Interpreting the Hierarchy of Nature

From Systematic Patterns to Evolutionary Process Theories

Edited by

  • Olivier Rieppel, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, U.S.A.

This book explores ways in which systematic patterns are used to infer evolutionary processes. Among evolutionary biologists and systematists there is a constant interchange between those that study the process of evolution (e.g., mutation, selection, speciation) and those that study its patterns (e.g., variation, geographic distribution, ontogeny, phylogeny). Because patterns influence the development of theories, and processes yield patterns, it is not always easy to distinguish one from another. This book is dialectic and helps crystallize a continuing debate over the relationship of patterns to process theories.
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Book information

  • Published: May 1994
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-295120-6

Table of Contents

Introduction to Patterns and Process Perspectives. Pattern Description, Process Explanation and the History of Morphological Sciences. Theoretical Pluralism in Biology, Including Systematics. Repeating Patterns in Nature, Predictability and "Impact" in Science. Morphological and Molecular Inroads to Phylogeny. Stratocladistics: Morphological and Temporal Patterns and Their Relation to Phylogenetic Process. The Use of Unconventional Morphological Characters in the Analysis of Systematic and Evolutionary Processes. The Phylogeny of Development and the Origin of Homology. Summary and Comments on Systematic Patterns and Evolutionary Process. Subject Index.