The Synthesis

Weldon was not to live much longer, dying in 1906. Pearson kept the faith, struggling to keep Bateson honest, even if it took until 1921 before Bateson would finally admit that mathematical approach had merit. The feud over gradual versus saltatory evolution continued.

Science continued to pursue the study of evolution, but biology was on a path toward reductionism. Evolution meant different things to the scientists devoting themselves to deciphering inheritance from those studying development or paleontology. Within each discipline concepts began to change, so that finally they weren't even talking the same language. Their solution was not to talk to each other much at all.

The greatest loser was natural selection. If there was one principle of Darwin's that was discarded—and to some it was good-bye and good riddance—it was Darwin's most essential, most innovative idea: natural selection.

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