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  1. Mahesh Ananth (2008). In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of Health. Ashgate.
    In responding to this debate, Ananth both surveys the existing literature, with special focus on the work of Christopher Boorse, and argues that a naturalistic ...
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  2. Alfonso Arroyo-Santos & Xavier de Donato-Rodríguez, Idealization and the Structure of Theories in Biololgy.
    In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual conditionals that can exhibit different degrees of contingency. We use the idea of possible worlds to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, it is this structure what helps explain why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful (...)
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  3. Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva (2013). The Phylogeography Debate and the Epistemology of Model-Based Evolutionary Biology. Biology and Philosophy 29 (6):833-850.
    Phylogeography, a relatively new subdicipline of evolutionary biology that attempts to unify the fields of phylogenetics and population biology in an explicit geographical context, has hosted in recent years a highly polarized debate related to the purported benefits and limitations that qualitative versus quantitative methods might contribute or impose on inferential processes in evolutionary biology. Here we present a friendly, non-technical introduction to the conflicting methods underlying the controversy, and exemplify it with a balanced selection of quotes from the primary (...)
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  4. Timothy M. Beardsley (2013). Life 2.0: Researchers Close in on the Ultimate Chicken-or-Egg Question. BioScience 63 (3):157-163.
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  5. C. Blomberg, H. Liljenström, B. I. B. Lindahl & P. Århem (1994). Mind and Matter: Essays From Biology, Physics and Philosophy: An Introduction. Journal of Theoretical Biology 171 (1).
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  6. Tomislav Bracanovic (2002). The Referee's Dilemma. The Ethics of Scientific Communities and Game Theory. Prolegomena 1 (1):55-74.
    This article argues that various deviations from the basic principles of the scientific ethos – primarily the appearance of pseudoscience in scientific communities – can be formulated and explained using specific models of game theory, such as the prisoner’s dilemma and the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. The article indirectly tackles the deontology of scientific work as well, in which it is assumed that there is no room for moral skepticism, let alone moral anti-realism, in the ethics of scientific communities. Namely, on (...)
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  7. Rachael L. Brown (2013). Identifying Behavioral Novelty. Biological Theory:1-14.
    Although there is no in-principle impediment to an EvoDevo of behavior, such an endeavor is not as straightforward as one might think; many of the key terms and concepts used in EvoDevo are tailored to suit its traditional focus on morphology, and are consequently difficult to apply to behavior. In this light, the application of the EvoDevo conceptual toolkit to the behavioral domain requires the establishment of a set of tractable concepts that are readily applicable to behavioral characters. Here, I (...)
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  8. Stephen M. Downes (2010). Heritability. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  9. Leonore Fleming (2012). Network Theory and the Formation of Groups Without Evolutionary Forces. Evolutionary Biology 39 (1):94-105.
    This paper presents a modified random network model to illustrate how groups can form in the absence of evolutionary forces, assuming groups are collections of entities at any level of organization. This model is inspired by the Zero Force Evolutionary Law, which states that there is always a tendency for diversity and complexity to increase in any evolutionary system containing variation and heredity. That is, in the absence of evolutionary forces, the expectation is a continual increase in diversity and complexity (...)
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  10. James Franklin (1986). Aristotle on Species Variation. Philosophy 61 (236):245 - 252.
    Explains Aristotle's views on the possibility of continuous variation between biological species.
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  11. L. R. Franklin-Hall (2010). Trashing Life's Tree. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):689-709.
    The Tree of Life has traditionally been understood to represent the history of species lineages. However, recently researchers have suggested that it might be better interpreted as representing the history of cellular lineages, sometimes called the Tree of Cells. This paper examines and evaluates reasons offered against this cellular interpretation of the Tree of Life. It argues that some such reasons are bad reasons, based either on a false attribution of essentialism, on a misunderstanding of the problem of lineage identity, (...)
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  12. Logan Paul Gage (2013). Darwin Knows Best: Can Evolution Support the Classical Liberal Vision of the Family? In Stephen Dilley (ed.), Darwinian Evolution and Classical Liberalism: Theories in Tension. Lexington Books 135-156.
