Biological Emergences

Author: Robert G. B. Reid
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262264420
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Natural selection is commonly interpreted as the fundamental mechanism of evolution. Questions about how selection theory can claim to be the all-sufficient explanation of evolution often go unanswered by today's neo-Darwinists, perhaps for fear that any criticism of the evolutionary paradigm will encourage creationists and proponents of intelligent design.In Biological Emergences, Robert Reid argues that natural selection is not the cause of evolution. He writes that the causes of variations, which he refers to as natural experiments, are independent of natural selection; indeed, he suggests, natural selection may get in the way of evolution. Reid proposes an alternative theory to explain how emergent novelties are generated and under what conditions they can overcome the resistance of natural selection. He suggests that what causes innovative variation causes evolution, and that these phenomena are environmental as well as organismal.After an extended critique of selectionism, Reid constructs an emergence theory of evolution, first examining the evidence in three causal arenas of emergent evolution: symbiosis/association, evolutionary physiology/behavior, and developmental evolution. Based on this evidence of causation, he proposes some working hypotheses, examining mechanisms and processes common to all three arenas, and arrives at a theoretical framework that accounts for generative mechanisms and emergent qualities. Without selectionism, Reid argues, evolutionary innovation can more easily be integrated into a general thesis. Finally, Reid proposes a biological synthesis of rapid emergent evolutionary phases and the prolonged, dynamically stable, non-evolutionary phases imposed by natural selection.

Living in a Dangerous Climate

Author: Renée Hetherington
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107379334
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
Living in a Dangerous Climate provides a journey through human and Earth history, showing how a changing climate has affected human evolution and society. Is it possible for humanity to evolve quickly, or is slow, gradual, genetic evolution the only way we change? Why did all other Homo species go extinct while Homo sapiens became dominant? How did agriculture, domestication and the use of fossil fuels affect humanity's growing dominance? Do today's dominant societies – devoted as they are to Darwinism and 'survival of the fittest' – contribute to our current failure to meet the hazards of a dangerous climate? Unique and thought provoking, the book links scientific knowledge and perspectives of evolution, climate change and economics in a way that is accessible and exciting for the general reader. The book is also valuable for courses on climate change, human evolution and environmental science.

Environment Development and Evolution

Author: Katrin Schäfer
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262083195
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Leading researchers in evolutionary developmental biology seek linkages between, and a synthesis of, development, physiology, endocrinology, ecology, and evolution. Evolutionary developmental biology, also known as evo-devo or EDB, seeks to find links between development and evolution by opening the "black box" of development's role in evolution and in the evolution of developmental mechanisms. In particular, this volume emphasizes the roles of the environment and of hormonal signaling in evo-devo. It brings together a group of leading researchers to analyze the dynamic interaction of environmental factors with developmental and physiological processes and to examine how environmental signals are translated into phenotypic change, from the molecular and cellular level to organisms and groups of organisms. Taken together, these chapters demonstrate the crucial roles of those processes of genetic, developmental, physiological, and hormonal change that underpin evolutionary change in development, morphology, physiology, behavior, and life-history. Part I investigates links between environmental signals and developmental processes that could be preserved over evolutionary time. Several contributors evaluate the work of the late Ryuichi Matsuda, especially his emphasis on the role of the external environment in genetic change and variability ("pan-environmentalism"). Other contributors in part I analyze different aspects of environmental-genetic-evolutionary linkages, including the importance of alternate ontogenies in evolution and the paradox of stability over long periods of evolutionary time. Part II examines the plasticity that characterizes much of development, with contributors discussing such topics as gene regulatory networks and heterochronicity. Part III analyzes the role of hormones and metamorphosis in the evolution of such organisms with alternate life-history stages as lampreys, amphibians, and insects.

