Gerd B. Müller

Gerd B. Müller, is Professor of Zoology and Head of the Department of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna and President of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research.

  • Vivarium


    Experimental, Quantitative, and Theoretical Biology at Vienna's Biologische Versuchsanstalt

    Gerd B. Müller

    The scientific achievements and forgotten legacy of a major Austrian research institute, from its founding in 1902 to its wartime destruction in 1945.

    The Biologische Versuchsanstalt was founded in Vienna in 1902 with the explicit goal to foster the quantification, mathematization, and theory formation of the biological sciences. Three biologists from affluent Viennese Jewish families—Hans Przibram, Wilhelm Figdor, and Leopold von Portheim–founded, financed, and nurtured the institute, overseeing its development into one of the most advanced biological research institutes of the time. And yet today its accomplishments are nearly forgotten. In 1938, the founders and other members were denied access to the institute by the Nazis and were forced into exile or deported to concentration camps. The building itself was destroyed by fire in April 1945. This book rescues the legacy of the “Vivarium” (as the Institute was often called), describing both its scientific achievements and its place in history.

    The book covers the Viennese sociocultural context at the time of the Vivarium's founding, and the scientific zeitgeist that shaped its investigations. It discusses the institute's departments and their research topics, and describes two examples that had scientific and international ramifications: the early work of Karl von Frisch, who in 1973 won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; and the connection to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

    Contributors Heiner Fangerau, Johannes Feichtinger, Georg Gaugusch, Manfred D. Laubichler, Cheryl A. Logan, Gerd B. Müller, Tania Munz, Kärin Nickelsen, Christian Reiß, Kate E. Sohasky, Heiko Stoff, Klaus Taschwer

  • Evolution, the Extended Synthesis

    Evolution, the Extended Synthesis

    Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd B. Müller

    Prominent evolutionary biologists and philosophers of science survey recent work that expands the core theoretical framework underlying the biological sciences.

    In the six decades since the publication of Julian Huxley's Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, the spectacular empirical advances in the biological sciences have been accompanied by equally significant developments within the core theoretical framework of the discipline. As a result, evolutionary theory today includes concepts and even entire new fields that were not part of the foundational structure of the Modern Synthesis. In this volume, sixteen leading evolutionary biologists and philosophers of science survey the conceptual changes that have emerged since Huxley's landmark publication, not only in such traditional domains of evolutionary biology as quantitative genetics and paleontology but also in such new fields of research as genomics and EvoDevo.

    Most of the contributors to Evolution, the Extended Synthesis accept many of the tenets of the classical framework but want to relax some of its assumptions and introduce significant conceptual augmentations of the basic Modern Synthesis structure—just as the architects of the Modern Synthesis themselves expanded and modulated previous versions of Darwinism. This continuing revision of a theoretical edifice the foundations of which were laid in the middle of the nineteenth century—the reexamination of old ideas, proposals of new ones, and the synthesis of the most suitable—shows us how science works, and how scientists have painstakingly built a solid set of explanations for what Darwin called the “grandeur” of life.

    Contributors John Beatty, Werner Callebaut, Jeremy Draghi, Chrisantha Fernando, Sergey Gavrilets, John C. Gerhart, Eva Jablonka, David Jablonski, Marc W. Kirschner, Marion J. Lamb, Alan C. Love, Gerd B. Müller, Stuart A. Newman, John Odling-Smee, Massimo Pigliucci, Michael Purugganan, Eörs Szathmáry, Günter P. Wagner, David Sloan Wilson, Gregory A. Wray

  • Modeling Biology

    Modeling Biology

    Structures, Behaviors, Evolution

    Manfred D. Laubichler and Gerd B. Müller

    Experts examine new modeling strategies for the interpretation of biological data and their integration into the conceptual framework of theoretical biology, detailing approaches that focus on morphology, development, behavior, or evolution.

    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).

    Contributors 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, Iain Werry

  • Environment, Development, and Evolution

    Environment, Development, and Evolution

    Toward a Synthesis

    Brian K. Hall, Roy D. Pearson, and Gerd B. Müller

    Leading researchers in evolutionary developmental biology seek linkages between, and a synthesis of, development, physiology, endocrinology, ecology, and evolution.

    Evolutionary developmental biology, also known as evo-devo or EDB, seeks to find links between development and evolution by opening the "black box" of development's role in evolution and in the evolution of developmental mechanisms. In particular, this volume emphasizes the roles of the environment and of hormonal signaling in evo-devo. It brings together a group of leading researchers to analyze the dynamic interaction of environmental factors with developmental and physiological processes and to examine how environmental signals are translated into phenotypic change, from the molecular and cellular level to organisms and groups of organisms. Taken together, these chapters demonstrate the crucial roles of those processes of genetic, developmental, physiological, and hormonal change that underpin evolutionary change in development, morphology, physiology, behavior, and life-history.

