Form and Transformation: Generative and Relational Principles in Biology

Form and Transformation: Generative and Relational Principles in Biology

by Gerry Webster
     
 

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ISBN-10: 052135451X

ISBN-13: 9780521354516

Pub. Date: 11/13/1996

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection focuses on inheritance and survival without attempting to explain the forms organisms take. The first part of Form and Transformation looks critically at the conceptual structure of Darwinism and describes the limitations of the theory of evolution. The authors argue that a theory of biological form is needed to

Overview

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection focuses on inheritance and survival without attempting to explain the forms organisms take. The first part of Form and Transformation looks critically at the conceptual structure of Darwinism and describes the limitations of the theory of evolution. The authors argue that a theory of biological form is needed to understand the structure of organisms and their transformations. The second part of the book explores such a theory by portraying organisms as developing and dynamic systems, within which gene action is understandable. The authors present a number of specific examples, including tetrapod limb formation and Drosophila development, to illustrate how these dynamic organisms produce generic forms.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521354516
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/13/1996
Pages:
303
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.98(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. The Problem of Form: 1. Introduction: forms and kinds; 2. The old dialectic: empirical classification and Darwinian theory; 3. The ontological status of Taxa: material practice; 4. The ontological status of Taxa: theoretical practice; 5. Rational systematics and morphogenetic theory: a new dialectic?; 6. Putting the organism together again; Part II. Fields and Forms: 7. Segments, symmetries, and epigenetic maps; 8. The unitary morphogenetic field; 9. A generative biology; References; Index.

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