Complexity and evolution: What everybody knows [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 6 (3):303-324 (1991)
The consensus among evolutionists seems to be (and has been for at least a century) that the morphological complexity of organisms increases in evolution, although almost no empirical evidence for such a trend exists. Most studies of complexity have been theoretical, and the few empirical studies have not, with the exception of certain recent ones, been especially rigorous; reviews are presented of both the theoretical and empirical literature. The paucity of evidence raises the question of what sustains the consensus, and a number of suggestions are offered, including the possibility that certain cultural and/or perceptual biases are at work. In addition, a shift in emphasis from theoretical to empirical inquiry is recommended for the study of complexity, and guidelines for future empirical studies are proposed.
Keywords Complexity  entropy  evolution  evolutionary trends  Herbert Spencer  progress
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DOI 10.1007/BF00132234
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References found in this work BETA
J. Maynard Smith (1972). Time in the Evolutionary Process. In J. T. Fraser, F. Haber & G. Muller (eds.), The Study of Time. Springer-Verlag 1.

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Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2012). Interweaving Categories: Styles, Paradigms, and Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (4):628-639.

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