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  1. ABO Blood Groups and Cholera: An Investigation of an Infectious Disease as an Agent of Natural Selection.Sylvia Abonyi - 1996 - Nexus 12 (1):1.
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  2. Populations and Pigeons: Prosaic Pluralism About Evolutionary Causes.Marshall Abrams - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):294-301.
    and was correct to conclude that the way a biological population is described should affect conclusions about whether natural selection occurs, but wrong to conclude that natural selection is therefore not a cause. After providing a new argument that ignored crucial biological details, I give a biological illustration that motivates a fairly extreme dependence on description. I argue that contrary to an implication of , biologists allow much flexibility in describing populations, as contemporary research on recent human evolution shows. Properly (...)
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  3. Implications of Use of Wright’s FST for the Role of Probability and Causation in Evolution.Marshall Abrams - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):596-608.
    Sewall Wright ’s FST is a mathematical test widely used in empirical applications to characterize genetic and other differences between subpopulations, and to identify causes of those differences. Cockerham and Weir’s popular approach to statistical estimation of FST is based on an assumption sometimes formulated as a claim that actual populations tested are sampled from.
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  4. How Do Natural Selection and Random Drift Interact?Marshall Abrams - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):666-679.
    One controversy about the existence of so called evolutionary forces such as natural selection and random genetic drift concerns the sense in which such “forces” can be said to interact. In this paper I explain how natural selection and random drift can interact. In particular, I show how population-level probabilities can be derived from individual-level probabilities, and explain the sense in which natural selection and drift are embodied in these population-level probabilities. I argue that whatever causal character the individual-level probabilities (...)
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  5. Infinite Populations and Counterfactual Frequencies in Evolutionary Theory.Marshall Abrams - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (2):256-268.
    One finds intertwined with ideas at the core of evolutionary theory claims about frequencies in counterfactual and infinitely large populations of organisms, as well as in sets of populations of organisms. One also finds claims about frequencies in counterfactual and infinitely large populations—of events—at the core of an answer to a question concerning the foundations of evolutionary theory. The question is this: To what do the numerical probabilities found throughout evolutionary theory correspond? The answer in question says that evolutionary probabilities (...)
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  6. Teleosemantics Without Natural Selection.Marshall Abrams - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):97-116.
    Ruth Millikan and others advocate theories which attempt to naturalize wide mental content (e.g. beliefs.
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  7. Praise for a Critical Perspective.David C. Airey & Richard C. Shelton - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):405-405.
    The target article skillfully evaluates data on mental disorders in relation to predictions from evolutionary genetic theories of neutral evolution, balancing selection, and polygenic mutation-selection balance, resulting in a negative outlook for the likelihood of success finding genes for mental disorders. Nevertheless, new conceptualizations, methods, and continued interactions across disciplines provide hope.
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  8. Analysis of The Behavior of MGG and JGG As A Selection Model for Real-Coded Genetic Algorithms.Youhei Akimoto, Yuichi Nagata, Jun Sakuma, Isao Ono & Shigenobu Kobayashi - 2010 - Transactions of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence 25:281-289.
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  9. Natural Selection in Morals.S. Alexander - 1892 - International Journal of Ethics 2 (4):409-439.
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  10. Thomas Hunt Morgan and the Problem of Natural Selection.Garland E. Allen - 1968 - Journal of the History of Biology 1 (1):113-139.
  11. Natural Selection and Population Diversity.A. C. Allison - 1969 - Journal of Biosocial Science 1 (S1):15-30.
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  12. Separated at Birth: The Interlinked Origins of Darwin’s Unconscious Selection Concept and the Application of Sexual Selection to Race.Stephen G. Alter - 2007 - Journal of the History of Biology 40 (2):231-258.