    In a time when conservatives believe that the traditional family is under increasing fire, some think an appeal to Darwinian science may be the answer. I argue that these conservatives are wrong to maintain that Darwinian theory can serve as the intellectual foundation for the traditional conception of the family. Contra Larry Arnhart and James Q. Wilson, a Darwinian philosophy of nature simply lacks the stability the traditional family requires; it cannot support the traditional conception of human nature and the (...)
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  13. Stephen Jay Gould, Return of the Hopeful Monster.
    ig Brother, the tyrant of George Orwell's 1984, directed his daily Two Minutes Hate against Emmanuel Goldstein, enemy of the people. When I studied evolutionary biology in graduate school during the mid 1960s, official rebuke and derision focused upon Richard Goldschmidt , a famous geneticist who, we were told, had gone astray. Although 1984 creeps up on us, I trust that the world will not be in Big Brother's grip by then. I do, however, predict that during this decade Goldschmidt (...)
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  14. Enrique Guerra-Pujol (2014). The Evolutionary Path of the Law. [REVIEW] Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law 1 (3):878-890.
    What lessons can legal scholars learn from the life and work of W. D. "Bill" Hamilton, a lifelong student of nature? From my small corner of the legal Academia, three aspects of Bill Hamilton’s work in evolutionary biology stand out in particular: (i) Hamilton’s simple and beautiful model of social behavior in terms of costs and benefits; (ii) his fruitful collaboration with the political theorist Robert Axelrod and their unexpected yet elegant solution of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, an important game or (...)
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  15. Toby Handfield, Genealogical Explanations of Chance and Morals.
    Objective chance and morality are rarely discussed together. In this paper, I argue that there is a surprising similarity in the epistemic standing of our beliefs about both objective chance and objective morality. The key similarity is that both of these sorts of belief are undermined -- in a limited, but important way -- by plausible genealogical accounts of the concepts that feature in these beliefs. The paper presents a brief account of Richard Joyce's evolutionary hypothesis of the genealogy of (...)
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  16. Christopher Hitchcock & Joel D. Velasco (2014). Evolutionary and Newtonian Forces. Ergo, an Open Access Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):39-77.
    A number of recent papers have criticized what they call the dynamical interpretation of evolutionary theory found in Elliott Sober’s The Nature of Selection. Sober argues that we can think of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces analogous to Newtonian mechanics. These critics argue that there are several important disanalogies between evolutionary and Newtonian forces: Unlike evolutionary forces, Newtonian forces can be considered in isolation, they have source laws, they compose causally in a straightforward way, and they are intermediate (...)
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  17. Jonathan Kaplan & Massimo Pigliucci (2003). On the Concept of Biological Race and its Applicability to Humans. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):S294-S304.
    Biological research on race has often been seen as motivated by or lending credence to underlying racist attitudes; in part for this reason, recently philosophers and biologists have gone through great pains to essentially deny the existence of biological human races. We argue that human races, in the biological sense of local populations adapted to particular environments, do in fact exist; such races are best understood through the common ecological concept of ecotypes. However, human ecotypic races do not in general (...)
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  18. Ulrich Krohs (2005). The Conceptual Basis of a Biological Dispute About the Temporal Order of Evolutionary Events. In Friedrich Stadler & Michael Stölzner (eds.), Time and History. Papers of the 28th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Österr. Ludwig-Wittgenstein-Gesellschaft
    occurs first. The biological debate is conducted largely on a theoretical level. In this paper, I undertake to locate
    the reason for the difference in temporal ordering. The question is whether the difference depends on alternative
    interpretations of empirical data, on differing views about evolutionary mechanisms, or on different conceptual
    frameworks. It will turn out that the latter is the case and that discerning two different notions of novelty solves
    the apparent contradiction. Both concepts may apply to different cases in evolution. To settle the (...)
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  19. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2006). Response to Puts and Dawood's 'The Evolution of Female Orgasm: Adaptation or Byproduct?'--Been There. Twin Studies and Human Genetics 9 (4).
  20. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2002). Evolutionary Psychology: A View From Evolutionary Biology. Psychological Inquiry 13 (2).
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  21. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1999). Altruism Revisited. [REVIEW] Quarterly Review of Biology 74 (4):447-449.
