"Can the Darwinian paradigm ever be driven by data after it has become the centerpiece of the dominant, all-encompassing naturalistic world view of Western culture? With evolutionists as cultural gurus, has the intellectual and philosophical investment in the cosmogenic myth become so heavy that evolutionary scientists can no longer be objective about evidence that may even remotely undermine this world view? Are they enslaved by the world view their paradigm has created? Does funding for evolutionary research and the high status of evolutionists as culture's gurus depend on this world view?"
EB refers to the collective disciplines of biology that treat the evolutionary process and the characteristics of populations of organisms, as well as ecology, behavior, and systematics.
No educated person today any longer questions the basic validity of the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution. Evolution is "a simple fact" (Ernst Mayr), and this insight, whether we like it or not, acts as a "universal acid" (Daniel Dennett) — not just on our science, but on our culture in general. All biological disciplines contributed (albeit to very different degrees) to the Modern Synthesis (1936-1947), which reconciled the gene-frequency approach of Morgan, Fisher, and others with the population thinking of the naturalists. Evolution by natural selection thus became the central foundational concept of the whole biological edifice; so much so that by the early 1980s the paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould complained that the synthesis had become too firmly established ("hardened") because of its overreliance on natural selection. In the last couple of decades developmental biologists, paleontologists, and others have vindicated more prominent roles for nonadaptive evolutionary forces such as developmental and evolutionary constraints. It seems fair to say that at present — the prominence of gene-reductionistic approaches notwithstanding — evolutionary theory is characterized by a healthy pluralism as regards research topics, methodological strategies, and conceptual and theoretical elaborations.
Introductory Web resources
Introduction to Evolutionary Biology (Chris Colby, Talk.Origins Archive)
Glossaries of biological terms (phylogenetics, geology, biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, life history, zoology, botany)
Stearns/Hoekstra, Evolution: An Introduction, 2000
Takes a fresh approach to classical topics such as population genetics and natural selection, and gives an overview of recent advances in hot areas such as sexual selection, genetic conflict, life history evolution, and phenotypic plasticity. The book introduces what is essential and exciting in evolutionary biology for the undergraduate student. It covers the whole field while emphasising the important concepts and contains a glossary of terms for quick reference. The authors, authorities in this field, express complex and stimulating ideas in simple language which the students can easily understand. They have included frequent examples and running summaries to make reading fun. The book has a logical structure so that it can be read straight through, one chapter per sitting, and each chapter's links to neighbouring chapters are explicitly explained.
Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology (3rd ed.), 1998
Previous editions of Evolutionary Biology, widely used and translated into five other languages, were praised for their broad scope, synthetic overview, and even-handed treatment of controversial topics. The Third Edition, while maintaining these features, reflects the ever greater breadth and depth of evolutionary science by providing expanded treatment of many topics and by emphasizing the new intellectual and molecular perspectives that have revolutionized evolutionary studies in the last decade. Equally significant, the book has been made more accessible to student readers by a more expansive style of presentation, by a completely new two-color art program (and a full-color portfolio), and by extended examples that convey not only the evidence for hypotheses, but also the ways in which evolutionary hypotheses are framed and tested. (From the Publisher's description)
M. Ridley, Evolution, 1993
Panchen, Classification, Evolution and the Nature of Biology, 1992
Mayr, One Long Argument, 1991
Maynard Smith, Did Darwin Get it Right?, 1988
Oyama/Griffiths/Gray, Cycles of Contingency, 2001
Singh/Krimbas/Paul/Beatty, Thinking about Evolution, vol. 2, 2001
Wagner, The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology, 2001
Depew/Weber, Darwinism Evolving, 1995
Keller/Lloyd, Keywords in Evolutionary Biology, 1992
Dupré, The Latest on the Best, 1987
Rashidi/Buehler, Bioinformatics: Basics Applications in Biological Science and Medicine, 2000
An introductory book about the influence of computers on the biological sciences and medicine. The book describes how to find and access publicly available information about genes, proteins, and diseases. It explains in simple terms biological concepts and how to find and compare DNA and amino acid sequences, understand protein folding and predict protein structures. It also explains the importance of diverse genome projects and the emerging sciences of genomics and proteomics.
Contents: Preface. Introduction. Biology and Bioinformatics. Computers in Biology and Medicine. Biological Macromolecules. Proteins. DNA and RNA Structure. Databases and Search Tools. Computational Tools and Databases. Database Mining Tools. Genome Analysis. DNA Cloning and PCR. Computational Tools For DNA Sequence Analysis. Genome Analysis. Functional Genomics. Proteome Analysis. Proteomics. Metabolic Reconstruction. Computer Revolution In Neurobiology. Human Brain Project. Computer Simulations and Visualization of Molecular Structures.-
Predictive Biology. Appendix.