    This essay traces the interlinked origins of two concepts found in Charles Darwin's writings: "unconscious selection," and sexual selection as applied to humanity's anatomical race distinctions. Unconscious selection constituted a significant elaboration of Darwin's artificial selection analogy. As originally conceived in his theoretical notebooks, that analogy had focused exclusively on what Darwin later would call "methodical selection," the calculated production of desired changes in domestic breeds. By contrast, unconscious selection produced its results unintentionally and at a much slower pace. Inspiration (...)
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  13. La selección natural: lenguaje, método y filosofía.Juan Ramón Álvarez - 2010 - Endoxa 24:91-122.
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  14. How Deep is the Conflict Between Self-Organization and Natural Selection?Eugenio Andrade - 2011 - Ludus Vitalis 19 (35):289-311.
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  15. Ernst Mayr's 'Ultimate/Proximate' Distinction Reconsidered and Reconstructed.André Ariew - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):553-565.
    It's been 41 years since the publication of Ernst Mayr's Cause and Effect in Biology wherein Mayr most clearly develops his version of the influential distinction between ultimate and proximate causes in biology. In critically assessing Mayr's essay I uncover false statements and red-herrings about biological explanation. Nevertheless, I argue to uphold an analogue of the ultimate/proximate distinction as it refers to two different kinds of explanations, one dynamical the other statistical.
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  16. Selection From Categories. Aristotle - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
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  17. Learning and Selection Processes.Marc Artiga Galindo - unknown
    In this paper I defend a teleological explanation of normativity, i. e., I argue that what an organism (or device) is supposed to do is determined by its etiological function. In particular, I present a teleological account of the normativity that arises in learning processes, and I defend it from some objections.
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  18. Natural Selection Vs Trial and Error Elimination.Brian S. Baigrie - 1989 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 3 (2):157 – 172.
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  19. Integrating Ecology and Evolution: Niche Construction and Ecological Engineering.Gillian Barker & John Odling-Smee - 2013 - In Gillian Barker, Eric Desjardins & Trevor Pearce (eds.), Entangled Life: Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences. Springer. pp. 187-211.
  20. Natural Selection as a Mechanism.D. Benjamin Barros - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (3):306-322.
    Skipper and Millstein (2005) argued that existing conceptions of mechanisms failed to "get at" natural selection, but left open the possibility that a refined conception of mechanisms could resolve the problems that they identified. I respond to Skipper and Millstein, and argue that while many of their points have merit, their objections can be overcome and that natural selection can be characterized as a mechanism. In making this argument, I discuss the role of regularity in mechanisms, and develop an account (...)
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  21. Limits to Natural Selection.Nick Barton & Linda Partridge - 2000 - Bioessays 22 (12):1075-1084.
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  22. Visions of Evolution: Self-Organization Proposes What Natural Selection Disposes.David Batten, Stanley Salthe & Fabio Boschetti - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (1):17-29.
    This article reviews the seven “visions” of evolution proposed by Depew and Weber , concluding that each posited relationship between natural selection and self-organization has suited different aims and approaches. In the second section of the article, we show that these seven viewpoints may be collapsed into three fundamentally different ones: natural selection drives evolution; self-organization drives evolution; and natural selection and self-organization are complementary aspects of the evolutionary process. We then argue that these three approaches are not mutually exclusive, (...)
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  23. Pluralism and Panselectionism.John Beatty - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:113 - 128.
    During the 1950s and 60s, evolutionary biologists began to attribute a greater and greater role to natural selection, and correspondingly less and less a role to alternative evolutionary agents. Empirical grounds cited in support of the change in attitude consisted primarily of selectionist reinterpretations of evolutionary changes originally attributed to other evolutionary agents. In order to distinguish the respects in which the increased emphasis on natural selection was justified and unjustified, two distinctions are relied on. These are, first, the distinction (...)
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  24. Chance and Natural Selection.John Beatty - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):183-211.
    Among the liveliest disputes in evolutionary biology today are disputes concerning the role of chance in evolution--more specifically, disputes concerning the relative evolutionary importance of natural selection vs. so-called "random drift". The following discussion is an attempt to sort out some of the broad issues involved in those disputes. In the first half of this paper, I try to explain the differences between evolution by natural selection and evolution by random drift. On some common construals of "natural selection", those two (...)
