How should the concept of evidence be understood? And how does the concept of evidence apply to the controversy about creationism as well as to work in evolutionary biology about natural selection and common ancestry? In this rich and wide-ranging book, Elliott Sober investigates general questions about probability and evidence and shows how the answers he develops to those questions apply to the specifics of evolutionary biology. Drawing on a set of fascinating examples, he analyzes whether claims about intelligent design are untestable; whether they are discredited by the fact that many adaptations are imperfect; how evidence bears on whether present species trace back to common ancestors; how hypotheses about natural selection can be tested, and many other issues. His book will interest all readers who want to understand philosophical questions about evidence and evolution, as they arise both in Darwin's work and in contemporary biological research.
Is it accurate to label Darwin’s theory "the theory of evolution by natural selection," given that the concept of common ancestry is at least as central to Darwin’s theory? Did Darwin reject the idea that group selection causes characteristics to evolve that are good for the group though bad for the individual? How does Darwin’s discussion of God in The Origin of Species square with the common view that he is the champion of methodological naturalism? These are just some of the intriguing questions raised in this volume of interconnected philosophical essays on Darwin. The author's approach is informed by modern issues in evolutionary biology, but is sensitive to the ways in which Darwin’s outlook differed from that of many biologists today. The main topics that are the focus of the book—common ancestry, group selection, sex ratio, and naturalism—have rarely been discussed in their connection with Darwin in such penetrating detail. Author Professor Sober is the 2008 winner of the Prometheus Prize. This biennial award, established in 2006 through the American Philosophical Association, is designed "to honor a distinguished philosopher in recognition of his or her lifetime contribution to expanding the frontiers of research in philosophy and science." This insightful collection of essays will be of interest to philosophers, biologists, and laypersons seeking a deeper understanding of one of the most influential scientific theories ever propounded. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Ockham's razor, the principle of parsimony, states that simpler theories are better than theories that are more complex. It has a history dating back to Aristotle and it plays an important role in current physics, biology, and psychology. The razor also gets used outside of science - in everyday life and in philosophy. This book evaluates the principle and discusses its many applications. Fascinating examples from different domains provide a rich basis for contemplating the principle's promises and perils. It is obvious that simpler theories are beautiful and easy to understand; the hard problem is to figure out why the simplicity of a theory should be relevant to saying what the world is like. In this book, the ABCs of probability theory are succinctly developed and put to work to describe two 'parsimony paradigms' within which this problem can be solved.
ALERT: Before you purchase, check with your instructor or review your course syllabus to ensure that you select the correct ISBN. Several versions of Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products exist for each title, including customized versions for individual schools, and registrations are not transferable. In addition, you may need a CourseID, provided by your instructor, to register for and use Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products. Packages Access codes for Pearson's MyLab & Mastering products may not be included when purchasing or renting from companies other than Pearson; check with the seller before completing your purchase. Used or rental books If you rent or purchase a used book with an access code, the access code may have been redeemed previously and you may have to purchase a new access code. Access codes Access codes that are purchased from sellers other than Pearson carry a higher risk of being either the wrong ISBN or a previously redeemed code. Check with the seller prior to purchase. -- Applying philosophy to everyday life. Core Questions in Philosophy emphasizes the idea that philosophy is a subject devoted to evaluating arguments and constructing theories. Presented in an engaging lecture-style format, this text/reader focuses on the basic issues and ideas in philosophy with lectures/discussions, supported by readings from historically important sources. Discussions emphasize the logic of philosophical arguments and how they relate to the content of modern physical and social sciences. Teaching & Learning Experience The teaching and learning experience with this program helps to: Personalize Learning -- MySearchLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals. Improve Critical Thinking -- Review questions at the end of each chapter allow students to review what they've just learned and think critically about related problems. Engage Students -- Following a lecture format, the text portion is written in an engaging conversational tone. Explore Theory -- Emphasis on evaluating arguments and constructing theories. Support Instructors -- An instructor's manual, test bank, MyTest Test Bank, and PowerPoint presentation provide more teaching resources. MySearchLab w/ etext has topic-specific assessment, flashcards, and chapter exams offer and report directly to your grade book. 0205861156 / 9780205861156 Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings Plus MySearchLab with eText -- Access Card Package Package consists of: 0205206697 / 9780205206698 Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings 0205239927 / 9780205239924 MySearchLab with Pearson eText -- Access Card
