Defining Darwin

Author: Michael Ruse
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1615924167
Size: 31.98 MB
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The value of this brief and highly readable book, which will take its place high on the centennial works about Charles Darwin, is the relaxed and intimate familiarity of Ruse with his subject. Darwin's background, his predecessors, the context of his life, and the significance of his contributions over a vast intellectual domain, are provided as though by a close friend or member of the family.-EDWARD O. WILSON, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University; Author of Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge and many other worksMichael Ruse is a master science story-teller. In Defining Darwin, he tackles fundamental issues in philosophy and history of evolutionary biology with great originality and depth. Clarity of expression and vivid language make the reading facile and, indeed, thoroughly enjoyable. Defining Darwin is an important addition to the extensive Darwinian literature enriching the celebration of Darwin's two hundredth anniversary.-FRANCISCO J. AYALA, University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine; Recipient of the US National Medal of Science in 2001; Author of Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion and Human Evolution: Trails from the PastMichael Ruse is one of the foremost Charles Darwin scholars of our time. For forty years he has written extensively on Darwin, the scientific revolution that his work precipitated, and the nature and implications of evolutionary thinking for today. Now, in the year marking the two hundredth anniversary of Darwin's birth and the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of his masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, Ruse reevaluates the legacy of Darwin in this collection of new and recent essays.Beginning with pre-Darwinian concepts of organic origins proposed by the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant, Ruse shows the challenges that Darwin's radically different idea faced. He then discusses natural selection as a powerful metaphor; Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution; Herbert Spencer's contribution to evolutionary biology; the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and natural selection; the different views of Julian Huxley and George Gaylord Simpson on evolutionary ethics; and the influence of Darwin's ideas on literature. In the final section, Ruse brings the discussion up to date with a consideration of evolutionary development (dubbed evo devo) as a new evolutionary paradigm and the effects of Darwin on religion, especially the debate surrounding Intelligent Design theory.Ruse offers a fresh perspective on topics old and new, challenging the reader to think again about the nature and consequences of what has been described as the biggest idea ever conceived.Michael Ruse (Tallahassee, FL) is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and director of the History and Philosophy of Science program at Florida State University. He is the founding editor of the journal Biology and Philosophy and the author or editor of The Stem Cell Controversy (with Christopher Pynes); Cloning: Responsible Science or Technomadness? (with Aryne Sheppard); Taking Darwin Seriously; Philosophy of Biology; and But Is It Science? (with Robert Pennock), among many other works.

Did Darwin Write The Origin Backwards

Author: Elliott Sober
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616142782
Size: 61.81 MB
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Is it accurate to label Darwin’s theory "the theory of evolution by natural selection," given that the concept of common ancestry is at least as central to Darwin’s theory? Did Darwin reject the idea that group selection causes characteristics to evolve that are good for the group though bad for the individual? How does Darwin’s discussion of God in The Origin of Species square with the common view that he is the champion of methodological naturalism? These are just some of the intriguing questions raised in this volume of interconnected philosophical essays on Darwin. The author's approach is informed by modern issues in evolutionary biology, but is sensitive to the ways in which Darwin’s outlook differed from that of many biologists today. The main topics that are the focus of the book—common ancestry, group selection, sex ratio, and naturalism—have rarely been discussed in their connection with Darwin in such penetrating detail. Author Professor Sober is the 2008 winner of the Prometheus Prize. This biennial award, established in 2006 through the American Philosophical Association, is designed "to honor a distinguished philosopher in recognition of his or her lifetime contribution to expanding the frontiers of research in philosophy and science." This insightful collection of essays will be of interest to philosophers, biologists, and laypersons seeking a deeper understanding of one of the most influential scientific theories ever propounded. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Origins Of Darwin S Evolution

Author: J. David Archibald
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231545290
Size: 56.89 MB
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Historical biogeography—the study of the history of species through both time and place—first convinced Charles Darwin of evolution. This field was so important to Darwin’s initial theories and line of thinking that he said as much in the very first paragraph of On the Origin of Species (1859) and later in his autobiography. His methods included collecting mammalian fossils in South America clearly related to living forms, tracing the geographical distributions of living species across South America, and sampling peculiar fauna of the geologically young Galápagos Archipelago that showed evident affinities to South American forms. Over the years, Darwin collected other evidence in support of evolution, but his historical biogeographical arguments remained paramount, so much so that he devotes three full chapters to this topic in On the Origin of Species. Discussions of Darwin’s landmark book too often give scant attention to this wealth of evidence, and we still do not fully appreciate its significance in Darwin’s thinking. In Origins of Darwin’s Evolution, J. David Archibald explores this lapse, showing how Darwin first came to the conclusion that, instead of various centers of creation, species had evolved in different regions throughout the world. He also shows that Darwin’s other early passion—geology—proved a more elusive corroboration of evolution. On the Origin of Species has only one chapter dedicated to the rock and fossil record, as it then appeared too incomplete for Darwin’s evidentiary standards. Carefully retracing Darwin’s gathering of evidence and the evolution of his thinking, Origins of Darwin’s Evolution achieves a new understanding of how Darwin crafted his transformative theory.

