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Natural Selection : Domains, Levels, and Challenges - George C. Williams

Natural Selection

Domains, Levels, and Challenges

Paperback Published: 1st June 1992
ISBN: 9780195069334
Number Of Pages: 224

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In this work, George C. Williams--one of evolutionary biology's most distinguished scholars--examines the mechanisms and meaning of natural selection in evolution. Williams offers his own perspective on modern evolutionary theory, including discussions of the gene as the unit of selection, clade selection and macroevolution, diversity within and among populations, stasis, and other timely and provocative topics. In dealing with the levels-of-selection controversy, he urges a pervasive form of the replicator-vehicle distinction. Natural selection, he argues, takes place in the separate domains of information and matter. Levels-of-selection questions, consequently, require different theoretical devices depending on the domains being discussed. In addressing these topics, Williams presents a synthesis of his three decades of research and creative thought which have contributed greatly to evolutionary biology in this century.

Industry Reviews

"In 1966, Williams published a book with the title Adaptation and Natural Selection: A Critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought that became a classic. It is still widely read and widely recommended to students. This new book could appropriately carry the same title. Comparing the two measures a quarter-century of progress in evolutionary thought . . . . The book constructively critiques central evolutionary ideas. It should be published with the 1966 book in one volume. Together they make a devastating, and exciting, read." --Science "Ranges widely, and many kinds of specialist could sample it for inspiration and fresh thinking. Only the future can reveal whether it will have as much influence as his previous books, but it does contain several ideas that are big enough to make it a possibility . . . . A delightful book." --Nature "Interesting discussions of specialized topics." --Choice "Thoughtful, provocative and pleasantly idiosyncratic. . . . consistently good. There is much new material presented. There is certainly much for the ecologist in this book." --Trends in Ecology & Evolution "Presents not a challenge for . . . students but a fair collection of the relevant recent literature, some of which could be read concurrently with the book. The array of topics covered by Williams in this work is wide, yet this a physically small book." --American Journal of Physical Anthropology "Evolutionary biologists will want to consider it carefully." --BioScience "a bold and original assessment of selected topics in evolutionary biology . . . . Williams confidently dismantles local orthodoxies . . . . Williams' discussion of historicity and constraint is level-headed and commendably bereft of the political overtones that usually accompany this topic . . . . This book, like both of his previous books, deserves careful study." --Mark Pagel, Journal of Animal Ecology "In 1966, Williams published a book with the title Adaptation and Natural Selection: A Critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought that became a classic. It is still widely read and widely recommended to students. This new book could appropriately carry the same title. Comparing the two measures a quarter-century of progress in evolutionary thought . . . . The book constructively critiques central evolutionary ideas. It should be published with the 1966 book in one volume. Together they make a devastating, and exciting, read." --Science "Ranges widely, and many kinds of specialist could sample it for inspiration and fresh thinking. Only the future can reveal whether it will have as much influence as his previous books, but it does contain several ideas that are big enough to make it a possibility . . . . A delightful book." --Nature "Interesting discussions of specialized topics." --Choice "Thoughtful, provocative and pleasantly idiosyncratic. . . . consistently good. There is much new material presented. There is certainly much for the ecologist in this book." --Trends in Ecology & Evolution "Presents not a challenge for . . . students but a fair collection of the relevant recent literature, some of which could be read concurrently with the book. The array of topics covered by Williams in this work is wide, yet this a physically small book." --American Journal of Physical Anthropology "Evolutionary biologists will want to consider it carefully." --BioScience "a bold and original assessment of selected topics in evolutionary biology . . . . Williams confidently dismantles local orthodoxies . . . . Williams' discussion of historicity and constraint is level-headed and commendably bereft of the political overtones that usually accompany this topic . . . . This book, like both of his previous books, deserves careful study." --Mark Pagel, Journal of Animal Ecology

1: A Philosophical Position 2: The Gene As a Unit of Selection 3: Clade Selection and Macroevolution 4: Levels of Selection among Interactors 5: Optimization and Kindred Concepts 6: Historicity and Constraint 7: Diversity within and between Clades 8: Some Recent Controversies 9: Stasis 10: Other Challenges and Anomalies

ISBN: 9780195069334
ISBN-10: 0195069331
Series: Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st June 1992
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.49  x 1.25
Weight (kg): 0.36

Earn 285 Qantas Points
on this Book