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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:1-18.
    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. 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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  5. 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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  6. Stephen M. Downes (2010). Heritability. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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).
  15. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2002). Evolutionary Psychology: A View From Evolutionary Biology. Psychological Inquiry 13 (2).
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  16. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1999). Altruism Revisited. [REVIEW] Quarterly Review of Biology 74 (4):447-449.
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. Gerd Muller & Massimo Pigliucci (2011). Extended Synthesis: Theory Expansion or Alternative? Biological Theory 5 (3):275-276.
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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. Massimo Pigliucci (ed.) (2010). Foreword to Julian Huxley's "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis&Quot;. MIT Press.
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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. Massimo Pigliucci (2004). Studying the Plasticity of Phenotypic Integration in a Model Organism. In M. Pigliucci K. Preston (ed.), The Evolutionary Biology of Complex Phenotypes. Oxford University Press.
    How to use a model organism to study phenotypic integration and constraints on evolution.
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  38. Massimo Pigliucci (2003). Species as Family Resemblance Concepts: The (Dis-)Solution of the Species Problem? BioEssays 25 (6):596-602.
    The so-called ‘‘species problem’’ has plagued evolution- ary biology since before Darwin’s publication of the aptly titled Origin of Species. Many biologists think the problem is just a matter of semantics; others complain that it will not be solved until we have more empirical data. Yet, we don’t seem to be able to escape discussing it and teaching seminars about it. In this paper, I briefly examine the main themes of the biological and philosophical liter- atures on the species problem, (...)
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  39. Massimo Pigliucci (2003). The New Evolutionary Synthesis: Around the Corner, or Impossible Chimaera? [REVIEW] Quarterly Review of Biology 78 (4):449-453.
    In the fall of 1990 I had just began my doc- toral studies at the University of Connecticut. Freshly arrived from Italy, I came to the United States to work with Carl Schlichting on something to do with phenotypic plastic- ity. I spent most of that semester discussing with other graduate students what I thought was a momentous paper by Mary Jane West- Eberhard (1989) in the Annual Review of Ecol- ogy and Systematics. That paper, entitled Phe- notypic Plasticity and (...)
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  40. Massimo Pigliucci (2001). Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture. Johns Hopkins University Press.
    Phenotypic plasticity integrates the insights of ecological genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary theory. Plasticity research asks foundational questions about how living organisms are capable of variation in their genetic makeup and in their responses to environmental factors. For instance, how do novel adaptive phenotypes originate? How do organisms detect and respond to stressful environments? What is the balance between genetic or natural constraints (such as gravity) and natural selection? The author begins by defining phenotypic plasticity and detailing its history, including (...)
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  41. Massimo Pigliucci (2000). Of Beasts, Kids, and Science as a Method. [REVIEW] BioScience 50 (9):826-827.
    A look at one of the few books on evolution for kids.
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  42. Massimo Pigliucci & Maarten Boudry (2011). Why Machine-Information Metaphors Are Bad for Science and Science Education. Science and Education 20 (453):471.
    Genes are often described by biologists using metaphors derived from computa- tional science: they are thought of as carriers of information, as being the equivalent of ‘‘blueprints’’ for the construction of organisms. Likewise, cells are often characterized as ‘‘factories’’ and organisms themselves become analogous to machines. Accordingly, when the human genome project was initially announced, the promise was that we would soon know how a human being is made, just as we know how to make airplanes and buildings. Impor- tantly, (...)
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  43. Massimo Pigliucci & Leonard Finkelman (2014). The Extended (Evolutionary) Synthesis Debate: Where Science Meets Philosophy. BioScience:online.
    Recent debates between proponents of the modern evolutionary synthesis (the standard model in evolutionary biology) and those of a possible extended synthesis are a good example of the fascinating tangle among empirical, theoretical, and conceptual or philosophical matters that is the practice of evolutionary biology. In this essay, we briefly discuss two case studies from this debate, highlighting the relevance of philosophical thinking to evolutionary biologists in the hope of spurring further constructive cross-pollination between the two fields.