"Susan Oyama's Ontogeny of Information provided a navigational chart for researchers seeking to avoid the shoals of the nature-nurture dichotomy. Here, in Evolution's Eye, she good-humoredly unmasks the rhetorical stratagems of reflexive genecentrism, while continuing to strengthen the case for the integrative, multifocal approach of developmental systems theory." (Helen E. Longino)
Maynard Smith/Szathmáry, The Major Transitions in Evolution, 1997
"The Major Transitions in Evolution manages to capture the essence of modern biology: it shows the way biologists think these days and applies that thinking to every key problem, from the evolution of life to the development of language. So here is an extremely significant book which, as a bonus, is very readable." (New Scientist)
Jablonka/Lamb, Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution, 1995
Goodwin, How the Leopard Changed Its Spots, 1994
Salthe, Evolving Hierarchical Systems, 1985
Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought, 1982
Since its inception in 1948, AJHG has provided a record of research and review relating to heredity in man and to the application of genetic principles in medicine, psychology, anthropology, and social services, as well as in related areas of molecular and cell biology. Topics explored by AJHG include behavioral genetics, biochemical genetics, clinical genetics, cytogenetics, dysmorphology, genetic counseling, immunogenetics, and population genetics and epidemiology.
American Naturalist (AN) (1867— )
(Monthly; available online. University of Chicago Press.) Journal of the American Society of Naturalists. Since its inception, AN has maintained its position as one of the world's most renowned, peer-reviewed publications in ecology, evolution, and population and integrative biology research. While addressing topics in community and ecosystem dynamics, evolution of sex and mating systems, organismal adaptation, and genetic aspects of evolution, AN emphasizes sophisticated methodologies and innovative theoretical syntheses — all in an effort to advance the knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles.
American Zoologist (1961— )
See: Integrative and Comparative Biology
(Published for the Linnean Society of London by Academic Press London. ) The oldest biological journal in the world, although it only acquired its present form in 1969. It evolved out of the Linnean Society's Transactions, which was first produced in 1791, and for many years was the sole periodical devoted to biology. The original papers on natural selection by Darwin and Wallace appeared in this journal in 1858. The Biological Journal is principally concerned with the processes of organic evolution, although papers are also published in the general fields of theoretical, genetic, and population biology, and ecology. Book reviews are published. The Linnean Society, with its large membership of biological scientists, fosters these aims and ensures the journal's continuing importance. Research areas Include all areas of evolutionary research, particularly contributions that illustrate the unifying concepts of evolutionary biology using observational or theoretical evidence from systematics, biogeography, or ecology
Aconceptually oriented journal of basic biology which publishes original review and research papers dealing with evolutionary and behavioural ecology, population ecology, and evolutionary population biology. The emphasis of the journal is in the theoretical development of ecology and evolutionary biology. The scope of the journal is not biased with respect to taxon or biome. Theoretical as well as empirical contributions with solid theoretical background are welcome.
Geobios (1968— )
A unique French journal covering all fields of investigation dealing with palaeontology, biostratigraphy and palaecology through phanerozoïc times. It is published with the participation of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and of the University Claude-Bernard LYON I and is ranked as an international journal. Since 1992, GEOBIOS publishes original papers in French, English, Spanish and German.
(Twice a year; Springer, New York.) Publishes original and valuable papers in the field of classification, numerical taxonomy, multidimensional scaling and other ordination techniques, clustering, tree structures and other network models (with somewhat less emphasis on principal components analysis, factor analysis, and discriminant analysis), as well as associated models and algorithms for fitting them.
Journal of Natural History
Previously the Annals & Magazine of Natural History (1841— )
(Monthly; Taylor and Francis.) An international journal publishing original research, reviews, opinions and correspondence in systematics and evolutionary and interactive biology. The traditional features of the journal, taxonomic works in entomology and zoology, have been maintained, providing a scientific basis for the application of systematics in biological control, agriculture, aquaculture, and medical and veterinary zoology. The journal also publishes papers on cladistics, experimental taxonomy, parasitology, ecology, behavior and the interaction of organisms with their environment. Readership: systematists, behaviorists, ecologists, entomologists, parasitologists, agriculturalists, aquaculturalists, marine biologists, evolutionary biologists, geneticists, conservationists, environmental scientists.
(Online; Stanford University.)
