Classic Works in Evolutionary Biology S2014

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Course Information

Instructors: Kurt Schwenk and Elizabeth Jockusch
Meeting time: Tuesdays, 4-5 pm
Meeting place: Bamford Room

Resources

Classic Works in Evolutionary Biology List
Ned Friedman's page on early Evolutionists link
course pdf upload link
Class email list Pdficon small.gif

Discussion Schedule

Date Discussion Leader(s) Readings Additional Resources
Jan 21
SNOW DAY

Jan. 28 Kurt and Elizabeth Excerpts from William Paley's "Natural Theology"
Pdficon small.gif Design Argument
Pdficon small.gif Paley on Selection

Excerpts from William Whewell's 1845 "Indications of the Creator"

Pdficon small.gif Final Causes
Pdficon small.gif Transmutation of Species
Feb. 4 Bill Lamarck's Physiological Zoology (1809)
Pdficon small.gif Ch. 7-Influence of the Environment

Excerpts from Owen on Homology and Types

Pdficon small.gif 1846 Pdficon small.gif 1848 Pdficon small.gif 1849
Feb. 11 Veronica Darwin's and Wallace's 1858 Linnean Society Texts
Pdficon small.gif Text with Ghiselin commentary
Pdficon small.gif Original
Visualization: The Preservation of Favored Traces
-- a graphic representation of the changes to *On the Origin of Species* through its six editions.

Owen's (anonymous) review of the Origin link
Wallace Appreciations

Pdficon small.gif Red-hot radical Pdficon small.gif Biogeographer

Wallace-Darwin similarities: more than a coincidence?

Pdficon small.gif Davies Pdficon small.gif Smith
Feb. 18
SNOW DAY

Feb. 25 Cera Heredity and Variation
Pdficon small.gif Weismann (1893) Introduction to the Germ-Plasm--Read part B, Descriptive part (p. 20-end)
Pdficon small.gif Bateson (1899)

Also worth a look, to see how rapidly genetics progressed

Pdficon small.gif Morgan (1915)
Classic Literature in Genetics link

Morgan, T.H. (1916) A Critique of the Theory of Evolution—Morgan reviews evolution and theories of heredity to that time: Morgan (1916) link
Pdficon small.gif Grant (1900)-Overview of the heredity debate for general public

March 4 Brigette Population Genetic Groundwork for the Modern Synthesis

Focus of Discussion

Pdficon small.gif Wright (1932)-includes adaptive landscape metaphor

Also have a look at the beginning and end of these (but skip the math in between)

Pdficon small.gif Haldane (1924)-mathematical theory of selection, pp. 19, 37 (end)-39
Pdficon small.gif Fisher (1918)-Mendelian inheritance, pp. 399-401, 432 (end)-433
Pdficon small.gif Wright's (1960) perspective on the history of genetics
Pdficon small.gif James Crow's obituary of Wright
Pdficon small.gif Fisher Retrospective
March 11 Suman Excerpt from Dobzhansky (1937) Genetics and the Origin of Species
Pdficon small.gif Chapter 8-Isolating Mechanisms

Also have a look at Dobzhansky's work on isolating mechanisms in Drosophila

Pdficon small.gif Dobzhansky (1936); read "The Problem" and "Discussion"
Pdficon small.gif Dobzhansky (1937); read "Introduction" and "Summary"
Bateson (1909) includes statement of Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibility model of speciation

Pdficon small.gif H. J. Muller (1942) on the genetics of isolating mechanisms
Pdficon small.gif Emerson's (1938) review of Genetics and the Origin of Species
Pdficon small.gif Ayala's (1985) Dobzhansky Memoir
Pdficon small.gif Orr (1996) reflections on Dobzhansky and the genetics of speciation

March 18 SPRING BREAK
March 25 Velotta, Michael
Pdficon small.gif Excerpt from George Gaylord Simpson's (1953) Major Features of Evolution
Pdficon small.gif Whittington's (1986) Simpson memoir
April 1 Katie, Sara Speciation and hybridization

Zoological perspective--Mayr on genetic revolutions; also includes his historical perspective and a bit on hybridization
if short on time, skip pp. 535-546

