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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


FOLGUERA, GUILLERMO  and  BOZINOVIC, FRANCISCO. At 150 years since "The origin of species": Is contemporary biology Darwinian?. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2009, vol.82, n.4, pp.485-491. ISSN 0716-078X.

After 150 years of the publication of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, a number of tributes had honored him worldwide. However, it seems important to ask about the effective application of Darwin's ideas within the biological disciplines. Herein we analyze this problem trying to answer the question: is contemporary biology Darwinian? To this end, we consider some of the main assumed contributions of Darwinism to the sciences of living systems: the analysis and focus on diversity, the single origin of living systems, the incorporation of chance, and the recognition of proximal causes. In general, we detect important lines of continuity between Darwinian ideas and the different disciplines forming contemporary biology. However, the above is not equally applicable to all Darwinian ideas. Indeed, some aspects of Darwinism have been either incorporated only partially (e.g., variability) or interpreted in a biased manner (e.g., reducing the whole evolutionary process to natural selection) in different biological fields. Therefore, the coherent incorporation of such aspects remains as an important challenge in the way towards an integrative biology.

Keywords : biological diversity; Darwinism; proximal causes.

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