Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology / Edition 2

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"Provine's thorough and thoroughly admirable examination of Wright's life and influence, which is accompanied by a very useful collection of Wright's papers on evolution, is the best we have for any recent figure in evolutionary biology."—Joe Felsenstein, Nature

"In Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology . . . Provine has produced an intellectual biography which serves to chart in considerable detail both the life and work of one man and the history of evolutionary theory in the middle half of this century. Provine is admirably suited to his task. . . . The resulting book is clearly a labour of love which will be of great interest to those who have a mature interest in the history of evolutionary theory."-John Durant, ;ITimes Higher Education Supplement;X

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Editorial Reviews

**** The original, cloth edition of this estimable biography (1986) is cited in BCL3. It is based on extensive interviews with Wright (1889-1988) and on the correspondence of this world leader in genetics and evolutionary theory. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226684734
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1989
  • Series: Science and Its Conceptual Foundations Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 562
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Early Life and Education, 1889-1912
2. William Ernest Castle, Edward Murray East, and the Bussey Institution of Harvard
3. Harvard, 1912-1915
4. USDA and Washington, 1915-1925
5. Path Coefficients and Animal Breeding
6. The University of Chicago and Physiological Genetics, 1926-1955
7. The Problem of Adaptation and Mechanisms of Evolution after Darwin
8. Wright, Fisher, and the Theory of Evolution in Nature
9. Wright's Shifting Balance Theory of Evolution
10. Wright, Dobzhansky, and the Genetics of Natural Populations
11. The Genetics of Natural Populations Series
12. Evolutionary Theory, 1940-1955
13. The Madison Years
Publications by Sewall Wright

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted September 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The Fights They Had!

    Provine draws from the professional literature, a vast correspondence, and personal interviews to construct the history of Wright’s work in evolutionary biology focusing on important collaborations and controversies involving Fisher, Dobzhansky, Mayr, Kumura, Ohta and others. The book is dense, engaging reading and a must read for students of evolution and population studies. I found much of value connecting Wright's work with my concerns in field ecology. One development that really stands out is the move of biology from a more descriptive science to a more quantifiable one and the importance of mathematical developments, especially in statistics, for this advance. This presentation offers valuable insights into the history of science and evolutionary thought in particular as well as the process of science and the importance of peer interactions (even when negative) for defining problems and alternative views.

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