens over generations. This means that the shorter the lifespan of a species, the faster it will evolve.
    • That's a very scary thought when you consider how fast bacteria, viruses, insects, kobolds and goblins mature and reproduce (not to mention how fast the later two die). In a campaign that spans a few years, the PCs might find themselves fighting species that didn't exist yet at the start of the game.
  • See the evolution page for more links and ideas.
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