Book ID: CBB545855239

Chance in Evolution (2016)


Ramsey, Grant (Editor)
Pence, Charles H. (Editor)

University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2016
Physical Details: 384 pages
Language: English

Humans, however much we would care to think otherwise, do not represent the fated pinnacle of ape evolution. The diversity of life, from single-celled organisms to multicellular animals and plants, is the result of a long, complex, and highly chancy history. But how profoundly has chance shaped life on earth? And what, precisely, do we mean by chance? Bringing together biologists, philosophers of science, and historians of science, Chance in Evolution is the first book to untangle the far-reaching effects of chance, contingency, and randomness on the evolution of life. The book begins by placing chance in historical context, starting with the ancients and moving through Darwin and his contemporaries, documenting how the understanding of chance changed as Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection developed into the modern synthesis, and how the acceptance of chance in Darwinian theory affected theological resistance to it. Subsequent chapters detail the role of chance in contemporary evolutionary theory—in particular, in connection with the concepts of genetic drift, mutation, and parallel evolution—as well as recent empirical work in the experimental evolution of microbes and in paleobiology. By engaging in collaboration across biology, history, philosophy, and theology, this book offers a comprehensive and synthetic overview both of the history of chance in evolution and of our current best understanding of the impact of chance on life on earth.

Reviewed By

Essay Review Jeroen Hopster (2017) Evolutionary Chance and Contingency: In Search for Systematics. Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (pp. 481-485). unapi

Review Thomas Bonnin (2018) Review of "Chance in Evolution". History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (p. 52). unapi

Essay Review Ariel Jonathan Roffé (2018) Contemporary Perspectives on the Meaning, Roles, and Implications of Chance in Evolution. Science and Education (pp. 1003-1016). unapi

Review Carlos Mariscal; Alexander Lerner (2018) Review of "Chance in Evolution". Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (pp. 97-100). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Merlin, Francesca
Echeverria, Begona
Grüne-Yanoff, Till
Wagner, Andreas
Gissis, Snait B.
Jablonka, Eva
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of the History of Biology
Science and Education
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Science
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Oxford University Press
University of California, Riverside
University of Chicago Press
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Stochastic or random processes
Modern Synthesis (biology)
Darwin, Charles Robert
Weismann, August
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monet de
Glass, Bentley
Müller, Hermann Joseph
Bergson, Henri Louis
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
United States
Great Britain

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