    Part I investigates links between environmental signals and developmental processes that could be preserved over evolutionary time. Several contributors evaluate the work of the late Ryuichi Matsuda, especially his emphasis on the role of the external environment in genetic change and variability ("pan-environmentalism"). Other contributors in part I analyze different aspects of environmental-genetic-evolutionary linkages, including the importance of alternate ontogenies in evolution and the paradox of stability over long periods of evolutionary time. Part II examines the plasticity that characterizes much of development, with contributors discussing such topics as gene regulatory networks and heterochronicity. Part III analyzes the role of hormones and metamorphosis in the evolution of such organisms with alternate life-history stages as lampreys, amphibians, and insects.

  • Origination of Organismal Form

    Origination of Organismal Form

    Beyond the Gene in Developmental and Evolutionary Biology

    Gerd B. Müller and Stuart A. Newman

    A more comprehensive version of evolutionary theory that focuses as much on the origin of biological form as on its diversification.

    The field of evolutionary biology arose from the desire to understand the origin and diversity of biological forms. In recent years, however, evolutionary genetics, with its focus on the modification and inheritance of presumed genetic programs, has all but overwhelmed other aspects of evolutionary biology. This has led to the neglect of the study of the generative origins of biological form.

    Drawing on work from developmental biology, paleontology, developmental and population genetics, cancer research, physics, and theoretical biology, this book explores the multiple factors responsible for the origination of biological form. It examines the essential problems of morphological evolution—why, for example, the basic body plans of nearly all metazoans arose within a relatively short time span, why similar morphological design motifs appear in phylogenetically independent lineages, and how new structural elements are added to the body plan of a given phylogenetic lineage. It also examines discordances between genetic and phenotypic change, the physical determinants of morphogenesis, and the role of epigenetic processes in evolution. The book discusses these and other topics within the framework of evolutionary developmental biology, a new research agenda that concerns the interaction of development and evolution in the generation of biological form. By placing epigenetic processes, rather than gene sequence and gene expression changes, at the center of morphological origination, this book points the way to a more comprehensive theory of evolution.


  • Convergent Evolution in Stone-Tool Technology

    Convergent Evolution in Stone-Tool Technology

    Michael J. O'Brien, Briggs Buchanan, and Metin I. Eren

    Scholars from a variety of disciplines consider cases of convergence in lithic technology, when functional or developmental constraints result in similar forms in independent lineages.

    Hominins began using stone tools at least 2.6 million years ago, perhaps even 3.4 million years ago. Given the nearly ubiquitous use of stone tools by humans and their ancestors, the study of lithic technology offers an important line of inquiry into questions of evolution and behavior. This book examines convergence in stone tool-making, cases in which functional or developmental constraints result in similar forms in independent lineages. Identifying examples of convergence, and distinguishing convergence from divergence, refutes hypotheses that suggest physical or cultural connection between far-flung prehistoric toolmakers. Employing phylogenetic analysis and stone-tool replication, the contributors show that similarity of tools can be caused by such common constraints as the fracture properties of stone or adaptive challenges rather than such unlikely phenomena as migration of toolmakers over an Arctic ice shelf.

    Contributors R. Alexander Bentley, Briggs Buchanan, Marcelo Cardillo, Mathieu Charbonneau, Judith Charlin, Chris Clarkson, Loren G. Davis, Metin I. Eren, Peter Hiscock, Thomas A. Jennings, Steven L. Kuhn, Daniel E. Lieberman, George R. McGhee, Alex Mackay, Michael J. O'Brien, Charlotte D. Pevny, Ceri Shipton, Ashley M. Smallwood, Heather Smith, Jayne Wilkins, Samuel C. Willis, Nicolas Zayns

  • Rethinking Human Evolution

    Rethinking Human Evolution

    Jeffrey H. Schwartz

    Contributors from a range of disciplines consider the disconnect between human evolutionary studies and the rest of evolutionary biology.

    The study of human evolution often seems to rely on scenarios and received wisdom rather than theory and methodology, with each new fossil or molecular analysis interpreted as supporting evidence for the presumed lineage of human ancestry. We might wonder why we should pursue new inquiries if we already know the story. Is paleoanthropology an evolutionary science? Are analyses of human evolution biological? In this volume, contributors from disciplines that range from paleoanthropology to philosophy of science consider the disconnect between human evolutionary studies and the rest of evolutionary biology. All of the contributors reflect on their own research and its disciplinary context, considering how their fields of inquiry can move forward in new ways. The goal is to encourage a more multifaceted intellectual environment for the understanding of human evolution.

    Topics discussed include paleoanthropology's history of procedural idiosyncrasies; the role of mind and society in our evolutionary past; humans as large mammals rather than a special case; genomic analyses; computational approaches to phylogenetic reconstruction; descriptive morphology versus morphometrics; and integrating insights from archaeology into the interpretation of human fossils.

