evolutionary theory a hierarchical perspective

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Evolutionary Theory

Author : Niles Eldredge
ISBN : 9780226426198
Genre : Science
File Size : 74. 26 MB
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The natural world is infinitely complex and hierarchically structured, with smaller units forming the components of progressively larger systems: molecules make up cells, cells comprise tissues and organs that are, in turn, parts of individual organisms, which are united into populations and integrated into yet more encompassing ecosystems. In the face of such awe-inspiring complexity, there is a need for a comprehensive, non-reductionist evolutionary theory. Having emerged at the crossroads of paleobiology, genetics, and developmental biology, the hierarchical approach to evolution provides a unifying perspective on the natural world and offers an operational framework for scientists seeking to understand the way complex biological systems work and evolve. Coedited by one of the founders of hierarchy theory and featuring a diverse and renowned group of contributors, this volume provides an integrated, comprehensive, cutting-edge introduction to the hierarchy theory of evolution. From sweeping historical reviews to philosophical pieces, theoretical essays, and strictly empirical chapters, it reveals hierarchy theory as a vibrant field of scientific enterprise that holds promise for unification across the life sciences and offers new venues of empirical and theoretical research. Stretching from molecules to the biosphere, hierarchy theory aims to provide an all-encompassing understanding of evolution and—with this first collection devoted entirely to the concept—will help make transparent the fundamental patterns that propel living systems.

The Darwinian Tradition In Context

Author : Richard G. Delisle
ISBN : 9783319691237
Genre : Science
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The main goal of this book is to put the Darwinian tradition in context by raising questions such as: How should it be defined? Did it interact with other research programs? Were there any research programs that developed largely independently of the Darwinian tradition? Accordingly, the contributing authors explicitly explore the nature of the relationship between the Darwinian tradition and other research programs running in parallel. In the wake of the Synthetic Theory of Evolution, which was established throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, historians and philosophers of biology devoted considerable attention to the Darwinian tradition, i.e., linking Charles Darwin to mid-Twentieth-Century developments in evolutionary biology. Since then, more recent developments in evolutionary biology have challenged, in part or entirely, the heritage of the Darwinian tradition. Not surprisingly, this has in turn been followed by a historiographical “recalibration” on the part of historians and philosophers regarding other research programs and traditions in evolutionary biology. In order to acknowledge this shift, the papers in this book have been arranged on the basis of two main threads: Part I: A perspective that views Darwinism as either being originally pluralistic or having acquired such a pluralistic nature through modifications and borrowings over time. Part II: A perspective blurring the boundaries between non-Darwinian and Darwinian traditions, either by contending that Darwinism itself was never quite as Darwinian as previously assumed, or that non-Darwinian traditions took on board various Darwinian components, when not fertilizing Darwinism directly. Between a Darwinism reaching out to other research programs and non-Darwinian programs reaching out to Darwinism, the least that can be said is that this interweaving of intellectual threads blurs the historiographical field. This volume aims to open vital new avenues for approaching and reflecting on the development of evolutionary biology.

Evolutionary Worlds Without End

Author : Henry C. Plotkin
ISBN : 9780199544950
Genre : Psychology
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In Evolutionary Worlds without end, Henry Plotkin considers whether there is any general theory in biology, including the social sciences, that is in any way equivalent to the general theories of physics. He starts by examining Ernest Rutherford's dictum as to what science is. In the later chapters he considers the possibility, within an historical framework, of a general theory being based upon selection processes. --

The Structure Of Evolutionary Theory

Author : Stephen Jay Gould
ISBN : 9780674417922
Genre : Science
File Size : 36. 36 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.

Macroevolution

Author : Emanuele Serrelli
ISBN : 9783319150451
Genre : Science
File Size : 74. 21 MB
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This book is divided in two parts, the first of which shows how, beyond paleontology and systematics, macroevolutionary theories apply key insights from ecology and biogeography, developmental biology, biophysics, molecular phylogenetics and even the sociocultural sciences to explain evolution in deep time. In the second part, the phenomenon of macroevolution is examined with the help of real life-history case studies on the evolution of eukaryotic sex, the formation of anatomical form and body-plans, extinction and speciation events of marine invertebrates, hominin evolution and species conservation ethics. The book brings together leading experts, who explain pivotal concepts such as Punctuated Equilibria, Stasis, Developmental Constraints, Adaptive Radiations, Habitat Tracking, Turnovers, (Mass) Extinctions, Species Sorting, Major Transitions, Trends and Hierarchies – key premises that allow macroevolutionary epistemic frameworks to transcend microevolutionary theories that focus on genetic variation, selection, migration and fitness. Along the way, the contributing authors review ongoing debates and current scientific challenges; detail new and fascinating scientific tools and techniques that allow us to cross the classic borders between disciplines; demonstrate how their theories make it possible to extend the Modern Synthesis; present guidelines on how the macroevolutionary field could be further developed; and provide a rich view of just how it was that life evolved across time and space. In short, this book is a must-read for active scholars and because the technical aspects are fully explained, it is also accessible for non-specialists. Understanding evolution requires a solid grasp of above-population phenomena. Species are real biological individuals and abiotic factors impact the future course of evolution. Beyond observation, when the explanation of macroevolution is the goal, we need both evidence and theory that enable us to explain and interpret how life evolves at the grand scale.

