Punctuated Equilibrium
Punctuated Equilibrium

Punctuated Equilibrium

by Stephen Jay GOULD

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Overview

In 1972 Stephen Jay Gould took the scientific world by storm with his paper on punctuated equilibrium. Challenging a core assumption of Darwin's theory of evolution, it launched the controversial idea that the majority of species originates in geological moments (punctuations) and persists in stasis. Now, thirty-five years later, Punctuated Equilibrium offers his only book-length testament on a theory he fiercely promoted, repeatedly refined, and tirelessly defended.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674037847
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 06/30/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 406
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Stephen Jay Gould was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University and Vincent Astor Visiting Professor of Biology at New York University. A MacArthur Prize Fellow, he received innumerable honors and awards and wrote many books, including Ontogeny and Phylogeny and Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle (both from Harvard).

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction 1 What Every Paleontologist Knows An Introductory Example Testimonials to Common Knowledge Darwinian Solutions and Paradoxes The Paradox of Insulation from Disproof The Paradox of Stymied Practice 2 The Primary Claims of Punctuated Equilibrium Data and Definitions Microevolutionary Links Macroevolutionary Implications Tempo and the Significance of Stasis Mode and the Speciational Foundation of Macroevolution 3 The Scientific Debate on Punctuated Equilibrium: Critiques and Responses Critiques Based on the Definability of Paleontological Species Empirical Affirmation Reasons for a Potential Systematic Underestimation of Biospecies by Paleospecies Reasons for a Potential Systematic Overestimation of Biospecies by Paleospecies Reasons Why an Observed Punctuational Pattern Might Not Represent Speciation Critiques Based on Denying Events of Speciation as the Primary Locus of Change Critiques Based on Supposed Failures of Empirical Results to Affirm Predictions of Punctuated Equilibrium Claims for Empirical Refutation by Cases Phenotypes Genotypes Empirical Tests of Conformity with Models 4 Sources of Data for Testing Punctuated Equilibrium Preamble The Equilibrium in Punctuated Equilibrium: Quantitatively Documented Patterns of Stasis in Unbranched Segments of Lineages The Punctuations of Punctuated Equilibrium: Tempo and Mode in the Origin of Paleospecies The Inference of Cladogenesis by the Criterion of Ancestral Survival The "Dissection" of Punctuations to Infer Both Existence and Modality Time Geography Morphometric Mode Proper and Adequate Tests of Relative Frequencies: The Strong Empirical Validation of Punctuated Equilibrium The Indispensability of Data on Relative Frequencies Relative Frequencies for Higher Taxa in Entire Biotas Relative Frequencies for Entire Clades Causal Clues from Differential Patterns of Relative Frequencies 5 The Broader Implications of Punctuated Equilibrium for Evolutionary Theory and General Notions of Change What Changes May Punctuated Equilibrium Instigate in Our Views about Evolutionary Mechanisms and the History of Life? The Explanation and Broader Meaning of Stasis Frequency Generality Causality Punctuation, the Origin of New Macroevolutionary Individuals, and Resulting Implications for Evolutionary Theory Trends The Speciational Reformulation of Macroevolution Ecological and Higher-Level Extensions Punctuation All the Way Up and Down? The Generalization and Broader Utility of Punctuated Equilibrium (in More Than a Metaphorical Sense) at Other Levels of Evolution, and for Other Disciplines In and Outside the Natural Sciences General Models for Punctuated Equilibrium Punctuational Change at Other Levels and Scales of Evolution A Preliminary Note on Homology and Analogy in the Conceptual Realm Punctuation Below the Species Level Punctuation Above the Species Level Punctuational Models in Other Disciplines: Towards a General Theory of Change Principles for a Choice of Examples Examples from the History of Human Artifacts and Cultures Examples from Human Institutions and Theories about the Natural World Two Concluding Examples, a General Statement, and a Coda Appendix: A Largely Sociological (and Fully Partisan) History of the Impact and Critique of Punctuated Equilibrium The Entrance of Punctuated Equilibrium into Common Language and General Culture An Episodic History of Punctuated Equilibrium Early Stages and Future Contexts Creationist Misappropriation of Punctuated Equilibrium Punctuated Equilibrium in Journalism and Textbooks The Personal Aspect of Professional Reaction The Case Ad Hominem against Punctuated Equilibrium An Interlude on Sources of Error The Wages of Jealousy The Descent to Nastiness The Most Unkindest Cut of All The Wisdom of Agassiz's and von Baer's Threefold History of Scientific Ideas A Coda on the Kindness and Generosity of Most Colleagues Notes Bibliography Illustration Credits Index

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