Abstract and conceptual models have become an indispensable tool for analyzing the flood of highly detailed empirical data generated in recent years by advanced techniques in the biosciences. Scientists are developing new modeling strategies for analyzing data, integrating results into the conceptual framework of theoretical biology, and formulating new hypotheses. In Modeling Biology, leading scholars investigate new modeling strategies in the domains of morphology, development, behavior, and evolution.
The emphasis on models in the biological sciences has been accompanied by a new focus on conceptual issues and a more complex understanding of epistemological concepts. Contributors to Modeling Biology discuss models and modeling strategies from the perspectives of philosophy, history, and applied mathematics. Individual chapters discuss specific approaches to modeling in such domains as biological form, development, and behavior. Finally, the book addresses the modeling of these properties in the context of evolution, with a particular emphasis on the emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology (or evo-devo).
Giorgio A. Ascoli, Chandrajit Bajaj, James P. Collins, Luciano da Fontoura Costa, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Nigel R. Franks, Scott Gilbert, Marta Ibañes Miguez, Juan Carlos Izpisúa-Belmonte, Alexander S. Klyubin, Thomas J. Koehnle, Manfred D. Laubichler, Sabina Leonelli, James A. R. Marshall, George R. McGhee Jr., Gerd B. Müller, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, Karl J. Niklas, Lars Olsson, Eirikur Palsson, Daniel Polani, Diego Rasskin Gutman, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Alexei V. Samsonovich, Jeffrey C. Schank, Harry B. M. Uylings, Jaap van Pelt, and Iain Werry
About the Editors
Manfred D. Laubichler is Professor of Theoretical Biology and History of Biology and Affiliated Professor of Philosophy at the School of Life Sciences and Centers for Biology and Society and Social Dynamics and Complexity at Arizona State University.He is the coeditor of From Embryology to Evo-Devo (MIT Press, 2007).
Gerd B. Müller is Professor of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna and Chairman of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research. He is a coeditor of Origination of Organismal Form (MIT Press, 2003) and Modeling Biology (MIT Press, 2007).
"Modeling Biology explores the epistemic role of a wide variety of models and modeling practices in contemporary biology. Using examples from current research in morphology, development, behavior, and evolution, the contributors offer critical reflections on the intricate interplay of experiment and model-building, as creative imaginations equipped with the power of modern computing search for the patterns that underlie and inform the complex variety of the living world. In a nice twist, the authors show how models have grown and evolved with their subjects, thus taking on their own form of life."
—Michael S. Mahoney, Program in History of Science, Princeton University