Although the biological mechanisms that underlie evolution have been debated throughout the twentieth century, the central idea of Darwinism has no t been superseded by any new theoretical framework or worldview. While the theory has proven to be remarkably resilient, the study of the mechanisms of evolution has been profoundly changed by the developm ent of genetics, microbiology and m olecular biology. Natural history has also changed radically since the early twen tieth century, when naturalists confronted the challenges of experim ental biology. Systematists and paleontologists have em braced the causal analysis of the experi m ental sciences, and other branches of natural history have evolved into two new sciences, ecology and ethology. These changes are evident in the shift away from descriptive or story-telling narratives to a more analytical, hypothesis-testing style, complete with attempts to mathematize the biological world.
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- Arts and Humanities(all)