The Nature Of Nature

Author: Bruce Gordon
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1497644372
Size: 26.72 MB
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The intellectual and cultural battles now raging over theism and atheism, conservatism and secular progressivism, dualism and monism, realism and antirealism, and transcendent reality versus material reality extend even into the scientific disciplines. This stunning new volume captures this titanic clash of worldviews among those who have thought most deeply about the nature of science and of the universe itself. Unmatched in its breadth and scope, The Nature of Nature brings together some of the most influential scientists, scholars, and public intellectuals—including three Nobel laureates—across a wide spectrum of disciplines and schools of thought. Here they grapple with a perennial question that has been made all the more pressing by recent advances in the natural sciences: Is the fundamental explanatory principle of the universe, life, and self-conscious awareness to be found in inanimate matter or immaterial mind? The answers found in this book have profound implications for what it means to do science, what it means to be human, and what the future holds for all of us.

Science And Selection

Author: David L. Hull
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521644051
Size: 51.25 MB
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This 2001 book brings together many of David Hull's most important essays on selection in one accessible volume.

What Darwin Got Wrong

Author: Jerry Fodor
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1847651909
Size: 63.50 MB
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Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, a distinguished philosopher and scientist working in tandem, reveal major flaws at the heart of Darwinian evolutionary theory. They do not deny Darwin's status as an outstanding scientist but question the inferences he drew from his observations. Combining the results of cutting-edge work in experimental biology with crystal-clear philosophical argument they mount a devastating critique of the central tenets of Darwin's account of the origin of species. The logic underlying natural selection is the survival of the fittest under changing environmental pressure. This logic, they argue, is mistaken. They back up the claim with evidence of what actually happens in nature. This is a rare achievement - the short book that is likely to make a great deal of difference to a very large subject. What Darwin Got Wrong will be controversial. The authors' arguments will reverberate through the scientific world. At the very least they will transform the debate about evolution.

The Darwinian Paradigm

Author: Lucyle T Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science Michael Ruse
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134988230
Size: 21.43 MB
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First published in 1989. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

The Structure Of Evolutionary Theory

Author: Stephen Jay Gould
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674417925
Size: 68.77 MB
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The world’s most revered and eloquent interpreter of evolutionary ideas offers here a work of explanatory force unprecedented in our time—a landmark publication, both for its historical sweep and for its scientific vision. With characteristic attention to detail, Stephen Jay Gould first describes the content and discusses the history and origins of the three core commitments of classical Darwinism: that natural selection works on organisms, not genes or species; that it is almost exclusively the mechanism of adaptive evolutionary change; and that these changes are incremental, not drastic. Next, he examines the three critiques that currently challenge this classic Darwinian edifice: that selection operates on multiple levels, from the gene to the group; that evolution proceeds by a variety of mechanisms, not just natural selection; and that causes operating at broader scales, including catastrophes, have figured prominently in the course of evolution. Then, in a stunning tour de force that will likely stimulate discussion and debate for decades, Gould proposes his own system for integrating these classical commitments and contemporary critiques into a new structure of evolutionary thought. In 2001 the Library of Congress named Stephen Jay Gould one of America’s eighty-three Living Legends—people who embody the “quintessentially American ideal of individual creativity, conviction, dedication, and exuberance.” Each of these qualities finds full expression in this peerless work, the likes of which the scientific world has not seen—and may not see again—for well over a century.

Chance In Evolution

Author: Grant Ramsey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022640191X
Size: 55.29 MB
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Humans, however much we would care to think otherwise, do not represent the fated pinnacle of ape evolution. The diversity of life, from single-celled organisms to multicellular animals and plants, is the result of a long, complex, and highly chancy history. But how profoundly has chance shaped life on earth? And what, precisely, do we mean by chance? Bringing together biologists, philosophers of science, and historians of science, Chance in Evolution is the first book to untangle the far-reaching effects of chance, contingency, and randomness on the evolution of life. The book begins by placing chance in historical context, starting with the ancients and moving through Darwin and his contemporaries, documenting how the understanding of chance changed as Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection developed into the modern synthesis, and how the acceptance of chance in Darwinian theory affected theological resistance to it. Subsequent chapters detail the role of chance in contemporary evolutionary theory—in particular, in connection with the concepts of genetic drift, mutation, and parallel evolution—as well as recent empirical work in the experimental evolution of microbes and in paleobiology. By engaging in collaboration across biology, history, philosophy, and theology, this book offers a comprehensive and synthetic overview both of the history of chance in evolution and of our current best understanding of the impact of chance on life on earth.

A Companion To The Philosophy Of Biology

Author: Sahotra Sarkar
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444337858
Size: 47.12 MB
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Comprised of essays by top scholars in the field, this volume offers detailed overviews of philosophical issues raised by biology. Brings together a team of eminent scholars to explore the philosophical issues raised by biology Addresses traditional and emerging topics, spanning molecular biology and genetics, evolution, developmental biology, immunology, ecology, mind and behaviour, neuroscience, and experimentation Begins with a thorough introduction to the field Goes beyond previous treatments that focused only on evolution to give equal attention to other areas, such as molecular and developmental biology Represents both an authoritative guide to philosophy of biology, and an accessible reference work for anyone seeking to learn about this rapidly-changing field