The Snail's Charm.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In 2017, The American Naturalist celebrated its 150th anniversary. It was founded as a journal of natural history, yet it developed into an important vehicle of the evolutionary synthesis. During the early years of the journal and through much of the twentieth century, evolutionary theory was developed to explain the history of nature before humankind existed to alter it-when time was expansive and uncommon events, though rare, were frequent enough to effect evolutionary change. Today, with the influence of human activity, dispersal patterns are fundamentally altered, genetic variation is locally limiting in small and fragmented populations, and environments are changing so rapidly that time itself seems limited. How can we use this theory, which was built to explain the past and which depends on an excess of chances and time, to address the challenges of the present and the future when chances are fewer and time seems so short? And does the habit of naturalists to observe, describe, and cultivate a fascination with nature have a place in contemporary science?

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Donohue, K

Published Date

  • February 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 193 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 149 - 163

PubMed ID

  • 30720365

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-5323

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-0147

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/700960


  • eng