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1. Compositional Evolution: The Impact
2. Environment, Development, and
3. Modeling Biology: Structures,
4. Cognitive Biology: Evolutionary
5. Theoretical Biology
6. Innovation in Cultural Systems:
7. Origination of Organismal Form:
8. Theoretical Models in Biology:
9. Mathematics in Population Biology
10. Towards a Theoretical Biology:
11. Sketching Theoretical Biology:
12. Atom and organism;: A new approach
13. The Geographic Spread of Infectious
14. Thermal Adaptation: A Theoretical
15. Modularity: Understanding the
16. Functions in Biological and Artificial
17. The Origin of Life (Toward a Theoretical
18. Biological Emergences: Evolution
19. Analysis of Evolutionary Processes:
20. Modern theories of development:

1. Compositional Evolution: The Impact of Sex, Symbiosis, and Modularity on the Gradualist Framework of Evolution (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology)
by Richard A. Watson
Hardcover: 344 Pages (2006-02-17)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$4.97
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Asin: 026223243X
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No biological concept has had greater impact on the way we view ourselves and the world around us than the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin's masterful contribution was to provide an algorithmic model (a formal step-by-step procedure) of how adaptation may take place in biological systems. However, the simple process of linear incremental improvement that he described is only one algorithmic possibility, and certain biological phenomena provide the possibility of implementing alternative processes. In Compositional Evolution, Richard Watson uses the tools of computer science and computational biology to show that certain mechanisms of genetic variation (such as sex, gene transfer, and symbiosis) allowing the combination of preadapted genetic material enable an evolutionary process, compositional evolution, that is algorithmically distinct from the Darwinian gradualist framework.

After reviewing the gradualist framework of evolution and outlining the analogous principles at work in evolutionary computation, Watson describes the compositional mechanisms of evolutionary biology and provides computational models that illustrate his argument. He uses models such as the genetic algorithm as well as novel models to explore different evolutionary scenarios, comparing evolution based on spontaneous point mutation, sexual recombination, and symbiotic encapsulation. He shows that the models of sex and symbiosis are algorithmically distinct from simpler stochastic optimization methods based on gradual processes. Finally, Watson discusses the impact of compositional evolution on our understanding of natural evolution and, similarly, the utility of evolutionary computation methods for problem solving and design. ... Read more

2. Environment, Development, and Evolution: Toward a Synthesis (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology)
Hardcover: 328 Pages (2003-11-01)
list price: US$47.00 -- used & new: US$7.33
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Asin: 0262083191
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Evolutionary developmental biology, also known as evo-devo or EDB, seeks to find links between development and evolution by opening the "black box" of development's role in evolution and in the evolution of developmental mechanisms. In particular, this volume emphasizes the roles of the environment and of hormonal signaling in evo-devo. It brings together a group of leading researchers to analyze the dynamic interaction of environmental factors with developmental and physiological processes and to examine how environmental signals are translated into phenotypic change, from the molecular and cellular level to organisms and groups of organisms. Taken together, these chapters demonstrate the crucial roles of those processes of genetic, developmental, physiological, and hormonal change that underpin evolutionary change in development, morphology, physiology, behavior, and life-history.Part I investigates links between environmental signals and developmental processes that could be preserved over evolutionary time. Several contributors evaluate the work of the late Ryuichi Matsuda, especially his emphasis on the role of the external environment in genetic change and variability ("pan-environmentalism"). Other contributors in part I analyze different aspects of environmental-genetic-evolutionary linkages, including the importance of alternate ontogenies in evolution and the paradox of stability over long periods of evolutionary time. Part II examines the plasticity that characterizes much of development, with contributors discussing such topics as gene regulatory networks and heterochronicity. Part III analyzes the role of hormones and metamorphosis in the evolution of such organisms with alternate life-history stages as lampreys, amphibians, and insects. ... Read more

3. Modeling Biology: Structures, Behaviors, Evolution (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology)
Hardcover: 400 Pages (2007-10-31)
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Asin: 026212291X
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Abstract and conceptual models have become an indispensable tool for analyzing the flood of highly detailed empirical data generated in recent years by advanced techniques in the biosciences. Scientists are developing new modeling strategies for analyzing data, integrating results into the conceptual framework of theoretical biology, and formulating new hypotheses. In Modeling Biology, leading scholars investigate new modeling strategies in the domains of morphology, development, behavior, and evolution.