Author: Robert T. Pennock
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2000-02-28
Creationists have acquired a more sophisticated intellectual arsenal. This book reveals the insubstantiality of their arguments. Creationism is no longer the simple notion it once was taken to be. Its new advocates have become more sophisticated in how they present their views, speaking of "intelligent design" rather than "creation science" and aiming their arguments against the naturalistic philosophical method that underlies science, proposing to replace it with a "theistic science." The creationism controversy is not just about the status of Darwinian evolution—it is a clash of religious and philosophical worldviews, for a common underlying fear among Creationists is that evolution undermines both the basis of morality as they understand it and the possibility of purpose in life. In Tower of Babel, philosopher Robert T. Pennock compares the views of the new creationists with those of the old and reveals the insubstantiality of their arguments. One of Pennock's major innovations is to turn from biological evolution to the less charged subject of linguistic evolution, which has strong theoretical parallels with biological evolution, both in content and in the sort of evidence scientists use to draw conclusions about origins. Of course, an evolutionary view of language does conflict with the Bible, which says that God created the variety of languages at one time as punishment for the Tower of Babel. Several chapters deal with the work of Phillip Johnson, a highly influential leader of the new Creationists. Against his and other views, Pennock explains how science uses naturalism and discusses the relationship between factual and moral issues in the creationism-evolution controversy. The book also includes a discussion of Darwin's own shift from creationist to evolutionist and an extended argument for keeping private religious beliefs separate from public scientific knowledge.
Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-10-01
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. In Mind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.
Author: John Ellis
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2010-01-18
Evolution is just a theory, isn’t it? What is a scientific theory anyway? Don’t scientists prove things? What is the difference between a fact, a hypothesis and a theory in science? How does scientific thinking differ from religious thinking? Why are most leading scientists atheists? Are science and religion compatible? Why are there so many different religious beliefs but only one science? What is the evidence for evolution? Why does evolution occur? If you are interested in any of these questions and have some knowledge of biology, this book is for you.
Author: Graham Taylor
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2014-01-02
Evolutionary biomechanics is the study of evolution through the analysis of biomechanical systems. Its unique advantage is the precision with which physical constraints and performance can be predicted from first principles. Instead of reviewing the entire breadth of the biomechanical literature, a few key examples are explored in depth as vehicles for discussing fundamental concepts, analytical techniques, and evolutionary theory. Each chapter develops a conceptual theme, developing the underlying theory and techniques required for analyses in evolutionary biomechanics. Examples from terrestrial biomechanics, metabolic scaling, and bird flight are used to analyse how physics constrains the design space that natural selection is free to explore, and how adaptive evolution finds solutions to the trade-offs between multiple complex conflicting performance objectives. Evolutionary Biomechanics is suitable for graduate level students and professional researchers in the fields of biomechanics, physiology, evolutionary biology and palaeontology. It will also be of relevance and use to researchers in the physical sciences and engineering.
Author: Alec L. Panchen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1992-06-26
Historically, naturalists who proposed theories of evolution, including Darwin and Wallace, did so in order to explain the apparent relationship of natural classification. This book begins by exploring the intimate historical relationship between patterns of classification and patterns of phylogeny. However, it is a circular argument to use the data for classification. Alec Panchen presents other evidence for evolution in the form of a historically based but rigorously logical argument. This is followed by a history of methods of classification and phylogeny reconstruction including current mathematical and molecular techniques. The author makes the important claim that if the hierarchical pattern of classification is a real phenomenon, then biology is unique as a science in making taxonomic statements. This conclusion is reached by way of historical reviews of theories of evolutionary mechanism and the philosophy of science as applied to biology. The book is addressed to biologists, particularly taxonomists, concerned with the history and philosophy of their subject, and to philosophers of science concerned with biology. It is also an important source book on methods of classification and the logic of evolutionary theory for students, professional biologists, and paleontologists.
