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Evolution, as it is studied today, is much more complex than when Charles Darwin first posited his theory of natural selection, popularly known as “survival of the fittest.”

Evolutionary theory has undergone a series of expansions and refinements over the course of the past century and a half. Today, in the first quarter of the 21st century, biologists recognize that there is much more to evolution than DNA replication alone. The “extended evolutionary synthesis” is a family of theoretical perspectives that goes beyond a gene-centric view of evolution to include more sources of biological innovation and adaptations.

A new report, commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation and written by Dr. Lynn Chiu of the Department of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Vienna, serves as a road map to understanding Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. The paper, which is divided into three sections, examines several key questions, including:

What happened to evolutionary biology during the 20th century and what did it leave out? 


Why is the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis seeking a more inclusive approach to evolutionary theorizing?


What does evolutionary theory look like under Extended Evolutionary Synthesis? 


Visit the landing page for more information on the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis report.