The emphasis on models in the biological sciences has been accompanied by a new focus on conceptual issues and a more complex understanding of epistemological concepts. Contributors to Modeling Biology discuss models and modeling strategies from the perspectives of philosophy, history, and applied mathematics. Individual chapters discuss specific approaches to modeling in such domains as biological form, development, and behavior. Finally, the book addresses the modeling of these properties in the context of evolution, with a particular emphasis on the emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology (or evo-devo).

Giorgio A. Ascoli, Chandrajit Bajaj, James P. Collins, Luciano da Fontoura Costa, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Nigel R. Franks, Scott Gilbert, Marta Ibañes Miguez, Juan Carlos Izpisúa-Belmonte, Alexander S. Klyubin, Thomas J. Koehnle, Manfred D. Laubichler, Sabina Leonelli, James A. R. Marshall, George R. McGhee Jr., Gerd B. Müller, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, Karl J. Niklas, Lars Olsson, Eirikur Palsson, Daniel Polani, Diego Rasskin Gutman, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Alexei V. Samsonovich, Jeffrey C. Schank, Harry B. M. Uylings, Jaap van Pelt, and Iain Werry ... Read more

4. Cognitive Biology: Evolutionary and Developmental Perspectives on Mind, Brain, and Behavior (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology)
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2009-07-31)
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Asin: 0262012936
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In the past few decades, sources of inspiration in the multidisciplinary field of cognitive science have widened. In addition to ongoing vital work in cognitive and affective neuroscience, important new work is being conducted at the intersection of psychology and the biological sciences in general. This volume offers an overview of the cross-disciplinary integration of evolutionary and developmental approaches to cognition in light of these exciting new contributions from the life sciences.

This research has explored many cognitive abilities in a wide range of organisms and developmental stages, and results have revealed the nature and origin of many instances of the cognitive life of organisms. Each section of Cognitive Biology deals with a key domain of cognition: spatial cognition; the relationships among attention, perception, and learning; representations of numbers and economic values; and social cognition. Contributors discuss each topic from the perspectives of psychology and neuroscience, brain theory and modeling, evolutionary theory, ecology, genetics, and developmental science.

Contributors: Chris M. Bird, Elizabeth M. Brannon, Neil Burgess, Jessica F. Cantlon, Stanislas Dehaene, Christian F. Doeller, Reuven Dukas, Rochel Gelman, Alexander Gerganov, Paul W. Glimcher, Robert L. Goldstone, Edward M. Hubbard, Lucia F. Jacobs, Mark H. Johnson, Annette Karmiloff-Smith, David Landy, Lynn Nadel, Nora S. Newcombe, Daniel Osorio, Mary A. Peterson, Manuela Piazza, Philippe Pinel, Michael L. Platt, Kristin R. Ratliff, Michael E. Roberts, Wendy S. Shallcross, Stephen V. Shepherd, Sylvain Sirois, Luca Tommasi, Alessandro Treves, Alexandra Twyman, Giorgio Vallortigara

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5. Theoretical Biology
by E. S. Bauer
 Hardcover: 294 Pages (1984-03)
list price: US$14.00
Isbn: 9630530147
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6. Innovation in Cultural Systems: Contributions from Evolutionary Anthropology (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology)
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2009-12-31)
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Asin: 0262013339
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In recent years an interest in applying the principles of evolution to the study of culture emerged in the social sciences. Archaeologists and anthropologists reconsidered the role of innovation in particular, and have moved toward characterizing innovation in cultural systems not only as a product but also as an evolutionary process. This distinction was familiar to biology but new to the social sciences; cultural evolutionists from the nineteenth to the twentieth century had tended to see innovation as a preprogrammed change that occurred when a cultural group "needed" to overcome environmental problems. In this volume, leading researchers from a variety of disciplines—including anthropology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, philosophy, and psychology—offer their perspectives on cultural innovation. The book provides not only a range of views but also an integrated account, with the chapters offering an orderly progression of thought.

