Difference Between Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism

The differentiating factor between Darwinism and Neo Darwinism is that Darwinism corresponds to the suitable phenotypic variations, which can be inherited, are the responsible forces for speciation. Neo Darwinism, on the other hand, relates to the genetic variation only which can be inherited are the responsible forces for speciation.

Darwin developed the concept of Darwinism elucidating the origin of new speciation. As per him, in individuals, accumulation of fittest phylogenetic variations is the major driving force of speciation, hence the natural selection is the survival of the fittest in the environment. Neo Darwinism is a modified theory of Darwinism explaining the origin of species on a genetic basis, hence the main driving force of Neo Darwinism is genetic variation. Consequently, the main difference lies in the variation type and type of natural selection.


  • Darwin and a few others advanced Darwinism, it is the theory of biological evolution
  • It explains that species tend to develop via some natural selection of suitable phenotypic variations which can be inherited. This expands the ability of an individual to survive, compete and also to reproduce.
  • 4 fundamental views of Darwinism are – entities reproduce more which exceeds the extent of individuals capable of surviving. Such individuals possess phenotypic variations that are inheritable. Amongst these various phenotypes, few are favorable to the conditions compared to others. Fittest phenotypes gather within individuals with time as natural selection causes origination of new species in them.


  • This is an altered explanation of Darwin’s theory with regards to modern synthesis of natural selection and Mendelian genetics.
  • The main force driving speciation is the gathering of genotypic variations in a gene pool
  • Sometimes this theory is also referred to as the Modern synthetic theory of natural selection.
  • Reproductive isolation has a major part in speciation allowing differential amplification of the fittest genes in a gene pool. Thus, natural selection of the most suitable genes is associated with the origination of new species.

Differences between Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism

Listed below are some important differences between Darwinism and neo-Darwinism:




What it states

Evolution theory of species advanced by Darwin by natural


Modern interpretation of Darwin’s theory by natural selection with discoveries of genetics


Original theory

Altered as per the information based on modern synthesis of natural selection and Mendelian genetics

Main driving force

Collection of phenotypic variations

Collection of genetic variations

Natural selection

Survival of fittest and removal of unfit entities with time

Differential amplification of fittest genotypes and genes

Purpose for variation

Not explained

Reason explained as genetic recombination, mutation, reproductive isolation and natural selection

Role of isolation in evolution

Does not have a role

Has a major role

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Difference Between Internal and External Fertilization

Difference between Oviparous and Viviparous Animals

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