Development And Evolution

Author : Stanley N. Salthe
ISBN : 0262193353
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 65. 17 MB
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Development and Evolution surveys and illuminates the key themes of rapidly changing fields and areas of controversy that are redefining the theory and philosophy of biology. It continues Stanley Salthe's investigation of evolutionary theory, begun in his influential book Evolving Hierarchical Systems, while negating the implicit philosophical mechanisms of much of that work. Here Salthe attempts to reinitiate a theory of biology from the perspective of development rather than from that of evolution, recognizing the applicability of general systems thinking to biological and social phenomena and pointing toward a non-Darwinian and even a postmodern biology. Salthe's intent is nothing less than to provide, with this alternative paradigm, a position from which the deconstruction of the Bacononian/Cartesian/Newtonian/Darwinian/Comptian tradition becomes possible, while at the same time suggesting in its place an organic view predicated upon Aristotelian and Hegelian antecedents. In the face of complexity, we must alter our view of the universe as inherently ordered and predictable; order develops, but at great cost. Explorating of the nature of change in a complex world, Salthe brings together such disparate areas as hierarchy theory, information theory, and semiotics in illuminating ways as he seeks a mode of answering questions as to the nature of complexity and as to how we might derive information from the interactions of the parts of a contextualized developing system. Stanley N. Salthe, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, is a Visiting Scientist in Biological Sciences at Binghamton University.

Human Evolution And The Origins Of Hierarchies

Author : Benoît Dubreuil
ISBN : 9781139491310
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 44. 28 MB
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In this book, Benoît Dubreuil explores the creation and destruction of hierarchies in human evolution. Combining the methods of archaeology, anthropology, cognitive neuroscience and primatology, he offers a natural history of hierarchies from the point of view of both cultural and biological evolution. This volume explains why dominance hierarchies typical of primate societies disappeared in the human lineage and why the emergence of large-scale societies during the Neolithic period implied increased social differentiation, the creation of status hierarchies, and, eventually, political centralisation.

Evolutionary Theory And Processes Modern Perspectives

Author : Solomon Wasser
ISBN : 0792355180
Genre : Science
File Size : 72. 90 MB
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Hierarchy

Author : T. F. H. Allen
ISBN : 9780226489681
Genre : Science
File Size : 55. 19 MB
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Ecosystems are incredibly complex, non-linear structures and self-organized entities; they cannot be described by simple models or by statistical approaches. Within each ecosystem are scores of individuals interacting continuously with others and with their biotic and abiotic surroundings, over vast geographic spaces, and over varying time scales as well. To approach the enormity of this complexity, ecologists have developed tools to simplify and aggregate information, and among them is Hierarchy Theory. Instead of analyzing the whole structure to understand the functions of the system, Hierarchy Theory analyzes hierarchical levels only and the interactions between them. It draws upon two different paradigms of complexity, reductionism and holism, adapting the most useful features of each into a viable means of studying ecosystems. It reduces the amount of data the researcher has to deal with, and it explicitly considers the relevant entities and interconnections of a larger complex system according to a specific research question. Originally published in 1982, Hierarchy was the first book to apply the tool to ecological systems. In the three decades since its publication, the work has influenced myriad large scale research initiatives in ecology, and this new, thoroughly revised edition reflects the assimilation of the theory in ecological research, and its successful application to the understanding of complex systems.

Perspectives In Ethology

Author : Nicholas S. Thompson
ISBN : 9781461512219
Genre : Science
File Size : 39. 6 MB
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The relations between behavior, evolution, and culture have been a subject of vigorous debate since the publication of Darwin's The Descent of Man (1871). The latest volume of Perspectives in Ethology brings anthropologists, ethologists, psychologists, and evolutionary theorists together to reexamine this important relation. With two exceptions (the essays by Brown and Eldredge), all of the present essays were originally presented at the Fifth Biannual Symposium on the Science of Behavior held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in February 1998. The volume opens with the problem of the origins of culture, tackled from two different viewpoints by Richerson and Boyd, and Lancaster, Kaplan, Hill, and Hurtado, respectively. Richerson and Boyd analyze the possible relations between climatic change in the Pleistocene and the evo lution of social learning, evaluating the boundary conditions under which social learning could increase fitness and contribute to culture. Lancaster, Kaplan, Hill, and Hurtado examine how a shift in the diet of the genus Homo toward difficult-to-acquire food could have determined (or coe volved with) unique features of the human life cycle. These two essays illus trate how techniques that range from computer modeling to comparative behavioral analysis, and that make use of a wide range of data, can be used for drawing inferences about past selection pressures. As culture evolves, it must somehow find its place within (and also affect) a complex hierarchy of behavioral and biological factors.

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