The SAGE Handbook of Complexity and Management

Author: Peter Allen
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1446209741
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
The SAGE Handbook of Complexity and Management is the first substantive scholarly work to provide a map of the state of art research in the growing field emerging at the intersection of complexity science and management studies. Edited and written by internationally respected scholars from management and related disciplines, the Handbook will be the definitive reference source for understanding the implications of complexity science for management research and practice. Part One: Foundations introduces complexity science and its implications for the foundations of scientific knowledge, including management knowledge. Part Two: Applications presents the numerous ways in which complexity science models and tools, as well as complexity thinking, are being applied to management and organizational phenomena and the insights gained as a result. Part Three: Interfaces highlights how complexity science is transforming various non-management fields and, in so doing, creating exciting interfaces for bridging between management and related disciplines.

Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds

Author: Ulrich Krohs
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026211321X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
Investigations into the relationship between organism and artifacts from the perspective of functionality. The notion of function is an integral part of thinking in both biology and technology; biological organisms and technical artifacts are both ascribed functionality. Yet the concept of function is notoriously obscure (with problematic issues regarding the normative and the descriptive nature of functions, for example) and demands philosophical clarification. So too the relationship between biological organisms and technical artifacts: although entities of one kind are often described in terms of the other--as in the machine analogy for biological organism or the evolutionary account of technological development--the parallels between the two break down at certain points. This volume takes on both issues and examines the relationship between organisms and artifacts from the perspective of functionality. Believing that the concept of function is the root of an accurate understanding of biological organisms, technical artifacts, and the relation between the two, the contributors take an integrative approach, offering philosophical analyses that embrace both biological and technical fields of function ascription. They aim at a better understanding not only of the concept of function but also of the similarities and differences between organisms and artifacts as they relate to functionality. Their ontological, epistemological, and phenomenological comparisons will clarify problems that are central to the philosophies of both biology and technology. Contributors Paul Sheldon Davies, Maarten Franssen, Wybo Houkes, Yoshinobu Kitamura, Peter Kroes, Ulrich Krohs, Tim Lewens, Andrew Light, Françoise Longy, Peter McLaughlin, Riichiro Mizoguchi, Mark Perlman, Beth Preston, Giacomo Romano, Marzia Soavi, Pieter E. Vermaas

Modularity

Author: Werner Callebaut
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262033268
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Experts from diverse fields, including artificial life, cognitive science, economics, developmental and evolutionary biology, and the arts, discuss modularity.

From Groups to Individuals

Author: Frédéric Bouchard
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262313456
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Our intuitive assumption that only organisms are the real individuals in the natural world is at odds with developments in cell biology, ecology, genetics, evolutionary biology, and other fields. Although organisms have served for centuries as nature's paradigmatic individuals, science suggests that organisms are only one of the many ways in which the natural world could be organized. When living beings work together -- as in ant colonies, beehives, and bacteria-metazoan symbiosis -- new collective individuals can emerge. In this book, leading scholars consider the biological and philosophical implications of the emergence of these new collective individuals from associations of living beings. The topics they consider range from metaphysical issues to biological research on natural selection, sociobiology, and symbiosis. The contributors investigate individuality and its relationship to evolution and the specific concept of organism; the tension between group evolution and individual adaptation; and the structure of collective individuals and the extent to which they can be defined by the same concept of individuality. These new perspectives on evolved individuality should trigger important revisions to both philosophical and biological conceptions of the individual. Contributors:Frédéric Bouchard, Ellen Clarke, Jennifer Fewell, Andrew Gardner, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Charles J. Goodnight, Matt Haber, Andrew Hamilton, Philippe Huneman, Samir Okasha, Thomas Pradeu, Scott Turner, Minus van Baalen

Darwin s Pious Idea

Author: Conor Cunningham
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
According to British scholar Conor Cunningham, the debate today between religion and evolution has been hijacked by extremists: on one side stand fundamentalist believers who reject evolution outright; on the opposing side are fundamentalist atheists who claim that Darwin s theory rules out the possibility of God. Both sides are dead wrong, argues Cunningham, who is at once a Christian and a firm believer in the theory of evolution. In Darwin s Pious Idea Cunningham puts forth a trenchant, compelling case for both creation and evolution, drawing skillfully on an array of philosophical, theological, historical, and scientific sources to buttress his arguments.