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Evolution, the Extended Synthesis

Evolution, the Extended Synthesis

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Publication Date: March 26th, 2010
Publisher:
The MIT Press
ISBN:
9780262513678
Pages:
504
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Description

Prominent evolutionary biologists and philosophers of science survey recent work that expands the core theoretical framework underlying the biological sciences.

In the six decades since the publication of Julian Huxley's Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, the spectacular empirical advances in the biological sciences have been accompanied by equally significant developments within the core theoretical framework of the discipline. As a result, evolutionary theory today includes concepts and even entire new fields that were not part of the foundational structure of the Modern Synthesis. In this volume, sixteen leading evolutionary biologists and philosophers of science survey the conceptual changes that have emerged since Huxley's landmark publication, not only in such traditional domains of evolutionary biology as quantitative genetics and paleontology but also in such new fields of research as genomics and EvoDevo.

Most of the contributors to Evolution, the Extended Synthesis accept many of the tenets of the classical framework but want to relax some of its assumptions and introduce significant conceptual augmentations of the basic Modern Synthesis structure—just as the architects of the Modern Synthesis themselves expanded and modulated previous versions of Darwinism. This continuing revision of a theoretical edifice the foundations of which were laid in the middle of the nineteenth century—the reexamination of old ideas, proposals of new ones, and the synthesis of the most suitable—shows us how science works, and how scientists have painstakingly built a solid set of explanations for what Darwin called the “grandeur” of life.

Contributors
John Beatty, Werner Callebaut, Jeremy Draghi, Chrisantha Fernando, Sergey Gavrilets, John C. Gerhart, Eva Jablonka, David Jablonski, Marc W. Kirschner, Marion J. Lamb, Alan C. Love, Gerd B. Müller, Stuart A. Newman, John Odling-Smee, Massimo Pigliucci, Michael Purugganan, Eörs Szathmáry, Günter P. Wagner, David Sloan Wilson, Gregory A. Wray

About the Author

Massimo Pigliucci is Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York.

Gerd B. Müller, is Professor of Zoology and Head of the Department of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna and President of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research.

Massimo Pigliucci is Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York.

Gerd B. Müller, is Professor of Zoology and Head of the Department of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna and President of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research.

David S. Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University and President of the Evolution Institute.

Eva Jablonka is Professor at Tel-Aviv University. She is the coauthor of Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life and the coeditor of Transformations of Lamarckism: From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology, both published by the MIT Press.

Marion J. Lamb was Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London, before her retirement. Jablonka and Lamb are also the authors of Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution

Stuart Newman is Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at New York Medical College.

Gerd B. Müller, is Professor of Zoology and Head of the Department of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna and President of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research.

Massimo Pigliucci is Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York.

The late Werner Callebaut was Scientific Manager of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Vienna, and Visiting Research Professor of Philosophy of Science at University of Vienna.

Praise for Evolution, the Extended Synthesis

An impressive and provocative overview; it should become the focus of semester-long graduate student reading groups across the country, as it has at my home institution.—Michael J. Wade, BioScience