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Basic Questions in Paleontology

Geologic Time, Organic Evolution, and Biological Systematics

Now available in English for the first time, Basic Questions in Paleontology is a landmark work in twentieth-century evolution and paleontology. Originally published in German in 1950, Schindewolf’s book was highly controversial for its thoroughgoing anti-Darwinism, but today his ideas are remarkably relevant to current research in evolutionary biology.

"[This book] would rank number one on my list of items awaiting translation from the history of twentieth-century evolutionary theory."—Stephen Jay Gould

494 pages | 32 halftones, 266 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1993

Biological Sciences: Paleobiology, Geology, and Paleontology

Earth Sciences: Paleontology

Table of Contents

I. The Nature, Task, and Place of Paleontology
A. Definition of Terms, Goals, and Methods
B. Relationship to Biology, Implications for Phylogeny
C. Relationship to Geology and the Humanities
II. Basic Problems of Geologic Time
A. The Basis for Measuring Time and Determining Age
B. A Survey of the Temporal Distribution of Plant and Animal Phyla
C. Some Individual Problems Concerning the Paleontological Classification of Time
1. The Concept of Zones
2. The Same or Merely Equal?
3. Micropaleontology—Its Place and Importance in Stratigraphy
4. Delimiting the Larger Units of Time
III. Basic Problems of Organic Phylogeny
A. The Authority of Fossil Evidence
1. The Preservational State of Fossils
2. Gaps in the Fossil Record
B. Patterns in Phylogeny
1. Two Introductory Examples
a) The Unfolding of the Cephalopods
1) Nautiloids
2) Ammonoids
b) The Unfolding of the Stony Corals
1) Pterocorals—Cyclocorals
2) Pterocorals—Heterocorals
2. General Results
a) Evolution or Creation?
b) The Irreversibility of Evolution
c) The Periodicity of Evolution
d) The Origin of the Types
e) Proterogenetic Evolution
f) The Pros and Cons of Typostrophism g) Other Principles of Evolution
h) Orthogenesis
i) Factors in Evolution
IV. Basic Problems of Biological Systematics
A. The Nature and Task of Systematics
B. The Nature of Taxonomic Categories
C. Natural and Artificial Systematics
D. Morphological and Phylogenetic Systematics
E. Idealistic Morphology
F. The Systematics of Parallel Evolutionary Lineages

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