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  22. Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Stephen Crowley, Essentialism and Human Nature. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.
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  23. James Maclaurin & Tim Cochrane (2013). The Purpose of Progress: A Response to Schubert. Journal of Bioeconomics.
    This article responds to a commentary by Christian Schubert on our 'Evolvability and Progress in Evolutionary Economics'. Our response elaborates the key disagreement between Schubert and us, namely, our views about the purpose of an account of progress in evolutionary economics.
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  24. Nicholas Maxwell (2010). Darwinian Theory Reinterpreted. In N. Maxwell (ed.), Cutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together Again: A New Approach to Philosophy. Pentire Press 264-300.
    It is argued that purposive action of living things plays a crucial role in Darwinian evolution. As evolution proceeds, the mechanisms of evolution evolve as well, giving an increasingly important role to purposive action - to be understood in a sense which is compatible with physics (the atom of purposiveness being the thermostat). Nine versions of Darwinian theory are distinguished. The first denies that purposive action has any role in evolution at all; each successive version gives an inceasingly important role (...)
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  25. Nicholas Maxwell (1985). Methodological Problems of Neuroscience. In David Rose & Vernon Dobson (eds.), Models of the Visual Cortex. New York: John Wiley & Sons
    In this paper I argue that neuroscience has been harmed by the widespread adoption of seriously inadequate methodologies or philosophies of science - most notably inductivism and falsificationism. I argue that neuroscience, in seeking to understand the human brain and mind, needs to follow in the footsteps of evolution.
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  26. Nicholas Maxwell (1984). The Generalized Darwinian Research Programme. In From Knowledge to Wisdom. Blackwell 269-275.
    The generalized Darwinian research programme accepts physicalism, but holds that all life is purposive in character. It seeks to understand how and why all purposiveness has evolved in the universe – especially purposiveness associated with what we value most in human life, such as sentience, consciousness, person-to-person understanding, science, art, free¬dom, love. As evolution proceeds, the mechanisms of evolution themselves evolve to take into account the increasingly important role that purposive action can play - especially when quasi-Lamarckian evolution by cultural (...)
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  27. Erika Milam, Roberta L. Millstein, Angela Potochnik & Joan Roughgarden (2011). Sex and Sensibility: The Role of Social Selection. Metascience 20 (2):253-277.
    Sex and sensibility: The role of social selection Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9464-6 Authors Erika L. Milam, Department of History, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Roberta L. Millstein, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA Angela Potochnik, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Joan E. Roughgarden, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA Journal Metascience Online (...)
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  28. Roberta L. Millstein (2015). Thinking About Populations and Races in Time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:5-11.
    Biologists and philosophers have offered differing concepts of biological race. That is, they have offered different candidates for what a biological correlate of race might be; for example, races might be subspecies, clades, lineages, ecotypes, or genetic clusters. One thing that is striking about each of these proposals is that they all depend on a concept of population. Indeed, some authors have explicitly characterized races in terms of populations. However, including the concept of population into concepts of race raises three (...)
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  29. Roberta L. Millstein (2014). How the Concept of Population Resolves Concepts of Environment. Philosophy of Science 81:741-755.
    Elsewhere, I defend the “causal interactionist population concept” (CIPC). Here I further defend the CIPC by showing how it clarifies another concept that biologists grapple with, namely, environment. Should we understand selection as ranging only over homogeneous environments or, alternatively, as ranging over any habitat area we choose to study? I argue instead that the boundaries of the population dictate the range of the environment, whether homogeneous or heterogeneous, over which selection operates. Thus, understanding the concept of population helps us (...)
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  30. Roberta L. Millstein (2011). Chances and Causes in Evolutionary Biology: How Many Chances Become One Chance. In P. M. Illari, F. Russo & J. Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press 2--425.
    As a number of biologists and philosophers have emphasized, ‘chance’ has multiple meanings in evolutionary biology. Seven have been identified. I will argue that there is a unified concept of chance underlying these seven, which I call the UCC (Unified Chance Concept). I will argue that each is characterized by which causes are consid- ered, ignored, or prohibited. Thus, chance in evolutionary biology can only be under- stood through understanding the causes at work. The UCC aids in comparing the different (...)