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  44. Massimo Pigliucci & Jonathan Kaplan (2000). The Fall and Rise of Dr. Pangloss: Adaptationism and the Spandrels Paper 20 Years Later. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15 (2):66-77.
    Twenty years have passed since Gould and Lewontin published their critique of ‘the adaptationist program’ – the tendency of some evolutionary biologists to assume, rather than demonstrate, the operation of natural selection. After the ‘Spandrels paper’, evolutionists were more careful about producing just-so stories based on selection, and paid more attention to a panoply of other processes. Then came reactions against the excesses of the anti-adaptationist movement, which ranged from a complete dismissal of Gould and Lewontin’s contribution to a positive (...)
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  45. Massimo Pigliucci & Gerd Muller (eds.) (2010). Evolution – the Extended Synthesis. MIT Press.
    In the six decades since the publication of Julian Huxley's Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, spectacular empirical advances in the biological sciences have been accompanied by equally significant developments within the core theoretical framework of the discipline. As a result, evolutionary theory today includes concepts and even entire new fields that were not part of the foundational structure of the Modern Synthesis. In this volume, sixteen leading evolutionary biologists and philosophers of science survey the conceptual changes that have emerged since Huxley's (...)
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  46. Anya Plutynski (2008). &Quot;speciation and Macroevolution&Quot;. In Sahotra Sarkar & Anya Plutynski (eds.), Blackwell's Companion to Philosophy of Biology. Blackwell's/Routledge.
    Speciation is the process by which one or more species arises from a common ancestor, and “macroevolution” refers to patterns and processes at and above the species level – or, transitions in higher taxa, such as new families, phyla or genera. “Macroevolution” is contrasted with “microevolution,” evolutionary change within populations, due to migration, assortative mating, selection, mutation and drift. In the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930’s and 40’s, Haldane (1932), Dobzhansky (1937), Mayr (1942), and Simpson (1944) argued that the origin (...)
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  47. Collin Rice & Joshua Smart (2011). Interdisciplinary Modeling: A Case Study of Evolutionary Economics. Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):655-675.
    Biologists and economists use models to study complex systems. This similarity between these disciplines has led to an interesting development: the borrowing of various components of model-based theorizing between the two domains. A major recent example of this strategy is economists’ utilization of the resources of evolutionary biology in order to construct models of economic systems. This general strategy has come to be called evolutionary economics and has been a source of much debate among economists. Although philosophers have developed literatures (...)
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  48. Christina Richards, Oliver Bossdorf & Massimo Pigliucci (2010). What Role Does Heritable Epigenetic Variation Play in Phenotypic Evolution? BioScience 60 (3):232-237.
    To explore the potential evolutionary relevance of heritable epigenetic variation, the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center recently hosted a catalysis meeting that brought together molecular epigeneticists, experimental evolutionary ecologists, and theoretical population and quantitative geneticists working across a wide variety of systems. The group discussed the methods available to investigate epigenetic variation and epigenetic inheritance, and how to evaluate their importance for phenotypic evolution. We found that understanding the relevance of epigenetic effects in phe- notypic evolution will require clearly delineating epigenetics (...)
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  49. Mark F. Sharlow, What's Really Wrong with the Argument From Design?
    This document is an edited transcript of an impromptu talk by Mark F. Sharlow. In this talk, Dr. Sharlow examines one of the common arguments for God’s existence. He suggests that this argument is wrong, but not for the reason that skeptics usually cite. Instead, he points out a deeper error — and shows that by understanding this mistake, we can gain new insights into evolution and design.
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  50. Marco Solinas (2012). L'impronta dell'inutilità. Dalla teleologia di Aristotele alle genealogie di Darwin. ETS.
    The book aims to offer a contribution to the historiographical and conceptual reconfiguration of the evolutionary revolution in the light of the centuries-old tenets of the Aristotelian biological tradition. Darwin’s breakthrough constitutes a thorough overturning of the fixist, essentialist and teleological framework created by Aristotle, a framework still dominant in the 17th Century world of Harvey and Ray, as well as Galileo, and then hegemonic until Linnaeus and Cuvier. This change is exemplified in the morphological analysis of useless parts, such (...)
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