The contributors consider innovation in biological terms, discussing epistemology, animal studies, systematics and phylogeny, phenotypic plasticity and evolvability, and Evo Devo; they discuss modern insights into innovation, including simulation, the random-copying model, diffusion, and demographic analysis; and they offer case studies of innovation from archaeological and ethnographic records, examining developmental, behavioral, and social patterns.

Contributors: André Ariew, R. Alexander Bentley, Werner Callebaut, Joseph Henrich, Anne Kandler, Kevin N. Laland, Daniel O. Larson, Alex Mesoudi, Michael J. O’Brien, Craig T. Palmer, Adam Powell, Simon M. Reader, Valentine Roux, Chet Savage, Michael Brian Schiffer, Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Stephen J. Shennan, James Steele, Mark G. Thomas, Todd L. VanPool

Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology ... Read more

7. Origination of Organismal Form: Beyond the Gene in Developmental and Evolutionary Biology (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology)
by Gerd Müller, Stuart Newman
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2003-01-03)
list price: US$48.00 -- used & new: US$38.37
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Asin: 0262134195
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The field of evolutionary biology arose from the desire to understand the origin and diversity of biological forms. In recent years, however, evolutionary genetics, with its focus on the modification and inheritance of presumed genetic programs, has all but overwhelmed other aspects of evolutionary biology. This has led to the neglect of the study of the generative origins of biological form.Drawing on work from developmental biology, paleontology, developmental and population genetics, cancer research, physics, and theoretical biology, this book explores the multiple factors responsible for the origination of biological form. It examines the essential problems of morphological evolution--why, for example, the basic body plans of nearly all metazoans arose within a relatively short time span, why similar morphological design motifs appear in phylogenetically independent lineages, and how new structural elements are added to the body plan of a given phylogenetic lineage. It also examines discordances between genetic and phenotypic change, the physical determinants of morphogenesis, and the role of epigenetic processes in evolution. The book discusses these and other topics within the framework of evolutionary developmental biology, a new research agenda that concerns the interaction of development and evolution in the generation of biological form. By placing epigenetic processes, rather than gene sequence and gene expression changes, at the center of morphological origination, this book points the way to a more comprehensive theory of evolution. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Documents the major problems with neo-Darwinism
Origination of Organismal Form: Beyond The Gene In Developmental And Evolutionary Biology is a collection of excellent essays by scientists who assume Darwinian evolution, but whose work reveals various major evidential and conceptual problems with the theory. They are part of a growing number of scientists who find major problems with Darwinism but are not any type of creationist. The problems with Darwinism are usually buried deep in technical publications but they are there if one looks. Anyone with the training and inclination to read this book could benefit greatly from it.I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in evolutionary biology. We can no longer ignore these problems. They are too great and must be dealt with. This book is an excellent introduction to these problems. A must read book!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars In Search of a Theory of Evolution
The public Darwin debate doesn't really match the progress of biological research. And experts in the field seem reticent to point to the limits of the standard theories. Here we are told plainly,Darwinism has no theory of the generative. And the breakthroughs in developmental genetics fail to explicate the sources of organismic form. The text acknowledges that concern with the gene has overshadowed all other aspects of the discussion.
This highly interesting, not too technical, work explores the work being done on evolutionary innovation. A theory of evolution should explicate both innovation and diversification.But natural selection can only explain how what already exists is maintained or transformed in the process of ecological survival. The standard explanations of variation and natural selection do not really explain this '
source of form' aspect of evolution, and we are presented with ambiguous statements about an evolutionary toolkit, in the developmental version, whose origins could not spring from the processes described in the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis. It seems an advance that a technical work by experts in the field would point this out. This is a very useful glimpse of the real work needed in biology, and should prove a useful refuge from the confusing public discourse on evolution that is generally less than helpful. ... Read more