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  31. Roberta L. Millstein (2010). A Law by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet. [REVIEW] Science 330:1048-1049.
    A review of _Biology’s First Law: The Tendency for Diversity and Complexity to Increase in Evolutionary Systems_, by Daniel W. McShea and Robert N. Brandon. This review argues that the supposed "Zero-Force Evolutionary Law”" (ZFEL) is neither a law nor zero-force.
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  32. Gerd Muller & Massimo Pigliucci (2011). Extended Synthesis: Theory Expansion or Alternative? Biological Theory 5 (3):275-276.
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  33. Didier Newman (ed.) (2013). Bioquestions and the Mechanical Answer. CreateSpace.
    This is a book of questions, some of which are funny whereas many others are more serious, puzzling and disturbing. A different book in which biology is used as a foundation to build a down-to-earth narrative, in the hope of addressing all basic human concerns from a modern, casual and holistic perspective. Thus, an excellent book to question life and death, religions and philosophies, the self and the universe, technology and knowledge, love and sorrow, and so on; in short, questioning (...)
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  34. Cailin O'Connor (forthcoming). Evolving to Generalize: Trading Precision for Speed. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  35. Mark E. Olson & Alfonso Arroyo-Santos (2015). How to Study Adaptation (and Why to Do It That Way). Quarterly Review of Biology 90 (2):167-191.
    Some adaptationist explanations are regarded as maximally solid and others fanciful just-so stories. Just-so stories are explanations based on very little evidence. Lack of evidence leads to circular-sounding reasoning: “this trait was shaped by selection in unseen ancestral populations and this selection must have occurred because the trait is present.” Well-supported adaptationist explanations include evidence that is not only abundant but selected from comparative, populational, and optimality perspectives, the three adaptationist subdisciplines. Each subdiscipline obtains its broad relevance in evolutionary biology (...)
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  36. Massimo Pigliucci (forthcoming). Teaching Evolution While Aiming at the Cautious Middle. [REVIEW] Science & Education.
    As astounding as it sounds, especially to people outside of the USA (and the Middle East, and much of Africa), 13 % of US high school teachers actively advocate creationism and so-called intelligent design theory in their classrooms; another 28 % does the right thing and teaches evolution, but a whopping 60 % falls in the middle: These teachers accept evolutionary theory (though they may be fuzzy on the details), and yet do not teach it in their classrooms, in order (...)
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  37. Massimo Pigliucci (2013). When Science Studies Religion: Six Philosophy Lessons for Science Classes. Science and Education 22 (1):49-67.
    It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naivete ́ of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological theories of (...)
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  38. Massimo Pigliucci (2013). Between Holism and Reductionism: A Philosophical Primer on Emergence. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.
    Ever since Darwin a great deal of the conceptual history of biology may be read as a struggle between two philosophical positions: reductionism and holism. On the one hand, we have the reductionist claim that evolution has to be understood in terms of changes at the fundamental causal level of the gene. As Richard Dawkins famously put it, organisms are just ‘lumbering robots’ in the service of their genetic masters. On the other hand, there is a long holistic tradition that (...)
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  39. Massimo Pigliucci (2013). The Nature of Evolutionary Biology: At the Borderlands Between Historical and Experimental Science. In Kostas Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer
    The scientific status of evolutionary theory seems to be more or less perennially under question. I am not referring here (just) to the silliness of young Earth creation- ism (Pigliucci 2002; Boudry and Braeckman 2010), or even of the barely more intel- lectually sophisticated so-called Intelligent Design theory (Recker 2010; Brigandt this volume), but rather to discussions among scientists and philosophers of science concerning the epistemic status of evolutionary theory (Sober 2010). As we shall see in what follows, this debate (...)
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  40. Massimo Pigliucci (2012). On the Different Ways of ‘‘Doing Theory’’ in Biology. Biological Theory 7 (4):DOI 10.1007/s13752-012-0047-1.
