The Changing Role of the Embryo in Evolutionary Thought

Roots of Evo-Devo

The Changing Role of the Embryo in Evolutionary Thought

In this book Ron Amundson examines 200 years of scientific views on the evolution-development relationship from the perspective of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). This new perspective challenges several popular views about the history of evolutionary thought by claiming that many earlier authors made history come out right for the Evolutionary Synthesis. The book starts with a revised history of nineteenth-century evolutionary thought. It then investigates how development became irrelevant to evolution with the Evolutionary Synthesis. It concludes with an examination of the contrasts that persist between mainstream evolutionary theory and evo-devo.


 Reviews:

"This is revisionist history at its best. The death of Ernst Mayr, the last surviving father of the modern synthesis, makes the publication of this important book all the more timely.... Highly recommended...."
--CHOICE


"The Changing Role of the Embryo paints a fascinating portrait of the ways in which histories of biology have served as philosophical weapons legitimizing specific forms of biological theory and practice...Philosophers of biology, historians of biology, and practicing biologists with an interest in history, should all read this book...."
--Erika Lorraine Milam, Clemson University, Journal of the History of Biology


"… As The Changing Role of the Embryo in Evolutionary Thought demonstrates, understanding the deep epistemological and conceptual foundations of current research practices is clearly valuable. Amundson has taken an important first step, focusing largely on conceptual and ontological incompatibilities between scientific theories, thus suggesting some order among the ruins."
--Science


'… as The Changing Role of the Embryo in Evolutionary Thought demonstrates, understanding the deep epistemological and conceptual foundations of current research practices is clearly valuable. Amundson has taken an important first step, focusing largely on conceptual and ontological incompatibilities between scientific theories, thus suggesting some order among the ruins.' Science

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