8. Theoretical Models in Biology: The Origin of Life, the Immune System, and the Brain (Oxford Science Publications)
by Glenn Rowe
Paperback: 440 Pages (1998-01-08)
list price: US$99.00 -- used & new: US$99.00
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Asin: 0198596871
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book surveys the state of the art in theoretical and computer modeling for biological sciences.Using both mathematical and stochastic computer models of biological systems, the author focuses in particular on three central topics: the origin of life, the immune system, and memory in the brain. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Rowe is one of the best computer science writers today and this book is in keeping with his usually high standards. He draws together the worlds of computer science, biology, and mathematics to present clearly understandable and meaningful models. Any reader with a reasonable background in these fields (decent college freshman courses in programming, calculus, and general biology should suffice, though I'd say that as far as the math goes, some exposure to differential equations would be very helpful) will be able to understand and learn from this material... ... Read more

9. Mathematics in Population Biology (Princeton Series in Theoretical and Computational Biology)
by Horst R. Thieme
Hardcover: 568 Pages (2003-07-02)
list price: US$125.00 -- used & new: US$125.00
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Asin: 0691092907
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The formulation, analysis, and re-evaluation of mathematical models in population biology has become a valuable source of insight to mathematicians and biologists alike. This book presents an overview and selected sample of these results and ideas, organized by biological theme rather than mathematical concept, with an emphasis on helping the reader develop appropriate modeling skills through use of well-chosen and varied examples.

Part I starts with unstructured single species population models, particularly in the framework of continuous time models, then adding the most rudimentary stage structure with variable stage duration. The theme of stage structure in an age-dependent context is developed in Part II, covering demographic concepts, such as life expectation and variance of life length, and their dynamic consequences. In Part III, the author considers the dynamic interplay of host and parasite populations, i.e., the epidemics and endemics of infectious diseases. The theme of stage structure continues here in the analysis of different stages of infection and of age-structure that is instrumental in optimizing vaccination strategies.

Each section concludes with exercises, some with solutions, and suggestions for further study. The level of mathematics is relatively modest; a "toolbox" provides a summary of required results in differential equations, integration, and integral equations. In addition, a selection of Maple worksheets is provided.

The book provides an authoritative tour through a dazzling ensemble of topics and is both an ideal introduction to the subject and reference for researchers. ... Read more

10. Towards a Theoretical Biology: Prolegomena v. 1
 Hardcover: 234 Pages (1968-04)

Isbn: 085224018X
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11. Sketching Theoretical Biology: Toward a Theoretical Biology (Volume 2)
Paperback: 351 Pages (2010-01-07)
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Asin: 0202363198
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The purpose of this volume is to bring together a number of elements that would be useful in the construction of a coherent and comprehensive theory of biology. Based on the assumption that living systems represent some kind of "organied complexity," the collection discusses meaningful ways of formulating two basic questions: what is the nature of this complexity; and, what are the principles of its organiation?

The question always asked about biological theory is whether or not it constitutes useful scientific theory. Because many useful biological theories cannot yet be made explicit in terms of conventional physics, Sketching Theoretical Biology illustrates the types of questions in biology that correspond to the types of issues discussed in theoretical physics.

This book, originally published in 1969, centers around a vigorous debate on the role played by metaphysical beliefs in determining scientific attitudes. The discussion covers heredity and evolution, cognitive processes and control processes, general property of hierarchies, and the current status of neo-Darwinism. Contributors include theoretical physicists, philosophers, neuroscientists, theoretical chemists, computer scientists, chemical engineers, geneticists and molecular biologists.

