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Evolutionary Biology – New Perspectives on Its Development

Natural Selection

Revisiting its Explanatory Role in Evolutionary Biology

Editors: Delisle, Richard (Ed.)

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  • Contests the assumption that natural selection is the core of evolutionary biology
  • Offers alternative views towards a more multidimensional interpretation
  • Re-evaluates the main historiographical labels connected to evolutionary biology 
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eBook 160,49 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-65536-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 210,99 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-65535-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
About this book

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."


About the authors

Richard G. Delisle owns a PhD in paleoanthropology (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) and a PhD in philosophy (University of Montreal, Canada). He teaches evolutionary biology and history/philosophy of science in the programs of archaeology, philosophy, and liberal education at the University of Lethbridge (Canada). His research interest focuses on the multidisciplinary quest of understanding evolutionary studies under the intimate light of its past and current developments.

Table of contents (16 chapters)

Table of contents (16 chapters)
  • Introduction: In Search of a New Paradigm for the Development of Evolutionary Biology

    Pages 1-8

    Delisle, Richard G.

  • Cathedrals, Corals and Mycelia: Three Analogies for the History of Evolutionary Biology

    Pages 11-35

    Esposito, Maurizio

  • Guiding a Train of Discoveries: Charles Darwin, Charles Daubeny, and the Reception of Natural Selection, 1859–1865

    Pages 39-71

    Bellon, Richard

  • Natural Selection as a Mere Auxiliary Hypothesis (Sensu Stricto I. Lakatos) in Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species

    Pages 73-104

    Delisle, Richard G.

  • Natural Selection in Ernst Haeckel’s Legacy

    Pages 105-133

    Levit, Georgy S. (et al.)

Buy this book

eBook 160,49 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-65536-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 210,99 €
price for France (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-65535-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Natural Selection
Book Subtitle
Revisiting its Explanatory Role in Evolutionary Biology
Editors
  • Richard Delisle
Series Title
Evolutionary Biology – New Perspectives on Its Development
Series Volume
3
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-65536-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-65536-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-65535-8
Series ISSN
2524-7751
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 482
Number of Illustrations
17 b/w illustrations, 10 illustrations in colour
Topics