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Making Sense Of Evolution

Author: Massimo Pigliucci
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226668355
Size: 21.99 MB
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Making Sense of Evolution explores contemporary evolutionary biology, focusing on the elements of theories—selection, adaptation, and species—that are complex and open to multiple possible interpretations, many of which are incompatible with one another and with other accepted practices in the discipline. Particular experimental methods, for example, may demand one understanding of “selection,” while the application of the same concept to another area of evolutionary biology could necessitate a very different definition. Spotlighting these conceptual difficulties and presenting alternate theoretical interpretations that alleviate this incompatibility, Massimo Pigliucci and Jonathan Kaplan intertwine scientific and philosophical analysis to produce a coherent picture of evolutionary biology. Innovative and controversial, Making Sense of Evolution encourages further development of the Modern Synthesis and outlines what might be necessary for the continued refinement of this evolving field.

Evolution

Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: Roberts & Company
ISBN: 9781936221554
Size: 54.35 MB
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Science writer Carl Zimmer and evolutionary biologist Douglas Emlen have produced a thoroughly revised new edition of their widely praised evolution textbook. Emlen, an award-winning evolutionary biologist at the University of Montana, has infused Evolution: Making Sense of Life with the technical rigor and conceptual depth that today's biology majors require. Zimmer, an award-winning New York Times columnist, brings compelling storytelling to the book, bringing evolutionary research to life. Students will learn the fundamental concepts of evolutionary theory, such as natural selection, genetic drift, phylogeny, and coevolution. The book also drives home the relevance of evolution for disciplines ranging from conservation biology to medicine. With riveting stories about evolutionary biologists at work everywhere from the Arctic to tropical rainforests to hospital wards, the book is a reading adventure designed to grab the imagination of students, showing them exactly why it is that evolution makes such brilliant sense of life.

A Companion To The Philosophy Of Biology

Author: Sahotra Sarkar
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444337858
Size: 73.57 MB
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Comprised of essays by top scholars in the field, this volume offers detailed overviews of philosophical issues raised by biology. Brings together a team of eminent scholars to explore the philosophical issues raised by biology Addresses traditional and emerging topics, spanning molecular biology and genetics, evolution, developmental biology, immunology, ecology, mind and behaviour, neuroscience, and experimentation Begins with a thorough introduction to the field Goes beyond previous treatments that focused only on evolution to give equal attention to other areas, such as molecular and developmental biology Represents both an authoritative guide to philosophy of biology, and an accessible reference work for anyone seeking to learn about this rapidly-changing field

The Year In Evolutionary Biology 2009

Author: Carl D. Schlichting
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1573317543
Size: 35.83 MB
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This volume features an important collection of review articles highlighting the top science and developments in the field of evolutionary biology. NOTE: Annals volumes are available for sale as individual books or as a journal. For information on institutional journal subscriptions, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com/nyas. ACADEMY MEMBERS: Please contact the New York Academy of Sciences directly to place your order (www.nyas.org). Members of the New York Academy of Science receive full-text access to the Annals online and discounts on print volumes. Please visit http://www.nyas.org/MemberCenter/Join.aspx for more information about becoming a member.

Darwin And The Emergence Of Evolutionary Theories Of Mind And Behavior

Author: Robert J. Richards
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226712001
Size: 61.64 MB
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With insight and wit, Robert J. Richards focuses on the development of evolutionary theories of mind and behavior from their first distinct appearance in the eighteenth century to their controversial state today. Particularly important in the nineteenth century were Charles Darwin's ideas about instinct, reason, and morality, which Richards considers against the background of Darwin's personality, training, scientific and cultural concerns, and intellectual community. Many critics have argued that the Darwinian revolution stripped nature of moral purpose and ethically neutered the human animal. Richards contends, however, that Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and their disciples attempted to reanimate moral life, believing that the evolutionary process gave heart to unselfish, altruistic behavior. "Richards's book is now the obvious introduction to the history of ideas about mind and behavior in the nineteenth century."—Mark Ridley, Times Literary Supplement "Not since the publication of Michael Ghiselin's The Triumph of the Darwinian Method has there been such an ambitious, challenging, and methodologically self-conscious interpretation of the rise and development and evolutionary theories and Darwin's role therein."—John C. Greene, Science "His book . . . triumphantly achieves the goal of all great scholarship: it not only informs us, but shows us why becoming thus informed is essential to understanding our own issues and projects."—Daniel C. Dennett, Philosophy of Science

