Evolution by Association: A History of Symbiosis / Edition 1

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This comprehensive history of symbiosis theory masterfully traces its development from modest beginnings in the late nineteenth century to its current status as one of the key conceptual frameworks for the life sciences.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Sapp provides some interesting thoughts on what could constitute acceptable 'proof' in biology with respect to 'origin stories,' which seek scientifically to describe nonrepeatable one-time events such as the emergence of eukaryotes in the Precambrian. We might add that this applies equally well to evolutionary and ecological phenomena, most of which are equally unsusceptible to repeatable experiments."--Douglas R. Weiner, Isis, v.87

"A thorough, balanced, and readable account of symbiosis research and theory from the 19th century to the present day . . .Sapp accomplishes the delicate task of providing a competent account of the research itself with its limitations and implications while placing it in the particularly rich broader context surrounding the subject of symbiosis and its potential role in evolution. . .A fine piece of scholarship, whole and satisfying in itself." --Science

"Many popular studies in the history of science describe events that have either been completed or are past their peak. Sapp's book is not only a scholarly account of one of the most important, yet neglected, areas of 20th-century biology, but it may also be pointing the way to a major element of biology in the next millennium." --New Scientist

"Symbiosis is still not taught as a central principle of biological evolution on a par with Darwinian theory and the neo-Mendelian synthesis of heredity. With extraordinary erudition, insight, and clarity of exposition, Sapp's work is a synthesis of history, philosophy, and biology that should go a long way towards repairing this hiatus in the history of ideas." --Joshua Lederberg, University Professor, The Rockefeller University

"Most of Sapp's book concentrates on the history of symbiotic theories of the eukaryotic cell, and this theme works well. His chapters that focus on this issue. . .highlight, somewhat unexpectedly, the contributions of Joshua Lederberg. . .I was intrigued by several of Sapp's sociological asides." --Bioscience

"Overall, the book is a delightful historical complement to the available texts describing symbiotic associations and a scholarly overview of the conceptual aspects of the subject. It will be enjoyed both by symbiologists and by those interested in the history of biological thought." --Nature

"The author has assembled a systematic history of this emerging field, in this engaging, wide-ranging account of the growth of an important biological idea." -- Ethology, Ecology and Evolution

"By situating the history of symbiosis with within the interstices of biological specialization, Sapp has written a compelling historical narrative that transcends disciplinary allegiances....required reading for all historians of twentieth-century life science." --Journal of the History of Biology

"This book. . .skillfully weaves history, politics, egos, indisputable facts, and vigorously disputed interpretations of those facts into a cohesive story. . .It will convince readers of the need for goos libraries, good reviews of the old literature, and a good sense of history no matter how fresh the ideas." --Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195088212
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Sapp is a professor of Science Studies at York University, Canada. He is author of Beyond the Gene: Cytoplasmic Inheritance and the Struggle for Authority and Where the Truth Lies: Franz Moewus and the Origins of Molecular Biology.

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Table of Contents

1. Symbiosis: Evolution in Action
2. The Messages of Mutualism
3. Socially Constructing the Individual
4. The Mystical Foundations of Symbiogenesis in Russia
5. Gaia and WWI British Genesis Stories
6. Germ Theory and Les Symbiotes in France
7. The Pasteurization of Les Symbiotes
8. Les Symbiotes Revisited
9. Illusory Anthropomorphism and Verbal Phantoms
10. Organismic Boundaries and Disciplinary Demarcation
11. Molecular Reconstruction
12. The Dull Edge of Ockham's Razor
13. Is Nature Really Motherly?
Concluding Remarks

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