'Molecules and Monkeys': George Gaylord Simpson and the Challenge of Molecular Evolution

In this paper, I analyze George Gaylord Simpson's response to the molecularization of evolutionary biology from his unique perspective as a paleontologist. I do so by exploring his views on early attempts to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among primates using molecular data. Particular attention is paid to Simpson's role in the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as his concerns about the rise of molecular biology as a powerful discipline and world-view in the 1960s. I argue that Simpson's belief in the supremacy of natural selection as the primary driving force of evolution, as well as his view that biology was a historical science that seeks ultimate causes and highlights contingency, prevented him from acknowledging that the study of molecular evolution was an inherently valuable part of the life sciences
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Edna Suárez-Díaz (2009). Molecular Evolution: Concepts and the Origin of Disciplines. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (1):43-53.
    Similar books and articles
    Adam Toon (2011). Playing with Molecules. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):580-589.
    George Gaylord Simpson (1969). Biology and Man. New York, Harcourt, Brace & World.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    5 ( #178,805 of 1,089,047 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)


    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.