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About this book
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
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.
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.