Search Results for "the-cambridge-encyclopedia-of-darwin-and-evolutionary-thought"

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought

  • Author: Michael Ruse
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 9780521195317
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 583
  • View: 8905
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This volume is a comprehensive reference work on the life, labors, and influence of the great evolutionist Charles Darwin. With more than sixty essays written by an international group representing the leading scholars in the field, this is the definitive work on Darwin. It covers the background to Darwin's discovery of the theory of evolution through natural selection, the work he produced and his contemporaries' reactions to it, and evaluates his influence on science in the 150 years since the publication of Origin of Species. It also explores the implications of Darwin's discoveries in religion, politics, gender, literature, culture, philosophy, and medicine, critically evaluating Darwin's legacy. Fully illustrated and clearly written, it is suitable for scholars and students as well as the general reader. The wealth of information it provides about the history of evolutionary thought makes it a crucial resource for understanding the controversies that surround evolution today.

Understanding Evolution

Understanding Evolution

  • Author: Kostas Kampourakis
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 1107034914
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 270
  • View: 6980
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Bringing together conceptual obstacles and core concepts of evolutionary theory, this book presents evolution as straightforward and intuitive.

The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics

The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics

  • Author: Michael Ruse,Robert J. Richards
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 1108509312
  • Category: Science
  • Page: N.A
  • View: 3746
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Evolutionary ethics - the application of evolutionary ideas to moral thinking and justification - began in the nineteenth century with the work of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, but was subsequently criticized as an example of the naturalistic fallacy. In recent decades, however, evolutionary ethics has found new support among both the Darwinian and the Spencerian traditions. This accessible volume looks at the history of thought about evolutionary ethics as well as current debates in the subject, examining first the claims of supporters and then the responses of their critics. Topics covered include social Darwinism, moral realism, and debunking arguments. Clearly written and structured, the book guides readers through the arguments on both sides, and emphasises the continuing relevance of evolutionary theory to our understanding of ethics today.

Simply Darwin

Simply Darwin

  • Author: Michael Ruse
  • Publisher: Simply Charly via PublishDrive
  • ISBN: 1943657017
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 135
  • View: 2800
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Simply Darwin tells the story of Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882) and his theory of evolution through natural selection. On one level, the book portrays a dedicated scientist who, through careful observation and brilliant insight, became convinced that organisms were the end product of a long, slow, and natural process of development. On another level, it is an account of a cataclysmic change in our ideas about ourselves—a conceptual upheaval that continues to generate aftershocks—and heated debates—to this day. In Simply Darwin, author Michael Ruse puts Darwin and his ideas in their proper context, clearly showing that, while the father of evolutionary biology was a true trailblazer, he was no rebel. He was simply following an evidentiary trail that led to an inevitable conclusion about the origin of species and natural selection. Eventually, as Darwin and his fellow scientists began to apply his ideas to humans, long-held notions about the nature and origins of religion, morality, race, sexuality, and much more, were called into question. Then, as now, some of us embraced these provocative ideas, while others reacted with horror and disbelief. In recounting this fascinating and inspiring story, Ruse doesn’t neglect the visual component that has always been an inherent part of evolutionary thought. Simply Darwin features copious illustrations, which provide an informative and captivating element to this riveting account.

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory

  • Author: Stephen Jay Gould
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • ISBN: 0674417925
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 1464
  • View: 6212
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The world’s most revered and eloquent interpreter of evolutionary ideas offers here a work of explanatory force unprecedented in our time—a landmark publication, both for its historical sweep and for its scientific vision. With characteristic attention to detail, Stephen Jay Gould first describes the content and discusses the history and origins of the three core commitments of classical Darwinism: that natural selection works on organisms, not genes or species; that it is almost exclusively the mechanism of adaptive evolutionary change; and that these changes are incremental, not drastic. Next, he examines the three critiques that currently challenge this classic Darwinian edifice: that selection operates on multiple levels, from the gene to the group; that evolution proceeds by a variety of mechanisms, not just natural selection; and that causes operating at broader scales, including catastrophes, have figured prominently in the course of evolution. Then, in a stunning tour de force that will likely stimulate discussion and debate for decades, Gould proposes his own system for integrating these classical commitments and contemporary critiques into a new structure of evolutionary thought. In 2001 the Library of Congress named Stephen Jay Gould one of America’s eighty-three Living Legends—people who embody the “quintessentially American ideal of individual creativity, conviction, dedication, and exuberance.” Each of these qualities finds full expression in this peerless work, the likes of which the scientific world has not seen—and may not see again—for well over a century.

