Biology and Philosophy 6 (3):303-324 (1991)
The consensus among evolutionists seems to be 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|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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Citations of this work BETA
Interweaving Categories: Styles, Paradigms, and Models.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (4):628-639.
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Narratives, Mechanisms and Progress in Historical Science.Adrian Mitchell Currie - 2013 - Synthese 191 (6):1-21.
The Limitations of Hierarchical Organization.Angela Potochnik & Brian McGill - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (1):120-140.
Philosophical Issues in Recent Paleontology.Derek D. Turner - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (7):494-505.
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