C. H. Waddington (1905-1975) was a world-class biologist, paleontologist, geneticist, embryologist and philosopher. He is credited with helping to create the field of systems biology. He is the author of numerous books including New Patterns in Genetics and Development, Principles of Development and Differentiation, and The Ethical Animal.

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12. Atom and organism;: A new approach to theoretical biology,
by Walter M Elsasser
 Hardcover: 143 Pages (1966)

Asin: B0006BOC34
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13. The Geographic Spread of Infectious Diseases: Models and Applications (Princeton Series in Theoretical and Computational Biology)
by Lisa Sattenspiel
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2009-07-06)
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Asin: 069112132X
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The 1918-19 influenza epidemic killed more than fifty million people worldwide. The SARS epidemic of 2002-3, by comparison, killed fewer than a thousand. The success in containing the spread of SARS was due largely to the rapid global response of public health authorities, which was aided by insights resulting from mathematical models. Models enabled authorities to better understand how the disease spread and to assess the relative effectiveness of different control strategies. In this book, Lisa Sattenspiel and Alun Lloyd provide a comprehensive introduction to mathematical models in epidemiology and show how they can be used to predict and control the geographic spread of major infectious diseases.

Key concepts in infectious disease modeling are explained, readers are guided from simple mathematical models to more complex ones, and the strengths and weaknesses of these models are explored. The book highlights the breadth of techniques available to modelers today, such as population-based and individual-based models, and covers specific applications as well. Sattenspiel and Lloyd examine the powerful mathematical models that health authorities have developed to understand the spatial distribution and geographic spread of influenza, measles, foot-and-mouth disease, and SARS. Analytic methods geographers use to study human infectious diseases and the dynamics of epidemics are also discussed. A must-read for students, researchers, and practitioners, no other book provides such an accessible introduction to this exciting and fast-evolving field.

... Read more

14. Thermal Adaptation: A Theoretical and Empirical Synthesis (Oxford Biology)
by Michael J. Angilletta Jr.
Paperback: 320 Pages (2009-04-15)
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Asin: 0198570880
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Temperature profoundly impacts both the phenotypes and distributions of organisms. These thermal effects exert strong selective pressures on behaviour, physiology and life history when environmental temperatures vary over space and time. Despite temperature's significance, progress toward a quantitative theory of thermal adaptation has lagged behind empirical descriptions of patterns and processes. In this book, the author draws on theory from the more general discipline of evolutionary ecology to establish a framework for interpreting empirical studies of thermal biology. This novel synthesis of theoretical and empirical work generates new insights about the process of thermal adaptation and points the way towards a more general theory. The threat of rapid climatic change on a global scale provides a stark reminder of the challenges that remain for thermal biologists and adds a sense of urgency to this book's mission.

Thermal Adaptation will benefit anyone who seeks to understand the relationship between environmental variation and phenotypic evolution. The book focuses on quantitative evolutionary models at the individual, population and community levels, and successfully integrates this theory with modern empirical approaches. By providing a synthetic overview of evolutionary thermal biology, this accessible text will appeal to both graduate students and established researchers in the fields of comparative, ecological, and evolutionary physiology. It will also interest the broader audience of professional ecologists and evolutionary biologists who require a comprehensive review of this topic, as well as those researchers working on the applied problems of regional and global climate change. ... Read more

15. Modularity: Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology)
Paperback: 471 Pages (2009-09-30)
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Asin: 0262513269
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Modularity—the attempt to understand systems as integrations of partially independent and interacting units—is today a dominant theme in the life sciences, cognitive science, and computer science. The concept goes back at least implicitly to the Scientific (or Copernican) Revolution, and can be found behind later theories of phrenology, physiology, and genetics; moreover, art, engineering, and mathematics rely on modular design principles. This collection broadens the scientific discussion of modularity by bringing together experts from a variety of disciplines, including artificial life, cognitive science, economics, evolutionary computation, developmental and evolutionary biology, linguistics, mathematics, morphology, paleontology, physics, theoretical chemistry, philosophy, and the arts.