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology

  • Author: Michael Ruse
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0195182057
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 642
  • View: 8158
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The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology contains exciting new essays written to introduce the reader to one of the most vibrant areas of scholarship today. The handbook covers the history of the topic, moves through evolutionary theory, continues with discussions of molecular biology and ecology, and covers biology and ethics as well as biology and religion. There is no better way of learning about this dynamic subject than through the essays in this volume.

The Cambridge Companion to the 'Origin of Species'

The Cambridge Companion to the 'Origin of Species'

  • Author: Michael Ruse,Robert J. Richards
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 0521870798
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 395
  • View: 8369
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This Companion commemorates the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species and examines its main arguments. Drawing on the expertise of leading authorities in the field, it also provides the contexts - religious, social, political, literary, and philosophical - in which the Origin was written.

Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life

Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life

How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew

  • Author: Steve Stewart-Williams
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 1139490990
  • Category: Science
  • Page: N.A
  • View: 7381
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If you accept evolutionary theory, can you also believe in God? Are human beings superior to other animals, or is this just a human prejudice? Does Darwin have implications for heated issues like euthanasia and animal rights? Does evolution tell us the purpose of life, or does it imply that life has no ultimate purpose? Does evolution tell us what is morally right and wrong, or does it imply that ultimately 'nothing' is right or wrong? In this fascinating and intriguing book, Steve Stewart-Williams addresses these and other fundamental philosophical questions raised by evolutionary theory and the exciting new field of evolutionary psychology. Drawing on biology, psychology and philosophy, he argues that Darwinian science supports a view of a godless universe devoid of ultimate purpose or moral structure, but that we can still live a good life and a happy life within the confines of this view.

Debating Design

Debating Design

From Darwin to DNA

  • Author: William A. Dembski,Michael Ruse
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 9781139459617
  • Category: Science
  • Page: N.A
  • View: 6751
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In this book, first published in 2004, William Dembski, Michael Ruse, and other prominent philosophers provide a comprehensive balanced overview of the debate concerning biological origins - a controversial dialectic since Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859. Invariably, the source of controversy has been 'design'. Is the appearance of design in organisms (as exhibited in their functional complexity) the result of purely natural forces acting without prevision or teleology? Or, does the appearance of design signify genuine prevision and teleology, and, if so, is that design empirically detectable and thus open to scientific inquiry? Four main positions have emerged in response to these questions: Darwinism, self-organisation, theistic evolution, and intelligent design. The contributors to this volume define their respective positions in an accessible style, inviting readers to draw their own conclusions. Two introductory essays furnish a historical overview of the debate.

Darwin's Fishes

Darwin's Fishes

An Encyclopedia of Ichthyology, Ecology, and Evolution

  • Author: Daniel Pauly
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 9781139451819
  • Category: Science
  • Page: N.A
  • View: 6419
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In Darwin's Fishes, Daniel Pauly presents an encyclopaedia of ichthyology, ecology and evolution, based upon everything that Charles Darwin ever wrote about fish. Entries are arranged alphabetically and can be about, for example, a particular fish taxon, an anatomical part, a chemical substance, a scientist, a place, or an evolutionary or ecological concept. The reader can start wherever they like and are then led by a series of cross-references on a fascinating voyage of interconnected entries, each indirectly or directly connected with original writings from Darwin himself. Along the way, the reader is offered interpretation of the historical material put in the context of both Darwin's time and that of contemporary biology and ecology. This book is intended for anyone interested in fishes, the work of Charles Darwin, evolutionary biology and ecology, and natural history in general.

Feral Animals in the American South

Feral Animals in the American South

An Evolutionary History

  • Author: Abraham Gibson
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 1107156947
  • Category: History
  • Page: 320
  • View: 5923
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This book retells American southern history from feral animals' perspective, examining social, cultural, and evolutionary consequences of domestication and feralization.

