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Word Count: 355
Let us begin with Darwin Darwin provided two important concepts in his The Origin of Species 1859 for evolutionary theory 1 descent with modification and 2 natural selection acts on individual variation These indicate that evolution or change occurs through the mechanism of natural selection acting on the variation present in a species What Darwin didnt know was how variation was passed to the offspring from the parents Mendel discovered how this happens through his work on pea plants and published in 1865 - Darwin apparently never actually read Mendels work Mendels work was essentially buried until the early 1900s Mendel discovered two laws 1 the law of segregation and 2 the law of independent assortment The law of segregation states that half of the genes are carried by each gamete a sex cell after meiosis cell division Each gamete has one allele or gene copy out of two from the parent cell each parent cell in a diploid species can have only two alleles The law of independent assortment states that different gene pairs different genetic loci assort differently into gametes This second law however only applies to genes that are far apart on the same chromosome or are on different chromosomes Two groups with differing views on evolution emerged 1 the mutationalists who believed that Darwin was wrong and Mendel was correct ie evolution occured rapidly through macromutation 2 the biometricians who believed Mendel was wrong and Darwin was right ie evolution occured slowly and gradually via natural selection As it turns out both Darwins and Mendels theories could be incorporated into one The Modern Synthesis of evolution was developed around 1920 - 1947 unifying the principles from both Darwin and Mendel In Futuymas Evolutionary Biology 1998 textbook about 20 tenets of the modern synthesis are listed Here are some of the more important ones 1 populations contain genetic variation from either mutation or recombination 2 populations evolve by changes in gene
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