The contributors debate and compare the uses of modularity, discussing the different disciplinary contexts of "modular thinking" in general (including hierarchical organization, near-decomposability, quasi-independence, and recursion) or of more specialized concepts (including character complex, gene family, encapsulation, and mosaic evolution); what modules are, why and how they develop and evolve, and the implication for the research agenda in the disciplines involved; and how to bring about useful cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer on the topic. The book includes a foreword by the late Herbert A. Simon addressing the role of near-decomposability in understanding complex systems.

Contributors: Lee Altenberg, Lauren W. Ancel-Meyers, Carl Anderson, Robert B. Brandon, Angela D. Buscalioni, Raffaele Calabretta, Werner Callebaut, Anne De Joan, Rafael Delgado-Buscalioni, Gunther J. Eble, Walter Fontana, Fernand Gobet, Alicia de la Iglesia, Slavik V. Jablan, Luigi Marengo, Daniel W. McShea, Jason Mezey, D. Kimbrough Oller, Domenico Parisi, Corrado Pasquali, Diego Rasskin-Gutman, Gerhard Schlosser, Herbert A. Simon, Roger D. K. Thomas, Marco Valente, Boris M. Velichkovsky, Günter P. Wagner, Rasmus G. Winter

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3-0 out of 5 stars Too Modular
This is a very interesting book. Or at least, it's a book about a cluster of very interesting topics, and occasionally contains interesting insights about these topics.

The problem is that the book is a bit too modular - the chapters don't work very well together. Every author seems to have his own concept of modularity. As several of the chapters are primarily concerned with defining modularity, this could be taken to be a good thing, but it isn't. The simple reason is that many of the concepts of modularity are simply not interesting to many readers. For me, Calabretta's chapter was very interesting, as well as Simon's introduction and some other chapters, but the chapters on modularity in art and in animal skeletons were just plain uninteresting. (Which is not to say that they are bad chapters in themselves, they are probably higly relevant to some people.)

Given that the book is likely to contain just a few chapters that interest you, I think the price is a bit too high for it to be worth buying. ... Read more

16. Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology)
Hardcover: 312 Pages (2009-03-31)
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Asin: 026211321X
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The notion of function is an integral part of thinking in both biology and technology. Biological organisms and technical artifacts are both ascribed functionality; yet the concept of function is notoriously obscure (with problematic issues regarding the normative and the descriptive nature of functions, for example) and demands philosophical clarification. So too the relationship between biological organisms and technical artifacts: although entities of one kind are often described in terms of the other—as in the machine analogy for biological organism or the evolutionary account of technological development—the parallels between the two break down at certain points. This volume takes on both issues and examines the relationship between organisms and artifacts from the perspective of functionality.

Believing that the concept of function is the root of an accurate understanding of biological organisms, technical artifacts, and the relation between the two, the contributors take an integrative approach, offering philosophical analyses that embrace both biological and technical fields of function ascription. They aim at a better understanding not only of the concept of function but also of the similarities and differences between organisms and artifacts as they relate to functionality. Their ontological, epistemological, and phenomenological comparisons will clarify problems that are central to the philosophies of both biology and technology.

Contributors: Paul Sheldon Davies, Maarten Franssen, Wybo Houkes, Yoshinobu Kitamura, Peter Kroes, Ulrich Krohs, Tim Lewens, Andrew Light, Françoise Longy, Peter McLaughlin, Riichiro Mizoguchi, Mark Perlman, Beth Preston, Giacomo Romano, Marzia Soavi, Pieter E. Vermaas