Denial

Denial

Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind

  • Author: Ajit Varki,Danny Brower
  • Publisher: Twelve
  • ISBN: 1455511927
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 384
  • View: 568
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The history of science abounds with momentous theories that disrupted conventional wisdom and yet were eventually proven true. Ajit Varki and Danny Brower's "Mind over Reality" theory is poised to be one such idea-a concept that runs counter to commonly-held notions about human evolution but that may hold the key to understanding why humans evolved as we did, leaving all other related species far behind. At a chance meeting in 2005, Brower, a geneticist, posed an unusual idea to Varki that he believed could explain the origins of human uniqueness among the world's species: Why is there no humanlike elephant or humanlike dolphin, despite millions of years of evolutionary opportunity? Why is it that humans alone can understand the minds of others? Haunted by their encounter, Varki tried years later to contact Brower only to discover that he had died unexpectedly. Inspired by an incomplete manuscript Brower left behind, DENIAL presents a radical new theory on the origins of our species. It was not, the authors argue, a biological leap that set humanity apart from other species, but a psychological one: namely, the uniquely human ability to deny reality in the face of inarguable evidence-including the willful ignorance of our own inevitable deaths. The awareness of our own mortality could have caused anxieties that resulted in our avoiding the risks of competing to procreate-an evolutionary dead-end. Humans therefore needed to evolve a mechanism for overcoming this hurdle: the denial of reality. As a consequence of this evolutionary quirk we now deny any aspects of reality that are not to our liking-we smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthy foods, and avoid exercise, knowing these habits are a prescription for an early death. And so what has worked to establish our species could be our undoing if we continue to deny the consequences of unrealistic approaches to everything from personal health to financial risk-taking to climate change. On the other hand reality-denial affords us many valuable attributes, such as optimism, confidence, and courage in the face of long odds. Presented in homage to Brower's original thinking, DENIAL offers a powerful warning about the dangers inherent in our remarkable ability to ignore reality-a gift that will either lead to our downfall, or continue to be our greatest asset.

Adaptation and Natural Selection

Adaptation and Natural Selection

A Critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought

  • Author: George Christopher Williams
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 9781400820108
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 328
  • View: 8777
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Biological evolution is a fact--but the many conflicting theories of evolution remain controversial even today. In 1966, simple Darwinism, which holds that evolution functions primarily at the level of the individual organism, was threatened by opposing concepts such as group selection, a popular idea stating that evolution acts to select entire species rather than individuals. George Williams's famous argument in favor of the Darwinists struck a powerful blow to those in opposing camps. His Adaptation and Natural Selection, now a classic of science literature, is a thorough and convincing essay in defense of Darwinism; its suggestions for developing effective principles for dealing with the evolution debate and its relevance to many fields outside biology ensure the timelessness of this critical work.

Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture

Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture

  • Author: Jonathan Smith
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 0521856906
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Page: 349
  • View: 8625
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A highly illustrated account of Darwin's visual representations of his theories, and their influence on Victorian literature, art and culture, first published in 2006.

Darwinism As Religion

Darwinism As Religion

What Literature Tells Us about Evolution

  • Author: Michael Ruse
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0190241020
  • Category: English literature
  • Page: 312
  • View: 655
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The Darwinian Revolution--the change in thinking sparked by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, which argued that all organisms including humans are the end product of a long, slow, natural process of evolution rather than the miraculous creation of an all-powerful God--is one of the truly momentous cultural events in Western Civilization. Darwinism as Religion is an innovative and exciting approach to this revolution through creative writing, showing how the theory of evolution as expressed by Darwin has, from the first, functioned as a secular religion. Drawing on a deep understanding of both the science and the history, Michael Ruse surveys the naturalistic thinking about the origins of organisms, including the origins of humankind, as portrayed in novels and in poetry, taking the story from its beginnings in the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century right up to the present. He shows that, contrary to the opinion of many historians of the era, there was indeed a revolution in thought and that the English naturalist Charles Darwin was at the heart of it. However, contrary also to what many think, this revolution was not primarily scientific as such, but more religious or metaphysical, as people were taken from the secure world of the Christian faith into a darker, more hostile world of evolutionism. In a fashion unusual for the history of ideas, Ruse turns to the novelists and poets of the period for inspiration and information. His book covers a wide range of creative writers - from novelists like Voltaire and poets like Erasmus Darwin in the eighteenth century, through the nineteenth century with novelists including Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Henry James and H. G. Wells and poets including Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and on to the twentieth century with novelists including Edith Wharton, D. H. Lawrence, John Steinbeck, William Golding, Graham Greene, Ian McEwan and Marilynne Robinson, and poets including Robert Frost, Edna St Vincent Millay and Philip Appleman. Covering such topics as God, origins, humans, race and class, morality, sexuality, and sin and redemption, and written in an engaging manner and spiced with wry humor, Darwinism as Religion gives us an entirely fresh, engaging and provocative view of one of the cultural highpoints of Western thought.