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  25. Natural Selection and History.John Beatty & Eric Cyr Desjardins - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):231-246.
    In “Spandrels,” Gould and Lewontin criticized what they took to be an all-too-common conviction, namely, that adaptation to current environments determines organic form. They stressed instead the importance of history. In this paper, we elaborate upon their concerns by appealing to other writings in which those issues are treated in greater detail. Gould and Lewontin’s combined emphasis on history was three-fold. First, evolution by natural selection does not start from scratch, but always refashions preexisting forms. Second, preexisting forms are refashioned (...)
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  26. On Price's Equation and Average Fitness.Kerr Benjamin & Godfrey-Smith Peter - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):551-565.
    A number of recent discussions have argued that George Price's equationfor representing evolutionary change is a powerful and illuminatingtool, especially in the context of debates about multiple levels ofselection. Our paper dissects Price's equation in detail, and comparesit to another statistical tool: the calculation and comparison ofaverage fitnesses. The relations between Price's equation and equationsfor evolutionary change using average fitness are closer than issometimes supposed. The two approaches achieve a similar kind ofstatistical summary of one generation of change, and they (...)
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  27. The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection.Charles A. Berger - 1932 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 7 (1):167-171.
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  28. On the Evolution of Behavioral Complexity in Individuals and Populations.Carl T. Bergstrom & Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1998 - Biology and Philosophy 13 (2):205-31.
    A wide range of ecological and evolutionary models predict variety in phenotype or behavior when a population is at equilibrium. This heterogeneity can be realized in different ways. For example, it can be realized through a complex population of individuals exhibiting different simple behaviors, or through a simple population of individuals exhibiting complex, varying behaviors. In some theoretical frameworks these different realizations are treated as equivalent, but natural selection distinguishes between these two alternatives in subtle ways. By investigating an increasingly (...)
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  29. Natural Selection of Political Forces.Adolf Augustus Berle - 1950 - Lawrence, University Press of Kansas.
  30. The Expendables: Natural Selection Driving Reduced Gene Function.Max R. Bernstein & Matthew V. Rockman - 2015 - Bioessays 37 (11):1153-1153.
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  31. Natural Selection Could Not Have Done It All.R. J. Berry - forthcoming - Human Nature.
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  32. Emergent Phenomena Belong Only to Biology.Hugues Bersini - 2012 - Synthese 185 (2):257-272.
    In this philosophical paper, I discuss and illustrate the necessary three ingredients that together could allow a collective phenomenon to be labelled as “emergent.” First, the phenomenon, as usual, requires a group of natural objects entering in a non-linear relationship and potentially entailing the existence of various semantic descriptions depending on the human scale of observation. Second, this phenomenon has to be observed by a mechanical observer instead of a human one, which has the natural capacity for temporal or spatial (...)
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  33. Proper Environment and the SEP Account of Biological Function.Michael Bertrand - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1503-1517.
    The survival enhancing propensity (SEP) account has a crucial role to play in the analysis of proper function. However, a central feature of the account, its specification of the proper environment to which functions are relativized, is seriously underdeveloped. In this paper, I argue that existent accounts of proper environment fail because they either allow too many or too few characters to count as proper functions. While SEP accounts retain their promise, they are unworkable because of their inability to specify (...)
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  34. Should We Essentially Ignore the Role of Stimuli in a General Account of Operant Selection?Rick A. Bevins - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):528-529.
    The selectionist account of behavior is actually a focused discussion of operant selection. To this end, the authors essentially exclude stimuli from their analysis. This exclusion is inconsistent with the importance placed on environmental interaction in their general account. Further, this exclusion limits the generality of their account by missing important sources of stimulus-elicited behavior (e.g., classical conditioning).
