Classification, Evolution, and the Nature of Biology

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 26, 1992 - Science - 403 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
PATTERNS OF CLASSIFICATION
10
I The scala naturae
11
II The Linnean hierarchy and the Tree of Porphyry
16
III Quinarian circles and family trees
23
IV Grades phenograms and cladograms
30
V Conclusions
38
PATTERNS OF PHYLOGENY
41
CLASSIFICATION AND THE RECONSTRUCTION OF PHYLOGENY
195
I The reconstruction of phylogeny
196
II Molecular distance
204
III Sequence data
212
IS SYSTEMATICS INDEPENDENT?
225
or likelihood?
226
II The hierarchy
237
III Cladograms trees and scenarios
244

I The scala naturae as phylogeny
42
II Family trees
45
III Stufenreihen and cladograms
52
IV Reticulate phylogeny
58
V Conclusions
59
HOMOLOGY AND THE EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION
62
I Homology
63
II The classification of homology
69
III Vestigial organs
79
IV Ontogeny and molecular biology
82
GEOLOGICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL EVIDENCE
85
II Fossils and transmutation
91
III Biogeography
97
IV Conclusions
106
METHODS OF CLASSIFICATION THE DEVELOPMENT OF TAXONOMY
109
II Linncan taxonomy
114
III PostLinnean taxonomy
117
IV Evolutionary classification
121
The historical basis of taxonomy
130
METHODS OF CLASSIFICATION PHENETICS AND CLADISTICS
132
II Phenetic clustering
144
III Cladistics
151
IV Cladistics and fossils
158
METHODS OF CLASSIFICATION THE CURRENT DEBATE
169
I The transformation of cladistics
170
II Outgroups or ontogeny
181
III Parsimony
188
MECHANISMS OF EVOLUTION DARWINISM AND ITS RIVAL
248
I Lamarck and Lamarckism
250
Darwin and Wallace
254
III PostOrigin theories
262
MECHANISMS OF EVOLUTION THE SYNTHETIC THEORY
268
I The Modern Synthesis
270
II Criticisms of the Synthetic Theory
273
III Developmental constraints and selection
279
IV Macroevolution
284
The Theory of Natural Selection
294
SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE
298
I The problem of induction
300
II The hypotheticodeductive method
304
III Popper and after
308
IV Normative descriptive sociological or cognitive?
317
PHILOSOPHY AND BIOLOGY
323
I Biological generalisations
326
II The taxonomic statement
330
III What is being classified?
333
IV The hierarchy again
341
V Propositions in biology
345
VI Postscript
347
References
349
Author index
387
Subject index
395
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