The Theory of Evolution and Its Impact

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Aldo Fasolo
Springer Science & Business Media, Nov 27, 2011 - Science - 230 pages
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Year 2009 was the triumph of Darwin as a global superstar, spinning from the pop icon to the actual understanding to what make him a great innovator, able to give a turn to whole modern culture. Does all this activity mean evolution has lost its ability to excite fear and opposition? After such a deluge of books, conferences, reviews, gadgets, what is today our vision on theory of Evolution and its Impact? These are the questions asked at an inter-academy conference held in Torino (May 27-29, 2010) among the Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. The present book collects the contributions from the meeting, mixing styles, arguments, topics, history and philosophy of science, modern biology and epistemology . This kind of inter-disciplinary approach may appear erratic, but it conveys flashes of lights on the changing scene where the theory of evolution plays. This is in line with the idea to reopen the file of the Two Cultures, looking at shared problems, which are not yet really the Third Culture invoked by Charles Percy Snow half a century ago, but they can foster it, at least in such a pivotal domain as evolution. According to the philosopher Michael Ruse, the conclusion is “that in fifty years or a hundred years we will still have the theory of the Origin around. Great, precisely because it does not stand still, but remakes itself and grows and changes by virtue of the fact that it gives such a terrific foundation. Is Darwinism past its sell-by date? Not by a long chalk yet!”

 

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Contents

The Sand Walk on the Darwins Steps
1
Lamarck Politics and Religion in the Early Nineteenth Century
11
Is It Past Its Sellby Date?
41
Evolutionary Theory and Philosophical Darwinism
53
Selection Retention and Extinction of a Metaphor
69
The Theory of Evolution and Cultural Anthropology
83
The Concept of Evolution in Linguistics
103
Theory of Evolution and Genetics
119
Genes Evolution and the Development of the Embryo
131
Selective Versus Constructive Strategies in the Development and Plasticity of t
159
Is the Human Brain Unique?
175
Animacy and the Origins of Beliefs
189
Remarks on the History of a Concept Adopted by Darwin
201
The Structure of Evolutionary Theory from a Lakatosian Perspective
211
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On behalf of Accademia delle Scienze of Torino

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