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  35. Life’s Demons: Information and Order in Biology.Philippe M. Binder & Antoine Danchin - 2011 - EMBO Reports 12 (6):495-499.
    Two decades ago, Rolf Landauer (1991) argued that “information is physical” and ought to have a role in the scientific analysis of reality comparable to that of matter, energy, space and time. This would also help to bridge the gap between biology and mathematics and physics. Although it can be argued that we are living in the ‘golden age’ of biology, both because of the great challenges posed by medicine and the environment and the significant advances that have been made—especially (...)
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  36. Kin Selection, Group Selection, and the Varieties of Population Structure.Jonathan Birch - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx028.
    Various results show the ‘formal equivalence’ of kin and group selectionist methodologies, but this does not preclude there being a real and useful distinction between kin and group selection processes. I distinguish individual and population-centred approaches to drawing such a distinction, and I proceed to develop the latter. On the account I advance, the differences between kin and group selection are differences of degree in the structural properties of populations. A spatial metaphor provides a useful framework for thinking about these (...)
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  37. Fitness Maximization.Jonathan Birch - 2018 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. London: Routledge. pp. 49-63.
    Is there any way to reconcile the adaptationist’s image of natural selection as an engine of optimality with the more complex image of its dynamics we get from population genetics? This has long been an important strand in the controversy surrounding adaptationism, yet debate has been hampered by a tendency to conflate various different ways of thinking about maximization. Here I distinguish four varieties of maximization principle. I then discuss the logical relations between these varieties, arguing that, although they may (...)
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  38. The Inclusive Fitness Controversy: Finding a Way Forward.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Royal Society Open Science 4:170335.
    This paper attempts to reconcile critics and defenders of inclusive fitness by constructing a synthesis that does justice to the insights of both. I argue that criticisms of the regression-based version of Hamilton’s rule, although they undermine its use for predictive purposes, do not undermine its use as an organizing framework for social evolution research. I argue that the assumptions underlying the concept of inclusive fitness, conceived as a causal property of an individual organism, are unlikely to be exactly true (...)
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  39. The Philosophy of Social Evolution.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    From mitochondria to meerkats, the natural world is full of spectacular examples of social behaviour. In the early 1960s W. D. Hamilton changed the way we think about how such behaviour evolves. He introduced three key innovations - now known as Hamilton's rule, kin selection, and inclusive fitness - and his pioneering work kick-started a research program now known as social evolution theory. This is a book about the philosophical foundations and future prospects of that program.
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  40. Natural Selection and the Maximization of Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Biological Reviews 91 (3):712-727.
    The notion that natural selection is a process of fitness maximization gets a bad press in population genetics, yet in other areas of biology the view that organisms behave as if attempting to maximize their fitness remains widespread. Here I critically appraise the prospects for reconciliation. I first distinguish four varieties of fitness maximization. I then examine two recent developments that may appear to vindicate at least one of these varieties. The first is the ‘new’ interpretation of Fisher's fundamental theorem (...)
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  41. Hamilton’s Two Conceptions of Social Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):848-860.
    Hamilton introduced two conceptions of social fitness, which he called neighbour-modulated fitness and inclusive fitness. Although he regarded them as formally equivalent, a re-analysis of his own argument for their equivalence brings out two important assumptions on which it rests: weak additivity and actor's control. When weak additivity breaks down, neither fitness concept is appropriate in its original form. When actor's control breaks down, neighbour-modulated fitness may be appropriate, but inclusive fitness is not. Yet I argue that, despite its more (...)
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  42. Has Grafen Formalized Darwin?Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):175-180.
    One key aim of Grafen’s Formal Darwinism project is to formalize ‘modern biology’s understanding and updating of Darwin’s central argument’. In this commentary, I consider whether Grafen has succeeded in this aim.
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  43. The Negative View of Natural Selection.Jonathan Birch - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (2):569-573.
