Ornithology, Evolution, and Philosophy: The Life and Science of Ernst Mayr 1904-2005 / Edition 1

Ornithology, Evolution, and Philosophy: The Life and Science of Ernst Mayr 1904-2005 / Edition 1

by Jurgen Haffer
     
 

ISBN-10: 3540717781

ISBN-13: 9783540717782

Pub. Date: 11/19/2007

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg

This book is the first detailed biography of Ernst Mayr. He was an ‘architect’ of the Synthetic Theory of Evolution, and the greatest evolutionary biologist since Charles Darwin, influential historian and philosopher of biology, outstanding taxonomist and ornithologist, and naturalist. He is one of the most widely known biologists of the 20th century.

Overview

This book is the first detailed biography of Ernst Mayr. He was an ‘architect’ of the Synthetic Theory of Evolution, and the greatest evolutionary biologist since Charles Darwin, influential historian and philosopher of biology, outstanding taxonomist and ornithologist, and naturalist. He is one of the most widely known biologists of the 20th century.

Mayr used the theories of natural selection and population thinking as theoretical models within the framework of historical biological studies. He suggested that various competing paradigms may exist side by side and more or less pronounced ’revolutions’ may occur in different fields from time to time. Changes of concepts have a much stronger effect on the development of biological sciences than the discovery of new facts. Mayr was the first to emphasize the role of biopopulations, thereby pointing out the basic difference between ’population thinking’ and typological essentialism. Population thinking takes into consideration the uniqueness of each individual and unlimited variation of populations which may lead to the development of new species. On the other hand, typologists assume that the unchanging essence of each species determines variation and fixed limits of variation preclude speciation from occurring except through saltation.

Jürgen Haffer majored in geology and paleontology obtaining a PhD degree at the University of Göttingen. He became an exploration geologist and lived in South and North America, Iran, Egypt, and Norway. During these assignments he studied the bird faunas of Amazonia and Iran and has been in close communication with Ernst Mayr. He also co-published a biography of Erwin Stresemann, Mayr’s teacher and friend in Berlin, Germany.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9783540717782
Publisher:
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication date:
11/19/2007
Edition description:
2007
Pages:
474
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

The young naturalist in Germany. Childhood and youth. The family. Birdwatching. The duck with a red bill. University student in Greifswald and Berlin. Friendships at school and university.- The budding scientist. PhD thesis and examination. The influence of teachers. Erwin Stresemann – teacher and friend. Assistant curator at the Museum of Natural History in Berlin. Expeditions to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.- Ornithologist in New York. The New York years (1931 – 1953). Emigration to the United States and life in New York City. Curator of ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History. Ornithologist and zoogeographer. Birds of Oceania. Birds of Australia, the Malay Archipelago, and SE Asia. Descriptions of new species and subspecies of birds. Zoogeography.- Biological species and speciation – Mayr’s first synthesis. A modern unified theory of evolution. Community architect.- Life in New York during World War II. New York City and Tenafly, New Jersey. Cold Spring Harbor (1943 – 1952). Citizenship.- Professor of Zoology at Harvard University. The Harvard years (1953 – 2005). Teaching and PhD students. Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Evolutionary biology – Mayr’s second synthesis. Overviews of evolutionary biology. Integrated gene complexes versus beanbag genetics. Animal Species and Evolution. Behavior and evolution. Particular topics of evolutionary biology.-Ernst Mayr – The man. Personality and general views. Health. The farm near Wilton, New Hampshire. Residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Advisor to the National Academy of Sciences and the NSF. National and international recognition.- Systematics and classification. Diversity. Classification. Zoological nomenclature.- History and philosophy of biology – Mayr’s third synthesis. History of biology. Philosophy of biology.-

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