SEWALL WRIGHT AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
William B. Provine. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1986. 561 pp., illus. $30.
William Provine's important and excellent book is more than a biography of a towering figure in population genetics; it is an examination of the development of the neo-Darwinian synthesis that is the core of modern evolutionary theory. Every student of evolution will profit by reading the book.
Wright, whose publications span the years 1912 to (most recently) 1984, made important contributions to animal breeding and to physiological genetics. But he is, properly, best known as the co founder, with R.A. Fisher and J.B.S. Haldane, of the mathematical theory of population genetics— the genetical theory of evolution.
His formulations of the theories of inbreeding, gene flow, isolation by distance, genetic drift, the effects of selection on systems of interacting genes, and many other topics are central to modern evolutionary thought.
His views profoundly...