A Philosophical Guide to Chance

A Philosophical Guide to Chance

Physical Probability

  • Author: Toby Handfield
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 1107080010
  • Category: Science
  • Page: N.A
  • View: 5805
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It is a commonplace that scientific inquiry makes extensive use of probabilities, many of which seem to be objective chances, describing features of reality that are independent of our minds. Such chances appear to have a number of paradoxical or puzzling features: they appear to be mind-independent facts, but they are intimately connected with rational psychology; they display a temporal asymmetry, but they are supposed to be grounded in physical laws that are time-symmetric; and chances are used to explain and predict frequencies of events, although they cannot be reduced to those frequencies. This book offers an accessible and non-technical introduction to these and other puzzles. Toby Handfield engages with traditional metaphysics and philosophy of science, drawing upon recent work in the foundations of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics to provide a novel account of objective probability that is empirically informed without requiring specialist scientific knowledge.

The Accidental Species

The Accidental Species

Misunderstandings of Human Evolution

  • Author: Henry Gee
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • ISBN: 022604498X
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 232
  • View: 9226
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The idea of a missing link between humanity and our animal ancestors predates evolution and popular science and actually has religious roots in the deist concept of the Great Chain of Being. Yet, the metaphor has lodged itself in the contemporary imagination, and new fossil discoveries are often hailed in headlines as revealing the elusive transitional step, the moment when we stopped being “animal” and started being “human.” In The Accidental Species, Henry Gee, longtime paleontology editor at Nature, takes aim at this misleading notion, arguing that it reflects a profound misunderstanding of how evolution works and, when applied to the evolution of our own species, supports mistaken ideas about our own place in the universe. Gee presents a robust and stark challenge to our tendency to see ourselves as the acme of creation. Far from being a quirk of religious fundamentalism, human exceptionalism, Gee argues, is an error that also infects scientific thought. Touring the many features of human beings that have recurrently been used to distinguish us from the rest of the animal world, Gee shows that our evolutionary outcome is one possibility among many, one that owes more to chance than to an organized progression to supremacy. He starts with bipedality, which he shows could have arisen entirely by accident, as a by-product of sexual selection, moves on to technology, large brain size, intelligence, language, and, finally, sentience. He reveals each of these attributes to be alive and well throughout the animal world—they are not, indeed, unique to our species. The Accidental Species combines Gee’s firsthand experience on the editorial side of many incredible paleontological findings with healthy skepticism and humor to create a book that aims to overturn popular thinking on human evolution—the key is not what’s missing, but how we’re linked.

Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860-1950

Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860-1950

  • Author: Marwa Elshakry
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • ISBN: 022600144X
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 440
  • View: 1848
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In Reading Darwin in Arabic, Marwa Elshakry questions current ideas about Islam, science, and secularism by exploring the ways in which Darwin was read in Arabic from the late 1860s to the mid-twentieth century. Borrowing from translation and reading studies and weaving together the history of science with intellectual history, she explores Darwin’s global appeal from the perspective of several generations of Arabic readers and shows how Darwin’s writings helped alter the social and epistemological landscape of the Arab learned classes. Providing a close textual, political, and institutional analysis of the tremendous interest in Darwin’s ideas and other works on evolution, Elshakry shows how, in an age of massive regional and international political upheaval, these readings were suffused with the anxieties of empire and civilizational decline. The politics of evolution infiltrated Arabic discussions of pedagogy, progress, and the very sense of history. They also led to a literary and conceptual transformation of notions of science and religion themselves. Darwin thus became a vehicle for discussing scriptural exegesis, the conditions of belief, and cosmological views more broadly. The book also acquaints readers with Muslim and Christian intellectuals, bureaucrats, and theologians, and concludes by exploring Darwin’s waning influence on public and intellectual life in the Arab world after World War I. Reading Darwin in Arabic is an engaging and powerfully argued reconceptualization of the intellectual and political history of the Middle East.

Buddhist Biology

Buddhist Biology

Ancient Eastern Wisdom Meets Modern Western Science

  • Author: David P. Barash
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0199985561
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 204
  • View: 9779
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Compares teachings of Buddhism with principles of modern biology, revealing many significant points of compatibility.