Pdficon small.gif Excerpts from Mayr (1963) Animal Species and Evolution

Botanical perspective--focused on hybridization

Pdficon small.gif Excerpts from Stebbins (1950) Variation and Evolution in Plants
Some biographical information on Stebbins:
Pdficon small.gif By the National Academy of Sciences
Pdficon small.gif By Peter Raven


Although not 'officially' accepted into the Synthesis fold (i.e., approved by Ernst Mayr), another important botanist contributor is Verne Grant, member of the National Academy of Sciences, who wrote a significant, early book called, The Origin of Adaptations (Columbia Univ. Press, 1963). You can still buy used copies inexpensively.

April 8 Ellen, Bill Evo-Devo: outside the synthesis:
Pdficon small.gif Richard Goldschmidt's (1940) Material Basis of Evolution ('hopeful monsters')

Pdficon small.gif Waddington (1957) Excerpts
You can get a free (probably illegal) full-text copy of Goldschmidt's book HERE

Some interesting papers about Goldschmidt and his work:

Pdficon small.gif Goldschmidt Biographical Memoir (Stern 1967)
Pdficon small.gif Goldschmidt and Evo-Devo (2000)
Pdficon small.gif Overview of Goldschmidt and his work (2003)
Pdficon small.gif Goldschmidt's use of metaphors (2008)

Waddington was an experimental biologist as well as a theorist. Here are a few of his papers, all pertinent to what is contained in his book:

Pdficon small.gif oWaddingtonBaldwinEffectGenAssim1953.pdf
Pdficon small.gif oWaddingtonCanalGenAssimAcquiredChar1959.pdf
Pdficon small.gif oWaddingtonGenAssimBithorax1956.pdf
Pdficon small.gif oWaddingtonGenetAssimAcquiredChar53.pdf

Here are some papers ABOUT Waddington and his work:

Pdficon small.gif Waddington'sLegacyHall92.pdf
Pdficon small.gif WaddingtonOverviewGilbert00.pdf
Pdficon small.gif WaddingtonBioOverview02.pdf
Pdficon small.gif WaddingtonCanalizationRevisited02.pdf
Pdficon small.gif GeneticAssimBaldwinEffectPlasticity07.pdf
April 15 Johana, Manette
Pdficon small.gif Gould and Lewontin (1979), Spandrels

[Whatever you think of this paper, there is no denying that it was absolutely seminal; probably the most critiqued paper ever published in terms of its cross-disciplinary appeal - including an entire edited volume analyzing it from a rhetorical perspective! It marks the beginning of the modern era of constraint theory. Also, if you've wondered about the reference to the "Panglossian paradigm", this refers to Dr. Pangloss, a character in Voltaire's book 'Candide' (1759) who, even in the worst of circumstances, continues to explain why everything is just as it must be and that this is the most perfect of all worlds. It's a hilarious story and biting social commentary, with a great deal of relevance to biology and especially academics, generally (e.g., "what a great genius this Pococurante must be! Nothing can please him" and "but still, there must certainly be a pleasure in criticising everything, and in seeing faults where others think they see beauties." And for grad students regarding their advisors: "...but when I realized that he had doubts about everything, I figured I knew as much as himself, and had no need of a guide to learn ignorance." Finally, who can beat, "I have grown old in misery and disgrace, living with only one buttock..."?). But I digress... (KS)]

One of many critiques published about G & L – an indication of its seminal influence

Pdficon small.gif Queller, D. C. 1995.

Example of extreme adaptationist thinking

Pdficon small.gif Cain (1964)
April 22 Jimmy, Jessie
Pdficon small.gif Van Valen, Red Queen
Comment on the Red Queen
Pdficon small.gif Maynard Smith (1980)

Think we make you read too much? You could take Van Valen's class instead!

Pdficon small.gif Van Valen's Reading List
April 29 Nora, Tim Classic Demonstrations of Natural Selection in the Wild
Pdficon small.gif Endler (1980) on Guppies
Pdficon small.gif Grant and Grant (2002) on Darwin's Finches
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