    Contributors Markus Bastir, Fred L. Bookstein, Claudine Cohen, Richard G. Delisle, Robin Dennell, Rob DeSalle, John de Vos, Emma M. Finestone, Huw S. Groucutt, Gabriele A. Macho, Fabrizzio Mc Manus, Apurva Narechania, Michael D. Petraglia, Thomas W. Plummer, J.W. F. Reumer, Jeff Rosenfeld, Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Dietrich Stout, Ian Tattersall, Alan R. Templeton, Michael Tessler, Peter J. Waddell, Martine Zilversmit

  • Landscapes of Collectivity in the Life Sciences

    Landscapes of Collectivity in the Life Sciences

    Snait B. Gissis, Ehud Lamm, and Ayelet Shavit

    Broad perspective on collectivity in the life sciences, from microorganisms to human consensus, and the theoretical and empirical opportunities and challenges.

    Many researchers and scholars in the life sciences have become increasingly critical of the traditional methodological focus on the individual. This volume counters such methodological individualism by exploring recent and influential work in the life sciences that utilizes notions of collectivity, sociality, rich interactions, and emergent phenomena as essential explanatory tools to handle numerous persistent scientific questions in the life sciences. The contributors consider case studies of collectivity that range from microorganisms to human consensus, discussing theoretical and empirical challenges and the innovative methods and solutions scientists have devised.

    The contributors offer historical, philosophical, and biological perspectives on collectivity, and describe collective phenomena seen in insects, the immune system, communication, and human collectivity, with examples ranging from cooperative transport in the longhorn crazy ant to the evolution of autobiographical memory. They examine ways of explaining collectivity, including case studies and modeling approaches, and explore collectivity's explanatory power. They present a comprehensive look at a specific case of collectivity: the Holobiont notion (the idea of a multi-species collective, a host and diverse microorganisms) and the hologenome theory (which posits that the holobiont and its hologenome are a unit of adaption). The volume concludes with reflections on the work of the late physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob, pioneer in the study of collective phenomena in living systems.

    Contributors Oren Bader, John Beatty, Dinah R. Davison, Daniel Dor, Ofer Feinerman, Raghavendra Gadagkar, Scott F. Gilbert, Snait B. Gissis, Deborah M. Gordon, James Griesemer, Zachariah I. Grochau-Wright, Erik R. Hanschen, Eva Jablonka, Mohit Kumar Jolly, Anat Kolumbus, Ehud Lamm, Herbert Levine, Arnon Levy, Xue-Fei Li, Elisabeth A. Lloyd, Yael Lubin, Eva Maria Luef, Ehud Meron, Richard E. Michod, Samir Okasha, Simone Pika, Joan Roughgarden, Eugene Rosenberg, Ayelet Shavit, Yael Silver, Alfred I. Tauber, Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg

  • Multicellularity


    Origins and Evolution

    Karl J. Niklas and Stuart A. Newman

    Scholars consider the origins and consequences of the evolution of multicellularity, addressing a range of organisms, experimental protocols, theoretical concepts, and philosophical issues.

    The evolution of multicellularity raises questions regarding genomic and developmental commonalities and discordances, selective advantages and disadvantages, physical determinants of development, and the origins of morphological novelties. It also represents a change in the definition of individuality, because a new organism emerges from interactions among single cells. This volume considers these and other questions, with contributions that explore the origins and consequences of the evolution of multicellularity, addressing a range of topics, organisms, and experimental protocols.

    Each section focuses on selected topics or particular lineages that present a significant insight or challenge. The contributors consider the fossil record of the paleontological circumstances in which animal multicellularity evolved; cooptation, recurrent patterns, modularity, and plausible pathways for multicellular evolution in plants; theoretical approaches to the amoebozoa and fungi (cellular slime molds having long provided a robust model system for exploring the evolution of multicellularity), plants, and animals; genomic toolkits of metazoan multicellularity; and philosophical aspects of the meaning of individuality in light of multicellular evolution.

    Contributors Maja Adamska, Argyris Arnellos, Juan A. Arias, Eugenio Azpeitia, Mariana Benítez, Adriano Bonforti, John Tyler Bonner, Peter L. Conlin, A. Keith Dunker, Salva Duran-Nebreda, Ana E. Escalante, Valeria Hernández-Hernández, Kunihiko Kaneko, Andrew H. Knoll, Stephan G. König, Daniel J. G. Lahr, Ottoline Leyser, Alan C. Love, Raul Montañez, Emilio Mora van Cauwelaert, Alvaro Moreno, Vidyanand Nanjundiah, Aurora M. Nedelcu, Stuart A. Newman, Karl J. Niklas, William C. Ratcliff, Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo, Ricard Solé

  • Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition

    Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition

    Linnda R. Caporael, James R. Griesemer, and William C. Wimsatt

    Empirical and philosophical perspectives on scaffolding that highlight the role of temporal and temporary resources in development across concepts of culture, cognition, and evolution.

    "Scaffolding" is a concept that is becoming widely used across disciplines. This book investigates common threads in diverse applications of scaffolding, including theoretical biology, cognitive science, social theory, science and technology studies, and human development. Despite its widespread use, the concept of scaffolding is often given short shrift; the contributors to this volume, from a range of disciplines, offer a more fully developed analysis of scaffolding that highlights the role of temporal and temporary resources in development, broadly conceived, across concepts of culture, cognition, and evolution.

    The book emphasizes reproduction, repeated assembly, and entrenchment of heterogeneous relations, parts, and processes as a complement to neo-Darwinism in the developmentalist tradition of conceptualizing evolutionary change. After describing an integration of theoretical perspectives that can accommodate different levels of analysis and connect various methodologies, the book discusses multilevel organization; differences (and reciprocality) between individuals and institutions as units of analysis; and perspectives on development that span brains, careers, corporations, and cultural cycles.

    Contributors Colin Allen, Linnda R. Caporael, James Evans, Elihu M. Gerson, Simona Ginsburg, James R. Griesemer, Christophe Heintz, Eva Jablonka, Sanjay Joshi, Shu-Chen Li, Pamela Lyon, Sergio F. Martinez, Christopher J. May, Johann Peter Murmann, Stuart A. Newman, Jeffrey C. Schank, Iddo Tavory, Georg Theiner, Barbara Hoeberg Wimsatt, William C. Wimsatt

  • From Groups to Individuals

    From Groups to Individuals

    Evolution and Emerging Individuality

    Frédéric Bouchard and Philippe Huneman

    The biological and philosophical implications of the emergence of new collective individuals from associations of living beings.

    Our intuitive assumption that only organisms are the real individuals in the natural world is at odds with developments in cell biology, ecology, genetics, evolutionary biology, and other fields. Although organisms have served for centuries as nature's paradigmatic individuals, science suggests that organisms are only one of the many ways in which the natural world could be organized. When living beings work together—as in ant colonies, beehives, and bacteria-metazoan symbiosis—new collective individuals can emerge. In this book, leading scholars consider the biological and philosophical implications of the emergence of these new collective individuals from associations of living beings. The topics they consider range from metaphysical issues to biological research on natural selection, sociobiology, and symbiosis.

    The contributors investigate individuality and its relationship to evolution and the specific concept of organism; the tension between group evolution and individual adaptation; and the structure of collective individuals and the extent to which they can be defined by the same concept of individuality. These new perspectives on evolved individuality should trigger important revisions to both philosophical and biological conceptions of the individual.

    Contributors Frédéric Bouchard, Ellen Clarke, Jennifer Fewell, Andrew Gardner, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Charles J. Goodnight, Matt Haber, Andrew Hamilton, Philippe Huneman, Samir Okasha, Thomas Pradeu, Scott Turner, Minus van Baalen

  • Convergent Evolution

    Convergent Evolution

    Limited Forms Most Beautiful

    George R McGhee

    An analysis of convergent evolution from molecules to ecosystems, demonstrating the limited number of evolutionary pathways available to life.

    Charles Darwin famously concluded On the Origin of Species with a vision of “endless forms most beautiful” continually evolving. More than 150 years later many evolutionary biologists see not endless forms but the same, or very similar, forms evolving repeatedly in many independent species lineages. A porpoise's fishlike fins, for example, are not inherited from fish ancestors but are independently derived convergent traits. In this book, George McGhee describes the ubiquity of the phenomenon of convergent evolution and connects it directly to the concept of evolutionary constraint—the idea that the number of evolutionary pathways available to life are not endless, but quite limited.

    Convergent evolution occurs on all levels, from tiny organic molecules to entire ecosystems of species. McGhee demonstrates its ubiquity in animals, both herbivore and carnivore; in plants; in ecosystems; in molecules, including DNA, proteins, and enzymes; and even in minds, describing problem-solving behavior and group behavior as the products of convergence. For each species example, he provides an abbreviated list of the major nodes in its phylogenetic classification, allowing the reader to see the evolutionary relationship of a group of species that have independently evolved a similar trait by convergent evolution. McGhee analyzes the role of functional and developmental constraints in producing convergent evolution, and considers the scientific and philosophical implications of convergent evolution for the predictability of the evolutionary process.

  • Transformations of Lamarckism

    Transformations of Lamarckism

    From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology

    Snait B. Gissis and Eva Jablonka

    A reappraisal of Lamarckism—its historical impact and contemporary significance.

    In 1809—the year of Charles Darwin's birth—Jean-Baptiste Lamarck published Philosophie zoologique, the first comprehensive and systematic theory of biological evolution. The Lamarckian approach emphasizes the generation of developmental variations; Darwinism stresses selection. Lamarck's ideas were eventually eclipsed by Darwinian concepts, especially after the emergence of the Modern Synthesis in the twentieth century. The different approaches—which can be seen as complementary rather than mutually exclusive—have important implications for the kinds of questions biologists ask and for the type of research they conduct. Lamarckism has been evolving—or, in Lamarckian terminology, transforming—since Philosophie zoologique's description of biological processes mediated by "subtle fluids." Essays in this book focus on new developments in biology that make Lamarck's ideas relevant not only to modern empirical and theoretical research but also to problems in the philosophy of biology. Contributors discuss the historical transformations of Lamarckism from the 1820s to the 1940s, and the different understandings of Lamarck and Lamarckism; the Modern Synthesis and its emphasis on Mendelian genetics; theoretical and experimental research on such "Lamarckian" topics as plasticity, soft (epigenetic) inheritance, and individuality; and the importance of a developmental approach to evolution in the philosophy of biology. The book shows the advantages of a "Lamarckian" perspective on evolution. Indeed, the development-oriented approach it presents is becoming central to current evolutionary studies—as can be seen in the burgeoning field of Evo-Devo. Transformations of Lamarckism makes a unique contribution to this research.

    • Hardcover $55.00 £40.95
    • Paperback $47.00 £37.00
  • The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited

    The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited

    Brett Calcott and Kim Sterelny

    Drawing on recent advances in evolutionary biology, prominent scholars return to the question posed in a pathbreaking book: how evolution itself evolved.

    In 1995, John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry published their influential book The Major Transitions in Evolution. The "transitions" that Maynard Smith and Szathmáry chose to describe all constituted major changes in the kinds of organisms that existed but, most important, these events also transformed the evolutionary process itself. The evolution of new levels of biological organization, such as chromosomes, cells, multicelled organisms, and complex social groups radically changed the kinds of individuals natural selection could act upon. Many of these events also produced revolutionary changes in the process of inheritance, by expanding the range and fidelity of transmission, establishing new inheritance channels, and developing more open-ended sources of variation. Maynard Smith and Szathmáry had planned a major revision of their work, but the death of Maynard Smith in 2004 prevented this. In this volume, prominent scholars (including Szathmáry himself) reconsider and extend the earlier book's themes in light of recent developments in evolutionary biology. The contributors discuss different frameworks for understanding macroevolution, prokaryote evolution (the study of which has been aided by developments in molecular biology), and the complex evolution of multicellularity.

  • Evolution, The Definitive Edition

    Evolution, The Definitive Edition

    The Modern Synthesis

    Julian Huxley

    The definitive edition of one of the most important scientific books of the twentieth century, setting out the conceptual structure underlying evolutionary biology.

    This classic work by Julian Huxley, first published in 1942, captured and synthesized all that was then known about evolutionary biology and gave a name to the Modern Synthesis, the conceptual structure underlying the field for most of the twentieth century. Many considered Huxley's book a popularization of the ideas then emerging in evolutionary biology, but in fact Evolution: The Modern Synthesis is a work of serious scholarship that is also accessible to the general educated public. It is a book in the intellectual tradition of Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley—Julian Huxley's grandfather, known for his energetic championing of Darwin's ideas. A contemporary reviewer called Evolution: The Modern Synthesis “the outstanding evolutionary treatise of the decade, perhaps the century.” This definitive edition brings one of the most important and successful scientific books of the twentieth century back into print. It includes the entire text of the 1942 edition, Huxley's introduction to the 1963 second edition (which demonstrates his continuing command of the field), and the introduction to the 1974 third edition, written by nine experts (many of them Huxley's associates) from different areas of evolutionary biology.

  • Innovation in Cultural Systems

    Innovation in Cultural Systems

    Contributions from Evolutionary Anthropology

    Michael J. O'Brien and Stephen J. Shennan

    Leading scholars offer a range of perspectives on the roles played by innovation in the evolution of human culture.

    In recent years an interest in applying the principles of evolution to the study of culture emerged in the social sciences. Archaeologists and anthropologists reconsidered the role of innovation in particular, and have moved toward characterizing innovation in cultural systems not only as a product but also as an evolutionary process. This distinction was familiar to biology but new to the social sciences; cultural evolutionists from the nineteenth to the twentieth century had tended to see innovation as a preprogrammed change that occurred when a cultural group “needed” to overcome environmental problems. In this volume, leading researchers from a variety of disciplines—including anthropology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, philosophy, and psychology—offer their perspectives on cultural innovation. The book provides not only a range of views but also an integrated account, with the chapters offering an orderly progression of thought. The contributors consider innovation in biological terms, discussing epistemology, animal studies, systematics and phylogeny, phenotypic plasticity and evolvability, and evo-devo; they discuss modern insights into innovation, including simulation, the random-copying model, diffusion, and demographic analysis; and they offer case studies of innovation from archaeological and ethnographic records, examining developmental, behavioral, and social patterns.

    Contributors André Ariew, R. Alexander Bentley, Werner Callebaut, Joseph Henrich, Anne Kandler, Kevin N. Laland, Daniel O. Larson, Alex Mesoudi, Michael J. O'Brien, Craig T. Palmer, Adam Powell, Simon M. Reader, Valentine Roux, Chet Savage, Michael Brian Schiffer, Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Stephen J. Shennan, James Steele, Mark G. Thomas, Todd L. VanPool

  • Cognitive Biology

    Cognitive Biology

    Evolutionary and Developmental Perspectives on Mind, Brain, and Behavior

    Luca Tommasi, Mary A. Peterson, and Lynn Nadel

    An overview of current research at the intersection of psychology and biology, integrating evolutionary and developmental data and explanations.

    In the past few decades, sources of inspiration in the multidisciplinary field of cognitive science have widened. In addition to ongoing vital work in cognitive and affective neuroscience, important new work is being conducted at the intersection of psychology and the biological sciences in general. This volume offers an overview of the cross-disciplinary integration of evolutionary and developmental approaches to cognition in light of these exciting new contributions from the life sciences. This research has explored many cognitive abilities in a wide range of organisms and developmental stages, and results have revealed the nature and origin of many instances of the cognitive life of organisms. Each section of Cognitive Biology deals with a key domain of cognition: spatial cognition; the relationships among attention, perception, and learning; representations of numbers and economic values; and social cognition. Contributors discuss each topic from the perspectives of psychology and neuroscience, brain theory and modeling, evolutionary theory, ecology, genetics, and developmental science.

    Contributors Chris M. Bird, Elizabeth M. Brannon, Neil Burgess, Jessica F. Cantlon, Stanislas Dehaene, Christian F. Doeller, Reuven Dukas, Rochel Gelman, Alexander Gerganov, Paul W. Glimcher, Robert L. Goldstone, Edward M. Hubbard, Lucia F. Jacobs, Mark H. Johnson, Annette Karmiloff-Smith, David Landy, Lynn Nadel, Nora S. Newcombe, Daniel Osorio, Mary A. Peterson, Manuela Piazza, Philippe Pinel, Michael L. Platt, Kristin R. Ratliff, Michael E. Roberts, Wendy S. Shallcross, Stephen V. Shepherd, Sylvain Sirois, Luca Tommasi, Alessandro Treves, Alexandra Twyman, Giorgio Vallortigara

  • Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds

    Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds

    Comparative Philosophical Perspectives

    Ulrich Krohs and Peter Kroes

    Investigations into the relationship between organism and artifacts from the perspective of functionality.

    The notion of function is an integral part of thinking in both biology and technology; biological organisms and technical artifacts are both ascribed functionality. Yet the concept of function is notoriously obscure (with problematic issues regarding the normative and the descriptive nature of functions, for example) and demands philosophical clarification. So too the relationship between biological organisms and technical artifacts: although entities of one kind are often described in terms of the other—as in the machine analogy for biological organism or the evolutionary account of technological development—the parallels between the two break down at certain points. This volume takes on both issues and examines the relationship between organisms and artifacts from the perspective of functionality. Believing that the concept of function is the root of an accurate understanding of biological organisms, technical artifacts, and the relation between the two, the contributors take an integrative approach, offering philosophical analyses that embrace both biological and technical fields of function ascription. They aim at a better understanding not only of the concept of function but also of the similarities and differences between organisms and artifacts as they relate to functionality. Their ontological, epistemological, and phenomenological comparisons will clarify problems that are central to the philosophies of both biology and technology.

    Contributors Paul Sheldon Davies, Maarten Franssen, Wybo Houkes, Yoshinobu Kitamura, Peter Kroes, Ulrich Krohs, Tim Lewens, Andrew Light, Françoise Longy, Peter McLaughlin, Riichiro Mizoguchi, Mark Perlman, Beth Preston, Giacomo Romano, Marzia Soavi, Pieter E. Vermaas

  • Evolution of Communicative Flexibility

    Evolution of Communicative Flexibility

    Complexity, Creativity, and Adaptability in Human and Animal Communication

    D. Kimbrough Oller and Ulrike Griebel

    Experts investigate communicative flexibility (in both form and usage of signals) as the foundation of the evolution of complex communication systems, including human language.

    The evolutionary roots of human communication are difficult to trace, but recent comparative research suggests that the first key step in that evolutionary history may have been the establishment of basic communicative flexibility—the ability to vocalize freely combined with the capability to coordinate vocalization with communicative intent. The contributors to this volume investigate how some species (particularly ancient hominids) broke free of the constraints of “fixed signals,” actions that were evolved to communicate but lack the flexibility of language—a newborn infant's cry, for example, always signals distress and has a stereotypical form not modifiable by the crying baby. Fundamentally, the contributors ask what communicative flexibility is and what evolutionary conditions can produce it. The accounts offered in these chapters are notable for taking the question of language origins farther back in evolutionary time than in much previous work. Many contributors address the very earliest communicative break of the hominid line from the primate background; others examine the evolutionary origins of flexibility in, for example, birds and marine mammals. The volume's interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives illuminate issues that are on the cutting edge of recent research on this topic.

