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This title in other editions

The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance

by

The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

An incisive study of the development of the biological sciences chronicles the origins, maturation, and modern views of the classification of life forms, the evolution of species, and the inheritance and variation of characteristics.

Synopsis:

No one in this century can speak with greater authority on the progress of ideas in biology than Ernst Mayr. And no book has ever established the life sciences so firmly in the mainstream of Western intellectual history as The Growth of Biological Thought. Ten years in preparation, this is a work of epic proportions, tracing the development of the major problems of biology from the earliest attempts to find order in the diversity of life, to modern research into the mechanisms of gene transmission.

About the Author

Ernst Mayris Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, at <>Harvard University. He is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Crafoord Prize for Biology, the National Medal of Science, the Balzan Prize, and the Japan Prize.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: How to write history of biology

Subjectivity and bias
Why study the history of biology?


2 The place of biology in the sciences and its conceptual structure

The nature of science
Method in science
The position of biology within the sciences
How and why is biology different?
Special characteristics of living organisms
Reduction and biology
Emergence
The conceptual structure of biology
A new philosophy of biology


3 The changing intellectual milieu of biology

Antiquity
The Christian world picture
The Renaissance
The discovery of diversity
Biology in the Enlightenment
The rise of science from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century
Divisive developments in the nineteenth century
Biology in the twentieth century
Major periods in the history of biology
Biology and philosophy
Biology today

PART I DIVERSITY OF LIFE

4 Macrotaxonomy, the science of classifying

Aristotle
The classification of plants by the ancients and the herbalists
Downward classification by logical division
Pre-Linnaean zoologists
Carl Linnaeus
Buffon
A new start in animal classification
Taxonomic characters
Upward classification by empirical grouping
Transition period (1758-1859)
Hierarchical classifications


5 Grouping according to common ancestry

The decline of macrotaxonomic research
Numerical phenetics
Cladistics
The traditional or evolutionary methodology
New taxonomic characters
Facilitation of information retrieval
The study of diversity


6 Microtaxonomy, the science of species

Early species concepts
The essentialist species concept
The nominalistic species concept
Darwin's species concept
The rise of the biological species concept
Applying the biological species concept to multidimensional species taxa
The significance of species in biology

PART II EVOLUTION

7 Origins without evolution

The coming of evolutionism
The French Enlightenment


8 Evolution before Darwin

Lamarck
Cuvier
England
Lyell and uniformitarianism
Germany


9 Charles Darwin

Darwin and evolution
Alfred Russel Wallace
The publication of the Origin


10 Darwin's evidence for evolution and common descent

Common descent and the natural system
Common descent and geographical distribution
Morphology as evidence for evolution and common descent
Embryology as evidence for evolution and common descent


11 The causation of evolution: natural selection

The major components of the theory of natural selection
The origin of the concept of natural selection
The impact of the Darwinian revolution
The resistance to natural selection
Alternate evolutionary theories


12 Diversity and synthesis of evolutionary thought

The growing split among the evolutionists
Advances in evolutionary genetics
Advances in evolutionary systematics
The evolutionary synthesis


13 Post-synthesis developments

Molecular biology
Natural selection
Unresolved issues in natural selection
Modes of speciation
Macroevolution
The evolution of man
Evolution in modern thought

PART III VARIATION AND ITS INHERITANCE

14 Early theories and breeding experiments

Theories of inheritance among the ancients
Mendel's forerunners


15 Germ cells, vehicles of heredity

The Schwann-Schleiden cell theory
The meaning of sex and fertilization
Chromosomes and their role


16 The nature of inheritance

Darwin and variation
August Weismann
Hugo de Vries
Gregor Mendel


17 The flowering of Mendelian genetics

The rediscoverers of Mendel
The classical period of Mendelian genetics
The origin of new variation (mutation)
The emergence of modern genetics
The Sutton-Boveri chromosome theory
Sex determination
Morgan and the fly room
Meiosis
Morgan and the chromosome theory


18 Theories of the gene

Competing theories of inheritance
The Mendelian explanation of continuous variation


19 The chemical basis of inheritance

The discovery of the double helix
Genetics in modern thought


20 Epilogue: Toward a science of science

Scientists and the scientific milieu
The maturation of theories and concepts
Impediments to the maturation of theories and concepts
The sciences and the external milieu
Progress in science

Notes

References

Glossary

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674364462
Author:
Mayr, Ernst E
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Author:
Mayr, Ernst
Author:
Mayr, Ernest
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Biology
Subject:
Evolution
Subject:
Life Sciences - Biology - General
Subject:
Biology -- Philosophy -- History.
Subject:
Biology -- History.
Subject:
Biology-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Diversity, Evolution
Publication Date:
January 1985
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
none
Pages:
992
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 38 oz

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Science and Mathematics » Biology » General

The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance Used Trade Paper
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Product details 992 pages Belknap Press - English 9780674364462 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An incisive study of the development of the biological sciences chronicles the origins, maturation, and modern views of the classification of life forms, the evolution of species, and the inheritance and variation of characteristics.
"Synopsis" by , No one in this century can speak with greater authority on the progress of ideas in biology than Ernst Mayr. And no book has ever established the life sciences so firmly in the mainstream of Western intellectual history as The Growth of Biological Thought. Ten years in preparation, this is a work of epic proportions, tracing the development of the major problems of biology from the earliest attempts to find order in the diversity of life, to modern research into the mechanisms of gene transmission.
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