Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

Transactions of the American Philosophical Society is a magazine focusing on Humanities

Articles from Vol. 99, No. 1, 2009

Chapter 10: Natural Selection in the Field: Insecticide Resistance, Economic Entomology, and the Evolutionary Synthesis, 1914-1951
INTRODUCTIONIn his 1937 book, Genetics and the Origin of Species, Theodosius Dobzhansky cited the emergence of insect populations that were resistant to chemical insecticides as "probably the best proof of the effectiveness of natural selection yet obtained"...
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Chapter 11: Papilio Dardanus: The Natural Animal from the Experimentalist's Point of View
INTRODUCTIONIn 1930, German geneticist Richard Goldschmidt joined four of the most prominent English biologists at a dinner party at London's Athenaeum Club: J. S. Huxley, J. B. S. Haldane, R A. Fisher, and E. B. Ford. Fifteen years later, in a paper...
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Chapter 12: H. B. D. Kettlewell's Research, 1934-1961: The Influence of J. W. Heslop Harrison*
INTRODUCTIONH. B. D. Kettlewell is best known for what has long been regarded as the classic demonstration of natural selection, his pioneering field stuthes of the phenomenon of industrial melanism in the early 1950s. Brief synopses and textbook accounts,...
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Chapter 13: Concepts of Drift and Selection in "The Great Snail Debate" of the 1950s and Early 1960s
INTRODUCTIONRecently, much phUosophical discussion has centered on the best way to characterize the concepts of random drift1 and natural selection, and, in particular, whether selection and drift can be conceptually distinguished (Beatty, 1984; Brandon,...
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Chapter 14: Revisiting the Fisher-Wright Controversy
INTRODUCTIONBetween 1918 and 1932, R A. Fisher, J. B. S. Haldane, and Sewall Wright ushered in the field of theoretical population genetics. In so doing, they accomplished a formal, or mathematical, synthesis of Darwin's mechanism of natural selection...
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Chapter 15: Shifting Balance and Balancing Selection: A Group Selectionist's Interpretation of Wright and Dobzhansky
Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure.- Darwin, On the Origin of SpeciesA false statement, backed by great prestige, propagates exponentially at second and third...
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Chapter 1: The So-Called Eclipse of Darwinism
INTRODUCTIONIn discussing the emergence and development of evolutionary biology, historians of biology typically divide the nineteenth and twentieth centuries into four eras. The first, the pre-Darwinian period, came prior to publication of the Origin...
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Chapter 2: "The View-Point of a Naturalist": American Field Zoologists and the Evolutionary Synthesis, 1900-1945
The decades before the evolutionary synthesis have repeatedly been described as a period of confusion that resulted in a long delay in the synthesis of MendeUan genetic theory with Darwinian evolutionary theory. As Ernst Mayr has long contended, the...
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Chapter 3: J. B. S. Haldane, Holism, and Synthesis in Evolution
John Burdon Sanderson Haldane (1892-1964), one of the leading biologists engaged in early genetics research, remains an anomaly. Forty-five years after his death, Haldane (also referred to herein by his initials, J. B. S.) still is the least stuthed...
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Chapter 4: Biosystematics and the Origin of Species: Edgar Anderson, W. H. Camp, and the Evolutionary Synthesis
The very process of synthesis combines disparate elements into a coherent whole, making complex phenomena more comprehensible as we understand which factors are decisive and, as importantly, which ones less so. Synthesis is a powerful intellectual tool,...
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Chapter 5: Descended from Darwin? George Gaylord Simpson, Morris Goodman, and Primate Systematics
INTRODUCTIONIn 1962 the immunologist Morris Goodman unwittingly ignited a controversy when he reported that experiments based on antibody-antigen reactions showed no detectable differences in serum proteins drawn from humans, gorillas, and chimpanzees...
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Chapter 6: Ernst Mayr and the "Biology of Birds"
INTRODUCTIONToo often, formal publications structure the narratives we historians build. It is our legacy from intellectual history and the desire for declarative statements. It is also a measure of the convenience of published books and papers. We often...
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Chapter 7: Homeotic Mutants and the Assimilation of Developmental Genetics into the Evolutionary Synthesis, 1915-1952
INTRODUCTIONIn 1894 William Bateson described a class of discontinuous variation that he considered to be especially valuable for the study of evolution. This variation involved the repetition of a set of features typical of one member of a meristic...
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Chapter 8: "The Experimental Animal from the Naturalist's Point of View": Behavior and Evolution at the American Museum of Natural History, 1928-1954
The study of animal behavior in the United States expanded considerably between the two World Wars, in terms of the number of biologists interested in the subject and the scope of dieir research (Burkhardt, 2005; Dewsbury, 1989b; Mitman & Burkhardt,...
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Chapter 9: The "Delayed Synthesis": Paleobiology in the 1970s
In the period between 1970 and 1985, the discipline of paleontology underwent a major transformation. Despite its important role in the emergence of the theory of evolution in the nineteenth century, paleontology was largely marginalized by the evolutionary...
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Introduction
The time around the year 1959, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 100th anniversary of the publication of his great book, On the Origin of Species (hereafter abbreviated as Origin), is a good point to mark the start of a really...
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Preface
As long ago as 1999, the Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society (APS), at that time the distinguished medical researcher and administrator Alexander G. Beam, had conferred with the Librarian of the Society, Edward C. Carter, II, about...
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