    ‘‘Theoretical biology’’ is a surprisingly heter- ogeneous field, partly because it encompasses ‘‘doing the- ory’’ across disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, systematics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Moreover, it is done in a stunning variety of different ways, using anything from formal analytical models to computer sim- ulations, from graphic representations to verbal arguments. In this essay I survey a number of aspects of what it means to do theoretical biology, and how they compare with the allegedly much more restricted (...)
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  41. Massimo Pigliucci (ed.) (2010). Foreword to Julian Huxley's "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis". MIT Press.
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  42. Massimo Pigliucci (2010). Genotype–Phenotype Mapping and the End of the ‘Genes as Blueprint’ Metaphor. Philosophical Transactions Royal Society B 365:557–566.
    In a now classic paper published in 1991, Alberch introduced the concept of genotype–phenotype (G!P) mapping to provide a framework for a more sophisticated discussion of the integration between genetics and developmental biology that was then available. The advent of evo-devo first and of the genomic era later would seem to have superseded talk of transitions in phenotypic space and the like, central to Alberch’s approach. On the contrary, this paper shows that recent empirical and theoretical advances have only sharpened (...)
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  43. Massimo Pigliucci (2009). An Extended Synthesis for Evolutionary Biology. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1168:218-228.
    Evolutionary theory is undergoing an intense period of discussion and reevaluation. This, contrary to the misleading claims of creationists and other pseudoscientists, is no harbinger of a crisis but rather the opposite: the field is expanding dramatically in terms of both empirical discoveries and new ideas. In this essay I briefly trace the conceptual history of evolutionary theory from Darwinism to neo-Darwinism, and from the Modern Synthesis to what I refer to as the Extended Synthesis, a more inclusive conceptual framework (...)
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  44. Massimo Pigliucci (2009). The Overwhelming Evidence. [REVIEW] Science 323:716-717.
    Jerry Coyne on the truth of evolution as a fact.
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  45. Massimo Pigliucci (2009). Four Billion Years in a Thousand Pages. [REVIEW] BioScience 59 (8):706-707.
    This being the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, as well as the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, there is a frenzy of events and publications devoted to the founder of the field of evolutionary biology and, by extension, to the his- tory, current status, and possible future of the entire discipline.
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  46. Massimo Pigliucci (2008). Weighing the Evidence in Evolutionary Biology. [REVIEW] Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23 (12):662-663.
    The joke among scientists is that ‘philosopher’ is the last stage of one’s scien- tific career, to be arrived at when one can no longer get grants funded or graduate stu- dents to advise. Despite the fact that some of the greatest minds in evolutionary biology (from Darwin to Ernst Mayr) were very much interested in the philosophical aspects of what they were doing, the bad joke persists in the halls of academia.
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  47. Massimo Pigliucci (2006). Have We Solved Darwin's Dilemma? [REVIEW] American Scientist 94:272-274.
    Is life plausible? WeU, it's more than plausible, it has actually happened! What we need to ask, rather, is whether our explanations for how life came about and diversified are plausible. So the title of Marc W. Kirschner and John C. Gerhart's book implies the wrong question. Despite that. The Plausibility of Life makes for informative and enjoyable reading, and the issues the authors raise are worthy of attention.
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  48. Massimo Pigliucci (2006). Evolutionary Biology: Puzzle Solving or Paradigm Shifting? Quarterly Review of Biology 81 (4):377-379.
    How does evolutionary biology fit with Thomas Kuhn's famous distinction between puzzle solving and paradigm shifts in science?
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  49. Massimo Pigliucci (2006). Sturtevant and Dobzhansky: Two Scientists at Odds. [REVIEW] Quarterly Review of Biology 81 (3):265-266.
    A student recalls his experiences with two great figures of 20th century biology.
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  50. Massimo Pigliucci (2005). Expanding Evolution. [REVIEW] Nature 435:565-566.
    There have been rumblings for some time to the effect that the neo-darwinian synthesis of the early twentieth century is incomplete and due for a major revision. In the past decade, several authors have written books to articu- late this feeling and to begin the move towards a second synthesis. David Rollo, in his book Phenotypes (Kluwer, 1994), was among the first to attempt to bring the focus back to the problems posed by phenotypic evolution. In Phenotypic Evolution (Sinauer, 1998), (...)
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