Journal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. Previously entitled Space Life Sciences (1968—1974) and Origins of Life (1974—1983).In recent years, the subject of the origin and early evolution of life has seen an unprecedented development. New theories concerning the origins of life, such as cometary sources of organics, the possible role of marine hydrothermal systems on the chemistry of the primitive earth and the postulate of the RNA world have brought many new scientists to the field of origins of life. It is the role of Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere to bring these articles together in one journal. While any scientific study related to the origin of life has its place in the journal, the main interests revolve around theoretical and experimental studies dealing with planetary atmospheres, interstellar chemistry, precambrian studies, prebiotic chemistry, and early evolution.
(Johns Hopkins University Press.)
Formerly Researches on Population Biology
(Springer.) Publishes original research articles and reviews on various aspects of population ecology, from the individual to the community level. Among the specific fields included are population dynamics and distribution, evolutionary ecology, ecological genetics, theoretical models, conservation biology, agroecosystem studies, and bioresource management. Brief notes on both empirical and theoretical investigations, as well as comments on previously published papers, are published as Notes and Comments. Special Features, collections of research articles and reviews organized by the editors, are published periodically and focus on specific research topics.
Quarterly Review of Biology (1926— )
(Quarterly. University of Chicago Press.) Presents insightful historical, philosophical, and technical treatments of important biological topics. Also provides educators, students, and biological researchers with authoritative articles, theoretical papers, comprehensive book reviews, and timely assessments of the life sciences in a convenient and economical format.
Rivista di Biologia / Biology Forum (1919— )
(3 issues annually; Tilgher-Genova.) One of the oldest biological journals, it publishes research in the field of theoretical biology, paying particular attention to the problem of form in biology and to the analysis of the internal laws of biological transformation. Topics include: morphogenesis; evolution; genetics; biophysics; history of biology.
Quarterly journal for the Society of Systematic Biologists. "The object of this Society shall be the advancement of the science of systematic biology in all its aspects of theory, principles, methodology, and practice, for both living and fossil organisms, with emphasis on areas of common interest to all taxonomists regardless of individual specialization" (SSB Constitution, Article II). Papers for Systematic Biology are to be original contributions of theory, principles, and methods of systematics as well as evolution, morphology, biogeography, paleontology, genetics, and classification. A Points of View section is a forum for discussion. Book and software reviews are arranged by the Book Review Editor, David Cannatella. Announcements of general interest are also published.
A nonprofit interdisciplinary organization whose purposes are to promote the scientific study of classification and clustering (including systematic methods of creating classifications from data), and to disseminate scientific and educational information related to its fields of interests.
The objectives of the Society are to "Support the study of organic evolution and the integration of those scientific fields that are concerned with evolution: molecular and microbial evolution, behaviour, genetics, ecology, life histories, development, paleontology, systemetics and morphology". The Society endeavours to accomplish these objectives through the publication of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology and through meetings.
Evolutionary Programming Society (1991— )
Promotes research in the areas of evolutionary computation and self-organizing systems. Sponsors the Annual Conference on Evolutionary Programming and offers its members discounted registration at the conference, as well as a substantially discounted subscription rate for the journal BioSystems.
A federation of national, regional, and linguistically-based classification societies. A non-profit, non-political scientific organization, whose aims are to further classification research. Amongst other activities, the IFCS organises a biennial conference, publishes a newsletter, and supports the Journal of Classification. In addition to the participating Member Societies, the IFCS comprises a Group-at-Large, which serves the interests of individuals for whom there does not yet exist an appropriate classification society.
Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) (USA)
In 1952, Ernst Mayr stated that "the aims of the Society [for the Study of Evolution], through its journal and otherwise, reflect the conviction that the evolutionary approach will clarify many unsolved biological problems and will provide common goals and mutual comprehension among all the life sciences." The history of evolutionary studies has as its basis empirical documentation of biogeographical distribution of species. Contributing to its development are rigorous horticultural and agricultural programs that have led to substantial improvements in world food supplies. More recently, evolutionary studies have been applied to conservation and to health-related fields such as disease epidemiology. Increasingly, evolutionary studies have been applied to conservation and to health related fields such as disease epidemiology. Increasingly, evolutionary studies are used to predict how the biological world responds to changing environments -- environments that indisputably have changed over time. Evolutionary studies supply scientific explanations for past and present biological processes, based on currently observed biological processes. They have directly provided information, techniques, and even products that contribute to the improvement of human conditions and ecological welfare.
