Re-reading Provine (1971), part 1
Will Provine‘s seminal work of history, The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics (1971), recounts how the foundations of modern neo-Darwinism were established in the first 2 decades of the 20th century. Superficially, Provine’s book aligns with the standard triumphalist narrative in which the architects of the Modern Synthesis combine selection and genetics to yield a workable theory that refutes the mutation-driven view of early geneticists.
However, it also has another story to tell. If we read the book with a critical eye, we’ll find a completely different story that explains why Provine himself, in a 2001 reprinting, said that the synthesis “came unraveled” for him in the period after 1980.