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No other scientific theory has had as great an impact on our understanding of the world as Darwin's theory outlined in his Origin of Species. Yet the theory has been the subject of controversy from its very beginning. This book focuses on three issues of debate in Darwin's theory of evolution--the nature of selection, the nature and scope of adaptation, and the question of evolutionary progress. It traces the varying interpretations to which these issues were subjected historically through the fierce contemporary debates continuing to rage.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521541985
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/15/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.02(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.91(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Selection: 1. Darwin and natural selection; 2. The group selection controversy; 3. For whose good does natural selection work?; Part II. Adaptation: 4. Darwin (and others) on biological perfection; 5. Adaptation after Darwin; 6. Adaptation(ism) and its limits; Part III. Progress: 7. Darwin on evolutionary progress; 8. Evolutionary progress from Darwin to Dawkins; 9. Is evolution progressive?; 10. Human physical and mental evolution; Epilogue.

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From the Publisher

"This is a thoughtful and clearly written book that serves as a fine introduction to the ways in which evolutionary thought has itself evolved since the time of Darwin. I learned a lot from it, and I feel confident that anybody who is fascinated by these centrally important ideas will also take something useful away from it." Bioscience, Chrisopher Wills, UC San Diego

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