Released on 2019-06-28Categories Science

Charles Darwin's Incomplete Revolution

Charles Darwin's Incomplete Revolution

Author: Richard G. Delisle

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783030172039

Category: Science

Page: 276

View: 451

This book offers a thorough reanalysis of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, which for many people represents the work that alone gave rise to evolutionism. Of course, scholars today know better than that. Yet, few resist the temptation of turning to the Origin in order to support it or reject it in light of their own work. Apparently, Darwin fills the mythical role of a founding figure that must either be invoked or repudiated. The book is an invitation to move beyond what is currently expected of Darwin's magnum opus. Once the rhetorical varnish of Darwin's discourses is removed, one discovers a work of remarkably indecisive conclusions. The book comprises two main theses: (1) The Origin of Species never remotely achieved the theoretical unity to which it is often credited. Rather, Darwin was overwhelmed by a host of phenomena that could not fit into his narrow conceptual framework. (2) In the Origin of Species, Darwin failed at completing the full conversion to evolutionism. Carrying many ill-designed intellectual tools of the 17th and 18th centuries, Darwin merely promoted a special brand of evolutionism, one that prevented him from taking the decisive steps toward an open and modern evolutionism. It makes an interesting read for biologists, historians and philosophers alike.
Released on 2022-02-10Categories Literary Criticism

Rereading Darwin’s Origin of Species

Rereading Darwin’s Origin of Species

Author: Richard G. Delisle

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781350259584

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 176

View: 851

Widely seen as evolution's founding figure, Charles Darwin is taken by many evolutionists to be the first to propose a truly modern theory of evolution. Darwin's greatness, however, has obscured the man and his work, at times even to the point of distortion. Accessibly written, this book presents a more nuanced picture and invites us to discover some neglected ambiguities and contradictions in Darwin's masterwork. Delisle and Tierney show Darwin to be a man who struggled to reconcile the received wisdom of an unchanging natural world with his new ideas about evolution. Arguing that Darwin was unable to break free entirely from his contemporaries' more traditional outlook, they show his theory to be a fascinating compromise between old and new. Rediscovering this other Darwin – and this other side of On the Origin of Species – helps shed new light on the immensity of the task that lay before 19th century scholars, as well as their ultimate achievements.
Released on 2021-02-27Categories Science

Natural Selection

Natural Selection

Author: Richard G. Delisle

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9783030655365

Category: Science

Page: 482

View: 118

This book contests the general view that natural selection constitutes the explanatory core of evolutionary biology. It invites the reader to consider an alternative view which favors a more complete and multidimensional interpretation. It is common to present the 1930-1960 period as characterized by the rise of the Modern Synthesis, an event structured around two main explanatory commitments: (1) Gradual evolution is explained by small genetic changes (variations) oriented by natural selection, a process leading to adaptation; (2) Evolutionary trends and speciational events are macroevolutionary phenomena that can be accounted for solely in terms of the extension of processes and mechanisms occurring at the previous microevolutionary level. On this view, natural selection holds a central explanatory role in evolutionary theory - one that presumably reaches back to Charles Darwin's Origin of Species - a view also accompanied by the belief that the field of evolutionary biology is organized around a profound divide: theories relying on strong selective factors and those appealing only to weak ones. If one reads the new analyses presented in this volume by biologists, historians and philosophers, this divide seems to be collapsing at a rapid pace, opening an era dedicated to the search for a new paradigm for the development of evolutionary biology. Contrary to popular belief, scholars' position on natural selection is not in itself a significant discriminatory factor between most evolutionists. In fact, the intellectual space is quite limited, if not non-existent, between, on the one hand, "Darwinists", who play down the central role of natural selection in evolutionary explanations, and, on the other hand, "non-Darwinists", who use it in a list of other evolutionary mechanisms. The "mechanism-centered" approach to evolutionary biology is too incomplete to fully make sense of its development. In this book the labels created under the traditional historiography - "Darwinian Revolution", "Eclipse of Darwinism", "Modern Synthesis", "Post-Synthetic Developments" - are thus re-evaluated. This book will not only appeal to researchers working in evolutionary biology, but also to historians and philosophers."
Released on 2021-11-12Categories Science

The Modern Synthesis

The Modern Synthesis

Author: Thomas E. Dickins

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9783030864224

Category: Science

Page: 250

View: 641

This book is about evolutionary theory. It deals with aspects of its history to focus upon explanatory structures at work in the various forms of evolutionary theory - as such this is also a work of philosophy. Its focus lies on recent debates about the Modern Synthesis and what might be lacking in that synthesis. These claims have been most clearly made by those calling for an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. The author argues that the difference between these two positions is the consequence of two things. First, whether evolution is a considered as solely a population level phenomenon or also a theory of form. Second, the use of information concepts. In this book Darwinian evolution is positioned as a general theory of evolution, a theory that gave evolution a technical meaning as the statistical outcome of variation, competition, and inheritance. The Modern Synthesis (MS) within biology, has a particular focus, a particular architecture to its explanations that renders it a special theory of evolution. After providing a history of Darwinian theory and the MS, recent claims and exhortations for an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) are examined that see the need for the inclusion of non-genetic modes of inheritance and also developmental processes. Much of this argument is based around claims that the MS adopts a particular view of information that has privileged the gene as an instructional unit in the emergence of form. The author analyses the uses of information and claims that neither side of the debate explicitly and formally deals with this concept. A more formal view of information is provided which challenges the EES claims about the role of genes in MS explanations of form whilst being consilient with their own interests in developmental biology. It is concluded that the MS implicitly assumed this formal view of information whilst using information terms in a colloquial manner. In the final chapter the idea that the MS is an informational theory that acts to corral more specific phenomenal accounts, is mooted. As such the book argues for a constrained pluralism within biology, where the MS describes those constraints.
Released on 2020-08-29Categories Science

The Major Metaphors of Evolution

The Major Metaphors of Evolution

Author: Salvatore J. Agosta

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9783030520861

Category: Science

Page: 273

View: 474

This book presents a unified evolutionary framework based on three sets of metaphors that will help to consolidate discussions on evolutionary transitions. Evolution is the unifying principle of life, making identifying ways to apply evolutionary principles to tackle existence-threatening crises such as climate change crucial. A more cohesive evolutionary framework will further the discussions in this regard and also accelerate the process itself. This book lays out a framework based on three dualistic classes of metaphors – time, space, and conflict resolution. Evolutionary transitions theory shows how metaphors can help us understand selective diversification, as Darwin described with his “tree of life”. Moreover, the recently proposed Stockholm paradigm demonstrates how metaphors can help shed light on the emergence of complex ecosystems that Darwin highlighted with his “tangled bank” metaphor. Taken together, these ideas offer proactive measures for coping with existential crises for humanity, such as climate change. The book will appeal to biologists, philosophers and historians alike.
Released on 2021Categories Psychology

A Story of Us

A Story of Us

Author: Lesley Newson

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780190883201

Category: Psychology

Page: 329

View: 250

Changes in the environment drive evolution, and evidence suggests that our ancestors evolved to use cultural adaptations to survive environmental fluctuations of great severity. In A Story of Us, Lesley Newson and Peter Richerson explain the evidence and ideas that provide an account of how they coped, using short descriptive stories to illustrate life at different stages of our evolutionary history.
Released on 2013-04-03Categories History

Egypt's Incomplete Revolution

Egypt's Incomplete Revolution

Author: Rami Ginat

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781136309816

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 812

The importance of Lutfi al-Khuli and the intellectual circle associated with the Nasserist regime is examined here. Rami Ginat looks at al-Khuli's contribution to the short-lived yet formidable success of Arab socialism.
Released on 2017-07-05Categories History

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Author: Jo Hedesan

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 9781351353472

Category: History

Page: 130

View: 802

Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions can be seen, without exaggeration, as a landmark text in intellectual history. In his analysis of shifts in scientific thinking, Kuhn questioned the prevailing view that science was an unbroken progression towards the truth. Progress was actually made, he argued, via "paradigm shifts", meaning that evidence that existing scientific models are flawed slowly accumulates – in the face, at first, of opposition and doubt – until it finally results in a crisis that forces the development of a new model. This development, in turn, produces a period of rapid change – "extraordinary science," Kuhn terms it – before an eventual return to "normal science" begins the process whereby the whole cycle eventually repeats itself. This portrayal of science as the product of successive revolutions was the product of rigorous but imaginative critical thinking. It was at odds with science’s self-image as a set of disciplines that constantly evolve and progress via the process of building on existing knowledge. Kuhn’s highly creative re-imagining of that image has proved enduringly influential – and is the direct product of the author’s ability to produce a novel explanation for existing evidence and to redefine issues so as to see them in new ways.
Released on 2018-12-15Categories Young Adult Nonfiction

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Author: J. David Archibald

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781538111642

Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

Page: 232

View: 413

Charles Darwin: A Reference Guide to His Life and Works summarizes the life of Charles Darwin who is best known for his theory of evolution. He was a naturalist, a geologist, and a biologist and is one of the most influential figures in history.