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Darwinism Evolving: Systems Dynamics and the Genealogy of Natural Selection

Out of Print

By: David J Depew and Bruce H Weber

588 pages, 11 illus

MIT Press

Paperback | Aug 1996 | #56663 | ISBN: 0262540835
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Dec 1995 | #37434 | ISBN: 0262041456
Out of Print Details

About this book

Examines the Darwinian research tradition in evolutionary biology from its inception to its turbulent present, arguing that recent advances in modelling the nonlinear dynamics of complex systems may well catalyze the next major phase of Darwinian evolution.|
`The last twenty years have seen an explosion of scholarship centered on Darwinism, by historians and philosophers. This book is an admirable summary of, and addition to, that scholarship' - John Maynard Smith, The New York Review of Books

This volume by Depew and Weber constitutes an academic contribution of the first rank. What the authors uncover about the past and propose for the future is revolutionary, indeed! They do not pretend to have made a watertight case for extending the Darwinian paradigm, but they certainly lay before the reader a delightful narrative of the possibilities. - Robert Ulanowicz, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory of the University of Maryland


Introduction - Darwinism as a research tradition. Part 1 Darwin's Darwinism: evolution and the crisis of neoclassical biology; a short look at "One Long Argument" - the origins of "On the Origins of the Species"; Tory biology and Whig geology - Charles Lyell and the limits of Newtonian dynamics; the Newton of a blade of grass - Darwin and the political economists; domesticating Darwin - the British reception of "On the Origin of the Species". Part 2 Genetic Darwinism and the probability revolution: ontogeny and phylogeny - the ascendancy of developmentalism in the later-19th-century evolutionary theory; statistics, biometry, and eugenics - Francis Galton and the new Darwinism; Mendel, Mendelism, and the Mendelian revolution - natural selection versus genetics; the Boltzmann of a blade of grass - R.A. Fisher's thermodynamic model of genetic natural selection; giving chance (half) a chance - Sewell Wright, Theodosius Dobzhansky, and genetic drift; species, speciation, and systematics in the modern synthesis. Part 3 Molecular biology, complex dynamics, and the future of Darwinism: the molecular revolution; expanding the synthesis - the modern synthesis responds to the molecular revolution; developmental redivivus - evolution's unsolved mysteries; new models of evolutionary dynamics - selection, self-organization, and complex systems; the thermodynamics of evolution; natural selection, self-organization, and the future of Darwinism.

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David J. Depew is Professor of Communication Studies and Rhetoric of Inquiry at the University of Iowa. Bruce H. Weber is the Robert Woodworth Professor of Science and Natural Philosophy at Bennington College and Professor of Biochemistry at California State University at Fullerton.

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