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Darwin and Darwinism

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Adaptation As Process: The Future Of Darwinism And The Legacy Of Theodosius Dobzhansky, David Depew Feb 2011

Adaptation As Process: The Future Of Darwinism And The Legacy Of Theodosius Dobzhansky, David Depew

David J Depew

Conceptions of adaptation have varied in the history of genetic Darwinism depending on whether what is taken to be focal is the process of adaptation, adapted states of populations, or discrete adaptations in individual organisms. I argue that Theodosius Dobzhansky’s view of adaptation as a dynamical process contrasts with so-called “adaptationist” views of natural selection figured as “design-without-a-designer” of relatively discrete, enumerable adaptations. Correlated with these respectively process and product oriented approaches to adaptive natural selection are divergent pictures of organisms themselves as developmental wholes or as “bundles” of adaptations. While even process versions of genetical Darwinism are insufficiently ...


Adaptation As Process: The Future Of Darwinism And The Legacy Of Theodosius Dobzhansky, David Depew Dec 2010

Adaptation As Process: The Future Of Darwinism And The Legacy Of Theodosius Dobzhansky, David Depew

David J Depew

Conceptions of adaptation have varied in the history of genetic Darwinism depending on whether what is taken to be focal is the process of adaptation, adapted states of populations, or discrete adaptations in individual organisms. I argue that Theodosius Dobzhansky’s view of adaptation as a dynamical process contrasts with so-called “adaptationist” views of natural selection figured as “design-without-a-designer” of relatively discrete, enumerable adaptations. Correlated with these respectively process and product oriented approaches to adaptive natural selection are divergent pictures of organisms themselves as developmental wholes or as “bundles” of adaptations. While even process versions of genetical Darwinism are insufficiently ...


Darwinian Controversies: An Historiographical Recounting, David Depew Dec 2009

Darwinian Controversies: An Historiographical Recounting, David Depew

David J Depew

This essay reviews key controversies in the history of the Darwinian research tradition: the Wilberforce-Huxley debate in 1860, early twentieth-century debates about the heritability of acquired characteristics and the consistency of Mendelian genetics with natural selection; the 1925 Scopes trial about teaching evolution; tensions about race, culture, and eugenics at the 1959 centenary celebration Darwin’s Origin of Species; adaptationism and its critics in the Sociobiology debate of 1970s and, more recently, Evolutionary Psychology; and current disputes about Intelligent Design. These controversies, I argue, are etched into public memory because they occur at the emotionally charged boundaries between public-political, technical-scientific ...


Darwinian Controversies: An Historiographical Recounting, David Depew Dec 2009

Darwinian Controversies: An Historiographical Recounting, David Depew

David J Depew

This essay reviews key controversies in the history of the Darwinian research tradition: the Wilberforce-Huxley debate in 1860, early twentieth-century debates about the heritability of acquired characteristics and the consistency of Mendelian genetics with natural selection; the 1925 Scopes trial about teaching evolution; tensions about race, culture, and eugenics at the 1959 centenary celebration Darwin’s Origin of Species; adaptationism and its critics in the Sociobiology debate of 1970s and, more recently, Evolutionary Psychology; and current disputes about Intelligent Design. These controversies, I argue, are etched into public memory because they occur at the emotionally charged boundaries between public-political, technical-scientific ...


Darwinisms’S Multiple Ontologies, David J. Depew Dec 2004

Darwinisms’S Multiple Ontologies, David J. Depew

David J Depew

No abstract provided.


Darwinism, Design And Complex Systems Dynamics, David Depew, Bruce Weber Dec 2003

Darwinism, Design And Complex Systems Dynamics, David Depew, Bruce Weber

David J Depew

No abstract provided.


[James Mark] Baldwin And His Many Effects, David Depew Dec 2002

[James Mark] Baldwin And His Many Effects, David Depew

David J Depew

No abstract provided.


Genetic Biotechnology And Evolutionary Theory: Some Unsolicited Advice, David Depew Dec 2000

Genetic Biotechnology And Evolutionary Theory: Some Unsolicited Advice, David Depew

David J Depew

In his book The Biotech Century Jeremy Rifkin makes arguments about the dangers of market-driven genetic biotechnology in medical and agricultural contexts. Believing that Darwinism is too compromised by a competitive ethic to resist capitalist depredations of the “genetic commons,” and perhaps hoping to pick up anti-Darwinian allies, he turns for support to unorthodox non-Darwinian views of evolution. The Darwinian tradition, more closely examined, contains resources that might better serve his argument. The robust tradition associated with Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ernst Mayr, and others provides an alternative, scientifically sound basis for challenging the rhetoric of genetic reductionism.


The Baldwin Effect: An Archeology, David Depew Dec 1999

The Baldwin Effect: An Archeology, David Depew

David J Depew

Abstract: “The Baldwin effect” stands for a wide variety of ways in which learn ing can be conceived as guiding adap tive evolution ary change. An analysis of the history of this notion reveals that it does not reliably refer either to a theory-neutral empirical phenomenon or to a single theoretical hypothesis. On the contrary, articulations of the general idea depend on distinctive, but in commensurable, theoretical backgrounds. In reconstructing the conceptual history of the Baldwin effect I hope to support contemporary explorations of idea by encouraging the articulation of new theoretical frameworks in which it might make sense. I ...


Intelligent Design And Irreducible Complexity, David Depew Dec 1997

Intelligent Design And Irreducible Complexity, David Depew

David J Depew

No abstract provided.