Beyond darwinism's eclipse: Functional evolution, biochemical recapitulation and Spencerian emergence in the 1920s and 1930s [Book Review]

Abstract
During the 1920s and 1930s, many biologists questioned the viability of Darwin’s theory as a mechanism of evolutionary change. In the early 1940s, and only after a number of alternatives were suggested, Darwinists succeeded to establish natural selection and gene mutation as the main evolutionary mechanisms. While that move, today known as the neo-Darwinian synthesis, is taken as signalling a triumph of evolutionary theory, certain critical problems in evolution—in particular the evolution of animal function—could not be addressed with this approach. Here I demonstrate this through reconstruction of the evolutionary theory of Joseph Needham (1900–1995), who pioneered the biochemical study of evolution and development. In order to address such problems, Needham employed Herbert Spencer’s principles of emergence and Ernst Haeckel’s theory of recapitulation. While Needham did not reject Darwinian theory, Spencerian and Haeckelian frameworks happened to better fit his findings and their evolutionary relevance. He believed selectionist and genetic approaches to be important but far from sufficient for explaining how evolutionary transformations occur
Keywords Comparative biochemistry  Physiological evolution  Recapitulation  Needham  Haeckel  Spencer  Lucas
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10838-010-9117-x
Options
 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
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,205
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
An Extended Synthesis for Evolutionary Biology.Massimo Pigliucci - 2009 - Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1168:218-228.
Evolution: The Modern Synthesis.Julian Huxley - 1944 - Philosophy 19 (73):166-170.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Food, Growth and Time: Elsie Widdowson’s and Robert McCance’s Research Into Prenatal and Early Postnatal Growth.Tatjana Buklijas - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 47:267-277.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
An Extended Synthesis for Evolutionary Biology.Massimo Pigliucci - 2009 - Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1168:218-228.
Mutationism and the Dual Causation of Evolutionary Change.Arlin Stoltzfus - 2006 - Evolution and Development 8 (3):304-317.
The Discovery of Evolution.David Young - 2007 - Cambridge University Press, in Association with Natural History Museum, London.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-06-30

Total downloads

21 ( #232,644 of 2,154,159 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #279,759 of 2,154,159 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums