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Classification, Evolution, and the Nature of Biology - Alec L. Panchen

Classification, Evolution, and the Nature of Biology

Paperback Published: 14th December 1992
ISBN: 9780521315784
Number Of Pages: 416

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Historically, naturalists who propose theories of evolution, including Darwin and Wallace, have done so in order to explain the apparent relationship of natural classification. This book begins by exploring the intimate historical relationship between patterns of classification and patterns of phylogeny. It is a circular argument, however, to use the data for classification and the concept of homology as evidence for evolution, when evolution is the theory explaining the phenomenon of natural classification. Alec Panchen presents other evidence for evolution in the form of a historically-based but rigorously logical argument. This is then followed by a history of methods of classification and phylogeny reconstruction including current mathematical and molecular techniques. The author makes the important claim that if the hierarchical pattern of classification is a real phenomenon, then biology is unique as a science in making taxonomic statements. This conclusion is reached by way of historical reviews of theories of evolutionary mechanism and the philosophy of science as applied to biology.

"...should be read by everybody who seeks an up-to-date introduction to the theory and practice of comparative biology and its significance for evolutionary theory. It shows that the science of comparative biology is alive and well." Olivier Rieppel, Nature "Panchen's argument, that a hierarchical structure resulting from evolutionary history is the basis of the special features that make up the science of biology, is not new, but it is necessary. Panchen presents the argument and related philosophical questions clearly." Samuel B. McDowell, BioScience "Finally, for those who are acutely interested in the history and philosophy of taxonomy, this book is probably one of the more current and comprehensive treatments of this subject." Anne D. Yoder "The book's greatest strength lies in its telling of the tale--the history and diversity of thought that underlies modern taxonomic, systematic and evolutionary theory. The breadth of material upon which Panchen draws is remarkable (his reference section totals 37 pages). If nothing else, this book will provide ready access to commentary and citations for many of the most influential works in the history of evolutionary systematics." Thomas J. Rossbach, American Scientist "Panchen's synthesis of the historical development of classification and evolution, richly interwoven with his own critical comments and personal reflections as a vertebrate paleontologist and systematist, is provocative and stimulating...Panchen's book succeeds where other of its kind fail because he is refreshingly honest, because he maintains a healthy respect for skepticism without lapsing into the usual condescending rhetoric..." Terry Harrison, International Journal of Primatology

Acknowledgementsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Patterns of Classificationp. 10
The scala naturaep. 11
The Linnean hierarchy and the Tree of Porphyryp. 16
Quinarian circles and family treesp. 23
Grades, phenograms, and cladogramsp. 30
Conclusionsp. 38
Patterns of Phylogenyp. 41
The scala naturae as phylogenyp. 42
Family treesp. 45
Stufenreihen and cladogramsp. 52
Reticulate phylogenyp. 58
Conclusionsp. 59
Homology and the Evidence for Evolutionp. 62
Homologyp. 63
The classification of homologyp. 69
Vestigial organsp. 79
Ontogeny and molecular biologyp. 82
Geological and Geographical Evidencep. 85
The fossil recordp. 85
Fossils and transmutationp. 91
Biogeographyp. 97
Conclusionsp. 106
Methods of Classification: The Development of Taxonomyp. 109
The method of logical divisionp. 109
Linnean taxonomyp. 114
Post-Linnean taxonomyp. 117
"Evolutionary classification"p. 121
Conclusions: The historical basis of taxonomyp. 130
Methods of Classification: Phenetics and Cladisticsp. 132
Pheneticsp. 132
Phenetic clusteringp. 144
Cladisticsp. 151
Cladistics and fossilsp. 158
Methods of Classification: the Current Debatep. 169
"The transformation of cladistics"p. 170
Out-groups or ontogenyp. 181
Parsimonyp. 188
Classification and the Reconstruction of Phylogenyp. 195
The reconstruction of phylogenyp. 196
Molecular distancep. 204
Sequence datap. 212
Is Systematics Independent?p. 225
Distances, parsimony, compatibility, or likelihood?p. 226
The hierarchyp. 237
Cladograms, trees, and scenariosp. 244
Mechanisms of Evolution: Darwinism and Its Rivalsp. 248
Lamarck and "Lamarckism"p. 250
Natural Selection: Darwin and Wallacep. 254
Post-Origin theoriesp. 262
Mechanisms of Evolution: the Synthetic Theoryp. 268
"The Modern Synthesis"p. 270
Criticisms of the Synthetic Theoryp. 273
Developmental constraints and selectionp. 279
Macroevolutionp. 284
Conclusions: The Theory of Natural Selectionp. 294
Scientific Knowledgep. 298
The problem of inductionp. 300
The hypothetico-deductive methodp. 304
"Popper and after"p. 308
Normative, descriptive, sociological, or cognitive?p. 317
Philosophy and Biologyp. 323
Biological generalisationsp. 326
The taxomatic statementp. 330
What is being classified?p. 333
The hierarchy againp. 341
Propositions in biologyp. 345
Postscriptp. 347
Referencesp. 349
Author indexp. 387
Subject indexp. 395
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521315784
ISBN-10: 0521315786
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 14th December 1992
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.56

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