Genes, Categories, and Species: The Evolutionary and Cognitive Cause of the Species Problem

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Oxford University Press, 2001 M07 19 - 240 páginas
In Genes, Categories and Species, Jody Hey provides an enlightening new solution to one of biology's most ironic and perplexing puzzles. When Darwin showed that life evolves, and that it does so by natural selection, he transformed our understanding of living things. But the very question Darwin addressed-the nature of species-continues to pose an awkward conundrum for biologists. Despite enormous efforts by a great many scholars, biologists still cannot agree on how to identify species or even how to define the word "species." Genes, Categories, and Species is not like other books on the species problem, for it does not begin by asking, "What is a species?" Instead, it focuses on the very fact that biologists are stumped by species and their curious behavior in coping with that uncertainty. Faced with a persistent conundrum-and no lack of data on the subject-biologists who ponder the species problem have ceased to ask the most essential of scientific questions: "What new information do we need to resolve the problem?" This is the question that motivates this book and leads to the discoveries it reveals. The answer to the species problem lies not with the processes and patterns of biological diversity, Hey contends, but rather in the way the human mind perceives and categorizes that diversity. The promise of this book is twofold. First, it allows biologists to understand the causes of the species problem and to use this knowledge to avoid the major confusions that arise over species. Second, with its explanation of the species problem, it gives scholars and students of human nature a humbling example of how ill-suited the human mind is for certain kinds of scientific questions.
 

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Contenido

The Hidden Question 1 The Species Problem
3
The Mode of Ignorance
15
The Theory of Life
27
Part I Conclusions
40
Species in Nature and within the Mind 4 Categories
45
Typological Thinking about Species
61
Biological Diversity
67
Recombination and Biological Species
88
Part II Conclusions
128
Living with the Species Problem 10 PHYLOGENY
133
Systematics
145
Evolutionary Biology
159
What Are Species? What Are Taxa?
169
What Is to Be Done?
180
References
195
Index
213

The Cause of the Species Problem
105
The Origin of Natural Kinds
111

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Pasajes populares

Página 201 - MC Smith, RN Burns, ME Ford, and GF Hatfull. 1999. Evolutionary relationships among diverse bacteriophages and prophages: all the world's a phage.
Página 198 - Ferris, SD, RD Sage, C.-M. Huang, JT Nielsen, U. Ritte, and AC Wilson. 1983. Flow of mitochondrial DNA across a species boundary. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80:2290-94.
Página 197 - CW and R. Wyatt. 1989. Hybridization and introgression in buckeyes (Aesculus: Hippocastanaceae): a review of the evidence and a hypothesis to explain long-distance gene flow. Syst. Bot.

Acerca del autor (2001)

Jody Hey is Professor of Genetics at Rutgers University, where he uses both mathematical theory and DNA sequencing to study the process of evolution. In recent years he has conducted research on the evolutionary divergence of fruit fly species and on the evolutionary origins of modern humans. This book was written while Dr. Hey was visiting the University of Edinburgh, Scotland with the aid of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

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