This book explores ways in which systematic patterns are used to infer evolutionary processes. Among evolutionary biologists and systematists there is a constant interchange between those that study the process of evolution (e.g., mutation, selection, speciation) and those that study its patterns (e.g., variation, geographic distribution, ontogeny, phylogeny). Because patterns influence the development of theories, and processes yield patterns, it is not always easy to distinguish one from another. This book is dialectic and helps crystallize a continuing debate over the relationship of patterns to process theories.
Contributions by leading systematists, evolutionary biologists, and philosophers
Illustrates the debate over how and if evolutionary processes can be inferred from systematic patterns
Illustrates a continuing interplay between systematics and evolutionary theory
Introduction to Patterns and Process Perspectives. Pattern Description, Process Explanation and the History of Morphological Sciences. Theoretical Pluralism in Biology, Including Systematics. Repeating Patterns in Nature, Predictability and "Impact" in Science. Morphological and Molecular Inroads to Phylogeny. Stratocladistics: Morphological and Temporal Patterns and Their Relation to Phylogenetic Process. The Use of Unconventional Morphological Characters in the Analysis of Systematic and Evolutionary Processes. The Phylogeny of Development and the Origin of Homology. Summary and Comments on Systematic Patterns and Evolutionary Process. Subject Index.