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17. The Origin of Life (Toward a Theoretical Biology) (Volume 1)
Paperback: 254 Pages (2008-11-30)
list price: US$89.95 -- used & new: US$65.00
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Asin: 0202363023
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Theoretical biology is still in its early stages as an academic discipline. There is even little agreement as to what topics it should deal with or in what manner it should precede; and it is only recently that philosophers felt called upon to notice the relevance of biological topics as evolution or perception to their traditional problems. This work is a publication of the International Union of Biological Sciences,the central organization of all the branches of biology. The main focus here is to explore the possibility of formulating some frame of concepts and methods around which theoretical biology can grow. ... Read more

18. Biological Emergences: Evolution by Natural Experiment (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology)
by Robert G. B. Reid
Paperback: 535 Pages (2009-09-30)
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Asin: 0262513404
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Natural selection is commonly interpreted as the fundamental mechanism of evolution. Questions about how selection theory can claim to be the all-sufficient explanation of evolution often go unanswered by today’s neo-Darwinists, perhaps for fear that any criticism of the evolutionary paradigm will encourage creationists and proponents of intelligent design.

In Biological Emergences, Robert Reid argues that natural selection is not the cause of evolution. He writes that the causes of variations, which he refers to as natural experiments, are independent of natural selection; indeed, he suggests, natural selection may get in the way of evolution. Reid proposes an alternative theory to explain how emergent novelties are generated and under what conditions they can overcome the resistance of natural selection. He suggests that what causes innovative variation causes evolution, and that these phenomena are environmental as well as organismal.

After an extended critique of selectionism, Reid constructs an emergence theory of evolution, first examining the evidence in three causal arenas of emergent evolution: symbiosis/association, evolutionary physiology/behavior, and developmental evolution. Based on this evidence of causation, he proposes some working hypotheses, examining mechanisms and processes common to all three arenas, and arrives at a theoretical framework that accounts for generative mechanisms and emergent qualities. Without selectionism, Reid argues, evolutionary innovation can more easily be integrated into a general thesis. Finally, Reid proposes a biological synthesis of rapid emergent evolutionary phases and the prolonged, dynamically stable, non-evolutionary phases imposed by natural selection.

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Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is terrible. DO NOT BUY
Robery Reid is vastly educated in the history and philosophy of biology. But he is very, very isolated from how contemporary evolutionary research is being done. I don't particularly mind his critique of the modern synthesis, or of the tendency to selectionism in both the view of the public of many scientists (for an excellent critique of the latter, grounded in real evolutionary theory, read The Origin of Genome Architecture by Michael Lynch.)

The problem is that Reid offers a bogus, hand-waving "theoretical framework" replete with buzzwords like "emergence," or "evo-devo." Not to disparage the work of the evolutionary developmental biologists, who are doing interesting and significant work.Anybody who accepts Kuhn's idea of paradigm shifts knows that scientific theories change not when people (like Reid) write books about what they don't like in current theories, but when people offer credible alternatives that work better.

I found the book exasperating, but ploughed through in the hopes of finding an original idea. I didn't. Reid is very knowledgeable about the literature of dissent in evolutionary biology, which is certainly valuable in a historical context, but his ideas are nonexistent when it comes to doing real science. Reid gives no hypotheses, no new ideas, no nothing. Only a pile of half-digested ideas with no coherence.

5-0 out of 5 stars Emergence of a new synthesis
This book is a daring broadside at genetic reductionism in ways that most writers only glancingly critique. In fact, this book is at least two books in one - a fundamental criticism of neo-Darwinism and the outlines of a new umbrella theory for creativity in evolultion through the many strands of emergence in biology - symbiotic/associative, evo-devo, physiological, behavioral, etc.Although a little more long-winded that most of us want to read for pleasure, the book is not just a textbook format as the previous reviewer indicated. The author's language is surprisingly colorful just as his thinking and depth of familiarity with two centuries of biology is wide-ranging. The book combines the maverick thinking of many biologists in well-formed analysis with the variety of new research such as in modularity, in symbiosis, or in complexity theory to bring us to the edge of a new bio-paradigm framed under emergence and natural experimentation. A refreshing collection of thinking and reporting about what lies beyond the selfish gene and the intelligent designers. I wish I hadn't left it on my shelf so long before picking it up.

