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Evolution As Entropy

Toward a Unified Theory of Biology

Second Edition

2d edition
"By combining recent advances in the physical sciences with some of the novel ideas, techniques, and data of modern biology, this book attempts to achieve a new and different kind of evolutionary synthesis. I found it to be challenging, fascinating, infuriating, and provocative, but certainly not dull."—James H, Brown, University of New Mexico

"This book is unquestionably mandatory reading not only for every living biologist but for generations of biologists to come."—Jack P. Hailman, Animal Behaviour, review of the first edition

"An important contribution to modern evolutionary thinking. It fortifies the place of Evolutionary Theory among the other well-established natural laws."—R.Gessink,TAXON

429 pages | 6.00 x 8.90 | © 1988

Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series

Biological Sciences: Evolutionary Biology

Philosophy of Science

Table of Contents

Preface to First Edition
1. Prelude
Lawlike Behavior in Evolution
Evolution and Developmental Biology
Neo-Darwinism and the Origin of Higher Taxa: Of Moths and Mammals
A Proposed Analogy
Form and Function
2. The Core Hypothesis
Introduction to the Thesis
Energy and Information
Entropy and Information
Some Biological Interpretations
Information Theory
Hierarchical Information Theory
Informational Capacity
Order and Disorder
Closed Systems
Self-Organizing Systems
Biological Phenomenology
The Nature of the Initial Conditions
Physiological Phenomenology
Research Programs
3. Ontogeny, Morphology, and Evolution
Ontogenesis as a Nonequilibrium Phenomenon
The Genome as an Organized Unit
Terminal Changes
Nonterminal Changes
Entropic Behavior of Ontogenesis
Compensatory Changes
Compensatory Changes and the Course of Evolution
Historical Analysis and Ontogeny
4. Populations and Species
Evolution in Populations
Overall Estimates of Information Entropy
Information Partitioning and Multiple Populations
Patterns of Change in Information
Proximal Mechnisms of Changes in Information
Factors Affecting Cohesion
Cohesion within a Population
Cohesion among Populations
Cohesion and Entropy
Summary Remarks
Species and Speciation
Modes of Speciation
Speciation and Entropy Changes
Comment on Punctuated Equilibrium
Species, Phylogenetic Tree Topologies, and Entropy
5. Mapping Historical Change
Linguistic and Structuralist Approaches to Systematics
Systematic Technique Derived from Entropy Considerations
Phylogenetic Systematics
The Wagner Algorithm
Semantic Components
Historical Constraints and Outgroups
Parsimony and Minimum Entropy Increases
Information Considerations
Cohesion Considerations
Testing for Departures from Minimum Entropy Configurations
"Linguistic Affinities" of Systematic Techniques
6. Macroecology
Macroscopic Properties of Ecological Associations
Historical Ecology
Life History Cycles and Ecology
Coevolution and Colonization
Vicariance Biogeography
Separating Historical and Proximal Ecological Associations—Two Examples
Historical Ecology and Competition
7. Reprise and Prelude

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