The study of evolution is an empirically based science which employs the scientific process of hypothesis testing. Hypotheses are either accepted or rejected, depending on the empirical evidence. The Society for the Study of Evolution employs a rigorous critical review process to ensure that these procedures are followed — that the empirical data support the conclusions — before a study is accepted as scientific. No hypothesis that cannot be tested empirically is acceptable as scientific to the Society. "Scientific creationism" cannot be empirically refuted. Rather, it has as its basis the unquestioned authority of a literal interpretation of religious texts. "Scientific creationism" does not employ hypothesis testing, does not use unbiased empirical data to support or refute hypotheses, and it has no scientific review process. It therefore cannot be considered to be scientific by the Society. The attitude that "scientific creationism" is an alternative hypothesis to evolution is scientifically untenable. Its inclusion in state-sponsored school curricula as a scientifically based hypothesis rather than as a religious faith is not acceptable. The Society for the Study of Evolution maintains that evolutionary studies should be promoted in schools as a scientific approach to explaining biological phenomena — one that has contributed much to biotechnological advances, and one which has the potential to solve important problems in the physical relationship of human beings to the rest of the biological world.
Bio-portal: an expanded version of the website, with the front page providing four links, "For Researchers", "For Educators", "For the Public and Media", and "For SICB members". Each link opens into a submenu. The most extensive submenu can be found under "For Researchers". Here SICB members may enter their expertise, wants, and needs; the result can be searched by anyone who points to the page. Educators visiting the page are guided to a database of links to educational resources. These links can be submitted by all visitors to the site; however, they will have to go through an approval procedure and will thus not appear immediately on the website. "For the Public and Media" is still a white space on our sitemap, but will be soon filled with press releases and other information relevant for the general public. "For SICB members" contains most of the former SICB site. Newsletters, job offers and other announcements, membership directory, and much more.
An international society that exists to provide facilities for association and communication among molecular evolutionists, and has as one of its primary goals increasing communication between the fields of evolution and molecular biology. In order to accomplish those goals the Society publishes the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution (MBE), and it sponsors an annual meeting.
The purpose of the Society is to advance and diffuse knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles so as to enhance the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.
An international organization devoted exclusively to the advancement of the science of paleontology through the dissemination of research by publication and meetings. The following pages contain information on the society and its activities and provide links to other paleontology resources on the web.
Society of Population Ecology (1961— )
Covers broad aspects of population ecology and population biology, in both basic and applied fields. Membership is open to persons interested in population ecology and related fields of the biological sciences.
(Institut Pasteur, Paris, France)
Described as "a global informatics web of science, philosophy and engineering of biosystems for the world peace and civilization of the human being".
Evolution links (David King)
Genetics: A periodical record of investigations bearing on heredity and variation
A nonprofit, tax-exempt membership organization working to defend the teaching of evolution against sectarian attack. We are a nationally-recognized clearinghouse for information and advice to keep evolution in the science classroom and "scientific creationism" out. While there are organizations that oppose "scientific creationism" as part of their general goals (such as good science education, or separation of church and state), NCSE is the only national organization that specializes in this issue. When teachers, parents, school boards, the press and others need information and help, they turn to NCSE.
While most of NCSE's work involves defending evolution against attacks, we also work to increase public understanding of evolution and science "as a way of knowing." We also have programs to help teachers who want to improve their teaching of evolution. Here you'll find information and resources for all these activities.
More than 14,000 sorted links to science resources; for students, parents, teachers, scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.
A Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins. Most discussions in the newsgroup center on the creation/evolution controversy, but other topics of discussion include the origin of life, geology, biology, catastrophism, cosmology and theology.
This archive is a collection of articles and essays, most of which have appeared in talk.origins at one time or another. The primary reason for this archive's existence is to provide mainstream scientific responses to the many frequently asked questions (FAQs) and frequently rebutted assertions that appear in talk.origins.
The Modularity Home Page
Tree of Life Home Page
(David R. Maddison)
A multi-authored, distributed Internet project containing information about phylogeny and biodiversity.
Was Darwin Wrong? The Critics of Evolution
(Book reviews by Gert Korthof, The Netherlands)
Aims at a careful and fair evaluation of the arguments against evolution and Darwinism. "Although I accept evolution as a working theory, this site is neither an 'evolution propaganda' site, because propaganda implies silence about difficulties and alternatives, nor a 'debunking' site, because debunking means all critics are ignorant and wrong. Some critics are not ignorant and wrong. However some evolutionary biologists are ignorant of well-informed criticism. By reading the critics, I learned illuminating things about the theory of evolution I never could have learned from the textbooks alone. Since Darwinism is a biological theory, the emphasis of this site is on biological aspects, not religion, education or law." (Gert Korthoff)