The Adaptive Landscape In Evolutionary Biology

Author: Erik Svensson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199595372
Size: 20.99 MB
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The 'Adaptive Landscape' has been a central concept in population genetics and evolutionary biology since this powerful metaphor was first formulated in 1932. This volume brings together historians of science, philosophers, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists, to discuss the state of the art from several different perspectives.

Sex And Death

Author: Kim Sterelny
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022617865X
Size: 71.61 MB
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Is the history of life a series of accidents or a drama scripted by selfish genes? Is there an "essential" human nature, determined at birth or in a distant evolutionary past? What should we conserve—species, ecosystems, or something else? Informed answers to questions like these, critical to our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, require both a knowledge of biology and a philosophical framework within which to make sense of its findings. In this accessible introduction to philosophy of biology, Kim Sterelny and Paul E. Griffiths present both the science and the philosophical context necessary for a critical understanding of the most exciting debates shaping biology today. The authors, both of whom have published extensively in this field, describe the range of competing views—including their own—on these fascinating topics. With its clear explanations of both biological and philosophical concepts, Sex and Death will appeal not only to undergraduates, but also to the many general readers eager to think critically about the science of life.

Towards A Theory Of Development

Author: Alessandro Minelli
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191651184
Size: 29.99 MB
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Is it possible to explain and predict the development of living things? What is development? Articulate answers to these seemingly innocuous questions are far from straightforward. To date, no systematic, targeted effort has been made to construct a unifying theory of development. This novel work offers a unique exploration of the foundations of ontogeny by asking how the development of living things should be understood. It explores the key concepts of developmental biology, asks whether general principles of development can be discovered, and examines the role of models and theories. The two editors (one a biologist with long interest in the theoretical aspects of his discipline, the other a philosopher of science who has mainly worked on biological systems) have assembled a team of leading contributors who are representative of the scientific and philosophical community within which a diversity of thoughts are growing, and out of which a theory of development may eventually emerge. They analyse a wealth of approaches to concepts, models and theories of development, such as gene regulatory networks, accounts based on systems biology and on physics of soft matter, the different articulations of evolution and development, symbiont-induced development, as well as the widely discussed concepts of positional information and morphogenetic field, the idea of a 'programme' of development and its critiques, and the long-standing opposition between preformationist and epigenetic conceptions of development. Towards a Theory of Development is primarily aimed at students and researchers in the fields of 'evo-devo', developmental biology, theoretical biology, systems biology, biophysics, and the philosophy of science.

The Character Concept In Evolutionary Biology

Author: Günter P. Wagner
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0080528902
Size: 18.39 MB
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Almost all evolutionary biologists, indeed all biologists, use particular features to study life. These characteristics or features used by evolutionary biologists are used in a particular way to unravel a tangled evolutionary history, document the rate of evolutionary change, or as evidence of biodiversity. "Characters" are the "data" of evolutionary biology and they can be employed differently in research providing both opportunities and limitations. The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology is about characters, their use, how different sorts of characters are limited, and what are appropriate methods for character analysis. Leading evolutionary biologists from around the world are contributors to this authoritative review of the "character concept." Because characters and the conception of characters are central to all studies of evolution, and because evolution is the central organizing principle of biology, this book will appeal to a wide cross-section of biologists. Focuses upon "characters" -- fundamental data for evolutionary biology Covers the myriad ways in which characters are defined, described, and distinguished Includes historical, morphological, molecular, behavioral, and philosophical perspectives