    An influential argument due to Elliott Sober, subsequently strengthened by Denis Walsh and Joel Pust, moves from plausible premises to the bold conclusion that natural selection cannot explain the traits of individual organisms. If the argument were sound, the explanatory scope of selection would depend, surprisingly, on metaphysical considerations concerning origin essentialism. I show that the Sober-Walsh-Pust argument rests on a flawed counterfactual criterion for explanatory relevance. I further show that a more defensible criterion for explanatory relevance recently proposed by (...)
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  44. The Negative View of Natural Selection.Jonathan Birch - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (2):569-573.
    An influential argument due to Elliott Sober, subsequently strengthened by Denis Walsh and Joel Pust, moves from plausible premises to the bold conclusion that natural selection cannot explain the traits of individual organisms. If the argument were sound, the explanatory scope of selection would depend, surprisingly, on metaphysical considerations concerning origin essentialism. I show that the Sober-Walsh-Pust argument rests on a flawed counterfactual criterion for explanatory relevance. I further show that a more defensible criterion for explanatory relevance recently proposed by (...)
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  45. Queller's Separation Condition Explained and Defended.Jonathan Birch & James A. R. Marshall - 2014 - American Naturalist 184 (4):531-540.
    The theories of inclusive fitness and multilevel selection provide alternative perspectives on social evolution. The question of whether these perspectives are of equal generality remains a divisive issue. In an analysis based on the Price equation, Queller argued (by means of a principle he called the separation condition) that the two approaches are subject to the same limitations, arising from their fundamentally quantitative-genetical character. Recently, van Veelen et al. have challenged Queller’s results, using this as the basis for a broader (...)
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  46. Kin Selection and Its Critics.Jonathan Birch & Samir Okasha - 2015 - BioScience 65 (1):22-32.
    Hamilton’s theory of kin selection is the best-known framework for understanding the evolution of social behavior but has long been a source of controversy in evolutionary biology. A recent critique of the theory by Nowak, Tarnita, and Wilson sparked a new round of debate, which shows no signs of abating. In this overview, we highlight a number of conceptual issues that lie at the heart of the current debate. We begin by emphasizing that there are various alternative formulations of Hamilton’s (...)
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  47. Selection and Explanation.Alexander Bird - 2006 - In Rethinking Explanation. Springer. pp. 131--136.
    Selection explanations explain some non-accidental generalizations in virtue of a selection process. Such explanations are not particulaizable - they do not transfer as explanations of the instances of such generalizations. This is unlike many explanations in the physical sciences, where the explanation of the general fact also provides an explanation of its instances (i.e. standard D-N explanations). Are selection explanations (e.g. in biology) therefore a different kind of explanation? I argue that to understand this issue, we need to see that (...)
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  48. Geographical Distribution of Some Danish Surnames: Reflections of Social and Natural Selection.Jesper L. Boldsen - 1992 - Journal of Biosocial Science 24 (4):505-513.
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  49. Optimality Modelling in the Real World.Jean-Sébastien Bolduc & Frank Cézilly - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):851-869.
    In a recent paper, Potochnik (Biol Philos 24(2):183–197, 2009) analyses some uses of optimality modelling in light of the anti-adaptationism criticism. She distinguishes two broad classes of such uses (weak and strong) on the basis of assumptions held by biologists about the role and the importance of natural selection. This is an interesting proposal that could help in the epistemological characterisation of some biological practices. However, Potochnik’s distinction also rests on the assumption that all optimality modelling represent the selection dynamic (...)
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  50. Understanding Colonial Traits Using Symbiosis Research and Ecosystem Ecology.Frédéric Bouchard - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):240-246.
    E. O. Wilson (1974: 54) describes the problem that social organisms pose: “On what bases do we distinguish the extremely modified members of an invertebrate colony from the organs of a metazoan animal?” This framing of the issue has inspired many to look more closely at how groups of organisms form and behave as emergent individuals. The possible existence of “superorganisms” test our best intuitions about what can count and act as genuine biological individuals and how we should study them. (...)
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