Naturalists, Molecular Biologists, and the Challenges of Molecular Evolution

Journal of the History of Biology 32 (2):321 - 341 (1999)
Biologists and historians often present natural history and molecular biology as distinct, perhaps conflicting, fields in biological research. Such accounts, although supported by abundant evidence, overlook important areas of overlap between these areas. Focusing upon examples drawn particularly from systematics and molecular evolution, I argue that naturalists and molecular biologists often share questions, methods, and forms of explanation. Acknowledging these interdisciplinary efforts provides a more balanced account of the development of biology during the post-World War II era.
Keywords molecular biology  molecular evolution  natural history  phylogeny  systematics
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