    Contributors Stéphanie Barbu, Curt Burgess, Josep Call, Laurance Doyle, Julia Fischer, Michael Goldstein, Ulrike Griebel, Kurt Hammerschmidt, Sean Hanser, Martine Hausberger, Laurence Henry, Allison Kaufman, Stan Kuczaj, Robert F. Lachlan, Brian MacWhinney, Radhika Makecha, Brenda McCowan, D. Kimbrough Oller, Michael Owren, Ron Schusterman, Charles T. Snowdon, Kim Sterelny, Benoît Testé, Gert Westermann

  • From Embryology to Evo-Devo

    From Embryology to Evo-Devo

    A History of Developmental Evolution

    Manfred D. Laubichler and Jane Maienschein

    Historians, philosophers, sociologists, and biologists explore the history of the idea that embryological development and evolution are linked.

    Although we now know that ontogeny (individual development) does not actually recapitulate phylogeny (evolutionary transformation), contrary to Ernst Haeckel's famous dictum, the relationship between embryological development and evolution remains the subject of intense scientific interest. In the 1990s a new field, evolutionary developmental biology (or evo-devo), was hailed as the synthesis of developmental and evolutionary biology. In From Embryology to Evo-Devo, historians, philosophers, sociologists, and biologists offer diverse perspectives on the history of efforts to understand the links between development and evolution. After examining events in the history of early twentieth century embryology and developmental genetics—including the fate of Haeckel's law and its various reformulations, the ideas of William Bateson, and Richard Goldschmidt's idiosyncratic synthesis of ontogeny and phylogeny—the contributors explore additional topics ranging from the history of comparative embryology in America to a philosophical-historical analysis of different research styles. Finally, three major figures in theoretical biology—Brian Hall, Gerd Müller, and Günter Wagner—reflect on the past and future of evo-devo, particularly on the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The sum is an exciting interdisciplinary exploration of developmental evolution.

    • Hardcover $57.00 £42.95
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00
  • Biological Emergences

    Biological Emergences

    Evolution by Natural Experiment

    Robert G. B. Reid

    A critique of selectionism and the proposal of an alternate theory of emergent evolution that is causally sufficient for evolutionary biology.

    Natural selection is commonly interpreted as the fundamental mechanism of evolution. Questions about how selection theory can claim to be the all-sufficient explanation of evolution often go unanswered by today's neo-Darwinists, perhaps for fear that any criticism of the evolutionary paradigm will encourage creationists and proponents of intelligent design. In Biological Emergences, Robert Reid argues that natural selection is not the cause of evolution. He writes that the causes of variations, which he refers to as natural experiments, are independent of natural selection; indeed, he suggests, natural selection may get in the way of evolution. Reid proposes an alternative theory to explain how emergent novelties are generated and under what conditions they can overcome the resistance of natural selection. He suggests that what causes innovative variation causes evolution, and that these phenomena are environmental as well as organismal. After an extended critique of selectionism, Reid constructs an emergence theory of evolution, first examining the evidence in three causal arenas of emergent evolution: symbiosis/association, evolutionary physiology/behavior, and developmental evolution. Based on this evidence of causation, he proposes some working hypotheses, examining mechanisms and processes common to all three arenas, and arrives at a theoretical framework that accounts for generative mechanisms and emergent qualities. Without selectionism, Reid argues, evolutionary innovation can more easily be integrated into a general thesis. Finally, Reid proposes a biological synthesis of rapid emergent evolutionary phases and the prolonged, dynamically stable, non-evolutionary phases imposed by natural selection.

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $5.75 £4.99
  • Compositional Evolution

    Compositional Evolution

    The Impact of Sex, Symbiosis, and Modularity on the Gradualist Framework of Evolution

    Richard A. Watson

    A study of evolutionary processes that involve the combination of systems of semi-independently preadapted genetic material rather than the linear or sequential accumulation of slight modifications; with computational models that illustrate these mechanisms.

    No biological concept has had greater impact on the way we view ourselves and the world around us than the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin's masterful contribution was to provide an algorithmic model (a formal step-by-step procedure) of how adaptation may take place in biological systems. However, the simple process of linear incremental improvement that he described is only one algorithmic possibility, and certain biological phenomena provide the possibility of implementing alternative processes. In Compositional Evolution, Richard Watson uses the tools of computer science and computational biology to show that certain mechanisms of genetic variation (such as sex, gene transfer, and symbiosis) allowing the combination of preadapted genetic material enable an evolutionary process, compositional evolution, that is algorithmically distinct from the Darwinian gradualist framework. After reviewing the gradualist framework of evolution and outlining the analogous principles at work in evolutionary computation, Watson describes the compositional mechanisms of evolutionary biology and provides computational models that illustrate his argument. He uses models such as the genetic algorithm as well as novel models to explore different evolutionary scenarios, comparing evolution based on spontaneous point mutation, sexual recombination, and symbiotic encapsulation. He shows that the models of sex and symbiosis are algorithmically distinct from simpler stochastic optimization methods based on gradual processes. Finally, Watson discusses the impact of compositional evolution on our understanding of natural evolution and, similarly, the utility of evolutionary computation methods for problem solving and design.