Author: Charles Darwin
Release Date: 2017-11-17
Dieses eBook: "Die Entstehung der Arten" ist mit einem detaillierten und dynamischen Inhaltsverzeichnis versehen und wurde sorgfältig korrekturgelesen. Darwin legte in diesem Werk zahlreiche Belege für seine Theorie vor, dass sich Tier- und Pflanzenarten durch natürliche Selektion im Laufe langer Zeiträume verändern und dass alle heute existierenden Lebewesen von gemeinsamen Vorfahren abstammen. Bereits auf seiner Weltreise mit der HMS Beagle (1831–1836) hatte Darwin Belege für seine später als Darwinismus bezeichnete Evolutionstheorie gesammelt. Später vermehrte er seine Erkenntnisse durch Experimente und wissenschaftliche Korrespondenz. Im Verlauf der Geschichte der Biologie wurden unterschiedliche evolutionäre Konzepte entwickelt. Es gab zwar bei einzelnen Anatomen und in Teilen der Öffentlichkeit eine wachsende Unterstützung solcher Ideen, aber sie erschienen als spekulativ und wissenschaftlichen Methoden kaum zugänglich. Annahmen über eine Transmutation der Arten standen im Gegensatz zu der kirchlichen Lehre, dass die Arten unveränderliche Schöpfungswerke seien, die einen festen Platz in einer Scala Naturae hätten und der Mensch einzigartig und nicht verwandt mit dem Tierreich sei. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) war ein britischer Naturforscher. Er gilt wegen seiner wesentlichen Beiträge zur Evolutionstheorie als einer der bedeutendsten Naturwissenschaftler.
Author: Walter M. Fitch
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2012-02-04
“This thoughtful book is a sophisticated baloney detector for digesting the offal that creationists try to pass off as steak. The late Walter Fitch demonstrates that the logic and language of science depart from the delusions of creationism.”--Tim M. Berra, author of /i/Charles Darwin: The Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man //i/and /i/Evolution and the Myth of Creationism//i/ "Half a century ago, the structure and logic of science was taught in science departments, but these tasks are now relegated to departments of history and philosophy of science, where scientists seldom tread. This book shows us why scientists need to learn logic from scientists, and how they can. Walter Fitch's examples range from astronomy to DNA, and he manages to show at every turn how the assumptions of anti-evolutionists and other foes of science defeat themselves. This book should be part of every science curriculum, read by all students--and their professors. Fitch has left us a masterpiece."—Kevin Padian, University of California, Berkeley “Walter Fitch makes a strong case: Creationism violates the evidence from scientific investigations, misrepresents the interpretation of primary religious documents, utterly fails as a logical presentation, and does so in blasts of unjustified rhetoric."—Richard E. Dickerson, University of California, Los Angeles “Into this concise book late Walter Fitch poured his commitment to explaining evolution and his conviction that an understanding of logic and of scientific methods would lead the reader to see the strengths of evolutionary biology and the deficiencies of creationism.”—Joe Felsenstein, University of Washington
Author: R. L. Wysong
Publisher: Wysong Institute
Release Date: 1976-01-01
Who has not wondered about the origin of the universe and life? And, for certain, this is a question that should be taken with the utmost seriousness and sense of duty. After all, how can we know why we are here or what we should be doing if we do not know where we came from?Although religions have their belief (creation), and materialists have their belief(evolution), beliefs are not what truth is about. This is a book of daring adventure between these two emotionally charged belief systems. Rather than advocate, Dr. Wysong pits one belief against the other using the only weapons that should be used if truth is the objective: reason and evidence.Dr. Wysong's rational, philosophic, and scientific probings make this book a reservoir of thoughtful and factual information that will not draw dust on your bookshelf.Now in its thirteenth printing, this seminal 1975 book has been read worldwide, is widely cited on the web, and continues to be used in schools. It has helped lay the groundwork for a rational dialogue between religion and science and remains current to this day because of its even handed treatment of the subject and because reason should never fall out of fashion.