4-0 out of 5 stars From dense text peeps hint of revolution
No one could accuse Robert Reid of pandering to the public. This is a large and forbidding textbook drawing on the author's lifetime of research in the field and laboratory and in the library studying the history of evolutionary theory. But under the surface seethes a deep discontent with the impotence of modern evolutionary theory to deal with the major problems involved in accounting for evolution. Read it patiently for an impressive catalog of issues left unresolved. And look forward to a future tome with the answers. ... Read more

19. Analysis of Evolutionary Processes: The Adaptive Dynamics Approach and Its Applications (Princeton Series in Theoretical and Computational Biology)
by Fabio Dercole, Sergio Rinaldi
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2008-02-11)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$41.00
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Asin: 0691120064
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Quantitative approaches to evolutionary biology traditionally consider evolutionary change in isolation from an important pressure in natural selection: the demography of coevolving populations. In Analysis of Evolutionary Processes, Fabio Dercole and Sergio Rinaldi have written the first comprehensive book on Adaptive Dynamics (AD), a quantitative modeling approach that explicitly links evolutionary changes to demographic ones. The book shows how the so-called AD canonical equation can answer questions of paramount interest in biology, engineering, and the social sciences, especially economics.

After introducing the basics of evolutionary processes and classifying available modeling approaches, Dercole and Rinaldi give a detailed presentation of the derivation of the AD canonical equation, an ordinary differential equation that focuses on evolutionary processes driven by rare and small innovations. The authors then look at important features of evolutionary dynamics as viewed through the lens of AD. They present their discovery of the first chaotic evolutionary attractor, which calls into question the common view that coevolution produces exquisitely harmonious adaptations between species. And, opening up potential new lines of research by providing the first application of AD to economics, they show how AD can explain the emergence of technological variety.

Analysis of Evolutionary Processes will interest anyone looking for a self-contained treatment of AD for self-study or teaching, including graduate students and researchers in mathematical and theoretical biology, applied mathematics, and theoretical economics.

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Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars sufficient, but not necessary
There is nothing wrong with or incorrect about this book.The problem is that the information could be presented much more effectively and in fact is elsewhere!

If you're interested in and committed to doing some semi-rigorous math in the adaptive dynamics framework, then this book would probably be a pretty good investment.However, if you're a biologist of any kind (including theoretical biologists) there are better places to learn about adaptive dynamics.I recommend the following as places to start:

(this one for the basic, general nuts and bolts of the theory)
Diekmann O. 2004. A beginner's guide to adaptive dynamics. Banach Center Publications n. 63, 47-86, Banach Intl. Mathematical Cntr., Warsaw, Poland.
(these for additional mathematical detail and evolutionary implications)
Dieckmann U, Marrow U, Law R. 1995. J. Theor. Biol. 176, 91-102.
Dieckmann U, Law R. 1996. J. Math. Biol. 34, 579-612.
(and for even more biological applications and implications...)
Dieckmann U, et al. 2000. "The Geometry of Ecological Interactions." Cambridge.
Dieckmann U, et al. 2004. "Adaptive Speciation." Cambridge.
Ferriere R, et al. 2004. "Evolutionary Conservation Biology." Cambridge.

Most of the chapters comprising this book are watered down versions of papers these authors and others have already published in journals.And frankly, some of those papers are not exactly seminal works in the field.One example is chapter 4, which presents an application of the theory to economics that appeared in the journal "Technovation" (yeah I know, who the heck has ever heard of that?!).An economist friend of mine thought the chapter was laughable in terms of its relevance to anything in the economic world whatsoever.

Save your money and go make copies of the relevant literature at your local university's library. ... Read more

20. Modern theories of development: An introduction to theoretical biology
by Ludwig von Bertalanffy
 Paperback: 204 Pages (1962)

Asin: B0007E65IK
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