  • Modularity


    Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems

    Werner Callebaut and Diego Rasskin-Gutman

    Experts from diverse fields, including artificial life, cognitive science, economics, developmental and evolutionary biology, and the arts, discuss modularity.

    Modularity—the attempt to understand systems as integrations of partially independent and interacting units—is today a dominant theme in the life sciences, cognitive science, and computer science. The concept goes back at least implicitly to the Scientific (or Copernican) Revolution, and can be found behind later theories of phrenology, physiology, and genetics; moreover, art, engineering, and mathematics rely on modular design principles. This collection broadens the scientific discussion of modularity by bringing together experts from a variety of disciplines, including artificial life, cognitive science, economics, evolutionary computation, developmental and evolutionary biology, linguistics, mathematics, morphology, paleontology, physics, theoretical chemistry, philosophy, and the arts.

    The contributors debate and compare the uses of modularity, discussing the different disciplinary contexts of "modular thinking" in general (including hierarchical organization, near-decomposability, quasi-independence, and recursion) or of more specialized concepts (including character complex, gene family, encapsulation, and mosaic evolution); what modules are, why and how they develop and evolve, and the implication for the research agenda in the disciplines involved; and how to bring about useful cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer on the topic. The book includes a foreword by the late Herbert A. Simon addressing the role of near-decomposability in understanding complex systems.

    • Hardcover $57.00
    • Paperback $57.00 £44.00
  • Evolution of Communication Systems

    Evolution of Communication Systems

    A Comparative Approach

    D. Kimbrough Oller and Ulrike Griebel

    Laying foundations for an interdisciplinary approach to the study of evolution in communication systems with tools from evolutionary biology, linguistics, animal behavior, developmental psychology, philosophy, cognitive sciences, robotics, and neural network modeling.

    The search for origins of communication in a wide variety of species including humans is rapidly becoming a thoroughly interdisciplinary enterprise. In this volume, scientists engaged in the fields of evolutionary biology, linguistics, animal behavior, developmental psychology, philosophy, the cognitive sciences, robotics, and neural network modeling come together to explore a comparative approach to the evolution of communication systems. The comparisons range from parrot talk to squid skin displays, from human language to Aibo the robot dog's language learning, and from monkey babbling to the newborn human infant cry. The authors explore the mysterious circumstances surrounding the emergence of human language, which they propose to be intricately connected with drastic changes in human lifestyle. While it is not yet clear what the physical environmental circumstances were that fostered social changes in the hominid line, the volume offers converging evidence and theory from several lines of research suggesting that language depended upon the restructuring of ancient human social groups. The volume also offers new theoretical treatments of both primitive communication systems and human language, providing new perspectives on how to recognize both their similarities and their differences. Explorations of new technologies in robotics, neural network modeling and pattern recognition offer many opportunities to simulate and evaluate theoretical proposals. The North American and European scientists who have contributed to this volume represent a vanguard of thinking about how humanity came to have the capacity for language and how nonhumans provide a background of remarkable capabilities that help clarify the foundations of speech.

  • The Evolution of Cognition

    The Evolution of Cognition

    Cecilia Heyes and Ludwig Huber

    This book encompasses the behavior and mentality of nonhuman as well as human animals and a full range of evolutionary approaches. Rather than a collection by and for the like-minded, it is a debate about how evolutionary processes have shaped cognition.

    In the last decade, "evolutionary psychology" has come to refer exclusively to research on human mentality and behavior, motivated by a nativist interpretation of how evolution operates. This book encompasses the behavior and mentality of nonhuman as well as human animals and a full range of evolutionary approaches. Rather than a collection by and for the like-minded, it is a debate about how evolutionary processes have shaped cognition.

    The debate is divided into five sections: Orientations, on the phylogenetic, ecological, and psychological/comparative approaches to the evolution of cognition; Categorization, on how various animals parse their environments, how they represent objects and events and the relations among them; Causality, on whether and in what ways nonhuman animals represent cause and effect relationships; Consciousness, on whether it makes sense to talk about the evolution of consciousness and whether the phenomenon can be investigated empirically in nonhuman animals; and Culture, on the cognitive requirements for nongenetic transmission of information and the evolutionary consequences of such cultural exchange.

    Contributors Bernard Balleine, Patrick Bateson, Michael J. Beran, M. E. Bitterman, Robert Boyd, Nicola Clayton, Juan Delius, Anthony Dickinson, Robin Dunbar, D.P. Griffiths, Bernd Heinrich, Cecilia Heyes, William A. Hillix, Ludwig Huber, Nicholas Humphrey, Masako Jitsumori, Louis Lefebvre, Nicholas Mackintosh, Euan M. Macphail, Peter Richerson, Duane M. Rumbaugh, Sara Shettleworth, Martina Siemann, Kim Sterelny, Michael Tomasello, Laura Weiser, Alexandra Wells, Carolyn Wilczynski, David Sloan Wilson

    • Hardcover $58.00 £42.95
    • Paperback $34.00 £27.00