Darwinism, not mutationism, explains the design of organisms

Andy Gardner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Shapiro claims that advances in molecular genetics have undermined Darwinism, leading him to advocate mutationism. However, this extreme view is bourne out of conceptual error. He has misunderstood the distinction between gradualism and saltationism, which do not concern the rate of genetic change, but rather the emergence of complex design. And he has misunderstood the relationship between the dynamics of natural selection and the agency of individual organisms: these are not competing hypotheses, but rather alternative conceptualizations of the same phenomenon. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-98
Number of pages2
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Issue number2-3
Early online date18 Sept 2012
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Adaptation
  • Design
  • Fitness maximization
  • Natural selection
  • Teleology
  • Vitalism
  • Shapiroism


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