Growth of Biological Thought Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance

ISBN-10: 0674364465

ISBN-13: 9780674364462

Edition: 1982

Authors: Ernst Mayr

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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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Book details

List price: $41.50
Copyright year: 1982
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 1/22/1985
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 896
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 2.00" tall
Weight: 2.684
Language: English

Introduction: How to write history of biology
Subjectivity and bias
Why study the history of biology?
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
The conceptual structure of biology
A new philosophy of biology
The changing intellectual milieu of biology
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
Diversity of Life
Macrotaxonomy, the science of classifying
The classification of plants by the ancients and the herbalists
Downward classification by logical division
Pre-Linnaean zoologists
Carl Linnaeus
A new start in animal classification
Taxonomic characters
Upward classification by empirical grouping
Transition period (1758-1859)
Hierarchical classifications
Grouping according to common ancestry
The decline of macrotaxonomic research
Numerical phenetics
The traditional or evolutionary methodology
New taxonomic characters
Facilitation of information retrieval
The study of diversity
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
Origins without evolution
The coming of evolutionism
The French Enlightenment
Evolution before Darwin
Lyell and uniformitarianism
Charles Darwin
Darwin and evolution
Alfred Russel Wallace
The publication of the Origin
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
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
Diversity and synthesis of evolutionary thought
The growing split among the evolutionists
Advances in evolutionary genetics
Advances in evolutionary systematics
The evolutionary synthesis
Post-synthesis developments
Molecular biology
Natural selection
Unresolved issues in natural selection
Modes of speciation
The evolution of man
Evolution in modern thought
Variation and Its Inheritance
Early theories and breeding experiments
Theories of inheritance among the ancients
Mendel's forerunners
Germ cells, vehicles of heredity
The Schwann-Schleiden cell theory
The meaning of sex and fertilization
Chromosomes and their role
The nature of inheritance
Darwin and variation
August Weismann
Hugo de Vries
Gregor Mendel
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
Morgan and the chromosome theory
Theories of the gene
Competing theories of inheritance
The Mendelian explanation of continuous variation
The chemical basis of inheritance
The discovery of the double helix
Genetics in modern thought
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
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