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The Plausibility Of Life

Author: Marc W. Kirschner
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300119770
Size: 72.29 MB
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Two eminent biologists tackle and provide exhilarating new answers to what they argue is the central, unresolved question of evolution

The Oxford Handbook Of Philosophy Of Science

Author: Paul Humphreys
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199368821
Size: 37.73 MB
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This handbook provides both an overview of state-of-the-art scholarship in philosophy of science, as well as a guide to new directions in the discipline. Section I contains broad overviews of the main lines of research and the state of established knowledge in six principal areas of the discipline, including computational, physical, biological, psychological and social sciences, as well as general philosophy of science. Section II covers what are considered to be the traditional topics in the philosophy of science, such as causation, probability, models, ethics and values, and explanation. Section III identifies new areas of investigation that show promise of becoming important areas of research, including the philosophy of astronomy and astrophysics, data, complexity theory, neuroscience, simulations, post-Kuhnian philosophy, post-empiricist epistemology, and emergence. Most chapters are accessible to scientifically educated non-philosophers as well as to professional philosophers, and the contributors - all leading researchers in their field -- bring diverse perspectives from the North American, European, and Australasian research communities. This volume is an essential resource for scholars and students.

Divine Action And Natural Selection

Author: Joseph Seckbach
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 9812834354
Size: 26.17 MB
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The debate between divine action, or faith, and natural selection, or science, is garnering tremendous interest. This book ventures well beyond the usual, contrasting American Protestant and atheistic points of view, and also includes the perspectives of Jews, Muslims, and Roman Catholics. It contains arguments from the various proponents of intelligent design, creationism, and Darwinism, and also covers the sensitive issue of how to incorporate evolution into the secondary school biology curriculum. Comprising contributions from prominent, award-winning authors, the book also contains dialogs following each chapter to provide extra stimulus to the readers and a full picture of this OC hotOCO topic, which delves into the fundamentals of science and religion."

Evolution Impossible

Author: John F. Ashton
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group
ISBN: 0890516812
Size: 18.43 MB
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Scientific evidence proving evolution cannot be responsible for life on earth

Through Life Engineering Services

Author: Louis Redding
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319121111
Size: 68.58 MB
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Demonstrating the latest research and analysis in the area of through-life engineering services (TES), this book utilizes case studies and expert analysis from an international array of practitioners and researchers – who together represent multiple manufacturing sectors: aerospace, railway and automotive – to maximize reader insights into the field of through-life engineering services. As part of the EPSRC Centre in Through-life Engineering Services program to support the academic and industrial community, this book presents an overview of non-destructive testing techniques and applications and provides the reader with the information needed to assess degradation and possible automation of through-life engineering service activities . The latest developments in maintenance-repair-overhaul (MRO) are presented with emphasis on cleaning technologies, repair and overhaul approaches and planning and digital assistance. The impact of these technologies on sustainable enterprises is also analyzed. This book will help to support the existing TES community and will provide future studies with a strong base from which to analyze and apply techn9olgical trends to real world examples.

Mind And Cosmos

Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199977194
Size: 18.92 MB
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The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. In Mind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.

Dna A Graphic Guide To The Molecule That Shook The World

Author: Israel Rosenfield
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231512317
Size: 57.39 MB
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With humor, depth, and philosophical and historical insight, DNA reaches out to a wide range of readers with its graphic portrayal of a complicated science. Suitable for use in and out of the classroom, this volume covers DNA's many marvels, from its original discovery in 1869 to early-twentieth-century debates on the mechanisms of inheritance and the deeper nature of life's evolution and variety. Even readers who lack a background in science and philosophy will learn a tremendous amount from this engaging narrative. The book elucidates DNA's relationship to health and the cause and cure of disease. It also covers the creation of new life forms, nanomachines, and perspectives on crime detection, and considers the philosophical sources of classical Darwinian theory and recent, radical changes in the understanding of evolution itself. Already these developments have profoundly affected our notions about living things. Borin Van Loon's humorous illustrations recount the contributions of Gregor Mendel, Frederick Griffith, James Watson, and Francis Crick, among other biologists, scientists, and researchers, and vividly depict the modern controversies surrounding the Human Genome Project and cloning.

Towards A Theory Of Development

Author: Alessandro Minelli
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191651184
Size: 45.85 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.

Functions Selection And Mechanisms

Author: Philippe Huneman
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400753047
Size: 75.66 MB
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This volume handles in various perspectives the concept of function and the nature of functional explanations, topics much discussed since two major and conflicting accounts have been raised by Larry Wright and Robert Cummins’ papers in the 1970s. Here, both Wright’s ‘etiological theory of functions’ and Cummins’ ‘systemic’ conception of functions are refined and elaborated in the light of current scientific practice, with papers showing how the ‘etiological’ theory faces several objections and may in reply be revisited, while its counterpart became ever more sophisticated, as researchers discovered fresh applications for it. Relying on a firm knowledge of the original positions and debates, this volume presents cutting-edge research evincing the complexities that today pertain in function theory in various sciences. Alongside original papers from authors central to the controversy, work by emerging researchers taking novel perspectives will add to the potential avenues to be followed in the future. Not only does the book adopt no a priori assumptions about the scope of functional explanations, it also incorporates material from several very different scientific domains, e.g. neurosciences, ecology, or technology. In general, functions are implemented in mechanisms; and functional explanations in biology have often an essential relation with natural selection. These two basic claims set the stage for this book’s coverage of investigations concerning both ‘functional’ explanations, and the ‘metaphysics’ of functions. It casts new light on these claims, by testing them through their confrontation with scientific developments in biology, psychology, and recent developments concerning the metaphysics of realization. Rather than debating a single theory of functions, this book presents the richness of philosophical issues raised by functional discourse throughout the various sciences.​

On The Origin Of Autonomy

Author: Bernd Rosslenbroich
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 331904141X
Size: 23.79 MB
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This volume describes features of autonomy and integrates them into the recent discussion of factors in evolution. In recent years ideas about major transitions in evolution are undergoing a revolutionary change. They include questions about the origin of evolutionary innovation, their genetic and epigenetic background, the role of the phenotype and of changes in ontogenetic pathways. In the present book, it is argued that it is likewise necessary to question the properties of these innovations and what was qualitatively generated during the macroevolutionary transitions. The author states that a recurring central aspect of macroevolutionary innovations is an increase in individual organismal autonomy whereby it is emancipated from the environment with changes in its capacity for flexibility, self-regulation and self-control of behavior. The first chapters define the concept of autonomy and examine its history and its epistemological context. Later chapters demonstrate how changes in autonomy took place during the major evolutionary transitions and investigate the generation of organs and physiological systems. They synthesize material from various disciplines including zoology, comparative physiology, morphology, molecular biology, neurobiology and ethology. It is argued that the concept is also relevant for understanding the relation of the biological evolution of man to his cultural abilities. Finally the relation of autonomy to adaptation, niche construction, phenotypic plasticity and other factors and patterns in evolution is discussed. The text has a clear perspective from the context of systems biology, arguing that the generation of biological autonomy must be interpreted within an integrative systems approach.