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  • Book
    Richard G. Delisle, editor.
    Summary: 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."

    Contents:
    Chapter 1: Introduction: In Search of a New Paradigm for the Development of Evolutionary Biology
    Part I: Crossing Perspectives about Evolution: Historians versus Biologists
    Chapter 2: Cathedrals, Corals and Mycelia: Three Analogies for the History of Evolutionary Biology
    Part II: Different Views of Charles Darwin
    Chapter 3: Guiding a Train of Discoveries: Charles Darwin, Charles Daubeny, and the Reception of Natural Selection, 1859-1865
    Chapter 4: Natural Selection as a Mere Auxiliary Hypothesis (sensu stricto I. Lakatos) in Charles Darwin's Origin of Species
    Chapter 5: Natural Selection in Ernst Haeckel's Legacy
    Part III: Rethinking a So-Called Intermediary Period
    Chapter 6: The Origins of Theoretical Developmental Genetics: Reinterpreting William Bateson's Role in the History of Evolutionary Thought
    Chapter 7: Recasting Natural Selection: Osborn and the Pluralistic View of Life
    Part IV: Other Evolutionary Syntheses
    ^Chapter 8: Little Evolution, BIG Evolution: Rethinking the History of Darwinism, Population Genetics, and the "Synthesis"
    Chapter 9: When Panpsychism Met Monism: Why Did the Philosopher Theodor Ziehen (1862-1950) Become a Crucial Figure for the Evolutionary Biologist Bernhard Rensch?
    Chapter 10: Inertia, Trend, and Momentum Reconsidered: G.G. Simpson, an Orthogeneticist?
    Chapter 11: The Concept of Natural Selection in Theodosius Dobzhansky. Its Development and Interpretation
    Part V: New Lights on Recent Developments
    Chapter 12: What's Natural About Natural Selection?
    Chapter 13: Natural Selection, Morphoprocess and a Logical Field of Evolutionary Concepts
    Chapter 14: Natural Selection as Agent of Evolutionary Change: A View from Paleoanthropology
    Chapter 15: Darwinism Without Selection? A Lesson from Cultural Evolutionary Theory
    Part VI: Teaching Evolution
    ^Chapter 16: Beyond Survival of the Fittest
    A Look at Students' Misconceptions about Natural Selection and Evolutionary Theory.
    Digital Access Springer 2021